Alas, every vacation must end. And to that end, today is our last day in Florida.

The day turned out to be warmer than forecasts had predicted, so we instead of going to a museum or other indoor activity (as we otherwise might have done), we spent it outside. Earlier this week, we’d gone to the amusement park in Kissimmee, but it had been too cold to go on rides or really do much of anything. Not so today.

The amusement park, called the Fun Spot — which Namine kept calling the Fun Stop — had all manner of rides and even an arcade. Since she now has permission to go on rides, even the ones with a heart warning, Namine was quite enthusiastic about going on every single one. Such enthusiasm must be tempered a little with reason, I’m afraid. There was still a height limit, after all.

The Chocolate Kingdom

After we arrived at the Fun Spot, though, we realized that we had arrived too early. So we made a couple other stops before coming back, not the least of which was at the Chocolate Kingdom. We were a few minutes late for the tour — it would be a while before the next one started — but they snuck us in anyway.

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The pillars are chocolate-covered pretzels. I love it!
"And look, this very special princess has brought her own chariot! Alas, the rest of us will have to continue the tour on foot." Angel, our tour guide

Our tour guide’s name was Angel, and what an angel she was. She quite hammed up the tour; part of the job description, I’m sure, but Namine absolutely loved it. Angel made the extra effort to include Namine as much as possible, even going so far as to call her wheelchair a chariot.

We all loved the tour, and learned a lot besides. The history of chocolate (and yes, the extensive involvement of women) is a fascinating tale, and even Namine’s attention was kept.

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Nobody expects the Chocolate Inquisition!

After the tour was over, we were tempted with the purchase of a half-pound chocolate bar. We still had a visit to the Fun Spot in mind — the tour was only 45 minutes long — so we declined. We promised to return, however.

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It's a chocolate world after all.

The Fun Spot

There was no lack of rides at the Fun Spot; Namine just had to decide on which ride she wanted to go on first. She decided on a roller coaster that didn’t do much more than go up and down a couple hills and come around in a big circle. Once it had made a few trips around, however, she decided she didn’t like it that much after all, even though I went on it with her.

Next up on the agenda — set by Namine herself — was a giant swing. I went on that one with her too. Again, she was enthusiastic about it beforehand, but changed her mind about it mid-ride.

The carousel, though, is always a safe bet. Of course Namine is too short to mount one of the horses herself (and she must be on a horse — to suggest riding in the stationary carriage seat is paramount to blasphemy), so I helped her up and stood next to her. She had no mid-ride misgivings then, I guarantee you that.

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Namine refused to make the plane go up and down. Down was just fine with her.

There were other rides, some that she enjoyed and some that she didn’t. The last ride of the day was a classic — the bumper cars. The Fun Spot had kiddie bumper cars, so Namine was able to drive one all by herself. She drives about as well in those as she does in arcade racing games. But never mind that; she had fun, and that was all that mattered.

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The bumper cars were more her speed, not to mention they never left the ground.

Of course Namine wanted to keep going on rides and rides and rides, ad infinitum. But her heart was already going at a pretty good pace, and we felt that it was a good point at which to give the rides a rest. Healthy heart or no, there’s a reason kids with her heart defect are watched by cardiology departments for their entire lives.

The Chocolate Kingdom, again

We returned to the Chocolate Kingdom to lay claim to that half-pound chocolate bar. We decided on half milk chocolate, half white chocolate, with almonds, caramel, and cocoa nibs. We had sampled cocoa nibs on the tour, and we all agreed that they belonged in our giant chocolate bar.

As we waited for our creation to arrive via conveyor, discussion turned to our favorite kinds of candy. I said to Jessica, “Namine knows what kind of candy I prefer.” I turned to Namine. “Is it chocolate or fruity things?”

She replied promptly, “Fruity things.” She thought a moment. “But chocolate is a fruit.” See, she was paying attention in the tour after all.