March 24, 2015

Orlando I Missed You

Last August our family of five dropped our oldest daughter off at the University of Tampa and the rest of us headed back to Denver. We were coming back to Denver for a job and to help take care of Bryan's aging father. The job we came out for didn't work, but it did open the door to another that will allow us to move back to Orlando.

I've had a great time with family and friends during our seven months in Colorado. I spent a lot of my time enjoying the abundance of breweries in the Denver Metro Area. I got inspired to start blogging about it and  I will be continuing on with it covering the craft beer scene in Florida.

While we were in Denver there were many things I missed in Orlando. Now that we are headed back I'm excited knowing I get to enjoy them again.

I've been able to get out and take in the beauty of nature in Colorado, but I really miss the palm trees, lakes, birds, wildlife and the wonderful scent of Florida.
Lake Baldwin in Baldwin Park
Lake Baldwin in Baldwin Park 
I miss my favorite neighborhoods. I love riding my bike over to Audubon Park and enjoy the local flavor. Grabbing a treat at Blue Bird Bake Shop, a beer at Redlight, the Monday night market or goodies at East End Market.
East End Market in Audubon Park
East End Market 
One thing I missed a lot of was my friends. I'm lucky to have wonderful people in my life. I look forward to catching up with them and having a good time doing some exploring in Orlando together. It's always fun to enjoy beers on the patio with friends at Barley & Vine or Tap & Grind. I'll be quite happy to get back to Oblivion Taproom and enjoy a tasty burger to go with my beer.
Bottle selection at Oblivion Taproom
Oblivion Taproom
I look forward to exploring some of my favorite parks again. There's nothing like a stroll around Lake Eola or a run through Blue Jacket Park. A visit to Dickson Azalea Park is always nice for the mind. It's quite peaceful to watch the wildlife at Harbor Park .
Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park
I've missed the brisket at 4 Rivers Smokehouse and the Panini's at Hot Krust Panini. I can't wait to bike over to Cask & Larder for Happy Hour or enjoy sushi on the patio at Seito Sushi. I'm looking forward to some of Sister Honey's German Chocolate Cake and a hot fudge sundae at Lu Lu's Ice Cream Shop
4 Rivers Smokehouse
Tasty Eats at 4 Rivers Smokehouse
While I can't wait to do all things local I'm looking forward to day trips to Walt Disney World. I love being able to stop by for the day and enjoy some rides or a stroll through Epcot. Many happy memories there and I look forward to many more.
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival 
There's nothing like being able to take a drive to the beach for the day and enjoying the sunset. The Rocky Mountains are amazing, but I'm a beach person all the way.
St. Pete Beach at Sunset
St. Pete Beach at Sunset
I'm excited to see what it new in town. I've tried to keep up with the new restaurants, bars, shopping and attractions. I love that Orlando is a small big city with so much to see and do and all the while keep the community feel about it. 

Orlando I've missed you and I can't wait to do some more exploring.

January 23, 2015

A Lady Crafter

Four years ago about this time our family of five was getting ready to make the move to Orlando. Orlando was our vacation destination since 2000. I always loved our visits to the Sunshine State and never thought we'd end up living there.

I didn't really know much about the "other" side of Orlando, so I thought I'd start a blog and do some exploring. I had a great time discovering the local side of the city along with enjoying the tourist fun as well.
Downtown Orlando Lake Eola
Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando
This past August my oldest started school at the University of Tampa and Bryan and I headed back home to Denver with the younger two. We went back for a job opportunity and to help out Bryan's aging parents. We weren't sure if this was going to be a long term stay or if we'd be in Colorado for just a few months.

While we've been in Denver I've been enjoying the abundance of Colorado breweries. If you've been following Exploring Orlando you saw that I enjoy my craft beer. Craft beer has become more than a hobby for me. Being in Denver and surrounded in a craft beer culture I realized I want to learn and focus as much as I can about this hoppy beverage.
Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver
Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver
I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue on blogging while in Denver. I gave it some time and I soon realized how much I missed it so I started my new blog; A Lady Crafter. Right now I'm focusing on the many breweries I've been able to visit while I'm in Colorado. When our family comes back to Orlando in March I'll be writing about the Florida craft beer scene and beyond.
A Lady Crafter

I can't wait to get back to Orlando to start exploring and enjoying Florida craft beer.

Cheers!
Kelli



December 15, 2014

Top Ten Blog Posts From 2014

I had another fun year exploring Orlando! There's always so much to see and do in and around the city. While my time in Orlando was cut short this year I am happy to look back on the fun I had. I'm currently back in Denver, but will be in Orlando come spring. I look forward to catching up on what I missed while I was gone.

Here is a rundown of my top ten posts from 2014.

#10
Pizza at Via Napoli in Epcot
Pizza at Vi Napoli

#9
Seafood at Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille in New Smyrna Beach
Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille

#8
The Public House Orlando
The Public House

#7 
Barley & Vine Biergarten
Barley & Vine Biergarten

#6
The Thirsty Topher Beer and Wine Bar
The Thirsty Topher Beer and Wine Bar 

#5
4 Rivers Smokehouse at UCF
4 Rivers Smokehouse at UCF

#4
Exploring Sanford With a Visit to Hollerbach's Willow Tree Café
Exploring Sanford

#3
Garden View Tea Room at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Garden View Tea Room at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

#2
Winter Park Beer Company
Winter Park Beer Company

#1
Riding Along the Sunrail in Orlando
Riding Along the Sunrail in Orlando 

August 11, 2014

Taste of the Nation Orlando ~ A Culinary Delight for a Wonderful Cause

Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation is the nation's premier culinary benefit dedicated to making sure no child grows up hungry. Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. Programs such as the Summer Campaign offers children meals at various local schools throughout the summer. Programs like this help low income families that end up spending an additional $316 for food during the summer. The children have opportunities to enjoy a free meal during the summer break just as they would the rest of the school year.

Taste of the Nation has been fighting hunger for 25 years now. There are nearly 40 Taste of the Nation events across the United States and Canada.  The goal for these events is to raise the funds needed to end childhood hunger. 100 percent of each ticket sold for Taste of the Nation supports efforts to end childhood hunger. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida are the beneficiaries of this event.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 550 local nonprofit feeding programs throughout Central Florida. On average, more than 55,000 different people receive assistance provided by Second Harvest each week.

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provides services to over 600 people each night, including 150 children. The Coalition served over 300,000 meals and provided over 245,000 nights of shelter and services last year.
Taste of the Nation Orlando Food for Hunger
This year's Taste of the Nation Orlando was another amazing event. There were four hours to wine and dine your way around the event space at the Orlando World Center Marriott. With over 60 food and beverage stations offering a wonderful variety, everyone had plenty to enjoy. I ate so many delicious plates of food and drinks and I still missed out on so much! The strolling entertainment and the band added for a lively night.

The Taste of the Nation Orlando is a great way to give back to your community. The bonus is you get to enjoy an evening of delicious food and drinks from restaurants located in Central Florida. While the food is the highlight of the event, my favorite part of the evening is seeing how many in the community come together to support an important cause.
Taste of the Nation Orlando Event Hall

August 08, 2014

An Evening Exploring Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Bryan and I celebrated our anniversary this week. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at Luma and thought we would cap off our evening at Mizner's Lounge at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The sun was starting to set and made for a beautiful evening.
Entrance to Walt Disney World

The grounds at  Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

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