Friday, January 6, 2017

A Grain of Salt

Posts done in the last week.
A visit to the Morse Museum with its huge Tiffany collection.
St. Augustine's San Marcos Fort
Old Town
Monday's Mural
Tiffany Chapel
Leu Museum and Gardens
Universal Studios

Saturday we packed up for our move to another resort, just down the street.

Then we did a quick run (well, as quickly as you can on I-4) to Whole Foods. Next up another lunch at Joe's Crab Shack before we checked in at 2PM.

We are in the Wyndham Cypress Palms Resort. Timeshare. We refused the sales pitch, or "Owners' Workshop" as they call it. They offered $125 to attend.

This is very different from the previous resort where we could step out to our car, the office and the pool. Our unit was a single floor house.

We are on the 4th floor of a 5 storey building. We have a great screened in porch.

Biggest complaint is lack of pantry space and all the dishes are in that cupboard on the end where I can't reach anything!

Funny I had to ask a guy at the grocery store to reach the half and half for me this week!

Love the walk-in shower!

There are 15 buildings on the property.

Rather different pets than the last resort!

Sunday New Year's Day we started with mimosas.

Then football, Masterchef Australia, reading and a good dinner.

Monday, which would have been a holiday back home. But everything was open here.
Got a haircut. Then on impulse headed to Disney Springs.
We use valet parking, $20 as we couldn't find the parking.

We were at Disney in 2013 and hadn't heard of Disney Springs, but we both had a feeling of deja vu as we walked around.
I found the following when we got back. Click here for a full history of the area.

It’s official: Downtown Disney is now Disney Springs. Over the course of the massive expansion, Downtown Disney went from the hub of night-life and adult fun at Disney to a family friendly shopping and dining area inspired by turn-of-the-century lakeside towns in Florida. The Disney Springs revamp doubled the restaurants and shops that were at Downtown Disney and now features over 150 venues, in addition to new pedestrian bridges, a connection to the highway and two five-story parking garages.

These boats looked like fun!

We can see this quite often on our drive to I-4.

Stopped at Raglan's, an Irish pub for a beer, sitting outside, not bad on January 2nd.

Tuesday our usual lazy morning, not really lazy, we finalized our drive west next week making some modifications and seeing where we can use timeshare to save hotel costs.

After lunch we headed out to Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens.

Albin Polasek (1879 – 1965)
Heralded as one of America’s foremost sculptors of the twen­ti­eth century.


Cel­e­brated in his own life­time, Polasek cre­ated fig­u­ra­tive works based upon the true struc­ture of nature. His goal was to show the essen­tial unity of form and the beauty of “move­ment,” the flow of one form into another. He felt that move­ment made the dif­fer­ence between a work exud­ing life and some­thing inan­i­mate.
Lovely grounds.

We absolutely loved this piece, the fountain water creates the strings.

You'll have to wait for more photos!

We went to Publix to pick up some groceries and notice that their deli only sells Boar's Head products which are gluten free. They also give you a sample of the item you are ordering, we had delicious pancetta.

Wednesday morning we had rain before John headed out to play golf. I puttered around, cleaning up and doing laundry, Also downloaded some library books and took a walk.
Had the towels changed.

A long way from home!

The squirrels are busy building a nest using the bark from the palm tree in front of our balcony.  Lucky our porch is screened in.

John played Championsgate Course Omni Resort in Davenport.

We finalized our driving plans for the next week. We used timeshare for 4 nights using our points by no money involved. Then I booked 2 nights are Hilton and used points for 1 night while the other I combined some points and only paid $50 for the room. We also get to Las Vegas a day earlier than our booking so we were able to get a night using timeshare points again. 

Tried new yogurt flavours the passion fruit was absolutely delicious!

Thursday John golfed at Falcon's Fire.
Finalized our menu planning for the next week so we did those groceries in the afternoon.

Oh, and you that great pancetta that I mentioned above that was to go into the pasta carbonara, well, it was nowhere to be found when we went to make dinner!! No idea, did it make it into our bags or did it get thrown out by mistake????

Friday we started packing and deciding what clothes we need for the next week, temperatures are going to vary from low 50s to high 70s F.

Then the plan was to go for lunch at P.F. Chang's who have a gluten free menu. And then go on a boat ride.
Well, we had a great lunch.

Dumpling non GF for me.

John had the gluten free chicken lettuce wraps. here's a copycat recipe that I pinned. I would definitely make all three dishes.

Then we shared two gluten free dishes, spicy chicken and Mongolian beef.

We decided to skip the boat ride as we would have to wait an hour for the next boat so we took a quick stroll around Winter Park and then headed back to the condo.

We finished packing, sorted out what groceries/pantry items we wouldn't need until next Saturday as we will be in transit and we can pack the perishables in the morning.

We have 4 timeshare evenings and three hotel evenings until we get to Las Vegas.

The Couple Next Door
The story line was good but became a little far-fetched towards the end. What was more bothersome was the amateurish writing, very stilted

the writing is horribly amateurish. It literally feels like a thirteen-year-old wrote this. Seriously, maybe middle grade mystery books would fit this author better.

Saturday NYE sweet and sour meatballs
Sunday roast beef  roasted potatoes mashed turnip and carrots, brussel sprouts
Monday roast beef
Tuesday Spanish stewed chicken thighs.
Wednesday leftover chicken
Thursday pasta carbonara
Friday chicken


Friday Photo Journal

Weekend Cooking hosted by
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Amanda’s Books and More
West Metro Mommy Reads
 Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy

Weekend Snapshots


  1. The Alaska driver is about as far as you can get on the continent from their home!

    Oh, those pesky squirrels.

  2. Great recap. I like these short novels.😀

  3. So funny about Disney Springs. Oh well.

    Those meals look great, I plan to check out your pin for the copycat recipe.

    You did good on your accommodations as you head west.

    The Couple Next Door -- yes, a little far-fetched at the end. I didn't notice the bad writing as much as you did because I listened to the book and the narrator did a great job. Kind of covered over the flaws in the novel.

    It's been sooooo cold here. I've barely gotten outside at all.

  4. Sounds relaxing to me-I know Ottawa was freezing on NYE. I accidentally misdialed and talked to the people who I accidently misdialed. When they saw I was calling from California they told me how cold it was. Being short does stink in the kitchen. (personal experience). The place looks nice.

  5. Sounds like you're having a wonderful time! I was unaware of the Downtown Disney conversion but it definitely makes sense. It always felt a little disjointed. I love watching squirrels but I think I'd be glad that the porch was screened in too! I'm jealous with how warm it looks in the pictures. I'm only a state north but I'm freezing up here!

  6. I am glad I read your opinion of the Couple Next Door so I can avoid it. How disappointing. Sounds like you are having a blast and I see you got a photo of the hideous Muscovey duck. They plague the ponds in Tallahassee.
    What a fun time at Disney Springs! We have never been there.

  7. Sounds like a good trip.

    I am a bit partial to Chobani yoghurt. Will have to see if we get the new flavours or not.

  8. You make me want to stop everything and just travel!


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