Monday, January 2, 2017


It's been a long while since I've posted anything on this AbJ page and that's mostly due to the issues I've been having with the mobile site and the inability to post pictures that way. After all, these pictures are all taken on my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and the benefit is to just be able to upload the photos right there. If I can't do that, well, what's the point?

So I'll give it another go.

So sorry you missed out on fabulous pics of Asheville, New Orleans x2, and the other beach excursions. Maybe they'll be some new posts in the new year. Maybe.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Little Bit of Lakeland

So this post will pretty much be picture filled, but that's okay, right?!?!? 

After a little bit of Bike Week out in Leesburg... (Sooooooo crowded!)

Then we decided to look at lots of RVs...

And even Airstream Stonehenge off I-4...

On the way back we decided to stop in Lakeland and hit The Poor Porker! Yum! Campfire coffee and beignets - in a teepee!!! Seriously! Cool, cool place. Just look how it's laid out. Love it. 

Great place to hang out and at night they have live music too! What a great place to check out. It's right across from the lake so you can get a great stroll in as well. 

Go! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mardi Gras, Universal Style

Yes, it's true, we go to Mardi Gras every year in New Orleans. This year we had the opportunity to do Mardi Gras Universal style. I've got to say it was pretty interesting. They host a concert after the parade on the select nights that they schedule for Mardi Gras. There's also a courtyard with different food including funnel cakes, beignets, shrimp gumbo, andouille sausage and some Cajun sampler platters. All in all the food was pretty good. 

We went in around 6 o'clock and explored the park. They run a concert each night as well. The night we picked was Three Doors Down. Aim early if you expect to get anywhere near the stage. Even if you don't get close there are large screens and you can hear the band in a large area. That was good enough for me. We caught the parade at the tail end of the route but that was just fine.  Their version of the Mardi Gras parade consisted of about 10 floats, although nicely done really not like what you see in New Orleans. 

They also threw some short beads and that was about it. There were stilt walkers in between the floats but sadly, no bands. One thing that was the same were the people being just as crazy in the crowd with their pushing and shoving for beads. 

The best moment came a good while after the parade when I stumbled upon a doubloon. It was just laying there and was a little scuffed up but that didn't matter. I didn't see any thrown so it made it made it even more special.

So all in all it was a fun night. I would say that the added benefit of getting to go into the Diagon Alley area of Harry Potter really made the night great. That area of Universal Studios is done so well that a really could stay in that area all night.

If you have the chance to check out Mardi Gras at Universal, do it! While its not a substitute for the real thing it stands on its own.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot

don't know about you, but it seems to me that the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot has gotten more and more like the Food and Wine Festival… but I'm not complaining. In fact, I think it's a wonderful thing. 

Flower and Garden Festival started this year on March 2 and runs until the end of May. I got to go this Saturday and the weather could not of been more perfect. Seriously, it was a beautiful day. I mean just look at the picture. 

The flowers are everywhere, the sky is blue, and then don't forget all the food and beverages that there are to offer.

Oh, you wanted to see food pics? I thought you'd never ask. Just where do I begin?

These fine samplings come from France and China. The strawberries are back again and I'd recommend giving these a taste! Delicious. Strawberries coated with a sesame candy coating and they are juicy and delicious. 

And for those of you on Untappd, like myself, there's even a cider tasting. TheMcKenzie's  Black Cherry smelled so delicious that they really could make a perfume out of it as well. You'll find these goodies in America at the Smokehouse.

You want more? Take your pick. From salad to ribs, they have it all!

And there's nothing wrong with squeezing a little bit of spiced nuts, bourbon infused chocolate and caramel deliciousness in the mix as well.

I must say the watermelon slushy was the bomb with a little splash of Hendricks Gin. Having an awesome bartender made the experience even better.

Did you want to try some fish? The grouper was The perfect texture and taste to leave you wanting more.

But I should stop there. I've got you all drooling and ready to go adventure around the World Showcase eating your way through. Don't forget to get your passport and check off as many things as you can. And somebody go see the butterflies. I didn't get a chance to and that's one of my favorite things.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Beer and Barbara Manatee...

Not what you would call a typical Valentine's Day outing but beer and Barbara sounded about right.

We started with a trip to Longwood's Hourglass Brewery for beer with our wings from Papa Bee's. Good stuff all the way around!

Just about 40 minutes from Longwood is Blue Springs State Park and in the colder months there are tons of manatees to be see at the spring. I think the count yesterday was over 300 and I'm sure I saw at least 100 of those and we were late in the afternoon. Be forewarned, the line to get in can be longggggg. Did I mention it can be long? Really long. Seriously, we probably waited an hour to get in but it was well worth it. You can see plenty of manatees in a few hours or you can picnic and spend all day watching the wildlife in the park. Heck, rent a kayak or go for a swim in the warmer months. 

It never gets old watching these gentle giants swim. 

Barbara here was doing some log rolls while basking in the sun. 

What are you still doing here? Go. See Barbara and her friends. Really. Sing her this special song like I do. 

I've got to tell you...

Well, I've got to tell you what Mardi Gras means to me. It's so very hard to explain to everyone the vast variety of things we do and see when we go home for Mardi Gras. I've written about it once before here but there is always more to say and some of it bears repeating.

We do go home to see my family and friends. That's a given. I get to experience Mardi Gras with my Mom, my 88 year old G'ma, my daughter and putting 4 generations together like that is reason enough.


There are just so many more reasons.

There's Candace.

My Family and their willingness to dress up steampunk style while braving the cold.

The Rolling Elvi. Scarf and doll acquired this year!

Music on the street corner. We really do run towards it when we hear it!

Seeing the end of St. Anne and St. Cecelia at the river. Aways something I wanted to see.

The food. Oh, the food!

Then there is Dusty. I've know him for 20 years. We live 6 miles apart and find each other in NOLA every year. Tradition.

The political floats.

The awesome, creative costumes.

Cafe Du Monde... 

Crawfish from Rouse's.

Oh, the Marching 100, how we love you!

Finding Lindy's Dad accidentally was awesome too!

And those lovely 610 Stompers! 

The look on this face. 

Coffee on tap! Yes, on tap at District!

Doubloons. Always Doubloons!

Trying new things. Calas cakes and their history.

Finally seeing Orpheus and Harry Connick Jr. 

This one.  

The awful things they say while teaching my daughter that not everyone speaks the truth.

And The Half Fast guys. 

Then there are random strangers telling you "Happy Mardi Gras!"

The Fearless Foursome.

Cady hearing and speaking with local musicians.

And truthfully, those are just a few of the reasons we go. Just a few.