❤️ Let’s talk about the good stuff, Orlando
Plus, super last-minute gift ideas.
Hey, hey, it’s Wednesday. And not just any Wednesday — it's the Wednesday before a big holiday break for us, and hopefully for you too because let’s be honest — we all need it.
It’s been a weird, difficult, scary year to say the least — and we’ve reported about that over and over in your morning newsletter. Hopefully still, we always found ways to leave you better than we found you. And that’s what we want to do today, too. So before we wrap up 2020, we’re highlighting some high notes of the year from all of you.
But first, here are four things to know for the week ahead and four things that’ll make you smile (five including our illustration below 🤞)…
We made Orlando's 2020 playlist (in jest). How'd we do? (🎨: Pulptown Illustration)
What Orlando is talking about
4 things to know
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Florida and who gets it first is still relatively up in the air. Gov. Ron DeSantis and the CDC aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on who gets the vaccine after frontline workers and long-term care facilities. DeSantis says Florida’s older residents should get the utmost priority while a panel for the CDC has recommended people 75 and older and essential workers. (ClickOrlando)
Speaking of COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health reported 10,271 new cases yesterday, 76 new deaths, and 5,633 people hospitalized with the coronavirus. Florida’s positivity rate sits at 8.78 percent. Meanwhile, 49,932 people have been vaccinated in the state so far. (ClickOrlando)
New drilling off the coast of South Florida has several members of Congress worried. The British-owned Bahamas Petroleum Company is drilling for offshore oil 150 miles from the coast under a license from the Bahamian government. Eighteen congress members have sent a letter to the Bahamian prime minister to stop it in fear of an oil spill. Drilling is expected to last 60 days and could reap $5 billion in tax revenues for the Bahamas. (Orlando Sentinel)
Our airport is busy. Nearly 1.5 million travelers are expected to pass through MCO between now and January, roughly half of the 3 million that came through last year at the same time. (Orlando Sentinel)
4 things to make you smile
Bad As’s Sandwiches is giving out free sandwiches today to those in need. Owner John Collazo said that he wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to him during such a turbulent year. His team will be handing out free sammies from 5-8 p.m. tonight. (Bungalower)
The Milk District will become the Almond Milk District for the month of January and will highlight vegan and plant-friendly options at the neighborhood eateries, bars and shops. And the promotion isn’t just limited to plant-based food and drink but also cruelty-free products in salons and such. (Orlando Weekly)
There are two holiday acts performing at the Frontyard Festival at Dr. Phillips Center tonight. The legendary El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico orchestra will get the Christmas heat going at 8 p.m. following a jazzy opening by the American Sirens. (Orlando Weekly)
Your help is wanted at a horse sanctuary this weekend. The Scotty Foundation, a nonprofit horse farm in Apopka, is hosting a volunteer day on Saturday and you can do things like brush and bathe the horses… AKA dreams really do come true. (Orlando Weekly)
You said it
Keep an eye out for moments worth savoring. | Wanna see your photo here? Tag @pulptown to be featured in our IG of the day. (📸: @katieshook)
Suffice to say, we’re all going to remember 2020. It’s easy to remember the bad stuff. But what were the good things that happened this year?
Here are a few snippets of the beautiful stories we heard from all of you …
💻 Three 2020 highlights (that I hope continue past the pandemic) are: Weekly Zoom happy hours with my parents, sister, and extended family. Monthly Zoom book club with my mom and two of our family friends. Successfully establishing a morning self-care routine for the first time in my adult life. — Carolyn C.
🎁 Since we have been so fortunate, we told our friends who would normally buy Christmas gifts for us to put that money toward helping someone who might not have much for Christmas this year, and we would do the same. By not buying for friends, we were able to adopt six local families with a total of 22 kids for Christmas! Every parent who picked up from us was in tears. Every one of them had been impacted by COVID in some way. One of them shared that in the past she had also adopted kids from Angel Trees, but this year their income was cut so much that instead of being the one who helped, she needed help this year. It’s been so rewarding to see the gratitude and know that a bunch of little ones will have gifts under the tree this year. — Lara B.
💗 As disastrous and frustrating as this year has been, I have to say that it really has brought some good to my life. My mom passed away unexpectedly last December and I was in the middle of a divorce. By February/March of this year, I was emotionally and mentally in a really bad place. Then along came COVID and quarantine. While I know a lot of people struggled with it, for me it was a much-needed pause in life. It allowed me to take a step back from a lot of the things that were triggering me and do a sort of mental reset. I lost some weight, focused on myself for a change, and started feeling really good about myself. Then I unexpectedly met a man that I'm currently still dating. This year has been full of so many challenges and I think it is safe to say that just about everyone has been touched by it in some way, but as always happens in life — with the bad, always comes the good. You just have to allow yourself to see it! — Marji P.
🎓 Completed my MBA. — @apiedrajr
🍔 Learned how to cook from watching Tik Toks — @waltbacon
🏡 Started a master’s program & moved into a cute new house! — @iamvanessadavis
🎨 Started painting again after a few years hiatus and had my first exhibition in New York!!! — @galeriajover
💖 Saw our community rally together to support one another through tough times. And learned just how resilient we can all be! 💪 — @alacartorlando
🍼 Our miracle baby was born! — @taramanisbenson
Here’s the full list for even more good news.
Big things, little things, healthy habits, uncomfortable growth — thank you for sharing your stories with us and helping us send off this year on a happier note.
One more gift idea
Still need a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list? How about a Pulptown+ membership!? Membership is half-off through tomorrow (enter discount code HALFOFF), so your gift recipient gets a cool gift that lasts all year and you get a hot discount. 💥
Pulptown+ membership comes with: Extra-special perks in your morning newsletter, including exclusive content (think: I Spy Orlando, carefully-curated weekend itineraries, and more); the good feeling of supporting community-centric storytelling; and discounted tickets to all of Pulptown’s events (when we can host again, hopefully someday soon). Purchase a gift membership here for $40.
Things to do
🎶 Spread Christmas cheer at this outdoor cabaret performance through Wednesday (Loch Haven Park)
🎄 Meet Santa before his big day out at ICON Park through Thursday (I-Drive)
🌮 Take a culinary crawl of our local food trucks (Milk District)
🎄 Go for a drive to check out the neighborhood lights (Baldwin Park)
🎄 Visit the North Pole by way of the Jolly Creek Festival through Jan. 1 (Kissimmee)
🎁 Finish your last-minute shopping and support local makers at the Thornton Park District's holiday pop-up market (Thornton Park/South Eola)
🍻 Grab your ugly sweater and celebrate Christmas Eve Eve at Castle Church Brewing (Conway)
🏀 Basketball is back! The Orlando Magic face off against the Miami Heat at 7 p.m. at Amway Center
👟 Lace up for a Christmas Eve Eve run around town (Thornton Park)
☮️ Practice your cat-cow pose with real cats (Downtown)
💪 Sweat out those holiday cookies with this outdoor workout (Baldwin Park)
🍿 Celebrate Boxing Day with movies and wine at Swirlery Wine Bar (SoDo)
Wednesday, December 30
🏒 Cheer on the Solar Bears to a win over the Florida Everblades (Parramore)
One more thing …
Season's greetings! (🎨: Pulptown Illustration by @haleydrewthis)
Calling all procrastinators … need a last-minute gift idea? Skip the big-box stores and shop local. Our Very Merry 2020 Gift Guide has got you covered with everything from food (like the best cookies ever) to artwork (including a Steven Madow print you need on your wall) to crafty ideas (featuring an Orlando-themed coloring book). We also rounded up a few of our favorite experiences and local orgs to support — the Orlando Science Center has ideas for days.
Enjoy the holidays, be safe, and we’ll see you back here on New Year’s Eve. ✨
– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown