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Florida Guide > Shopping

Following a hobby in Orlando!

Ask anyone about their favourite pastimes in Orlando and what’s the betting a large number will have shopping on their list! !

We extol the virtues of Premium Outlets, ooooh and ahhh at the designer shops in The Mall of Milennia and for many British visitors no visit to the US is complete without a trip to Walmart! !

But Orlando, and indeed the whole of Florida has a huge diversity of shops and holidaymakers will set aside vacation time to seek out specialist sports equipment, top of the range electronics gear, or supplies for their favourite hobby.

The following is my sister’s account of how shopping in Orlando has enhanced her particular hobby. In it she makes reference to “the forum” and this is, in fact the Orlando Villas Florida Forum, if you haven’t visited it yet then you are missing out as there is a whole host of “all things Florida” at your finger tips. Check out;

http://www. orlando-guide. info/forums/

So here we go, in my sisters own words;

“Shortly before one of my trips to Florida with my sister I had taken up making jewellery with beads. Having heard that ‘Beading’ was big in the USA I decided I would set about tracking down some suppliers. I had no idea where to begin but I need not have worried as my sister was soon on the case on the forum. An enquiry, posted overnight, asking if anyone could point us in the right direction, elicited nine responses – my love affair with the bead outlets in Florida had begun!

First stop was Joanne’s, close to marker 13 on the 192. This large, single storey building housed the paraphernalia required for every craft imaginable – silk flower arranging, knitting, sewing, card making to name but a few – and in addition, to my delight, were several rows of beads and all the equipment needed to make my own jewellery. There was so much choice that my poor sister could have answered questions on the contents of that store in a quiz show – she had so much time to kill whilst I made my choice. I left the store armed with beads, crimp beads, jump rings, fasteners, earring fish hooks, spacers, memory wire and stretch magic all clasped in my excited hands!

Another day dawns and this time we visit Michael’s next to the Florida Mall. Another huge store filled with items for every conceivable craft including my beloved beads. More colours, more shapes and sizes and this time a huge choice of seed beads and bugle beads and lots of kits and packs put together to provide you with everything required to make your own masterpiece. My basket was soon filled with goodies and as I rounded the corners another joy awaited me – containers of every shapes and size imaginable to hold my beads. I selected two or three – I would not have been able to carry any more home in my luggage – and envisaged myself the envy of all my friends at the beading class with my smart storage solutions.

Whilst on our travels I discovered another Michael’s store on International Drive and one at The Loop so two more were added to my list.

My sister also tells me that there is to be a Michaels store at the new Posner Park development on the 27, that’s even closer to the villa so I will definitely need to invest in a bigger suitcase!

The final source for my beads we came across quite by chance in Wal-Mart. I can’t remember exactly what we were looking for but as I rounded one of the aisles we came across a display of beads. There was by no means the same choice as in Michael’s or Joanne’s, but there were some different beads, for example discs and pendants, so once again I made my purchases and left the store happy in the knowledge that I could always buy some beads whenever I needed a loaf of bread.

Beads in America are very reasonable in price, sometimes the same price in dollars as in pounds in England and sometimes even cheaper. Each time I visit Florida I return with new supplies and cannot wait to get started on new projects. You might think my husband gets sick of visiting bead stores with me but he does not complain as beading has its advantages – it prevents me from falling asleep at night whilst watching the television! ”

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Page added on: 23 September 2007
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