Paddlefish – Disney Springs

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Last week we had an opportunity to dine at Paddlefish, a brand new restaurant taking over the Empress Lily, which was once home to Fulton’s Crab House.

It had been years since we’ve eaten at this location, back when it was Fulton’s Crab House, which has actually always been one of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World.

We enjoyed a great night of seafood, some nice wine from their extensive wine list and the wonderful atmosphere aboard a reimagined, modern and luxurious steamboat.

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We started out with a couple of appetizers, first the Crab Fries, Handd-cut potatoes, lump blue crab, Louie dressing

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Next we had the Fried Green Tomatoes, Elote, pickled watermelon, queso fresco, remoulade

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We tried three different entrees, this is the Lobster Risotto, Poached Maine lobster, saffron, Meyer lemon oil

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We also tried the Scallops, Brown butter, cauliflower puree, crispy brussels sprouts, bacon

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Here is the Faroe Island Salmon, Crispy skin, heirloom beets, kohlrabi-green apple salad

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An ample dessert menu from brownies to Key Lime Pie was tempting, but we passed.

We can’t wait to get back here and try more things on the menu. Our server said there really wasn’t anything bad on the menu, and I actually do believe her. I particuarly am looking forward to coming back for the Lobster Corn Dogs appetizer and from the entree list the Jambalaya and the Branzino for 2 sounds great!

Posted in Dining, Disney Resorts, Disney Springs, Walt Disney World Tagged with: , , , , ,

Hard Rock Hotel Orlando with Gracie the Traveling Cat

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Meet Gracie, our traveling cat.

While Gracie doesn’t always travel with us, she does make the summer trip with us up to our retreat in Maine, and Leslie thought it would be nice to let Gracie join us at the Hard Rock since Loews Hotels are pet friendly.

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The Hard Rock welcomed Gracie and she had a wonderful time there.

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The Hard Rock Hotel provided some welcome gifts upon Gracie’s arrival, a water bowl, complimentary water, and food all in her own pet-friendly bag. There was also a litter box set up for Gracie in the room.

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During the day while Leslie and I played in the parks, Gracie enjoyed hanging out on the bed.  There was a special tag we hung on the door to let housekeeping know Gracie was home so they wouldn’t open the door and have a possible pet escape.

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She also enjoyed gazing out the window and passerby’s on their way to the park, and waiting for her mommy to come home.

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The Hard Rock also provided Gracie with her very own scratch post in the room.

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Room Service anyone?

Posted in Universal Orlando Resort, Vacation Planning Tagged with: , , , ,

Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando Resort

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Posted in Uncategorized

Brooks Lake Lodge – 2017

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Every year around our anniversary in late January  / early February Leslie and I take a trip to one of her favorite places in the world, Brooks Lake Lodge in Dubois, Wyoming.

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The lodge is beautiful and remote at the base of the Pinnacle Mountains, and always gets lots of snow!

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There’s plenty of time for riding sleds around in the snow…600-289

Or for making snow angels

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And there’s always great food being served up for dinner like this tasty duck…

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or maybe trout suits your taste more?

 
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Thru the woods

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Posted in Off the Beaten Path, Travel with Rick Vacations Tagged with: , , , ,

Star Wars Day at Sea – Disney Cruise Line

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We recently had the opportunity to sail on the Disney Fantasy for a Star Wars Day at Sea cruise.

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Early in the cruise, the first day actually for us, an experience request card will be placed in your room for you to choose which characters or experiences your group would like to participate in.  You’ll turn those in and be notified as to what you’ll be doing on the Star Wars Day at Sea, you’ll receive tickets similar to excursion tickets with your times and meeting places for your experiences.

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Later in your cruise, for us it was the last sea day, the ship transforms into all things Star Wars, all the music around the ship, all day will be Star Wars music, characters will roaming around the ship, and the special experiences will begin taking place.

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This ships crew have some of the coolest costumes too, this is Jimmy, our cruise director.

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The crew even changes out their name tags for the day!

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There will be great photo opportunities with your favorite Star Wars characters

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Some characters roam the ship and are happy to pose for your photos

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You may be questioned as to your intentions and alliances

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And of course there is lots of Star Wars merchandise

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Lots of Star Wars merchandise

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Lots of Star Wars merchandise

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Even the coffee in Cove Cafe is transformed for Star Wars Day at Sea

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We met Chewy for one of our experiences with “Trusty Companions”

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Darth Vader questioned our loyalty and tried to lure us to the dark side

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Lots of characters will be found all around the ship

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Some of the coolest characters are the guests, these three with Vader are actually cruise guests

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Special talks and presentations happen throughout the day, this is  Leland Chee, whose formal job title is Continuity database administrator, but who is known as Keeper of the Holocron by Star Wars fans

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Star Wars movies are shown throughout the day up on deck and in the theaters. We saw Rouge One in the Walt Disney Theater for our evening show

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As always with Disney Cruise Line, your personal navigator is your guide so you won’t miss a thing.

We thoroughly enjoyed our Star Wars Day at Sea and would highly recommend it for all Star Wars fans, young and old no matter how strongly the force resides within you!

Happy Sailing!

 

Posted in Articles, Cruising, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Fantasy, Special Events, Travel with Rick Vacations Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Tiffins – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

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We recently enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Tiffins in Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. Tiffins is located in Discovery Island near the entrance of the much anticipated Pandora, the new Avatar themed land in Animal Kingdom.

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Featuring African, Asian, Latin Cuisine this is a beautiful dining location and a great addition for the Animal Kingdom park. In addition, the Nomad Lounge is located just next door and is a great place to relax and enjoy a break from the park.

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We started our dinner off with a delicious cheese board featuring a selection of Artisanal Cheeses
Cardamom Marcona Almonds, Manjar Blanco, Cape Gooseberry

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I chose to have the Duo of Lamb, Ethiopian Coffee Butter-infused Lamb Loin, Boerewors, Soubise, Chakalaka, Tamarind Barbecue, Leek Ash

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We had to try the signature dish, Wagyu Strip Loin and Braised Short Rib, Rainbow Carrot, Roasted Peruvian Potatoes, Chimichurri

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We rounded out the night with one of their tasty desserts, South American Chocolate Ganache
Caramelized Banana, Cocoa Nib Tuile

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Of course we had to try one their great wines from an extensive wine list, I just like ordering this one, Chakalaka

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The walls are adorned with collectables and memories from imagineers journeys

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Colorful animals and art can be found all around Tiffins

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The Nomad Lounge next door is a comfortable, relaxed space that also reflects the travelers adventures. I could spend a day here just reading the travel quotes on the banners around the Nomad.

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At the end of the evening you are presented with a sketch, this one by Joe Rohde, who designed the Animal Kingdom park. Our server told us there were several that could be collected.

 

 

 

Posted in Animal Kingdom, Articles, Dining, Disney Resorts, Restaurants, Restaurants, Walt Disney World Tagged with: , , , , ,

Art Smiths Homecoming – Disney Springs

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We’ve been, well I’ve been wanting to eat at this restaurant for awhile. Having grown up in the south, and having a mom who I consider one of the best southern cooks whose table I’ve ever had the joy of sitting dining at, I knew this restaurant had to be visited.

One of the newer locations in the renovated Disney Springs, it’s located in the Town Center Section of Disney Springs, roughly behind STK Steakhouse.

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Bee Haven Bay Fried Green Tomatoes
Shaved ham, remoulade sauce, and dressed local greens

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Shrimp & Grits
Pan-seared shrimp with Tasso ham gravy and served over creamy Bradley’s grits

I was not planning on ordering the Shrimp & Grits, I had my heart set on the famous fried chicken or maybe fried catfish, c’mon, I told you I grew up on southern food. Our server Andy said this was hands down, the best thing on the menu, I was glad he did, besides Leslie got the chicken  😉

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Art’s Famous Fried Chicken
Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried and garnished with our house-made hot sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits, and love

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KC Greens: Braised Kale and Collards

I love collard greens, so we had to try a side of these  🙂  Andy warned us they had a pinch of sugar in them and we on the sweeter side, I didn’t mind, they were great!

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Hamilton County Chocolate Pecan Pie with Candied Pecans

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There are many nods around the restaurant to the down home “moonshining” days of the south.

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We enjoyed some adult libations during our trip, like the Moonshine Mash, Watermelon-infused moonshine, fresh watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup and the Basil Smash, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, sour mix, simple syrup and smashed basil leaves

 

Posted in Dining, Disney Resorts, Restaurants, Restaurants, Walt Disney World Tagged with: , , , , ,

STK Steakhouse Disney Springs

stkI’ve really been looking forward to dining at STK in Disney Springs. I love a great steak and this steakhouse does not disappoint!

Located in the Landing area of the all new Disney Springs, STK offers an ultra-modern steakhouse experience—featuring an innovative menu, in-house DJ and a stunning outdoor patio.

 

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Loin Strip 10 oz Blue Butter Sauce

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Filet Medallion 6 oz. with Blue Butter Sauce. They offer a variety of other sauces, their signature STK sauce, STK Bold, Au Poivre, Chimichurri, Béarnaise, Horseradish & Red Wine

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Two sides that we tried, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon and Ma& Cheese, both were great and shareable

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The pull apart bread with their signature blue butter topping and chive oil is amazing!

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The Florida Grouper with black mussels, chorizo, aged sherry vinegar

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Caramelito Bar, cocoa nib marshmallow, chocolate bavarian

Posted in Dining, Restaurants, Restaurants, Walt Disney World

Karisma Resorts

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600-img_5445HI!  I’m Laura Schiely, Director for Kingdom Magic Vacations and Must Love Travel.  Recently, I took a trip with some of our Travel Planners to Karisma resorts in Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico.  I loved the location and the beautiful resorts and thought you would like to get a little taste of what Karisma has to offer!  If you are thinking about an All- Inclusive trip to Mexico don’t miss the Karisma ad below and give us a call!

Having a passion for travel is a good thing!  Especially traveling to locations that offer so much for couples and families.  My name is Laura, Director of Operations for Must Love Travel Group.  In October our team had the opportunity to travel together to Riviera Maya, Mexico and experience Karisma’s Gourmet Inclusive resorts.  We stayed the beautiful Generations Family resort.  This resort is so unique; complete as an all suite, all butler and all gourmet resort.  One of our favorite features was that each suite has an infinity pool balcony and a beautiful view of the ocean.

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Karisma has  resorts for just couples and more resorts for families.  As we visited each resort it was a pleasure to experience the friendly service of the staff.  You didn’t have to be in a butler suite to receive the personal touch! 

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The Azul Sensatori was another of our favorite family resorts.  It is a perfect family location complete with the Nickelodeon Experience.  Kids are greeted with their own smoothie and cool towel while parents sip on a glass of champagne.  The Nick Concierge is there to ensure that you don’t miss any Nickelodeon fun!  The Azulitos Playhouse is perfect!  They have themed activities, special character appearances and are staffed with trained professionals.  

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To end our trip we visited El Dorado Maroma; a romantic getaway just for couples.  There is a lot going on at this resort, but of course our favorite was the Over the Water Palafitos.  These exclusive rooms, spa and dining location is the ultimate in romantic experiences.  Each Palafito has direct access to the ocean, private infinity pool, jacuzzi for 2, glass bottom floor and an oversized deck to enjoy the beautiful ocean views.  We found it to be not only private, but very quiet, relaxing and extra special!  

 

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There is so much more to share, so if you want to know more about the family vacations, couples only, wedding or honeymoons at the many Karisma Resorts, you can contact one of our Gourmet Inclusive Consultants to learn more!  

**Special thanks to Alyssa Maisano, one of our Travel Planners for taking these pictures to share with you.

 

 

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To Begin Planning Your Unforgettable Vacation, Let’s Connect Today!

Laura Schiely
Toll Free: (866) 972-6244 ext: 708
Text/Call Direct: (440) 940-6568
email: laura@kingdommagic.com

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Posted in Articles

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

A few weeks ago, Leslie and I attended the opening ceremony for the newest resort at Universal Orlando, Loews Sapphire Falls.

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The Caribbean-inspired Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is surrounded by lush grounds and cascading waterfalls.

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From the ruins of the stone turret in the lobby to the inviting island charm of the 1,000 guest rooms and suites, guests will be surrounded by a vivid and textured haven that is old-world and chic while still modern and timeless. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort offers an island escape in the heart of an unforgettable adventure.

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The pool area at Loews Sapphire Falls is beautiful and relaxing.

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Strongwater Tavern offers a great drink menu featuring an  incredible list of Rums, a ceviche bar and tapas style dining.

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Loews Sapphire Falls is conveniently located and connected to City Walk by boat or walking path. In City Walk there is great entertainment and dining like the new Toothsome Chocolate Factory.

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We had a great time at the opening party! This island man kept pushing the fish tacos on Leslie!

Congratulations to the Loews Sapphire Falls resort, we can’t wait to come back!

Posted in Travel with Rick Vacations, Universal Orlando Resort Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

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