To you

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Happy Birthday Henry!

Whimsy

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While we were at Disney I discovered a few more things to play with on my camera and one of them is a monochrome filter. So I took some pictures with it while we were there. When I was looking at them today to decide which one to put in my blog post I decided on this one. Part of that decision is probably because I miss him a great deal right now. It just doesn’t seem fair that either I have to miss my family and friends, or I have to miss Roland. *pout* Anyway, here he is waiting for a motor coach back to our hotel at Epcot.

Thus ends the great Food and Wine Festival epic of aught seven.

Your Kerrygold, Sir

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About half way through our vacation Roland’s parents came down for a visit of their own. They stayed on after we left so the days where we were both there we got together. They flew in late one afternoon and got to their room around 7:30 or so, I think. Then they came over to MGM , where we had told them we were visiting that day and we actually ran into them in the street! I guess that’s why it’s handy to have a husband who is over 6 foot and has red hair. Pretty easy to pick him out of a crowd. Although this is also the reason why when ever there is a show that involves volunteers from the audience my husband disappears. Suddenly and without explanation. Anyhow, the first full day they were there we went over to the Food and Wine Festival again and tried some more food. In this picture Roland’s mom is holding a packet of Irish butter so he can spread it on his bread. She said it had been a while since she had to do something like that for Roland 🙂

The next day we headed over to the Magic Kingdom and I actually managed to get a decent picture of the castle when there weren’t too many people in front of it. I thought it turned out pretty well. There is a bit of a shadow on the lower half of the castle, but all in all, quite satisfactory.

Giraffe

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This was one of the pictures I took on the safari ride at the Animal Kingdom (check out my flickr account for a few more). We actually saw more animals this time than any other time we have been at Disney. I guess Jason was a good luck charm! It also helps that it was starting to get cooler in the day time so the animals didn’t have to hightail it back to the shade quite so early in the day. I especially liked this one of a baby giraffe. I tried to take it when you could quite see the Disney cheating, but if you look at the tree you can sort of still see where there is a feeding trough attached to the back of the trunk.

Green Archer needs food badly

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One of our evenings was spent over at Downtown Disney. I think it was the day we spent in the Magic Kingdom. There are only a few places at the Magic Kingdom that we would choose to eat for dinner and one of them was where we had lunch and the other is seasonally closed. Most of the other places aren’t terribly remarkable or have gone to character dinners that we try to avoid if possible. They tend to have way more kids around and be buffet style.

Anyhow, we arrived about 15 minutes before we were supposed to be at Raglan Road (our Downtown Disney restaurant of choice) so we meandered over to the arcade that was across the way from the restaurant. And low and behold we found this…Gauntlet: Legends. My all time favorite video game. I actually have this game for the PS2, but they changed it a bunch from this arcade game so I don’t like it nearly as much. The next one they put out, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, is far more like the arcade version of Legends and hence far better. Upon spying this gem tucked away in the back of the arcade I made everyone play with me. Being Downtown Disney the machine took quarters, which was nice because we didn’t have to go get tokens anywhere. It was a blast, but alas, before long we had to get on over for our dinner, but man was that a good time. It was especially nice because Roland and Jason are the ones who I used to play this game with in the first place.

As I mentioned our dinner was at Raglan Road. A seriously fine Irish Pub. When we have been there before it has been too early for the live entertainment so this time we specifically set a time that was late enough to catch the band and Irish dancer. And both were outstanding! We got seated directly in front of the band and I was a little worried about the volume, but it wasn’t a problem at all. The Irish dancer danced very well and had a lot of single guy admirers (some of whom had a few beers under their belts I’m sure). Ragland Road has two beer flights and Roland got one while and Jason opted for the other. Then they decided that they each wanted another so they switched. For dinner I got the Guiness Stew, which was really quite good. Dessert was some bread pudding with two drizzling sauces. I think Jason like the sauces better than the pudding and after the pudding was gone ate all the rest of the left over sauces by themselves. All in all a very enjoyable evening.

Please stand clear of the doors

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Another day at Disney World we went over to the Magic Kingdom. Apparently Jason had to conquer Space Mountain after a harrowing experience with it a couple of decades ago. He aquitted himself well, and also rode the other two mountains. Here you can see Roland and the back half of Jason’s head (sorry about that dude) in the second row of the coaster. I didn’t particulaly wan’t to ride this one at the time, and this roller coaster happens to have a sweet picture taking spot. It’s at the very end of the ride and the train is heading into the ending depot, but the track is designed so that if you watch you can identify which train your party is in and then be ready for a picture when they come back around. I’m not sure they did it that way on purpose, but given the thought they put into everything else at Disney, I’d have to guess that would be a yes.

After Splash Mountain we found were a bit wet (some more than others, sorry J) so we spent about a half an hour drying off. The place we found to dry off used to have tables in it, but they have since disappeared. On the up side it was right next to the Dole Whip joint so Roland and Jason both indulged in a Dole Whip Float. Over in Tomorrowland we went on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin and Jason tore it up! He always has been good at those shooting games. Apparently they are building a similar ride over at MGM with the other characters of Toy Story. I’m under the impression that it will be more along the lines of old school midway games rather than space themed blasters though. In other MGM news apparently they are going to be changing the name of it? I still find it hard to believe, but they are going to change it to Disney’s Hollywood or something like that. Wierd.

On a silly note, on the monorail they repeat this phase (after the English version) at every stop. So even people who don’t know Spanish, like Roland and I, get to know it pretty well. Roland has been saying it for a long time now at totally random times and places. Apparently he is not alone because now they have a t-shirt with it on it! I thought it was very funny, so I took a picture of it. The other wierd thing about it is that the voice on the monorail sounds a lot like Phil Hartman.

Beep, be-beep

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Your regularly scheduled installment of the Food and Wine Festival vacation will resume shortly, but I just had to share this with ya’ll. Yesterday I flew up to Michigan to visit with family and friends. Dave dropped me off at the airport, we said our goodbyes, and I went through the security checkpoint. As I’m walking down the ramp towards my gate I hear my name in a rather astonished tone of voice. I look up and who do I behold? Katie and her cohort of Cancun bound buddies! No freakin’ way. They were just about to board so we didn’t get much time to chat, but it was nice to see them all, and meet Becky. Hopefully I will get to see more of them after they return from their well deserved vacation.

Aperitif

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I think our vacation with Jason can be officially reported as a success. Every time we go somewhere with Jason I am reminded how vacationally compatible we are. We seem to move at the same pace and enjoy the same things. I just hope Jason feels the same! We had a lovely time wandering around enjoying good food and wine and not feeling the need to be on the go all the time and seeing every last ounce of Disney.

We started at Epcot this time. Usually when we have new people with us we like to start at the Magic Kingdom because that is the epitome of Disney. However, since we were all about the Food and Wine Festival this time we made an exception and started at Epcot. Pictured above, Jason bravely tries the Beverly, one of the interesting sodas of the world available at what used to be called Ice Station Cool. Then we moved on to the World Showcase and started eating our way around the world. It was very nice and the food was great. We also tried some interesting wines/drinks from other countries. I got to try some of the ice wine this year. I liked it, but I don’t think we will be shelling out the money for any!


We were able to watch the candy lady in Japan, which is one of my favorite activities. And, thanks to Roland I was lucky enough to get a hummingbird from her. We also saw some of the bands around the world, including MoRockin’ (I think Jason enjoyed the belly dancer), the British Invasion, and Off Kilter. I made everyone stop for a show with the Voices of Liberty too. Since Jason is a diver, we made arrangements for all of us to dive in the Living Seas. It was awesome, and neat to be able to show Jason. I think he agrees that the best part is playing with the people! Although many of the kids are a little freaked out when you come up to them. We were pretty lucky and the wildlife was fairly active while we were diving. A green sea turtle swam right up to us and gave Jason a good looking-over. After that it was over to the Rose and Crown for dinner. Roland and Jason both had the fish and chips (and I snitched a bit) and a beer flight. Add the Illuminations show and sticky toffee pudding for dessert and it was a wonderful evening.

Just stay between the green lines

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We have returned. We spent a lovely week at Disney World soaking up the Food and Wine Festival. Jason came down to join us (woot!) and this year we actually participated in some of the events rather than just eating ourselves around the world. Although, we did eat ourselves around the world a good three time…just to make sure we got everything. As an added bonus Dave’s parents flew down on Thursday for a vacation of their own so we got to see them as well. They are actually flying back on Wednesday, when I fly up to Michigan and they are going to meet me at the airport and drive me back to Muskegon with them. Then I’m going to spend some time with Dave’s fam and my Mom is going to come pick me up there on Monday. I’m looking forward to seeing how much Mila has grown and hopefully I’ll be able to spend a little time with Ryan and Laura while I’m in North Muskegon. Then I will be in Big Rapids and with a little luck will be able to borrow a car to be able to drive to see Henry and Katie in Grand Rapids, and down to Kalamazoo to see Jason and get back Roland’s coat that he left there over a year ago (not much need for a winter jacket here in Florida). Who know’s maybe I’ll even get to see Shannon and Ronda!

Anyhow, there will be more posts about the Food and Wine Festival soon, along with some pictures!

New Shoes

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I went on a mission today. I wanted some shoes that would dress up jeans more than sneakers, but still be comfortable to walk around in. I looked a lot of places and finally found some Naturalizers at DSW that fit well. They have a little bit of a heel, but they are wedges (thanks for the suggestion, Anne) so that sort of evens out. As one of our Food and Wine Festival extravaganza Roland, Jason, and I are going to dinner one night at Todd English’s Blue Zoo so I think I will wear them then. The dress is supposed to be business casual so I think these will be perfect.