Our 18-Month Florida Vacation Playlist

For videos of our most recent time living in Central Florida, check out our 18-Month Florida Vacation Playlist on our new YouTube Channel.

Leaving Florida: What I Will Miss

I will miss the morning sunlight peeking through the trees,
Soaring birds chirping their morning wakefulness,
Squawking gulls flapping their wings,
Treading shore birds scanning the pond for breakfast.

I will miss sipping my coffee on the lanai greeting the dawn with prayer,
Scribbling my early thoughts,
Clearing my mind of nighttime fears,
Making room for gratitude and thankfulness.

I will miss cocktails and apps overlooking the springs at the BoatHouse,
Strolling World Showcase,
Martinis in the Wilderness,
Dipping my toes in the ocean.

I will miss our dream kitchen,
White cabinets and quartz countertops,
Undermount lights with a view,
Morning walkers and evening golf carts.

But most of all I will miss
The last house where Skipper lived.

 

An Evening at Wilderness Lodge

We’ve been craving a martini at Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge for some time now. It would be a nice change from hoofing it around a hot park – air conditioning, peace, quiet, ah…

We each had a dirty Ketel One Vodka martini, the Oregon White Cheddar Chardonnay Cheese Fondue that comes with 3 pretzel breadsticks and grapes, and the Asian Sticky Wings. The Cheese Fondue is amazing and the wings are quite tasty, although tonight they were especially salty.

We noticed the famous Artist Point Mushroom Soup is on the lounge menu along with the Berry Cobbler (we’ve had the Cobbler in the lounge before), but we decided to save those two items for our final Artist Point dinner at the end of next month right before it becomes the silly Snow White Character dinner. I mean, did they have to convert it completely? How about special occasions or just until 8 pm or something like that?

 

We noticed Artist Point was quite busy last night so maybe it hasn’t been hurting or maybe everybody is just booking it now because they know time is running out but it seemed like there were many families with the stroller brigade crowding the restroom area. Obviously, Disney World is going after the family dollars above all else.

After our lovely little meal and drink, we walked the grounds and while it’s as beautiful and mostly peaceful as ever. We stopped with another couple to get some photos of a rabbit hiding in the flowerbed and took turns taking photos of each other.

Later on our way to what was once the Trout Pass Bar, we were almost run over by two New Yorkers when I paused for two seconds to take a photo. People seem to be storming over to Geyser Point – that place is always a madhouse these days – and the smores area is making it even more crowded.

Note: Rich is standing in front of where we last sat on stools and enjoyed a glass of wine before our last meal at Artist Point over Thanksgiving 2017. Sigh…

We did enjoy another lovely walk over to the cabins – wouldn’t we like to live there? Wow! Of course, we love Wilderness Lodge and in some ways really hate to see these changes impacting that peaceful experience it used to be. It’s sad that the Trout Pass Bar is now a nail salon – I mean, a nail salon by the pool? Seriously? Oh well, I may have to give it a try for old times’ sake.

It was such a beautiful night and we were wishing we were staying over, but, alas, it was soon time to go home. But first we had a quick look around the gift shop and then out to the parking lot to retrieve our car to begin the drive home via the Windermere townhome for old times’ sake. After all, when we lived there, Skipper, Lovey, and Buddy were still with us. It wasn’t such a bad life, now was it? 🙂

Back when the townhome community was new. The trees in front of the townhomes are so huge now, it makes the neighborhood seem much more crowded.

One Year Ago

One year ago we were finishing up packing our suitcases for our flight from Las Vegas to Tampa on Saturday morning. Rich worked that Friday so I was sprucing up the house, doing last minute laundry, and preparing for the pet sitter.

We had until 10 minutes before the flight to cancel so we weren’t actually sure we’d make it back to Florida. But we were desperate to leave Vegas, the real estate market was finally looking promising for selling our house, and we sensed that this trip to Florida was an important one.

So here we are one year later, preparing to pack to move from our temporary housing for the past six months into our brand new Florida beach house. Wow!! We can’t wait to finally start the settling in process.

Highlights from last year’s trip to Florida:

If it’s Thursday, it must be Wilderness Lodge

Rich has been quite interested in getting back to Territory Lounge, and I’ve been craving their Dirty Martinis so off we went after work last Thursday. Of course, the drive turned out to be hellacious – there’s no good way to get around Orlando these days – even the toll roads are backed up during commute hours.

We arrived eventually and just entering the WL property makes it all worth it. Our favorite tables at TL were not available, but we found another and looked at the menu. Right away we noticed our usual pizza was no longer on the menu and since this would be our dinner, wings just would not do. So we headed for Geyser Point.

The tables were occupied but we were curious about sitting at the bar ala the old Trout Pass Bar. We found two chairs facing the water, offering a gorgeous view at dusk.

We noticed right away that our favorite from our first visit, the Salmon BLT, was no longer on the menu so we shared a Chicken Sandwich with an order of Fried Oysters and two glasses of Sokol Blosser Evolution. Drinking in plastic cups is no way to drink a Dirty Martini so wine was our best option.

We were sipping our wine while waiting for our food. A couple sat down next to us, ordered a couple of sandwiches and were served while we sat there without food. We were getting very hungry and quite miffed. We asked about our food and somebody went to check.

Still no food. We were getting quite annoyed and ravenously hungry so Rich asked again and somebody ran over and said they would look into it. In the meantime, the couple next door finished eating.

The food eventually arrived, we ate, it was quite good, and we were comped the food. We said goodnight to our servers and walked over to get a closer look at the cabins and fell in love with the place. Rich chatted with a guy we’d seen at the bar ordering a double Jameson now enjoying his drink and cigar on a beautiful quiet night.

Overall, it turned out to be a wonderful evening, and we are hoping to stay onsite soon. Day trips from the beach will be too grueling as they almost are from North Orlando.

Photos below (we forgot to capture the food but found one of the oysters – no such luck with the chicken sandwich.)