Blogging God Food Shopping Commerce Driving Travel News Geography

Orange County Florida

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. Last Saturday morning I headed northward from my new home in the Florida Heartland (rural South Central Florida). I drove through Polk County – and then into Osceola County – and then into Orange County. (That’s where Orlando is, and I did enter into its sprawling city limits.)

Once I entered into northwestern Osceola County – rural evolved into suburban – with more homes, and stores, and restaurants, and of course – heavy traffic.

I spent the day with my brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces – visiting from the Dallas Texas area. As an aside – news broke that (Saturday) afternoon about the mass shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets. My family lived in Allen for about 6 years from 2007 to 2013, and since 2019 they’ve lived in a nearby suburb within a half-hour of that large outdoor shopping mall. I’ve been to that mall countless times with my family while visiting them. I lift-up to our God Almighty the family and friends of the victims of the shooting. May He comfort them in this difficult time.

Back in the Orlando area – me and my family spent much of the day at the Orange County Convention Center at a national cheerleading tournament. (My youngest niece is a cheerleader with her 9 and 10-year-old peers.) After that we spent several hours at Disney Springs. Once upon a time (mid-1990s to mid-2000s) I spent many vacation nights partying at Pleasure Island – which is now known as The Landing. I even had an annual pass to the nightclubs for many years. We enjoyed a late-Lunch at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Kitchen at The Landing. The food was good, abundant, and expensive. The front of the restaurant faced one of those former clubs that me and my brother loved to hang out at.

It was a fun but exhausting 189-mile day-trip. It was about 14 miles longer than it should’ve been. That evening I accidentally missed the entrance to the hotel that my family was staying at, and we ended-up on I-4 for a frightening 7-mile stretch. As you may know (as a longtime reader of this blog) I don’t drive on interstates, expressways, or turnpikes anymore (with rare exceptions) due to anxiety attacks. Luckily – it was near bumper-to-bumper slow-moving traffic during the entire stretch, so I was sort of fine with it.

It was good to finally return home to paradise in the Florida Heartland after that Saturday adventure !

Next #TravelThursday I’ll look back at a fun cruise from exactly 19 years ago. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2023 Christopher M. Day, CountUp