Happy Friday, everyone! This has been a strange week in terms of scheduling and real life. I’ve been vacationing in Florida since last Saturday and arrived back in Austin LATE on Wednesday night. The first day back at work on Thursday was just strange. Everything seemed slightly off and I definitely did not accomplish what I wanted to. BUT things are looking up! I got some energy back at the end of the day, I have some fun outings planned for the weekend, and I am making some big moves with the blog!
To end this work week on a positive note, let me share some of my favorites from my trip to Florida this past week!
Y’all. You all need to get yourselves down to New Smyrna Beach, FL and go visit The Garlic. WHOA. This place is incredible! This place was recommended to me by my waxer here in Austin. When I told my mom about it, she was all in, and with some arm twisting, we convinced my grandmother to go too. We went super early in the evening (around 4:30pm) on a Tuesday We passed by this place earlier in our trip and it was overflowing with people, so we made sure to go during a not buys time.
I wish I could describe this place in perfect detail, but even if I was a marvelous wordsmith, it still would not do this place justice. When you arrive, you walk into a walkway lined with ivy and lights hung everywhere. It was described to me as treehouse-esque. Before you walk into the restaurant where the host stand is, there’s a huge, brick oven and whatever they were cooking in it smelled incredible! We sat on the very inside of the restaurant, but we saw where there was a certain section of the restaurant that was a somewhat hybrid of indoor and outdoor seating. You’re sitting outside, but there’s an AC vent right above you. Like I said – there is no way for me to describe the amazingness that is this place. You really need to go see for yourself!
My mom and I both had the ravioli bolognese – meat sauce is my love language – and my grandmother had the eggplant parmesan. I really wanted a good slice of lasagna, my favorite Italian dish, but that is something special that they only serve on weekends. All three of us would highly recommend the dishes that we got! Of course, they also had the most delicious bread. It was served with a big piece of garlic that they mash up at the table and combine with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. That wasn’t my favorite, but I’m not a fan of balsamic, so I would definitely try it if you’re a fan of balsamic.
Let’s add another restaurant to the favorites list today. When I landed in Orlando last Saturday, I immediately drove to Disney Springs to meet up with my friend, Kristen, for lunch. I had always heard amazing things about Homecomin’, so we decided to brave the restaurant without reservations and were lucky enough to get a seat at the bar. Even if you can’t get reservations, always try the bar! There are some places where sitting at the bar is kind of a dud, but this worked out very well!
I ate ALL THE CARBS. Homecomin’ is known for its chicken, so I got the fried chicken with doughnuts and it came with a side of mashed potatoes and a Princess Mimosa to drink. Three of my favorite things all on one plate. I also got a basket of the cheese biscuits, which were not as good as Red Lobster – #notsorry. However, they were good when I reheated them the next day, so maybe it wasn’t a total loss.
I would HIGHLY recommend this place! Now, it is Disney, so be prepared to spend money. I actually went twice – I made a special trip back to Disney Springs before my flight and ate it again. Still just as good the second time around! But they charged $4 for a Sprite. $4. For. A Sprite. So yeah… it’s Disney, y’all. You know the drill.
My new favorite airline. Hands down. Period. End of story.
I don’t normally show loyalty to an airline. I’m all about what is cheapest and which airline will get me there with the least amount of frustration. (I’m looking at you, United.) But JetBlue has always exceeded my expectations and continued to do so with this trip! JetBlue has nonstop flights from AUS to MCO, which I use often, and for this trip, I upgraded to Even More Space with an exit row seat. (There weren’t any regular seats available for my flight to MCO and I chose to upgrade for my flight back to AUS.) With a purchase of Even More Space, you also receive Even More Speed, which provides you with access to the priority line at security. This was a huge lifesaver in AUS, when I showed up a little later than I would have liked to and immediately got to go through security. It helped out fine in MCO, but you merge with the regular security line, instead of having your own line. However, I would highly suggest it for MCO because that is a poorly designed airport for the amount of tourist traffic they receive and any upgrade in that airport helps a lot!
JetBlue not only provides you with great seating options, they also have the quickest boarding process that I’ve ever seen. They have DirecTV – so I got to watch Shark Tank and reruns of Extreme Couponing – they give you the full can of soda, and you get as many snacks as you want! And I’m talking name brand snacks – Cheez It’s, Roll Gold, Sunchips, OREOS!
I love JetBlue so much that I shouted them out on Twitter (and they responded with a Powerpuff Girls GIF) and requested that they create nonstop flights to ATL and PIT from AUS, so I can fly JetBlue to all of my favorite places.
I always love getting to take a trip to Basin at Disney Springs every time I’m in Orlando. Their locations are very limited, so I’m glad that they’ve put a store in Disney Springs, so I can smell everything in person. Basin is filled with all the soaps (with Mickey shapes in them), bath bombs, candles, and soap scrubs that you could possibly want! I seriously bought five soap bars, made candles for all the moms in my family, and bought the probably a little too expensive soap scrub that makes my hands feel so, so soft.
If you love Lush or Bath and Body Works, then get your booty to Basin!
Special Favorite: Mayfield Banana Popsicles
One of the things I miss about living on the east coast is Mayfield. Y’all, Blue Bell cannot hold a candle to Mayfield! One of the reasons being is that Mayfield has banana popsicles and they’re the best thing in the world. I would always buy them when I was sick because they’re delicious and they would always help with a sore throat. During one of my daily trips to Publix while I was in Florida, I found some in the freezer section and actually squealed out loud in the grocery store! That was my favorite thing that I ate in Florida, right next to the meals that I had at The Garlic and Homecomin’.
If you’re in the Central Florida area or on the east coast or you’re taking a trip anytime soon, I hope you’ll be able to use this list of favorites to make your day enjoyable! Special shout out to my friend, Kristen, and my family for all taking the time out of their schedules to see me while I was in the area.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And Go Sharks! Since I will not be cheering for the Bruins or the Blues during the rest of the playoffs. 😉