Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Travelin' Tuesday: Disney Part 1

You just got engaged, now what are you going to do?

"....I'm going to Disney World!"

OK, so it wasn't exactly like winning the Superbowl, but what great timing!  A couple weeks after Chris proposed we had a big trip planned for Disney and a cruise.  Neither of us had ever ventured to the Disney mecca down in Florida and decided to take a couple of extra days prior to our cruise to explore and feel like a kid again.

In order to get the biggest bang for our buck, and cut back on external transportation and dining we booked a Disney package.  We stayed at one of the less expensive hotels (most of our time was spent in the parks so we were ok with the economical room), added a dining package and enjoyed the included transportation between the parks and our hotel.

Having never been, I was all about researching for this trip.  I purchased books and read numerous sites online to plot out what days we should go to which parks (thanks to magic hours some parks are open earlier or stay open later for guests staying at a Disney hotel), which restaurants we should book for our included meals and which rides to hit up first.

Even though it was vacation time, we were up bright an early each morning to make the most of our short 3 day trip.  Funny story - before the trip I had this crazy dream that I was taking pictures of animals and my battery died.  Feeling like this dream was so real I decided to buy a second battery...you know, just in case. Well sure enough on our first day in Animal Kingdom while on the Kilimanjaro Safari my battery died and wouldn't you know that I left the extra battery back in the hotel?  I made it through the safari by turning on and off the camera to snap pictures. I was so upset that we had to break up the day with a trip to the hotel and back but I would have been more upset not to have the pictures from that day.

 I highly suggest using the Fastpass option when in the parks.  It's a great way to come back to a ride at a later time and go through a shorter line.

After hitting up all of the main attractions in Animal Kingdom we headed over to Epcot to explore the spring time flower and garden festival as well as a mini tour of the world showcase.

Walking the world showcase was a great work out!  It's more informative than attractions but we really enjoyed getting a little taste of different cultures.

Next week I'll do a rundown of our time in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Have you ever been to Disneyland or World?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five For Friday

1. You introduced me to some new music like Buddahead and Civil Twilight.
2. You downloaded the new song from the Hunger Games album and shared it with me.
3. You started reading (and finished) the first Hunger games book so I can talk about it with you when we go see the movie next month. (or talk about it with you after each major event in the book as you read :)
4. You didn't think I was crazy when I hunted down mom's ice cream spoons, and told me to order them.
5.  You left the extra 27 cents in the account.

New Years Eve 2007

Thursday, February 23, 2012

30 Before 30: Medieval Times

Are you ready to joust?

Chris' second surprise for our Valentine's date was Medieval Times and I was beyond excited!  I may have even screamed a little in the car when I finally figured out where we were going.

I have always wanted to venture out to Medieval Times and was a tad bit jealous when my brother took a history field trip there in high school.  Chris booked the Valentine's package which included our dinner and show, flags to support our knight (go Blue!), a light up rose, keepsake picture, your choice of champagne or beer with souvenir glasses and a pass through the torture museum.

We arrived early, as they suggest, to check in and take advantage of our package add ons.  They must make a killing on all of the souvenirs and memorabilia that I saw parents buying for their kids.

Once the castle was cleared out (they normally have shows at 2:30, 5:00 and 7:45 on a Saturday), we were directed to the blue section and our seats with our pewter dining set.

 After a quick briefing from our server for the night, it was time for the show to begin!

During the show, the meal is severed.  The "bill of fare" for the night included tomato bisque, focaccia bread, roasted chicken, bbq spare rib, herb roasted potato and pastry of the castle.  To keep in line with the time period, there is no silverware.

We dinned and watched the knights compete in games and then joust.  I was really hoping we would have the winner for the night, but after taking down the yellow knight our knight fell to the eventual champion - the black and white knight.

We had such a fun night and I'm so thankful for a thoughtful husband that is helping me cross off my 30 before 30 goals!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Travelin' Tuesday: Atlantic City

For us, Atlantic City is like a smaller version of Vegas.  Living in Philadelphia, we grew up making trips to the shore so when we traveled back to Philly/New Jersey in 2008 for my mom's family reunion we squeezed in a couple of days at AC.

Chris' first steps into the Atlantic ocean occurred on this trip.  He's flown over the ocean (to backpack in Europe) but never stepped foot in it before.

For us, those couple of days at AC were spent in the casino and walking the famed boardwalk.

We also made time for some Italian Water Ice (man, I miss that stuff!), lounging by the pool and lunch at the Hard Rock.

Thanks to dad's connections, we lucked out with an amazing suite!  I would LOVE to take some of the elements from this bathroom and put it in our future home.

Have you stayed in a hotel with elements or features that you would like to incorporate into your own home?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five For Friday

1.  You planned a fun filled Saturday with items from my 30 before 30 list.
2.  You had flowers delivered for Valentine's day, and I love seeing them bloom every day.
3.  You helped mom by playing bartender for her Valentine's dinner.
4.  You make me laugh about how you will eat every form of potato except for mashed (which I was craving).
5.  You aren't afraid of real colors to paint in our future house (unlike mom who is more comfortable with safe colors).

With friends at Kristen's wedding 2010

Thursday, February 16, 2012

30 Before 30: Food Truck Park

I have to thank my wonderful husband for knocking off a couple of my 30 before 30 items this past weekend!  He had a rare Saturday off and made the most of it by planning activities with a little help from my list.  I can't wait to share our date night, but for today we'll be checking out the Food Truck park in Fort Worth.

With the recent increase in popularity of food trucks, Fort Worth decided to open a dedicated area for the  trucks to park. The food truck park opened back in December and I've been so excited to make it out there.  Not so excited for the hour drive, but really excited to see what options they have.

The trucks cycle out so customers should check out the calendar to see what trucks will be parked on their visit.  There are normally 6 trucks, but when we arrived Saturday the dessert truck had not arrived yet.  As luck would have it, the high on Saturday was a very windy and cold 38 (which is cold for Texas).  I was very thankful for the heaters that they placed in front of each of the trucks!

There was a nice variety of trucks from Mexican, to vegetarian, to meats.

After making the rounds, we decided to select from Lee's Grilled Cheese.  We love grilled cheese, and the addition of creamy tomato soup sounded like just the ticket for such a cold day.

My selection was smoked Gruyere with bacon and pesto while Chris opted for 3 pepper Colby Jack with bacon and mac n' cheese.  He's likes it with a kick!

We lunched on the tables behind the truck which was great to block some of the gusty winds.  Our sandwiches were gone in no time because they were so tasty on the grilled sourdough bread.  I really loved the variety of add ons to the sandwiches, combinations are endless. 

On the way out, we decided to pick up a little creme brule from the munch box truck.


We were scraping the bottom of those little dishes, so delicious and a wonderful way to end our first food truck experience!  The trek out to Fort Worth was a little long for only lunch, so next time we'll be checking out the Bishop Arts district in Dallas.

Have you had a food truck meal?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Wrap Up

We normally don't do much for Valentine's Day, other than flowers which Chris has always sent since we first started dating.  This year, Chris had a couple of ideas up his sleeve (that stem from my 30 before 30 list) that I can't wait to share with you tomorrow!

My mom on the other hand loves Valentine's Day and decided to host a little dinner for our family and a couple of my cousins on Sunday night.  I let her borrow my flowers from Chris to use as her centerpiece.

Her meal started off with a seafood Caesar salad and some fresh french bread, then moved onto the main course of surf and turf with asparagus, broccoli and baked potato.

We all love seafood, some more than others (Dennis opted for some seared scallops instead of the lobster) and this was my first time to ever work with a whole lobster.  It was a little bit of work, but so delicious with the drawn butter.  I'm excited to have it again on our cruise in April, which is usually the only time I get the chance to have lobster.

Did you eat anything tasty for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Travelin' Tuesday: Philly

Isn't it funny how people tend to take for granted tourist areas where they live?  

I grew up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia and can not remember ever going to see the Liberty bell.  Because of this, a trip to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell center was needed for Chris' first trip back to my home state.

Dad pointing out our ancestor William Still who was famous for his work with the underground railroad.

We hopped on the trolley to take a quick tour of the home of Betsy Ross and the famed Elfreth's Alley.

And we finished off our day in the city with some cheesesteaks.  

We only had one day in the city before we headed to New Jersey for our family reunion, but I think we did a good job of hitting some of the top spots.  Hopefully we'll be back and really get to take in Philly.

Have you been to the top tourist area's of your town?