And Now for Something Completely Different (for us)

It was a new experience for my wife and I over the last two weeks of August. While we always take vacation during this time of the year (both of our birthdays fall at the end of August, some 5 days apart), it was a bit of a departure for us this time. Firstly, my wife, no longer working in the school system, was relegated to only having a few weeks of vacation to use for the year rather than having the summer off. Secondly, we opted to not take any trips this year for our vacation. This meant that we had two weeks of rest, relaxation and quiet.

And boy did I need it.

Continue reading “And Now for Something Completely Different (for us)”

DINKs and Death Cab

Last week, my wife and I took off on a short little getaway vacation to Toronto.  Although only a three-night stay, the fact of traveling to another city, in another province, did a lot of good for both of us. I find that going away forces your brain to realize, “Hey, I’m not at home.  I don’t have to worry about my job, or laundry, or yard work, or anything else.” 

We were in Toronto for a total of 72 hours (landed at 2:30 on Wednesday, took off at 2:30 on Saturday), and got in a total of 50 KM of walking over those 72 hours.  Here’s a quick rundown of our DINK Days.

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DINK Diaries – Weekend Getaway

This will be a new series of posts. My wife and I enjoy our lives as DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids). We love to be able to spontaneously do fun things, take trips, have little getaways and the like. I’ll occasionally blog about some of our DINK days.

One week ago today, Isabelle and I headed off for a nice little weekend getaway. Our Reiki association was having a meeting on Saturday afternoon in Grand Falls, which is about 4 hours away. We opted to make a weekend of it and booked a hotel in Fredericton, the halfway point between the two. As luck would have it though, the highway between Moncton and Fredericton flooded the week we were leaving, meaning we had to make a bit of a detour, adding an hour on the first and last legs of our drive. But we didn’t mind at all! Because all we had ahead of us was a weekend of good eating, relaxation and fun.

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Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

A few months back, I wrote a post outlining my top pics for Table-Service restaurants at Walt Disney World. Today, we focus on Counter Service restaurants.

For those unfamiliar with the Disney dining structure, there are two tiers when it comes to dining options. Tier 1 is Table-Service restaurants. This would be your typical evening out dining experience. You make a reservation, are brought to your table, order from the menu, and have your meal brought to you.

Tier 2 is Quick Service or, in other words, “fast food” style eating. I used fast food in quotes because you can get much better than what pops into your mind when I say fast food. For these restaurants, you generally stand in queue at the cash and order your meal, and they hand it to you on a serving tray for you to then go find a seat in the restaurant.

While Table-Service restaurants are of a higher quality generally, and offer a more engaging dining experience, Quick Service meals are great for when you want something easy and quick and don’t want to bother with reservations.

And now, without further ado, here are my top five Quick Service restaurants at Walt Disney World.

Wolfgang Puck Express

This is by far our favourite Quick Service restaurant at WDW. Located at Disney Springs, this is a perfect blend of Quick Service with a Table Service feel. Let’s first talk about the process – you get in line at the counter like you would at any other QS restaurant, but then you go sit down and the meal is brought to your table, along with real cutlery! It’s the little touches. Next, food – high quality, delicious and beautiful presentation. We have eaten here on multiple occasions (sometimes more than once on the same day). The breakfasts are phenomenal and the dinner menu is just delicious. I highly recommend the Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf for a dinner and the Corn Flake French Toast for breakfast.

Columbia Harbour House

Located in the Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbour House is an underrated spot. You’ll find this to be a refreshing change of pace, when you’re not feeling like a burger. Try some fried shrimp or fish, have yourself some grilled salmon or even a chicken pot pie. They also offer a variety of soups and sandwiches. The seating is good here as well, given that it’s spread out over two floors. If it seems crowded, try heading upstairs to get a nice view of the other guests wandering through Liberty Square.

La Cantina de San Angel

This often has served as our first meal on our visits to WDW. We have often arrived mid-day, and head to Epcot as our first stop. While there, we make our way to La Cantina de San Angel near the Mexico pavilion to share a meal. Our food of choice – the Nachos. It’s a nice sized serving and manages to serve the both of us for a lunch. In addition, they serve tacos, empanadas and, of course, churros. One thing to note, if you’re having lunch and it’s hot outside, there is seating available indoors at La Hacienda de San Angel.

Flame Tree BBQ

We first ate at Flame Tree BBQ during one of our last trips. It was our first foray into dining at Animal Kingdom. Are we glad we were hungry on this day! Again, this is a spot where we share a meal, since one of the options is a Rib, Chicken & Pulled Pork Sampler. Served with baked beans, coleslaw and cornbread. Delish! Adding to the enjoyment is the atmosphere. You’re seated outdoors among the greenery of Animal Kingdom with free-roaming birds coming by to visit. Maybe you’ll make a new friend!

Earl of Sandwich

The last spot that I’ll include in this list is one that I’ll be transparent with – I have not eaten at the location in Walt Disney World. However; I have eaten at the Disnleyland location in Anaheim and trust that the experience and quality is at the same level. Located at Disney Springs, this chain of eateries offers, well, sandwiches! You’ll find a large variety of soups and sandwiches, enough to satisfy just about anyone’s tastes.

And there you have it – my top selections for Quick Service restaurants at Walt Disney World. What is your take on my choices? Do you heartily disagree? Or do you have a spot that you feel I should have included? Comment down below!

Post-Disney Blues

Earlier this week, we crossed the two month mark from my return to the real world after spending 10 glorious days in Disney World for my 40th birthday. (You can read about the trip in this previous post.) As with each visit to the Happiest Place on Earth, the return to normality brings with it a bit of a feeling of blahness after a while. I’m usually able to ride the high of the Disney magic for a good 6-8 weeks, but then the inevitable crash occurs.

Here are my top 4 tips on how to avoid the post-Disney blues, and to keep that magic alive and kicking long after you’ve returned home.

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Top 6 Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World

I had started to write a long post talking about all of the amazing food that we ate while we were in Disney World at the end of August, but rather than have yet another long-ass post, I’ve opted to do something different for me.

In alphabetical order, here are my top six table service restaurants at Walt Disney World. (click on any image to see it full-sized) Continue reading “Top 6 Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World”

In Anticipation…

Sometimes the funnest part of a trip or an activity is the anticipation leading up to it.  Take for instance my upcoming trip to Walt Disney World. Though my wife and I are unquestionably excited for the trip and know that we will be spending 8 days of pure fun and excitement, all of the time and energy we’ve put into prepping this trip for my 40th birthday has been just as much fun. Continue reading “In Anticipation…”