December in Orlando

Orlando has proven to be a good place to hang out for a while.  The weather is warm and sunny.  Spent six days visiting all four of Disney’s theme parks, even spending a couple of nights at the newly opened Marriott Swan Reserve Hotel which had Disney perks such as early entrance.  We split the six days into a Wednesday, Thursday Friday one week, took the weekend off to rest then back again for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the next week.  This was a good schedule as it allowed us to visit all four parks and then spend a second day at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot to fully explore all the rides and attractions.  Our favorite ride was the Rise of the Resistance followed by the Avatar ride.  Olivia did not like the Tower of Terror.  The six days with a weekend rest allowed us to fully enjoy the parks but it was still exhausting and by the last day even Olivia had enough. 

We went one weekend to St. Petersburg and Clearwater to visit our friends Dennis and Karen from the El Rancho RV park in Mexico.  They were staying at a friend’s waterfront house and we got to see a Christmas boat parade with them. We enjoyed visiting the beach in Clearwater as well although parking was expensive and hard to find.

Clearwater beach is our favorite beach in Florida!
We spent a perfect sunset at a beach bar in Clearwater.
We watched the lighted Christmas boat parade from our friend’s dock

We also went to the Holiday Matsuri Convention, a Cosplay convention.  It was fun seeing all the people in their elaborate costumes.  They had a large room with free videogames that we enjoyed.  It seemed that the main purpose of the convention was to dress up and take pictures of everyone else dressed up.  I found it disappointing that a convention based on anime did not have an anime room showing movies.  We still had fun though looking at all the costumes and Olivia even dressed up as a black cat.  One really cool activity at the convention was a monster hunt where someone dressed up as a huge dinosaur and everyone else attacked it with pool noodle swords.

Olivia loved all the costumes at the anime convention
I loved the costumes too!
Olivia got dressed up in her black cat costume. It was like a second Halloween!
The monster hunt was the highlight of the convention
The monster costume was totally awesome and improbably large for one person.
Olivia kept up with the the crowd of hunters

For Christmas we booked a couple of nights at the Holiday Inn Orlando resort and waterpark using our expiring free hotel night vouchers.  While the resort did have a built in waterpark, they charged $49 a night resort fee plus $16 a night for parking.  The rooms themselves were kind of strange with a  musty smell and strange sliding doors for the bathroom and bedroom.

Otherwise, we just hung out, caught up on homework and repairs and went to a bunch of timeshare presentations.  We went to seven timeshare presentations which paid us $150 each netting us almost a thousand dollars for 14 hours “work”.

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