Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Picture yourself at Walt Disney World, pushing a stroller around, possibly on a multi-generational family trip, and you find nap time is quickly approaching – for everyone. You just want a little Me Time. There’s nothing wrong with that. Parents need to stay sane and take advantage of down time, or even treat themselves to a visit to the parks WITHOUT the kids. Family travel can get crazy, so why not
    ask a family member to watch the kids, giving you and your spouse a few moments of adult time.

    Did you know there are nearly 400 places to dine across Walt Disney World Resort? And that’s not counting the portable food carts. In all, more than 6,000 different food items are available. And chances are, if the restaurants aren’t in the Magic Kingdom, they just might have an adult beverages on the menu for you to enjoy. If wine is your poison of choice, then you’ll want to know that more than 600 sommeliers have been awarded the Court of Master Sommelier Introductory Certificate at Walt Disney World Resort, with more than 300 sommeliers currently in restaurants.

    With so many restaurants and dining choices, where should you go for that “special” drink? Here are just of few of our top choices for a cocktail, beer, or wine while at Walt Disney World.

    Epcot’s World Showcase 

    United Kingdom – The Rose and Crown Pub and Dining room brings visitors into Victorian England with its etched glass panels, dark mahogany bar and authentic dart board. If you are looking for hearty ale, this place offers specially designed ale warmer can heat your Guinness to 55 degrees, should that be your preference.

    Mexico – The pavilion features a festive and colorful celebration of the beauty and culture of Mexico that is fun for guests of all ages. “Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros” is an excursion by tour boat through the vibrant, eye-filling sights and lively music of Mexico. If you’re interested in margaritas, you should check out ThemeParkMom’s review of inventive margaritas at La Hacienda de San Angel, a new restaurant in EPCOT.

    Japan – In the Matsu-no-ma Lounge, visitors see a majestic view of Future World across the lagoon while sampling sushi, Japanese pickled vegetables, tempura and exotic specialty drinks.

    Germany – Biergarten, an indoor German “courtyard” featuring a German Oktoberfest buffet. At lunch and dinner time, yodelers, dancers and other lederhosen-clad musicians perform an Oktoberfest dinner show. Guests are invited onstage to join in the musical fun. The wine shop nearby offers samples of Ice Wine for a few bucks. Definitely worth a try.

    French Champagne and Wine cart at EPCOT World ShowcaseFrance – Want a glass of vino but don’t want to wait in the long line inside the wine shop? Across from the front of France there is a wine cart serving Champagne, wines, and frozen blends.

    Want more? Check out our extensive list of wine, beer, and cocktails at Epcot’s World Showcase.

    Other Venues at Disney with Alcohol

    Victoria Falls at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Down a flight of stairs from the lobby, this mezzanine lounge serves wine and spirits imported from Africa, including Windhoek beer from Namibia and Imoya Brandy from South Africa. The specialty drink is a Victoria Falls Mist, with tangerine, melon and banana liqueurs. Animal Kingdom Lodge has the largest offering of South African wines anywhere in the US. Be sure to check out Jiko, The Cooking Place, too!

    The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Trendy cocktails are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start the day with a Pomegranate Splash (vodka, pomegranate liqueur, cranberry juice and soda water) or the Ultimate Bloody Mary (organic vodka, Bloody Mary mix and a dash of red chili sauce). The Pure-tini mixes organic vodka with organic mango and passion fruit liqueur. The Antioxidant Cocktail features wild berry vodka, black raspberry liqueur, açai juice with agave, lychee, aloe juice and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

    Tune-In Lounge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, next door to 50’s Prime Time Cafe, looks like a family den from the ’50s, with black-and-white TVs and campy retro furniture. You can choose kitschy drinks from “Dad’s Liquor Cabinet” such as Uncle Tim’s Melon Margarita, Scooter’s Long Island Iced Tea or an Electric Lemonade. Beer and wine is offered, too. My personal favorite is a Magical Star. Check out this video of inside Tune-In Lounge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as part of our Cocktail Series.

    Dawa Bar adjacent to Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Sit in the shade and sip a hard-to-find Tusker Beer from Africa or Safari Amber, brewed just for Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. South African wines are on the drink menu, too, along with cocktails like Lost on Safari with rum and fruit juices.

    Dawa Bar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Mizner’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – A live orchestra plays nostalgic Big Band sounds just outside the doors of this lounge tucked away on the second floor of the hotel. The lounge’s namesake is architect Addison Mizner, whose designs launched a “Florida Renaissance” in the 1920s, so the sophisticated drinks are apropos: champagnes, caipirinhas, mint juleps and cosmopolitans, along with nine vodkas, seven different single malt scotch whiskeys and after-dinner cognacs and ports.

    There are more than 50 lounges in Walt Disney World hotels and three theme parks (no alcohol in Magic Kingdom. Again I stress. No alcohol in Magic Kingdom), making this list just a sampling of the many great place for big kids like parents to have their own magic time at Walt Disney World. If there’s a place you’d like us to know about, be sure to leave a comment, helping our readers discover new places to sample adult beverages.

    If you find yourself wandering around looking for a place to buy alcohol at Disney, all you have to do is ask one of the friendly cast members, who can point you in the right direction.  Be sure to drink plenty of water while you’re in the parks also, as alcohol is dehydrating. Designate a driver or take advantage of Disney’s resort transportation. Cheers!

    All Disney venues selling alcohol have a limit of two beverages per sale per person to limit overindulgence on property. Remember, cocktails can be fun, but this is a family friendly destination and not a place to act inappropriate.

     

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  • Today the world celebrates the second-annual Champagne Day. Started as a grassroots online effort to celebrate the sparkling wine that comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France, Champagne Day is celebrated worldwide in wine stores, bars, restaurants, at private events, in homes and online. Events include Champagne discounts at retailers, tastings, TweetUps and spontaneous celebrations. To find some of the events happening around the world, visit the Champagne Day Meetup site.

    Open a bottle of bubble for Champagne Day

    Open a bottle of bubble for Champagne Day

    Additionally, in honor of Champagne Day, the Champagne Bureau hosted a contest where individuals submitted photos of authentic Champagne labels in order to win an iPad2, and the Bureau is proud to announce that Eric Mueller is the lucky winner. There were over 300 submissions of Champagne labels, all of which are available to be viewed on the Champagne Bureau’s Facebook page.

    “Champagne is the quintessential wine of celebration and, with celebrations worldwide, Champagne Day is a great opportunity to enjoy Champagne with your friends and family,” said Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau. “As you celebrate, enjoy, smile, share your experience online and remember that there are many quality sparkling wines produced worldwide, but true Champagne only comes from Champagne, France.”

    To participate in the festivities, follow the #ChampagneDay hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and on other social media sites. For more information about #ChampagneDay or the worldwide effort to protect wine place names and origins, please visit http://bit.ly/rhBcbh or www.champagne.us.

    Champagne Day for two

    Share a bottle of Champagne with someone special.

    I think that each day is special and a reason to celebrate, that’s why every day is Champagne Day at my house. What are your plans for #ChampagneDay?

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  • The rain was dripping on the gravel area of my back patio, with big, fat raindrops plopping into the tiered fountain. It’s the time of the day where dinner is simmering on the stove and the rest of the family has yet to come home for the day.

    As I poured and looked at the light color, I thought of the Wine in the City event I hosted along with Erika Lehmann and Tim Hayden. We were graced with the beautiful personalities of Jackson Family Wines – Barbara Banke and Katie Jackson.

    The La Crema 2008 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay opens with crisp green apple and vibrant citrus aromas with a subtle hint of butterscotch and cloves. The flavors broaden on the palate into juicy orange and ripe apples, with a long fresh finish of vanilla and caramel tones. This wine tasted creamy. Seriously.

    I purchased this wine for $15 at my local grocery. If you are in the Sonoma Wine Country, stop by the La Crema tasting room at 235 Healdsburg Avenue in Healdsburg, California. The tasting room is open seven days a week from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm. A $5 tasting is available but refunded with purchase.

    http://www.lacrema.com

    http://cocktails.travelingmamas.com/la-crema-2008-sonoma-coast-chardonnay-winewed

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  • Before 9/11, it used to be convenient to purchase a few bottles of wine at whatever destination we were visiting to bring home. We could carry it through security, assuring delicate handling of this precious cargo, knowing that the investment (no matter how large or small) would be protected until time to enjoy.

    Travel Gear for Wine and Culinary Travel - Bottlewise

    Today, should we decide to purchase wine or other libations during our travels (or bring them with us to our destination), we now have to pack the bottles in our checked luggage – luggage that gets thrown around, stacked, dropped, and rummaged through by the TSA. Sometimes the bottles packed inside get damaged or broken. Nothing is worse that opening your luggage only to find that nice bottle of pinot noir leaked all over the pastel dress you packed to wear for your cousin’s wedding.

    Personally, I’ve become a master at packing wine bottles in checked luggage and have been known to leave a few not-so-favorite clothing items at my destination so there would be more room for extra bottles. I once even managed to bring home nine bottles of French wine in a 22 inch upright bag. Yes, it was heavy, but that Chateau du Marres was so worth the extra effort.

    Fortunately there is an answer to all of our wine packing problems. No longer will I need steal the plastic laundry bag hanging in a hotel room closet to place my wine in and arrange my laundry artfully around the bottles in my suitcase. I can now travel confidently knowing my wine is safe inside of a Bottlewise Bot’lPak, a wine tote made to protect not only the wine bottle, but also your clothing and other accessories inside your luggage from getting ruined, should the unthinkable happen. It is made with a durable padded outer shell. The interior is a thick sealable plastic case which keeps liquid from seeping onto your clothes, just in case.

    Here are some travel tips for packing your wine or culinary item:

    • Place your Bot’lPak near the center of your luggage
    • Use even weight distribution
    • Don’t place anything sharp, like a corkscrew, within your bag to prevent puncturing

    The Bottlewise Bot’lPak is available online at Bottlewise.com and retail for $29.95. Be sure to check out the other wine travel accessories from this company. Readers of TravelingMamas.com can get 15% discount on Bottlewise by using Promo Code: TRVM15

    This product was provided by the company for review purposes.

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  • Deep in the heart of Utah lays a destination of adventure, culture, and history. Romantics looking for active vacations can also find epicurean delights for the discerning palate.

    Moab, located in Grand County, is a gold mine in the west that has been discovered by many for its adventure, but has a hidden quality that few visitors are just beginning to enjoy.

    It is not just a summer destination, but a year round place that can be enjoyed by all pleasure seekers. Winter and early spring are the best times to find solitude in the area parks and quiet contentment at local ranches.

    Colin Fryer, owner of Red Cliffs Lodge and Castle Creek Winery, has made the decision to run his lodge year round. Located on the Colorado River, Red Cliffs Lodge provides the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. King rooms overlook the river where occupants can enjoy a bottle of the winery’s award winning libations.

    Red Cliffs Lodge in Moab, Utah“This is not just a job, this is my dream,” commented Mr. Fryer during an interview. He is has expanded that dream with newly constructed cabins on the river, complete with kitchenette, fireplace, and soaking tub for two. What a romantic dream.

    The on-site Castle Creek Winery offers various blends, making the ranch a must-stop for any wine lover. The Lily Rose White is a blend of their Chardonnay, a fruity dry white, and the Chenin Blanc, a semi sweet white. This was my personal favorite.

    Near Red Cliffs Lodge, located on the Colorado River Scenic Byway, is Sorrel River Ranch. Sorrel River Ranch offers lodgers elegant rustication on the river. Each room offers views of the Colorado River and seating for two to enjoy the evenings in a relaxing atmosphere.

    Sorrel River Ranch has fine dining on-site as well as a spa that offers couples treatments. Couples looking for relaxing getaways can’t go wrong with either property.

    Colorado River near Moab, UtahFor couples seeking a bit more activity, Moab offers 4X4 Hummer rides with High Point Hummer Tours, day trips and other adventures with Tagalong Expeditions, or just enjoying a day of discovery visiting wineries, shopping, and searching the areas for Native American rock art.

    If choosing to explore on your own, at the junction of Main Street and the Colorado River Scenic Byway, romantics can partake of a local tradition, drinking from Matrimonial Spring. Legend has it, that any visitor who drinks this water is sure to return to Moab. If something stronger is a bit more your style, check out Spanish Valley Wineries for a boutique blend.

    The Moab Official Website offers a calendar of events, a complete listing of lodging, dining, and activities. If you want to escape the summer crowds, winter and spring are a good time to make a visit.

    How to Get There
    You could drive, but I flew Salmon Air, which runs daily flights from Salt Lake City during the summer and has other scheduled flights the rest of the year. The small planes are intimate and offer ample opportunity for taking aerial photographs of the beautiful landscapes. www.salmonair.com

    Where to Stay:
    Best Western Moab www.bestwesternmoab.com
    Red Cliffs Lodge www.redcliffslodge.com
    Sorrel River Ranch www.sorrelriver.com

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