Orlando

My disc golf buddies and I hadn’t done a disc golf trip since our last excursion to Orlando last November. After much talk about doing another trip, we finally were able to find a date where all of us were available. So I went ahead and planned another Orlando disc golf trip, that was going to include a whole bunch of new courses and also seeing my nephew for the first time in a few years, which I was really excited about. As the trip drew nearer, one of the guys had to bow out, so it was just going to be Mr. K and I. And then the night we were supposed to leave, he couldn’t make it either, so it became another solo weekend. I was rather bummed out by this, and as I drove through the pouring rain on the way up to Orlando, I was so tempted to turn back around and go home. But since I had already reserved our lodging and I would’ve lost all my money on it had I cancelled it at the last minute, I decided to trudge on. Plus the thought of seeing my nephew kept me going.

I arrived at Bill Frederick Park in Orlando around midnight, where I settled into the cabin I reserved. The last time I reserved this cabin, it turned into a disaster. Luckily, I was able to get the key to get inside this time. The cool thing about this cabin is it’s right on the disc golf course, so it was great waking up and ready to play. I also got some help from the early morning announcements at the park, as I was unaware of the high school crew competition that had to have boasted about 500 teenagers and a couple hundred boats. Since the boats were all spread out along the water, where the front 9 of the first course plays (there are two 18-hole courses at this park), I wasn’t able to play most of the front nine, but did manage to get most of the back nine in. I then played the the second, and much harder course, where 16 of the 18 holes were playable. I also stopped by the Children’s Animal Farm that runs along the course for some pictures.

Since I was by myself, I had to change my plans, which now involved my bike. And that’s exactly what I used next, as I biked along the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden, which is just west of Orlando. This is one of my favorite bike trails in Florida, and I could have spent all day biking along it. Instead, I just did 10 miles, including a stop at the Oakland Nature Preserve in Oakland for a nice hike that overlooked Lake Apopka. After enjoying the Farmer’s Market in downtown Winter Garden, I then headed to Apopka to play the two courses at the old executive ball-golf courses. These courses have some nice elevation changes and also a bunch of not-so-nice sand burrs, that seemed to keep getting stuck in my shoes and socks…and in my hands too! Ouch! After a round at each course, I headed back down to Orlando, where I went over to Disney’s Boardwalk. I have so many great memories here, and it’s a great place to hang out. After getting a bunch of pictures before the sun went down, I met my nephew there. He moved to Winter Park last year, but had never been to the boardwalk, so it was really cool showing him around it. After a couple hours together, I headed back to my cabin to rest up for another fun-filled day.

It was so nice to wake up and not see a single boat or person on the course. Or so I thought. As I hit the first course around 7:30am, I thought I heard basket chains, and sure enough, another golfer was right behind me. We ended up playing both of the courses together, and he just happens to be really good friends with my buddy who moved out to Phoenix a few years back. I then drove to downtown Orlando and Church Street Station for a nice walk around town. I knew of a lake in downtown but had never been there before, so I went to check out Lake Eola, and was amazed how nice it was, along with the park that surrounded it. I got some great pictures here as I spent a couple hours exploring the area. It was then back to more disc golf, as I hit the 2 fun courses at Gordon Barnett Park.

As I started to make my way out of Orlando, I stopped by another great biking trail (the Little Econ Greenway) at Blanchard Park. I got in another 10 miles here, and again, had to pull myself away from going farther, as the trail goes on and on. My last stop was at F. Burton Smith Park in Cocoa, where I attempted to play the water-logged course there. I got about 10 holes in, but I wasn’t able to leave dry, as a few of my shots landed right in the middle of some pretty big puddles. Although, the trip turned out to be nothing as I had originally planned with my friends, I still ended up having a great time, and even got to see new sites in Orlando.

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