Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Settling Down

Now that the "Katrina Wedding" is over, things are settling down in Celebration. As promised, here is a photo of the happy couple, courtesy of "Imagery by Isabel":

We had a bit of excitement with the CROA election, but this year's campaign was mild compared to years past. Now, the off-season is upon us...downtown is quieter, the nights are cooler (although it's still in the 90s during the day), and we're in that seasonal holding pattern of quiet until Halloween. As soon as the last pumpkin is carved and the last trick or treat bag is emptied, Santa Claus will take over. Remember when the Christmas season didn't officially start until the day after Thanksgiving? Now, I'm waiting for it to move up to Labor Day.

Since I am a rebel, I've decorated my front yard for Halloween already (you're supposed to wait until 30 days before the holiday). My birthday is in mid-October, so if pressed, I can insist that it's actually birthday decor, which will put me within the legal limit. I didn't do anything too crazy, just some light-up pumpkins and a large inflatable black cat that freaks out my real cats whenever I take them outside. I've got a definite cats-and-pumpkins theme going this year...they're even featured on my porch flag.

My Halloween decor might be low key, but some of the houses in town go whole hog. This year, there will be a trolley tour to check out the best-decorated homes. I love the Holiday House Tour, so I'm looking forward to this new event. Of course, Christmas is better because you can actually go inside the homes. This year, I'll be participating myself, so I'll be stuck around the homestead. The owners don't have to be present because the Women's Club takes care of everything, but I want to be on hand to hear reactions to "The Tackiest Display in Celebration" (that is my goal). I'm not going to do much outside, but the interior will more than make up for it.

This lull time is a great time to visit the theme parks. We headed over to Disney-MGM last week with friends to see the new X-Treme Stunt Show. Problem is, it's not like a typical Disney show that runs every 45 minutes. Usually, it's like Itchy and Scratchy'd better hurry to see the 12:00 parade or you'll have to wait for the one at 12:15. But I suspect that this new show takes a lot of time to set up, so it runs at spread-out scheduled times.

Oh well, we simply modified our plans to lunch at the Brown Derby. I love their finely-chopped Cobb salad, which is one of their signature items. I used to be a big fan of their grapefruit cake, too, but a while back I think they changed the recipe. It's "milder" now; maybe grapefruit was too exotic for bland tourist tastebuds.

We've also had a revolving door of out-of-town friends over the past weeks. Most of our friends are fellow Disney fanatics who know that September is the perfect time to avoid the crowds. Thus, they all wing their way to Orlando right after Labor Day. That's the great thing about moving to Florida; you'll never be too lonely because your old friends will eventually vacation in the Sunshine State. And of course, that's doubly true if you run with the Disney-obsessed crowd.

Many of the people we know stay strictly on Disney property. They don't even bother to rent a car; they head right from the airport to the bosom of the Mouse and rely on internal buses to get around the Disney World resort. Now that we live here, we enjoy broadening their horizons, introducing them to the many wonderful restaurants scattered around I-Drive and in Doctor Phillips.

We usually give them a brief tour of Celebration, too. Many are surprised that it's not a cookie-cutter community or that it's so close to Disney World. If they have children, we always stop downtown so the adults can indulge in Barnie's Coffee while the little ones play in the fountain.

I enjoy this peaceful time of year. It's a time to get caught up before the hectic holidays descend. Being busy is good, but sometimes you just need to kick back and take a breather before the next round of Life.

Learn more about Celebration on my website:

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