The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The sucking vortex of ill-marked, multiply-named, non-Euclidean roadways designed by a disgruntled parking lot architect that is Orlando

Today we left for Orlando for a short weekend getaway. The plan is to arrive in Orlando (technically, Kissimmee) just before dinner, check into the resort (Bunny has a timeshare in the Orlando area), then head over to Emeril's at Universal City Walk for dinner. Tomorrow is a trip to St. Petersburg to visit the Salvador Dali Museum, then back to Orlando for Blue Man Group. Then drive home on Sunday.

The trip to Orlando was uneventful. The trip in Orlando was horrible. Orlando is this huge sucking vortex of ill-marked, multiply-named, non-Euclidean roadways designed by disgruntled parking lot architects (for instance, W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway is also SR-500, SR-530, US-192, US-17 and US-441; then there's S Apopka Vineland Road, aka CR-435, Vineland Road, and SR-535, which is not to be confused with Apopka Vineland Road, which isn't connected to S Apopka Vineland Road, and is also known as CR-435 and Clarcona Road, which turns into S Park Ave, then N Park Ave before turning into Rock Springs Road where it ends). Worse yet, the map Bunny purchased prior to the trip turned out to be largely useless.

[Here's were we were staying]

My finger is at the approximate location of our resort on the map Bunny bought. We have this huge 4′×4′ map … and our resort isn't on the map.

And here's the major road we were on for most of the trip, US-192:

[And here's US-192—the major road around the Disney area]

Yup, not on the map either.

We almost didn't make it to Emeril's because I read the map wrong (I had to guess where we were) and thought we were on N Orange Blossom Trail (aka US-441, US-92, US-17, SR-500) when in reality we were on S Orange Avenue (an easy mistake when it's also known as Old Dixie Highway and CR-527—I'm telling you, the roads around Orlando are eeeeeeeeeeviiiiiiilllllllllll) and nothing was quite matching up.

Driving home from Emeril's, we got horribly lost and I was sure we were headed west (next stop—Tampa) on Poinciana Blvd, but it turned out we were headed south on Poinciana Blvd before doing a U-turn and stopping at a 7-11 on the corner of US-192 and Poinciana Blvd, where I purchansed our second useless map on the trip—this one at least had US-192 but our resort was still off the map.

[We're still in uncharted territory]

(Later, I learned that had we stayed going south on Poinciana Blvd, we would have hit S Orange Blossom Trail (CR-532, US-17, US-92), which, unlike N Orange Blossom Trail that runs north/south, runs east/west. Going east, it turns into S John Young Parkway (aka N Bermuda Avenue) which runs north/south; N Orange Blossom Trail runs parallel to S John Young Parkway, oddly enough—I'm telling you, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeviiiiiiiilllllllll.)

The eeeeeeeeeviiiiilllllll roads around the Orlando area had it's effect on us—I don't recall a time when Bunny and I were arguing more than when we were driving around the area.

Truffles and crème brûlée

Ah, Emeril's. We arrived half an hour late for our reservation and had to wait maybe ten minutes to get seated. Bunny and I were escorted upstairs and lead to this small room (perhaps, 15′×20′) with windows on three sides (man, the geometry of the Orlando area is very odd) and beneath each window, a table.

I swear, there were more waitstaff working the room than patrons (there was only one other couple in the room with us). So the service was excellent. It was also much quieter than in the main dining areas, which was a bonus. At least we could hear each other in conversation.

I enjoyed the crab-stuffed artichoke; Bunny loved the White Truffle Flatbread. It's hard to go wrong with Filet Mignon (what I had) but the carrots were a bit undercooked for my liking. Bunny enjoyed the Pan Roasted Redfish. And of course, dessert—Double Chocolate Fudge Cake for me (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm) and Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Bunny. For a “once-in-a-year” experience, it was quite nice.

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