Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens, Pt. 1


Episode 302 – This week Rick takes us around World Showcase at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival to enjoy a few of their outdoor kitchens as well as shows us a few of his favorite flowers, gardens, and topiaries!

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Six Years, 300 Weekly Episodes and Some Great Friends



At Travel with Rick we just crossed the 300th episode mark. But that’s 300 weekly episodes. If you count up all the extra Food & Wine episodes, 25 Days of Christmas episodes, and short mid week videos, we’d have more, a lot more.

In Six years we’ve been around the world, crossed two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific, tasted great food along the way and taken you all with us via our weekly videos.


And we’ve made a lot of friends, the best friends ever! I met Amanda & Travis Tinney through TwR, and Marc & Kriss Bigbie and John & Sarah Donahue, Tony Caselnova, Sarah & Barry Luka and so many more, and I’ve met many of you, the great folks that watch our show every week.

You guys have left your comments, asked your questions, given your support and encouragement and some of you have said you lived or at least traveled vicariously through our videos and now it’s expanded to our posts and pics on our Facebook page.


I’ve learned a lot in these six years. Technical stuff like how to shoot and edit video, although I don’t do that anymore, thanks John for making the show look good. How to be more outgoing and meet people like you, believe it or not I’m kind of an introvert. I’ve learned patience and planning, well some and I’m still learning these, because I’m really not good at either. I’ve learned a lot about wine and enjoyed a lot of food along the way. My geography has improved, I still have a lot to learn there, but I now know it’s easier to get to Dublin if you go through Paris and that stopping at Jimmy Buffett’s hotel on the way to New Orleans is a mighty fun thing to do.


So thank you, all of you. All of you who have made these six years possible. All the guests, and all the fans, I still don’t like that word, I prefer friends. You all know who you are that have made all this possible. I owe you a lot, or at least a glass of wine, well maybe a toast…here’s to you and to six years and 300 episodes, thank you, you’re awesome…Cheers!


In case you missed them in the 300th video or on our Facebook page, Here are the videos some of our guests hosts, aka “the usual suspects” sent in, enjoy!




Marc and Kriss Bigbie


Rhino Ken


Amanda Tinney


Tony Caselnova

Chad and Kate


John and Sarah-Irene Donahue


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Tour Through Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort


Episode 301 – Take a tour with Rick through Universal Orlando Resort’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

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Yes, Broken Wrist and All!


021-225x300I wrote this blog post last week for the KingdomMagicRunners.com Blog, and thought it would be good to share here as well…

Recently I broke my wrist in a snowmobiling accident. The last race i ran before breaking my wrist was a Half Marathon in Tybee Island, Georgia, that was in February, just before I broke my wrist, three days before to be exact.

I was in a cast for five weeks, so running has not been something I’ve been able to do. Before the accident, I typically ran three or four times a week, four or five miles a run. I also usually run Half Marathons three or four times a year and occasional 5-K’s throughout the year.

Now that I have the cast off and I have a removable brace for a few week’s it’s time to start thinking about running again. I missed a couple of races that we were already registered for. Yes, we, my wife Leslie is really the runner in the family. She’s training for Marathons and Triathlons throughout the year. I mainly run for the exercise, the health benefit and to try to keep up with Leslie!

I really hated missing the races in February and March due to the cast. I couldn’t run the Best Damn Race in Orlando, Les did that one without me, I also missed a Support the Chimps 16K and a 5K in Vero Beach where we live.


So that brings us to today. The Citrus Classic 5K in Vero Beach. Saturday morning, 7:30am, I’m dusting off my running shoes, charging my Nike watch and hitting the streets. I won’t be fast, I never am, but I’ll be there with a goal to stay upright and not fall on my wrist and cause more damage. I just want to get out and move again!


I’ve decided to chronicle my “road to recovery” starting with this 5K today, I’m going to start my weekly runs again. I have a Half Marathon in July in Maine that Leslie and I are running together, then three Half Marathon’s in November. I’m going to get Carrie my friend from the KMV Runners group to give me some tips and help me plan a strategy that fits my travel schedule. We’re going to do some of the running trails at Disney, do some videos that we’ll share here talking about the tips, tools and the gear we use and I’m sure there will be another blog post or two.

Check back and follow my road to recovery and 39.3 miles in November!

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Travel With Rick 300th Episode


Episode 300 – Celebrate with Rick and John as they reminisce about the past 6 years and 300 episodes with surprise guests, classic Travel With Rick footage, and questions from friends from all over the world!

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I Broke My Wrist Had to Cruise on Back Home



I love Jimmy Buffett quotes and song lyrics. Last month when I broke my wrist snowmobiling a couple went through my head as they usually do when I travel…some might say I live my life like a JB song :)

They first was the title of this post from Margaritaville, “Stepped on a pop top, Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home” the second from “Growing Older but Not Up” (now there’s a song title we’ll come back to later)

“I rounded first never thought of the worst
As I studied the shortstop’s position
Crack went my leg like the shell of an egg
Someone call a decent physician”


This whole experience, from breaking my wrist in the back country of Wyoming (did you see the video), to the trip two and half hours away to the Jackson Hole Emergency Room may have you wondering why a Florida boy goes snowmobiling in the snow every year, well that’s easy, it’s for a Florida girl (Leslie above), and yes I’m sure there’s a Jimmy Buffett song for that one too!


Living most of our lives in Florida, we don’t get to experience much snow, so this trip has become something that we both really look forward to. We begin our trip in Jackson Hole and usually stay one night at the Wort Hotel before heading up to Brooks Lake Lodge in Dubois Wyoming. The Wort is a rustic and historic part of Jackson. The staff is friendly and attentive, accommodations are always great and we love the food at their restaurant. 


This year we tried a restaurant we had not been to before in Jackson called the Blue Lion. They are known for their rack of lamb and have specialties like bison and elk and also do things to trout and salmon and other fish that mere words fail to describe. If you ever get to Jackson Hole, stop in, you’ll love it!


The next day we headed up to Brooks Lake Lodge which is about a two-hour drive north of Jackson. We love the lodge for some of the same reasons we love the Wort, it’s rustic, historical and the staff is amazing. From the main lodge and the surrounding cabins you have a beautiful view of the Pinnacle Mountains and the snowy meadow down to the ice and snow covered lake. The lodge itself was built by the same architect as the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone which is the inspiration for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.


In the winter the activities at Brooks Lake Lodge include snowshoeing, ice fishing, skiing and snowmobiling on over 300 miles of groomed trails along the continental divide. The lodge also has a full service Spa and an awesome culinary team complete with pastry chef, the meals are fantastic!


This trip marked our fourth winter trip out west, and as always, we were really looking forward to the snowmobiling. Unlike last year where we had over 72 inches of snow in the week we were there, the snow was not nearly as abundant and temperatures were warmer than usual, it actually got up to 45 degrees while we were in Jackson. These warmer temps made the snowmobiling a little more challenging, and actually a little more dangerous. Usually the creeks and streams are covered deeply in snow and you can ride right over them.


This year many of the creeks are opening up and it was in one of those creeks my snowmobile and I plummeted head first into, breaking my wrist in the process. Not to worry though, quick trip to the Jackson Hole Emergency Room, temporary cast to get me home, and we found more things to do and enjoy on our trip that we would not have normally done. Side note: when your travel agent suggests trip insurance, listen 😉


The rest of the week we spent enjoying the spa, ice fishing, exploring on snowshoe treks and loving the awesome cuisine from the chefs at the lodge. Crisis averted and we didn’t let it spoil our trip. Actually it was rather enjoyable meeting the lodge guests in the evening over drinks and sharing our stories, that’s what travel is supposed to do, give you memories and stories you can share with family and friends, both old and new!

So on that note, I’ll leave you with another of my favorite Jimmy Buffett song lyrics
“All the stories we could tell
If it all blows up and goes to hell
I wish that we could sit upon the bed in some hotel
And listen to the stories we could tell”

And next time I’ll tell you more about Leslie’s ice fishing trip…


… and how good those little rascals tasted…



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Brooks Lake Lodge and Spa With Guest Adam Long


Episode 299 – Rick and Leslie visit beautiful Brooks Lake Lodge and Spa in Dubois, Wyoming to enjoy some snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and the incredible Wyoming Rocky Mountains and Pinnacle Mountains!

To learn more about Brooks Lake Lodge and Spa visit www.BooksLake.com

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Carnival Live Cruise with Journey


I just returned from a media cruise on the Carnival Liberty with John our Director of Marketing here at Kingdom Magic Vacations. We had an awesome time of blogging, facebooking and hanging out with some pretty cool travel bloggers.



We enjoyed great weather all week and visited some beautiful ports, Grand Turk, San Juan and St Thomas. This sailing was a Carnival Live cruise, and we had the great pleasure of seeing the band Journey on the ship while we were in port in St Thomas. It was a very intimate show, only about 1200 people and they were fantastic. Whether you are a Journey fan or not, you would have thoroughly enjoyed their performance!


Okay, so the question you’re probably wondering what did I think of Carnival? Well, it was my first time on Carnival and I must admit I was really prepared NOT to like it, after all I pretty much agreed to go only because Journey was performing. However, I must admit, the ship was awesome. It was clean and well maintained, as were the guests 😉 Not the “booze cruise” antics and crowds I had heard frequent Carnival. Maybe because it was a longer sailing, not sure, but we did see and meet a lot of really nice folks.



The thing that I was most surprised about was the food. The regular dining room food was great and our serving staff were friendly and attentive and took really good care of us. We had dinner in the Steakhouse one night (an alternate restaurant) and it was awesome!


Also, for lunch, noon through 6pm they have Guys Burger Joint by Guy Fieri, I did enjoy these burgers a couple of days, they were awesome!


For breakfast and lunch Blue Iguana Cantina offers fresh burritos and tacos daily, yes I had a couple of those too. The breakfast wrap with Mexican eggs was my morning ritual and I also enjoyed and Arepa or two!

So, the entertainment, food and staff were great, people were enjoying the cruise and the itinerary, myself included. All in all a great cruise and with 24 ships there are a lot of options, I must say I approve!

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Last Chef Standing Event At The Key West Food and Wine Festival


Episode 298 – This week we are at the finals of the Last Chef Standing Event at the Key West Food and Wine Festival. Plus we run into an old friend!

To learn more about the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys visit http://www.vnahospicekeys.org/

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Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival – 2015


464We had an opportunity to visit the Food & Garden Festival, sorry, the Flower & Garden Festival a couple of weeks ago, our goal…to visit four or five booths and sample some of the offerings for an episode of Travel with Rick. We knew we wouldn’t be able to get to all the things in one day given the short amount of time we had, so we visited a few booths vowing to come back and pick up what we missed. Maybe I can get my friends Amanda Tinney or Marc Bigbie to help me out next time 😉


Here’s what we tried:

Botanas Botanico – Between France and Morocco

We tried the Seafood Ceviche – Shrimp, Scallops and Grouper with Mango and Avocado
This dish was simply fresh and delicious! I love Ceviche’s, which are basically raw seafood marinated or cooked in lime juice. Simple ingredients and awesome flavor is what comes through. We paired this with the only wine on the menu that wasn’t sparkling, the Monte Paschoal Reserve Tannat, it was a red that actually went pretty well with this, but a Sauvignon Blanc would have been just right I think.

Florida Fresh – Near Germany
We sampled the Watermelon Salad with pickled onions, B&W Gourmet Farms Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction and the Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro


Next we landed on the Florida Fresh booth where there was one thing that I was really looking forward to, the watermelon salad, well two things, the shrimp and grits is awesome also!

Both dishes were great, the watermelon salad is so fresh and the shrimp and grits is such a well known Florida dish, we loved trying them both!

Jardin De Fiestas – Mexico
We tried the Taco al Pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions, cilantro and Salsa Verde


This dish was a very nice, fresh corn tortilla filled with marinated pork which had a great flavor to it, topped off with pineapple, onion and cilantro gave it what seemed to be the flavor of the day, fresh and tasty. We paired it with the Mexican Sangria which had a hint of tequila and a, you guessed it, fresh fruity flavor, very nice!

Pineapple Promenade – World Showcase Promenade
Here we had the Pineapple Dog – Spicy Hot Dog, Pineapple Chutney and Sriracha Mayo


This is another dish we’ve been waiting for, most of you know I love hot dogs, and this one did not disappoint. A close comparison to the Kimchi Dog from South Korea can be made with this dog, it’s similar and the chutney and mayo give it a bit of spice similar to the kimchi slaw from the South Korea dog.

We really loved this dish and we paired it with the Berry Tea Cocktail, made with Twinnings Cold-Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Plant City Strawberry flavored Florida cane vodka, with raspberry and acai syrups. The tea was fresh (see a trend here) and sweet and paired well with the spice of the Pineapple Dog.

As I mentioned, we just hit four marketplaces this day. We’re really looking forward to coming back and trying more dishes like the Ghost Pepper dusted Tilapia from Urban Farm Eats and the Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash and Pulled Pork Sliders from The Smokehouse.


And, let’s not forget about the beautiful topiaries around the promenade, after all it is a Flower and Garden Festival, they just happen to have some great food and libations again this year! Of course we’ll be bringing you some more photos and video of the flowers and I’ll be sure to point out a few of my favorites!

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