Review: Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival | 2019

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Springtime is here y’all! The sun is out, the weather is warming up, flowers are a-bloomin’…

Well, at least, that’s true for Florida. Ontario hasn’t gotten the memo yet apparently.

I haven’t visited Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival in 3 years. For me, that’s a long time! Considering I’m at the parks several times a year. It just so happened that I didn’t really have an opportunity to go. In the past, I would visit the Festival during March Break in high school or I would visit during the Cheerleading Worlds, like I did once when my boyfriend’s brother competed. But once I got to uni, I no longer had a March Break and school went to May. In first year, we visited New York City as our spring trip and then last year, we just stayed home until our summer trip to Orlando in June. But this year, we specifically planned a trip around the Festival because truth be told, we all missed it a lot! If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend it. It’s absolutely the loveliest.

While at the Festival this year, we tried quite a few treats. If you’ve ever been to an Epcot festival before, you’ll know how they set up numerous booths around the World Showcase which feature delectable treats from different countries around the globe. It’s a really great way to try some new food and experience the cultures of other nations. I’ve done multiple posts on the International Food and Wine Festival which I visit every year, including last year. So I thought I would review what I tried for the Flower and Garden Festival as well!

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Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade

I feel like it’s absolutely necessary that I start off this post with perhaps the most beloved of all the Flower and Garden treats - the violet lemonade. To this point, I had never tried the violet lemonade. The last time I visited the festival, the lemonade was either not offered or just wasn’t as popular as it is now. Obviously, it’s grown massively in popularity over the years, as this year they even had merchandise devoted to this sweet drink! So I figured I had to give it a try. I love lemonade and this was absolutely no exception. I was genuinely obsessed with this!! It was really refreshing and tasty, although it is quite sweet so if you’re not into sweet drinks this may not be for you! I had this on two separate occasions because I loved it so much. Also, it was quite lovely that they tell you where the flower on top of your drink came from!

You can find this at the Pineapple Promenade booth near the Refreshment Port!

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Watermelon Cucumber Slushy

Staying on the topic of drinks, my boyfriend and I shared one of these bad boys. I was actually quite nervous to try this! I’m not an adventurous person at all when it comes to food or drinks, and the idea of cucumber in a drink seemed like it wouldn’t really be my sort of thing. But I made it my goal to try new things on this trip! And I ended up loving this slushy! And so did my boyfriend, for that matter. The cucumber wasn’t overpowering at all and the bit of it that you could taste was really lovely and refreshing. I always love a good watermelon juice as well, so that part of it was definitely down my alley. I’m already trying to figure out how to make this on my own at home!

You can find this at the Florida Fresh booth between the France and Morocco pavilions!

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Beef Tenderloin Tips

One of our first stops on our first trip to the Festival this year was Canada. I’ve recently learned that it’s actually “proper” or whatever to follow the World Showcase by doing Mexico first and ending in Canada, but we’ve always done the opposite! I think that it’s because we’re Canadian, we are automatically drawn to our own pavilion. My boyfriend wanted to try the Beef Tenderloin Tips from the booth so we ended up sharing a plate and it was so delicious!! It felt sort of reminiscent of the Wild Mushroom Filet that is served during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival during the fall, except this one didn’t have the creamy gravy/sauce on top. It was really tender and cooked well (which is a blessing as I can’t eat any meat that isn’t cooked well). And the mashed potatoes underneath were wonderful!

You can find this at the Northern Bloom booth at the Canada pavilion!

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Tri-Coloured Tortellini

First off, please take in how the pasta is literally almost falling out of the bowl smh. This is what happens when you try to take creative photos in ridiculous Florida heat and get a little dizzy. Let this be a cautionary tale lol. I’ve only recently gotten into tortellini as picky eater me thought it was weird. And even with dipping my toe in the tortellini world, I refused to eat multi-coloured tortellinis because I’m weird. However, we’re trying new things right?! So I tried this tri-coloured cheese tortellini and LOVED it. Like honestly this might have been my favourite dish at the festival. The sauce was a chicken veloute with sage butter which was really light and lovely, but oh-so-tasty. I’m already searching up how to cook this one at home, too!

You can find this at the Primavera Kitchen booth at the Italy pavilion!

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Toasted Pretzel Bread

Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely adore pretzel bread. I love bread as it is, but pretzel bread is even better. Soft pretzels just rock, don’t they? So when I saw that Germany was offering some sort of pretzel bread sandwich, I was all in. This pretzel bread was sort of in the shape of a roll and toasted with black forest ham and melted gruyere cheese. It was so melty and savoury and delicious! It sort of reminds me of the Croissant Jambon Fromage at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France pavilion - which is ham, cheese and bechamel in a croissant. It was really well done and I think it would be an excellent treat for if you wanted something more sustaining to get you through a long park day, as opposed to the sweeter options around the Festival!

You can find this at the Bauernmarkt at the Germany pavilion!

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Grilled Street Corn on the Cob

This was more so something that my boyfriend wanted to sample, and that I decided to try and ending up really enjoying! This corn on the cob is coated in a savoury garlic spread, which makes it absolutely so delicious that I can’t even put it into words. The corn itself was also very sweet which made it a really interesting mix of flavours - in the best way! I was sort of skeptical about just chomping down on a corn on the cob in the middle of a theme park but it was really tasty and I liked that they provided you with an aluminum foil covering at the bottom so you could hold the corn without touching it with your bare hands! Regardless, this was a super messy treat. The garlic spread got all over our faces lol so I would definitely recommend having plenty of napkins on hand if you decide to try this!

You can find this at the Trowel and Trellis booth near the Mexico pavilion!

Frushi

Lastly, we tried the famous Frushi. I’ve seen a ton of Instagrammers snacking on Frushi over the years at the Flower and Garden Festival, so I just had to know what was so great about it. I have NEVER eaten sushi before, in my life. I don’t even think I’ve seen anyone eat sushi in front of me before, unless maybe my dad did once upon a time. I’m not a seafood-eater at all so sushi isn’t in the cards for me. But fruit sushi is! Frushi is comprised of fresh pineapple, strawberry and melon rolled with raspberry coconut rice and sprinkled with toasted coconut, accompanied by whipped cream on the side (with some sort of raspberry sauce on it I think). I had no idea how to go about eating this lol my dad had to tell me to eat it in one bite which is hilarious because I only ever eat things in small bites. But it was good! I don’t know that I loved it, but it was refreshing and the fruit was so so tasty! I think the only thing that put me off might have been the raspberry coconut rice. But I’d try it again in the future!

You can find the frushi at the Hanami booth at the Japan pavilion!

♥ ♥ ♥

And that’s a close on my 2019 Flower and Garden Festival adventures! It was so lovely to be back at this beautiful festival, enjoying the wonderful treats and sights. I love how they integrate flowers in their sweets and how they keep everything fresh and themed to the season. We tried sooo many things this year but there were still so many things I wish I had time to sample! If you tried anything that I didn’t feature in this post, let me know what it was and what you thought of it!

Felicia x

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A Charming Day in Niagara-on-the-Lake

I fully believe that Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the dreamiest places in Ontario.

I adore this little town. Situated just a bit away from Niagara Falls, it’s like stepping back in time into a quaint 19th century town with all the boutiques and cafes your little heart could ever desire. I wish that I could spend every day walking along these beautiful streets with their little shuttered windows and beautiful brick buildings.

Steven and I recently had a week off from uni for midterms so we decided to take a day trip out to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Fortunately, despite it being the dead of winter in Canada, the sun came out, the weather was tolerable, and we had a positively lovely day! Since it’s one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever seen, I took tons of photos and thought I’d share them all on the blog today!

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We only visited Queen Street rather than exploring some of the historic areas throughout town, so we spent our day just popping in and out of the little shops that dot the street. There are a ton of local businesses along Queen St which I’ve come to appreciate even more since moving to a small town that’s reliant on their local shops.

One of the shops that isn’t a local business, however, is the Cows Creamery which is an ice cream shop. It’s actually a chain of parlours from Prince Edward Island that has somehow made it out to Niagara-on-the-Lake (and according to their website, Beijing too!) I love the ice cream there however it was far too cold for a scoop so instead we decided to check out their merchandise. It’s all hilariously cute, as most of it is cow-related pop culture puns. It sounds so hideously tacky (which it is) but I swear it’s funny! They actually had a line of pun-free crewnecks that were really nice and subtle, so I bought a large grey one that I intend on living in from now on lol.

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Every time I visit Queen St, I’m in complete awe of this building. You know me, I’m a history lovin’ gal. The Old Court House is from the mid-19th century and it’s a wonderful addition to this main street. I adore.

Walking down the streets and taking in all the sights was really the most fun ever. It was also really lovely to just spend a day alone with Steven, just chatting and enjoying the sun. Vehicle traffic on Queen St isn’t so crazy so it makes for a very quiet, stress-free stroll. They also have horse-drawn carriages that come down the road quite often which is beautiful. I love horses so much and every time they pass, I make Steven stop in the middle of the sidewalk so we can watch them pass!

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It’s simply not a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake unless I visit Just Christmas. In fact, one of the reasons we went down there was to go to Just Christmas. Established in 1985, it’s known as Canada’s oldest year-long Christmas emporium. This store is MASSIVE. It seems like it goes on forever, up and down stairs, around corners, into little loft areas. For a Christmas fanatic (like myself), it’s a dream come true.

Just Christmas is a crucial part of my family’s Christmas traditions. Each member of my family has their own personalized red ornament ball that we put on the tree every year. It’s something that’s been a tradition for my family since before I was even born. Although my boyfriend has one (he got one within the first couple years of us dating), we realized just last Christmas that our dog doesn’t have one! Yes, we’re that crazy dog family that needs an ornament for our pet… So Steven and I went to get one for her haha.

We also bought a very cute marshmallow snowman ornament for our mini bedroom tree and a Jon Snow ornament for our main tree because he’s a cutie and it was only $3 lol.

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I’d always heard about the Prince of Wales Hotel growing up and I’ve seen it from afar but for whatever reason, I’ve never gone to see it up close. So this time, I insisted we went down that road and I’m so glad we did! The hotel was established in 1864 under a different name, being renamed the Prince of Wales after the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) came to visit in 1901. It’s positively huge, not to mention beautiful. My little history heart just couldn’t take all the historic importance and the 19th century architecture. As we explored the exterior (I doubt we have enough money to go inside the building), I just kept saying “oh my GOD” really loudly and dramatically which gained me lots of looks from posh elderly patrons of the hotel and restaurant.

Also, it’s apparently extremely haunted. There’s a whole tale about an American soldier going into a wooden house which once stood in the spot of the hotel during the War of 1812. He allegedly mistook a woman looking out the window for an enemy British soldier and pierced her with the end of his bayonet. Not a great time. There’s even a Trip Advisor review that’s titled: “Great. But totally haunted.”

I won’t be staying there any time soon.

That being said, if the prospect of American phantom-soldiers intrigues you, Niagara-on-the-Lake is the place for you. The whole place is apparently spooky (i.e. haunted) as hell. Most old towns are considered haunted, especially ones that were ridden with war deaths. They even do walking ghost tours which I may gather the nerve to do one day lol.

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By the end of our day on Queen St, I was starved and Steven lured me into Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop… Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that much of a struggle to get me in there. I had been there before for gelato with my godmother years earlier, but hadn’t ever tried anything from the cafe menu. Immediately after seeing they made crepes, I was hooked. Steven had shockingly never had a crepe before!! How have we been together 5 1/2 years and he’s never had a crepe? Luckily, I fixed that. I ordered us a Chocolate Hazelnut Banana crepe which is essentially nutella and sliced bananas. It was heavenly! Massive, too. If you happen upon Nina’s one day, keep in mind that the crepes can easily be shared between two (or more) people. But they’re extremely delish.

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Finally, we reached the end of our trip - sad. I should mention though that the parking on Queen St is… interesting. It’s primarily street parking which means the dreaded parallel park. Aka I made Steven drive and park there lol. There is limited parking behind some of the shops but those are the first spots that are gone. For parking on the street, you have to pay a parking meter - $3 an hour. We stayed an hour and a half so we paid $6 for two full hours as there’s no half-hour options, which was fine. But it wouldn’t accept our credit card! We tried both of our credit cards, our debit cards, and nothing. So we had to use change which we didn’t have so Steven had to go into a bakery to break a twenty while I waited by the car and prayed a cop didn’t come by to give us a ticket. It took a longgg time. So keep that in mind! Bring change!

We actually parked right in front of Starbucks which was fabulous as it meant I could easily pop in and grab a caramel macchiato before hoping in the car for the long drive home. Let me just say that this is the cutest Starbucks I’ve ever seen! Whenever I go inside, I talk about how badly I want to live in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s a very small, cozy cafe located in an old white building with beautiful green shutters and a green door. The barista who took my order was so friendly and nice. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

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And here’s my outfit that I wore to Niagara-on-the-Lake! Would it be a day out if I didn’t take a snap of my outfit, really?

Beret - Joe Fresh
Jacket - Forever 21
Sweater - Gap
Jeans - Garage (I only ever wear Garage High Rise Roller Jeggings, they’re so flattering and comfy!)
Ankle Boots - Madden Girl by Steve Madden

Have you ever been to Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Felicia x

Christmas 2018 Travel Diary: A Practically Perfect Day

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Hello friends!

Today I’m talking about one of my favourite days of the trip, and that is the day that we saw Mary Poppins Returns!! I’ve been dying to see this film ever since I heard it was being made and it’s been absolute agony waiting so long to see it. But finally, the day came along (thank god).

We went down to Disney Springs to see Mary Poppins Returns at the AMC Dine-In Theatre. The Dine-In Theatre is my absolute fave way to see films, as you get super comfy reclining seats and you can order dinner, desserts and/or sweets, which you can put on the table in front of you. Sooo comfortable and relaxing. If you live in the Orlando area or you’ve got a couple extra days on your next Disney vacation, I’d highly recommend seeing a film there!! For the film, I ordered the chicken quesadillas which were the HARDEST thing to eat in the dark lmao did not think that one through. But it did come with tortilla chips which were nice to snack on!

As for Mary Poppins Returns, I loved it!!! It was so visually beautiful and really reminiscent of the old Disney films. I thought Emily Blunt was a fabulous Mary Poppins, although she was no Julie Andrews obviously but I didn’t go into it expecting her to be which helped!! And, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda, my love, my light, was fantastic!!! The choreography and music was absolutely phenomenal, and the whole thing warmed my heart entirely!

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After the movie, the fun wasn’t over!! We headed right on over to the Marketplace on the opposite side of Disney Springs to walk the Christmas Tree Trail! This is one of our Christmas traditions that we absolutely had to fit in before leaving Orlando. Before we headed into the trail, I had to stop at Starbucks and grab a Peppermint Mocha Frappucino to really get into the festive spirit (duh).

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We’ve been walking the tree trail ever since it was created three years ago and it’s honestly grown so much since the very first year. There are dozens of beautiful trees themed to different Disney films. Of course, I won’t overfill my post with pictures of the trees but I have included some of my favourites, including the gorgeous Haunted Mansion tree they added this year!! In the trail, they had a stand where you could buy cotton candy that tastes like candy cane or gingerbread which is crazy, and they also had the beloved Disney snoap and Christmas tunes throughout!! Soooo much fun.

I’d absolutely recommend checking out the Christmas Tree Trail on your next Christmas vacation - it is so much fun!!

Felicia x

Christmas 2018 Travel Diary: Bright Lights in Hollywoodland

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Welcome back!! Today’s post is going to be pretty long and very photo heavy, so get cozy!

There’s something so aesthetically pleasing to me about Hollywood Studios. Although it may not be my favourite park, I can definitely appreciate the overall theming of the park, especially the front entrance. I could stand on Hollywood Boulevard for hours and just take a million pictures to be honest. So for me, half the fun of visiting Hollywood Studios during the holidays is capturing every inch of beautiful decor throughout the park!

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We happened to accidentally time our arrival at the park perfectly with the March of the First Order (this was partially due to the fact that my Magicband, as usual, refused to cooperate at park entry and we spent about 10 minutes sorting that out lol). It was pretty cool as we got to stand right at the start of Hollywood Boulevard and get a great view of Captain Phasma leading the Stormtroopers down the street towards the stage!!

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My dad had a Fastpass right off the bat for Tower of Terror which is something I absolutely do not ride haha so while he did that, the remainder of our group spent some time checking out the shops and, of course, taking more pictures of the park duh. I’m just in complete awe of how beautiful this park is you guys!!!

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I think that the holiday decor additions that they’ve made at Hollywood Studios in the past few years have been really great! Especially around Echo Lake. The tree in the middle of the lake, the floating ornaments, and Gertie’s adorable Santa hat really add a special something to the park!! We also got in our first viewing of the Sunset Seasons Greetings show on Sunset Boulevard, which premiered only last year. We wanted to see it last year but ended up missing it because the weather was absolutely rotten lol. Fortunately, this year was much, much warmer! Sunset Seasons Greetings is a projection show off of Tower of Terror. It’s pretty short but super cute and runs intermittently throughout the night.

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One of the things I was most excited for at Hollywood Studios was the holiday additions to the new Toy Story Land!! As you probably know already, Toy Story Land opened this past summer (which you can read about here). When I heard there was going to be a Christmas overlay to the area, I was soo excited to see what they were going to cook up. Although we only got to ride Toy Story Mania, which is the only ride without any special additions (lol), we did get to see all the extremely cute decorations - JUST LOOK AT REX’S ANTLERS AWEE!!! They also added a Christmas themed soundtrack to the Aliens Swirling Saucers ride and a cute little jingle noise to the Slinky Dog Dash as it rolls by which I thought was an extremely adorable effect.

Lastly, we stayed in the park to see Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, which is the nightly holiday fireworks show. It was a really cute show, but I couldn’t get any pictures as you have to be extremely close to the Chinese Theatre to see the full effect of the fireworks, which we were not. Regardless, it was a fun time! I was a bit annoyed though because I had my heart set on having a coffee during the show but Starbucks was closed!! Apparently Starbucks closed along with the park at 8pm and the show wasn’t until 8:30pm… No clue why they would close the park half an hour before the fireworks lol but it was pretty disappointing!!

All in all, it was a super fun day at Hollywood Studios! Check back in soon for my next post of the trip! :)

Felicia x

Christmas 2018 Travel Diary: Travelling the World Showcase

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By now, I’m sure you guys know how much I love Epcot. If not, here’s the gist: I love Epcot with my whole heart, I want to live there forever, there’s no greater sight than that beautiful ball lit up at night. Got it? Cool.

Last year, due to my anxiety, I wasn’t able to make it to Epcot (cue tears) but thankfully this year I’m feeling better than ever which meant is was Epcot time for me!!!

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We were extremely lucky as we managed to get fairly last minute reservations at Les Chefs de France, my fav restaurant in Epcot (maybe even in all of Walt Disney World??). So as soon as we walked through the park gates, we hightailed it on over to the restaurant and we were very quickly seated. Obviously, I ordered the Boeuf Bourguignon which is the tastiest meal. And I even got to see my fav waiter who served my boyfriend and I when we went in August!! If you’re ever dining at Les Chefs de France and you’re served by Kevin, you’re in for a treat - he’s the sweetest EVER.

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After dinner, we went on one of my fav rides, Frozen Ever After, and then took a stroll around the World Showcase to see all the beautiful holiday decorations. Epcot is so interesting during the Festival of the Holidays, their special holiday celebration where each country pavilion showcases their own cultural way of celebrating! Each pavilion is decorated so beautifully for the season, it’s such a sight to take in! I highly recommend strolling around and peeking into every pavilion - you won’t regret it.

After we walked the entire pavilion, we - of course - went to Mouse Gears, one of the best Disney shops. And then grabbed a Starbucks for the journey home. I actually managed to grab a Peppermint Mocha Frappucino, which I’d never had before but I’ve tried when my boyfriend has ordered. I LOVED it. So festive and delicious! I wish the holidays weren’t over so I could have another haha.

See you in a couple days for the next day of my travel diary!

Felicia x

Travel Diary: Disney World August 2018

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Hello, everyone! Been awhile, huh? Sorry to have disappeared. If you've been following my Instagram stories, you probably saw that I mentioned I'd be taking a bit of a hiatus from the blog as I was on a week-long staycation at Walt Disney World. Crazy stuff, right!!

When I used to visit Walt Disney World as a kid, my family would always stay on-property. But when we bought our vacation home back in 2012, we didn't really have the need for staying in a resort anymore - that's what our vacation home was for, after all! But last year, all of that changed when my parents surprised me with a 2-night stay at Port Orleans French Quarter with my boyfriend as an early birthday gift. Needless to say, I caught the bug and we found ourselves back on-property this year! Today I thought I'd give you guys a bit of a run-down on what we got up to on our Disney trip this year...

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port orleans french quarter

port orleans french quarter

port orleans french quarter

THE RESORT

We stayed, once again, at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort. I've stayed at the French Quarter four times now and will keep coming back without a doubt. I absolutely love it. It's my favourite moderate-level resort by far. I love how small it is, how no matter where your room is located the lobby & restaurant are only a few steps away. The style of the resort is also amazing - the historic French Quarter style with cobblestone walkways, Mardi Gras decorations, and beautiful bursting colours is so pretty. And they even have horse-drawn carriages! How cute is that?! 

We stayed in two different rooms during our stay, because we extended our trip after we arrived and our first room wasn't available the entire length of our trip. But we were lucky enough to have both rooms in the 6th building, with a view of the man-made Sassagoula River. Although the rooms don't have balconies, the sights from the windows were GORGEOUS. I'd totally recommend trying to get a riverview room on your stay. It's not guaranteed you'll get one, but hey, it doesn't hurt to ask!

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grand floridian

eggs benedict at grand floridian cafe

eggs benedict at grand floridian cafe

THE FOOD

Because we were staying on-property, we took advantage of the restaurants that are available within Walt Disney World - safe to say we were by no means restricted! There are dozens (maybe hundreds?) of restaurants of all types around the World for you to try. We ate a few times at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, which is the quick-service on French Quarter property. I actually really enjoyed it! They had quite a different menu than typical quick-services because some of it was Cajun inspired and it was delicious (try the beignets!! you won't regret it).

We also tried out for the first time the Mobile Ordering at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs. It was super efficient and so easy to use! All we had to do was place our order on the app beforehand, click a button to let them know we'd arrived, and grab a buzzer at the restaurant to place on our table. We took a seat on the back patio, listened to some live music while we waited, and within minutes, someone was bringing our food over! Sure beats waiting in the massive line to order and wait for food to be made. I'll definitely be using that feature again and I highly recommend trying it! 

And, of course, no trip to Disney would be complete without brunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe! If you know anything about me, you know how much I adore the Grand Floridian resort. I've decided I won't stay there until my wedding (dramatic af, I know) so I've got to get my fix somehow. And that's by having the delicious brunch at the Cafe. I always order the traditional eggs benedict and it's wonderful! 

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disney springs

MEMORIES

This trip was extremely special for me as we were there to celebrate my twentieth birthday! We spent the evening of my bday at the Magic Kingdom, where we did the Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party. I did the Party last year for the first time with my bf and it was such an incredible experience that we decided to do it again for my bday. The Dessert Party is so much fun - there are a ton of sweets and goodies to try and best of all, you get prime viewing for the fireworks. We had a space of the hub grass to ourselves to just sit down, spread out, and relax while we waited for the fireworks - and even got to stay seated during the show. I'm spoiled forever and now standing during the show like a sardine in the crowds will never be the same!

Birthday outfit -- Top:  GREYLITTLEARROWS on ETSY ; SKIRT:  similiar - forever 21 ; EARS:  SHOPDISNEY

Birthday outfit -- Top: GREYLITTLEARROWS on ETSY; SKIRT: similiar - forever 21; EARS: SHOPDISNEY

Easily one of my favourite moments of the trip, however, was my date night with my boyfriend. The two of us went over to Epcot, as we had a dinner reservation at Les Chefs de France. If you've ever been to Epcot, you've probably walked right past this place. It's that beautiful brasserie at the edge of the France pavilion, with the expansive windows and glistening rooftop. We both ordered the boeuf bourguignon and it was TO DIE FOR!! I've tried this dish before at the International Food and Wine Festival but it was even better in the restaurant. We had a delicious meal with an incredible server (shoutout to Kevin!) and then ended our perfectly romantic evening off with a stroll around the park beneath the sunset! 

yummmm

yummmm

boeuf bourguignon at les chefs de france

boeuf bourguignon at les chefs de france

Sunset over world showcase

Sunset over world showcase

On our first trip to Port Orleans as a couple last year, my bf and I decided to do a little resort hopping to see what the other resorts had to offer. When else will you get the chance to do it? This time, we brought along my parents to join us! We checked out Port Orleans Riverside and my personal fav, Old Key West. Riverside was so so beautiful and I thought it was quite cool how they had two different areas (my bf loved the Alligator Bayou area) but honestly it was too big for me and I can't see myself choosing it over my one true love, French Quarter! Old Key West, on the other hand, is a dream stay of mine. I def want to stay there someday (next summer perhaps?) and think it's just the greatest. I've always had a soft spot for Key West, FL and I think this resort really nails it. 

port orleans riverside

port orleans riverside

Old Key West

Old Key West

And just like that, I'm back to regular life! I can't believe how quickly a week in the parks went by... What will I do without my Must-Do Disney with Stacey?! The post-Disney depression is settling in. But luckily, now I get to look forward to next year's trip! Is a year in advance too early for starting to plan a Disney trip?? Asking for a friend...

port orleans french quarter

port orleans french quarter

Talk to you all very soon! x

Felicia 

What's In My Carry-On Bag?

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Raise your hand if you're a chronic over-packer (*raises hand*). It has taken me nearly twenty years to actually be able to figure out what should and shouldn't go into my carry-on. Over the years I've constantly found myself packing way too much or, on the flip side, not packing everything I need and forgetting important things. So I always make myself a check-list to follow beforehand of what I need to remember to pack. And I thought that this time, as I'm packing my carry-on for my airplane journey this week, I'd share it all with you to help you with your own future packing! 

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Essentials. This basically consists of all the things I absolutely need in order to travel. My passport, boarding pass, Nexus card, and any documents relating to where I'm staying, like booking confirmation. I keep all of it tucked away in my Spartina snap wallet [similar - x] so that nothing gets misplaced and I don't have to go rummaging through my bag looking for things. This is the first thing that goes into my bag and I can't stop myself from checking that I have it like a billion times.

Makeup. I keep the majority of my makeup tucked away in my checked luggage, but I do keep a few things in my carry-on luggage just in case. The very most essential beauty-related item I keep in my carry-on is a lip balm because, as I'm sure you know, it gets super dry on planes. My personal fav lip balm for flights is the e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Kiss Balm, as it is super moisturizing and also adds a bit of colour! I also bring on a small bottle of hand lotion as well as a lipstick for after the flight.

Hand sanitizer. As in any other public place, airports are full of germs and people who have colds. In the past, I've found that I catch most of my colds from airplanes as they are pretty confined spaces. So I tend to be more cautious now than before. I usually bring on a small 1oz bottle of Purell sanitizer with me in my carry-on to pop on before I eat or after I get on the plane so that I don't have to worry about what I've touched or anything. Although it won't help with the germs travelling in the air, it does ease my worries a bit!

Electronics. Of course, I never go on an airplane without some sort of electronic. Typically I bring my cell phone (obvs), my laptop, chargers for both, and a pair of headphones. I especially make sure to have headphones with me, because the constant sound of the engines gets pretty annoying after awhile and sometimes I need to just tune everything out. I usually will download a few episodes of my fav tv show onto iTunes or Netflix, and then watch them once I get onto the plane!

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Book. It would be very unlike me to not bring a book with me when I travel, especially considering I bring a book with me literally everywhere I go! Even on shorter flights, like the two and a half flight to Florida, I find that reading is the perfect distraction from everything going on. On my last flight in February, I read three-quarters of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. So it's safe to say that I can't be without one of my beloved novels on these types of journeys!

Journal. I've been journaling for a very long time since I was about 7 or 8 years old. Not only do I think that it's good for self-reflecting, but I think it's a great way to document some of your favourite memories to look back on later! Of course, some of the memories I most want to remember are from when I travel so I always make sure to tuck my journal into my carry-on before I head out the door. Currently, I'm using this brown leather journal from Pier 1 Imports to jot down my memories in. 

Medications. When I travel, my anxiety tends to go through the roof and that typically translates into a number of different symptoms - stomach aches, headaches, etc. So when I travel, I take this little blue plastic container with a couple pills inside just in case I have any issues whilst travelling. I also take a travel sickness pill for if I get uneasy on the flight. 

Sweater. Airplanes can either be extremely warm or extremely cold. But when it's cold, I always seem to forget a sweater. So here's my little reminder for you guys to always bring a sweater with you on plane journeys! Even if it's warm outside, it could be cold on the plane. I typically bring a cardigan as it's not too bulky and it's easy to put on/remove. 

Gum. It's extremely unlikely that you'd ever catch me on a flight without gum. If I do forget to pack it in my carry-on, you best believe that the first thing I do when I'm past the security checkpoint is head to the duty free shop for a pack of mint gum. The last time I forgot about gum, I found out they don't carry gum at the Orlando airport (or at least they didn't a few years ago). My favourite gum is the 5 Cobalt one. Not only does it help with your ears popping, but it also freshens your breath and is good for managing anxiety - at least for me. 

What are your must-haves for your carry-on bag?

Felicia x

My Favourite Things: Paris, France

"I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don't feel so bad..." 

Welcome to the very first post of my new blog series, My Favourite Things! I always find that when things get tough, or you're generally feeling a bit down, it can be so helpful to reflect on some of the more positive things in your life. It can really put things into perspective. So, my aim with this series is to share with all of you some of my absolute favourite things to hopefully inject a little bit of positivity in your day!

Paris, France

The minute that I stepped off the train at the Gare du Nord station, I fell in love with Paris. It had always been my dream to visit France and the short 3-day trip to Paris gave me a taste of something I definitely want to see more of. Without further ado, here are my most favourite things about Paris...

The Eiffel Tower

Bienvenue à la Tour Eiffel, mon amis! (There are my eight years of learning French hard at work haha). I know, I know. This is a terribly typical way to start off a post about Paris, but I mean it when I say that the Eiffel Tower stole my heart. If you've ever visited Paris then you'll know that you can see this tower from most anywhere in the heart of the city. Keep that in mind when I say that every time I saw the tower, I took about a dozen photos. It's safe to say that choosing just two photos for this post was a challenge. Oh, and please enjoy this picture of a very little sixteen-year-old me haha.

The Eiffel Tower will always hold a special place in my heart because it's one of the obstacles I've overcome. I was so overwhelmed at the idea of going up the tower, due to my fear of heights, and the night before I outright refused to do it. My parents wouldn't let me waste the opportunity and forced me to go, which I am so glad they did because it was such an experience. The view was unbelievable! It was extremely nerve-wracking but it's something I'll always remember. I even made it all the way to the Summit, which is the highest peak you can visit. I was so proud of myself for making it and I got amazing pictures.

Versailles

Oh my god, I have so much to say about Versailles but I'll try my best to condense it all. I am a huge history buff, but I hadn't heard about the French Revolution or the Palace of Versailles until this trip to France. Now, because of visiting the palace, it's my favourite era of European history. The palace is absolutely gorgeous in person, not even a million photos could do it justice.

My family took the Fat Tire Bike Tour which took us first into town, where we bought baguettes and fromage, and then through the palace grounds to a lovely spot of grass along the Grand Canal where we had our delicious French food. The tour included a full self-guided walk through of the palace itself which was incredible. I am so glad that we did this tour, I would do it again without hesitation.

Pont des Arts

This is a bit of a sappy portion of the post but bear with me. For those who don't know, Pont Des Arts is a bridge in Paris that crosses over the River Seine, leading into the main square of the Louvre. The Pont Des Arts is famed, as it was once known as the Lovelock Bridge, which you may be familiar with. Visitors would write theirs and their loved one's initials on a lock, then throw away the key. Of course, being sixteen and in love, I was dying to do this. I put my lock on the bridge, got rid of one of the keys (there were two - I kept one) and then went on my way. Unfortunately, in 2015 it would appear that the area of the bridge in which I placed my lock collapsed, which was pretty devastating at the time. I still have the key though and I keep it in a memory box, so I will always remember the sentiment of the Lovelock Bridge in a less destruction-of-property kind of way. :)

Nighttime in the City

In my eyes, there isn't much better than a sunset. But a sunset over Paris? Wow. I was only in Paris for a few days but every evening when the sun came down, the city came to life. They don't call it the City of Light for nothing! It was so wonderful to walk around the city at night, especially with all the people sitting outside of bistros and restaurants at tables, sipping wine and eating amazing food. Speaking of food, French food? To die for. My diet consisted of baguettes, crepes and croissants - mostly baguettes. Seriously, I'm still dreaming of the food.

There are a hundred other things about Paris that I could list here, but then you'd be stuck with the lengthiest post known to man and no one needs that! I hope you've enjoyed reading about one of my favourite cities in the world and I hope that it brightened your day in some way. I can't wait to share more of my favourite things with all of you!

Felicia x