This weekend was spent in Orlando, Florida and was a bit of blur because it was so busy – I logged some serious miles – not only in the air but also by foot. I really wish I would’ve been wearing a pedometer. I was wearing flats and my feet still are killing me! Crazy. Anyways… I digress. I ventured south with my good friend and co-worker, Julie, to attend the annual ASHA Convention – aka the American Speech-Language Hearing Association National Convention. For those of you that don’t know me personally, I am a speech-language pathologist that works with adults that have a variety of speech, language, and swallowing deficits. It’s quite different from my blogging gig 🙂
Julie and I decided it would be a great idea to attend the convention this year to log some continuing education credits, learn some new things, and of course, enjoy the warmth of Florida. Months ago when we planned this trip, we actually pictured we would be laying by the pool at every spare moment. Hmmm. Evidently the entire country was experiencing some cooler than normal temps this past week/weekend and Florida was no exception. While we didn’t lay by the pool, we were able to enjoy some sunshine, food, drinks, and shopping during our time spent away from the convention at the Orange County Convention Center – which was the prettiest convention center I’ve ever seen.
We stayed at the Hilton Orlando and had some delicious drinks and healthy food at the Tropics Pool Bar & Grill. Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse at the Hyatt next door was also worth mentioning. Both of these hotels are next door to the convention center and are on top of their game.
We knew our time was going to be limited in terms of shopping and exploring so we wanted to take full advantage of our time – after determining that Disney World and Universal Studios were out of our budget, we spoke with the Hilton concierge and Julie and I decided to venture to nearby Winter Park, the cutest/sweetest neighborhood just 10-15 minutes north of downtown Orlando. Definitely worth the trip. And I think we said that many times on our way home. Winter Park’s Park Avenue is filled with cute and unique boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. The trees are lit up at night with multi-colored lights that look like Christmas bulbs. It was simply charming.
We sipped on a caffe latte/mocha at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen (seriously, how have I never heard of Barnie’s?), tasted some macarons from Le Macaron, and enjoyed some Campanelle “Nero” at the uber-cool Prato – all of the servers here wear plaid and was a strong selling point along with their plant wall. Um, yeah we were impressed.
Last stop on Saturday morning was the upscale Mall at Milennia, again, another stop worth making in Orlando. That gorgeous, massive Christmas tree, though! Oh and I tried on the most stunning hot pink Ted Baker coat in Bloomingdale’s, a store that needs to make its way to Columbus. That coat was utterly and completely out of my price range but the color was so vivid I had.to.try.it.on. The Christmas decorations got me into the holiday spirit, which was honestly kind of strange considering it was 60 degrees outside 🙂
Orlando was a great getaway and much-needed time away from work but I’m glad to be back in Ohio – HOME.