Day 7 – 11/10/2014
I left the Imagination Pavilion and made my way to World Showcase. This would be my last visit to Food & Wine. I was near the Puerto Rico booth so I started there. I ordered the beef with rice ($4.50). I have it down as being just okay I think because they had these ready to go; wasn’t too memorable. While I was waiting for my food a couple came up to where you pick up food and just grabbed a plate. I guess he thought it was like Costco samples. You know Disney is not doing anything for free man. The CM asked for his receipt and I guess he learned. I ate my beef and went back to Canada for some more soup.
– Carne guisada con arroz blanco: Slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice (gluten free)
– Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
Since I had already made my way on the Canada side I decided to start back in Mexico. On the way I passed the Desserts & Champagne booth and I had to get something sweet. I chose the dessert trio ($4.00) with a creamsicle, espresso cake, & cheesecake roll. The cheesecake roll was okay, the creamsicle was good, and the espresso cake was very good; despite me not liking coffee flavoring. – Dessert Trio: Passion fruit coconut creamsicle, blueberry lime cheesecake roll, and chocolate espresso opera cake
In Mexico I looked around the stalls a little before getting in line for The Gran Fiesta Tour. I didn’t get any food since I live in Arizona with tons of Mexican food.
I hadn’t really been to the “top” part of World Showcase yet so I sped past Norway & China on my way to Germany. At the German booth I got the pasta gratin ($3.50). It was also just okay. It was supposed to have ham, but I don’t recall there being much if any. The Poland booth was nearby and I stopped for what would end up being my last booth 😦 From there I got the kielbasa pierogi ($5.25) & the apple pie drink ($8.75). The kielbasa was very good and the apple pie drink was great. I wish I had one right now.
– Schinkennudeln: Pasta gratin with ham and cheese
– Kielbasa and potato pierogi with caramelized onions and sour cream & Frozen Szarlotka (apple pie) featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
I continued along and did some browsing in Italy. I found this Italian candy I had bought the year before in Italy, Perugina Baci. I absolutely loved these so I had to buy a bag. I really should’ve bought more than one. They are like Hershey Kisses, but filled with a hazelnut filling and a whole hazelnut, basically one of the best things ever. I was ecstatic to find these. I passed the US and went to Japan to do some shopping. I looked around the main store a bit, but I was really after candy. I purchased a couple bags of candy to bring home.
I had been to every country and checked off quite a few of my Food & Wine list. I really wanted to check out Stormalong Bay before we left and this was really the best time. I started walking out, but before I left I stopped and just took it all in for a couple minutes. World Showcase is one of my favorite parts of WDW, so just looking out over the lagoon for a couple minutes was a great way to say goodbye.
I decided to walk back to Yacht Club and see what that was like. Probably not the best idea since my feet were already hurting, but oh well.
– Beach Club
Day 3 – 11/6/2015
I am a Harry Potter fan and had been regretting not visiting Hogsmeade on our previous WDW trip. With the opening of Diagon Alley I couldn’t resist anymore. I had bought us each a 1-day park-hopper (or whatever Universal calls it), but no express pass. We put the address in the GPS and made our way across the Florida wilderness to this strange & mysterious land.
We opted for the Express Parking and after parking we hopped on the first moving sidewalk. Took another moving sidewalk to the bag check area, before taking two more to get to Citywalk. I’m glad we didn’t have to walk all that way, because I would’ve been exhausted already. We made our way through Citywalk and entered Universal Studios Orlando.
– passed this minigolf course on one of the moving sidewalks
– like far-out man!
Our first stop of the day – Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem! We both love the Minions and this was high on the list of rides to try. The wait was about 40 minutes, so not too bad. I didn’t do much research on the rides of USO, because I wanted to stay spoiler-free. We don’t really do roller coasters & I knew a lot of their stuff was screen based, but I didn’t know much beyond that. Now Moms doesn’t handle simulator rides that well. I don’t know why I thought she could handle it. I saw the stationary seats and I don’t know why I didn’t tell her to move down there. I felt really bad because I know she loves Minions, but she had her eyes closed the entire time. It’s in a similar vein to Star Tours and I really liked it. I wish we could’ve ridden it again so Moms could sit stationary and enjoy the film. Maybe next time.
Not having had breakfast, it was definitely time to get some grub. The nearest place was the Monster’s Café. The restaurant is themed to the Universal Monsters, like Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. It has this mad scientist vibe going on which was pretty cool.
We both ordered the half-chicken with potatoes and some green stuff that I hear San Francisco is using to ruin pizzas with. We were hungry, so we pretty much scarfed it down, but the chicken was not that great. I liked the potatoes, but didn’t touch the green stuff.
Up next, we were wowed!
Day 1 – 11/4/2014
Our US Airways flight, took us to Chicago where we had a couple hour layover. The flight wasn’t bad, but on our previous trip we had quite a scare, so every bump & wiggle on this plane had us especially nervous. The flight was practically empty and Moms moved up to the seat in front of me so we both had our own rows.
– me on the plane
We ate some food before getting on our second plane. We arrived in Orlando with no complications. Since we were planning a day at Universal, we opted to rent a car for the entire trip instead of letting Disney drive us around. We were given a Chevrolet Spark, a tiny car that couldn’t fit our two pieces of luggage in the trunk.
– our chariot awaits
We’ve used the tollroads in California, so it wasn’t too jarring stopping at the various tolls. One of the things I love most about travelling is going to regular places that we don’t have in AZ. So before we stopped at our first hotel, we visited Publix to get some snacks & drinks for the room. We have grocery stores like that here, but for some reason we really loved Publix. We were hungry, but decided to wait to eat at the hotel, since we’d only have one night to check out their food options. I knew we’d come back to Publix for a meal though.
Our first hotel for the trip would be –
Moms wanted to try it since it was a new hotel and to see how she liked the value hotels (our previous trip we stayed at the Polynesian).
We had done online check-in & with our Magic Bands everything was super easy. Yes, we did have 4 MBs each for the trip. We found our room and unloaded the car before visiting Landscape of Flavors for dinner.
– I can never get sick of something so simple
A lot of stuff at Landscape looked good, but we both opted for the make-your-own-pasta to take back to the room.
Previous part here
On our last trip to Rome, our hotel had recommended a restaurant near the Pantheon called Casa Copelle. It was delicious. Since Castel Sant’Angelo was closed we decided to head to Casa Copelle for lunch.
– Castel Sant’Angelo
– the Tiber River
We had already been to the Pantheon, so we skipped it this time. We did have the taxi drop us off there because I didn’t have the address of the restaurant, but I remembered how to get there from the Pantheon. I had meatballs and Moms had carbonara. It was still delicious. After lunch, we headed back to the Pantheon to catch a cab back to the hotel. First though, I had to stop for some gelato. Previously we had really good gelato at Della Palma, which is also in the area, so as we were passing by I couldn’t resist. I ordered two flavors, one was pink grapefruit, and the other I don’t remember. The grapefruit was so good, it made me forget. That was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life and I’m pretty sure it has spoiled me on all gelatos going forward since I’m yet to find that flavor again.
– spaghetti alla carbonara
– menu board behind the bar
– pink grapefruit gelato along with some other flavor I can’t recall
Moms and I rested at the hotel for a while and eventually Jules came back. Not too long afterwards, Nina and Fam finished their tour of the Vatican Museums and rejoined us. Our last trip to Rome was definitely highlighted by fantastic food. The staff at our hotel on that trip recommended some fantastic places (shout-out to Serena and Marco at Deko, they didn’t have two rooms available or else we would’ve stayed there again) and one of those places was Pizzeria San Marco. I had this 4-cheese gnocchi there that was amazing and the thought of having that again was one of the reasons I wanted to go back to Rome. So that was our dinner plan for tonight. The food was excellent again (we were definitely eating good in Rome).
– 4-cheese gnocchi
– roasted potatoes
– the Andy Warhol burger (Cuz’s order)
– I’m not sure what Nina ordered
– Uncle D’s steak
– Mom’s pizza
With our bellies full we made our way back to the hotel for the night.
Tomorrow would be painful
The last installment is here