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museum

National WWII Museum

Every summer, and if I'm lucky, every summer forever, I take a day to visit the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  When I first visited, it was called the D-Day Museum but in 2003, Congress gave it the current designation.
National WWII Museum, New Orleans

National WWII Museum, New Orleans

All the hanging aircraft and such are impressive -- but I really go for the displays which are so well done.
National WWII Museum, New Orleans

National WWII Museum, New Orleans

Enter the main building, part of the experience now is that you receive your dogtag and begin your 'journey' in a Union Pacific Train Car to get a sense of what your soldier went through. This portion is optional, though, and what I like to do is time it so that I get my ticket and head straight over to the Solomon Victory Theater for the 4-D film, 'Beyond All Boundaries'.



Every year, I see people bringing kids in for the film. It's wonderful -- immersive, so informative -- but not geared for children as there are graphic and understandably heartbreaking scenes. If you have children under, let's say 15 or 16, I'd give this a pass. But if you're an adult, don't miss it.

National WWII Museum, New Orleans

The newest exhibits are those in this building, including the Road to Berlin and Road to Tokyo.
National WWII Museum, New Orleans

National WWII Museum, New Orleans

Enigma machine
Enigma Machine WWII Museum, New Orleans

National WWII Museum, New Orleans

There are spaces in the museum in which I feel so close to my late grandfather, who fought in the Army during the war. To myself: PawPaw, thank you for helping save the world. 
National WWII Museum, New Orleans

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Many more photos from other visits here.

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The Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII has been up for almost a year and closes on May 30.
johnnysanchez

Johnny Sanchez

Lunch at Johnny Sanchez in the CBD -- an Aaron Sanchez / John Besh project. And while the food was okay, the decor was the best part

Johnny Sanchez, New Orleans

Johnny Sanchez, New Orleans

Johnny Sanchez, New Orleans

Better than standard chips-and-salsa fare, getting these tortilla + plantain chips along with deep-smoky, and verde salsas was nice
Johnny Sanchez, New Orleans

Those are some pretty tacos. Prettier than what I'm usually handed outside a taco truck on styrofoam with lime wedge and pickled veg (although they're gorgeous too). But this one wasn't better, though it was lovely to look at. It's been rotated off the JS menu.
Johnny Sanchez, New Orleans

Or maybe it's better to order their crawfish enchiladas, or hanger steak with pumpkin mole and papas bravas with epazote-miso butter. Now that sounds amazing.
Johnny Sanchez, New Orleans


On Thursday, May 26, they're doing a 'Johnny Sanchez and Terrazas de los Andes dinner':

Ember Roasted Beet Salad

Whipped Goat Cheese / Stone Fruit / JalapeƱo Cilantro Pesto /

Terrazas, Reserva, Torrontes, 2014



Lamb Barbacoa Sope

Chipotle-Pecan Romesco / Shaved Asparagus / Epazote Chimichurri

Terrazas, Reserva, Malbec, 2013



Wood Grilled Mangalista Pork Loin

adobo rub / smoked squash puree / charred avocado / salsa macha

Terrazas, Reserva, Cabernet, Sauvignon, 2013



Coconut Flan

Mexican Vanilla / Toasted Coconut / Dulce de Leche

Terrazas Single Vineyard Malbec 2011



Sign me up.

greensboro

William And Olivia

Without even knowing the people at Alabama Home Respiratory in Greensboro, Alabama, I love them.

They keep their storefront windows in downtown populated with the antics of this sweet couple, whom I've photographed on and off since 2009

Mannequins at Alabama Home Resperatory, Greensboro AL

The detail is precious -- not only her pill bottles, but her CVS fiber capsules
Mannequins at Alabama Home Resperatory, Greensboro AL

and you know the inside of her bag smells just like Juicy Fruit
Mannequins at Alabama Home Resperatory, Greensboro AL

Mannequins at Alabama Home Resperatory, Greensboro AL

Mannequins at Alabama Home Resperatory, Greensboro AL

So hard to photograph this one, but she was set for the holidays with her knee-highs on
Mannequins at Alabama Home Respiratory, Greensboro AL

This time they were doing a little Bible study at home
Mannequins at Alabama Home Respiratory, Greensboro AL

Mannequins at Alabama Home Respiratory, Greensboro AL

Mannequins at Alabama Home Respiratory, Greensboro AL

And last summer, they were at services
Mannequins at Alabama Home Respiratory, Greensboro AL


kawaii

Kawaii And Ijele

Last year, the Kawaii: Japan's Cute Culture exhibit at Japan World Showcase, Epcot opened.
Kawaii Exhibit, Japan World Showcase, Epcot WDW

The lighting here makes photographing the exhibit a little difficult, so apologies on that.
Kawaii Exhibit, Japan World Showcase, Epcot WDW

Surprise
Kawaii Exhibit, Japan World Showcase, Epcot WDW

Kawaii Exhibit, Japan World Showcase, Epcot WDW

Here, Melty-Go_Round (Harajuku Girl) by Sebastian Masuda -- it's filled with all kinds of little tchotchkes
'Melty-Go-Round' (Harajuku Girl) by Sebastian Masuda, Kawaii Exhibit, Japan World Showcase, Epcot WDW

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16' tall Igbo Ijele ("e-bo e-gelay") Mask at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Igbo Ijele Mask at Animal Kingdom Lodge

This is the only one known to exist outside the Igbo lands in Nigeria
Igbo Ijele Mask at Animal Kingdom Lodge




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See you with 'regular' DFK next week! And 'This Week's Various' will be back later this month!
disney

Try The Grey Stuff, It's Delicious

Both years, we have purchased Disney Dining -- our plan is set up so that we receive one snack, one quick-service meal (at which one orders at a counter generally), and one sit-down meal. Because many of these restaurants reserve months ahead of time, as soon as our window for booking opened, I set up all the meals. We were able to get in every single restaurant we wished, which was terrific.

Some days we needed to eat carefully as it was during Passover, but we brought matzah and it was fine. We saw and met mannnny other families during the same thing, and Disney is fine with bringing outside food in to the parks. Other days, it wasn't during the holiday so we could carb-out again.

Below are images from both this year and last year's visits to WDW.

Here, the poutine at Le Cellier, in Wold Showcase at Canada. We wanted to come here since Av loves a good steak and that's one of LC's strengths. While everything was quite good, the steak fell a little short.
Poutine at Le Cellier, Epcot, WDW

Although in general we eschew buffets, Boma is an exception. It's at Animal Kingdom Lodge and features many items with African flavors. We had a supper at Boma both years -- it's that good.

Tangierine Cafe at Morocco Epcot was the best counter service -- good shawarma.

I had higher hopes for Chefs de France at Epcot, but it was only average. Les Halles was just okay.

We heard wonderful things about Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but none of it was particularly interesting or tasty. This malva pudding was good:
Malva Pudding at Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

...but the best part of the meal was actually these coconut macaroons that came with the check, so what does that say?
Macaroons at Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Because we wanted reserved seats for Fantasmic, we purchased the Fantasmic Dinner Package, with our meal being at Mama Melrose. We had low expectations for a Disney Italian restaurant, but surprise -- this was the best steak Av had at Disney either year! Our waiter was fantastic and gave great advice about where to sit during the show.

One night, we reserved Tokyo Dining so we'd have a great view of the Epcot fireworks show (if it weren't for the fireworks view, we would have chosen to eat elsewhere). Turned out we watched the show the night before when we were in the park, but the boys still got a big kick out of being served in monorail dishes:
Tokyo Dining, Epcot WDW

...and the sushi was fine.
Tokyo Dining, Epcot WDW

For both trips, we had our last supper at 'Ohana at Polynesian Village. I made the reservations so we would be seated in time to watch the Wishes fireworks from MK. Both times we requested a table by the window and we got them. When the show begins, the lighting in the restaurant goes down, and the music plays over the dining room speakers. It is timed perfectly with the fireworks. So, so special.

Another great thing about 'Ohana is that it is served a la Brazilian steakhouse, so the servers bring around chicken, beef, etc and it is all delectable. An entertainer gets people dancing and doing some hula moves, and last year, the boys swept coconuts around the restaurant. Can't even say how fun this is.
O'hana at the Polynesian Resort WDW

One of our favorite places to eat is at Beauty and the Beast -- it's a counter service credit for breakfast and lunch on the Disney Dining Plan. You can order beforehand via the Disney app rather than standing in line. The food is good (here, their version of a cronut):
Cronut at Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

pastries are brought to the table with breakfast
Pastries at Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

a little charcuterie:
Charcuterie at Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom, WDW

One of the days after Passover, we were there for lunch and ordered a cupcake with the 'grey stuff' -- and it was pretty good!

What makes the restaurant so endearing is how well it's themed
Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

There are three dining rooms -- this one features Belle and the Beast dancing (the middle piece turns like in a jewelrybox)
Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

The ballroom
 Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

and the Beast's west wing study, where it's always dark 
Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

and features the rose
Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, Magic Kingdom WDW

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We've decided to skip Disney for at least the next two or three years. When the boys are older, though, I think we'll be sure to gift them with Dine with an Imagineer, and Backstage Magic or Backstage Tales. Maybe Epcot Aqua Tour or the Dolphin experience -- or if Papa comes with us and the boys are already certified, I know they'd love to do the Epcot DiveQuest. Those kinds of add-on experiences are probably what keeps Disney fresh to people who visit every year. And I'll dream about reserving the chef's table at Victoria and Albert's too.

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