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Florida Vacation News - September 2005

September 7, 2005 10:02 - Oh! Ophelia

Yes indeed, we have another tropical system off Florida's Atlantic coast. As I write this, it's just a tropical storm. Rain and windy weather more than anything else -- just a pain for anyone who wants to bask in the Florida sun!

Are you planning a Florida vacation in the next few days and you want to keep on top of what Ophelia is doing? As a Florida resident, Weather Underground's Tropical Weather page is what I rely on most for accurate information.

Catch you later!

September 9, 2005 15:25 - Have Laptop, Will Travel?

In my recent ramblings through Florida, I brought along my laptop along for the ride. I thought I'd check it in the evenings, after I had settled into the hotel. Naturally, I planned to stay at hotels that had high-speed internet access.

Nice plan. Would have been great if it worked.

Here's what I found -- if a high-speed internet connection is a must-have while on vacation, do NOT trust internet bookings. Call the hotel directly and ask before you book.

The first place we stayed, we booked a week or so before. The website (and it was a well-known chain) stated it had high-speed internet.

Sure, if a 33.3k dial-up connection qualifies as "high speed". It turned out that only some of the hotels in the chain actually had the high-speed, even though the website showed otherwise.

We had much better luck for the rest of our trip, and of course we did ask ahead of time. But here's something else we discovered.

If you don't have wireless capability with your laptop, don't plan on accessing that high-speed internet. Every place was the same -- wireless access only.

Again, if your laptop will be an important part of your Florida vacation, it pays to check with the hotels ahead of time.

Happy travels!

September 9, 2005 19:45 - You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost!

Here's a story I just came across. Actually, my husband just read me the story from the newspaper, and it was so funny that I knew I had to share it with you.

This is happening in Orlando -- which, after growing up there, doesn't surprise me.

What can prevent a restaurant from opening in the Vacation Capital of the World? Would you believe a haunting? Apparently the owners of a Japanese restaurant have backed out of their lease in the Church Street Station complex, feeling that their place had univited guests.

It seems that several subcontractors and other individuals have reported seeing ghosts and/or apparitions at night.

I loved what the attorney for the building's owners said:

"I asked them if they were good ghosts or bad ghosts, and if they were good ghosts, why was it a problem?"

September 12, 2005 08:58 - The Tide is High in Palm Beach County

Just got word that there is a high surf alert for Palm Beach County, Florida, beaches. Palm Beach County is on the Atlantic Ocean, in southeastern Florida.

Wave heights are expected to be in the 8-10 foot range, which is pretty darn big for us.

Rip currents are also expected.

The advice -- stay out of the water, but enjoy the beautiful weather. As I write this (and I live in Palm Beach County) the skies are blue with nary a cloud to be seen.

Ahhh, a gorgeous Florida day!

September 13, 2005 12:17 - Florida Parks - A Great Vacation Value

So, you're planning your Florida vacation. With the price of gas and other transportation going up, you're looking for values wherever you can.

Look no further than one of our Florida state and/or national parks.

Would you like the beach to figure into your stay -- but you'd like to do more than just play in the waves? How about a kayak trip? Or stroll a nature trail? Maybe a guided park tour?

Check out the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. It has all the above, plus picnic grounds, and blessed shade for that picnic!

What about a trip to Jurassic Florida? Look to the Everglades National Park for hiking, biking, tram and boat rides.

Entrance fees for Florida state parks is around $4 per vehicle, for up to 8 people -- $3 if there is just one person in the car.  If you don't bring along a bike or boat, there are some nominal fees for a rental.

Still, Florida parks represent a great travel value for your Florida vacation!

September 15, 2005 11:20 - Visiting Atlantis?

I was doing some research, and here's something I probably knew, but never realized.

Florida has two Atlantis sites.

Let me explain. There are two parks (one national, one state) that exist mostly underwater. Biscayne National Park and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park are more water than land.

But what treasures! Glass-bottom boat rides let you see underwater kingdoms, without getting even your toes wet. Snorkeling and diving tours direct you to natural wonders. Rent a kayak and explore, explore, explore. And calling all flats fishermen!!!! There are a wealth of fish to be found.

So visit one of our "Atlantis parks" and see what natural Florida is all about. Enjoy!

September 16, 2005 07:26 - Announcing...The Gift Room is Now Open!

Naturally, Florida! has finally arrived and is open for business. What is Naturally, Florida! and what does it mean to you?

An opportunity to own a tiny slice of paradise.

As I have been roaming around Florida, I have seen some awesome sights. Beaches and caverns, the Gulf all calm, the Atlantic all stormy. Crystal springs and lazy rivers.  And I'd like to share what I've seen with you.

You'd probably like to know just a little more about why I am opening my Gift Room. Go ahead and click here for the story.  It doesn't take but a minute to read.

But maybe you'd just as soon just take a look around Naturally, Florida! -- do some browsing and perhaps buy a gift -- for family or friends (or maybe yourself). Click here to go straight to Naturally, Florida!.  (Your browser will open a new window.)

See you in paradise!

September 18, 2005 14:03 - Florida Keys -- Traveler Alert

We've had such a busy hurricane season here in Florida.  And now a new tropical depression has its eyes on the Florida Keys.

Tropical Depression 18, which could soon be named "Rita" is forecasted to pass close to the Florida Keys on Tuesday.  As of today, a hurricane watch has gone up in the lower Keys, with a mandatory evacuation of all non-residents.  A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions could be felt within 36 hours.

If you have travel plans to the Florida Keys this week, you will want to check with your airline or travel agent before proceeding with your plans.


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