Halfway through 2012 update

Can you believe we are already halfway through 2012? Hope everyone is having a fabulous year!

If you are a regular to this blog you know I have really been serious about running. I’m so happy I have gotten into it, I feel great and it’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment for me. Even my resolutions for the year revolved around running. I will soon run my 15k, which I will blog about shortly.

I’m taking the six-month mark of 2012 to reflect on the year and look forward to the rest of the year. This blog is about overall health and well-being, so¬†I would like to share a few things I try to think about often to become a better person, and am sharing them with you. Today is the perfect day to check these out the first time or revisit them and make the second half of 2012 great.

Friday links

I don’t care what the calendar says, it is SUMMER! My running training has been a struggle from the sun, heat and humidity. I don’t want to cook or eat anything warm. And all I want to do on my day off is grab a drink with an umbrella and sit by the pool (because the sand at the beach is already too hot!). In honor of the warmer months, this Friday links is dedicated to summer and vacations.

This week I took a staycation to Miami Beach and watch the Miami Marlins at their new stadium. While on the beach I went to Yardbird, an amazing Southern restaurant named one of the best new restaurants by the James Beard Foundation.

Amazing food and drink from Yardbird, all made from scratch (including condiments and pickling food!). Clockwise from top: “Porkchop” drink, po’ boy, mac ‘n’ cheese, blackberry bourbon lemonade, vegetarian salads and melon soup, biscuits.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Walt Disney World Monorail Pub Crawl

It’s getting warmer in Florida. And I knew Disney would start to become more crowded as the summer vacation guests arrive. So to beat the heat and crowds, I knew this trip would be perfect for something I haven’t done on my list yet: The monorail pub crawl.

The Disney monorail stops at three resorts near the Magic Kingdom: The Polynesian, the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary. I really wanted to check out these hotels, especially the first two, so we set out to grab a drink at each and explore the grounds. We didn’t make it to the Contemporary because of time, but maybe another trip.

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From the monorail ticket and transfer station, the first stop is The Polynesian. A tropical resort where each building is named after a different island or group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, this was a fun place to visit since I’ve never been to that part of the world. We went to the Tambu Lounge and looked through the drink menu. All the drinks looked and sounded really good, but I went with the Lapu Lapu because it is the signature drink and it’s served in a pineapple! Bill grabbed a backscratcher, which had rum, whiskey, pineapple juice, other liquids and came with a backscratcher! We had fun walking around in the lush environment.

Next stop is the Grand Floridian. I was equally excited for this, because it is a Victorian-style hotel with an emphasis on old-school Florida. We went to Mizner’s Lounge, which doesn’t open until 4:30. We had time to kill before it opened, so we walked around, checking out the many upscale restaurants, listening to the live band and looking at all the great artwork and impressive lobby from all sides.

We got to Mizner’s Lounge. It is named after architect Addison Mizner, who pretty much built Boca Raton, the city in which I live. And his work is very unique and noticeable in South Florida, having built in the Mediterranean Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival styles. He sounded like a larger-than-life character as well. The lounge is located behind the band on the second floor, so you can hear them perform while enjoying a drink. I had a Mizner gin martini, and everyone else had various old-fashiond drinks except Bill, who has the ultimate Disney tourist drink with a glowing ice cube. It was really tasty and fun to watch, as the ice cube changed colors, lighting the drink.

The next stop on the monorail is Magic Kingdom and then the Contemporary, an ultra-modern hotel. We didn’t make it there, but maybe if I need to escape the Magic Kingdom in the future, I’ll check it out. And I wouldn’t mind grabbing a drink at the Wave or Outer Rim bars.

Have you done the monorail pub crawl? What did you drink?

Restaurants list expanded

I have been working on improving the Restaurants and Travel tab at the top of this page.

I’ve added restaurants I enjoy, both in cities I’ve been to and chain restaurants that are very accommodating to vegetarians and people with food-restrictive diets. There are also a few websites at the bottom that I use while traveling.

Please take a look, let me know what you think or if any link is broken, and what you might add or subtract. Either click on the tab at the top or click here to go directly to the Restaurants and Travel page.


Around Disney, May 2012

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In addition to my amazing vegetarian meal at Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion, we saw, ate and drank some other great things.

  • While in Epcot, we walked around enjoying the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. We saw plants, flowers and produce from around the world, flower sculptures, a butterfly garden and lawn ornaments and accessories.
  • At La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion we had a passion fruit margarita. Already fans of this bar, I’ve seen the menu enough to realize they are always rotating margarita flavors and coming up with unique combinations. It was a refreshing treat on a hot day.
  • No stop at Disney is complete until we have been to Babycakes. And I may have had one of my favorite bakery items yet. The chocolate cupcake with mint frosting was amazing, with the cupcake being dense and not overly sweet.
  • We checked out Animal Kingdom, the first time for both of us. And when Bill spotted the jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzel, we had to stop and try it. Chewy pretzel, gooey cheese and a hit of spice!

What is your favorite thing to do at Disney?