Tuesday Travels: Galaxy’s Edge Preview Review

So can we just talk about Disney’s Annual Pass Holder Preview of Galaxy’s Edge?

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One of the coolest experiences I’ve had at Walt Disney World! I can’t believe OPENING DAY is almost here! It seems just like yesterday they were announcing the new land and now, in two days it will be open to the public!

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I had the opportunity as a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder to preview Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week. Y’all it was amazing!

Let’s be honest…I know absolutely nothing about Star Wars. {Ekk! Yes I know! Star Wars super fans, please don’t hate me.} Having no allegiance to a particular film and having no knowledge of the franchise, I still really enjoyed the new land.

When you enter Galaxy’s Edge you head to a Galaxy far, far away to the land of Batuu.

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You will be greeted by Cast Members with the salutation “Bright Suns” or “Rising Moons.” Expect cast members to greet the day with a cheery “Bright suns!” In the evening, a more sedate “Rising moon.”

Once in Batuu there are three different villages guests can experience. The Castmembers in Galaxy’s Edge are residents of Batuu and are skilled at “staying in character.” If you ask them for things like, “Where is Toy Story Land” or ” Where can I get a Mickey Pretzel?” you will not get the answer you are looking for as they will remain in character and since they are residents of Batuu they have no knowledge of these things. If you spot a Cast Member roaming around, ask them a question and learn their story of how they arrived at Batuu. It is a full immersive experience.

The Market Place is an open-air collection of stores and restaurants in the center of Black Spire Outpost filled with “handmade” Star Wars merchandise.

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Guests can build their own Droid at the Droid Depot. These customized droids start at about $100. Star Wars fans can also build their own Lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop. These handbuilt lightsabers offer guests the experience to assemble their own version of the iconic weapon for $199.99.

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The cuisine in Galaxy’s Edge is very unique- you will not find Mickey Pretzels or Frozen Lemonade here. There are two quick service dining options in Batuu, Ronto Roasters and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. Ronto Roasters is a Marketplace restaurant offering grilled sausage and pork wraps. I had the Ronto Wrap, a pita filled with roasted pork, grilled pork sausage drizzled with a Peppercorn sauce and topped with tangy slaw. It was delicious! It’s a great value for $12.99 and easily filled me up.

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Docking Bay 7 has a variety of food from around the galaxy. They offer Breakfast items as well as a full day menu. I just tried a dessert, the Batuu-Bon and oh my gosh y’all was it delicious! Melt in your mouth good! It was a chocolate cake, white chocolate mousse, coffee custard dessert. For $6.99 it was a stunning presentation and so yummy!

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I didn’t make it to Oga’s Cantina for a cocktail or the Milk Stand for a legendary glass of Blue or Green Milk. I wanted to save both of those spots for when HeliHubby gets to go with me.

Now, lets talk about Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

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The ride has regular standby, Fast Pass and two Single rider lines which is fantastic! This is by far the most immersive, life like ride at Walt Disney World. A group of 6 guests board the Millennium Falcon and work together to fly it. Each rider as a duty while onboard the ship and depending on how your team works together will depend on how your flight experience goes. The best spot to be in is the Pilot- you have an up close, forward facing experience to the screen. The other four guests in your party have a blocked view of the screen and personally I found it really distracting that I had to look to my left or right to push buttons during flight. You have to watch for buttons to light up and you end up missing a lot of what is going on during the flight on the screen. It is so incredibly life like.

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If you are a Star Wars fan or not, a visit to Galaxy’s Edge is a MUST! The land opens to the public in just TWO DAYS on August 29th. Guests staying on Walt Disney World property will have special Extra Magic Hours from September 1 to November 2 from 6-9 a.m.

Who’s going on Opening Day?

Thank you Disney for this fantastic preview experience! It is one for the books that I will never forget!

See You Real Soon!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly, but mostly Holly


Throwback Thursday: 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Favorites

It’s here! Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival begins today! I love the different festivals at Epcot for various reasons, but Food & Wine will always be a favorite. The park offers food and drink tastings, speciality paring classes, cooking classes and meet and greets with famous Chefs, concerts, and so much more during the festival!

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So…why do I love this festival so much? Have you seen the concert line-up? The Eat To The Beat Concert series offers something for everyone and their taste of music. But, y’all lets be honest….HANSON is a fan favorite that comes to the Festival annually and my inner 13 year old LOVES it! Helihubby not so much.

Since it starts today we figured sharing some of our favorite finds of 2017 would be a fun way to celebrate Throwback Thursday and the kick-off of the 2018 festival! Join us as we eat and drink around the world!

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Epcot is one of three Walt Disney World Parks that guests can walk around the park with an adult beverage in hand. {This might be the main reason it’s the favorite park for us Newly Newlyweds.} Grab a cocktail and make your way eating and drinking around the world, exploring different countries, their rides and little hidden gems! During the Food and Wine Festival, Epcot adds additional countries and speciality spots throughout the park for guests to have even more dining options. What a great opportunity for people to taste samplings of dishes that may night otherwise have a chance to try!

Take a look at our favorite eats and drinks from the 2017 Festival!

Spain– Traditional Spanish Paella served with Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken and Chorizo img_1857.jpeg

France– La Passion Martini Slush a mix of vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, Cranberry and Passion Fruit juiceIMG_1927.JPG

The Chocolate Studio– Gluten Free Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with warm whiskey-caramel and a glass of Justin Cabernet SauvignonIMG_3582.JPG

Earth Eats!– Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and FetaIMG_3581.JPG

Hops & BarleyHanson Brothers Beer Company Hop Jam Festive Ale and New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled RollIMG_3599.JPG

Greece– Spanakopita: Greek Spinach Pie {This was super tasty!} IMG_3580.JPG

Morocco– Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce {This was my FAVORITE snack of the 2017 Festival and YES they have it again in 2018!} IMG_3598.JPG

Ahhh! Are you hungry now? We are and can not wait to arrive back at Epcot next week! Are you heading to the Festival?

What are you most looking forward to trying this year? It’s not on our Whole30 plan (which we are trying to stick to since we are running the Food & Wine 10k in November) but we will be trying the Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream from Belgium, Le Cellier’s Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce from Canada and Florida Beer Company Passport Triple Chocolate Milk Stout from Cape Canaveral, FL from Craft Drafts. YUMMM!

Let the countdown to our return to the Happiest (and tastiest) Place On Earth begin!

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See You Real Soon!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly, but mostly Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts! {and Go Stros!}

 


Tuesday Travels: Borgo Argenina

Welcome to Borgo Argenina, a truly magical stone estate in the hills of Chianti. IMG_2414.JPGIMG_2419.JPG

Visiting Borgo Argentina was an experience like no other and my absolute favorite part of our Newly Newlywed Italian Adventure. The 998 AD Peasant Farmer home had been abandoned for years when, now owner, Elena Nappa, discovered the property while on a holiday from Milan. A former fashion designer, Elena quickly fell in love with the estate. She knew in her heart it was a calling for her to restore the hamlet into a stunning seven room Bed & Breakfast and that is exactly what she did. Her story of how she transformed this property without electricity and running water into a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast is really remarkable. IMG_2416.JPG

Adam and I drove from Florence to the Chianti hamlet. Passing thousands of grape vines and olive trees, around curvy bends, narrowingly escaping head on collisions with Italian drivers and through the rolling hills to get to Elena’s. Upon arrival at Borgo Argenina we were greeted by Elena’s four-legged friends, Giuseppina and Pasqualina along with other guests who were sitting on the grand stone patio, enjoying a glass of vino taking in the sunset over Chianti. IMG_2420.JPG

“Welcome! You must be new! Elena is upstairs in the Kitchen.” one guest said. Instantly we were family.

Our journey at Borgo Argenina began as we passed the bell to ring for Elena if you arrive after hours and opened the original wooden double doors adorned with iron locks and handles. IMG_2415.JPG

Once inside the main house, up the narrow stone stairway with one tiny window over looking the garden, we found Elena, tooting around her kitchen. IMG_2433.JPG

“Ah! Bella! Benvenuto! I’ve been expecting you! Fett, si?” Elena asked.

She grabbed the keys and escorted us to the Piccola Suite, our home for the next four days. We had a quaint sitting room adjacent to our bedroom, an attached private bath and views of the rolling Chianti Hills and Elena’s garden. PicTapGo-Image-5.jpg

Each room is equip with a mini bar and tea kettle that is refreshed daily, wifi and a hairdryer. (Yay! One less thing to pack!) There is no air conditioning at Borgo Argenina, thankfully, even during the Summer months the nights were cool and a flowing breeze filled our room. Elena took us downstairs, showed us the Parlor and Breakfast Room before heading outside.PicTapGo-Image-2.jpgIMG_2434.JPGIMG_2423.JPGIMG_2422.JPG

After a tour of our suite and parts of the property we sat down with Elena on the stone patio outside. She shared some of her favorite places in Tuscany with us over a glass of wine. PicTapGo-Image.jpg

We chatted for what felt like hours of friends catching up before we realized the time and that we were late for a supper reservation she made for us at Giorgio’s. We will share that experience with y’all a little later. Delizioso!

Every morning, Borgo Argenina guests are greeting to a beautiful breakfast spread prepared by two of Elena’s three employees. On the daily menu: Fresh Coffee, homemade Yogurt, local meats, cheeses and honey, fresh fruit, and varieties of Elena’s Coffee Cake.  PicTapGo-Image-3.jpgPicTapGo-Image-1.jpgPicTapGo-Image-4.jpg

Elena also invites her guests to a nightly Cooking Class at Borgo Argenina. If you’re staying with her, this is a MUST! It was by far the best food we had during our time in Italy and if she had extra room we would have taken the class a second time! Each guest is gifted with her Borgo Argenina Cookbook-filled with Elena’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes. The time we spent in the kitchen with Elena and other guests was a highlight of our trip. Pop over next Monday to see what was on our Menu! IMG_1196.JPG

Y’all, I really can not express how much HeliHubby and I enjoyed our time at Borgo Argenina. It is in a perfect location to be a “home base” for Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and more little Tuscan Wine towns. It’s truly an enchanting, one of a kind Italian escape. Elena is absolutely wonderful. She is warm, welcoming and lovely. We felt like we had known her for years and yet we just met. Leaving we all three got a bit teary eyed as we said our “goodbyes.” I don’t know when the Newly Newlyweds will get to return to Chianti to visit Elena, but I do know HeliHubby and I both left a piece of our hearts in Tuscany at Borgo Argenina. It is just magical.

If you’re considering a Tuscan Vacation I highly reccomened you consider Borgo Argenina as your home. Have questions about the hamlet or want help planning your vacation? Feel free to message us- I am happy to help! PicTapGo-Image-7.jpg

Fino all prossima volta, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!


Throwback Thursday: Travels with Thelma & Louise Finale

Mom and I have traveled 12+ hours, over four and half states to the GREAT State. Up to Oklahoma and now we’re on the final leg of our Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise Summer shenanigans!

After taking in all that Pawhuska, OK had to offer Mert, Louise and I took the road back to Tulsa for the night. For the short amount of time we spent in the city, we had a fantastic time and would love to go back! I was so surprised at all the unique shopping and little restaurants.

We spent the night at the Hard Rock Tulsa to do a little gambling! Before we tried to hit it big, we explored downtown Tulsa for supper. We found a great little Mexican/Taco spot called El Guapo’s. IMG_7517.jpeg

Y’all their Margaritas are spot on! So delicious! They have one named “The Horny Toad,” you know the three of us TCU Frog Fans just had to give it a try! IMG_7520.jpegWe had great service at the bar and the food was great! We started with stuffed jalapeños  with a homemade ranch dipping sauce. Y’all they were to-die-for! I would go back for those alone! I had some sort of semi-healthy grilled pork dish with grilled mexican corn. Ah! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Guess we have to go back! IMG_7523.jpegIMG_7524.jpeg

Sadly, we didn’t win BIG money or any money that is at the Hard Rock Tulsa Casino, so we packed our bags and headed back to the GREAT STATE. The next day Mom and I said goodbye to our travel partner, Big Mert and hit the road for Waco.

{Ok, I know what all of our TCU friends are thinking right now. You know the only reason we would go to Waco is to 1) See TCU beat Baylor or 2) To get our DIY Fixer Upper on and check out the Magnolia Market at the Silos!}

Waco is just a few hours from the Big MP and since we were in no rush to get back to Georgia Mom and I decided to add a little adventure to our Thelma & Louise trip. We would visit Waco, maybe head to Houston to catch up with friends, maybe stay the night and eventually start our trip back to the Peach State. If you’re heading to Waco from Dallas a stop at Slovacek’s, a Czech bakery and gift shop is a MUST! They are known for their Czech kolaches. Best things ever! They are yeast-risen rounds of dough topped with fruit filling or in this case savory sausages. Is your tummy rumbling like mine right now? IMG_7573.jpeg

After stopping for a snack and a little shopping we finally made it to the Magnolia Market!!! IMG_7582.jpeg

No signs of Chip or Jo and it was packed of course! We didn’t take into consideration that it was July 4th weekend and everyone was off work- whoops! Poor planning on our part, but we had a great time anyways! We snapped a few photos, met new friends, toured the grounds, tried a few food trucks and did a little {more} shopping! IMG_7594.jpeg

Just like that we were back in car {imagine that} and on the road to Houston! No trip to the GREAT STATE would be complete without a stop at Buc-ee’s! IMG_7595.jpeg

We may or may not have planned our drive around stopping at a location or two. What’s Buc-ee’s? Think glamorized gas station. What? Is that even possible? How about, the Walmart of gas stations? Ok, ok more like the Target of gas stations.

It probably sounds ridiculous, but unless you have stopped and shopped at a Buc-ee’s you have no idea! They have it all- literally! From branded Buc-ee products that everyone loves (get the Buc-ee Beaver Nuggets- just trust me) to brands like Mud Pie and Kamado Joe, you’ll find it at Buc-ee’s, not to mention all the super cute Texas stuff!

After a stop or two at Buc-ee’s we decided to pass over Houston and head towards Georgia and stopped in Baton Rouge for the night! (TG & I both love a good hotel.) Shout out to my @helihubby for being quick on his toes and scoring us a room at the Watermark Hotel. In LOVE! It was a great location and such a trendy hotel. We got in late, ordered room service and hit the bed! IMG_7609.jpeg

Before hitting the road and rolling out of BR we did a quick swing by the Campus of LSU and the ZTA House. Of course I just had to get a picture! IMG_7655.JPG

We made a few stops along the way since we took a different route home and not our usual I-20, but opted to forgo the grand adventure to get back to Atlanta in time for the Braves July 4th Game! IMG_7642.JPG

Lordy! Are you exhausted? I am just thinking about all that driving and what a jam packed day it was! Just like that my Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise stories have come to a close, for now anyways! It’ll be hard to top last year and all of our shenanigans, but I have no doubt whatever Mom and I get into this Summer it’ll be just as fun! I’m so lucky to have a Mom that is not only my Mom, but my best friend. We may drive each other crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so thankful for our summers and time we get to spend together. Love you TG!

Do you have an Annual Mother-Daughter trip? I’d love to hear your stories! We’re always looking for new places to go and things to do – brownie points if they are in Texas! Thanks for coming along on our adventures! Stay tuned for more heading your way this Summer!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(Mostly Holly & Mom this time)

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!