Saturday, November 17, 2012


We are staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Our balcony overlooks a wildlife area, and there are a few other scattered enclosures on the grounds.  Here are some of the critters we see on a regular basis:

There are a few more species that I haven't gotten a good angle on yet.  It is quite an experience to watch giraffes lie down for the night!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Water Themes

Sorry for the lack of blogging on this trip. We've had very full days, ending with falling into bed exhausted.

Our first 5 days were spent in Orlando proper. First, the food delights... we discovered a wonderful restaurant Bone Fish Grill just across the street from our hotel. Serving primarily seafood, we ate there 3 times in 4 days, having something different each day and loving it. One of my favourites was the Bang Bang Shrimp: lightly breaded shrimp, deep fried, with a slightly spicy creamy sauce on it.

We also did 4 theme parks: Islands of Adventure, Seaworld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove. Most of you will know Islands of Adventure as the place that has Harry Potter World. It really is breathtaking. However, I think one of my highlights was braving the scariest roller coaster I've ever been on: The Hulk. Here's someone else's video of the experience:

Seaworld had some fun shows, rides and things to do like the family here feeding stingrays.

Aquatica is a water park with various water slides.

Discovery Cove is an interactive water/animal park. There is a salt water snorkeling area, a fresh water river, and a very cool underwater walk that 4 of us did. Bram got to play with his new underwater camera!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On the road again... with family! (Orlando, Florida)

Unlike some of our other trips, little will be blogged about the plans and preparation that went into the trip, because, well, we didn't really have to do much of that! We are fortunate enough to be guests on a family vacation to Orlando, Florida, courtesy of Jon & Barbara (Bram's parents) who have done all the planning, booking and organizing of this trip.

So the key players on this trip are:
Bram and me (Lori)
Bram's parents, Jon & Barbara
Bram's sister, Arwen
Arwen's husband, Taavo
and their 4 children: Poe, Mae, Evi and Teo

Yup, that's 10 of us! All picked up in this swanky ride to the airport!

After a bit of a stressful start and some rude employees at United, we were on our way.

(Bram adds) During the flight, we saw a circular rainbow outside the window!  It was hard/impossible to photograph through the glass etc. but it was an amazing sight.(end Bram)

Since we arrived at our hotel somewhere between midnight and 1:00 am, we decided to have a fairly low key day around our hotel, the Hilton Grand Vacations at Seaworld Villas. Bram and the girls had some fun in one of the many pools. (It's going to be difficult adding in "and Teo" when he gets old enough to participate... but for now he's only 6 months old!!) Poe and Mae love the water and are like little fishies!

The rest of the day was mostly lounging, walking, exploring, and stocking up. Stay tuned for more adventures as we explore places like Discovery Cove, Universal Studios, and of course Disney World!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two Days in C'town and Three meals at Gahan House Pub

Bram and I agree, that this cozy microbrewery and restaurant may be our favourite restaurant in the world. Dear El Fogon in Playa del Carmen gets bumped to second, but doesn't have to worry too much since I will visiting it much more often than Gahan.

For lunch, Bram had the Chicken Goat Cheese wrap and I had the Pulled Pork Sandwich made with their house BBQ sauce. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!

For dinner, we shared another build your own pizza (chorizo, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, BBQ sauce) and a prime rib sandwich.

We celebrated our last night in PEI with another dinner at Gahan. We weren't very hungry, and took the server's suggestion of nachos with pulled pork. We weren't disappointed!

And after telling her our story of how many times we had been to the restaurant, and how some days dreaming of eating here was the only thing that got me up some of the hills on our rides, she brought us a complimentary pecan tart, topped with Cow's pecan ice cream as a thank you for our patronage. What a sweet way to finish our trip!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to Charlottetown!

Trip distance: 68km
Lori's new speed record: 47.1 kmh

That's really as fast as I need or want to go on a bike. I wasn't even trying. In fact, I was braking. That should tell you something about the hills we had to climb!

This felt like one of our best rides physically. The light wind was at our backs, the clouds were thick to protect us from the heat, and at least in the beginning the hills were gentle. So we ended up taking the long scenic route along the shore. Then as we got closer to Charlottetown, we hit the hills! It was somewhat cruel, because we could see Charlottetown about 2km off in the distance across the water, but had to ride around the water for 40 km! Plus a chunk of that was on a busy highway with no shoulder. That's the worst for riding. 

We stopped in Cornwall for a better-than-expected lunch at Pizza Delight (restaurant options were limited) and rolled into our B&B by 4:00 pm. 

The Merchantman Pub gets high reviews, but we thought it was mostly average for the price. Bram had the street chicken and I had their award winning east-west burger. While it was indeed a tasty burger, for $13 with no side, I expected more wow.

Wandered around shops and hunted for our favorite peanut butter fudge crunch ice cream before hitting bed early.