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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday in sunny Orlando is a memorable experience

News-Herald sportswriter Theresa Neuhoff Audia shares her experiences while on an Easter vacation in Orlando, Florida.

It's Easter night and there is no snow in sight.
That's unusual for me because for over 40 years, I've spent my Easters celebrating with my family near Cleveland, Ohio.
This year is different.
This year, I am on a vacation with my husband and his family in Orlando, Florida.
We started the day by waking up early for a 7:30 a.m. mass at St. Faustina Catholic Church which was located in a strip center near Disney World. Of all the unusual masses I've attended in my lifetime (which includes a few polka masses), this ranks right up there in the top five. The church had the feel of a closed down Mexican restaurant, but it was a no doubt a Catholic church. I know it because they passed around a basket during offertory.
We went early to beat the Easter crowd, but the church was still packed. Instead of going out for breakfast afterward, we went back to our condo at Lighthouse Key Resort and Spa and made our own eggs, bacon and toast. It was probably a smart move considering the long lines at many local restaurants.
After breakfast and mass, there was still plenty of time to go for a run in the fitness room at our resort. I wanted to run outside, but it was too dangerous. Florida traffic is hectic and there are no good jogging routes by our condo.
With mass, breakfast and a workout taken care of, it was time to spend the afternoon baking in the 80 degree sun at the pool. My nephews Nick, Anthony and I spent a good part of our day in the pool hitting around a beach ball. It was a great way to spend a few hours.
While we were playing at the pool, my mother-in-law Libby made her never-fail spaghetti and meat balls. It was the perfect Easter meal.
This is thinking a little far ahead, but I really hope I'm vacationing somewhere warm again next year for Easter break.
I would be thrilled if this family event became an annual tradition.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia



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