I arrived home from Baltimore last night, quite a bit later than planned due to weather delays in the Orlando, and later Baltimore area; not uncommon for late afternoon in summer time.
That’s one reason I don’t like to leave or fly home to Orlando in summer afternoons due to the high probability of afternoon storms. This week though, I needed to work on Friday, and wasn’t scheduled to fly out until 4pm. I flew home nonstop on Jet Blue, after a 2 1/2 hour weather delay, at least an hour and a half of which was spent on the plane waiting for the storm to pass. At least the Baltimore Airport had rocking chairs I could relax in during the delay, and I ‘rocked away’ while waiting and checking emails.
Once onboard, we were delayed as well as the storm slowly swept thru the area, temporarily closing the airport. Jet Blue offers free TV, and once airborne free internet, so the delay and flight didn’t seem nearly as bad as it could have been on other carriers. Plus Jet Blue has more legroom than others, and I always purchase the ‘Even More Space’ for $35 each way for a nice 38 inch pitch – comparable to most domestic airlines First Class pitch, although without the seat width or extra service. Anyway, it was a nice couple hour flight once we were under way, and I was off the plane around 8:38pm, a couple hours later than the scheduled 6:15pm arrival. Unlike most weeks, Steve (DOS) was not there to meet me, which felt a bit lonely walking past security and our meeting point, which was eerily quiet at this hour on Friday night. I drove to the Orlando Airport this week instead, due to my later Monday departure and Friday arrival times. I’m glad too as it was dark by the time I got to the airport parking garage, and I wouldn’t want DOS (or anybody) waiting for me that long.Anyway, I was home by 9:30, and DOS had our appetizers and salad waiting for me, although I took a quick dip in the pool before eating as I felt a bit grubby from the flight and humidity of the day. I later grilled steaks on ‘Mendoza time’, which was around 10:30pm! We had a late dinner and then headed for bed, excited about our ‘stay cation’ tomorrow (Saturday).
After sleeping in a bit from getting home late last night, I did my laundry and prepared for my trip next week to the Philadelphia area, as well as packed for our overnight ‘stay cation’ at the Hyatt.
This is our third annual ‘Generous Pour‘ wine event at the Capital Grille Restaurant. While it’s been going on for several years, we just became aware of it a couple years ago, and it’s not only a bargain, but it’s lots of fun too! Each year, Capital Grille selects 7 wines which they offer for diners at $28 a person, which is basically what the name says – a ‘Generous Pour’! The first year we thought it would be a small sip of each wine, but it truly is unlimited wine with in the seven wines offered, as long as you purchase an entree – quite a deal for serious ‘winos’!
Since we don’t drink and drive, we make a stay-cation out of the evening, and stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, conveniently located next door to the Capital Grille. We love Hyatt, and the Hyatt Regency Orlando (Convention Center) is the second largest Hyatt in the chain. While it’s primarily a convention hotel, when there are not major conventions going on, it’s quite a reasonable place to stay and make a weekend of, conveniently located at Pointe Orlando, with lots of nice restaurants and hotels within walking distance.
After self-parking in the adjacent garage, we walked up the long path to the hotel lobby.
As it was for only one night, we had booked a standard room, but were please to get upgraded to a Regency Suite on the 29th floor. This room was very nice, and although one large room, it was double-sized and had a nice seating area and small dining table area with floor to ceiling window views facing the other Hyatt tower (formerly the Peabody Orlando) and Sea World.
Next we went on our 45 minute walk. We like taking a walk from hotel property to hotel property and the convention center for a bit of exercise, and in the hot Florida sun, it feels good to go in air conditioned venues, or even the outdoor covered walkways. With no large conventions going on this weekend, the convention center is a ghost town, and only occasionally did we pass anyone along the way.
One thing we found a bit humorous was a ‘lost lady’ who asked us how to get to the Hyatt Hotel, which she had just walked out of and was half way down the moving sidewalk going away from the hotel. We pointed back to the hotel, and she eventually turned around after going all the way down the moving sidewalk and back. We saw her conference badge, and she was attending the Literacy Conference! LOL! Maybe she’s learning to read, as in Hyatt signs for directions.
Our dinner at The Capital Grille was not until 7:30pm, so we washed up and took a quick nap before going back to the Concierge Lounge for evening drinks and hors d’ourves. Complimentary beer and wine is served from 5 – 7pm, along with some light food. We didn’t want to get filled up on food before going to The Capital Grille, so I just had a Sam Adams seasonal brewski before heading out.
The Capital Grille I-Drive is located in the upscale Point Orlando area, diagonally across from the Hyatt parking garage, and a quick 2 block walk from the Hyatt entrance.
Our reservation was for 7:30pm, and we were promptly seated when we entered. Noting that we wanted a quiet area, the hostess asked if we would rather be in the more intimate wine room, or in the main room with our favorite server, Sebastian. I initially said the wine room for the peace and quiet, but as we were about to be seated next to a screaming child, I said the main room with Sebastian, please. The main room is more noisy, but no where near what it would be like sitting next to a screaming infant – I get enough of that every week on my plane-ride commute to work our of Orlando.
Comfortably seated in the main room, it actually wasn’t as noisy as I remember it being in previous years. Sebastian immediately remembered us, and started us with a Pinot Gris before explaining the menu updates since last time we were there. This year’s Generous Pour has 7 different wines, all of them rated 90 and above by the wine critics. This year there are 3 whites and four reds, including a Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and two Cabernet Sauvignons. We really enjoy all of the reds, especially the last two: Arrowood Cabernet and Brave Cabernet. The whites were ok, but we’re not huge white wine fans, enjoying them mostly with the appetizers, which we did tonight.
We ordered an entree portion of the Ahi Tuna for an appetizer, which we split between the two of us. We also had the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with vine ripe tomatoes for an additional appetizer.
As we dined throughout the evening, Sebastian kept us well supplied with vino. We really enjoyed the last two Cabernets: Arrowood and Brave, so we had extra servings of those.
As we had entree-sized appetizers and a Cesar salad, DOS and I split a huge bone-in ribeye for dinner, which Sebastian thoughtfully had carved us for us.
We even had room for dessert and after dinner coffees.