tourism

Coopertown Airboats Everglades Tour | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on August 1, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images made with the Sony Alpha a550.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

You cannot go to the Everglades without taking an airboat tour. This isn’t an official requirement, but it should be, because it is super fun. We ended up taking the last trip of the day back in February, which was great for lighting and a small crowd. Our wonderful tour was with Coopertown Airboats.

Airboats at the ready!

We didn’t get a chance to check out the wildlife exhibit.

We saw this large alligator before the boat even left the dock.

Beautiful light.

They turn the boat into high gear when you’re out in the more open areas. It is LOUD and windy is an understatement.

Close encounter.

Awkward-looking takeoff.

Great Blue Heron.

No time for checking out the restaurant. Always time for puns though.

(Phone photo) They let me hold a little alligator after the tour! Look at how happy I am.

We made our way to the other side of the highway to enjoy the sunset after the tour.

There are a lot of choices for airboat tours in the Everglades, and I don’t have experience with them all, but I really enjoyed our experience with Coopertown Airboat Tours. I highly recommend checking it out the next time you are in the Florida Everglades.

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images made with the Sony Alpha a550.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

I have 2 previous posts with images from Florida Southern College: Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College – William H. Danforth Chapel & Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College – Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.

I have been a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast for many years. Not only was Frank Lloyd Wright a genius, but his life was entertaining and scandalous, to say the least. This Ken Burns documentary about the life of Frank Lloyd Wright is completely worth the watch time.

I was very excited to take an informal tour of the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world, at Florida Southern College, while visiting Lakeland, Florida, back in February. Here’s my final post with images of the campus.

A network of esplanades was part of the original design and were built in the first phase of construction.

In the high heat of Florida summers, these are surely a welcome addition. These lead to the Polk County Science Building.

The Carter, Walbridge and Hawkins Seminar Buildings are also part of the initial phase of building.

A view of the other side of the Polk County Science Building.

The Roux Library and the water dome were included in the expansion of the original build.

The Watson-Fine Administration building , just to the left of the view in the last image.

I love when the buildings are signed.

A wider view, including the doorway.

If you turn away from the door, you can see the reflecting pool and the angular detail of Frank Lloyd Wright’s design.

A different view of the reflecting pool.

Lastly, a look down a long, partially-covered corridor leading away from the Watson-Fine Administration Building. It’s very reminiscent of the porch at Kentuck Knob, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in western Pennsylvania.

Once again, I definitely recommend a tour of the Florida Southern College campus if you are in the Lakeland area. Next time, we will definitely take the official tour so that we can see the insides of the buildings!

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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Hershey’s Chocolate World | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on October 31, 2016

To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images taken with the Sony NEX-6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

I will stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World if I am ANYWHERE in the vicinity of Hershey, Pennsylvania. This also means that William has visited a BUNCH of times as well – I have made him ride the chocolate tour ride every time. I am a complete sucker for that experience, anything where I’m sitting in a moving car, waiting to see what will be next, when the car will turn and move, I absolutely love it. It totally turns me into a kid again.

It smells like chocolate. Outdoors.

Photo ops everywhere.

They do not miss an opportunity to make things shaped like Hershey’s kisses.

YAAASSS!

Hershey has a rich history.

During the chocolate tour ride, you get to go through the entire chocolate making process, with the addition of singing cows!

Then you get to the most amazing chocolate shopping.

This store is ENORMOUS.

There are areas of the store devoted to all of the iconic Hershey products. Apparel, housewares, and of course, tons of chocolate and candy.

Do you need the world’s largest anything? You’re all set.

I don’t know where I would have put one of these, but they are charming.

Reese’s products are a weakness. I think I have an actual physical response to this orange color.

So much peanut buttery goodness.

One of the most interesting things in the Hershey’s Chocolate World store is that it turns out that Hershey manufactures SO MANY brands, including many I haven’t heard of, like Scharffen Berger.

I’d be interested to know how long it took Hershey to start selling branded components of products, like Mounds coconut shreds.

7 pounds of chocolate syrup! This has to only be for industrial purchasing, right? Also, it is NOT $9.95, this item is placed in the wrong spot.

They also had a number of new products in the store.

There’s a giant bar of gravity-fed individually sized candies, so you can make a mix and match bag of your favorites. It is very large and very beautiful.

It was a sweet day indeed.

If you are anywhere near the Hershey area, I recommend a stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World. The visit is free, as is the chocolate tour – but I can make no assumptions that you would be able to escape without buying chocolate and/or candy on the way out. If nothing else, you can stop in the mini food court to get a milkshake!

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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The Lobster Dock, Boothbay Harbor, ME | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on September 19, 2016

To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images taken with the Sony NEX-6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

We were super excited to be invited for a quick weekend trip to Maine by our friends Sara and James. On our first day, they suggested stopping at The Lobster Dock for an early dinner. It did not disappoint.

These buoys are a major staple in the decor of coastal Maine.

I was excited to see a hot lobster roll on the menu, and so ordered one. Also, Maine seems to have no lack of root beer, which I also really enjoy.

The smell around this area was of the sea and cooked seafood.

The stunning view of the harbor from our table was quintessential Maine. Naturally, we scarfed down all of the food, including my amazing lobster roll, before I had a chance to take a photo.

More views before we left!

This was the line as we were leaving. We arrived at just the right time to avoid a long wait. However, I understand why it was there, our food was delicious. I definitely recommend a stop at The Lobster Dock if you are ever in the Boothbay Harbor area.

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Horseshoe Curve | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on August 22, 2016

To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images taken with the Sony NEX-6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

I worked my way around the map once we had decided to go to Penn’s Cave. My first inclination was to spend the night in Harrisburg, but once I realized that adding a bit of driving to the trip would let us visit Horseshoe Curve and then stay in Altoona for the evening, it was the obvious plan. We had been to Horseshoe Curve once before, in 2009 when we took a visit to the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania. I felt that we hadn’t spent enough time there, and I really wanted to go back, so we did!

We rode the funicular to the top of Horseshoe Curve. We took the steps on the way back down.

A panorama from the top. You can see the train tracks on either side of the image, because this photo is taken from the center of the Horseshoe.

Horseshoe Curve was built as a way to stretch out an incline on the railroad in a time when the engines weren’t strong enough to manage a steeper incline with lots of weight. This line of track is used a LOT, and so both times when we have visited, there are trains coming by every few minutes.

Train!

The parklike area at the top of the funicular is so lovely – there are benches, picnic tables, and lots of grass.

In this image, you can really see how this stretch of track is managing the incline.

Obviously. That’s my new road trip hat.

This informational sign is helpful.

On our way back down the stairs.

If you or someone you know likes trains, I can’t tell you enough to spend some time at Horseshoe Curve. I didn’t go into detail about it here, but there is an entire museum to look around, a film to watch about the conception and construction of the curve, and a very cute gift shop. I have found that while it seems like it might be boring to watch trains go by, it is the experience of being surrounded by them as they pass that is really fun and exciting. We saw multiple freight trains and an Amtrak passenger train, which looked tiny in comparison. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful visit.

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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