Posts Tagged ‘soul food’

Travel Channel Airs New Sam Brown in O-Town

Samantha Brown Passport to Great Weekends in Orlando [photo: The Travel Channel]Anyone who watches the Travel Channel on a regular basis knows who Samantha Brown is. Her “Passport to…” series generally gives a half-hour snapshot of a given locale with her visiting a cross-section of hotspots, tourist “must-sees” and the like.

Well, in February, Brown visited Orlando for a new show, called “Passport to Great Weekends.” The results of her visit aired last week on the Travel Channel when the Orlando episode premiered. Yeah, I missed it, too, but just watched it this weekend on TiVo.

Surprisingly, she visited some cool, more off-the-beaten path type of stuff – you know, the “non-theme-park” side of Orlando that everyone gripes the tourists never visit.

She based herself downtown at The Grand Bohemian Hotel, then visited Winter Park to take in the Saturday Farmer’s Market. She also got a little tipsy at The Wine Room and shoe shopped at Shou’ture Salon. She ate some soul food at Johnson’s Diner on Church St., spun her own hand-blown pint glass at Keila Glassworks at the CityArts Factory, then drank out of it later at NV on Pine. She rounded out the show by doing some indoor skydiving at SkyVenture, over by Universal Orlando.

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. Over at the Pulse of Central Florida, their biggest complaint was that it should have been an hour to include something other than the Winter Park area. I agree, that would have been nice (some suggestions: Lakeridge Winery on a festival weekend, Mt. Dora, more on the downtown area, etc.). But, considering she had 30 minutes (ok, probably closer to 20-25 after commercial breaks) to showcase the city beyond the theme parks, I think she picked some rather fun things for visitors to check out. And anything that encourages travelers to not only visit but explore Orlando is a good thing, imho.

According to a pre-show interview with Orlando Sentinel TV Critic Hal Boedeker, Brown said, “Being in Orlando and showing it in a light few outsiders see it in was so much fun, and after seven years of coming to Orlando to only do the theme parks, a real eye-opener. It’s a great city.”

Thanks Sam…I think so, too.

If you missed the episode and want to check it out for yourself, the Travel Channel has two more airings of it this week: Jul. 16 at 11pm (that’s tomorrow) and Jul. 17 at 11am (Thursday morning).

Those who want a little more in-depth on Brown’s visit can read her blog online about it at the Travel Channel. Her crew also blogged about the skydiving. There’s even a small “webisode” online about her kayaking in the area that didn’t make it into the show (unless I just missed it).

So I have two questions for you dear MB readers. Did you see the show and what did you think? Also, if Brown were to revisit for “Great Weekends” part 2, where would you suggest she go?

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