Author: tinapizzuti

About tinapizzuti

Your trusty tour guide..

Uncle Bob’s – 6/3

As promised, weekly ice cream stops are becoming a thing. Thank goodness because then I don’t have to actually make dinner and I just eat ice cream instead. 

Melissa and I ventured to Eureka to check out Uncle Bob’s earlier this week before our walk. 

Eureka is surprisingly close to where I live and it was a very nice country drive..really made me feel like a small town girl for 12 minutes. 

Uncle Bob’s is located in the downtown area, just past the courthouse. It’s open until 10pm and wasn’t super busy. Now I know if I get a UB craving at 9:45pm, I can haul ass over to Eureka and still make it. 

When we parked and walked in, Melissa immediately noticed the large spoon that doubles as a door pull. I didn’t get a great photo of it, but she did mention her love for giant silverware many times throughout our visit. 

The ice cream selection is pretty good; but not 31 flavors like your typical Baskin Robbins. The quality definitely makes up for the fairly limited selection (especially compared to that crazy list at the Ice Cream Shack of Sunnyland. 


I immediately went to my go-to, cookie dough, but Melissa explored the flavors a bit more. And she landed on butter brickle. 

The next step was to choose our cones. I asked about the different choices because two looked super similar and I was confused. 

The choices were regular waffle cone, waffle cone dipped in chocolate, waffle cone dipped in chocolate then dipped in sprinkles and waffle cone hot off the press. I went with waffle cone hot off the press and Melissa had the waffle cone dipped in chocolate then dipped in sprinkles. 

Everything is handmade and hand dipped. So I actually got to see my cone come to life and Melissa’s chocolate dip with sprinkles was fresh. Each cone also comes with the standard 2 scopes. While we waited we looked around the shop and I got really pumped on their non-ice cream food. 

I am a total sucker for a chili cheese dog so I cannot wait to go back and try one out. 

We got our cones and headed outside to chill. It was actually kind of chilly but still a great night for ice cream. 

Obligatory ice cream shot:


Per the usual, I scarfed mine down pretty fast (it was my dinner, ok???) while Melissa took her time. One downside to the hot off the press cone is that it’s not as sturdy or crunchy as a regular cone. So there was one point that I literally ate my ice cream cone like a taco. I’m sad that I missed this particular photo op. Needless to say, it was a little messy but the shop girls let me wash up in their sink. 

We also had to get my usual pic by the sign before we left. 

(See I knew cookie dough would be a great choice :))

Melissa said she liked her butter brickle, and that it tasted about as expected and was a step up from your typical vanilla. My cookie dough was the shit. So good and super doughy which I really love. 

I can’t wait to go back…for both the ice cream and the chili cheese dog. Also major bonus for this place was a drive thru…is that a thing now?

See you soon…I’m checking out the Sculpture Walk later this afternoon!



A waffle cone with two scoops will cost you $5 (#worthit)

Disney World – 5/29-6/1

Ok woah–when did Peoria get a Disney World?

I realize that this post is going to be a little bit of a stretch, but I wanted to share with you the ease of traveling out of our local airport and the fun that can ensue! So bare with me as I write a novel and share photos with you!

About a month or so ago, I got in touch with my friend, Heather, who lives in Orlando and works for Disney. I told her that I wanted to come see her for a few days and visit Disney World. I knew Allegiant Air flew direct from Peoria to Orlando, but I was always kind of annoyed with Allegiant since they charge you FOR EVERYTHING and your “cheap” airfare ends up costing about as much as it would if you were to just fly American. I checked flight prices anyway and got a STEAL–flying out of Peoria in Friday and back Monday afternoon. It was the PERFECT little getaway for me and the price was incredibly reasonable. I decided to pay to select my seat and bring a carry-on. The flight itself cost me $86. All of the other fees cost me $130… meaning I went to Florida (round trip) for $216.

This trip was a no-brainer for me because I thought that a flight plus a free place to stay and 2 days for free at Disney were TOTALLY worth $216.

So I packed up my shorts and took the warm weather with me to Florida. (Sorry, I heard you guys had a really cold weekend 🙂


Flying out of PIA is a breeze. Free parking, one terminal, 20 minutes from my apartment. However, this particular day at the airport was a zoo. I used to be quite the frequent flyer and would arrive at the airport 20 minutes (literally) before my flight was about to take off. This time, however, I got there about an hour before my flight left and I’m so glad I did because Friday’s are apparently always crazy. I actually had to wait in the security line for at least 30 minutes (that never happens in Peoria). I made my way to the gate and waited..


I don’t mean to be a travel snob (although I totally am), people do not understand airport etiquette. Please feel free to read my guide to airports that I wrote 5 years ago.

A fun a little part of boarding the aircraft included walking onto the tarmac. I am only kidding myself when I say “fun” because it’s actually not fun to me at all and more horrifying. I don’t trust those orange cones to corral all of the passengers into a neat little line. I won’t go into my weird thoughts about unauthorized people trying to crawl into the belly of the plane.


I was assigned to 4F… the other person in my row was 4D… you know what that means? 4E was an empty seat. This is a gift to all those who travel. Why yes, I will put my book, iPhone, iPad and banana peel in this spot that I will deem no-mans-land.


My rowmate and I had an unspoken agreement–he gets the extra tray table for his snacks (he had MOUNTAINS OF SNACKS), I get the seat for all of the things that help keep me occupied on this 2 hour flight.


I haven’t flown by myself in a few months (I used to be one of those badass business travelers) so when we hit some rough air while climbing to our cruising altitude all I wanted was my mommy or someone to explain to me the physics of how and why planes fly. Instead “DEAR GOD!” and “Hail Mary, full of grace” were on repeat in my head.

I’m happy to report that I did land safely in Orlando. Heather was right on time picking me up and we headed back to her pad to hang with her husband and eat dinner… we had to rest up because the next day was DISNEY DAY!IMG_0798

So let’s talk Disney! Heather and I made a little plan for the weekend–Saturday we would visit Animal Kingdom and Epcot and Sunday we would visit Hollywood Studios. We left her house around 8:30 on Saturday, grabbed Panera for fuel and headed to Kilimanjaro.


So before you get all cranky about me stealing your warm weather, let’s take a look at what we were driving into on our way into Walt Disney World. Uh.. yikes. Also I left my umbrella and raincoat at home in IL (and my apartment key too).. double–no triple yikes.


Luckily it started raining right as we were parking. THANKS ORLANDO!! It was only sprinkling a smidge, so we braved the weather, waited for the tram and then RIGHT as I sat down BAM… torrential downpour. I guess I was covered by the roof of the tram, but I was also sitting on the outside edge and in a puddle. Things were really looking up for us.

Once we got into the park, our first stop was an obvious one:


Yeah, we needed ponchos.

Ok, THEN we went to Kilimanjaro for our safari!!


How authentic is this rig!?


Haley was our tour guide and she was the shit. Totally hilarious and super informative.

IMG_0804 IMG_0805 IMG_0806 IMG_0816 IMG_0817

I really liked the last photo just for the kid in the side mirror.

After our safari, we went to ride Expedition Everest. This was a really fun rollercoaster in Asia. At one point, a yeti tears up the track of the rollercoaster and you fly backward in your little cart… I was literally panicked for a second, but since Heather wasn’t freaking out, I assumed that it was part of the ride. Turns out I was right… and I’m an idiot.

Anyway, we walked around Animal Kingdom for quite awhile. I stopped at a shop to get a hat to cover up the damage the rain did to my poor hair. There is SO much to see… but the main focal point is the Tree of Life. It’s incredible! So here is a photo of me in my new hat in front of the Tree of Life!


Before I continue, I need to inform you all of a challenge my friend, Melissa (from the first ice cream post), put me up to… that was getting photos of me doing handstands all around Disney. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, CONTE!


Heather suggested that we check out the Lion King show in the middle of the day… they do one performance every hour and it was unreal… basically the greatest hits of the Lion King.


After the show, the weather began to clear up for the rest of the day… yay! On to Epcot!

Heather and I spent the rest of the day at Epcot.. she got us Fast Passes to help us bipass 60+ minute wait times for some of the best rides. But first things first:

IMG_0825This is my jacked-out-of-my-mind-because-I’m-at-Epcot photo!

As we were leaving our lunch spot, we walked past this thing called Character Spot.. we did this on a whim. Mostly I just wanted to get my photo with Minnie so my niece Ivy would think I’m awesome. Character Spot was totally worth the 10 minute wait–I got the opportunity to get my photo with 3 different characters!

IMG_0829 IMG_0831

(The selfie I took with Minnie ended up on Snapchat… so I hope you saw that amazingness…)

We used our Fast Passes for Spaceship Earth, Soarin and Mission: SPACE before we traveled through the World Showcase… which is when I got my handstand on. (I’ll try to remember where I was for each photo)








United Kingdom





Dude, stop staring.IMG_0857




I guess I missed China… and the United States. Woops. Bye Epcot!!



After we made our way across the world, we headed over to the Polynesian Resort to meet up with Heather’s husband for Dole whip and fireworks! IMG_7653I was so tired at the end of the day, that I could barely get my handstand in… also I was kind of drunk.

IMG_0894Heather had to take this photo like 20 times. My shoulders were burning.

Obviously I slept well that night… only to wake up early the next morning and do it again at Hollywood Studios! Heather suggested getting to the park right as it opened and going straight to Toy Story Mania–apparently the line gets incredibly long as the day progresses AND you can’t get a Fast Pass. Luckily we only had to wait in line for about 45 minutes… definitely worth the wait! So fun… although Heather totally kicked my ass.

We had Fast Passes for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (one of my faves–plus it’s different from the one at Disneyland in California!) and Star Tours, plus saw a few other shows–Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones, and Lights, Motors, Action. We were in the midst of Star Wars weekend, so Hollywood Studios was crazy busy and had the best people watching on the planet… our motto for the day was “I’m not judging you, but I definitely notice you.”

We left Hollywood Studios just in time as a huge rainstorm came… we drove to Downtown Disney in a monsoon so I could pick up a gift for my niece. Then we ended up sitting in Heather’s car for 30 minutes to let the rain pass… it was actually nice to sit in air conditioning for an extended period of time.

I wanted to go to Downtown Disney specifically for a Minnie hoody and a build-your-own Mr. Potato Head.

IMG_7659 IMG_0899One of my favorite things to do when in a Disney park is to get the build-your-own Mr. Potato Head. It’s the best gift (for yourself or a friend) because you get all kinds of interesting accessories for Mr. Potato Head that you wouldn’t find at your local Toys-R-Us. So of course I got one for Ivy and myself.

And this Minnie hoody… omg.


So that’s a really quick version of my trip to Orlando. I realize that not everyone has a friend who works at Disney who can get you into all of the parks and be your personal tour guide… but the idea behind this post is to get you to think outside of Peoria! go visit your friends! take an Allegiant flight somewhere for the weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!!


Lunch Carts Downtown – 5/28

Hey y’all! I’m actually back, I wasn’t just a one hit wonder this time around! I’m actually writing this as I embark on a pretty extravegent adventure. Unlike this post that I’m writing, it has nothing to do with eating!

Today I’m going to tell you about a nice little lunch break I had earlier this week with my mom and her gym friend (and my new friend), Natalie! I’m all about lunch.. It’s my favorite meal of the day and I always love going out to lunch. Some of the best advice my other ever gave me was “never say no when someone asks you to go out to lunch.”  Simple advice but really good advice. 

I was actually the one who initiated the lunch invite between my mom, Natalie and I.. But that’s besides the point. We all met downtown because Natalie works at the CAT facility in downtown Peoria… So she kind of showed us the ropes since she frequents the carts. 

Due to our schedules we met at 11. And when I pulled into a spot downtown, one of my favorite songs came on and I knew it was going to be a glorious lunch hour.

There are all kinds of great local options for lunch… Crepes (we are going back for the crepes), Mexican, Korean, chops and hotdogs. I made the choice for Korean and my lunch buddies followed suit. 

I got a half order of the James Shin Special which is half Korean beef and half teriyaki chicken with rice and a Diet Pepsi. Excellent tip from Natalie–you can (and should) order half. Also Natalie and my mom ordered green beans with their lunch, but I just stuck to the protein and carbs. 

You don’t have to wait long for your food which was a good thing because I was starving. We looked for a shaded area and sat down to chow down and chat.   

 Aren’t they cute? You know what else is cute? My James Shin Special..  


Aren’t I so authentic with my chopsticks??

Lunch was delightful. I didn’t finish my Shin Special but can damn near close. I think my mom took some of hers back to work with her but ended up finishing it before the day was over.  
I cannot wait to try more of the carts on a beautiful day just like this one. It actually made me want to work at CAT downtown for like 2 seconds. There are still so many to try and I can’t wait to go back! Plus I made a new friend, Natalie! And beyond the food, it was just nice to get out and be in the fresh Peoria air!

Stay tuned for more to come on Monday because this next post is a doozey! Plus I promise to stop writing about places to eat and start writing about stuff to DO. 

See you next week, all four of my followers (75% of them being my family members 🙂



James Shin Special with Diet Pepsi – $5

The Ice Cream Shack of Sunnyland – 5/26

Oh snap… guess who’s back?? ME! TINA! TP! T! LITTLE T! (Whatever you want to call me) In the flesh/text!! I’ll be here with you all summer to share some of the best and worst things happening in Central Illinois! I have quite the extensive list running in my phone, so this summer will hopefully be one of the best yet!!

What better way to kick off my comeback tour than a little trip to the local Ice Cream Shack?? I was going to do a week of straight ice cream posts and then decided that I probably wouldn’t be able to fit into my jeans by the end of the week… so maybe this will be a weekly occurrence? Or maybe not, knowing my track record.

Anyway, I made my friends Kate and Melissa take a little trip to the beautiful town of Sunnyland to check out the Ice Cream Shack… ( please just go to that website, if only for the waving ice cream cone)


I’m pretty sure there has never been a better photo taken of me… I should probably change my profile picture to THIS! (kidding!)

Back to the importance of this post… the ice cream. The Wizards. Yes, you heard me correctly, not a Blizzard (Bliz, I miss you!), a WIZARD. It’s the Shack’s version of the Blizzard and it’s a million times more delicious! But before I get to that, can you take a moment for this menu!?


Just WOAH! How do you even decide!? I think there are approximately 10,000 items on their menu. I decided pretty quickly, but Kate and Melissa thought pretty long and hard about their Wizards (sidenote: there was NO question, we were obviously getting Wizards…I might come back for the chili cheese dog, though).


After we placed our orders, we waited on pins and needles as our creations were handcrafted.


Can we take a moment for the chocolate hand print of death below the window??

Anyway, there he is… my knight in shining dairy, ready to save me from starving to death (I skipped dinner) and deliver my chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter Wizard.


Hello lover! A big gob of cookie dough and peanut butter sauce?? While I “made up” my creation (I know, extra points for being SO creative), Melissa got the Take 5 Wizard (a spin off the delicious candy bar) and Kate got the Scotcharoo Wizard.

We plopped in the shaded seating area off of the parking lot and right in the middle of the DRIVE THRU LANE.


This wonderful place of magic has a drive thru… no need to get out of your car for your Puppy Chow Wizard. Just order from the comfort of your heated leather seat and wait for the little elves inside the Shack to make your dreams come true.


I finished off my treat in almost record time, while Kate and Melissa savored theirs. We even had to go back to get a Take 5 Wizard to go for Kate’s hubs.

My Wizard was delightful… I kind of wish there were more cookie dough chunks, but I’m also not too hard to please in the ice cream department, so I was very happy with my choice. Kate said her scotcharoo wiz was her amazing. “Perfect amount of crunch mixed with a chew chocolate top.” Melissa said her Take 5 wiz was the “a perfect mix of anyone’s favorite things. None of the ingredients overpowered each other. Perfect mix of salty, sweet, and peanut buttery!” General consensus: we would all order them again… but we’re pretty curious to try out the other 9,997 flavor combos.

If you’re in the Sunnyland area, swing by The Ice Cream Shack of Sunnyland… I promise you won’t be disappointed!! And please let me know if you want to go on my next ice cream excursion with me!



My “specialty” wizard was $3.50