Orlando is such a strange city.
Actually most Florida towns/cities/whatever you want to call them are a little strange.
And by that I mean they are extremely contradictory.
A bright and shiny wonderland for kids (and adults for sure) plopped down on a humid and wild land.
The landscape screams country between the ever-expanding housing developments attempting to tame it.
Enormous boxes made of ticky tacky and ornamental plaster cluster in perfect rows of residential paradise.
Thankfully some of that native Florida remains intact.
Old wooden churches and homes soak in the humidity and expand with the trees.
It is comforting to see.
And even more comforting to escape the brutal heat in the depths of a shallow green pool.
But first, Carina and were on a mission. We packed our bikes up in her parent’s car, already sweating from the heat and exertion, and drove to Winter Garden. First stop was a stroll through the teeny farmer’s market in the town square.
There were some incredible finds.
Local bee pollen (to help with my allergy-like symptoms), honey sticks infused with ginseng and peach, Hibachi beef jerky, sprouted flax crackers infused with sun dried tomatoes, a shot of sweet wheatgrass. It was a health foodie jackpot. I was so excited to finally have a shot of juiced wheatgrass. It was like a baptism into the health food world.
At 2pm we finally hopped on our bikes and set off down the West Orange Trail.
I love this trail and had biked it before… but not during the hottest time of the day during the hottest time of the year in Florida.
About 3 miles into the ride we both started feeling pretty awful. Carina was physically exhausted and I felt sick to my stomach. After 5 miles of torture we reached the trail outpost and stalked towards the water fountain in a daze. Drinking the warm water was helpful but not enough. We ended up resting in the shade for half an hour and thankfully found a fountain of cold water. We immediately felt better and realized we had been suffering some mild heat exhaustion. WHOOPS.
Getting out of the sun and drinking a lot of water helped us recover fairly quickly. I am so glad we listened to our bodies and took a break from the heat. It is a little scary to think something more serious could have happened. Florida summer is no joke people!
Recovered, we mounted our bikes and headed back to the car, dreaming of the pool. And let me tell you, the pool felt magnificent. Totally wiped from the day’s activities (and heat exhaustion!!), we ended up chilling at Carina’s parents house for the rest of the day, eating, baking, and watching Marilyn Monroe movies.
Just another day in paradise.