Best of Summer 2018 in Winter and College Park

My Summer Break has officially come to a close (I’m a teacher.) I didn’t go anywhere new or cool, but I did accomplish my goal of knitting and crocheting like crazy. I binged on Netflix’s Jessica Jones (it’s sooooo gooood!) I finally finished the Appalachian Baby Blanket that took me an entire year. Other cool activities included:

-The opening of Gratitude Coffee Shop in College Park! Still the best cold brew and so reasonably priced. I actually had a dream some big company bought her out and was charging $7 for a cold brew but everyone still gladly paid it.

-The opening of The Heavy in the old Lombardi’s spot. While the aesthetic is supreme, it’s mostly overpriced plants and pots. I’ll stick to my trusty Florida Cactus Inc. in Apopka. While it’s a bit of a drive and there’s no coffee bar, it’s a whole experience that can’t be duplicated.

-32789 lunches that include Black Bean Deli, Mediterranean Deli, and my new favorite, Soho Juice that whips up heavenly smoothie bowls that stay on your mind.

-and of course… more crystals because I’m officially obsessed.

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New Plants

The cold snap in Florida over the past few months pretty much killed everything I had outside. I neglected to bring them inside because I have 2 curious kittens that will munch on anything. It seemed like we were finally out of the woods so a trip to Renniger’s in Mt. Dora was necessary to replenish what I lost. The man with the overgrown little greenhouse in the back never disappoints. His prices are insane and he knows everything about all his plants. He gives great care tips and sells a mysterious ziplock bag of fertilizer that you can “put on anything.” I scored an amazing (and tall) Dwarf Fiddle Leaf Fig tree for $15. That alone was worth the drive.

I’m a teacher so I can never get to Florida Cactus Inc. except when it’s a break or holiday, because of their hours. I was able to restock my succulent collection this President’s Day.

New General

New General, Winter Park FL

Last week, I thought I saw a picture on Instagram of this place but forgot what it was called and where it was. I drove up and down Park Ave looking for it and couldn’t find it. I tried googling it but was searching “General Store” and came up with nothing. I gave up and thought maybe I imagined it or something but then my cousin texted me about it and told me where it actually was. It’s right down from Luma next to Colonial Drugs. I can’t remember what the building used to be. It’s so cool, it’s almost too cool for Winter Park, but is Winter Park becoming dare-I-say ‘that’ cool? It has everything¬† we love right now; cacti, neutral colors, ridiculously high priced leather goods, canvas, clogs, and tiny wooden bowls. Oh and coffee. The cold brew was delicious, very strong. I only tasted it since I’m off coffee right now and my cold brew heart belongs to Gratitude Coffee.

fullsizerender-6Knitted soap mit thingy, $18.

A trip to Florida Cactus Inc. in Apoka, FL. The truth is out there…

cacti

I hesitated whether or not I should share this secret… a hidden gem in Apopka, FL. Down a dirt road lies 750,000 square feet of green treasures, ready for you to take home and care for as your own. First, you go to the office where you pick up a shopping basket and price guide with a map. When I walked into the first greenhouse, I felt like I stepped into something I shouldn’t know about. Like it was the last season of the X-Files, I felt like fucking Samantha was going to appear and I’d get stabbed with something into my neck.

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Row upon rown upon row of healthy little babies, looking up at you crying for their mamas.

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I felt like Dorothy, with my shopping basket, skipping through Emerald City.

cactiThen you have to decide who gets to go home with you. The prices are great, calculated by the size of the pot. There’s even a little ruler in the price guide to help you. And they give you a cardboard box to take them home. Fun for the whole family, and they play great music, which includes Belinda Carlisle. Just when you thought there was nothing great in Florida…I want to believe.