Spending the Day in Blairsville and Blue Ridge Georgia

Day 2 in the North Georgia Mountains started a little later than we liked. For some reason when we are on a long vacation (excluding a cruise) we immediately adjust our sleep schedule to falling asleep sleep at 2am and waking up at 10am. But that’s why we go to the cabin at the end of a one lane road that’s 2 hours away from any big city, so we can slow down and quiet our minds. We take our time and enjoy not having to rush through everything to get to the next task. It was nice to enjoy breakfast at the table and not standing over the stove rushing out the door.

I remembered this place off the main road that we always passed by going to and from the cabin. I would always say “we have to stop there and check it out” every time we passed it. I’m glad we waited until now to finally visit because we wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as we did this day. The place is called Sleepy Hollow and the artist creates beautiful hand made whimsical fairy and hobbit style houses from small birdhouse size houses to large treehouse size playhouses.

As we were getting dressed deciding what to do and bundling up because our Florida blood couldn’t handle the 40 degree weather, I decided to Google the place before we stopped in. As I read the story about Sleepy Hollow and the artist, I became ecstatic when I found out he is a former Disney imagineer! He was also an artist who contributed to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch as well as well as Universal Orlando resort and Dollywood to name a few. I called right away to confirm they were open and will allow us to come with our camera and meet him.

We only planned to stop in for an hour or so to get some footage and say hello to former Disney Imagineer, Art Millican but it turned into a 2 1/2 hour visit just chatting it up, discussing passion for the arts and our love for Disney. It turns out his home town is not too far from my home town in Massachusetts. He asked if I was and artist and I said no… I corrected myself and talked about my mediums and how I would consider myself one if I had more time to practice. Call it being too humble but I felt so unworthy to call myself an artist in the presence of an imagineer. They are celebrities in my book.

It was such an amazing visit that the entire drive to Blue Ridge I was trying to convince Rob to move up to the cabin and see how we could convince Art to hire me so I can be an apprentice and just learn anything I can.

Blue Ridge is just about 30 min up the road from Sleepy Hollow. We were starting to get a little hungry and remembered that the town has a quaint downtown area with shops and restaurants. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway starts there as well. Unfortunately we won’t be taking that trip anytime soon because of the price (about $44 to $79 per person) but we hear it’s a lovely ride. 

We had a good time exploring all the different shops and discovered a nice IPA named Tropicalia from a brewery in Athens, GA called Creature Comforts Brewing Co. We were not able to have dinner due to the sheer volume of people. They decided to stop taking orders after we got our beer and when we left, another restaurant had a wait of over 2 1/2 hours to get a table.

I settled for some fresh pecan flavored fudge and we made our way back to the cabin for a home cooked meal.

Stay tuned for our drive to Nashville on New Years Eve. Now I really understand that it’s not the destination but the ride because it was a beautiful 4 hour drive there.

And a great video to come once we get back home with some wifi.

See you on our next adventure!

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Hanging at Walt Disney World for Independence Day and Apple’s Birthday

The first thing anyone would say when they found out we were spending 4th of July weekend at Disney was “hell no” or “you guys are crazy!” Independence Day at the parks is expected to be insanely busy especially when the fireworks are to go off. But if it is one thing Disney knows how to do well, it is to move people. This isn’t their first rodeo. They anticipate the crowds.

Magic Kingdom scheduled their Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky for the 3rd and the forth. So, just in case we did Epcot on the 4th, Rob wanted to make sure I had seen the Magic Kingdom fireworks first. Rob has always been a passholder. At one point in his 20’s he had an annual pass to not only Disney but to Universal and other parks. Me on the other hand, I was busy training to be the next celebrity chef. In fact there was a good 10+ years that I did’t go to the parks. To make a short story long, I never experienced Disney during the holidays or any way other than going with the family, waiting in long lines and only riding 4 rides. So, when he said “Baby, I booked an AirBnB for 4th of July weekend and your birthday” I knew I was in for a treat!

The fireworks were incredible! I had goosebumps throughout most of the show. And the grand finale… wow! Click on the video to see it, but let me tell you that wont do it any justice! No matter where you are in the park, you will see fireworks and at the end, as they were finishing the “Star Spangled Banner” a 360 of fireworks surrounded the park!

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The night got more exciting when the fireworks were over. There were DJ’s set up in all the lands and were spinning some popular songs. And yes, I joined them when the DJ’s in Frontier Land played the Macarena! You will be able to laugh at that in the video.

The next morning, July 4th, we pop into Animal Kingdom to go ride Flight of Passage and planned to meet up with our friends Corey and Tee. As we are walking to Pandora, in the Animal Kingdom, we saw a group of people that had a private tour guide heading in the same direction. Hmm who could that be? We really hate to get all fan girl on people especially when they are with their family so we tried not to be obvious when I ran ahead and turned back around to see it was Chris Kattan. So, quietly Rob asked if he was Chris Kattan and I went a tiny bit fan girl! Thankfully I didn’t embarrass myself too much. Fan girl mode only lasted about 15 seconds. You an watch that in the video too haha. We were polite as can be and tried to give him his space and wished his family a happy 4th but he kept talking to us the whole way to Pandora!

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We hosted our first official Meet and Mingle with our Annual Passholder Facebook group on July 5th. The meet up was at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios and it was a lot of fun! We were to busy getting to know everyone that we hardly recorded anything!

We made reference to not being able to wait for Mark Daniel post a video about his Porg meeting Chewie… Check out what we were talking about on his YouTube channel here!

We started July 6th a little late because Rob was sick. By the time we got to spend any time with our friends at Epcot, they had to head back home and then the rain came… So we decided to go resort hopping on the Walt Disney World monorail.

Our first stop was The Grand Floridian Resort where we did a little browsing in the shops and Rob got the band to sing Happy Birthday to me. That is definitely in the video, you have to see it, I go so embarrassed!

Our next stop was The Polynesian Village. We looked around in the shops and I got laid hehe. My birthday wasn’t until the following day (Sunday) but we were leaving then so I wore my birthday shirt and button and we celebrated on Saturday. We tried to get a bite and a cocktail at Trader Sams but the rain brought everyone inside. The wait was over an hour and a half to get a seat. So, explored the resort a little more and moved on to the next Resort.

There was a resort launch boat in the back that took us to Magic Kingdom so we can pick up a bus to the Yacht Club. The rain had turned into a bearable mist and the sun was setting which made for a beautiful ride. I really enjoyed the Yacht Club’s New England Feel being that I am from Massachusetts originally. We walked through both the Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts as they are connected and passed by the beautiful pools and delicious smelling restaurants where we grabbed a snack at the Compass Market to hold us over. We were balling on a budget so dinner was off property this evening.

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On the final day of our Independence Day/my birthday weekend, July 7th, we head to Port Orleans Resort for a boat ride on the Sassagoula River to Disney Springs for breakfast at Earl of Sandwich and shopping. The rain put an early end to a relaxing last day in Disney. We returned to Port Orleans Resort to taste the famous beignets and made birthday wishes in the fountain.

See you on our next adventure!

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Best Adventures of 2018

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We countdown our favorite adventures of 2018 from our cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northern Georgia.

 

Our Top 10 Adventures of 2018

Below are our top 10 adventures we had in 2018 and the videos that go along with them.

 

#10  Pranking Yami

 


9.  Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show


8.  Kennedy Space Center


7.  Cruising the Venice of Florida – Water Taxi


6.  Helicopter ride over Orlando Theme Parks


5.  Eating at California Grill


4.  Cruising on the Oasis


3.  Horseback Riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains for Christmas


2.  We bought a sailboat


1.  Got Married!

 

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A Day at the Mexico Pavilion – Epcot

Since this was our last day of our Disney annual passes we wanted to make the most of it. We won’t be renewing until next year

Continuing celebrating Apple’s birthday weekend at Walt Disney World in the Mexico Pavilion of EPCOT’s World Showcase. Join us as we go for a boat ride in the Gran Fiesta Tour, enjoy a Margarita and finish off the night at the San Angel Inn with a romantic dinner by the water over looking the boat ride!

 

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Helicopter Ride over Disney, Universal, Volcano Bay, Sea World and More!

I have never been on a helicopter before and with the new Toy Story Land opened and Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) being under construction, a helicopter tour was a conversation Rob and I kept having. This year we decided that instead of big expensive gifts we would get experiences for each other. Christmas was sailing lessons and when my birthday was coming around, a meal at an amazing restaurant and a heli-tour was the perfect fit.

Best birthday present ever!

We met up with the folks over at Orlando Heli-Tours and went on the “Grand Park Adventure Tour” and it was super fun. They had a nice Robinson R66 Turbine helicopter with air conditioning and a very friendly pilot so it was definitely a comfortable and fun flight.

The tour is approx. 20 mins and costed $125.00 per person.

On top of Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge, Grand Park Adventure Tour fly’s over the following places:

  • Sea World
  • Discovery Cove
  • Eight Disney Resorts
  • Downtown Disney
  • Pleasure Island
  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Key West Resort
  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Epcot
  • Swan and Dolphin
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Tower of Terror
  • Blizzard Beach
  • Animal Kingdom
  • All-Star Resort
  • Disney’s Wide World of Sports
  • Pop Century Resort
  • Old Town
  • International Drive
  • Wet-N-Wild
  • Universal Studios
  • Islands of Adventure
  • Aquatica Water Park
  • Nickelodeon Resort.

 

We can’t wait to do it again!

Visit Orlando Heli-Tours here: http://www.orlandohelitours.com/

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Our Experience at Disney’s California Grill

We arrived at the Contemporary Resort early to check in to ensure the maitre d’ sat us in perfect view of the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. These reservations were made over 6 months ago to make sure we had the best table for Apple’s birthday. Since we arrived really early they let us up to sit at the bar area while we waited. We started with a short-rib appetizer and some cocktails. The short-ribs were unbelievably tasty. short ribs

Our table was ready early and since the fireworks were not for another 3 hours or so, we decided this was going to be an all night affair and that was the waiter’s idea. What a great guy, I wish we remembered his name for our next visit.

 

The next course was the charcuterie. It was a very lovely selection of meats. The duck was my favorite and Rob loved them all.

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For the main course I ordered the dungeness crab over spaghetti with bone marrow crumb and blue crab butter. Rob ordered the pepperoni pizza. I know, it was a little weird going to such an amazing restaurant and only ordering a pizza. At first I thought it was because our bill was going to be so high and he was just trying to be frugal but when I took a bite of his pizza it almost made me regret getting what I ordered. Almost but not quite. The dish was amazing. You can tell the spaghetti was fresh made and the bone marrow crumb was crunchy for some reason. I loved every bite.

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We took our time just enough for the lights to dim in the restaurant and we were able to watch the fireworks show “Happily Ever After” at the Magic Kingdom from our table. It had rained a couple hours prior and the windows were still wet but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the show, it just ruined any photo or video we tried to take.fireworks.png

I really wanted desert but we had no more room. To be honest I was getting a little worried about the size of the check. I kept ordering these delicious blueberry martinis and Rob’s beers were not that cheap either. We did forget one small detail, we are on Disney property and I was still wearing my birthday button. So the waiter brought us out a Boston cream cupcake with a candle in it and the couple next to us (who we have been chit chatting with most of the night) joined Rob as he sang “happy birthday” to me. A perfect ending for a perfect day.

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My Cousin Adopted 2 Brothers

This morning was a very special morning. We went to Disney, as usual. What was so different about this day is that we are going to meet my cousin Joey. Now Joey is someone I grew up with, literally grew up with. We were born two days apart in the same hospital. So we’ve been close ever since. And, he just adopted two brothers! We finally got to meet them. It was their first time leaving New England, their first time on a plane and obviously their first time at Disney! And as annual passholders at Disney, Robert and I felt extremely compelled to be with them and make sure that they have the best first time ever.

I loved meeting Brauk and Blake. They fit right into the family. And to see Joey as a dad was something else. I think I was on the verge of tears most of the day. It takes a really amazing person to adopt a child, but to adopt 2, now you’ve moved up to a whole other level.

You should see their reactions after Space Mountain. Watch it here!

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