Flashback Friday – Watching a Shuttle launch from Cocoa Beach February 2011

Back in February 2011, on vacation with my brother and his family we decided to go and watch a shuttle launch from Cocoa Beach.

Parking wasn’t too bad – we managed to park at a meter on the roadside fairly near one of the boardwalks to the beach.

It was February but the weather was good and we had fun playing on the sand, eating a picnic while waiting with many others for the launch to take place.

Having waited several hours, bought binoculars to see the launch and a radio to hear it, we managed to almost completely miss the event by looking in the wrong direction!!

Before we travelled home we visited the massive Ron Jon Surf Shop for some essential souvenirs.

Combined with a 6 hour journey back to Orlando (it was Daytona weekend the same day and the toll road was rammed) it turned out to be a very memorable day for many reasons – we still laugh about it 6 years later and the best thing is that apart from the fuel, toll and parking it was pretty much free fun in the sun!

2 girls, 1 week in a holiday villa in Orlando – Disney Springs

On our last full vacation day, we headed to Disney Springs to check out the changes.

We parked in the multi-storey Orange car park – undercover so keeping the car cooler for our return, lots of spaces and good location into Disney Springs by the bowling at Splitsville and the new Coca Cola World.

Starting our visit on the terrace of Coca Cola World (3 storeys of Coke branded products) we took in the view and got our bearings.

We made our way through the new undercover shopping arcade – to the outside stores.  What an absolutely fabulous setting, fountains, palm trees with pristine shop fronts.  We had a quick browse in Kate Spade before making our way to The Boathouse for our lunch reservation.

Lunch at the Boathouse was everything we had hoped for – great service, good quality food, nice selection and the crafted cocktails were the best!

After lunch we made our way to the Disney and Lego stores before going back to the new stores including Under Armour, Sephora, Zara and Ugg.

Taking a mid afternoon break, we went to Sprinkles for a cupcake desert.  I had been looking forward to trying the cupcake ATM out, however, it was out of order.  We went in and order a cupcake sundae – a cupcake cut in half with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle. For us, the product didn’t live up to the hype – I’m not sure we would return – particularly as there is Ghirardelli which serves amazing ice creams.

All shopped out and appetites well and truly satisfied we headed home, just ahead of a very  nasty storm!

2 girls, 1 week in an Orlando holiday villa

Yesterday my friend and I travelled out to Orlando from Manchester for our annual girl’s week of fun in the sun – so I thought this week I’d give you a little debrief and insight into what that means for us.

We were on the morning Virgin Atlantic flight from Manchester.  T2 meet and greet car park – excellent service directly opposite the terminal building.  Security lines were long – you need to allow plenty of time.  We still had time for breakfast and after seeing the line for Frankie & Benny’s opted for Brodericks.

We had a good flight over – 8hrs 20mins arriving on stand 30 minutes early.  The queue for Immigration at MCO stretched from the hall to the aircraft, however, this was due to a new filtering system where ambassadors sorted arivals according to residency and last visit to the States.  We were through quickly and cleared Customs with no lines.

Then on to the car rental desks.  Historically this can be a real time eater with upto 1 hour wait.  This time though I had utilised the new skip the line facility and checked in for the car before I even left the UK.  This meant we walked straight to our car of choice.  We were through the airport by 2.45pm.

So what did we do with the time we gained – we used it wisely and drove straight to Celebration for a walk round the lakes and a scope of Kilwin’s! !

 

20160925_203213

Sign Saturday – Gopher Tortoise Crossing!

Florida Feb 2012 077.jpg

Keep your eyes peeled – we have seen Gopher Tortoises along the roadside on the US192, on the way into Disney on the verges, Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Louisa State Park and at Wewiva Springs.  One time there was one in the middle of the road and we were so worried that it might get hit by a vehicle that we pulled over to assist it to the other side – I have never seen a tortoise shift quicker than it did as we approached!

Cagan’s Crossing – Clermont, Florida

Opposite Walmart and Lowe’s on the US27 heading North, you will find Cagan’s Crossing Town Centre.

When we last called it was quiet and not all the retail units were filled, however, there are only 2 units remaining available now and with the new Cat Cafe just opening yesterday (yes you read that right) maybe now is the time to go and check it out.

There is ample free parking in and around the Town Centre and some useful facilities like the Community Library, Metro PCS, United Postal Xpress, South Lake Dental, LeNoir Beauty Salon, Tiffany Nails & Spa, Cute and Fluffy Pet Grooming, Plane Computers and the N.V Pharmacy.

For food options there is the I Love New York Pizza and Pasta, Gator’s Dockside Bar and Grill, Noodles Cafe & Bistro, Simka’s Sweets Ice Cream and Sweet Shop, Sarah’s Greek Cuisine and More, Señor Tequila Mexican Restaurant and the Orlando Cat Cafe.

Every Friday from September through May there is a Farmers’ Market from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  The Market is a great place to shop for local produce, specialty jams and jellies, artisan breads and other fresh baked goods, and homemade gifts.  With musicians and other entertainers you can bop while you shop!

You can also donate to the Well of Hope while attending the Market – this is a local food bank which helps around 2,900 families in the Four Corners area – they accept non-perishable food items at the Information Booth.