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!

FaLaLaLa Fett’s Countdown to Christmas Continues….

Day Six is for success. 

Tuesday was a Dewey Date Day! A successful Dewey Date Day at that.

After Adam got home, we had supper and started cleaning the kitchen when we noticed a little date box from Dewey. Inside? A Gingerbread House Kit. So with six days left in our FaLaLaLa Fett’s Countdown to Christmas we made a Gingerbread House!

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We are by no means pros at it! Our skills are about as good as a six year old’s! Icing everywhere and Samson anxiously waiting for tasty treats to drop for a quick retrieval.

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It might not be pretty, but we’d like to think it was a success…it was still standing this morning! Yippie! FullSizeRender-8.jpeg

Does your family build a Gingerbread House at Christmas time? Do you make the cookies from scratch or like our little Elf Dewey, do you use a kit? Do you have any tips for keeping it together? Share them with us!

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Day Five is for Festive Festivities.

Who needs Miracle on 34th Street, when you have Miracle on Monroe?

Just kidding, Miracle on 34th Street will always be a favorite Christmas movie for me, but a new holiday favorite for the FaLaLaLa Fett’s is Miracle on Monroe. The ultimate festive festivity. Santa’s Workshop. Toy-Land. The North Pole. A “Christmas Dreamland” right here in Atlanta.

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Miracle on Monroe is a pop-up Christmas bar that popped up in Atlanta last Christmas. Open from November 24th to December 24th, Wednesday to Sunday it’s quite the popping place! Expect to wait 2-6 hours to get in to explore this festive Adult Santa Land.

The walls are covered in wrapping paper. Strung lights cover the ceilings. A life size gingerbread house set up for photos and Christmas decor fills this Holiday Land.

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Last week a few of my favorite ZTA ladies and I put on our most festive attire and popped by the pop-up bar to get in the HOLLYday spirit! It was a first for all of us and being that we wanted on Santa’s Good List, we were nice enough to invite Adam along too!

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All the drinks are served in Christmas themed glassware and were oh-so tasty too!  The “Bad Santa” was my favorite- a mulled red wine concoction. Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 8.42.42 AM.png

Smells of Sugarplums {ok really Trader Joe’s Cookies] filled the air.

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While visions of ZTAs cheers-ing danced in my head.

 

If you’re in Atlanta between now and the 24th and you’re at least 21 make the time to pop on by this Favorite Festive Festivity of ours! We are already counting down the days for it to reopen next year!

Share your photos and thoughts of Miracle with us if you get a chance to visit!

Day Four is for {NOT} So Forced Family Fun. 

You may or may not know this, but I LOVE Disney. Not in a weird obsession sort of way,  but I definitely go more often and know more Disney facts than the average person. This is probably not one of Adam’s favorite things about me….actually I know it isn’t.

Two weekends ago the FaLaLaLa Fett’s and Giamfortone’s packed our bags and headed out of Atlanta (just before the snow) to the happiest place on earth. DISNEY WORLD! What says Christmas more than spending the holidays at Disney World???

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Saturday we bundled up (in Florida) and headed to Disney Springs, aka Downtown Disney to shop, have lunch and visit the tour of trees.

{Disney Tip: If you’ve not done the tour of trees I highly recommend it!} IMG_6480.jpeg

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There were probably twenty different trees all in different Disney themes. Basically I wanted a picture with all of them, but Adam wouldn’t let me! We did however get our picture for next years Christmas Card! If you’ve not heard a few months ago we bought an airplane. The paint color on her just happened to be “Disney Blue.” After months of looking, Adam knew it was meant to be. We gave her the perfect name, “Elsa,” after Adam’s (not so) favorite Disney movie, Frozen.

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As the sun went down, Mom, Dad, Adam and I took a bus over to the Wilderness Lodge– it is stunning year around and probably my favorite hotel on property.

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Before heading back to Casa Mickey we returned to Downtown Disney (clearly I haven’t gotten used to calling it Disney Springs) to look at the main Christmas tree all lit up and take in the tunes of the Strolling Piano.

 

Sunday Adam and I braved the cold and did a little hotel hopping by the Polynesian and Grand Floridian before meeting up with my family at the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Not to mention we just happened to have arrived at the Grand Floridian in time for a little toddy. Who says adults can’t have fun at Disney too?

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IMG_3277.jpeg(Disney Tip- Spend a day hotel hopping while you’re in town- ask me more about it and I’ll be happy to share our tips and tricks!)

Adam and I did MVMCP last year and thought what fun it would be for a little Forced Family Fun to kick off the holidays! It’s an after hours event from 7pm-Midnight on select nights during the holiday season. You do not have to have an additional park ticket, but you do have to buy the specific ticket to the event. It is a wonderful time to see the park with NO lines for rides, special character greetings, parades and fireworks. Plus your ticket gets you unlimited treats and sweets during the party. It is the best way to do the Magic Kingdom at Christmas time. IMG_3308.jpeg

Not having to wait in line for our favorite rides is worth it in itself! IMG_3313.jpeg

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We found the perfect spot to watch the Christmas parade and fireworks and did a little shopping before the clock struck twelve. We couldn’t be turning into pumpkins after all!

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And of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Mouse House without trying on a pair of ears or two!

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Have you been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Did you love it as much as us? We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed Very Merry moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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

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Tuesday Travels: Last 20 something Hoorah!

San Francisco Birthday Celebration 

Surprise Birthday Party √

Panama City Birthday Beach Trip….and actually turning 30 √√

Yep, you guessed it! We packed our bags and hit the road again! Off to Panama City Beach, or “PCB” as the Spring Breakers like to call it. We’ve had a busy week or so of celebrating Adam turning the BIG 3-0, but all he really wanted to do, was fish. Deep Sea Fishing, that is.

So….. last Thursday we packed our suitcases one last time, dropped Samson off at his grandparents and hit the road!

3:45am wake up call on Friday was not so fun after rolling in to our hotel at 11pm, but the early bird catches the worm. Or I guess is the bait in this case! We had about an hour drive from PCB to Destin where we met Adam’s good friend,Brett, for our 6am fishing excursion.

Doesn't Adam look so cute in his new Fishermen Costume?
Doesn’t Adam look so cute in his new Fishermen Costume?
{For those of you who are just joining us…please take a minute and look back at our previous posts and pictures. Do I look like a “Fisher Woman?”}

The three of us and about 17 others hopped on the Gulf Breeze, our coolers full of ice cold beer for an 8 hour fishing tour. We made the limit of the amount of fish we caught for the day. Man! You should have seen some of those suckers! Huge fish! Huge fish I tell you…sounds like a pretty good Fisherman story, right?

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We really did limit out on Vermilion and Red Snapper within 3 hours of fishing. We came home with the two Snappers and an assortment of who knows what. It was a beautiful day for fishing, slight breeze in the air and the fish were biting which made it all the more fun. Yes, fun. I actually had a good time! (Shocker!)

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Friday night Adam and I had supper at a local, hole in the wall establishment, The Captain’s Table.

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Wow! We can not say enough wonderful things about this place. The fish is all caught locally and brought in every 3 days from a fishing boat the restaurant owns. There was about an hour+ wait for a table, but we lucked out and grabbed a spot at the bar. They have staff that has worked there for 20+ years- it was really an great experience and exceptional food. Everyone at the bar knew it was Adam’s birthday and kept buying us drinks to help celebrate! Such a fun night. We will go back to PCB just to eat there- we went back Saturday night too!

We shared a dozen raw oysters both nights. Adam had Horseradish Crusted Salmon on Friday and Grilled Grouper Throats on Saturday. (Yuck, I know, but surprisingly tasted like chicken.) The Horseradish dish is one of their most popular dishes- it wasn’t spicy like you’re probably imagining, but it was oh so delicious! Both Friday and Saturday I had their Red Snapper stuffed with Crab- so yummy and another one of their most popular dishes. We each got a side of coleslaw (very light and slightly sweet) and extra order of hushpuppies- they were great! My mouth is watering thinking about it!

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Saturday we grabbed Breakfast at The Cowgirl Kitchen in Seagrove. So yummy! Adam had the All American Stack – an open-faced biscuit, scrambled eggs, bacon and chorizo sausage gravy. I ate the Breakfast Sandwich- bacon, scrambled egg, sliced tomato, provolone, chipotle mayo on a kaiser roll. We both cheers to the day with a morning mimosa! The CK also has a “Grumpy Hour” from 8-9am with cocktail specials! Sounds fun, but we arrived too late to take part!

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We originally wanted to try The Donut Hole for breakfast, but the wait time both Saturday and Sunday was out the door! We hear it is great though!

Saturday night we met up with Brett and his wife, Jessica at the World Famous Tooties! Such a fun night dancing to country music! We can’t wait to swing by the Nashville location during our next trip! We actually ran into a former University of Michigan Football player while we were there. Adam was ecstatic! He has taught me well! Anytime I see someone with Michigan gear I shout “Go Blue!” Seemed to have paid off on this trip!

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Before we headed home on Sunday, we rented a pontoon boat from the Wyndham Bay Resort for a few hours to soak up a little more sun and give Adam a few extra hours to fish. The boat was fantastic! Great price, new boat and a fun way to end our trip.

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{Travel Trip: Book your boat in advance! During the busy season, they do book up!}

The 30th Celebration has finally come to an end! On to planning our next trip…..NASHVILLE, TN! If you have any favorite spots, places to eat, see or grab a drink, please share them with us!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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