Thursday, January 27, 2011


I'm trying to live up to my promise to myself to make at least the most basic record of my travels. I'm way behind. I have Italy from last fall to write about and a recent NY trip let alone Mexico from last winter.

I started this blog as a way to help me remember experiences from my travels and I feel like it is especially important now because my memory is not what it used to be. Just today Steve and I were discussing a place and I was 100% positive this place was in Miami while Steve thought there was a chance it was in Orlando. On top of that as we were driving around this evening in Orlando there were things Steve mentioned that I had trouble remembering.

So, even if the entries are brief I'm going to try to be better about making them.

This morning at 9 AM we left an icy cold Cleveland and arrived in sunny Orlando two hours later. Warm Orlando? Not really. It was about 65 degrees this afternoon so not very warm but Steve and I were both happy to see the sun!

From the airport we headed to the Vietnamese part of town for lunch at Lac Viet. This is a place I read about on Chowhound but had not before been to. I was concerned when we drove up and saw a big sign on the sign of the building that read "Voted Best Vietnamese in Orlando" or something to that effect. We thought it was OK but not special. In fact, I would say that of all but one of the dishes we had we prefer the preparations of the same dishes at other Vietnamese restaurants in Detroit. We had one new dish that we have seen but hadn't had before and that was Banh Xeo which is a crispy rice crepe folded like an omelette and filled with bean sprouts, shrimp and pork. I was glad to have tried it but have a feeling it may be better prepared elsewhere.

Before we left Lac Viet we asked our server if there were any places around that served fresh pressed can juice. He directed us to Ahn Hong. On the way there Steve said he thought this was the place I was so thrilled about on a past trip because of their wonderful cane juice with kumquat zest. I was 100% certain that the plce he was talking about was in Miami. Well, when we got to Anh Hong I realized that he was right. My concern about my faltering memory was soothed by a big icy glass of fresh pressed cane juice with kumquat. I love this stuff and even have fleeting moments of thinking about opening a sugar cane bar in Cleveland or anywhere for that matter!

After that we headed to our hotel to check in. We dropped our bags of in the room and headed down to the pool. I was not in to going to the pool in 65 degree weather but Steve really, really wanted to so I joined him. It was chilly! After a little time in the hot tub we returned to our room for a nap.

Dinner this evening was at the Nile Ethiopian restaurant. We've been to this place once before on a previous visit and while neither of us thought it was the best Ethiopian we've ever had we both enjoyed it. Tonight the thought of lentils and veggies instead of a big meal was appealing so the Nile it was.

We had a nice first day here in Orlando.

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