Adults Only

Food and Wine Festival is one of our favorite vacations. We are heading back in 70 days with some adult friends and I am getting really excited!  Here’s my story on our first trip to Food and Wine and why we keep going back.

 

An adult only vacation

So a few weeks ago I turned 40.  Since it was a milestone birthday my loving husband graciously planned a vacation for me and him.  Yes you heard that right just the two of us, no kids.  The kids didn’t get it.  Mom and dad don’t go on vacations with out us.  They were in denial for some time.  But the day came, my parents arrived to our house bright and early and we headed to the airport without them.

That’s right too, we flew.  Sounded like a great idea when booking.  Just the two of us and rates weren’t to bad.  Flight times were ok…  Then the times changed on our flight down. So I had to spend a Sat night on hold with Delta for a half hour to get a better time (this was a blessing in disguise since this time was way better than the first.)  Then a month or so later the time changed on our return trip so repeat process.  Again blessing since I decided at that point to pick seats and got Delta Comfort + which may have been the only way I was able to get back on the plane on the way home- more leg room and free wine and beer.  I typically don’t mind flying but with all the turmoil in the world my anxiety was up.

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So where did we go?, you ask.  Orlando, of course.  Specifically for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  We haven’t been to Epcot since our honeymoon in 2001.  Just hasn’t appealed to us with the kids.  The other parks seem to have more to offer our children.  But we have talked many times how we would love to tour the worlds when they are older.  Instead of waiting another 4-5 years until they would all be able to do their own thing this became the perfect time, a trip on our own and Food and Wine Festival- perfect!

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Epcot Food and Wine Festival was amazing.  The lines at all the booths moved faster than I would have ever guessed.  The food and drink was wonderful (seriously didn’t have anything I didn’t like.) The variety was great. The weather was perfect.   The prices were reasonable.  My favorite was the tenderloin and Malbec from Patagonia and Scott’s was the filet from Canada.

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Bonuses for getting to ride Test Track before the festival opened, a not so long line on the boat ride with the Three Caballeros in Mexico and the chance to see Captain EO before it closes later this year.

Plus we found Remy and Donald Duck.

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Highly recommend attending this event.  Really there is nothing better than food and wine tasting at a Disney Park.  Hoping to go back next year.

 

 

 

What else do you do in Orlando without the kids?  Lots!  Disney Springs is a ton of fun as an adult.  We got to go to the new tavern Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar.  It was awesome, really really awesome. They decor was amazing, the drinks were great and the bartenders, Launchpad and Scooter, were fantastic. They even have domestic beer in aluminium bottles if you want to take it to go.  And we got to eat at restaurants there that the kids would not have picked.  The first night we ate at The Boathouse, right on the water, and then later in the trip at The House of Blues (where we learned some new information- if you get on the water taxi behind The House of Blues you can take a ride to the other end and get dropped off near The Rainforest- then walk back towards where you parked- or vice versa.)  We were also able to make it all the way through and able to look at all the stores with out the kids.  Normally we only get about 2/3 of the way before we have to turn back.

We sat by the pool.  I read a book and didn’t have to watch any kids swimming.  Don’t get me wrong I love to watch my kids having fun in the pool, but I also love to read in the sun.  We had drinks and lunch delivered to us pool side as well.  There was also a man made beach at the resort that we relaxed on. (Huge plus the Marriott refillable mug!  Love it.  Have to get one every time we go)

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We took walks around the property.  We did not feed the alligators

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We went to the mall.

We had dinner at the fancy restaurant, The Grille, at the golf course at the resort. It was amazing- easily my best meal on the entire trip.

We, peacefully, enjoyed coffee and breakfast, each morning on the patio of our suite which overlooked the golf course. Our suite at Marriott’s Grande Vista  http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcogv-marriotts-grande-vista/ was a 1 bedroom with full kitchen and washer and dryer. We love having a kitchen to cook breakfast in and reheat leftovers for lunch.  Then we can eat dinner out and not feel like we are eating out all the time.

We did debate going to the Magic Kingdom.  I am still a little disappointed that we chose not to.  It would have been fun to take everything in as just the two of us.  To just do whatever rides we decided to do on a whim and not be super planned while there.  Not to mention to be able to see the park decorated for Christmas- but I guess that gives us a reason to go back during this time of year.

Adult only vacations are good every once in awhile.  They are a great time to reconnect and be together.  But family vacations are great too- and I can’t wait to go back with the kids

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Lake Dubay Shores Campground, Mosinee WI

This weekend our travels took us to Central Wisconsin. We headed to Lake Dubay Shores Campground in Mosinee which is located right on the Wisconsin River.

The campground has a few lake side sites that can be rented overnight, but most of the lake sites are occupied by seasonals.  We did book early (just under a year ago) and were able to nab two in a prime location.  There are also several sites right across from these sites that friends were able to book.  The lake sites are not large.  They are outlined with trees and fairly easy to get into. The 40′ Class A and 32′ Class C fit perfectly.  We were able to park in an L shape maximizing our space and giving us a great view of the water.

Sites have water and electric hook up (20 and 30 amp.) There are also full hook up sites available closer to the office.  There are two small playgrounds and a game room. The camp store is a decent size with a nice selection of stuff.  They do sell wood by the gator full and deliver it to your site for you. The campground staff was friendly- just make sure to have your parking pass showing at all times or you will get stopped to make sure you have registered.

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The campground has a boat landing for registered campers to use as well as boat docks that can be rented.  They also rent small boats, peddle boats and pontoon boats. There is a small swimming area with a grassy park next to it.  There are a couple of picnic tables and large swings available if you are watching others swim or just enjoying the water.  The swim area has a lily pad and a shallow area for the little kids to play in and big kids to stand in.  .

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We also had stair access and a path down the hill to the boat docks that were closest to our sites

There was only only one bathroom with flush toilets and showers whic was next to the office.  They were clean and centrally located in the campground.  There were also some porta potties available near the lake.

We had a great time here. The kids all hung out together; swam, played games, kayaked, paddle boarded, watched movies, explored, climbed hills, played with their dogs, talked to each other and the teenagers were entertained by the little ones.

The adults sat around, hung out in the water, kayaked, told stories, played games, built big fires, ate and drank wine using our wine hook from http://www.thewinehook.com.  We love our camping family and the fun we have together. We cannot wait to do it all over again.

Munising Tourist Park, Munising MI

We just completed our third year of camping at Munising Tourist Park in Munising, MI.  It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive and we travel from CST to EST so we lose an hour on the way there.  Because of the long drive and how much we love this campground we go for a long weekend.  We try to get there at check in and try to leave just before check out.

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This year we left at about 9 A.M. and caravanned with some friends. For the most part the drive is uneventful except as you are getting closer to Escanaba, MI where there always seems to be some sort of construction going on. M-35 is a two lane highway so any construction poses a problem.  This year it was at least a 15 minute stand still. You could see the worker with the stop sign but no cars were driving through.  Turns out they were “working” in both lanes which is not efficient for drive time.

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Lady in front of us going to see what’s going on

When we arrived at the campground we were able to quickly check in.  The campground manager is always helpful and friendly.  This is not true of all staff, however.  There is one lady there that is not the nicest and likes to speed around in the golf cart in a huff.  Try to deal with the manager if possible.  The camp store is very small.  It has a few camping necessities like cords and some small snacks available.

There are a few different types of sites located right on the beach next to Lake Superior.  Both ends have full hook up back in sites.  They have gravel parking pads water and sewer and direct access to the beach.  There are a few large grassy sites and several smaller sites with dirt, gravel and sand in the middle.  They also have direct beach access and gorgeous lake and sunset views.  Tree coverage in the middle sites is minimal. I do recommend having extra electrical cords and hose.  The poles are located near the road and if you park in the ideal spot you may not be able to reach it with normal lengths.  The sites are bigger than you expect.   This was the 3rd different site we have had and they all seem pretty level.  All but the 6 middle sites are pretty close to each other with little to no separation so make friends with your neighbors!

All sites have fire pits and picnic tables as well.

 

On either end of the RV/Camper sites are tent sites.  Most of these are rustic.  The sites to the west are more secluded from each other but the ones to the east are more directly located on the beach itself.  The rustic tent sites are all walk to sites.  There are a couple tent sites on the east side that you can park directly at.

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Rustic tent sites on the east end of the campground

 

There are also sites not located on the beach.  They are all good size sites and have water and electric hook ups.  There is also a public beach and picnic area where you can access the Lake if you have one of these sites.

This is a no frills campground.  A very small playground- swings and a slide- is all you get.  But with the lake right there it is all you need.  You will NOT find yourself looking for a game room or craft time.  The kids will just want to walk down the beach and explore or swim in the ice cold water (even at the end of July) as you sit in your chair parked in the sand and wonder how they can brave it.

You can kayak or paddle board or bring the boat and go for a spin.  There are a lot of shops, tours, hiking trails and other beaches to check out in neighboring towns.  I highly recommend Miners Beach just east of Munising.  It is on the edge of the rock cliffs and absolutely amazing. We drove by a beach in Au Traine on the way home I want to check out next time, it is right on M-28 and looks beautiful.

Booking is crazy. You have to be on your game.  And it is online only for the first month.  Whatever day and time is designated (and the last 2 years it has been at midnight EST) you have to be ready.  Those great beach sites, for the prime and not so prime summer weekends, will be gone in minutes, maybe even seconds.  Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me.  For what you get it is super inexpensive, between $25-$40 per night, and totally worth staying up late to make sure you get your site booked!

There are 2 bathrooms which are both heated and clean.  I personally have not used the showers but have heard good things about them. The dump station is easy to get to and use.

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Check in and check out time is noon.  The next person coming in will most likely be waiting there for you to leave.  But remember to enjoy your last morning!

We love camping by the water and Munising is a great place to do this.  But when packing one must remember that the weather in Munising can be fickle.  One day can be a cold rainy 55 degrees and the next a gorgeous sunny 72 that feels like 80 when there is no wind.  When the sun goes down you will typically need your pants and sweatshirts but this year was the first year that we had bad daytime weather and needed to pull out the stocking caps on the first night. Misty rain and high winds reminded us that we are happy we are from the north and most everyone had stocking caps in the cupboards of their campers.  We also did some improvisation and built a wind block while we braved the climate.  Regardless of the weather the company is what makes the trip and my family and friends always make them such a great time

 

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Munising Tourist Park, Munising MI

We just completed our third year of camping at Munisng Tourist Park in Munising, MI.  It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive and we travel from CST to EST so we lose an hour on the way there.  Because of the long drive and how much we love this campground we go for a long weekend.  We try to get there at check in and try to leave just before check out.

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This year we left at about 9 A.M. and caravanned with some friends. For the most part the drive is uneventful except as you are getting closer to Escanaba, MI where there always seems to be some sort of construction going on. M-35 is a two lane highway so any construction poses a problem.  This year it was at least a 15 minute stand still. You could see the worker with the stop sign but no cars were driving through.  Turns out they were “working” in both lanes which is not efficient for drive time.

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Lady in front of us going to see what’s going on

When we arrived at the campground we were able to quickly check in.  The campground manager is always helpful and friendly.  This is not true of all staff, however.  There is one lady there that is not the nicest and likes to speed around in the golf cart in a huff.  Try to deal with the manager if possible.  The camp store is very small.  It has a few camping necessities likes cords and some small snacks available.

There are a few different types of sites located right on the beach next to Lake Superior.  Both ends have full hook up back in sites.  They have gravel parking pads water and sewer and direct access to the beach.  There are a few large grassy sites and several smaller sites with dirt, gravel and sand in the middle.  They also have direct beach access and gorgeous lake and sunset views.  Tree coverage in the middle sites is minimal. I do recommend having extra electrical cords and hose.  The poles are located near the road and if you park in the ideal spot you may not be able to reach it with normal lengths.  The sites are bigger than you expect.   This was the 3rd different site we have had and they all seem pretty level.  All but the 6 middle sites are pretty close to each with little to no separation so make friends with your neighbors!

All sites have fire pits and picnic tables as well.

 

On either end of the RV/Camper sites are tent sites.  Most of these are rustic.  The sites to the west are more secluded from each other but the ones to the east or more directly located on the beach itself.  The rustic tent sites are all walk to sites.  There are a couple tent sites on the east side that you can park directly at.

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Rustic tent sites on the east end of the campground

 

There are also sites not located on the beach.  They are all good size sites and have water and electric hook ups.  There is also a public beach and picnic area where you can access the Lake if you have one of these sites.

This is a no frills campground.  A very small playground- swings and a slide- is all you get.  But with the lake right there it is all you need.  You will NOT find yourself looking for a game room or craft time.  The kids will just want to walk down the beach and explore or swim in the ice cold water (even at the end of July) as you sit in your chair parked in the sand and wonder how they can brave it.

You can also kayak or paddle board or bring the boat and go for a spin.  There are also lots of shops, tours, hiking trails and other beaches to check out in neighboring towns.  I highly recommend Miners Beach just east of Munising.  It is on the edge of the rock cliffs and absolutely amazing. We also drove by a beach in Au Traine I want to check out next time, it is right on M-28 and looks beautiful.

Booking is crazy. You have to be on your game.  And it is online only for the first month.  Whatever day and time is designated (and the last 2 years it has been at midnight EST) you have to be ready.  Those great beach sites for the prime and not so prime summer weekends will be gone in minutes, maybe even seconds.  Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me.  For what you get it is super inexpensive, between $25-$40 per night, and totally worth staying up late to make sure you get your site booked!

There are 2 bathrooms which are both heated and clean.  I personally have not used the showers but have heard good things about them. The dump station is easy to get to and use.

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Check in ad check out time is noon.  And the next person coming in will most likely be waiting there for you to leave.  But remember to enjoy your last morning!

We love camping by the water and Munising is a great place to do this.  But when packing one must remember that the weather in Munising can be fickle.  One day can be a cold rainy 55 degrees and the next a gorgeous sunny 72 that feels like 80 when there is no wind.  When the sun goes down you will typically need your pants and sweatshirts but this year was the first year that we had bad day time weather and to pull out the stocking caps the first night. Misty rain and high winds reminded us that we are happy we are from the north and most everyone had stocking caps in the cupboards of their campers.  We also did some improvisation and built a wind block while we braved the climate.  Regardless of the weather the company is what makes the trip and my family and friends always make them such a great time

 

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