Today I woke up and thought it would be a good day to go to Epcot. Boy, was I right! First of all, it was about 40 degrees cooler than when I was there a few weeks ago. I don't know if it made it above 60 degrees F. There was also a breeze so, most people were wearing jackets. Secondly, I don't think I've ever been there on a Sunday. I was pleased that there wasn't a huge crowd. And I parked about 2 rows back from the entrance. Score! I started off the day at Soarin', and promptly turned around when I saw the line backed up to the entrance. Weird! I hadn't seen it that busy in a while. So I went on my favorite, Living With The Land. It was closed down the last time so...YAY! Next I went over and checked out the new Sum Of All Thrills ride in Innoventions (if you're looking toward World Showcase, it's the Innoventions on the left). It looked pretty fun. There was an area where you "design" your ride. Then you sit in these pods (2 people) on a robotic arm and it moves you around. You can't be claustropobic because the thing closes over you. People looked like eggs with legs. Now for food!! Since it was chilly, I decided to try all the soups I could handle today. I started out with the Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime in Brazil. I gave it an "okay" on the delicious meter. It wasn't bad but it isn't what I was expecting. There was a clump of rice, 2 shrimp (tails on), with a creamy cheesy sauce over, garnished with diced tomato and a bit of parsley. I couldn't really taste coconut or lime but, it was yummy. I needed to wash down the "stew" so I went to Poland and got a Chopin Raspberry Chiller. It was basically a raspberry vodka slushy. It was sweet and vodka-y. However, I misjudged in ordering a cold drink on a cold morning! The Maelstrom ride was closed for some reason so I decided to warm up in the "Reflections of China" Circlevision movie. That movie SO makes me want to go to China. Ni-Hao! I almost had my picture taken with Mulan. No one was in line and she looked bored. Darn! I should've, oh well... I stopped for the Chicken and Coconut Soup with Mushrooms, Lemongrass, and Ginger in Thailand. Now THAT was delicious! It must be the "Campbell's Chicken and Noodle" of Bangkok. There was little chunks of chicken in a creamy coconutty curry soup. Mmmm...I could go for another right now! YES!! The hot spiced wine is back in Germany!! My fave. If you don't know where to go for wine in Germany, you walk into the pavilion toward the clock tower and take a left at the fountain. They have a "wine cellar" there and can either buy the glass, do a "flight", or buy a bottle. I highly recommend the hot wine, though. It's the bomb! I decided to pair my warm wine with the Mushroom Soup with Chive Dumplings from Austria. Mmmm...tasty tasty! It was creamy and buttery and mushroomy (earthy). The little chive dumplings were like mini matzoh balls. DE-LISH!! A definite must-try for those scared of the more exotic choices. Which brings me to a rant...It's the international food and wine fest. There is food from ALL OVER the world at reasonable prices to buy and enjoy. WHY would a person still buy a double bacon cheeseburger in America? BLECH!! Dummies don't know what they're missing. Okay, I'm done. I needed a sweet treat so I picked up the Praline Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce from New Orleans. There could've been a hint more bourbon in the sauce but otherwise, it did the trick. Warm, sticky, praline, caramel, how could a person go wrong? Side note: I was wearing some pretty fantastic earrings today and got complements from several workers. Especially the guys in Morocco. Wooo! They like the dangly elaborate chandelier earrings! I did the Beer Hop in between Morocco and France. I tried the Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest (of course), Murphy Irish Stout (a "drinkable" version of a stout), the Pilsner Urquell (actually brewed in a place called Pilsner, Czech Republic) and what turned out to be my favorite, the Affligem Blonde Ale. I liked the Blonde Ale because it was medium-bodied and had a spice to it. The Belgians do beer best! I had my picture taken with Belle and Beast at this point. It didn't turn out so great because I forgot to take off my sunglasses and I'm turned a weird way, and Beast is doing something weird with his paws. It was just...weird. Anyway... I decided I needed a break from eating and walking so I stopped to see "Impressions of France". Filmed in 1975, it's a bit dated but the scenery is still beautiful, and it still makes me want to go to Paris. The Frenchie that introduced the movie was VERY funny. I don't know where they pulled him out of. He was joking all over the place! For instance, when the movie started he said, "This is usually a 5-screen film, but today we have only one screen." Then the picture goes across 3 screens and he said "Just keedeeing we have 3 screens." Then the picture goes across all 5 screens and he says, "Just keedeeing, all 5 screens are working." It was very funny. In the UK I stopped for a Strongbow, of course, and caught some of the British Invasion band. Then I went to Canada to watch O!Canada and sample some of that famous Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. To be honest...I wasn't that impressed. Maybe it tastes better in Le Cellier. To me, it just tasted like...cheese soup. Since I had some time before the Eat to the Beat concert started (more on that later). I started for Round 2. I stopped at the Desserts & Champagne cart (yes, another dessert. HA!) I got the Gran Marnier Parfait with Orange Coulis. It was like a little frozen poundcake with an orange marmelade sauce on top (a little more Marnier would've made it outstanding). As it was, it was a delicious little treat. YUM! THEN<<< I experienced the most delicious thing I had all day. The Seared Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Puree and Mango Barbecue Sauce. YYYYYYUUUUUUMMMM!!! There was a couple perfectly cooked chunks of steak on top of pureed sweet potato and mango with a thin BBQ sauce on top that had sweet green peppers and onions in it. I think I'm going to try to make that puree. Seemed pretty straightforward. Sweet potato, mango, butter and cinnamon. MMMMMMMMMMMM. 5 Stars for this one. To wash it down, I had a good old-fashioned Coke while I was waiting for Jon Secada to start (as I was done with the alcohol back at the Strongbow. I drove!). Jon was very high-spirited and a good performer. He accidentally tripped on the stage and there was a collective gasp but, he recovered and then joked about it. What a cutie patootie! If you don't know any of his songs, you probably aren't latin or listen to late night adult contemporary radio shows (Delilah, John Test...). This is his 4th year performing at the F&WF. He also sang "If I Never Knew You" from Disney's "Pocahontas" (end credits song). I can never bear to part with Epcot (even though I have to go to work tomorrow. WHY!?!?). So I delayed my exit with another performance from the British Invasion. Then I finished up with a high-energy performance from Off-Kilter. Then I had to leave. Boooo! But, I'll be back in a couple weeks. WHOOO!! Stay tuned for Round #3, Halloween-style! Laterz!