Sunday, March 13, 2011

Florida 2011 recap Day 2 - Flowers and Oscars

On the second day of my Florida trip, it was time to get up and head to the parks. Or just one park in today's case: Epcot.

A lot of pop culture entities like to make fun of the place as being the "boring" educational park. They can go dive off Spaceship Earth (the big golf ball). Epcot is by far my favorite of the parks, and it's the best place to go and just hang. You can go to Epcot and not go on a single ride or see a single show, and you'll still get your money's worth. It's a beautiful place to get shots like this:

Found these guys wandering around the flower garden near the American pavilion at the World Showcase - pretty fearless guys. This wasn't done with a zoom lens at all - got right up close to em. (All the pictures were taken with my cell phone, camera, BTW. I used that because I wanted to see how good I could be with it, and I admit, because I get a kick out of being able to instantly upload photos with my phone. Or I could just be lazy.

At any rate, Angie, Derek and I stopped by Tutto Italia for lunch. It is a personal rule of mine that on every Disney World trip, I must dine at at least one of the full-service restaurants in World Showcase. I've had some of my very best culinary experiences there. Italian is my favorite ethnic food, and I'd never been to Epcot's Italian restaurants before, so I decided to give one of them a whirl.

I'd heard the restaurant described as "Fazoli's-level food at Carrabas-level prices." And while it's not quite THAT dramatic, I have to say it's one of the few Disney dining experiences that didn't truly impress me.

This was my main course, Casareci - cavatelli pasta, sweet sausage ragu, tomatoes, Pecorino Romano. It was good, but it lacked the WOW factor - not enough spice for my taste.

The dessert, however, was QUITE good. This is Gianduja - Chocolate Torta - chocolate and hazelnut torte with whipped cream and raspberry sauce. De-LECT-able. I'd be tempted to return to this place if only for the desserts. 

After lunch we strolled around the World Showcase. The following weekend was the start of the annual Flower and Garden Festival, but some topiaries were already up, like this lovely one of Belle and Beast, just outside of France, of course.

My personal favorite was this group just outside the UK Pavillion - here's Captain Hook closing in on Peter Pan.

But that doesn't tell the whole story ... pan to the right ... 

... and you'll see Captain Hook's Time is about up!

Strolling into the UK area, I simply had to go into a certain shop. You people can have your sun, surf and sand and all that crap - here's MY idea of paradise!

Paradise does have its pitfalls however. While I was ogling all that stuff, Angie got pulled into one of the street skits and I missed the whole blasted thing. I always knew one day my Beatlemania would cost me. 

Since that evening was Oscar night, I had to plop down in front of a chair to watch the big show, (which I thought wasn't as bad as everyone said it was). However, I plopped down in a chair that belonged to this lil' fella. 

This is Tobey, a beagle mix that belong's to Angie's roommate, Heather. As it turned out, I was sitting in the chair where Tobey regularly sleeps. But he didn't seem to mind. He's a sweet boy. He took to me right away. Toeby just relaxed or dozed on top of me, changing positions throughout the evening. 

Until he finally ended up like this, snoring in my lap. 

And that was pretty much the end of the day for both Tobey and me. Coming up next - adventures in Downtown Disney, and the Magic Kingdom!

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