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Snoopy
04-23-2010, 07:58 PM
Today my friend treated Noah and I to a visit to Bok Tower Gardens (http://www.boktowergardens.org/) in Lake Wales, FL. She has an annual pass that lets her bring in 2 guests for free. It truly was beautiful and peaceful there, although smaller than I thought it would be. If you ever make it to Lake Wales, FL, do stop there for a spell.

However, I also saw a sign for "Spook Hill (http://historiclakewales.com/spookhill/)", which is nearby. My ex-husband had been telling me about Spook Hill for over 20 years but I had never been. Basically it's a hill and supposedly an optical illusion trick makes you think that your car can roll uphill all by itself. Hmmmmm..... so we got to the hill, which is nothing much... Florida is mostly flat so you know, every little dip in the road gets called a "hill" here, lol. It's a narrow 2-lane road, flanked by subdivisions, really not what I expected. Anyway, there's a decrepit sign near the bottom of the hill (you approach the hill from the bottom side) that tells you the legend of the hill and then instructs you to drive your car to the white line painted right before the hill starts getting steeper, put your car in neutral and watch it "roll back"! So we did a dramatic reading of the Spook Hill legend for the kids, got to the white line, put the car in neutral, and the car rolled backwards... exactly like it was supposed to, but it was DOWNHILL. I mean, we looked at each other and said "WTH?" and tried it again. Nope, still indeed rolling backwards but indeedaroo, it's definitely downhill, not uphill at all. I mean, we're coming from the BOTTOM of the hill, how the heck do people think that rolling back that way would be UPHILL? So we shrugged and left and said "I don't get it."

Back home I did a little research and wow, this "attraction" garnered attention on NATIONAL TV in 1990 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spook_Hill)! And there's even a skeptics page debunking the whole thing (http://www.tampabayskeptics.org/Spook_Hill.html)! But there was NOTHING to debunk!

I need to find the appropriate category in the "101 Places You Gotta See Before You're 12" to log this for Noah, but what a bust...

What other local and touted "attractions" ended up underwhelming you? (I'm just glad we didn't have to pay admission for this!)

Riceball_Mommy
04-23-2010, 09:02 PM
When we finally move that will have to be something we check out.

Also I have to agree that is one of the worst attractions ever.

Firefly_Mom
04-23-2010, 09:08 PM
There have been a few, but there is one that stands out above all others:

After moving to Texas, everyone told us that we needed to see the "cattle drive" down the streets of Fort Worth. Cody was in a cowboy phase at the time, and all of the locals we'd met made it sound like an old time drive, complete with a big herd and lots of cowboys on horseback. So we went and watched as they drove FOUR cattle a whole block.

Needless to say, we were underwhelmed. :P

Snoopy
04-23-2010, 09:20 PM
There have been a few, but there is one that stands out above all others:

After moving to Texas, everyone told us that we needed to see the "cattle drive" down the streets of Fort Worth. Cody was in a cowboy phase at the time, and all of the locals we'd met made it sound like an old time drive, complete with a big herd and lots of cowboys on horseback. So we went and watched as they drove FOUR cattle a whole block.

Needless to say, we were underwhelmed. :P

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA! I'm sorry I'm laughing but this is funny. It would have totally happened to me! And I would have probably bought (or made) a new cowboy outfit for Noah too. He, he.

Topsy
04-24-2010, 03:26 PM
Ummm....the whole freakin city of Chicago, for us. PLEASE forgive me in advance Chicagoans, but I've never been in a city I disliked so much in my life. Rudest people I've ever encountered (granted I'm from the south, where rudeness is basically outlawed). Most difficult public transportation to navigate. Least visitor-friendly attractions. Most expensive hotels. I could go on and on, but our trip to Chicago a couple summers ago truly belonged on one of those "most horrible vacations" segments. Blech!!!!

Snoopy
04-24-2010, 03:47 PM
Ummm....the whole freakin city of Chicago, for us. PLEASE forgive me in advance Chicagoans, but I've never been in a city I disliked so much in my life. Rudest people I've ever encountered (granted I'm from the south, where rudeness is basically outlawed). Most difficult public transportation to navigate. Least visitor-friendly attractions. Most expensive hotels. I could go on and on, but our trip to Chicago a couple summers ago truly belonged on one of those "most horrible vacations" segments. Blech!!!! Oh yeah? That's a bummer, I always thought it'd be one of the big cities I'd like to visit most because of the lake and Legoland, lol. My SIL actually lives there and loves it but she's single and has a high-powered job so plenty of money to "play". Let us know what you think of NYC after your trip. Speaking of rude people... last time I was there I got out of the train station at 42nd St, took 10 steps on the sidewalk, looked at my (then) husband and told him to get me out of that hell-hole... so we left. And this is coming from a FRENCH person, lol.

Riceball_Mommy
04-24-2010, 05:07 PM
Ummm....the whole freakin city of Chicago, for us. PLEASE forgive me in advance Chicagoans, but I've never been in a city I disliked so much in my life. Rudest people I've ever encountered (granted I'm from the south, where rudeness is basically outlawed). Most difficult public transportation to navigate. Least visitor-friendly attractions. Most expensive hotels. I could go on and on, but our trip to Chicago a couple summers ago truly belonged on one of those "most horrible vacations" segments. Blech!!!!

And I thought people in Baltimore were rude. I went on a day trip to New York and I think they were rather polite. I thought something had to be wrong if this city made New York look polite. I've never been to Chicago though, so I have no experience with that.

reversemigration
04-24-2010, 10:38 PM
Ummm....the whole freakin city of Chicago, for us. PLEASE forgive me in advance Chicagoans, but I've never been in a city I disliked so much in my life. Rudest people I've ever encountered (granted I'm from the south, where rudeness is basically outlawed). Most difficult public transportation to navigate. Least visitor-friendly attractions. Most expensive hotels. I could go on and on, but our trip to Chicago a couple summers ago truly belonged on one of those "most horrible vacations" segments. Blech!!!!

I'm so sorry to hear that, Topsy. I hope it just happened to be some random bad and/or obnoxious people who were the cause. You're right, though...the public transit is efficient, but it has a learning curve that's not visitor-friendly. I lived in Chicago while going to college and learned to enjoy the city; in fact, Max and I went there last weekend to the C2E2 (http://www.c2e2.com) convention for his birthday and had a nice time. I got our hotel through Hotwire for a very reasonable price, though, so that helped.

And yes, coming from the south to live in Chicago was a culture shock. How was I supposed to know you weren't supposed to make eye contact and smile at people you passed on the sidewalk? :)

Firefly_Mom
04-25-2010, 02:43 AM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA! I'm sorry I'm laughing but this is funny. It would have totally happened to me! And I would have probably bought (or made) a new cowboy outfit for Noah too. He, he.

Yep, although disasters are horrible at the time, they do make for entertaining stories later ;) And yes, Cody was wearing a cowboy outfit!

Firefly_Mom
04-25-2010, 02:47 AM
Ummm....the whole freakin city of Chicago, for us. PLEASE forgive me in advance Chicagoans, but I've never been in a city I disliked so much in my life. Rudest people I've ever encountered...

Try Phoenix in August. I double dog dare you ;)

camaro
04-25-2010, 08:42 AM
It's my experience that moving cattle involves trucks and quads instead of horses, wanton fence and corral destruction by the cattle and creative use of foul language by those trying to move them. Yes, that's a proper cattle drive. :)

Museling
04-25-2010, 11:07 AM
For me, honestly it's Six Flags in Arlington, TX. For one, it's RIGHT NEXT TO the GMC factory and a bunch of dirty old car lots off one of the highways that needed to be redone about 20 YEARS ago. Aside from paying 65 dollars per person to go stand in line for an hour and a half to ride a 45 second rollercoast on a tummy full of a 10 dollar coke and 20 dollar greasy 2 day old fries you get to walk among the wafting urine/coke/stagnat water smell and dodge teeney boppers going to second base in front of everyone. Sound like fun? NO THANK YOU. I'd much rather take a peaceful stroll in the Japanese Gardens, visit the immaculate Fort Worth Zoo or visit the historic West End -at least then I'd still have half my mortgage payment in my pocket upon entering the venue.

Snoopy
04-25-2010, 11:22 AM
For me, honestly it's Six Flags in Arlington, TX. For one, it's RIGHT NEXT TO the GMC factory and a bunch of dirty old car lots off one of the highways that needed to be redone about 20 YEARS ago. Aside from paying 65 dollars per person to go stand in line for an hour and a half to ride a 45 second rollercoast on a tummy full of a 10 dollar coke and 20 dollar greasy 2 day old fries you get to walk among the wafting urine/coke/stagnat water smell and dodge teeney boppers going to second base in front of everyone. Sound like fun? NO THANK YOU. I'd much rather take a peaceful stroll in the Japanese Gardens, visit the immaculate Fort Worth Zoo or visit the historic West End -at least then I'd still have half my mortgage payment in my pocket upon entering the venue.

You know, I went to Six Flags in Atlanta once before I had kids (my brother was visiting us from France and we took my then-teen BIL with us too) and while it was expensive, DIRTY as heck, long lines, etc, we had a blast. It honestly was the best time I had in a theme park because their coasters were awesome. Since then all of the theme parks down here have added pretty cool coasters too but now I get sick on them and I don't want to pay $80 for a ticket. I used to work for WDW and we got in for free for 15 years so now I pretty much refuse to pay to go there.

Topsy
04-25-2010, 11:23 AM
Let us know what you think of NYC after your trip. Speaking of rude people... last time I was there I got out of the train station at 42nd St, took 10 steps on the sidewalk, looked at my (then) husband and told him to get me out of that hell-hole... so we left. And this is coming from a FRENCH person, lol.

I'm kinda doubting our chartered homeschool tour is going to be an accurate representation of what it's like to visit NYC on one's own. That's exactly why we're doing it that way. I have no desire to ACTUALLY interact with the Big Apple...just to PRETEND I did so I can cross it off my bucket list and move on... ;)

Museling
04-25-2010, 12:41 PM
You know, I went to Six Flags in Atlanta once before I had kids (my brother was visiting us from France and we took my then-teen BIL with us too) and while it was expensive, DIRTY as heck, long lines, etc, we had a blast. It honestly was the best time I had in a theme park because their coasters were awesome. Since then all of the theme parks down here have added pretty cool coasters too but now I get sick on them and I don't want to pay $80 for a ticket. I used to work for WDW and we got in for free for 15 years so now I pretty much refuse to pay to go there.

That's the thing though, I think it looses it's luster of fun after the first couple visits, but I'm sure a lot of people who have big attractions like that tend to have that sort of love/hate relationship with theme parks. Lol, it does remind me, I've never been in union tower (the iconic stick shift building in downtown dallas), but it's suppose to be okay, albeit overpriced too.

I tell you though, one day, I want to go to France and spend like two months gaining 300 lbs there. I actually found out a few months ago that I'm predominantly French and Irish descent. Go figure! I have a lust for butter and skanky beers.

Snoopy
04-25-2010, 01:02 PM
I tell you though, one day, I want to go to France and spend like two months gaining 300 lbs there. I actually found out a few months ago that I'm predominantly French and Irish descent. Go figure! I have a lust for butter and skanky beers.

Well, I'll leave the beer to you but I'd go to France with you to put on 300 lbs in a heartbeat, lol. If that's one thing that's NOT overrated, that's French food. Yum.

ginnyjf
04-25-2010, 01:57 PM
The House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin. I walked out of there after two hours with a thundering migraine, feeling like I needed a shower and an exorcism. Biggest waste of $50 EVER.

Museling
04-25-2010, 03:22 PM
Well, I'll leave the beer to you but I'd go to France with you to put on 300 lbs in a heartbeat, lol. If that's one thing that's NOT overrated, that's French food. Yum.

Is it bad that I can eat hollandaise sauce like soup? I think I'm going to have to make pommes au gratin tonight with my leaded bechamel sauce... Vive la France!

Museling
04-25-2010, 03:25 PM
The House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin. I walked out of there after two hours with a thundering migraine, feeling like I needed a shower and an exorcism. Biggest waste of $50 EVER.

We were suppose to go there with some friends awhile back and it never materialized....will make sure to pass this along if we ever consider it again.