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Old 03-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
bumbershoot
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Portofino in February!

Hello there. OK so that's a bad title for a trip report ("portofino in February", in case I change it later) but it's all I could think of at the moment.

I just want to get this started. I've had two other trips to Universal and haven't done a report on those, but want to do so for this one.

I'm Molly, still a relative Universal (and WDW) newbie. I travel with husband-Robert and our son Eamon, who is coming up quickly on being 8.

For our first Orlando trip as a family, we wanted to give both WDW and Universal a really good, solid try. And we did! And we discovered that Universal is SO awesome. So much so that if they created a "villa" option like DVC, we'd sell DVC and buy into Universal. (we bought into DVC before even going to WDW, because we knew we would love WDW and knew, from our Disneyland habits, that it would be cheaper in the LONG run)

Our previous stays were a few nights at Royal Pacific then a few nights at Portofino. We switched from RPR b/c the rooms are a bit bigger and because DH has always wanted to visit Italy.

This most recent visit in February 2012 was at Portofino and was for 6 nights. It wasn't absolutely perfect, but it was pretty close!


I'll come back later to continue this. It'll be mainly pretty (IMO) pictures and a little bit of talk. And, probably, a lot of parentheses.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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Sounds good!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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bring on the pictures!!!!!!
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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im ready, and excited
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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Found ya
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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Can't wait for more! Love to see pictures too.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:47 PM   #7
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Sorry about that. I'm in a flakey mode recently, and I'm not quite sure why.


To give an overview, we were arriving from Disneyland. Bi-coastal trip, no WDW. Well, we almost did a WDW park, but we refrained. It's so expensive to do ONE day!

So we flew out of Anaheim on Feb 9 got in late late late on that day. We were delayed twice, I believe, once at John Wayne Airport, and once at SFO. So it was late. Got in, got bags, got rental car.

We had laundry to do and I didn't want to cart it over to Hard Rock and pay money for it, so we used DVC points for one night in a 1bedroom at the Boardwalk. You can see just how close we were to Epcot. Painful, but most everything we really wanted to do there involved more money. School bread in Norway, slushies in France...you get the picture. I wanted to snag a family on their way in, give them money and a mug or two, and have them get us food and drinkies, but they'd probably just take the loot and run. So we didn't even do that.

The laundry thing didn't work out so great, since the dryer wasn't working. Front desk didn't care. Maintenance didn't care. Hubby had to babysit the clothes in the dryer in the laundry room the next day, instead of lazing at the (scary clown) pool, which was a bummer. But I once had ALL of my clothes stolen from an apartment dryer and I can't have that happen again.

Anyway, finally the clothes were done and he snuck them into the car (I would have put them with bell services but I was at the pool) and came and joined us. Now the East Coast part of our vacation began!

I will simply gloss over this first day b/c it wasn't AT Universal, but I didn't put it in my Disneyland report and I'm not doing a day resort report. So bear with me.

We had fun, it stormed over us while we swam, which made the lifeguards laugh at us. I had a boozy beverage, hubby had a non-boozy beverage (he barely drinks at all), Eamon played for HOURS with the CMs that create games out at the pool. I hate clowns, but I love that clown slide; it's the only slide I like.


At long, long last the weak-ish sun got to us, hunger got to us, and the magnetic pull of Universal finally finally got to us. If it hadn't been for the laundry and the delayed arrival the night before we probably wouldn't have stayed so long at the pool and would have played at Portofino and a Universal park that day, but that's not how it went. It was still a good day.

We got cleaned up and headed to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. After that we went to Portofino and checked in.



We had booked a 2Q standard room, I believe, and b/c of "blue" (?) status with the Loews club I knew we would likely be upgraded. We were, to a water view room, which ended up being a pool view. The pool was the "quiet" pool, and we were on the 1st floor, which a patio that connected to the next door people, so....we never really used the patio.

To get to our room it seemed that we passed the club, which kept making us wonder if we were actually upgraded to club level, but the probability of that seemed so low that we never wanted to embarrass ourselves by asking. Figured that our cheery check-in employee would have let us know if we were!


The room was lovely and large-ish, and we slept very comfortably.


One picture as a preview.


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Old 04-06-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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I can't wait to read more!!
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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Thanks! Can't wait for more as I am doing PBH in August!!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:16 AM   #10
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Waiting for more. We'll be staying there for the 4th of July.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #11
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Looking forward to more!
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:56 PM   #12
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Sorry about the delay, again! We got the opportunity to travel with hubby on a work trip, since it was a relatively local, driving, trip, and I had no interest in being online! I'll get back to it ASAP.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
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Great start, looking forward to more
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:18 PM   #14
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Hello, my name is Molly, and I'm a founding member of "put it off" anonymous. Or procrastinators anonymous. Or avoidance-techniques anonymous. Or even flakes anonymous?

Whatever you want to call it, that's me.



So right now I have water, a place to sit and type, my Passporter with info in it, and my old computer with the pictures on it to give me more of a hint on what order the photo bucket pictures go in (or really, the pictures between the photobucket-worthy pictures, to give me context). Hubby and son are watching Finding Nemo (which I don't want to watch), it's a lazy day, and really, there's now nothing standing in my way between my head and the report!

OK, fixed a problem with the old computer (never EVER spill a beer on your laptop) and I'm actually prepared. Next post!
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:26 PM   #15
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Going back to the 10th of Feb, we had spent the day at Boardwalk's pool, had dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, and checked into Portofino. We've now forgotten if we did actually get to a park, but there are no pictures and no receipts, so we'll pretend like we know we didn't.



On the 11th, however, we did! Woke up BRIGHT and early, I had my two cups of Emeril coffee from the Keurig (so convenient), and headed on out. Took the boat, which is how I got that picture.

Then we got this one. The Kid insists on posing almost every time we go to a Universal park; hope springs eternal that not only will he be tall enough for EVERYTHING, but that his parents will also be willing to let him go on everything.





Every time we enter the Port of Entry, I am stunned all over again. I remember reading someone's opinion of Universal, saying that there's nothing to see, the theming is dull, and so on, and I just have to imagine they had their eyes closed while entering IOA.

















And those are just from a few minutes, slowly walking in, using my "looks like a "real" camera but is just a point and shoot" camera.

It's SO beautiful, and has this understated energy of adventure. Whatever Universal calls their "imagineers", they really speak to me!
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DLR '05-'09 found within this link
DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!
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