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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Winter Vacation....

Winter Vacation

We were welcomed to Florida by torrential rain, thunder and lightning, tornado warnings and timeshare salesmen. We were warned about the poisonous snakes, but nobody mentioned the deadly bite of the timeshare salesman, common to central Florida.

We were visiting Orlando, home of Mouseland USA and the princess makeover. Signs warned us not to feed the birds as they might become aggressive. However, the birds were not nearly as aggressive as the flocks of screaming kids dressed as their favorite Disney fairy tale princess, complete with gowns, jeweled tiaras, and glitter in their hair extensions.

Florida likes tourists who bring dollars to their economy. Tourists are helping them to build a new highway system for central Florida. They stopped us every 500 feet to thank us and to collect another toll.

In order to further enrich their economy, we decided to visit a Disney Theme Park. We chose Disney Animal Kingdom, which is part zoo, part amusement, and part hang-out for Italian teenagers. There are an extraordinary number of foreign tourists at Disney World. They wear identical warm-up suits and follow a guide with a tall flag. More languages are spoken there than at the U.N.

Since we didn’t like the Disney Animal World much, we decided to visit Disney Epcot later in the week. Notice how everything in Orland starts with the word “Disney?”

At Disney Epcot, everyone else rode the rides. Since I have back problems, I held my aching back and all the cameras and purses while everyone else had fun.

The highlight of the day was when I got my picture made with Mickey Mouse himself. My sister had a picture made with the Chip & Dale chipmunk characters -– not to be confused with the Chippendale dancers.

After visiting two parks, we were getting in the spirit and decided to visit yet another that I had not seen before, Universal Studio. The main similarity of the parks was that all the rides ended in gift shops.

I expected to see Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, but apparently they are not Universal property. Instead I saw Hulk, Spiderman, and the Cat in the Hat.

At some point while walking down Hollywood Boulevard, we realized that my honey was missing and his cell phone was dead. After we looked everywhere, he finally turned up at the front entrance. I suppose it could be worse -- we could have lost him in Jurassic Park among the dinosaurs.

Probably it sounds as if all we did is visit theme parks; however, we did other things as well, such as, shop for over-priced souvenirs. Put Disney or Mickey Mouse on anything and the prices is automatically doubled. No wonder it is called the Magic Kingdom.

We could have gone to a real magic show, but since we had already made my honey disappear once, we decided to pass on it.

My sister knew about a park where you are supposed to be able to see manatee, aquatic animals, something like walrus or seals, except they are vegetarian and like warm waters. We went on a boat tour to see them. We saw lot of exotic birds, turtles, alligators and some gray streaks in the water that were supposed
to be manatee.

On the way to the State Park, we stopped at a combination grocery store and gift shop. Everything there is part gift shop and part something else. There are fast food gift shops, gas station gift shops, theater gift shops, and just plain gift shops.

We also went to a dinner show called Arabian Nights near where we were staying. It was a combination horse circus act and rodeo. In addition to Arabs, they also had cowboys and a chariot race.We figured that they must have run out of Arab stuff.

Anyhow, that was my Florida vacation. As the cartoon bubble said at Universal Theme park, “I need a vacation from my vacation.”

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

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