Okay…Future World done…onto the Festival!!
Requisite SSE pic
Now, onto the Festi….no….nononono. We had to see the Ocean Spray cranberry bog, too.
ONTO THE FESTIVAL!!!
We headed right towards the Canada side and started looking at the kiosks. We all had our passports and were flipping between reading the passports and reading the displays at the entrance to each kiosk. Sheri and I nearly stopped at the Desserts and Champagne kiosk for some Moet and Chandon Imperial paired with Belgian chocolate truffles but remembered that we had our boys with us this trip. Three of the four of us decided to go for Greece as our first stop!
We got a chicken gyro and an order of spanakopita to split.
Eric, the dissenting vote of Greece, nearly died of hunger in the two minutes it took to get from the Greece kiosk to the Canada one, where the orders were no-brainers: two Mooseheads, two soft drinks, two cheddar cheese soups, and two mushroom filets.
All the tables were full, but someone offered to share their table with us. We graciously accepted and returned the favor when they left and another family was looking for a place to park.
It was a vote of 4-0 on the question concerning if we liked the Canada food/drink offerings. We liked!!!
After we ate, Eric decided he was temporarily okay again, so we walked around the Victoria Gardens area of the Canada Pavilion.
No waterfall? Bummer.
After touring Canada, we were again famished (Canada is the second-largest country in the world, donchya know), so we strolled over to the U.K. pavilion and tried the fisherman’s pie, the cheese plate, and some Kilkenny’s Ale.
Yeah, I think we could safely say that the boys were enjoying Food and Wine…wait, that didn’t sound good. They were enjoying the Food portion of the Food and Wine Festival.
I had to grab a quick photo of a gate:
Those who have done the Walt Disney World Marathon know exactly why that gate is significant!
After we finished our grub, we explored the United Kingdom pavilion for a while. I took note of the boys and how they had changed over the past few years. Had we recommended this to the boys when they were younger, we would have heard a chant of protests about their lives being ruined due to boredom. They were now readily exploring the various pavilions, not in search of a thrill ride, but rather, at least in part, in search of the different cultures that can be found. Granted, it only lasted about 12 minutes in the U.K., but we’ll take that over immediate protests that we expected.
(seriously, a practically perfect Mary Poppins…she was amazing!!)
In time, we crossed the bridge and made our way over to the France pavilion. If you’ve seen the cover photo on my Agency’s Facebook page, you can probably guess that France is one of my favorite pavilions in Epcot. Since it had been all of 27 minutes since we last ate in Ireland, we grabbed a Boeuf Bourguignon and a vanilla/chocolate crème brulee. While we sat by the fountains and ate, we caught a few minutes of Serveur Amusant.
I could tell the boys were getting a little tired, so we decided to check out Impressions de France, which was a first for the boys. There were only a handful of people in the beautiful theatre, plus a group of what I am guessing are 8th-10th grade girls with a couple of teachers. The teachers handed out some papers with questions pertaining to the film; it appeared that they were using the movie as an educational experience.
I remember seeing the movie back in 2001 and thinking, “meh”. This time, though...I liked it a LOT more. It’s not all Paris…just as Paris is not representative of all of France…not in the least. While only so much of a country can be depicted in a 15-20 minute film, this film gives you a taste of many parts of the country, not just the common tourist areas. Even though this movie is dated (it has remained pretty much unchanged since its debut in 1982), the production highlights some of the true beauty of France. That being said, I don’t think the boys shared the same appreciation of the film as us, but I also think that they were starting to wear down a little.
After Impressions, we had to (sorry, there was no choice...we HAD TO) stop at our favorite drink location to get our favorite drinks...the Gray Goose Citron Lemonade Slush (or, as we affectionately call it, our Gray Goose Slushie!!!!!!).
It wasn't intentional, but the MINE bird on my shirt was located perfectly for this pic!
Another !@#%#$&$^ selfie!
We made the decision to head back to our unit for a little rest. Before heading out, though, we headed back to the Festival Center to get a souvenir; the boys wanted to go back for another chocolate bar sample from Ghirardelli! We got some cool t-shirts and used our Annual Passholders for a discount. As we walked back towards the chocolate area, I made eye contact with someone who looked remarkably familiar; her look back and smile confirmed that we knew each other. Her smile grew as she walked up to us and verified that we were the Mushrushes.
I gave a big smile and replied back with, “Jan, right?”
I knew that Jan Pepe and several others from the Team AllEars running team were in town as part of a travel agency celebration, and were at the right place at the right time. I think it’s impossible to not be happy when Jan’s around; she has that personality that just makes you smile! We talked for a bit about how her trip was going and mentioned to our boys that her son had recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout. All too soon, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
We made our way out of Epcot, found our car, and make it back to Vacation Village in less than 12 minutes again. We figured that the boys would crash as soon as we got in the car...
Sheri and I were tired, so we wanted to grab a nap. The boys, however, caught their second wind, which meant nobody slept. When they don’t sleep while I wanted to sleep…I’m not happy.
I wasn’t happy.
I took the time to talk to some friends over on Facebook who have been to Food and Wine to see what their favorite kiosks were that we haven’t hit yet. I posted:
“Okay, Food and Wine Connoisseurs, we've done Greece, Ireland, Canada, and France. We're going to head back and do the east side tonight. Best foods from Ocean Spray bog east (Mexico side) to the American Adventure?”
The responses were immediate!!! There were votes for several of the east-side kiosks mentioned as not-to-be-missed, but the hands-down winner by far was the Chew Lab and the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel. That had to be our first stop, or I would have let down Julia, Brian, Jamey, Wendy, and Wendy (yes, two of them) who told me that we HAD to get the nitro truffle.
On that, we gave up fighting the boys and headed down to the car...