Eating Around the World at the 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Hey all! Today I want to take a break from writing about my recent trip to Paris and Rome, and share a peek of what I’ve been up to since returning stateside. Blog-wise, it looks like I’ll be in Europe through the end of the year, and I’m in no hurry to stop writing about my favorite place in the world!

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped adventuring around my adopted hometown of Orlando, however! September was a very busy, very exciting month, both in my blogging and in my personal life. It started off with the wedding of a good friend, quickly followed by Dan’s birthday weekend, and finally a visit from my younger brother Jared. September also marked the beginning of two of my favorite seasonal theme park events: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World! Because these events have a limited run, I wanted to jump right in and share them while they are still going strong. First up is the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Continue reading “Eating Around the World at the 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival”

Bavarian Charm in Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth is one of those cities which, despite growing up in Washington, I never visited before moving to the other side of the country. I’ll be honest, in high school I thought Leavenworth was a small town with plenty of cows and not a whole lot of nightlife. One of those blips on the map that we passed by when making the long drive to visit family in Spokane.

How wrong I was. Continue reading “Bavarian Charm in Leavenworth, WA”

A Rainy Day Visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Washington. Family. Bright, gorgeous flowers. A hint of rain. These are a few of my favorite things, and I got to experience all of them at the same time at Washington State’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April. Continue reading “A Rainy Day Visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival”

An Early Morning Hike to Wallace Falls, WA

The chilly mountain air swept over us as the car doors slammed shut, making the hairs on my arms stand on end. I was home. There’s a certain smell that accompanies the woods on an early morning, the sun obscured by towering mountains and dense layers of trees. It always brings me right back to the years spent camping as a kid, eyes shut as I lay in my sleeping bag, taking in the chirping of birds, the hissing of camp sausages, and that fresh, damp air hanging over the campsite. There’s nothing like being in nature, experiencing it rather than reading about it in a textbook, and letting it sweep over you and take you in. Continue reading “An Early Morning Hike to Wallace Falls, WA”

The Best of Both Worlds is in Washington State

In April, I traveled home to see my family in Washington State. It’s a trip I’ve made many times, and I still don’t get bored. I may have grown up there, but the Seattle area feels more like a vacation destination every time I visit. I love hanging out with my family, going shopping with my mom, and just enjoying the downtime and fresh, cool air. Continue reading “The Best of Both Worlds is in Washington State”

All the Small Things: Orlando Edition

I’m wrapping up my Orlando posts for a while, but before I go, I wanted to share a few more details from my little brother’s visit back in September. I’ve already written quite a bit about our visits to Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World, but what about everything in between?

When Jared first booked his flight to Orlando, I asked him what one thing he wanted to do or see, aside from the obvious, “Go to Disney World.” His answer?

“I want to see some gators.” Continue reading “All the Small Things: Orlando Edition”

Around the World in One Afternoon

World Showcase, that is…but more on that later!

One of Jared’s last full days in Orlando was spent at Walt Disney World. I love hosting family members, and it was important to me that he enjoy himself enough to come back in the future. So on our final day of theme park hopping, Jared and I woke and joined the early morning crowd outside the turnstiles of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We planned to tackle the park’s rides and maybe hit a couple of shows, before taking an afternoon rest and exploring Epcot with Dan later that night. Continue reading “Around the World in One Afternoon”

Sharing a Few of my Favorite Things

One of my favorite things about living in Orlando is being able to visit Walt Disney World whenever I want. I know, I know. Orlando is much more than a bunch of theme parks, and there are plenty of people who think Disney parks are for people who can’t handle the real world. But there is just something about strolling along Main Street, cotton candy scent lingering in the air, that makes me feel happy. It’s like I’m on vacation along with everyone else in the park, when in reality, I have to be back at work on Monday. Continue reading “Sharing a Few of my Favorite Things”

Experiencing La Dolce Vita at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Rome. Venice. Florence.

Is there anyone in the world who hasn’t dreamed of visiting Italy? Seeing a country that has so thoroughly influenced the world I know today has been a distant dream of mine for ages. Continue reading “Experiencing La Dolce Vita at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel”

Disney Day, Take Two!

Okay. You can do this.

I repeated it in my head as I got ready for the day ahead.

Water? Check.

Comfortable shoes? Check?

Companions in misery? Check. Check.

I popped yesterday’s enormous blister, shoved my feet back into gym shoes, and steeled myself for the day. Continue reading “Disney Day, Take Two!”