Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome to October

by Meghann on October 1, 2014

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It’s October 1, the start of a brand new month and, really, what feels like the start of a brand new season. This is the time of year when it finally starts to cool down around Florida and kinda, sorta feel like fall. We actually have a cold front moving through this weekend, right now they’re predicting a high of 84 degrees on Sunday and a ZERO chance of rain <- very big deal around here.

We’ve had non-stop torrential downpours lately. Maddie and I were almost flooded out of our morning run yesterday. The sidewalks and grass were saturated with water, making our run very muddy and nearly impossible to keep a decent, consistent pace. We needed two sets of baths when we returned home – one for Maddie and one for my shoes. I knew my NightLife Brooks Glycerin 12s couldn’t stay so pretty and pink for long.

October also means the return of Epcot’s Wine & Food Festival at Walt Disney World (which runs September 19 – November 10). Per our annual traditional, my parents and I checked out the festivities last weekend. We actually started at Hollywood Studios to check out the Frozen Summer festival they’re currently promoting.

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p.s. I’m totally in love with my new Olaf shirt. I was looking at Disney themed shirts last time I was at Downtown Disney, but none of them really stood out to me. The next week I was shopping at Target and saw the “I Give Warm Hugs” shirt poking out from the little boy’s section. It was too cute, I figured it was worth the $5 price tag to cut-up and wear next time I went to Disney. I cut the sleeves and neck off to make it a little more theme park friendly (I don’t know about you, but it’s so hot in Florida in the summer that if it’s not sleeveless, it’s not worth wearing).

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The Frozen Festivities included a special sing-along show featuring Elsa and Ana, a Frozen firework display, a snow area, and an ice skating rink.

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There were also special photo opps where you could use an app to super impose your favorite characters into the photos.

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We had FastPasses for the sing along show, but it was way too crowded to stick around for it. Plus, we were hungry and ready to hit up the food and wine festival. However, we were informed by a cast member that the Studio Backlot Tour ride was closing for good that evening, so we made sure to get one final ride in before the ride was gone forever.

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Hard to believe the Studio Backlot Tour ride will no longer be at Hollywood Studios. Though it was never quite the same after they bulldozed a good portion of the backlot area when they built “Lights, Motors, Action!” right? I was petrified of this ride as a kid (dude, Catastrophe Canyon with the rushing water and fire was scary for a little kid), but I did grow to appreciate it as an icon of the park. RIP Studio Backlot Tour!

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There have been no official announcements what will replace it, but the rumors are swirling that the ride will be a part of the new Pixar Land coming to Hollywood Studios.

After Studio Backlot Tour we headed to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival.

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One of my favorite’s every year: Belgium Waffle with Strawberry Compote from Belgium

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Spicy hand roll: Tuna and salmon with Kazan Volcano sauce from Japan. There was just enough spice to give it flavor, I wish there had been a tad more, but otherwise pretty tasty.

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Also from Japan was the Teriyaki gyoza bun: steamed bun filled with chicken, vegetables and sweet teriyaki sauce.

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I really liked this one. The beef filling had a lot of flavor.

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In all of my years of attending Food & Wine, I believe this was my first visit to the Poland booth. I ordered the Sauerkraut pierogi with pork goulash which was probably my least favorite dish of the day. It didn’t really wow me.

 

 

 

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From Africa: Beef Tenderloin Tips Berbere Style with Okra, Jalapeños, Tomato, and Pap. This dish included grits, which was really what I thought made the meal.

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The roast pork lettuce wrap from South Korea was my favorite dish of the day. I liked the addition of the slightly sweet pickled carrot and daikon.

 

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Of course no day would be complete without dessert (Pavlova: Crispy Meringue Shell with Fresh Berries and Vanilla Creme from Australia – Yum!)

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Or beer.

 

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We ended our day at the Craft Beer tent with a flight of craft brews.

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Refreshing.

All in all it was a great return to Disney (this was my first free weekend in a while to go). I hope to return one more time before the festival closes in November. 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have one more reason to celebrate October – the entire Gilmore Girl series is now available on NetFlix! If you need me over the next couple of weeks, you’ll know where to find me. 😉

 

 

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