Friday, June 28, 2013

Busch Gardens' Food and Wine Festival

One favorite event at DisneyWorld is Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.  So when we read that Busch Gardens was going to have their own, we were interested. It was only being held on the weekends though, so it took some creative scheduling.

After we finished at Water Country for Julianne's birthday, we were very hungry.  Waterparks do that!  So we loaded the kids up in the car and mumbled something about needing to get something to eat. 

Then we pulled into Busch Gardens.  The children were completely shocked.

We stopped in Scotland and Brandon had a Scottish Egg.  

I had Shepherd's Pie.  I didn't care for the egg but my pie was made with lamb and it was wonderful.  There was just enough gravy for the potatoes.  And a good amount of lamb for the serving. 

The next thing we did was let Julianne go on her favorite ride, ever!   Since the little boys can't ride it due to height restrictions, we do child swap.  This means that I ride with the two girls and Brandon waits with the boys and then Brandon go with the two girls while I wait with the boys.  The girls think this is very special because they get to ride twice in a row!

One thing that is very different than Disney, is that the demonstrators are out in the open and hanging out.  When we went to Food and Wine in Epcot, you had to have reservations/tickets to see the demonstrators and classes.  James Parker was just sitting in the open and spoke with everyone that came by his booth.  It was very neat. 

He is very down to earth and even did a "pound" with Julianne when he heard we were celebrating her birthday.  His birthday is in June too!

His display was beautiful.  And so detailed.  We stood there for a long time looking at the display. 

But our tummies were rumbling, so we moved along.  Scandinavia was next up.

Like Disney, all the countries had their own booth..

And menu signs...

We kept moving and stopped to see the eagles.  These birds are just beautiful. 

Unfortunately, each eagle at Busch Gardens has a sad tale about why they are no longer in the wild.

My so-wise-beyond-her-years daughter said, "Momma.. it's like adoption!  Their family couldn't take care of them, so Busch Gardens takes care of them and loves them... even if they have something special about them."

Be still my heart.  

That's my girl! 

I wanted to show this next picture just because. I have no connection or cute stories about the Lorikeets. LOL  But this park is BEAUTIFULLY landscaped and so clean.  They get awards and nominations for both and it is SO clear why when you start walking the grounds.

The next country we found was Belgium. 

Where Brandon ordered a beer flight.  This is a major difference from Disney.  The pours were generous here at Busch Gardens.  The $10 beer flight was 7 oz of four different beers. 

The mister approved! 

We thought the tray was a great idea.  It made it so easy to keep walking instead of being tied down to a table.  I sampled the flight and thought they were pretty good.  We were thankful for the sticker in the middle of the tray that numbered each spot so that we could look at the little paper that came with it and know what we were drinking.  It's the little things, folks!

Finally we found ourselves at the Trapper's Smoke House.  It was packed but the lines moved quickly. 

One thing I really appreciate at Busch Gardens is that the eating establishments are cafeteria style.  So you walk through and pick up what you'd like and check out.  To me, these seems to go so much faster than standing in line, ordering, paying and then waiting for the order to be put together.  But maybe it just feels faster.

One thing that this does though, is keep parties together so that when you get out of the line, there are tables available instead of people holding tables for the entire ordering process. 

 Diehard Disney fans say that other parks aren't themed as well.  We find that Williamsburg's Busch Gardens IS themed really well.  I took a few detail shots but I won't bore you to death.

We ordered three samplers and split them up.  We were all pleasantly full when we were done.  And it cost about the same price as going to a mediocre buffet for our family size.  

Here is a plate after I snitched some fries to make a plate and the roll is missing too.  Every time we've asked for extra plates to split meals we've been cheerfully accommodated.

We think the food was much better here than a mediocre buffet though.  We had BBQ chicken, ribs, brisket, waffle fries and rolls. 

The ribs were everyone's favorite though.

After eating dinner, we walked through a few shops and then Lainey asked to have a picture taken with the "French guy."   (And yes, she is still wearing her swim suit.. she didn't want to change.)

And then we made the hour drive home.  We had a busy weekend planned...this was just the beginning!

God, I'm so thankful for the opportunities that we've been able to share with our family.  We are thankful for your provision.  Amen. 


1 comment:

Erika said...

What a precious connection between the eagles and adoption...amazing!! :)