The BEST Table Service Resturant at Each Walt Disney World Park

The BEST Table Service Resturant at Each Walt Disney World Park

When we visit Walt Disney World, we’ve found that the best way to enjoy our time at the park is to pause in the middle of the day for a leisurely table service meal. It gives us a chance to rest and regroup. If it’s hot we can cool off, and we don’t have to worry about anyone getting hangry. We’ve tried almost every restaurant, so here are what we consider the best table service restaurant at each Walt Disney World Park. Insider Tip: Disney often offers FREE dining when you stay on-site. To be alerted of when it’s available, sign up for my Disney Fun Newsletter. Every month you’ll get notice of the BEST deals for your Disney vacation – including when FREE dining is offered. The Magic Kingdom I used to think there wasn’t anything good to eat at the Magic Kingdom, but with a bit of experimenting, I have changed my tune. It started when we took an afternoon break at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant with a fresh salad and wine. Then we discovered we could watch the parade from the patio. Magic Kingdom food started to feel quite a bit better! Last year, however, we discovered one of our favorite overall Disney restaurants and it’s IN the Magic Kingdom. The Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen. The place is a little bit hidden in Adventureland, but it’s quite near the Jungle Cruise and The Swiss Family Robinson. The decor is similar in feel to the old Adventurer’s Club (anyone remember that?), and the staff is well versed in hokey jokes and one-liners. The first time...
Foodies Flock to Fortville

Foodies Flock to Fortville

Why do foodies flock to Fortville? Fortville is a small town east of Indianapolis located in Hancock county. The population is just over 4000 and there is only one main street. However, it’s fast becoming a foodie destination for the surrounding counties. What a great place to add to my Explore Indiana adventures! With half a dozen delicious restaurants in downtown Fortville, there is a yummy meal perfect for any tastebuds. We’ve recently had the opportunity to check out three of them. Interested in Italian Food? Cortona’s Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar – Since Italian food is my daughter’s favorite, it was a no brainer for the two of us to check our Cortona’s on a recent lunch date. We arrived at an odd time (3:oo PM) for lunch, but the server warmly greeted us and seated us at a comfortable table for two. I have to admit I was a little leery of this one as the Yelp reviews weren’t as high as I normally like, but in the interest of this blog post, we went for it. Luckily, we LOVED the food. The menu was full of typical Italian dishes but with a creative twist. For example, I enjoyed the Ravioli di Simone & Beth which was butternut squash ravioli with arugula, prosciutto (on the side for me) in a Madera cream sauce. Serious yum. My daughter opted for the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio. The dish was full of fresh clams, mussels, calamari, and shrimp and sauteed in a white wine garlic sauce. It was light and flavorful. We split an order of Tiramisu for dessert. The service...
Fall 2019 Book Reviews

Fall 2019 Book Reviews

Just in time for holiday shopping, I’m sharing book reviews for my favorite books from the last few months. If you are looking for a great book for someone on your shopping list, I hope one of these will be perfect! I’ve actually read a LOT of great books since my Summer Book Review post, but here are my favorites. Non-Fiction Book Review I actually didn’t read a lot of non-fiction this month, but I did receive a free copy of Shaken Dreams from one of my blogging friends and really found it fascinating. Holly shares her journey of moving from a loving wife to a full-time caretaker for her husband. It’s an eye-opening look into what life is like for someone living with a family member with a challenging and debilitating disease. If you or someone you love is in this position, I think this would be a wonderful read – it’s always helpful to get advice and know you aren’t the only one experiencing these challenges and feelings. Fiction Book Reviews Oh my goodness. The Night Olivia Fell was disturbing but captivating. I wanted so badly for Olivia to be okay throughout the book (as did her mother), but that wasn’t to be. What does happen is an engaging reconstruction of how and why she fell. Was it an accident? Or was it a crime? Two Can Keep a Secret was another terrific page-turner. I had thoroughly enjoyed One of Us is Lying so I was quite excited to read another one Karen McManus book. Enter a small town, a years-old murder, and a missing girl and...
Help Planning Your Next Disney Vacation

Help Planning Your Next Disney Vacation

When I was a little girl, my dream job was becoming a travel agent (or librarian, but that’s another blog post …). I would research and plan vacations for my family and future me. For fun. We even went on some of them. Fast forward many years and I decided this was the year to actually fulfill that dream. Since traveling to Disney is one of my sweet spots, I decided to become a Magical Vacation Planner. It made perfect sense to start with an area I know really well and let’s face it, I was already planning trips, so why not make it official? Now I get to help other families plan their perfect Disney vacation! It is so much fun. And since we’ve been to Disney so many times I have TONS of insider tips and secrets to share. Insider Tip: I know all the best restaurants, easiest ways to get around the parks and some fun things to do aside from the typical rides. So how can I help YOU plan the perfect Disney trip? If you are thinking about Disney, head over to my Magical Vacation Planner website (click HERE) and let me know – I’ll work with you one-on-one to help you make it fantastic. There is NO additional cost to you, and you get the benefit of someone who knows Disney well. It’s a win-win for both of us! I get the fun of planning more trips and you get the benefit of having an expert make your trip planning easier and efficient. Insider Tip: Other trips I can help you with include...
My totally honest review of EveryPlate

My totally honest review of EveryPlate

Eating dinner together as a family most nights is very important to me. However, with two teens in the house (both involved in sports), a full-time job AND my blog, time is at a premium. Most weeks I do a great job of planning out meals, hitting the grocery (or using Shipt) and making a healthy, tasty dinner. Then there are the other weeks … You know, the weeks where there is something going on every night, where the weekend was so packed you couldn’t get to the grocery or even get your online order placed, even the weeks where you just don’t feel like menu planning. Those are the weeks I depend upon EveryPlate. EveryPlate isn’t the first home delivery service I’ve tried. I’ve also given Hello Fresh and Blue Plate a try, but I couldn’t stomach the prices and I found myself forgetting to cancel a week and therefore ending up with meals I didn’t really want or need. Pros of EveryPlate EveryPlate is really affordable. I have a family of four, but I use the 2-3 serving meal plan and it’s currently only $38.93 per week (including shipping). That gives me 3 meals and since my daughter doesn’t eat meat I’ve found by adding a salad, a piece of fish or veggie burger for her, or just adding extra rice or pasta to the meal we have more than enough. To be fair, none of us are big eaters, but you could certainly start with the smaller plan like we did and move up if needed. The food is delivered fresh and nicely packaged. I really...
Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Visiting Marengo Cave is a perfect way to spend a cold Indiana day. Not only is it Indiana’s most visited natural attraction, but it’s also a U.S. National Natural Landmark. Located in Crawford County in Southern Indiana, it’s a bit of a drive from Indianapolis, but definitely worth the time, even just for a day. As the latest installment of my Explore Indiana project, it was a fun and unique experience! One of my favorite parts of visiting caves is that they are weather resistant. The cave stays at 52 degrees year-round. A hot summer day? Why not visit a cave? Too cold to be outside in the winter? A caving trip is a fun activity. The day I visited, it was pouring down rain. Although that did limit my photography options, it didn’t limit my fun in checking out the underground cave system. We started the day with a dash to the gift shop and to get acclimated to the location. The gift shop is extensive with plenty of options guaranteed to get your kids asking for souvenirs. There is also a small concession area next to it with tables and machines for sodas and snacks. We packed a lunch so food wasn’t an issue. After this short detour, it was on to the main event. There are two standard cave tours: Crystal Palace and the Dripstone Trail. You can do one or both. The Crystal Palace tour is about 40 minutes and the Dripstone Trail is an hour so it would be very possible to enjoy both in an afternoon. Insider Tip: The combined cave tour ticket...
The BEST Gifts for Every Traveler on Your List

The BEST Gifts for Every Traveler on Your List

It’s that time of the year. The time when we start racking our brains to figure out what in the heck we should get for all our loved ones. I thought I’d start early this year and scout out the BEST gift ideas for every traveler (and non-traveler) on your list. For the Gals: Travel Yoga Mat – I’ve mentioned this one several times but it’s just that awesome! This is such a great thing to take on vacations even if you aren’t a big-time yogi. I use mine for morning Pilates and just general stretching. It’s lightweight, pretty and cleans easily. A membership to The Sisterhood. This pilates program is the one I enjoy every morning. I use the ap on my phone and each morning I get a new workout (10 to 30 minutes). It’s perfect for at home or when I’m traveling. I really can’t recommend it enough if you are looking for a low impact daily workout that can be done from anywhere. Even if I just head out for a quick overnight, I ALWAYS pack my travel diffuser and a few oils. Diffusing lavender or thieves in my room makes such a difference in how well I rest. I get rid of that stuffy smell and feel and it’s just such a simple way to improve my stay. As a bonus, these small diffusers are super affordable. A lovely gift would be one of these along with a bottle of essential oils. Speaking of heading out overnight, the Vera Bradley Grand Weekender is the bag I always use. It’s perfect for a quick weekend...
Everyday Adventure Essentials

Everyday Adventure Essentials

Are you ready for everyday adventures? Do you have everyday adventure essentials already packed and in your car? Or if you were to be out running around and discovered something fun or interesting to do would you have to “wait until later” when you are better prepared? Or have to purchase something to participate? Don’t let that ever happen to you again! With this simple Everyday Adventure Essentials list, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. Print out the .pdf and then spend 20 minutes creating your own bag for the car. You probably already have most of these items around the house. I guarantee that someday in the future you’ll be so glad you were prepared! I use a simple tote as my bag and find it fits well in the back of the van, and also can be easily grabbed and transferred to the Jeep if we decide to drive it for the day. The bag I use is no longer available, but here are some terrific options: All Year Round I always have the following in the bag: A deck of cards, Uno, six dice, a notepad, and a pen. These come in handy when visiting a winery, brewery or local restaurant. It’s a fun way to pass the time and keep everyone involved and off their phones.Bug spray and sunblock. Regardless of the time of the year, these two items come in super handy. A growler and a half-growler. Just in case we find a beer or even rootbeer on tap that we love!An outdoor blanket. Perfect for picnics in the summer and wrapping...
A Perfect Non-Park Day at Disney

A Perfect Non-Park Day at Disney

Although I’m a huge fan of the Disney Parks, sometimes I want (or need) a non-park day. Ready to learn how to enjoy the PERFECT non-park day? Then read on … It’s a non-park day, so you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn (unless of course, you want to). When I’m traveling with the family, I do like to get up about an hour before them (usually about 7:00) so that I can slowly get ready, do a short pilates routine (using my all-time favorite program – The Sisterhood and my travel yoga mat), and then have some time to enjoy a cup of coffee and a book on the balcony. Heaven. After such a leisurely start, I’ll put breakfast together for the family while they get ready. Since we’ll be eating out much of the day, it saves money to eat breakfast in the room – and we are all fine with not hitting a restaurant in the morning. If we just have a studio, breakfast will be something simple like fresh fruit and peanut butter toast, bagels or some type of breakfast bar. If we are staying in a one-bedroom, I might do eggs and hashbrowns – depends upon our mood. Insider Tip: Don’t have a car? You can easily get groceries delivered to your hotel using Shipt. We used it on our recent trip and within an hour and a half of ordering had everything we needed delivered right to the front door. And, if you won’t be in the room, the groceries can be left with the bell desk. All orders...
More than Food at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival

More than Food at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival

Although we LOVE trying all the different foods when we visit Epcot, I also love that there is so much more than food at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. After making your way around the World Showcase and checking out the various food booths, be sure to take some time to do some of the other fun festival activities. Enjoy live music. The concerts at Epcot are so much fun! They are located at the American Pavilion. Every few nights there is a different artist and they put on three nightly shows – each one lasting about 30 minutes. Seating is limited, but even if you don’t get a seat, you can still enjoy the music by standing along the sides or just outside the amphitheater. We’ve seen Rick Springfield, 38 Special and many other great shows. Grab a margarita at nearby Italy or Mexico and enjoy some live music! Insider Tip: If you want to be sure to have a seat, you can book an Eat to the Beat Dining Package. You can book a meal at one of 14 restaurants in Epcot and you’ll have a guaranteed seat on the same day. It is a little pricey but includes a full meal, so if you want to eat at one of the selected restaurants anyway might be a perfect solution. Details can be found HERE. Play with your food. A fun and affordable event occurs in the Land Pavilion every day at 3:30 and 5:30. For only $10 per person, you can learn to make candy sushi. Kids especially love this one – it holds their...

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