Kristian’s Winter Getaway – Day 1 – Orlando

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I went on a 4 day trip to Florida for some solo travel time.  This is one of four posts about that trip.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

With my family’s blessing, I went on a 4 day trip to Orlando, Florida in order to check out Universal Studios Florida/Islands of Adventure and their Harry Potter attractions, spend some Disney time via Epcot and visit some family in Clearwater.

I arrived on a Wednesday around noon and figured that this would be my day to bum around and check out the area.

Originally, I had hoped to check out The Holy Land Experience, but it coincidentally turned out to be their free park admission day and there was no parking available by the time I arrived.

So I decided to get a BBQ lunch instead via Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ

…and I had a hard time deciding between ribs and the fried chicken livers.

The rib bones got meatier as I moved from right to left…

…and the chicken livers were even better with the delicious golden BBQ sauce.

Needless to say, I enjoyed my meal there.

Afterward, I headed to the town of Celebration

…where neighborhoods were inviting…

…homes invoked nostalgia…

…and the downtown shopping area…

…had the cutest post office…

…the most threatening barbershop (if you know the story of Sweeney Todd)…

…and some really exotic cat food selections (Woof Gang Bakery).

From Celebration, I checked into my hotel and then continued up the road…

…to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe.

Here, visitors have ample space to pray and worship…

…while admiring the beautiful stained glass windows…

…and the magnificent statues.

Outdoors, there are even the Mother and Child Outdoor Chapel…

…and a Rosary Garden…

…which I strolled through during such a nice Floridian winter day.

I even took advantage of a photo-op in the gift shop.

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That evening, I went to an outlet mall and walked and walked and walked until I was hungry for dinner.

I drove up near downtown Orlando and went to Kabooki Sushi, but there turned out to be a long wait when I arrived (I should have called ahead).

Rather than wait for a table or place at the sushi bar, I ordered my food to go and brought it back to the hotel so that I could peacefully enjoy it while watching TV.

The sushi was incredible!