Star Wars Celebration Tips Vol. 2 Eats/Drinks

 

So besides being a giant Star Wars nerd I am what most would consider a Foodie and Beverage connoisseur of sorts, I have my 1st degree sommelier, spirits certified and have gone through my first level of cicerone classes.  I’ve spent the last 10 years associated with Food and Beverage at Walt Disney World  so I like to think I  can tell you a few great places to eat and drink in Orlando.  It may not be New York, Chicago, or Shanghai but odds are you can find something to please you palate.

In the general area around the convention center there are plenty of fast food places (not my style but if you want a Big Mac more power to you).  Also most of the major hotels all have bars and restaurants at them but besides Celebration parties my knowledge is a bit limited.

So in general some of my favorite pubs and eateries are about a half a mile or a mile walk from the conventions Center up International Drive, there are taxis, Ubers and Pedi-Cabs a plenty if you don’t feel like walking after running all over the floor all day. These are in order of closest to farthest away from the convention center in the general area.  There are plenty of others around the area but these are my favorites.

If you want to venture farther there are a lot of good restaurants in the Doctor Phillips area as well which is just a couple miles down the road.

But if you really want to go exploring here are my favorites from all over Orlando and some at Walt Disney World if you have time and you haven’t spent all your money at the convention.

  • Cloak and Blaster Premier Gaming Pub– I’m not going to lie this is a hike to get there as it is all the way on the east side of Orlando near the University of Central Florida but it is totally worth it, plenty of craft beers and amazing food in a gaming. enviornment.
  •  SoCo Located in downtown Orlando this has fantastic food and southern charm.
  • Cask and Larder a bit of drive as well but I love it just the same fantastic food, craft beers and cocktails and a great atmosphere.

The following are all Disney Restaurant and I’m biased and love them all. If you want more info please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll tell you what I can. (If you want these and they are in your budget I highly suggest getting Reservations now) Here are my 5 favorites at Disney right now in no particular order.

Hopefully this guide is of some help to you and please feel free to reach out to me if I can help answer any questions I surely will.

@Talionbot

Star Wars Celebration Tips Vol. 1

Celebration

This will be my 5th Star Wars Celebration and I would like to think in my other times I’ve at least gleaned a few learnings and hope that I can pass some on.  So please feel free to steal anything you see here and pass it along to your friends.

Preparations:

I’m not going to lie my first two times going to Celebrations I pretty much fumbled my way through it I really didn’t prepare anything, I just went.  While this is a fun way to experience the convention I know that I could have gotten a lot more out of it.  First example I went to Celebration III on the Saturday that George Lucas was speaking and expected to walk up and get a ticket (I drove from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana to Indianapolis only to buy a ticket for Sunday and have to drive home and come back the next day) Did I mention it was snowing that weekend?

Tip 1-Come up with a plan

Make sure you have your tickets and hotel (if needed) set up.  I know there is a little time left so you still can do both but it may cost a little bit more.  Study the Show Schedule of events and prioritize what you want to go to, but I urge you don’t fill up your schedule completely leave some wiggle room to enjoy the show instead of just running from queue line to queue line.

Tip 2-Rations and Sundries

Con food can be expensive or you could be running from panel to panel so the odds of getting a full meal on any given day are slim until the show floor closes. I always pack protein bars, granola, and trail mix to take with me as well as a refillable water bottle. Hydration is important in the wilds of the Convention floor.  I personally also carry an extra T-shirt with me as well in case I accidentally spill something on myself (I’m a klutz) or you are dealing with a 95 degree humid Florida day.  With that said another thing I usually carry is a  travel deodorant and  maybe some cologne/perfume, you don’t want to smell like a bantha in the Dune Sea that has been carrying Sand People around all day. Hand Sanitizer/WetWipes, you don’t know how useful these are until you don’t have them. Shoes, get a good pair of walking shoes and start breaking them in now! I believe last Celebration I was averaging about 20,000 steps a day that’s roughly 10 miles or more (I have long legs so maybe a bit farther).  Lastly I recommend starting a few days before the convention to take either Airborne or Emergen-C to boost your immune system, you don’t want to get “Con-Crud”

Tip 3-The Bag of Holding

Con Bag

Find yourself a good bag to use. Something that is comfortable that can hold what you need. I personally used to use my backpack but i found this was a little too big and I can always run back to the car or hotel if I really need something.  Two years ago I found my convention lifesaver the Bag of Holding – Con Survival Edition and it has been with me ever since.  You can decorate it with Pins and Patches and it has plenty of little storage spaces that let me carry all the above mentioned stuff as well as come additional tricks. It also has the ability to house a poster tube and is fairly stable with a decent interior structure to handle comics as well to keep them safe.  I love this thing and it truly is one of the best investments I have ever made.

Tip 4-Tech

At this point I really wish I had an astromech to help me out with all this tech that I saddle myself with.  Usually i’m toting a few different devices to help me navigate the con.  First and foremost my Phone (who am i kidding this is in my pocket but it is number one on the list), DSLR Camera (Personal preference I prefer using this for the good stuff), Tablet (I keep this so i have something to read while I’m in queue), Batteries/Battery Packs (this may be optional for you but as I live and die with my tech I usually keep a big one and then an emergency back up)

Tip 5-Florida Tips

IMG_5387

If you are joining us in Florida for the first time Welcome! and I’m sorry it’s kinda weird here at times.  But hopefully you have time to explore and with that said a couple of things to keep handy in Florida.  SunglassesSun Screen, Umbrella, Water bottle(yes again).  While this won’t be everything you could need if you are sticking close to the convention you should be good. And do watch the weather starting about the time of Celebration you can have a good thunderstorm pop up at just about any time.

I’ll be posting another Tips guide around Eats and Drinks later today as well so be sure to check back to get some of my best food recommendations.

Running Rogue 1.3.17

Where to begin.  

“I have failed you Anakin, I have failed you.”

 Last year I started on a quest to better my health and redeem myself, I had long ago fallen off the path of the Jedi and fell down that of a corpulent Sith Lord or a Mediocre Hutt. On February 8th of 2016 I weighed the most I had ever weighed in my life 297 pounds. I am not proud of this, granted I’ve always been bigger I mean come on I am 6’4” and I do have the build of a linebacker, I was never and will never be a twig.

 Things went quite well for the first half of the year. This could have been for multiple reasons but I think it was mainly due to the fact that I was eating healthier (while I was in China to open Shanghai Disneyland I was eating 90% fresh food, not processed), I was walking anywhere from 15000 to 20000 steps a day on the average, and my stress level was through the roof (probably not the best thing for me but hey it helped I think. 

 The only downside was I started smoking again…. Please don’t berate me I know I know I know. Smoking is probably one of the worst habits in the world to break I have tried and succeed to quit multiple times only to fall back in when my stress level peaks. I have quit for years at a time only to fall prey to it again. 

 When I returned to the US in July I had dropped to my lowest weight in almost 10 years. I was down to 267 pounds feeling better than I had in years, despite the smoking which I was ramping down on. As I settled back in to my routine here in the states and got back on the treadmill I wasn’t as diligent in my efforts as I was in Shanghai and I became lazy. I was running and doing weighting training but my heart wasn’t into it and I fell back into bad habits, eating out, processed foods even at home, and sweets which I usually never ate in China.

 Needless to say after falling off the horse (read treadmill) in mid-October (I was way more interested in making sure I watched every Cubs game then running on a treadmill) my weight began to creep back up at a steady pace, until over the Christmas Holiday I realized almost everything I had lost I put back on. As of this morning I am back at 288 pounds. Not as bad as it was before but nowhere good. 

 Today I begin to “Unlearn what I have learned”

 There are approximately 14 weeks until Star Wars Celebration and 15 weeks until the Dark Side Half Marathon weekend for which I am registered for the Dark Side Challenge. I have never cosplayed before in my life but I think there needs to be one day at the convention that a new Jedi will make an appearance and I will be ready for these races and I see no better way to do these things than together. I may not be able to run the entirety of the half marathon but I will complete it. Follow along on this journey if you want, I believe that one way to stay true to this is to share it. I’ll be using C210K training for my running and trying to mix in strength training on my non running days. I’m also returning to using MyFitnessPal to track my diet and calories. If I find any cool recipes, I’ll be sure to share as well. Any advice or tips and tricks that you have learned on your health journey please feel free to pass along.

“I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.”

Talion (RK)