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A saintly visit to Florida’s east coast, plus dining, football and an event for seniors

Posted on Friday, November 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm

St. Augustine is a blend of old and new, with lots of dining and shopping mixed in

St. Augustine is a blend of old and new, with lots of dining and shopping mixed in

Etc. Etc. and So Forth

By Peter Covino

Lifestyles Editor

You don’t have to venture too far from home to find a great escape.

I just got back from three days in St. Augustine and though I’ve been there before, this was the longest stay ever at this dynamic little city that offers so much that is old as well as new.

There will be an in-depth look at the city, things to see, great dining spots and more in the next week or two in the Osceola News-Gazette, but with the holidays inching ever so much closer, Central Floridians should consider themselves really lucky to be so nearby.

Did you know that the city’s holiday light display is ranked with right up there with the very best in the country? Workers were still installing lights around the historic district while I was there, but the dazzling light show, combined with great eats and all that history, make St. Augustine one of the best places to be from now until Christmas.

The city is bustling on the weekend, but if you can time your visit to start on a Monday or Tuesday, the streets will almost be yours.

And it is such a pedestrian friendly city as well. You can walk just about everywhere (and walking is so nice in the fall), but if your legs tire, there are lots of trolley/tour bus options and if you are really feeling romantic, you can take a ride on one of those horse-drawn carriages.

Food trucks

The heat has returned (okay, so maybe it isn’t as bad as August, but it is still too darn hot), but it should be comfortable enough tonight for the monthly return of the food trucks to downtown Kissimmee.

The trucks can be found in the same place, same time (6 to 9 p.m. in front of the civic center).

Trucks currently scheduled to appear are: Bem Bom, Cafe Rouge, Fork in the Road, The Crepe Company, Melissa’s Chicken and Waffles, Korean BBQ Taco Box, Twisted Cuban, Wako Taco, Tastebuds, C&S Brisket Bus, Carobama BBQ, Monsta Lobsta, Over Rice Food Truck, Treasure Island Treats, The Big Cheese, Charlie’s Bakery, Ice Cream Social, Yum Yum Cupcake Truck.

Football part one

Whatever happened to that great Osceola High School vs. St. Cloud High School rivalry? When the two schools played back in the 1980s and before, it seemed like the whole county shutdown in anticipation of the big game. The rivalry, one of the oldest in the entire state, resumes once again tonight at Kowboys field in Kissimmee at 7:30 p.m.

Football part two

Whatever happened to that great Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs rivalry? This has always been a marquee game for the SEC and going into the 2013 season, it looked like it would be a matchup between two top ten teams, with the winner representing the SEC East  in the championship game. Now, neither team is ranked, and the loser will be hoping for a big bowl game in Shrevesport, La.

The clocks, the clocks do something about the clocks

In case it slipped your mind, Daylight Savings Times ends this weekend, but do you really have to set the clocks back?

I don’t have a clock (phone, TV, car) that doesn’t account for the change except for the microwave that is always blinking 12:00, 12:00, 12:00 so I guess I can sleep right through that 2 a.m. change.

Puerto Rico Parade

I don’t remember getting emails on this (probably because I didn’t get any) but just found out the Puerto Rican Parade, Expo and Festival is Saturday and Sunday at Osceola Heritage Park.

I still can’t find much in the way of details, so maybe just show up and hope for the best if you are interested.

Senior Expo

I did get an email for next weekend’s Senior Expo, coming to Osceola Heritage Park, Nov. 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Seniors certainly aren’t what they used to be. This event now includes practically all of the Baby Boomer generation and older.

Both days will be filled with exhibits, seminars and entertainment, all geared towards Florida’s senior community.

Yes, there will be experts there to answer questions about Medicare and Social Security. And you can even get a flu shot for free (if you arrive early, the Osceola Health Department will give free immunizations to the first 100 people each day).

Other events include a tasting of African wines at the Travel to Africa exhibit and more free samples from local restaurants.

Admission and parking are free.

Cook Orlando

Another fun cooking/dining event is on tap next weekend, Cook Orlando Food Festival and Competition at the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market, next Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. (The market is located on the corner of Central Boulevard and Eola Drive.

Participating restaurants include:

  • Fresh
  • Gringos Locos
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • K Restaurant
  • John Michael Catering
  • Maxine’s on Shine
  • Mi Tomatina Paella Bar
  • Romano’s Macaroni Grill
  • Shari Sushi Lounge
  • The Rusty Spoon
  • Whiskey Dicks

Funds raised from the event go to The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

General and VIP admission is available.

  • VIP Admission is $100
  • General Admission is $40 in advance
  • Children 12 and under are free


For more information about COOK Orlando visit