Visiting Florida Without Going to Walt Disney World

There’s more to Florida than Walt Disney World. There, I said it. The last visit we took in January yielded an opportunity to really explore the State and see its many attractions and natural beauty. We visited museums, beaches, stores, and more.

Here are some of the highlights in pictures:


   After all, Florida is called the Sunshine State. Most of our visits over the years have been blessed with lots of sun and high temperatures. Above, I am cleaning the excess sunshine off my windshield so that I can drive safely.


I was staying with the in-laws in a rather large trailer community and got lost trying to get out. I ended up at a golf course where I was delayed as these four birds decided to cross the road. I guess the answer to the famous joke as to why a bird would cross the road is ‘to play golf’!


Birds on the beach and… at Wendy’s Restaurant.


     So many interesting shapes and shades of colors

I find the indigenous plants to be very interesting subjects for photographic essays! I rarely visit Florida without coming home with hundreds of scenery shots.

Lastly, I have an exclusive shot of a new Hotel on one of the beaches:


It may not be a Marriott Hotel, but these small snails seem to consider this heel from a flip-flop shoe to be 5-star! My wife found this and called me over and we enjoyed watching the snails heads come in and out of their shells… until the tide came in and gave us all soakers!

So these are just a few of my impressions of Florida, not as a tourist trap, but as The Sunshine State.

Via Napoli

19 Days: Via Napoli

Via Napoli

The chefs are ready to make some of the yummy pizza for the Guests of Via Napoli as Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna look on!

Hello everyone, and welcome to My Dreams of Disney, the site that strives to turn My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney!  Today we are down in the teens in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  We are at #Day19, and for this day, we have chosen Via Napoli as our focal point for the day!  I chose this restaurant, which is located in Epcot’s World Showcase at the Italy Pavilion, because Sophie has requested this restaurant for her birthday dinner (I can’t believe she’ll be 13!) on June 19th, and since today is Day 19, it fit right into the way my brain thinks!

We have eaten here just one time, back in 2012, but I’ve got to tell you, it made an immediate impact on my family and friends, so it was no surprise to me that Sophie requested the restaurant for her birthday.  The restaurant features great pizza, but also other great Italian dishes, and if you want the full menu to start planning your own visit to the restaurant, feel free to click on this link to go to the Disney World website.  The restaurant is also, in my opinion, very beautiful, with the unique pizza ovens staring at us, and the gorgeous chandelier that hangs in the check-in area.

Via Napoli

The colorful chandelier hangs in the lobby of Via Napoli, right where you check-in!

Couple these great features with the incredible food, and it’s no surprise to me that this restaurant has become a favorite of not just my family, but many other guests that have passed through it’s doors.  What about you, though?  Is Via Napoli on your list of Must Eat restaurants, or do you skip it by?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!