Photos: Virginia Zoological Park

Parental Holding pattern

So, I was slated to go to PA this week to visit my mom, help clean up my dad’s old office for sale and, hopefully, get some good (or, at least, passable) photos out of the trip. Unfortunately, she has decided she will be “too busy” with other things and will, hopefully, be available in two weeks or so.

However, I have an idea for what I post in the meantime… but I haven’t made *new* reservations yet (meaning they’ll be expensive af when I do book them). It’s to a location I’ve technically been to before… but I got REALLY sick and couldn’t take any photographs for the entire week I was there. I’m hoping this time will be different.

So wish me luck in my forthcoming adventure. In the meantime…


Disney Springs to open five dining experiences by 2018

Disney Parks blog is reporting that three new restaurants are expected to open by year’s end at Disney Springs with two additional eateries slated for 2018. The following descriptions (edited for length) were taken from said post (with some entirely uninformed commentary in italics):


This fall, Chicago-based Levy Restaurants is introducing a new Italian concept at Disney Springs, with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano leading development. The new restaurant replaces Levy’s Portobello Country Italian Trattoria. ~ I just ate at PCIT a few months ago, I’m really looking forward to the new (and currently unnamed) iteration.


Also opening in late 2017 is Wine Bar George, with Master Sommelier George Miliotes bringing his expertise to Disney Springs with an unparalleled wine list including more than 100 selections… in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. Shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie… featuring local artisans and seasonally relevant dishes. ~ Not much of a wine drinker, but if it keeps the rich people happy than go for it.


And The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime, is expected to open by year’s end…The Edison is noted for classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret… With Old World sophistication and romance, The Edison will be themed to a 1920s-era electric company, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination with entertainment that includes contortionists, aerialists, DJs and more. ~ It sounds like a fun place to have dinner on a rainy night – with good food and a great atmosphere. Also, I love the phrase “Industrial Gothic.”


Jaleo, a concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, will open on the West Side, bringing the spirit and flavors of Spain, with an extensive menu of tapas that reflect the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine…. The first floor of the multi-level restaurant will feature a “grab-n-go” storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches. ~ Can’t wait. I’ve never had tapas so I’ll have to try this when it opens.


And a new… Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses with a touch of elegance. The restaurant will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck at Spago… (and) will highlight the best of Puck’s signature dishes with Mediterranean influences, innovative takes on comfort food classics and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine. ~ Not sure if this replaces any of the existing WP eateries in DS or is an addition to the ones already there, but I actually liked the pizza I had at WP Express a few years ago, so why not?

Memorial Day Weekend Update

Saturday is the official opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar at DAK. I was in the park when they were filming The View previewing it’s opening, but while it looks pretty when it isn’t crowded, this weekend isn’t going to be one of them. In fact, I will not set foot in the park until at least October or even December and, even then, it will probably still be packed.

Another place that will be packed is Universal’s Volcano Bay. It’s a brand-new water park and it’s walking distance to two of their main hotels (the others will offer a free shuttle service). Everything I’ve seen or heard about it makes it sound awesome…but I’m not sold on buying an expensive “3-park pass” to enter it (which is cool if you haven’t been to the other parks in a while, but for a park photog like me, it isn’t much of a deal).

Of course, LEGO Land Florida is opened it’s newest theme area (such as they are) “Ninjago” last month and their 2nd hotel The LEGO Land Beach Resort back in January. However, this weekend, is the opening of their water park.

I’m sure SeaWorld Orlando is doing something special, but I’m not sure what. However, as it is the “Last Sunday of the month,” expect Animal Rights Florida to be outside their main gate for at least most of the day.