Oct 29, 2014

Completely in the Timezone. Eat, Play, Love.

Poolside art on a large rock at Loew's Portofino Bay Hotel.  Metaphorically speaking, getting through the jetlag coming home to Sydney was like climbing out from under said rock.

It's been a very long three days but the good news is I'm back.  All of me.  My brain has finally caught up with my body and I'm glad to report that we are both in Sydney and on Sydney time.  I did all the right things on the plane to try and minimize jet lag coming home on Sunday - fetching pressure stockings under my jammies, sleeping on the plane, taking regular mid flight walks and keeping my fluids up but it all came to naught when we landed.  Perhaps not so much of that fluid should have been bubbles....

I'm back into the swing of things at work, standing order at Oliver Brown included.

Shift - Boden, necklace - Red Phoenix Emporium.

It's been good weather for being #frocktastic.  Slipping on this Boden shift dress today.  Did wonders for the last dregs of my jet lag induced brain fogginess.  Orange, fuschia and applique - how could I not feel awake, alert and very much in the present time zone?  Not to mention the well known fact that a white necklace helps cast an illuminating light over a face that may be a little worse for wear.

In honour of it being my first week back at work, I cracked open a new MAC eyeshadow.  It's called All That Glitters and it's a lovely everyday shade that you can wear on its own without the need for the added complexity of having to contour and highlight with additional eyeshadows.  Add  a slick of eyeliner and mascara and you're work ready in minutes.  I'm still in love with those Sephora 12 hour waterproof eyeliner pencils.  Thank you to readers who gave me the heads up on the matching lip pencils from the line as well as other Sephora finds.  Won't be too long now until our first Australian store opens.  

It's the psychology of it.  Those Butterfinger Bites are healthy by association.  Look how close they are to my apple rings and Toddler SSG's favourite organic muesli bars.

On the home front, I'm all unpacked.  My Butterfinger Bites have pride of place on the very top shelf of the pantry.  Wonder how long they'll last.  It was destiny finding them on special at the store near my departure gate in Dallas Fort Worth.

I'm also very proud of the fact that I managed to fix the printer I nearly broke when I tried to print my holiday itinerary the night before I left Sydney.  The secret to seemingly terminal paper jam?  Pop in a new printer cartridge and keep reloading it until the jammed paper gets rolled out.

Of course, I had top level technical support on hand overseeing my repair effort.  Our roles were reversed and it was I who made the mess while Toddler SSG who sat quietly at the computer with the wireless mouse, ignoring the chaos being created around him.

As good as it is to be home, I wouldn't mind one last look at some of my holiday snaps.

I had an almost 'Eat, Pray, Love' moment whilst having my last breakfast at at the piazza overlooking Portofino Bay.  French Toast with a Mimosa and a side plate of maple syrup.

I felt as if I was in somewhere in Europe, eating outside with ornate lamps overhead and romantic terraces surrounding me.  A sense of adventure in the air and a hunger for decadent food in my belly.

My travel posts tend to be food and shopping heavy so I'll try and break the monotony with scenery shots every now and then.

There's a beautiful, tree lined path that linked our hotel to City Walk, the eating and party hub that awaits punters as they stream out the gates of Universal Studios and its neighbouring theme parks.  Despite the Florida sun, walking through the gardens was a cool and soothing experience and the perfect thing to do if you need to walk off dinner rather than sleeping it off in a resort water taxi.

Too tired to walk and bored of the boats?  Then a rickshaw can get you where you need to be.

I never did get around to trying out the rickshaws, walking or sailing were my preferred transport options.  My favourite part of the walk was standing amongst the bamboo and hearing the wind whistle through it, making the bamboo softly clank together as it did so.

I took in some of the local architecture as I walked.

The elegant landscaping and lines of the hotel properties were a welcome contrast to the glitz and va-va-voom of City Walk.

Not that I didn't love the va-va-voom.  I couldn't resist taking a photo of the iconic Universal Studios globe and water feature.  I just wasn't quick enough to get a shot of Australia.

Remember way back in the early nineties when a Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt was it and a bit?  I remember buying one in Singapore, what I actually ate when I visited the cafe was irrelevant.  It was all about the T.  Well, on this trip, it was the reverse.  It was all about the food.  I was in America, home of the burger and tasty deep fried things, after all.

The decor inside this particular Hard Rock cafe was part celestial (check out these stained glassed windows and the roof detailing) and part old school pub.

With such eclectic decor, I had no trouble fitting it and worshipping at the temple of rock with a very girly prosecco cocktail in one hand and my iphone in the other.  Toddlers dressed as princesses bopped along to Joan Jett and infants sat in meditative silence in their baby carriers as Cold Chisel thumped through their little bodies as their tattooed dads in muscle shirts nursed a cold one.  They really do love all and serve all at the Hard Rock.

To make up for the whole slider and dude food phenomenon in Sydney completely passing me buy, I ordered a pulled pork slider with a side of onion rings.  You know, to perfectly accompany that elderberry cocktail.

Dessert with a conscience.

And then I went all girly and breast cancer aware with a square of frosted red velvet cake.

My after dinner walk took me to the official restaurant of the NBA where I tried to fit my hand into Scotty Pippin's handprint.  The only NBA player whose name I recognized in the handprint hall of fame...

It's a sign of the times that even theme parks have to adhere to the state of high terror alert in the US.  There were metal detectors at the entrance to Universal Studios and bags were checked at multiple points both at City Walk and at the water taxi departure points behind the hotels.

During my stay in Orlando, I was determined to catch up on all the food trends I read about back home but never quite got around to actually tasting.  Next on my list after sliders was fancy Mexican served from a food truck.

Antojitos, a new eatery on City Walk got it in one.  A funky food truck parked outside the cavernous restaurant was serving quick and tasty eats to passersby.

While those opting to dine in got that massive bowl of corn chips and dip on the house.  That's just for one person, mind you.

My main course were these adobo chicken fajitas and they were amazing.

The chicken was tender and richly seasoned.  It was such a pleasant surprise to be served authentic and skilfully prepared food in the middle of a tourist centric theme park promenade.

A little bit of home nestled in a bookcase in the homewares section of Anthropologie.

Changing tack somewhat for my final day in Orlando.  I cabbed it to the very fancy Mall at the Millenia.  Where the stores were fancy and beautifully appointed in the merchandise display stakes.  One of my favourites was Anthropologie, home of all things shabby chic and boho.  Everything was much too spendy for me so I left the mall strangely empty handed compared to how trips to the nearby outlets ended for me.

The food court was rather slick as well.

I had a very sensible lunch of brown rice and Actual Vegetables.

Followed up with a bit of takeaway from The Cheesecake Factory which has a restaurant on the ground floor and queues of customers out the front door from the moment they open their doors for business.

With reference to my tropical and beachy surrounds, I had a slice of pineapple upside down cheesecake.  When it comes to The Cheesecake Factory, their slices of pie never seem to be big enough for me.

And that's a wrap.

Orlando, you were beautiful.

Thanks for a break that had it all.  Even bacon.

Because everything tastes better with bacon.

1 comment:

  1. Shopping photos are good! I love a good shopping photo.


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