Category Archives: Around CFL

Restaurants Picks We Wish Were Apart of Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

With Magical Dining in full swing it seems like almost every top restaurant in Orlando is included, well almost.

The restaurants we wish made the list for Magical Dining this year are:

 

Epcot Restaurants

– A highly coveted table at Le Cellier, San Angel Inn, Monsieur Paul and the many others would be a welcomed addition by many to Magical Dining. We know it’s a pipe dream with the logistics in a theme park, but it is supposed to be Magical Dining right?!

200 Epcot Center Dr Lake Buena Vista, FL 32821 (407) WDW-DINE

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/

Charley’s Steakhouse

– How is it that one of nation’s TOP steakhouses not invited to join in Magical Dining? Do not despair though; as they do have their own version matching the MD event. This does leave many to wonder was this a Magical Dining snub or something else?

2901 Parkway Blvd A1, Kissimmee, FL 34747 (407) 239-1270

http://www.charleyssteakhouse.com/

Kings Orlando

– Yes, many people think of it as a bowling alley with perhaps typical bowling alley food; but did you know everything on their decadent menu is made from scratch? Offerings include maple glazed scallops, buffalo wontons and more. Kings is one of the only three restaurants in Orlando with 5 Bubbles via Trip Advisor (the only other two are below) with exceptional ratings on virtually every other social media source.

8255 International Dr #120, Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 363-0200

http://kingsbowlamerica.com/orlando/

Chatham’s Place

– Chatham’s Place closes for a month during the summer to offer its employees a break every year and never loses any guests. It sounds unbelievable but it’s true! This place is always packed. It’s a hidden gem just off Sand Lake. They probably don’t need Magical Dining, but most would love to see them added.

7575 Dr Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 345-2992

http://chathamsplace.com/

Victoria & Albert’s

– With a virtually perfect Zagat Score, plus being a Top Three restaurant on Trip Advisor National Rankings, this restaurant always exceeds expectations. Please keep in mind they book a minimum of six months in advance for a table. But this restaurant would truly make Disney’s Magical Dining truly live up to its name.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 4401 Floridian Way Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830  (407) 939-7707

http://www.victoria-alberts.com/ 

 

Review | Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month at Hamilton’s Kitchen

 

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month 2014 (NOW!)

More than 75 restaurants are serving up savings this Month PLUS portion of proceeds to benefit the Foundation for Foster Children!

Lastly, if you find yourself vacationing around the Amalfi coast we recommend checking out this Amalfi Coast restaurant which has amazing reviews by the native locals in the area.

 

 

 

Inaugural Orlando Couples Cook-Off Presented by Edible Orlando and the Orlando Date Night Guide!

Calling all Cooking Couples!!! Prizes, Fun for a great cause!

OrlandoCouplesCookOff

This will be the 1st Annual Orlando Couples Cook-Off!

1 Mystery Box of Local Ingredients

+ 1 State-of-the-Art Designer Kitchen

+ 1 Hour to Cook Up a Killer Dish

= 1 Chance to Win the best Appliances special for bartender and cooks to have in your restaurant or in your home. There’s the chance you can win an ice maker, a stainless refrigerator with two doors and with the best technology in the freezer both which the ice maker reviews  say they are the best in the market. You will also have the chance to win a toaster and a couple of microwaves for your next dinner party, a Gourmet Stay & Dine Package, and More!!

May the Best Couple Win!  

Get ready for a fast-paced, hands-on cooking competition designed to give couples the opportunity to test their skills for the chance to win fabulous prizes and the title of Orlando’s Top Culinary Couple. Proceeds to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Five couples will compete in each of the 3 qualifying rounds, with one winner from each advancing to the finals.

**Entry is $150 PER COUPLE**(buy here)

Proceeds supporting Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Qualifying Rounds:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Final Round:  Friday, November 14, 2014  (Tickets to attend as an observer at the Finals Taste and Cheer Event go on sale Oct. 20)

All events run from 6:30pm to approximately 9pm.

** There will be one winning couple from each qualifying round. Each winning couple receives complimentary admission to the finals. **

 

More details @ http://www.orlandodatenightguide.com/2014/08/orlando-couples-cook-off/

 

Greater Orlando Heart Walk Laces Up on September 6th

Each year, 1.2 million Americans will suffer a coronary attack and 700,000 will have a stroke. In Central Florida, over 4,200 deaths are caused a year due to a cardiovascular issue. By adopting a lifestyle of physical activity, individuals can reduce their healthcare costs, increase their productivity and improve their overall quality of life and longevity. That’s where the Greater Orlando Heart Walk comes into play

WHAT:  Saturday, Sept. 6, an estimated 20,000 participants are expected to attend the Greater Orlando Heart Walk to benefit the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association. Walkers will unite to create hope, inspire change and celebrate at the University of Central Florida at Memory Mall.

WHO: Combining fitness and philanthropy, this annual walk brings together over 100 local corporate sponsors, walk teams, individual walkers, survivors of heart disease and stroke and lifestyle change heroes who are all taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle while raising funds to combat heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 4 leading killers, respectively, of American men and women.

Speakers and special guests include:

  • Heart disease and stroke survivors of all ages, lifestyle change award winners
  • Sportacus, LazyTown’s very own athletic, super-active SuperHero, SHADES from the Solar Bears and UCF’s own Knightro
  • Cardiologists, medical professionals and high-level community volunteers
  • The Fox Sports Florida Girls  — Jordana and Annilie
  • Emcees: Jayme King, FOX 35, Dana Taylor, Mix 105.1, Rick Stacy, Sunny 105.9 and Dustin Kross, AMP Radio 101.9

WHEN:  Saturday, Sept. 6 – Festivities (giveaways, entertainment, a tribute to survivors, pre-walk warm-up and more!) start at 7 a.m.Walk Kick-off at 8 a.m. at the University of Central Florida at Memory Mall – 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32816. (It is best to arrive before 7:30 a.m. to avoid road closures and difficulty parking.) Mini-show by Sportacus at 9:15am, immediately followed by hands-only CPR training that will continue until crowds die down, or around 10 a.m.

Mayor Dyer appoints two new Deputy Chiefs

Deputy Chief Smith   Deputy Chief Rolon

September 5, 2014 – ORLANDO, FL – Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the appointment of two new Deputy Chiefs.

Mayor Dyer has appointed Orlando Rolon, a 21 -year Orlando Police Department veteran, to succeed Deputy Chief Charles Robinson as he retires after more than 27 years of service at the City of Orlando.  Additionally, Mayor Dyer has appointed Eric Smith, a 20-year Orlando Police Department veteran to succeed Deputy Chief Carl Metzger as he retires after more than 25 years of service at the City of Orlando.

“As Mayor, my top priority is the safety of our community and investing in the Orlando Police Department by providing the latest training, technology and working closely with our residents,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “I am confident Deputy Chiefs Rolon and Smith will continue to work diligently with us in protecting our City against crime.”

Newly promoted Deputy Chief Rolon will now be responsible for the Administrative Services Bureau which includes the Communications Division, the False Alarm Reduction Program, Property and Evidence and the Records Unit.

During his 21-year tenure with the Orlando Police Department, Deputy Chief Rolon has worked in many capacities including Southwest Patrol Sergeant, Parramore Heritage Bikes Sergeant, Public Information Officer, North Patrol Watch Commander, Mayor’s Assistant and Liaison for Hispanic Affairs, Downtown Bikes Commander and Traffic Enforcement Section Commander.  Most recently he served as the Professional Standards Commander and in addition to his regular job assignments has served on the Emergency Response Team and as the Crisis Negotiations Team Commander.

Rolon is a graduate of Colonial High School and served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.  He also served as the president of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association.  Rolon is currently working on a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Columbia College.

Newly promoted Deputy Chief Smith will now be responsible for the Special Services Bureau which includes the Airport Division, K-9 Unit, Mounted Patrol Unit and Traffic Enforcement Division.

During Smith’s 20-year tenure with the Orlando Police Department, he has worked in multiple units including, East Patrol Sergeant, K-9 Sergeant, West Patrol Watch Commander, Tactical Operations Commander and Metropolitan Bureau of Investigations Narcotics Commander.  Most recently, he served as the Orlando International Airport Division Commander.  Additionally, Deputy Chief Smith has served on the Special Weapons and Tactics Team for 19 years and served as the SWAT Commander.

Deputy Chief Smith received his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida.  He is a graduate of the DEA Command School, constantly works with the Surrey Criminal Lawyer, which helps him gain experience, the U.S. Army Counter Drug School, and the Florida Law Enforcement Leadership Academy.

“I have worked closely with both Orlando Rolon and Eric Smith for over twenty years and look forward to having them on my senior staff.  Each of them have extensive experience in police operations and are up to the task of keeping Orlando a safe city.”

The appointment of Deputy Chief Rolon will go into effect on September 1, 2014 and the appointment of Deputy Chief Smith will go into effect on October 1, 2014.

Monster Jam is Racing to Orlando’s New Citrus Bowl! *Presale and Details

Tickets go on sale to the general public starting at Wednesday, August 27th at 9 AM EST. Tickets go up $5 more week of show.

2Days ONLY: Get Tickets Before Anybody Else!

GraveDiggerMonsterJam

Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports

Exclusive Presale: Monster Jam is Racing to Orlando’s New Citrus Bowl!

Monster Jam® is racing to Orlando’s newly built Citrus Bowl and YOU have the opportunity to get tickets before they go onsale to the general public!

The new stadium will have 5000 less seats than in past years, so get tickets TODAY to be a part of the 1st Monster Jam crowd in the new Citrus Bowl!

Use special offer code ‘JAM‘ to access this exclusive presale offer!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Thanks Florida K-12 School Employees  with Educator Appreciation Days

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! attractions in Florida are again showing their support for K-12 educators that work within the state.

Teachers, support staff get free admission to Ripley’s attractions in Florida from September 2 – October 19

All Ripley attractions in Orlando, Panama City Beach, St. Augustine and Key West will be FREE for educators in the state from September 2 through October 19.

 Teachers, administrators, counselors, and support staff are eligible for free admission; they just need to bring a current pay stub and photo ID when they visit the attraction.

 Additionally, up to five guests that come with an educator get 50% off their admission.RipleysBelieveItorNot

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando is conveniently located at 8201 International Drive, and is open daily from 9:00 am to midnight (last entry nightly at 11:00 pm). For more information, please visit www.ripleys.com/orlando or call 407-345-0501.

Markets of Sunshine: Family Fun Day of Shopping & Education

Markets of Sunshine vendor events is about educating the community in three categories. Lyme disease, foster care and sustainable living.
Get pampered from home party reps like: Avon, Beauty Control, Lemongrass while enjoying a few indulgences from Dr. Munchies  sponsored location.

Learn about Lyme disease and Sustainable living from Markets of Sunshine and support Community Partnership for Children and learn why we need more foster families.

MarketsofSunshine

As a final connection and special treat for shopping you’ll get to go home with a goodie bag filled with products and samples from their 12 vendors.
Scentsy, South Hill Design, Origami Owl, Trades of Hope, Pure Romance, ItWorks and schedule a photo session with Sunshine Photography!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

921 Town Center Dr. Dr. Munchies Sandwich Shop Orange City, FL 32763 United States

Full details: http://www.marketsofsunshine.com/

Say What? Expert Reveals Hearing Industry Financial Hazards

Say What? Expert Reveals Hearing Industry Financial Hazards

                                                                                                                                                    By Frank Goldberg, HAS, BCHIS
With the aging of the huge Boomer population, approximately 10,000¹ U.S. citizens turn 65 each day, and will continue to do so for the next 19 years. With rising healthcare costs, many have significant concern that they may face a bona fide financial crisis. Good thing, people can now read more about the effect of bankruptcy and loans on this V5 lending blog if they are struggling financially. Companies in the financial services industry are in the business of managing money. Globally, industry leads the world in terms of earnings and equity market capitalization. Commercial banking services ( checkout these banking marketing ideas, https://blog.enplug.com/9-bank-marketing-ideas-for-2017 ) form the foundation of the financial services group. The operations of a commercial bank include the safekeeping of deposits, issuance of credit and debit cards, and the lending of money. This, coupled with the fact that a large number of Boomers are working well into their retirement years, is a recipe putting older Americans at risk of not properly managing, and outright ignoring, health and wellness issues—particularly those relating to medical matters not covered by insurance and require hefty out-of-pocket expenditures.  Chief among these is hearing impairment and, more specifically, associated hearing aid device costs. When you want to loan money fast, for more information on short term loans offered by Fast Loan UK.

Typically, someone concerned about hearing loss would visit their ear, nose and throat doctor or a licensed audiologist to have their ears checked for any abnormalities. It would be determined through the diagnostic process whether or not a patient would benefit from hearing aids. Get a consultation from Tinnitus & Hearing Center of AZ. Happily, all of this is covered by Medicare or insurance because it is medical in nature. Having insurance is not just to cover medical expenses, you should also have some motor trade insurance. However, even with an insurance-covered medical diagnosis, the hearing impaired community quickly learns that hearing aid devices are generally not covered by insurance to any notable degree and, when a patient seeks to purchase a device on the open market, they suffer what can be unconscionable prices that would cover the cost of a new car or a down payment on real estate which is not good because we buy ugly houses cincinnati. Buying a home in Brantford could be the most important investment you make in your life, so choosing the right real estate agent to work with is extremely important. If you ever need help in real estate, then make sure you contact Real Pro Investments so you can find your perfect home fast. New home owners may need to take a loan to cover all the expenses at first, I recommend to take forbrukslån uten sikkerhet.

We provide community information as well as relevant market updates and have the resources to locate homes that suit your preferences. The Munir Group will guide you through the entire process of selling a home or buying a home.

This factor alone has long been the catalyst for people avoiding corrective action for hearing loss, which only gets more debilitating over time and diminishes one’s productivity and overall quality of life, you will reach a moment where reading the diaries from famous people to improve productivity will be a must. Hearing loss is one of those gray medical areas that the general public knows “of” but little to nothing “about.”

– from MLS Listings to open houses and to how deals get closed.

Read more about merchant advance loans canada that offers tailor-made variety of loans one can choose based on their loan requirment.

With this in mind, here are some commonly asked questions regarding hearing loss and hearing aids, also revealing why it’s imperative to seek intervention at the earliest possible date:

What are the primary causes of hearing loss and who is at risk?
Simply, but only partially stated, hearing loss can be caused by genetics (family history), medications such as chemo therapy, antibiotics, and general anesthesia to mention a few, noise exposure, diabetes and diseases like Scarlett Fever, Mumps, Measles and Rheumatic Fever and others. Hearing loss cuts across all ethnic, cultural, economic and social boundaries, so it’s a problem that affects us all—either personally, a family member or someone we care about and want to interact with.

What can be the effects of ignoring hearing loss?
The implications of ignoring the problem are not to be taken lightly as hearing loss has been linked to dementia, depression, irritability, fatigue, stress, social withdrawal, reduced alertness, memory issues and reduced earning power².  Each one of these symptoms can be individually researched to gain a fuller understanding of their implications. For management, matcha pills are now becoming popular to boost your energy and relieve stress.

How do I know if I need a hearing aid?
If you are experiencing some or all of the following symptoms, you should visit a hearing professional to diagnose why you’re experiencing them. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will need a hearing aid but only a proper medical diagnosis can determine that need. Following are some of the most common symptoms associated with hearing loss:

  • You ask people to repeat or don’t when you should to catch what they’re saying
  • You have difficulty when more than one person at a time is speaking
  • Words appear muffled
  • People appear to be mumbling
  • More difficulty with high pitch voices like women and children
  • You have to turn the TV up loud and even then it’s not 100% clear
  • You respond incorrectly when asked a question (You thought they said something else)
  • It’s easier to understand when facing the person
  • You have to strain to hear what’s being said
  • You become annoyed, embarrassed or frustrated because you can’t follow the conversation
  • You find yourself withdrawing from social and family situations
  • You can Complete auto loans – car loans for people with bad credit

If I think I need a hearing aid, what do I do?
Diagnosis of hearing loss is a two stage process. First, you should be seen by an Ear, Nose and Throat physician to determine if any medical condition exists that is causing you to experience the symptoms. Things like excessive or occluding wax, an ear infection or a hole in the eardrum (perforation) are treatable conditions that can restore normal hearing.

If, however, it is determined that no issues exist that are visible or treatable, then stage two takes place. An examination of the hearing is performed by either an audiologist or licensed hearing aid dispenser to determine the extent and configuration of the hearing loss. Those factors will assist the professional in determining what hearing aid product will be most advantageous for you.

What questions should I ask when shopping for hearing aids?
It is important to keep in mind that hearing loss and the treatment thereof, with or without amplification, is personal and subjective. No two patients will respond the same way to the identical instruments. With that said, there are some basic questions that should asked and replied to such as:

  • Will the proposed hearing aids help me to hear better and why?
  • Why was this particular instrument recommended for me?
  • Are there other instruments that are comparable?
  • What type of style of hearing aid is best for me and why?
  • What features are inherent in the hearing aids and how do they help me?
  • What is the warranty from the manufacturer?
  • What services can I expect from your office and is there a cost?
  • What kind of care and maintenance is required?

 

How do I know which kind of hearing aid is right for me?
This is a mutual decision between you and the professional treating you. Your professional will consider all aspects about you to include the type and nature of your hearing loss, your lifestyle, your expectations, your needs, your vision, your dexterity, your steadiness, your alertness, your hand-eye coordination, your comprehension of the workings and manipulation of the instruments controls and so on. Then you and the provider come to a consensus to select the appropriate hearing aid devices from which to choose.

Are there hearing aids that are so discreet they can hardly be seen?
There have been dramatic advances in hearing aid styling. Not too long ago, hearing aids were large, cumbersome and very visible. There has always seemed to be a stigma about wearing hearing aids in that other people would think you were old or “not with it”. Because of that alone, many needy people forwent the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids today are discreet and some are completely invisible to the eye. That said, the style of hearing aid best suited for you will be determined by your hearing loss and other factors, which my require something less discreet. Your hearing aid professional can help you make that determination.

Credit www.DiscountHearingAidsofAmerica.com

Credit www.DiscountHearingAidsofAmerica.com

Recognizing the avoidance ramifications and the cost of treatment, in 2010 hearing aid industry authority

Frank Goldberg, HAS—an expert Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences—is Founder and CEO of www.DiscountHearingAidsofAmerica.com — a company dedicated to removing barriers related to procuring affordable, high-quality hearing aid devices, professional advice and top-notch service.

Sources:
¹ http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/baby-boomers-retire/

²http://www.asha.org/Aud/Articles/Untreated-Hearing-Loss-in-Adults/

Top 5 | Truly Nolen

By Laurie of Mousecations

We recently stopped by Truly Nolen’s Orlando office for a tour and lunch (luckily no bugs were on the menu).  While bugs are just part of the reality of living in a swamp infested state like Florida most of us don’t enjoy said bugs when they show up in our kitchens, showers, or beds.  Truly Nolen, with their mouse cars, has been one of the go to companies when those outside creepy crawlies come inside.

Over lunch with the a few Nolen employees and fans; including Scott Nolen, grandson of the founder, and Alex Bello, a Nolen Regional Sales Analyst, we learned a few interesting factoids on the mouse car company.

1. Truly Whitfield Nolen got his name from the middle names of his father and uncle.

He persevered despite the hard times. He lost his first wife, Dollie, in 1920 and in 1921 his son Truly Jr. and his father the Rev. Richard T. Nolen. He went to college but ended up working for the railroad, Indianapolis Water Co. and other jobs. He made sure his family was take care despite the hard times during the depression which cost him his home. He has passed on to his descendants and to Truley Nolen Pest Control that dedication to hard work, respecting others, Southern hospitality, good citizenship, and helping others in need. Truly D. Nolen is his octogenarian son who still works in the Naples office answering phones. At Power Pest Control, their goal is to keep homes and commercial buildings safe from troublesome pests and rodents year-round. That’s why they offer fast and effective cockroaches exterminator services

2. The company helps keep bugs out of the community.

The company exterminated bedbugs for free at Brandon Community Center, cleaned up a local park (learn more about the servicing agency), sponsored Taste of Sanford, and donated art supplies to schools in Key Largo. They go to community centers, schools and events to help people learn how to decrease vermin damage to their homes and to their vacations. The average home has over $8,000 in damage by the time an exterminator is called. Truly Nolen provides insulation that has boron which has an R value of 3.7 which is greater than the average blown insulation that is only 2.5 R value. Putting in such insulation saves money and helps keep bugs away. Part of their community service is the encouragement of providing homes for bats, birds, ladybugs, and other animals that eats the bad bugs and mice. They educate people on how to detect bug infestations and which bugs are good bugs. Email them photos of that weird bug and they will tell you what you have. You might see them at parades, fairs, garden shows, and other local events with their mouse cars, antique vehicles, and mouse golf carts.

3. The Truly Nolen University in Orlando has a training school

The school teaches trainees what to look for when visiting a client. Trainees must learn the types of construction of homes so they will know the best method of treatment and types of infestation. They look for bushes against houses which harbor vermin and allow bugs to crawl into homes. Drain spouts can wash out the area around a foundation thus removing treatments. Tree limbs that touch the house are a great freeway for bugs and mice to enter a house. The training house has a bedbug room to show trainees termite damaged a termite damaged picture, jewelry box, and book as well as let them find evidence of bedbug infestation. There is glass covered cut outs in the walls to show trainees the different ways bugs and vermin can damage a building and how they can travel unseen through a building.

4. In the 1940’s soldiers were given packets of DDT to put in their duffel bags to get rid of bugs. That was when DDT, chlordane and other chemicals were cheap and nobody stopped to see the damage to the environment and people, thankfully now, only certified providers are allowed to sell chemicals, like the Zinc Carbonate from Glochem. Bugs became resilient to chemicals to where one type of bug needed 3000 times stronger chemicals. Boraxo and boron down a drain kills drain flies while soap removes wax from bugs, suffocates bugs, and prevents wasps from using pheromes to alert their nest. Diatomacous earth cuts the cuticle of bugs which causes them to die. Diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and abamectin are green products. They use hepa vacuums to vacuüm up bug larvae, eggs, debris, and bugs from homes.

5. Truly Nolen is in 54 countries and 16 US states

North Carolina has been announced as their next state to they plan to expand into. Their business is in foreign countries tends to be commercial. In Arizona the big concern are poisonous spiders and scorpions while in Florida is about fire ants and bees. Each area has its own set of vermin for each season and there are things that can be done during each season to defend homes against bugs.

The Great Outdoors of Central Florida: Our Top 5! (wait we need some help here!)

We have so many great National Parks here in Florida and our Top 5 are- umm eh well-

Know someone who know about “The Great Outdoors” around here? Share with our readers!

We need a writer to share more about this!

Are you Local?!

Reach us HERE: CentralFloridaTop5.com/contact/

or email us at: info@CentralFloridaTop5.com

GottaGetBlogging

We are also looking for stories relating to: great local news, upcoming events, food, tourism  and technology. 

Hoping to meet other fellow bloggers that want to write about local too at FLBlogCon! 

Burger lovers rejoice! Shake Shack comes to Central Florida!

by @JenVargas (with a huge shoutout to Michelle over at City Surfing Orlando!)

New Yorkers know Shake Shack. Jimmy Fallon and Spiderman villain Dane Dehaan LOVE Shake Shack. Jon Stewart, of course, is aware of the hamburger establishment known as Shake Shack. Even Kathie Lee and Hoda are crushing on Shake Shack! What took us so long?!

You may be asking yourself one of two or three questions;

1) Why DIDN’T Central Florida have a Shake Shack sooner?

2) What the heck is a “Shake Shack” and why should I care about shakes or shacks, together or separately?

and, because I really want to know;

3) Is crack Shake Shack’s secret ingredient?

ANSWERS:

1) We don’t know what took Shake Shack so long. Clearly Central Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations IN THE WORLD, so naturally one might assume we were a given.

2) A little Shake Shack history, quoted directly from their mothership home page: “Shake Shack sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan created by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) to support the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first art installation. The cart was quite the success, with Shack Fans lined up daily for three summers.
In 2004, USHG won the bid to open a permanent kiosk in the Park: Shake Shack was born. This modern day “roadside” burger stand serves up the most delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more. An instant neighborhood fixture, Shake Shack welcomed people from all over the city, country and world who gathered together to enjoy fresh, simple, high-quality versions of the classics in a majestic setting. The rest, as they say, is burger history.”

3) Sources at Winter Park’s Shake Shack location could neither confirm nor deny said speculation of crack as an ingredient. Interesting to note, said sources also could not confirm nor deny the existence of Shake Shack’s Super Secret Menu locally. Hmmm… will continue to investigate both and keep you guys posted.

Top 5 COOL things about Shake Shack:
1) The C-Line. If you are only craving desserty type goodness, this line’s for you. Bypass the hungry Shakersby, get your custard and split.
2) The view off the back porch of Lake Killarney. Just trust us. Even if it’s hot and gross, dine on the back porch at sunset. It’s just… WOW. (There’s a ping pong table too!)
3) Community Love! They certainly don’t have to however, The Shack regularly donates %5 of sales from their Winter Wonderland Concrete (a dense custard with optional mix-ins) to Central Florida’s own BASE (Believe, Achieve, Support, Educate) Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation, which provides support for children and families living with cancer. Shake Shack’s Stand For Something Good blog is also awesome.
4) NO hormones or antibiotics. EVER. SS only serves 100% all-natural Angus beef.
5) CRINKLE. FRIES. With cheese… cheddar and American. My mouth runneth over!!

For people, check out GIFN‘s Orlando Shack Media Preview GIFs!

For food, heck out my Google Story below for a few visuals…


Review | Jen’s #FloridaWish Weekend at Courtyard by Marriott I-Drive

This post has been sponsored by Marriott’s Wish You Were Here – Florida! campaign. All opinions below are strictly those of our own @JenVargasCheck out the slideshow below for more images…

#FloridaWish

Going into this, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott property prior. Coming off a terrible first experience at another chain the weekend before, I welcomed ANYTHING better! Most of all, as I said in my first post having been slammed the past few months with projects, I just wanted to RELAX without having to worry about any appointments.

The hotel? Courtyard by Marriott on International Drive/Convention Center (8600 Austrian Court, Orlando, Florida 32819). At first glance I was impressed with the property; the rooms looked clean and updated, the amenities were basic but acceptable and the location was central to Interstate 4, Beeline/528 and in the heart of the International Drive corridor.

Upon entering the lobby area, I was taken aback. In remembering last weekend I had no expectations but I can honestly say, I wasn’t expecting something as… modern. While the outside may have seemed a little dated, the interior was certainly like something out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Very lovely, and very clean! I was a huge fan of the FREE WiFi and ample charging stations throughout the lobby. I LOVED the Media Pods (like a modernized, cozy breakfast nook with a flat screen tv) close to The Bistro, Courtyard’s on-site restaurant and cocktail bar!

Everyone I encountered on the front desk staff was very welcoming and informative. Check-in can be a crazy time, especially for those coming in from the airport and are anxious to start their weekend. Despite the small line, the staff made sure everyone’s questions were answered and all were informed about The Bistro hours, The Market (a small, on-site 24 hour convenience store) and basic off-site information. Since Courtyard I-Drive is an Official Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel, our room key cards were appropriately (and adorably!) themed; one was a Monsters University Student ID card, the other was of The Beast and New Fantasyland.

My first impression of the guest room was that it was on the smaller side. Once opening the door (which was quite heavy!), you’re lead down a narrow corridor which forks off into a bathroom/closet area then out to the main bedroom/living space. To be fair, I’m used to staying in ‘suite’ style rooms when I travel so, comparatively, this might be average or slightly above average size. (Note: This property has suites available and connecting rooms.) Our room was a simple Guest Room with 1 King sized bed and a pretty snazzy sofa bed with a Poolside view and small balcony.

Both the bedding and towels were very clean. The bed and pillows were very comfy! Some pillows are too firm or not firm at all, these pillows were a nice middle ground. The sofa bed also comfy. It was so hip and stylized, I swear I saw it once inside a Starbucks. In fact, the furniture, photo shelf and color scheme of the room were mildly reminiscent of a coffee shop type vibe (in the most complimentary way possible). The sofa even had a small, built-in side table for drinks, a laptop or even small lunch. The modern furnitures are amazing in style, and use. If you want to see more of these, look for LA Furniture store.

The bathroom itself was large and the closet was a good size. The sink and dressing area, just off the room’s entrance, was also a decent size. I was, however, slightly disappointed with the bathroom amenities in our room. The website shows Paul Mitchell bath products are provided in all rooms; shampoo, conditioner and Lemon Sage energizing body wash. Unfortunately our room was not supplied with the body wash on either day, only generic bar soap, and of course I forgot to call and ask about it. [D’oh!]

Other hotel amenities and services include; a small laundry room, a clean pool area (with towels) and an expanded fitness center. I asked about a spa/hot tub. Sadly it was rarely used so Courtyard decided to add on to the Fitness Center with a small weight set, updated treadmills and stationery bikes that are iPhone/iPod accessible, and a mirror-walled area for yoga, stretching, meditation, etc. Filtered water and sanitizing wipes are also readily available.

In the end, I was very pleasantly surprised by this property. The staff, the food, the guest rooms and amenities were fantastic for the price. Even if I didn’t know the area, I would feel very safe and secure as a guest. For the convenience, cleanliness and comfort, I would gladly recommend this property to out of town guests and family. Courtyard is also a great staycation destination for locals too. Wish You Were Here – Florida! package deals are available at all 36 Marriott properties throughout Florida.

 

Jen’s Top 5(x2!) Courtyard I-Drive Favorites:

  • A 12pm check-out time! No rushing through breakfast to shower and pack!!
  • All-in-one lamp and charge station on both sides of the bed – SUPER handy for someone like me.
  • On-site parking is complimentary!
  • WiFi in public areas and rooms is FREE (upgraded service available)
  • Dining at The Bistro: They brew Starbucks AND the food is reasonably priced for what you get
  • Courtyard’s GoBoard is very useful, user friendly
  • Workspace/desk in room is a good size
  • Charging stations comfortably placed throughout lobby and business center
  • YMCA Aquatic Center (next door) partnership is a great bonus for gym rats
  • Courtyard is a SMOKE-FREE HOTEL!!

Room(?) for improvement:

  • Currently, there are no shuttles to/from the hotel to local theme parks (the front desk is very friendly and will assist)
  • The Bistro is only open for Breakfast and Dinner (The Market, however, is open 24 hours)
  • It was hard to find ticketing kiosk agent
  • The balcony overlooking the pool area was a teensy bit small
  • Not pet friendly

New Orlando Hashtag! Meet and share #Orlandoing

We love our #Orlando #SocialMedia hashtags!

First it was #WhyOrlando and a few others came along like #Oyes

Now meet  #Orlandoing

Jon Busdeker, of the Orlando Sentinel, asks, “Where is your favorite Orlando sign?” (you better tweet him too @jonbusdeker )

#Orlandoing is easy,  just find your favorite sign that says Orlando and take a selfie with you pointing at it.  Make sure to tag it #Orlandoing and tag @JonBusdeker  in it.  He’s planning to make a video with the best pics later on!

#Orlandoing: City Beautiful’s newest social media trend

Below are a few of our favorites thus far:

And this one that includes another trend, Vadering

 

Ikea Orlando to host a Cray Party! The Annual Crayfish Party that is…

We love Ikea Orlando keeping it Real – Wait Cray!

Details and update HERE and be sure to follow @IKEAOrlando tweet #ThatsSoCray

Friday, August 15, 2014
Swedish Crayfish Party
It’s almost time for another Swedish, all-you-can-eat feast. Put our annual Crayfish Party on your calendar.Two seatings available

Image from ikea.com

Image from ikea.com


● 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
● 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

IKEA FAMILY member price:
$9.99 adults / $2.49 children (12 and under)

Regular price:
$12.99 adults / $4.99 children (12 and under)

 


The origins of this tradition:
Crayfish have been eaten in Sweden since the 1500s. For a long while, only the aristocracy enjoyed these delicacies.

In the mid-1800s, people started eating crayfish as they are eaten today. The crayfish feast or crayfish supper in the month of August spread through the middle classes. In the 1900s, crayfish became a national delicacy and people in all sectors of society began celebrating the occasion.

Due to the risk of over-fishing, restrictions on river crayfishing were introduced back in the early 1900s. The season was limited to a couple of months from August. Crayfish thus became an exclusive and much sought-after delicacy in Sweden, everyone makes sure to have the best fly fishing pole when the fishing season arrives.

Source: https://sweden.se/collection/celebrating-the-swedish-way/article/the-crayfish-party/

Moving away for the first time? Top 5 Tips to cope + Ikea Retail Therapy!

Words of wisdom and Things we want from Ikea that can “Cure” this feeling!

Are you a college student or just a family moving to Florida? We understand what it feels like to have to let go of things you have grown up with. However, we can’t stop ourselves from growing up and moving forward in life. Here’s the deal; if you are moving to or from the state of Florida, the “Florida long distance movers” can help you with that. Call them now! On the other hand, for more accessible and ready for service 24/7, you call them anytime of the day and within 30 mins they will knock at your front door. For faster moving services, contact demenagementadt.ca.

Feel the low -it’s okay to miss where you used to live but here a couple random tips from me. (Check back for more soon!)

Also here a few things we would encourage you to check out at your local Ikea!

 Bring something that reminds you of your friends and family.

Is is a blanket someone made for you or something that you can’t buy in a store? Take it!

 Take photos of things you care about and any landmarks.

In my hometown there was a lookout that I used to go to – well they put a parking lot there and Cell phone tower-it will never feel the same to me.

Also, oddly there was a piece of public art in my hometown in front of my middle school I wish I took a photo of – they tore it down a few years ago.

 Music might save you – or maybe Dancing

Make a playlist of songs that remind you of home or your friends. Buy one or 2 on itunes or listen over and over on youtube!

 Less is more-

You might be limited with space or maybe $ – so you buy less and value it more- Trust me!

Here are few things that might make you happy:

Collage frame for 15 photos: JÄLLVIK(to the right) IkeaFrame

A great Floor lamp that will make you feel “brighter”: HEKTAR

Or maybe this Lightup Stool Lamp – a great conversation piece for sure!

This great laptop bag: UPPTÄCKA

A colorful table with storage (this can be your Remember When area)

The new 2015 IKEA Catalog is here! Digital one HERE

(Tweet us what would make you happy at @CentralFLTop5 )

Post by @TheNiceBrian 

Full Disclosure

 

PS- how cool is this: “IKEA Creates A Website Inside The Instagram App”

Speaking of moving, if you or your company needs a reliable ANCHOR moving company, go to Citimap moving company.

 

First Florida Train to Trail Tour Ready To Roll

SunRail, built for commuters, is about to flaunt its leisure side.

August 1, four cyclists with their bikes will ride the rails from Orlando area stations to DeBary where, under a commemorative arch, they will launch the First Florida Train to Trail Tour.

For seven days, they’ll cycle Florida’s 260-mile-long St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop before riding SunRail back to Orlando. No car needed.

Their first morning will start on 15 miles of showcase trail on the way to Osteen and continue altogether 55 miles to Titusville. That first section, called the East Central Regional Rail Trail, is also a commuter route to DeBary Station for cyclists from Deltona.

“The tour marks a coming of age for Florida,” says Herb Hiller of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the tour’s organizer. “We have trains and we also have improving ways to get to and from them without cars.”

Yet the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop (SJR2C) remains far from complete as paved off-road trail.FirstFloridaTrain

From DeBary Station, Loop access runs 2,000 feet north up Shell Road to the trail across a signalized intersection at US 17-92. The rest of the way, SJR2C is so far only some 30 percent paved and off-road, though almost all the rest is in construction, funded for construction, or in planning and design.

The August tour will include daily rides of between 20 and 57 miles. After Titusville, the four cyclists will overnight in New Smyrna Beach, Palm Coast, St. Augustine (two nights), Crescent City and DeLand.

Although the tour is meant to highlight the Loop as a week-long getaway, others will choose to spend fewer or more days riding it. That 15-mile paved portion and back or even a part of it can make a good day ride, or coupled with leisurely stops at Green Springs, DeBary Hall and Gemini Springs become a mini vacation with overnights at hotels in Deltona or DeBary.

But altogether, says Hiller, “the ride is a moving course in Florida history, from Spain to Space, steeped in the Civil Rights era, tracking vast ag lands, urban sprawl to new urbanism, from deeply rural to high living. Anyone could include layover days, like the four will along the coast in St. Augustine or as well alongside the St. Johns in Palatka, or close by in Crescent City or DeLand.”

The four will cross Ponce Inlet by water taxi and schedule a breakfast in Armstrong in far southwest St. Johns County. Armstrong with some 300 people sits directly along another part of the Loop called the Palatka to St. Augustine State Trail. Both will be regular options, though the water taxi runs only Friday to Sunday and breakfast in Armstrong will require 24-hour notice (call 904-806-3939).

Armstrong is a long under-served farming community that has focused its economic future in part on income from cyclists who travel the trail. Bike Florida already operates two boutique tours (about 20 riders each) a year through the community, but has also brought as many as 600 at a time. The hamlet also sits along the four-state Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor and has become a model for community growth elsewhere in the corridor’s four-state overlap with the route of the East Coast Greenway between Maine and Florida. SJR2C in its entirety is the Greenway’s longest loop section.

The Greenway connection means that over time, southbound long-distance cyclists will be able to avoid car traffic on their way to Orlando by riding the last leg of their journey on SunRail. Or when the Coast-to-Coast Connector trail gets built out – expected by the turn of the decade – continue with or without SunRail to St. Petersburg.

Chief tour sponsors include VISIT FLORIDA, the Florida Hospital system, East Coast Greenway Alliance, DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce, Orange Cycle, Cobb Cole, West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority  and the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council.

The touring cyclists who set off August 1 are Mighk [cq] and Carol Wilson of Orlando, and Laura Hallam and Robert Seidler of Sopchoppy. Carol Wilson and Hallam are former executive directors of the Florida Bicycle Association; Mighk Wilson is smart growth planner for MetroPlan Orlando, and Seidler a filmmaker who has chronicled the rise of bicycling and trails around America.

Canine Companions for Independence Graduation Ceremony to be held in Winter Park (Open to pubic!)

Graduation ceremonies for the Southeast Regional Center of Canine Companions for Independence are emotional and inspiring events where people with disabilities receive their new highly trained assistance dogs. The dogs, which are provided free of charge, have been in training for more than two years and know 40 commands to help with tasks that will enable people to lead a more independent life. Graduations follow an intensive two-week “team training” course where the recipients have learned all of the dog’s commands and how to care for the dog, for more dog info visit here www.mrsdoggie.com. In addition, the ceremonies include a puppy matriculation, an event where puppies are turned in by their volunteer puppy raisers to begin their professional training. The ceremonies are free and open to the public

CanineCompanions

Friday, August 15, 2014 at  1199 Clay Avenue Winter Park, FL 32792 United States

Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. It is the largest non-profit organization in the world that provides assistance dogs for people with disabilities. The Southeast Region of Canine Companions for Independence serves Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. For more information about CCI call 1-800-572-BARK, or visit www.cci.org

Orlando’s Café Tu Tu Tango Birthday Party this Weekend

Cafe Tu Tu Tango Turns 20 with a Birthday Celebration

CAFÉ TU TU TANGO, the iconic Orlando eatery, invites all artists, foodies and friends to come celebrate 20 years of sharing food, drink and the bohemian philosophy.

Raise a paintbrush with them as they create a community mural, cheers a free beer or whiskey with them from breweries and distillers such as Breckenridge, Big Storm and Winter Park Distilling Company.

Live music featuring local band, WAS (showing 3-6PM) will serenade the evening atmosphere as belly dancers and salsa dancers welcome you to perform in their traditions. Painters from the workers on painters in richmond va, writers and sculptors exhibit their work while the culinary team grills, braises and sautés flavors from around the world.

CafeTuTuTango

Red Bull Curates Orlando with Canvas Cooler

A way for our community to get to know our local artist, Red Bull Curates is taking twenty local artist to paint twenty coolers

20 Artists | 20 Coolers | 20 Venues 
Celebrating Orlando’s most innovative contemporary artists as they turn their eye-catching designs into canvas-wrapped Red Bull coolers. You and a luminary panel of judges will vote two artists through to participate in a Red Bull Curates Canvas Cooler group exhibition this coming December in Miami during the 2014 Art Basel Season.

RedBullCanvasCooler
Featured Artists:
• Brandon McLean • Andrew Spear • Adaro Art • Winkstyles • Soco Freire • Gregorii • Marcos Cruz • Peter Van Flores III • DRES13 • Holly Tharp • Chris Rodriguez • Christopher Reason • SKIP • Lemus’ • Swamburger •
Peterson • Sean Hartman • Christie Miga • SPEN 1 • Wolfrich

Featured Accounts:
• NV • Aloft • Elixir • PR Taco • Hawkers • Hammered Lamb • BBQ Bar • Shari • Wills Pub • Monkey Bar • Hen House • Lucky Lure • Santiagos Bodega • The Peacock Room • Cafe Tu Tu Tango • Orlando City Soccer • Whats2hot • Park Ave CD’s • Plush Studios • Space Bar

Luminary Judge Panel:
• Jay “Jbon” Bonadio // Owner @ Brimskins & JbonClothing

-All Brimskins & JbonClothing Products are produced in house at Cocoa Beach Warehouse location where everything is made by hand. JbonClothing is an original street wear brand that is retailed in over 3 dozen stores across the world including online outlets such as Karmaloop.com.

• Sam Flax // Owner @ Sam Flax Art Supply

-Not just for Artists ! Sam Flax has been around for almost 100 years, and over 20 years here in Orlando. Known for artists materials first and foremost, Sam Flax is much more :picture framing, Herman Miller Seating, stationery and fine pens, Giclee printing services on site, and of course
our overwhelmingly unique gift department.

• Patrick Kahn // Founder @ Snap! Cultural Events, Inc
-Patrick Kahn’s creative endeavors spans two continents and ranges from publishing a bi-annual fashion and art magazine in Los Angeles, to creating Snap! Orlando, one of the city’s fastest-growing art concepts.

• Patty Sheehan // Commissioner @ City of Orlando District 4
-Commissioner Patty Sheehan was first elected to the Orlando City Council in 2000. She served as President of the Colonialtown North Neighborhood Association, and is proud to come from a servant leadership background. Commissioner Sheehan attended the University of Central Florida and earned her B.A. in art.

• Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon // Curator @ Jai Gallery
-Jai Gallery Director and Curator Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon has worked in museums and art galleries across the globe, including the large 5-storey-high contemporary urban art museum URBIS in Manchester UK, and one of the highest profile galleries in the Middle East: The Third Line.

• Erin Sullivan // Editor @ Orlando Weekly
-Erin Sullivan is the editor of Orlando Weekly, an alternative newsweekly dedicated to strengthening the community by keeping readers informed about important local issues, arts, events and politics.

Musical Talent:
– DJ Bingo Balls
– Chris Bushnell

Details:
•Ages 21+
•Hosted Premium Bar
•Free with Eventbrite RSVP: http://canvascoolerorl.eventbrite.com/

Orchid Garden at Church Street
122 W. Church Street
Orlando, Florida 32801

After Party:

Location:
Monkey Bar
26 Wall St, Orlando, FL 32801

Time:
11pm onward // 21+ // Free entry

Join the conversation: #CanvasCooler @redbullORL
For more info: www.redbull.com/canvascooler

TripAdvisor Honors Discovery Cove as Number 1 Amusement Park in the World!

Visiting Discovery Cove Orlando is truly an Experience of a Lifetime

For the second consecutive year, Discovery Cove® in Orlando was named the No. 1 amusement park in the world in the 2014 TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ Amusement Parks and Water Parks category. The Travelers’ Choice awards are determined based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Discovery Cove receives top ratings based on the guests’ awe-inspiring encounters with exotic animals in a resort-style, tropical oasis setting.

“We’re honored that Discovery Cove has been recognized on the world’s stage once again for its ability to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience. Daily we witness dreams come true – families bond, friendships strengthen and lifetime memories are made. Our up-close animal interactions inspire and give guests a greater appreciation for our planet and its incredible species,” said Stewart Clark, vice president of Discovery Cove.

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort in which guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, rays and tropical fish and hand-feed exotic birds. At Discovery Cove, guests experience the most exciting animal encounters the world has to offer in a breathtaking tropical atmosphere. Discovery Cove is a paradise of rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, tropical reefs, winding rivers, a resort-style pool complete with waterfalls, and pristine white-sand beaches.

Freshwater Oasis® at Discovery Cove

Freshwater Oasis® at Discovery Cove

Located in the heart of the world’s largest theme park destination, guests often describe Discovery Cove as a “vacation within a vacation.” According to TripAdvisor reviews, visitors value the park’s all-inclusive offerings. From meals and snacks to snorkels and sunscreen, everything is included. Fourteen-day park admission to both SeaWorld® Orlando and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™ is also part of the day resort package. Discovery Cove’s sister parks in Florida also celebrate honors today. In the Amusement Parks category, SeaWorld Orlando is ranked No. 7 in the U.S., No. 11 in the world and Busch Gardens® Tampa is ranked No. 10 in the U.S. In the Water Park category, Aquatica Orlando is ranked No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 9 in the world. To see all of the 2014 Travelers’ Choice winners, visit http://prn.to/1jLJb9p.

For reviews on Discovery Cove, visit TripAdvisor.com. To book a reservation, visit DiscoveryCove.com or call 1-877-434-7268. Stay connected on http://www.facebook.com/discoverycove.

About Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which operates 11 parks across the U.S. including SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.

The 11 parks play host to 25 million guests each year and employ 26,000 people nationwide. To learn more, visit SeaWorldParksandEntertainment.com or call toll-free 1-888-800-5447. Additionally, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment created the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a non-profit, private charitable foundation committed to supporting wildlife and habitat conservation, research, education and animal rescue programs worldwide. Learn more at SWBG-ConservationFund.org.

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 260 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 150 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 42 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 23 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.comwww.bookingbuddy.comwww.cruisecritic.comwww.everytrail.comwww.familyvacationcritic.com,www.flipkey.comwww.gateguru.comwww.holidaylettings.co.ukwww.holidaywatchdog.comwww.independenttraveler.comwww.jetsetter.comwww.lafourchette.comwww.niumba.com,  www.onetime.comwww.oyster.com,www.seatguru.comwww.smartertravel.comwww.tingo.comwww.travelpod.comwww.tripbod.comwww.vacationhomerentals.comwww.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q1 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com