Filling in Some Gaps

Best NYC soda, beverages, Christmas, Disney, New York City, NYC, NYC Restaurants, soda, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

So…before we get to New Year’s, I thought I’d fill you in on a few gaps I’ve left you with!

So after Disney, we got a short break and then Thanksgiving!  We wanted to host – it would just be 3 guests – but please remember that we still haven’t finished unpacking from our move – don’t have our plates and glasses – have a miniscule sized kitchen – and barely have any places to sit in our shoebox apartment…still…with the help of a bus ride to Boston Market I think we did a good job 🙂

IMG_5314

IMG_5317

I can’t say enough about how amazing Boston Market  is to provide holiday service – they really are the experts.  I swear it tasted better than anything I could have whipped up.  We stuck with canned soda in fridge for this feast – but I’ll tell you that Boston Market does sell fountain Coke products in case you were wondering.

Of course I took the kids to Macy’s Santa Land to see the real Santa Claus.  I mean, if he’s the one in the nationally broadcasted Thanksgiving Day Parade, then he MUST be the real one!

Part of Santa's Sleigh
Part of Santa’s Sleigh

 

Our tree was trimmed:

IMG_5655

Santa brought me the perfect gifts, combining my love of soda and Disney 🙂  (and yes, my family did get me the necklace I talked about here!)

IMG_5867

(You can get these bottles on sale for $3 now here.)

Our Holiday celebrations were full of family, friends, love and laughter.  Just wanted to share some of my joy!  Apparently so did Coca Cola – enjoy 🙂

Please follow and like us:

The Most Magical Place on Earth

beverages, Birthday, Disney, Dream Come True, food allergies, mom, NYC, soda, Uncategorized

I teased about it awhile back – but now I’m here to share the story of our most magical trip!

Back in November (before all the sickness and holidays kicked in and I disappeared) I had been preparing for my youngest daughter’s 2nd birthday.  My daughter and I actually share the same birthday – she is the best birthday buddy!  We had a sweet little party at a local venue. They provided kiddie entertainment (art, music and of course bubbles) and kid food, and I provided the adult beverages.  Of course I learned earlier in the fall that seltzer was necessary, so I brought a bottle, which before I would have never thought of doing!

IMG_5920

We had a great time – but the real fun was actually set to begin just a few minutes AFTER the party.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love Disney.  We actually have a trip planned (in my mind, lol) for a few years from now to visit Walt Disney World Resort when it’s Christmas time.  I’ve always wanted to see Disney decked out in all its holiday glory! A few months back I learned that part of that beautiful Christmas splendor, “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights” would be showcased for the last time this year, and I was sincerely saddened that I would have never seen them.  I tried to just let it go, but a few weeks before our birthday I couldn’t shake the need to see them, so I explained to my dear dear husband how badly I wanted to go (mind you, 1. He HATES going to Disney, 2. We’ve already gone this year & 3. We already have a trip booked for the spring)- and he finally relented and agreed to make my dream come true and go for my birthday!!

We didn’t tell the kids about this trip! As soon as we returned home from my daughter’s party, I started to open my birthday “presents” which wound up being our packed luggage and Disney themed gifts and we surprised them that we were leaving THAT minute!  They didn’t quite understand…they thought we were talking about our Spring trip that they knew about…my son was confused about why I was being given his packed clothes as a gift…it didn’t exactly go as planned…but as soon as we started rushing them saying “Quick put on your shoes we’re going to the airport right now – come on! Come on!” They started to get giddy!

We flew into Orlando and arrived at Disney around 10pm- crazy late for us.  Since we only booked the trip 3 weeks before going this was the most UN-planned I’ve ever been for touring Disney, and it led to a few nice surprises!  We stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which I never would have considered before and was pleasantly surprised. The grounds were beautiful, the food was more than fair and the transportation to the parks was fantastic.  The grounds are rather spread out, but we were happily housed in the Cabana section of the resort right near the featured pool and a bus stop, so it was perfect!  We went straight to our room and went to sleep so we could wake up early and start our surprise adventure!

image

image

 

We woke up early! 5:45AM- crazy, I know, but I like to get to the Magic Kingdom before it opens at 8AM to see the welcome show and to try to get in as many rides as possible before the crowds show up.  We got up, dressed, ate breakfast and got on the bus!

I know many people can’t relate to this – but I hope there will be a few of you that do…when you enter the Magic Kingdom and round the Town Square and step on to Main Street and see Cinderella’s Castle in the distance, something very special – yes, I’ll say it: magical – comes over you. You are transported to another time and place and in that moment all is well with the whole world.  This trip was especially magical for me and as we reached the end of the beautifully Christmassy decorated Main Street and started walking up the castle ramp I started to tear up with happiness. This trip, more than most, was truly a dream come true. To be able to surprise my kids with a trip like this and see something I’ve always dreamed of, but never knew if I actually would – was just so so special.  I just felt so thankful that we were able to make this trip together as a family.

I could go on and on and on about every tiny detail, which I originally planned to do, but I’ll stick with 3 main things…the lights…a special dinner moment…and of course the soda!

I’ll start in reverse with the soda – and praise above, Disney serves Coke products!  When you stay at a Disney Resort you have the option to buy a refillable mug (can’t refill at the parks, just the resorts) for around $16.  The mug has a chip on it that will activate the soda fountain and is good for your length of stay. You can also buy individual drinks if you don’t want a mug, so you need to decide for yourself what makes the most financial sense to you. I, of course, even thought we would only be there 2 full days, opted for the mug – and I made the most of it!  Whether at the Pepper Market food court or by the featured pool, each soda really was fresh and crisp – no complaints from me.  At the parks I drank either 20oz bottles which were available at snack carts for purchase or fountain sodas at both counter service and full service restaurants.  All were top notch, chilled perfectly and met all expectations. (You can see some examples of the refillable mugs here.)

Next I’ll tell you about another pleasant surprise that came from my last minute planning.  Normally when you plan to stay at a Disney World resort you can make all of your dining reservations 180 days before your arrival, so as you can imagine the pickings were slim when we booked our trip on such short notice.  I settled on an 8:15pm dinner one night – WAAAAAY past my kids’ bedtime – for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  My 4 year olds and I watched the 7pm Fantasmic show  (Dad and baby headed back to hotel to rest) and then went to dinner.  My daughter and I enjoyed a delicious buffet and my son was treated like a VIP guest!  Chef Angel came to our table to discuss his food allergies and then went back to the kitchen and prepared a scrumptious and safe allergy free meal for my boy.  I tried a little myself and I will tell you – I would pay anything to have someone prepare me such a healthy and tasty dinner! We were one of the last tables seated that night and so by the end of the meal we were basically one of the only parties left. Chef Angel came back out and chatted with us for a while, and I got to hear about his grandson and family. When you are at Disney World it’s amazing how time after time you feel such personal moments – like you’re home – in such a huge place.

(Yes, I have this shirt. You can too..just click on picture and get redirected to amazon.)

Finally we packed up our things and started to head out – that’s when another magical moment happened.  As we walked towards the door, we saw Daisy Duck hand what looked like a smart phone to a Cast Member (Disney’s term for all staff) and motion that she wanted this person to take her picture.  The restaurant had maybe 10 people left in it, and the Cast Member started to take her picture in front of a Christmas tree.  A moment later Donald Duck ran over and started posing, then Mickey and Minnie came…well, Donald didn’t want to lose the spotlight and started photobombing Mickey & Minnie’s pictures.  I am not doing the experience justice here – because we were rolling on the floor laughing.  It was as if we got a special secret glimpse into Daisy, Donald, Mickey & Minnie’s real life after work. I will never forget it!

IMG_5273

IMG_5276

IMG_5283

OK- So here’s where I’ll just show you the whole reason for the trip. The stunningly breathtaking, magical, surreal “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. The lights are set to holiday music and snow falls from above as you walk down the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios.  Again, I am not doing them justice – but I will say it was worth a last minute 2 day trip to Orlando and I will never forget it for as long as I live.  Please enjoy the photos!

IMG_5213

IMG_5224

IMG_5236

IMG_5240

 

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Disney World

Florida

Diet Coke – all shapes and sizes

rating cuprating cuprating cuprating cup

 

 

 

*(Not sure what those cup pictures mean?…Check out the Ratings & Reviews Tab)

 

Please follow and like us:

Holiday Hunt

Best NYC soda, beverages, mom, NYC, soda, Uncategorized

Yes, Soda Girl is still sick – on another round of antibiotics for this house.  Anyway, didn’t want to leave you hanging with no new updates!

Check this out:

Has anyone seen these bottles in person? Are they only in the UK?  The hunt is on…PLEASE let me know if you come across one of these bottles in the US!

Please follow and like us:

Boo Brew – CocaCola Freestyle

Best NYC soda, beverages, Halloween, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

The husband and I got to have a night out about two weeks ago. His friend was receiving an award and we went to the gala celebration. It was a lovely night – they served Pepsi, which I forgave due to the fact that during the cocktail hour I was able to walk around with this in my hand:

IMG_4335IMG_4334

What a perfect set up – right? (I think these are similar…I may need to get some if I ever get my act together and throw a party – the handle feature is KEY!) 

Anyway, I was meeting my husband at the venue which was almost an hour away from our home. I settled into my Uber and started catching up on Facebook and emails. All of a sudden my phone made the craziest sound (ok- just different from my regular alert tone, but it did startle me). I didn’t know what was going on. I checked my texts, email,alarms … and then I saw it. My CocaCola Freestyle app had messaged me! WHAT?!?! It wanted me to know about its latest featured soda mix!

OK- I had NO IDEA it could do that. I’ve never even tried a CocaCola Freestyle machine for more than a Diet Coke, but being NYC Soda Girl, about a month ago I figured I should one day give it a more sincere try, so I downloaded the app. Holy moly.

Fast forward to this week and I finally got around to trying the BOO BREW my app had messaged me about.

(Screen shot from App)
(Screen shot from App)

I went to a local Walgreens that the CocaCola Freestyle site said had a Freestyle machine. It was decked out for Halloween – perfect for my Boo Brew!

IMG_4388

Let me say that I really didn’t research how to use this machine. I figured it would be simple enough. Maybe it is for others. Maybe I over think things. But this is how it went down for me:

I approach machine. I start the process. I begin to think: Oh jeez, this recipe shows percentages…I want ice…if I put ice in then I won’t be able to accurately figure out the ratio of the mix…is this cup wider at the top than the bottom…no…ok good…that helps…really they have people figuring out percentages to make the soda?…I don’t mind percentages, but how do I control the speed of the flow and stop exactly when I need to…let me just start…I won’t use ice…if worse comes to worse I’ll bring it home and add ice there…I guess after I mix it I can dump some and add the ice…no, adding ice will just splash all over…I’ll take it home…ok let me just start.

Selecting the different soda components is easy. First you choose a brand:

IMG_4389

Then you select the variation of the brand you want and press the pour button:

IMG_4390

Boo Brew had 40% Fanta Orange (ok, slightly less than half the cup – check), 35% Hi-C Orange Vanilla (ok, slightly more than half of the remaining space in cup, check) and 25% Sprite Vanilla (remaining space, check).

IMG_4391

I just stared at the warm-ish cup of glowing orange for a moment. I almost didn’t drink it – but I had to – for you my dear readers.  I took a sip. It had a sharp orange taste with a filmy vanilla aftertaste.  I took 2 sips and decided to bring it home to try with ice.  I wanted to give it a fair shot.

IMG_4392

Take two was equally as bad. DUMPED IT.

I think the idea of the Freestyle machine is cool. You can make over 100 different individual flavors and those can be combined to make even more potentially tasty beverages.  I’ve since learned that you can use the app on your smartphone to somehow scan something on the machine and that will prepare the mix for you.  Still not sure about how much ice you’re supposed to use – I messaged CocaCola Freestyle on Facebook about how much ice is suggested, but they haven’t written back. I will try a different mix soon and report back how using the app went. I wish their website had a full video showing how to use it. Maybe it does and I just can’t find it, lol.

Oh well. For now, I’d pass on the Boo Brew if I were you.

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

CocaCola Freestyle

Various Locations (see website)

Boo Brew – I paid $1.99

rating cup

 

 

*(Not sure what those cup pictures mean?…Check out the Ratings & Reviews Tab)

 

Please follow and like us:

Dazed and Confused Soda Surprises

Best NYC soda, beverages, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

It’s not just kids who get first week of school jitters – moms do too.  At least that’s what I’m going to blame this week’s bout of insomnia on.  It hasn’t been pretty. I’ve been staying up until 4am every night only to wake up 3 or 4 hours later, pretending I’m equipped to face the day.  After a week of this, I am a zombie.  I basically have been doing the bare minimum to get myself ready in the morning, then I actually get all 3 kids (2 preschoolers and a toddler) fully ready and then I sleep walk through the day.

Thursday and Friday I’m not sure how we all made it out the door.

Thankfully we all did and Thursday I was even able to meet up with a friend for a snack (you know, what most people call “let’s get coffee” but I don’t drink coffee).  I wound up ordering this…

panera

…only to realize later that I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch and just mindlessly ordered this as my first meal of the day. (I will say, the vanilla cupcake was delicious. Icing was just sweet enough and the cake was moist and tasty.  The pumpkin cookie was just too cute to pass up, but truthfully didn’t taste as good as it looked.)

I know, I know…who cares?

Well, my new zombie state led me to make a very important soda discovery.  You see, I am a diehard Diet Coke drinker – like take a blood sample from me and you will see that Diet Coke runs through my veins.  For me nothing else compares. Panera only sells Pepsi.  Truth be told, I tend to select eateries that sell Coke products over those that sell Pepsi products, but Panera was close by and I stumbled into it with my good friend.  As I mindlessly took my first sip of the Diet Pepsi, my mind lit up. Could this be? The perfectly chilled, sparkling gush of goodness that I just sipped was Diet Pepsi?  I was expecting this soda experience to be just the hydrating of my body – but no – this was good!  Each sip that followed was too!  I never thought I’d be able to say it – but I found a fountain that makes a very satisfying Pepsi product!

The next day I had another soda surprise…well maybe more like a soda “what the…?”  I was picking the kids up from a class…still sleep walking…searching for a Diet Coke.  In the distance I saw a vending machine.  “Oh thank God!” I thought.  The kids and I raced over only to find this:

what the?

What on Earth type of vending machine selection is this?? Confused, we all just walked away.  I was too tired to use any energy trying to decide which of these 3 soda choices would do.  I’ll go back another time and try one out and report back…but really??

So there you have it. Insomnia brought me 2 new soda surprises…and truthfully all my extra time awake did help me get this blog off the ground.  So CHEERS to insomnia!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Panera Bread

10 Union Sq. East, NYC

Large Diet Pepsi with ice, $2.49

rating cuprating cuprating cuprating cup

 

 

 

Other available options at this fountain: Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Tropicana Fruit Punch, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Mug Root Beer, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew & Raspberry Brisk Iced Tea.

*(Not sure what those cup pictures mean?…Check out the Ratings & Reviews Tab)

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us: