Meet Cyn, Sandy, and Millie, the Ladies of the “Real Women Wear Red” Cruise

Okay, so I’m hanging out by the pool today and it hits me how much I love doing that. How much I love the beach, pools, cruise ships and how that is always my first choice for a vacation. No wonder so many of my books take place on a cruise ship, or Las Vegas, or a beach.

So, I had to make another one of those audios with music and spoken word excerpt like I’ve been doing all through February. This time I decided to hang out with Cyn, Sandy, and Millie of Real Women Wear Red.

Yeah, this book has been around for a while. It was my first published book and the one that got me an agent. I still love it!

FAWM23, Songs #19, #20, #21 (DJ Kat’s Lounge Show)

After officially completing FAWM (14 songs in 28 days), I had a blast creating DJKat’s Lounge Show by combining 3 book excerpts with music as a bit of a FAWM bonus. I’m thinking of doing a whole book this way. What do you think?

Chapter 1 Excerpt from Lucky’s Last Chance (originally titled The Tom Jones Club):

Available on Kindle.

The “Blind Man at the Bar” scene from Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond (aka “French Martini”)

Available on Kindle.

The Prologue from Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond (aka “French Martini”):

Available on Kindle.

Festival of the Arts

The trams still aren’t running at Epcot and last time we were there for the Food & Wine Festival, we swore we wouldn’t visit again until they were running or we were staying onsite. It’s just too much for us these days. But… we were enticed to try again for the Festival of the Arts.

This time our parking spot was closer than last time so this seemed to bode well. The crowds were down, too, at least in the morning, which always makes a difference. And the weather was perfect.

We also had a ressie at San Angel – it’s my go-to- restaurant – the one that says “we’re here” and we hadn’t been since we moved back to Florida. So the plan was to stop in at a couple of booths/studios (Italy and Germany) we’d checked out online and then head off to lunch.

On the way to World Showcase, we stopped in at Creations for our Annual Passholder Dumbo magnets (so cute!) and when we first arrived in World Showcase, we saw Deco Delights was open. We couldn’t resist the Espresso Martini and the “Decadent Valrhona Chocolate with dark chocolate mousse, chocolate brownie, and cassis mousse. Rich got us one of each and I found a table and we shared them. Yum, yum, yum!

Then we headed towards Italy via Remy in France – we haven’t seen this area upclose since we’ve been back. Some day we might actually ride it and grab a snack.

Then on to Italy where we got the “Mozzarella Fritta: Flash-fried breaded fresh mozzarella with artist palette condiments” with a glass of Prosecco for me and the Lemoncello margarita for Rich. Have we mentioned he loves his Lemoncello?

Very tasty!

Then a stop in Germany where we got the “Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes, and aged balsamic” – Oh my goodness! Why have I never had parsnip purée before? It was totally amazing! And the above and beyond delicious “Black Forest Cake: Chocolate Mousse with morello cherries and Chantilly cream.”

It was getting close to our San Angel reservation so we hoofed it over there and when we saw the “3 Caballeros” ride was a walk-on, we had just enough time to ride it. We might have been 2 minutes late for our ressie, but that’s not a biggie.

We were seated in the middle of the room, but Rich asked for a water view table for 2, which we were granted. I got the Ribeye Tacos: “Ribeye, thinly sliced, with Poblano peppers, red onions, bacon and Monterey Jack cheese served with corn tortillas and plantains, topped with crema Mexicana and cotija cheese” and Rich got the Baja Fish Tacos: “Beer-battered fried Cod, Shredded Cabbage, Chipotle-Lime Aioli and Pineapple Relish in flour tortillas.” We each ordered a Blood Orange Margarita.

We were concerned we wouldn’t be able to have a couple of food festival tastings and still have room for lunch and it was really close. We were absolutely stuffed. And halfway in with the Margarita, I started feeling really ill. I didn’t know if I was going to pass out or puke. We settled our bill and got outside for some fresh air as fast as we could. I started to feel much better.

We hiked back out to the car and drove home with a stop at Tasty Treat for an ice cream cone since we’d forgotten to pick up some cold water before we left Epcot.

It was a fun day but once, again, it was just too much. The 70- to 90-minute drive, the 10,000 steps, Espresso Martini and dessert before eating anything savory. Was it the drive, the walk, the blood sugar dip from the sugar and/or the alcohol or all of the above? I don’t know but each trip to Epcot from where we live without the trams running just seems like too much these days. We used to do a similar trip when we lived in Tampa Bay but we were 19 years younger – lol!

We’re planning an on-site trip in March to test out a new pet sitter, so we’ll let you know if our park experience is any better. Or is it time to sit those out and focus on the resorts and Disney Springs?

Christmas at Wilderness Lodge

We kicked around several resorts for Christmas 2022, but Wilderness Lodge just seemed like the perfect place for Christmas. Especially when Christmas Day was that super cold day (somewhere in the 40s)–freezing for Florida. It was too cold to walk the property so we spent our time inside the Lodge.

We booked lunch at Whispering Canyon, which served a traditional Christmas turkey skillet dinner. It wasn’t what we were expecting and it seemed rather average in idea, but it was amazingly delicious!

And now we’ve caught up with our Disney adventures since we arrived back in Florida the end of June.

To many more adventures!

Happy New Year!

Christmas Season at the Yacht Club

We made a lunch reservation at Ale and Compass and while we waited to be called, we took a look at our favorite Yacht and Beach Club Christmas decorations. Picked up some treats at the Beach Club, and bought an amazing Yacht Club Christmas ornament, something we’d wanted for years!

And then we walked over to the Epcot gate to catch our first glimpse of the Epcot Skyliner station. I know, I know. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

It looked much better than we’d imagined, and a good use of that space instead of the crowded area we’d feared. We couldn’t go into the park due to blackout dates (we have the Florida resident AP). Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we’d thought about having a drink at Hurricane Hanna’s, having such great Christmas Day memories from the past there, but skipped it and headed for the Boardwalk. We turned around at the bridge near the Dolphin, and decided we were ready for the 90-minute drive home.


Thanksgiving at Sanaa @ Animal Kingdom Lodge

Thanksgiving at Sanaa is one of our favorite places at Disney to celebrate. The African spices really kick up what can be a pretty boring meal. But, first, we stopped in at the bar for a cocktail. I had the Paloma I’d had at Victoria Falls on my Jiko Birthday, and Rich had a chocolate martini.

Then our table was ready so we moved over there and our incredible server really made our Thanksgiving. I forgot his name now but we put in a good word for him on the Disney App. He was from Casablanca.

Afterwards, we enjoyed the Christmas trees and animals out on the savannah. Really fun day!


2022 Food and Wine Festival #Epcot

With so much going on with the house, we weren’t sure we’d make it to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival this year. First, we had to get our Florida driver’s license, which caused some confusion because Florida had changed the process since we last lived here. Anyway, after 3 visits to the DMV, we finally got our driver’s license and car plate. Whew! Don’t want to do that again! Everything is harder and more expensive these days.

Anyway, we finally made it to Epcot. By the time we arrived, the closer parking was full and there still was no tram, which we did not realize. We’re older now and the trams are important! We were exhausted for days after this and a little hesitant to plan any more park days (unless we stay over, which is what Disney would prefer).

We made just one round. We enjoyed the booths but it wasn’t as exciting as in previous years. Or maybe we’ve just been through too much and it was too soon and we were exhausted, dealing with so many house issues, which we are still dealing with. We haven’t really relaxed into the Florida lifestyle yet, which I hope is still coming.

But I do want to say we absolutely love our house. It’s exactly what we needed, especially with Rich working at home full-time. This is the best one yet! And we got pretty settled by Christmas. Woo hoo!