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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cycling and Traveling: Things to do

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This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).




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On the Road with your Bicycles
Copyright Marcia Crayton

(Note: this blog entry is about traveling with your bicycles. Some people go from city to city or state to state by bicycle. I haven't done that. Yet!)

You've probably seen travelers hauling anything and everything to enhance their vacation. What I see most often are bicycles. There's nothing like having your own bicycle, if possible. I've brought mine from Maine to Florida, literally up and down I-95. 

So, if you're new to cycling or if you're new to traveling with your bicycles, here's what you may need to know:


Traveling with your bicycles. Copyright Marcia Crayton



1.  Protect your vehicle. Get the bike rack that's best for your car. Most people who travel with their bikes and take long road trips have SUV's but not always. If your car can handle it, install a hitch. The bike racks that attach to car trunks can be complicated and may damage your paint if you're not careful.


Hitch Bike Rack. Copyright Marcia Crayton



2. Get the best bike rack you can afford and for the amount of bikes you want to take. If it goes into a hitch, you should be able to lock your rack to your car. Consider racks that swing down (to access the trunk area) or swing away (the entire assembly, bikes and all, can swing like a door) so that you can load and unload the car without taking the bikes off.  Make sure you lock your bikes to each other and to the rack.


Sightseeing with your bicycle. Copyright Marcia Crayton

3. Remember that it rains on the road. Your bikes will get wet. Covers are hard to find and hard to attach. They don't always stay on.


Remember to lock your bicycles. Copyright Marcia Crayton




4. Logistics: Consider your lodging and if you can bring your bikes in or if they will stay on your vehicle the entire trip. This means your hauling them everywhere: to eat, shop and sightsee. Investigate parking. Some parking garages are tight. (If you have cargo on top, you have to be able to have clearance or be able to remove the cargo, not always easy or practical).


Map out your trip. Copyright Marcia Crayton

5. Stop at the visitors center and get information for bike routes and trails. Cycling on vacation is sightseeing on wheels.  Don't forget your clothing, helmets, gloves and any bags or gear, backpack beach chairs, saddlebags, etc.

So, mount up, and enjoy!




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Thursday, May 25, 2017

5 Things to do in Universal Studios Orlando

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).

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5 Things To Do in Universal Studios, Florida

There are three theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort: Universal's Islands of Adventure, the new Universal's Volcano Bay (water park) and Universal Studios Florida. Enjoy a walk through Hollywood and check out 5 highlights in the Studios side of the resort:




Universal Studios, Florida (editorial use only)

1. Enjoy the Hollywood "sets." Disney's Hollywood Studios backlot feel is practically obliterated to make room for the new Star Wars area, but Universal has retained it's Hollywood theme and will make you feel like you're on a movie set. The attractions are more or less related to movies or TV shows. Although some favorites are gone (the "I Love Lucy" exhibit and the "Back to the Future" ride), the characters make appearances. Look for Doc Brown.


Universal Studios Florida: The Blues Brothers Show (editorial use only)

2. Act like you're part of a movie: the performances by the Blues Brothers cast (not the original) will invite you to participate. Or, you might see Marilyn Monroe!


Homage to Jebediah Simpson (editorial use only)

3. The "Back to the Future" ride may be gone, but in its place you can see two of the vehicles. Also, you can Visit Springfield, the home of the Simpsons, which replaced BTTF. I'm not even a fan of the show but you'll feel like you stepped into the series as you stroll through the area. The anchor feature is The Simpsons Ride, a simulator experience. 

Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley (editorial use only)

4. Visit Diagon Alley. Again, you don't have to be a Harry Potter fan to be awed. Shop, eat or ride the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (the walk through the bank alone will have your jaw dropping). Do like everyone else and block traffic waiting for the dragon to spew fire from the top of the Gringotts building. For you old-timers, this area took the place of the old "Jaws" attraction. (If you have a park-to-park ticket, ride the train to Islands of Adventure and disembark in Hogsmeade.)


E.T. Adventure in Universal Studios


5. Be a kid again and ride the E. T. Adventure. You board "bikes" and fly to E.T.'s planet. As you walk through the queue line, relive aspects of the movie to prepare for your trip.



You'll feel like you're on the backlot of the actual movie set at Universal Studios Florida (editorial use only)



Check back soon for 5 more things to do in Universal, Florida! Happy Travels!

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