Throwback Thursday: Walt Disney World’s Boardwalk Bar Crawl

For today’s Throwback Thursday I want to share one of my favorite Disney things to do: crawl! Bar crawl, that is! One of my favorite arguing points when people say Walt Disney World is only for kids is all the food and drink experiences to be had. I love to suggest people try to the Monorail Bar Crawl, or the Boardwalk Bar Crawl which I’ll cover today.

Like the Monorail Bar Crawl, the Boardwalk Bar Crawl doesn’t require you to have a park ticket so it’s a great option for a day or night you won’t be hitting the parks. The Boardwalk Resort area is easy to get to by Uber, Minnie Van, or by taking a bus to nearby Hollywood Studios and following the walking path. While it would take more time, you can also take a bus to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs and take a Boardwalk, Yacht Club, or Beach Club resort bus to get there.

First stop: Big River Grille & Brewing Works

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Big River serves up American pub favorites in a family friendly setting. You can see 6 specialty beers being handcrafted on site!

We started our crawl with some nachos and beer:

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Second stop: AbracadaBar

AbracadaBar invites you into a 1940s magician’s lounge with a few tricks up its sleeves. With a selection of old fashioned cocktails to choose from we went with the Conjurita and Seahorse Sweet.

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Seahorse Sweet on the left and Conjurita on the right

If you’ve peeped the menu you might have noticed the Seahorse Sweet and it’s disappearing cotton candy are technically non-alcoholic  but when I used the magic word (please, in this case) the bar tender was happy to add some vodka. The conjurita is poured table side so you can enjoy it’s color changing trick!

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Once we had our drinks we enjoyed the ambiance and checked out the magic memorabilia. Pay close attention to the posters on the wall- you never know who’ll disappear!

Third stop: Jellyrolls

After crawling up and down the Boardwalk, the dueling piano bar Jellyrolls is the perfect place to sit, relax, and belt out your favorite music! While Jellyrolls serves typical bar drinks (we ordered Bud Light) its really the music that you visit for.

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A couple things to know about Jellyrolls:

  • Cover is $12 per person and only those 21 and older are admitted (sorry kids!)
  • Songs are played by request and requests are submitted with a cash tip (usually the better the tip, the more likely your song is to be played)

Other options to try:

  • Trattoria al Forno is a great place to start your crawl if you’re looking for dinner as you go! The drink menu includes a large assortment of wine, Italian brandy and cocktails. Dinner is served 5p-10p, reservations recommended!
  • ESPN Club is an excellent choice for a sports fan to take in a game mid crawl. Lounge seating is first come, first serve. Dinner hours and reservation needs vary so check the Disney website prior to your visit!

Have you done the Walt Disney World Boardwalk Bar Crawl? Or, would you want to try it?

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Stay adventurous!

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Throwback Thursday: Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason in London

It’s time for another #throwbackthursday and today I’m throwing it back to my October 2017 adventures in London with my international bestie, Morag! We first met back in 2014 when she was in the US with Camp America and we’ve maintained a long distance friendship ever since. In 2017 she played tour guide for my first U.K. trip! Check out her blog about her travels here.

Before I was in to coffee tea was my first love. Afternoon tea is something that seems quintessentially British to us Americans so I was dying to try and Morag was happy to indulge my curiosities. She choose Fortnum & Mason for our tea experience. I’d describe F & M like a home goods department store that also sells dried food goods (tea, packaged biscuits, wines, etc.) The store is so beautiful its worth a walk through on its own! We took the elevator to the top floor where the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon is located.

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Waiting for our name to be called in the lobby (photo credit: Morag)

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We started off by browsing the tea menu to select what we’d like to drink. I really liked how they had made special blends to mark occasions for the Royal family!

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I selected the Wedding Breakfast tea. Morag isn’t much of a hot tea drinker so she asked for some iced tea.

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I love the custom of tea being served from a small tea pot so much that when I got home I purchased myself one to make looseleaf in!
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Photo credit: Morag

We also ordered the champagne pairing because why not?! When in London, am I right? As we sipped our drinks, the beautiful display of food arrived!

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We went with the afternoon tea menu and everything was delicious! They do offer a gluten-free option, shown at right in the above picture. The finger sandwiches aren’t something you typically see in the US so a lot of those combinations were new to me but I enjoyed them all!

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I love the blue china with the pink accent flowers!

It’s hard to pick a favorite thing from my U.K. trip but this experience is definitely towards the top of the list. If you’re ready for your own afternoon tea adventure you can make reservations with Fortnum & Mason online. Menu prices start at £52.50.

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Stay adventurous!

Throwback Thursday: Connecticut Lights and Sights

Today I’m throwing it back to a MUST-DO Connecticut adventure: Cross Sound Ferry’s Lights and Sights cruise! In July, my family and I took the two hour cruise out of New London on the Cecelia Ann. I had no clue that Connecticut had so many lighthouses with such colorful stories!

We boarded just prior to 10am. I don’t know how many seats were sold (in relation to what would be considered full) but there was a good crowd yet plenty of seats. We opted to start our cruise with outdoor seats and later moved indoors to get out of the wind for the sail back to the dock. There were plenty of windows so we still had good views while inside.

New London Harbor Light
New London Ledge Light

The cruise takes you to 15 different sights including lighthouses, historic forts, castles and more!

North Dumpling Light is currently owned by the inventor of the Segway!
On our way to Morgan Point Light while standing on the top deck.
Latimer Reef Light

At each sight the captain made a full 360 degree turn so you didn’t have to leave your seat for a great view.

Race Rock Light
Little Gull Light

Tickets are $30 for adult fares and sailings continue until October 31st so you have a couple more chances to squeeze in a cruise before the end of the season. Otherwise, Cross Sound Ferry Lighthouse cruises sail from the end of May to the end of October. Visit their website here for more details!

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Stay adventurous, friends!

Throwback Thursday: Atlantis Bahamas

If you watch television you’ve probably seen the sun-soaked ads for the Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. You know: white sand beaches, dolphins splashing and sharks swimming overhead? Ring a bell? In February, my sister and I cruised with Norwegian to celebrate her 30th birthday and opted for an Atlantis Self-Guided Tour and Beach Day excursion on our Nassau day to see if the resort really lives up to the publicized hype.

Our day started bright and early with a bus ride from the Norwegian Sky to the resort. We opted for what I’d call the ‘middle-tier’ tour: we had access to the resort grounds, including the aquariums, and the beach, but not the water slides. Our tour guide walked us through the resort and pointed out where to find things along the way.

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The beautiful weather really accented the beautiful grounds.

One interesting fact our guide shared is that the Atlantis has the one of the only casinos with natural light (aka windows) in the world. Most casino avoid natural light because when you can’t tell the passage of time people will spend more money. The Atlantis claims the windows don’t effect their profits!

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We started out back with the predator and string ray lagoons before following the stairs down to view the tanks.

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It’s amazing how close you felt to the marine life while looking down into the lagoons

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After we finished this loop we headed back inside to see the Dig and Ruins Lagoon tanks.

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This was the touch tank section- however, I preserve to observe from afar!

After enjoying all the wildlife we headed out to the beach. We settled on Atlantis Beach West where I felt like we were treated no different than a resort guest. Resort staff helped us pick out a spot, brought us lounge chairs and towels. Vendors were on the beach offering goods, drinks, etc. Fortunately I didn’t find them too pushy.

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In my book, it’s not vacation until you drink out of a carved-out fruit!

In my book the amenities we got to experience at the Atlantis lived up to the beautiful tv commercials. This got me thinking, and on our bus ride back to the ship I googled some info on actually staying at the resort. It seemed like the rooms and hotel experience had some mixed reviews. I would definitely got back and specifically stay at the Atlantis to find out for myself. Have you ever stayed at the Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas? What was your experience like?

Stay adventurous, friends!

Throwback Thursday: Guinness Storehouse at St. Jame’s Gate

I imagine if you’ve ever been out drinking on St. Patrick’s Day in the US and tried to order a green beer you’ve heard at least one person quip that ‘real Irishmen drink black beer.’ In Dublin, Ireland this stands true at the Guinness Storehouse located in the heart of St. Jame’s Gate. No visit to Dublin feels complete with a good pour of Guinness so during my October 2017 visit to the city I took the bus out to the Storehouse to see it (and taste it) for myself.

Tickets to Guinness will run you about $28 (USD) though discounts are available if you pre-purchase online. IMG_4992.JPG

The seven floor Storehouse experience starts by showing you the growing, fermenting and brewing process.

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Barrels showing how Guinness was originally distributed

As we continued winding through the Guinness pint shaped building we came across a tasting room where you can learn the proper technique to drink a Guinness.

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As we learned in tasting class, you must wait to drink a Guinness after pouring until there is a clear separation between the black beer and the white, foam head. Additionally, you should take large gulps to get the full flavor.

Following our lesson we walked through a large exhibit on the history of Guinness advertising and were treated to some of their most famous slogans and campaigns.

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I can’t imagine a beer making ‘health claims’ like this today!

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Finally after all the stair climbing and escalator climbing we reached the pinnacle of the experience- Guinness’ Gravity Bar which sits at the very stop of the Storehouse and offers 360 degree views of Dublin. As luck would have it, we visited on a mostly cloudy day but the clouds parted just as we enjoyed our beers and the beautiful views.

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Views of the rest of the Guinness Brewery
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Views of Phoenix Park in the distance

Dublin has so many great attractions to enjoy but the Guinness Storehouse definitely tops my list! This is worth at least one visit and I’d even wager to say that I’d go for a second visit when I find myself in Dublin again.

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In the mean time, I’ll have to to enjoy a pint on my home soil!

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Stay adventurous!

Throwback Thursday: Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

On Thursdays I’ll be throwing it back to one of my favorite past destinations or experiences. This week I wanted to start by featuring the location where I took my blog cover photo! In April 2018 I had the pleasure of making my first trek to Maui, Hawaii where I paid a visit to Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.

About 45 minutes up the hill from Wailea on west Maui sits Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, a serene garden landscape with views of the beach and the mountains on the horizon. For a $3 entrance fee we opted for a self guided tour though they offer a $12 guided walking tour as well.

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Despite the haze, still a great view down to the beach!

Even when the lavender isn’t in bloom, Ali’i offers a lush green paradise complete with lots of arches and pergolas that give me all the secret garden vibes!

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We were free to wander throughout the grounds which are situated on a steep hillside with the peak of Haleakala volcano high above us. The air is cooler up there but the climbs were definitely making my thighs feel the burn!

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Fortunately there were lots of zen vibes to help me catch my breath!

Before leaving we stopped in the store where you can buy all sorts of lavender based and lavender inspired products including, bath supplies, clothes, and food snacks with lavender baked in.

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Outside the shop is where this adorable table of succulents was set up. Unfortunately you can’t take live plants back to the mainland so I was forced to settle for a picture (and some dried lavender purchased inside.)

In total, we probably spent an hour exploring the fields at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farms so it wasn’t a long stop but was one of my favorites of the trip. It made a great break from the car on our way up to Haleakala (which is a story for another time!)

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Stay adventurous!