Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mooching Through Florida: Epic Vacation

Happy 2013!

You'd think that this year - what with the whole unlucky 13 thing - would start off with meteor showers and dinosaur attacks, but it's actually going quite well so far. Why "mooching?" My winter break was horribly devoid of Buster Keaton, so I'm starting the first post of the year off right with a reference to one of Keaton's talkie shorts, "Mooching Through Georgia." Because, after two weeks of driving across Florida, I feel like I've been on a long journey.

I traveled to Miami, St. Augustine, and Disney World (always Disney). The best way to talk about my vacation is to, well, show you.

The Lightner Museum - St. Augustine

This museum is, hands down, the best museum I've ever been to. Why? Because it's stuffed with strange and mechanical wonders from the Gilded Age. I think I could spin a hundred stories from here. The bonus is that the museum used to be the Hotel Alcazar, built in back in 1887 - so, not only did I see a lot of need glass work and automatons from the Gilded Age, but I also got to learn about the hotel and see where the baths were, among other interesting rooms.

Ghost chair. (LOL. I guess all plastic has that kind of effect).

After seeing the museum the first day, we came back again to eat lunch in the center of the museum. I ordered the spinach egg drop soup and curry chicken sandwich. It. Was. Delicious. 

St. Augustine Lighthouse

When I was in middle school, still acclimating to Florida life, I went on a school trip to St. Augustine and climbed the lighthouse. Despite visiting St. Augustine many times since, I hadn't been back to the lighthouse for years. It's been a huge inspiration for my thesis and it felt thrilling to climb all the way to the top, knowing that my main character does that every single day of her life (how strong she is, haha!) - and also knowing that my thesis journey is almost complete. I tried not to shed tears of joy at the top, for fear that my falling tears might have seriously injured someone below, bwahaha.

I'm a ham.

Disney World - Orlando

Disney. Yep, you guys know I always go here. With the family all together, we really celebrate by staying over a few days and doing what we love best - hotel hopping. Basically, we like to hop on the monorail and see how each hotel is decorated for Christmas, as well as eating sugar-coated almonds in the parks and standing in line, haha. The finest achievement (besides finding a hidden Wreck-It Ralph room in MGM) was getting to eat lunch at the Beast's Castle. 

We also spent the evening strolling on the Boardwalk - it was the first time I'd ever been there at night. Nothing relaxed me quite as much as that stroll down the lit up boardwalk, seeing strings of popping lights, the epic pirate ship water slide, kids running around on the lawns (the Boardwalk hotel sure know how to keep the party going, haha), and a giant goblet full of caramel apple sundae that we always get at The Fountain.

I wish it actually worked - it was for show only *shakes fist*

At the Beast's Castle, I ordered the spinach quiche and, for dessert, a raspberry-filled cream puff. 


  1. It sounds like you had a really fun Christmas break! Last March my mom and I went to this old museum somewhere off in Kansas, and basically all it was was organized glass cases of antiques with histories behind as many items as they could track down. An old couple had collected everything they could get their hands on over the years, and when they died they donated everything to the town. A museum was made out of it, and it is definitely the coolest museum I've ever been to! It made me want to start collecting stuff--but alas, I can't (the only thing I can ever seem to keep track of is my sunglasses).

    1. Hi Hannah! Ooooooooooooh. That sounds amazing. I hope you took notes after seeing that museum! Sounds like there's a story waiting to happen there :)

      Hmm, yeah, me too. The only things I collect now are books and cardigans (not really collecting cardigans... but I have a lot because they're so great and wearable). The best part about having characters collect things is that they usually have more space than we do, haha.

  2. Looks like a busy winter break! That arcade machine would have frustrated me too. What a tease!

    Anyway, in answer to your question on my blog, I left Figment for a lot of reasons. I mean really, most of my writing isn't really YA and most of the people on Figment are just so much younger than I am. I dunno. I just felt more and more like I didn't belong on Figment. Maybe that feeling was in my head. But the biggest reason was this: I used to get legitimate swaps, or people just reading my stuff for no reason. And it was great. But for like the last year and especially the last few months now, it was non stop "will you heart my story for the contest?" (which I found disheartening, pun intended) or there would be these out of the blue swaps and then they either would not keep up their end of the swap they initiated, or they would just put a heart and not leave a comment, or just comment with something generic like "good job!" I just wasn't getting a whole lot out of Figment for a long time. Finally, I just got kinda paranoid after Anande's stories were stolen and put up for sale. Not just that, I just thought that if I really want to submit my work, agents and publishers probably wouldn't like it very much if they saw it all posted for free, anyway.

    So, yeah. I'm still writing! When I'm not sick or suffering from writer's block, I can crank out 1000 words a day, on average, which is a pace I'm happy with! I still have drafts of iSociety and Hall Monitor to work on (both are in horrid condition but I'm sure if I rewrite and revise a lot I can salvage the good stuff within). And I'm working on other long projects too. So, yay! And when I'm good and ready, I'll start submitting stories and stuff again. =D

    Anywho. Congrats (again!) on winning another Figment contest! Woo hoo! What with almost being done with your MFA program, and so many awards and fans, you're well on your way toward seeing print and acclaim! I'm rootin' for ya!

    1. Ahhh, I understand. I think that it's hard to be a Figment veteran because we remember the good old days (and actually, those days were really good). I understand especially about the heart for heart swaps. I consider myself to be a rather calm, smiley person, but when I get wall spams for that stuff (especially when spamming my story comment pages too), I can't handle it. Baaah.

      Your writing totally fits YA - at least, the two novels that you've written online. But I get that you might feel that you're not getting as much out of the site as you used too.

      Ah. I don't let that sort of stuff scare me. I'll deal with it if it happens, haha *is too casual*

      Good to hear! That's about how much I write these days, but but I think I should get more writing done once the workload lessens a bit. IT was so exciting when you got your stories published - you gotta keep submitting!