Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival

Last week, the traffic around the Disney area was unbelievable. It is a combination of an already busy area plus the massive influx of people here on Spring Break. J sat in this traffic attempting to make it to class so long that he missed his class sitting in the traffic. He called and asked me if I wanted to meet him at Epcot for The International Flower And Garden Festival.

As pass holders, we go to the festival every year. I am always blown away by the beauty and creativity that Disney puts into the displays.

This is the entrance to the butterfly tent. I love that they do this every year, it is a great way to mix some educational information (life stages of a butterfly) with beautiful flowers.

Butterfly Epcot Flower and Garden

Spotted one.

Real Butterfly Epcot Flower And Garden

My favorite “ride” at Epcot is Living With The Land. I love to look at the different plants in the greenhouses and never tire of the cheesy animatronic land displays. There is a backstage tour that takes your through the greenhouses called Behind The Seeds Tour but the times are limited and we always miss it. Not this time.

Our tour guide is an advanced intern who is studying horticulture.

Tour Guide Behind The Seeds Epcot

J plus two little kids on the tour were allowed to introduce lady bugs onto this plant.

Disney Epcot Behind The Seeds Tour Lady Bugs

Hydroponic lettuce and an Epcot spotting across the way.

Disney Epcot Behind The Seeds Tour Lettuce

A grape tomato tree with boat riders from The Land ride in the background.

Disney Epcot Behind The Seeds Tour Tomatoes_edited-1

The guide told us that the strawberries were the only plants that they do not start from seed. Central Florida is pretty famous for its strawberry production, starter plants are in great supply.

Strawberries Behind The Seeds Epcot

The one plant we were allowed to touch. It’s called a Sensitive Plant and the leaves fold in when you touch it. This protects it from high winds.

Sensitive Plant Epcot Flower And Garden

The tour lasted about an hour and was well worth the $18 or so dollars. I highly recommend it if you are in Epcot.

They do different variations of this every year. I love the changes in color, so beautiful.

Wrap Around Flowers Epcot Flower and Garden

It was a wonderful and relaxing day that took my mind off of the job searching. Plus, it gave me an excuse to whip out my DSLR and practice a little of what I have learned reading photography books.

If you are in Central Florida from March 7th through May 20th, I highly recommend attending the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Walt Disney World Food And Wine Festival 2011

J and I picked the worst day for the Food and Wine Festival. Not only was it cold and windy (for Florida) but it was packed. We have annual passes and go to Epcot regularly, I have never seen this many people there ever.

Disney Food and Wine Festival

Disney Food and Wine Festival Sign

We made do and decided that drinking lots of beer would be the best way to warm up.

Disney Food and Wine Beer

In Canada we had Cheddar Cheese Soup and Moosehead Beer. That soup never fails to impress. If you are in Epcot, I highly recommend eating at Le Cellier.

Disney Food and Wine Canada Soup and Beer

They had a cranberry bog which was new this year. It kind of reminded me of home, we have a lot of these in New England.

Cranberry Bog

Cranberry Bog Food and Wine Festival

I asked J if he would take a picture of me because I am never in any of our pictures.

The first was taken before I realized he was taking one. He found this hilarious.

DinaRuns

Next one was fine.

DinaRuns 2

Look how windy it is.

DinaRuns 3

My favorite beer of the day was the Kona Pipeline.

Kona Pipeline Beer

The description from their website:

Pipeline Porter is smooth and dark with a distinctive roasty aroma and earthy complexity from its diverse blends of premium malted barley. This celebration of malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee grown at Cornwell Estate on Hawaii’s Big Island, lending a unique roasted aroma and flavor. A delicate blend of hops rounds out this palate-pleasing brew.

You could smell and taste the coffee flavor. This may be my new favorite beer.

Kona Pipeline Beers

Our last food stop was in America. We had the lobster roll, lobster claw, and the pumpkin moose. The beer is the Sam Adams brewed yearly for the Food and Wine Festival.

Lobster Sam Adams Pumpkin Mouse

I had to include my favorite view in all of Epcot.

Epcot

This is a view from the bridge leading into France. It is also the spot where J proposed.

What’s your favorite beer?

Whirlwind Weekend

This weekend has been insanely busy but really great. I took Friday off and ran 12 miles, it was my furthest run yet. I did much better fueling than I did on my ten mile run and feel fairly confident that I found something that will work for my Half. This run was around a local park that allowed me to access water fountains so I was able to refill my fuel belt. I needed the extra water and will keep this in mind as my distance increases.

Mileage_by_month

This month might not have been my highest mileage month but I am proud of my progress.

On Saturday and Sunday, I was lucky to be able to attend the Florida Democratic Convention.

Florida_Democratic_Convention

I learned a lot and always enjoy being surrounded by other political junkies. It was held at Disneyworld’s Contemporary Hotel and Conference Center. Parking was limited which forced those not staying at the hotel to park at the transportation center and take the monorail to the hotel. On Saturday, I inadvertently got on the one monorail that only goes to Epcot. I had to get off that monorail and board the next monorail which went back to where I started. Finally, I found the right monorail but I had sadly missed Alan Grayson and the newly founded Florida Progressive Caucus meeting. I need to pay more attention to where I am going. (I was able to find my car after only one loop of the parking lot on Saturday. I think I came out ahead.)

Barnie_is_awesome

{Source}

So minus that one snafu, everything else went smoothly and I feel re-energized to hit the ground running for the upcoming year plus of campaigning.

The Convention was over by the afternoon, so I was able to come back home and practice more with my new camera by chasing my cats around until they do something cute.

Cat in drawer

(Please ignore my laundry on floor. Also, Alia is judging you.)

J went to see Guns N’Roses at the Amway Arena on Friday. He broke out this old t-shirt for it. I wish I could have gone but had to get up so early to go to the convention.

005

Did you have a good weekend?

Early anniversary and The Derby

J decided on Saturday, after my 5K, that he wanted to go to Disney for a last hurrah before finals. The next three weeks are going to be brutal and we won’t see much of each other. Spending the day at Epcot and looking at the flowers, was just perfect. After a nap and some foam rolling, I washed off my many layers of sun block and grime from the race and put on all new layers of sun block.

We went on my favorite ride, The land. J let me pick out a new perfume in Paris as an early anniversary gift.
He also bought me my favorite candy bar of all time in England.

crunchie  

After a few hours of waking around, our stomachs were growling. Of course Easter week-end at Epcot means that you cannot get a seat at any of the sit-down restaurants. We decided to call The Brown Derby, where we had eaten once before, in Hollywood Studios to see if they had any openings. We were in luck
.

04 23 11_0257

J had a Shirley Temple.

04 23 11_0258 
Cheers!
04 23 11_0256

J had a filet.

04 23 11_0261
I had fish.
04 23 11_0262

The best part of the meal was the salads. J had the Cobb salad, which was invented at the Brown Derby.

04 23 11_0260
I had a spinach salad and berry salad.
04 23 11_0259

J took home a piece of cake for dessert. I don’t think we will get entrees here again. For the price, the food is rather bland and they have not changed the menu in years.

I did catch Tail sleeping in the strangest/cutest way before we left for Disney. He likes to sleep on that part of the couch so he can always have eyes on our other cat. Hence the twisted sleeping position. Still cute even if it makes him a stalker. 

04 24 11_0264