Rhonda and I spent yesterday afternoon over at the Orlando Science Center. Why? Because this weekend is the OSC’s annual Festival of Chocolate.
So we headed over after she got off work, to check out what the fest had to offer.
Normally admission was $17 per person (regular admission to the OSC), but we were invited by them to check out the event for CitySurfing Orlando.
It was more crowded than the Otronicon event in January, so much so that we typically had to wait 10 minutes just to get on the elevator.
We walked around, doing a once-over of all the treats for sale. They used gold coins for currency at the event, and there were several tables to exchange dollars for coins on a one-to-one basis.
We then bought a few pieces and went out to the fourth floor terrace for a breather from the crowds. It was a beautiful afternoon – sunny but cool, with a gentle breeze. From the terrace, we had a great view of the downtown Orlando skyline. We sat out there for a bit then went back inside.
We continued to peruse the various sale tables – in addition to chocolate confections, there were chocolate fountains to dip stuff in, chocolate-covered cookies, graham crackers and marshmallows (even chocolate-covered bugs, which I passed on). Lots of baked goods, like cupcakes, as well as chocolate-flavored cotton candy and ice cream.
All-in-all, I think we spent 15 coins on various goodies (including a few non-chocolate treats like pralines and a pecan nut bar, for me). Walked out with a bag full of stuff, since most of what we got was 1 or 2 coins in price.
Since we arrived later in the afternoon, we missed most of the demonstrations and contests. I was disappointed at that, but maybe next year they will run these events a little later.
Even though I’m not a chocolate fiend, I had fun at the event. And Rhon was the proverbial kid in a candy store.
Sunday afternoon – a beautiful day in Orlando, I might add – I hopped in the car and headed over to the Orlando Science Center. It’s a really cool place, but I wasn’t there to see the exhibits. I was there to attend the very first meet-up of the Central Florida TBEX chapter.
TBEX stands for Travel Bloggers Exchange, and it is a web community where travel writers/bloggers can get together, share links, ask questions and basically serve as a support group for each other.
Well, Ben Reed of Adventures with Ben, decided to bring the online offline and form a local chapter of TBEX, to allow travel bloggers in Central Florida (actually any travel blogger passing through is welcome) to discuss the whole art (business?) of travel blogging.
I think towards the end, we got into a good discussion of how to get your blog more noticed, and how individually-produced travel blogs can compete with the huge corporate conglomerate blogs for readers.
After the meet-up, we gathered for a group photo (some members were MIA due to travels of their own) and then I checked out some exhibits on the way to pick up Rhonda from work.
This first meeting was a good one and I look forward to the next one in January. I’m hoping over time that we can grow into a cohesive enough of a unit that not only can we help each other out, but maybe even do some regional traveling together. Wouldn’t that be fun?
If you’re a travel blogger, you should join TBEX – it’s free and it’s nice to have a supportive group of people to bounce things off of. Make sure you sign up for the CFL TBEX group at that site, too.
The other bloggers attending can be found online at the links below:
- Active Explorer
- Cooney World Adventure
- The Good Travel Life
- The Itinerant Tightwad
- Places Around Florida
- Solo Travel Girl
- The Traveling Gringo
- Wanderlust and Lipstick
- What Boundaries