Sunday, December 14, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up – November 30th – December 6th

December has finally arrived!

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With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, we decided to start gearing up our holiday spirit with a trip to Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town! We headed out extra early, right from church, so that we could compensate for traffic troubles and delays on our trek out to Williamsburg.  Good thing, because traffic was terrible!  We got there at just the right time, though, to get in line for parking, close enough to see the ticket booth.  Yay!

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This year, I took Hayden and Haylee with me.  Holden hates the cold, and Steve hates crowds, so it was a perfect outing for just the three of us.  Here are the kids awaiting the first show when we entered at opening time.  It was Scrooged in the Globe Theater.

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Escape from Pompeii was transformed into a Coca-Cola winter wonderland!  The kids loved sitting on the signature polar bear benches.  That night, the falls were lit up with thousands of lights, and it was so beautiful!

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Next up, we actually got to ride some rides in Festa Italia!  We did the Battering Ram a couple of times and then headed off for the next show at the stage in Italy.  Here’s Haylee with our front row seat waiting for the show to begin!  The park had a new Android app that sent us on a bit of a scavenger hunt.  So while we waited for the show to start, Hayden took my phone to find a bunch of the “checkpoints” and earn rewards.  Before the night was out, he completed the entire hunt, and we earned a free fountain soda!  We never got to redeem it, though, because by the time we reached the required location to redeem it, the restaurant was closed!  Oh, well. 

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Then we were off to Octoberfest.  We managed to get into the Festhaus in time to get our dinner and see the show in there, too.  Hayden and I split this wonderful roast beef sandwich that was sooooo good, a salad, and a giant slice of Black Forest Cake!  Haylee had a turkey kids’ meal.  Everything was so delicious, and we were totally stuffed.  Here’s the carnage of our dinner, LOL.

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Haylee and I hoped to see the live penguins in the Penguin Palace, but the line was just too long.  Nevertheless, we loved the beautiful “12 Days of Christmas” themed Christmas trees throughout that section, and they were all so beautiful!

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Next, we went to Ireland and saw the Gloria show.  Hayden and I saw it last year, but it was so good that we couldn’t miss it!  Again, we got in line early and waited about an hour, but we were able to get a front row seat right in front of the orchestra to see the show.  It was amazing!  I loved sitting to so close to the musicians, and they were friendly and gracious.  Lovely!

We had a wonderful evening.  We ended it with a skyride and a ride around the park on the train.  So much fun, all the lights were just beautiful!

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You may remember that Steve and I never got to have a real 20th anniversary dinner…it was a total disaster!  But we decided to go back and try again.  So I had Steve meet me at the same restaurant, The Highlander, again on his way home from work.  Wow!  We had the whole place to ourselves, and we had the most amazing meal!  So delicious!  I could totally see us turning this into our new hangout.  Even if we just stopped in for dessert and tea, I’d love it!  We started off the meal with an appetizer of Scottish Eggs.  I’d never had them before, but they sounded delicious! 

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Wow, they were so good!  Steve didn’t know the dipping mustard was spicy hot English Coleman’s mustard, so he dunked his egg right in and just about burned off his taste buds!  They were really good, though, and we gobbled them up.  Next up, Steve got the large cod and chips, and I got the small haddock and chips.  It was so yummy, and here’s just what was left from Steve’s portion, which I saved for lunch the next day!

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And finally, I ordered the bread pudding and more tea for dessert.  Absolutely fabulous!  I am quite picky about my bread pudding, but this was awesome!  It wasn’t soggy, but firm, yet it had a generous amount of custard sauce on top.  Delicious!

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Steve and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and we’ll definitely be back.  What’s more, because of the fiasco with our anniversary visit, the owner informed us that our dinner was on them!  Wow.  That was certainly generous.  We’ll definitely be back, and we’re really looking forward to it!

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Worth mentioning, I was shopping at Kroger one night and came across this amazing cake that was about to be reduced for quick sale.  It was a chocolate raspberry torte! 

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Seriously, just look at that delectable creation!  Who could pass that up?  It was a chocolate cake with raspberries between the layers and covered with chocolate ganache and chocolate curls with chocolate whipped frosting and Hershey’s raspberry chocolates on top!

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At the end of the week, I took Haylee and Holden to the Orb Family Fun Center for some bouncy fun!  They had a great time.

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That looks like a great time, doesn’t it?  As cold as it was outside, they were burning up by the time we left!  They totally wore themselves out, bouncing for something like 3 hours straight!  LOL

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Well, this was a great way to start off the month of December.  I’m ready for some holiday fun, aren’t you?  I sure hope this month has great things in store for us.

Until next week…