no matter where you go, there you are

Sunday, June 29, 2014

friends in florida

From Aug 2011 - May 2012, I had the fortunate, and wonderful opportunity to work at an internship in Orlando, Florida. It was a fantastic 10 months; and while the professional experience was full of learning and laughter, the time spent living in the city afforded me the chance to explore a state I knew little about. My previous travel tales in Florida were minimal; a family vacation to Disney with a trip to Cape Canaveral, another (short) Disney trip in addition to the Everglades, and a week in Naples as a last hurrah with my best friends before graduating high school. Okay, so looking back, maybe they weren't that minimal. But having the chance to live in Orlando did provide me with the ins and outs of being a full time Floridian as well as being able to spend beautiful sunny days at local state parks, and gallivanting off on weekend trips with visitors. Because when you're friend is in Florida, who doesn't want to visit and escape the cold winter of New England?

The end of March proved to be the best time for my sister and best friends to come down as it was Anne's spring break; and as I was not running a show, had my weekends completely free. So it was then that she, and my two best friends, L and O, flew down. It also happened to be when "The Hunger Games" was released, so what better timing than that? After a long day at work, I picked them up at the airport, and we headed off to a midnight showing filled with tweens, teens, young adults and fabulous Hunger Games nail polish (courtesy of Anne.) The movie was awesome and we all had a blast!

Up semi-early the next morning, I took the gals to the Orlando Repertory Theatre, my then-current home of employ. We attended a rousing field-trip performance of "Lyle the Crocodile" which was spectacularly produced (just as all the Orlando Rep shows are); and I found it quite fun to actually see the show from the audience as I had only previously seen it from the set change POV whilst roaming the hallways backstage. After the curtain went down, my besties got a backstage tour where I showed them the wings, set pieces, SM office (with puppets) and scene shop. Before long, we were off and headed towards Crystal River, FL.

After lunch at Grannie's restaurant, we arrived at the hotel and since it wasn't super late in the afternoon, took full advantage of the Florida sun by laying poolside for a few hours. Ahhhh, just what the vacation doctor called for. Dinner was at a lovely restaurant next to the hotel where we enjoyed a tasty outdoor meal complete with mosquito bites. For dessert, the neighboring ice cream store was the perfect bookend to our day. Exhausted after the long, adventure filled day we easily fell asleep, eagerly anticipating the manatee tour the next morning.

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