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Old 08-16-2012, 10:15 PM   #106
Cafeen
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Chapter 7 -Waltzing around the Wilds

Chapter 7

Waltzing around the Wilds


So, after the previous night's debacle of the MNSSHP, I was up relatively early on Wednesday morning. My fever seemed to have broken and I was feeling a bit better. Still super stuffy and pretty icky, but no longer running water off my forehead like a faucet.

The Plan? AK in the morning and afternoon, broken up by lunch as Sanaa, followed by Dinner at Flying Fish, followed by Epcot PM EMH.

To be honest, I have no idea what time I got out and running, but I know it was a bit later than I had wanted to. I pretty much just tooled around the Oasis and Discovery Island for the morning. I don't think I even made it back to the safari!

My camera WAS out though for this portion.

I'll need to redo this picture. It's the only one I have of the tree of life and it's pretty boring.


The rest of these were taken while waltzing around the area






This is one of my favorite pictures that I've taken overall. A canvas print of it is hanging on my cube wall right now. I think it's the bright blue in the background contrasting with the bring pink of the flower thingies that really makes it stand out to me.




For those keeping track at home... all six of those shots were taken in a row, with no deletions in between! (I know, I said I wouldn't be doing that anymore, but this subchapter needs words, and that was a whole series of shots taken without break!

So, after waltzing around that area, I headed off to one of my favorite areas of the park. The blue square behind the store in Dinoland. Now, Dinoland isn't really one of my favorite areas, but it's one of 3 blue squares in the park (not counting conservation station area). I also don't mind Dinoland like others do. It serves it's purpose and makes sense with the backstory. Now, perhaps Disney could have done the backstory here different, but the gaudiness fits with what they decided was the story of the area.

It's also relatively pretty if you know where to look...
























After exploring Dinoland, it was almost time for lunch, and lunch was something special today. I was off to AKV for the Untamed Lunch (Dine with an Animal Specialist) at Sanaa. I had been looking forward to this meal since it was announced. I also knew that fellow DISer Simba's Mom would be there, so there was that.
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #107
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Good to hear that you were feeling better even if you were still all stuffy. Why the heck are you apologizing for posting so many pictures in a row? The pictures are fantastic as always!

We've always enjoyed Dinoland even if it is gaudy and usually pretty busy. Like you said, the theming goes along with the storyline they created.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:50 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Good to hear that you were feeling better even if you were still all stuffy. Why the heck are you apologizing for posting so many pictures in a row? The pictures are fantastic as always!

We've always enjoyed Dinoland even if it is gaudy and usually pretty busy. Like you said, the theming goes along with the storyline they created.
See, I'm apologizing because I've seen these pictures tons of times and I figure, since I have, everyone else has too . Yup, I R SMART!

Ahem, at anyway, thanks for the complements as always.

Dinoland is weird. It doesn't fit in when compared to other lands, I totally agree with that. It's one of a very few piece of "cartoony" lands that Disney has made, and the other ones (Toontown in DLR and Toontown Fair in WDW) were both made to make you feel like you are actually in a cartoon. There's just something about this land though that works, again, especially if you know the story of it. In fact, when I visualize Chester and Hester, I do see people done up in Pixarish animation rather than actual people. They should push that, and give me credit and money for it. (Crap, now that I said it, it won't ever happen ). They do need to make the story a bit more obvious though, I think that'd go a long way to more people enjoying this corner...which would make it busier...

Strike that.
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:21 AM   #109
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Chapter 7 - An Untamed Lunch

An Untamed Lunch


So, we left off with me heading on over to AKV for lunch. And that's just what I did. I was a bit early, so I walked around the grounds for a few minutes before I checked in for the lunch.




Yup, I wasn't THAT early, and this was likely from a "blue square" break before I went inside the resort (there are only 18 pictures in this segment, so I can use smileys a bit).

I checked in for my lunch and got my sticky name tag and then waited. I don't know how long I waited, as I didn't pay attention, but it was only 10-15 minutes since I checked in about 10-15 minutes before lunch time.

Now, I just realized that I didn't really explain much about this lunch, so I'm going to do just that now. Back when the plans for this trip were coming together, Burnt Toast over on the dining boards (he's a CM over at AKV) announced that Sanaa was doing a new special lunch. It was like the "Dine with an Imagineer" series, but instead, it was with the Animal Caretakers from AK and AKL. I jumped on this chance and booked it as soon as I could. Of course, by "booking" I mean I had him add it to his spreadsheet. It wasn't even in the system yet.

So, I went ahead and booked this special meal. I later called them and asked about the menu (you know, because I'm picky) and asked if I could get beef as a substitute. They said that shouldn't be a problem and just to ask. So, all was set. I also knew that Simba's Mom from these boards would be there (since she was also as excited as I was for it).

So, we were guided to our table, set off from the main dining room a bit with a great view of the animals. Sitting at the table were TWO CMs from AKL. Yup, we were special and got two CMs! Really because one was training the other for the lunch, but it was still special for me .

So I took my seat, slightly away from anyone else (remember, I was sniffly and congested, I didn't want to get anyone else sick) and we waited for a bit. The count was currently 4: Simba's Mom, an older couple, and myself. They had booked 11 originally for the 12 person maximum meal, and then the older couple got squeezed in as they were celebrating an anniversary and the CMs gave them some pixie dust. So it was to be a 13 on 2 meal.

It wasn't. The other 9 people didn't show up. So it was just us 4!

The meal was wonderful. The breads, the salads, the desserts. Everything. The main CM (I probably should have written down names...remind me to do that this year) was actually one of the lead designers and was the lead caretaker of all the AKL savannas. He was THE man who laid out how the animals were to be selected and all that. The other CM was one of his caretakers at the AKL savannas, and she was just as interesting. The entire lunch was super informative, interesting, and very tasty (I think, my sense of taste was a bit dulled at this point).

Now, you may notice that I didn't mention how good the entrees were... that's because I don't know. They brought out the shrimp and chicken things and I just flat out didn't eat them. They offered to bring me something else, but by this time, I was already filling up and declined. They offered again (and again), but I wasn't about to make them go out of their way, plus I wasn't all that hungry. The servers were VERY nice and willing to go that extra mile. Always a plus. Anyway, we soon finished the meal after about an hour and a half, and then walked outside behind the restaurant for some one on one time with the tortoise.


The caretakers went through a bit on how they take care of him and all that stuff. Still pretty interesting. Soon enough, we were "released". The lunch was over (we had paid our bills before we went outside).

My overall impression of the lunch was great. So great, that I'm going back to Sanaa this year. Not doing the special lunch again, as I need to burn credits (and it's not on the plan of course), but the restaurant itself was well worth the cost. I also didn't take any pictures (other than the tortoise). Not sure why, just didn't feel up to it. Along with my desire to walk around, stay at MNSSHP, and eat, my desire to photograph was also waning due to the crud I had picked up.

I walked around the resort a bit before my next destination, which was to be Epcot or DHS (I'm not sure, but it was over there) and took some pictures.






























(That's what you get for encouraging me!)

After the walking around, I ended up heading back to CSR. I don't know if I took a cab or did the double bus thing (I think I did the double bus thing, as I only remember one cab ride on this trip).

I had to rest up for tonight, as I was heading to Flying Fish Cafe for dinner!
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:36 PM   #110
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Sorry you felt so crummy for the MNSSHP and had to leave early, it stinks to be sick at Disney. I have had a couple times where I have had colds there but luckily not with a fever. Glad you at least felt somewhat better the next day and it sounds like you had a great lunch. Sanaa seems like such a great place, I would love to try it some day but I don't know if my DH would like it.

Awesome pics as always!
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:41 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rndmr2 View Post
Sorry you felt so crummy for the MNSSHP and had to leave early, it stinks to be sick at Disney. I have had a couple times where I have had colds there but luckily not with a fever. Glad you at least felt somewhat better the next day and it sounds like you had a great lunch. Sanaa seems like such a great place, I would love to try it some day but I don't know if my DH would like it.

Awesome pics as always!
I think I'd almost rather be sick at home than at Disney... at least at home, I'm not missing out on anything (and I can probably name a day off of work!) This though was pretty bad. I wasn't totally over it at all at this point, but the fever had broken at least.

As far as Sanaa, it was really good. They have a couple less "different" things on the menu as well, for less than adventurous eaters. I'm eyeing the flatiron steak myself this year. But for this meal, the added bit with the people who not only take care of the animals, but the guy who actually helped design the stuff at AKL and AKV was very interesting.

Thanks as always for the photo compliments .
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:10 PM   #112
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Chapter 7 - Under the Boardwalk

Under the Boardwalk

...out of the sun.

Under the boardwalk, we'll be having fun...
Under the boardwalk, people walkin' above...ahem.

Ok, ok, I wasn't ACTUALLY under the Boardwalk, but, well, it fit.

So, I had departed from Sanaa and headed back to CSR to relax a bit. Since I was still feeling all icky, I was getting tired constantly. Sooner or later, I decided that it was time to head on over to the Boardwalk for dinner.

I got there early, as usual, so walked around taking some pictures (as a special note, there are several 4-5 "star" pictures in this update. I did well this evening!) (As another note, this "star" rating is my own rating, and based solely on how much I like it, and all that stuff, it helps me sort what goes to smugmug and what only goes to Facebook. Insert a smiley here, I can't as this update will be 25 pictures!)

So yup, with my long parenthetical expressions out of the way...

I took these before dinner. As you can (maybe) tell, I started off with one lens, and had switched to the UWA later on (last 2 photos).











Soon enough, it was time for dinner. I took my seat at the empty bar, and looked around a bit.


...it wasn't very busy.

I decided that, since I was sick for MNSSHP and was feeling on the mend, that I should try the orange beer. Now, orange beer isn't really the right thing, but it had a twist of orange flavor, supposedly.
I couldn't taste the orange. It was good beer though, just not very orangey.

So, anyway, I proceed with my ordering, and start off with a nice Cesar Salad. It was very, very good. Whatever they did to the Parmesan cheese there was very good. I have no idea what it's called (what they did to it), but it worked great. As it came time for my entree, the bartender/server started to go into the special fish stuff they had. I had to put a stop to that! I told him that, "You're going to hate me, but I'm getting the steak". Of course, he didn't really hate me, and their NY Strip is one of their top dishes as well. So that's what I had. It's also what I'm going to have this year. It was VERY good. Oh so very good. I mean really, so, so, so good. I liked it. For dessert, I was on a banana kick this year, so I picked up the Banana Napoleon. It was... alright. I'm not really a fan of these things and I don't know why I keep ordering them. It was good for one of them, but really, they aren't my thing.




Is it wrong that it took me forever to figure out that this was an "M". Every time I see it I keep thinking it says "No" and I get all confused. Like the kitchen really was mad at me for ordering a steak at a primarily seafood place!
(I know I know, who in their right mind takes food porn while using an 8mm lens... this guy, that's who)

After I finished, my camera was still out, so I took a few more pictures around the restaurant. Brace yourselves.




Yup, I love all 3 of those.

So, I paid my tab and headed out the door. Looking toward Epcot, I got a big surprise, a big huge rainbow spreading out from right next to Spaceship Earth! (Well, it was probably far behind it, but it doesn't matter because it LOOKED like it was coming from SSE). So, since that was there, and I had a camera, I didn't take a single picture...



...I took several









I farted around a bit more, taking more pictures. Also, at sometime near here, my old friend Beth had called. I hadn't talked to her in awhile at this point, she was doing her thing, I was doing mine. But it turns out that she had some digestive issues and landed herself in the hospital for a few days, even had to have surgery to take part of her guts out. So, we talked for a little while, as I hung around Boardwalk. I had nothing else to do yet anyway. (As a special note, right now, the two of us aren't really in contact... for various reasons of which I'll not go into here, but it was my choice this time, so no worries).

After the phone call, I took some more pictures before heading off to Epcot for Illuminations and some night photography during EMH. I bet you can't wait to see those pictures huh? Too bad, you're going to have to. Here are the rest of the Boardwalk ones though.









After this series, I headed up toward the IG... how was I going to manage with finding an Illuminations spot I wonder? (Well, I don't wonder, I already know. You can wonder).
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #113
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Chapter 7 - How Illuminating

How Illuminating

Well, I guess I let you wonder enough. So...

I kept walking to Epcot. Along the bridge between Boardwalk and the path to the International Gateway, I stopped to attempt to take some pictures of lightning. It didn't work. Didn't get one good shot (did get a crappy one, but that was it).

So, with that disappointment, I continued on to Epcot.

I setup my stuff in front of France, with my camera on my little tabletop tripod. It was full dark by now. While waited, I took some pictures of the pavillion...



I waited some more. I couldn't tell you what time it was, but I probably setup around 8:15pm, so I had awhile to wait. While waiting, I started talking to some random guy from Holland (he had a nice camera, so it was a bit of photo nerd talk). He was staying at the Swan on business for a couple weeks. We had a chat, and soon enough the show was starting.

Let's just say that he moved pretty early on.



































You may notice a striking theme in most of those pictures (some, I was able to crop and adjust). Yup, ANOTHER STINKIN' TREE! That's 0/2 so far on fireworks shows not being stuck behind a tree. Ah well, at least it gave me a title for my PTR.

Soon enough, the show was over (I think I had moved down the promenade a bit for the last few shots) and EMH was beginning. I had absolutely no plan for this night, so I figured that I'd just walk around and take pictures. So that's what I did.

I started with one in Japan


And a few in American Adventure






And then headed over to Italy


And then I ran out of room to post them on this post. What to do, what to do?
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:13 PM   #114
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Chapter 7 - Recovering from the Trees

Recovering from the Trees


So, we left off just minutes ago with me walking into Italy. It wasn't the best break between two posts, but considering each post is exactly 25 pictures, it's what it has to be. Of course, I could have cut out a few of those fireworks ones, but what fun is that?

So, yup, Italy

This photo was originally on the cutting room floor. Well, not literally, since I don't have a cutting room. It sounds rather emo anyway and not really my style. But this photo was originally a DO NOT SHARE type of one. Until I played with it in Lightroom, and converted to black and white. I like it quite a bit now.



After that blue square break, I headed into the shops to see what I could see. At least, I THINK these are the Italy shops. I know the boots (you'll see them below) were between Italy and Germany, so I think these were Italy.







As you can see, I played a bit with the colors on those.

As mentioned, after Italy, it was time for Germany. Touring Europe is so quick and easy!

Das Boot! (Beerfest reference anyone?)







And then I...no. I didn't head to China. As I discovered while writing my PTR, I have a distinct lack of China pics in my collection this year. I don't know why, it seemed that I stopped in Norway going clockwise, and Germany going the other way.

So, instead of beautiful China at night, I headed back to Future World.

And, more specifically, the Imagination Pavilion.







After playing here for a bit, it was off to the Fountain of Nations. I took some nice pics here in 2010. I wasn't really able to reproduce them this year though.







And then I started walking out of the park.







Lastly, as I was about to leave, I got a hair up my ... um... you know, to do some HDR shots of Spaceship Earth. These are both Version 2 of those shots (I liked V1 a lot, but these are after I learned Photomatrix much more and REALLY like these).



Both of these were shot with my 8-16mm lens, one at each "end" of the lens. As you can see, when at the short end of the focal range, a few millimeters do make a big difference.

And soon enough, I was done. Well, for the night. We're coming up on Day 8 though, which is getting close to time to go home! (And, considering I'll be there in 3 weeks, it's about time for this TR to be finished!

Don't worry though, in the last 3 (well, 2 1/2) days worth of shots, there's still 391 to show (only 595 (a bit less really, as I cut some out) have been shown so far! On this report)
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #115
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Chapter 8 - Another Magical Morning

Chapter 8

Another Magical Morning


I woke up on Day 8 bright and early at some time or another. My plans for this day? Magic Kingdom, lunch at The Wave, then over to Epcot for the afternoon with dinner at Le Cellier. Beyond that framework, I really had little in mind other than taking photos, so take photos I did.

First, I walked around the resort a bit. I apparently walked down to El Centro, but couldn't tell you why. I did take some pictures along the way.











I picked up the bus from El Centro and headed off to The Magic Kingdom. My first stop, the blue square behind the castle! Well, it may not have been my first stop, but it's the first place (other than Main St.) that I have pictures from, and since I'm trying to move this TR along before I go back in 3 weeks, I'll just go with that!











After this point, I headed down to see Philarmagic. I hadn't seen the show before, so I figured that I may as well. I passed by Peter Pan's Flight along the way... either there or back, not too sure. But after Philarmagic, I headed on over toward BTMRR. I didn't ride it, just took a blue square break near by. I took more pictures in that area as well.







Really, I haven't done much yet this day, mostly smoking and taking pictures. But hey, at least I have things to show! After that break, and those photos, I headed on down to Liberty Square. It was time for another Haunted Mansion ride.

But first, I stopped by the Liberty Bell (after taking pics of the Liberty Belle above). I also played a bit with my long lens and BTMRR here.










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(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #116
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Chapter 8 - Another Magical Morning (pt2)

Another Magical Morning

So, after taking pictures for the morning, I hit up Haunted Mansion! This is one of my favorite rides at the world. It wasn't always the case. Back in the day when I was little, it scared me. I was one of those kids that loved it, then was afraid, then loved it again. Now, I just totally love it!

So, I took some pics of the queue area, since there was a short line.















After Haunted Mansion, I wrote that I walked around the castle and took flower photos. I think these particular photos are from around Fantasyland though, so we'll go with that. At any rate, I took some pictures of flowers. And the CHH sign.





















I also took timely photographs of the current progress of the FLE. Of course, since I'm posting these almost a year after they were taken, it's kind of a moot point. I was intending to show the current progress, but now, it's just the current progress in the past. Or something. It's kinda like watching Murphy Brown reruns these days.






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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:07 PM   #117
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Chapter 8 - Another Magical Morning (pt3)

Another Magical Morning
And, it's STILL morning. Can you believe it? Can you also believe that I'm posting 3 updates in a row? I really want to finish this thing up! I've even marked up my text file with my notes (that I made 6 months after the fact) with the pictures for each post listed out (well, the IMG numbers, which I reference with a script into my gallery, which gives me the code to post them and have them show up and link back to said gallery).

Ahem.

This will be yet another post with pictures, interspersed with some text. I think the pictures tell the story better, and really, what can I say about pictures of plants and flowers that you aren't going to see in them?

Before we get to that point though, I decided to do something I had never done. I rode the Winnie the Pooh ride. Now, normally I may have just said, "I rode Pooh", but saying that aloud sounds pretty silly, so I didn't.

I also didn't take pictures, this may be a good target for this year with the 30mm lens...right?

Well, but "I didn't take pictures" I mean I took one. In the queue, and then a few of the merchandise in the store after. And one more of outdated construction.











After this, I headed on down to Tomorrowland, for no particular reason. And really, the rest of this post is just pictures, from those you can imagine the story. If you do imagine the story, please make it sound interesting. And maybe add a cute redhead, k?





























At this point, it was almost lunch time. I had a lunch scheduled at The Wave. I think it was for noon, and I know I was a bit early and they weren't open, so I'm going to put it at 11:30. I took my sweet time walking over to the Contemporary, or I monorailed over, you decide which one I did. (This has now turned into an interactive TR... kinda like a Choose Your Own Adventure book).
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-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:51 PM   #118
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Chapter 8 - Another Epcot Afternoon

Another Epcot Afternoon


I'm wondering if I just post the pictures and no text, if if anyone would even notice .

So, anyway, after MK, I hiked on over to the Contemporary for lunch. I did get there a bit early, I think, so I just kinda hung around again (kind of like I did before CG, only this time, I wasn't feeling quite as icky. Still pretty bad, and I was hotter than heck, but not quite as bad as before). Eventually, it was lunch time and waited some more. It was empty in there, but I still waited about 10-15 minutes before my table was ready.

The restaurant is pretty nice, but not really anything that special. Service was so so, and the food was alright. It was a let down for sure. Of course, I do like my meat medium-well to well, and a bison burger really shouldn't be cooked that much, but oh well.

I started on the Black Bean Chili, which was ok. Not my favorite flavor, but it worked. The Bison burger was my entree. As mentioned, I always get my meat medium well to well, and buffalo doesn't do well with that. It's really a meat that should be no more than medium. Unfortunately, I can't stand the texture of anything less than medium well, as such, the burger was a bit dry. Dessert on the other hand, very good.





After lunch, I hopped a bus back to the resort for a rest.

After the rest, I hopped another bus over to Epcot for the evening. I stopped at the entrance, threw my UWA lens on and proceeded to wait out the monorail. I managed to score these two pictures, which was my intent. I got a few more, but they weren't good so they're gone (well, they aren't gone, but I'm not going to show you them!)




I then took two more pictures of the entrance area before heading over to Mousegears.









I'm getting better with the UWA lens!

After walking through Mousegears, I headed on over to UoE. I don't think I rode, as there's less than an hour between these pics and the next series, so I likely just sat at the blue square for a bit.



Really, this year I'm going to take notes!

So, after hanging out by UoE, I headed on over to WS for dinner. Dinner this night was... Le Cellier. I know, I know. It's overrated, blah blah blah. I like it though! I changed things up a bit this year, after 2 years of getting the NY Strip, I decided to try the Filet. I also changed up the cheese soup for the Heirloom Tomato Salad. Dessert was the Maple Creme Brluee. I should have gotten the soup and NY Strip. Not that these were bad, just I prefer both of those much more. The Creme Brulee was good, but super super sweet. Hurting my teeth sweet. Overall, a good experience, but I think next time, I'll go back to the old standbys.

Some pictures of the trek to Canada, and the meal:




















After dinner, I decided to head back to CSR. It would be an early night for me. On the way back to the room (I got off at bus stop 1), I stopped by concierge to buy my ticket for the next MNSSHP (the next day). I was all set to buy it when... "Sorry, sold out"... what?

Guess I wouldn't get a third chance to experience the party without being sick...

I went to the room and cried myself to sleep.

Not really. I mean, I did go back to the room, but I didn't cry myself to sleep. I basically watched TV and relaxed a bit.
__________________
-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:19 PM   #119
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Chapters 9-11 - An Abrupt Ending

Chapters 9-11

An Abrupt Ending (to the TR!)

So, I've been slacking on this report. It was almost a whole year ago that I started it, and as such, it's time to end it. Especially since I'll be back to the world in 4 days (less really).

So, we're doing the speedy version through the last 2 days, with my 25 best photos from said 2 days. You can see the entirety of my 2011 Disney photos in my WDW 2011 Smugmug gallery

Chapter 9

A Festival, A Gorilla, and a Disappointment

Day 9 dawned as early as dawn, and I was not up with it. I slept in a little. No worries though, I had done this all before and my feet were grateful for the rest, as were my lungs. It appears that overnight, the cold that I had been fighting had finally abated. I was feeling better for once, the day before I'm to go home. Figures.

At any rate, I headed off to Animal Kingdom and hit up Festival of the Lion King after taking a meander through the Oasis. I didn't make it to this show in 2009 or 2010 or earlier in the week. I figured that I should probably pay a visit.

On my way through the Oasis


FotLK







After the festival, I walked around a bit and headed up Africa way. I took a few merchandise-based shots for my "collection", since I was getting obsessed with stuff. Hey, at least it's cheaper than buying it all right? If you don't count the cost of the camera gear that I used to take said shots at least.

If you look closely, this can be considered a self-portrait

After checking out the shops in Africa, I hit up the Safari yet again. This is certainly one of my favorite rides at AK, and not just because of my camera. I've always loved these things, from the first one I went on in Busch Gardens Tampa.

Shots from yet another 3 week safari that felt like it lasted only 20 minutes...





Soon enough, I was back in Harambre (or however you spell that) and took a hike on the Pagani Forest Trail. Of the two major trails, this is my favorite.

Baby Duck!


Meerkat


It took me a few tries to get this shot. In fact, I had one similar that I had taken at 3200 ISO after setting it to that for something. I noticed as I was walking away from the Gorillas, so I had to come back and do it again. I think he was annoyed with me by this time...

By this time, I was getting a bit tired and my feet hurt, so back to CSR I went. I noticed that the elevators had been redone in my time away! I took pictures of that, for the CSR thread of course (and to play with my UWA lens). I even was able to check out the elevator next to it that hadn't been done yet, so it worked great as a before and after.

I was done with that, so I hiked up to my room and took a nap. I had plans for Citrico's at 5:30 or did I?

Well, my tiredness overwrote my desire for Citrico's, and I woke up around 6:30pm. A full hour after my ADR time. Crap.

I decided to head on down to El Centro and see what's up. I was getting hungry. I did a little shooting on the way...


I also did some shooting in Panchito's for the CSR thread and for fun. But none of those pictures made the top 25 cut for this chapter, so they aren't here.

I walked to the podium at Maya Grill to see about getting sat. Sure enough, there was plenty of space and after a short wait I was in. Dinner consisted of Queso Fundido and steak tacos along with a margarita flight. I skipped dessert (and skipped half the tacos) as I wasn't hungry enough for them. Still had a bit of the icky from being sick.

After dinner I headed back to the room to rest up before going home...

Chapter 10

Happy Birthday MK!

It was Saturday, the day to go home. My flight wasn't until 6:30ish that night, so I had time to play though. I dragged my bags down to Bell Services and stored them in the place, and then hopped onto the MK bus at Bus Stop #1.

MK may not have been the greatest idea, but I did have an 8:15am ADR at Crystal Palace, so it was a go. Plus, I was there on MK's birthday, how many others can say that? (Ok, it seemed like everyone could say that...it was a "bit" crowded, but we'll get to that later.)




I went through the turnstile at about 8am for my breakfast reservation and Main St. was nice and dead (it would not last long). I checked in and waited a bit (why is CP always slow?) and soon enough I was sitting down to eat. I did have a few visitors come by as I ate, the brightest one was this guy...


Proof that I was there and I'm not making this up with images from Google

After breakfast, I watched the special presentation about MK's 40th birthday. It was a good presentation and quite interesting. A lot of characters on stage and some Disney bigwigs were in attendance, along with one of the people who worked at Haunted Mansion 40 years ago that day.

I then walked through the Emporium on a hunt for a shirt. Though, I'm pretty sure that I did this before I watch the presentation, but oh well, it works here too. I bought a dark green golf shirt thing with Grumpy on it. I wear it to work all the time! (Granted, I also wear T-Shirts and Shorts to work all the time, so wearing a Disney-based shirt isn't a big deal).

After the shirt and presentation, I headed to the Rose Garden to take some pics and ended up walking all around the castle shooting it from different angles.



For this shot, it was garbage worthy before I went and redid my photos. Sky was horribly, unrecoverably washed out and the Castle was too dark. When I was playing with some shots from Mobile Botanical Gardens, I played with dropping all the saturation but one color. I decided to see what it would look like with this photo, along with underexposing a bit more and shifting up the black clipping to throw the castle into silhouette. It worked and I think it came out great.

After this set, I headed off to see the Country Bears. This was a favorite of mine was I was little, much to the chagrin of my family. (Granted, due to my family's name, we're not supposed to have any chagrin... you'll get that if you visit my aforementioned Smugmug where my name is displayed...and know a little French). Ahem. So yup, Country Bears, and I used the knowledge of shooting shows that I gained since Hall of Presidents so long ago.

I then headed off to take some pictures of the Liberty Belle and Liberty Square where I hit upon the marching band. I watched them and then ate at Liberty Tree Tavern. Lunch was the Angus Cheeseburger and the Tavern Fried Cheese. I could not make myself eat dessert, so no Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake for me. This year, I'm doing LTT on my first day, so I will NOT be too full for it!




I then headed off to the Hub and took some pictures of the statues. It was there that I met up with Jessmeca, her dad, and some others. Though I pretty much stood near them until the meet was almost over. I'm shy like that.



I actually have a canvas print of this photo hanging on my cube wall at work. There's just something about it that makes it one of my favorite shots that I took the whole trip.

Soon enough it was time for the 3 o'clock parade, which meant it was about 3 o'clock. They had "great" seats on the inside of the hub, so I setup there as well. Now, when I say "great", it was good for watching the parade, not so much for photographing it. The sun was at a horrible angle and it took a lot to pull out a few halfway decent (not good enough for smuggy) photos. I was basically shooting straight into it, with harsh ugly shadows across the faces of those in the parade.

After the parade, it was time to say goodbye.


I headed on back to CSR and boarded my ME bus bound for the Airport. I'd was on my way home, or was I?

Chapter 11

Wait, day 11? Huh?

Yep, there was an added day to this trip. However, it's not nearly as exciting as it seems. You see, I booked the last fight out of MCO that landed at Atlanta before the last flight from ATL to Mobile. I had a whopping 55 minute layover. As we were boarding, the flight attendants kept mentioning this fact to get people seated and sorted quickly, but people were slow. We also were delayed by a little bit. So, yup, we landed in Atlanta, I booked it to the terminal and my gate, hobbling along on sore, aching, blistered feet, only to arrive at the gate 5 minutes after they shut the door. I was stuck.

Delta put me up in a hotel that night and gave me a little case with toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, and a t-shirt (after all, my luggage was safely on the way to Mobile. Ok, I spelled T-Shirt wrong there the first time... in a way that made it starred out...). I went to sleep uneventfully, wishing I was either at home, or still at Disney, not in Atlanta.

I woke up in the morning and headed outside for a smoke...and it was COLD! It was about 45 that morning in Atlanta, and I had shorts and a TShirt on. The rest of the trip home was uneventful. I know that I landed in Mobile around lunch time and hit up my local Mexican place for lunch. And then it was time for work, and time to bring an end to this trip report.
__________________
-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
Cafeen is offline  
 



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