Category Archives: Adventures

French Fry Free Disney: What we ate at Disney World

We went to Disney World in May and I’m just now getting around to posting pictures. That’s just the way life goes sometimes.

One of our favorite things to do in Disney World is EAT, so I thought I’d start my Disney World posts off by writing about some of the places we ate and share our absolute favorites with you. We ate at mostly quick service restaurants to save some money, but we did have a few advanced dining reservations for table service restaurants. I’m also going to include a few remarkable snacks we enjoyed.

I titled this post french-fry free Disney because I made it my mission to not eat french fries the whole trip. Aaron did, so don’t be surprised when you see a few french fries in the pictures of his meals. He can do what he wants. I really wanted to highlight how amazing the food is at Disney World and really show that there are so many more options that hamburgers, chicken tenders, and french fries. I found out that you can almost always substitute cucumber salad for french fries everywhere you eat.

QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANTS

Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom)

I was beyond excited to eat at Be Our Guest, the new Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant in the Beast’s castle! Let me just say the atmosphere and theming are amazing. I’ll show some pictures in my next Disney post. It is a table service restaurant at for dinner, but we ate there for lunch when it is a quick service location. Dinner and lunch menus are different, but when we were planning, the lunch menu actually looked better to me. It has a little different set up than most quick services. I read all about it before we went. You order your food at a little kiosk, and a cast member gives you an “magic rose.” I had a vision in my head of what our “magic rose” was going to look like (roughly based on a Barbie accessory I had as little girl) and I was a little disappointed. Here is our magic rose.

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It kind of looks like a tomato. The rose is “magic” because you take it to your table and it helps your server find you to deliver your order from a little rolling cart. Be Our Guest really feels more like a table service restaurant than quick service. You get real silverware and everything!

I ordered the braised pork with mashed potatoes and green beans.

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Aaron had the carved turkey sandwich (and french fries)

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I won this round of “who had the better meal” hands down. SO delicious and the price was very reasonable for how huge my meal was. I don’t think I would be able to order anything else on the menu if we eat there again.

My only complaint is that I really wanted “The Grey Stuff.” You know…from the song…It’s apparently a cookies and cream mousse thing that they bring around if you are celebrating something. We were technically celebrating Aaron’s birthday on this trip, but he forgot to wear his button. I’m not even sure if they would give us the grey stuff for lunch. Is it only a dinner thing? I tried to google it and found nothing.

Columbia Harbor House (Magic Kingdom)

We also ate at Columbia Harbor House which is a much more typical quick service experience.

I had the lobster roll.

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And Aaron had the fish and chicken breast nuggets plate. Like I said. He can do what he wants 🙂

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I think I won this round too, simply because I had lobster and Aaron had chicken nuggets. For some reason I wasn’t expecting my lobster roll to be a cold sandwich. It was good, just not what I was expecting. If we ever eat here again, I think I would try the lighthouse sandwich instead. Hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw on multigrain bread. It looked pretty good when people carried it past us in line.

Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom)

We loved eating here. We found a lovely little spot to sit right by the water with a great view of Mt. Everest. No competition here. Aaron and I ordered the same thing: 1/2 slab of St. Louis ribs with baked beans and coleslaw.

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Do you think Aaron was happy?

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It was so good we tried to eat here again later in the week for dinner, but it didn’t work out because Animal Kingdom closes so early.

Sunshine Seasons (EPCOT Future World)

We didn’t plan on eating here. Normally if we are in Epcot we would want to eat over at the World Showcase. We actually got stuck in future world because it was monsooning outside, and we were starving. But you know what? Sunshine Seasons has a whole lot of really tasty looking options. We ate here for a late dinner, so it wasn’t that crowded. We saw what it looked like at lunch time, and I would probably avoid this at all costs then. It was a madhouse.

I had the slow roasted pork chop with cheddar mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce. The cheddar mashed potatoes are what sold me, but they were not as cheddar-y as I would have liked. They basically tasted like regular mashed potatoes. Still everything tasted really good!

Pardon my bite out of my pork chop. Like I said we were starving.

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Aaron had the spicy cashew chicken with vegetable stir fry noodles. The chicken was really spicy.

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I think Aaron won that round. Mine was good, but I was disappointed by my non-cheddary potatoes. His just looks better too.

Tangierine Cafe (EPCOT World Showcase-Morocco)

We did get to eat at the World Showcase during our trip. Morocco! We had my sister, brother in law, three nieces and one nephew with us, but we scrounged up a table inside away from the heat.

Again, no competition here because Aaron and I ordered the same thing: the lamb wrap with couscous salad and lentil salad.

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The wraps were excellent. Aaron and I LOVE gyros, and that’s basically what we had. If I remember correctly, my wrap was so big I couldn’t finish it, but Aaron was happy to. As for the salads, Aaron and I preferred different ones, but I can’t really remember which. I think I preferred the couscous and he preferred the lentil. We’d totally eat here again.

Captain Cook’s Snack Company (Polynesian Resort)

Good memories here, y’all.

We did not stay at the Polynesian resort, but that didn’t stop us from eating at almost every restaurant there during our trip. Captain Cook’s is great because they have an interesting menu and they are open pretty late (11pm). We came here for a late dinner on a park day because sometimes it’s nice to escape from the parks for a few minutes. Captain Cook’s is just a quick monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom.

I ordered the grilled cheese with Asian Slaw.

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Aaron ordered the Aloha Pork Sandwich. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of his. I think he inhaled it before I got a chance. I’m going to call this one a draw. Both meals were SO good. Not if, but WHEN we come back here to eat I may try something else because the menu is so good. Aloha Pork Sandwich, Pork Nachos, Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken…Mmmmm.

We also ate at Sassagoula Floatworks (Port Orleans French Quarter Resort). I didn’t take any pictures. Bad blogger. We both had jambalaya.

TABLE SERVICE RESTAURANTS

Ohana (Polynesian Resort)

Hands down our favorite restaurant. I cannot imagine us ever going to Disney World again and not having a reservation at Ohana. This was the first time either of us have eaten here, but it was also the first time Aaron had ever eaten at a “Family Style” restaurant (the best kind). You eat as much as you want. They bring it to you. Kind of like a buffet but way better.

IMG_0607I tried to take pictures, but then I got overwhelmed by all the deliciousness. Plus with wings and peel-and-eat-shrimp my hands were a little messy to be pulling my camera out. All you get is a picture of our appetizer with our welcome bread in the background.

Here you see honey coriander chicken wings and pork fried dumplings.

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They bring out a big plate of stir fry vegetables and noodles as your sides. You also get a couple dipping sauces to try out with everything. Oh yeah. I think we got a salad too. Here’s my advice. Don’t eat the salad or the bread. Save room for all the other deliciousness.

The skewers. The servers bring around these GIANT skewers with meat and just pile it on your plate. Chicken, pork, steak, peel-and-eat grilled shrimp. It’s like they never stop. I’m pretty sure Aaron and I ate our weight in shrimp.

Then they bring out dessert. Bread pudding with icecream, bananas, and caramel sauce. Amazing. We ate ourselves sick.

We love Ohana.

Via Napoli (EPCOT World Showcase-Italy)

We almost didn’t use this reservation because we were trying to save some money on this trip, and Via Napoli can get expensive. We kept it because we decided we could get a pizza and it wouldn’t be much more than it would cost for us to eat quick service.

We couldn’t decide between the Quattro Formaggi and the Piccante (with Italian sausage), so we asked our server which one was better, or what he would recommend. He actually said his favorite pizza is a mix of those two. Basically a four cheese pizza with Italian spicy sausage, so that’s what we got. I think we ordered the medium size and it was good for two people to share.

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It was a good choice 🙂 We also got some Italian singing and a free dessert because Aaron remembered to wear his birthday button.

We really enjoyed our pizza, but it’s not a must do for us.

Kona Cafe (Polynesian Resort)

And we’re back at the Polynesian! Maybe one day we can afford to stay at this resort, we love it so.

This is the regular table service restaurant right next to Ohana. When people were trying to get seated at Ohana without a reservation, it was suggested that they try Kona Cafe instead. Two of my nieces came with us to eat here, so you get to see three entrees.

I had the Grilled Teryaki Steak with Grilled Pineapple Salsa, sticky rice, and pasta salad. Mine was good, but the pasta salad seemed a little bit out of place.

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My nieces ordered the Asian Noodle Bowl.  I was trying to decided between this and my steak when I was ordering. It wasn’t exactly want any of us were expecting (humongous bowl), but it was good. This is a terrible picture. It looked really good.

IMG_0633Aaron was the winner of this round, by far. He got the Kona Surf and Turf Burger Deluxe with sweet potato fries. It’s a burger with shrimp and this cheesy stuff on top. I had a bite, and it was amazing. I never order hamburgers, but if we ever eat here again I will totally order this burger.

IMG_0632We also ate at Sci-Fi Dine In (Hollywood Studios) and the ESPN Sports Club (Boardwalk). Sci-Fi Dine in had a cool atmosphere, but the food wasn’t anything special. I take that back. Aaron ate the picnic burger, which is a burger with a hotdog on top of it. That’s special, right? I had the reuben with cucumber salad.  I didn’t take pictures because it was really dark. The restaurant is set up like a drive in movie theater and you eat in cars. It was only the two of us so we sat on the back end of a car with a family of four in the front part.

ESPN Sports Club was good, but just like a regular sports bar you would find at home. We ate there because we got hungry while we were exploring the Boardwalk area.

SNACKS & TREATS

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake (Hollywood Studios-Starring Rolls Cafe)

Don’t underestimate the size of this cupcake. There needs to be a name for something in between a cupcake and an actual cake, because this is way too big to be considered just a cupcake. People were seriously staring at me while I ate this. It got to the point where I felt like that kid from Matilda. Cookie made it with her sweat and blood.

It’s a chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips in the cake part, chocolate peanut butter icing filling, chocolate peanut butter icing on top, and giant curls of milk chocolate decorating the top. It is something to behold.

You need to buy one.

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Dole Whip (Aloha Isle-Magic Kingdom & Captain Cook’s-Polynesian Resort)

Pineapple soft-serve. Delicious. We got this at both locations, but I recommend getting it at Captain Cook’s because it’s self-serve, and I can get a lot of soft-serve in my little cup 🙂

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One treat I wanted to try that I wasn’t able to find is the Peanut Butter Cupcake that was once available at the Boardwalk Bakery. I read about it on the disneyfoodblog. They said the icing tasted like cookie dough. COOKIE DOUGH! That’s actually the main reason we ventured over to the Boardwalk one day. Sadly, the Boardwalk Bakery did not have it. I’ll have to hunt it down next time 🙂

I was also curious about School Bread from Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in Norway at EPCOT World Showcase. I found this one and then realized it had coconut. I’m not a fan of coconut, so I passed on that treat.

Hope you enjoyed reading about all our Disney World Eats!sig

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Monday Monday

I just spent a good little while writing a really long blog post showing off my kitchen backsplash. I posted it for a second, but then I decided to wait and schedule it for tomorrow. It’s so good…I need to keep you waiting.

In all actuality I wanted to do another little short post today that would no longer be relevant tomorrow. My fancy kitchen, however, will still be relevant tomorrow.

Today was my first day back at work after an unanticipated 4 day long weekend. Nothing glamorous. I was sick. All my little motivational quotes I pin on my “wise words” pinterest board would have been proud of me today. Sometimes when I’m at work I have to give myself little motivational talks.

I actually committed to being at work instead of looking at the clock and wishing the day away. I’ve been in a funk lately. The good news is that I’ll be finished with my clinical fellowship soon. I’ll still have the same job, but I’ll get some new letters on my name. Instead of Haleybee M.S. CFY-SLP, I’ll be Haleybee M.S. CCC-SLP. It’s a big deal.

You should help me choose the picture for my badge at work:

Option A or B?

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Those were taken the day I got my QVC “Today’s Special Value” impulse purchase in the mail, so of course I had just played makeup. It’s a rare day that I do my hair, so it needed to be documented. It just so happened that I needed to upload a badge picture to my work onboarding site, and I had a spare boyfriend laying around the house to take my picture.

One drawback of having a tall boyfriend is that the 10 pictures I took before these 2 good ones were all looking down at the top of my head. Or my head was leaned way back. Just for the record, the “looking down on you” angle makes a person’s head look huge. (Or maybe I just have a big head).

Random thoughts for the evening:

I’ve been DVRing The Bachelor so I can fast forward through commercials. I heart Sean. I’m totally going to write a post where talk about how Sean and I are actually meant to be together. (BTW Aaron, I’m talking about the alternate universe where you are meant to be with Emma Watson, so we’re square).

It’s been raining all day. We’re currently under a tornado warning.

I have a goal to finish my dang book by the end of February. I’ve got three days to finish The Casual Vacancy. It’s picked up a little bit, but I’m still trudging.

I also have a lot of crafty projects coming to a close. Lot’s to blog about.

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True Stories & the Job Interview from Hades

The other day I was talking with the boyfriend, and we were sharing some of our “I can’t believe that actually happened” memories. It made me realize that I’ve experienced a lot of crazy things that I sometimes forget about because they are so out of the ordinary for me. I decided I need to start a list to keep it all straight.

1. I’ve toured a concentration camp in Austria.

2. I’ve met and listened to a Holocaust survivor speak. (And when he was describing the Aryan race – in German, mind you, with a translator – he may have pointed straight at me…the blonde haired blue-eyed girl sitting in the second row. Probably the most uncomfortable/awkward situation in my life).

3. I’ve been standing in a parking lot within 100 feet of a person pulling a gun on someone else in a fit of road rage.

4. I’ve gotten stuck right in the middle of a high speed car chase after a bank robbery.

5. I’ve shot an AK-47

6. I’ve had to talk to and take directions from a 911 operator when a neighbor who I’ve never spoken to before had a seizure and her little girl came up to me with 911 on the phone.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

So Aaron and I are at that point in our relationship where we don’t really have NEW stories anymore. All those stories up there he has either heard, or he was next to me when they happened.

So imagine my surprise when he was telling me about an interview he was going to. I was all “Well the good news is that it can’t be as bad as my horror story of a job interview,” and he was all “Huh?” Come on Aaron. You know what I’m talking about. I’ve told everyone and their mom this story. I’m pretty sure I acted it out as a skit in front of a group of people at Bible study one night.

The thing is, I hadn’t thought about this crazy interview in forever. It was such a strange surreal experience that I kind of forget sometimes that it actually happened to me. THIS INTERVIEW GOES ON THAT LIST UP THERE.

No. 7 I’ve had the job interview from Hades.

It all started when I decided I needed to get a part-time job while I was in college. I went to the mall and put in applications at a bunch of stores. One of those stores happened to be STRASBURG CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE at Bel Air Mall in Mobile Alabama. That’s right. I’m calling them out. Just like the Well’s Fargo Lady. 

I got a call back for an interview and was so excited. This was the first real job interview I have ever had. The day of my interview I wore a nice dress and heels and walked into the store. An employee immediately saw me and ushered me into the back.

I take a look around. I am in a teeny tiny dark office with a single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. I had walked into an interrogation room. There are three other people in the room with me. One was an older woman who seemed to be in charge, and then two younger female employees.

They ask me to take a seat…and then gesture towards a leather footrest.

A LEATHER FOOTREST. Like a foot and a half off the ground! No one else in the room sits.

All three employees then proceeded to stand over me and ask me rapid fire questions about teamwork and interacting with customers. At one point someone held up a baby dress and made me point out details I would describe to a customer to make a sale.

What do you know about embroidery!?…NEEDLEPOINT!!??…SMOCKING!!!???

All I remember after that is walking out into the mall in a fog like “Is this real life?”

I called my mom to run  it all by her and she confirmed my suspicions, that “no, that was not normal…not normal at all.” It’s really crazy to me now that I’ve gone on REAL job interviews for my actual CAREER, and they have been no where near as intimidating as the one at the silly store in the mall. I’m pretty sure I was never asked a single question about speech therapy on any of my job interviews.

Who did those silly dress peddlers think they were, asking me about embroidery and smocking and crap?

The good thing about having that experience is that now all the interviews I go on are cake.

Oh. And in case you were wondering…I did not get the job.

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Accidental Sad Valentine’s Day Girl

Dear People of Publix,

I have a boyfriend, I promise.

He just lives in Mobile and we are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day the weekend after. And by celebrate I mean attempt to build a work bench together…and maybe go out to eat with friends. I don’t make a big deal. I asked for Girl Scout cookies. Lemonades (NOT Lemon Chalet Cremes-big difference).

So you see, Thursday night, I really had almost forgotten it was Valentine’s Day. I had just gone to Home Depot to buy my new drill (for above mentioned weekend project), and I was kind of hungry. I was totally not in the mood for fast food, so I thought “Hey…I’ll get something from the Publix deli.

I walk in the store and start browsing around. Of course there is no buffalo chicken mac-and-cheese left. It just happens to be the best thing in the world. So I head over to the sushi case. Perfect. I’ll get me a nice sushi roll for dinner. As I’m heading towards the checkout, I walk past the ice cream case. Hey. You know what I haven’t had in a while?…Some of this stuff.icecream

Then as I’m standing in the checkout line, oblivious me takes a look around. Almost everyone in the store is male. Everyone is buying flowers, heart-shaped boxes of candy, or fancy dinner fixings like wine and shrimp. The checkout girl is talking about the all the people standing outside the Italian restaurant next door waiting to be seated because “I guess Italian food and Valentine’s Day just go together.”

And here I am.

Sushi for one and a carton of ice cream planning to go home and watch Downton Abbey.

I repeat. I do have a boyfriend.

Sincerely,

The girl who got the sympathetic face from the cashier

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Long Time, No See

I haven’t blogged in about a month, but do you know what I have been doing? Blog-worthy things, guys! Now I need to play catch up.

I hate to break it to you though. Photo-a-day is done. I didn’t even make it through January. I’m glad I didn’t make that a New Year’s Resolution, because that is just pitiful.

Here is a list of some things that have happened while I was away.

1. I’ve basically watched the entire series of Downton Abbey. I only have one more episode left and I will be caught up.

2. I had an invisalign consultation.

3. I’ve started stenciling my kitchen.

4. I bought a drill.

5. I put feet on my too-short desk with my new drill.

6. My company was bought out by a larger company, so I have had paperwork coming out of my ears. It’s like reapplying for a job all over again.

7. I made Greek chicken salad.

8. I’m STILL trying to finish The Casual Vacancy.

(And you know what happens when I force myself to read a book I don’t care for…I buy a TON of books.

9. I made a late night “Today’s Special Value” impulse purchase from QVC.

10. And I accidentally made myself look like a sad Valentine’s Day girl in Publix.

Lots of good stuff to talk about.

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January 20th {photo-a-day}

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1. I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. watching Arrested Development on Netflix

2. I slept in until 12:30 (lunchtime)

3. It was going to be a lazy day. I thought about not wearing makeup to lunch but then thought better of it. However. I didn’t think better of wearing exercise leggings for pants. DO you know what happens when you do that? You see people you know, that’s what. The last thing you want to be wearing when you see people you know is leggings as pants.

4. We ate barbecue at Dreamland.

5. Aaron wanted to go somewhere else, so we headed to my favorite antique store in Mobile. Everyone else we know was there too.

6. I bought Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk paint in shutter gray.

7. I drove home.

8. I immediately started painting my kitchen hutch.

9. I caught up on How I Met Your Mother and watched the new Revenge.

10. Now I’m blogging.

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January 19th {photo-a-day}

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Look what Aaron and ran into when we went to eat lunch on Saturday. haha. I find this very entertaining, and I really wonder what a Bachelorette contestant has to do with the Senior Bowl…and why he got his picture on the flyer instead of the NFL players and coaches. haha.

But if you’re interested ladies…this was at Picklefish in Mobile.

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