Orlando, FL

Orlando, FL

A very lazy day in the sun. We hung around the pool from about 930 till 4. Popped back to the condo for snacks but otherwise we were either on our lounger or in the water.
Spent at least half the time talking about what we had to do when we got home. What we needed to do for the girls. Even though Lucy doesn’t live with us anymore and Daisy is only home temporarily while finishing this MA, we still have a lot of responsibilities for them. When we get home we have a load of minor handiman tasks for Lu and decorating things. She is varyingly grateful and often downright ungrateful and prickly. Its hard to balance advice often learned the hard way over these years with being tactful with her youthful enthusiasm and pride.
Daisy needs a lot of help with her dissertation in terms of a discussion focus and that falls to me. Obviously I don’t mind but it is stressful and clearly she has no idea how stressful it is. It is at the end of long holidays like this that I ponder about the pleasures and deficits of life back in the UK. On one hand I love to see them and be with them and be in my own house. On the other hand, I dread the hard manual work of decorating and humping furniture around Lu’s new flat especially with her rather unforgiving nature plus I also feel the burden of being the study partner of Daisy’s dissertation and her job hunt plus – oh did I not mention the running of our own home and our garden. So… it fun to be going home…???? We’ll see….

tonight we had a most amazing dinner at Charleys. This was a steakhouse recommended to us by our old friend Bret from St Charles Illinois. We met Bret and Cherie his beautiful wife, and their beautiful family of girls back in in 1990 when Lucy was born and I searched for a childminder 3 days a week to share her care post 6 months when I needed to go back to work. Cherie was a brilliant partner in helping to raise Lu and we became good friends with the Scharpenter family during the 18 months we were together before we moved back to the UK. We have met up several times since and taken great pleasure in seeing their three beautiful daughters become beautiful young women with wonderful families of their own. Anyway, Bret, who knows a thing or two about steaks and wine , recommended Charleys to us. If Bret, tells you a steakhouse is good, you know its going to be GOOD.
So, we saved Charleys for our last free night. This may or may not have been a mistake. It was brilliant. We would have eaten there more than once given the chance!!!!
The ambience is very nice. Old world classic steakhouse. Very friendly and knowledgeable wait staff. We started with cocktails which were gin and tonics. Chokingly strong and good. then an amuse of lobster bisque which was deep, chilli chasing and brandy rich. then our salads. really really good with massive chunks of bacon/lardons on top and plenty of crumbled cheese. Could have eaten two plates. we had been given the steak trolley talk earlier. all the different steak cuts explained, I had gone for the porterhouse which was grain fed and well marbled 35 days aged. Bob had decided to be adventurous and had the bison ribeye which was similarly aged but from a bison not t a cow. All of the animals served at Charleys are from their own special organically ranged herds . the steaks are then aged on the premises and grilled on only natural substances. this means no charcoal, but only orange and olive wood. alI I can say is that the meat was exemplary. bob’s bison was just extraordinarily flavourful and so tender….. my porterhouse was massive, tender, well seasoned and perfectly cooked. 24 oz and about 1.55 inches thick. served rare. Perfect
It was a most delicious dinner and we will definitely return when next in Orlando. I heartily recommend it to you. well deserving of its uS Top 10 Steakhouse position.

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