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Monday, June 28, 2010

What I Love/Will Miss about Orlando

I talk about myself a lot on my blog (well, it's my blog- what do you expect?) but today I'm going to change that up a bit. After four years away, it's been fun rediscovering my hometown this past year, so I thought I would make a list, in no particular order, about some of my favourite things here in O-Town, which I'll miss when I leave for graduate school in August.

The Black Sheep: Of the several yarn stores in Orlando, this one is mine. At least, I like to pretend it is. After all, my name is written in the concrete of the parking lot (really...the building used to be Track Shack). But seriously, I love the cozy feel of this small yarn/needlepoint shop. I can always find some tempting yarns in gorgeous colours. Also, they are very willing to order yarns in different colours if I need them. The owner, Anne, is always willing to talk yarn and knitting with me. A reader of my blog, she almost always know just what I’m looking for when I visit (and wasn’t surprised when I brought in the yarn from my ball-winding fiasco to ask to use the store’s winder).

Best Blog: While I won’t actually be leaving this behind, I did want to give a shout-out to my fave Orlando blog, Analog Artist, Digital World, by Thomas Thorspecken. Thor is a local sketch artist that posts a sketch every day on his blog. I’m not an expert on art, but I love his style of drawing; it seems to look beyond what is right in front of your face. In fact, I have three sketches of his that will be accompanying me to grad school. Also, his posts have directed me to several events in Orlando I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Brian Feldman: I first met Brian Feldman at a tweet-up. Since then, I’ve been involved in such crazy shenanigans as the Singing Menorah, 67 Books, and a Staring Contest. Brian is incredibly creative, and more than just a rebel without a cause. His performances often have a serious purpose behind them.

Track Shack/Track Shack Events: Sure, I work there (okay, more than just work there), but I love it too. I wouldn’t be able to spend all day helping promoting it if I didn’t believe in what the company does. Nearly daily I get read a story about how the right pair of shoes, or a group training program, or an event helped change somebody’s life into a happier, healthier one. Also, I just love the atmosphere of the races. I’ve been around runners and races literally since the day I was born, and I never get tired of it.

Power House Cafe: Nature’s Best with organic peanut butter and chocolate chips=best smoothie EVER! (in Winter Park, so not Orlando, strictly speaking, but close enough)

NYGKG: Not Your Grandmother’s Knitting Group. These ladies and guy have been a great support group this past year. Knitting brings us together once a week, but the conversation and friendship keep us coming back.

My job as an AVID tutor: I loved the opportunity I had to work with middle school children. Even though some days were frustrating, it was always worth it for the days when I got to see a light bulb turn on. I’m going to miss the students I worked with a lot; in fact, I'm going to miss them so much that this job almost kept me in Orlando for the upcoming school year. 

The 2, 3, and 4 (okay, 3.7) mile loop: These are the running routes my parents used to run with me in a baby jogger and that I run now. I know them forward and backwards, and there is a kind of comfort in their familiarity. Guess it’s time to blaze my own trails now.

My OCC Family: Orlando Community Church has been my church since I was born, and it was wonderful to be back after four years away. The members are all great, caring people, many of whom helped me deal with my disappointment of not getting into grad school. I’ll especially miss all the kids I’ve watched grow up and have taught in my Sunday School class. 

Living at Home: Well, I’ll kind of miss this. Some things for sure, others, not so much. 

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