Scientist Greek Church

Relaxingly settled at 24 North Rosalind Avenue across Lake Eola in Orlando, Florida, the First Church of Christ, Scientist is a historic Classic Roman Revival (Neoclassical) architecture in the tradition of such structures like the Putteney Bridge in Bath, United Kingdom, Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain and the Alexander Column in Palace Square at St. Petersburg, Russia.

The church was built between 1926 and 1928 and is eventually included among Orlando, Florida’s Register of Historic Places. The structure was added in the prestigious Register of Historical Places in June 3, 1980. The architecture of the building is done by George Foote Durham, who also did the design of Town Hall Seattle and a lot of other Christian Science Churches. The church sits across the street from Lake Eola, considered as one of Orlando’s magnificent scenery, despite Orlando’s growing population and transformation into a city. With a breathtaking view from the church, onlookers will find the images of people swimming and fishing on the clear waters and picnicking near its shores.

In 1892, the area was declared as a park and what had sprouted way before are a zoo, a horse race track, tennis courts, a dance area and a music broadcast. An additional attraction, the “Millennium Fountain” was also installed in 1957. Although the church was built in the early 1900s, the Christian Science services in Florida started as early as 1892 and the church has been organized in 1897, changing locations from time to time until they finally moved in the completed building. Founded by Mary Baker Eddy after a personal healing in 1866, the Church of Christ Scientist accounts the miraculous healing. Its headquarters is in Boston, Massachusetts. The Christian Science of Church has undergone a diminishing number of memberships over the past decades, with the end of the Second World War as its declining point. Churches from Fort Pierce, Holmes Beach, Jacksonville and Lake Worth, all from Florida were also dissolved. The church in Orlando wasn’t dissolved although the meeting place was transferred to 915 North Fern creek. The church is now owned by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church.

In 1975, the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, one of several Eastern Orthodox Churches (second largest single Christian communion in the world) in the USA, have taken over the neoclassical designed church. It was believed that the first Syrian-Lebanese families that arrived at the Massachusetts in the mid-1880 have introduced their faith. There were no church then and meeting and services happen in homes. The church has grown larger in membership, branching to other cities and states around the country, including Orlando. However, regardless of the turnover of the place form one religion to another, the structure would remain as it is, as one of the treasured historical places in the country.

Orlando – Florida

Orlando is one of the major cities of the U.S. state of Florida and it is the county seat of Orange County. Its best known for the many amusement attractions located there like Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando Resort to name just a few. Because of these main attractions, people from all over the world are visiting Orlando in the state of Florida, but there is so much more to see and to do beside visiting these top destinations and with this website we like to show you also the more unfamiliar tourist spots of Orlando completed with some additional information.

Especially when visiting Orlando, knowing where to go makes your vacation trip more enjoyable for sure. When your landed at Orlando Airport you could take a luxury airport limousine that brings you to the world famous Orlando Hard rock Cafe to take a short break there and recover from your flight or just find a cheap hotel and take a rest for some time, of course all depending on the length of your flight to Orlando Airport.

If your looking for luxury hotel instead you might find the Dolphin Hotel or the Swan Hotel more suitable. The next day would be perfect to visit Sea World, Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort depending on your own interest. One day might not be enough for one of these amusement parks but if your time is limited you would not like to spend more then one day at each park as there is so much more to see in Orlando. After visiting these amusement parks you might want to relax for some time and Wekiwa springs, Lake Griffin State Park or Lake Eola Park would be perfect for an evening walk. In case your still looking for adventure after your amusement park visit you might want to check out our Bars in Orlando page to find what you need.

Orlando’s historical Longwood district is located near the major tourist destinations of Orlando and worth to visit as its home of Orlando’s oldest tourist attraction called The Senator cypress, a 3000 year old cypress that was considered a wilderness sanctuary for various tribes who escaped from the Spanish rulers. Some other historic places to visit would be the Maitland Waterhouse, the Orlando Railroad Depot and the Annie Russell Theatre. For science lovers the James Webb Space Telescope would be a perfect place as it displays the full-scale model of the super powerful James Webb Space Telescope that is stated to be launched on June 2013.

If you more an art lover then the Maitland Art Center is the place to be. The Art Center was founded and designed in the year 1937 by the Architect and Artist, Jules Andre Smith and the museum has been home to many traveling exhibits as well as significant permanent collections. So no matter what your looking for, Orlando has so much to offer and we hope that you will enjoy reading the articles here on this website and learn more about this awesome city in central Florida.

Just check out the many Orlando pages we have added to this travel blog which can be easily selected by the link on the right side menu.

Orlando Vacation Tips

So you decided that you and your family (or friends) are really pushing through to Orlando as soon as possible. Probably next week or two weeks from now, it doesn’t matter. Of course, I can read what’s on your mind. A stay in Orlando without a visit among its famous landmarks: Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios or Hard Rock Cafe would either make you a loser or simply, a killjoy. To easily make the point walk across, you really want to go to Orlando with a big slice in your probability pie directing to this places.

At least, you’re honest. Why not direct yourselves to these places anyway? Orlando offers the most of breathtaking demonstrative art on theme parks and these easily comprise a big chunk on the city’s jewels. These are not just creative rides but they are also well-maintained thrill inducers. Here’s the deal, Orlando has the seven of the top ten theme parks in the country, so trying your best to jam off time in order to visit all these wonderful places may either make you insane the day or put you into a temporary comatose. Save yourself. Make sure you have a plan to direct yourself into a more enjoyable vacation rather than a disastrous one. Make sure you have the following with you in your Orlando-tripping: sunscreen, sunglasses, hats (fashionable hats are always a plus factor) and water. The Orlando sun is brutal and it can really burn your skin. Also be reminded that walking is always the best way of traversing along the streets so its advisable to wear the most comfortable walking shoes you had. However, this brutal truth must be laid at this early stage: it’s a challenge to see Orlando in one trip. One week may not even be feasible. Set your goals and don’t fall under the trap of seeing everything in one fell swoop may not be enjoyable in your part.

Another reminder: fun in Orlando is associated with taxes, and other add-ons that could lead you to a bankrupting situation, of course unless you are Bill Gates, so it’s better to intelligently budget the money you have for the places that you really want to savor. Expect that you will be charged high on the theme parks, on the hotels, on the parking area. Getting around Orlando can be done in two options. First is through a tour operator which could be included in your vacation package. However, this means that you will spend all your time exclusively at Disney or Universal. “But what about the museums, the art centers,” you cry out loud. Then you can rent a car, or if you have your own car, then more terrific! The only setback of this option is that Orlando road is a certified maze and you have the responsibility to overcome that.

Lastly, despite the fact that security may be considered at its best on most of the theme parks, it’s still important to take good care of yourself for there will people with suspicious might be all over the place. Safety reminder: don’t bring wads of cash with you and depend on your ATM for the mean time. Enjoy your Orlando vacation!

Orlando Taxi Cab

Another recommended mode of transportation in Orlando is through its vast taxi services. From the Orlando International Airport to Orlando’s precious attractions: Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios, Convention Center, hotels and even the rest of Florida, a journey with a taxicab has never been a bad option to take.

First in the list of taxi transportation is Mears Transportation which has been in the taxicab service since 1939. One of its largest contracted providers is the Yellow Cab company which is servicing at the Orlando International Airport. Mears is one of the only five licensed taxi operators in the airport. Aside from taxi service, Mears also offer shuttle and luxury sedan services as well. Crown Reliable Cab is another courteous and dependable taxicab service that transports its passengers anywhere in the famous attractions of the city of Orlando, and its suburbs including Winter Park, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Kissimmee and Oviedo among others.

It also offers transportation to Port Canaveral for those who are planning out on a cruise. Crown Reliable has a hundred of cabs in its possession that are all ready to pick up customers. The company’s website also offers discount coupons that can be printed on their website and present it to at the time of service. Ten percent off the price can be deducted for those who are going to the airport and those whose fare has exceeded thirty dollars.

Orlando Cab Company is just like other taxi services that transport their passengers to and/or from airports to any destinations in Orlando like International Drive, Dr. Phillips, Lake Buena Vista and Champion’s Gate. The difference is that while other companies are enjoying as they rake their flat rates to individual passengers, the Orlando Cab Company is a metered taxi service which is regulated and inspected by the State of Florida. This means that five passengers in the ride will always equate to a price of one. The company has started its operation since 1993 and has been continuously serving tourists, corporations and locals. Operation is 24/7, and reservations are also accepted.

Star Transportation is another reliable transportation company in Orlando. Among its featured vehicles are limousines, shuttle vans, SUVs and of course, its taxicabs. Star Taxi is established in 1995 and is authorized by the city and in the Orlando International Airport and has been chosen as service provider for numerous corporate clients from restaurants, resorts and hotels, as well as the resident and visitors of Central Florida. To ensure god service to its passengers, Star Taxi has been rigorously maintaining and inspecting each vehicle for cleanliness and corporate look. All taxis have no advertisement displays as well and all of the drivers according to their knowledge of the region and their professionalism.

Study in Orlando

Prospective university students who look forward to taking a degree in the Orlando region have a myriad of options waiting them, especially for those who are planning to pursue a career in film and television since these are one of the most developing sectors in the area. One famous institution is the University of Central Florida which has been a location to many TV series and the university that housed the film students that made one of the most successful independent films ever made, now a cult classic, “The Blair Witch Project.

University of Central Florida (UCF) is the largest undergraduate school in Orlando and the sixth largest university in the USA. Originally named Florida Technological University, it was founded in 1963 to support the Kennedy Space Center. Its name changed in 1978 since it started offering courses of all academic fields. UCF has eleven colleges: Burnett Honors College, College of Arts and Humanities (Art, Music, Theater, Film, Digital Media, Philosophy, History, Modern Languages etc.) College of Business Administration (Accounting, Finance, Management Information Systems, Marketing etc.), College of Education, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Health and Public Affairs (Social Work, Public Administration, Health Professions, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies), Rosen College of Hospitality Management (Event Management, Restaurant and Foodservice Management, Hospitality Management), College of Medicine, Burnett School of Biomedical Science (Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Medical Laboratory Science), College of Nursing, College of Optics and Photonics and College of Sciences which is divided into Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Forensic Science, Mathematics etc.) and Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Anthropology, Political Science etc.).

One of Florida’s oldest recognized colleges, Rollins College in Winter Park suburb was founded in 1885 by New England Congregationalists. Its three schools house a variety of programs: College of Arts and Sciences (Anthropology, Critical Media and Cultural Studies, Economics, Theatre, International Relations, Studio Arts, Music, Film Studies etc), Hamilton Holt School which courses are offered in the evening (MA in Mental Health Counseling, Master of Liberal Studies, Master of Human Resources etc.) and the Crummer Graduate School of Business which boasts its professional MBA program as one of the top twenty-five in the whole nation, according to US News & World Report. In addition, Rollins College ranks the highest among 121 Southern master’s-level universities in the annual rankings of “America’s Best Colleges,” released by U.S. News & World Report.

Did you know that the famous Gatorade sports drink is developed by researchers at the University of Florida? This tidbit of information is for the Public Ivy University, the second largest university and one of the biggest research universities in the United States. The University of Florida is divided into 16 colleges offering over 100 undergraduate and 200 undergraduate degrees. UF is composed of colleges of Dentistry, Public Health and Health Professions (located in Orlando), Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Accounting, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Performance, Engineering, Law, Journalism and Communications, Agricultural Sciences, Design Construction and Planning, Fine Arts and Education. Aside from being one of the best universities in the nation, a number of its buildings are considered Historic sites.

Other colleges and universities inside Orlando are Webster University, Bethune-Cookman College, Central Florida Community College, Florida Institute of Technology, Herzing College, Seminole Community College, Stetson University and Valencia Community College.

Shopping in Orlando

This is the catch: So you’ve finally circumnavigated the wholeness of International Drive yet U2′s 1980s hit, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” would continuously reverberate in your mind. Don’t fret and stop being disappointed because shopping doesn’t stop at International Drive alone. Orlando has more shopping malls to offer and you might be surprised to what these centers offer.

Do you want to choose from 150 of the world’s finest stores in one single roof? Then Mall at Millenia at Conroy Road is the best option for you. Expect to be bombarded and be tempted with countless international brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Zara, Burberry, Cartier, Intermix, Louis Vuitton, Park Promenade Jewelers, David Yurman and a lot more. Simply put, the Mall at Millenia promises its customers the lap of luxury as pictured through its finest collection of designer brands.

The mall has the following department stores inside its structure: Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, and other specialty stores as well such as Lacoste, Montblanc, Abercrombie and Fitch, Mac and Juicy Couture. The mall’s impressive architecture and interior design have also been its biggest attractions for different events like runway fashions. Shows from New York, London and Paris have been projected on the 35-foot high masts. Aside from the eye-opening display of its greatest products, the mall also offers a wide array of dining options that ranges from the exotic to classic. Including in its roster of martini lounges is Blue Martini that assures customers an entertainment that is no other.

Select among this list of restaurants and eat your hearts out: The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s China Bistro, California Pizza Kitchen, Panera Bread, a big list of mouth-watering dining experiences. Altamonte Mall in East Altamonte Drive is another mall to look forward to. Altamonte offers a wide array of options whether it could be shopping, dining or entertainment. Enjoyment is the key factor in this place, and it’s appeal doesn’t limit just to “shop until you drop” type of persons but to a broader range of people, whether one is simply a window shopper, a simple relaxed stroller or an entertainment seeker. Be ready to be bombarded with brands of different essentials such as Banana Republic, Bath and Body Works, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Solstice and Cathy Jean.

Those who want to save more but still aspire to catch their favorite designers and brands shall go to Lake Buena Vista Factory Shops which are located just a mile away from Walt Disney World. This shopping haven has a lot to offer: clothes, dresses, dolls, gifts, perfumes books, you name it, they most probably have it. To put all the brands that this mall offers may provide a lot of extra space. For a breather of brands, here’s a little list: Anne Klein, Armani, Azza, Citizen, Clinique, Puma, Timberland, Swiss Army, Nautica and a lot more.

Restaurants in Orlando

Looking for the best dining experience at Orlando City? Orlando offers a wide variety of selections which range from American to Italian to French to Japanese dishes. One indication that yours is money well-spent in a restaurant once you leave their premises feeling full, while feeling energetic and relaxed at the same time. It’s also important to plan ahead before dining: decide what food groups would appropriate in your meal. Remember that food enjoyment must factor in healthy eating.

One of the most famous dining experiences can be found at the classic Mediterranean setting of Mandolins Restaurant. The restaurant has been a typical attraction for Orlando-housed families and business travelers alike. Managed by the Radisson Resort Parkway, this 232-seat restaurant has been continuously praised for the sophisticated dining experience it gives to its visitors, giving a knack for the unique atmosphere of modern and classic periods.

Mandolins Restaurant is also composed of diversified well-trained chefs that have already garnered years of experiences. Some have even worked in European restaurants and studied at the prestigious Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy. Mandolins’ menu includes a variety of unique dishes which may encourage diners to try a kind of cuisine they don’t normally get at home. Many do find the experience a thrillingly delectable one. Kids under five wouldn’t be charged.

Here’s a brief description of some of the most popular restaurants and dining places in Orlando:

For people who wants o discover the best of traditional Mexican cuisine, proceed to Vallarta Mexican Grill which can be found both in Kissimmee and Lake Buena Vista. Expect to enjoy delicious Mexican dishes and ice-cold margaritas while drowning in the sounds of the live mariachi band.

Those looking for exotic location for a dining experience should go to Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Considered as the most realistic rain forest ever created, the Amazon-feel doesn’t just offer great food but of souvenirs and remarkable adventures as well.

Lovers of the Tom Hanks-starred film Forrest Gump will surely enjoy at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., located at Universal Orlando. Who wouldn’t enjoy reading and ordering its menu which include a “Bucket of Boat Trash” which is actually a combination of deep fried shrimp, lobster and mahi-mahi, “I’m Stuffed Shrimp”, baked large srimp stuffed with a crab and “Run Chicken Run,” a chicken and greens salad. The restaurant features a mix of Forrest Gump memorabilia and reproductions of script pages, storyboards, costumes, shoes, and still photos.”

Voted as “Best Theme Restaurant,” NBA City sends basketball fanatics as well as famished non-fans alike galloping in the restaurant for the taste bud and gut satisfaction. Definitely, NBA City is a combination of the best foods (which range from American cuisines, fresh pastas and pizzas), authentic NBA merchandise and a basketball game area. The main dining room actually features two 10×15-foot video screens that suit the viewing pleasure of NBA fanatics.

Orlando Film Festival

Orlando’s film production boomed in the early 1990s, with much gratitude extended to the construction of the Disney-MGM Studios and Universal Studios production facilities along the area, constantly magnetizing filmmakers to their direction. Orlando has been a favorable site for on-location shooting with noteworthy films such as Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13” (1995, nominated for Oscars, Best Picture), Patty Jenkin’s “Monster” (2003, an Oscar win for Charlize Theron, Best Actress), and Steven Soderbergh’s all-star ensemble cast “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) listed on its resume. Truly, Orlando has dedicated its world in the cinema and the arts making it a perfect host for famous film festivals that cater to an audience of varied tastes. First in the list is the Florida Film Festival (FFF), an annual international film festival in the suburbs of Maitland.

It is hosted and produced by the Enzian Theater that bears the motto, “Film is Art.” This non-profit art house theater has an unconventional yet cozily attractive atmosphere, with viewers sitting around tables of drinks and meals while the film is rolling. The film festival is also funded by Orange County through the Arts and Cultural Affairs Program. The film festival showcases both feature films and short films. Narrative and documentary can be submitted on the feature film category. Same thing goes with the short film category, with the addition of animation and new media works on its list. Special screenings include Florida Films, Midnight Movies and Italian Cinema Night. FFF also holds educational film forums, cocktails and parties on its list of special events.

The Florida Film Festival is mostly being held from the last week of March to the first week of April, and is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the United States. One win can equate to an Academy Award consideration. Other festivals that carry the same prestige are the Seattle International Film Festival and Rhode Island International Film Festival. Some of the major winners in the recently concluded 2008 Florida Film Festival are “Tell No One,” directed by Guillaume Canet, bagged the Audience Award for Best International Feature, “Operation Filmmaker” by Nina Davenport as Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature, “Teat Beat of Sex” by Signe Baumane as Grand Jury Award for Animated Short and the musical gay film “Were the World Mine” directed by Tom Gustafson as the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. Prominent people in the film industry who served as guests in the Florida Film Festival include actors Malcolm McDowell, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi and Christopher Walken and directors Ed Burns, Oliver Stone and Campbell Scott.

Another film festival hosted by the Enzian Theater is the annual Gay Orlando Film Festival, which is each year held in October. Although the Orlando Gay and Lesbian Film Series has been off the waves of the area since 1994. Some of the films that were screened here are “Boy Culture” (2007) and “The Gymnast” (2007). A new film festival, only on its third year, is the Orlando Film Festival that aims to utilize the film medium to promote downtown Orlando’s culture. Venues for the 2008 Film Festival are the 240-seater City Arts Factory and Galler at Avalon Island.

History of Orlando

Wonder how Orlando City has faired more than a century ago before literally being well-known as an amusement park city? Its known history starts to unfold in 1838 during the Seminole Wars. In 1840, a small community known as Jernigan, after cattleman Aaron Jernigan’s family, had grown up and established a settlement in the area. As proof of their existence is a post-office dated May 30, 1850. In 1857, the community, officially changed its name to Orlando, and would then be incorporated as a town in 1875, with 85 inhabitants. The origin of the city’s name remains a mystery up to date. Four versions currently exist. First is Judge James Speer who was rumored to name the city after a man who once worked for him. Another version is that he named it after a character in the play, “As You Like It,” a William Shakespeare masterpiece.

A third version includes that of a man named Orlando who is on his way to Tampa with a caravan of ox and eventually got ill, died and was buried in the area. This is when folks would by and describe the place, “There lies Orlando.” The last story is the most common and widely believed, about a company of soldiers on duty during the Seminole Wars. Sentinel Orlando Reeves was guarding the camp when a floating log emerged in front of him. After he warned the camp with a gun shot, he would then be ambushed by arrows from the Indians. His act was considered heroic, and buried him in Lake Eola and giving the name of the town to his honor. Orlando has become famous for its citrus plantation not after the Great Freeze in 1894 to 1895 which destroyed the groves. They would then shift in utilizing the land as lots for different structures. Notable homesteaders in the area were the Curry family and Word family. The former owns a property in east Orlando including a part of the Econlockhatchee River (or Econ river for short) while the latter owns 150 acres of property. Orlando has been a very popular resort destination since the Spanish-American War and the First World War.

1920 marked a large housing boom in the city, with land prices soared, only to end during the Great Depression. World War II has also opened a lot of changes in the city, with Orlando becoming a known air base. Orlando’s proximity to Parick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Kennedy Space Center allowed residents to commute to work from the city’s suburbs. Many high-tech companies would then shift to the Orlando area. Basically the greatest highlight of Orlando’s economy is when Walt Disney built his majestic resort in the area. The Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971 and has started becoming the area’s centerpiece of economy and a consistent top vacation destination in the world.

Mobile Homes Orlando

If you’re looking for an economical alternative in your few days of stay in Orlando, then staying in a mobile home park may be a very good idea. Mobile homes, also called as static caravans, are homes that are built in factories and then transported to their respective location by tractor-trailers. These houses, despite planned to be left in one location in permanence can still be moved in other areas provided if such action is needed to be done. These kinds of housing are often for temporary accommodation only. Most of Central Florida’s counties have affordable mobile homes to cater tourists.

Big Oaks RV and Mobile Home Community is just nearby Orlando’s key attractions like Epcot Center, Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios. Specifically situated at 16654 U.S. Highway 41 in Spring Hill, Big Oaks is one of the finest RV Park in Orlando area. Visitors in the community will find the whole area a conducive place for relaxation, recreation and socialization. All mobile houses have new restrooms, bath house and laundry facilities. The 3,600 square foot recreation center features Internet access, card room, exercise room, video library and pool table. People may socialize at the community fire pit or while playing croquet or while enjoying a relaxing moment in the heated swimming pool. Rock Springs Mobile Home Park in 39 Tanglewood, Apopka is located just minutes away from downtown and Walt Disney Resort.

Visitors of the mobile home park may consider the place a convenient one since it’s just a walking distance from necessary landmarks such as public transportation, dining places, supermarkets, banks, video stores and the post ofice. They can also enjoy a walk in the Wekiwa Springs Park or go bike riding down the West Orange Trail. Amenities of the park include clubhouse, swimming pool and basketball court, perfect place to gain new friends especially with other visitors. Located in 3465 South Goldenrod Road in Orlando, Carriage Court East is an award-winning peaceful and friendly community that has been serving its residents at its best.

The community takes pride for its well-maintained recreational amenities that include swimming pool, tennis courts and basketball courts. It’s just near the Florida Hospital, Orlando International Airport, Wal-Mart and the fire department. Another mobile home park located at South Golden Road in Orlando , this time at 4505, is the Gulfstream, Harbor. Security is one of the park’s main concerns, having its gate manned by guard. The site includes the following amenities: fishing lakes, three swimming pools, three community clubhouses, barbeque area, indoor and outdoor spas and sauna, big screen television, children’s playground, video and book library, lighten tennis courts, and lakeside walking paths. Pets are also welcome in the park, so no need to worry about your cute pooch. Above all this magnificent list of amenities is possible activities where you and your family or friends can enjoy with other visitors such as bowling, crafting and bingo.