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: Traveling with Thelma & Louise Part II

Last week we began our #ThrowbackThursday Thelma & Louise Adventure series. It’s full of lots of fun and laughs as Mom and I made our annual Road Trip to the GREAT state of Texas. We’re picking up mid-week into our grand adventure- come along and join in on our fun!

Mount Pleasant is a small, North East Texas town. They have a 4 screen movie theatre, a Walmart, a growing downtown square with a handful of cute local spots and that’s about it y’all. After seeing all the Big MP had to offer we had the bright idea to continue the road trip and head up to Oklahoma!

Oklahoma? Yes! Oklahoma! Pawhuska, OK to be exact! Why sit still when you can go, see, and do? We talked Aunt Tina, aka Mert, into joining us on our little adventure! We were off to see The Pioneer Woman! We’ve been to Paula Dean and Emeri’s restaurants. Sat in the audience for a filming of the Rachel Ray Show. Cooked with Cat Cora at Disney, so why not add another Chef to our list? IMG_7414.jpeg

We doned our denim and cowgirl boots and hit the road towards Pawhuska! About 3 or so hours from Mount Pleasant and an hour from Tulsa. The Mercantile was everything we could have imagined and more! Beautiful wooden floors, rustic displays, exposed brick. {It reminded me of a more rustic Anthropologie.}  They had Pioneer Woman Merchandise, like you can purchase at Walmart, and all sorts of kitchen and Mercantile branded products. I could have stayed there for days!

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The line to eat at The Merc Deli was down the street! We were able to walk right in the store- no wait!

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We did some shopping, picked up a few surprises for Adam, and of course had to sample some of Ree’s sweet treats from the Bakery upstairs. No surprise, it was delicious! We wanted it all! {Tip: Get the Cowboy Coffee if you visit! I crave it!}

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Specific days of the year while The Pioneer Woman Show is not taping, they invite guests of the Mercantile to head to the Drummond Ranch and tour the Lodge. One of these days, just happened to be the day we visited! The views of the Drummond Ranch from the Lodge were absolutely breath taking. Everything you could see was their property.

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We met the pups and the Drummond Ranchhand. I can’t reminder his name, but he has been working for the family for 30+ years! The nicest Cowboy y’all! He even wanted to get his picture with us Texas gals! I think we were the favorite visitors that day! Clearly!

Looks like Ree might have a little competition in the kitchen with Thelma, Louise & Mert!

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Loved our time at the Lodge and highly recommend planning your trip to Pawhuska and The Mercantile when you can visit the Ranch too.

Our time in Oklahoma continued to Tulsa. Check back next Thursday as we Throwback and share the rest of our Thelma & Louise Adventures!

Have you been to the Mercantile or Drummond Ranch? Share your stories with us! Were you lucky enough to meet Ree too? What about your favorite Pioneer Woman recipes? I’d love to know which ones you and your family enjoy most!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(mostly Holly & TG this time! )

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


Throwback Thursday: Traveling with Thelma & Louise

Do you take an annual trip? Maybe it’s a girls weekend with your besties, a family beach trip or spending the holidays at Disney? With the cold, rainy weather we have been having in Atlanta lately, I can help but to throw back and think of warm, Summer days. It can’t get here fast enough!

Every Summer I go on a grand adventure (typically to the GREAT state of Texas) with my Navigator/Co-Pilot/DJ, Mom. It’s our Thelma & Louise Trip. While Summer days are on my mind, I thought telling y’all about our most recent Thelma & Louise trip was great for a Throwback Thursday!

We started this annual tradition close to ten years ago. Every Summer while Mom is on break from school, we pack our bags, load the car and hit the road for the 12+ hour trip to the GREAT State! Last Summer was one for the books! It was the first year we did not take my tag-a-long dog, Samson- which meant we could stop whenever and wherever we wanted. Let me tell you, that’s exactly what we did! It was more like a 16 hour drive to Texas this year from all the stops we made (to shop) along the way!

We had the most fun stopping at all, well not all, but almost all of the Cracker Barrels between Atlanta and Texas! Who knew they have some of the cutest clothes and trying them on in their bathroom was a hoot! IMG_7261.jpeg IMG_7260.jpegWe left Georgia towards the GREAT State and think we stopped a good three times {Gas, Breakfast at Chick-Fil-A, it wouldn’t be a road trip otherwise, and of course for a little shopping at the CB) before making the two hour drive to cross the state line into Alabama. We sang our way with George Strait and Taylor Swift through Alabama and were in Mississippi in no time! While in Jackson, we planned our drive just right…lunch anyone? We just happened to stumble upon Babalu {Tacos & Tapas}.  IMG_7270-1.jpegThe restaurant sits in an 1927 School House Building. Traces of the building’s roots are still evident with high ceilings, tall windows, and cement walls. You may even notice circular patterns on the ceiling – it’s leftover from the old ceiling tiles! The building’s quirks are just a few of the characteristics that make Babalu unique. They even have classic TV reruns playing on the walls for you to enjoy over tapas in the main dining room or cheers to a “Thelma & Louise Trip” with a Baba-rita!

We snacked on their Guacamole and some of their homemade mini tacos. SO good y’all! Little did we know, a Babalu Atlanta was in the works and recently opened in Midtown, just down the street from your Newly Newlyweds!IMG_7277.jpegAfter lunch, we hoped back in the car and continued our journey towards the GREAT state. We sang our special song as we crossed over the Mighty Mississippi into Louisiana and being that we were 1,400+ miles from Vegas, a stop at Margaritaville in Shreveport to do a little gambling was in our cards! We were not the “women to blame” on this trip- we didn’t win big, but we did walk away just a few dollars down. Father Joe sure would be proud! IMG_7282.jpegShreveport is about 30 minutes from the TEXAS boarder and 2 hours to our final destination! The BIG MP! Mount Pleasant. {Its claim to fame? MP is home to the first Walmart in the State of Texas! Fun Fact, I know. }

IMG_7548.jpegOur first day in the BIG MP wasn’t spent in Mount Pleasant at all! We hit the road again about 7am the next morning for Canton, TX. Home of First Monday Trade Days. Y’all if you have ever seen Flea Market Flip and LOVE it…you will LOVE Canton! It’s just like it, but only better and bigger! (We are in Texas after all!)IMG_7355.jpeg

Not only does Canton have junkin’, they have it all! Cute boutiques come and set up shop, venders of newly released products and those one-of-a-kind, can’t live with out it crafts. Oh y’all and the food! There is just something about Carnival like lemonade and hotdogs. (You might not want to admit it, but you know what I’m talking about! Yum!)

IMG_7364.JPGWe shopped till we dropped. Literally! We shopped all day and filled up my SUV with all sorts of treats that we just had to bring back to Georgia with us! Front porch sittin’ after a day of walking 10+ miles in the Texas heat never looked so good! IMG_7303.JPGAre you having as much fun as were? Just think, it’s just the beginning of our Thelma & Louise 2017 Adventure! Check back in next Thursday when we throwback and finish telling you all about our BIG adventure! No telling where we headed or ended up!

Do you take a Mother-Dauther trip? We’d love to hear your stories! We’re always looking for new places to go!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

{mostly Holly and TG this time}

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