Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Celebration Time

Project 15 - Day 37

Celebration Florida, Disney's vision of small town America. What a treat it was to spend a few days relaxing in this nostalgic setting. When we booked our hotel for the visit we had no idea what we had stumbled upon. Our motivation was economy. (My personal travel agent, aka The Kid, had searched the deepest, darkest corners of the internet and come up with a whale of deal. $60/night at the Celebration Hotel which normally goes for over $200. How sweet is that?) It wasn't until we were sharing (bragging) our good fortune with friends that we found out what a gem we had uncovered.

Celebration is a planned community. All or most of the homes have front porches reminiscent of the turn of the century. Garages are located behind the homes accessible via alleyways that run parallel to the streets. By design residents are encouraged to be more visible and get to know their neighbors.

The commercial hub of the town consists of a few streets converging into a center circle. The streets are lined with small shops, and restaurants. All within a short walk or bicycle ride of home. Greenways and bike paths abound as do people utilizing this gift of good planning. The focal point of the community is the lake. Fishing piers and benches invite residents to stop and sit a spell as do the rocking chairs placed strategically along the promenade. It was evident that the plan worked as each evening we found visitors and locals walking their dogs, visiting with neighbors or just enjoying the sunset. Celebration is a Leave it to Beaver kind of place, also reminiscent of the movie Pleasantville. It is the kind of place I might like to live.

When we arrived on Sunday afternoon the main street had been turned into a small farmers market.

The stalls were filled with tempting treats such as the dried fruit pictured below. A sample of the pineapple was all I needed to keep moving...temptingly sweet and bad for the waistline, but oh so good!

The circular area protruding into the lake is a spray fountain. There was rarely a time when there weren't children shrieking with joy as they played in the interactive fountain.

There was a carriage ride through town led by these beauties.

And this tower we attempted to climb. It was late one evening after a wonderful Thai dinner. I think all of those spices got to me as I allowed myself to be enticed to the top. Fortunately for this phobic adventurer the stairs were blocked 2/3 of the way up.

And there was Doobie. Doobie is a paraplegic squirrel befriended by a caring veteran. I was chastised for missing the real photo op here. Doobie's owner is a decorated Viet Nam veteran with a mission to find other Lost Vets. I was so focused on Doobie that I failed to get the big picture. My loss.

The Celebration Hotel sits prominently on the lake. It too was a throw back to another era with it's dark wicker furnishings and old Florida charm.

As dusk settled on our first evening we were convinced we had a stumbled upon something special.

Celebration is a quiet respite in the middle of the hustle and bustle of all things Disney. I highly recommend a visit.


Bethany Patton said...

What a gorgeous place. Leave it up to Pappy to find a deal like that.

Tim Logan said...

Maybe we can stay there on our next visit. Way to go Pappy.

Beth said...

Susan! i love the entry! mom shared it with me since she knows my love for all things Disney!! :)

Beth said...

BTW, I linked to this entry from my "disney blog!"