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Ask Me Monday – Week of 10/28/13

Published October 29, 2013 by Scott Parker


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1.  Besides being able to go to the parks whenever you want, what has been your favorite thing since moving there? Your least favorite thing? My favorite thing has been the amount of together time our family has had.  We moved here with no family or friends in the area and we truly had to count on each other for support.  This is still a work in progress, but as a family we are getting better each day.

My least favorite thing since the move is the “unknowns”.  Unknowns is defined as many things for me.  Things such as a trusted repairman, not knowing all of my neighbors, not knowing my kids best friends in their classes, not knowing how to change a pool filter, not knowing how to travel around this great city without Siri.  I know that this list of unknowns will dwindle as I become more familiar with my surroundings and this city, which does help me cope.

2.  What was your kids reaction when you told them y’all were moving? Our kids were surprisingly great.  Kristi and I included our kids in our decision to move more than a year in advance.  We kept them updated on the process and asked their input on many of the decisions that were made.  In 2012, we visited Orlando as a family to research the surround area.  We looked at this as a business trip and did not visit Disney, not even Downtown Disney.  I believe that bringing them to Orlando a year in advance to research the surrounding areas really helped them with preparing for the move as well.  On moving day, they could not wait to hit the road and have not asked to move back.  So I guess we did something right!

3.  With Christmas just around the corner, all of the displays and such will be going up soon. Aside from the well publicized Disney holiday activities/attractions, what are some of the other not to be missed Christmas activities in the area? We love the holidays and I’m so excited about our first Christmas in Orlando.  My motto is if it doesn’t move, put lights on it!  Here are a few festivities that I hope to be able to take part in: Festival of Trees at Orlando Museum of Art:  Nov 16th – Nov 24th Christmas at the Gaylord Palms ICE! featuring Frosty the Snowman at Gaylord Palms:  Nov 23rd – Jan 5th Candlelight Processional at Epcot:  Nov 29th – Dec 30th Celebration Florida Tree Lighting:  Nov 30th Light Up Clermont:  Dec 5th – Dec 7th Orlando Sentinal’s Celebration of Voices:  Dec 7th Winter Garden Christmas Parade: Dec 7th Cracker Christmas at Fort Christmas:  Dec 7th – Dec 8th Holidays at Universal Orlando:  Dec 7th – Jan 4th The Orlando Christmas Parade:  Dec 15th (Website will be updated soon!) Legoland Florida Christmas Bricktacular Florida Citrus Parade:  Dec 30th

4.  What has been your experience with the schools there? Any area better? This area is no different than any other larger city in this country.  There are preferred schools and then there are those that are not.  In our research, we found that Seminole County Schools were highly rated with the state for the most part, on state tests.  These ratings helped us determine what areas we would look for housing to ensure that our children would feed into these particular schools.  Florida public schools is very state test driven, as are most states public schools.  I do feel like our kids are tested often, but with that said I am seeing results in my kids grades.  We were also very excited that our youngest was given the opportunity to participate in a Spanish immersion Kindergarten class.  She is thriving and if you meet her, be prepared to speak Espanol.  When researching we used Great Schools and School Grades to seek out public schools.

5.  Have you visited WonderWorks Orlando? Is it worth the visit? Our family has not visited WonderWorks Orlando….YET!  It is on our list of things to do.  This was an adventure we considered on a trip to Orlando prior to our move, but time was not on our side.  In looking at the reviews on Trip Advisor and other sites, it looks like a must do!  For those that are not familiar with WonderWorks Orlando, it is a hands on, kid friendly, family fun attraction and we can’t wait to visit.

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