A few weeks ago, I went on a work trip to Orlando, FL to attend a professional conference. I was so excited – it was my first time in Florida! Ever! While the conference was good and I learned a lot, I was really excited about what I’d be doing AFTER.
Since the conference was Tuesday through Thursday morning, I decided to stay an extra few days and spend Friday at Universal Studios! (I’ll do another post about that awesome day soon!!! It will have approximately 294 pictures, so prepare yourselves now.) But I still had most of Thursday (the conference ended at noon) to myself and I wanted to find something fun to do.
I’m a member of a Facebook group run by one of my favorite bloggers, and I asked for some help from the other members! I asked, “What should I do for half a day alone in Orlando?” and I got SO MANY RESPONSES! There were a lot of great suggestions, but overwhelmingly, people said that I should go to Winter Park to eat and shop and enjoy the day. So that’s exactly what I did!
I took an Uber up from my hotel in Orlando, and my first stop was the Rifle Paper Co. flagship store. I LOVE everything that they make, and it was so cool to visit their ONLY store! They had a few in-store exclusive items, and also sold everything you can get online. You could kind of peek around the shop wall and see where the designing happens, and that was pretty neat to see people working! I ended up buying a few cards, just so I could say “I bought that in Florida!” when the recipient opened the envelope.
It was a gorgeous day, so next I walked a few blocks to downtown Winter Park. You guys. It was adorable! It consists of a main street (Park Ave.) that is lined with trees and there a cute little park on one side and lots of great shops and restaurants on the other side and I had the best time exploring all of it!
I went through most of the shops (and got a few souvenirs!), went into Lilly Pulitzer and wanted to buy one of everything (I feel like it’s not a real trip to Florida if you don’t go into Lilly… am I right!?!?), got some delicious gelato in the middle of the afternoon because it just looked so darn good, and broke up the afternoon by reading in the shade at the park. It was just a lovely afternoon!
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The evening was a lot of fun, too – I met up with an old friend from Illinois! Our families lived across the street from each other, and we moved in just 1 day apart! She is a few years older, but my sister and I would go over to her house to play, we all did marching band together in high school, and I even dog-sat for her family a few times over the years! She lives in Orlando now, and I was thrilled when she suggested grabbing dinner! It was so much fun catching up and hanging out with her sweet dog!
By the end of the night, I had spent around 7 hours in Winter Park and loved every second of it. If you’re ever in the Orlando area and have an afternoon or evening to spare, I highly recommend going up to visit!