Wonderful World of Disney — Sweet Treats Edition

In the last five years we’ve been able to visit Disney in several forms from a Cruise, parks, resorts to just stopping and shopping at Disney Springs while passing through. One thing is for certain, the wonderful world of Disney loves its sweet treats and puts so much effort into every confection no matter where you are!

Recently while in Orlando visiting Hollywood Studios I couldn’t help but capture some of these delights to share with you!

“This much I know. If you are what you eat, then I only wanna eat the good stuff.” — Ratatouille

From marshmallows to apples dipped in chocolate the Mickey theme is everywhere you turn!

And Mickey tastes delicious!

Of course many of your other classic characters make an appearance in sweet shops as well. Goofy’s Candy Company in Disney Springs is one of my favorite stops.

I’m a firm believer that calories don’t count at a Disney, so while I did enjoy some of these treats, I brought home the rest for Audley to enjoy!

As Winnie the Pooh says, “I wasn’t going to eat it, I was just gonna taste it.”

Sweet treats in the parks are often themed to match where you are. While in Galaxy’s Edge I stopped by the Milk Stand and shared blue and green milk with ” The Child “.

In case you’ve wondered (and the Instagram poll I conducted proved it), blue milk is the best!

Regardless of your preference for blue or green milk, it’s a very refreshing treat on a humid Florida afternoon.

Fantastic confections were also found at the new Riviera Resort. Made fresh daily you could grab a cupcake to eat while savoring your coffee or a delectable cheesecake to enjoy for dessert after a Tuna Niçoise salad.

 

And while the sugary treats are mouth-watering and hip expanding, you can’t visit Disney without enjoying Mickey Mouse shaped waffles. They are my most favorite treat of all!

A happy way to begin the day indeed!

“You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces.” — The Princess and the Frog

Hollywood Studios; Coronapocolypse Style

This year has been anything but normal, so when my girlfriend Tami reached out to me for a little road trip to Orlando I had a bag packed in a snap! The idea of doing something “normal” was extremely exciting!

Walt Disney World arranged park entry to Hollywood Studios (I’ve only visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot so this was exciting) and a stay at the new and gorgeous Riviera Resort. We were able to check out the newest rides and spaces, as well as all the health and safety measures they are taking so you can still enjoy the parks!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios was Walt Disney’s third park which opened in 1989. Its undergone several transformations over the years, but continues the premise as an ode to the “Golden Age of Hollywood” with details and architecture that will send your imagination into overdrive as you step back in time.

Hollywood Studios is an opportunity to emerge yourself in the movies you love through interactive rides, shows, parades, and experiences.

When you first enter the park you’ll stroll down the main street of the park; Hollywood Blvd. it is homage to the beautiful Art Deco style of the 30’s and 40’s. Neon, chrome, architecture with personality surround you as you meander towards the park’s iconic Chinese Theater.

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While waiting in line for Micky & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, check out all the handprints in front of the Chinese Theater & see who you recognize!

Once you reach the Chinese Theater you can experience the fun of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway adventure! This brand new ride actually opened just a few days before the coronapocalypse shut the world down. It is the first ride to actually feature the iconic Mickey Mouse! It’s a super cute ride no matter your age.

Hollywood Studios is so much fun to walk through as you check out each themed area.

One of my favorite rides was the famous Tower of Terror that has been a hit in the park since 1994! I could’ve ridden it several times!

Galaxy’s Edge opened in 2019 to delight of Star War’s fans of all ages. It is by far the most popular attraction in the park! In Galaxy’s Edge I enjoyed blue and green milk with baby Yoda aka “The Child” and guided the Millennium Falcon on a Smuggler’s Run. Tami & I also took a 3-D Star Tour with C3PO. It was so much fun!

Toy Story Land is so colorful and enticing we had to check out a few rides there as well! The Slinky Dog Roller Coaster through Andy’s Backyard is so cute and if you’re not a fan of coasters you can twirl with the Aliens!

As you can imagine, with this virus going around there are changes to the parks and how things are done. Here are a few things you should be aware of if you are planning a trip in the next few months.

*Masks are required on all Disney properties, at all times, unless you are sitting and actively eating and drinking. This includes parks, resorts and Disney Springs. Take extra masks… it’s hotter than the devils kitchen in Florida this time of year and a mask soaked with sweat is highly uncomfortable.

*When you purchase your tickets to the parks, you must make a reservation for the days will will use the ticket. They’re limiting park attendance, so you must have a reservation to enter.

*Before entering the park your temperature will be taken. If you have a fever, don’t go.

*Each ride is set up so that you are socially distanced as you wait. There are limits on how many can ride and only every other car/row is used.

*There are hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer stations everywhere in the park. I do mean everywhere.

*As for experiences in the park, they are different. There are a limited number of character experiences, generally found in the form of parades, and very few shows. You can feel a difference in the level of “magic”. The Disney Parks app is essential as you order and pay for your food and sign-up for times for certain rides. The Advantage of park policies right now are short lines for most of the rides.

Overall visiting a Disney Park has definite pros and cons right now. I am not a fan of masks so it was a policy that dampened some of my enthusiasm (and my mood once the sweaty thing rubbed a blister on my jaw). I did love limiting guest attendance to the park; shorter lines, not stepping on heels of people in front of you and not feeling like the whole world is crammed in around you.  Smaller crowds is a definite plus and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they kept that policy! Ordering food through the app is super convenient, but I am not a fan of my payment info being saved on the app.  Overall it was a fun trip and i would go back if given the opportunity.  If you decide to make the trip, just remember to make a reservation and plan out all the details of your trip before venturing down to Orlando!

Hiking Providence Canyon State Park

I often hear people complain how hard it is to lose weight.

Let me tell you, losing 100 pounds was easy!

What’s actually hard is maintaining weight loss and not slipping back into ages old habits! It’s so easy to have a cheat meal here or there that becomes weeks of poor nutrition, to become disillusioned or bored with the gym, discover a new series on Netflix, or decide to take a little break because we can just jump right back in.

Believe me, I struggle with this a lot, and since moving to Atlanta two years ago it’s been a continual struggle as I emotionally ate my way through the move, MacKenzie’s wedding, Bradley’s enlistment, and now sheer boredom and loneliness has become my worst enemy. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who has dove into his own fitness journey and is now my “let’s get off the couch” motivator.

hiking Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

My handsome Spartan running motivator.

For the first time in years Audley is working 40 hours a week… a Monday-Thursday schedule. It’s so nice, but it didn’t take long for us to go stir crazy in the house on his off days. While scrolling through Instagram one day I saw pictures of this gorgeous location right here in Georgia; Providence Canyon.

Providence Canyon State Park / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

We decided to take a short road trip and get our rear ends off the sofa and away from the pantry.

Located about 2 1/2 hours south of Atlanta, Providence Canyon is actually the result of poor farming practices 200 years ago (many lessons learned), but it’s also a beautiful location for picnicking, exploring, and photographing.

in the base of Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

The stunning red, white, purple and pink sandstone walls that form the canyon might have you thinking you’ve gone out west, but I promise, you’re still in the South!

The canyon makes a gorgeous backdrop for hiking and exploring.

Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Hiking Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

There are roughly 10 miles of trails you can hike throughout the beautiful canyon. These various hikes range from easy to moderate in difficulty. Choose wisely for your level of fitness and health.  Each can take a couple of hours to five or more. You’ll be amazed at the different scenery as you wander through the canyon. One minute you’re in a lush forest and the next sandy desert. It’s a beautiful result from costly mistakes generations ago.

Overlooking Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Providence Canyon Wooded Trails / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

When hiking Providence Canyon you need to prepare accordingly. First, this is a state park, so there is a $5 fee to park. If you purchase a Georgia State Parks pass you can find all kinds of adventures throughout the state and only pay once! While strolling around the top of the canyon is relaxing and easy, going into the canyon is a little different. The grounds throughout the area are sandy and wet. Trails take you down and up hills, through forest areas and into various rocky fingers of the many canyons. Wear appropriate shoes for these trails; shoes made for hiking and that you don’t mind getting muddy and wet are best. Smalls steams of water flow all through the canyon floor. You also need water for drinking. Once down in the canyon there are no bathrooms or water fountains. We packed a small backpack with bottles of water.

And don’t forget bug repellant.  Mosquitos love wetlands.

Hiking Necessities / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Our lightweight Kavu bag holds several bottles of water and snack packs of nuts for a trail hike. Audley is partial to his Salomon trail shoes, and I love my Merrells. Shop for hiking/trail shoes that fit your feet well and work for various weekend adventures. Protecting your feet is so important if you are going to hike!

Hike Providence Canyon / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Dress comfortably for your hike. I wore leggings and a tee-shirt even-though it’s hot, just because of their water wicking ability. You don’t want blisters on your thighs from hiking and sweat rolling down your legs. It is NOT comfortable. Wearing pants also leaves less places for mosquitos to nail ya.

There is a longer hike through the canyon that you will need to pack snacks as well as extra water to take as it is pretty long. We plan to go back and do that one in the fall.

Canyon Floor at Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

img_6459canyon bottom at Providence Canyon / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Nature at Providence Canyon / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Providence Canyon Lumpkin, GA / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Audley and I hiked over five miles in and around the canyon, then enjoyed a yummy picnic up on the rim.

Providence Canyon Picnic / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Providence Canyon was one time a thriving town. Remnants can be found throughout the park including an old wooden Methodist church building and cemetery dating back to the mid-1800’s. There are also old rusted out cars along the trail up to, but we didn’t explore that area to see them. We will definitely add that to our hike in the fall.

Providence Mothodist Church / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Providence Cemetery / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Cemetery at Providence Canyon / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Providnce Canyon Cemetery / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Methodist Church Building / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

If you are looking for a quick weekend adventure and an opportunity to get off the couch, a trip to Providence Canyon is definitely worth making! I won’t say hiking is a way to lose weight, but it’s a great way to explore where you live (statewide or regionally), get in some fresh air, and get moving!

Being sedentary is hazardous to your health.

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Hooray for gorgeous days and beautiful places!!!

Enjoy the views and let me know what you think!

Looking down onto Providence Canyon Trails / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Providence Canyon State Park

8930 Canyon Road
Lumpkin, GA 31815
Stewart County

 

Photo Journal: Traveling Missouri’s Route 66

“Will Rogers Highway”, “Main Street America”, “the Mother Road”, …. No matter what you call it, historic Route 66 has etched itself in history and Americans for generations now. Movies like Thelma & Louise, The Grapes of Wrath, Easy Rider, and even Disney’s Cars have only added to the lore and mystique of this slice of Americana, even in 2019.

Missouri Route 66 / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

An original US highway, historic Route 66 officially became a highway in November 1926. Running 2,448 miles, Route 66 originates in Chicago, Illinois and runs through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California; ending first in LA and later on in Santa Monica.

If Route 66 could talk it would tell the stories of migrants with cars loaded down with families and as many possessions as possible headed west during the dust bowl looking for better opportunities. It would tell stories of families just after World War II as times had vastly improved, loading up to see all the sights across our beautiful nation. Mom and Pop hotels and restaurants flourished as did little towns along the route and they saw many prosperous days. When President Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act in 1956, newer routes began serving travelers with a more direct path, among other amenities, leaving the small towns who had been booming to fade away as they were bypassed. In 1985 the Mother Road was decommissioned and Route 66 lost its highway status along with its traffic.

It may be nostalgia, a longing for simpler times, and even a group or two that values and wants to preserve history, but a resurgence of travel has occurred along Route 66 in the past several years. You won’t find it marked on a map or even as a route anymore when traveling west, but there are plenty of ways to map it out yourself, merge of the interstate and discover some of the United States most scenic and historic byways.

Recently while traveling in Missouri we mapped out a part of our trip to drive a portion of Route 66. We turned off of I-44 E in Lebanon, Missouri and headed east to St Louis about 160 miles. Much of the Route is country roads, some of it has been completely closed off and other areas merged with the interstate, we still enjoyed many a vintage stop filled with a slice of Americana and photo ops you don’t want to miss.

What to See Route 66 Missouri / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Here are some of our favorite highlights mapped out for you!

Munger Moss Motel / oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Lebanon, Missouri’s Moss Munger Motel has been a fixture and serving guests since 1945.

Munger-Moss Motel Route 66 / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Sunset view on Route 66 / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

How fitting to see this sight as we were passing through the backroads of Route 66

Bowling Pin Route 66  / oh Fiddle Dee Dee

While not an original Route 66 fixture, this bowling pin has attracted plenty of attention and stood outside the Buckhorn Bowling Ally in Waynesville, Missouri for years!

Unlike today restaurants when traveling were a splurge and a treat for most families.  Roadside parks were plentiful along main travel routes and were perfect for picnicking and stretching your legs!  I loved seeing this park preserved in St Robert, Missouri.

George M Reed Roadside Park / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Route 66 Roadside Park / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Route 66 Diner in St Robert was built in the last 20 years, but designed as a throwback to the 50’s, where kids might have hung out or a family treated to hamburgers and fries.

Route 66 Diner

Also built more recently, the Uranus Fudge Factory uses nostalgia (and humor) to encourage weary travelers to venture off the interstate for a few moments on Route 66.

Uranus Fudge Factory / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Route 66 Uranus Fudge Factory / Oh Fiddle Dee DeeFudge Factory / Of Fiddle Dee Dee

Country Roads along Route 66 / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Country Views as we continued traveling along Route 66

Devil’s Elbow and its bridge crossing the Big Piney River in Pulaski County has had cars crossing since 1923.

Route 66 Devil's Elbow / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Devil's Elbow Pulaski County Missouri / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Historic 66 Pulaski County Missouri / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Cuba, Missouri has preserved a lot of it’s history, and added it’s own touches to keep visitors interested in passing through the quaint little town.  Known as mural city, there are murals painting on several businesses and buildings throughout the area that share some history of this little town.

Cuba Missouri / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Besides a gas station turned restaurant, Cuba has also preserved the old Wagon Wheel Motel.

The Fourway Cuba Missouri / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

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Mural City / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Wagon Wheel Motel Cuba Missouri / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Cuba Missouri / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Historic Wagon Wheel Motel / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

 When the Gateway Arch was completed in 1965, as a new a uniquely designed monument, the Arch would’ve been a huge stop for families as they made their way through St Louis.

Saint Louis Missouri / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Gateway Arch / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

St Louis / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Have you ever traveled Historic Route 66?  What unique things have you seen?  I would love to hear your adventures!

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