Sunday, March 22, 2015

There's nothing like a show on Broadway, nothing like a Broadway show!

I am a huge fan of Broadway music. One of my kids was doing a survey for his English class a few months ago and asked me what kind of music I listen to most often - I think most of his answers were pop, rock, country, rap, etc... and I answer "Broadway showtunes and Disney soundtracks."

Don't judge me. : )

Yesterday I decided to make a giant iTunes playlist of all (well, most) of my favorite Broadway songs. I don't have soundtracks for all of the musicals I like, but I do have a lot... and I wound up with 65 songs.

Here they are!

The Gods Love Nubia

Aladdin the Musical
Friend Like Me
Somebody's Got Your Back

Avenue Q
I Wish I Could Go Back to College

Bombshell (from the TV Show "Smash")
Don't Say Yes Until I Finish Talking
Cut, Print, Moving On
Don't Forget Me

Book of Mormon
Two by Two
I Believe


First Date
Something that Will Last
In Love With You

Mama Says
Footloose (Finale)

Funny Girl
Don't Rain on My Parade

Guys and Dolls
Runyonland Music/Fugue for Tin Horns
Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat

The Walter Bobbie version is my favorite. (Nathan Lane <3)

The Nicest Kids in Town
Ladies' Choice
You can't Stop the Beat

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Brotherhood of Man

The NBC version of Brotherhood of Man is WINNING.

Jersey Boys
Can't Take My Eyes off of You

Jesus Christ Superstar
King Herod's Song

The King and I
Getting to Know You

Kiss Me Kate
Another Openin', Another Show
Always True to You (In My Fashion)
Where is the Life that Late I Led?
Brush Up Your Shakespeare

The Last Five Years
I Can Do Better than That
A Summer in Ohio

Les Miserables
Master of the House
A Little Fall of Rain
One Day More!

True story, person who made this image... the 10th Anniversary concert is my favorite version of Les Mis. 

The Music Man
Ya Got Trouble/76 Trombones

People Will Say We're in Love

Consider Yourself

Once Upon a Mattress
Happily Ever After

The Phantom of the Opera

The Pirates of Penzance
When a Felon's Not Engaged in his Employment

The Producers
I Wanna Be a Producer

The Great Nathan Lane... I love him!

La Vie Boheme A&B
I'll Cover You (Reprise)

Shrek: The Musical
Don't Let Me Go
I Know It's Today

Singin' in the Rain

The Sound of Music
I Have Confidence

South Pacific
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair
There is Nothin' like a Dame

Monks Chant/He Is Not Dead Yet
The Song that Goes Like This
Find Your Grail
Diva's Lament

Thoroughly Modern Millie
Forget About the Boy

Run, Freedom, Run!
We're Not Sorry

From my turn in "White Christmas"... I love a piano!

White Christmas
Happy Holiday/Let Yourself Go
I Love a Piano

Dancing Through Life
For Good

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
My New Philosophy

I also have the opening that Neil Patrick Harris did for the 67th Tony Awards... not technically from a show, but it's definitely Broadway (and definitely awesome!)

Am I missing any of your favorite show tunes (or shows)? : )

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine

We're in Week 37 of Baby Z.

It's the home stretch!

Literally - everything is stretching. I really didn't notice any stretch  marks before the last two weeks. (My skin must be extra flexible?) But now... they're on my legs, my hips, and my belly. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little depressing. Because you know stretch marks don't really go away. I'm trying to tell myself they are like my pregnancy battle scars. And we would like another kid in a few years, so it'll just re-stretch (or maybe stretch more).

Everything is still going well with Baby Z, and I can tell he's taking up a lot of room in there. There's not so much kicking any more as there are giant, crazy movements that make it look like I have an alien movie happening in my abdomen. I'm effacing, I'm dilating, all that good stuff... so it could be a matter of days or weeks before he decides to make an appearance.

The nursery is almost ready - we have most of it set up, the big important things anyway. I've been working on washing clothes and removing tags on toys and making room in the bathroom and kitchen for the baby stuff. We have also been trying to clean up other things around the house, and I think even A has been "nesting" a bit - he's been intent on getting his workspace in the garage put together, putting up new lighting where we wanted to do it - just lots of little home improvement projects. We've been giving Lowe's a lot of money haha.

Penny has been helping to assemble the nursery, which is Finding Nemo themed. : )

My feet have still been swelling to epic proportions... lately they have also started swelling upward as well as outward, leaving me very few shoe options... mostly flip flops and my giant wide sneakers.

I have a list of things that I'm looking forward to once Baby Z is out. I think they are realistic expectations - for example, I know I'm still going to be exhausted all the time, so I don't expect that to disappear suddenly! 

- Wearing normal shoes again
- Sleeping on my tummy without a giant nest of pillows taking over the bed!
- Wrapping a towel around myself - the whole way! -  after showering
- Having coffee/a drink once in a while... this hasn't been a huge sacrifice for me but looking forward to it anyway
- Bending over easily to pick something up
- Flipping over in bed without it taking ten minutes and having it sound like I've just run a marathon
- Wearing normal pants with a belt... don't get me wrong, maternity pants with their elastic waistbands are awesome, but inevitably they stretch and start falling down - and that big elastic support makes it difficult to adjust yourself subtly!
- Walking without feeling like a Barbie doll that someone has snapped the legs off of

Etc, etc, etc.

The mood swings at this point are also extreme. Everything annoys me because I am cranky pretty much all the time... I try to keep myself in check but I can tell you, especially some of these days at school, it's rough. I officially have five more school days before my maternity leave begins. Wahoo!

Anyway, that's the latest and greatest on Baby Z and me... I'll keep you posted! Maybe by this time this week he'll be here already! : )


Sunday, March 1, 2015

WDW February 2015: Table Service Meals

I'm back!

As promised, here is my review of our table-service meals that we got to experience on our latest trip to Disney World in February. (I already talked about our quick-service meals in this post.)

My original plan for reservations was a lot different than what we wound up with... but since we didn't have our resort reservations made by 180 days before our trip, I had to make our reservations one by one. It's soooooooo much easier if you have your resort reservation first, because you can make your dining reservations for ten days of your trip at a time from the day you are to arrive. (For example, if you're arriving on February 1st, you can make your reservations 180 days in advance for the whole week of February 1st if you have your resort confirmation number. If you don't have a resort confirmation number yet, you can only make your advance reservations 180 days before February 1st, and then you have to get back on the next day and make your reservations for February 2nd, etc.)

ANYWAY... Our original plan involved going to Tutta Italia in EPCOT, Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom, Fulton's Crab House in Downtown Disney, the Hoop de Doo Revue at the Wilderness resort, and breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. The first three we wanted to go back to after we ate there on our honeymoon, and I was interested in both reserving a breakfast and a dinner show.

The only one from that plan I got into was Tutta Italia. And you know what, it still turned out okay! I was excited to try some new places, and we really enjoyed all of them... which goes to show that it's totally okay if things don't go according to plan! (By the way... the website is a wonderful place to research menus if you are planning a Disney trip. I relied on it while planning ours!)

We did go to Tutta Italia the first night of our trip... it is such a great way to start the week.

I went to take a picture of everyone at our table, and our waiter appeared from nowhere and said "No no, I take the picture! You sit down." So we got a really nice group shot the first night there. I especially appreciate the photobomb by the guy who is painted on the wall in the background. (Facebook wanted me to tag him haha.)

Anyway, the service was amazing as usual, and our food was also fantastic. Even though appetizers weren't included in our meal plan, we still got calimari... it's A's favorite, and Tutta's is hard to beat (although Fulton's was good on our last trip!) 

As far as the entrees went, A. talked both of our moms and my dad into trying the gnochetti, which he had last trip and really enjoyed. I had the sole again, which was delicious and also GIANT. Seriously, the filet I got touched both ends of my plate. It was delicious and a little different than the original one I had - which involved asparagus and capers - this one had more spinach, but that is excellent pregnancy fare. : ) A's dad got the lasagna and my brother got the salmon, which they both thoroughly enjoyed. 

For dessert, I went way off the beaten track. If you've been reading this blog, you know that all this baby wants is slushies and ice and things like that. Plus, I was super full after trying to finish that giant piece of fish! So I decided to try the lemon sorbetti. It was a FANTASTIC decision. It came in a tall glass with chocolate garnishes, and was perfectly light after my meal. Was it the most exciting dessert I ever had? No... but it was really, really tasty. If I remember correctly, pretty much everyone else at the table went for the cheesecake except for my mom, who got the Torta di Nutella. She let me try some of it, and it had an interesting texture, but was good. (I don't think I could have eaten a whole plate of it though.)

Our second night, we went to Hollywood and Vine, the buffet restaurant at Hollywood Studios. We got the Fantasmic package, which was totally worth it. The food there was good but I think I'd try something different next time. It's difficult to do a buffet when you're a group of 7 because you have to juggle getting in and out of the table when everyone is ready to get more food... and the atmosphere of the restaurant wasn't the best compared to other Disney restaurants we've eaten at. A. and I were racking our brains trying to remember if any of the dishes really stood out and we didn't really come up with much. I did enjoy the chocolate-dipped pineapple for dessert... I should have just eaten plates and plates of that. The best part was that when we went to Fantasmic, we just walked right in 15 minutes before the show and sat down in the reserved section. Our seats were good and we didn't get wet. : )

Some of my pictures from the show. : ) 

On Wednesday we had lunch at the Coral Reef Restaurant in EPCOT. The atmosphere of the restaurant was neat but for some reason I had pictured this big aquarium in the middle of the restaurant with the seating around it. Instead the aquarium makes up one whole "wall" of the restaurant, and all of the seating is on tiered levels facing the aquarium. We were on the very top tier, so far away from the aquarium, but there wasn't seating near the front for a group of seven. It was okay anyway because we could still see the fish, sharks, and stingrays just fine!

We got the creamy crap dip as an appetizer (even though it wasn't included in the dining plan) and that was a great way to start the meal. A. and I both had the manicotti with lobster tail... yum! My brother had the pork belly, my mom got the salmon, A's dad got the steak, and both my dad and A's mom got the mahi mahi. Again, we were all really happy with our choices. But what I really remember from this meal were the desserts!

A's Turtle Cheesecake with Caramel. See how it's shaped like a turtle!? Plus it was really delicious! The blue on top was blown sugar... edible, but I don't think A. ate it haha. 

A's mom got the Coconut-Mango Chiffon Tart. So pretty! She let me have a corner of the cake and it was very fruity and light. 

This was my dessert... the Chocolate Wave. I really enjoyed the balance of the raspberry with the chocolate cake. 

My brother also had the Bailey's and Jack Daniels Mousse... obviously didn't try that but he said it was good. I have a hard time imagining what it would taste like.

Thursday's dinner was our "signature dining" for the week and took two of our table service credits. We went to Narcoossee's at the Grand Floridian Resort. Half the fun for me was going to the resort and walking around... visiting the resort lobby and checking out some of the landscaping. That place is so gorgeous and I swear I'll stay there someday even if it's only for a night!

Narcoossee's is right off the boat dock at the edge of the resort and easy to find. Our reservation was for 7:30 pm and when we arrived it was kind of noisy, but as the night went on the crowd cleared a bit and the atmosphere calmed. Before we talk food, the view was really nice... there were windows around the outside wall of the restaurant and you could see the Magic Kingdom and the other resorts from the table. When it came time for the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, the lights in the restaurant dimmed and they piped in the music from the park so you could enjoy the whole fireworks experience right from the restaurant! That was super cool. We could also see the Electric Water Pageant travel around the lake as we finished our desserts. That aspect of dinner alone was super awesome.

Now... the food.

We didn't get appetizers here. I really wanted to have enough room for all of my meal and my dessert. They did bring out bread and butter while we were waiting for our entrees... and like I said, the atmosphere of the restaurant (and the company) was nice enough that any wait we had didn't seem like a wait at all. I had the "Pan seared Georges Bank Day Boy Scallops" (say that ten times fast, right?) which came with trofie pasta (never heard of it), raisins, almonds, string beans, arugula, and several other accoutrements. This is what it looked like:

And it was AWESOME. 

I wasn't sure what it would be like with all of those extras thrown in - I was especially skeptical about the raisins - but I figured the chefs put all of those flavors together for a reason. I really like scallops and this was super delicious.

The popular choices at our table were the surf and turf (steak and lobster tail) and the steamed lobster. My mom and A's mom both asked if they could substitute scallops for lobster in the surf and turf and it wasn't a problem at all. 

I took a picture of the dessert menu to send to my friend C. I knew which dessert I was getting before I even got to the restaurant because of all of my previous research... but see which you would pick:

C. (and my dad and brother) picked the coconut and chocolate creme brulee, but the rest of us went with the cheesecake. It's one of the top-rated desserts in all of the Walt Disney World Resort.

So fancy! And very, very good. As far as cheesecakes go, this one was pretty sweet (meaning sugary).

Finally, on Friday, we had brunch at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. My aunt, who lives in Orlando, met up with us for the day and joined us for brunch. Not only did we get some pictures taken with characters from Winnie the Pooh, we also had delicious breakfast food in a beautiful restaurant. (Although again, it was also loud and crowded.)

Piglet was super excited about the Baby Z bump... and you can see my happy FIL off to the side haha : )

I got an omelet at the made to order station and that was very good. But I have to say my favorite thing out of all the food there was to offer, was the stuffed french toast that was in the "kids" buffet station. I wound up eating more of that than anything else! It was also nice to get some fresh fruit from the buffet after not feeling like I ate enough fruits or vegetables all week. 

So, sorry for the marathon post, but there you have it... our table service meals for our week at Disney this year! Thanks for sticking with me. : ) Now go eat something yummy!