Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year In Review

What is it about the new year that makes us sit back and reflect on the last 12 months? I found a great quote that sums up the answer to my question ...

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

And so I sit over a cup of tea, reflecting over the year. Some goals achieved. Some goals still on my to-do list. I call them "goals" since it keeps looking at them more often then a "new year" resolution. This year, 2008, was our first year of making blogging more of a habit than a hobby. Since January, we've had 161 posts, countless photos, 3 videos, and all-in-all 365 days of fun playing tourists in our own backyard and documenting the Mount Dora lifestyle and what there is to do here. We'll continue this tradition in 2009, trying new things and keeping it fresh.

What goals have you reached? What does 2009 have in store for you? If you have a fun story you would like to share, or an unusual New Years "goal", send us an email at

Put Your Shoes On

Have you visited recently? We're adding some vlogs! In our last one, Euro Donnelly Footwear showed us the latest healthy living fashion craze, the MBT.

More Mount Dora videos coming soon for your enjoyment!


Try a Segway today.

How about a Segway tour of the Historic Downtown? Stop by Segway of Lake County on 5th Ave. and take your VIP Card for a 10% Discount off of your tour.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

5th Avenue Cafe New Year's Wine Tasting Dinner

Wine Tasting Dinner Event

2008 New Year's Eve Sparkling Wine Dinner Event

Date: Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Time: 9:30pm
Reservations required; limited seating

Food Pairings designed by
5th Avenue Cafe Head Chef Jesse Thomas
Wine Speaker: Don Klicker, Southern Wine & Spirits

Champagne reception
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut (Spain)

Course 1
four deliciously unique presentations of parmesan, Garrotxa, Roquefort & Pepper Jack cheeses
paired with Ménage à Trois White (Napa Valley, CA)

Course 2
braised cornish hen with crisp micro greens with fresh berries, hints of pomegranate finished in peppered vinaigrette
paired with Clos du Bois Pinot Noir (Sonoma County, CA)

Course 3
tender, slow roasted prime rib served with morel inspired polenta, herbed greens finished in cabernet infused tomato butter (or select seared, pepper crusted, fresh Ahi tuna)
paired with Dry Creek Valley Meritage (Sonoma County, CA)

Course 4
banana scallops with fresh berry drizzle, topped with crispy nut toffee
paired with Mumm Napa Brut Rose (Napa Valley, CA)

Reserve Your Place At This Unique Event
$75 per person. Seating is limited; reservations required in advance.
Accepting credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, & AMEX) to confirm reservations.

Reservations include champagne reception, 4 wine-paired courses,
live musical entertainment and midnight party favors

To reserve, please call: 352-383-0090

5th Avenue Cafe
116 E. Fifth Avenue
Mount Dora, FL 32757

Award Winning Cuisine!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Renninger's Antique Extravaganza!!

January 16th is the next scheduled Renninger's Antique Extravaganza. Over 1400 dealers and 40,000 shoppers are expected to attend this event in Mount Dora. Here is the itinerary:

The action starts at 8:00 AM Friday morning with two hours of shopping
our inside dealers. Many have saved special merchandise just for the
Extravaganza, so there are fresh treasures to be found.

At precisely 10:00 AM, our outside dealers open up. Some of our shoppers
make a mad dash to find their favorite dealers. Others set a more leisurely
pace, saving themselves for the long haul. Still others continue shopping
inside, choosing to do the 1,000+ outside dealers later.

If the number of packages being carried is any indication, all three groups
seem to be successful!

There is plenty of parking! But, our regular visitors know to arrive fairly
early to get the best spot. Many have arranged to stay in a local motel or
Bed & Breakfast, knowing they'll want to spend more than just one day here.

Most folks alternate between the outside and inside dealers -- enjoying the
fresh air and sunshine, and trekking back and forth to their cars with
packages; then popping into our air-conditioned buildings to cool off and
discover still more treasures.

Make your plans to attend now, there are still a few rooms left in the local inns.

Average 5 Star Reviews for Tremain Street Cottages!

“Tremain street cottages a great place to stay”
Nov 20, 2008

We have stayed at The Tremain Street Cottages several times and had a great experience each time. We have found each room to be very charming, along with being neat, clean and very relaxing and within walking distance to all out needs. Thank you Brian and Rachelle for being such great hosts from the time we check in until the time we leave. We will definitely be back again.

  • This TripAdvisor Member:
    • Liked — Location Was Great

“Great Place and VERY helpful owner.”
Georgetown, Colorado

Nov 19, 2008
0/1 found this review helpful

My mom and I stayed in The Nantucket in November and Loved it! Just a few blocks from all the restaurants and shops of quaint downtown Mt. Dora, the cottage was so comfortable and cute and well located that my mom decided she wanted to go back for several months in the winter. (We live in Colorado at 8600 ft. and mom has decided she's done with winters here :) ). We called the owner, Brian, right after our return and unfortunately he was already booked for part of the time she wanted to be there. So..., Brian spent 2 days looking for a Different place for her! How completely amazing that he would spend so much of his personal time looking for a place for us, when he knew he wouldn't be getting a booking from us. Far above the call of duty, if you ask me. While we were there, Brian recommended restaurants and gave directions whenever we needed. The cottages are located on a quiet residential street, and Brian lives just down the block. He's close enough if we needed anything, yet far enough that we really felt like we had our own little cottage. We asked for a tour of the other cottages (two buildings with an upstairs and downstairs cottage in each) and we could have been comfortable in any of them. Definitely a positive experience!

  • This TripAdvisor Member:
    • Liked — Just loved the total experience.
    • Disliked — Nothing I can think of to complain about.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Success at Mount Dora at Nite.

Meet Laurie Messina, CNC, LMT. She came to Mount Dora at Nite from Sarasota to extoll the virtures of Himalayan Salt Crystals, lo and behold she sold out of them! The product speaks for itself and if you want to learn more please visit

Hopefully she will return to the January 16th Mount Dora at Nite event.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ghost Walk Update...

Unfortunately the Final Night of the Christmas Edition Ghost Walk is sold out!

Saturday Dec 27th 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30pm
call 352-383-0006 to check for cancellations
Please Join us when we re-open on Friday January 16th & 17th. Make reservations now for January 16th & 17th 2009 !
call 352-383-0006 and leave us a message.

Amazing live music!

I happened to drop by the 5th Avenue Cafe last night to hear Fernando Fonseca playing his guitar. Wow, is the only way to describe it! Flamenco, jazz and a host of other styles all combined into a melodic treat for the ears. Click on his name above to visit his website and hear some samples of his tunes.

To the left is the cover of his recent CD, "Beyond the Ceiling". I bought it last night and it is still playing this morning.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Mount Dora at Nite December Edition

The December Mount Dora at Nite event is now history. It was a great evening.

Don't miss the January 16th rendition of Mount Dora at Nite. It should be a festive event as it coincides with the Renninger's Extravaganza which draws thousands of folks to town.

The Historical Society will be conducting a 3rd Friday Ghost Walk to enhance the evenings activities. The Ghost Walk has been well received by all accounts.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Month of Music!


Month of Music Celebration in Mount Dora, Florida February 2009

In our Community Building, in our schools, in our churches and on our streets we gather together to be enriched and engaged through the magic of musical experiences. Music is a celebration of art, talent, emotion and memories that we share and treasure together. In the month of February our community has the great opportunity to gather to enjoy the energy and spirit of the following musical performances:
The Mount Dora Music Festival presents The Association, Tony Haseldon, Georgia Middleman, Billy Kirsch, Livingston Taylor and the Florida Lakes Symphony between February 19 and February 22nd
Mount Dora Community Concerts presents “Music, Memories, and Merriment from the Fabulous 50s!” on February 13, 2009
The Mount Dora End of an Era Concert featuring Larry Hoppen originally of the band Orleans on February 7, 2009
The Mount Dora Library Association presents Arlo Gutherie in the Lost World Tour on February 28, 2009.
Mount Dora at Nite presents a free downtown event with Ain’t Nothin’ Serious band featuring Bob Scharff on February 20, 2009
In Mount Dora the Irish Corner and Butch’s Italian Delicatessen present The Pasta Dinner and Potato Concert featuring Noel V. Ginnity, Derek Warfield & the Young Wolfe Tones and Deborah Brinson on February 14, 2009.
The Warren Acting Company of Mount Dora presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr. February 26 through March 1.
WHEREAS, during the month of February, 2009 the City of Mount Dora has the great privilege to host an incredible number of diverse musical performances to the benefit of our citizens
WHEREAS, music is a treasured celebration of artistic achievement, an experience shared with joy by our citizens and an integral part of the cultural fabric of our city
NOW, THEREFORE, I do hereby recognize FEBRUARY 2009 as a MONTH OF MUSIC CELEBRATION and call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
Melissa DeMarco, Mayor

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Irish Corner Gift Shop

For the Irish in you visit the Irish Corner Gift Shop in the alley way at Arbors and Eyebrows on Alexander Street.

For all things Guiness this is the place to shop. Go see Billy or Beth today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Florida Highwaymen Winter Art Event Weekend Itinerary

Florida Highwaymen Winter Art Event

January 9th, 10th and 11th

In Mount Dora

MOUNT DORA, FL: Six of Florida’s historic artists, known as The Highwaymen, will be at a Winter Event of the Arts, a three-day festival on January 9th, 10th and 11th benefiting Junior Achievement of Lake and Sumter counties.

On Saturday, January 10th, the popular Highwaymen artists will display and sell their art work from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the Donnelly Building in Donnelly Park, in the center of Mount Dora. Visitors can enjoy the scenic renderings of Florida’s landscape expressed in the Highwaymen art style. On hand for the event will be original Highwaymen Mary Ann Carroll, the only female in the group, Johnny Daniels, James Gibson, Isaac Knight, Robert Lewis and Roy McLendon.

On January 9th, the evening prior to the Saturday event, the Highwaymen will participate in Mount Dora’s popular quarterly Art Stroll between 6 and 8 p.m. The artists will be “in and around” the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce Historic Train Station where Geoff Cook’s vintage Highwaymen paintings will be on exhibit and sale. Cook is a well-known Highwaymen art collector who has more than 300 works that represent 50 years of Florida landscapes captured in oil.

That evening, following the Art Stroll, posters and books will be available for signing at a reception and semi-private dinner for the artists at the Gables Restaurant, directly across from the Chamber’s Train Station. Seating is limited. RSVP by calling (352) 383-8993.

On January 11th, the weekend will conclude with a showing and sale at the AAA Four Diamond Heron Cay Lakeview Bed and Breakfast. A “Semi-Private Sunday Brunch with the Artists” will be served from 10 a.m. to Noon. Reservations required. RSVP by calling (352) 383-4050.

From Noon to 3 p.m., the showing and sale at Heron Cay will be open to the public. For Information please call (352) 383-4050. The Heron Cay Lakeview Bed and Breakfast is located at 495 West Old U.S. Highway 441, west of North Donnelly Street. Margie Salyer and Randy Burgener are proprietors.

In the 1950s, the Highwaymen artists were a group of young black men from the Fort Pierce area. The late Alfred Hair and the late Harold Newton were considered the leaders of the group, studying under Backus and bringing their new-found talent back to the group. The art work, painted on an inexpensive construction material known as upson board, displayed traditional Florida scenes of palm trees, royal poinciana trees, and river vistas. From there, the artists would travel with their paintings along U.S. 1 and other Florida roadways, selling them from the trunks of their cars. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the group was labeled The Highwaymen.

Sponsors for the Winter Art Event include: The Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce, Lake County Tourism, the Mount Dora Village Merchants Association, Junior Achievement of Lake and Sumter Counties, the Gables Restaurant, 5th Avenue Café, Crispers of Eustis, Publix of Mount Dora. Margie Salyer, Randy Burgener and Geoff and Patti Cook are coordinating this Winter Highwaymen art event.

For information on the Highwaymen exhibit, please contact or by calling (352) 383-4050 or Toll Free at 1-888-437-6622. For more information on the Highwaymen, visit the website .and For Lodging information visit Heron Cay Lakeview Bed and Breakfast website at

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Highwaymen art will be donated to the Junior Achievement of Lake and Sumter counties.

The Black Hearse Project!

Folks loved the spooky white hearse that stalked the Ghost Walk in October. Seems to have made an impression on the Ghost Walk creators as well, check out what the Ghoulish fellows are up to now!

Visit The Black Hearse Project for all of the details.

Click on the poster to enlarge image.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

March of Wines

A big thanks to the Cellar's at Maggie's Attic for hosting the March of Wines party. Turnout was great and everybody had a super time and there was a lot of charity and good will all the way around.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Florida Highwaymen Artists return to Mount Dora for a 3+ day Winter Event of the Arts.

Don't miss this rare opporunity to meet six of the original Florida Highwaymen in Mount Dora! January 9, 10 & 11, 2009

This event will feature Johnny Daniels in his first appearance in Mount Dora replacing Al Black who attended the Summer event.

Stay tuned for the itinerary of this three day event in Mount Dora.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Then & Now.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Before and after.

The intersection of Donnelly and 5th Avenue in November 1927 VS November 2007. Minus a few oak trees not much has changed.

Mount Dora is celebrating it's 100th anniversary in 2009. Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things To Do In Mount Dora!

Check out the ACTIVITIES section of our website on for all of the possibilities.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Arlo Guthrie: The Lost World Tour

Legendary Folk Singer Arlo Guthrie has announced that his Lost World Tour will play in Mount Dora. This event is being brought to our community by Waterman Communities and The Mount Dora Library Association.
The show features not only Arlo Guthrie but his son Abe and the Burns Sisters. Arlo Guthrie is best known for his songs Alice’s Restaurant and City of New Orleans and is the son of Woody Guthrie.
All monies raised at this event will go to benefit the Mount Dora WT Bland Public Library and its programs.
Tickets are now on sale at the Mount Dora Library, Uncle Al’s Time Capsule, and the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce.
Location: Mount Dora Christian Home’s Field House
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Price: $35.00
Contact: Mount Dora Library for ticket sales and information
Phone: (352) 343-3454

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Florida Highwaymen Artists return to Mount Dora for a 3+ day Winter Event of the Arts.

Don't miss this rare opporunity to meet six of the original Florida Highwaymen in Mount Dora! January 9, 10 & 11, 2009

Click on image to enlarge.

Mount Dora Ghost Walk, "Christmas Edition"

A little history and a little mystery. A lantern led historical tour of the streets of Old Mount Dora with a Victorian Christmas theme that explores the ghosts of Victorian era residents.

Hear about Mount Dora's very own Scrooge, and its ghost of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come" on December 18th, 19th, 20th, 26th & 27th at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm with tours originating from the Mount Dora History Museum at 450 Royellou Lane, just off of 5th Avenue by Donnelly Park. Tours are about 1 hour and require about 3/4 of a mile of walking including stairs and hills.

This lantern led narrated ghost walk that searches the streets, back alleys and buildings of Old Mount Dora that ghosts, apparitions and spirits of those long departed. Combining an historical account of downtown landmarks with the tales and legends of past residents that will reveal the
"Scrooge of Mount Dora". Snacks and refreshments are served at the conclusion of the tours.

"This unique tour will offer a blend of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" and Mount Dora's own historical charm and mystery" says Cindy Miller, co-producer of the event. Ghost walk prices are $10.00 for those over 12 years of age.

Tickets are available at the Mount Dora Historical Society between 5:00pm and 8:00pm at 450 Royellou Lane between 4th Ave. and 5th Ave. Call 352-383-0006 for more information or visit

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Toys for Tots

In spite of the cancellation of the much anticipated March of Wines event which will rob 80 adults of a festive evening of food, wine and good spirits I am happy to report that the less fortunate for which the benefit was created will not miss out. The community has rallied to the cause and the toys and cash donations are coming in.

Terry Abbott from Maggie's Attic dropped off three bags of toys this morning donated by the nurses at Waterman Hospital. He makes a fabulous Santa Claus to be sure! Thank you to Terry and all of the nurses who made this contribution.

Anyone wishing to make a donation of an unwrapped toy may still do so. Please see any of the Innkeepers in Mount Dora to arrange a pick up or drop off. Happy Holidays and let us make sure the Grinches do not steal Christmas for everyone!


Friday, December 12, 2008

MBT, The anti-shoe

I know they look a bit like Moon boots or some other science fiction related gear but they are actually the latest in shoe technology. They are called MBTs which is an acronym for Masai Barefoot Technology. Essentially the shoe is supposed to force the foot to mimic the action of walking on a natural surface such as beach sand. It does a lot more than that and upon purchase of my MBTs I received a companion DVD full of information.

I went to Euro Donnelly Footwear in Downtown to meet the MBT trainer that came to educate shoe owners about the benefits. She walked with me around Donnelly Park and had me do several exercises along the way to demonstrate the effectiveness of the shoe. Just learning to walk in a pair of MBTs is challenge enough but try standing on one leg in a pair of shoes that act like a rocking chair with the other leg stretched out behind as you bend forward, all while facing downhill.

Normally retailing for nearly $300.00 the shoes are currently on sale for nearly half that. Get on down to Euro Donnelly Footwear and test drive a pair of these and see for yourself the benefits. I actually find them quite stylish now that I have been wearing them. Or maybe I am just kidding myself? Brian

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Test Drive the new MBT Shoe

Donnelly Euro Footwear
402 N. Donnelly Street ~ Downtown Mount Dora

352 385-0909

Special MBT Promotional Event
December 12th 9am - 9pm
~ Special Promotional Pricing ~

If you already own a pair of MBTs join us on our MBT walk around Mt. Dora 5pm - 9pm with our Certified MBT trainer, Debbie Ivie.
Learn more about the benefits of wearing the MBT and check out all the holiday lights in town at the same time.

Holiday Light Walk with the MBT Trainer 5pm - 9pm
Refreshments served all day!

Enter to win a pair of MBT's