I’m bringing back my Links To Look At series, which I’m going to try and make bi-weekly. It’s a random compilation of stories, articles and discoveries covering Orlando, wanderlust, travel, restaurants, at home food & drink favorites, and more. I’ll start it off with this adorable footage of pandas playing in the snow 🐼 at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., because everyone could use an extra smile these days!
New & Coming Soon to Orlando
- Baldwin Park has a new wine shop called Golden Hour Wine that I’m excited to check out.
- Pattie-Lou’s Donuts move to the inside of a parking garage reminds me of this bar we went to in Austin (ctrl+f: garage)!
- Good idea: Corrine Drive is getting a crosswalk at East End Market in Audubon Park.
- The Winter Park Art Festival is returning for its 62nd year from May 14th to 16th. Bungalower shares the details here!
- Gordon Ramsay is opening a fish & chips restaurant in Icon Park in Orlando. I was surprised to learn that it’s his first Florida restaurant. More please!
- There are 4 new craft breweries opening in Orlando. One of which includes Big Storm Brewing in Amway Center. Cheers! 🍻
- Milkhouse is coming soon to the Milk District and I can’t wait! It will feature many of my favorite places including Foxtail Coffee, Ravenous Pig Brewing, The Courtesy, Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, and more.
- Ava MediterrAegean is moving into the former Luma space on Park Avenue in Winter Park this fall. This sister restaurant is a MediterrAsian place in South Beach.
The Pandemic Continues
What a crazy ride the past year and two months have been. While many Americans are fortunately being vaccinated, the rest of the world has not been as fortunate. Blogger Lows To Luxe shared a great list of credible organizations to send donations to those looking to help the COVID-19 crisis in India. The numbers are devastating – please help if you can!
- Important reads: COVID-19 vaccine facts versus myths from Johns Hopkins Medicine and How To Better Read COVID-19 Data from The Atlantic.
- The Points Guy shares a country-by-country guide to when you can visit your favorite European destinations, after the The New York Times reported on April 25th that the EU is planning to reopen to fully-vaccinated American tourists as soon as this summer.
- The pandemic’s impact on restaurants forced them to think more creatively. How can you somehow hold onto as much charm as possible while keeping diners safely separated? Architectural Digest and hospitality designers look into The Restaurant of the Future in a post-COVID world. Among them, “outdoor dining reimagined” and “plexiglass begone!”
- Our ideas about what’s safe is going to take time. The Atlantic explains in a recent article titled, Post-vaccination Inertia Is Real.
- These are two interesting articles from earlier this year are about our future in post-pandemic world. “The reality is that much like September 11 forever changed travel, so will COVID-19” – a quote from a Vogue‘s look at how the vaccine will change world travel. Similarly, National Geographic headlines that COVID-19 will likely be with us forever, and this is how we’ll live with it.
I plan to share an updated travel bucket list this month, but in the meantime, here are some wanderlust-worthy reads. For more inspiration and travel guides, check out my Discover page and my Pinterest Wanderlust board.
- I’ve been subscribed to The New York Times morning newsletters, weekend briefings, and phone push alerts for the past year or so and am really enjoying it! They added a virtual travel category that’s been a wonderful escape of wanderlust, like this one – How To Pretend You’re in New Orleans Tonight. I visited the city a few years ago with my mom and loved it! I have a New Orleans travel guide here.
- WARNING: Prepare to be sucked in to this website. If you were a fellow city-hopping traveler like myself before COVID, you’ll enjoy Travel Remotely. It lets you walk or drive or take a train around cities of the world with customizable time of day and ambient noise. You can even listen to live local radio stations. It’s really well-done and so fun to explore!
- One of my reader’s shared this cool virtual tour of the Dubai Miracle Garden (thanks Margaret and Skylar!). How incredibly dreamy is this magical place?! It reminds me of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival here in Orlando.
- For Paris lovers, or people like me who have Paris at the top of their travel bucket list, The Louvre put its entire collection online! I also was in awe of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs virtual experience. Museum buffs would also enjoy seeing Chateau de Versailles in the fall. Lastly, Landon’s walk through Palais-Royal is magnifique!
- One of my favorite bloggers Meghan over at Wit & Whimsy launched Paris Perfected Trip Planning Services that I am DEFINITELY going to use once I plan my Paris trip! In the meantime, she also has a new Paris, Perfected membership (launched last month!) connecting fellow Francophiles in a virtual community as “a way to bring France to you – wherever you are.” Love that! Through the membership, she’ll share members-only content, first looks at new discoveries, offer virtual events (she’s already done a few!), exclusive promo codes, recipes and more. It also includes a 10% discount on all Paris, Perfected travel planning bookings! Bravo, Meghan. 👏🏻
- Here’s what’s involved in the restoration of the Big Ben in London. It has been under construction for a few years, including when we visited – check out my epic London travel guide here.
- I just ordered World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by the late and great Anthony Bourdain, which was finished by his long-time assistant and established writer Laurie Woolever after he passed. Supplementing Bourdain’s words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place. Looking forward to reading it!
- Saves to future vacation places wishlist! These 17 swoon-worthy Airbnbs belong in a Nancy Meyers movie. She’s the filmmaker behind many of my favorite rom com’s including The Holiday, The Parent Trap, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated, The Intern, What Women Want, and more.
- Have you watched Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy yet? We love it! P.S. Bookmark this list of all the restaurants he goes to with his local guides. Amalfi Coast presto per favore!
Returning To Travel
Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I booked two trips for one of my best friend’s wedding – her bachelorette party in Scottsdale, AZ and wedding in Newport, RI. I’m super excited for her wedding, to see everyone, and to travel to two cities (and states for that matter) that I’ve never been to before.
- What Fully Vaccinated Travelers Need to Know Before Planning a Trip from the experts at Conde Nast Traveler.
- I know I could improve in this department: how to travel more sustainably.
- Grub Street reports on Everything You Need to Know About Eating in Restaurants Right Now.
- One of my favorite travel brands Away came out with a new line of travel accessories. Check out my detailed review of their amazing International Carry-On suitcase and how I used it to pack for 3 weeks in Europe.
- 52 Places To Love in 2021 – The New York Times asked readers about the spots that have delighted, inspired and comforted them in a dark year. What’s yours? I loved our recent beach trip to Indialantic, FL. The view from our Vrbo was so relaxing. Having grown up in Palm Beach a couple hours south, the beach makes me feel at home.
I’ll Always Love New York
I’ve said it so many times, but I can’t believe I haven’t been back to NYC since I moved back to Florida. 2020 was supposed to be the year I finally visited, but since that didn’t happen, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for 2021. 🤞🏻
- These 36 vintage photos of New York City, from Coney Island to Times Square, spanning from 1889 to 1999, are pretty special. Times have certainly changed, but the charm and passion will always be present.
- The Infatuation is a great resource for the latest and greatest restaurants in the city. I used it all the time when I lived there! Recently they shared The Best Restaurant Patios in NYC – perfect for enjoying the spring cherry blossoms.
- This Bulova Proud New Yorkers series warms my heart. I’ve been to both Russ & Daughters and Katz Deli. Both are famous for good reason – they’re so authentic and delicious. Gosh I miss a good NY deli and bagel!
Food & Drink Inspiration at Home & On-The-Go
I’ve been doing the keto diet since mid-January and after taking a break this week for my birthday, wow I really feel the difference – in a bad way! It has been fun and educational journey that I’m picking back up tomorrow.
- I shared my favorite keto finds from Thrive Market on the blog last month and am really excited about some of my discoveries!
- Chia seeds are an incredible source of fiber and great for dehydration. I always add them to my smoothies! I also love making overnight chia pudding in mason jars. Some of my favorite ingredients to include are cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, MCT oil, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, collagen powder, berries, nuts or grainless granola.
- Doesn’t these rotisserie chicken lettuce cups with peanut sauce recipe from The Defined Dish look so good?!
- I personally love a green salad, but I know many people don’t. If you are one of those people, here are 10 summer salad recipes specifically for you!
- Bon Appetit created a roundup of their “Readers’ “Keepers”: The 67 Recipes They Keep Coming Back To.”
- Similarly, The New York Times shared their 21 Most Popular Recipes on Instagram.
- The best low-carb wines in 2021. Thank you for sharing @parkgrowurbangarden!
- I recently did a comparison of popular canned seltzers and cocktails. White Claw and Truly are both 5% ABV, 100 calories and 2g carbs, just avoid the Lemonade flavors which are higher in sugar at 3g. High Noon is surprisingly have a little less alcohol but are slightly worse in carbs at 4.5% ABV, 100 calories, 2.3-2.9g sugar. Unlike White Claw and Truly, High Noon’s nutritional facts vary by flavor – lime & peach are the best! What’s your go-to?
- As for cocktails, I’ve been on a paloma kick! It’s made with blanco tequila, grapefruit sparkling water/club soda and lime. If you don’t love grapefruit, you can swap it for an orange wedge (or another flavor of sparkling water) and plain club soda.
What have you been loving, excited for, or inspired by? Leave a comment below or follow along @adventuresingourmet for more.