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41  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 21, 2013 09:15:54 AM
Love's brother invited us to be in a parade. His girlfriend owns a mold removal business and participates in a local business parade each year. All kinds of local businesses bring decorated trucks, flatbeds, floats and such and toss candy and beads. It goes down a major street which is closed for the day for people to line up and watch.

I've seen parades but I've never been in one so Love and I said, "sure!" when he asked if we wanted to be in it with them.

I got to ride on the back of the truck tossing candy and beads. Love walked along side the truck. It was A LOT of work and man, my arm was SORE throwing out hundreds of beads. But it was super fun!

Here's the view of the back of the truck. We had folding chairs to sit in and boxes and boxes of candy and beads!

All the participants are assigned numbers and they line up along the road in their designated area.

I only managed to get two shots during the actual parade as it was HECTIC and FRENZIED but fun. I was surprised how many people there were!

More/Larger pics here: http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/parade.html
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42  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 21, 2013 08:56:44 AM
Still playing a bit of catch-up. My shop orders exploded this month so I've been so busy doing nothing but that when I'm home for weeks. Now that all the due-by-Christmas packages are shipped, I can finally edit some photos and get them posted! Grin

Love did the Jingle Bell Run which takes place at night throughout Downtown St. Pete. Since it wasn't a 5am kinda thing, I went to support him. I got there early and got photos of the area then some more after sunset with the race and such.

The now closed Pier out on the water. This was basically the view from the parking lot if it gives you any idea of what a pretty area Downtown is!

No trip downtown is complete without a visit to the famous banyan trees!

The Pier in the distance, a sailboat drifts by and the moon is visible in the top left as the sun sets.

Some of the many yachts docked down there.

The starting line for the run.

Lots and lots of people!

The park all lit up at night. It was so pretty!

More/Larger pics here: http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/jingle-bell-run.html
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43  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 16, 2013 05:08:29 PM
So part 3 of my Christmas day at Disney (Magic Kingdom) isn't so much an entire entry as it is....one picture. *coughs* Turns out I kinda forget to take many pics and at that point at night, most didn't come out. Undecided

So here's the one:

And here's a bonus photo of Cinderella Castle all decorated in icicle lights:

Larger versions of the pics here: http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-at-disney-part-three-magic.html

(Jingle Run and Parade photos still coming!)
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44  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 15, 2013 11:16:55 AM
I've been so busy I'm behind on sharing all the adventures we've been on! So there will be a bunch more coming, but in the meantime, long overdue Part Two of our Disney Christmas adventure! The second stop of the night was Disney's Hollywood Studios (formally Disney-MGM Studios) to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!

Over FIVE MILLION lights cover the entire surface of every building and object on the backlot and every 10 minutes, the lights "dance" in synchronized style to music. It's truly awesome.

Entering the park


More lights!

And still more lights!

I also have two videos to show the dancing:



Bigger/More photos plus embedded videos in the blog here: http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-at-walt-disney-world-part-two.html

(Part 3, the Jingle Bell Race Friday night AND the Christmas parade I was in last night all coming eventually too!)
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45  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 13, 2013 09:32:38 AM
I haven't had a chance to edit the second batch of Disney pics yet (crazy busy time of year when you run your own business!!) but I thought I'd share a photo of my balcony. It's entirely possible I might have over decorated it.  Two strands of regular lights, a strand of color changing icicles, snowflakes, a tree, a second spiral tree wrapped in green lights and color changing lights, a set of three gift boxes and...oh yeah, a moving deer. *laughs* LOL I tell Love that should we ever manage to actually buy a house of our own, we WILL be "that house" on the street. Grin

Tonight, we're heading to downtown St. Pete for the "Jingle Bell Run" in which Love is participating.

Oh and tomorrow, we're going to be in a PARADE! I've never been in a parade before!! So Willow will be coming along for the ride too.
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46  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 10, 2013 02:29:40 PM
On Saturday, we went to Walt Disney World! And we hit THREE of the four parks in one day to take in all the Christmas decorations. I'm breaking it up into three blog entries because I took so many pics so Part 1: Epcot is here: http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-at-walt-disney-world-part-1.html

Entrance to Disney property!

Epcot's famous "golf ball" icon, Spaceship Earth.

Canada pavilion

United Kingdom

Japan (with Spaceship Earth in the background across the Lagoon)


Spaceship Earth all lit up at night.

TONS more pics and larger versions in the blog entry so go check those out! http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-at-walt-disney-world-part-1.html

Part two coming soon....
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47  Re: Secret Santa 2013 Swap Gallery--Opening Weekend this weekend! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 08, 2013 10:44:51 PM
Yay! I'm so glad you liked your gifts. Grin I thought maybe if I used Love's last name it might throw you off but let's be honest, there's not a lot of people mailing from Florida! Heh

I didn't get photos of the specific piece I sent made for you, but I have a pic of another owl tree in the same style:

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48  Re: Secret Santa 2013 Swap Gallery--Opening Weekend this weekend! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 08, 2013 11:24:58 AM
I was out at Disney World yesterday and didn't get home until like 2:30am so I opened my gifts this morning instead of yesterday.

Here's everything wrapped up. Each of the three items had a little note on them with a hint or clue.

And here are all three gifts! First is a totally awesome pair of crochet shoe covers (spats.) I need to get an action photo of these but the idea is that you use them with a pair of plain boots and they dress them up. In fact, while googling to better explain it, I found this which shows the pattern. But I'll get an action shot. They're awesome though!! And they totally match the colors of my steampunk outfit too!

Then there's a "Back from the Dead" shirt which is a play on my favorite movie of all time, "Back to the Future" and a combination of my love for all things Halloween.

And finally, there's a lip gloss. And at first, I admit, I was confused. The hint said it tied into my favorite time traveling movie but I couldn't figure out how it related. Then I turned it over...

Ah....funny! Grin

My secret santa did not disclose their name though so whomever you are, please announce yourself so I can thank you properly! It was a wonderfully thoughtful package! Grin

Edit to add, thanks to the organizer letting me know my santa's identity, I can properly thank GrannysAnnie for the awesome package. Thank you, GrannysAnnie!
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49  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 06, 2013 04:03:50 PM
Today, I needed to get out for a bit so we went over to the park next to my apartment complex. It's right on the water too so it makes for some very "Florida" scenery. It was also an unseasonably hot 84F outside today so even more Florida-like than normal!

Someone at the park has a strong sense of irony.

Canoes for rent! Launch is right down the path on the left.

Same canoes just using my "miniature toy" setting on the camera to make them look like miniatures and not real. Wink

View of the waterfront.

Some of the natural plant life along the paths. Mainly oaks, pines and palms!

More/larger pics here: http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/afternoon-in-park.html

Tomorrow....well... tomorrow we're heading somewhere very magical to take in some holiday decorations and fun. Cheesy
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50  Re: Little Visitor Swap Round 18 - GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by phoenixfiredesigns on: December 02, 2013 08:06:35 PM
Today we went out and got our tree!!  Grin Willow came along to help us pick one out.

And here's the one we picked in our room!

More/larger pics here: http://willow-in-fl.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-tree-shopping.html

(An aside, my new point & shoot pocket camera - a Powershot S110 - will be here Wednesday. I CAN'T WAIT. I LOVE my dslr like nobody's business, but it's often hard to bring it with me for more covert things like this so I get stuck using my crappy cell phone camera. After Wednesday, I will have a high quality pocket camera to carry around 24/7 with me along with Willow. So much better spontaneous photos will be forthcoming! Yay!)
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