Jacksonville, Florida

At the beginning of November the boyfriend and I traveled to Jacksonville, Florida for the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference. I won’t bore you with any details about the conference. You’re welcome.

I will definitely fill you in on some delicious restaurants in the Jacksonville area, though! Continue reading

Epcot Food and Wine Festival – October 2016

I thought this Disney trip would never arrive, and now I feel like it’s been so long since I went (because it has been)! I spent the entire summer planning – where will we eat, what will we ride, which park should we visit on each day – and I definitely think that thorough planning paid off.

Hurricane Matthew hit our part of North Carolina the weekend before we left. I felt incredibly guilty going on a fun trip knowing so many people had lost everything. It ended up being a good for us though since we didn’t have power for most of the week. 

We drove down on Monday, October 10, stopped at FishBones in Orlando (per boyfriend’s request), and finally made it to our room at Port Orleans Riverside. 

On Tuesday we visited Epcot for the International Food and Wine Festival (official Disney info at that link). We didn’t plan our trip during the festival on purpose, but I was so pumped that they coincided because I LOVE FOOD.

I had done some heavy research (I get slightly obsessed with planning) on the festival – what food and drink would be offered and prices – but it ended up being fun just walking around and eating whatever we were in the mood for. 

Be sure to get a stamp book to remember the dishes and drinks you try from each country! 

Clockwise: Sparkling Pineapple Wine, Mai Tai, and Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayo

 I think the food and drinks above from the Hawai’i kiosk were my favorite sampling. 

Buttered Chicken with Micro Cilantro and Naan Bread

Boyfriend still talks about the chicken (pictured above) from the Africa outpost. 

Frozen Szarlota (apple pie and vodka) from Poland. Amazing.

Spicy Sushi Roll (tuna and salmon with Kazan volcano sauce) and a Pineapple Breeze Sake Cocktail

I got annoyed that boyfriend wanted sushi (my argument was he could get that anywhere), but I also didn’t want to be bossy, so sushi it was. I didn’t try this because I don’t do raw fish; I don’t think he was blown away though. The blue sake on the other hand? Yum. 

I went a little Moroccan-crazy. The spicy hummus fries and chocolate baklava were delicious; the sangria was meh. 

I didn’t get an up-close pic of Canada’s beer cheese soup, and you may need a magnifying glass to see that baby-size apple ice wine. I’m glad I tried it, but for $8, one time is enough for me. 

Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi from Poland – delicious!

Our final snack of the night was this Nitro Truffle. It’s frozen and boyfriend had a difficult time chopping off pieces (and earned my stank eye when he sent a huge chunk flying into the grass 😑). 

I didn’t get a picture of the Beer-braised Beef served with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes from Belgium, the Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp from Australia, or the Beef Empanada from Patagonia, but they were all delicious. 

Trying all the food and drinks definitely adds up money-wise. We bought Disney gift cards from Target (hello 5% Red card discount!) and it was sad to see how quickly the money went, but we had a blast and would definitely do it again!

If you’ve been to the Food and Wine Festival what would you recommend? What were your favorite drinks or snacks?

A Year and a Few Months Later…

Those of you who can blog while also working a full-time job are amazing. School got started last year, and I had zero time to do anything. This year has been even busier, but hopefully I can re-start my blogging and not go another year ignoring it.

Last weekend my little town got pretty torn up by Hurricane Matthew. None of us expected to be hit so hard (we’re 1.5 hours from the coast), but Lumberton and its people are really struggling. The power is still out in many places, water was restored in some areas yesterday with limited pressure and essentials-only use, and so many homes were destroyed. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t driven through it and saw the houses swallowed up by water.

The boyfriend got me tickets to the Virginia Tech/UNC game for my birthday, so we were in Chapel Hill the day the hurricane hit Lumberton so hard.


Leave it to my Hokies to thump a ranked team and then lose to a bad one. 

I thought it was a stupid decision, but it ended up being the best thing we could’ve done. And a trip to the Cheesecake Factory is never a bad choice (mac ‘n cheese burger? Yes, please!).


Yes, that’s a giant fried ball of mac ‘n cheese on that burger. #noregrets

Up next? A recap of my Disney World trip!




Let the blogging begin!

Biscotti, the Scottish Terrier

For almost a year my sister has been saying, “you need to start a blog.” I’m not sure if she thinks I need a hobby, or if she actually thinks I have interesting ideas. Either way, I finally got the nerve to set one up.

Here’s a little bit about me that might give you an idea of what to expect from my posts (although to be completely honest, I’m not even sure at this point what to expect!): I have a Ph.D. in early and nineteenth-century American literature and teach English at a small, public university in North Carolina. I love to eat. A lot. I especially love to eat when I’m traveling. Along with eating, I enjoy cooking and baking, and I hope blogging will inspire me to attempt new recipes. To counterbalance the eating, I make myself run. I enjoy clothes and accessories – I like to think of getting dressed as a fun art project – and I love the lady who runs our family, Biscotti the Scottish Terrier, who will definitely be making guest appearances.

That’s me in a nutshell. Welcome to Biscotti and a Ph.D.!