Monday, March 26, 2012

Cruzing the City Beautiful with Chevy

On Saturday I had the priviledge of joining some fantastic Orlando bloggers for a girls afternoon "cruzing" the City Beautiful (Orlando). Joscelyn of Mami of Multiples and Mami Innovative Media set up the whole day for us and GM in the Southeast provided the 5 amazing Chevy vehicles for us to drive. If you're on Twitter and in O-town you probably saw that Chevy Orlando was trending. Yup, that was us.

I palled up with two amazing bloggers, Amanda of EverdayDisney.com, and Suzannah of Zannaland.com. We started our day in a Chevy Cruze Eco and headed to our first destination, the Scenic Winter Park Boat Tour. I never knew there was a boat tour in Winter Park, so I was excited to check it out. The tour itself was about an hour and prices are $12 for adults and $6 for kids, which is pretty awesome. The tour takes you across 5 lakes and 2 channels in Winter Park. Words truly cannot describe how beautiful the tour was and how breathtaking the estates (most definitely not homes) are. We even got to see where Mr. Rogers, as in "it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood", lived when he attended Rollins College.

I would have been inspired to write his signature song as well if I had a view like that.

After our boat tour we headed over to Prato on Park Avenue in Downtown Winter Park. I was sold on this restaurant before we even walked in. Prato is open, airy, and spills out into the street. The whole vibe of the restaurant is fantastic and I'm not lying when I say they make the best caesar salad I have ever eaten. I would sell a vital organ for the recipe to the dressing, no lie.

Prato also had amazing pizzas. One of the pizzas we had was asparagus, ricotta, garlic, and pancetta. SO good!

For our next stop I was behind the wheel of a Chevy Malibu and really utilized Onstar's navigation because I got us lost. Apparently I was supposed to make a u-turn and I didn't and well 20 minutes later we were at our next location. I think our chaperone told the other drivers and I think maybe they cringed when they saw us coming.

So, as I was saying, we arrived late at Farris and Foster's which is a chocolate shop in Baldwin Park. O.M.G. people, you can make your own chocolate here. Foster of Farris and Foster's taught us ladies how to make all sorts of chocolate concoctions.

I made all sorts of treats and debated just laying underneath the chocolate waterfall a few times. In the end I made a couple white chocolate strawberries, a few peanut butter cups (nom nom nom), a few truffles, a chocolate covered Oreo for Aaron, a chocolate covered Nutter Butter, chocolate covered rice krispie, chocolate covered pretzel, a chocolate covered marshmallow, and a chocolate covered caramel (super nom nom nom).

Farris and Foster's has three great locations around Orlando and they offer several options for coming in to make your own chocolate. For us adults, they do date nights where you can make 1lb of chocolate, drink some wine, and have a really romantic night.

I opted out of driving to the next location since I got us um...detoured...the previous time. We jumped into one of the other Chevy Cruze's and headed to our next location, which was Harry P. Leu Gardens. I have heard people raving about Leu Gardens ever since I moved to Orlando, I have just never made it over there. We were given a quick tour of about 1/4 of the 50 acre botanical garden and honestly, the photos I took don't hold a candle to how breathtaking the gardens are.

Bob, our guide, was amazing. He taught us all about the different plants, gave us a history lesson about the property, and even told us how Leu Gardens gives back to the community by donating the oranges from the citrus garden to the local homeless shelters (amazing, right!?). Admission is $7 plus tax for adults, $2 plus tax for kids, and kids 4 and under are free. You can also enjoy the gardens for free the first Monday morning of each month. Check out their website for more info and for a list of events (including date nights and storytime!).

After the gardens we had an hour to ourselves with the cars. We may or may not have bolted for the Chevy Volt, and may or may not have discussed doing a Dukes of Hazard style hood slide to ensure we had the car for the hour. May or may not. We decided to take some photos around the city that really described Orlando. Our first stop was one of the many lakes right on the outskirts of downtown.

This is the real Orlando. Lakes, live oaks, the skyline, and brick roads.

Our next stop was the historic Church Street Station.

The stained glass in Church Street Station is gorgeous and provided a great backdrop for the red hot Chevy Volt.


We shot across the street to the latest addition to the city beautiful, the Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic.

I think at this point our chaperone was wishing he switched cars because then the Orlando Police Department's headquarters that is right across the street caught our eyes and we had to get a picture. Seriously, it should be illegal to drive a car that is this good looking!

Finally, we headed over to the other iconic location that screams Orlando; Lake Eola.

The backup camera came in handy when we (and by we, I mean Amanda, because I was busy tweeting) were positioning the car for the photo.

After our photo tour we hit the road to meet up with everyone at Fogo de Chão for dinner. Since we were taking I-4 to get there we knew we would probably hit traffic and Onstar was kind enough to warn us about the traffic we were approaching and it even gave us an estimate for how long the delay would be. Sold!

Back to Fogo de Chão...this is an amazing Brazilian Steakhouse that just opened on March 15th on I-Drive (International Drive). It's across the street from Ripley's Believe it or Not. I only have 3 photos from here because I was too busy stuffing my face to take any other photos.

Fogo serves 20 different types of meat, has a salad bar, and hands down the best lemonade I have ever tasted. Seriously, when you go, and you know you will, get the Brazilian lemonade. Check out Fogo de Chão's website for more info on prices and the different meats. Oh, and wear stretchy pants, you'll thank me later.

After dinner I drove the Chevy Sonic back to the meeting place. It was a smooth ride, and apparently the smallest of the cars we drove that day. It was still spacious to me and again had amazing features.

I had so much fun on Saturday with all of the amazing women! Thank you Joscelyn and GM in the Southeast for hosting the event!

Check out GM in the Southeast's blog throughout the week for more videos and photos from the event! You can also find GM in the Southeast on Twitter (@ChevyFlorida and @GMSoutheast) and Facebook.

*Disclosure: This tour was sponsored by GM. Vehicles were provided for us to drive and ride around in. All excursions and meals were provided. The thoughts and opinions expressed were not influenced in any way and are my own.*

2 comments:

MommaDawn said...

Looks like y'all had a great time :) thanks you gave me some ideas for the weekends with the kiddos like the boat tour!!

Missy said...

How awesome! I love the pictures!

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