Ahhhh. Do you ever have that feeling? After a day of delightfully smooth flights - I slept through both, and the baby sitting next to me didn't cry the whole time. I did wake up long enough to take this picture of something somewhere in North Carolina. Foothills?
I of course got lost trying to find my hotel. This is especially frustrating because I have a pretty good sense of direction and I hate getting lost. It is also kind of hard to find your directional relation when you are driving in the dark in a strange place. And a request to whomever controls the road systems: can we standardize everything from state to state? Every highway in Ohio has mile markers. This is helpful because the exits coincide with the mile markers, so it only takes seeing 2 mile markers to ensure one is on the right track. See how easy it could be?
But I finally arrived at my hotel around midnight (plane didn't land until almost 11, lest you think I was driving around aimlessly for hours on end). I am staying at the Peabody, which is on the Orlando Convention Center compound. I can't think of anything else to call it, because it's an entire area devoted to the subject.
I was so loopy from all of the Dramamine and xanax (probably also contributed to the getting lost) that when I woke up this morning, I had to think for a few seconds if I tipped the valet or not. They should put warnings on Dramamine - might turn you into a drooling idiot.
But I digress. The folks at the Peabody were nice enough to offer me a King sized bed instead of 2 queens, and to put me on a high floor. The windows even open about 6 inches, which is very nice because, even though it flies in the face of conservation, I like to have my room cooled by air conditioning and still have a breeze coming in. Although it was down to 58 last night, so I doubt the air even had to kick on.
My room has TV in the bathroom:
and 7 feather pillows, all white-on-white stripe and embroidered with ducks:
It is probably for this reason that I fell into the bed and slept for 9 hours straight. Something which never happens for me.
Before bed I ordered up a pizza for room service, which was strangely good. Really good. Curious:
I also treated myself to an elf-sized Knob Creek bourbon - these people are so nice, I wonder if they would get me Basil Hayden if I asked?
One complaint - no coffee maker in the room. I like to have that little nip of coffee before I go out into the world to venture out for my real coffee.
At any rate. This morning when I awoke I could finally check out the view from my room, which is a strange mix of nature and construction. The hotel is adding on a sizable addition, so that is happening right outside my window, and then in the distance is a swamp:
Here is a picture of the construction - notice the hard-hat-wearing ducks, which I of course thought were super cute.
Downtown Orlando in the distance:
For some reason, I love cranes:
I will not be attending the presentation of the chef's coats today, because my press pass only begins tomorrow, and I'm just not sure I can face D World yet just to pay $75 to get in and see the drawing of the order in which the chefs will compete. Chef Rosendale's commis, Seth, will be keeping me posted.
So pretty much today I am going to relax. I am sitting here in the lobby of the Peabody watching the ducks splash around, and listening to a waterfall, and sitting just outside of the pools of light coming in from the roof of the atrium, having my morning latte (at 1pm). It's nice. Very relaxing. I love my cats, but it's very nice to not have any walking on/sitting on/or clawing at my laptop.
Oh, and if anyone can tell me how to turn on the interior lights of my rented Ford Focus, I'd really appreciate it.
Later on today, I be posting bios of all of the chefs so that their names will make sense when I starting talking about them. I have requested a few interviews, but there is only a 1 hour window each day during which the chefs will be available, so who knows if my requests will be granted.
Tonight I will be dining at Luma, a restaurant I found on Open Table. I think tomorrow it will be the Ravenous Pig, a gastropub.
Well, I'd best get going - high tea should begin any minute now, and then I have to inspect those 7 feather pillows again; should make it back to the room just in time to doze of whilst whilst watching Law & Order...