We’re off like a prom dress…

Well, it’s our last night in the Sunshine State and rather than writing individual posts on the remaining places I haven’t talked about yet, I thought I would just do a little summary.

On Tuesday, we went to Hana Sushi, located at 397 E. Altamonte Drive in Altamonte Springs. As you can guess by it’s name, this is a sushi place — a strip mall sushi place. It was pretty good though. Not as good as our favorite sushi place here (Amura

), but tasty none the less.

D. tried the Kizakura Sake ($8.75) and I just had a house Chardonnay ($4) for drinks. We started with salads… a house Ginger Salad ($1.75) for me and the Tuna Tataki Salad ($8.95) for the Husband.

Both were fresh and tasted good… and as you can see by the picture above, the Tuna Tataki salad was huge! For dinner, we got Salmon Sushi, Eel Sushi (both $4), and an assortment of rolls: Asparagus Tempura Roll ($3.25), Fiji Roll ($9.95), Crunchy Tuna Roll ($4.95), Florida Roll ($5.50), Walker Roll ($8.75) and a Crab and Salmon Roll ($7.25). The sushi was fresh, prepared nicely and very affordable.


Hana Sushi in Altamonte Springs

On Wednesday, we went to the Central Florida Zoo which is definitely a great little place to visit if you are in the Orlando area. The entrance fee is $9.95 for adults and $5.95 for children ages 3 to 12. Even though they have several alligators within the zoo, we were fortunate enough to see one ‘in the wild’ as well — in a pond located on the property. Kind of ironic…

On Thursday, we went to the Magic Kingdom

during the day, where it was very crowded and where the 3-yo got his face painted:

For dinner Thursday, we went to Brio Tuscan Grille in Winter Park. This ‘typical’ Italian chain restaurant is a place we’ve visited a few times… as it has outdoor seating and it’s located in a “Lifestyle Center” — where we went to see Prom Night

after we ate (which, by the way — sucked).

For food, D. had a Chopped Salad ($3.95), chopped greens with tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumber, feta cheese and a red wine vinaigrette. Almost reminiscent of a Greek salad, I really liked the taste of this… as did D. I had the Field Greens Salad ($3.95), with Gorgonzola, pine nuts, Roma tomatoes and a balsamic dressing — also very good. Both were huge portions, dressed nicely and very fresh.

Our dinners arrived before we were done with our salads and we had to tell the server to bring them back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, they appeared again… so we reluctantly accepted them.

I had the Lobster Risotto ($19.95), with Maine Lobster, roasted garlic pesto, asparagus, leeks, Roma tomatoes and a lemon oil drizzle. I couldn’t taste the lemon overtones — and the entire dish was a bit too rich and creamy. It was tasty, but the weight of it was overpowering. The Husband had the Crab Cakes ($21.95), two jumbo lump crab cakes with roasted vegetables and a creamy horseradish sauce. They were chock full of crab meat, with well-balanced flavors and were not too greasy. The sauce was a nice addition as well.

Brio Tuscan Grille in Winter Park

On Friday, we ventured to a local destination I had been wanting to try for a while… Wekiwa Springs State Park.

According to their website: “…Located at the headwaters of the Wekiva River, the beautiful vistas within this park offer a glimpse of what Central Florida looked like when Timucuan Indians fished and hunted these lands. Just one hour from most central Florida attractions, Wekiwa Springs offers visitors the opportunity to relax in a natural setting, enjoy a picnic, or take a swim in the cool spring. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run. Thirteen miles of trails provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Options for camping include a full facility campground and primitive camping areas. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. For information about rentals, call (407) 884 4311…”

This place is really great… we will definitely be going back again. The Husband has been talking about this spring ever since we started coming down here 7 or 8 years ago. We’ve just never had the opportunity to visit.

This state park is a lush, tropical forest, teeming with wildlife, hiking trails and a crystal clear natural spring (for swimming) — where the water is a constant 72 degrees year round and the underground terrain is attractive to scuba divers.

Several historic pictures line the trails, showing the first visitors to the park and what the land looked like in it’s original days.

Wildlife is aplenty, with several signs depicting information on black bears, snakes, bugs, birds and critters… such as these little lizards (which are all over Florida):

We spent the morning sticking our toes in the cool water, wandering the grounds and walking one of the trails, where we encountered lots of local flora and fauna and got startled (read: freaked out) by several squirrels and birds (thinking they were larger animals we should be afraid of!).

On Saturday, we met up with my Brother and Sister-in-law, who happened to have overlapping vacations with us. We went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where the 3-yo and his two cousins (9 and 6) spent the day running around like banshees and having a blast playing in the Dino Dig area:

Then four wheeling through the Kilimanjaro Safari and eating lots of junk food. We were even lucky enough to score a “38 inches tall” bracelet for the 3-yo (even though he is barely 37 inches tall) so that we could all go on the Kali River Rapids.

All-in-all, a good day — especially because the temperature was comfortable and the skies were overcast… helping us to avoid a day of overheating and sunburn.

On a final Florida note… a picture something you won’t find in Massachusetts (thankfully). Gross, huh?

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)