5 After 5, Hometown Edition

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!

It's time for another round of 5 After 5!  In case you missed it, last week's list was 5 of your 2016 goals and if you're new to this series, you can read more about it here.

Today I've got my list of 5 to share, as well as next week's topic for you to stew about over the upcoming days.

And if you've posted your own 5 After 5 list on your blog, I've turned this series into a link party - so be sure to get your own 5 things added below (or leave your answers in today's comments if you're not a blogger).  I loved reading everyone's comments from last week and I really can't wait to see what you share today!

List 5 fun things about your hometown

I grew up in Orlando, which everyone assumes means that I lived smack-dab in the middle of Disney World.  I always laugh, because when you live there, you stay as far away as possible from that part of town as much as possible.  

For the most part, it was easy to keep all those snowbirds and visitors (and the accompanying traffic and crowds) far away from your everyday life.

However, growing up with all that tourist stuff in your backyard makes for a pretty fun childhood, so here are five fun things about my hometown:

1.  It's in the center of the state

Although it seemed to take forever to get out of Florida when we set off on long car trips, in reality, it wasn't all that bad.  Poor G had it much worse down there in Miami, because it would take him practically a whole day of driving just to reach the Florida/Georgia line.

It was easy to spend a long weekend exploring some new part of the state - whether that was Miami, the Keys, the Panhandle, up around the state line, or anywhere in-between.  You could wake up before the sun and zip over to the East Coast to catch the sunrise (it was less than an hour to the beach), then head over to the other side of the state for the sunset that same evening (and with plenty of time to body surf, in-between).

2.  People always come to visit

At any given time, I can pretty much guarantee that someone I know is here.

A cousin in Alaska?  An aunt up in Rochester?  You can bet that at some point, they'll come to visit you, because who doesn't want to escape the snow for a little while and stop by to see the Mouse?

Even now, I've been able to meet all sorts of online friends in person, because they're always coming down with their families to spend time in Orlando's playground.  While I no longer live there, I'm still close enough to connect with those friends I'd probably never otherwise meet.

3.  Holidays at the beach

You should hear the rap I penned about this beach (Daytona) during one of our stays...

Long weekend?  Stay at the beach.  Spring break?  Stay at the beach.  New Year's?  Spend it at the beach.

Nothing says Happy New Year like watching fireworks off your ocean-side balcony following a day spent riding the waves!

And there's just something about watching the Rose Bowl Parade in your swimsuit, while hiding out from the sun's strongest rays in the middle of the day, with a crock pot full of pinto beans simmering away on the kitchenette counter...

4.  The coolest proms around

Funny how fuzzy scanned photos look from the pre-digital age...

I'm always amazed when I hear about proms around the area we live now.  Kids meet up at some random restaurant, then head to their school gym, or possibly some rented hall, for a few hours of dancing.  I just can't imagine spending all that money and getting all dressed up just for that. 

What were mine like?  Well, you'd arrive at a fancy hotel (like Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, pictured above) where you'd be greeted with top-notch decorations and a formal photo area, then you'd enter the ballroom and sit down to a snazzy, elaborate meal, which would usually be topped off by some sort of flaming dessert - ushered in by Mickey & Minnie, of course - and a little indoor fireworks display.  While you busily spooned whatever the pastry chef and chocolatier had created into your mouth, you'd watch a high-quality film production of the year in review.  This would be followed by dancing and a departure gift bag of etched water glasses.

Yeah, it was pretty cool.

Also, when your senior year rolled around, that meant an all-night party at Disney - from park closing until it opened again the next day.  Besides enjoying all that the Magic Kingdom had to offer, you'd spend the night listening to concerts by the hottest artists of the day and just having an overall blast with all your high school chums.  And Disney did this up right, too.  There was a strict dress code - as in, semi-formal wear, so it wasn't your average traipse-around-the-park-in sneakers and shorts kind of deal.

Classy stuff.

5.  Always something fun to do

Besides the fact that usually someone you knew worked at Disney and could occasionally get you in for free, there was plenty to do in the area, even if you didn't make it all the way into the parks.

There were fancy hotels to walk around and look at - with pools to swim in and game rooms to play in, shopping and restaurant areas to stroll around that felt like theme parks themselves, nightly fireworks you could see from all over town (& even hear sometimes from your backyard!), and one of the best free rides around - the Monorail!

For next week:

List 5 of your favorite musical dance numbers

My annual Christmas movie-a-thon is usually followed by my going back and watching all sorts of my favorite old movies, and many of those just happen to be musicals.  I have so many numbers that I absolutely adore, but I think I can manage to choose just five to highlight next week.

What's your list?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox!

Linked up with: Happiness is Homemade,  Merry MondayMotivation MondayThoughtful SpotWhat'd You Do This WeekendMade for KidsMeet Up MondayTotally Terrific TuesdayLittle Learning Link Up,Tuesday PinspirationTwo Uses TuesdayHip Homeschool HopLou Lou Girls Fabulous Party Tell it to Me Tuesday, Good Tips TuesdayTalented Tuesday, Wordless WednesdayA Little Bird Told MeWFMWEverything Early Childhood, The Mommy Club, Creative MusterParty in Your PJs, The Ladies Collective,  A Little R&R WednesdaysThis Is How We Roll, Frugal Family LinkyCreative WaysHearts for HomeCreative Exchange 100 Happy DaysHomeschooling SecretsShine Blog Hop, Thursday Favorite ThingsI'm Lovin' It,Kitchen Fun & Crafty, Inspiration SpotlightHome MattersPretty Pintastic PartyWeekend PotluckAwesome Life FridayCreative CollectionThe Beautifully Creative Inspired Family Fun FridayFriday FrivolityBloggers SpotlightMake My Saturday SweetWeekend Wind-Down Party