Florida, Day 10: Blue Ridge Parkway

On the way home from Asheville, we drove partway along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Unfortunately it was foggy and rainy, but even so, it was spectacular and we still managed to get some pretty decent photos.

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On the way through Cincinnati, we made an obligatory stop at a legendary local restaurant: Skyline Chili. We both had Chili 5 Way, which is spaghetti, chili, red beans, onions and cheddar cheese. Sounds disgusting, but it’s surprisingly good!

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And that is the end of our big trip to Florida!

Florida, Day 9: Savannah

On the 9th day of our trip we stopped in Savannah, GA. Because the weather was not great and we were still exhausted from three days at Disney, we only stayed long enough to have lunch and visit a few shops on River Street before heading on to Asheville.

River Street, Savannah, Georgia

River Street, Savannah, Georgia

An obligatory stop in Savannah is River Street Sweets, purveyor of the finest pralines available anywhere (not to mention fudge, salt water taffy, and dozens of other treats to put you off your diet).

Salt water taffy being made at River Street Sweets

Salt water taffy being made at River Street Sweets

On the way up to Asheville, we stopped at this little shop:

Katra returning with peach cider

Katra returning with peach cider

That night in Asheville we stayed at an incredibly nice suite at The Residences at Biltmore. We let the boys play in the whirlpool tub, then ordered Indian food and had a good night’s sleep.

Florida, Day 8: Epcot

After leaving Animal Kingdom we headed over to Epcot. The majority of our time at Epcot was spent visiting the areas representing various countries around the world.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

Mexico Pavillion

Mexico Pavillion

Norway Pavillion, complete with a grass roof

Norway Pavillion, complete with a grass roof

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavillion

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavillion

The enterance to the China Pavillion

The entrance to the China Pavillion

In the China Pavillion. Notice the water dragon.

In the China Pavillion. Notice the water dragon.

The Germany Pavillion

The Germany Pavillion

The Italy Pavillion

The Italy Pavillion

U.S.A. Pavillion

U.S.A. Pavillion

The Japan Pavillion

The Japan Pavillion

At the Japan Pavillion

At the Japan Pavillion

Morocco Pavillion

Morocco Pavillion

Morocco Pavillion

Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

In the Morocco Pavillion

Katra receives a Henna tattoo in the Morocco Pavillion

Katra receives a Henna tattoo in the Morocco Pavillion

Katra receives a Henna tattoo in the Morocco Pavillion

Katra receives a Henna tattoo in the Morocco Pavillion

Katra receives a Henna tattoo in the Morocco Pavillion

Katra receives a Henna tattoo in the Morocco Pavillion

France Pavillion

France Pavillion

France Pavillion

France Pavillion

United Kingdom Pavillion

United Kingdom Pavillion

United Kingdom Pavillion

United Kingdom Pavillion

Some street performers in the United Kingdom Pavillion

Some street performers in the United Kingdom Pavillion

Canada Pavillion

Canada Pavillion

Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavillion, where we had lunch.

Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavillion, where we had lunch.

Florida, Day 8: Animal Kingdom

We started our third and final day at Disney in Animal Kingdom.

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life, a 14 story, 50-foot wide tree that dominates the whole park

Closeup of The Tree of Life

Closeup of The Tree of Life

Breakfast was a buffet at Tusker House, which was excellent. Because we had early breakfast reservations, we were able to enter the park before it opened, and this meant that all the Disney characters who would normally be working their way around the park were able to visit us right at our breakfast table.

Mickey visits during breakfast

Mickey visits during breakfast

Donald signs Kyle's autograph book

Donald signs Kyle's autograph book

Daisy pays a visit

Daisy pays a visit

Goofy drops by

Goofy drops by

Our waitress was kind enough to bring by a birthday surprise for Ian

A (late) birthday surprise for Ian!

A (late) birthday surprise for Ian!

Animal Kingdom is broken up into 7 different areas. Tusker House is in the Africa area, and it really does have the look of a building in an African town.

Tusker House, where we had breakfast.

Tusker House, where we had breakfast.

A sign painted on the outside of the restaurant. Good thing we were there in the morning!

A sign painted on the outside of the restaurant. Good thing we were there in the morning!

I feel like we're in Africa!

I feel like we're in Africa!

After breakfast we went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. This is basically a big, bouncy bus that drives through a huge animal exhibit. It was tough to get pictures because the bus was bouncing around so much, but this was much better than any zoo. There were many animals from the African savanna that none of us had ever seen before.

A black rhino after his morning bath

A rhino after his morning bath

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Nile Crocodile

Nile Crocodile

A baobab tree

A baobab tree

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Ankole Cattle

Ankole Cattle

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Eland

Eland

African Elephant

African Elephant

Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo

White Rhinos

White Rhinos

White Rhino

White Rhino

The elusive Cheetah. This is apparently a rare sighting on this ride. Right after I took this photo the cheetah hopped off the rock and loped off into the woods.

The elusive Cheetah. This is apparently a rare sighting on this ride. Right after I took this photo the cheetah hopped off the rock and loped off into the woods.

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Lion

Lion

Warthogs

Warthogs

Ostrich

Ostrich

After the safari ride we proceeded around the central lake to the Asia section.

The Tree of Life from the other side of the lake

The Tree of Life from the other side of the lake

Anyone want a Coke?

Anyone want a Coke?

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Mount Everest (which is really a big roller coaster) visible across the lake

Mount Everest (which is really a big roller coaster) visible across the lake

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Next up was Dinoland, U.S.A.

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Kyle meets Goofy and Pluto. Pluto was kind enough to offer his nose as an armrest.

Kyle meets Goofy and Pluto. Pluto was kind enough to offer his nose as an armrest.

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Florida Day 7: Shooting photos with Kyle

Later in the afternoon, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit. Katra and Ian took a nap while Kyle and I went for a walk around the resort to take pictures. Kyle has his own camera now, so he was shooting the whole time along with me (he actually took more pictures than I did, which is no small feat). I have put some of his photos below alongside mine for comparison. Aside from holding the camera level and keeping fingerprints off the lens, I think he’s getting pretty good!

The view out the back of our hotel building. The river you see in the background runs through the whole property.

The view out the back of our hotel building. The river you see in the background runs through the whole property.

One of the many horse head post caps scattered around the property. Kyle loved these, and took several photos of each one we passed. Right now he's standing next to me saying, "Remember that? It's the horsie!"
The back of Acadian House, our hotel building at Port Orleans Riverside.

The back of Acadian House, our hotel building at Port Orleans Riverside.

Kyle's version of the previous photo. Notice he was sure to include the horsey.

Kyle's version of the previous photo. Notice he was sure to include the horsey.

Kyle taking pictures of the river

Kyle taking pictures of the river

Another hotel building at Riverside, this one with a Magnolia theme

Another hotel building at Riverside, this one with a Magnolia theme

The common area for Port Orleans Riverside. The waterwheel turns a giant axis inside the building, which spins a giant wooden clockwork device in the food court.

The common area for Port Orleans Riverside. The waterwheel turns a giant axis inside the building, which spins a giant wooden clockwork device in the food court.

Kyle dashing across the bridge to take more pictures

Kyle dashing across the bridge to take more pictures

The dock at Port Orleans Riverside.

The dock at Port Orleans Riverside.

The passageway at the back of the main building

The passageway at the back of the main building

Kyle's version of the previous photo

Kyle's version of the previous photo

Kyle on the bulldozer ride in the arcade

Kyle on the bulldozer ride in the arcade

Kyle taking a picture of his favorite part of our walk (the arcade)

Kyle taking a picture of his favorite part of our walk (the arcade)

Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle's version of the above photo

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Kyle taking a closeup of a horse head post cap

Kyle taking a closeup of a horse head post cap

Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle's version of the above photo

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Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle's version of the above photo

The dock from the other side of the river.

The dock from the other side of the river.

For the above photo I crouched down to frame the photo nicely. Kyle copied my every move, crouching down to get the same shot. My little photographer.

For the above photo I crouched down to frame the photo nicely. Kyle copied my every move, crouching down to get the same shot. My little photographer.

Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle's version of the above photo

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Well, I was *trying* to take a picture of the gazebo!

Well, I was *trying* to take a picture of the gazebo!

Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle shooting the gazebo

Kyle shooting the gazebo

Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle's version of the above photo

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Kyle's version of the above photo

Kyle's version of the above photo

Resting after a hard day of shooting

Resting after a hard day of shooting

This was my favorite part of the whole trip. Kyle really seems to enjoy using his camera. He copies what I do for some pictures, but he really does his own thing on most of them. He got some really interesting and unique photos on the trip, and I’ll be posting more of them after I have a chance to sort through them (he took almost 2000 photos on our vacation).