I want to wish my sweet, sweet Drew the happiest of birthdays! I am so lucky to have him in my life and so thankful of how special he makes me feel every day. I'm so glad he "swipped right" and then messaged me that day outside the pizza joint. ;) I can't wait to celebrate with him in a week from now in our favorite sunny Orlando!
Here's another yummy food update!
Here you have two breakfast entrees found from Trattoria al Forno. Katey and I shared these on her trip a few weeks ago! On the far left are apple+cinnamon pancakes, and on the right are fancy Italian scrambled eggs! They had tomato, Basil, and fresh Mozzarella mixed in, with a side of potatoes. Both entrees also included a side of bacon or chicken sausage, so we got one of each!
We really enjoyed both meals, and overall I have been super impressed with Trattoria al Forno. However, nothing beats the poached egg and polenta entree...so good! And their pressed pot of fresh coffee is literally the best coffee I have ever had. Plus, cast members get 40% off for breakfast and you just can't beat that!
Unfortunately, it is only available during Epcot's Flower and Garden festival. Luckily though Drew and I had a couple to hold us off until next year. ;)
And now let us take a moment for the beautiful and delicious French Bakery....
Praise the French Bakery because every single thing I have ever had here has been downright TASTY! On the right is a little roll of bacon heaven. It is dough and butter and bacon. Basically a bacon cinnamon roll, minus the cinnamon. IT IS SO GOOD. Get it...you will not be disappointed.
And to the right is like it a churro and a chocolate croissant had a baby. A delicious chocolate-y, cinnamon-y, light as air baby. YUMMMMMM. <3
Plus, both of these beautiful treats are pretty inexpensive - YAY for our pocketbooks! =D
Cow Fish specializes in two things: burgers and sushi. Sometimes even combining the two! On one of my trips with Drew, we had lunch here. Drew got a burger, his standby because he loves them so. And in typically Brittany fashion, I wanted a little of everything. Luckily, Cow Fish prepared for customers like me and created bento box options filled with all kinds of goodies!
My bento box had a little burger in the middle (which is great for me because anyone who knows me knows I dislike big burgers, hence why I seldom order them). Going clockwise from the top is edamame, California roll, sweet potatoe fries, and a slaw! I liked it quite a bit and the whole lunch was one Drew and I will never forget. ;)
So out of all the hotels Drew and I have ever stayed at, Portofino takes the cake! It is so beautiful, and as an Italian, I really enjoyed the theming. Also if you can, upgrade to the concierge lounge. It is awesome! They provide breakfast, lunch, dinner (with wine and beer!), and snacks in between!
The nice thing about staying at a Universal hotel is that you are within walking distance to both parks and City Walk! The first evening we got some dinner at the concierge lounge and then headed to Diagon Alley. We ended out night at City Walk's Breadbox for grilled cheese and fries. =)
The next day we got lunch at one of Drew's FAVORITE places Mythos. He got his all time favorite burger (and it was good!) and I got the risotto. Yum :)
In the afternoon, we checked into Royal Pacific. Look how pretty it is!!
We also had a little photo shoot... =P
It was Universal again on Saturday, and I finally got to attend the park's Mardi Gras festival! And guess what: Phillip Phillips was there!! #blessed =P
Drew and I still had to work during this mini-vacation, but after we would always do something. One night we headed to International Drive and had dinner at Yardhouse. And the cool thing was it is located right by Orlando's newest Ferris wheel. Even though it is not open yet, we still got to snap a few photos.
Thursday was our day for relaxing! We watched The Guest, lounged poolside, I made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then we went to Player 1 for some drinks+video games. It was a very fun day; both of our favorite day! (PS: Bioshock is an awesome video game and everyone should watch their boyfriend play it :D)
Our last day took us over to Epcot's Flower and Garden. Although I was a little slow moving that day (thank you Drew for taking such good care of me!), it was such a lovely day! We both really enjoyed Flower and Garden, learning more at the various exhibits and sampling the dishes. (More to come on the food part =P)
12. Go to Washington DC to see the sights - monuments, museums, zoo, etc!
13. Go to Washington DC to see the White House and look for Obama. (ha!)
14. Go to Washington DC and slowly chant "USA USA USA" and never feel more patriotic in my life =D
16. Go to Washington DC to see a PANDA BEAR!!!!
17. But most importantly go to Washington DC to see my favorite boy :)
(this was a VERY big life moment y'all, HA!)
My 25th birthday was truly a wonderful one. Thanks to everyone who made it oh-so special! And here is to 25 more years of happiness, love, positivity, and adventure! <3
Want to know how to make half a month seem like three or four days? Just have friends and family from all over the country come and visit you around the same time! Seriously, I cannot believe it has been 16 days since I have wrote a post. It has been a crazy, jam-packed, and FUN two weeks though, with so many memories made. Let's start at the beginning with October 2nd...
Drew and Company!
Highlights: The Walking Dead house, waking up to free LEGIT donuts and then more freebies for dinner, dancing like Star-Lord, getting freebie beer downtown because that is just the life of Brittany Madden, The Purge scare zone (seriously, SO SCARY), and having my first Brandy Alexander. =)
Tips: Look to your left before entering TWD house. Avid fans will love what they see! Also, if you get hungry, I suggest the chicken nuggets and tots over at The Simpsons. Lastly, do NOT bring your purse, unless you're cool with storing it in a locker EVERY SINGLE TIME. :)
And there you have it! A perfect, lovely day! :)
Gossip Girl...errr I mean, Brittany :D
Back in June, my friends Brittany and Amanda made their way from pretty ole Kentucky to sunshine-y Florida. And here is our lovely mini vacation in pictures!
Night One: A Speakeasy
Went to my first speakeasy, and it was wonderful! (If you're interested in getting some "shoes repaired", call Hanson's Shoe Repair. They are on point. ;D)
Day Two: Resort Hoppin'
Our second day consisted of exploring various deluxe resorts all over Walt Disney World. I am so glad the girls loved it as much as I do, because it is one of my favorite free activities to do at WDW. It was basically a day full of beautiful things: pretty hotels, animals, landscapes, scenery, treats, snacks, and my bffs! :)
Day Three: Clearwater Beach
I had been dying for a gulf coast beach trip, and Brittany and Amanda made perfect companions for this adventure. We prepped the day before by packing a variety of treats to snack on. Then the next morning, we were off to Clearwater!
A nasty spread of thunder storms had us worried, but luckily they passed about 15 minutes after we arrived. Hours go by the fastest while sunbathing, so before we knew it, dinner time had arrive. We picked a neighboring open air restaurant, and in the spirit of the ocean, I chose a yummy fish sandwich.
This day was nearly perfect, with one caveat - we got severely sunburned! Like, the worse in my life. And it was a total surprise, because I reapplied every 30 minutes to hour. But besides that, it was lovely day. =)
So, here's the thing - I have been a lot of places: Las Vegas, New Orleans' Bourbon Street, Barcelona, a variety of major Italian cities. HOWEVER, the craziest, funnest (because that is a word) time I have out and about was this night in downtown Orlando! I won't go into a ton of details, but in short this night was full of freebies, all types of bars, loads of dancing, and maybe a professional soccer player. Best night out ever! =D
Day Five: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BRITTANY!!!
Since 2002, June 15th has been a very important day for me because it is my BEST FRIEND'S BIRTHDAY!!! And how cool is it that for Brittany's 24th birthday, we got to celebrate it at Epcot!! We had a little bit of a sluggish morning (refer to day four, ha. ;D), but Epcot definitely perked us up!
(PS: Amanda bought me the chapstick pictured on the left because she said it described me perfectly, ha! I love it!)
Disney is notorious for being an awesome place to celebrate birthdays. Not only do they have (free!) pins announcing to all that it is your special day, Cast Members go above and beyond to make it extra, extra special. Specifically, I'm talking freebies y'all. And I am happy to report, we (yes, all three of us!) received a couple of birthday freebies that day! Plus, the girls really liked World Showcase, Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth, and Test Track!
Unfortunately as soon as we decided to hop over to Hollywood Studios for the last Star Wars Weekend, it started torrential raining. And although it lasted basically the rest of the day, leaving us running for shelter and very damp, it stopped just in time for the fireworks!! I have found that when Hollywood Studio has fireworks (which is super rare), they don't disappoint. They are always so good! We also met up with an old friend from college, so that was nice too. =)
BONUS: Zac Efron! (You read right!)
We made a friend on this trip, and his name was Zac Efron. And that is totally true. Clearly, he was SUCH a major camera hog!
Just a little update: Today I attended my first Brown Bag, which are workshops/meetings held every Thursday up at the Animal Programs Administration (or APA) building. I was eager to attend this one because it focuses on GRACE, an organization that DWCF supports. I hope to write a more detailed post about GRACE, but in short, they help rehabilitate gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (or DRC) with the hopes to one day re-release them into the wild. How am I involved? Well it's extremely minor, but my first Conservation Education Specialist project was to redesign GRACE's business cards!
I am so glad I attended this Brown Bag because it ut into perspective how powerful my team and surrounding Disney conservation and animal teams are. It's incredible for me to think that little ole Brittany from a town in Kentucky with basically just a Wal-Mart is now helping save a critically endangered animal. Once again, this shows how you can't predict where life will take you at all. But I am sure liking where it has taken me thus far! <3
A permanent believer that "Adventure is out there" and a DAK girl for life!