The last day we were in Orlando, we ditched the Mouse (one evening was enough) and looked for something more "authentic" to do. Yes kids, this is what happens when Mommy is a history geek. We figured we would cruise to downtown Kissimmee and check out their historic Main Street district, and on the way there we saw one of those brown Florida Heritage markers... SCORE! Let's go that way! It took us to the very quaint (although CLOSED for that particular day) Osceola County Pioneer Village. This beautiful piece of land with huge, old oak trees had a collection of little buildings from the 1800s that represented the old Florida Cracker lifestyle as well as the beginnings of the citrus industry in Florida. The guest book said they were closed for that day, but that visitors were still welcome to walk around. Price of Attraction: Free. Number of other Visitors we had to deal with: None. Letting your kids roam free and experience on their own terms a piece of history? Priceless.
The front porch of the main house.
Notice the cracker house from the 1800s is now ADA accessible!
Olivia learns about doing laundry the old fashioned way.
Cracker Cow Camp
Julia checks out the tools of the trade for a Florida Cracker (which, by the way, is the term used for a pioneer Florida Cattleman, or cowboy)
The little school house
Peeking through the window of the main house
Historic downtown Kissimmee
Some new infill in the historic Main Street, and I think it was rather well done.
I just love historic downtowns. They are so charming and inviting. Makes you want to hang out a while with the locals.
Brick pavers. Nice planters. Decorative trash cans. Shade trees on the street and sidewalks that aren't cracked. How come a little place like Kissimmee "gets" it?? Back home... well, let me not start talking trash about back home. But if Kissimmee can do it....
Look! Tree planting treatments that are attractive! What a concept!! I will have to show you what we've done with our trees in downtown Miami in a future post for you to understand my frustration.
And here's Olivia hangin' with said "Local."
We ended the day with a trip over to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can see the animals right out the back of the hotel. We had a really good meal at their restaurant inside.
The back of the Lodge
Julia spots the animals