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Old 09-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #61
CAStevens218
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...continued from previous post...

We made our way out of the theater, and saw on the Mobile Magic app that Mulch, Sweat and Shears was performing on the Streets of America at 6:30PM, so we made our way over there.

On the way, we stopped at the pin station near the fountain and traded at a HUGE pin board they had out. We really like trading from pin boards…so much to choose from!

As we continued on, we ran into the Hollywood Public Works guys putting a show, so we stopped to watch.

In the skit they were doing, the one guy had his hand stuck in the mailbox and couldn’t get it out.



We always really enjoy these shows. The best part of this one for me was that a tour group came by chanting loudly, and the performers started yelling at them that they were trying to put on a show, and even mocked their chants a little bit. It was all in good fun and cracked me up! Plus, the tour groups are so oblivious to what is going on around them that they had no idea!



Success!!





We continued on our way, stopping for some pictures in front of the giant hat.



After this photo I realized that my shirt was NOT flattering, and had Ben tie a knot in the back for me so that it wouldn’t be so loose!



We made our way to the Streets of America just in time for the Mulch, Sweat and Shears performance. We found a great spot to sit on the curb and watch the show.





I guess I was too absorbed in the show to take many pictures, because that’s all I have! These guys are great and so much fun to watch! They also play great music, which is a plus!

Our next stop was dinner. We were excited for this one…we had an ADR at Sci-Fi!



We checked in at 6:55 for our 7:15 ADR, and were told that we probably wouldn’t be seated until 7:15 anyway. That was okay with us, and we found a spot to sit and relax just outside the door.

A few minutes later a seat became available inside in the air conditioning, so we moved in there. That is when I realized it. I didn’t have my camera! Ben didn’t have my camera! Oh noooo!!!!!

Ben went back outside to check where we had been sitting, but it wasn’t there. He went up to the desk to ask if anyone had turned it in, and, thankfully, someone had just given it to them! They asked us to describe the camera and we got it right, so they brought it out to us.

We are SO thankful to whoever turned that camera in! We asked the manager if the person was still around but he didn’t see her anywhere, so we didn’t get to thank her.

Thankfully, that was my last episode of stupidity and absentmindedness, so I didn’t lose anything else during the trip!!!!!

Moving on, we were called for dinner around 7:20PM and were hitchhikers in the back of another family’s car.







Our waitress came quickly and we each ordered milkshakes for our dining plan drinks. I got chocolate and Ben got Oreo. For dinner, I got the picnic burger, which is a cheeseburger with a hotdog on top, and Ben got a regular cheeseburger.

Picnic Burger:


This is when the issues started. Our food came and my burger had no cheese, no lettuce, no tomato, and no condiments, even though I had made sure to specify that this was what I wanted (it doesn’t normally come that way, so I had specifically asked for it instead of the way it normally comes). I waited a few minutes before I started eating, but our waitress was nowhere to be seen.

I decided to just deal with it, and I put some ketchup on and started eating.

This had to have been the driest burger I have EVER been served! It had a great charbroiled taste, but it was just so dry it was not enjoyable at all. Ben felt the same about his.

THEN, the part that really got to me.

Ben is a fast eater, and almost always finishes before me, and that meal was no different. He had finished, but I wasn’t even halfway through my meal. We were talking and enjoying the movie clips while I worked on my food.

Our waitress finally appeared and took Ben’s plate. Seconds later, she returned with his dessert. Now, it is bad enough etiquette to clear his plate before I finished, but to also bring out his dessert????? I was shocked!

THEN, she comes back…with MY dessert, and shoves it into the one empty little spot on the table. The tables in those cars are NOT large, and there was barely enough room for everything! She walked away quickly without saying anything to us.

I just found this to be so incredibly rude. I was too shocked to say anything, because I knew it wouldn’t come out politely. I know they want to turn over tables quickly, but making me feel rushed is not going to help your situation. I kept my mouth shut and we tried to rearrange so I could finish eating without putting my elbow in my dessert accidentally.

The good news is that the dessert was good! Ben got the chocolate peanut butter cake, which he loved, and I ordered the red velvet cheesecake.



I don’t think we will be back to Sci-Fi on future trips between the bad burgers and bad service. This is one of the few times in my life I haven’t left at least a 15% tip…but I left a note explaining why because I believe she deserved to know.

By the time we walked out I was starting to laugh it off. I refused to let a rude waitress ruin my evening!

As we walked back across the park, we saw Mulch, Sweat and Shears performing again under the hat. We always really enjoy them, as we had before dinner, so we stopped to watch what was left of their performance.



We saw a couple of very entertaining guests during this performance. There was the cutest dancing little boy! He was really into it and having a great time!

There was also a dancing mom, and her daughters we SO embarrassed! They kept trying to stop her but she was having a great time and wasn’t having it!!

I took the time to admire the scenery as we made our way to our next destination after the performance was over.







I love the twinkling lights in the trees!



We spent some time checking out One Man’s Dream next. This was our first time in this exhibit, and we both really enjoyed it! I loved all the models and artifacts to look at in there!

Our next destination was Tower of Terror with our fastpasses, but it wasn’t quite time yet so we stopped in the villains shop to check out the Vinylmations.

The robot series was buy one get one 70% off, so we each got one. We sat on a bench outside the store to check them out. Those are a lot of fun because you can take them apart and mix and match the parts!

Finally, it was Tower of Terror time!!!!



Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE this ride!?! I LOVE IT! Everything about it! The details in the queue, the story, the ride itself!





We got through the line really quickly and enjoyed our ride! I love the view during a night time ride on Tower of Terror!!!

Our original plan for the evening was to ride Tower of Terror standby a few more times and then jump in line for Toy Story just before the park closed at 10:00PM. However, we had had a very busy day and we were exhausted, so we decided not to push it. We called it a night and headed out of the park to our car.

We were able to walk right onto a tram that took us to our car, and were in or room by 10:00PM.

We were asleep by 11:00. It was important to get some good rest because the next day was going to be an adventure for us!!!
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November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:27 PM   #62
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POR is such a gorgeous resort!

You saw Max??? I am soooo jealous! Andrew and I would go nuts to see him in the parks. You must fill me in on this character excitement. I've never really read up on it. It's a Fantasmic night thing or what? That's awesome!!

The Public Works guys are too funny! Hilarious about the tour group, too! I would've loved to see that one!

Too bad about Sci-Fi! We LOVE that place!! The service has never been amazing or anything, but I've never had anyone like that! I wish you could've had a better time. I think it's so much fun.

NO comment on the scary elevator ride..
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc040404 View Post
POR is such a gorgeous resort!

You saw Max??? I am soooo jealous! Andrew and I would go nuts to see him in the parks. You must fill me in on this character excitement. I've never really read up on it. It's a Fantasmic night thing or what? That's awesome!!

The Public Works guys are too funny! Hilarious about the tour group, too! I would've loved to see that one!

Too bad about Sci-Fi! We LOVE that place!! The service has never been amazing or anything, but I've never had anyone like that! I wish you could've had a better time. I think it's so much fun.

NO comment on the scary elevator ride..
You HAVE to check out the Animation Building characters! If you search "characterpalooza" on here, there are posts with exactly how it works and the timing based on when the first showing of Fantasmic is.

Ben always loves to stop every time we see a street performance!

We loved Sci-Fi on our first trip, it just didn't do it for us this time around, unfortunately. Definitely a lot to do with feeling super rushed, and the food not being great. We still love the atmosphere, the movie clips and eating in the cars though! I would still definitely recommend this place to someone else, because it IS fun!

LOVE Tower of Terror!! I'm anxiously waiting for Andrew to try Space Mountain in your trip report!!!!
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~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #64
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So, I finally got my professional wedding pictures in the mail on Tuesday! I promised to share them on here, so here is a sample!









































It was such an amazing, fun day!! I really love our photos…I can’t wait to get prints!!

Don't miss the trip report updates after this post!!
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~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #65
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***DON’T MISS THE BONUS PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTO POST BEFORE THIS ONE!!***

__________________________________________________ ________________________

We were very excited for our upcoming day, because we were doing something we had never done before! I was up at 7:00AM to get ready to make the 2 hour drive to Clearwater Beach!!!!

I wasn’t in too much of a rush, so I got up quietly and started to get ready. Luckily, Ben was excited too, so he was up by 7:30AM. We left the room a little before 8:00AM and drove the car around to the parking lot near the mean building of POR. We had a couple of missions to take care of inside before we hit the road.

First, we needed to visit Fulton’s General Store to pick up a box of bandaids. Ben’s sandals had been rubbing the tops of his feet a little bit, so he wanted to get something to stop it before it got worse. We were a little early for it to be open, so we sat on a bench right outside the store to wait for a few minutes.



They were very punctual and opened at 8:00AM on the dot. We were in and out very quickly with a box of bandaids, and we made our way to our next destination…breakfast!

We wouldn’t usually use a dining plan credit on breakfast, but we had calculated it out and since we had a few meals off property planned, we had some extra quick service.

I chose the omelet station, where I chose cheddar cheese, sausage, peppers and tomatoes to go into my omelet. This meal also came with potatoes.

I forgot to take a picture before I started eating, but here is what was left once I remembered:



This was good, but a little bland. Nothing some ketchup couldn’t fix!

Ben chose the bounty platter for his breakfast, which I guess I didn’t take a picture of. It was the same as what you see everywhere. He enjoyed it and ate every bite.

I also have to mention how much I love the iced tea at Disney hotels! I specifically wrote in my trip journal “<3 iced tea”, so I must have really been feeling it that morning! I’m a huge unsweetened iced tea fan, and that stuff is AMAZING! I also love the sweetened white tea in those machines!

We found a nice little table near the watermill and enjoyed the scenery while we ate.

We didn’t enjoy the scenery for too long though…we were ready to get on the road! We were in the car by about 8:30AM and easily made the drive to Clearwater. It was fun to be off property and to see things we had never seen before.







We had three very specific missions for this day. The first one was something that gave me a tiny panic attack just thinking about it….parasailing! Ben really wanted to do it, and we figured the scenery would be amazing in Clearwater, so we wanted to do it there instead of at Disney.

I had researched our options prior to the trip and decided on the Sky Screamer company. I called them on the way and was able to make a reservation for their 11:30AM trip. This worked out great because it could be the first thing we did when we got there.

The drive was simple and straightforward…until we got to the beach! I hadn’t been able to find any information about where to park on the internet, so we figured it would be pretty straight forward and easy to find.

When we got to the main street that runs along the beach, we took a shot in the dark and turned right. There was some on street parking with coin meters over there, but none of the large beach parking lots I was expecting. I had heard from a friend that there should be lots like this with credit card meters, and I was determined to find one! We turned around and headed in the other directions. BINGO! We came almost immediately to one of the parking lots I was looking for. Unfortunately, the sign at the entrance said it was full.

This made me a little nervous. Would we be able to find parking? Were we going to spend hours driving around trying to figure out where to park? My fears were eased soon enough when we came to another parking lot just down the street. We turned in and found hundreds of spots to choose from.

Basically what happens is, you pick a spot and go up to one of the “meter” machines that are placed throughout the lot. You can choose an hourly rate or a daily rate. The daily rate was $16, and since we weren’t sure how long we would stay, we decided to just pay the daily rate so we wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Now, we had to find the parasailing place! We had actually passed it on our drive, so we just had to find out way back. It was actually very simple, we pretty much walked straight and then turned left and walked for 10 minutes.

We made a little pit stop along the way…Ben wanted to find a bathroom, and none of the restaurants or shops we were passing had public ones. Soon, we came upon the Hyatt, which was huge and gorgeous. I figured nobody would notice us walking in and that we would be able to find a restroom in the lobby easily, so we headed inside. Of course, three employees greeted us as soon as we walked in! So much for not being noticed!

We didn’t see a restroom immediately in the lobby, so we headed toward the elevator, figuring there had to be one somewhere and we could check out the hotel while we looked! Just our luck, an employee joined us in the elevator and started asking us about our stay and what we were up to for the day! We basically made up a life story and told him we were going to spend some pool time…hitting the elevator button for the pool while we were at it.

We managed to get through the elevator ride without being escorted out of the hotel, so we got out and followed the signs to the pool. We opened the doors to the pool deck and…Oh. My. Goodness. It is sooo gorgeous up there! The pool deck has a view of the beach, and tons of comfy seating.

Thankfully…it also has bathrooms! I enjoyed looking around while I waited for Ben. We decided not to push our luck, and left immediately. As we made our way out, we decided that our next trip to Florida was going to include a stay at the Hyatt in Clearwater! In fact, we are planning our 2 year anniversary trip to be a stay in Clearwater with side trips to Busch Gardens and maybe a few days at Disney World. We can’t wait!!!!

Check out the gorgeous view while we waited for the elevator:



Sigh. Paradise.

We got to ride the elevator all alone this time, so we didn’t have to tell our fake story again!!! Back out on the street, we continued on toward the parasailing place.



We found it easily, and checked in. We had to sign a waiver and pay. We chose to do the 800ft of rope, which is the most you can do. We figured if we were going to do it, and we were probably only going to do it this one time, we should go for it all the way! The cost was $170 total for the two of us.

We were a little early, so we had about 20 minutes to kill before out boat went out. We decided not to go far and just check out the dock area. This company also runs the Sea Screamer boat ride, which look like a lot of fun. We plan to check it out next time. You can see the boat a little bit on the left side of this next picture.



Here we are waiting to go…scared but excited!



They called us to board the boat right on time at 11:30AM. We were joined by 9 other guests, the driver and the deckhand. As we got going, we got a quick safety speech that basically went like this. “If the boat breaks down, don’t worry, you still have the parachute, so you will just float down into the water. You are wearing a life jacket so don’t worry, you’ll just float there until we come pick you up.” Comforting.

We enjoyed the view during the quick 5 minute boat ride out of the harbor area.



The deckhand told us what order we would be going in based on where we were sitting on the boat. He chose the order based on how we would rotate around to make it easy to get into the harness and strapped in.



Ben and I would be 2nd, which was perfect…we would get to watch one flight, but we wouldn’t have to wait for very long!

A party of three went first. It was great to be able to see exactly what they had to do before it was our turn.

Here you can see the deckhand getting them all set up, the three guys who were going up, and the parachute behind them.



Before long, it was our turn! Yikes!! I had handed the camera to another woman on the boat and asked her to take pictures. I told her I knew it was bumpy and difficult, so no pressure. The deckhand had been snapping pictures for the previous group, but he is obviously working too so I knew the other guest would be able to take more photos, especially while we were closer to the boat during the time the deckhand was doing his thing to get us going.

We had put out harnesses on while the other group was in the air, so when they came down they were unhooked and we stepped onto the back of the boat. We had to hold onto the bar over our heads and the deckhand hook us in.



Next, we had to sit down on the back of the boat.





Then, the driver speeds up, and up you gooooo!!!!







It is definitely a weird feeling to suddenly be airborne like that! I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not, but it was pretty neat!





I was holding on pretty tight!!!!!!!!



Once we got up really high, the ride turned very mellow. It is so quiet up there! We were pretty much just floating along! It was a rough day out there, so there we occasional bumps, but it was a pretty smooth ride.

I eventually worked up the courage to look around, and the view was amazing!! The water looked gorgeous down below, and the beach and buildings were visible just over our shoulders.



The next part was a lot of fun. They dipped us in the water!



The water was SO warm! When we felt that, we couldn’t wait to get to the beach!!!!!!

...continued in next post...
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:25 PM   #66
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...continued from previous post...

Here we are coming in for a landing:



This part was really easy, they bring you down very gently and you basically just land on your feet on the back of the boat. The deckhand is there to facilitate everything and he tells you when to grab onto the bar above your head.







We survived!!!!!!

We are really happy that we did it, it was a ton of fun and a great view! However, it is definitely not something I ever need to do again! Once is enough for me!

The next group to go was a dad and his little five year old daughter. They weren’t heavy enough so they had to add someone else from our boat to go with them, so she went with them and then again with the friend she was actually with.

The little girl was absolutely adorable and super excited during the whole boat ride. They all got strapped in and were ready to go. When they started to take off, she started to cry! We all felt so terrible! How awful if that little girl was so scared she just sobbed for 10 minutes up in the air!?!

Thankfully, that only lasted for a few seconds before she realized how much fun she was having and started laughing instead! I was so thankful for that and I’m sure her dad was too!

Look how tiny she is!



There were still a couple of rides to go after that group, so we settled in and enjoyed watching. The crew was definitely keeping an eye on the storm clouds that you can see moving in if you look at the pictures of Ben and I in the air. Half of the sky is perfectly blue and the other half is full of scary clouds!

A little boy who was just along for the ride with his sister and her friend started to feel sick, and the deckhand was great about teaching him how to keep his eye on the horizon to help with the motion sickness. The deckhand mentioned how it was rougher than usual out there that day, so he knew someone would feel sick eventually!

Despite the impending storm, everyone on our boat was able to get their rides in. When we got back to the dock, we gave the crew a tip and made our way off the boat. The second we stepped foot on land, the clouds opened up and it started to pour!

We decided we didn’t really have much of a choice since we were completely out in the open with nowhere to go, so we just kept walking toward the car. We were able to stay relatively dry under the overhand from the buildings, so things weren’t too bad!

We eventually made it back to the Hyatt, which had a large overhand we could stand under, so we decided to wait it out there.



Its raining, its pouring…



The rain lightened up pretty quickly, so continued on our way toward the car. We stopped in a shop to buy beach towels along the way, since we hadn’t packed any to bring with us. We found really cute striped ones that say Clearwater Beach on them, they make great souvenirs!

It was still a bit cloudy and wet outside, so we decided to get lunch while we waited for the beach weather to return. One of my best friends used to date a guy from Tampa, so she would spend a lot of time at Clearwater Beach when she visited him. She told us about a restaurant named Frenchy’s that had a bunch of locations around Clearwater. There happened to be one right across the street from the parking lot, Frenchy’s South Beach Grill, so we headed in there.



We were seated immediately at a great little table near a window and near the bar.

Check out the cute bar stools!



We ordered some cheese quesadillas as an appetizer, and they came out quickly. We were starving, so we had devoured almost everything before I took a picture. You can see the plate they came on in the center, and there were four pieces like the one you see on my plate.



The quesadilla were hot and delicious!

For lunch, we decided to share two entrees. We ordered a grouper sandwich, which I had been told were amazing, and chicken alfredo.

The chicken alfredo came with a salad, which came out first. This was really tasty!



The food came out soon after.

Grouper sandwich:



Chicken alfredo:



The grouper sandwich was so so soooooo good! It was crispy and fried to perfection without being greasy. The sauce on it was sooo yummy!

The chicken alfredo was pretty good as well. The chicken was a little dry but the pasta and sauce were good.

The star here was definitely the grouper sandwich!!!!!

One of the waitresses stopped to chat with us and ended up telling us all about Busch Gardens and the water park they have (Adventure Island?). We can’t wait to visit one day!

The servers were wearing cute tshirts, so I asked I they had any for sale. They did, so I left with a happy tummy and new tshirt as a souvenir!

We headed back outside and were greeted by clearing skies and perfect beach weather. We were ready to hit the water!



We walked across the street to drop my new tshirt off in the car and to grab everything we needed to the beach (which wasn’t much because we hadn’t really packed any beach supplies). We had some drinks, our towels and sunscreen, and we were on our way!

We walked about 5 minutes down the beach to a little shop that is set up there to find out what we had to do to rent the chairs and umbrellas we saw on the beach. The woman at the store informed us that all we had to do was sit down and someone would come by to collect our money. I had experienced that in Greece, but never in the US! So convenient, I love it!

We found chairs back toward the car, put our stuff down and headed for the water! We ran right in, and it was warm and perfect!



We went out just a little way to where the water was about shoulder height and the waves were perfectly sized for us to just float right over them. We spent a good hour or so just playing in the waves and enjoying the perfect water.



We eventually went back to our seats for a drink and a little break. We relaxed in our chairs, and spent about a half hour lounging and napping. Paradise. Seriously. Paradise.





The money collectors came around and it cost us $12 for the two chairs and umbrella until 5:00PM. I was curious about what happened after 5:00PM, and when the time came we saw them coming around and starting to collect the umbrellas and chairs and loading them on to a truck. I guess they must take them in every night?



The seagulls there are so different from what we have up here in New England!





At this point, a woman came from a chair nearby with a bag of McDonald’s garbage. She made her way over to the garbage can, but instead of throwing it away, she started feeding leftover french fries to the birds! Suddenly, there were about 50 seagulls about 10 feet away from our chairs. Ugh…stupidity!!!!

At this same time, a family of about 20 had moved into the two chairs and umbrella next to us. Yes…literally 20 people were crowded into this tiny little area. And they were LOUD!

We took these two events as our cue to take one last dip in the ocean and make our way out. It was about 4:30PM, and we enjoyed ourselves in the ocean until about 5:00PM.

We knew we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us, so we reluctantly packed up our stuff and made our way to the car. We found an outdoor shower to get the salt and sand off, so we took advantage of that!

With one last glimpse of the beautiful water, we headed on our way.



I seriously can’t wait to return to Clearwater! We want to do a beach vacation with Busch Gardens and a day or two at Disney. There seem to be a ton of great beaches to explore in the area, so we are excited at the idea!!!

...continued in next post...
__________________
~**~**Christin**~**~

November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #67
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...continued from previous post...

As we were heading out of Clearwater, I spotted a Dairy Queen, so we decided to stop for some ice cream before we really hit the road.

I love DQ soft serve!! With sprinkles of course!



We enjoyed the sights during the easy ride home, and were back at Port Orleans Riverside before we knew it!







When we got back to the hotel, we decided to jump into the quiet pool near our room for a few minutes. The water was sooo warm and we spent about 10 minutes relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet.

Soon, our stomachs started talking, so we got out, showered and were ready to head to our dinner destination by 8:30PM.



Where were we going? Downtown Disney!!

We made our way to the dock area so we could try out the boat to Downtown Disney from the hotel.



POR is pretty at night too!



They play a movie outside every night, and they set up the screen in the mansions section. We noticed it from across the river.



Unfortunately, we didn’t love the boat as a mode of transportation to Downtown Disney. It took soooo long! First, we had to wait 15 minutes for a boat, and then, it took about 30 minutes to get to Downtown Disney! We would be taking the car from now on!



The ride was very pretty though!! If we weren’t starving we might have enjoyed it more. We had also already gotten pretty spoiled by the ease of traveling around Disney in our rental car.

Approaching French Quarter:



Approaching Downtown:





Our dinner destination was Wolfgang Puck Express, which we were excited to try for the first time!



We got in line and examined the menu…even though I already knew what I wanted! We made the decision to share, since we had big dessert plans for later!

We chose the four cheese pesto pizza (well, I chose it, months before!!!). We ordered, got our table number, and found a nice table outside. It was the perfect night to enjoy dinner outside!



View from our table…obviously it wasn’t super crowded at this time of night!



Our pizza came out quickly, and boyyyyy was it good!



Well, I thought it was good. In fact, I thought it was amazing! Ben wasn’t a fan though. He has simpler tastes and would have preferred a plain cheese pizza.

We saved the cookie we got for dessert for a later time. It was good when we ate it!



We ate pretty quickly and strolled around for a bit until we were ready for dessert. Our destination was Ghiradelli’s for some ice cream, and we were excited!!

This place was VERY busy! We got in the crazy line and ordered two sundaes. I wrote down that I got the “espresso sundae”, with coffee ice cream, and that Ben got peanut butter chocolate.

We went outside to find a table. It was very crowded here, but we saw some people leaving so we scored their table.



They give you a number and deliver your ice cream to your table, just like at Wolfgang Puck Express. It took a few minutes, but it looked amazing when it came!



Unfortunately, it looked better than it tasted. I thought the chocolate syrup was a little too cold and hard and the ice cream just wasn’t that great. Maybe I’m spoiled by the amazing ice cream places we have around here where they make their own ice cream…but I was a bit disappointed.

Oh well, we were glad to say we tried it!

After our dessert we walked around for just a little while so we could digest for a bit. We stopped to watch a band that was playing for a few minutes.

Soon, we decided we were exhausted, so we headed back to the boat dock. We had to wait in line for a little while and got on the second boat that came.

We got back to POR at about 11:00PM and strolled back to our room, enjoying the beautiful night and beautiful scenery.



We went straight to bed when we got to the room. We needed to be well rested for another big day!
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Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #68
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[B][FONT="Arial Black"][COLOR="Blue"]



Thanks for reading along again!!

How is your half marathon training going?



hi! I never answered you on this - I am training ok, but my long runs are only up to 6 miles so far! So I get pretty discouraged on how I'll be able to finish 13!
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #69
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We went parasailing in Ft. Lauderdale once. It was fun, but I agree with you that it's not something I need to do again! Great update. I LOVE the professional pics - especially the B&W one of the two of you and the beluga!
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:10 PM   #70
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Just spent a good portion of my evening reading your TR so far. I LOVE that you guys are taking it slow. It's exactly what I want to do on our trip in November, although it will be much shorter than yours was.

We spent our honeymoon at PO-French Quarter.

Parasailing!!! I always said that I would do it once I lost a significant amount of weight but then I saw something on TV about an accident that happened with a parasail and I changed my mind. I'm such a chicken!

Your meal at Narcoossee's looks amazing. It's on my list of places to try and we never do. I need to get there sooner or later!

Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #71
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I think you are very brave to try parasailing! I don't like heights, so I would have been crying worse that the 5 year old girl!

I do LOVE the tampa/clearwater area. The gulf coast beaches are just so beautiful! There is a possibility that we might be moving down there when DH gets out of the military and I'm really crossing my fingers. I'd love to live in Florida again, especially in such a nice area!

I think you guys made a great choice at WPE, the cheese pesto pizza is my favorite too!
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:45 PM   #72
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The Hyatt story is awesome! Hope you had fun hanging out by the pool. Loved that!

I've been waiting to see how your beach day went. You guys are both too crazy. I can't imagine parasailing! I bet the view was incredible up there though! Glad you had fun!!

In the near twelve years I've lived here, I have never been to Clearwater Beach! I've always heard how crowded it is, but this day doesn't look bad at all. I have a feeling we'll stick to our usual spots, but it was fun seeing this through your pictures. Fun day!

Love the professional pics, too!
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #73
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hi! I never answered you on this - I am training ok, but my long runs are only up to 6 miles so far! So I get pretty discouraged on how I'll be able to finish 13!
You’ve got some time! You don’t have to train the full 13...10 or so should do it! If you can do that you can finish the 13 with all the adrenaline and excitement to keep you going!

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Originally Posted by 729tink View Post
We went parasailing in Ft. Lauderdale once. It was fun, but I agree with you that it's not something I need to do again! Great update. I LOVE the professional pics - especially the B&W one of the two of you and the beluga!

Parasailing was definitely fun, and I’m glad I checked it off my list.

Thanks, we love how our pictures came out as well! Now to choose what prints we want!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyCrafter View Post
Just spent a good portion of my evening reading your TR so far. I LOVE that you guys are taking it slow. It's exactly what I want to do on our trip in November, although it will be much shorter than yours was.

We spent our honeymoon at PO-French Quarter.

Parasailing!!! I always said that I would do it once I lost a significant amount of weight but then I saw something on TV about an accident that happened with a parasail and I changed my mind. I'm such a chicken!

Your meal at Narcoossee's looks amazing. It's on my list of places to try and we never do. I need to get there sooner or later!

Looking forward to reading more!
Thanks for reading!!!!

Taking it slow was a great change from our usual touring style…I don’t think I could go back to touring from open to close now!!

Port Orleans was a great place for our honeymoon…so pretty!!!

Parasailing was a lot of fun and I’m really glad we did it. It is one of those things where you just have to do it and not think about it! I did read about a bad accident shortly after we got home though (not in Clearwater, somewhere on the Atlantic coast), so I’m glad I have it out of the way!!

Narcoosee’s was fabulous…I highly recommend making room for it on your ADR list!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CandleontheWater View Post
I think you are very brave to try parasailing! I don't like heights, so I would have been crying worse that the 5 year old girl!

I do LOVE the tampa/clearwater area. The gulf coast beaches are just so beautiful! There is a possibility that we might be moving down there when DH gets out of the military and I'm really crossing my fingers. I'd love to live in Florida again, especially in such a nice area!

I think you guys made a great choice at WPE, the cheese pesto pizza is my favorite too!
I’m really bad with heights as well! My strategy is just do it right away before I can think about it…that’s why we went straight there when we go to Clearwater! That’s how I got myself to do Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach as well…we went there the second we walked into the park on our last trip!

Clearwater Beach was gorgeous…I could totally picture myself being happy there, what an amazing area to live in! We will definitely be back!

Yummm, that pizza was so good! Next time we will have to get individual meals so Ben can be happy with his as well!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jc040404 View Post
The Hyatt story is awesome! Hope you had fun hanging out by the pool. Loved that!

I've been waiting to see how your beach day went. You guys are both too crazy. I can't imagine parasailing! I bet the view was incredible up there though! Glad you had fun!!

In the near twelve years I've lived here, I have never been to Clearwater Beach! I've always heard how crowded it is, but this day doesn't look bad at all. I have a feeling we'll stick to our usual spots, but it was fun seeing this through your pictures. Fun day!

Love the professional pics, too!
HAHA, I was sooo nervous we would get kicked out! Really though it worked out for them because we fully intend to stay there some day!

The view while parasailing was amazing…when I could make myself look!! I was pretty nervous the whole time! Glad we did it, but won’t do it again!!!

We really like Clearwater Beach. It wasn’t very crowded at all, the water was great, and we found great food! This was a Wednesday, so that probably helped us out crowd-wise. Part of what I’m really excited about with our future plans to vacation in that area is the opportunity to check out other nearby places like St Pete Beach and all those island beaches!

Thanks, we are so happy with how the pictures came out!!!
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November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:37 PM   #74
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Great update and pics.

Sorry you didn't like the boat ride, it is the main reason I stay there. I find it so relaxing.

Ghiradelli's I have not beent o since 2007 and maybe now I won't go. I do like Beaches & Cream.

Looking forward to more.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:23 AM   #75
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Great update and pics.

Sorry you didn't like the boat ride, it is the main reason I stay there. I find it so relaxing.

Ghiradelli's I have not beent o since 2007 and maybe now I won't go. I do like Beaches & Cream.

Looking forward to more.
The boat ride was definitely nice and relaxing...just not when I wanted to get somwhere quickly!!

Ghiradelli's might be something I might give another shot to...maybe for a regular cone instead of a sundae. Can you believe we stayed at the Beach Club and never tried Beaches and Cream?!?
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November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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