Café Tu Tu Tango A Local Gem on I-Drive

Being local one usually doesn't brave a trip to International Drive. I don't mind heading over to I-Drive and exploring a bit. There are a few hidden gems worth enjoying even if you don't have friends in town for a convention. Café Tu Tu Tango is one of those unique spots that the locals continue to frequent for 20 years now.
Café Tu Tu Tango entrance of restaurant
The first thing you notice about the restaurant is how vibrant it is not only on the outside but in the restaurant as well. Café Tu Tu Tango is more than a restaurant it's an experience.

The restaurant is a visual delight with local art adorning all the walls. It's fascinating to watch the various in-house artists working among the diners.

Fight Hunger With Beer

This year's Taste of the Nation Orlando will be celebrating 25 years of working to combat childhood hunger. The event takes place August 9th at the Orlando World Marriott Center.

I had an amazing time at the event last year. It was culinary heaven! I'm looking forward to to this year's event, which will be showcasing the culinary delights of 35 of Central Florida’s leading chefs and restaurants. This year’s Taste of the Nation Orlando will feature two James Beard Foundation Award semi-finalists – Hari Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant and Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and Wine Bar

Exploring Orlando's Mills50 District, Baldwin Park, Winter Park and more

I did a lot of exploring in Orlando's neighborhoods last week. Monday I was over in the Mills 50 District enjoying some dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants.  I joined fellow Elite Yelpers for some delicious dinner at Tako Cheena. The Cod Takos are may favorite!
Takos at Tako Cheena Restaurant in Orlando
Panko Crusted Cod Tako & Pork PernilTako
After dinner I went next door to Saya Couture & Decor. A unique boutique in the neighborhood worth checking out. They have jewelry, clothes, accessories, home decor and more.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College

I always enjoy discovering hidden gems. One of my favorite finds lately is the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College. I enjoy exploring this beautiful school and was looking forward to visiting the museum on campus.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is located on Holt Avenue along Lake Virginia. You will find free parking located next to the museum making it convenient for a visit.

Exploring Orlando Enjoying Local Restaurants, Craft Beer, I-Drive, CityWalk & More

I did a lot of exploring this week. I was all over Orlando. Wednesday I had a friend in town for a convention, so Bryan and I headed back down to International Drive to meet up for drinks. Bryan and I started at Café Tu Tu Tango. They have great BOGO drinks and $2 off tapas for Happy Hour.
Cocktail at Café Tu Tu Tango
Gummy Bear Cocktail
After a drink and some tapas, we headed down International Drive to Pointe Orlando and met my friend at Cuba Libre. This is a beautiful restaurant. They also have a nice "Caippy Hour" with food and drink specials daily from 5pm-7pm.

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

I remember how charming I thought Sanford was the first time I visited the historic town. Their main street in town offers a lot and makes for a nice afternoon of exploring. A fun way to get around this town is with Limo Cycle Tours. Grab some friends and enjoy some beers as you peddle your way around Sanford.
Limo Cycle Tours
The folks with Limo Cycle want you to have a fun time. There's beer on board and music to enjoy. They even have some mister fans for those hot Florida days.

Sail the Seas with Carnival and Cigar City Brewing

Craft beer lovers who enjoy cruising on Carnival Cruise Lines out of Florida just got a bit happier or should I say hoppier? Carnival recently announced that they would now serve Cigar City Beer on their 13 ships that set sail from Florida ports.  

The celebration of this collaboration took place this past Sunday in Tampa aboard Carnival's Legend.
Carnival Cruise Ship Legend in the Port of Tampa
The Red Frog Pub on the ship was where the festivities took place.  Cans of Invasion Pale Ale & Florida Cracker were passed among the guests. These are some great tasting beers. They are a bit on the lighter side making it nice to enjoy while you are on your cruise. The Invasion Pale Ale is a citrusy hoppy session beer coming in at 5% ABV. The Florida Cracker gets its name from the Cracker Cowboys of the colonial-era settlers who came to Florida. This white ale has a hint of orange peel, coriander and vanilla making for a refreshing beer to enjoy in the sun.

Exploring Orlando with visits to Leu Gardens, Animal Kingdom, Day Trip to Tampa, Enjoying Craft Beer & more

I started off last week with a lovely stroll through Leu Gardens.  Bryan and I took advantage of the free admission offered the first Monday of each month.  I like to visit later in the afternoon when the crowds aren't too busy.
The rose garden at Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando
Tuesday my youngest and I stopped by Gigi's Cupcakes for some Ice Cream For Breakfast.  In support of Give Kids the World's fundraiser, Gigi's is offering Cupshakes.  These delicious treats are made with their cupcakes blended in shakes. You can enjoy these shakes throughout the rest of July. For each Cupshake sold Gigi's will donate $3 to Give Kids The World.  A fun way for you to get involved and support Give Kids The World is to host your own Ice Cream For Breakfast Social.

A Day at Animal Kingdom Park

My youngest & I headed over to Disney's Animal Kingdom for an afternoon of exploring.  It was our first time seeing the Lion King in its new location.  Disney has done a wonderful job with this new addition to the Harambe Village.
Harambe village Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
We always go on the Kilimanjaro Safaris in the late afternoon. We have found that this is when feeding time tends to be and many animals are out enjoying an evening meal.  This was the first time we saw the hippos out of the water. What a sight they were!

Exploring Seminole County's Natural Side

I love exploring the state of Florida. While Orlando is my home base there is so much to discover nearby and beyond.  

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to do some exploring in Seminole County. I was excited to be able to cross off a number of activities on my Florida bucket list on this one trip. I enjoyed a few things for the first time including kayaking on the Wekiva and an airboat ride.

Our first stop was the Geneva Wilderness Area and what a visual delight!
Geneva Wilderness Area
Before we did some nature exploring, our group got a bit of an education on the Florida wildlife at the Ed Yarborough Nature Center. We learned about snakes, alligators, invasive plants and animals and so much more.

July Craft Beer Events in Orlando

There are so many craft beer events taking place that I couldn't help but put a list together.
Craft Beer at The Gnarly Barley
7/8 Tuesday -    The Gnarly Barley Sierra Nevada Bootcamp Takeover

7/9 Wednesday- Redlight Red Light Global Beer's 20th Anniversary Tour

7/11 Friday-       Upscale BBQ featuring beers from Unibroue at Hyatt Regency Orlando ~ $70                                 
7/12 Saturday-   Summer Bash at Cavallari Gourmet Beer specials & giveaways ~ 5pm-8pm

7/12-                 Lazy Magnolia "Beaus & Belles" Takeover Oblivion Taproom

New Belgium Beer Fat Tire
Ranger IPA

7/12                     Johnny's Other Side New Belgium Brewing Tap Takeover ~ $10 4pm-8pm

7/12                     Stone Brewery Tap Spotlight Rogue Pub ~ 8pm

7/14 Sunday-       The Imperial at Washburn Imports Beer Bomb Bus Tour ~ $45 12pm-5:30pm

7/16 Wednesday-Unibroue Beer & Cheese Pairing Featuring La Femme du Fromage at Rogue                                                         Pub~ $30 7pm

7/17 Thursday-    Summer Honey Tapping Party at Big River Grille & Brewing Works ~ 4:30
Summer Honey Tapping Party at Big River Grille

 7/17                 Clermont Beer Tasting at ABC Fine Wine ~ $10 6pm

7/18 Friday-      Barley and Vine Belgian Independence Party with raffles, 3-4 beers on tap

7/18                  Jake's Beer Dinner Featuring Oskar Blues Brewery ~ $75 7pm

7/19 Saturday-  The Public House Anniversary Party & Pig Roast ~ 1pm

7/19                  Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Tap Takeover WOB Lake Mary ~ 12pm

7/19                  Beerrelevance: A Tasty Excursion in Beer History ~ $15 3pm

7/22 Tuesday-   Halfway to Hanukah at Tap & Grind ~ 5pm-8pm
HE'BREW Rejewvenator  Craft Beer

7/22                     Thirsty Topher, over 6 beers on tap. Belgian Beer School with Taylor from                                                           Ommegang/Duvel ~6pm-9m.

7/23 Wednesday-Dang! You got That!!! Dogfish Head Tap Takeover at Eola Wine Company                                                      Winter Park ~ 6pm

7/24 Thursday-     20 Beer for 3 Years Anniversary Party at Frank & Steins ~ 7pm.

7/25 Friday-         Persimmon HollowBrewing Kickstarter Event at Rogue Pub ~ $5 7pm.

7/26 Saturday-     Funky Buddha Party at WOB Lake Mary 
Funky Buddha Beer
Last Snow
7/29 Tuesday-       Belgian Beer Dinner at Cask & Larder ~ $65 6:30pm.

7/30 Wednesday - Charlie & Trevor's Hoppy Birthday Party at Redlight Red Light ~ 5pm.

Exploring Orlando ~ Enjoying Dining, Craft Beer, Walt Disney World & More

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. I didn't do too much exploring this week. I did start my week with a visit to Cooper's Hawk.  Cooper's Hawk opened recently out at Waterford Lakes. I  joined fellow Central Florida Lady Bloggers for a wonderful dining and drinking experience. I'll have a full post about my experience soon.
Glass of wine and appetizer at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants
Asian Pork Belly Tostadas
Tuesday my oldest daughter left for the summer.  I thought I'd have until August with her, but she was ready to venture on her own. She headed to Michigan to get a job for the summer. She's up there having a fun time, but it's so hard cutting the cord.

4th of July at Walt Disney World

Last year was my first time experiencing the 4th of July at Epcot. I had such a great time that I wanted to do it again this year.  The fireworks over the American Pavilion are amazing.

Bryan and I enjoyed some craft beer throughout the day as well.  Cigar City had a tap takeover at the Cabana Bar at the Dolphin resort.
Cigar City Tap Takeover at the Dolphin Resort