Florida Water Parks – Some of the best

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Florida Water Parks – Some of the best

Adventure Island – Tampa

 Adventure Island at Tampa is close by to Busch Gardens and is packed with excitement and adventure.  It offers around 34 30 acres of water rides and other attractions.  There are picnic and sunbathing areas, along with outdoor cafes, snack bars and gift shops.

For people who love thrills, the Wahoo Run plunges up to five riders at a time, more than 15 feet per second as this half-enclosed tunnel twists and turns more than 600 feet to a waiting splash pool below.  Wahoo Run has been called the “fastest tunnel river raft in the world,” Here, you will corkscrew through spins and spirals propelled by more than 10,000 gallons of water. 

The Tampa Typhoon will also have you screaming as you “free-fall” seven stories down a 76 foot water slide on one of the most heart-pumping rides in the park.

Other thrill rides include the Splash Attack, Caribbean Corkscrew, Runaway Rapids, Aruba Tuba and the Gulf Scream, a huge 210-foot body slide that whisks you into the waiting pool below at 25 mph.

Also try Paradise Lagoon. This is a 9,000 square foot attraction, which features several individual attractions.  These include a rope walk, a cable drop, several slides and a 20-foot platform jump for cliff jumping.

The Endless Surf is Adventure Island’s 17,000-square foot wave pool that generates waves up to five feet high for hours of total fun at the coolest and wettest place in Tampa.

For those who prefer a more relaxing and quieter ride, there is Rambling Bayou where you can drift around Paradise lagoon in a car tyre inner tube (beware of the sun though as the water seems cool but the sun is very hot).

Adventure Landing: Shipwreck Island Waterpark – Jacksonville Beach

Adventure Landing and Shipwreck Island Water Park is a combination water park and amusement park located between Jacksonville Beach and the Intercoastal Waterway.

It is the largest amusement complex in northeast Florida, and offers family fun for all ages.  Shipwreck Island, is the interactive waterpark, and includes a variety of water attractions such as a wave pool, slides, inner tubing and a very unique uphill waterslide. The Shipwreck Island Play Village is the main centrepiece for children, and includes multiple attractions for young guests of all ages.

Adventure Landing/Shipwreck Island Water Park has three “extreme” slides. The newest ride is the Hydro Half Pipe, where single, double and triple-tube riders experience a sudden, nearly vertical, drop of 40 feet, and are then propelled through a pool of water to another ramp on the other side.

The Rage is an “uphill/downhill” water slide and The Eye of the Storm is a once in a lifetime ride, that is only for the most risky thrill seekers. You must be a strong swimmer and at least 48” tall to take on The Eye of the Storm.

The park also features a half-million gallon wave pool.

The Shipwreck Island Play Village, designed with children in mind, contains waterfalls, multiple small slides and water cannons that will keep children entertained for hours.
Be prepared to enjoy non-stop action on Adventure Landing’s dry side.

Start your adventure with the Adventure Speedway Go-Karts, where a twisting quarter mile go-kart track with live racing has results posted on a finish-line leader board. The park advertises that “it is as close to NASCAR racing as you get.”

For those looking for something a little calmer, Adventure Golf has two unique 18-hole miniature golf courses designed for fun and relaxation in mind. The two courses challenge all skill levels as they wind through tunnels, over waterfalls and “mountains.”

The multi-level Arcade has over 100 interactive games, and kids especially love Laser Tag, an indoor battle arena with “out of this world” lighting and sound.

For a thrill of a lifetime, the MaxFlight Coast Simulator takes guests on an adventure into the world of virtual reality. This ride has a 360-degree range of motion that allows you to physically feel what can only be imagined in the “real” world. You must be in good health to ride the MaxFlight Simulator, not pregnant and it is not recommended if you suffer from claustrophobia.

The Wacky Worm Roller Coaster is for people of all ages, and the Frog Hopper is an adventure ride for younger children.

Adventure Landing also offers Batting Cages, for hardball, softball, slow or fast pitch. It’s great for individual or team practice.

If you feel hungry after all that fun, there a two themed snack bars that have all kinds of food, snacks and drinks.

Adventure Landing’s Shipwreck Island Waterpark is located at 1944 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville Beach.

Aquatica – SeaWorld Orlando

Aquatica is Florida’s newest water park which opened in April 2008.

This park offers a new twist in water play with animal interactions, as in the Dolphin Plunge which is the most popular ride in the park.  Two side-by-side enclosed tube slides send you racing through an underwater world that is home to a playful pod of beautiful black-and-white Commerson’s Dolphins.

Try the Taumata Racer if you are looking for the biggest thrill in the park.  This is a high speed competitive mat ride where eight racers rip down a staggeringly steep hill, head first.

Loggerhead Lane – take a load off your feet and hop on a lazy river ride down Loggerhead Lane.  This leisurely raft ride takes you through an underwater world colored by exotic tropical fish.

Tassie’s Twisters is one of the wackiest rides ever imagined. In fact, getting there is part of the fun.  From the Loggerhead Lane lazy river, you’ll make your way to the island in the center and climb to the tower.  Once you get to the top, lightning fast tubes shoot you into a giant bowl, where you’ll spin, and spin, and spin, until you’re finally spun back out into the lazy river. You’ve never seen or felt anything quite like it.

Whanau Way is a quadruple slide tower and is one of the most popular rides in the park.

Walhalla Wave & HooRoo is a is a thrilling ride for the whole family, zooming you through a 6-story maze of twists, turns, and tunnels before you surge back out into daylight.

Walkabout Waters is one of the most talked about places in the park for children. This towering, 60-foot-tall rain fortress is bursting with color, excitement, and adventures waiting to begin.

Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores – one thing or should we say two things that makes Aquatica so unique are the giant, side-by-side wave pools you won’t find anywhere else in the U.S.  At Cutback Cove, the waves are always rolling, and the action’s always high. At Big Surf Shores, the surf can be high or slow and easy. What kind of wave do you feel like catching today? Two separate pools let you decide.

Roa’s Rapids race you along an action river ride through the white waters of Aquatica.  Get ready for an awesome adventure through a roaring sea of high tides, swirling whirlies, and gushing geysers- all at speeds that leave ordinary river rides eating this one’s wake.

Aquatica is located across the street from SeaWorld Orlando on International Drive and is open year round.

Blizzard Beach at Disney World – Kissimmee

Blizzard Beach is one of Walt Disney World Resort water parks and has a Winter theme.

For a really “cool” time, this 66-acre water adventure park has all the atmosphere of a major ski resort – but it is strictly tropical.

Here, visitors can slip and slid down “snow-capped” mountains amid a snowy scene (a visual effect only – temperatures actually remain a controlled tropical level year-round,).  Waterslides look a lot like slush cascading down the mountainside, and a “ski lift” takes guests to the top of Mt. Gushmore. Disney’s Blizzard Beach.  It contains 21 slides, a wave pool, and a separate area for pre-teens and children.

As you enter the park, the first thing you see is t
he 90-foot snow-capped mountain, Mt. Gushmore. It is home to the newest waterslide called Downhill Double Dipper, a side-by-side racing water slide that stands 50 feet high and 200 feet long. Riders travel up to 25 mph as they twist and turn before shooting out through a blast of water. 

Other adventures at Mt. Gushmore include slalom courses, toboggan and water sleds and the 120-foot high Summit Plummet, a breathtaking 60-mph plunge straight down to a splash landing at the base of the mountain. 

The Teamboat Springs is the world’s longest family white water raft that ride takes six-passenger rafts down a twisting 1,200 foot series of rushing water falls.

The Toboggan Racer is an 8-lane water slide that sends guests racing over exhilarating dips as they descend the “snowy” slope.

Snow Stormers has three flumes descending from the top of the mountain and following a switchback course through ski-type slalom gates.

Runoff Rapids is an inner tube run, where riders can careen down three different twisting, turning flumes.

Chair Lift is where wooden bench chair lifts carry guests over the craggy face of Mt. Gushmore, from its base at the beach, to its summit.

At Cross Country Creek, you can float on a tube along a lazy river that encircles the entire park. On the way, you will float through a cave where you’ll be splashed with “melting ice” from overhead. “Melt-Away Bay” is a 4,000 square foot (one-acre) wave pool that is nestled against the base of Mt. Gushmore and is constantly fed by “melting snow” waterfalls.
Tike’s Peak is a smaller version of Mt. Gushmore, just for children. It includes short water slides, a snow-castle, fountain play area and a squirting ice pond.

The Ski Patrol Training Camp is designed for pre-teens; equipped with inner tube slides and a challenging ice-flow walk along floating icebergs.

Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World – Kissimmee

Typhoon Lagoon is Walt Disney World’s 56-acre water park that includes a man-made watershed mountain and eight twisting, turning water slides and roaring streams. It is also home to a two-and-a-half-acre wave pool, one of the worlds largest (where the waves are as big as six feet and come at you every one and a half minutes)

The park features a water playground for children, a white sand beach and a lazy stream that surrounds the 95-foot Mount May Day.

Mount Mayday, is the 95-foot volcano on top of which is perched a shipwrecked shrimp boat.  At the summit of Mount May Day, guests can choose from several exciting water slides. At the base of the mountain is one of the world’s largest wave pools, complete with a white sandy beach and some of the most powerful artificial waves in Orlando. Also bordering the Lagoon is Castaway Creek, a 2,100-foot river that carries guests leisurely around the perimeter of the park. You can even go snorkelling amid tropical fish and other exotic marine life.
Typhoon Lagoon is the main wave pool that is two-and-a-half- acres, and holds 2.75 million gallons of water. There are two sets of waves that are produced in this pool. The first set are gentle bobbing waves that come on a continuous basis, like a normal wave pool. However, every half hour a loud horn will sound and that means that the waves will be changing.  At this point, get ready for waves as large as four feet that come at you with a lot of speed and force, every 90 seconds.

Castaway Creek is the lazy river that travels around the park. Take an inner tube and float along. The river is only 3-4 feet deep and runs on a slow current. As you float down the river on this 2,000-foot journey, you will see banana trees, palm trees, tropical birds and flowers. You will slowly drift through caves, under waterfalls and cool mists, and through tropical forests, and around all the other attractions at the park. If you choose, you can get off Castaway Creek at one of the many stops along the way.
Disney’s first ever water coaster, the Crush n’ Gusher is a thrilling experience that defies gravity as powerful jets propel passengers on rafts through every surprise filled turn until they splash land in the pool below.

Three water slides await you at Humunga Kowabunga, which sends you zooming through enclosed tubes at 30 mph to a splashing surprise ending.

Storm Slides is another set of three slides where you will twist and swirl through caves and tunnels.

Mayday Falls is the longest waterslide in the Park that takes guests aboard their own personal inner tube down the side of the mountain in the shadow of the famed shrimp boat.
One of the most dramatic attractions at Typhoon Lagoon is Shark Reef, a massive saltwater pool and manmade coral reef, where you can snorkel among swarms of exotic marine life. For those who don’t want to get wet, there is a sunken tanker with portholes that provide stunning views of the underwater activity.
Ketchakiddie Creek is Typhoon Lagoon’s play area, especially for children aged two to five. There is a small pool and water slide, fountain and bubblers, interactive water boats, and even a pint-sized white water rafting adventure. An adult must accompany all children.

Wet-n-Wild in Orlando, was voted by the Amusement Business Magazine as America’s “number one water park,” and also honoured by Aquatic’s International as the country’s “first true water park.” 

Wet ‘n Wild is, indeed, the oldest water park in the area, but it is continually adding new rides and is loaded with slides and other attractions for the entire family. It includes a 7-story water slide, various tubes, wave pools, and a Lazy River tube ride around the park and more, including a rather elaborate children’s area. 

Over a dozen thrill rides in all at Wet ‘N Wild (including several multi-person/family rides) will keep even the most discriminating amusement park aficionado entertained. Wet ‘N Wild is also fully staffed with certified lifeguards and all the pools are seasonally heated. 

One of the newest attractions at Wet ‘N Wild is Disco H2O, a multi-million dollar retro slide that showcases the 1970s disco nightlife. Like other bowl rides, this one sends passengers on a four-person cloverleaf “raft” down a slide and into a large funnel where it swishes and spins to the sounds of the hits of the 70s, before splashing out the bottom. Inside the ride are flashing lights and a mirror “disco” ball.
Other rides include the Bubba Tub, a four-person raft that takes passengers on a rollicking ride on a triple dip slide. 

The Surge sends five passengers at a time through a never-ending maze of twists and turns, and The Blast sends groups of two through a colourful maze with sound effects and then ends with a final plummet into the water. 

Experience the thrill of The Bomb Bay, where the floor actually falls out from underneath you in a bomb-like capsule, 76-foot high vertical slide. (Get ready to feel your stomach drop to your feet in this one!). 

Thrill seekers will want to try out The Flyer, which begins its’ descent from a vantage point located 40 feet above the park. This exhilarating ride sends passengers racing through 450 feet of banked curves and speedy straightways. 

Another of the park’s most popular rides is the Blue Niagara, where you’ll race, twist and splash through 300 feet of intertwined looping tubes that start at six stores above the park and end with a big splash landing.
Wet N Wild also features a winding Lazy River where you can enjoy a relaxing ride as you drift slowly through bubbles to an enchanting spring with a waterfall spilling over a rocky hillside. 

Wet ‘n Wild’s newly upgraded 17,000 square foot Surf Lagoon Wave Pool features some of the most powerful waves found at any water park.

Just for children, Kid’s Park at Wet N Wild, is complete with a giant sandcastle, kiddie pool and specially sized beach chairs. The Bubble Up is a large, multi-collared balloon that is crowned
with a mushroom-shaped fountain that sprays water all over the balloon’s surface. Kids can climb to the top (with the aid of a rope) and then bounce down the side of the balloon into a three-foot deep pool below. 

Shipwreck Island Water Park – Panama City 

Shipwreck Island Water Park is the only water park located within 300 miles of Panama City Beach. 

Six acres in size, Shipwreck Island is designed for family entertainment and offers rides, slides, a lazy river and a large wave pool, set amid lush tropical landscaping. 

Rides at Shipwreck Island include thrill rides, family rides and a special “Tadpole Hole” section just for children. 

The Raging Rapids, Tree Top Drop and the huge double slide Pirates Plunge are just a few of the exciting thrill rides at the park. 

The White Knuckle River Ride, Shipwreck Island’s newest ride, takes guests in large, three-to-five passenger inner tubes swishing and swirling down a 660-foot long, six-story high flume in an exciting, white knuckle experience. 

The Ocean Motion Wave Pool at Shipwreck Island has been said to be “the closest thing to the beach without actually being on the beach.” It contains 500,000 gallons of water and is the coolest thing around on a hot summer day. 

Visitors who prefer to take things slow can enjoy floating gently downstream in inner tubes on the Lazy River. 

Kids enjoy the Great Shipwreck and the Zoom Flume and even toddlers can get in on the action with the rides at Tadpole Hole, including the Frog and Pelican Slides.

Shipwreck Island is located at 12001 Middle Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32407
Big Kahuna’s Lost Paradise – Destin 

Big Kahuna’s Lost Paradise is a combination waterpark and amusement park that is located in Destin on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast. This fun family adventure park covers more than 25 acres and boasts more than 40 water attractions, plus an arcade, roller coaster and miniature golf. Dozens of slides, three rushing rivers, white water tubing, two wave pools, a children’s area and the “biggest man made waterfall in the world,” makes Big Kahuna’s one of the most exciting and diverse waterparks in the state. 

The most impressive attraction at Big Kahuna’s is Tiagra Falls, the largest man-made waterfall in the world, which pumps 30,000 gallons of crystal clear water per minute over 250 feet of massive granite rock. 

Glide your way down the Lazy River through caves and other smaller waterfalls, around beautiful, lush tropical landscaping on your way to Tiagra Falls. 

Big Kahuna’s has it all – three rushing rivers, speed slides, body flumes, white water tubing, two large wave pools, and fun fountains. 

The thrill rides include the Maui Pipeline Speed Slides and Jumanji, a long snake of a ride that twists and spins you all the way to the bottom for a spectacular splash landing.
There are four children’s areas at Big Kahuna’s with kid-sized slides and variable depth pools. 

Pleasure Island is a child-sized paradise complete with a pass-thru waterfall, low-depth pools and a wacky octopus that sprays them with water. Youngsters also enjoy the Pirate Ship and Crocodile Flats, which offers twirling slides that plunge them into the basin below where an abandoned ship awaits with a “bubbly surprise.”
If you prefer dry land, Big Kahuna’s Adventure Park offers several fun options. Enjoy the thrill of racing at the Grand Prix Raceway or take a turn on the Sky Coaster, a heart-thumping ride that puts you 100 feet into the air. The Pakali Arcade offers a variety of games and Tropical Mini Golf is Big Kahuna’s miniature golf course that boasts 54 challenging holes on three unique courses. Beautifully landscaped with tropical flowers, sculpted trees and several waterfalls, each course winds over wooden bridges, through caves and dense flora.

Big Kahuna’s Lost Paradise is located at 1007 Highway 98 E, Destin, FL 32541

Rapids Water Park

Rapids Water Park is one of South Florida’s premiere family parks.  The Rapids features a full day of fun for the entire family whether you make a splash in the cool blue waves, take a thrilling ride down any of our 29 water slides, or just float around the lazy river. Rapids Water Park has 25 acres of action packed attractions, with something fun for everyone.

Big Thunder is the largest water ride in Florida is at Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach! Accelerate in a four-person tube to over 20 miles per hour and be propelled high up the walls of the Big Thunder funnel.

Black Thunder – take a spin in the dark inside Black Thunder’s gigantic funnel! Up to four riders may enjoy a fast ride in the pitch black darkness on the Black Thunder raft ride!

Body Blasters – get swept away in a flood of water as you blast through 1,000 feet of darkness. With nothing to hold onto but your swimsuit, you soar through heart-pounding drops and pulse-racing dips and curves.

Pirates Plunge is not for the faint hearted. It’s two speed slides with twists, turns, dips and a 7-story drop. It’s a splash you’ll never forget!

Raging Rapids – twist and turn through the darkness and then burst back into the light to enjoy two sharp drops before splashdown on the Raging Rapids! Up to four riders may enjoy the fast and dark Raging Rapids raft ride!

Riptide Raftin’ is a tube ride that accommodates up to five people.

The Superbowls – two super water slide rides, Baby Blue and Big Red, that spin, twirl and send you plummeting into a heart stopping splash landing!

Tubin’ Tornadoes – dare to ride out the storm in this totally tubular ride. Grab a tube and travel in the dark at the speed of light before plummeting downward in 1,000 feet of tunnel. Thunder through whirlwind twists and turns before plunging into a pool for a cool landing.

Big Surf – catch a wave in this 25,000 square foot wave pool with waves that can go up to six feet.

Criss Crossing – challenge yourself to make it across the floating ice cubes, fruit and alligators at Criss Crossing!

Other rides include Dancing Fountains, Lazy River, Little Splash Hill, Water Flumes, Alligator Alley, Splish Splash Lagoon, Tadpool.

Rapids Water Park is located at 6566 N. Military Trail, Riviera Beach, FL 33407

This article was written by Phil Cornish.  Designer and owner of Florida private rental villa web sites http://www.floridasuntime.com and also http://www.simply-florida.com.

Reasons to Vacation in Florida

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10 Reasons to Vacation in Florida

Theme Parks – Many individuals would say this is their number one reason for taking a vacation Florida.  Theme park fanatics, most especially Disney fans, often head to The Sunshine State every year to get their dose of magic. Orlando, of course, is at the center of the theme park kingdom, with the four parks of the Walt Disney World complex, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and SeaWorld Orlando.  However do not forget about Tampa’s Busch Gardens Africa, which is also an excellent amusement park, almost always landing on annual top 10 lists for theme park enthusiasts.

Beaches, beaches and more beaches – according to many people, this is the number one reason for coming to Florida.  The ability to sit on The Sunshine State’s incredible beaches and enjoy the soft sand, warm water, and beautiful sunsets you will find there.  Florida has thousands of miles of coastline and the beaches are many and quite varied in their type.  Choose your favorite, from Tony South Beach in Miami, the place to see and be seen, to the white sanded family oriented beaches of Siesta Key, near Sarasota.  There are also the Panhandle beaches like popular Destin or the beaches of the northeast, including Fernandina and Ponte Vedra, as well as the beaches of the Keys and those in the southwest, like Sanibel and Marco Islands.  Wherever you go, you will find a Florida beach where you can sun, swim, and enjoy the view.

Sports – Major league sports are a very important part of life in Florida.  With teams like the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays calling Florida home, it is no wonder some visitors head to The Sunshine State annually just to enjoy the sports that take place there all year round.  From NFL football to NHL hockey to pre-season and regular season baseball.  Add to that all the wonderful college teams in the state and it’s easy to understand why Florida is a sportsman’s mecca.

Nightlife – Nightlife sizzles in many parts of the Sunshine State.  On the east coast, the most popular nightlife spots are Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale (especially during Spring Break), West Palm Beach, and the other towns in that area.  In central Florida, the Walt Disney World complex has its Pleasure Island area 9currently being refurbished), where adults can party as if it is New Year’s Eve each and every night.  Universal’s City Walk appeals to nighttime revelers as well, with its many restaurants and bars.  On the west coast, Tampa’s lively Ybor City area is a favorite with the under 30 crowd, but the remainder of Gulf Coast beach towns also offer a good collection of nightclubs and other popular party spots geared towards various age groups.

National Parks/Natural Sites – Florida is home to about a dozen national parks, monuments, and seashores, all of which are a joy for the visitor to explore.  A must see is expansive Everglades National Park, which occupies much of the southwest portion of the state.  The largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., the Everglades is home to many rare species of animals, birds, and plants, and an airboat ride to view them is a must.  State Parks throughout Florida are excellent as well, like Sarasota’s Myakka River Park where guests can experience a diverse natural area of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands; or the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, where visitors can take a prairie buggy ride along one of Florida’s largest stretches of dry prairie.

Watersports – Florida is a state surrounded by water and for this reason you will no doubt want to take advantage of the many watersports available there.  You can take your pick, from calm water related pursuits like fishing or sailing to more exciting adventures, such as jet skiing, SCUBA diving, kite or wind surfing, wake boarding, parasailing, and more.  With 8,500 miles of shoreline, 7,800 lakes, 320 springs and 35 rivers, the possibilities are endless!  Many beach hotels offer free use of non motorized watercraft and outfitters throughout the state peddle charter fishing cruises, dive lessons, and other opportunities which enable you to enjoy Florida’s beautifully warm waters.

Shopping – Every good vacation has a little shopping time built in (and why not).  In Florida, the shopping options are many and varied, ranging from upscale shops in ritzy South Beach, Miami and beautiful St. Armand’s Circle near Sarasota to popular outlets in Ellenton (near Tampa), St. Augustine, Naples, Florida City, and Orlando.  You’ll also find everything in between at the many malls that dot the Florida landscape.  For real bargains also try the Farmers Markets and Flea Markets dotted all around the state.

Key Lime Pie – Okay, you can get this pie in some other parts of the South too but this delightful confection originally had its start in the Florida Keys.  In fact, nearly every restaurant in the Keys, especially in Key West, serves this dessert.  The key lime tree arrived in Florida in the 1500s and recipes for the pie began appearing as early as the late 1800s, though it became really popular in the 1930s.  Some restaurants make it with graham cracker crust, others with pastry crust.  Either way, it’s a Florida must have several times over.

History – While most people tend to visit Florida for the recreation, the state’s interesting history is one of those side perks visitors can experience while exploring the region.  From the Spanish style architecture of St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European established city in the U.S., to Tampa and its ties to the cigar industry, to the rich military history of the Panhandle, Florida excites and educates visitors who enjoy gaining a little knowledge while on vacation.

Arts and Culture – Florida is filled with museums and entertainment venues both up and down both the East and West coasts and everywhere in between.  Visitors can buy tickets for rock concerts, Broadway style shows, dinner theatre, and much more, in major cities like Tampa, Sarasota, Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville etc.  Other cultural sites include incredible art museums (check out the Ringling Museum in Sarasota), history museums (found in nearly every county), aviation museums (like the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola), and science museums (including Tampa’s excellent Museum of Science and Industry).

This article was written by Phil Cornish.  Designer and owner of Orlando Florida private vacation villas and Disney World rental homes web sites http://www.floridasuntime.com and also http://www.simply-florida.com where you can get great deals on Florida vacation villas

Take Flights to Chicago U

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Take Flights to Chicago U.S.A This Summer and Watch Chicago Air and Water Show!

The Chicago Air & Water Show on Lincoln Park’s lakefront Chicago presents two fun-packed days of spectacular air and watercraft demonstrations. This spectacular showdraws millions of people through flights to Chicago U.S.A each year to the lakefront, contributing significantly to tourism and economic development for Chicago. This show is the oldest and free show of its kind in United States. He displays take place at the edge of the lake. Shell Oil Products US is proudly presenting sponsor of the Chicago Air and Water Show since 1995 and is continuously becoming major contributor of Chicago U.S.A flights every summer by bringing this free event to the Chicago shoreline.

Timings and Other Information about Show:

Over the past many years, the show has become a summer tradition featuring aviation’s top military and civilian pilots.  Death-defying stunts on sea and in the air in front of a crowd of millions will attract a large of flights to Chicago U.S.A from UK through a number of air travel operators like flights to Chicago he 2010 Chicago Air Show will run 11am-4pm on 14th and 15th August. Activities at Show are pre published but if there is a specific performance that you want to see, there is no way to know what time it will occur. Times are determined by the pilots on the day of the event because of variations in logistics and flight conditions. The only way to come to know about that is to take cheap flights to Chicago U.S.A and personally attend the event. You can get great views of event from North Avenue Beach or plant yourself at Oak Street Beach. It is one of the largest spectator events in the world. The event has become a summer tradition in United States.

Performers at Chicago Air and Water Show:

Performers at Chicago Air and Water Show one can see by taking flights to Chicago U.S.A Includes; U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Chicago Fire Department Air and Sea Rescue Team, AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Lima Lima Flight Team, The Firebirds, Sean Tucker & Team Oracle, Ed Hamill and his Air Force Reserve Bi-Plane, Red Bull MiG, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs Parachute Team, and U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.It is such a great show that every year on average 2.2 millions of visitors come to the city to attend this event. Visitors residing in Europe reserve their cheap flights to Chicago U.S.A from UK

Kyrenia Car Hire Tips – an Ideal Location for a Northern Cyprus Car Hire

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Kyrenia Car Hire Tips – an Ideal Location for a Northern Cyprus Car Hire

During the hot summers in Northern Cyprus, one of the most popular destinations is the beautiful harbor town of Kyrenia, easily accessible with your Northern Cyprus car hire. Here in this idyllic setting, sea breezes combine with the coolness of the nearby mountains to create an ideal summer resort.

Kyrenia Car Hire Driving Rules, drivers from the United Kingdom will feel at home on the road with their Northern Cyprus car hire because, like the UK, the traffic flow here is also on the left side of the roads. If you will be driving with children in the car you should be aware that children under the age of five are not permitted to be in the front seat of the car. And children between the ages of five and ten must be wearing seatbelts if they are riding in the front seat of the car.

The laws pertaining to driving while under the influence of alcohol are very strict in Northern Cyprus. Drunk-driving laws will be enforced if you are found to have 50 mg of alcohol or more for every 100 ml of breath. If you are arrested for drunk-driving here you will be subject to a large fine and will likely spend the night in a detoxification cell.

Kyrenia Car Hire Speed Limits, speed limits in the area may be posted in both kilometers per hour or miles per hour. On the highway the speed limit is 100 kph (60 mph). You should be aware that there is also a minimum speed of 65 kph (40 mph) that may be enforced on the highway as well. On smaller back roads the speed limit is 60 kph (37 mph).

In Northern Cyprus, the areas where the main road enters the urban area are known as “build-up areas” and the speed limits in these areas are 50 kph (31 mph). The boundaries of these urban areas are not always clearly marked and there may be policemen dressed in khaki uniforms with radar devices watching for speeders. These radar spots are often set up on weekend nights, especially on the western side of Kyrenia near the military base there. If ticketed, you will have 15 days to pay your fine at the local police station. If the ticket is not paid your name may be placed on a list at the airport and your departure could be delayed. Although the fines may seem low, do not fail to pay them on time.

Kyrenia Car Hire Parking and Road Tips,in Kyrenia parking signs are poorly marked but, because of this, you will often be politely warned if a local policeman notices that you are attempting to park your Northern Cyprus car hire in a prohibited area. Car parks in this area are generally marked as “Oto Parks”.

On maps and highway signs, roads are marked according to their grade; from A to F. An “A” road is the highest quality, normally a four-lane divided highway. “B” roads are also major roads but they are not divided. “E” and “F” roads are usually narrow two-lane roads or single-lane roads with sharp edges and restricted visibility. It would be best to try to avoid these rough, narrow roads with your Northern Cyprus car hire.

Kyrenia Car Hire Sites to See,one of the best sites in Kyrenia is the harbor on the northeast side of the city. The harbor dates back to the 10th century BC but its current shape was created under Venetian rule. Beginning around 1489 it was reinforced to prevent invasions. An imposing castle guards one side of the harbor entrance and a Marine Martyr’s Monument on the opposite side was used to guide sailors entering the harbor. In ancient times a sturdy chain was stretched across the entrance to prevent enemy ships from entering.

Overlooking and dominating the harbor is the Kyrenia Castle. The original structure is believed to have been built here in the 7th century. In 1491 the Venetians captured the castle and occupied Kyrenia. The city and the castle were surrendered to the Ottomans in 1570 and remained under Ottoman control until the 1800s. At hat time the British took over control of the island. Inside the castle you’ll find a small Byzantine chapel and a ship wreck museum.

Just 5 km from Kyrenia, and easily reached with your Northern Cyprus car hire, is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture to be found in all of Cyprus. Bellapais Abbey is a former monastery that was built at the end of the 12th century and is now one of the most famous architectural sites in Northern Cyprus. The stunning mountain village where the abbey is located adds another glorious visual element to your visit here.

 Kyrenia is a great city in North Cyprus and you should hire a car if you want to say I have been to Kyrenia. North Cyprus car  hire firms can be found

Medical Emergency in a Foreign Country

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Medical Emergency in a Foreign Country? Air Ambulance to the Rescue!

We may equate medical evacuation with the military but med-evac services can save the life of ordinary citizens faced with extraordinary circumstances. Whether you are injured while rappelling down a mountain or experience chest pain while strolling through a museum, an air ambulance can save your life when traveling abroad.

Stan and Jenny were spending their two week vacation in Costa Rica. They were staying at a friend’s home and using his jeep while there. While navigating the twisting roads, Stan hit a rock and the jeep flipped over. Jenny escaped with minor cuts and bruises but Stan needed to be hospitalized. Both wanted to go home immediately but Stan could not travel on a commercial air flight. Not knowing what else to do they remained in Costa Rica for 4 weeks until Stan was well enough to fly home.

It’s hard enough to experience illness or injury at home but being in need of medical services while traveling in a foreign country can be disconcerting. You are away from the support of family and friends and the familiarity of your health system. A little advance planning can help you prepare if you need emergency medical care while traveling abroad.

We often see med-evac teams traveling by helicopter. However, the mode of transport may be ground, air escort, jet or even a Cessna. The staffing, medical equipment and mode are all dependent on your medical condition and needs. The air ambulance company can suggest several medically appropriate alternatives to meet your needs.

An air ambulance service can safely transport you from a hospital abroad to a hospital in your town. Your medical support team coordinates bedside to bedside service ensuring your safe transport back home. The medical team can also provide medical assistance while traveling.

If you are injured or hospitalized while you are traveling abroad, you or a family member can call the air ambulance service directly to arrange transport home. Having their number with you will facilitate this process. The air ambulance company can manage the communication between the hospital facilities, physicians, insurance company, airports and your family.

When planning your travel abroad, include the number of an air ambulance company in your emergency contacts. If you are injured or become ill while on vacation, air ambulance teams can safely and quickly arrange to transport you back home.

Tuscan Wanderways – Walking in and Around Florence

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Tuscan Wanderways – Walking in and Around Florence



Before setting out, the best way to interpret your wanderway from Fiesole up to Montececeri and over to Settignano, is to observe it from afar. Take a bus up to Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the most frequented landmarks of the city. From the front balustrade of the Piazzale, look down over the river Arno to the cupola of the Cathedral, and then directly up to the horizon. Fiesole crowns the hilltop in the distance, and beside it, to your right, is Montececeri. It was from this platform that the “first human flight” was attempted following the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.

Facing the river, walk to the left and round the balustrade until you come to a flight of steps leading down to a small piazza. At the end of this area is a board-map showing the most celebrated buildings of the city.


ATAF bus 7, Florence to Fiesole (20 minutes)


Central Station – Piazza Indipendenza – Piazza San Marco – Piazza della Libert? – Piazza delle Cure – Piazza Edison – Camerata – San Domenico – Regresso – Piazza Mino da Fiesole.


3 hours. Grade: Leisurely.


A century ago, the walk uphill from Florence to Fiesole was only for the energetic; the electric tram was tedious and long-winded, and downright punishing for the horses dragging their carriages of goods and passengers.

Every Latin historian had something to say about Fiesole. Rambling and strange at times as their stories might seem, they do contain a grain or two of truth. Some asserted that it was built by the Tirreni, others by the Pelasgians, or even by the Phoenicians. It was certainly one of the richest and most powerful of the Etruscan cities. Inevitably, the proud Roman clarion echoed one day along the Arno valley up the hillside and the inhabitants of Fiesole were either slaughtered or ordered to genuflect before the invincible Legions. After the fall of Rome, it was subsequently plundered several times and lost its peculiar qualities. On the old Etruscan and Roman ruins and monuments the new town was slowly built.

In the immediate post-war years the young flower-girl sat at the corner, aggressive street hawkers strolled the streets with cardboard boxes tied round their waists containing their wares, and pitiful beggars, little more than road-rats, sold holy pictures with potent prayers for a safe wayfaring. Poverty was a role to be performed, not social offence, so a Tuscan rispetto sings –

I cast a palm-leaf into the sea:

The waters devour it.

I see others cast lead, and – Lo! For them it sails.

On the way up today we leave behind the old wayside churches, shrines, crosses, great villas once frequented by the Medici, illustrious artists and writers, now oppressed by modern hi-tech buildings in what seems intentional defacement.

To the footsore pilgrim with sturdy pastoral staff and dusty burlap outfit it was a day’s walk to the top, up those exceptionally steep stony paths, still in place, which remind one of far-off effort and accomplishment. The wayfarer has given place to turbo buses pouring out streams of camera-burdened tourists.

At present, an open square, some narrow streets, pleasing to the attentive eye, and a number of aesthetically attractive buildings form its personal fa?ade. Indeed, one can find some cloistered nooks with a water-colour artist at work and a gathering of shadows with a writer. A few steps out of town one can come across the typical Tuscan farmhouse with a vine loosely drooping over the doorway.


The church of Santa Maria Primerana, built on an Etruscan fundament, was already known in the year 966. Enlarged during the Middle Ages, a new fa?ade was built at the end of the sixteenth century. The high alter has a small painting on wood with a Madonna and Child by Maestro di Rovezzano. The transept has two bas-reliefs by Francesco da Sangallo. The glazed terracotta from the workshop of Andrea della Robbia is admirable.

On the second Sunday of May, the Podest?, or Administrator of Justice, and the leaders of the population, or Gonfalonieri, came here to take the oath of office. The Badia Fiesolana and the Amphitheatre should be visited. On the west hilltop is the Francescan Church and Monastery, where ladies were not allowed to enter.


In the 15th century the Alessandri family, who owned the nearby castle, built a bell tower on which is placed their stone coat-of-arms. The family enlarged the church at the end of the 18th century and its orientation was changed when the fa?ade was built in place of the apse. Over the window is a two-headed lamb and on the tower a curious demon-like blowing two fanfare trumpets. There is a terracotta bust representing San Lorenzo and of a Madonna and Child, attributed to Rossellino, 12th cent.


On the outer wall are a number of commemorative plaques to eminent sojourners, including such names as Queen Elizabeth and Beatrice, Battenberg, Hohenlohe, Hohenzollern and the Duchess of Russia.

The castle was little more than a ruin when in 1855 John Temple Leader bought it, and much of the land and a large number of crumbling farmsteads and churches in the neighbourhood, and set himself the gruelling task about restoring all of his property.


When you get off the bus in Piazza Mino da Fiesole look up towards the Town Hall, the Municipio, at the east end above the town car park. Before setting out, stop to observe the remarkable display of heraldry on the fa?ade remembering the Podest?, and visit the church of Santa Maria Primerana.

Facing the church, take the narrow lane at the extreme right. This is Via Giuseppe Verdi. Look for the sign on the wall to the right


while on the left is a red and white mark indicating




Our walk now begins. The roads and paths ahead are copiously way-marked with these red and white CAI blazes.

The tight little lane climbs fairly steeply for a few minutes between villas and houses of refined composition and artistry until it levels out at the top. Don’t be too ambitious. Enjoy a relaxing leisurely pace. On the right is dramatic view over Florence and the background towards the Chianti hills – a sight to slake the thirst of any romantic soul. From this point the city is best seen at dawn or in the evening when the sun is low and the background hills present a sharp edge against the western sky.

Walk forward keeping to the left. Do not take Via Doccia which dips down to the right. You are now in Via Montececeri. Up on the right-hand wall of the corner house is a sign

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT lived here 1910

After 150m the road levels out again for a second view across the valley as far as the eye can see. Via Montececeri ends after a minute and at the branch take the road downhill to the right, Via degli Scalpellini. Look for the red and white CAI mark. A few paces forward will take you to Via del Pelagaccio which veers sharply uphill to the left. Do not take this road. Walk forward along the straight gravel footpath leading towards the wood. After 200m you come to a board on the right showing a map of the park. The path now takes you through the wood. Swing uphill to the left at the first Y-junction, always bearing in mind to follow the red and white CAI blazes on the trees or rocks, disregarding the blue-red marks. Turn right after 5om. It takes about 10 minutes to reach a handrail on the right and wooden bench on the left. An excellent view over the Arno valley. The Florence soccer stadium is straight down in front in the foreground and the Cathedral and Palazzo Vecchio are just over to the right.

Downhill again, you come to the first stone quarry on the left. A dark sinister hole in the hillside, worthy of a short visit. These quarries were still used until the 50’s. At the nearby 3-pronged junction, take the middle path on the same level that swings to the left.

Do not walk uphill to the left or take the right downhill path. Keep following the red and white blazes. The path dips down, the ground it rough, but you soon come to clearing in the wood where you take left turning uphill; again we can see the frequent on the trees. Look up to the left, up to the cypress trees on the hilltop to get your bearings. Ten minutes uphill, keeping the hilltop to your left, you come to the red-and-white marks on the rock in front of you.



This time take lefthand path to Montececeri another quarry on the right and at the first Y-junction take a few steps forward, then to the left along a short path for a striking view from the top of the quarry face over to the distant hills and down to the valleys.

Retrace your steps and follow this path with the red-and-white marks and after 10 minutes there is an uphill stretch along a wooden handrail and stone steps. The path spirals round to the left until you reach Piazzale Leonardo. A few benches and tables are available for rest and picnics.

The board shows its story.

This place is dedicated to the memory of Leonardo da Vinci’s

first human flight experiment.

An area of strategic position during WORLD WAR II

The translation of stone column reads:

The great bird will rise to its first flight over the summit of Ceceri, filling the universe will awe and filling with its fame all writings and with eternal glory the nest where it was born.

In Leonardo’s own words we read.

“The aforesaid bird, aided by the wind, shall rise to a great height; and in this will be its safety. Should any act of overturning intervene, it will thus have time to regain its equilibrium, when its limbs are of great resistance so that it may withstand the fury and impetus of a descent with the aforesaid precautions and its strongly mounted joints and its nerves of strong raw silk; and with no interference of iron parts, as soon these will break under pressure, or will be subject to wear, and therefore we should not employ them.

Be reminded that the bird shall not imitate any other than the bat, as the membrane affords a structure, that is a connection for the structure, the mainstays of the wings.

Should you imitate the wings of feathered birds, they are of stronger bone and nerve to be perforated; that is the feathers are disunited and so let air pass through.

But the bat is helped by the membrane, which ties all together and is not perforated.

Leaving the Piazzale, take the wide path along the garden wall on the left which leads downhill for a few minutes to a mapboard, where you turn left. Pass the road barrier and soon a small open area of hard ground comes into view on your right with a quaint little church on the corner. This is Piazza dei Pini and the parish church of Borgunto, seated like a seer in the midst of heathendom, which like so many woodland churches, may have been built on the very spot set apart for sacred and solemn rites in honour of some ancient pagan god of the soil.

Facing the church, look to the wall on your left which is marked





This is Via Peramonda, perhaps anciently a military road or a trade route. After a few strides along this road you will see the entrance to a Fiesole Camping Site on your left. Proceed downhill now. A keen eye can enjoy the views over the hills with their large farmsteads and elegant villas which beckon us to discover them.

Turn right when you come to the main road about 20 minutes later. Walk on for 200m to the bus area on the right, which is little more than a clearing at the roadside. Turn down into the wood from the top side of this area and follow the path running parallel to the main road to the left above it. This path through the wood will soon meet a narrow road at a T-junction where you must turn right. Now walk straight on. Do not turn right after a few paces towards a barrier across the track.

Look carefully for the CAI signs on the tree as you enter this rough stony way, suitable for cart-wheels and the cloven hoof. Walk on, there are tall rushes on the right, until you come to a once admirable, yet still dominating, wayside shrine up on the wall to your left. One of the thousand tumbling wayside shrines in Tuscany, worthy of a scholar’s quotation or an artist’s affection. The face of a young cherubim looks down with mock humility as if offering a prayer for burdened wayfarers with a long road behind, and nowhere to go.

In those days gone by a place of worship, rest and refreshment; a meeting point for trivia where you can still meet a farmer with a loaf of bread under his arm, an onion in his hand, and the neck of a small wine bottle peeping out of his pocket.

Walk past a forlorn-looking farmstead further along the road, down along the cart-track through an olive grove. These tracks can become muddy after some rain and are better suited for cartwheels and the cloven hoof. Until a few years ago one could meet beasts of burden tramping along here, and those great white oxen, slow, swaying bodies, already worshipped two thousand years ago as the incarnation of the earth-gods:

And to those also, O Lord, the humble beasts, who with us bear the burden and heat of the day, and offer their guileless lives for the well-being of their countries, we supplicate Thy great tenderness of heart.

When you get to the end of this first stretch, head towards the wood. Don’t take the right-hand turn downhill.

The walk through the wood is brief. In the morning a dew-laden spider’s web lays itself across your face and a keen eye can find regurgitated owl pellets of slimy fur and half-digested bone. at the end the path comes to another old, crestfallen farmhouse with a yard and out-buildings. Walk round it, down between rugged dry walls and along a track covered with Summer dust waiting for September winds to make a sally and bare its humps again. After 10 minutes it leads uphill and on to a narrow asphalt road.

Turn right, downhill to the roadside church of San Lorenzo. Across the valley are the quarries of Maiano where Walkway One passes.

A few minutes down the road is the eye-catching Castle of Vincigliata. On the high outer walls are stone tablets commemorating the sojourn of names such as Queen Elizabeth and Beatrice, Battenberg, Hohenlohe and Hohenzollern and the Duchess of Russia.

At the first sweeping bend after the castle, take the track on the left through the olive groves. There is comfort and security in long, straight paths. Life flows smoothly on. But the Genius Loci appears from behind sudden dips and bends and lives under the uncontaminated blank spaces on the wayfarers map.

Walk slightly uphill to the large renovated building on the right with its chapel standing on the ground opposite. The view from here over the olive groves and cypress trees towards Florence in the background must surely be one of the deepest emotional admiration.

Not far along the track we come to a house on the corner of a junction. This is Casa al Vento. Look for the large cypress tree on the right. Walk round the house and take the rough stony road to the left. Do not be tempted to take the path to the left before the house (Trail 2) or the track from the house leading straight on past the small ruin in the field on the left. Walk slowly downhill. This path is rough and dusty in dry weather, and slippery after rain. There are olive trees on the right, cypresses up to the left, and further up heather taller than a man and plants showing a struggle to survive. After 20 minutes you come to Via del Fossataccio. On the left is a house with a shrine up on the wall. The inscription reads


Note the marks on the wall to the right. Walk straight forward along Via Desiderio da Settignano, past the cemetery on the right, uphill a little between the first houses of the town to the junction with Via S. Romano. Turn right and proceed down to the Piazza. Look at the curious fa?ade of the Societ? Corale, a building on the right just after the very narrow part of the street.

…even I feel in me to have suckled in with milk the love for sculpture in Settignano where I was raised, and where part of the inhabitants are sculptors… Michelangelo.

Bus number 10 from the piazza takes thirty minutes back down to Florence.