A Frenetic Fun-Filled Weekend: My Review of Artist Point

Where to even begin!  I have been longing for a weekend to simply relax and have nothing on the agenda…but this weekend was not going to be that weekend.  I can hardly complain since everything on the docket has been a fun new opportunity but I can promise you I will be starting my work week tired!

Let’s start from the beginning…

Friday – Due to the achilles weirdness I have been posting about, I decided to push my normal Friday speed work to saturday to give my legs an extra day of rest.  My wonderful friends grabbed a reservation at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge last week as a celebratory dinner for a whole number of wonderful things that have happened in our lives collectively in the last couple weeks.  This is a “signature dining” location which translates to “fancy schmancy” in my book so I knew this would be a dinner to remember.

It was an evening filled with laughter, fun, excellent service, and superb food.  Our meal started with a delicious amuse bouche of rare tuna in an adorable cone.  I’m no foodie so I thought this was super fancy!

Next, we dove into what turned out to be a delicious Smokey Portobello Soup.  In any other circumstance I absolutely refuse to eat anything with mushrooms (I am an extremely picky eater and this is one of many items on my do-not-eat list).  I was assured by everyone that this was an excellent soup and tasted more like bacon than mushrooms so I decided to give it a little taste.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  The smokey, creamy flavors were delicious and I did not sense a hit of anything that I didn’t like.

Next was another Item that I completely forgot to photograph.  It was an “surf and turf” appetizer of scallops and pork belly.  Another delicious choice!  This was the first opportunity I ever had to try pork belly and it was incredibly tasty.  The scallop was also amazing (but I always love a good scallop…hence my entrée as you will see in a moment).

Then, it was time for the entrees!  I ordered Seared Diver Scallops (which come all the way from Washington – super authentic!) and substituted Herb Spatzel for the Butternut Squash Rizotto that normally comes with the dish since I am not a fan of squash.  The scallops and the side were absolutely delicious but I was getting quite full by this point at you can probably imagine.

Charles opted for the Slow Roasted Buffalo Strip Steak which he also loved.  I couldn’t get over the sad image of eating a buffalo so I refused to try his dish (ever since a trip I took to Yellowstone in middle school, they have held a special place in my heart).  He really enjoyed it and was even brave enough to try the bone marrow that came with the Filet Mignon dish that a few of our friends opted for.  He tried it on a slice of bread at the advice of the restaurant manager and said it was really good.

I should also mention the wine.  I rarely ever drink anything at all and do not consider myself a wine fan.  I also usually think of whatever work out I have planned for the next day and dread feeling groggy and dehydrated the next morning.  I was willing to give the bottles that were ordered for the table a try though.  Although I have hated red wines that I tried in the past, these were not half bad!  I may have still chased each sip with a swig of water, but I try to take advantage of opportunities to try new things at least occasionally.  I feel like it’s probably a good idea to have at least a basic knowledge of wines for my adult life.

Then, the time arrived for dessert.  We opted to go with a dessert sampler for the table to we were all able to try a whole variety of things.  I had my sights set on the Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée (on the far right below) as it is one of my favorite dessert items out there.  As a group, we devoured most of this lovely assortment:

With this, we concluded our meal and headed out to the resort’s lobby to admire the beautiful Christmas decorations.  I absolutely love how Walt Disney World transforms literally overnight into a winter wonderland.  There is something particularly homey about the decorations at the Wilderness Lodge.  I think this is the first year that I have actually visited this resort during the holiday time period but the trees, wreaths, and other trimmings were adorned with plaid bows, teepees, and other wilderness-themed decorations.

We posed for pictures in front of the massive tree in the center of the lobby.  It was the perfect end to a perfect evening surrounded by some of my best friends and my wonderful husband.

Here are a few more images from our lobby photo session:

(photo credit to Nan for this group shot!)

Saturday – This started off as one of those lost days where you seem to get nowhere fast.  The only thing really on the agenda for this day was to hit the gym and get ready for a lovely evening with my Mom (which I will write about in a moment).  Well, Charles and I finally made it to the gym around 1:30pm.  It was time to make up for that postponed speed work so I had my 5 mile interval routine on the agenda.  I felt a little bit of tightness in my hip area but I ignored it (always a bad idea) and actually had a great work out.  I felt stronger than usual and substituted some tougher intervals than normals (traded out one 8.0 mph interval for a 10.0 mph interval).  So much of the day had already slipped away that it was pretty much time to get ready for my evening by the time we finished.

Thumbs up in the car post-run!

Now, to reveal the exciting activities from my Saturday evening.  Well, my amazing mother signed up for a special opportunity to attend a preview dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant, part of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park that will be opening for official previews tomorrow.

This exciting event absolutely requires a full recap post so I will save that for tomorrow.  To tide you over, here’s a sneak peek of our meal:

Sunday – We have arrived at Sunday (this weekend is really speeding by).  My usual 11 mile long run was slated for today.  Thanks to a high of only 72 degrees today, I was able to sleep in and take my time getting ready this morning.  My hip area felt a bit funky this morning but I tried to stretch it out and started my run optimistically.

Unfortunately, this run did not go as smoothly as planned.  After factory resetting my watch on Wednesday, this was my first run using GPS where I could test if this resolved my instant pace issue.  I could tell almost right away that my instant pace was not quite right.  It swung the other direction (it said I was running faster than I actually was) so this irritated me basically the entire run.

I also definitely felt some weirdness in my hip which got worse as I went.  By about mile 6, I realized I should probably consider cutting my run short.  It was discomfort, not pain, so I crossed my fingers and decided to go a bit further but not the full distance.  9 miles was the compromise distance.  My hip started to get more and more annoying as I went so I knew cutting it short was a good decision.

Once I got home, I tried to stretch it out by bending my left knee and crossing it over my body.  It felt sore and weak when I tried to lift my knee from this position.  Darn it, another pseudo injury.  Luckily, plans tomorrow night after work will keep me out of the gym so I will be forced to take a rest day whether I like it or not.  I’m feeling better already and I have self-diagnosed (via the internet so – with a grain of salt of course) that it is just muscle knots/soreness and nothing to be too concerned about.  Hopefully that’s the case.  There is nothing more frustrating than an injury keeping you off the roads.

We went out to our weekly dinner with my mom and grandparents and filled up on more yummy food (because I really need to eat out again this weekend.  Can you sense the sarcasm?).  Time to wind down for the week ahead.  Charles and I have a reservation with friends for yet another meal at Be Our Guest Restaurant tomorrow night, the first night that the restaurant is technically opened to the public.  I will need the next 22 hours recover and to be ready to eat again…seriously.

Well, here’s to rested legs and a full stomach!

What has your most frustrating injury been?

Do you have a favorite Disney restaurant that’s “not to be missed” on any visit?  How many times a week do you typically eat out?  How much is too much?

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