This week Scott and I had to go to Orlando for two days of tests. We thought about driving back and forth, but the first appt was at 6:45am, so instead of driving and hour and a half, my thought was "HOTEL"... so we booked a room near the medical center for two nights, and decided to turn it into a mini-vacation.
Orlando... sometimes I don't give that town any credit other than a town built around Disney. We rarely drive past the Disney exits... we enter that magical area... and as they so cleverly designed it, we never have to leave. The memories of my kids growing up going there year after year, many times a year (season pass) have made life all the richer.
So... now we were venturing into Orlando, the city. Our hotel, of course, was near another theme park... Sea World. All the hotels are so themed, so we were treated to a 1950's style hotel with aquas and yellows and polka dots. It was really cute. Big flatscreen TV's were everywhere, with very calming videos of sea creatures swimming slowly by. Here is the pool area... told you everything in this town is themed...
The first night, as we parked in the lot, we were treated to the Sea World nightly fireworks show just over the fence.
I did some research before we left, and did I have a surprise for Scott. The first night we drove to Winter Park (a suburb) and went to a restaurant called The Paris Bistro on Park Avenue.... need I say more? It was FABULOUS. I ordered Bistro Salad and Cunard Aux Peches (although I chose the cherry sauce), and Scott ordered Onion Soup and Lapin Aux Pruneaux. Both dishes were fantastic. I was too embarrassed to take a picture of our food like I do in Paris, but I have to say, the meal was as good as anything we've had there. Here are a few shots I took from outside the restaurant...
You walked along here to the restaurant entrance.
If you look closely, you can see the red velvet banquets, and the gold and red toile wall paper... tres chic! If you are ever in Orlando... be sure to give this place a try. It is in the middle of a very upscale shopping area.
Speaking of shopping... it's not my favorite thing to do, especially malls... but the following day, it was so blasted cold (seriously...it was 25 degrees that morning) that we decided to try out Mall of Millenia after his appt that morning.
As far as malls go, this one is TOPS. It's really open and airy and beautiful... pristine bathrooms and public areas, and the most whimsical Christmas decorations I've ever seen. Scott allowed me to shop for my Christmas presents from him, so that did make it a little tolerable. Yes, there was a Louis Vuitton store, and I swear that man would have sprung for one, but I had set a budget for Christmas, which was light years from the price of that purse, but it was absolutely gorgeous in person and so sleek to the hand!
Even though Scott would have bought it, I am the sensible one, and instead chose this little number...
The Cuisinart Griddler. As you can see, it can be a panini press, a half grill/half griddle, or full grill/full griddle... and bonus, the heating plates go in the dishwasher!
We leisurely walked the mall, stopped for coffee and walked again. For dinner we went to Brio Tuscan Grille... we weren't expecting much for a mall restaurant, but we were blown away by the food. Again, a meal we will remember. I had crab and shrimp cakes, and Scott had grilled salmon over angel hair pasta. YUM.
So we had a wonderful few days of eating and shopping. A time that could have been depressing and ugly, was actually a lot of fun. Hope you've enjoyed this impromptu tour of Orlando.
To coin a phrase... when Life Gives you Lemons...