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Drinking to pretty Osceola sunsets with a “Shirley Temple”

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 10:02 am




By Peter Covino
A&E Editor
Talking about your pretty sunsets, it doesn’t get much nicer than the sun setting on a cool, winter evening at the  recently-opened Twin Oaks Conservation Area.
This was my first time in the conservation area, an almost 400-acre piece of land, located just off Macy Island Road (which is located just off of Henry Partin Settlement Road).
I tagged along with a group from the Osceola County Camera Club on one of their regular photo shooting outings this week.
So there we were, admiring the quiet and beauty of this former ranch land, they of big lens and tripods and monopods and me, with my Nexus 5 cell phone. I will say one thing about my cell phone, versus some Nikon camera with a bunch of lenses — it sure it nice to be portable.
If you are interested in taking photos of wildlife (eagles are apparently frequent visitors to the wildlife area, as well as hawks), you are going to need a bigger, better camera. But if you are just going to sit on the dock by the lake, waiting for the sun to go down, a cell phone camera will do quite nicely.
In addition to the fishing dock, the conservation area features a distinctive windmill-powered water station for horses (if you should just happen to bring a horse)  near the front of the former ranch. Twin Oaks also has a canoe and kayak launch area and a covered pavilion area with tables and benches for a Sunday picnic. There are also trails for horseback riding and hiking.
The conservation area is open from dawn to dusk, but overnight camping is permited with advance reservation.
A drink for Shirley
The memorium list for the  upcoming Oscar ceremonies just got a little bit longer a few days ago with the passing of Hollywood icon Shirley Temple. Anyone who grew up with Shirley (her movies were seemingly on all the time when I was kid) probably died a little bit themselves with her passing.
In an age where former child stars like Justin Bieber could actually  be ordered to leave the U.S. for his alleged egging incident of a neighbor (what a waste of a super-sized omelet) it’s nice to think back on the innocence of little Shirley Temple.
Temple joins an Oscar memorium list that wil probably include most recent additions, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Maximilian Schell and Dave Madden.
So lets all raise a glass, “a Shirley Temple” of course, to Shirley.
The drink, suppposedly concocted in the 1930’s at Chasen’s restaurant in Beverly Hills, for the little miss, contains ginger ale, a splash of grenadine and a maraschino cherry.
The adult Temple replaced ginger ale with alcoholic ginger beer and dark rum. Way to go, Shirley.
I never knew this was a similar drink for the boys, a “Roy Rogers.” It is made with cola and grenadine syruy and the ever present maraschino cherry.
Happy manatees
With all the bad press SeaWorld has gotten of late,  and the debate on the treatment of killer whales (I won’t be singing at its Bands, Brew and BBQ Festival in any case, this weekend) the theme park should be commended for all the good work they do to rehabilitate sick and injured marine animals.
This week, SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team (and some other agencies) returned three manatees to the Blue Spring State Park.
The three manatees were rescued from the St. Johns River in Jacksonville due to cold stress. “Sissy” was rescued on December 18, 2013, and “Bycatch” was rescued a week later on Dec. 26,  by the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team. A few weeks later, on Jan. 5, “Wallace” was rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Following their rescue, Sissy, Wallace, and Bycatch were transported to SeaWorld Orlando for medical care and rehabilitation. Over the past few months, they received treatment, including antibiotics, fluids and other supportive care. After being medically cleared for today’s return, the three manatees were transported by SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team to Blue Spring State Park, a designated manatee sanctuary.
At the time of their release, Sissy weighed 460 pounds and was 7 feet long, Wallace weighed 660 pounds and was nearly 8 feet long, and Bycatch weighed 775 pounds and measured just over 8 feet long.
SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 23,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than four decades.
If you see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 888 404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.
We recently reported some big changes coming to the food court at Florida Mall. Well Orlando’s Waterford Lakes Town Center has announced some new shopping and eating opportunities as well.
Waterford Lakes Town Center has announced soon-to-be added Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant and Winery, Fresh To Order, Body Alive Nutrition and Marlow’s Tavern, as well as the now-open Banana Republic.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant is slated to open this April, a place for  wine connoisseurs, includes an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, and Napa-style tasting room as well as a retail gift store.
Fresh To Order is also projected to open at the mall in 2014, as the first location to open in Florida.  The restaurant is a pioneer in the ‘fast fine’ food concept by offering a level of quality that is found in casual fine dining with the price point of a fast casual establishment. Well that is what the release says, anyway.
Locally owned and operated, Body Alive Nutrition will open its doors in April and  Marlow’s Tavern, which has other locations in Central Florida, will open in late 2014.
I personally anxiously await the arrival of the area’s first Trader Joes market. Trader Joe’s (it is an adventure in grocery shopping) comes to Winter Park later this year and the Orlando area will actually get a second Trader Joe’s in the Dr. Phillips area. That project was only recently approved by the Orange County Commission.
Also coming soon, is the Minus5 Ice Bar, one of those bars where everything (bars, tables, benches, walls and even the glasses) are made of ice.
This will be the fourth U.S. location for Minus5 and it is coming to Pointe Orlando on International Drive in the spring.
There will be more information on the frozen-themed concept (Orlando’s Minus5 will have a tropical/space coast theme apparently) as the opening gets closer.
If you have a new, interesting business/restaurant send me an email at pcovino@osceolanewsgazette or if you want to share the experience of your first “Shirley Temple” you can find me on my Twitter account at @ICmovies.