For Orlando, With Love

Tragedies are never easy business.

At once you want to say everything you’re feeling and give into your anger, while simultaneously feeling the urge to say nothing at all.

What are the right words to say and the right actions to take when the city I call home is in such pain? What trivial problems in life actually matter, when so many innocent people enjoying a night out dancing have died for no reason?

My default response when it comes to politics, world events, and the more private parts of my life is to simply say nothing. It beats saying the wrong thing, or alienating my friends with different viewpoints, or feeling like a phony being shaken over something that happened but didn’t impact me directly.

So when I heard about the multiple shootings this past weekend in Orlando, I struggled with whether or not to speak despite the shock and hurt I felt. Continue reading “For Orlando, With Love”

Tasting Winter Park with Orlando Food Tours

Surprise: I’m now a food tour guide with Orlando Food Tours! Part of my training is going on the actual tour, so this past Sunday John and I did exactly that. I didn’t pay for this tour but opinions here are 100% my own (as they always are) and I’m speaking honestly about my experience. Which, spoiler alert, was awesome.

Living a good 40 minutes from Orlando means that expeditions into downtown (especially for food) are always carefully planned. This can get a little frustrating, especially with the food scene booming. I want to try everything! But my stomach can only fit so much. Sigh.

The Winter Park walking food tour was a perfect solution. We made 5 stops total, with some walking time in between to digest and learn some Winter Park history. The end result is a filling sampling of the food scene in Winter Park, with a just right dose of history and exercise (to help you justify the ice cream and cheese). Continue reading “Tasting Winter Park with Orlando Food Tours”

Exploring Orlando Like a Tourist

As an Orlando local, the abundance of tourism in the area can sometimes be exhausting. No matter where you go, you can expect it to be packed. I-4 is a perpetual hot mess. And if I had a dollar for every time I spotted a mini van with 5 too many people inside, I’d be a rich woman.

Yet, there’s also so much to love. New attractions are being built all the time. You’ll never run out of things to do. And many places offer generous resident discounts – who doesn’t like to have a good time and save some cash money?

So, with the added benefit of living here and thus being able to explore at my leisure, I’ve made a point to explore this great city tourist style. (No mini van in my future, though – I’m not that dedicated.) Here are some of my favorite touristy attractions that are even more fun as a local: Continue reading “Exploring Orlando Like a Tourist”

Shortcake or Biscuit? Foods to Love at the FL Strawberry Festival

Strawberry Shortcake Booth at the FL Strawberry Festival - a must visit if you're in Central Florida in March!

Shortcake or biscuit?

Visit the Florida Strawberry Festival and you’ll be asked this question at least once (twice or three times if you’re doing it right). Personally, I’m a shortcake kind of gal but I’m no biscuit hater.

The Florida Strawberry Festival takes place in Plant City every March, overwhelming the small town for a little over a week. Parking is difficult, traffic can be intense, but for the shortcake, I power through.

The festival is 90% fair and about 10% strawberry, but that 10% is tasty and worth driving for. Each year I load up on strawberry flavored goodies and, always up for a challenge, this year I was prepared to sample more than ever before. The post-festival strawberry food baby was, as always, completely worth it. The festival continues through the end of this weekend, so read up on my favorite treats and then sample for yourself. Continue reading “Shortcake or Biscuit? Foods to Love at the FL Strawberry Festival”