Health & Fitness,  Orlando

Ohm My Orlando

Ohm my.  Guess what?  I am going to reference my rut again, but it’s relevant.  I swear!  Because the experience that I am about to share with you in this nifty little story was referenced in that particular post.

And, no, next week’s post won’t reference my rut because let’s be honest…that rut is soooo OVER.

Back to the story…

Not too long ago, I was researching new things to do in the Orlando area.  A tumble down the internet rabbit hole led me to an event at the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes called “Meditation in Movement.”  Even though I don’t appear (or act), particularly zen, I have always loved meditation.  Andrew Johnson’s meditation app has lulled me into sleep for years, so the addition of movement with meditation piqued my interest.

The Ritz Carlton is quite fab, so I asked my best friend, Nicole, if she would like to join me for the activity followed by breakfast on-site at the resort.  She was down, so I commenced with the planning of our “girl date.”

That’s Nicole on the left.  We look like we could use a little “zen time” in this photo.

I called the Ritz to make a reservation (I’m a planner!) and was told we just needed to show up at the Fitness Center to register.  How easy, right?

Fast forward, and it’s time for us to spend a little “bestie time” at the Ritz.  We bounced our way to the Fitness Center to get our meditation on.  We were met by an amiable staff member that informed us that typically, events like “Meditation in Movement” were only available to resort guests.  She asked us to wait so she could see if management would allow us to take the class.  Thankfully they allowed us to participate, and soon after that, we met our Zen Master, Henry, who guided us down to the lake.

Hotel exterior
The walk to the lake was quite enjoyable.

There were three of us that took the class, so we had plenty of room to spread out when we got to the lake.  We were told we didn’t need our yoga mats and that being barefoot during the session is best.  So off went the shoes and on went that new age-y, chime-y music that I love so darn much.

Meditation Station
The scene of our “Meditation in Movement.”  By the way…I have a “thing” for pergolas.

Have you ever watched a movie that has a large group of people doing Tai Chi in a park?  That’s what we looked like during our session, but instead of 30 people slowly moving together, there were three of us. We pushed and pulled our energy to the rhythm of the music.  And at one point we were told to push energy from our armpits (I may not have done that part.  Don’t tell Henry).

The nearly hour-long session went by so much faster than I expected.  After Henry bid us “adieu” Nicole and I sat on the grass for a bit before making our next move – to get coffee and breakfast (yes…in that order).

Our final stop was First Drop – a little cafe featuring artisanal coffees, housemade gelato, and breakfast sandwiches that were saying, “Hey, girl, heyyyyy!”  As I looked at the case filled with pastries and sandwich options, my internal “angel chorus” sounded as I saw a lovely looking Everything bagel with smoked salmon.  Yes.  That.  Please.

First Drip
A shot of First Drop…and bananas and oranges.

With our drinks and breakfasts in hand, we made our way to the outdoor seating area to relax, eat, and catch up on our lives.  We talked and laughed.  And at some point during our chat, I thought it would be a good idea to order a wine fridge for my Lady Parlor.  So I did (more on that another time).

First Drip Breakfast
Look at all the Omega-3 goodness!  Also, I am happy to report that nary a poppy seed lodged itself between my teeth.

Despite the little hiccup when it came to registering for the class, overall we had a wonderful time at the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes.  The grounds are so, so pretty and every staff member we encountered was friendly and professional.  I’ve been to the resort a few times to go out to dinner, and they never disappoint.

Oh, Mr. Hammock, I’m coming back for you. And I’m going to bring a First Drop banana with me.  You’ve been warned.

Ohm my Orlando.  I love you.  I really do.

Meditation is one of the ways that I try to de-stress.  What do you do to take the edge off?  And have you been on any fun (or zen) adventures lately?  Please share in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you.

Work Hard.  Play Hard.  Drink Chard.


P.S.  This is not a paid post.  The issue with the event being available to resort guests only was a bit of bummer.  Next time, if I see an activity of interest, I will call and ask if it is open to non-resort guests.  Lesson learned.


  • Dr Nic

    This was a lovely experience. The movement of the body, so guided and intentional, was nothing I had done before and definitely something I will do again.

    I hope the Ritz reconsiders non-guests. We paid for the class and tipped Henry: we dined at their lovely coffee shop and tipped the ladies there as well (they were such fun and extremely friendly!).

    And by the way, I may have had a coffee from First Drop before as well as after meditation 🙂 Yes, I started without you!

    Your lovely lady bestie thug girl,

    • lauriegannon1

      The green grass was different yet very soft and comfortable. Do you practice yoga often? I enjoy it even though my flexibility is nil. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      It was a great day! It would have been a bummer to not be able to take the class, but that Everything bagel still would have been mine .

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Sandy! If you go to the Ritz, you will have to let me know! I’ve never stayed the night at the hotel, but have gone to a few of the restaurants. They are wonderful!

  • Yuni

    That hammock and the beautiful setting is sooo calling out to me and I live halfway across the world. It looks like such an incredible place and I hope you did find your zen.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi there, Yuni! Where in the world do you live? 🙂 I did find my zen and some smoked salmon. That combination is absolutely fabulous!

  • Natalie Allen

    In the past, I’ll break out an adult coloring book and have at it for a little while. It’s very meditative and can give me a sense of completion when I finish that feels really good and like I have control over something. Currently, my husband and I have been traveling the world since January and the adventures have been epic. I don’t want to stop! Keep up the good work!

    • lauriegannon1

      I need to read your posts!! Where is your favorite place you have gone and what is next on your itinerary!?

      And thank you so much for your kind words!!

  • Cristina Coroiu

    That bagel looks amazing. I want one as well. Also the last photo, with the hammock and the sand makes me wanna be there. I’m glad you were allowed to take part and became zen 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Thanks, Cristina! I would share the bagel with you if I could. 🙂 The hammock looks so lovely. I think I need to find my zen again. 🙂

  • Amber

    This sounds like such a wonderful time! What a gorgeous area. I tend to read to take the edge off. It helps!

    • lauriegannon1

      Thank you, Tabitha! It was definitely fun and very relaxing. And then I jolted myself with coffee. Mmm…

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi Sarah!!!! (Can you see me waving?) I am glad they let us participate. They have a gingerbread house making class over the holidays. I hope they let me take it!!!!

    • lauriegannon1

      I’m so glad they let me take the class. It was worth it. Maybe we should take a “hammocking” class together? 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Kristen! If you do, please let me know! By the way…Highball and Harvest is another great restaurant on-site at the Ritz. They have a nice wine list, craft cocktails, and excellent food. The good news is that you don’t have to be a resort guest to enjoy the restaurants. 🙂

  • lucicoo

    That sounds really nice. Meditation is something that I do almost everyday. I take 30 minutes to get off the internet and listen to music to center me.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Luci! Meditation is one of my favorite times of my day. It’s very relaxing. Have you ever used a meditation app before?

    • lauriegannon1

      Meditation is awesome! Or you could just go and drink coffee. Or eat gelato. Or drink wine. Whatever makes you happy, Ms. XoLivi! 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      That bagel was delicious! And I still can’t believe that the poppy seeds decided to not make me look like a hot mess. That day ruled!!!

  • Andrea

    that bagel looks yummy. and how exciting meditating. i go through spells of doing it and spells where i dont. i have a friend that lives in orlando.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Andrea! I hope I dream about the bagel tonight. 🙂 I would say that I use a meditation app about five days a week. It’s very soothing to use to fall asleep. What part of Orlando does your friend live?

    • lauriegannon1

      I really wish they had said something to me on the phone when I called. I guess I sounded very much like the guest staying in room #1234. 🙂

      It sounds like you need to treat yo’self to a bagel! What is your favorite kind and what do you like to have on yours?

    • lauriegannon1

      It was a really lovely time! The only catch is that the events are for resort guests. I’m glad they let us participate!

  • Joanna

    How great that you were only 3 in the class! I love when you get more from a class because it’s less people. I love going to zumba but when the class is full I feel that there is no space at all to move properly.

    • lauriegannon1

      I love Zumba but if the class is too full, I know my flailing arms are going to do some collateral damage. What other types of classes do you like?

    • lauriegannon1

      I really lucked out with my approach! I wish they would make all events open to the public. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      I love the sounds of nature. I have quite a few apps on my phone that emulate the sounds, but there is nothing quite like being outside.

      Thanks for providing the link to your post! I’m going to check out your latest adventure! 🙂

      • Laura Beth

        Me, too. I love being outside and surrounding myself with nature as much as possible. My husband’s parents have a beautiful eight-acre farm, and I can’t wait to visit them again in a few weeks!

    • lauriegannon1

      It was a really nice time! What type of music do you like? I have a tendency to sing 80’s hits in my car. 🙂

  • jiselle jones

    i enjoyed reading your post. u guys do look like u needed to de-stress!lol the grounds truly do look lovely.

    • lauriegannon1

      Thank you so much for the feedback, Jiselle! The grounds were lovely. We did leave our hats at home for that particular trip. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Kim! I love Orlando, too! I didn’t stay at the Ritz as I am a local (although…maybe I should).

      The events are actually for resort guests only, so if you do stay…you will have some pretty awesome stuff to do and GREAT places to eat.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Samuel!!! Thank you for the kind words! That bagel was sooo good. I might need to write a story about my love for bagels. 🙂

    • lauriegannon1

      Thank you for the kind words, Besties! I really enjoyed my time there. Now I want to go back for a cocktail. Mmm…

  • Blair Villanueva

    I like that moment when o chpse to disconnect to the world and become a little selfish, and just think about meditation and relaxation. Glad you had a wonderful time at the Ritz.

    • lauriegannon1

      We all need a bit of relaxation. 🙂 I would love to go back and stroll the grounds of the Ritz in the near future.

    • lauriegannon1

      Thank you! My love for Orlando has grown over the years. There is so much to do! If you ever make your way to Orlando, you should check out Orlando Date Night Guide. They are a great resource for things to do.

    • lauriegannon1

      Hi, Umesh! Thank you for stopping by Work, Play and Chardonnay! I really did enjoy the time at the Ritz. Maybe I should go back this weekend?

  • Corinne 🍒 (@WhatCorinneDid)

    First of all, this salmon and avocado bagels looks so delicious (i am a sucker for avocado!). I have never been to the ritz in orlando or anywhere else but that’s somewhere i’d love to go to! Sounds like you had a great experience!

    • lauriegannon1

      That bagel was ridiculously delicious and filled with good stuff.

      Your comment is making me want to seek out other hotel activities in the Orlando area. Hmmm…

  • Kelly Berryman

    I think that I may be the world’s least zen person. The closest that I’ve gotten is listening to “Everything Zen” by Bush, but I no longer stream that because Gavin was so very bad to my girl Gwen. 😉 But seriously, if I’m supposed to count backward from 100, I’ll make it to about 98 before my brain yells “Squirrel!”

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