Monday, May 9, 2011

Orlando, Florida

I absolutely love to travel and vacation in warm places when my permanent residency is under a curse of a bitter cold. Living in Ithaca for nearly 6 years and experiencing temperatures between 20 degrees F and 30 degrees for half the year can be deemed miserable. (Ok, that's an exaggeration, but seriously it feels that long when the sun disappears most of the time).

Thus, Siddharth and I decided to vacation some place warm for the spring. Siddharth and I had our first vacation in April 2011 in beautiful Orlando for 5 days, 6 nights in 90 degree weather. After suffering through Ithaca's rollercoaster ride of extreme weather days, this sounded like paradise! It just so happened that Siddharth was attending a conference in Orlando and I opted to join him to be his (unofficial) tour guide. He wasn't as fortunate to enjoy the many Disney theme parks like I did as a child (I've been there 6 times since the age of 2).

Because of the many Disney parks and resorts inhabiting in this city, Orlando became known as a city for families of all ages. If you ever visit this city for the first time, you will be bombarded by families big and small, American and foreign, young and old. But over the decades, Orlando has transformed its city (and its theme parks) so that everyone of all ages and every marital status to enjoy the city.

We both decided to skip most of the Disney theme parks except Epcot and spend our time at Seaworld and Universal Studios. We felt that we would be too overwhelmed with the screaming kids in line for childish rides at Magic Kingdom. Seaworld appealed to us a great deal because of our love of aquariums and cute sea creatures like penguins, sea lions and best of all, dolphins. Universal Studios, on the other hand, sounded more exciting with thrilling rides and The Magical World of Harry Potter.

But besides visiting the many attractions within the parks and resorts, we also enjoyed the many eateries as well. Everyday we would flip through the pages of our coupon book that advertised the many restaurants surrounding the Disney area and decide on what particular cuisine we were in the mood for. Looking back now, I don't think there was a single restaurant or meal we did not like. Here, we want to share with you some of the sites in Orlando we enjoyed in addition to all the meals and restaurants we want to go back.

The Fountain
Todd English's Bluezoo (coming soon)
Emeril Lagasse's Emeril at Universal Studios
Donna Scala's La Luce
Thani Thai

Bongo's (coming soon)


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