Intestinally Challenged Part II: Tea, Nuggets, and Dried Fish
When we last left I was retelling the Sip and Snack Around the world challenge that was taken on by Annette Owens, Len Testa, Mike Newell, and myself.
We had just finished Germany and were now on our way to China.
China: Joy of Tea Stand
Ah the Joy of Tea Stand was finally opened. At this point everyone was thinking about something to drink. This stand offered some interesting choices and the day before Annette had convinced me to try the Peach Oolong Tea Schnapps Slush. It was good the day before, but then again I wasn’t eating my way around World Showcase.
Everyone had tea except me. I opted for the green tea ice cream simply because it was one fourth the size of any drink offered at the cart.
Poor Len, he DID NOT like his tea and ended up nursing it for a considerable long time…you’ll see.
Italy: Arcata D’Ariga
Remember, we had a deadline of 2:30 so we had to keep moving. We were just about a third through the pavilions and we needed to maintain a pace of eating every 15 to 20 minutes.
Now obviously Tutto Italia was out…unless of course a stomach pump came with the Pasta e Fagioli (pronounced “Pasta Fa-ZOO”). Len and I had the same idea. We walked into Arcata D’Ariga, the store that has wine and candy and pastries.
Len, Annette, and Mike opted for biscotti which is an Italian cookie, often made with almonds. I wasn’t too sure about that so I went to the area in the middle of the store where they had candy. I was able to find a small package that had one kind of jelly bean candy…and it was only thirty cents. SOLD!
Oh yeah…with the help of the biscotti Len was able to get a bit more of his tea down…as they say, he would have given all the tea in China to not have to drink that stuff.
At this point we started to seriously wonder about the insane task we had charted ourselves to do.
However, once again…we were in EPCOT…with friends…and having a good time…and that pretty much cancelled out any second thoughts of quitting…heck, we were having too much fun and laughing too much to stop now.
We could almost feel the spirit of Walt Disney putting his arm around our shoulders and saying, “Hey gang, I love this idea.”
American Adventure: Liberty Inn
This could have been a challenge. Remember we were limited to only those items unique to that pavilion and the Liberty Inn did not have many choices.
Two of us, Len and Annette opted for the Kids chicken nuggets meal. However they had to take two sides with the meal AND a small bottle of water.
Len opted for grapes and carrot sticks and Annette went with carrots sticks and the fruit punch gelatin. Yes when they each sat down they both had a “What was I thinking?” look on their faces.
Mike and I scanned the menu and decided to have a Sam Adams beer. As much as I thought this was the right choice it did take an effort on my part to finish it.
At one point Len had excused himself to visit the rest room. Upon his return he announced to everyone that he was a failure. He was trying to convince his stomach to, let’s say, “return” what he had eaten to that point so he would have an empty stomach to finish this challenge.
Alas…he just couldn’t get his stomach to comply…oh yeah…he still had the tea.
I challenged Len to guzzle the tea and I would guzzle my bear. He held his nose and tried to guzzle his drink…we let him stop once he got to the virtual 75% mark.
Annette could not eat the gelatin…so she took it with her…to finish off somewhere along the way.
We all started laughing…at ourselves…it was great.
Japan: Mitsukoshi Department Store
From here on out we were all on the same page. Our objective from this point on was to find the smallest item in each pavilion and also one that would go down easy. We checked the menu for the Yakitori House. Most of us had the same idea…Miso soup.
However, the thought of consuming green onions and seaweed at this point convinced us otherwise. Everything else looked to either have large portions, including the Kirin Beer, Hot Sake, and Plum Wine.
Oh if only Masayo was here to help us.
The Mitsukoshi Department Store sort of wraps around the pavilion and in the back is an area with food and most importantly, small packages of food.
Of course someone found a package of dried fish….no thanks…although Annette still had her Jell-O so at least she could dunk the fish….sorry…that the mind plays tricks on you and I had this image.
Actually Annette made a great choice. She purchased what looked to be a package of three chocolate lollipops. Each “pop” was the size of a dime…good choice.
Mike Newell chose this small package of grape cotton candy with pop rocks, and Len grabbed something best described as Japanese Gummi Bears.
I had a small candy bar in my hand and was in line to pay when I spotted a much better choice. It was a small energy drink. The bottle could not have held more than 6 oz. It tasted like flat Diet Sprite. It went down smooth and no after taste. This was my best choice of the day as it really had no impact on me.
Morocco: Tangierine Café
We sauntered in to the Tangierine Café and checked out the menu. I had eaten here in December and I recalled that the portions were somewhat HUGE and I cautioned everyone to “choose wisely.”
We all agreed that it was too risky to order even something like a kid’s meal. We had three countries left after this one and we were running out of time on the clock and space in our tummies.
Then almost at the same time we all said “Baklava” and we went to the pastry counter.
At this point Annette looked at the cast member behind the counter and quipped, “I never thought I’d hear myself say this but please give me the smallest piece you have.”
She was speaking for all of us.
I’m not sure how to explain how we all enjoyed the Baklava. Mike Newell felt there was too much filling in his and I felt mine did not have enough and was dry.
Annette seemed to have a challenge getting hers down…and at this point she could have
washed it down with her melting Jell-O.
Len, still reeling from his cursed tea after taste, welcomed anything that would mask that lingering flavor in his palate.
Tick-Tock, time was marching…I looked at my watch…we had just about an hour left to do France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
France: Boulangerie Patisserie
Imagine you are standing in front of a French pastry and there are many, many, too many wonderful combinations of sugar, flour, and fillings waiting for you…and you are stuffed.
What to do.
When we started this little adventure I had thought all along that I would look forward to France and enjoy a nice Napoleon.
No…not this little guy…
...believe me...he looked much bigger in the display.
However, as we made our way around World Showcase the issue of size and portion very much influenced our choices and the Napoleons were sort of outside my portion range at this point.
I opted for a lemon tart…less pastry and more gel and I washed that down with light lemonade.
Mike Newell could not resist the cream puff. When he picked it up the weight kind of made him nervous. It was made with heavy cream. We let Mike knock off about 75% of that baby and call it a done deal.
Call it “portion pity.”
The best choice in France was made by Annette and Len who both opted for a Croissant. Also, Annette was able to consume 75% of her Jell-O while at the same time getting down the Croissant.
But I have to tell you…by now we’re all thinking we’re not going to eat for at least a decade or two…but before then what lies ahead was the United Kingdom and Canada.
United Kingdom: The Tea Caddy
Ahh… the Tea Caddy.
Annette and I wandered in to check out the offerring in there. It was, what we felt, our only option.
We all steered clear of the fish and Chips counter service area.
Len and Mike made a “pit stop” and returned to find Annette and myself munching on something I remember being called a “Flakey” or something like that. It was recommended to us by the CMs in the shop because it was “flaky and light”
Well...sort of…it was flaky alright but when you put layers of flakes together and fused them together with chocolate…the word “light” does not come to mind.
Len opted to try one too…but Mike Newell’s dry throat drew him to the Rose and Crown and Bass Ale…which did not go down as smoothly as he had hoped.
Okay, here we were, we had about 25 minutes before our deadline and we had just Canada left in our sights.
We were all praying the same thing…”Please let there be small bear claws” as we all assumed those pastries would probably be our choice.
Canada: Northwest Mercantile
There was good news and bad news waiting for us in Canada.
The good news was that there were no bear claws to be found.
The bad news was that there were no bear claws to be found.
On the one hand we were relieved. It was going to be a challenge to get those babies down…but then again…NOW WHAT?
We went into the Northwest Mercantile and checked it out.
Lots of stuff but hoo boy…not easy to make a choice. There were packages of Maple candy and cookies and biscuits and stuff like that.
We looked for a LONG time before finally succumbing to yet another candy bar.
Len, of course, always thinking, came up to me and said, “I need a ruling”
“What?” I said.
“Is this legal?” and he held up…
wait for it….
wait for it…
a small bottle of maple syrup.
“You’re kidding!” I said.
“Hey it’s small…should go down easy…and I’m done”
I chuckled and said, “Go for it.” Thinking that I was about to witness a sugar high that would be unequaled in history.
So while Mike, Annette, and I forced down the last of our World Showcase buffet, Len guzzled, yes guzzled, his bottle of maple syrup.
Well, we all looked at each other and said, “Okay, that was crazy!”
We looked at our watches…2:20 P.M.
We had come within 10 minutes of our target time.
On average, each of us had spent about $35 as we weaved our way around World Showcase.
As we were walking out of World Showcase we were joking and remarked. “Well, that’s been done.”
A curious smile came over my face and Mike Newell looked over at me and he said, “Oh no! He’s thinking again.”
He was right!
When the next opportunity arises I’ve got some new wrinkles to throw into this little challenge…and it’s going to be different, challenging, and most of all…fun.
So next time everyone may be a bit more prepared.