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That Time We Left Work And Flew To Chicago To See The Cubs Parade

Ashley here.

So the Cubs finally did it. They won the World Series after 108 years. Our family lived on the North Side of Chicago for many years, and Harold has been a diehard Chicago Cubs fan for pretty much his whole life. We grew up rooting for the Cubbies, no matter how much they sucked. We loved going to Wrigley Field and hanging out in Wrigleyville. It is just such an exciting area to be. So as you can imagine, this was an extremely exciting year for Cubs fans like us. Especially for Cubs fans like Harold who have been waiting a very long time for this moment.

The Art Institue of Chicago

When the day of the parade was announced, my boyfriend and I very spontaneously decided to buy plane tickets on Thursday morning for a Thursday afternoon flight to O’Hare. We basically raced to the airport and figured we would buy clothes and amenities when we got there. Friday was the parade and rally. There were 5 MILLION people in Chicago for the parade and rally. It is estimated that it was the seventh largest gathering in human history! How crazy!

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#HHN26: Halloween Horror Nights 2016 Recap at Universal Orlando

Halloween Horror Nights 2016 – Universal Orlando

Ashley here. I went to HHN for the third year in a row this year. I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d be able to make it there this year, but I am so glad I did! Halloween Horror Nights 2016 finally brought to life the American Horror Story series. This has been the most requested haunted house since the show started, and it did not disappoint. It brought us through the Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel. All of the favorite characters made appearances and they recreated scenes from different episodes. It was great. I just wanted to give a quick recap and share some pictures we took. There are still a few more weekends left to attend if you still want to!

Halloween Horror Nights 2016

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Bahamas Cruise Aboard the Majesty of the Seas

Bahamas Cruise Aboard the Majesty of the Seas

Port Canaveral, FL – CocoCay, Bahamas – Nassau, Bahamas – Sea Day

We just got back from a great cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas! This was just a 4 night cruise that stopped in CocoCay and Nassau. It was a lot of fun and we really lucked out with the weather. This time of year is good to go because the prices are usually very low, however you run more of a risk of hitting bad weather because it is hurricane season. The crew was wonderful and the food and drinks were great! While the Majesty of the Seas is one of the smaller Royal Caribbean ships, there was still lots to do.

Majesty of the Seas anchored in CocoCay, The Bahamas

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Vegan – Plant Based at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

Vegan – Plant Based (or close to it!) at Disney’s EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Oh wait, wrong season. But it is Food & Wine Festival time which is one of the best times to be at Disney World. The 2016 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival has begun.  The Traveling Gals have made their first visit of hopefully many!  Every year seems to get better and better.  No matter how many times I visit, I still feel a thrill walking from the Beach Club through the International Gateway and into France.  It’s even better during the Fest!

Vegan / Plant Based at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

There are new offerings and returning favorites this year!  All together there are 25 booths in the freshly branded “Global Marketplaces”.  The Chew Collective, Chocolate Studio, Islands of the Caribbean and Wine and Dine Studio are all new.  My focus is on the healthier fare.  Here are our picks for staying plant based at EPCOT during Food & Wine!
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Exploring Vietnam & Cambodia: Mekong River Cruise

River Cruising Along the Mekong in Vietnam & Cambodia

A few years ago, we went on land/river cruise trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. We had  an amazing time seeing these two countries. There is so much history and culture. Some of the history is hard to take in, especially visiting sites like The Killing Fields and the “Hotel Hanoi” where American POW’s were held during the Vietnam War. Seeing these places in person though is an eye-opening experience. It was sad because so much of the Cambodian history is unknown to many people. But meeting the amazing, resilient people who can always find a reason to smile was so amazing. We also enjoyed seeing the hustle and bustle in Hanoi and Phnom Penh.

This was our first time ever in Asia, and we definitely cannot wait to go back! Our trip was with Viking River Cruises and we had the best guides ever who made the trip even more enjoyable. Here is everything we did and saw during our two weeks Mekong River cruise through Vietnam & Cambodia. Enjoy!

Chicago to Seoul: Read more about our Mekong River cruise on thetravelinggals.com!

That is a long line!

Off We Go…

First we did a lot of flying. A lot. Sarasota to Chicago. Chicago O’Hare to Seoul, South Korea. Seoul to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City, Vietnam. It was about 20 hours of flying. Luckily Korean Air is spectacular and it reminded us again of how terrible it is to fly domestic! We just love the feeling of getting on a plane and then being halfway around the world. Anyone who has traveled internationally understands that amazing feeling.

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Trip to Italy 2017 – The Neopolitan Experience

Trip to Italy 2017- The Neopolitan Experience

You may remember a previous post where we introduced you to our longtime family friend Carol D’Anca and her website Food Not Meds and books she has written on living a healthy, plant-based lifestyle. Carol also takes people on trips to Italy and she has a trip coming up in May 2017! Of course we wanted to share this with you because Italy is all about the food and culture. Carol’s family origins are in Naples and this trip will take you through Naples and the Amalfi Coast. You will get to experience Italy from a local perspective and enjoy all of the fresh foods and wine. Can’t forget the wine!

The trip is 4 nights in Naples and 4 nights on the Amalfi Coast staying at 4-star hotels. You will get to see all the sights as well as meet local people. A highlight of the trip is the cooking class with the trained Neopolitan chefs at your hotel. There will be plenty of time for shopping as well!

For more information on the trip to Italy you can take a look at the flyers below or contact Carol at carol.carolina.danca@gmail.com

Italy 2017 Trip Poster

Italy 2017 Trip Detail

Even if you are unable to go on this trip, be sure to check out Carol’s books on how eating healthy can prevent and even reverse some illnesses. She also has some fabulous recipes that you can try!

Amalfi Coast - Italy

We are not receiving any type of payment or commission from this. We just really support and believe in what Carol is doing and want to share it with you! Thank you!

The Traveling Gals

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Best Places to Grab a Drink at Disney World

Best Places to Grab a Drink at Disney World

Whoever says Disney World is just for kids needs to read this post. There are actually some very fun bars and restaurants throughout all of Disney World. These are a few of our favorite places to go.

Best Place to Grab a Drink at Disney World - House of Blues

  • House of Blues: As far as we know this is the only place that offers Happy Hour specials. There is also a cool vibe and good music. You can sit inside or outside. (Disney Springs)
  • Lava Lounge at the Rainforest Café: The actual Rainforest Café restaurant is fun, but the Lava Lounge outdoor bar is more fun. You still get to experience the volcano erupting without all of the noise (and screaming kids). They also have a lot of fun drinks and you can get the full menu outside. (Disney Springs)
  • 50’s Prime Time Café Bar: Attached to the 50’s Prime Time Café is a hidden bar. It even has its own door. The atmosphere is great and we have spent a few rainy afternoons here. They also have fun milkshake concoctions for the kiddies. The only downside is it can get very crowded if the restaurant is really crowded because they have people wait in the bar area. (Hollywood Studios)
  • Art Smith’s Homecoming: If you have a hankering for moonshine, this is your place. They also have great mixed drinks and a fun atmosphere. (Disney Springs)
  • Bay Lake Tower Member Lounge: We love going up here for a drink and a spectacular view. You can also watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom from here. They dim the lights and pipe the music in from the park. The only downside is there is a very limited food menu. DVC Members Only.(Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort)
  • Spice Road Table at Morocco Pavilion: This is one of those places people seem to walk by without realizing it is there. Spice Road Table is a new addition to the Morocco Pavilion. It is right on the water and gives you great views of the World Showcase with beautiful Moroccan décor. Here you can get drinks and small plates. (EPCOT)

These are some of our favorite places to grab a drink and relax. There are so many places we want to try like Tiffin’s at Animal Kingdom and Abracadabar at the Boardwalk Resort. Our favorite eating and drinking related event is the Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT. The booths and menus for this year were just released!

Where is your favorite place to enjoy a drink at Disney World? Let us know in the comments!

 

The Traveling Gals

 

 

 

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Best Places to Grab a Drink at Disney World

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Brown Rice and Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes

Brown Rice and Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes

This stuffed tomatoes recipe uses brown rice and lentils making it super healthy. It is delicious, easy to make, and can be used as the main course or as an appetizer. It is certainly filling enough to have for dinner!
Brown Rice and Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

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How Do You Eat Healthy on a Cruise?

How Do You Eat Healthy on a Cruise?

Healthy eating is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a cruise. You might instead be thinking of the 24 hour buffet. However it is possible to eat healthy. We do it every time we cruise without sacrificing the enjoyment of eating!  It all starts with a positive mindset, some willpower (okay maybe a lot of willpower), and a little creativity.

How Do You Eat Healthy on a Cruise? Read more on thetravelinggals.com

The Basics of Eating Well on a Cruise

  • The Buffet – Often times the buffet gets a bad rap, but it can be your best friend when trying to eat well. Start by perusing every option available and then put together the best choices. Of course, salads are usually the best option, but don’t just stick to the salad bar. There are often great choices to add to a salad at the burger condiment bar or the taco salad bar. You can also take a simple baked potato or plain rice and add to it for a healthy and tasty lunch.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask – While eating at the buffet, get to know the chefs that are walking around.  Ask questions and don’t be afraid to make special requests.  Everyone is usually very accommodating.  We tell the head waiter on the first night of dinner about our various diet restrictions. The waiters appreciate this because then for the rest of the cruise they know what to suggest and what needs to be adapted. The last cruise the kitchen created a special and delicious entrée adapted from the regular menu each night.  The chef even came out to comment on how he enjoyed the challenge of creating something different for a change.

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Things To Do In Orlando (Besides Theme Parks)

Things To Do In Orlando (Besides Theme Parks)

Orlando, FL is known as the theme park capital of the world. Millions of people visit Central Florida every year to enjoy the theme parks (Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, LEGOLAND, and Busch Gardens in Tampa). While these alone make for a great vacation, if you want a break from the theme parks there are also other fun places in the city to visit.

Here are the top picks for things to do in Orlando

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