Our original plan this weekend was to come down today with Grandma and the kids and then they could go and play while we did our wine tasting class.
After the weather turned VERY unseasonably hot, and since Grandma doesn't do well with heat, we convinced the kids to stay at Grandma's last night and we decided to make a weekend out of it.
Our original plan was to go to DCA last night to preview some food and wine stuff, but as you will see, we got a MUCH better thing than that.
We were going to stop by the Dustyfishbulb's just to say hi for a bit when Fishbulb called and said he was kidnapping us. Okay we says ... can't think of too many people we'd rather be kidnapped by.
After waiting about 15-20 minutes for our cupcakes, we were on our way.
Ready to eat
After our Sprinkles adventure, we had the choice of heading to DCA or going to lunch with Dusty, Fishbulb and Al Lutz. As much as we love DCA, we just couldn't pass up a dinner with some of our favorite people.
We had a scrumptious BBQ dinner, and then got to watch Cleopatra Jones with the Al Lutz commentary. I have to say, it was one of the better movie viewing experiences ever!!!!
After all that, we headed to our hotel to call it a night.
This morning, we were about the 10th car into Parking Lot X
Ain't she purty!!!
After getting in the park, and getting some grapes to tide us over, we headed for Indy
And then a quick ride on Pirates, then off to DCA. We had plans.
The festival welcome center ...
Doesn't quite convey the same awesomeness as the EPCOT welcome center for their food and wine festival (which is in the Body Wars/Cranium Command building), but you gotta go with what works I guess.
The offerings for today
There was some point of contention if these are real grapes, or "Disney" grapes
After meeting up with Rixter, Mickeymaxx, IndianaJenn and Joe, we headed for Hollywood and Monsters Inc.
The Food and Wine offering at Award Weiners ... sounds yummy
The Indiana's ... Joe and Jenn.
The Food and Wine offering at Bountiful Family Farm ... doesn't sound too good to me
Rixter coming back from getting Soarin' FP's
The Food and Wine offering at Cucina Cucomonga ... yummers
The Food and Wine offerings at Fortune Cookery ... now this is what I'm talkin' about
McCow1 and Mary Read joined us at the wharf and we patiently waited for 11am to try some samplings
This is what we had
Wild Mushroom Risotto (My personal favorite)
Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin Slider (quite yummy)
Rixter and Mickeymaxx had the Hummus, which was also very good
Cat Cora from Iron Chef America was doing a cooking demonstration around the corner. Afterwards she was signing autographs and taking pictures
Sir C and Cat C.
Sir C, Cat C. and Rixter
After our snack and sweating (it was quite warm) we headed for Golden Dreams since some in our party had never seen it.
I can see myself in your eyes (isn't that a song or something)
We all then headed for Napa Rose and our Wine Tasting class with Michael Jordan (not that one)
The 4 wines we would be tasting today
And as the class went on, the glasses kept getting empty
After our class, we went for a search for real food.
I have to say, the class was amazing. If any of you are signed up for future classes, you will NOT be disappointed. Michael Jordan knows his stuff, is very entertaining in the class and of course, you get to try some yummy wines.
Flowers outside Golden Dreams
The Food and Wine offering at Corn Dog Castle ... I need to try this next time
Of course, on our way to Taste Pilots, we got distracted. Belle and Rixter with their Rosa Regale.
The Food and Wine feature at Taste Pilots (I thought they could have done more than this personally ... but the Hefeweizen was good)
After our meal we were going to use our Soarin' Fastpasses, but it was a 40 minute wait for the FP line. The stand-by was at 145 minutes. That's 2 hours and 25 minutes folks. To say it was a busy day at DCA would be an understatement.
So we decided to say our goodbye's. I don't think I've ever had more fun at a theme park on a day when we only rode 3 things (and Golden Dreams). It was a great group of people, Belle and I both learned ALOT about wine and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
A couple of things I think they could have done better, with the entire festival as a whole:
The Welcome Center could have been in Hollywood and Dine, and they also could have done the cooking demonstrations in there (like EPCOT). Not only would this have been easier, but I'm sure everybody could have enjoyed the Air Conditioning today. Plus, somebody sitting on a chair, with a laptop and no festival information on the tables doesn't really scream "Welcome". They really needed to have more information on the actual tables. The sign that was in the picture would have been sufficient without taking up all that space.
I realize that DCA's Food and Wine isn't anywhere as big as the one at EPCOT, but if they want to be recognized, they could go the extra mile a bit. They also ran out of Cat Cora's book yesterday, so they were unavailable for purchase, etc. I found this rather surprising. Not that I was going to buy one, but you'd think you'd have plenty of books for your featured chef.
That said, we had a tremendous time, and I can't wait for the reception in 2 weeks.