Sunday, August 25, 2013

Down in Memphis!

Last week the boyfriend and I started our long drive across the country from Virginia to California. On the way we stopped in the busy city of Memphis, Tennessee to visit our old roommate and friend, Billy. 

He took us out to a little place called Beale street..

This is a little of what we saw

I wish I could make you feel the vibrancy of this place. It was a Thursday night and there was music playing in every shop and restaurant, drinks and neon signs, people doing acrobatic stunts down the street. It was like a more personal, southern version of the Las Vegas strip.

And the FOOD! We stopped at a gorgeous place called King's Palace Cafe. We may physically have been in Tennessee but, let me tell you, in here you're in the heart of Louisiana!

Gator chips and some kind of southern chicken wings that make me drool..

Live music, of course!


Fried green tomatoes, craw fish etouffee, chicken, mashed potatoes, tilapia, bread, goes on and on!! It was called the King's Feast for four and OOOOO lordy! Best meal I've had in ages!

Couldn't forget desert could we? Bread Pudding...mmmmhhhmmm!

You didn't think I forgot the king, did you? It was Elvis week after all.

I enjoyed every second of my brief time in Memphis. Good food, good atmosphere and of course, great friends:)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coffee Lovers Unite!

If you know me, you know how I feel about coffee. If you don't know me and you're reading're about to find out how I feel about coffee.

I don't like coffee. I don't want coffee. I LOVE coffee. I NEED coffee.

And yes, I realize I sound like coffee's psycho  ex-girlfriend. 

But that is besides the point. A best friend of mine got me a going away gift very much suited to my tastes...literally. 

Coffee tasting!!

They start with three different types of beans for you to smell.

They take them away and grind em' up and you are handed a 'Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel' to guide you.

Then they pour the hot water over...and again it's time for smelling...

Next they do this crazy butterfly swoop thing with spoons to remove the majority of the grounds. Well, the barista removed most of the grounds....when Ash and I tried we only kind of succeeded..ish.

Finally got to taste it!!!

Then, came the challenge. We had to guess, using the flavors and aromas from our coffee tasting wheel, what kind of coffee each cup held. A lot of fun! Plus...we got 2 out of 3 correct!! Wooot woot!

But that wasn't all...The gift kept giving!

Creamy, foamy, delicious lattes!

And what's a latte without a decadent sample platter of desserts?

A perfect going away gift:) The coffee shop was a favorite of mine in Norfolk, Va called Bean There Cafe. 
Look at this place! Isn't it gorgeous?! If you're not a coffee lover they also have a large selection of loose leaf teas, steamers and....wait for it.....alcoholic beverages.

You're welcome.

Thank you Ash for a lovely going away! You know me so very well:)

(You can also get a coffee tasting! Just schedule there, call or keep an eye on groupon as a half off coffee tasting here does tend to pop up now and then...cheers!)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Where Dreams Come True

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved Disney. Who hasn't? No, don't answer that question, if you didn't I don't really want to know. 

So, in celebration of being able to (for the first time ever) take a real vacation, I quickly booked flights, hotel and, of course, Disney World tickets! 

Our first day there we headed to the Animal Kingdom. Being the smarty-pants that I am, I made sure I booked our trip for the middle of the week so we had minimal lines to deal with:)


We went on a safari!

These little scamps just swing around all willy-nilly like.

These were my favorite!
After the Safari, we explored some rides..
And went to mount Everest!
They even had a petting zoo!

Day 2 was the day I've been waiting for since I saw Beauty and the Beast in theaters and wore out my Little Mermaid VHS. The MAGIC KINGDOM!!

We saw Cinderella's castle from the ferry...

And then we were finally there!

Castles, a genie singing in the streets, Little Mermaid's Grotto....this IS a fantasy land!

And Josh showing how he's just as strong as Gaston at Belle's well.

We even accidentally got really good spots to see the parade, we were on our way back to the hotel for a swim but we couldn't miss this!

The best thing about visiting Disney world as an adult is that you get to make all the decisions. Like when it's too hot and you're tired of walking, you take a tram back to your hotel and take a leisurely swim until you feel like going back.
So, I channeled my inner Ariel...

Then headed back for the magic that is Disney fireworks..

And yet ANOTHER surprise parade! Guess we didn't really read the times guide but fortunately we are really lucky people with impeccable timing. only disappointment of the day. I had waited to go inside Cinderellas castle til nighttime to avoid crowds...turns out the only thing in there is a restaurant that you have to make ADVANCE advance reservations to before you can see inside. This was all we got to see.

But, overall, the Magic Kingdom was as magical as I always dreamed it would be.

Day 3 we went to Hollywood studios!

And went on this awesome Aerosmith ride! 0-60 in 2.8 seconds while jamming to rock music? Yes please!

Now, I normally don't try and buy food at theme parks but...I couldn't resist this cookie as it was chocolate chip, chocolate dipped and as big as my head.

At the end of that day we went to Epcot but only got to see inside the iconic sphere before heading back to our tram. Next time, Disney World, next time!

This trip was a much needed getaway as well as the fulfillment of a childhood dream. Sometimes things end up being just as wonderful in real life as they are in dreams and maybe, just maybe, it's magic.