Monday, October 3, 2016

Come Take an Aerial Video Tour of Lake Nona Future Town Center and Lake Nona Landing

Want to know what's really coming to town? Take a six minute tour of the area surrounding 13000 Narcoossee Rd in Lake Nona, Florida located in close proximity to the Orlando International Airport.

Watch this aerial video of the area as it plots all of the future and rapid development in Lake Nona.
 click here:

 Below are illustrations rendered during 2009, 2014 and 2016 
as the area evolved thru that time.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Orlando City Soccer begins construction of a new training center in Lake Nona

Orlando City SC and Lake Nona today announced a partnership for the development of a brand new, state-of-the-art 23-acre training facility at the Lake Nona Sports & Performance District, next to the U.S. Tennis Association’s National Campus currently under construction.

The new training facility will house the Lions of Major League Soccer (MLS), Orlando City B of the United Soccer League (USL), and the Club’s Elite Youth Academy.

Construction is expected to begin immediately, with a targeted completion date in 2017. The project will be privately financed. Tavistock Development Company will develop the campus, which includes six practice pitches (two lighted) and a training facility with a training facility with a state-of-the-art fitness center, player’s clubhouse, locker rooms, film rooms, offices and an injury prevention and rehabilitation center.

Orlando City Soccer Club is proud to maintain its presence at the recently renovated Sylvan Lake Training Center in Seminole County. That facility will become the permanent training home for the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Orlando Pride beginning in 2017.

“This development in Lake Nona is another great example of the Club’s expanding footprint, and the resulting economic benefit, throughout Central Florida,” said Club Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “It complements the construction of our new home in downtown Orlando, and provides our MLS and USL teams with a great training facility also featuring a host of synergistic amenities in Lake Nona. We are thankful for this partnership with Tavistock and Lake Nona, who have been longtime supporters of Orlando City and the sport of soccer, and we look forward to a successful, championship future together.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Northern girl craving some hardshell action? Crabby Bill's is just down the road.

As a born and raised New Englander I've had a hard time finding hard shell clams, oysters and shellfish in the Lake Nona area. Yeah, I know, there are lots of places which feature shellfish on the menu, but none that focus on shellfish.

But we are restaurant savvy, "food groupies" you might say, and tend to dine out 4-6 nights a week. Looking for variety which might include a shellfish oriented menu has been nearly impossible. So I started asking locals where to go outside of the Narcoossee Road eateries. One answer kept coming up, over and over again; Crabby Bill's. Okay.

Okay by me but my husband had a few hesitations. First he said, "I'm not going to a place I don't know how to get to." (Google it...) Anyway, I knew that desperation would force me to find Crabby Bill's on my own, and it did. I took a drive today down Narcoossee Road, into St.Cloud to find Crabby Bill's.

It was about a 15 minute drive from Lake Nona and located in a charming, lake-front neighborhood. I knew right away that this could be the place that I was looking for! Casual and family friendly, Crabby Bill's had an extensive seafood menu, specializing in oysters, lobster, crab and clams. They have fresh grouper, mahi-mahi and snapper on the dinner menu, along with fish tacos and sandwiches for lighter fare. And of course, they have alligator bites!

Crabby Bill's has an outstanding children's menu, a healthy gluten-free menu and many, many special cocktails to enjoy while you sit outside and enjoy the lake front view. You can also find Crabby Bill's on Facebook; and also in Clearwater if you are in the mood for a road trip.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Florida Ranks Number One for Retirement

In case it wasn't obvious, people like to retire in Florida,

A recent study from financial website WalletHub shows that the Sunshine State ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for states to retire in, again. Various aspects — life expectancy, the 65-plus population in the area, etc. — were analyzed when looking at what makes a location favorable for this particular demographic.

Stereotypical "elder activities" were taken into account as well, such as the amount of golf courses and museums per capita.

This placement should come as no surprise, given that Florida had four cities in the top 10 list when WalletHub ranked U.S. cities for retirement in 2014.

Although Florida can hold its metaphorical head high, its overall ranking doesn't mean that it achieved top marks in every subcategory. The "affordability" and "quality of life" rank were at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, but "health care" was all the way down at No. 15.

Despite the mixed ratings in the subcategories, Florida is still better off than Rhode Island, which placed dead last.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Barbecue in Orlando? The Best of All Styles

When I think of barbecue I think Memphis, the Carolinas, maybe Texas, but really not Florida. Yet Orlando has become a mecca, or at least a melting pot for barbecue lovers. Think of it like this, all of those unique styles of BBQ trickled down to the deep south of Florida. So we got it all.

To figure out the Orlando BBQ scene is a heady experience. There are so many, so good. If I've left one out please be sure to send me a note and I will surely include it next time;

4Rivers 18hour Smoked Angus Brisket
4Rivers Smokehouse -  Brisket, ribs,
pulled pork and smoked turkey are a few of their signature items. It gets crowded but no one seems to mind waiting, you're welcome to opt for take-out instead. Barbecue's not a neat cuisine and even 4Rivers' sandwich The Messy Pig with two layers of slaw, pushes the envelope. Some fans swear by the desserts, as well, if you've got a sweet tooth, they are Southern-inspired and sinful.  Order-to-go  (407-474-8377)

Ellie Lou's Brews & BBQ - Ellie Lou's web site promises they'll "rub you the right way," and it appears they're holding up their end of the bargain. With offerings like the Pork & Bleu (chopped pork with EL's signature bleu cheese cole slaw), classics including fried green tomatoes and cheddar grits along with delicious dry-rubbed ribs -- you choose your sauce -- this is a family-friendly haven with a place in its heart for beer lovers. Start your little brew-masters young with a root beer; they've got it on tap.  Order-to-go  (407-347-9515)

Harry & Larry's Bar-B-Que - There's just something about beef brisket and slaw that gets the mouth watering. Or maybe you're a rib aficionado. Or have a thing for smoked turkey. The beauty of Southern barbecue is that you don't really have to choose. Just get a multi-meat plate and dig the H in. One taste of Harry & Larry's wares and you're transported back to that last roadside smoker you hit up on your way from somewhere to someplace else and the only thing you remember is trying to get one more taste of the sauce out from under your nails before resorting to that old Wet-Nap in your glove compartment. Brisket, ribs, sausage and turkey beckon. Stop in for a slab or buy it by the pound and haul it home and become the hero of dinner.  Order-to-go  (407-614-5950)

Pig Floyd's BBQ
Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa - Pig Floyd's ideally sits amid a multicultural stretch of Mills. With Caribbean, Latin and Asian culinary influences finding its way into the menu, PF's allows lovers of traditional Southern Q and those with a hankering for flavors from far-flung places to have fun sampling the menu. Here you'll find the surprise of soy, citrus and curry along with the sweet, smoky profiles you'd expect. Succulent pork belly, tender brisket and pulled share the bill with an array of street tacos, BBQ banh mi and other intriguing selections.  Order-to-go  (407-921-1696)

Porkie's Original BBQ -  Porkie's is a casual, friendly, little place with a massive following they've built over the decade-plus they've been open. Slow-cooked oak- and hickory-smoked ribs are the specialty, but Porkie's burgers, chicken, steaks and hearty sandwiches have some serious proponents. Porkie's has a regular Bike Night, so you can come for the Q and stay for the show as motorcycle enthusiasts roll in for a family-friendly event that draws impressive crowds. Porkie's sauce selection ensures there's a delicious drizzle for every palate. Order-to-go  (407-880-3351)

Pig Omelette - Fat Boy's, St.Cloud
Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q - Located in St.Cloud, this venue is neither fancy nor touristy. They've been slinging quality Q on the relative cheap for almost 40 years, a sure sign they're doing something right.  Hefty slabs of wood-smoked ribs are the stars (sauce them as you like). A selection of sandwiches and classic sides from slaw to mac to barbecued beans should keep you quite sated. You can even come early, too. Fat Boys' serves breakfast in the mornings, beginning at 8 a.m. Order-to-go  (407-892-4400)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

House of Many Colors? Art Glass House Brings Whimsy and Fantasy to Lake Nona

Home construction is nothing new in Lake Nona. Last week, however, a house of a new color was built in town.  This “home” is a kaleidoscope of plexiglass designed by Brooklyn sculptor, Tom Fruin.   His latest rendering of public art stands next door to Canvas Restaurant and Market in the Laureate Park Village Center.

The glass house is the latest in Fruin’s ongoing ICON Series, which have displayed in Brooklyn, New York and across Europe.  The glass houses celebrate overlooked landmarks, taking cues from reclaimed urban design, American folk art and the spiritual qualities of stained glass.  Like the others, this house is designed to capture the sense of its intended location.

Fruin’s work is a complimentary addition for Lake Nona’s public arts endeavors.  Combined with The Beacon and Code Wall, which have already helped define the space of the Lake Nona Town Center, Fruin’s glass house adds another interactive, conceptual – and beautiful – icon to our community’s expressive landscape.