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: 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.

IMG_7535.jpeg IMG_7416.jpegIMG_7415.jpegIMG_7470.jpeg We look like we fit right in at The Ranch, don’t you think?

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!

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!

Throwback Thursday: Not even newlyweds take on New York

Are we just dating? Are we “together”? Did Adam or I know each other’s middle names, favorite colors or board games as a child? All questions we might not of known the answers to when we took our first BIG trip together.

As Adam and I prepare to take-off on our next adventure to the BIG APPLE I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than a Throwback Thursday post about our first trip together.

We began dating in 2012… do you know our story? We were set up on a blind date by a coworker of Adam’s and the Mother of the family I was nannying for at the time. Long story short-ish….Adrienne spent months trying to set us up. We finally gave in and I, yes you read that correctly, I (Holly) got the nerve to call him on fall football Saturday afternoon. {After a TCU victory of course!}

We spent a couple of weeks texting regularly, chatting daily and agreed to not look each other up on Social Media or send photos of one another.  If/when we decided to meet it would truly be a “blind date.” We tackled all the touchy subjects before our first date. Yes…kids, religion, politics…we covered it all.

Two weeks after our first date was Christmas and my birthday…poor Adam.

As a {one time only} joint gift he surprised me with a trip to NYC and so comes our Throwback Thursday post!

We flew into LGA on a brisk January 4th afternoon.

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As this was Adam’s first time to the Big Apple I played the part of tour guide. Our hotel was just a few blocks from Times Square. Shortly after landing and settling into out hotel we put on our walking shoes and started acting like tourists! We saw the lights of Times Square, the Toys R Us, Hershey and Lego Store. Strolled by Radio City Music Hall, the Rockefeller Ice Rink and Christmas Tree, where we took our first photo together after Adam got conned into buying a FDNY Beanie from a street vendor. {That’s a story for another post.}

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That night Adam took me to see The Newsies on Broadway…it was fantastic! His first Broadway show was a success! {Little did he know how much I love the theater and how many times he would be going to the Fox Theatre from there on out.} If you get a chance to see it live, do it! If not, watch the movie!

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Our second day in the city was spent roaming around like locals. Trying hole-in-the-wall restaurants, getting off the train on random spots, and doing a little shopping.

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That night we grabbed some Starbucks and went on a Horse-and-Carriage ride through Central Park. Not to get all mushy, but it was oh-so romantic.

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Our final day in the city was spent strolling through Central Park where I snapped one of my favorite photos of us. Until today, Adam didn’t know this photo existed. New York may not be known as “The City of Love,” but it will always be that to me. A magical city where my heart made room for Adam and a true love began to develop…oh lordy! Who am I being all sappy?

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We can hardly wait for our next BIG CITY adventure! Are you a native New Yorker or just love to visit? We’d love to know your favorite, non-touristy spots as we get ready to embark on our trip.

Stay tuned for trip details!

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!