Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 19th - July 20th: Tables in Wonderland Epcot Food and Wine Preview

Saturday we headed over to Pop Century to check in and enjoy the pool before we headed to Epcot for the Food and Wine Preview dinner. It was a hot! day. 

Then it was time to head over to the dinner. We checked in early and had about an hour to wait so we headed over to Canada to enjoy the air conditioning for about half an hour and then went to see the movie. It was perfect timing since we walked right in when we got back to the event location. 
The event was located in a secret pavilion you can access between Canada and United Kingdom. 

The event was beautiful! I loved all the chandeliers and decorations. 

Here was the menu:

 Buffet Reception
Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

South Africa Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms - I really enjoyed this spicy quiche-like treat 

Scotland Sea Scallop with Spinach Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon - The line was 30 minutes long as we skipped it. 

Puerto Rico Sweet Corn Sorullitos with Mayo Ketchup - This was my favorite appetizer. I loved the presentation with the dropper of mayo ketchup. 

Terra “CraB’less CraB Cake”, Pepper Slaw and Cajun Remoulade featuring Gardein™ - This was the offering from the Vegan stand at Epcot food and wine. I thought the slaw and the sauce was good, but it really didn't taste much like crab. 

Farm Fresh Nueske’s Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and pickled JalapeƱos - I really liked this hash. It had a fair amount of spice because of the pickled jalapenos. 


Aulani Sunset featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum - This cocktail had a little too much pineapple for my taste. 
Paperboy Red - This is an interesting red because the "bottle" is actually a plastic bag wrapped in heavy duty cardboard. The wine wasn't my favorite - but the packaging was cool. 
The Great American Wine Company, Chardonnay - I really enjoyed this wine! 
Domaine Chandon, Brut Sparkling Blanc de Noir - The sparkling wine was terrific! 
Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, Bold City Brewery, Jacksonville, FL - One of my favorite brown ales! 

 Plated Dinner

We moved to the large room for the plated dinner. 

Greece Course

Vegetarian Moussaka - The clove on this was far too heavy. We could only eat it when we paired it with the surprise beer of the night: MMMM Hop. Yes, it is by those famous Hanson brothers. 

Patagonia Course

Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimi Churri - This was my favorite course of hte night. Everything was delicious! 

Puerto Rico Course
“Carne Guisada con Arroz Blanco” Slow Braised Beef with Puerto Rican Grown Rice - I didn't get a photo of this dish. It was good, but could have used more sauce. 
Paired with Medalla Light Beer or Sangriiia Cocktail

Dessert Trio

Hops and Barley Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing
Refreshment Port Croissant Doughnut
Bean to the Bar Warm Drinking Chocolate
Paired with Rosa Regale

This course was fantastic! Everything was so good! Overall, we really enjoyed the dinner. The service could have been better and the pairings didn't always match up. We would definitely go again next year if they have it. 

On Sunday, we decided to stop by Two Henry's Brewing on way home. We really liked their beer at the Beer and Loathing event. 

I was impressed with all their beer. I think we'll definitely be going back there! 

July 12th - 13th: Brews and the Bells family

We decided to do a staycation this weekend. We had tickets to an event at the Tampa Theater called Beer and Loathing in Las Vegas so we booked a hotel downtown and decided to enjoy the Tampa downtown. 

The hotel is awesome. It's Le Meridian Tampa. They took a historic courthouse and turned it into a hotel. 

We loved it. We checked in and then hit the town. We saw an exhibit of young Chinese artists at the Tampa Art Museum. 

Then we stopped by a Gastropub I had heard a lot about: Anise. It has a great menu and the cocktails were very good. 

Then we did some "horsing" around at the Tampa History Center. I was very impressed by an exhibit on the Highway Men - a group of African American artists who sold art door to door during segregation. This picked up the theme from the morning's Chinese exhibit of artists who take incredible risks just to produce and share their works. 

Then it was time for the big event. We tried to dress like the movie. 

The event was so much fun. They showed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on the big screen and then had restaurants and breweries set up all over the lobby, in the aisles, and up in the balcony. The food and the beer was the best we've had. Our favorite food was the lamb meatball from the Birchwood Hotel in St Pete. We were really impressed by the beers from Coopertail - especially the Triple - and Two Henrys Brewing. 

On Sunday, we headed over to Orlando to meet up with the Bell family. They were staying at Fantasy World so they secured us day passes and a cabana rental to enjoy the pool, slides, and lazy river. We had a fantastic time! 

Overall, an incredible weekend! 

June 30th - July 6th Fun Times with our Niece and Nephew

For the first week in June - I headed to Indianapolis to stay with the my sister and hang out with my niece and nephew for the week. It was a lot of fun! We played puzzles, went for walks on the Monan Trail, and cooked. My nephew is such a fun baby. He just lights up when you do something that makes him laugh. We played a cute game where I would say "Tell Me a Story" and he would just babbled away! 

On Sunday, we held Conner's baptism. It was so much fun getting the whole family together.

 I especially love seeing my cousin's wife Gwen. We both thought we looked very nice so we just stood around waiting for someone to take our picture. 

Finally, Conner's Godmother did the honors.