And once again, the part of Florida tour guide will be played by ME

I don’t know if I mentioned this in the last 20 minutes, but when we moved to Florida, we left everything and everyone we knew back in Iowa.

I was pretty sure they would all stay there.

You see, both mine and Jared’s families all live within about a 2 hour radius of one another because they’re not exactly wanderers. With the exception of my mother’s side, neither of us come from globetrotting stock. So, although everyone we knew here swore we’d be swamped with visitors, we had our doubts.

And then last March happened.

Six solid weeks of company. Solid. As in – there were days when I’d be making an airport run to drop someone off in the morning and another one to pick someone up in the evening. As in – there were days when we actually had multiple families staying with us at once. As in – six. solid. weeks. of company.

Apparently even midwesterners like to travel when there is a free place to stay and 85 degree weather is involved.

I assumed that was a fluke. I mean, we were in a new place with a new house and so of course our friends and families and people we kind of know would make an effort to come see us. For the first year. But then, surely, the novelty would wear off and we would be exempt from The Tourist Season.

Yesterday we officially welcomed our third out-of-town guest of the year.

We have three more sets of visitors scheduled in the next the month.

Ah, yes, we officially live in a tourist destination.

Honestly, I love having company. Yes, by the end of it I’ll be tired and crabby and desperate for a chance to take too long in the bathroom without the guilt of leaving someone unoccupied in my house for five whole minutes. But Jared and I are social people and it’s almost like vacationing in your own home when people come to stay. (Except for that whole we’re not on vacation we still have jobs part.)

What I do not love is the responsibility of playing tour guide.

And don’t tell me it’s not my job. My dad already emailed me and said “make sure you come up with something fun for your sister to do when she’s there in April. She’s never been to Florida. I’m putting you and Jared in charge of making sure she has fun.”

I might as well be wearing a cargo jacket and a little cap.

Lucky for me, my connection at IZEA lives in my head and emailed me a new web site that has a list of free and “carefree” things to do in Kissimmee (aka the Orlando area). (Although, can we talk for a minute about how lame it is to call list B the “carefree list”? It’s a vacation. I’m not going to be turned off by “free and not free”.)

ANYway, I said yes, of course I’ll check it out and I emailed my dad back. “I am ARMED this year! Suck it, Dad!”

Check it out…

Free Stuff I’m Dragging My Guests To:

(Uh, the free section of the Freedom to enjoy Kissimmee website? Kind of sucks. But you didn’t hear that from me.)

OLD TOWN. (Dear Old Town, consider rebranding if you want people to come there) We take almost everyone to one of the amusement parks the first time they come. But that gets expensive. Apparently this place is free to get into and run more like an old carnival. I’d never even heard of it before today. I am going to look like such a cool, in-the-know native!!

And! AND! What other free things can you do here?!?!

Um… yeah. That’s apparently it aside from “bird watching” and “strolling along the shops” and “fishing at the lake”. I know some people really dig lakes, but I am more of an ocean that doesn’t have alligators in it kind of girl.

OK… let’s check out…

Things That Require Money:

Oh! Look! There are TONS of ideas for that part of the website! Imagine that. On the plus side, a lot of these are things that I didn’t know about before – which actually does make it useful for me. (Thank you, God.)


Orlando Science Center How sad is it that I have a kid who loves all things science and didn’t even know that the Orlando Science Center existed? Regardless, I know now and I will be the super cool cousin when I suggest it to the three kids who are coming to town at the beginning of April. I’ll just tell Devin it’s new or something. He’ll buy that.


Medieval Times HOLY CRAP WE HAVE A MEDIEVAL TIMES HERE?!?! How did I not know that?!?! Why does no one tell me these things?!?! I freaking love Medieval Times. I went to the one in Chicago and it is awesome. Seriously – all of you people who live here who have never once mentioned that we have this? You’re dead to me. For at least an hour. We are seriously not even friends.


Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Orlando Odditorium – Are you people freaking KIDDING ME?!?! We have a Ripley’s and you didn’t tell me THAT either?!?!? Holy crap it is a museum that is SINKING INTO A HOLE! How did you not know I would be into that?!?!?

Ahem. ANYway – the lesson here today is there isn’t much to do in this town that’s free, but there is more than Disney, and Britt’s friends hate her and suck and are clearly not near as devoted to being a considerate tour guide as she is.

The end.

Oh! Wait! Crap! Not the end!

You can win a free vacation, including airfare at this website.

Now The End.

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