Archive for the ‘My Muses’ Category

LanceAround Hits 100!

April 1, 2010

Today is April 1st, but this is no April Fool’s Prank.  Today is Lance Around Orlando’s 100th post!

What a journey it has been!

When my friends, Jedi BFA and Liz The Fair, helped me create a blog, I had zero experience with blogging or any type of social media.  Mrs. LanceAround and I are only the owners of a small business that provides gorgeous vacation homes at an exceptional value to guests traveling to the Disney World area.  We started this business because we had become passionate about all the wonderful things to see and do in Central Florida. 

We then started this blog as an extension of our desire to share that passion and our knowledge with our guests, whom we think of as our friends.

More importantly, we began our journey by being tourists ourselves.  After succumbing to the siren’s call of the big boys–Disney, Universal, Sea World and so forth (which we think are wonderful in and of themselves) we then decided to poke around at the vast array of alternate attractions in the Central Florida area; attractions that are not as large or well known.  We discovered some hidden gems as well as some tacky rip-offs.

Most of the guides we have read about Central Florida spend the majority of their time talking about the big and the obvious.  Yet we knew there were a lot of people, just like us, who enjoy the unique, off-the-beaten-path, places where passion and artistic creativity are the order of the day.

We made it our mission to seek out these treasures and announce them to the world while at the same time providing tips and advice to help navigate through the touristy swamps of Central Florida.  We promise nothing except our honest opinions, dedicated efforts and heartfelt observations.

In less than two years we shared 100 of these blog posts with you, our friends who read this blog.  We must be doing something right.  Since our first month almost two years ago, our readership has increased over 4000%!

Our trademark is that we are a blog for informed readers looking for “more than a mouse.”™   This obvious reference is the hallmark of our blog–that there is so much more to discover in Central Florida beyond Mickey and all his large theme park counterparts.  Of course, we’ll keep our readers informed of anything new or unique at the large theme parks, but always with an eye towards those special experiences that aren’t already inundated throughout the vast array of tourbooks and advertisements which permeate the landscape.

We are the blog to turn to when you want to find out where the “locals” go for their food, fun and entertainment.

In addition, we vow to provide due diligence in our efforts to ensure the most thorough and accurate information available.  We’re not afraid to seek out the owner, interview the staff and give you the behind-the-scenes story of the places we blog about.  And even if someplace gives us free access or perks because we are part of the social media, they are told up front that our posts will be honest and direct because our readers deserve both the truth and our very best effort.

My real name is Lance and I am a real person with a real wife, a real mother and three very real children.  Yet, for the purpose of this blog, I have chosen to create a somewhat fictionalized persona in the LanceAround character with Mrs LanceAround, Grammy LanceAround and Number One and Two Sons and Number One Daughter.  These personas are based on who we are, yet allow us the creativity and artistic freedom to craft blog posts that convey information in a consistent, down-to-earth, homespun manner.  Likewise, Office Manger Anne and Guest Relations Guru Giselle are fictionalized personas of two real team members at our business.  They make regular contributions to this blog.

After all, this blog isn’t really about me or my family–it’s about you and the things you might want to see or do when you are our guests here in Central Florida.  And if my LanceAround family can help you with that, well, that’s what we love to do!

These past two years and 100 posts have been a great ride–more exciting than any theme park thrill ride–and all of us at Lance Around Orlando have enjoyed having you, our dear readers, along for the trip.  A very special shout out to those of you who have taken the time to post comments and improve our blog with your voice.

Let us know if we can be of any further service to you and please feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your opinions.

Lance Boyer aka LanceAround
Karin Boyer aka Mrs. LanceAround
Emily Boyer aka Grammy LanceAround
Brandon aka Number One Son
Colin aka Number Two Son
& Amber aka Number One Daughter

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Turn the Tables on ‘Em

March 4, 2010

Confused Disney Photographer had the Tables Turned on Him

 There’s never a dull moment with the LanceAround family.    

"You Want What???"

Take last weekend. Number One Daughter invited three of her friends to join the LanceAround family on an exploratory adventure to see if there was anything new or exciting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. After entering the theme park, our group was soon accosted by one of the plethora of Disney photographers wanting to take our picture.    

So we decided to turn the tables on ’em.    

He's Thinking, "Yes, I am Used to Being Photographed"

 I pulled out my digital camera, asked the photographer to say cheese and snapped a photo. He was a little surprised.    

Then I thought about how many photos they take at Disney every day and how much they charge for these photos. Seems to me that Disney makes a lot of money with this gig.    

I decided I wanted a piece of that action.    

"Well This is Different"

 So I offered to sell my photo to the photographer for only $20. Realizing that guests at Disney have to go to a photo booth to pick up their photos, I told the photographer that he could pay me now and swing by my home after work to pick up the photo.    

hmmm, that seemed to give him pause.    

Well, after doing this once or twice Number One Daughter and her friends decided that they wanted to get in on the action. The next time we encountered a photographer, we all gathered together to pretend that we were getting ready to pose for a photo. Then, I loudly stated the agreed upon cue words, “Okay, everyone, let’s pose.” As soon as I said that, all four teenage girls leapt to the side of the photographer and shoved close to pose for a photo. I whipped out my digital camera and said, “Everybody say Mickey Mouse Loves Cheese!” and then snapped a photo.    

"Heeyyy, That's My Job!"

At this point, all four of the girls surrounded the photographer while I held my hand out and asked him for $20 for the photo that he could pick up at my house after work. The four teenagers and I stood there expectantly until the photographer responded.    

During the day, we would take photos of all the photographers we encountered in Animal Kingdom.  Here are some of our favorite responses we got from the different photographers…    

When asked to pay $20 for the photo, one photographer responded:    

“I’m a professional model, so it would be the other way around.”    

Some Photographers Really Got Into It

Another said:    

“Oh, I’m the person behind the camera…so…no!”    

One hispanic lady seemed to be a little confused and disoriented as she attempted to sort out exactly what was happening. She said the following in a very cute, hispanic accent:    

“This is part of a TV show???…This is a joke???…You crazy!…I like you already…I see you later.”    

This Guy Didn't Have a Camera

 When asked to pay for a photo, one photographer stated, “Mickey doesn’t let me.” Another one simply said, “NO!”    

But our favorite response came from a Disney Cast Member who begged us to not give away their identity. Their response:    

“Sorry, Disney does not pay me enough to allow me to buy the picture!”    

And we won’t reveal whether or not we posted their photo on this blog!

Lessons From The Hobbit

February 28, 2010

The LanceAround Family with Condoleezza Rice

We had a problem.

Number Two Son was just commissioned to paint a portrait of Condoleezza Rice. Everyone in our family was excited. We were looking forward to seeing Number Two Son present the portrait.

But we weren’t invited.

It was going to happen at a press conference. Only press were allowed to attend. Suddenly it hit me. I write a blog–I’m a member of the press! I requested credentials and prepared for the press conference. Mrs. LanceAround, Number One Son and Number One Daughter all plan to go as my correspondents and photographers. Even Grammy LanceAround flies down from Pennsylvania to attend. This is going to be great.

Then we get a call just hours before the press conference–there is only one pass for the press conference.

Now what do we do?

It was then I remembered the story of Beron from The Hobbit. He was a skin changer who could turn into a bear. He lived alone and did not like company.

Gandalf was stranded with thirteen dwarves and a hobbit. He needed help and the only one nearby was Beron. He knew Beron and knew if he showed up on his doorstep with 14 strangers, he would be kicked out. Gandalf thought of a plan…

The Hobbit and Gandalf went alone to Beron’s doorstep and they arranged to have the dwarves come to the door, in pairs, five minutes apart. Gandalf introduced the Hobbit and then told Beron the story of their adventure. Five minutes later, the first two dwarves showed up. By this time, Beron was so engrossed in the story, he grunted at the dwarves and asked Gandalf to continue. The story continued but was interrupted every five minutes by the addition of two more dwarves. By the end of the story, Beron had 14 strangers on his doorstep. Now it was too late to turn them away.

It seemed like a good idea, but would it work? I put the plan into action…

I was told only one press person would be allowed in the press room, so I showed up with my photographer, Number One Son. “Is it okay if he takes photos for my story?” This was allowed. We both entered.

Five minutes later, Mrs. LanceAround shows up with Number One Daughter. “We’re here because our son is going to present a portrait to Condoleezza, we’ll just wait outside.” They are ushered in.

Five minutes after that, Colin appears with Grammy LanceAround carrying his portrait. “I came with my Grammy to present the portrait.” Both are admitted.

At the start of the press conference, all six LanceArounds are present as Number Two Son presents his portrait to Condoleezza Rice. A moment later, someone from outside our family (we don’t know who) asks, “Can we get a photo of the entire family?”

Thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit, we now have a photo of the entire LanceAround family with Condoleezza Rice as Number Two Son presents his portrait.

Top 10 Posts of the Year

August 1, 2009
# 1 son finds "The Spot" while Geohashing

# 1 son finds "The Spot" while Geohashing--Check out "Seeking Nothing in the Middle of Nowhere"

Wow, has it been a year already since we began this experience of “social networking?”

It has been so rewarding to see the number of friends reading this blog climb every month. I thought this would be a good time to review my personal top 10 posts from our first year together:

1. Spiritual Renewal During Vacation–This post speaks of something very close to my heart. I hope you enjoy it.

2. Seeking Nothing in the Middle of Nowhere–I am as surprised as anyone to find this so high on my top ten list; especially since it does not have anything to do with Orlando (necessarily.) It was just such a serendipitous experience that is so well captured in this post that is has become one of my favorites.

3. Kennedy Space Center–Of all the major attractions in the Orlando Area, this is the one I would not want to miss. Yet most tourists do not even visit it. Pity.

4. Auditioning for American Idol–Okay, I confess, I don’t know if this post is my favorite because it is so good or because it was written by # 1 Daughter. Perhaps both (I hope!)

5. Orlando On a Shoestring–In these uncertain economic times, it’s nice to know that families can still have a great vacation without having to spend a lot of money.

6. Maitland Art Center–This phenomenal place caught me by surprise. If you love art, you don’t want to miss this place.

7. Robert is Here–Guaranteed to be the only post in the universe that compares shopping at Harrods in London to shopping at a fruit stand near Everglades National Park. Yea, my mind just kinda works that way…

8. Taxi Cabs in Orlando–This is a heartwarming story of a company that chooses to do the right thing even when they don’t have to.

9. La Nouba–This show in Downtown Disney always touches me so I tried to write a post that would touch you. It is not as good as the actual La Nouba show, but it comes from the heart.

10. Where is Central Florida–This collection of eclectic thoughts is a metaphysical fugue on the meaning of place. Not really. But it probably gives you more insight into how my mind works than helping you understand where Central Florida is. Yet for some reason, I really like this post.

Lance Around Orlando

June 24, 2008

Greetings! Welcome to Lance Around Orlando–“More Than a Mouse™”

This is the blog for anyone dreaming, planning, or even contemplating a trip to the Greater Orlando area of Central Florida.

We’ll look around Orlando, we’ll talk about Orlando, we will be the place to go for the informative, amusing, and enjoyable aspects “Around and About Orlando.” Occasionally we’ll talk about the Mouse, the other Major Attractions and so forth. But, by and large, this will be the place to find the unique or underrated.

The purpose of this blog is for us, as a community, to share tips and strategies that would be helpful for anyone traveling to Central Florida. Although I am the primary author and moderator of this site, I prefer to think of it as a team approach. My good friends, jedibfa and lizthefair are constantly reviewing the site and offering suggestions and improvements. (For those of you you who are twisting your tongue trying to pronounce jed-i-b-fa, perhaps it would be easier to think “Star Wars” and try jedi-B.F.A. What can I say, it’s a hobby! As for lizthefair, well, your guess is as good as [probably better than] mine!)

Also on the team are my wife, Karin, and my three kids, Brandon, Colin, and Amber, who share my adventurous spirit in exploring all the nooks and crannies of Central Florida.

But the most important members of the team are YOU, the readers and commenters. To make this blog truly helpful and relevant it will be the input and dialogue of all of us together that will uncover the hidden treasures and find the gemstones in the Off-The-Beaten-Path places around Orlando that make traveling so much fun.

So join in the fun! Feel free to lurk or comment as you see fit! Keep it clean and respectful–All opinions and viewpoints are welcome here. Heigh-Ho and Away We Go!

Lance Around Orlando