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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Floridian

Floridian on UrbanspoonWe often sit around looking up deals to places that we consider fantastic (and therefore usually far away), but we rarely stop to consider the places that are in our own backyards. Many times the people that open our eyes to the uniqueness of our own place are those who didn't grow up in the area. This was the case for me when I started introducing my husband to the tourist destinations in the city he grew up in. Granted, he has lived in a place that is considered a tourist destination his entire life, but that doesn't mean that he is immune to the trap of doing the same things in the same places (generally with the same people).

There's nothing wrong with wishing to go someplace far away, and there's nothing wrong with being comfortable doing the same old stuff. But if you're looking for something to do, and complaining that there isn't anything there, just remember - to somebody else, the area where you live is a vacation. Almost every city and even some towns have a Visitor's Bureau. It's typically a place where they can hand out hotel pamphlets and flyers about festivals and things to do. This is one of your best bets when you are looking for something fun. Even if all that catches your eye is the local bowling alley with the cosmic bowling, it's always worth a try to browse through these flyers. Plus, there are usually coupons!

If you don't see anything there you like, you might want to try a local hotel, or a gas-station near a large highway. Many times these places have a free mini-magazine with nothing but coupons and advertisements for nearby attractions and places to stay. A favorite of mine is finding a cheap hotel with a jacuzzi room. It's perfect for a romantic night away or just to get out of the house and watch some cable tv. I don't get the time to watch tv at home very often, so for me, pizza delivery and cable is a vacation in itself!

And if you really don't find anything that sparks your interest - take it a step further! Check out some of the shows on the Travel Channel. Many of them are about places in the U.S. Pick a show that interests you (one of my faves is Man vs. Food) and then google the closest "big" city to you to see if they ever did a show in that location. When I googled Man vs. Food along with my city, I didn't find anything where I live, but I did find many helpful websites pointing me towards the closest city where it had been filmed. For instance, www.tvfoodmaps.com will show you where around 30 of the most popular foodie shows have been filmed.

As for us, we didn't have to go too far to find a neat place to eat, and I didn't even need a tv show to find it. A local area restaurant, The Floridian (know as "the Flo" to locals) is not only open 24/7, it's considered a historic piece of Fort Lauderdale that helped to build the city. The menu holds a variety of options, and you can find just about anything to match your cravings - they even have a "Fat Cat" breakfast that comes with ny strip steak & eggs for two, plus a bottle of Dom Perignon! For those of us who are short on funds, you can get the "Not So Fat Cat": the same breakfast, but with a (much) cheaper bottle of champagne. Or there's the meal my husband and I spotted the last time we were there - the "Bigg Kountry Burger". It's a two pound burger with deluxe toppings and an entire plate of chili cheese fries on the side. We shared it but, needless to say, we wish we had not also ordered an appetizer and there was a lot of food leftover.

The places that are worth visiting are a combination of opinion and perception. See yourself as a tourist in your hometown and you'll find your own Floridian.


(And yes, this is me eating my half of the giant burger. I still can't believe that was just half.)

15 comments:

  1. SO true! I live in California and i havent explored many cities yet but i'd definitely vacation in California to save money .I Love exploring new places even if its in the same state as i am .I find myself hilarious everytime i go to a new store or street that i've never been to i get so happy and at ahh lol .

    p.s that burger looks huge and delicious!!!

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    1. Oh goodness i just realized i never left my email for the giveaway lol .I've gotten so interested in all your posts that i've forgotten to add an email for the giveaway .

      Cupcakebabe416@gmail.com
      xoxo
      <3

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    2. I would have just posted your name in my articles until you noticed ;D

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  2. We just moved "home" to FL after 20 years away. We are really looking forward to exploring the state and now have added THe Floridian to our list - thanks!
    And thanks for the Walmart giveaway too!
    tracyallen1228atyahoodotcom

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    1. Well welcome home! I try to experiment with things that are local to our state every now and again, let me know if you find anything worth a try and maybe I'll write about it!

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  3. I LOVE Florida! I've only been once, but I hope to go again soon! And wow, I want a yummy burger now! lol.

    ladybugoleander@gmail.com

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  4. I live in Broward County, but never heard of the The Floridian. I may have to check it out. The burger looks like it could be divided into three meals for me. I agree that there is nothing wrong with wanting to get away, but sometimes we do not always have the money. We make a few mini trips to Orlando when we find great hotel deals. We bought the Sea World Fun Card for $89+ tax & the Universal Power Pass so when we have an available weekend and need to get away for a few days we make the three hour drive and enjoy the themeparks.


    Btw, thank you for the opportunity to win the Walmart gift card.
    darkmysticnight(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Don't feel bad, my husband and his family had never heard of it either, and they've been here for decades. That Sea World card sounds like something I'll have to buy this year, my son just loves marine animals!

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  5. Great information. We live in 'Wine Country' so there is quite a bit to do around here, but like you said, there are probably a lot of things to do around here that my husband and I don't even know about. We are always wanting to go to San Francisco to do something different, when we probably don't need to go that far. Another way to find place to go and things to do in an area is to look for some free independent local newspapers or magazines. My husband picks those up all of the time and they ALWAYS have event listings, ads, and reviews.

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    1. Good point! I forgot to mention the local magazines! Two of my favorites are the Family magazine and the Coffee News publication.

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  6. Oh, and thanks for the giveaway!!

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  7. That looks like a good burger. We visted Vegas last year and I was excited to go to a restaurant I had seen on TV

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  8. That (only half!) burger is huge!
    I've always wanted to visit Florida. We will one day!

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  9. We are thinking of moving to Florida in the central Florida area so this was a great post to read.

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  10. I kinda want to do that as well -- just go to a hotel for the night, with a jacuzzi and maybe room service (heck, I'd be happy with that burger!) -- because you kinda get so complacent when you get stuck in the daily grind, day in and day out.

    wowknk at gmail dot com

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