Orlando Weekend Travel Guide

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Hello friends! Over a month ago we took a little trip south to our neighbor city Orlando, just a two hour drive from Jacksonville Florida.  We had a little three-day weekend where we visited our favorite spots, coffee and meet with a new friend.  Most of the time it was me and Atticus.  He behaved so good too! I guess he is getting older (I’m not crying, you are crying).  I shared all the spots I visited over on my Instagram and so many of you were so interested in me to do an Orlando guide.  So here it is!  All in one spot!  You might notice there are not many eating places.  The reason behind this is that traveling with a toddler sometimes requires quick decisions (like Panera takeout because he is so tired and wouldn’t do well if we go somewhere).  And that is ok!  When you travel with your kids, you always have to have a strategy to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.  He is a human being too!  You can read more about the Reasons to Travel with Your Kids in this post! Now, let me share with you the places we visited on our Orlando weekend trip.

1. Florida Cactus

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Florida Cactus is just outside Orlando, in Apopka.  Every time I drive to Orlando on a weekday I make sure to stop here! Florida Cactus is a wholesaler and retailer of cactus and succulents, where you can shop for your business or home a wide selection of beautiful green friends.  They have over eight green houses you can walk through with hundreds of cactus and succulents.  Also, perfect places for pictures!  I would recommend not going during the summer days, as green houses are extremely hot.  Plus we are in Florida.  So go really early in the morning or wait for colder days!

2. Black Bean Deli
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Black Bean Deli is a must stop every time we visit Orlando.  Cuban style delicious food, pretty identical to Puertorican food.  That is why I have to stop there every time and get my fixed of pork and plantains! I believe they have more than one location, but I always go to the one on Colonial Dr, also knows and the Mills50 district.

3. Lineage

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Our #1 interest in our travelings is visiting coffee shops.  We need to visit every coffee shop we can find in a different city.  So this little guide is packed with Orlando coffee shops.  We stopped at Lineage our first day and we loved their new space! We had visited them at their first counter space at East End Market (a spot we usually visit, but didn’t had time this time around!)

4. New General

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New General is a newer cafe in the heart of Winter Park.  I wish this spot was around the corner of my house!  Love their food, home goods, curated apparel and coffee bar!  A place you would love to sit at and spend some time with a love one and just browsing and eating everything they offer!  Mills50 area, down the road from Black Bean Deli.

5. Deeply Coffee

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New coffee shop in the Orlando area.  This space is what dreams are made off,  I can move just right in!  Loved the coffee and atmosphere, Atticus did too! We met the owner, he was so nice and helpful to his customers.  Great job with this new space!  Lake Eola Area.

6. Downtown Credo

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As far as I know, Credo has been the local coffee shop from Orlando area.  They have a few locations and we have visited two so far.  This one is Downtown Orlando – North Quarter Market Area.  So far, my favorite of their locations.

7. Hunger Street Tacos

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These tacos were seriously my favorite!  Cute little place, some seating in the back.  Nothing extra fancy, making the food so much better! My favorite one was the Suadero taco, even got two more to go…. So yummy, definitely going back next time in town! Winter Park Area.

8. The Heavy

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Ok, this place was a surprise for me!  I thought I was going to walk to a normal retail plant place.  When I park my car in front of the location, it is a whole building!  It is like plant heaven warehouse.  You can find a flower bar to make the perfect bouquet.  It has a retail area you can purchase lovely thing for your home and new plants.  A room full of plants for people to browse and buy a new plant for their home.  I’ve seen people do small events here and photo shoots.  It is a new business that just opened in the Winter Park Area.

9. Craft & Common

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Another new coffee shop that just opened in Orlando.  I am so surprise at how many beautiful places are opening in this city!  The person that created this space definitely has an eye and passion for interior design and styling.  Their mocha was so delicious!  They offer craft drinks that sound pretty good, wish I tried one! They have a small retail area too, so you can shop while you sip coffee.  Lake Eola Area.

10. Se7ven Bites

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Talk about comfort food!  Biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, grits, mac and cheese.  The definition of comfort.  Be prepared to be really full and tired after.  Northeast Orlando Area.

11. Disney Springs

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People always think of Disney when they hear Orlando.  We never go to Disney parks when we go to Orlando haha.  We usually stop at Disney Springs.  Is in the Disney area and you don’t have to pay to go in.  Is an open shopping center with Disney stores and a brand new area with major retail stores.  There are different restaurants too.  They did a beautiful job with the extension of what we used to know as Downtown Disney.  A good place to get a feeling of Disney without going to the parks.  Kissimmee Area.

12. Winter Park

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You may have noticed, many of the places I visit in my time in Orlando are in Winter Park, just right outside Orlando.  Winter Park is full of restaurant and stores and beautiful neighborhoods.  Farmers Market on Saturdays and big park to spend some time walking around.

13. Rifle Paper Co

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Yes, Rifle Paper is based in the Winter Park area, right outside of Orlando in the state of Florida!  Love visiting the original Rifle Store and see the behind the scenes in the background.  Be sure to stop by and buy you some Rifle Paper goodies (or all of them!).

14.  Other Places

I have two places I have in mind I would have love to add to this list, but didn’t had a chance to make it this time around.

First is East End Market, an inside market with different vendors, restaurants and coffee.  An outside patio to eat or drink your wine and beer.  You can shop for plants or walk through a small garden too! In the Audubon Park Area.  Every city needs this type of market.

Second is Prato, a pizza restaurant in the heart of Winter Park.  Many have recommended eating at this restaurant, but unfortunately haven’t made it there yet! I recommend you go and tell me about your experience.  It is a beautiful place too!

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Hope this was helpful and you get to visit some of these places next time you visit Orlando!

Love,

Natalia

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Curious Natalia

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5 Reasons to Travel with your Kids

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One thing my husband and I promised ourselves when we started planning to have a baby is that we wouldn’t to stop traveling after becoming parents.  I KNOW the struggle that is traveling with little ones, but we didnt want to just give it up because that is what most parents do.  We wanted to try it out knowing we would have challenges, but not giving up on one of our passions. Back when we were imagining ourselves as parents, we would see ourselves traveling all over with our son/daughter.  It’s a dream of mine to travel all over and I love thinking how we can do it as a family of 3 now.  I am so grateful that we are able to give Atticus so many experiences that Justin and I never had growing up. Now we can go through these amazing travels together as a family.   At his age he has probably experienced more than I ever did in my 20s and I love giving him memories to look back on.

So here are my 5 reason why you should travel with your kids!

  1. Experiences.  There is no better gift to give your child than life experiences.  Taking them new places, as hard as it may seem, will give him experience to be somewhere new. He will eventually learn how to travel and get used to and love it as much as we do. Seeing new sceneries, exploring outdoors, eating different foods, feeling different seasons, staying new places.
  2. Memories.  Giving him all these experiences will create memories that will last a lifetime.  Not just for him, but for us.  This is so fulfilling for anyones life.
  3. Strong family bonds.  I believe while doing the things we love and spending this quality time as a family creates a stronger family bond and relationship with each other.  Being outside the comfort of your home and daily routines can help us learn much more about each other as we are in new places seeing and trying new things.  We are also 100% of the time together, this creates conversations and more memories for a lifetime.
  4. Breaking routines.  Traveling while being a parent is so necessary to break routines and little mental break for our daily lives.  Even though we are parents, it doesn’t mean we need to stop doing the things we love.  Why don’t we invite our kids to be part of it?  Our kids are watching everything we do and how we are as a person.  I feel they learn everything from us, so show them your passions so he can create his own and do them with his kids in the future!
  5. Education. There is not a better way to educate your children than through immersion and hands-on experiences. Going to the aquarium or to a new museum can give new opportunities for your children to learn about topics they may not encounter in their day-to-day lives.  They love learning more this way than their regular classroom, at least I think is more fun!

I hope you enjoyed reading the “Why” to travel with your kids and understand our perspective!  Non of this is saying it will be easy, especially the younger years.  I have a toddler, I KNOW!  In no way I want you to think our lives are perfect and we don’t have challenges when we travel.  Always make sure to add activities that they will enjoy!  It is hard, going out to eat has to be short and we have to take a break in the middle so he can take his long nap.  It is all worth it.

Love,

Natalia

 

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Curious Natalia

Marble and Pine Local Flower Shop

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I am a sucker for beautiful local spaces you can come in and get inspired.  I am always on the lookout for new places to visit in my own city.  I know it’s something we love to do when we go out of town, finding local coffee shops, boutiques and shops that are unique and aesthetically beautiful.  But, we don’t go out of town all of the time, so we have to find our own inspirations in our own city.  When I heard Marble and Pine was opening a shop right here in Jacksonville I was so excited! I knew it was going to be an awesome space and when they opened I couldn’t wait to visit.  And yes, when they open it was just the perfect little flower shop you can come in and get floral bouquets or make your own bouquet from an assortment of fresh blooms.  They also have a boutique section where you can buy a card to add to your bouquet to gift someone, a selection of candles, pots and baskets, succulents and cactus! The people there are so nice and inviting, making the whole experience so lovely.  I met owner, Chandler, and I just loved her! She is so talented and creates the most beautiful floral creations for weddings and events, it made me want to do my whole wedding all over again!  I definitely need a vowel renewal…

One thing I am most excited for is their Easter Wreath workshop on April 15th!  Give me all the Eucalyptus and flowers!!  I would love for you to join me this day and have a great time while creating beautiful wreaths (with the help of Chandler!).  You can buy your ticket here and get a 10% discount with code Natalia10.  Hope to see you there!

Love,

Natalia

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Curious Natalia