Tag Archives: Florida
I had to return unexpectedly to the restaurant I ate at yesterday in Titusville (to pick up the credit card I left there) so decided to see a little more of what I believe is called the cape Canaveral Coast. First stop cocoa beach which has a rickety old ticky tacky pier and several surfers were out on a suddenly cold (50s) but suddenly clear and sunny morning. Fun Fact: I dream of Jeanne (the 1970s tv show) was set in cocoa beach (according to some history I read in a display on the pier). I also saw some enormous cruise ships, which I gather set sail (so to speak) from the area. My favorite high school name in the area was Astronaut High.
After Titusville (with credit card now back in my wallet) I drove along Highway 1, mostly lined by green vegetation and surprisingly free of much development. This the Indian River area of citrus fame so I stopped for some OJ and bought a honey tangelo (a tangerine/grapefruit mix).
In New Smyrna Beach, I drove miles and miles on a narrow stretch of land bordered by apartment building and then beachfront homes (completely obscuring the view) to a cool place called JB’s Fish Camp, that looked like a cross between a fishing cabin and a tiki bar. On the edge of an marshy inlet/river, it has an old deck where I persisted (despite the cool temps)in eating at a picnic table (fortunately The sun was intense). I had a crabcake (a specialty of JB’s) that was memorably excellent and a piece of key lime pie (after confirming that it was white, not green…something my mother taught me as a kid when we’d search for the best key lime pie during trips to Florida). This was almost an ice cream consistency– frozen and cold and fantastic.
We started our first day in the Orlando area walking my sister in-law Denise’s Boston terrier Violet along lakeshore drive in Kissimmee, along a little inlet bordering a lake that we couldn’t see because it was so foggy. We did see lot/s of egrets, blue herons and strange ducks with black bodies and red faces, a very brown and big rabbit, lots,of ornate spiderwebs, and my favorite, trees dripping with Spanish moss!
For lunch, we went to the popular tropica mofongo for my first Puerto Rican meal ever. Mofongo is mashed plantains (akin to mashed potatoes) which I had with pork cracklings mixed into the enormous mound and delicious chunks of fried pork with a special orange-colored sauce that even our waitress did not know the recipe for (top secret, she says.) Needless to say, we didn’t finish our meals. Denise’s three meat sandwich (akin to a Cuban sandwich) was freakishly large too.
We drove on a strip lined with ammo shops, buildings shaped like giant swirls of soft serve ice cream cones and hideous theme park-themed emporiums to the Disney planned community of Celebration. Sort of surreal. Very clean and pleasant and bland. Then onto the city of winter park which was packed with strolling people on the main shopping drag. The Tiffany glass museum may be worth a return visit and there was cool sculpture in the downtown park. Rollins college also looked Spanish-lovely. My favorite scene was hari Krishnas dancing and chanting in the park as a red Ferrari parked in front of them.
Tonight we had more Puerto Rican food (roast chicken and rice and beans for a very reasonable $4.99 a plate) at Maleo Bakery, which I had read about and just happened to be not far from the Hilton Orlando where we are staying with conventioneering farmers tonight.