Monday, September 26, 2011

Momsie was here again!

Before we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary, my mom came down for a visit.   Since she's been here a few times, we did not knock ourselves out doing touristy Disney things, and some days we didn't even have an agenda!   That is a big deal for me.   Ok.  I was working those days so it doesn't count.   Whatever.  It's still a big deal, right?

Even so, a trip to central Florida is not complete without a trip to a theme park of some sort, right?

Despite Mom's veteran status in Orlando we did manage to get in some new highlights, including riding the NEW Star Wars ride (ohmygosh!) and visiting perennial favorites Space Mountain and Captain EO.   Outside the theme park, favorite moments include seeing Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba, eating dinner at the delicious Artist Pointe, and taking Mom to a super cool wine store: Total Wine and More.  We also all discovered Menchie's.   Do you know this establishment?   It's good, but I wish it were ice cream.

Below are fun pictures of general mayhem and shenanigans.  What more would you expect?

My favorite Pixar character- he has a friend in me!

Yes, I was the only one who ordered dessert.  Who is surprised?

 Wilderness Lodge is beautiful- the pictures do not do it justice

Familiar sights highlights include: 
Meeting the White Rabbit (first time since 1978 honeymoon)

Riding the darn Teacups (I abstained)


Main Street Electrical Parade (first time since 1989)
and by the way, it's just as fun when you are 28 as when you are 5

Don't forget to let me know if you're in the area.   I am always game for fun in Central Florida.  Just please don't make me ride the teacups.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two Years Married!

Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary.   September 19, 2009 we got married in Ohio on a gorgeous late summer day.   September 19, 2010 we were in Ithaca, NY and it was a wee bit nippy.   We ate dinner on a hill overlooking Cayuga Lake and the beginnings of fall foliage.   September 19, 2011 we are in Florida and it is 90 degrees.

We celebrated our anniversary on Friday night with dinner at Victoria & Albert's.  It is a AAA Five Diamond restaurant at…..  Walt Disney World.  Yes folks, I was at the Grand Floridian Hotel, which is gorgeous, for 3 hours, eating amazing food.   I do not consider myself a foodie.   Don't get me wrong: I love food.   Despite being a very picky eater as a child, I now love food of many sorts, and my most favorite food of all time is a cheeseburger.   Specifically, with american cheese on a fresh roll.   What can I say?  I am a midwesterner at heart.

But let me tell you, this was once in a lifetime (so far at least) and also incredible.  It was a 6 course meal and we also added the wine pairing, with a half-glass per course.   Our waiters, however, gave us each at least one glass per course, thus resulting in a particularly long meal.  (I am not complaining)  As an added 'cute' component, our waiters (Jack and Sherry) also happened to be married!   They were adorable and very knowledgable with the food and wine and all that jazz.  The entire restaurant is impressive, and as an added touch, menus are custom and include your name and the date, along with a plethora of foods.  After dessert, the ladies are given a long stemmed red rose.

Throughout the meal, I convinced Michael to take photos with his phone, even though Emily Post would probably be rolling over in her grave.   Sorry, EP, but if you would have seen this food, you would understand.   Below, some visual highlights.  

Amuse Bouche with (from top right) prosciutto melon 'gazpacho*', crab salad with cream, jerk shrimp, ahi tuna in ginger sauce
*They didn't say gazpacho.   I forget what Jack said.   It was soup-esque and cold, hence, gazpacho

Diver Scallop with Braised Fennel

Roasted Alaskan Sablefish with Arugula Pudding

Duck Breast, Duck Sausage and Confit with Strawberry Rhubarb Puree

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Tortellini

Niman Ranch Lamb with Candied Marble Potatoes and English Peas

Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin and Belly with Verjus-Bacon Vinaigrette

Flora Nelle, 24 month Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gouda and Southern Belle Chevre

Coffee service was presented in a fantastic steaming Bill Nye type science pot.   It was tasty.   I don't even LIKE coffee

Grand Marnier Souffle

Tanzanie Chocolate Pyramid with Champagne-Chambord Truffle

Then I got my rose.  As if this was not enough, they also handed us breakfast bread to enjoy the following morning.   They probably should really give you a slim-fast or a piece of celery.   Can anyone say DETOX?    We actually wandered around for awhile, enjoying the scenery (we could see Cinderella's Castle from the boat dock, but the photos don't do it justice)   But even the walk was too much to handle.  

This restaurant is not for sissies.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Auditory Amusement

After seeing The Help last weekend (recommended!) Michael and I grabbed food at the Wolfgang Puck quick service restaurant across the street.  We had never been before, but based on our (my) interaction, we should go frequently.  Chad was a riot.   His helpful Disney nametag tells me he is from the midwest.  No surprise there

Me: I don't know what I want
Michael: Jules, just pick something
Me (to Chad, the young guy at the register): I need your opinion please
Chad: OK
Me: If you were going to order a salad, would you choose the barbecue chicken salad or the roasted turkey salad?
Chad: Well, I think I was a T-Rex in a former life and I don't eat salad.  I would tell you to get the pepperoni pizza with extra pepperoni
Me: But I don't really want pizza
Chad: Well, I do eat sandwiches.  So if both of these were sandwiches I would pick the turkey because the chicken salad as a sandwich sounds gross
Me (laughing) : That is not helpful!
Chad: I told you I don't eat salad!
Me (still laughing): Fine.  Ok.  Well, I don't want pizza and since you are no help with the salad, I will order something else
Chad: We do sell a lot of the barbecue chicken salads
Michael: I would like the Thai chicken please
Chad: See, he knows what he wants for dinner
Me: That does not HELP me!  OK, Chad, I am going to have the pesto chicken sandwich.  We met halfway.  You don't like salad, I don't want pizza.   How's this sandwich?
Chad, to Michael: Wow, so this is pretty much your life, huh?
Michael: Yep.
Chad: That's awesome!  The sandwich is good.