Showing posts with label Central Florida. Show all posts

Always Celebrate

The highlight of the weekend was celebrating JQ's birthday on Sunday and getting to catch up with friends.

Orlando Wedding Venues: The Hidden Gems

I did my fair share of research on wedding venues in Central Florida back when I was planning our wedding and have attended over a dozen weddings in the Orlando area. Some of these venues are fairly new and some have been around for a long time.

Irma Update: After The Storm

We are safe and sound. Thank you to all my thoughtful blogger friends who reached out over the weekend to make sure we were safe.

Wekiva Island

I wanted to share some local travel-related adventures even though our Wanderlust Wednesday linkup is not until the second Wednesday of each month. Consider this a save the date to get your travel posts ready for May 11th if you want to join Kerri, Kate, and myself.

I still can't believe it took me over 10 years of living in Central Florida before visiting Wekiva Island for the first time last year with Kate and our second in commands (that's a running joke we have not meant to be taken seriously). What a great day we had relaxing along the river. The water is cold but it's refreshing like spring water and there's a ton of amenities and activities to make it a fun day trip. Plus it's dog-friendly so you know I'm already sold.

Since our first trip to Wekiva Island we've gone back a few times to take my parents and then most recently my best friend last weekend. (recaps here and here).

If you're looking for a fun day outdoors, Wekiva Island offers canoeing/kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, volleyball, boating and swimming. Additionally there's live music (on certain days), an on-site restaurant, and cabanas for rent if you want to have your personal space. I consider this a hidden treasure of Central Florida.

Best Happy Hour Spots in Orlando

From traveling around to different cities, I've realized that Orlando has some of the best deals for happy hour during the week to unwind after work. Other than people that work for the big amusement parks in Orlando a large portion of young professionals work downtown and the surrounding areas so there's lots of fun places to meet up after work for a quick drink and/or bite with friends. Here are a few of my personal favorite spots although there are TONS of other great happy hour deals in Orlando!

Restaurant titles are clickable if you want to visit the website to get more information or view the menu.

Carmel Cafe has happy hour 7 days a week from 4-7pm which includes $5 large glasses of wine, $5 small plates, $2 off liquor drinks and $1 off beer. We also love going on Thursday nights which is $5 martini night. Nothing gets me more excited than that!

Aku Aku Tiki Bar
Aku Aku has a different special everyday on their Hawaiian style drinks. Insider tip: The Tiger Fucker cocktail pictured below is a must-try but only have one because they are very strong and a very large size cocktail!


Daily specials: Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Tin Thursday (craft beers) and $1 off drafts on Tues-Fri from 4-7pm.

Daily drink specials and live music on the patio from 12-3pm. Vanbarry's has a really nice outside patio and allows dogs which is perfect for us for happy hour, lunch or brunch!

The Parkview

Graffiti Junktion
Graffiti Junktion has happy hour all week long M-F which includes $1 off draft beers; $3 house wine; $4 well drinks & margaritas.

Hammered Lamb

The Brass Tap
Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 4-7 pm and includes $4 pint beers, $4 house wines, and $6 small plates.

The Porch
The Porch has a nice, relaxed atmosphere with different food and drink specials during the week: Craft beer specials and 1/2 price burgers on Tuesdays. Kids eat free on Wednesdays. All you can eat wings on Thursdays.

So now I'm ready for some happy hour. Is it Friday yet?

Weekend Whereabouts

Hoping everyone had a great weekend. On Friday K and I went for happy hour at World of Beer and then had an early dinner at Shari for some amazing sushi rolls.

On Saturday morning we went car shopping and I found the exact car I was wishing for ~ Mazda CX-5.

After hours of car dealerships, we headed downtown for some lunch and a couple beverages. When we got there, we realized there was a huge Orlando City Soccer pub crawl going on so everyone was wearing purple to support our city's soccer team.

K and I went to Ferg's Depot for some oysters and a couple beers before heading home to watch movies and relax with Lola.

 On Sunday we were up bright and early so we made some breakfast and watched the news before heading to Vanbarry's with Lola for lunch and to watch the Orlando City Soccer game.

It was a relaxing weekend with some fun and not much productivity. LOL

Joining the lovely Biana for her Weekending linkup.

Orlando Beyond Disney

I'm aware that most visitors come to Orlando to visit Disney but there's so much more to do in Central Florida for people with all different interests from food to sports, attractions, festivals, and entertainment. The locals know the secret to enjoying Orlando and avoiding the crowded Disney area.

Downtown Orlando
Orlando has a really fun downtown where the locals go to enjoy some amazing Sunday brunch restaurants along with the bar hopping nightlife and the dog-friendly restaurants in Thornton Park.


There's also a local farmer's market every Sunday around Lake Eola where you can purchase produce, food, and art from local vendors. Several festivals are hosted around Lake Eola such as Paws in the Park which is an annual pet festival coming up in February.

iFly Orlando
This Indoor Skydiving place gives you the opportunity to experience the skydiving experience in a safe environment. I, personally, am afraid of heights so will never do the real thing but I had no hesitation to try indoor skydiving.

Orlando City Soccer Club
Our Major League Soccer team is a fairly new addition to Orlando's sports teams but the fan base caught on quickly and everyone here can enjoy an inexpensive evening watching some soccer at the family-friendly Citrus Bowl.

Cocoa Beach
This is not technically Orlando but it is the closest beach that most locals frequent during the warmer months. Port Canaveral also has some amazing waterfront seafood restaurants that we like to grab dinner at after spending hours at the beach.

Wekiva Island is an amazing facility to visit on the weekend to enjoy some kayaking and canoeing along with lunch and drinks at the onsite restaurant. It's great place to relax along the river and get some Vitamin D plus it's pet-friendly so everyone brings their dog to enjoy the outdoors.

This 400-foot observation wheel located on International Drive was built in 2015 and is one of Orlando's newest attractions that allows you to enjoy breathtaking views of Central Florida. We went on it in December at sunset and enjoyed seeing the sun go down along Orlando's skyline.

Amway Center
The Amway arena is the home of the Orlando Magic basketball team but they also host most of the big concerts such as Taylor Swift who I saw perform a couple years ago.

Winter Park
Park Avenue in Winter Park has a historic strip of boutique shopping and restaurants. It's a great place to walk around and go for lunch or some happy hour with friends. They also host an Art Festival that features work from local artists for sale.

Universal City Walk
You can enjoy family fun here with a variety of restaurants, entertainment and shopping. My two favorites are Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and Bob Marley's for some live reggae music and Jamaican cuisine. The nightlife is always hopping here so it's a fun place to go to celebrate a birthday or bachelorette party.

Orlando Improv
 Everyone loves a good laugh. Lots of great comedians come to Orlando Improv to perform. It's a nice venue that serves food and drinks while you enjoy a funny comedy show.

Orlando is dubbed "The City Beautiful" and I couldn't agree more. There's so much to do here that makes living here never a dull moment.