Favorite Foods at Universal Studios while at #FamilyForward

Our summer vacation this year was to Universal Studios in Orlando as part of an event called Family Forward. We spent a lot of time at the different parks, and that means we ate at several places during our time there.

We tried a lot of different things, but these were the ones that stood out.

My five favorite foods at Universal Studios

Lard Lad Giant Pink Donut – You can get a box full of donuts and share them with your family, but it was a much better photo opportunity (and a lot more fun) to just share the giant donut between the five of us. It was surprisingly soft and fresh, making it a favorite of our whole family.

Chicken and waffle sandwich (Cletus’ Chicken Shack) – I’ve kind of got a thing for chicken and waffles. I’m not sure why, but then when you make it into a sandwich, it makes it even better. Oh, and the maple syrup mayo was delicious on it, too. The side of tator tots made the entire meal worth it for me.

Pizza from Luigi’s at the Simpsons Fast Food Boulevard – as the Dad who eats all things the kids don’t want (especially at amusement parks), I was pleasantly surprised that this pizza tasted as good as it did. They only like cheese pizza, so I didn’t try the “Meat Liker’s Pizza,” but I’m sure that one would have been pretty good, too.

Blue Cheese Chips at NBC Sports Grill and Brew – Outside the parks, at the NBC Sports Grill and Brew, my favorite dish was actually an appetizer. These Kettle Chips with blue cheese, white queso, and bacon bits were loved by our whole family. A close second was the large warm soft pretzel with the jalapeño cheese dip.

May Contain Nuts at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium – This is a dessert for the whole family! It is huge and has peanut butter ice cream, peanut brittle, Reese’s peanut butter cups, chocolate peanut butter pie, whipped cream, peanut butter sauce, and is topped with Reese’s Pieces. I didn’t even get a picture of this dessert because the kids started to gobble it up so fast (as they did with all the ice cream from Toothsome).

These five foods quickly became my favorite things we ate while on vacation. Be sure to try at least one of them the next time you’re at Universal Studios Florida.

BONUS: Butterbeer at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley – This is a delicious butterscotch drink inspired by the Harry Potter movies. You can get it either frozen or cold. I liked the cold version the best.

What are your favorite foods at Universal Studios?

Tips for Road Trips with Your Puppy

Our family took a drive from Kentucky to Florida this week…and we took along our 6 month old puppy. Zelda was a champ. She did a great job, and she really loved hanging out with our kids while we were in the car for over 15 hours in two days.

I thought of a few ‘rules” for traveling with a puppy, so I thought I’d share them here.

Tips for Traveling with a Puppy

Tip 1: Be patient
Traveling with a pup is much like traveling with a child–everything takes (at least) twice as long. So…be sure to be patient and understand that things are going to take longer. This is difficult for me, but I think I did an okay job.

Tip 2: Be prepared
The more prepared you are for traveling with your dog, the better your trip will be. I made a list of things that I was either happy we had packed or wished we would have packed on this last trip. These will all be in our bag on the way home after vacation is over.

  • Small treats
  • Cleaning wipes (we had a puking issue)
  • A long leash/tie out
  • Portable water dish
  • A long lasting chew bone

Tip 3: Be proactive
Puppies are just getting housebroken. They aren’t necessarily “car broken.” Don’t wait until the dog tells you she ha to go…stop often enough that she can go on your schedule. The more proactive you are about this, the less likely you’ll have an accident inside the car.

Teamwork also works. We take turns going inside with kids so one of us can walk the dog the whole time. It definitely takes longer, but refer to rule 1.

I hope these rules help you with your road trip with a puppy.

What tips do you have?

Trip It Keeps You Organized While Traveling

I just returned from a trip to Bucharest, Romania. It was an incredible trip. I had a lot of fun with my friends there, and my class (the reason I went) went very well.

I’m not very good at keeping myself organized when it comes to traveling. My travel documents usually get lost somewhere, and the confirmation emails get filed away in my email system, making it difficult to get to them when I need them.

I don’t usually memorize my itinerary when traveling. I just remember that I need to know the next step in the process of getting to my final destination. I don’t study my flight itinerary and usually don’t look at it until a few days before my actual flight.

I’ve started using TripIt on my iPhone to help me get more organized. You simply register for the service and then forward your confirmation email to plans@tripit.com and it will appear on your phone in the application.