Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Archive for the ‘Florida Musings’ Category

Characters Too Weird To Be True

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 15, 2014

Characters Too Weird To Be True by Nancy J. Cohen

“Florida is a giant bug light for crazy people.” ~Phyllis Smallman, Sleuthfest 2014

It’s no surprise to any author living in Florida that some of the craziest stories we can write are actually inspired by true events in our sunshine state. Join us in exploring a different side of Florida than the travel bureau promotes with our first Blog Hop sponsored by Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Read on, click the links below to read another member’s view of crazy Florida, comment, share your favorite stories, and enter the contest to win a Kindle Paperwhite.

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Florida has its share of wacky characters. Every Sunday, I buy a newspaper and read through it with a pair of scissors in hand. Inevitably, there’s some article about an interesting resident or an issue that intrigues me. I cut out these articles and file them. Whenever I’m searching for a secret to give a suspect, I’ll glance through these clippings. That’s how I found a cool character who was a funeral director by day and a Samoan fire knife dancer at night. I tracked down the guy, interviewed him at his funeral home and based a character on him in Hair Raiser.

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There’s no lack of strange people living in Florida. Criminals move down for the good weather same as other citizens. But most of the interesting characters in the news appear less in the spotlight. It might be a housewife running a prostitution ring, a non-profit administrator embezzling money, or a local teacher found with child porn files on his computer. These are secrets worth considering, because they’ll make the characters in my books seems suspicious. And Florida does have its share of wackos where truth is stranger than fiction.

Another character I used in a book was inspired by a reader at a talk I gave. She’d owned a clothing boutique and mentioned a guy who came in and wanted to try on women’s clothes. This idea was perfect for Murder by Manicure who now has a transvestite in the story. So you never know where inspiration will strike.

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For Hanging By A Hair, #11 in the Bad Hair Day mysteries, neighborhood communities played a role in story development. Who hasn’t had trouble with their homeowners’ association? Marla’s husband has a disagreement with their HOA president who is later found dead. Our state’s Native American heritage comes into play in this story with a suspect who is a tribal shaman.

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Florida has a rich history, a diverse ecosystem, and a hotbed of issues. All we have to do is read the newspaper for ideas. Thus I’ve dealt with citrus canker, illegal immigrant labor, exotic bird smuggling, child drowning prevention, melanoma detection, and a host of other matters that affect Floridians. Although these issues can be serious, my stories contain humor, a satisfying ending, and a lesson learned. And what have I learned? We never lack for material in sunny South Florida.

Amazon Hardcover: http://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Hair-Nancy-J-Cohen/dp/1432828142 
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Hair-Bad-Day-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00JJ2XVUQ/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hanging-by-a-hair-nancy-j-cohen/1116603785

Nancy J. Cohen has written over twenty romance and mystery novels. She wishes she could style hair like her hairdresser sleuth, Marla Shore, but can usually be found reading instead.

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Blog Commenters can win an ebook copy of either Shear Murder or Writing the Cozy Mystery (your choice). Winner will be announced on April 23. Leave a comment, and your name will automatically be entered. And don’t miss our Grand Prize contest below!

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Click on the link below to Win a KINDLE PAPERWHITE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kindle Paperwhite

No purchase is necessary. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. By submitting your entry, you agree to be entered into the participating authors’ email newsletter list. Your information will not be shared with anyone else, and you may unsubscribe at any time. Winner will be notified by email. Authors are not responsible for transmission failures, computer glitches or lost, late, damaged or returned email. Winner agrees for their name to be used in conjunction with the contest on FMWA and authors’ social media sites. U.S. Residents only due to postage constraints.

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Visit our other FMWA Authors and win more prizes:

Victoria Allman, Gator Bites, http://www.victoriaallman.com/blog
Miriam Auerbach, Bonkers in Boca, http://www.miriamauerbach.com/bonkers-in-boca
Gregg E. Brickman, Crazy South Florida—How it got to be home, http://www.GreggEBrickman.com/blog.html
Diane Capri, Fishnado!, http://www.dianecapri.com/blog
Joan Cochran, The Million Dollar Squatter: Crazy in the Land of  Coconuts and Bagels, http://www.joanlipinskycochran.com/blog.htm?post=952677
Nancy J. Cohen, Characters Too Weird to Be True, http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com
JD Daniels, He Did What? http://www.live-from-jd.com
Joy Wallace Dickinson, In Florida, It’s Great to Be a Cracker, http://www.FindingJoyinFlorida.com
Dallas Gorham, http://www.DallasGorham.com
Linda Gordon Hengerer, Crazy Treasure on the Treasure Coast, http://footballfoodandfiction.blogspot.com/
Victoria Landis, Eavesdropping 101, http://www.victorialandis.com
Sandy Parks, Keep your eyes to the Florida skies, http://www.sandyparks.wordpress.com
Neil Plakcy, Moscow on the Intracoastal, http://www.mahubooks.blogspot.com/
Johnny Ray, Utilizing Google Plus Air to Facilitate Author Interviews, http://www.sirjohn.us
Joanna Campbell Slan, Honey, You’ll Never Guess What Rolled Up in the Surf, http://www.joannaslan.blogspot.com

 

Posted in Fiction Writing, Florida Musings, The Writing Life, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , | 40 Comments »

Changing Seasons in Florida

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 11, 2014

Florida’s Change of Seasons by Nancy J. Cohen

How can you tell it’s Spring in Florida? Bougainvillea burst forth in vibrant colors. Coconuts ripen on the trees. The last cold fronts of the year sweep down from the north. Then suddenly, the humidity rises and winter is over.

Flowers ElDorado Bromeliads

Yes, we have changing seasons in Florida. You have to live here to notice the subtle changes.

Trees do shed their leaves, but only certain varieties and at different times of the year. Vegetables grow in winter, not summer. Ducks and birds visit in the winter, escaping the arctic temperatures up north.

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The most distinctive changes are the wet and dry seasons. From November to May, we experience low humidity and temperate climate. Sometimes it can drop into the 40’s in South Florida, but that’s as cold as it gets. Winds bring cold fronts and chilly air down from the north.

Sunny skies, temperatures in the seventies, and cool mornings bring tourists to our coasts. Orange trees produce fruit during the winter while farmers grow tomatoes, squash, eggplants, and more. Alligators sun themselves so if you’re a gator watcher, you have a better chance in the winter to spy the creatures than the summer when water levels rise.

But everything changes in May. The humidity returns along with the heat. And then the winds change again, bringing stormy skies from the Caribbean and the Gulf northward into Florida. June to November is our hurricane season, and afternoon thunderstorms are frequent. You learn to bring an umbrella because you never know when a quick tempest will sweep by. This is the season when our lychee tree bears fruit and our banana plants thrive on the extra rainwater. Flooding is a hazard as the canal systems get overwhelmed and the groundwater table rises.

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Regardless of which way the wind blows, you can play outside nearly any day in Florida or luxuriate in air-conditioned comfort. You can see flowers bloom year round and watch palm fronds sway in a balmy breeze. If we give up snow and ice or daffodils and dogwoods for this privilege, it’s worth the sacrifice. Florida has its own change of seasons that must be appreciated accordingly.

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Nancy is the author of 20 romance and mystery novels. She writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series and the paranormal Drift Lords series and is a HOLT Medallion winner. Many of her stories are centered in Florida. http://nancyjcohen.com

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for an ebook copy of Keeper of the Rings.

What do you like best about Florida?

 

Posted in Florida Musings, That's Life, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Is the Missing Airplane in the Dragon’s Triangle?

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 18, 2014

Also called the Devil’s Sea, the Dragon’s Triangle is an area in the Pacific basin southeast of Japan between Iwo Jima and Marcus Island that is the site of anomalies where ships and planes have disappeared, electronics stop working, time accelerates, and strange mists occur. Most people don’t realize this area has more anomalies than the more famous Bermuda Triangle.

Japan has declared these coordinates a danger zone for shipping. A myth blames the disappearances on an undersea dragon, hence the nickname. But since this is a known site for undersea seismic activity, perhaps the mythical fire-breathing dragon was actually an undocumented volcanic eruption.

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Whatever the cause, strange things have happened in this region. Could it be a door to another dimension?

Paz Hadar, a Drift Lord in Warrior Rogue, would say so. This title is book number two in my paranormal Drift Lords series. He’d also advise you that the Trolleks stole the missing Malaysian airplane.

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Here’s an excerpt:

Paz wondered if the Dragon’s Triangle hid another dimensional rift like its infamous cousin off the coast of Florida. That could account for his arrival here. Spontaneous tears in the space-time continuum were happening more often. They’d started when the Trolleks learned how to force open the barrier between dimensions.

Now the evil creatures invaded Earth through these rifts. The Drift Lords, trained to fight them, sought to seal the breach before the dimensional drift widened enough to cause a catastrophic energy blast.

Paz’s mouth tightened into a grim line. He didn’t like being near another possible rift. He liked it even less when he sniffed the ominous portent of burning filaments.

His muscles tensed. Cors particles.

Not only was the material produced at a rift horizon, but also when the Trolleks spatial shifted from one place to another. His ability to detect these particles is what made him a Drift Lord.

Smelling it here could mean only one thing. He shot to his feet as a crash sounded from the airplane galley.

These rifts play a significant part in my Drift Lords series. The Dragon’s Triangle, like the Bermuda Triangle, allegedly sits on one of the Vile Vortices. What are these anomalies? Here’s another excerpt where Paz is speaking to Jennifer Dyhr, a fashion designer with whom he has crash landed on a Pacific island:

“Imagine a cosmic energy grid underlying the tectonic plates. The grid lines are called ley lines. The points where they intersect are known as Vile Vortices. Twelve such locations exist around the world. The rifts occur at the sites of these Vile Vortices.”

“Huh? I don’t get it.” A breeze rustled the tree branches, and a flurry of leaves dropped onto their heads. Jen combed her fingers through her hair while he watched, mesmerized.

Shaking his head to dispel his wayward thoughts, he continued. “When the dimensional plates grind against each other, the resultant pressure forces open a door between dimensions. Normally, the event horizon at this natural rift produces a substance called cors particles. When their mass reaches a certain level, the resultant pressure forces the rifts to close. This time, however, the Trolleks have devised a means to force open the rifts and keep them from shutting down.”

“That’s not good,” she said in a dry tone.

“You’re catching on. With the portals remaining open, the accumulation of cors particles will breach the point of no return. The dimensional drift will widen, causing a massive shock wave that alters reality in all dimensions. It will destroy everything in existence.”

Earth fire

So has the missing Malaysian aircraft flown through a rift in the Dragon’s Triangle? Or is it lost due to human error, malicious intent, mechanical failure, or natural disaster?

Resources

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2014/03/malaysian-flight-mh370-another-victim-of-the-pacific-oceans-bermuda-triangle-dragons-triangle-videos-2916974.html
http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/d/dragons-triangle/
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-dragons-triangle.htm
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/05/31/sea.legends.bermuda.triangle/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vile_Vortices
http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/v/vile-vortices/

Warrior Rogue
When space ops warrior Paz Hadar falls through a spatial rift onto Jen’s film set, he soon realizes she is essential to his mission. Not only must he protect her, his success depends upon her special powers. But as they struggle to stay one step ahead of the enemy, he discovers that fighting his attraction to the lovely Jen is as much a challenge as keeping them both alive.

All Romance Ebooks
Amazon Kindle
Amazon UK
Amazon International
Amazon Print
Barnes and Noble
iBooks/iTunes
Kobo
Wild Rose Press

Posted in Excerpt, Florida Musings, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Live Chat on Internet TV!

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 20, 2013

Join historical romance author Adriana Girolami, along with romance and mystery author Nancy J. Cohen, online for some fun and holiday cheer as they discuss their latest books on live Internet TV.

We’ll open the chat lines for Q&A’s, and a chance for readers to win free books and some $25 Amazon Gift Cards!

DATE: Friday, DECEMBER 20th, 2013
TIME: 7:30PM Eastern / 4:30PM Pacific

How to join:
- click link below
- use the guest tab (not registered users tab)
- enter your name in the guest field
- click enter button to join

*BCTV Direct Room Link
http://tinyurl.com/lzssby9
(i.e., this will take you directly to the BCTV login page)

Posted in Author Interviews, Florida Musings | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Royal Princess Ship Review

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 17, 2013

Royal Princess Ship Review
Dec. 8 – 15, 2013
Itinerary: Princess Cays, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten

The Pros

We thought the entertainment and music on this ship were excellent. You could go from one show to another each evening, and the lounges held different music groups nightly. I would like more concert level performers. This cruise had Ray Coussins, a pianist for Frank Sinatra. He had his own show, and he played in the lounges. Down in the central atrium is a dance floor that always has a band playing there. Unlike other ships which are Deadsville at night, this one has plenty to do. You could always go to Movies Under The Stars, a wide-screen movie screen showing popular films each night by the pool.

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Speaking of movies, I loved the widescreen TV mounted on our wall in the stateroom. I got to watch two movies I’d been wanting to see: Austenland (a romantic comedy about a modern woman who gets immersed in a Jane Austen experience at a themed attraction) and Disney’s Brave. The only disadvantages are the lack of menu controls and no close captioned option for the hearing-impaired.

We enjoyed the breakfast selections at the buffet. There is an omelet station if you can find it, but otherwise fried eggs, quiche, breakfast sandwiches, and other egg concoctions are available at the Horizon Court. So are fruits, smoked fish, pastries, waffles and pancakes, and more. I loved having the fried eggs available without asking and wish other cruise lines would adopt this practice.

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Dinner menu choices were generally good. The alternate selections included shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, plus beef medallions, grilled salmon, chicken, and more. Vegetarian entrees were offered each night at dinner and seemed appealing. There were always appetizers, soups, pasta, entrees, and dessert.

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Dessert selections surpass other ships we’ve been on. At the Horizon Court, there’s a separate Pastry station with all kinds of pastries, cookies, puddings, and other creations. However, our dinner table mate complained that they only have one sugar-free selection per day. Being diabetic, she would have liked more choices.

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And since I’m a foodie, I enjoyed the cooking class and free galley tour. I was also thrilled that this cruise line still offers Baked Alaska on the last night.

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Storage space in the cabins was adequate even though the staterooms themselves are small. We had plenty of room to stash our luggage upright in the closet area instead of having to shove the pieces under our beds.

The shower space is an improvement, with a ledge for putting products or for aiding a lady in shaving her legs. On other ships, you have to stick your foot in the sink to do the job. This larger space was much appreciated.

Blackout drapes are very good. No lights shine in your eyes at night like on one of our other cruises, where we faced the door peephole and light streamed in like a beacon. This cabin was sufficiently dark and the temperature comfortable. Nor did I hear our neighbors except when they went out on the balcony.

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We didn’t have many children on this cruise that saw an average age group well into the sixties, but there is an adults-only Retreat area that’s quite pleasant. For a daily fee, you can rent a covered cabana or pay for the more exclusive Sanctuary enclave.

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The Cons

The bedding (i.e. pillows and comforters) didn’t seem as comfortable as on other ships. The pillows seemed too large, so you could get a crick in your neck with two, but one alone was too flat.

Elevator break-downs are common, and the elevator capacity is much smaller than on other ships.

The lack of a central stairway is highly annoying. One exists, but it’s for crew only. You have to take the elevators mid-ship or else walk aft or forward to reach the stairways.

Our room safe failed during our stay, and we had to call maintenance to change the four AA batteries that power the thing. It was an inconvenience, but service was prompt.

You’ll miss the outdoor promenade deck that goes all the way around a ship under cover on deck 4 or 5. This ship has a few seating areas on this level but they end. If you want to walk all the way around, you have to go at the pool deck or higher and be in the sun.

I would prefer a glass shower door to an unsanitary curtain.

The four rows of rear seats in the Princess Theatre need to be tiered. Seats are crammed into the theatre with central aisles only and no drink holders.

Our dining room service was very slow, but that may be the fault of our assistant waiter who did nothing except carry the meal orders from the dining room. Our waiter refilled the water glasses at our request, and he never once asked if we wanted more rolls or went out of his way to do anything special.

Cabins are very small with no sofas like in the balcony staterooms on RCCL. The standard balconies are even smaller. They barely fit two chairs and a cheap table.

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Ports of Call included a barbecue beach lunch at Princess Cays in the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. I’ve written about these before in previous posts and didn’t do anything new this time except walk around, shop, and lunch in town. Look under Cruising in my blog Archives if you want to catch up on prior voyages. We had lunch in the Greenhouse restaurant at both locations. The one at St. Maarten had free WiFi if you sat inside, which still has an open air view of the water.

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On our last day at sea, we went out on deck in the morning after a rainstorm to see a brilliant rainbow stretching all the way across the sky. How fantastic is this, folks?

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View my Photo Album of the Royal Princess here: http://bit.ly/1j9jJct

View my Videos here: http://bit.ly/1djD5nY 

Posted in Cruising, Florida Musings, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Disney and Dining

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 19, 2013

Last weekend we took a break from our condo duties to enjoy Disney’s Hollywood Studios (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/hollywood-studios/).

We didn’t get far before thunder and lightning chased us into the Great Movie Ride. I wish they would update this attraction. It’s one of my favorites where you can sit in air-conditioned comfort and ride through classic movie scenes but the pre-show and features could use an update to more current titles. The Indiana Jones scene is the one I like the best. Wish they’d move the whole attraction here that they have in California.

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By the time we left the ride, the rain had stopped. We ate lunch near Star Tours, stopped by the Writer’s Café, and strolled around for our afternoon exercise before leaving the park. We’ve been on most of the rides before so now mainly go to eat and people watch.

That night we dined at Emeril’s Choup Chop (http://www.emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-tchoup-chop) in the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. The colorful décor, excellent service, and artistic food presentation make this a romantic spot for a special occasion. I had roasted duck breast with mashed sweet potatoes.

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The grounds were lovely to walk around. This would be a nice place to stay.

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Another day we walked around Downtown Disney. I was pleased to see parts of Pleasure Island blocked off for renovations. This whole area is supposed to be redesigned along with the Marketplace and renamed Disney Springs. It’ll be years before this gets done from the looks of it. I hope they add more reasonably priced restaurants.

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Now it’s back to work. I have the copyedits for Hanging by a Hair, then I have to do a final read through of Warrior Lord. Our soggy weather has been good for staying indoors and working.

Posted in Disney, Florida Musings, Food, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Joys of June

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on June 17, 2013

June is a month to frolic by the pool, attend June weddings, enjoy the outdoors, and laze under the shade. For those of us writers with self-imposed deadlines, it can be hard to get anything done. This past weekend is an example. On Friday, we saw the Man of Steel film.

Superman

While I liked the interpersonal moments and the new take on this old classic, I did miss some of the traditional tropes including baby Kal-el’s arrival on earth and discovery by the Kents. And while Amy Adams was cute and feisty, she didn’t fit my image of Lois Lane. Neither did Perry White. I thought the lead actor did a good job and was hunky enough for the part, though. The intense action sequences with almost continuous explosions went on way too long, almost to the point of boredom. Enough already. Just defeat the bad guys and move on. If you like non-stop action, this is for you.

Dinner that night was Thai food and then home to watch Ghost Protocol with Tom Cruise on TV. Saturday found us taking a brisk walk along the Broadwalk at Hollywood Beach. We breakfasted at an oceanfront café and then worked up an appetite for another meal. Instead of lunch, we opted for ice cream sundaes at historic Jaxson’s in Dania Beach. Groaning under the weight of excess calories, we drove home to rest until partaking of an excellent dinner at Seasons 52 in Galleria.

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We ate once again on Father’s Day at Toojay’s for breakfast before it got too crowded. Then our kids left to drive home several hours away. Our weekend was capped off by a frantic call from our daughter that she had left her house keys at our place. Some $235 later, she had a new lock on our condo door. This door is cursed (see previous month’s article for why).

This morning delivered more unpleasant news. I have a cavity, and while the dentist is hoping to restore the tooth, a root canal and crown might be necessary. Oh, joy. I haven’t had dental work other than cleanings in years, and need I tell you how I feel about this upcoming visit? Can I crawl under the porch now? I put off my next appointment for two weeks to get past another out of town visitor and two speaking engagements.

Despite all of this hectic activity, I am up to page 315 (out of 466) in my WIP second draft/final copy and have succeeded in knocking off ten pages worth of prose.

So what have you accomplished this month so far?

Posted in Florida Musings, Food, The Writing Life, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Animal Kingdom at Disney World

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 29, 2013

We’ve visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom numerous times, and I never fail to admire the lush tropical landscaping, the attention to detail in the various lands, and the excellence of the live shows. This time we strolled around at our leisure, roaming first toward the great artificial tree of life. Myriads of paths criss-cross around the tree where you can stop for photo ops or to admire the animal life.

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At Africa, we passed on the safari ride that is my favorite, on the train ride to the conservation station, and on the longer nature trail. Instead, we opted to veer toward the Asian section where the snowy mountaintop towers over all, along with its thrill ride.

Animal Kingdom6  Animal Kingdom5

We passed by the Dinosaur land and the kiddie carnival to head back once again toward the entrance and to lunch at the Rainforest Café. Their portions are generous and I had leftovers. Fortunately, we headed home thereafter as it began to rain heavily. The tram station at this park has no shelter. Once aboard, we got wet, despite my having brought along an umbrella. At least we’d accomplished our purpose in getting our morning exercise.

Another day here we started out eating breakfast at the Riverside Resort. We ate in the food court and then strolled among the lush grounds. It’s one of the most scenic resorts on Disney property.

Riverside1     Riverside2

Riverside 3     Riverside4

We ate dinner one night at Bahama Breeze, or rather we had drinks and appetizers and that was enough of a meal. I had coconut shrimp. My husband had a crab cake. And we shared the hummus platter. Make you hungry?

BB Crab

BB Shrimp      BB Hummus

Bahama Breeze

Posted in Florida Musings, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Morikami Japanese Gardens

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 28, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Recently we spent a delightful afternoon at Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. This attraction is best visited in Spring or Fall or during winter months when humidity is low and temperatures are comfortable. Starting at the central building, we strolled through the grounds where there’s much to admire. I love the foliage that shades the path and provides lots of photo ops around a lake. Hedges shaped like a hill and a bamboo section are artistry in nature.

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Stone lanterns abound as do Japanese serenity gardens with raked pebbles. If you’re curious about the park’s founders, you can view the memorial gravestones erected in their honor. Various festivals take place at Morikami throughout the year.

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The museum house showcases life in a typical household. Nearby is a bonsai plant display and a pool from a waterfall where large fish gravitate along with turtles.

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Hungry from our walk, we headed back to the main building and the restaurant situated there overlooking the lake. We sat outside and enjoyed the view while indulging in the bounteous Bento lunch box and iced green tea. This meal is worth the trip alone.

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Be aware the park is closed on Mondays and there is an admission fee.

Posted in Florida Musings, Food, Travel | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Epcot Garden Festival

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 3, 2013

April is a good month to visit Disney World. Other than April showers, mornings tend to be cool and daytimes in the eighties. This year at the Flower & Garden show was the first time Epcot had food booths around World Showcase. We merrily ate our way around, starting at Mexico where our kids got tacos. Next we came to my favorite site, Norway. The Maelstrom ride inspired my paranormal Drift Lords series based on Norse mythology. Don’t miss the little museum that displays costumed figures while you are there.

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At the Chinese marketplace called Lotus House, I couldn’t resist the Spring Pancake with Grilled Chicken and Green Apples. It was a generous portion and very tasty! And next at Germany, I had to try the potato pancake. I’m already getting full.

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I passed by a few of the booths, while my husband got a noodle dish that reminded me of worms like a Klingon might eat, and then he tried the smoked beef brisket at the American pavilion. We detoured at France to see the newly remodeled pastry shop then zipped past the UK and Canada. I had to get the pineapple soft serve ice cream at the Dole booth. We just couldn’t sample everything we might have liked.

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Another day we took a brisk stroll around Downtown Disney to see what’s new. Pleasure Island is scheduled for renovation but nothing has been done yet. It’s always pleasant to walk through this area and people watch.

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My main purpose in visiting Orlando this time wasn’t to sightsee, however. I attended the Florida Library Association convention where I spoke along with authors Sandra Balzo, Patrick Kendrick, Ron Farrington Sharp, and Elaine Viets. MWA sponsored the breakfast, where we introduced ourselves and answered questions about our publishing careers.

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Later in the morning, we spoke on a panel about New Possibilities in Publishing, discussing how the digital revolution has affected each of us on a personal basis. Now we have more choices than ever before in terms of sales and distribution of our work. Members of the audience asked pertinent questions during the Q&A Session.

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And now instead of touring by car, I am touring via the Web. Follow my blog tour and catch up on what you’ve missed so far. I’ve discussed Dreams at Terry’s Place http://bit.ly/10peaal and been interviewed at Love in a Book at http://loveinabook.com/?p=1182. You’ll learn something new about me at each tour stop that features a blog or interview. Find the full schedule here: http://nancyjcohen.com/appearances/

Posted in Florida Musings, Food, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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