A day in the life of an LALtoday City Editor

I asked you to choose my fate, and you did. Here’s how it turned out.

The boathouse at Bonnet Springs Park

No surprise here — our perfect day includes a stop at Bonnet Springs Park.

Photo by LALtoday

Hey, Lakeland. City Editor Rilee here. Earlier this month, I asked you to choose your own adventure and design my workday in Lakeland.

You submitted your answers to our poll — here’s how it shook out.

You’re the boss, Lakeland (at least for today). Let’s get into it.

9 a.m. — Wake up and smell the coffee

A laptop open to LALtoday's homepage and a cup of coffee

A toasty latte from Mitchell’s is the perfect way to start the work day.

Photo by LALtoday

Because how else could I start my day? As much as I love breakfast, I have to thank our readers for making sure I was good and caffeinated before starting a full day.

Voters selected Lakeland’s oldest coffee shop, Mitchell’s Coffee, for my morning brew. I ordered the “I Dream of Jeanie” latte, which features hazelnut, coconut, and white chocolate mocha. No wonder it’s been on the menu since 1998.

11 a.m. — Visit a Lakeland coworking space


Working with a view is our favorite way to work.

Video by LALtoday

You may have noticed that a majority of our readers wanted me to work outside today, but it just so happens that this was one of Lakeland’s few winter weather days. With a high of 67°, I opted to visit Catapult instead.

12 p.m. — Grab lunch downtown at Black & Brew

Two plates with sandwiches, salads, and soups

Which Black & Brew location is your favorite?

Photo by LALtoday

I met City Editor Connor downtown for a quick bite. With weather like this, we were both feeling the need for a steamy bowl of soup. She added a half strawberry praline salad, and I opted for a half turkey + brie sandwich.

Between bites, Connor and I chatted about our January content calendar, and we have a questionwhat’s on your 2024 bucket list? (Think: Attend the hot air balloon festival, run the Lake to Lake 10K, etc.)

1 p.m. — Sculpture walk around Lake Mirror

A large swan statue on Lake Mirror

Find “Mute Swan Protecting Her Cygnets” by Ian G. Brennan above Lake Mirror.

Photo by LALtoday

Talk about a great post-lunch activity. This was the second-closest vote between two options — 52% of you voted for me to walk Lake Mirror’s sculptures and 48% wanted me to visit Polk Museum of Art. Follow along on my sculpture walk. Bonus: Check out my October visit to the museum.

2 p.m. — Sweat it out at Bonnet Springs Park

Walking the Bonnet Springs Park boardwalk

Take your next walk on the boardwalk.

Video by LALtoday

Once lunch settled, it was time for some afternoon activity. A whopping 59% of readers wanted me to sweat it out at a public park, and while the morning’s chill had me working indoors, it was perfect for a walk. Any of Lakeland’s public parks or hiking trails would have been great choices, but I had to stop by Bonnet Springs Park to see it decorated for the holidays.

After my walk, I finished my work day from the rooftop patio overlooking the Allen & Company Family Lawn. A vast majority (68%) of readers wanted me to write about businesses coming to Swan City in 2024 — keep your eyes peeled for that article, coming soon.

5 p.m. — Happy hour at Revival

Two drinks on coasters

We ordered a Negroni and a Moscow Mule.

Photo by LALtoday

It’s no secret that Lakeland has tons of happy hour options, but our readers were almost perfectly split between two leading choices with 35% voting for Revival and 35% voting for Swan Brewing. While I love both options, I’m a sucker for a date night at Revival. Pro tip: Not sure what you want, exactly? Ask for the “Bartender’s Choice” — just tell them your preferred spirit and a description or flavor profile. My favorites are fruity, sweet, and herbal.

Thanks for designing my perfect day, Lakeland. Until next time.

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