Stagnancy burns my soul. My bones and muscles physically hurt when I’ve sat/lied too long in bed or elsewhere. I’ve noted that the aches of stillness versus of movement feel so different. The former manifests as an itch, twitching restless leg syndrome, internal bouncing. The latter is deeper, satisfactory. DOMS which raises endorphins and cravings for more miles. Broaden these feelings to my unquenchable desire to explore, local or a little less local, Tampa or Orlando, a cruise across I-4 or a north-or-south set of turns down exits. Just get me in a driver’s seat, and I’m happier.
From a strictly urban-planning viewpoint, I think Orlando sucks. But bear with me, here’s why: I hate tolls and expressways and find annoying the need to toss quarters into an electronic bucket. Orlando is too spread out. Going from one neighborhood to another, largely, cannot be done by foot unless you’re trained for a marathon or just don’t give a shit about calluses or getting jellied by multiple vehicles on some intersection or another. You’ll have to drive, or bus (I’d recommend driving), or nestle in one little area, which I think does little justice to the variety the city offers. Now, the positive. Variety. There’s Kissimmee for Disney / Universal / heavy touristy offerings and Celebration for the rare pedestrian-friendly layout; The Milk District with it’s T.G. Lee plant; Lake Nona and Lake Eola; there’s Winter Park and College Park and Thornton Park and Audubon Park and if-you-can-plug-a-name-in-front-of-park-it’s-probably-in-Orlando. You get the point. Something for everyone.
|| SpringHill Suites, Kissimmee ||
I explored Orlando for one day, but in that span I further supported my self-evaluation as a woman who can’t plant herself somewhere for long without wanting to lace up and go. I’m one of the twitchiest people I know. I could barely pass an hour in the hotel room without wanting to roam somewhere – so at one of those moments I meandered to the lobby and finished Cat’s Cradle. Maybe it’s ironic, then, that when I sneak into the public sphere you’ll often find me hunkered in a coffee shop, sipping a beverage most notorious for aiding various breeds of twitchiness. The atmosphere of a cafe, though, is one of comfort. As lengthy as the line grew and as quick as the seats filled at Foxtail on a Wednesday midmorning, the noise was a sweet hubbub rather than a frantic screech like forks against marble plates. Foxtail is curated with a meld of steampunk and stylish minimalism, rich deep woodgrain and metal. If I lived in Winter Park I’d empty my wallet on soy cappuccinos and bags of their beans, roasted in house behind a glass barrier you can see from the dining room.
Now back home to Tampa. The other day I took my coffee & laptop to the poolside tables to do some research and the subtle alteration in surroundings, not to mention the crisp sunlight and pool babble, did wonders for my mindset. Also why I edit photos in cafes, or sit on my couch to eat oatmeal rather than on my bed. Or vice versa. I find Buttermilk Provisions in Wesley Chapel a perfect little haven for these acts. Slide me a beverage onto the coffee table before a plush pillowed couch and I’m golden. When I need to rest my eyes from the blue light of my computer screen I can gaze out the window or read the several adorable puns on the chalkboard menu wall. Wesley Chapel needed Buttermilk like I need new sneakers. A thread was missing from the suburb and Buttermilk patched up the resulting hole. I seem to veer northward on my days off rather than downtown, maybe because my weekly commutes are always down 275 south, and it’s nice to know BP is a no-fail stopover in that direction.
These are two havens to shake up the prototypical day. Comfortable décor, well-pulled espresso, friendly staffers, WIFI for productivity or browsing Pinterest instead of productivity. If you find yourself in Tampa or Orlando and itch for a little something different, try either of these spots. Of course, there’s others too. Find your jive and dance with it.
// Note: Unsponsored. All opinions are my own.