Hey there. So in part 1 i was talking about the journey and arrival to our holiday destination. This time I want to talk about food & shopping.
As Florida heavily relies on tourism,to finance the whole of the state, it is not surprising that the service is unbelievably friendly, courteous, attentive and all round first class. Apart from the occasional staff member in a supermarket or two. But then it doesn’t really stick out that much too us because we’re not really used to this level of attentiveness anyway so when we get a similar sort of person than you would get back home it is kind of familiar.
As mentioned in my first holiday post the very first restaurant we went to was the Longhorn Steakhouse. Everyone was going on about Prime Rib Steak and that it was amazing, but not something you could get in England. The closest you could get to it was the chateaubriand which in itself is fabulous and delicious. The PrimeRib though I tried at the Longhorn was more fingerlicking, lipsmackingly gorgeous. Usually I am not one for ordering Rare steak, prefer medium Rare or just medium. But I tried a piece of my sister in laws steak and that was even better than mine. So yes I will be going for a rare PrimeRib next time. I’m sorry to vegetarians or people who insist on having steak well done. You shouldn’t ever have a PrimeRib well done, the most you should do with this amazing piece of meat is medium rare. It is a waste of a gorgeous piece of meat otherwise in my opinion. I guess you can see from this that I quite liked the meal I had at Longhorn.
The next day we went to Perkins for a late breakfast. As is so often the case we over ordered without realising that we were ordering a bit too much. Let’s get back to the start though. As soon as we walked into the place we knew it was going to be good, it all looked very welcoming, friendly & appetising. Cathy & Paul ( my sister in law & her husband who we have gone on holiday with for the 3rd time now. ) were praising the sheer quality and tastiness of the Coffee at Perkins ( and that is saying something as they aren’t very much into coffee at all ) so I decided to order some myself to see what it was going to be like. The coffee itself is nice enough, nowhere near as strong/bitter as you get back in England which is a plus, but what makes the coffee divine is the wonderful french vanilla coffee creamer Since then we have been to Perkins a few more times, the third time we went unfortunately the service wasn’t as brilliant as before as the waitress we had the last two times wasn’t around and it seemed that they were quite short staffed?! Now to be fair it did actually seem to us as I said that she was on her own serving everybody and not everyone can be happy & smiling all the time.
I mentioned this incident on twitter and the people who run Perkins’s social media picked up on this and escalated this further with the end result being we went back a couple of days later. Our usual waitress was back, the service was excellent and there was no problem whatsoever with the meals and as the manager was in he took care of the bill for us. So it does go to show that the US does customer service in a completely different way than most other countries I know off! we’ve been back since and are planning to go there one last time tomorrow before we head back to the airport!
Other than that we have been to Denny’s for Breakfast where we made the mistake of ordering a full breakfast, plus we ordered milkshakes & smoothies. A reminder for the future if you go to Denny’s for breakfast you either order milkshakes or have a breakfast. It is very difficult to do both! What makes the decision even harder is that both the shakes and the food are rather delicious!
When we went to a huge complex that is the Florida mall we stopped off for a bite to eat at Ruby Tuesday’s which again was really rather delicious. I had something completely different to what I usually have. Just fancied to try something new. It was called the the coastal trio: Tender lobster tail and jumbo skewered shrimp brushed with garlic scampi butter paried with light, flaky tilapia topped with your choice of creole seasoning or a lemon-Parmesan crust. Before that day I never even heard of Tilapia and never tried Lobster before either. You should seriously try it, it is utterly divine. The tilapia with the creole seasoning is just perfect. I was being a bit of a spoil sport, as I actually asked to have fries with it. Hey I love fries, there is nothing wrong with that!
The day after we went to the Winter Garden Village Shopping experience. A huge great big array of shops arranged like a small village. No air conditioned walk ways between shops. It literally is a shopping village. We were going to go to a restaurant called Chilli’s but as the boys had been up all day, without naps and had been really good walking around all of these shops with us, we abandoned plans to go to a restaurant and just filled the car up, bought some drinks & crisps and headed back to our house.
It really is quite different trying to fill up your car over here. You just cannot just start filling up your car, then head inside, pick up a few bits and pieces and pay for everything? No no it doesn’t work that way at all. You either have to pay with a card right there at the pump regardless of if you wanted to go in anyway and buy a few bits & pieces. Or as we did, we went inside, picked up the bits & pieces and asked for $40 worth of petrol, paid for the whole shebang and headed back out, started filling up to exactly $40 and then drove back to the house.
However on the way back to the house, after we all shared a big bag of Lays original we decided that yes we would like something else to eat so I was sent into Publix to get 2 of these huge sandwiches.
Friday was our Date Night, where Cathy & Paul babysat for us ( which was spent mostly in the pool @ a playground and out for dinner at Bob Evans ) which we were & are very grateful for. Obviously we spent most of the day together. Went for a brunch to Perkins yet again. That was the 4th time we were there. As I thought I mentioned before it enabled us to head down to downtown Disney and have some time to ourselves. We went to the house of blues for dinner ( I had some gorgeous ribs & becky had some lovely salmon ) and afterwards we went to the cinema to see “Lucy” which was a bit unusual but still quite entertaining and after that we went back to the house of blues as they had a live band performing.
On Saturday we went to see relatives of ours. Allison, Keith & Douglas Gadd. We had a fun afternoon catching up with everyone and later on we went out to dinner with everyone and went to somewhere called ” Millers Ale House ” which had a shed load of different beers, loads of TVs showing all kinds of different Football & Baseball games. The food was brilliant. To start with I had 35 shrimp blackened. Which was exactly what it said 35 little shrimp cooked to perfection and blackened with a slightly spicy marinade. The main course was marvellous another bit of steak.
Sunday was spent around some more family, Uncle Bob & Aunty Gillian Bellavia. We also were joined by a friend of the Family, Matt Sanford & his Girlfriend Megan, Bob’s brother and his wife turned up too. Aunty Gill was amazing with all the nibbles, food & desert she provided.
Monday I believe was spent going to Perkins yet again ( fabulous again ) and then heading our seperate ways. Becky, the boys & myself went to the central Florida zoo & botanical gardens and after that over to Uncle Bob &Auntie Gill. Where Cathy & Paul had a day all to themselves. In the late afternoon/early evening Uncle Bob & Auntie Gill looked after the boys while Matt, Megan, Becky & me went out to dinner. Colorado’s Steak House I belie it was called we went to, it was superb. You might have guessed it I did have the steak yet again. Probably should cut down on the red meat when we get back home!?
On Saturday while we were at Gill & Bob’s house we booked some online tickets to SeaWorld that were quite a steal. Which we used on Tuesday. For most of the day it was glorious weather. The boys were so knackered after the day going around SeaWorld that we decided they would not be good company in any restaurant. So went home, with a stop off at publix & papa john’s. Cathy & Paul then generously offered that we could still go out for dinner even though the boys weren’t up to it. So we did, we went to Chilli’s to have some Enchiladas and then did some shopping at Walmart.
So yesterday we had a very slow day until the early afternoon, when we went out to the Florida mall to do some more shopping we hired this cute little double buggy for $5 so the boys didn’t have to walk too much. That’s one of the problems with going through big malls that kids get tired and then get grumpy and don’t want to do anything else. After some more playing & shopping was done at Sears ( awesome store that is ) we left the mall to head to Chuy’s a lovely little Mexican place on highway 192. We all munched on tortilla chips to start with, the adults had this lovely, slightly spicy salsa as well. As a main we all had the same: chicken & steak fajita combination. Which was absolutely delicious. I even found the guacamole that came with it rather nice, where as I don’t usually like it much at all.
So today will be spent packing, going to Perkins, going in the pool, doing some more packing and then saying goodbye to the lovely house, the wonderful area of Davenport and heading to the airport to return our brilliant cars and checking in for our flights and heading back home to England.
Stay tuned for part 3…
Theme parks, shopping, and the utter disappointment that was mc Donald’s & chuck e cheese