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!}

 


Throwback Thursday: Girls Weekend in the Great State

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Unless your a resident of the Lone Star State, I have a inkling you’ve not. Fun Fact! Fredericksburg is the 5th largest wine producer in the US! Cheers y’all!

Last weekend Aunt Tina and I surprised Mom with {another} 60th Birthday Celebration! She knew she was heading to the GREAT STATE with two of her favorite people, but little did she know all the surprises we had in store!

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We told her to pack her bags- we were heading to Texas! Friday morning we were wheels up for Texas, flying from Atlanta to San Antonio. We picked up our rental car and I played Uber driver for our 57 mile commute to our VRBO rental in Kerrville. (About 25 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg.) Mom just couldn’t wrap her head around WHY we had to rent a house if it was just the three of us. Even though we told her it was cheaper than staying in town and probably a lot nicer than the local Holiday Express Motel.

This home was stunning y’all and Erin, the owner, was fantastic to work with. The house was updated and the views were spectacular- the rolling Texas hills made us feel like we were up in the hills of Hollywood. The Master Bathroom had a walk-in shower with three, yes THREE, shower heads! Don’t get me started on the backyard with the fire pit, outdoor kitchen and  infinity pool- absolutely breathtaking y’all! Highly recommend this property if you’re heading to Fredericksburg for any occasion! Wish we could have spent more time there!

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The real reason we needed a larger house? It was not going to be just the three of us spending the weekend together hopping around tasting wine. We were spending the weekend with a few of our favorite Texas women- sorority sisters, family, friends from fifth grade and friends that are like family! SURPRISE TG!

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Friday Night was spent with guests arriving sporadically surprising Mom. Catching up, laughing like school girls and of course cheers-ing to our Birthday Girl!

Saturday we got up bright and early to hit the Texas Wine Trail! We used The 290 Wine Shuttle Company, which was fantastic! They charter guests around to 13 local wineries for a very reasonable fee. It was so nice not having to worry about calling an Uber or having a one of the girls miss the fun and play Designated Driver.

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We started at Barons Creek for a quick tasting of five or six varieties.

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They have a huge tasting room, complete with multiple private rooms, a lovely back garden space and gift shop. The Viognier was one of our favorites from the tasting- it has ripe apricot and delicate lemon zest flavors combination in this delicious Texas Viognier. This wine has a long, creamy finish. It’s a fantastic companion for shrimp or lobster with butter sauce.

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Mom also really enjoyed their Muscat Canelli, a deliciously sweet and balanced wine bursting with flavors of peach, honeydew and a hint of grapefruit. It is a perfect aperitif on a warm day but you can also pair it with fruit salad or Thai cuisine. That has her name all over it!

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From Barons Creek we had a short wait for the 290 Bus and headed to Grape Creek: The Tuscany of the South.

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Grape Creek is a local favorite. The property was beautiful! You really did feel like you were in Tuscany! The tasting area was VERY crowded and on weekends they do limit the number of guests per tasting groups. This vineyard was highly recommend, so we broke into small groups for tasting prior to our arrival. Our tasting experience was ok. Our guide was not full of that Southern Texas hospitality until I decide to sign up for their Wine Club. We had to wait over an over an our for a tasting, their restaurant was packed and the check-in station seemed a little frazzled and not able to give us real information the wait time, availability, etc. I wish the customer service experience as a little different because the wine was quite good. We ended up finding a spot to sit and share a bottle and a stunningly delicious charcuterie board together before heading to our final stop of the day.

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Our third winery was Fat Ass.

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Our favorite for the atmosphere! {With a name like Fat Ass, how could it not?}  It was such fun y’all! Very laid back, low key environment with a live band. So, so much fun! Their wine supply was down when we were there, but they make a wine slushy that went down way too easily! A perfect drink for Summer days. Definitely plan to stop by Fat Ass when you head to the Texas Wine Country! We had the best time!

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Whew! Feeling wined-up yet? Hang on and pop over next week for our Travel Tuesday series when we wrap up our weekend in the Wine Country!

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: Let’s go fly a plane!

Yep. I said it.

On Sunday, August 20, 2017 when Adam decided to go “practice flying” I said, “Yea. Sure I’ll go.”

I’m not sure who was more surprised by my answer, Adam or myself. He had only been asking me to fly with him AND his instructor for 6 months and never did I have any interests in dying. I mean flying with them! Much less going up alone with Adam just days after him getting his pilot’s license.

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What in the world was I thinking? Maybe I was just being a supportive wife or crazy! I guess I’ll never know for sure, but on that warm August morning I decided to go up, up and away with my newly winged Pilot. I’ll share how we celebrated his big accomplishment in posts to come, but figured for our first Throwback Thursday of 2018 and (hopefully) days from getting our plane, it would be fun to tell our first flight story.

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Isn’t that the normal thing to do? Get your pilot’s license and buy a plane? We will share all the details about Elsa later!

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Adam spent weeks prepping for the exam y’all. If you know him, you know that when he has a goal, he is going to reach it and not only reach it, but do it with flying colors. He will be the best. He will do it the fastest and getting his license to fly was no exception. As thrilled as I was for him for completing his goal, it was not an easy 6 months for us. He would wake up super early. Go fly. Go to work. Stay late at work. Go night fly. Come home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I basically never saw the man. We had plenty of conversations about him and the “other woman” he was obsessed with for months. Plenty.

August 20th was the first day I returned home from a trip down to Orlando. (Adam shipped me off to Disney World so he could study for the exam.) As I walked in the door, he was leaving to go on his first solo flight since earning his wings. JUST LIKE THAT I said, “Ok, I’ll go too!” It was a now or never thing. If we didn’t walk out the door that very moment, there was no way I was going up anytime soon.

Next thing I know I am in the passenger seat of a little Cesnna plane watching my Pilot do his pre-flight checks and texting my bother to let him know we were about to take flight, in the event anything happened. There was no way I was telling my parents until we landed safely back on the ground.

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In no time we were taking off!

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Needless to say my stomach was in knots. I said about one hundred Hail Mary’s and had white knuckles during take off. (Oh, lets be honest. I had white knuckles during the entire flight and landing!)

While I was never fully comfortable during the flight thanks to my nerves, it was actually fun. Seeing the city from above is pretty amazing. We flew around North Atlanta, over Stone Mountain and Lake Lanier for about an hour. Baby steps y’all, baby steps.

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I guess I should let you know Adam did a fantastic job flying! He was such a gentleman constantly checking on me, telling me what each of the knobs on the panel and exactly what their functions were. We even chatted about me, yes ME, taking a few classes just so I can learn the basics and more importantly learn how to land in the event of an emergency. We both think it will help my nerves and allow me to calm down and actually enjoy flying in our little bird.

I am still not thrilled with the idea of Adam flying and us traveling in a tiny little plane, but I am warming up to it. Adam got me my own fancy airplane headphones and the cutest miniature suitcase for weekend trips in Elsa for Christmas. It is the cutest thing ever y’all! (Watch my Instagram for a picture! You’ll love the suitcase, trust me!)

Just from writing this Throwback post, I am already getting butterflies thinking about going up again. After 4+ months of being in service, our little plane, Elsa, should be finished next week! Looks like we will soon be flying the friendly skies together and 2018 will be full of adventures!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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


Throwback Thursday: Charleston Overnight

Vacations come and go. As fun as it is to go, see and do, it is always nice to come home and sleep in your own bed. Now, we throwback. Reminisce on our travels, sort through pictures and start planning our next get-a-way.

July was a full month of traveling for your favorite Newly Newlyweds. Together we conquered Myrtle Beach, Orlando, New York and a quick overnight stay in Charleston, South Carolina. One of our favorite cities y’all!

While we were only there for a night, Adam and I made sure to make the most of our time. Charleston is less than a 5 hour drive from Atlanta and got there just in time for HAPPY HOUR!

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Watch out Charleston, here WE come! 

We checked into our hotel, the beautiful Belmond Charleston Place. It is stunning y’all! Right off of Market Street – within walking distance to all of our favorite spots! {Not to mention it is attached to a shopping mall…poor Adam.}

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Belmond Place 

After checking into the hotel we were off to hit HAPPY HOUR! First Stop? Amen Street Fish & Rawbar.  This was a favorite spot of ours from our last trip to Charleston and they have a fantastic HAPPY HOUR Menu!

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Fresh Oysters at Amen Street’s Happy Hour

From Amen Street we popped over to High Cotton Charleston– a new spot for us. They have a great bar/lounge area with live music. They don’t have a Happy Hour Menu. We stopped in for a cocktail and their Truffle Popcorn- OMG y’all….I could eat it everyday!

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Cocktails at High Cotton Charleston

From Cocktails and Popcorn at High Cotton we moved to Poogan’s Smokehouse. New to the Charleston Food Scene and for those of you that love their sister restaurant, Poogan’s Porch, you’re sure to love this spot too!

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Southern Sangria at Poogan’s Smokehouse

We shared their “Southern Sangria” and snacked on their Pimiento Cheese Fritters with Tomato Jam…oh y’all. They are a MUST when you visit..melt in your mouth, ooey goodness. Craving them now! 

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 Pimento Cheese Fritters at Poogan’s Smokehouse- so delicious!  

Next on our list to see was 5 Church Street. We are not quite sure on the story of the restaurant, but being that Charleston is known as the “City of Churches” we would not be surprised if this newer spot was once a church.

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Photo Credits 5 Church Street

The ambiance was unlike any other, however the service and variety offered was subpar. We sipped on an {overpriced} cocktail and hopped to our final spot of the night.

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Farmhouse Lemonade and Rosemary Gin Fizz

The Watch sits on the top of The Restoration Hotel in Charleston. It has some of the best views of the city and the BEST service we experienced during our stay.

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Hugo’s Punch at The Watch

We had one last cocktail, shared their  Lobster Mac & Cheese and Hushpuppies with house pimento cheese & pepper jelly. Oh y’all. Heaven on a plate. The Mac & Cheese had just the right amount of gooey cheese, pasta and fresh lobster pieces. We will definitely be back!

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Are you stuffed? We are just thinking about our night in Charleston and can’t wait to plan our next visit! Throwbacks are so much fun thinking about how much enjoyed out short time in Charleston! We packed our bags, hopped in the car and drove onto Myrtle Beach where we met up with our friends David and Ann Marie. Stay tuned to our Tuesday Travels and see what we got into there!

Do you have a favorite spot in Charleston or Myrtle Beach? Share them with us! We’d love to give them a try on our next visit!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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