We started our first day in the Orlando area walking my sister in-law Denise’s Boston terrier Violet along lakeshore drive in Kissimmee, along a little inlet bordering a lake that we couldn’t see because it was so foggy. We did see lot/s of egrets, blue herons and strange ducks with black bodies and red faces, a very brown and big rabbit, lots,of ornate spiderwebs, and my favorite, trees dripping with Spanish moss!
For lunch, we went to the popular tropica mofongo for my first Puerto Rican meal ever. Mofongo is mashed plantains (akin to mashed potatoes) which I had with pork cracklings mixed into the enormous mound and delicious chunks of fried pork with a special orange-colored sauce that even our waitress did not know the recipe for (top secret, she says.) Needless to say, we didn’t finish our meals. Denise’s three meat sandwich (akin to a Cuban sandwich) was freakishly large too.
We drove on a strip lined with ammo shops, buildings shaped like giant swirls of soft serve ice cream cones and hideous theme park-themed emporiums to the Disney planned community of Celebration. Sort of surreal. Very clean and pleasant and bland. Then onto the city of winter park which was packed with strolling people on the main shopping drag. The Tiffany glass museum may be worth a return visit and there was cool sculpture in the downtown park. Rollins college also looked Spanish-lovely. My favorite scene was hari Krishnas dancing and chanting in the park as a red Ferrari parked in front of them.
Tonight we had more Puerto Rican food (roast chicken and rice and beans for a very reasonable $4.99 a plate) at Maleo Bakery, which I had read about and just happened to be not far from the Hilton Orlando where we are staying with conventioneering farmers tonight.