Perfect! I was wondering how to use these pictures I took a couple of weeks ago during one of my many visits to Orlando. Lately, I am on a quest to find things to do that have nothing to do with the usual (Disney, Universal) Orlando attractions. So on this weekend, we happily headed to the Orlando Museum of Art to take in the latest exhibits. Naturally, they did not allow pictures taken inside the museum, but I had enough material to keep me busy with the sculptures that adorn its entrance. And, as a bonus the “Orlando International Fringe Festival” was going on outdoors, right on the grounds of the museum. Food, art and strange sightings. Who am I to complain? LOL
The 3rd Annual Benefit for Cooper Street Kids (After-school program in Punta Gorda, FL) took place last weekend. I enjoyed the Home Tour put together by various clubs and groups of the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association; all proceeds will benefit the After-school program. The home tour was a resounding success, and was well attended by community members and sponsors.
As I told you before, it appears the supply of things to do in our neck of the woods is suddenly unending. I remember saying to anyone who would listen (mostly my hubby) back when we first moved to Florida: “What were we thinking?”, since at the time the sidewalks in town rolled-up by 9 p.m, earlier during weekdays. This was 20 years ago, and there really was nothing to do. For a city-dweller from Brooklyn, such as myself, this was torture.
My solution? Miami is 3-hours south–it seemed appropriate at the time and still does today, to head out-of-town whenever our small town starts to make me feel claustrophobic. These days destinations vary but still, I am a city girl at heart and I crave arts and culture, great dining experiences and more; so whenever I get the urge to wander, I go looking for my fix.
Things have changed. I now marvel at the number of things to do, there are even new restaurants (non-chain) popping up here and there–sometimes there are so many things going on at the same time, it is hard to choose. I love having this dilemma; and yes, there is always Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples, FL within reach, you get my point. One of the advantages of our location on the Gulf of Mexico is that all these cities are within an hour to three-hour car ride. Aah…the Florida life!
Eat, drink and be Italian was the motto of the day and we certainly obliged!
Last Saturday my girlfriends and I had a a great time when we attended the 2nd Festa Italiana held in downtown Punta Gorda; since then, I have not been able to get that Mambo Italiano song out of my head. Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano…(repeat) LOL
The Festa took place over the weekend (Saturday-Sunday) and it was well attended. On the day we were there, we enjoyed delicious food (Sausage and peppers subs, chicken parmesan, arepas–yummy!) live music, a juggling pizza performer, and lots of dancing and singing, all under the sunny (but slightly cool) Florida skies, temperatures hovered around 65-70 degrees along the Peace River.
Admission to the event was $4, free parking was available in the surrounding areas including the grounds of the courthouse; all told, a very budget friendly event and part of the proceeds were donated to local charities. I even witnessed a couple of people arriving by boat, the marina was pretty busy attending to the needs of its nautical commuters. Something for everyone, no one was left out.
Bounce houses, slides and rides were there for children to enjoy, the live band played all the traditional and popular Italian songs which had us all singing or humming, and dancing happily. Vendors displayed and sold a variety of products: sauces, handbags, crafts, jewelry, and more; which made for a good shopping experience. Fireworks over the Peace River marked the end of each day.
Hey mambo, mambo Italiano… Mamma mia, please, get this song out of my head!