Eating Around the U.S.

As some of you may recall, last year a group of us did Chocolate Around the World at Epcot. This year we wanted to do something different, and our plan called for a tour of various Walt Disney World resorts, representing the four corners of the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii), and at each resort eating some kind of food representative of that area. Unlike last year's "Chocolate Around the World" tour, this one was "choose your own theme", though I'm not sure any of us actually had a specific theme in mind when we started. This idea actually ended up being much more challenging than I had anticipated, since "regional foods" aren't always readily available in the quick service/gift shop areas that we were (in the interests of time) limited to.

And introducing our Commando team:

Returning from last year's tour:

Laura (aka tigger), that would be me, from San Diego. I was also the designated driver for this bunch - might as well get in an E-ride or two! :-)

Deb (aka dcdeb), my IRC reminder sister, from Northern Virginia/DC. Who thought about doing "wines around the world".

Pam (aka PamellaDeVil), from Northern New Jersey. She was laboring under a bit of a handicap with a broken finger, but didn't let that slow her down. :-)

And our Tour Rookie:

Andrea (aka Tigerlily, aka the Dairy Queen), from Houston. She really likes ham. Coffee, too. :-)

Our mission began on Sunday, May 6, at 4:00. We all gathered at our first stop - Beaches and Cream at the Yacht Club/Beach Club Resort, which represented the Northeastern U.S. Deb and I split a yummy chocolate milkshake, Deb intending to do liquid refreshments around the U.S., me just because I wanted a chocolate milkshake, not having yet decided on a theme. (Deb demonstrates what brainfreeze looks like. :-) ) Andrea, upon seeing a coffee milkshake on the menu, decided to do coffee around the U.S., and Pam had a butter pecan ice cream cone, on her quest to do "Nuts Around the U.S.". After our photo, we were off.

Next stop was Port Orleans - French Quarter, to represent the Southeast. Ok, so it's *really* the South, but just go with it, ok? At this point we started to realize this was not going to be as easy as we had expected. Andrea tried to get iced coffee, which the CM told her they did have, then that they didn't, and she needed to make her own, so she did. Pam and Deb and I were planning on having pralines - except they didn't have any, even though they WERE on the menu. None in the gift shop either. I got an order of beignets (fresh made, even), and so my theme was evolving into "Things that are topped with white stuff", since my milkshake had whipped cream, and the beignets are covered in powdered sugar. Pam got a "Dixie Beer" in the gift shop - her theme having been modified to "Things Beginning with 'B'", and Deb got a "Tennessee Tea", which was quite in keeping with her "Liquid Refreshment" theme, though I think she found the tea rather less than "refreshing". "Repulsive", maybe. :-) We posed by the Alligators, and then it was time for stop #3.

Wilderness Lodge (representative of the great Northwest) just about put an end to ANY thought of theming...the choices here were *extremely* limited. I got an apple (the inside was white!), and Andrea got another iced coffee in the bar - which she again had to make herself, but at least the bartender provided the ingredients. Poor Deb could NOT get the bartender to wait on her, despite standing there for over 10 minutes, so she finally went next door to Artist Point and they served her a glass of wine in a to-go cup. Poor Pammy was stumped for "B's" - until someone came up with the idea that she could have a Bite of my apple. :-) Picture taken, we left Wilderness Lodge behind us.

We made a quick trip to the Polynesian, our Hawaii stop, where Andrea got another coffee (she was starting to talk REALLY fast by this point! :-) ), and Pam and I shared several slices of pineapple that came in a White Box, thus salvaging both our themes. Deb got a glass of pineapple juice in the bar - though she wanted guava-orange, but they were out of it. After a photo standing next to a tiki statue, we were off and running again.

Coronado Springs was our Southwest stop, and we went to the Pepper Market to have Mexican food, since it was dinner time. *Real* food tasted pretty good by then. Pam and I both had the chicken enchilada plate, which had Black Beans for Pam, and was covered in White cheese for me. :-) In addition to their dinners, Deb and Andrea had special drinks - Deb got a frozen margarita, in keeping with her liquid refreshment theme, and Andrea had a cafe latte - with vanilla, which is of course a Southwest thing. And then she scored with some chocolate covered coffee beans, too. :-)

Time for our final stop - Blizzard Beach. To represent Alaska, of course. Andrea and Pam and I all had our cups of ice cubes from Coronado Springs, and Deb still had part of her frozen margarita, though she'd scraped off the salt and thrown away the lime so that it would look like frozen lemonade. :-) A CM took our picture by Santa's sleigh, and even asked (given the general hilarity) if there were alcohol involved, though Pam and Andrea and I assured him we just had ice. Deb was silent, but I don't think he noticed. :-)

We finished just a few minutes after 8:00 - 6 resorts in 4 hours - not too bad. I think Deb managed to be truest to her theme, but Pam and I had to be the most creative, and Andrea had to be a do-it-yourselfer! It was a fun afternoon, but much harder than I thought it would be.

Thus endeth our resort tour...Anyone got any ideas for next year??? :-)



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Text and photographs copyright © 2001 by Laura Gilbreath. All rights reserved.

Laura Gilbreath lgil@cts.com
Last updated 7/6/01