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Orlando and area

 
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:04 pm    Post subject: Orlando and area Reply with quote

Breaking with tradition my partner has booked us in at a golf resort in Orlando (Omni-Championsgate) for 4 nights at the beginning of March. We already have four rounds of golf booked! So if anyone out here in C & Z land knows must eat places please, please let me know!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David- It's been 8 years since I lived in Orlando but back then there was a very nice Italian restaurant called Christini's on Sand Lake Road and (I think it was) Dr. Phillips Road in the Bay Hill area. It's in a small shopping mall that's removed from all the Disney and tourist nonsence. A nice ambiance that's a step up from the typical Orlando crowds and (we-don't-give-a-damn-just-fork-over-your-$$) tourist offerings. Very nice food.

If you try it, I highly recommend a brief trip just around the corner within the mall to Goodings. It's the très, très luxe grocery store that I described once before. You may not be quite so happy with your regular market at home afterward, but it's an interesting standard to hold other markets to.

Be sure to plan a meal at the Peabody. Call in advance and see when they parade the ducks through the lobby 'cause I forget when that is. It's fun to see something so surprising and they have a very nice dining room as well.

If you had kids in tow I'd recommend another Italian just on the outside perimeter of the Universal complex. The name is escaping me right now (but since you're probably not escorting kids it probably doesn't matter). Anyway, the reason for families to go is that they present kids waiting for their food with a lump of pizza dough. When they've finished amusing themselves with it, the waitperson will take it back to the kitchen to be cooked. I thought this was ever so much more inventive and engaging than the typical crayons.

When my husband gets home I'll ask him for other recommendations. Have a great time! For me that means avoiding all things Disney like the plague but, whatever's fun for you you just enjoy!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to tell you about Winter Park. It's just north (I think) of Orlando. That's where you'll want to spend your time when you're off the golf course.

I don't know the name of a restaurant to recommend but the community is much smaller & more interesting and has an older, more authentic feel than all the soulless gated communities of Orlando.

The business section is arrayed along a green park and the old train station. There are many antique stores and craft shops and small restaurants. If you're going when it's warm enough, there will be concerts in the park over the weekend as you stroll around.

I forget what the road from Orlando to Winter Park is but anyone will tell you. It's a very direct route and not more than 15 minutes drive.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A final thought: next time you need some sun and think Florida, the place to go is Sanibel & Captiva. They have beaches made entirely of seashells that roll away under your feet making a tiny ringing, tinkling sounds like a hundred tiny bells. They have beautiful mangrove swamps where you can kayak under the aerial mangrove roots. There is a magnificent bird sactuary through which you can also kayak. And I think there's probably a golf course or two as well.

It's also very touristy. ...but in Sanibel & Captiva you know why!

In fact, the whole West Coast of Florida is quite beautiful and interesting. We made the long drive the last week we lived in Orlando and it was the part that made that whole year worthwhile. The Key West area is notable for the folks who wake up to the sun rising over the ocean and, later, go to the local bar for a Margarita toast as they turn their chairs in the other direction and watch it set over the other coast.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rainey, all suggestions duly noted! Looking forward to the winte break. The grocery store sounds interesting! We won't do Disney this time (did it with the godchildren years ago) but might check out Universal or something for an afternoon but mostly it will be goflf and touring.
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