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We had a very pleasant experience at the Philadelphia airport having gotten into TSA pre-check status. No line, no disrobing -- more time to drink beer and enjoy our cheesesteaks. We changed planes in Atlanta. Both legs of the flight were uneventful. We had a little trouble find the expressway after getting our rental car, but once on the road didn't have any trouble finding the resort since we had stayed there back in 2008. This stay we had a unit whose balconies faced on to the Disney property just across I-4. There was road noise but we didn't mind too much.
We planned to have our Sunday dinner at the Sanaa restaurant at the Disney Kidani lodge. The nice thing about, doing so is that if you arrive early, you can tour the lodge and see a bit of the wildlife all for the price of dinner. Then, with our early dinner reservation we could still watch the animals as we started our meal.
Here are some random shots around the time share and our meal out at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, which was billed as a 'starving artist' hangout. It was a fun place and the food [mostly tapas] was great. We took the time to enjoy that ammenities of the resort including the gym and of course the pools.
Leu Gardens is owned/run by the city of Orlando after the property was given to them. It is a great place to enjoy some peace and quite and commune with the more natural side of central Florida. We spent most of a morning and early afternoon walking around the grounds. There is a $10 admission fee, but we felt it was well worth it. There were more than enough photo ops and cooperative creatures as you can see below. The only exception was the zebra butterfly, who refused to alight long enough for me to photograph it.
More general shots around the condo. After out visit to the Leu Gardens we stopped at a Greek restaurant near the convention center. This was the first time I had fresh chickpea appetizer served in a mortar and pestle at the table. The place was not crowded for our late lunch but food was great and authentic. We do actually own a week of a time share in Orlando and usually visit if we are in the area. We had a free nightly fireworks show courtesy of Uncle Walt and we watched the show every night but one during out stay.
We did do a lot of our own cooking. There was a fancy Publix grocery store almost within waling distance in Celebration. One evening we tried to replicate the roasted pear delight we had a Cafe Tu Tu Tango. We need a little more practice, roasting the pears less and using less chocolate! But out version still tasted pretty good. For most of our lunches, we 'ate in', usually on our balcony.
Our last day in Orlando was the worst weatherwise, with intermittant showers. So after checking out, we stopped to visit the Art of Animation resort at Disney -- one the newer resorts. It was very kid friendly, except for the mushrooms. We also spent some time back at Downtown Disney -- after all, what are rainy Saturdays for?
On to the shopping....
All vacations have to end. We had planned to get to the airport early enough to have dinner there even before the rainy weather. It seems we've established a tradition of eating at Macaroni Grill. I have to hand it to the city of Orlando. They have made some very nice improvements to the MCO airport, including adding people movers and completely redoing the food court, since our 2008 visit. Their WiFi was free and easy to access. They certainly know how to cater to visitors.