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Old 08-20-2012, 09:17 PM   #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma
Love, love, love your villa! Great location and views. Having your specific requests, down to building numbers is actually very helpful to the room assigners. That way they know what is important to you. You gave them lots of options.
Or thought I was a pita and wanted me far away! Lol. I adored our villa and the whole vibe of the resort. Fact that the bus plays Buffett non stop didn't hurt either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma
Great, new, pretrip stories. Mmmmm. Bacon!

As a mom who has to struggle to get my family to participate in photos, I love that mom from the plane, too!
They were making me grin that's for sure. As for that bacon all I could think of was how much that cost and the kid was probably going to throw it all up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma
I'm impressed with the grocery service- sounds like you were able to put in some very specific requests.

Definitely Supreme Awesomeness!
Yeah, if you like the detail in the room request you'd love the grocery order lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdotla
Darn! I leave on Oct. 2nd, so I will miss you by a week. One of these trips I will have to plan better to be able to be down there with you, MEK and Christine!
Such a bummer! Who will all be at the 30th? Carrie? I miss another group by 1-2 days but there will a lot of folks you know there during our dates, Anita (Wigd), Pat( Poolrat), Tracy (Manntra), Brook, and some others you may not know but will "meet" on this tr

A bunch of us connected on FB, via Brook and were able to coordinate dates that way which helped.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #182
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Your villa looks AMAZING! The more I see of OKW the more I love it.......it just seems so relaxing, like the perfect place to unwind after park time (or even without park time, as I'm sure you'll tell us!)

What's a Disney vacation without a little bus drama?
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:38 PM   #183
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Yay... I found your trip report and I'm all excited that I'm caught up and can't wait to read about Vero Beach. I love the ocean so, I hope you loved it as much as I did.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #184
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So true on the "you don't get if you don't ask!" So glad you got your requests! What a great view and location!!

Your Villa is beautiful! Love the verandah! It looks so peaceful there.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:13 AM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elphie101 View Post
Your villa looks AMAZING! The more I see of OKW the more I love it.......it just seems so relaxing, like the perfect place to unwind after park time (or even without park time, as I'm sure you'll tell us!)
OKW is all about unwinding, we absolutely loved the theming and there really is a lot to do right there. We could have done one, maybe even 2 more days before we really felt any pain about missing the parks. 2 might have been pushing it but I'd have enjoyed another full day there and I think the whole gang would have as well, there were things we wanted to do and didn't have enough time for as it was! Very different vibe than any of the other resorts we had stayed at prior to that (ASM, FW, WL, YC, POR and BC). Largely of course due to the fact that it is set up like a more traditional time share village resort and so spread out. POR and the other mods I think have that spread out feel but to me you really can't compare. I don't feel like I can go back to my room and relax the same way as you can in a villa. The best part though really was having it ready, being able to jump right in the pool next door for the boys and have lunch on our verandah right away really made it feel like vacation almost instantly, no waiting around for room to be ready, no killing time and buying a lunch out I didn't want to pay for.

I would stay at OKW again in a heartbeat. It was the lead contender for where I wanted to own but the treehouse advantage won out and since it's usually relatively easy to get in regardless of where you own I figured that was ok!

Quote:
Originally Posted by elphie101 View Post
What's a Disney vacation without a little bus drama?
You have a valid point! It is a key element, I suppose one should count and plan on it.

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Originally Posted by OurDogCisco View Post
Yay... I found your trip report and I'm all excited that I'm caught up and can't wait to read about Vero Beach. I love the ocean so, I hope you loved it as much as I did.
So happy to have you here! I love the Ocean too and really enjoyed Vero. I could have used another full day there! It was a pretty cool change of pace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
So true on the "you don't get if you don't ask!" So glad you got your requests! What a great view and location!!
I felt incredibly lucky, it was a little surreal. I adored our location and am glad I went with my gut and asked for everything I wanted, though I did feel a bit over the top about it when I did it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Your Villa is beautiful! Love the verandah! It looks so peaceful there.
It was very peaceful and serene. Some major zen vibes off that verandah. Eating lunch there with the watercraft coming by I really felt instantly transported and on vacation. Truly, that did more to get my mind on vacation than any adult beverage, pool or lounge chair could have done at that moment. Just perfection!
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:37 AM   #186
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I will have to say I am wore out reading about your travel day. How in the world you got through that day I will never know!!! You do have supreme awesomeness for just managing that schedule!!!

Way to go on figuring out the room!!!!

Love the villa. We have only stayed in the studio rooms. So much more space you have in a villa.

Anxious to see more pictures of OKW. Still haven't stayed there.

I had no idea you could email DVC your room request. Thanks for the info!!! I will definitely use it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by jeremysdisneymom View Post
I will have to say I am wore out reading about your travel day. How in the world you got through that day I will never know!!! You do have supreme awesomeness for just managing that schedule!!!
LOL. Other than the cat wrangling it felt an awful lot like a rather normal day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremysdisneymom View Post
Way to go on figuring out the room!!!!

Love the villa. We have only stayed in the studio rooms. So much more space you have in a villa.
I've only been in one studio so far (BCV) and to be honest it didn't feel much different than the regular deluxe resort room, perhaps a bit smaller. With just the E's we could fit in one but I'll admit, going all 1 bedroom has me anti studio for a family trip and dreaming of a 2 bedroom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremysdisneymom View Post
Anxious to see more pictures of OKW. Still haven't stayed there.
I loved OKW! I was worried it would feel too timeshare condo-y and too big and it didn't at all. I mean yes it is, in style and size but still, it felt just right as Goldie would say. Does it have the immediate park access some of the other DVC locations do? No. Does it have different perks that are just as fabulous? Yes, I think it does. I really felt "away" there, and we needed that. I still have the same fears about SSR, it will be interesting to see what I think if we ever stay there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremysdisneymom View Post
I had no idea you could email DVC your room request. Thanks for the info!!! I will definitely use it.
I wouldn't have known either, read about it on the Vero thread. Very glad I knew about it though.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:28 AM   #188
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Donde esta el autobus?

We’d had a late lunch by FL standards, though on the early side for Seattle. We probably sat down around 2:30. By the time we did gifts, changed and put sunscreen on I imagine we left the villa around 3:30 but I’m honestly not sure. Leaving our villa we meandered down to the bus. And waited.

Jeff asked “What bus do we take?”.

“An internal bus I assume”

Ok.

A park bus goes by. And another. And another. No internal bus.

“How often do they run”

“I have no idea”

It's true. I had no idea. My family was shocked by this. After about 20 minutes I decided to ask the next bus that came up, how often an internal bus comes to get to Hospitality House.

“You can catch any bus from here to get to Hospitality House”. They all have to go there before heading to a park from here.

Oh.

DOH

Talk about wasted pool time! So we got on that bus. Whatever it was. By the time we got to the pool we were all pretty darn hot. The pool was pretty darn crowded. We managed to take the longest way around to find enough loungers not 100% in the baking sun and not near a smoking area that could still sort of look at kids while they were in the pool. I have a phobia of chairs that have no visibility to the pool, I like to pretend I’m keeping an eye on my kids and if at least I can see part of the pool, it makes me feel better. Chairs claimed, towels laid out we booked it into the water. AHHHHHHHHHHH. First swim of the trip for me, even if it wasn’t till after 4! It felt DARN good. Eventually I got cooled off enough to take some pictures.

First up, Evan. At 13 I have to try and take pictures when he isn’t looking. He seemed to relax on that a bit this trip.



If he sees me, he will often do this



If I wait, I might get a fabulous shot like this



Not sure who Eric was trying to scare





Ok, kids not cooperating, lets at least get the slide



And the lighthouse







You have to wonder who uses the sauna. I can't think of anything that sounded more miserable on a day like that. LOL! Maybe in the winter?

Happier kids. For whatever reason, as much as those two can and do fight, they will also be all over each other in the water like this. Most of the time it works great…till they fight.



Like this



And to get the first official drinks of the trip! A Key West Sunset Ale and a Turtle Krawl for me. Otherwise known as heaven in a cup. I’m generally pretty leery of mixed drinks but this was darn good! Not to sweet and fully of tropical deliciousness. It tasted like vacation!





Kendall was being a little clingy, only in the pool if we were



I really liked our lounger spot, the view right behind us



I decided to explore a little. Evan wanted to rent a bike, or a paddle boat, or both so we went to check out prices. He’d done some extra chores before the trip so had a small rental fund available for things like this.









I want to rent it NOW mom



But now was a little after 5pm. We had a dinner reservation at 7:20 and would still need to go back to the villa, change and head to dinner. There wasn’t enough time to ride/pedal anywhere and not feel rushed.

Evan didn’t like that very much



A little fooseball helped ease the disappointment, as did some pin trading with the community hall CM's. A soda helped as well. I had brought a mug (flame me, go ahead...I felt NO guilt as we were paying for the DDP at the end of the trip which would include 5 more of them) and we bought one more so we'd all have 2 to share for the trip. I let Evan fill this round up.







Continued in next post.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:38 AM   #189
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After consulting with Jeff, he and I decided that we should head back about 6. That gave us enough time for another dip, and a dry off which felt heavenly.

At 6, we dragged everyone back to the bus stop, it was going to be a low key night for dinner so we didn’t need a ton of time to change. This time though, we did need an internal bus. Or so we thought.

I suggested walking.

Again it was scoffed at.

We waited.

And waited.



And waited.

At 6:30 I went to ask bell services how much longer it might be. Supposedly the internal busses run every 20 minutes. Ok, that meant there should be one there any minute, I made a comment like “oh good, our dinner reservations are for 7:20 and I was starting to worry about making it, thanks!”. As I started to walk back to the stop he said, “or I can have one of the guys run you over to your villa if you like”.

Like? Love!

“Oh and, for future reference, if you walk down to the Millers Road stop, you can catch any bus as it will be hitting your stop before coming here and heading out".
I think it was the Millers Road one, but might have been Penninsular. I'd double check it next time for sure. Good to know! While impressed, it would seem easy enough to add this info to the signage at the bus stops. However I suppose by NOT doing so, it gives them needed flexibility to change things.

A golf cart pulled up in front of the bus stop and shuttled us off to our villa in no time flat! Incredible service and a very nice unexpected surprise. While on the bus I got a text from my shopper.

“Dropped your coffee off with bell services”

YAY! My morning would be saved. Back at the villa we went to get changed.

All of a sudden I heard

“WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SHORTS?”

Jeff’s good Tommy Bahama shorts had some not so lovely black marks all over the front, and back of them. Black/purple deep stains that were actually kind of crusty. He hadn’t pulled them out while at the airshow. However, on the way to the airshow apparently he’d had some exploding hair gel inside his dop kit. I knew that, as the night before in my flurry of activity I’d gotten a text to please pack his large one, as the small travel one had exploded in transit. It would appear that it had done more than that. It had gotten the dop kit wet and the combo of gel and black leather had caused the color to leach.

Onto Jeff’s shorts.

Which really didn’t appear salvageable.

I had packed laundry supplies and got busy with stain remover and set them to soaking with woolite. Given that they were a handwash only item I figured all I was really doing was wasting my stain remover and handwash supplies as that dye was long set but I had to at least try. One lovely lovely thing about OKW, and unique to it I think, is that it has a full sized laundry room. While working on the shorts we got a load going, Jeff needed clean clothes after the airshow and I was able to iron my dress.

So much for the quick change.

Finally, in clean and a few of us unwrinkled (Eric is always wrinkled, I think it is in his DNA) we headed to the bus. At least this time we knew that we could catch the first one that came by! Our reservation was for 7:20. I think we got there at 7:45. Which in many cases may have totally stressed me out. This one didn’t. We were going here.



We’d originally thought about Raglan Road and given how the afternoon/evening had played out I was so grateful we’d decided to eat at OKW, it really removed any stress about running late at all. It was at most, ½ full. Clearly being late wasn’t an issue. And it was COLD with the AC on, or at least felt cold to us. Can we sit outside? The CM appeared surprised by that, but it was a lovely patio and it was really pleasant out! She did ask, and it was a bit of a recurring theme, if the E’s wanted kids menus.

Ouch.

We were the only group outside but were thrilled to be there. As the evening went on, others decided it was a great idea and soon it was maybe 1/3 full. The nice thing about a less busy restaurant is lovely service and interaction with your CM! So many yummy things on the menu, it was hard to decide.

Evan decided to try something new. Shrimp and Grits





For me, the Crab Cake appetizer and Conch Chowder





Kendall, the least adventuresome eater of the group in general…got a club



Eric and Jeff went for the same entrée, the special. Pot Roast.





We LOVED Olivia’s. The kids still talk about it. Those grits were AMAZING. It has gone up there to now be one of our top restaurants at WDW, and will probably be a must do on the next trip even if it is out of the way. Everything about it was so incredibly perfect for our evening. The eating outside, the low crowd and un-rushed pace, the Key West/low country style foods, the piped Jimmy Buffet Music, the view from the outdoor patio, the weather. It felt like vacation and not the first day of it, we already felt relaxed and content whereas so often that first night is still about unwinding and feeling a bit rushed. Stuffed to the gills we passed on dessert. In fact, neither Eric or Evan could finish their meal and we took them back with us, theoretically to have for lunch the next day.

We discussed our plans for the rest of the evening. Plan A had been to possibly go to the Poly for fireworks. We weren’t so tired it couldn’t have been done but we were too lazy and content to make the effort! We came up with a different plan. Before leaving, I wanted to look in the General Store. I had something I wanted to pick up immediately. The kids poked around a bit and while I was checking out, took Jeff back over to the lobby to see the model of the Dream and the Library, the kids may have traded pins as well, I’m not sure.





I picked up some cookies with my purchase and we headed back to the villa to start our plan B. Plan B involved cookies and….The Olympic Opening Cermonies! Everyone got comfy and we went to make the beds.

Except…we didn’t have enough bedding. Or towels. The villa had been stocked with 4 towels and the bedding pack just for the sofa bed. I called. I also realized, I’d completely forgotten to grab our coffee from bell services.

Oops! I called again. Wasn't the same folks delivering but I did feel really bad that bell services had to come out when I could have grabbed it after dinner.

5 minutes later, both show up! Again, AMAZING service.

Cozy and content we settled in to enjoy the parade of nations. I’d love to say we managed to watch the entire opening ceremonies but the reality is, the long day and the red eye caught up with all of us. Jeff hadn’t been on a red eye but he’d had a late night and an early morning and well, that coverage ran late! We tried to hang on but by 11, at least finally having seen the US come in…we all headed to bed.

Next: The first cup
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:02 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
“How often do they run”

“I have no idea”

It's true. I had no idea. My family was shocked by this.


Just kidding. We can take our obsessive research only so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
“You can catch any bus from here to get to Hospitality House”. They all have to go there before heading to a park from here.

Oh.

DOH


Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
If I wait, I might get a fabulous shot like this

Save that one for the rehearsal dinner!

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You have to wonder who uses the sauna. I can't think of anything that sounded more miserable on a day like that. LOL! Maybe in the winter?
Different strokes for different folks. Apparently some people even enjoy IASW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
A golf cart pulled up in front of the bus stop and shuttled us off to our villa in no time flat! Incredible service and a very nice unexpected surprise. While on the bus I got a text from my shopper.
Even with the bus confusion, it sounds like the CM's were on the ball and very helpful. So you've got that going for you, which is nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Jeff’s good Tommy Bahama shorts had some not so lovely black marks all over the front, and back of them. Black/purple deep stains that were actually kind of crusty.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
We were the only group outside but were thrilled to be there. As the evening went on, others decided it was a great idea and soon it was maybe 1/3 full. The nice thing about a less busy restaurant is lovely service and interaction with your CM!
Sounds great to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Evan decided to try something new.
for trying new stuff! I'm still learning that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
We LOVED Olivia’s. The kids still talk about it. Those grits were AMAZING. It has gone up there into one of our top restaurants and will probabl be a must do on the next trip even if it is out of the way. Everything about it was so incredibly perfect for our evening. The eating outside, the low crowd and unrushed pace, the Key West/low country style foods, the piped Jimmy Buffet Music, the view from the outdoor patio, the weather. It felt like vacation and not the first day of it, we already felt relaxed and content whereas so often that first night is still about unwinding and feeling a bit rushed.
That sounds wonderful! I've thought about trying Olivia's before but never wanted to make the effort to get over to OKW. I might have to try this on the next trip. It sounds great!
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:16 PM   #191
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What a great day!

Olivia's sounds great, and it sounds like you really liked OKW. That's good to hear.

We didn't have enough towels when we checked-in to Vero either, come to think of it.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:01 PM   #192
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What a great way to end what started out as a hectic day! I'm so glad that you posted pictures of your meal at Olivia's. I have it on my list of possible "new" restaurants to try for our upcoming May, 2013 trip.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:30 PM   #193
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What a terrible Mom you are not knowing the bus times or letting E1 rent a bike, shocking

Its funny to think of you watching the opening ceremony in Orlando while I was there. Did you like it?
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #194
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Great pool day at OKW.

Olivia's sounds great. I would have loved those shrimp and grits! Yum. We will have to give it a try sometime.

Can't wait to see if you tried the paddle boats. They look like fun.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:16 PM   #195
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Really nice, low key arrival day. Phew!

Ouch! on the (unnecessary) wait for the bus on the way to the pool.

I don't think I have ever seen pictures of the OKW pool. The sandcastle slide is just TOO adorable!

The Turtle Krawl looks amazing, and sounds amazing based on the recipe MaryEllen posted. MMMMMMMmmmmmm.

Nice that you got a lift back on the golf cart(s)- how many?

That is so sad about Jeff's shorts. I hope they are salvagable.

Dinner at Olivias looked wonderful. Sounds like it was just the perfect atmosphere. I have to agree- those Shrimp and Grits look really good. Everything else does too, but especially that.

Glad to hear you had a nice relaxing night. No need to push it to the limit.
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