Monthly Archives: February 2009

Greetings from Walt Disney World!

Hello!

Porkchop and I are taking a little break from the day’s activities to give y’all a little recap (because I guess we’re so vain that we think others care about our Disney World trip). Anyway…

Friday Night

We landed in Orlando around 9:00 and made it to our hotel room shortly thereafter via the Magical Express. We’re staying in the Pop Century resort again. This time in the 50’s area (as indicated by the giant bowling pins flanking our building).

Although we knew we had an early morning ahead of us, we both had a difficult time sleeping (I dreamt of bugs in our bed and of being upgraded to a much more expensive resort, while Porkchop had a horrible nightmare that I traded one of my fancier Disney pins for a baby Minnie Mouse pin of much lesser value).

Saturday
Epcot was first on our agenda, and the morning went well with two Soarin’ rides, Test Track, Living with the Land, and a Behind the Seeds tour. The tour was a more in depth visit to the hydroponic greenhouses than you get when riding Living with the Land. The highlight for me was seeing the trellis structures up close, as well as getting a better look at the tomato and eggplant trees.

I also enjoyed seeing vanilla and ginger trees, and sampling a cucumber grown in the greenhouse (a special Mickey head-shaped cuke).

After lunch and seeing the 3D show, Honey I Shrunk the Audience (snoozers), we hit the World Showcase and hit our tired wall. We struggled to drag ourselves around the lagoon and were annoyed by all the people who go to the World Showcase to drink overpriced beer. Also annoying were all of the people who thought that Porkchop, who was wearing a Disney themed nametag on her pin lanyard, worked for the park. This included a German man who wanted directions to the free Coke pavilion, some Asian girls who were looking for the Maelstrom ride in Norway, and a couple of kids who insisted that we trade pins with them. (WDW Pin Trading 101: Cast Members are obligated to trade you for whatever pin you want. Other guests may not be as accommodating.) We felt a little bad for the kids, who were genuinely excited by our pins, and each ended up trading them one of our nicer pins for… you guessed it, a cheap little baby Minnie Mouse pin! Porkchop is a prophet.

In addition to being exhausted, we both suffered from sore feet. Despite being a Disney expert and knowing better than to wear new shoes while traversing the parks, Porkchop donned her new Keens in the morning and regretted her decision early in the day. She likened it to walking on broken glass, moaned and groaned around the World Showcase, and nearly lost it when she found out we had to STAND through the 15 minute movie in Canada.


So, we limped away from Epcot early without seeing Illuminations. At the hotel, I snoozed while Porkchop watched a Blues hockey game. Despite our promises to go to bed earlier, the Blues game went to overtime and Porkchop nearly missed the disappointing end to the game (Final: Blues lose 1-0).

Today
This was a short day at the parks. We have an early reservation at the California Grill, so we scheduled Animal Kingdom for today. AK isn’t as big as the other parks, so we can do everything we want by mid-afternoon. AK is my favorite park because of this, and because it’s so shady. Seriously, shade is a must for me.

We started the morning big with Expedition Everest. Then it was on to Dinoland for a couple of rides, and then back to Expedition Everest to use our Fastpass.

Up next was a tea and snack break while we watched the Flights of Wonder show (an exciting time as one bird grazed our heads with its wings).


Afterwards, we pushed on to Rafiki’s Animal Planet and then went on our two-week Kilimanjaro Safari.


Before lunch, we had our final Expedition Everest ride via another Fastpass. The final ride resulted in the best picture of Porkchop, her expression captured her authentic anxiety as we plunged down the side of the mountain (Porkchop doesn’t like drops and usually puts on a fake face for the photo).

We wrapped up our day at AK with Festival of the Lion King. This time, the show included a fire handler guy who danced with a fire baton thingie.

So…now I’m just waiting for a tasty dinner at the California Grill!

Never a Prettier Sight…

…as peppers sprouting!


I sit and stare at these little guys for minutes at a time.

Also great are the little basils:


Not so great is that I’ve been suffering from some strong allergies. Murrrr. A doctor at the urgent care clinic suggested that it’s the jet stream bring up pine tree stuff from Texas. I have no idea if this is correct at all, but I do have tree allergies.

I hate being allergic to things like trees because I love trees! My physical reaction to tree pollen does not accurately reflect the love I have for trees. Please don’t judge me based on my allergies!

Last night, I sneezed and sniffled my way through Coraline. Even though my mind was hazy with allergies, I recognized the movie as awesome.

I have no segue for this:


A 12 lb pork shoulder. Currently marinating in the refrigerator for all-day cooking tomorrow.

When I ordered pork shoulder from Fair Shares, I didn’t realize it would be the entire shoulder! I expected 3, maybe, 5 pounds. Although my mind reeled when I saw it, I tried to play it cool.

If the cooking goes well, we’ll be rolling in pulled pork (hmm, that’s kind of gross imagery…anyway, we’ll have a lot for freezing and many dinners to come).

New Record!

Longest time without posting since I started this here blog!

Not exactly the sort of record I like…

What’s Been Going On Since You’ve Been Gone
Not too far in the past, St. Louis received snow. A lot of it! So Porkchop and I invested in a snow shovel, and she graciously shoveled. Here she is hard at work in the backyard during the early morn’ (please don’t dwell on the jankiness of our garage – thanks):


Most recently, as in this weekend, Porkchop has been sick! And dogsitting her brother’s chihuahua, so she spent most of her time like this:


Poor thing! Of course, she is refusing to go to the urgent care clinic to get real meds, so I can’t feel too badly for her. The deal is that if she isn’t better by the end of the week, she HAS to go because her sickness can’t ruin our upcoming vacation. Yes! Porkchop wore down my resistance yet again and I have reluctantly agreed to a trip to Crazy World. I mean Disney World. Much as I dislike the place (why go to a fake place when you could go to a real place???), I am looking forward to a trip to ANYWHERE outside of the Midwest.

So, anyway, while Porkchop sniffled on the couch with the dog, I made cupcakes:

(P.S. I wasn’t so feeling so hot on Saturday, either, but not as bad as Porkchop.)

They are yummy lemon cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting. Go here for the recipe.

Over the weekend, I also made a curry chicken dish with raisins and almonds; this sweet potato, corn, and jalapeno bisque; honey whole wheat bread; and this smashed chickpea salad. All of the linked recipes are pure tastiness!

On another note, a couple of weekends ago, Porkchop and I picked up a compost bin and seed starting supplies…all from Worm’s Way. I’m loving the compost bin:


In addition to being a tumbler, it collects compost tea in the base!

We also picked up seed starting trays, heat mats, and a grow light. I am serious about this seed starting stuff this year! Yesterday, we started with pepper and basil seeds. It’s a little bit early for starting inside by around a week. But if nothing happens with these seeds, I’ll know to try again.

Pepper seeds can be hard to start because they need to be kept in soil at 80 degrees F. The heat mat seems to be doing well, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed still.

Anyway, I’ve also done a bit of my knitting on miscellaneous projects – my log cabin blanket and a random baby hat.

That’s all!

Oh, wait, I meant to mention…

The Chocolate that has Changed My Life
I love good dark chocolate.

The 70% Madagascar Sambirano Valley chocolate bar that I received through Fair Shares makes my heart light and happy. This bar from Patric Chocolate blows everything else I’ve ever had out of the water. I can’t wait to try everything else from this small shop in Columbia, MO!