2 girls, 1 week in a holiday villa in Orlando

The following day we headed out on the US 27 for Bok Tower Gardens as we were interested to see the newly opened Hammock Hollow.

Located to the right of the restaurant area as you go in, it is nice ly tucked away so the tranquility around the Tower is not spoiled.

Hammock Hollow is amazing – including a snake shaped sandpit, water fountains to play in, a word garden, fairy gardent with dress up accessories and stage, hammocks, pine garden.  With lots of shade, seating and picnic areas I think it will be very popular.

We also took.a turn along the main walk, through the wild garden and bog garden stopping briefly at the window on the pond.

We then headed to the Blue Palmetto Cafe for a lovely wrap and some beer battered fries.

After lunch we had a leisurely stroll up to the Tower, feeding the fish on the way.

Another excellent visit – highly recommended

2 girls, 1 holiday villa in Orlando, on a road trip!

We thought we’d have a change of scenery and with easy images coming to mind of cocktail drinking on fine white sand beaches we headed over to Sarasota on the Gulf coast.

Just 1 hr 40mins  along the I4 and I75 and we arrived at our destination – the Hyatt Regency.  We were able to check in early and then set off walking to funderstand somewhere nice to have lunch.   It was hot, the traffic heavy and noisy with a lot of construction.  After going round in a circle with sidewalks closed, our enthusiasm was fraying so we headed into the Ritz Calton to lunch as Jack Dusty’s overlooking the marina.  A mojito and lunch later we felt better.

Unfortunately we heard that all the beaches along the Sarasota area were affected by Red Tide which is an algae that kills fish and affects humans breathing – it also stinks.  The beaches are littered with dead fish.  With this in mind we headed off to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens instead.

What a haven, not massive but absolutely beautifully maintained with lots of interesting gardens and play areas – greenhouses, waterfalls, tree hugging, mangroves and wildlife – we while away a couple of hours.

Then buoyed up we decided to risk it and head over to the shops, bars and restaurants of St Armands Circle.  When we gor there we couldnt smell the red tide (although I was a little wheezy) and free parking was abundant.   Reminding us a bit of Winter Park but in a circle with statues we had a little stroll and browse before heading back to the hotel.

We ended the day with room service and sitting out on the balcony looking back across the marina towards Jack Dusty’s.

Throwback Thursday – Lake Louisa State Park – Sept 2011

With 6 lakes, 20 miles of hiking trails, picnic pavilion, swimming in Lake Louisa plus sleeping cabins.

Only about half an hour from Walt Disney World you will find the sanctuary and calm of  Lake Louisa State Park.  Take Hwy 192 west from I4 about 9 miles, head North 8 miles on US27 and follow the signs.

We think September is the ideal time to visit, the temperatures are nice, the humidity  has calmed down so the wildlife is usually out an about during daytime hours.  We have seen armadillo, deer, fish and the gopher tortoises.

 

Berry Town Centre

Berry Town Centre is a small shopping precinct at the intersection of Sand Mine Road and US Highway 27, in Davenport.  Ideally located just 1 mile from Tuscan Hills, also handy for those people staying on communities like Legacy Park, Calabay Parc, Four Corners, Florida Pines, Solana, and many others along the US27.

The anchor for the development,  is a large Publix supermarket.  Publix is open from 7am to 10pm every day . The quality of the bakery and fresh produce is excellent (fruit and veg generally tends to be fresher than Walmart although slightly more expensive).  They also make excellent ‘sub’ sandwiches and hot food area ideal for a lunch, service is very friendly if at times a little slow – so have patience – it will be worth it!  There is also a useful pharmacy department and cash machine. There are butchery and fish departments both stocked by very helpful staff who are happy to provide whatever you are looking for and give advice on cooking it. If you find you just can’t cope without your Cadbury’s fix there is even a foreign aisle selling a selection of UK goods.  Publix sells wine and beer but not spirits (hard liquor).

If you need to stock up on spirits, don’t worry Party Liqours is just 2 doors down – where you will find a well stocked store at very reasonable prices.  In the same block you will see Davenport Dental, Hair Masters, Vaperior, Nail Creations and the Sunday Grill (which actually sells British Fish and Chips!).

To the other side of Publix are a couple of eateries – Bamboo Wok (a very good Chinese) and  Mia Pizza which does really fresh thin pizzas and you can eat in or take out.  take-aways and also a British Fish and Chip Bar, Sundays Grill, where you can take out or eat in.   To the far side of the car park there is a Kangaroo Gas Station and a SunTrust bank.

Crossing over Berry Boulevard towards Jacks Road you will find Kumo Steakhouse, Fairways and Linkster’s  Tap Room which is a Golf themed bar with a good selection of beers.  Over the parking lot you will find the largest of the restaurants available – Applebees, which is an American Sports themed Bar and Grill. This place has a great atmosphere and the food is a good standard with generous portions. They often run two for one promotions on drinks (don’t forget your ID)

Continuing along you’ll find Leslie’s Pool Supplies, The UPS Store for all your mailing needs, All Pro Barbers, Berry Nails, Dhaba Indian Cuisine and BOM Thai.

If that wasn’t enough, just across the highway there is a large CVS pharmacy and a Family Dollar.

All in all, very handy and catering for all your every day needs.