Written by Amber McCann, IBCLC
In addition to getting there and finding fun things to do, all ILCA 2012 Conference attendees will need to EAT! While Orlando and the surrounding area offer endless options for dining, our conference hotel, the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, offers tons of food options. I’ve spent days reading reviews and menus and we are certainly in for a treat!
Dining at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
- Primo – I fashion myself a “foodie” and am only a wee bit (OK, a LOT bit) excited to dine at Primo. Chef Melissa Kelly, the co-owner and executive chef, boasts an impressive resume but what really makes my heart swoon is the fact that the restaurant has their own organic garden to supply their kitchens…that and the thought of warm goat cheese flan with herb roasted tomatoes inspires a reservation on my part. Care to join me?
- Citron, An American Brasserie – While a “brasserie” is typically a casual, upscale restaurant, don’t you think it is a fitting name for a place where lactation consultants will gather all week? All kidding aside, this restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and “word on the street” is that their breakfast buffet is the place to be with made-to-order omelettes, waffles and pancakes.
- The Lobby Lounge – Need a mid-afternoon snack or a late evening drink? This spot looks to be just the right place to ask a few more questions of your favorite speaker, discuss options for new support procedures with colleagues, and get to know a new IBCLC friend.
- Quench Poolside Bar & Grill – Too relaxed in the Lazy River to bother getting dressed and make a reservation? No problem. Food and drinks, poolside. ‘Nuf said.
- Café Bodega – Need a quick little something on your way to your next session? Hungry for a quick breakfast? This little “grab-and go café” will suit your needs.
- Starbucks Café – Starbucks coffee might as well be the national drink of the USA (and it surely flows through my veins). You’ll find me and hundreds of my closest friend there each morning! In fact, you can bid on a $30 Starbucks gift card in the ILCA silent auction that has been donated by Starfish Lactation (surely enough to feed your addiction for the entirety of the conference!).
For even more dining options, conference attendees can sign up to go to Pointe Orlando on Saturday evening (July 28). There are 16 different restaurant options there including B. B. Kings Blues Cafe, Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, Johnny Rockets, and The Capital Grill. Round trip shuttle service is available for $15 USD and more information can be found in the conference brochure. What a great opportunity to meet new people!
If you’d like to purchase your own food, there is a Walgreens (pharmacy and convenience store) just off of the hotel property within walking distance and a Costco within 2 miles.
Make sure that you stop by the ILCA Lounge to mingle and perhaps meet up with people to make plans for dinner. It will be open until 6pm each evening so come, meet your friends, and make dinner plans. I know I will. Sushi anyone?
Amber McCann, IBCLC is a board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside if Washington, DC and the co-editor of this blog. She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same. In addition to her work here, she has written for a number of other breastfeeding support blogs including The Leaky Boob and Best for Babes and served on the Communications Team for GOLD Conference . When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV.