Orlando Weekend Fun (Part Uno!)

(I don’t know what WordPress’s problem is, but it screwed up this post twice and deleted most of my photos and captions so I’m getting burnt out and the descriptions probably aren’t as great this time around.)
Ahh! I can’t believe I hadn’t shared any photos from my Orlando weekend extravaganza with you all, yet! As you know, my Orlando weekends are up there in my top favorites of anything. Not just because there’s so much activity, downtown is one of my dearest spots of Florida, and I always have a ton of fun but also because some of greatest hearts I know reside in this great little city. I always leave wishing I had a machine that could freeze my weekend and make each minute last a little longer. I’m going to try and be mindful, and remember that every body who reads this blog doesn’t necessarily want to see every single photo I took to document the weekend, (or else we’d be Facebook friends, or maybe Instagram (cupcakesandfireworks) ?) so I’ll try and keep it on the shorter side.
Friday night (after the worst drive on the interstate to Orlando ever, including the most ridiculous rain I’d ever driven in,) we went to a get together, celebrating some October birthdays that the boys dubbed “Real Housewives of Apopka,” (which I would say is pretty accurate.) Met some cool people, drank some good beer, heard some great stories (seriously great stories.) Also, met my new hero Chris who was participating in a 100mile bike ride that Sunday, as a training ride for the Iron Man competition. We chatted training for a few minutes, but seriously – so inspiring! Also, a party-goer gave us a mixed CD to jam out to on the ride home. That was pretty awesome too!
20121023-105652.jpgOctober birthday crew in their crowns.




so handsome!

Tony playing bartender (but really!)



Reunited, and it feels so right.
Saturday morning we made some breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, and coffee.) Then got ready for the day. Ashley came over, and then we made a pit-stop and headed to Gatti’s place downtown. We hung out for a little bit,(read: started drinking before noon,) took the house tour, watched some ESPN game day, then we embarked upon the pretty little scenic stroll to Lake Eola. JD was sure the parade was at one, we walked around checked out some booths, got a little sweaty then we ran into some people who were like no way it’s at 4 silly! So, we took a little scenic walk back to the house, dropping off one crew member at the barber shop on the way. It worked out because we just chilled in the air conditioning, ate some pizza, watched some football, had some great conversation, recharged and then headed out again. I finally got to go to Stardust (this awesome bar I’ve heard about all these years, and never experienced until then,) where we hung out a little longer, played some pool (I took pictures,) and then picked a spot across the street to watch the parade. It was super fun because we ran into sooo many people we knew. I don’t get to go to Orlando that often, so it’s extra exciting when I can see so many people who make my day in one place! The parade was a blast.

Lake Eola
Snapped this one on our first walk downtown.

Animated conversation obviously, in their matching Chubbies.

A little intermission

New Ohio friends, it was their 5 year wedding anniversary! (They were in town before they set off on a cruise the next morning!)

Ashley’s like a pool shark, and Tony was playing model.

Group shot at Stardust.

Look who we found! Note that Orin does not have a scar from our NYE incident, and he doesn’t hate me. And I hadn’t seen JD’s old roommate Frank since they moved!


They had a good spot to watch the parade and eat their ice cream cones.


Had to document this because everytime I look at it, it cracks me up!




My favorite float!

so cute!


The cool radio station in middle school.

Full of parade swag to take home to their son, since everyone gave Gatti like nine million things.




Ashley and I were backseat buddies on the ride to Publix.

Pretty sky in the parking lot on our Publix run.
After the parade we went back to the boy’s place, ate JD’s awesome pulled chicken sandwiches, and watched some football. Like I said some of these were Ohioans, so we watched the Ohio State game (which they won.) And I wasn’t subjected to our ugly FSU loss, though I did hear and see the painful updates.
The funny thing about the weekend, is that I had just been telling my mom one of my favorite parts of being in Orlando is that I’m around people who have similar thought processes. We get each other, we want some of the same stuff out of life, have similar views on politics and equality rights. I was just saying that the atmosphere makes me so happy even if I’m not having some deep heart to heart. The funny part about it is that it was a great balance of both, I did get to have some deeper conversations, and the entirety of the weekend just filled my heart up with a new zest for life. If it had been waning at all, the battery life just charged right up. (Of course everybody always tries to talk me into moving, and I am so so tempted.)
Be on the lookout for Orlando Weekend Fun Part Dos, which will feature corn maze fun!

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