Monday, April 30, 2007

4/29/07 - Orlando (Day 3) : Dinosaurs & Spirits

One thing you will quickly learn about Orlando if you spend ANY length of time there is that it's very easy to get lost. I can't tell you how many times we went the wrong way when just trying to get from point A to point B. On our final day of vacation, we were planning on heading down the Interstate 4 to Daytona Beach so that we could visit the Daytona International Speedway and pick up some NASCAR souvenirs... however, it didn't work out that way as somehow we got headed the wrong way - towards Tampa Bay and Busch Gardens!!!

Visiting Busch Gardens would have been a great thing to do if we had a full day... but since Steve had to be at the airport at 3:30pm, and I had to turn the rental car back in by 5pm, we only had a couple of hours to spend at any one place. Daytona would have been perfect for that... As for Busch Gardens, we will just say it's pretty expensive to visit. As a result we decided that we would visit some other interesting places which were in the suburb known as Plant City.

The first place in Plant City we visited was "Dinosaur World." At first glance, it appears that Dinosaur World is just a place for kids, but once you walk inside the store that fronts the park entrance you discover that this is hardly the case. Fossils, artifacts, beautiful rocks and stones are all over the place to be seen. I picked up several beautiful Brazilian "tumbled agate" rocks and a few "agate slabs while there. The three of us also took several pictures with the dinosaur which guarded the entrance.

Since we only had about an hour left, we decided not to spend the $13 park entry fee to see inside. Amber had seen a sign for a winery as we entered the park and she had a strong urge to go visit, so visit we did! The winery we stopped by was called the Keel and Curley Winery. For only $3 we were allowed to sample as many of the 17 different wines that they had to offer and also take home a wine glass as a souvenir! What a deal! Since I was driving, I obviously couldn't try all of the wines... I did sample a few that were outstanding including the Strawberry Riesling - a wine made up of Strawberries blended with Riesling grapes, making for a very sweet finish. We all also loved a dessert wine called the Florida Frost White - made up of 100% Vidal grapes. It was REALLY smooth! For more information, you can visit

After visiting the winery, we had to head back up north and east to Orlando and the airport to drop off Steve. Amber and I grabbed some dinner before turning in the rental car. We then went our separate ways at the airport... As the pictures will attest to, we all had a GREAT time on our adventure to see the Dinosaurs and Spirits!

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