I recently went to Orlando to visit family friends. On my first day, my friend Renee and I went on a scenic boat tour around Winter Park, which is a former resort town fifteen minutes north of Orlando. I had no idea that there were such beautiful lakes and canals in Florida! I loved seeing the historic mansions around the lakes and I would definitely recommend the boat tour.
After the boat ride, we went to the Mennello Museum of American Art, which is a small museum that features the work of folk artist Earl Cunningham. I liked Cunningham’s brightly colored paintings, but the museum’s sculptures and grounds especially impressed me (the museum overlooks another lovely lake).
We also attended the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, which is a huge outdoor arts festival that takes place one weekend a year in downtown Winter Park. It was a lot of fun walking around and visiting all of the booths (there were over 260 artists!). My favorite booth featured the work of Michael Gard, whose hanging wire sculptures reminded me of people dancing in the sky. We were planning on visiting the Morse Museum of Art, which has the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass in the world, but we were exhausted from the festival.
I had many memorable meals in Florida. My friends wanted to me to see a typical Central Floridian restaurant so they took me to the Southern chain restaurant, Sonny’s Bar-B-Q. I ordered sweet tea and was brought the largest glass I have ever seen in my life! The waitress came around with refills, but the first glass had more than enough sugar for the day. They gave us to go cups to take home the excess sweet tea. I have only been to one other BBQ restaurant in my life, but I thought the BBQ was good and I liked the variety of sauces (sizzlin’ sweet, smokin’, sweet, and mild).
Another day we had a lovely brunch at the Grille at Riverview, which is a restaurant in New Smyrna Beach that overlooks the water. The views were stunning! The food was also very good. I ordered plaintain crusted crab cakes and found the portions to be very generous. I also tried my first bloody mary.
Please stay tuned for part 2!