Category: USA

Disney Dreams

Disney Dreams

An 11 yr waiting by the door with anticipation for a letter, going to school with the question will it won’t it?. The day arrived, he read that it was happening, he would be going to Florida, Disney to be exact. Now jump a few months and mummy got the email it was time to plan. Planning was done in earnest, with surprises in store that he never dreamt of.

The magic day eventually arrived for him and we told him he was actually flying with Virgin! not another airline that we kept saying, the joy on his face. Every day was planned with military precision as has to be with a child like my son. A child who can’t help but be anxious when it comes to the unknown. Yet as a mum surprises have to be thrown in to teach him that life isn’t a planned activity.

After arriving at the amazing villa and the welcome he got was unbelievable, the table set with party items, a cake and balloons that was a surprise to us as well as him and he loved it, who wouldn’t? We sorted rooms and sat down for a well earned cup of coffee/cold drink and enjoyed the warm evening, tomorrow we planned to just relax and get our bearings.

The First Dream

Son’s dream was to ride the Test track at the Epcot and to visit as many stadiums as possible. Our first visit to a Disney park had to be the Epcot.  The first stop was of course the test track. As we walked up he stared in awe at the huge golf ball the excitement levels rising he was so happy to be finally going. After years of watching YouTube videos about it. Even though he had watched he still didn’t realise it was a roller coaster.

As he designed his car with the help of his big sister. He jumped in the car and was over the moon to see his design on the screen. He thought that mummy’s and daddy’s car looked silly compared to his. We all took to the ride, as it went screeching round the corners he screamed and screamed. At the end he jumped for joy to see his car had beaten ours. The day continued with more rides and even some character visits, he was totally exhausted by the end of it.

Some more of his dreams

I won’t go into detail about everyday as that would be a very long post. Suffice to say he slept well during our trip ( a rare occurrence in this household). He visited Tampa to stay by the beach. Woke up there for his 12th birthday and had a picnic where a family friend surprised him also (another dream come true). He got to visit the stadiums around the area. We purposefully missed out the Raymond James . He found out 2 days later why! His Auntie had bought him tickets to go and watch a game. It was amazing, the whole family had a great day, the people were so friendly and helpful throughout the day.

So I have rambled on a little much but we did so much, so just a few more highlights. Animal Kingdom, fabulous, when visiting ensure you see the Festival of the Lion King and follow the wilderness trail with book in hand to learn as you explore.

We also visited, Hollywood studios, blizzard beach, Universal, magic kingdom, Celebration ( a good place if you love cars as Ollie does) and had a pirate sunset cruise. I will stop now but there was so much to do we could have stayed longer.

I couldn’t possibly leave without saying a huge thank you to the person/persons who donated the Villa. It was beautiful, large and tranquil, if we ever get back even just to relax and not visit the parks we will stay at the same resort.


We as a family can’t thank Dreams Come True enough. Without your help his Dream to Disney would still be that a Dream! My Son talks about it to anyone who will listen.

Have entered the Millioneyez competition through SuperLucky Di’s Blog x

usa flag

Taste the USA

Taste the USA

Did you know many of us choose our holiday destination on food.  I wanted to enjoy A taste the USA. When we chose to go to America it was for various reasons mainly its somewhere we had all wanted to go. Once booked I started to take an interest in the cuisines available in San Francisco, it was a variety of taste-bud exploding foods, such as Clam Chowder, food vans, so much so they have a huge area where the vans meet everyday and you can walk round, decide and just chill, sadly we didn’t get to any of them so I have tried to re-create something we didn’t get to try and a few we did.

usa flag

I was unable to purchase clams here not even in tins so changed my menu slightly but its still something I wanted to try and never got the chance to.

My taste the USA night Menu

Cioppino Fish Stew (recipe below)
Fry Chicken with ranch dip (ranch recipe below)
Chicken Pot Pie with lumpy mash (as requested by little man)
Pulled Pork sandwich
New York Cheesecake

I will not be going to give you the recipes for all as most can be found on my other blog cakesphotoslife. today is the Cioppino and the homemade ranch dip

Cioppino ingredients

Cioppino Fish Stew
Original recipe from Foodnetwork (I have highlighted alternatives)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup butter
    1 rib celery, chopped
    1 onion, diced
    1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)
    2 cups clam juice or fish stock
    2 cups white wine
    4 cloves crushed garlic
    1 lemon, juiced
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoons dried basil
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 Dungeness crab (about 2-lbs), cracked and cleaned, or 1-lb frozen crabmeat thawed (Tinned crabmeat)
    2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 1-in slices (cod fillets)
    24 large prawns, peeled and de-veined (Cray fish tails, I don’t like prawns)
    12 mussels (I couldn’t get fresh so bought a prepared with garlic and white wine sauce)
    1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

cioppino stew


In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour.  Add a splash of water if the sauce gets to thick. Furthermore taste for salt and add as mush as needed.
Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Finally turn off the heat, and stir in the Italian parsley.

Homemade Ranch Dip Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
    2-3 tablespoons sour cream
    1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon mixed herbs
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
    a dash of balsamic vinegar


Finally place all ingredients into a jar and shake well, if you don’t think you have shaken enough, shake some more. (my neighbours probably laughed at me dancing around the kitchen shaking a jar of dip)

This recipe was originally found on Cakesphotoslife and has been replaced on here.

Pier 27 San Francisco #CruiseTerminal1

Pier 27 San Francisco #CruiseTerminal1

SF Port 2

A cruise? Have you been on one? I haven’t but its on my list of things
to do before I reach 50.

Have a long way to go 😜. (Maybe not who am I kidding?)

I have asked a few people so far what their favourite port is and why,
we will focus on those in other posts.

Today I want to focus on San Francisco, The home of The SF Giants, cable
cars and Sourdough Bread it’s a stunning City mixture of Old and New,
the cruise terminal Pier 27 (opened September 2014) can hold Liners
upto 4000 people, San Francisco is where my passion for cruises or
the wish to travel on one came back, when we visited there were two
in port for the day. (Princess and Celebrity)

Can you imagine waking up sailing down the Bay passing the iconic
Golden Gate Bridge, the beautiful mountains and small town of
Sausalito on the left and the old navel dockyard on the right and just
before you dock you pass the famous island of Alcatraz. You can book
ahead or on-board for tickets to Alcatraz and I would personally
recommend a trip, but if you don’t feel like visiting,  take a walk down
Fisherman’s Wharf, stopping on the way down at the Boudin bakery on the way to
pier31 where you can see the sea lions not forgetting hearing them
bark and also the smell, (don’t be put off it isn’t that bad) it’s a great
sight to sea, lazing in the sun. Find the musical stairs and have a go.

The skyline is a fascinating sight to see also. If you have the time
I also recommend the California Academy of Sciences within the Golden gate Park.

SF Port 1 SF Port



I won’t be adding prices to any of these posts as they vary greatly
and change often also if you can find a deal but I will be adding the
cruise companies who travel to the port terminals that we mention on here.

Current Cruise Companies for Pier 27 San Francisco

Celebrity Cruises
Crystal Cruises
Cunard Line
Disney Cruise Line
Holland America Line
Norwegian Cruise Line
Oceania Cruises
P&O Cruises
Princess Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Silversea Cruises

All opinions are personal unless otherwise stated.

All Images are taken by the TNC Team unless stated