Davenport is only 20 miles from Disney World in Orlando, but we've been there and done that tourist trap when Jillian and Richard were small. And after enduring long lines and cranky kids, not to mention the high cost of an admission ticket, we vowed we'd never go again. But we should never say never! Our son Richard and his friend are flying to Orlando next weekend and guess where they want to go? Disney World!
This week we looked for tourist places off the beaten path and decided that a day in the park--Winter Park--might be just the ticket.
Located on the outskirts of Orlando, Winter Park is an enclave of winter homes that were built by wealthy industrialists in the late 19th century. The rich still live here in mansions surrounding the chain of lakes found within the city's limits. More about that in a moment.
But first, we stopped at Casa Feliz, a restored Spanish farmhouse designed by architect James Gamble Rogers II, which overlooks the golf course in the heart of Winter Park. Rogers (1901-1990) built several homes in Winter Park but this is perhaps his best-known.
I found the house charming inside and out.
His studio was interesting, too.
A friend told me that the most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany could be viewed at the Charles Hosmer Morris Museum so we walked a few blocks south to its location.
There we found incredibly beautiful stained glass works of art. Most were saved from the 1957 fire that devastated Laurelton Hall, Tiffany's Long Island estate. I wish I could have used my camera to capture his 1893 chapel created for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago which the museum reconstructed as well as more of his works. However, photography was not allowed in the museum, except for one room which housed the Daffodil Terrace from Tiffany's home. I guess I'll just have to return to this museum again to keep my memories from fading.
No trip to Winter Park should be considered complete without a boat tour of its lakes and canals so we walked a few blocks east from the museum to where the boats dock. Our pontoon boat took us through winding canals that connected the lakes while we oohed and ahhed at the homes that lined the shores.
|The Rogers' home|
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood!