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Scavenger Hunt

Summer is a treadmill

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Summer is a treadmill. Life becomes a repetitive cycle of home to work to bar to bed, with an occasional weekend foray to the movies or the mall. Once fall hits, and the temps cool down, we see the opportunity to get off this hamster wheel we call a life … but, being creatures of habit, we stay home and drink instead. So we’ve put together this fun scavenger hunt to give you (and us) an incentive to get out and explore our surroundings, stretch our legs, bask in the beauty of fall in Central Florida. Get out there and play along (but if you’ve been drowning your summertime sorrows, sober up first – don’t drive drunk).

Below we have a list of 10 local lesser-known landmarks just waiting to be discovered by you.

Find each of the items described in the hints below, snap a photo and when you’ve found all 10 (or, when you’ve given up on finding them all) email your pics to editor@orlandoweekly.com with the subject line “HUNT.” We’ll post your photos to our Orlando Seen Flickr group flickr.com/groups/orlandoseen, and we’ll even make it worth your while: If you find all 10 items and send us your photos of them, we’ll put your name in a drawing to win a pair of VIP tickets to Orlando Weekly’s Ghouls Gone Wild Halloween party, taking place Oct. 27 at the Beacham.

Hamsters: roll out!

1. Mini-Graceland

Pine Hills is known for many things, but tourist attractions are not one of them. At the end of a cul-du-sac, neighbored by decidedly non-rock-&-roll houses, you’ll find one particular single-family residence unlike any other: a miniature replica of Graceland. Black, wrought-iron gates with metal musical notes and guitarists welcome you to the estate, but don’t be deceived; this is a private home on private property, and the owners are all shook up about the attention their house receives. If you were to hop the backyard fence (and please don’t) you would see the guitar-shaped swimming pool, complete with a long neck for swimming laps. Unusual cars litter the property, including a silver stretch limo out front, the way Elvis would have wanted it. Online searches won’t reveal the exact address, so this one will require you to ask around and explore the area a bit. Remember to bring along a peanut butter and ’nanner sandwich, and probably a flak jacket since this is, after all, in the ghetto.

2. Historical photo of the Winter Park sinkhole

If you Google “Winter Park sinkhole” you’ll quickly discover the location of Florida’s most famous sinkhole, near the corner of West Fairbanks Avenue and Denning Drive in Winter Park. Before you think this one is a cinch, dear scavenger hunters, there is a twist: You’re not looking for the sinkhole itself. Your task is to find one of the many framed historical photographs of the sinkhole that still hang on the walls of nearby businesses. How likely are you to find one of these grainy aerial pictures or yellowing newspaper clippings of the event, which happened nearly 30 years ago? If you have to ask, then you probably aren’t old enough to remember what a spectacle it was. On the morning of May 8, 1981, West Comstock resident Mae Rose Owens awoke to discover the totally-’80s trickle-down of her home into a giant crater. According to the Florida Engineering Society, the sinkhole grew to 350 feet wide and 107 feet deep, swallowing five Porsches from a nearby car dealership, while thousands of spectators looked on. During those two days, more tourists visited the sinkhole than Walt Disney World, and national news agencies flocked to Winter Park to cover the event. Today you can visit the site behind Austin’s Coffee and gaze upon the water-filled crater, lovingly named Lake Rose after the woman who first noticed the sinkhole. Your best bet to find an old photo is to check out the local repair shops and dive bars, where they’re still talking about it.

3. Giant cross

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