web analytics

Disney Trip Report Day 4 November 28th

The plan for the day is to get up and out early, but not too early.  We have a 2:30 lunch reservation at Restaurant Marrakesh as part of our Candlelight Processional package for tonight. 

We’ve had drizzly mornings all week, but fortunately, they don’t seem to have any impact on any of our plans, so that’s excellent.  Jim has to work this morning, so Ann and I head into EPCOT with the kids, and he’s going to catch resort transportation and catch up with us later on.  He has been warned to be at the restaurant in time for lunch at the latest, and he does half assed assurance that he’ll be there in plenty of time.  I can’t really complain, because as of today, he does not have an assignment to go to after vacation, and the phone calls he has to take may lead to one.  He still better be there in time for lunch.

The kids do a bunch of rides, and we have a good time wandering around.  We rode on the new Nemo ride at the Living Seas.  Not great, but okay.  It’s definitely a little kid ride, but if I had to describe it, it’s sort of like an animated, children’s version of the boat ride through Mexico. 

At about 2:15, we head over to Marrakesh for lunch – no Jim in sight.  I’m a little more than irritated at this point, first because he was not supposed to be that long, and second, he was absolutely going to be here in time for lunch.  Lucky for him, just as we are getting ready to order, the hostess escorts him over to our table in the nearly empty restaurant.  I don’t know why we never encounter crowds at this restaurant.  The meals we’ve had here have always been good, and while they may not be the fastest servers in the world, they might be the friendliest. 

Our waitress, by the way, if you’re a single guy reading this, was drop dead gorgeous.  She had beautiful eyes, and long dark hair, and was about as sweet as she could be.  We enjoyed a fabulous meal here, and had time afterwards to enjoy more of EPCOT before we had to be at the American Gardens Theater for the Candlelight Processional.

If you have ever been to WDW during the holidays and NOT seen this show, shame on you!   If you have NEVER been to WDW during the holidays, this show is almost worth making the trip without seeing anything else.  The best way to describe the Candlelight Processional is to tell you that a large choir is amassed on the stage, everyone holding electric candles, dressed in colorful choir robes.  A celebrity appears in front of them and retells the story of the birth of Christ.  The choir provides musical accompaniment to the narration of the story, and the orchestra is phenomenal.  If you are not in the Christmas spirit after seeing this show, you are about the Grinchiest Grinch in Whoville.

Our narrator is John O’Hurley – Mr. Peterman on Seinfeld, or better known for his Dancing with The Stars appearance on the first season.  He has a beautiful voice, perfect for story telling, and he asks at the end of the performance if we will remember in our prayers this holiday season his wife and the baby son she is expecting any day.  That was so sweet!  

We stick around just until about the time the park is going to close.  We see Illuminations, and we head out to the car.  It has been another really great day.  I am already planning next year’s vacation around this same time.

Disney Trip Report Day 3 November 27th

We are definitely sleeping in today!!   Well, everyone else is.  I’m not a sleeping in type person.  I think my father has instilled in me the belief that if you wanted to sleep, you could stay home.  Vacations are for getting up, doing stuff, seeing things. 

Jim and I get up about 8 and run to WalMart for some groceries.  We lay in enough stuff to get us through the week for breakfast and some stuff for lunch.  We have a lot of snacks that were brought with us, so we’re good there, and we plan to be out for most of the other meals.  Everyone gets up, has breakfast, we lounge around a bit, as it’s a little rainy this morning.  We have tickets tonight for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and we want to head into the park about 4 o’clock so we get the most amount of time that we can.  Plus, we have dinner reservations for Tony’s Town Square at 6, and we want to make sure we’re there for that.

We decide to take the kids down to the quiet pool – I’m very excited to be in my bathing suit and not mortified by my weight.  Unfortunately, my suit is too big 🙁   No worries.  It has a skirt and a tie at the neck, so we tie the neck as tightly as we can, and the skirt hides the fact that the bottom is too big 🙂   The water was so glorious!!   I could have spent the entire vacation just laying at the pool.  It was warm and welcoming from the first step, and because we chose the quiet pool, we were the only ones in the pool for a while, so that was nice.  After an hour or so in the pool, we headed over to the jacuzzi, which was so hot when we first stepped in, but then it just felt so great.  The jets were so relaxing and the water just felt so good.

We slowly all decided to head back to the room.  Jim and I got back first, and I did a quick shower and dress, and then put out lunch.  By that time, Ann and Eilis were coming in, so we ate a little in shifts, which worked out well.  We have time left after everyone is showered to relax a little before we head over to the Magic Kingdom for the party, and everyone benefits from the rest (I think I could have slept for hours!). 

Our arrival at the Magic Kingdom is just before 4 PM, so we wait in line outside for the gate to open to the MVMCP guests.  We are all braceleted, and we make our way down Main Street towards Buzz Lightyear.  We spend our free time before dinner between Buzz, Carousel of Progress, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.  Shortly after taking in these attractions, it starts to rain, but it’s time to head over to Tony’s for dinner, so we skip the fireworks and make our way to the restaurant.  It’s packed, but we’ve never eaten here before, so I enjoy wandering around and looking at things.  We are seated after about half an hour, and we find that our waiter is in training.  We’ll try to be super easy on him.

The meal at Tony’s was very good.  The only thing I am hating is the new kids menu.  It’s the same everywhere, so there are very limited options for the girls.  They are willing to work with you, to an extent.  If a meal shows yogurt with granola for dessert, you can get it plain.  You can swap out some things for other things.  But essentially, there is the same very limited menu everywhere we go.  I’m disappointed.

By the time we are finished at Tony’s, the rain has let up enough that it is not a bad walk at all around the park.  There are no lines and no waits for anything, and we really do enjoy just about everything.  Although the party goes until midnight, by about 11, everyone is pretty tired.  We are supposed to go to EPCOT tomorrow, and that’s going to be a long day as well, so we pack in it and head back to the hotel.

Back at Saratoga Springs, everyone gets a drink and snack, and we all head off to bed.  It’s been a great, very full day, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow!!

Disney Trip Report, Day 1 and 2, November 25 and 26

We have decided to take a trip to Disney!   Yeah, I know, so what else is new?   Well, this is our first time going back as Disney Vacation Club members, and our first time to stay at our home resort, Saratoga Springs!   We’re all very excited for that reason alone, and we have invited my stepmom to come along with us, so it should turn out to be a great trip!

The decision is made to leave very early on Saturday morning, stop late Saturday afternoon in Savannah.  If we’re not too tired, I’d like to visit some of the shops in Savannah, and then head down to Ocala on Sunday to see Aunt Mary and Uncle Ted.  At the last minute, we schedule John, the hardwood floor guy, to do our floors the weekend we come home, so we have to move all of the furniture out of our bedroom and dining room.  That means Jim and I are sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor, and we are relying on Brighid to wake us at 3 so we can pick Ann up at 3:30.  At 3:25, Brighid comes down to let us know it’s time to get up.  Let’s hope things get better from here!

We make it to Ann’s and are on the road shortly after 4 AM.  This should put us in Savannah about 4, which gives us the evening and Sunday morning to shop if we want to.  The trip really isn’t bad at all.  Granuaile, who spends most of these trips whining and complaining with the other two ignoring her, seems to sleep a lot headed down south, and when she is awake, she’s pleasant and entertained by Nanny.  Ann can come with us on ANY trip, ANY time.  Brighid and Eilis have TVs in the back and there are snacks and drinks, so we don’t have to make too many stops.  We eat a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel, then hit Wendy’s for a long lunch.  When we get near Savannah, we stop for dinner and make the decision to cancel the reservation in Savannah if we can get a room in Orlando.  We are making good time, and may be able to make it to Orlando by 10. 

Not only do we find a room available, but we find our 2 bedroom villa at Saratoga Springs Resort is available!   It will use a bunch of points, but it gives us an extra day at the resort and we don’t have to unpack stuff and move it.  Unfortunately, the people at Ruby Tuesday’s are doing everything in their power to prevent us from making it anywhere any time in the near future.  We spend more than an hour at dinner here – and I leave exhausted!

We eventually do a little switching around with the drivers, and Ann offers to take a shift so I can close my eyes a while.  Holy cow, this is so nice of her to do!   I am so tired and Jim can’t see this late at night to drive, so having a third driver is a big treat!   We make it to the security gate at Saratoga Springs just about 11:30, and we are welcomed home by a very nice security guard, who directs us to the check in parking.  We are home 🙂

I head in to check us in, and I remind the lady at the desk that we are celebrating Ann’s 60th birthday during this trip.  I had ordered a birthday cake, since we missed her original cake back in August, and it is supposed to be delivered to our room tomorrow.  I am hoping it is delivered while we are at Aunt Mary’s.  The lady at check in is very nice, and it doesn’t take too long to check in – although with tired kids waiting to get out of the car, it seems much longer than it is.

We are soon in our beautiful 2 bedroom villa in the Congress Park section.  Our view is of the quiet pool outside of our balcony, and we can’t wait to see what else there is to see.  It will have to wait until morning, though. 

We all decide not to unpack, but the kids are now wide awake and wanting to see every inch of the room.  I end up unpacking all of my stuff and Jim’s.  Ann graciously offers to take the room with the two beds, and share a bed with Eilis.  She’ll live to regret that decision, and I feel badly that she didn’t take the bedroom to herself 🙁   We all end up in bed about 3 AM, but with no rush to get anywhere in the morning, we know we’ll have time to sleep in the morning.

Sunday morning comes, and Jim and I are the first awake.  We take a ride down to where we checked in and find breakfast.  We come back to the room with some croissants and some bagels, juice and coffee.  By the time everyone else wakes up, there’s breakfast going and plenty of time for everyone to shower and get ready for a ride out to Aunt Mary’s.  We even decide to go to Downtown Disney first 🙂   I like having the kitchen facilities – and this is a nice kitchen, equipped with pretty much everything you need. 

Once we are showered and dressed, we head to Downtown Disney with plans to grab lunch at the Earl of Sandwich.  We wander around a little, check out a couple of shops, and then we head over to the Earl of Sandwich.  Everyone gets something – Ann, Brighid and Eilis opt for grilled cheese, and Jim gets the special Turkey dinner sandwich.  I order the chicken soup, which is absolutely delicious!   After we finish our sandwiches, we decide to head to the car to make the trip to Ocala to visit Aunt Mary and Uncle Ted.

The trip to Ocala should take about an hour – maybe a little longer.  UGH.  We are heading out of Orlando with everyone else who has spent the Thanksgiving holiday there.  We take more than 2 hours to get to Ocala, but it is so nice to have this visit!   Aunt Mary’s home is absolutely, Better Homes and Garden beautiful.  We spend a little time chatting, and then we take a tour of their new community.  There is just about every amenity there you could want – indoor and outdoor pools, a banquet facility, a gym, and much more. 

We ended the tour at the miniature golf course, where Eilis and Uncle Ted played a quick round of golf.  It began getting cold and dark by this time, so we headed back to Aunt Mary’s for a very nice dinner and a lovely evening of conversation and catching up.

Back at the hotel around midnight, we opened the door to see a lovely bouquet of balloons and a goodie bag put together by the Pixie Dust delivery service from The Mouse For Less list that I am on.  Guess what?   No cake!   Jim and Brighid went to the restaurant this morning to check on it, and saw it, and we know of it’s existence.  I call immediately to the front desk, and about 30 minutes later, we get a delivery of a cake no where near what we ordered.  I phone again to the front desk, and after much pissing and moaning, at pretty darn near 1:30 AM, the correct cake arrives.  We sing happy birthday and everyone enjoys a piece of the cake, which revs the kids up just enough to keep the rest of us up until about 3:30.  Thank goodness, it’s a sleep in morning tomorrow, too!

Little Miss Sunshine

I received this DVD this Christmas as a gift from my husband and children.  It was one of those movies I REALLY wanted to see in the theater, but either Jim would not go or Brighid could not go, and the timing never worked out.  Anyway, I’m so glad it got picked up as one of my gifts – it was an AWESOME movie.

The basic plot is a family of losers takes a road trip out to California, where their young daughter, at the tender age of 7, has been chosen by default to represent their state (New Mexico) in the Little Miss Sunshine pagaent.  The road trip with this VW bus load of dysfunction is one horrible turn after another, culminating with their 5 minute late arrival to the pagaent. 

 I wish I could share more specifics with you, but I don’t want to give away anything.  The family experiences one bad turn after another, but each one just a wee bit funnier than the one before.  But through it all, this is a family you love, you want them to stay true to themselves and each other, and you are rooting for them not only to make it to California, but for the little girl to win the contest.

There is no incredibly plot twist, scary scene, or huge explosions.  But there will be laughter and tears as you watch this film.  It’s just so good.