Epcot!

Happy happy Thursday, aka Epcot post day!! I am just sooo excited about this post. When we got to Epcot I told DJ I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about this place’s existence until this trip…. it is literally a foodie’s paradise!!! I could have killed an entire week in this park alone.

We took the ferry over from our hotel to the park. I highly suggest staying in Disney (on one of their hotel properties) if you are going to visit because all transportation is taken care of, painless, easy and decently quick. You can take a ferry or a bus to the parks at almost any hour of the day. Saves so much time & money in dealing with parking or uber/lyft!

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So the entire park is set up to take you from country to country. Each “country” is created so that it feels as though you are actually there. Its unreal (quite literally unreal, but they fool you well 😉 ). You get a taste of traveling across the world without actually leaving the US. My two favorite things were in one single place- “traveling” and foooood! At the end of the day, I told DJ it was one of my favorite memories/days of all time.

We briefly passed through the UK on the way to our first fast pass! I had to get the famous “telephone booth” photo, of course! One day I WILL actually visit. Where my UK bloggers at?! Holllaaa

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Our fast pass was for Test Track. For this you get to design your vehicle and then “test” while competing against other cars. The car below is the one DJ, my MIL and I created. I mean getttta load of these hot wheels 😉

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It was such a fun ride. We competed against others in our group which made it all the more competitive, naturally.

Now for Space Mountain! Unfortunately, someone had an “episode” on the ride right before us… so the clean up crew had to come in before we could ride. It stalled the ride for probably about thirty minutes. Finally, we got to embark! I am a bit claustrophobic and didn’t realize how enclosed the space was.. but I just tried to calm myself down and reminded myself I was fine. I am much better with the small spaces than when I was as a kid- I used to have a really hard time with even elevators. Anyways, that ride was in-stinking-tense!!! But totally worth it.

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After the ride we ran into some friends from college (fun!), then went to Club Cool to sample coca colas from around the world.

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The flavors were all super unique. I think my favorite was the Fanta Melon Frosty from Thailand, yummmy!

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Now we trottin’ through Mexico. Although it felt weird not stopping for Mexican food when available (one of our faves) we decided to try all the unique food before going back to the food we have access to usually, ya know?.

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Hence, a stop in Norway was absolutely mandatory.

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We walked into the bakery there, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, and were greeted by wonderful scents of sugary baking bread.

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We tried the lefse, a norweigan flatbread stuffed with cinnamon and sugar. It was light & scrumptious.

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We split an authentic Norweigan cider while we were at it. The pairing of the lefse and cider was fantastic; it was super refreshing and delicious on that hot day.

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China time!

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Oh my, was it beautiful. The intricacies, once again, took my breath away!

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I have had my eye on bao for a while now. When I saw it on the menu I had to get it for us to try! Even though it had meat, I still tried a nibble, but mostly ate the bun with the sauce which was delish in its own right. I will say– I don’t think this particular bao is as good as they come, but I loved trying it out nonetheless. The bao bun I had in SJ was wayyy more tasty. I think we need to make our way to SF soon to try more.

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Can you guess where next?

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Germany it is! Here we tried an authentic potato dumpling, and I think this was my favorite thing we had all day. Man, was that ever tasty. I think it was the texture & savory mushroom mix gravy I loved so much.

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When the moon hits your eyes like a big pizza pie that’s amore!!! Welcome to Italy, my friends 🙂

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If we had one more day here I would have LOVED to spend a day (or at least a full meal) in Italy. I bet the pizza there was delicious!

We did, however, split our first ever sangria. I gotta say, I wasn’t a huge fan. It was tripping my brain out… is this juice? Not quite! Is this wine? Not quite!!

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Of course, we saluted the US as we passed through, but didn’t stop to eat anything. Gotta leave room for things our taste buds have never explored.

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On to.. JAPAN TOWN! This past year I have grown a fondness and appreciation for Japan. Tokyo is easily #2 on my travel bucket list (after all of the Mediterranean). One day, one day…

We didn’t get any Japanese food because we actually have it quite often here in the Bay Area.

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There was a fun drum recital that played while we were there. Definitely added to the whole authentic experience!

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^^ Don’t know who those people are, but hope they had a good day ruining my perfect Epcot photo. JK JK.

Aaand we are off to Morocco! Oh my do I love Moroccan culture & food. We had it for the first time in Dallas actually, but have sought it out since. Remember our run in with the belly dancer a couple years ago?

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Onto France! LOVED France <3 (ok, let’s be real, I loved every second of every single moment being there). Anyways, this is the place to go for the baked goods for suuure.

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we had to try a delicious crepe, duhhh!

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And this brings us back to the United Kingdom!

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After exploring the UK a bit more thoroughly, we ventured into Canada

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Then we split a shrimp & guac arepa from the Columbia stand right before Mexico.

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Ok Ok, we gave in and had to have some Mexican cuisine 😉 We enjoyed some bombbb margaritas and tacos. I ate the salad and queso (such freaking good queso) & DJ had the tacos. mmmmm!

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This is quite long- I’ll stop here! I’ll wrap up our evening and the rest of the trip in my next post (I think!). I have sooo much to fill y’all in on. I adamantly told DJ I am gonna stay up all night if it takes me to write up these posts before we leave tomorrow to head back to Ohio. Bring on the all-nighter!

Question for you:

  • Which “Country” would you be most interested in trying out?

xo <3

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Soufflé Pancakes & It’s Finally Autumn!

Hey, everyone! I am trying to get us all caught up before a super busy (and fun) week ahead 🙂 This morning is a three cups of coffee type of day, but I’m resisting considering I have to get up at 4 am tomorrow morning. Wish meh luck…. sometimes I wonder how I did that on a regular basis for over a year. I think we left off right after Thanksgiving!

November 23rd was a day of utter relaxation for DJ and me. I used to love Black Friday shopping, but now that online shopping is available I would much rather do it from my home than fight the masses. I ran a few errands and then we had a Thanksgiving Round 2 with all our leftovers in the evening (you can see those in the Friday Faves post).

November 24th DJ and I woke up early, went to our local Target, and then grabbed some Starbucks. I still have to try their new holidays drinks. Anyone try the Juniper Latte yet?

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After breakfast I enjoyed a nice long run on a my-kind-of-Saturday-morning grey day!! It actually finally feels like Autumn now. Leaves are falling, I repeat- the leaves are falling!

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After working on some school work I was in a mood for a movie. I am never in the mood for a movie at home, but for some reason nothing sounded better that evening. I usually can’t sit still that long, but I was so exhausted after all the festivities, and with the warm Christmas tree up it all sounded perfect. We chose Manchester by the Sea. About twenty minutes into it we turned it off- it was too depressing for the mood we were in. Instead, we tried Crazy Rich Asians, which I had heard raving reviews about. It was a good movie, we enjoyed it- but were sad they portrayed Christians in a such poor light, yet again, through the Hollywood lens :/.

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Sunday morning of the 25th before church we tried out Koja Kitchen. DJ and I have been drooling over pictures of these soufflé pancakes for a couple months. After our experience at Cafe Jacqueline, anything with the word “soufflé” is calling our names! Within this last couple weeks just started selling them at this particular location by our apartment… serendipitous I do say!

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DJ had their mixed berries ones, and there was not a trace left within a couple minutes. Rarely does DJ rave about food in the way I do, but he couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful these were!

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And I concurred. My matcha mascarpone ones were next level fluffy, yummy deliciousness!!! These are crave worthy- the texture & flavor is everything. I don’t know how soufflé pancakes aren’t a staple for all breakfast spots. They are just phenomenal.

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You can see in this video just how fluffy they are when you cut into them…

After church I enjoyed a shorter run soaking up the beautiful day.

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November 26th I went on a nice walk before finishing up my massive paper for the semester. Woohooo!

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On Wednesday November 28th I just continued to truck along with the school work with a run squeezed in between.

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In the evening I posted a whole bunch of stuff on Poshmark and sold a few items. That always feels so satisfying, especially when you sell something that has just been sitting in the closet for a while!

Thursday the 29th was the same ole’, same ole’ for us with school and work, but in the evening I made more of the mac and cheese recipe from Thanksgiving! My goal is to figure out a vegan version of this. But for now- bring on the dairy!

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I classify this as “cry food”: Food so good you get emotional and may even feel the urge to cry tears of joy.

Friday November 30th I went to a new hair salon and had my roots fixed from the fiasco of the last lady now that I’ve nursed it back to health somewhat. I loveeed how it turned out, I paid about half the price as the other place, and definitely spent half the time in the chair. I am so stinkin’ excited about this… y’all know I’ve had a difficult hair journey since moving here, so I’m glad to have found somewhere affordable and high quality! I loved my stylist too- she’s so sweet, fun to chat with & knowledgable.

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We decided to have a formal date night for the first time in a long time! We have been kinda all over the place with work/school/etc. this last few months, so our attempt at a weekly date has fallen to the wayside (although we could consider our weekend breakfast tour a date day I suppose!).

We received a coupon from Steins to try out their new menu. If you’ve been following along for a while this place probably looks familiar. We were excited to try it out!

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I am always skeptical about a soft pretzel since trying the one at Deschutes in Portland. That one was just too good & has ruined every soft pretzel since- nothing ever comes close! However, this one was solid. Not as good still- but close, especially with the dipping sauces of caraway beer mustard, pub cheese, & tomato jam!

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Gotta get those truffle fries!! The lemon aioli they are served with is the most heavenly aioli everrrr.

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We tried their creamed spinach too- and was pleasantly surprised how good this was! Typically steakhouses are the ones with the best creamed spinaches, but this is up there for sure.

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DJ had their chicken tenders with their super spicy hot sauces. Mmm mm! I used some of the hot sauces for dipping too. DJ said these are some top notch tenders.

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I tried their vegan cauliflower & garbanzo bean vegan dish paired with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio (perfect combo). This dish is supposed to serve three people, but when in marathon training….lol.

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The dish was… fine. I wouldn’t order it again, probably will go for the fish next time- but it was still satisfying & is a great vegan option for those that are strictly vegan!

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We came home, watched Arrested Development, and crashed.

On the morning of Saturday December 1st (How is it December?!), we had to go back to Koja…… the cravings were REAL.

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This time I tried their Tokyo caramelized banana option! It was tasty, but I still prefer the matcha mascarpone. DJ had the mixed berries again.

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I had a great long run of 16.75 miles after that carb load. I studied the entire time on the treadmill because it was raining outside. I made a solid dent in the books & actually felt better than I thought after the run. In the evening we had all our leftovers, and I spent the rest of the day resting the legs and blogging.

Yesterday, December 2nd, we went to an awesomeeee church service, then I did the first 20 minutes(ish) of this Youtube HITT routine. I ran some errands and then stopped by my friend Sara’s to wish her a happy bday. I worked on school work for a few hours, spent on hour talking to SheIn customer service (do not order from them- it’s not worth it), and last, to round off a nice, lazy, yummy weekend, we watched a couple episodes of Arrested Development.

Today the 3rd, I made a bunch of returns on my Black Friday orders. I ended up keeping two shirts, but it’ll feel good to see that money come back. Right now I’m enjoying this bowl of overnight pumpkin oats with fresh cranberries, a dollop of Fage, & maple syrup. Holy smokes – I might be on a new kick!

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The rest of the day is dedicated 100% to studying. Watch out Research & Stats, I’m coming for ya. We leave tomorrow for Disney, so I’ll probably be MIA till next week! Hope this week is absolutely restful, joy-filled, & lovely for each of you!

Questions for you:

  • If you have been to Disney, which is your favorite park?
  • What are some of your favorite online stores with cheap(ish) clothes that you can trust? There are so many sketchy sites these days, but all of them seem to have such cute clothes until you get something totally different in the mail, lol!!

xo <3

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