Sunday, September 30, 2012

Food & Wine Booth reviews

The Food & Wine Festival at Epcot officially started on Friday.  In years past, they've done previews on Thursday.

I spent the past week in Puerto Rico for work.  On Thursday my flight landed at an awkward time.  If I went straight home, it would be the end of the work day by the time I got home.  Since the weather was nice, I decided to stop by Epcot and see if they were doing the preview again this year.

Lucky me! They were!
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year <3

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Home: Part 10

We are so close to completion!  Almost everything has been done inside, now it's just touch up work in there.

Paint, sidewalk, pavers, mail box!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dining Reviews: Mint Julep Bar & Naples

I was absolutely terrible about taking pictures on Day 4 of our trip.  So I'll only review what I have pictures of.

In lieu of lunch, we opted for 2 snacks: Dole Whips and Mickey Beignets.  I knew you could get Mickey Beignets at Cafe Orleans, but I also had heard they were available at a Counter Service location.  Which began our mission: who sells them?!

We eventually found them at the Mint Julep Bar.  So yes, this review is of the Mint Julep Bar, but no, we did not get Mint Juleps!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Disneyland Day 4: Part 2

After our relaxing visit to the Tiki Room, our next stop was over at Big Thunder Mountain!  Again, we essentially walked right on.  It was a very minimal wait.

Big Thunder

Monday, September 24, 2012

Disneyland Day 4!

The next morning we decided to treat ourselves to a nice breakfast.  I had heard that Steakhouse 55 did a decent breakfast, and that the restaurant itself was neat to check out.  Since Disneyland didn't open until 9am that morning, we took our time getting ready and then walked over.  We had no problems getting in without reservations (still weird to be able to do that at Disneyland!) and enjoyed a good breakfast...but I totally forgot to take pictures, so I forgot what I had.  There were pictures of old movie stars on the walls and the one waiter talked to us about who they were.  Definitely would recommend if you want a nice breakfast.

Once we were done, we headed over to the monorail station!  Since we were on the other side of Downtown Disney, we took the opportunity to hop on the monorail to get into Disneyland that morning.  The monorail takes you right to Tomorrowland instead of the entrance like at WDW.

Mona Monorail!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dining Reviews: Napa Rose

Since it was my Mom's birthday, we planned on going to Napa Rose as soon as we booked the trip.  This was my birthday present to my Mom.

For those of you who have never been, Napa Rose is located at the Grand Californian Resort.  There's a nice lounge area, as well as the restaurant.  It has an open kitchen and there is an option to book seats at the Chef's Counter (I was tempted.)

We checked in and were escorted directly to our table.  Ironically, it was the same table Geoff and I had when we went back in 2010!  The restaurant has an upscale rustic feel to it.  The Grand Californian itself is very similar to the Wilderness Lodge at WDW, and the restaurant feels the same.

One of the things Napa Rose offers is their "Vintner's Table" menu.  Essentially a price-fix menu, but you don't get to choose what you order, it's all or nothing.  We decided going in that unless we really disliked something, this is what we were going to do.

Vintner's Table Menu
 Of course, I don't like olives, I don't care for peaches, I tried pate once and it wasn't my favorite.  And sweetbreads?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dining Reviews: Cozy Cones, Flo's V8, Cocina Cucamonga

Like the day before, we explored the Park a bit before taking a break for breakfast.  Today we decided on a more substantial breakfast so we checked out Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars Land.

I had also heard of a new frozen apple juice drink that you could get at one of the Cozy Cones, so I wanted that to go along with my breakfast.

I went off to secure my juice and my Mom got in line to get our breakfast.

Cozy Cone

Monday, September 17, 2012

Future Home: Part 9

Geoff and I took a swing by the new house this past weekend.  There were a lot of new things to check out!
Sidewalk framed, primer painted

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Disneyland Day 3: Part 2!

After breakfast, we headed over to ride Soarin'.  My Mom couldn't get over the fact that the posted wait was just 10 minutes!  We cut that down even further by doing the single rider line.

Up until now, my Mom still was missing her Birthday Button!  So we decided to head back up to Guest Services and see if they got any in.  They did!  And everyone rejoiced!

Birthday girl

Friday, September 14, 2012

Disneyland Day 3!

Monday was a big day.  On the agenda was the race for Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses (pun intended), Napa Rose for dinner, and of course, Mom's birthday!

The Parks were opening to the general public at 9am that morning, with Early Entry offered for people staying on-property at a Disney hotel.  I had heard that they would open the gates a half hour early to allow people to line up for Fastpasses.  So we got in line at about 8:15am and sure enough, at 8:30am, they opened the turnstiles.  I knew exactly where I was going, so I booked it down Buena Vista Street and got in line.  I did pretty well:

My spot in line 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dining Reviews: Wine Country Trattoria, & Clarabelle's

For dinner on our first night, we called from our hotel at 5:30pm to make a reservation for 7:30pm.  Not something that you can really do at WDW!  We arrived at Wine Country Trattoria about 15 minutes early and checked in.  They let us know they were running a bit behind (which we could tell because we waited in a line for a good 10 minutes to check-in!)

So we went next door and grabbed a glass of wine to wait.  I had a glass of Prosecco and my Mom had a white wine...I think it was Pinot Grigio.
Plastic glasses, the height of sophistication!
It wasn't long before we were paged and our table was ready.  We had a nice little two-top out on the patio.  It was a gorgeous night and probably our favorite thing about Wine Country Trattoria was being able to sit outdoors and enjoy it (sounds ominous, huh?)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dining Reviews: Jolly Holiday Bakery & Hungry Bear

After we ran around Fantasyland and caught a few other rides, it was time for breakfast!

A stop at Jolly Holiday Bakery was needed!

Window at the Bakery. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Future Home: Part 8!

I'll interrupt the Disneyland postings for today.  We're getting closer and closer to seeing a complete house!  Last weekend we stopped at they had all the insulation and sheet rock up.  We went back this weekend and they had mudded the house!  It didn't look too different this week, so I didn't take a lot of pictures, but last week it certainly looked different!  It feels more real now, we have defined rooms.  It feels more like a house.  I'm really excited to see it finished!  (Also excited to get out of the apartment and stop stressing about moving!)

Outside: Stucco done! Tiles on roof

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Disneyland Day 2 - Part 2

Well, I left you with a mean cliff hanger, so I'll get right back into things!  We hopped over to California Adventure to do a little exploring.  On a side note, I love how easy it is to park hop at Disneyland!
Buena Vista Street
First, I can't get over how different the entrance to California Adventure is!  Buena Vista Street is amazing.  It is so much better than it was before, it just felt more alive.  And so much more "Disney."  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Disneyland - Day 2

One of the best things about going to the West Coast is that for the first day, you're still on East Coast time.  We woke up around 4am and got out of bed at 4:30am...willingly!  By 6:15am we were ready, so decided to head over to the parks and wait for opening.

With our tickets, we had one Early Entry which was available on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  Early Entry gets you into Disneyland 1 hour early and they open Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.  We were a little up in the air on whether to use the Early Entry on Tuesday or on Sunday, but since we were up so early, it made the decision a little easier!  On Sunday, the Parks opened at 8am, which meant Early Entry got us in the park at 7am!  

We were the first people lined up at the turnstile.  There was no grand rope drop ceremony, just a family pulled out of line that counted down to opening.  There was also maybe 100 people who entered the park right at 7am with us.  It was like having a private Disneyland!  (Everyone was over at California.)

Entering Disneyland

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dining Review - Uva Bar and Bubba Gumps

As promised, here's a review for our meals that we had at Disneyland!

We started off with a snack at the Uva Bar.

The Uva Bar is located at the center of Downtown Disney.  It's all outdoors.  As you see in the picture, it's affiliated with the restaurant "Catal," but it has its own separate menu.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our trip to Disneyland

We're back!  We had a fantastic trip.  I'll do a day by day breakdown of the highlights of our trip and then also some dining reviews.

We left bright and early on Saturday, August 25.  We flew Delta since I had the vouchers and just held our breath that everything would go alright.  On Friday, we checked in and they had moved us from the middle and aisle to window seats...thanks Delta.  Luckily we were able to switch and that was the biggest snag on the flight.  While I don't think I'll go out of my way to book Delta, if it's the best option, I would consider them.  Domestic only.  I still won't fly code-share with them.  (If you want the full story, click here.)  Anyway, we connected through Salt Lake City and arrived at John Wayne Airport (okay..really Santa Ana/Orange County...but I like that it's called John Wayne airport) a little early.  We very easily found Super Shuttle, which I had pre-booked and a van was waiting to take us to our hotel.