Where is the only place in the world where you can visit Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom AND Canada – all in one day?
Why, the World Showcase at Epcot, of course!
Which – is why – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Epcot. And especially the World Showcase. Future World may have the thrill rides, such as Test Track and Mission:SPACE, but the World Showcase has architecture, beauty, culture, and food. Especially food. Lots and lots of exotic, tasty, delectable, delicious food. Enough food to seriously put you into a food coma. I’m salivating as I type. Damn.
It took us several visits – and several hours – to totally soak up the ambiance that makes up the World Showcase. We visited each and every country, taking in the sights, the sounds, the smells – and of course, the tastes. Yum. Back to food again. I seem to really have an obsession about the food. Why is that? Maybe because it is so GOOD? It was all so good that I took photos of most of our meals - just so I can look back on them and relive them....yummmm.....
Okay – focus, Drama Queen. Focus. Back to the countries. Yeah. Okay. Takes deep breath.
We'll break this into several posts - or otherwise, it would be REALLY, REALLY long...and we don't want that. So - bear with me!
Let’s begin with Canada, our neighbor to the north. Besides always enjoying the short 14-minute film, “O Canada!”, hilariously hosted by Canadian Martin Short, I like the flowers…there is a beautiful sunken garden inspired by the famous Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island.
There’s also the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains…which is very close to one of my favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World – Le Cellier. This steakhouse –in-a-stone cellar is a gem – and reservations are very difficult to get. I had to call 180 days out to secure a Saturday (March 13) lunch for us – but it was so worth it! Here's daughter on our way to the restaurant:
Here is where we have a tradition...every time we visit Epcot, I HAVE to have a bowl of the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup - made with Moosehead Beer and smoked bacon...Have to. Have it.
It simply is to die for...as shown by my obvious excitement here and my barely-contained attempt at licking my bowl clean. It was THAT good.
Which brings us to a Magical Moment...when our waiter, Jason, saw & heard my excitement and praise and appreciation for the soup, he disappeared - and brought me a recipe card for the soup. Wow! I was so tickled! I can now make this delicious delight at home! (Although it was always nice to say to Hubby, "Honey - I think a trip to Disney World is in order - I have a hankering for that beer cheese soup." Darn it. Now Hubby will say, "Just make your own." )
For my entree, I enjoyed the King Salmon two-ways - one way was pan-seared with Hoisin Barbeque and the other piece was citrus-poached with coconut soubise...this was very tasty. The salmon was perfectly cooked - although I slightly enjoyed the poached salmon a little more than the pan-seared salmon...it could have been the sauce.
Hubby had the filet mignon - with wild mushroom risotto, white truffle and herb butter sauce...the filet was good, but not great. That could be because we're from Kansas City - the King of beef - and no one, anywhere, can cook a piece of meat like we can. However, the risotto was excellent.
We were so stuffed from our lunch we had to bypass on the dessert...which in Canada, would be chocolate "moose", of course!
My favorite entertainment in Canada is watching the band Off Kilter perform. I first saw them back in 2003 and I’ve been a fan ever since – mix Celtic with rock with bagpipes – and you get an interesting, yet entertaining show. Not to mention, men in kilts are always a turn-on. I'm just sayin'....
Okay, moving on...altho we can continue to dream about men in kilts if you want....it's not a problem....
Okay - we really ARE moving on...seriously....
Continuing our journey around the world, we now reach the United Kingdom, a quaint area of shops, gardens, parks and pubs. For entertainment here, there's a great band called British Invasion, that we watched Friday night.
This is another group we like to catch every time we're here - they're a tribute band to the Beatles, as well as other British bands from the 1960's...very good and always fun!
After watching their show, we had 7:50 dinner reservations (Friday, March 12) at Rose & Crown Pub.
This is a place where the pub is crowded, noisy and boisterous - but very cozy and warm. While we were waiting for our table to be ready, we were entertained by The Hat Lady - a very funny, vivacious and slyly witty performer who crooned her own version of "Kansas City", when finding out where we were from.
We were seated shortly with a fabulous view of the Lagoon, so we could watch the Illuminations fireworks show later. For dinner, daughter had the Surf and Turf - a Grilled Steak and Fried Fish with Yorkshire Pudding, Irish Potato Gratin, seasonal Vegetables, and Shallot Gravy. My daughter loves her steak - and she was not disappointed!
I had the Sunday Roast - with Yorkshire Pudding, Roasted Potatoes, seasonal Vegetable, and Shallot Gravy - a very generous portion, as you can see. Very tasty.
Hubby had the Grilled Pork Loin - with Hash Brown Potato, Stewed Fruits, Nuts, Apple Butter, and Stilton Cheese - and he ate every bite. Good boy.
After dinner, we enjoyed our dessert while taking in Illuminations - a fantastic, brilliant fireworks show set to a rousing, original musical score...it's always a "don't miss" spectacle for us.
Have you heard of Hidden Mickeys? Those little, hidden images that the Imagineers put into the park for a bit of fun? Daughter and I love to hunt for them, and we found one in England:
Our last country for this posting is France - here's hubby and daughter walking from England to France. A great view of the Eiffel Tower off in the distance....
A quick note about the Tower...it's a good example of forced perspective. To maintain the illusion of a 1,000-foot tower within the confines of Epcot, this one is built to 1/10 scale and is meant to be viewed far away. It has deterrents to prevent birds from landing on it - because if they were allowed to perch there, the tower would visually shrink while the birds would look colossal! Oh, those Disney Imagineers - always thinking, huh?!
While visiting France, we took in the 18-minute film, "Impressions de France" - breathtaking film showing the beauty and romance of France's villages, cities and countryside. We love the music in this film - it's the best musical soundtrack at Walt Disney World, hands-down. And it's air-conditioned, which is a life-saver on a hot, humid Florida day!
Funny, but I didn't take any photos while visiting France. Maybe it was because I was too busy snacking at the French pastry shop, Boulangerie Patisserie. I couldn't tell you what I had there - I don't speak French - but it was EXCELLENT! This little shop is always crowded - but the line moves quickly and it is so worth it. It's where we enjoyed a quick breakfast on Wednesday, the 17th. Yummo.
Now I've gone and made myself hungry - imagine that? Think I'll sign off and go make a quick snack - like a croissant or something - or a French cream puff...hmmm.....
Until next time,