I wasn’t always a Jimmy Buffett fan. It is not that I disliked the singer / songwriter who is synonymous with good times, I just did not appreciate him. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I began to understand. I now consider myself a parrothead in training. It’s kind of all part and parcel of being a Florida girl. After many evening visits to Jimmy’s Margaritaville Cafe at Universal Orlando‘s CityWalk, I finally had an afternoon off which made it possible for me to happily enjoy happy hour.
Under the shade of a thatched roof, in the shadow of Jimmy’s Hemisphere Dancer airplane, we order two half priced margaritas that our bartender, Billy Ray, delightfully delivered. The heat overwhelmed us and we paired our margaritas with multiple servings of ice water. The Lone Palm Airport bar stands in front of Margaritaville, along the water’s edge. I love soaking up the view here.
One of the wonderful aspects of visiting Orlando’s attractions is the change to visit with people from all over the world. Although we chatted only with Billy Ray, I enjoyed looking around the bar to see people from so many different backgrounds. After an hour in the heat and working on a second round of margaritas, it was time to head inside and cool off.
As we crossed through the “porch of indecision” I couldn’t help but feel a little strange. It is very rare that I have the opportunity to be here during the day when every table is not full and the wait list not an hour long. We selected the perfect seats at the volcano bar. Yet again our bartender was nice, friendly, and helpful. We did not need any more libations, it was time for food, and Bob willingly obliged. We decided to share a cheeseburger in paradise and peel & eat shrimp. They hit the spot.
We briefly chatted with a couple on vacation and then sat back at relaxed. How lucky are we? After a long, hard, productive work week, we have the ability to head on a little day-cation. As the relaxation and gratitude seeped in, the volcano rumbled and began to erupt. Visitors gathered around to take pictures and video. I snapped a quick shot of the blender as it began to fill with the volcano’s “lava”.
I am a raving fan of Margaritaville Cafe at Universal Orlando – as you can see. The one downfall is the parking fee and the long walk from Universal’s massive parking structure. During certain times of the year Florida Residents get free parking after 6pm. Once you get past this roadblock, the friendly bartenders, the wonderfully casual food, and the island fun atmosphere all make up for it. Definitely, a must-visit in my book.
As headed out, a moment of pure spontaneity struck us. We immediately embarked on a wondrous adventure….. more to come soon.
- Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville’ complex drops anchor at Atlantic City’s Resorts casino (nj.com)
- A Refreshing Commute Home (thisfloridalife.com)
- I’m a Parrothead (myfirst5k.wordpress.com)