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Old 08-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Our Pantheon of foods that make everything better include bacon, cheese, chocolate, and pineapple. One of those will always work.
hmmn. Pineapple. that's an interesting one! I have a feeling my list of things that make everything better might be different than some in my family. Jeff would say caramel. Caramel, caramel and caramel. And anything that has caramel.

I'd have to put trail mix and strawberries on that list though. Coffee. Though that's life sustaining, which definitely does make things better!

Ultimately for me?

Homemade mac and cheese makes everything better!
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:47 PM   #257
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The first cup

Our first day had been very long, but a huge success. We'd survived wrangling cats, missing homework. hurling cats, boating kids and too much bacon. We'd dozed at times on a red eye despite cracklers, tappers and foulers. We'd been rewarded for all of that with pixie dusted bus rides, room readiness, gorgeous weather, refreshing swims, an amazing dinner and some quiet family time watching the Olympics. All in all, a truly great first day and one that ended up being surprisingly relaxing and really started things off right!

In fact it was so right, it became a huge conversation topic during our dinner at Olivia's. Which I'd forgotten about until I looked at my notes. (notes are great…if you remember to look at them when writing the update!). Eric is our single minded kid. He gets stuck on something and he will go on and on and on and on about it!

“A villa is SO much better than a hotel room, don't you agree Mom?”

“Mom, isn't a villa better than a regular resort room”

“I'm so glad we are in a villa, it's so much better Mom, thank you!”

To the point of, enough already! I'm glad you are happy, now eat your dinner!!!

The first night was interesting. As Karin (dizneat, who is there now!) had warned, the door configuration is a bit confusing. Basically part of the bathroom is actually in the master bedroom, the part with the tub and one sink and tons of storage. There is no privacy door between that and the master, although it is relatively separate, the entry is right by the door to the master itself so anyone walking into the bedroom actually sees into that part of the bath first. Then, from that part, there is a door into the rest of the bathroom, which houses the toilet, shower and another vanity. This has another entry, which is through the laundry room. What is confusing about the whole thing is that the same hall that you take to get to the master, leads to the laundry room. As a result, when you exit the bathroom it’s easy to either end up in the master bedroom, or the laundry room, and often when you mean to do the opposite.

It is also easy to get locked out. Our rule (ok the rule we tried to enforce) was to NOT lock the door between the bathroom and the master. If the door was open, the bathroom was available, closed, not. Otherwise kids would go in there via the laundry room, lock the door that led to our side and voila, locked out parents. Now for the most part it was all just humorous and a bit of walking around the long way to get in, when Jeff and I would get locked out. Once they started following our rule, we did realize there was a small issue with it. There may or may not have been an incident the first night where a child started to walk into our bedroom at an inopportune time let’s just say I was thankful that the “window” between the tub area and the bedroom (shutters that you can open) was closed and we were able to redirect said child (who never remembers his middle of the night adventures anyway) back into the right room and exit.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled update!

We'd gone to bed around 11pm I think. At 8am, I was up and ready to go. Rested and content but couldn't sleep any longer. So was Jeff. You know what that means don’t you?

Coffee on the verandah!

We LOVE this quiet time together, enjoying the outdoors, our coffee, each other and the peace and quiet of no kids. They needed to sleep in a little, it was 5am Seattle time and with the long day, some catch up was in order. As some of you know from my PTR, I had some targeted souvenir purchases. One of which was a “new” OKW logo mug. I’d seen the logo, but not the actual mug so had really hoped they actually had a mug with the new logo and that I'd like it. I had stopped into Conch Flats after our dinner at Olivia's and found it, and liked it! Was it my dream color? No but the size of it was perfect and it had these great ridges on the inside of the handle that felt so good in my hand. I'm funny about coffee cups. I choose mine very carefully each morning depending on my mood, the weather and what feels “right”. For example right now as I wrote this update I was drinking out of my Minnie diner style mug from 2004. I should have bought the full set back then as the style has changed but it has held up beautifully and I love it. I find that the typical mug in a condo, villa or resort room is too small and just doesn't feel right. To feel at home, I wanted my own mug!

First things first, I had to brew the coffee

I found it amusing that there was a “strong” setting. I worked for Starbucks for 13 years and as a result, probably know more than anyone needs or wants to about the brewing process and what it would mean for the brewer to be able to deliver either “strong” or regular. I chose “strong”. As soon as it was ready, I filled my cup and headed out to the verandah via our bedroom access door as to not wake the kids who hadn’t budged while I was brewing. In fact they looked awfully cozy!

There’s a blackmail picture for you!

Of course, I needed to document the event

And try to catch our morning view; you could actually see a bit across the canal without the afternoon glare we’d had the day before

I tried playing with photosynth, a stitching app to create panorama shots. It kind of worked.

Mostly I just enjoyed the dappled light and shade

Until I realized I was getting bitten!

The dreaded No see ums. Yep, canal + shade = bugs. I went inside and put on some of my organic decent smelling bug spray. Not nearly as effective as the stuff with Deet but I knew they wouldn't be that bad for long. Not to mention I didn't have any on me, it was on the Vero shopping list! It did the trick and I enjoyed the quiet start to the day. By 9:30 though I was getting ansty and kids were not moving. Besides, the coffee was almost gone. It was time. Time for a long standing vacation tradition. The breakfast of Champions!

When I was a child we would do this only when camping and I always looked forward to it. As an adult, it’s turned into a camping/condo vacation treat that the kids look forward to and ask about even before a trip starts. Not stuff I normally have around the house for sure.

It did inspire Kendall to get out of bed, though not until it was almost 10! I kept hearing “it's 7am at home”.

And the race was on. The race to see who gets their favorite kind before it’s down to the kind no one wants.

NO ONE was moving fast. The Olympics were on TV and between breakfast, the Olympics and putting on sunscreen somehow we didn't make out the door till almost noon. Granted, I took a shower as I figured if I didn’t keep myself busy somehow I'd get cranky but still, it was a LAZY morning. Earned I suppose but I was ready to get out the door!

Eric is the only one who looks awake!

The destination? Downtown Disney. The original plan had been to have breakfast in the villa, hit DTD, and go back to the villa for lunch. With breakfast turning into brunch neither Jeff nor I saw that happening and decided we'd have to have a late lunch at DTD instead. Which would work since dinner was in the villa that night. We didn't have to wait too long for a bus and since any bus would get us to HH, we hopped on. Our desitnation? The DVC Ferry! It is a relatively small waiting area and mostly in the sun. It was quite warm already and so we huddled a bit under the one umbrella so try and stay cool. We did have to wait about 10-15 minutes I think for the ferry as it wasn't until 12:20 that we saw this as we pulled out from the dock.

Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 09-07-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:56 PM   #258
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The first cup, con't.

Such a pretty ride!

Pretty soon we were seeing this!

This is where the OKW/SSR boat lets you off for reference, at PI.

DTD is a funny place for us.

In 1992 I went there for the first time, and spent most (if not all) of it on Pleasure Island.

1996 and 2004, didn't make it there at all.

2009 was our first “real” trip to DTD. We had lunch at HOB, hit WOD and Goofy's. That's about all we did.

2010 we'd planned to spend more time there.

1st visit, we ran late, had enough time for dinner at Raglan Road, a couple of shops and ended up at DQ for an hour since we had the water and more tickets (and it was crazy in the crowded shops and the kids begged!).

2nd visit that trip, we ran late (thanks to getting stuck at Rafiki's planet watch) and myself, Kendall and my MIL dashed off to the GF for tea after a very rushed WPE lunch and no shopping. The boys had some shopping time after we left, but not a ton and by all accounts Jeff was rushing them along though they did have fun at RideMakerz.

In 2011, on my girls trip, we made it there. Again after Raglan Road, again crazy crowded in the shops. I was coming off a red eye and WOD well...almost put me over the edge. Sensory overload that place. I found a few things I liked but didn't have the energy to actually buy.

The idea for this trip was to really take our time, go in anywhere anyone wanted and not feel rushed. Of course, due to our late arrival, hunger might interfere with that grand plan.

It was 12:40. We'd been in the World for 24 hours and were about to take our first step outside our resort. Where to first?
I don't wanna sandwich!

Last edited by eandesmom; 09-07-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:15 PM   #259
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I want to stay at OKW now.

Do me a favor... ask Eric if he thinks it's better staying in a villa than a regular hotel room? The funny part is that when I read those quotes, I could hear Alex's voice! Story of my life! The latest one has been about locks & lockers... Last week we went to his new middle school so he could walk through his schedule before school started. His case manager was explaining how things were going to work this week & every other sentence out of his mouth was about lockers & locks!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:15 PM   #260
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When we stayed at OKW for a week back in 2009, we really liked it, and I remember taking the boat from DTD to OKW. It was a pretty ride! I like how your first day was leisurely... this last trip just me and the guys, we had some time like that. And I was so glad we were at BCV to enjoy the resort for that reason. I bet you are getting excited for F & W!!!! By the time you almost finish this TR, it will be time to head back over to this coast!!!

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Old 08-28-2012, 09:20 PM   #261
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Loved this update- great start to your trip.

The pictures of your mug on the verandah ledge are things of beaty!!!

I didn't know you had worked at Starbucks. I was a Dunkin Donuts gal myself (5 years).

Who got stuck with the Sugar Pops? I'm guessing that is the dreaded leftover cereal box.

We have taken the OKW DVC boat in the opposite direction. It is such a pretty and relaxing ride! This is my family's stategy for avoiding the horrid DTD bus back to the Beach Club. We take one of the resort boats, get a bus to EPCOT and then make our way back to BC. Not quick, but a pleasant trip.

Not sure where you went first. I want to say Margaritaville, since I got grief for missing that question in your PTR, but I'm going to go with something to do with Pin Trading.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:33 PM   #262
I was stuck in that position and ... It took 4 strapping young boys to hoist me back on my feet
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that's my reaction to the child coming in at the wrong time.. I think every parent has experienced that in some form.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:37 PM   #263
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I wish I was at OKW right now. Looks fantastic.

Jill in CO
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:00 PM   #264
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New reader! Going back to read but loving the first few pages!

Coffee sounded so good to me, I'm reading, drinking coffee. And I may or may not have a doughnut too.

- Katie
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:31 PM   #265
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Ahhhh....love coffee on the verandah. And I love your OKW mug...might have to pick one of those up for myself in 18 days.

Love the breakfast routine with the cereal.

Isn't that boat ride to DTD wonderful? I fell in love with it in January (Mark and I didn't do it in September, so I can't way to share it with him).

I can't wait to hear how the shopping went and if you took your time and enjoyed it this time around.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:59 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post

Ah - I remember this spot well. Our treehouse villa was just to the left of that ferry.

What a nice peaceful morning. Well, except for the bugs.

You know what - I think that villa is WAY better than hotel room!

All the kids are going to be spoiled for life.

The 1BR at Vero is set up the same way (so is HHI, but I had that bathroom to myself) and I kept getting confused about what door to open and what door to shut.

Yeah for DTD and lunch. Such a pretty ride to get there. Love OKW.

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:41 PM   #267
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Well you have just hit one of my favourite experiences from OKW...that awesome boat ride to DTD!

And I must say I completely agree...staying in a villa at OWK really IS so much better than a regular hotel room. So cut the kid some slack...it really is something to sing from the rafters about!

1st morning and I am already getting your theme of coffee on the veranda (and completely subscribed and on board with the concept). Problem is, I don't think I did that even one of the 7 mornings we were there. We are early birds...always out the door for rope drop. And the way I roll, I always wait to get up until the very last possible minute possible in order to still get out the door on time. Never any time for lingering over coffee (or even making coffee) in the room in the mornings. Maybe I should re-think that...you are definitely convincing...
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:47 PM   #268
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Just jumped on board and I am loving your TR so far - especially how detailed you are! And, I have to say, I've always brushed OKW off but you have me reconsidering
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:19 AM   #269
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Great update! I hate the bathroom layout of most of the DVC resorts! One of the first things I do when we check in to a villa is to make sure the door locks work! So many times they don't!!
We have never stayed at OKW (well, once in a studio for a night), and it looks sooooo much like Vero! Are those hardwood floors in the living room??
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:44 AM   #270
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Oh man, I miss OKW! I stayed there in June of 2011 and LOVED IT!!! I could go for a Turtle Krawl right now! Or even a Sultry Seahorse, I'm not picky!! How can anyone not be relaxed there? Is it even possible? That was my most relaxed trip of all time, hands down, and I give credit to OKW. The buses were confusing. I don't even remember where mine was but eventually I kinda figured it out. Key word: kinda. My only regret would not be trying Olivia's. It's so easy to be on the DDP and just book all sorts of popular ADR's and forget about the ones right at your resort. Guess I'll have to make a trip back!!

What kind of coffee maker do you use at home? My boyfriend's mom gave us a fancy-ish one with a built-in grinder and I LOVE it more than words can say. (Sorry to my own mother who gave me a Keurig that very same Christmas. In the end, taste beat ease and the Keurig got evicted.) I don't feel like I'm a very good coffee maker though. I think I'm bad at coffee/creamer/sweetner ratios and I don't like it black. But I think I get scared of black and then add too much other crap. But I still love coffee!!

Your post was cracking me up between "pretending to keep an eye on the kids in the pool" to confusing floor plans leading to kids sleepily intruding at inopportune times. At least he forgets!
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