2019 Best of Epcot Food & Wine – Vegetarian Style

2019 Best of Epcot Food & Wine – Vegetarian Style

On a recent visit to the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I had a lot of fun scouting out the best vegetarian dishes. Thanks to our annual passes and super cheap flights on Southwest, it’s totally affordable to visit for just a short weekend. My daughter is technically a pescatarian, so I did eat quite a bit of seafood, but I also checked out many of the vegetarian options. Luckily for me, there were more great choices than I could indulge in! One of the things I love about the Food & Wine Festival is how easy Disney makes it to find dishes that fit your eating style. The booklet has little symbols next to every dish that is Gluten Free or Vegetarian. There are THIRTY options at the festival this year with the vegetarian symbol! You’ll also find a little symbol for “kid-friendly” dishes. It’s such a fun way to try lots of different things, and definitely a highlight of the year for foodies! I grabbed my booklet and started my adventure. This year, instead of starting in Mexico or Canada, I noticed there were a number of booths that appeared before the World Showcase. The first one I tried was at Earth Eats. Both of the dishes are vegetarian, although the Impossible Cottage pie contains Almond milk in the topping, so it was off our list (I have a severe tree nut allergy which makes this all a bit more challenging). It was a super humid day so I passed on the Impossible slider and opted for a flight of Kombucha. This was an excellent...
A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

It’s time for another Explore Indiana adventure. This time, I grabbed my son (he’s a great travel partner) and we took off for Hartford City. Hartford City is the largest city in Blackford County. I have to admit, this adventure made me a little nervous as I couldn’t find much on the area online. Would this be my first “fail” in proving there is something to do wherever you are? As we made our way to Blackford, we drove by numerous cornfields and farmhouses. It was an absolutely beautiful day – low 80’s, blue skies and no humidity. I couldn’t ask for better exploring weather. As we tend to do, our first stop was downtown. The courthouse in Hartford City was beautiful in a very different way than most of the ones I’ve recently seen. This one was built in 1893 – 1895. It’s called a Richardsonian Romanesque style. To get a feel for the size, the clock tower is 165 feet – so it definitely towered over the rest of downtown. Sadly, this downtown area was pretty deserted. There weren’t really any shops and only one local restaurant that we could see. Many boarded-up buildings. It’s really too bad as the architecture of the buildings was beautiful – I imagine it was a lovely downtown square at one time. Just a block from the square is a very interesting building that houses the Old Blackford County Jail and a speakeasy. Unfortunately, it was closed the day we visited. Supposedly it’s haunted! If I’m passing back through I’ll make a point to stop if it’s open as it looked...
A Hunt for Covered Bridges

A Hunt for Covered Bridges

Covered bridges in Indiana? If you are from the state, I bet the first place you think of is Parke County. I know I do. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that less than an hour from Indianapolis, Rush County has a long history of covered bridges. Originally there were 23 covered bridges, but today only six remain. As part of my Explore Indiana project, Rush County was on my list of places to visit. With a free afternoon, my 12-year-old son and I took off to see if we could find those remaining six bridges. We found four and had a delightful time looking for them and enjoying Rushville, IN. The first bridge we found is called the Moscow Bridge. It’s located in Moscow, Indiana and was one of two we were able to get out and walk around. It is very nicely preserved and at 334 feet the third longest one in Indiana. It was originally built in 1886 but destroyed by a tornado in 2008. Luckily it was rebuilt in 2010 using as much of the original materials as possible. Our next covered bridge was a bust. Although we followed the directions on Google Maps when we “arrived” there was no bridge to be found. Feeling like a snack was in order, we headed over to the largest city in Rush County, appropriately named Rushville and decided to check out a local favorite, Stagg’s Dairy Treats & Restaurant. This restaurant is exactly the kind of place I enjoy finding in small Midwestern towns. With an affordable and fun menu and delicious ice cream treats, it was...
Bowling and Dinner – Splitsville Style!

Bowling and Dinner – Splitsville Style!

A big thanks to Splitsville for hosting our bowling and dinner! All opinions and pictures are my own. By now, you know I love doing more than just going out to dinner, so bowling and dinner was a great choice! On our latest trip to Disney, we discovered the PERFECT break in the day and way to escape the heat – a visit to Splitsville in Disney Springs. If you’ve ever visited Disney in the summer, it’s hot. I mean REALLY hot. However, for families with kids, sometimes summer is the only option for a Disney vacation. If that’s your situation, taking a break in the afternoon to visit Splitsville will turn an exhausting day into a fantastic memory. For several years now, we’ve walked by Splitsville and talked about how fun it would be to check it out. We even walked in one year and looked around but didn’t take the time to stop and play. What a mistake! Insider tip: We learned from the manager, Don, that Splitsville actually has a few other locations, so even if you aren’t visiting Orlando, you can visit a Splitsville. Current locations include Anaheim, CA, Foxborough, MA, Fredericksburg, VA, Miami, FL and Tampa, FL. Splitsville isn’t just bowling, it’s also great food, live entertainment, and good old-fashioned family fun. On our recent visit, we spent several hours bowling, laughing and enjoying an early dinner. Although you don’t have to bowl to visit Splitsville (you can just enjoy dinner or drinks there), it really is a fun family activity. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be greeted at the front counter...
Why Local Breweries are the Best

Why Local Breweries are the Best

If you’ve followed me for any length of time (especially on Instagram), it’s pretty apparent that I’m a huge fan of local breweries. What’s funny is that aside from sours, I really don’t like beer … So what’s up with that? I’m sharing my top 5 reasons as to why I love local breweries and see if I can’t convince the other non-beer lovers out there to check them out too: The food. In general, I’ve found the food at local breweries to be top-notch. Many of them have the same philosophy with food as they do with beer – keep it local when possible and make it tasty. When the brewery doesn’t have a kitchen, they often offer food trucks, and who doesn’t enjoy a good food truck? The atmosphere. Comfortable seating, friendly bartenders and servers, plenty of board games to play. A few of my favorites even offer outdoor games like cornhole or comfy sofa areas when you just want to enjoy a drink and relax. If you are lucky, they brew the beer on site and you might get a chance to check out the process or learn a bit about their philosophy. The fun. It seems like there is something going on most nights. Trivia, Bingo, Open Mic nights, even craft nights – we’ve enjoyed all of these at several of our local breweries. I’m a fan of not just going out to dinner but doing dinner WITH entertainment. A local brewery will have that covered. The drinks. I’ve only been to one local brewery that didn’t offer something for the non-beer drinker. Many times...
Dinner & a Movie – Small Town Style!

Dinner & a Movie – Small Town Style!

Is a movie and dinner your standard date night? Or a typical weekend outing for the family? We actually only do dinner and a movie a few times a year, but recently we decided to not just complete this common night out, but kick it up a notch by enjoying it in a nearby small town. Since I love old theaters (my current favorite is the Artcraft in Franklin), we decided it was time to introduce the kids to the Diana in Tipton, IN. Tipton is a small town of around 6,000 just 30 minutes north of Indianapolis. The Diana has been showing movies since 1926 and has been family owned the whole time. There is only one theater, but the shows change frequently. Typically the Diana will show one movie for a week or two, with two showings a night at 7 and 9:30. They are all first-run movies. The best way to discover what is playing is to call the theater or check out their Facebook page. We were lucky that Aladdin was showing the night we decided to go. It is a movie I had been wanting to see and although my family doesn’t all love going to the movies, they do all love adventures and since this wasn’t our normal local theater, they were in for the experience. Our goal was to hit the 7:00 show and have dinner before. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten it does take some time to drive up there, so it was a movie first and THEN dinner. Thank goodness the prices at the Diana are amazing. I was able to offer...

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