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Old 06-24-2012, 04:05 PM   #1
bwvBound
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Just ending our vacation: 7 nights at Vero, 2 nights at BWV

I'm at the airport and ready to return home. We enjoyed an excellent vacation split between DVC Vero Beach (1 BR, 7 nights) and DVC Boardwalk Villas (Studio, Std View, 2 nights). Below are highlights.

Things we LOVED:
* Canoeing through Sebastian Inlet and being surrounded by a large pod of dolphin. Sebastian Inlet Marina, $45/half-day for multi-seat canoe or kayak; self guided.
* Shopping for Organic produce. We especially enjoyed White Rabbit Acres and The Fresh Market. (Skip Publix ... while they do have some organic produce the selection is very limited.)
* Witnessing a Sea Turtle come onto land, dig her nest, lay her eggs and return to the sea. (This turtle's journey took about 90 minutes. We went out looking for three nights and finally saw this on our final night at Vero.)
* Taking long walks on the beach at sunrise to see Turtle Tracks. What a thrill each time you see one!
* Catching up on movies borrowed from the appropriate DVC locations.
* Getting a table at Prime Time Cafe (?) with no ADR or waiting!
* Getting lots done at DHS on a summer Saturday: Midway Mania (2x), Hollywood Tower of Terror (2x), Rock'n'Roll Rollercoaster (2x), Star Tours (6x), D23 Fanniversary, Prime Time Cafe for lunch, dinner/movie in our room and shopping for gifts. Phew!
* Eating healthy choices the entire visit. (Even the scales at the resort fitness centers were happy with our choices!)
* Driving the rental Prius! What fun. We put over 800 miles on the car with only ~$50 in fuel.
* Driving across the Peninsula for dinner and Sunset on the Gulf side. (Watched Sunrise at Vero Beach and Sunset at Indian Rocks Point near St. Pete's.)
* Seeing Brave on its opening day.
* The jetted tub at Vero Beach Master Bedroom. It was huge! We also enjoyed the kitchen layout.
* The view from our BWV Std-View Studio. It was a very pleasant surprise to have the crepe myrtle trees and a pond just outside.
* Mrs. Mac's Fillin' Station in Vero. Woot! Good food and very fun environment.
* The Sampler Appetizer plate at Vero's Green Cabin Room. We grabbed a table outdoors and really enjoyed this experience.
* Using the Sauna at Vero Beach.
* Shopping for bath goodies at Basin (White?) at the Grand Floridian. I'm sooooo glad DVC offers a discount here!

Things we think need some IMPROVEMENT:
* Fork & Screen at the AMC Theatres at Downtown Disney, Orlando. We loved the movie, Brave, but the dining experience has its share of problems. It is nearly impossible to see the check when paying, there is zero opportunity to return food selections, and you can't see what you are eating. Let's not even mention the difficulty navigating the menu for healthy choices. Sigh. It was fun to try once ... but I won't hurry back.
* D23 Fanniversary. I can't believe we paid $18 each to sit through death by PowerPoint. No food for an event scheduled over lunchtime? Really? That said, I did learn a few things and will give them some thought (Mickey's Kitchen failure?).
* Didn't care for the pedestal sinks in Vero's bathroom spaces (one in the room with toilet & shower, the other near the jetted tub). The effect is too little sink space for stuff and zero storage at either sink. I'm not a fan of having all our toiletries laying out in plain sight.
* The Sunday brunch at DVB on Father's Day. I have mixed feelings on this one. The staff was awesome but the food failed to impress me. In all, it was a strong "Good!” but not "Great.”
* Was surprised by limited selections of organic produce in Vero area. I expected to find organic at the cute produce stands - but not so?!? Thank goodness we had mobile internet to help us find The Fresh Market.
* DVC Resort WiFi. This simply gets a "D." I relied heavily on cell-based data plans on phone and ipad where/when I could.

Things we'd AVOID:
* Crabby Bill's Restaurant on the Gulf side. The Yelp! reviews were good and the parking lot was filled but seriously, I can't see why anyone would visit this place more than once. Big thumbs down based on sub-standard food quality and patchy service.
* (Wow, 9 nights and one one item to avoid? What a great vacation!)

Dining Notes
Our general pattern was to eat out for one meal each day, often lunch. We prepared fresh veggie and fruit juices in our room several times each day using the juicer I toted in my checked baggage. We also cooked a few meals of fish, pasta or grains (breakfast).

Just for fun, the following food lists show a partial list of fresh, organic produce sourced and consumed during our 9-night trip. I say 'partial' as the list is from memory and I'm sure I'm missing several items.

Foods sourced in Vero Beach area (mult locations)
* 25-lb bag of carrots
* 4 golden beets with greens
* 1 head celery
* 1 bag of green apples (5 lb?)
* 1 pineapple
* 6 plums
* 1 bag of green grapes
* 1 root of ginger
* 1 medium watermelon
* 5 jalapeño peppers
* 1 head butter (?) lettuce
* 3 heads of romaine lettuce
* 1 large bag of mixed salad greens (mostly dark green or purple leaf)
* 3 heads of spinach
* 1 large clump of kale
* 4 sweet potato
* 6 Roma tomato
* ???

Food sourced near WDW (WholeFoods) and costumed in less than 48-hours (between Friday afternoon arrival and Sunday morning departure):
* 3 golden beets with greens
* 1 head celery
* 4 large, green apples
* 1 pineapple
* 4 nectarines
* 1 bag of green grapes
* 1 cucumber
* (2 lbs of carrots remaining from earlier 25 lb bag)
* ???

OWNER'S LOCKER
New items ADDED to our Owner's Locker this trip:
* My 'first' Juicer. (How cool, my first juicer is now retired to Florida!)
* A new kitchen knife for chopping veggies and fruits. It is sufficiently large, sharp and strong to make quick, clean work of the pineapples and watermelon. It was a 'critical' need for the studio nights of our visit.
* A cute Disney cutting board found at DHS during our visit. It wasn't a critical need - but it sure made food prep easier!

Items REMOVED from the Owner's Locker this trip:
* I said "Goodbye!" to my large container of CoffeeMate. Once an essential in my life, I celebrated my first anniversary of drinking my coffee black this past week and ditched the artificial creamer.

Last edited by bwvBound; 06-26-2012 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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Glad you had a healthy, and happy vacation. Good for you.....
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
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We had tried usual things to keep them away, including something like coyote urine, it is sold in hardware stores by us
 
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Have a safe trip home!

I'm glad you had such a great trip! The Prius gas MPG is impressive!

Bobbi
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
bwvBound
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One more thing to AVOID, if only I could: no-see-ums. My feet and lower legs are covered in bug bites. Ah, I read the Vero literature too late. It would have informed me that my favorite times to be on the beach, dawn and dusk, were prime biting times for these little pests. If only I had read that sooner! (I'm trying so hard to avoid scratching these itchy spots around my ankles. Oh, my!)

Last edited by bwvBound; 06-24-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:10 PM   #5
bobbiwoz
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We had tried usual things to keep them away, including something like coyote urine, it is sold in hardware stores by us
 
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When our family went to a night turtle walk, it was mosquitoes that did our family in. You were lucky if you weren't bitten on the night walks! I can still remember with horror our DS's legs.

We were lucky on this last trip. A week ago, yesterday, we were at the campfire and there was a nice breeze. No one got bit and most of us didn't use bug spray.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:49 PM   #6
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Great report. I am in awe that you ate so healthfully on vacation!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:42 PM   #7
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I just returned from Fresh Market. Publix is more expensive than FM in many cases so I usually just shop there.

DVC needs to address the wifi situation. There's no excuse for it to be so bad!

Sounds like you had a great trip.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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We are headed to VB in august for five nights. I would be very interested to know where you ate (off property). Were there any REALLY good, inexpensive places where the locals go?
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:15 PM   #9
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Glad your trip was magical
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:06 PM   #10
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* DVC Resort WiFi. This simply gets a "D." I relied heavily on cell-based data plans on phone and ipad where/when I could.


Perhaps it was just your specific resort? We just got back from our vacation on June 2nd, staying at AKL and had wonderful, uninterrupted service with both of our laptops.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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Thanks - we are at VB in just a few short weeks, and simply can't wait.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:37 AM   #12
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Thanks for the report. Looking to book 3 nights in Vero for a post cruise wind down
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3chantal View Post
* DVC Resort WiFi. This simply gets a "D." I relied heavily on cell-based data plans on phone and ipad where/when I could.


Perhaps it was just your specific resort? We just got back from our vacation on June 2nd, staying at AKL and had wonderful, uninterrupted service with both of our laptops.
We were at Disneys Vero Beach June 8-June 15... internet was very slow and sometimes we would just loose the connection. Same thing the following week when we were at the Boardwalk Villas from June 16-June 23.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:30 PM   #14
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WOW! Loved your trip report!

My husband and I are planning a little escape to Vero for 2 nights while my brother in law and his wife watch our kids at WDW.

We are planning on bringing our juicer this vacation, since we are driving down and will have the room in the car. This info was so helpful! I was thinking what could revive me before the winter blues set in, organic juicing, ocean breezes, and no kids= perfect plan.
You've made me so psyched!!!

Glad you had a nice trip
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peekies722 View Post
I was thinking what could revive me before the winter blues set in, organic juicing, ocean breezes, and no kids= perfect plan.
Sounds delightful! You are going to have a fabulous time!
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