Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Orlando, FL - March 2012

Sammit and I returned to our Honeymoon location for my spring break this year.

How we got there & where we stayed:
We stayed at the Starwood Vistana Vista Villages again.  Instead of flying down this time we decided to road trip it.  We stayed with Sammit's aunt and uncle on the way down in Pikeville, KY and with my aunt and uncle on the way home in Gainesville, FL.  We also visited my dear friend John and had another amazing dinner in Tampa.

The Fun Details:
We tried to keep a low profile this trip.  On the way down we stopped at the Franklin Conservatory for their Orchid Event.

We split our days between lounging around the pool and walking through Universal Studios.  Once again, because of our off season timing it only took us 2 half days to go through both Universal Parks.  We went to Harry Potter World where we rode the ride in Hogwarts (once of the best we've done).

Chocolate Frogs

Quidditch Set

Mandrake Roots
Inside Hogwarts
The Sorting Hat

The Food Details:
We were trying to keep our costs and calorie intake low so we packed a big cooler with healthy foods made at home.  We ate sandwiches at the Franklin Conservatory and had a family dinner with Sammit's aunt and uncle on our first day of travel.

On day two we stopped at a place called Cafe 24 in Knoxville, TN.  While we didn't have a lot of time to explore, the city was very friendly!  And the lunch at Cafe 4 was amazing.  Sammit had a fried stuffed french toast and I had a spare rib and red onion chutney grilled cheese sandwich with parmesan truffle fries; we consumed most of our daily calories in that one meal but it was absolutely worth it.  I literally groaned with gastronomic pleasure.

We made a mandatory stop back at Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa when we visited my friend John.  We took him to dinner and split a wonderful steak!  Once again, I forgot to take pictures, even after telling everyone at the table that I would be taking photos of all their plates.  We managed to save just enough room to go upstairs in the Henry Waugh Dessert Room.  If you're ever going to find yourself in Tampa, save up and treat yourself.  It is an experience worth having (and take the kitchen and wine cellar tour).

Finally, we had lunch at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.  While it was still park food, it was decent park food.  I had fish and chips (obviously) and Sammit had roasted chicken.  We partook in the butter beer and tried both the regular and frozen.  Frozen.  Only do the frozen.  The regular butter beer tasted like horrible chemicals; we couldn't finish it.  But the frozen, while still made with gross chemicals, was a delicious blend of artificial butterscotch and shortbread cookie flavors.

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