Childless Mommies take on EEC, Food & Wine, Pleasure Island 01/01/09 DEPARTURE DAY!
This is a short tale of an even shorter Trip taken by two Mommies who left husbands and toddlers at home to participate in the inaugural Expedition Everest Challenge.
In the process, we "opened" Food & Wine and "closed" Pleasure Island.
And, of course, shopped up a storm!
But before we get underway, let's take a look at who we are leaving behind!
Here's some pictures of our kiddos, which were taken the weekend after we got back.
Here are our daughters. Mine's on the left and my friend Andrea's is on the right.
And here are our sons. Again mine is on the left.
And finally, here's a shot of everyone, including our DHs. Once again, mine is on the left. (Funny how that worked!)
As hard as it was to leave this loveable bunch behind, what a Fantastic Mommies-Only Trip! Our Team name for the Expedition Everest Challenge, (a 5k running race, followed by a military-style obstacle course, followed by a scavenger hunt), was the Happy Mommies, and that is exactly what we were for 4 glorious days and 3 jam-packed nights!:goodvibes
Next Up: Check-in and an Introduction to the Childless Mommies!
Unlike most of my regular WDW Trips, which are plotted months (ok, even years) in advance, with all ADRs being made at exactly 7am EST on the 180 day mark, the plans for this Trip were pretty late in hatching.
This trip also had some business elements to it, which did cut down on our Park and vacationing time. However, we still managed to fit an impressive amount of touring into the limited amount of time available. And while we never accomplished half the things I had hoped, isn't that usually the case?;)
As usual, the night before the trip I was in full-on panick mode trying to clear the many files and paperwork on my desk, then coming home to pack and take care of all the last-minute details until the wee hours of the morning.
I don't know why I always seem to do this, but I rarely turn out the lights until well after 1am each night before I leave for Disney. On this occasion I finally hopped into bed at 3:30am to get a precious 2 hours of sleep before having to get up to pick up Andrea and head to the airport.
As soon as my feet hit the floor that morning, even before coffee, the adrenaline was running. We were going to DISNEY!!! :banana: :banana:
On the way down, we unfortunately weren't sitting together. Although we both asked our neighbours if they would mind switching for us, they weren't biting. (The one beside me had an aisle and wouldn't settle for a window. The one beside Andrea was sitting behind their family and didn't want to move.:confused3 )
Oh well. I had my ipod loaded up with 2 weeks of the DisUnplugged (which I had purposely saved for the Trip). I also got to watch Sex & the City once again on the way down. Perfect movie to psych me up for our Girls-Only Trip. (Although I doubt Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha would have shared my enthusiasm for landing in MCO!):rotfl:
After an uneventful flight, we landed in MCO on time and in fact ahead of schedule! We immediately took off for luggage retrieval and the rental counter. I decided to leave Andrea at the luggage conveyor and took off for the rental counter to avoid the crowds. Actually, it wasn't crowded at all! After a walk-up and 5 minute check in, I had the rental papers in hand and circled back to find Andrea still waiting for the luggage from our plane to hit the conveyor.
Fortunately all of our luggage was among the first few pieces unloaded (sweet!) and we made a beeline for the car.
After a brief pitstop at Millenia Mall (because what woman without children or husbands can resist that!), we were finally hitting the Magic Gates!
I was so excited!!! This Trip I was heading back to the Polynesian. The last time I stayed here was in 1977. My first ever trip to WDW at only 4 years old. (And yes, I can *still* vividly remember many happy and special memories from that Trip. I say this everytime someone tells me that my kids likely won't remember the many WDW trips I have been taking them on!)
This was also Andrea's first time staying on property. Unless you count the stay she had at the Swan & Dolphin last year. Which I don't! LOL!
Needless to say, we were both overjoyed to be driving into the Polynesian! We truly felt like we had arrived in Paradise!
Here is us at check-in:
I am on the right. (Obviously I'm not as "left" as my family - LOL!)
Before checking in, I had placed a special request for the Tokelau longhouse, in a northern room on the Hawaii side. How pleased I was to find out that we had been given the 2nd most northern room on the Hawaii side of Tokelau! With a balcony waterview!!!
Here's our room on check-in:
Can you see all of our shipments! LOL!
Our "Hidden" Mickey:
And the glorious view from our Balcony:
And a few I took on the back staircase on the end of our longhouse:
And a few more of the glorious grounds and views surrounding the Polynesian:
The Grand Floridian:
And The Pool!
See the ducks!
Well, by the time we had arrived at MCO, shopped at Millenia Mall, checked in and unpacked it was darn near supper time and we were hungry. Thank goodness it was almost time for our 1st ADR at the Brown Derby!
Great start so far! Someday I'd love to take a "Girls Only" trip to WDW! :thumbsup2 I've never stayed @ the Poly, it looks gorgeous. Can't wait to hear all about the race!
:yay: I followed your link from my trippie. So glad you decided to go ahead and write a trip report. You have adorable children! Well I have seen the pics of your DD before but not your DS. How nice to go on a girls get away trip and to my favorite Disney resort. Love the Poly pics! Can't wait to read more popcorn::
I'm in for the ride too! It sounds like the perfect plan for a Mommies vacation to me (even if carrie & samantha would turn up their noses at the idea).
Love the pcs of the resorts.......
looking forward to more reports
Day One - Part 2
As hard as it was for us to pull ourselves away from Paradise (aka "the Poly"), our hunger pains were growing and our first ADR was quickly approaching.
Brown Derby is definitely a favourite. And I love the fact that I never seem to have a problem getting in, even on a relatively last-minute trip.
Initially we had booked Lunch at the Brown Derby for the following day. In fact, we had booked Dinner with an Imagineer!!!
I was so excited. This is not something I can normally do on my regular trips to Disney with two toddlers. I was looking forward to this being one of the highlights of the trip!
Unfortunately, we realized a week before the Trip that this was going to conflict with some other meetings we were attending. So with much regret, we had to cancel.
However, on the bright side we were able to get a dinner reservation with no trouble at all on our arrival day. I scooped it up!
We checked in about 10 minutes late (too much drooling at the Poly!) and waited only about 5 minutes before we were called.
Once again, we had the sweetest elderly gentleman check us in when we arrived. I forget his name, but on all three occasions when I have dined here, he has been the Host. He is a sweetheart, and completely plays the part of old-style, glamourous Hollywood.
Since stepping off the plane, we had literally not stopped. So once we sat down in the dark, cool, glamourous and inviting Brown Derby, we finally felt relaxed. And ready for a good meal!
But first things first! First up was a nice cool cocktail. We each ordered something our waitress recommended, which completely hit the stop!
After we ordered these, people at two neighbouring tables each asked us what we were drinking and ordered them too. Everyone on each side of us at one point were drinking them!
For an appetizer, I got the lobster bisque. Andrea ordered the crabcake. We also received some delicious crusty bread. The lobster bisque was very, very good. I only had a bite of the crabcake but can't say that I was a fan.
For our main courses, I ordered the grouper and I believe Andrea ordered the chicken. The grouper was good, but not fantastic. I think Andrea liked her entree, but I don't recall any excessive raving.
For dessert, we ordered creme brulee and capuccinos. This was very good.
All in all, great meal, and perfect start to our trip. The place was packed with every table full but our service was wonderful. Attentive, but not overbearing and certainly not rushed.
This was Andrea's first time at the Brown Derby and she also really enjoyed it. I think what we enjoyed more than anything was the first meal on our child-free vacation where we could relax and savour our meals, our surroundings, and each other's company without the distraction of small children. We raised our glasses high...Cheers!!!
NEXT UP: Magic Kingdom, Spectro and Wishes!
Day One - Part 3
After we finished at the Brown Derby, we made our way over to the Magic Kingdom. Our original intention was to hit a few rides, see the fireworks, do some shopping, then leave.
However, we arrived a little later than planned and SpectroMagic was in full swing with crush-crowds and gridlock greeting you when you walked in.
No problem, I thought as I motioned to Andrea to start walking up the stairs of the Train Station. I figured we would just hop on the Train, which would transport us to Frontierland and the first order of business: Thunder Mountain! By the time we finished riding, the Parade would be finished.
What I didn't realize is that the Train shuts down during Spectro.
Ok - Plan 2. After the entire Parade passed by the Barber Shop, we made a beeline across the Street, ducked into the Shops, walked all the way up Main Street from inside the Shops and exited by Casey's. The Parade was of course still going, but we were catching it!
Undeterred we continued along, walking through the crush crowds, trying to find some way to get out of the Parade crowds and into an attraction or ride.
My first mistake was leading us up the left side of Main Street. Although we had our hearts set on Big Thunder, we would have been much better off going right and exiting into Tomorrowland. Try as we might, we simply could not get out of the crowds and eventually became stranded on the left side of Frontierland near the Country Bear Jamboree. As the Parade was going by, we had no way to cross the street to get over to Big Thunder or anything else.
Oh well...you know the old saying: If you can't beat em, join em. We settled in with the masses to watch the Parade.
Fortunately we somehow managed to completely catch up with the front end of the Parade and pretty well caught the whole thing.
Once Spectro ended, we headed to Big Thunder. Fortunately it was a very short wait. We had a blast.
We passed on Splash as neither one of us were interested in getting wet at that hour, and ventured over to the Haunted Mansion. Can you believe it was Andrea's first time? It was great being able to introduce this to someone for the first time!
By this point, we had to race to make it back over to the Hub for Wishes. The first few pops actually started as we were speeding by Liberty Square.
Once again, Wishes didn't disappoint. But I did not anticipate how much I would miss my children watching this without them!
After Wishes I think guilt got the better of both of us, and we immediately made our way over to all of the various shops and stores along Main Street, buying up a ton of souveniers to bring home to the kids. Nearly 40 minutes later we were finally ready to head out.
Back to the Poly, you might ask? Nope...Not even close!
Thanks! Great to have you here!:goodvibes
The creme brulee looks delicious.:thumbsup2
I know a couple of times my plans have gone astray and I miss out on the magic around me because I'm so focussed on what I was trying to accomplish. I'm glad you decided to adopt the saying "if you can't beat them join them" and just enjoyed the parade.
I can't wait to see what you two get up to after this. Fitting in a late night workout perhaps?
Great start! Looking forward to reading more!
Yay - another TR from you; I so enjoyed the last one! As much as we love our families, it's good to be able to take a little vacation where the only person you have to "worry" about is yourself! Enjoy and I look forward to the rest of the TR!
I just bought DVC with my future husband, and you just made me miss it in a way no other TR could have made me. We are fly by the seat of your pants kinda people, as you were on this day, and wow... I love your writing and LOVE your adventures. Your lil family is beautiful and I can't wait to have one of my own. Thank you SO much for sharing thus far, and I can't wait to read the rest!
After this false-start at the MK, we both decided that this was going to be a more leisurely trip. Given the limited time available for Park touring on this trip, no amount of commando-style touring was going to allow us to fit everything in anyway!
I am glad we (ok - I) learned that lesson the first nite. S-L-O-W and easy was then the moto for the rest of the trip!;)
Great start to your trip report! Sounds like a blast. I remember when my kids were toddlers and I savored those free moments for relaxation. Can't wait to read more!
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