Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Glutton for Punishment

Not only am I now the most selfish mother in the world - because I didn't bring my kids to Disney World - it appears that I also can claim gluttony as one of my vices.

I arrived in Ft. Myers rather late last night - which we can all thank the snow in Denver for, which caused all sorts of flight delays - and before collapsing in an exhausted heap in bed, I carefully and methodically went through the house and changed all of the clocks back an hour, which we can all thank Daylight Savings Time for.

I also set an alarm for bright and early 6:30 a.m. It was my goal to be on the road by 7:00 a.m. and into Orlando by 10:00.

So much for the best-laid plans....

And I seriously don't know what it is about me and clocks, but I seem to have a major learning disability when it comes to knowing the difference between A.M. on a digital clock and P.M. Because, much to my horror, I woke up this morning - not to an alarm - but just because I had enough sleep - and when I saw the clock, it was way past 7:00 a.m. In my ongoing struggle with clocks, I had set the clock incorrectly - mixing up the A.M. and the P.M.

Now I know why the military uses a 24-hour clock. Geesh.

So, a late start - but I still made good time and hit the road, setting my GPS in my car for Orlando.

My GPS - aka "Betsy" - and I have a love/hate relationship. Betsy has gotten me into some trouble over the years, and so now, I frankly don't trust her. My family and friends will say it was "Operator Error" that got me into trouble, but truly believing that I'm "practically perfect in every way, " I know that can't be the case.

It has to be Betsy's fault. She's evil.

She took me along Highway 17 for most of the trip, and that IS a trip, if you've never done that particular route. At some points along the way, I was the ONLY car for miles and miles...It was a little freaky, feeling like I was driving in the Black Hole of Florida - where the only other living things around were herons and egrets, and they weren't talking.

I eventually arrived at the Yacht Club in Orlando - right next to Epcot, which is my favorite Disney park in the World. So, Betsy earned a bit of the trust back today - although that was one strange route. I checked in about 11:15, and to my delight, my room was ready. Yay!

I quickly took a peek at my room, unpacked, and then took a short 5-minute stroll, and I was in Epcot.

And here's where the gluttony comes in.

It's the last week of Epcot's annual Food & Wine Festival...where dozens of countries set up booths for sampling various appetizers, desserts and drinks.

Now, I can't drink the wine - because we all know it does funny things to me - so I more than made up for that by indulging in the food. And did I ever. Indulge.

First, straight to Canada, our neighbors to the north, eh?, where I sampled the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. This soup is consistently voted #1 in popularity by festival attendees, and it's easy to see why. It was delicious - my only complaint was that the sample was so small!

On to New Zealand, a little island country in the Southwest Pacific, where I sampled the Seared Sea Scallop with Vegetable Slaw and Lemon Oil. I loved the scallop - but the vegetable slaw was a little strong....

I then marched over to Greece, where I nibbled on the flaky and delicious Spanakopita. This is a spinach pie with some cheese thrown in for good measure, and it was fantastic. Oompa! I have actually been to the "real" Greece, and I find their food always tasty.

I now needed something sweet, to chase all of this salty stuff down - so I strolled over to Ireland, the home of Lucky Charms and the Blarney Stone, where I died and went to Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Ganache heaven. HEAVEN!

Starting (starting?? Really?) to feel a bit full, I needed something wash it all, off to France I went, in search of the Parisien Cosmo Slush. Think cherry slurpee from 7-11...refreshing, but not a favorite of mine. But it was pretty. And I got to practice the only French I know, when I said, "Merci!" to my server. Always fun.

It was time to take a break for awhile from the food, so I walked through the park, rode some rides, people watched, and then started Round 2.

Which began in of my most favorite countries in all the world, and I would go back to the "real" Italy in a heartbeat. Two things caught my eye here: Baked Cheese Ravioli with Creamy Bolognese Sauce Melted Mozzarella, followed by Cannolo Al Cioccolato. Prego!

Yum. But - not as yummy as that chocolate lava cake from Ireland. I'm going to be dreaming of that tonight.

Drink, back to France, as they really do have some amazing drinks there...this time, though, I got the Grand Marnier Grey Goose slushie...which should be renamed the Orange Creamsicle Dreamsicle. Delish.

It was now going on 6:00 p.m. And my stomach had seriously taken a beating. So had my feet. They were hurting, probably due to the 24,906 miles I had walked (which, in case you were interested, is how many miles it takes to walk around the world - which I DID today. Walked around the world.)

My arches in my feet were screaming, "Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up!"

Speaking of fallen arches...Rick Springfield was performing a free concert tonight at Epcot. I was always "meh" about Rick back in the day - but I stopped by to see how he had held up.

Not very well. But, he was friendly with the crowd, and they loved him...regardless of how he sounded.

See that white speck in the photo? That's his back.

But hey...drink enough wine or Orange thingies from France, and EVERYONE sounds good!


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