Monday, August 15, 2011

Byron Turns One!

I meant to post this on Saturday but belated is better than never - our Cardigan Welsh Corgi Byron turned 1!  We celebrated by taking him to Woof Gang Bakery and picking out a few things.  He was a little unsure about everything going on but by the end of it started taking food and was checking stuff out.  He loved the car ride home because he got to enjoy some ice cream given to us by the nice people at Woof Gang!

He enjoyed his birthday a lot. Here he is in his favorite spot:

And a little video if you haven't seen it already:

Monday, August 8, 2011

A fun and yummy anniversary

Each year, my husband and I like to celebrate another year of not killing each other so we tend to make it an entire day of fun stuff.  This year was no exception and both of us had been looking forward to it for months as we were trying a new restaurant that we'd heard was an excellent eatery.
New Fountain at Downtown Disney

Saturday morning we made our way to Downtown Disney and worked our way over to the Rainforest Cafe to try and snag some lunch.  Last time we were there you couldn't get into any of the table service restaurants as all the reservations had been taken and a walk-in would have to wait 3-4 hours before getting into dinner.  This time we only had to wait about 5 minutes to get in for lunch.  We were sat by a bubbling fountain with a Greek looking statue.  Service took a while but the food was all right once it got to our table. 

The inside of the cafe is decorated to make it have a rainforest feel with vines, fishtanks, and animatronic creatures that will occasionally move and make noises.  Every half hour a thunderstorm comes through complete with rain and lightning.  We both had burgers for lunch and headed over to the bakery shop across the way for a dipped rice krispy treat for dessert. 

After that we headed to the other side of the complex by taking the water taxi and lucked out by being the last two people on the boat chosen ahead of a larger family because he couldn't fit all of them on.  I asked if I could ride in the hot air balloon since it was actually open this time (before there were always high winds preventing the ride from being open) and Ringo relented even though he thought it was going to be pretty boring.  He had fun though!  I took a little video once we got to the top. 

We left the balloon area, looked in a few shops and tried to get a drink at Raglan Road the Irish pub on the property.  I didn't bring my purse because I find it annoying to carry around and of course they would card me at the bar even though I don't look anything like I'm under 21.  We ended up having to leave because I couldn't be served. 

We bummed around Downtown Disney for a while longer before deciding to call it quits and then we drove North to Winter Park and found our restaurant.  Since we had an hour and a half to kill we found an Irish Pub (I brought my ID with me and of course, did not get carded this time) and had a few beers before going to dinner.  I think that was Ringo's highlight of the trip, he really liked the atmosphere and the bar decor.  

Our highlight of the evening (in my opinion) was our dinner at The Ravenous Pig.  It is a gastropub located in Winter Park that we found on Urbanspoon several months ago.  At that time you couldn't get a reservation for at least 3-4 weeks in advance so you really had to plan ahead.  I asked him if he wanted me to plan our anniversary dinner there and he agreed to try it out so we took the plunge.  

Thankfully there isn't a strict dress code so I didn't feel too bad walking in with the comfortable clothes I was wearing from Downtown Disney - though I did feel a bit under-dressed.  Most people were dressed in business casual attire.  We were treated equally well so that was nice since I didn't bring an extra outfit to change into after walking around the park all day.  

We were immediately seated and our drink orders were taken.  They offer a nice selection of locally brewed draft beers and microbrewed bottled beers.  I tried a bottle of Dogfish head and he got the usual Sam Adams Summer Ale that he likes.  

We started the meal with an order of the Pretzels with stone-ground mustard and a beer/cheese dipping sauce and Veal Sweetbread with Potato Gnocchi and Spinach.  I liked the pretzels but loved the veal sweetbread so much.  I don't know what sort of sauce it had on it but it paired with the lovely flavor of the sauteed spinach very nicely.  The gnocchi was very nice and tender.  

Our entrees quickly followed after and he ordered the steak frites (flat-iron steak with truffle fries) and I had the pork porterhouse which I didn't realize would be enormous.  My dish came with a salad of cantelope and watermelon, it had a chiffonade of basil and another herb I couldn't place along with some nice thinly sliced banana peppers.  The description of both entrees don't do them justice.  The flavors work together with each piece of the dish and create a really lovely story on the plate.  I ended up taking over half of my pork porterhouse home because I wanted to save some room for dessert.

We waited a while for dessert but were surprised when it was brought out as each plate had a special message written on it in chocolate for us. 

I ordered the chocolate caramel tart with ice cream and he had a blueberry peach cobbler.  

I really enjoyed eating everything there and hope we can go back soon since there are so many great dishes I want to try and they change each month based on what is seasonally available.

Then we came home to the corgis who were very happy to see us and checked to see where we had been.  Little Byron got neutered earlier last week so he is not too thrilled with having to wear the cone but he keeps picking at the sutures so I have to keep it on him until next Friday when they can come out.  

He looked so pitiful when we first put it on him, he didn't even want to move and just laid down on the floor.  Now he will get back onto the ottoman and even tries chewing on his toys and things with it on.  He still runs into my calves a lot though as I walk around which hurts.  Five more days!

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