Pirates and Legos and Dali, oh my!

When I was a teenager, I spent more time playing computer games and on the internet or with my head in a book than I did hanging out with people my age. I wasn’t an antisocial or socially awkward – I just didn’t have reliable transportation, and the favored past time of “hanging out at the mall” didn’t appeal to this fund-deficient 16 year old’s wallet.

Because of this, I turned to the online world of LiveJournal, and subsequently GreatestJournal, to share my woes and angst as a teenager, and to connect with other people who felt similarly. Through communities and groups, I was able to meet a handful of women who I am still very close to to this day, and who are directly responsible for how strong my views are on things like body shaming (of any type), feminism and being a strong women – and person, in general. The internet can be a wonderful place, guys! I promise!

Some of these women have popped up around my blog — You might remember that I spoke with my pal Sam as a Fashion Guest Blogger about two years ago, and my Savannah post featured two girls I met around this time as well, Kayla & Alex! I’ve also visited some of the other women that are within this group over the last couple of years, and the list of “not met yets” is actually almost lower now than the “have mets”, which is a pretty cool achievement considering that members hail from various places in the world! I’ve learned so much from these great ladies, and I’m so thankful that our friendships have gone beyond the screen and webcam chats to in person hangouts and week long sleepovers!

Among the few that I have not yet been graced with the presence of has been one of my out-of-country friends — Canada, to be specific! When I learned that my friend of almost a decade, Jolene, would be visiting Florida for vacation with her boyfriend, Chrys, I knew we’d have to figure something out! We offered to give them a place to stay for part of their trip and we decided to go out and sight see with them!

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We started with Downtown Disney after picking them up from their hotel. We hadn’t really visited the area together, so it was fun and new for us as well! After visiting some of the cool shops that sold things like character candied apples and musical gourds, we decided to have lunch at Planet Hollywood!

I had never eaten there, and it is HUGE! There are multiple stories and each level shows tons of movie and TV memorabilia – We saw a little bit of everything and there was still something new every time we turned a corner!

After lunch, we stopped at the Lego Store (or that may have been before lunch, I have no idea, I have a bad memory!) and played with their toys! The Simpsons Lego Set  is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and I want it so bad! They had it displayed, although I didn’t get any pictures of it. They also have tons of Lego Statues around the store and inside it! They’re various Disney and Pixar characters and they’re sooo awesome! They’re enormous and some of them are too tall to even get close to!

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We had pre-purchased tickets to the Pirate Dinner Adventure show that night, which we had all been looking forward to since we first decided to go during their vacation months beforehand! Despite living here, I very rarely ever go to any of the theme parks or tourist places, aside from the main two – Disney and IoA. And even those I don’t really go to all that regularly anymore! Having friends visit is the PERFECT reason to splurge on these types of things, so we were even happier when the tickets ended up being on super sale and we basically spent less than half price on each one!

During the show, you get seated with a different colored Pirate. Ours was Andre the Orange, and each pirate picks people from his “team” to do something during the actual show. AND I WAS PICKED!! He called me “the one with the hair” and I got to be a part of the little mini-game that happens during each show. Later, during another part, both Nick and Chrys were asked to go up ON STAGE!!! to interact with a bunch of kids and the pirates during a part of the show’s finale. It was so cool and after our dinner, they brought a cake with candles for Nick, since I had gotten him the Birthday Package part to go along with our visit!

It was really exciting and fun, and the food was pretty alright! Nothing fancy or exceptional but it was edible, haha! The best part were the drinks — During a pre-show act, a woman danced and did tricks on stage by the bar with little puppies and it was so cute! We bought souvenir coconut head cups — They put the cups inside and the straw and lid fit back on it! They’re hand carved and look awesome, haha!

The gift shop also had tons of cool things – Nick bought me this skull bracelet and we got a few other knick knacks as well! The people were so nice and the four of us chatted with some of the pirates after the show, when they all came out to hang out and take photos with the guests and even started this funny line dance thing by the bar!

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The next day we had lots more planned – a mini-road trip to St. Petersburg to visit the Salvador Dali Museum! We planned to meet up with another friend Jolene and I know, Daphne, and her husband. Nick & I had been before but no one else had, and even visiting a second time was exciting because apparently there was an Andy Warhol exhibit going on in addition to the main Dali features (it was a crossover, with posters and items to purchase showing the crossover, which I thought was super cool!). It was super busy, which isn’t really like the museum at all and even the women working there that we spoke to told us that they were really shocked by the wrap-around line out the front door! Still, we got in pretty quickly and managed to see everything we wanted to before closing!

The gift shop is basically its own museum – there are SO MANY THINGS! And the grounds for the museum are great too, with a little hedge maze and a Wishing Tree. The giant mustache they once had was gone, which was disappointing because we remembered it from last time and had told our friends about it, but oh well! Everything else was really nice and although it was kind of a gloomy / rainy day, we made the best of it!

Here are some shots of the actual Museum and the gift shop — Forgive the darkness in some of them, but it really was kind of gross outside, lol. The staircase looks like a sculpture almost and the outside of the museum looks AMAZING!

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Some of the pieces had been recently transferred in from other locations and museums, so despite having visited before, there were still lots of new things for us to see! We made it in time for the last tour of the day as well, and our tour guide was a charming, fast-talking older gentleman with a saucy sense of humor that was great because it kept catching me off guard, haha.

After the museum, we all made the long trek back to Orlando. We planned to go out to dinner, but after making a stop at the apartment to take care of my pets and everyone realizing how tired we were, we decided to just hang out and order food instead! I don’t have any photos of this ’cause it was late and we mainly just played video games and watched the first Insidious (WHICH IS STILL AWESOME) and talked about stuff until Daph and her husband had to head home!

The next morning we took Jolene & Chrys to the airport after making a last minute Walmart run so they could get some stuff (apparently we have more varieties of Oreo! Good job, America! Hahaha). I was so sad to see them go ’cause it was so nice having them here and I can’t wait until we’re able to see them again! Maybe there will be a visit to Canada in the future! 😀

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