Monday, 13 August 2012

Post Card From The Weird Old Town, Florida

Well hello there sweeties. I hope this post finds you all well. 

Greetings from America
Ive been having some fab times over the last week, much of it revolving around Disneyland (and yes Ive worn the Mickey ears and waved like a loon at people dressed up in mouse suits)
Its our second time at the Magic Kingdom and we always try to have one day where we go theme park crazy followed by a day of R and R by the pool or explore a different part of Florida.
One place we went to the other day which may be of interest to any of you who like me are all about 1950's chic was Kissimmiee in a part of Florida called "Old Town"
Old Town-Its an experience that's for sure

We had read about Kissimmee in a few guide books and were intrigued because it has vintage car rallies a few times a week,has an old fashioned fun fair and promised indie boutiques and cool places to eat.
We hopped on the 111 bus (which picks up just outside our hotel and is only two bucks) and after getting a quick connection at Disney found ourselves in Old Town.
Old town as the name suggests has been built to look old fashioned and consists of one long strand with lots of weird and wonderful shops. As soon as we arrived we spied some gorgeous old cars and did the usual posing against them for pics (this is the law in the Bee household)

Strike a pose
The shops were an odd mix of alternative stores selling tie dyed Grateful Dead tee shirts and Joss sticks and bizarre shops devoted to dogs clothes or hair braiding. It definitely walks to the beat of its own drum.
Its fair to say that it is a little shabby and we did rename the fair the "Lost Boys Carnival' as it had that vague undercurrent of something weird about it, in fact the whole place did.
For example there was a shop specialising in magic tricks. Baba Bee is quite the infant magician so we were quite excited but it hardly stocked anything except really old fashioned dusty tricks like snapping chewing gum packets, exploding Coke cans and lots and lots of masks. The man who ran it was quite lovely in his little dickie bow and performed a few magic tricks much to the delight of my daughter but I wont lie the place did make the hairs on the back of neck stand on end a bit.
Mr Bee corpsing outside the haunted house

Baba Bee doing her best Wednesday Adams impression

Next door to the magic shop was a "haunted house" which was the scariest looking tatty shop Ive ever laid eyes on and I was quite relieved it was closed (and I usually love a ghost train) I wasn't sure we would come out again, it looked like something from an old episode of Tales of the unexpected.

The haunted house-er no thanks
I don't know if its because as a Brit Ive watched one too many horror films with old school Americana used as a backdrop to creepiness but the whole place felt a bit off.1950's music was piped rather hauntingly through the streets and they were all quite sad tracks.The place was also largely deserted which didn't help and was odd considering it was a Saturday.

making new friends at the Jims Tiki store
We did discover a rather cool Tiki store and a shop which sold phallic shaped candles (which was quite funny) and a boutique which sold lot of 1950's inspired memorabilia and there was also a big arcade.

Mr Bee in the 1950's store

hanging out with Marilyn as you do
The arcade had huge clown puppets and a really scary machine with a life sized man strapped to an electric chair who spoke in a menacing voice. For a dollar you could "smoke him" as I say it was all a bit odd and given that Florida has the death penalty maybe not in the best taste.

One of the lovely cars rallying through Old Town

There was some light relief when some gorgeous old cars rode through and everyone we met was totally charming but it did feel like the kind of place werewolves would live. 

We finished off with some iced tea at the Kool Katz Diner which had come quite highly recommended in our guide book. The atmosphere was so weird we didn't even finish our drinks. We just paid the bill and ran to the bus stop. Sometimes a place just gives you the heebie jeebies and you can't shake it.What a strange and intriguing place.

I trust you have been well looked after so far by my bevy of bloggy beauties (a few more lovely guest posts coming your way) I will be back soon.

Collectif Discount Code

The fabulous Collectif who sponsored my recent Pin ups in pinnies calender page and are offering a rather fabulous 10% discount to all my readers with the code  BETBEE. Just  type it out in the promo code box at the checkout, its valid for the whole of August!

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