Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Monday, April 14, 2014

Butterflies, Blooms and Blueberries

What's been happening in the past two weeks??
Doctors and dentist visits...done!
Coach serviced and ready...done!
Truck and blazer ready to go....done!
Travel itinerary and reservations....done!
Financial and property management meetings....done!
Sister Sue healthier and back home in Texas...done!
Restocking our pantry...in process!
Ready to get back on the road?..almost!

Whew! The weather is starting to heat up down here and we're just about ready to depart on our journey west this spring. We have managed to include a few fun things in our last couple of weeks. Before Sue headed back for Texas we took a day trip down to EPCOT to see the Flower and Garden Festival. This has become a yearly tradition for our family and once we had a dry, not-too-hot day forecast we loaded up the car and headed down. It's a two hour ride to Walt Disney World, not too bad for a day trip.

There are dozens of exhibits set up all across both sections of EPCOT. We started out at the entrance to Futureworld, and the beautiful topiaries set up here.

There are 21 topiary exhibits throughout EPCOT during the Festival.

Tinker Bell's Butterfly House is one of  10 different "Garden Destination" areas set up for the Festival.
One of the many beautiful butterflies we saw in the exhibit.

A stunning glass sculpture of butterflies, with a glass sculpture of flowers behind it.

Close-up look at the glass butterflies.

There are many beds of beautiful roses to wander through.

These cute shrubs were at the entrance to Mike and Sully's Monstrous Garden, which was home to a children's playground.

The Entrance Plaza to the World Showcase featured Sorcerer Mickey from "Fantasia".

Strolling the World Showcase is always a pleasant day for us. Each country featured has been themed perfectly to reflect the culture and history of its people.

A new topiary for this year's Festival features Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, inspired by this spring's opening of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" movie.

After their successful introduction of the "Outdoor Kitchen" booths last year, even more Outdoor Kitchen booths were introduced this year. Outdoor Kitchens are temporary food kiosks set up all around the World Showcase, usually highlighting food from the country the kiosk is set in. These were some of our favorites of the day (top left hand corner going clockwise):
Taco al Pastor (corn tortilla filled with achiote marinated pork garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro)
Pulled pig slider with coleslaw, and a "piggylicious cupcake" (maple frosting and pretzel crunch and applewood smoked bacon)
Shrimp and stone-ground grits with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro
We tried all three dishes from Italy!!
Caprese (fior de latte mozzarella, roasted peppers and olio verde)
Three Cheese Manicotti (egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and bechamel)
Torta di Ricotta (lemon cheesecake, limoncello marinated strawberries)
Croissant donuts; oh my if you've never had one, (or heard of one), it is a MOST decadent treat! They were invented by a chef in NY and patented as a "cronut". Disney's version is a little different looking, but seems to fulfill the basic idea. It's enormous, best split by (at least) two people, and SO worth the calories :-)
Watermelon Salad (with pickled onions, baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction)
and last...but not least..
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Waffle with Pineapple Soft serve ice cream...awesome!!

Lest you think we spent the entire afternoon eating and ignoring the gardens (really, we didn't....really!),
we saw more topiaries,

inspected the bonsai exhibits, 

visited several other exhibits and movies..

and finally stumbled back to Futureworld, with full tummies and overloaded senses :-). After a final hang-gliding adventure on the "Soarin'" attraction, we made our way back to Homosassa...needing no dinner :-).

We also made time to get out and attend the Florida Blueberry Festival in Brooksville, about a half hour drive from home. It seems like the whole town shuts down for the weekend, and vendors line the streets selling everything under the sun. 
Orchids were a very hot item....$5.00 each!

Plenty to eat, most blueberry themed! We tried the blueberry soda, and it was just as good as the ones we had in Maine. The blueberries here are much larger, though, not the tiny wild blueberries we found up there. I did by a couple of baskets to make blueberry muffins with.

We also had a couple of get togethers with family. We had a late/early birthday party for myself and Susie before she left, as her birthday occurred while she was in the hospital. We were invited to dinner at our Aunt Doris and Uncle Ron, who live here in Sugarmill, and had a most excellent lasagna dinner. We'll also be getting everyone together next Sunday here at the house for Easter dinner, as a last send-off before we hit the road next Monday. I'll post our expected itinerary on the side bar, where we expect to be on what dates, and if anyone is in the area, give a shout!

One last thing before I go. Last year at this time we were all prepared to leave, when Al had his setback with his heart condition. Luckily for us, he's been fine ever since, and last week had an excellent report with his cardiologist. We are good to go. Unfortunately, the black cloud still hovers over our family, and we had hoped with Susie's good recovery that The Good Lord was done with us for the year. However, it was not to be, and two weeks ago we had a phone call that cousin Bill, whom we see at least once a year at our Fort Wilderness reunions, was involved in a serious accident on his motorcycle. He had been out for a ride near his home in South Carolina when he was hit by a deer. He has several injuries, although thank God that his helmet prevented any head injuries and he was in full leathers, it being a colder morning. He is still in ICU in Savannah GA, making slow progress. Any and all good thoughts from my readers would be most appreciated. You just never know what is going to happen and it's so important to live your life happy, and healthy. 

The gargoyle's waiting for you Bill....may you have a full and speedy recovery.


  1. Sorry to hear about Bill. Prayers for the family.

    We are packing today and saying our goodbyes. Tomorrow we will head slowly toward SD. Safe travels.

  2. So sorry to hear about Bill's accident. I've always worried about motorcycles. I hope he has a speedy recovery. I've never been to the flower and garden show, but it looks terrific and the food does too especially that donut thing. mmmmmm. But a blueberry corndog?? Really? Safe travels!

  3. Motorcycles do frighten me. When John was in Intensive Care the nurses were telling me that 85+% of ICU patients are there due to motorcycle accidents. Prayers from us for Bills recovery.

    If I were to go to a blueberry festival, I'd be in seventh heaven.

  4. Wishing Bill a very speedy recovery. He's a very lucky man to have survived that ordeal! Deer usually win.
    Loved all the Disney pics. They sure do it up right :)
    And the food? Wow. That's all I can say.
    Happy Easter and Happy Trails!

  5. Hope Bill heals quickly and has a complete recovery...he'll be in our thoughts and prayers!!

    You two sure have been busy...need to hit the road to get a little rest;o))

    Safe Travels and Happy Trails.......

  6. You certainly have had your share of issues this year! Prayers for Bill and family. That Disney flower show looked marvelous. We saw the signs for the blueberry festival, then I forgot about it! I really wanted to go too. We leave a week from today, and can't wait to see something else :-)

  7. Our well wishes to Bill. Looks like you guys had a good time at both festivals.

  8. Prayers to Bill. Fabulous photos of Disney and the food looks great! Safe travels!

  9. We can sure understand why you return each year to EPCOT for the flower festival. It looks so beautiful and the food looks very yummy. Safe travels. We hope to get together with you this summer. I've added your blog to follow.

  10. I've never been to EPCOT and that garden looks wild!

    I gave up on motorcycles several decades ago when two acquaintances of mine were in terrible (fatal) accidents on the same day. One was actually documented in a PBS special. It's fun, but too dangerous.