As you can probably tell by the change of scenery on my blog over the last week, I was vacationing in Florida. I have always loved seeing the snapshots of the locales that people visit. If you think about it, it’s a nice way to live vicariously without dealing with rental cars, airfare and hotel bills! I did my best to document the trip in full as I raced through Disney theme parks, resorts, casinos and white sand beaches. Enjoy!
I have a soft spot for the tropical tourist mecca known as Orlando. I first went there in 1992 with my family and it was way beyond exciting (and overwhelming). We visited again in 1994 and had a great time once again, but fifteen years can make a huge difference. It’s hard to remember all of the intricacies of a place after that long. As an adult, your perceptions change dramatically.
I hopped off the plane in Orlando last Saturday (after a late night spent with the Nemo HQ crew. DO NOT PARTY before traveling at 6 AM the next day!) and went straight to Disney World. It was getting dark, so we stopped by the Magic Kindgom and watched fireworks.
Later, my friend Antwan joined us for dinner. He is a magician at Disney (seriously, coolest job ever!) and was one of my closest friends when he lived in Portland years ago. We met when we walked together in my best friend’s wedding and used to shut down the Portland City Grill pretty regularly. A huge thank you goes out to Antwan for driving me around, helping me find an internet connection and taking all of my outfit photos this week!
My mornings aren’t complete without a video chat with Auntie Nubs. She’s always checking in with me to make sure I’m staying out of trouble. Don’t you just love the drapes?!
Back to Disney. Sunday was a long day. First, we conquered the rest of the Magic Kingdom. Then, we spent the evening at Epcot.
Main Street was all decorated for the holidays. I can’t believe that we are already half way through November!!! Christmas music was being piped through the park and it was all very storybook perfect, in a way that only Disney can do.
Hi Walt, I’m Nubby. Nice to meet you! How’s it going?
We went on a few rides, most notably Splash Mountain. Notable because we hadn’t even made it down the first drop off yet when the people coming down the other side splashed us so bad that we got completely soaked. My dress was sopping wet and my hair turned into a pile of knots. I kept saying, “Going on this ride was the biggest mistake of my life!” I can be a little dramatic sometimes. We dried out as the day wore on and moved closer towards the giant golf ball (Spaceship Earth!) at Epcot.
Epcot is my favorite part of Disney World. Spanning 300 acres, it’s all very futuristic (in an 80s sort of way) and geared more for adults. The Food & Wine Festival was going strong and each of the 11 ‘countries’ in the World Showcase had booths of native food and alcohol. I sampled sangria from Morocco and spaetzle from Germany. Tasty!
Greetings from the United Kingdom! My favorite countries to visit were France and Germany. If I had to work at Disney World, I’d choose Germany; the women get to wear the cutest black dirndls.
After we left Epcot, we walked over to the BoardWalk Inn for drinks upstairs. One of Antwan’s magician friends named Brian Staron knew Michael Jackson so he invited him up to share his stories with me. Awww. I know how much MJ loved Disney World.
Unfortunately, everyone drank a little too much and I became the voice of reason. We raced after a bus only to realize that it was the wrong one. My dad held it up for another few minutes to make small talk with the driver (haha) and finally I was like “Let’s take a cab. This is ridiculous!”
The cab driver surely got more than he bargained for as I tried to direct him from the front seat while the back seat chorus could only tell him “HAPPY 91! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!” (the Magic Kindgom parking lot is named after the Seven Dwarves). He kept saying, “Where am I going??” Me: “The Magic Kingdom parking lot.” The back seat: “H-A-P-P-Y 91!!!!” What a night!
Goodbye, Disney. Thanks for showing us a great time. Love, Nubby.
The resort we were staying at in Orlando had white sand beaches and swan boats (!!!) Antwan was gracious enough to take some outfit photos for me. Platforms and sand don’t mix, kids.
A brief interlude included an hour drive to Tampa for the best vintage adventure ever at La France, which netted me this amazing deadstock chef’s blouse. I love buying souvenirs during my travels that are practical and usable. No random knickknacks for me!
On the way out of town, we stopped by the Hard Rock Casino. It’s a bit odd to be surrounded by theme parks and beaches only to step inside a dark casino where elderly people are chain smoking and throwing away their life savings, but I’m always up for an adventure!
My dad is the coolest, hands-down.
Sarasota is on the Gulf of Mexico and white sand beaches are everywhere you look. It’s the perfect place to unwind, drop off the face of the earth (and the internet) and regroup.
The time I got to spend on the beach was fleeting…
I couldn’t really figure out what the locals do in town besides sit on the beach and/or drink. On my dad’s birthday, we went to a bar where our bartender Bob was doing shots of Jägermeister and it showed; he couldn’t remember our orders! I made sure to play every Journey song they had on the jukebox before leaving.
This moose reminded me of home (and my brother’s ridiculous collection of taxidermy).
The most over-the-top romantic statue in the entire universe, perhaps?
Sarasota loves statues!
The best dinner in all of Sarasota can be found at Lan. Seriously amazing. And, the modern decor is great as well.
Our cute little house faced the water. Pretty idyllic. So peaceful.
Goodbyes are extra hard when the beaches are this beautiful.
Florida, thanks for a brilliant time.
Until we meet again next year, Nubby.
Readers: How was your week?