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Old 02-01-2013, 11:22 AM   #76
holleypie
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Beach Club and Yacht Club

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 12 (PART 5)


Next, we walked over to the Beach Club.



















And then to the Yacht Club!



The Yacht Club feels a little too country-clubbish for my taste, but I LOVED the train garden.

















It was getting late so we headed back to the room.

Except...neither of us remembered our room number. So we went to the lobby and asked them to remind us. You might be wondering how we could have "forgotten" the room number, after that argument we'd had earlier because I was TAKING A PICTURE OF THE ROOM NUMBER. Well...I didn't remember that until later.

When Brian stuck the key in the lock, it didn't work. He tried it a few times and then he went BACK to the lobby to get another key.

When he came back, the new key didn't work either.



I took the key and shoved it in and out of the slot until the door unlocked. I figured if I got angry enough, it would work!

Finally we got in and got settled for the night. I ate half of my cheesecake brownie and then went to bed.



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Old 02-09-2013, 11:15 AM   #77
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Last Visit to MK

THURSDAY DECEMBER 13


On our last day at Disney, we went to Magic Kingdom. I'm not sure if it will always work out this way, but I really liked starting and ending the trip at MK.

It was cold and rainy.



I was actually glad, because that made me feel better about going home. If it had been 80 degrees and sunny...well, I'm not sure if Brian could have dragged me away.

We stopped at the fire house for cards, then headed toward Tomorrowland.



As you can see, there was a parade happening. THERE WAS ALWAYS A PARADE HAPPENING.

When I'd tried to make breakfast that morning, I realized our new room didn't have a microwave. So, we were all hungry and Brian suggested we check and see if there was any availability at the Plaza Restaurant.



They said they could seat us in 15-20 minutes, so we decided to hang around and have an early lunch.



We kept seeing these motorized scooters from a company named Walker, and the irony made us laugh.

When we were seated, I was shocked at how small this restaurant was. After seeing the size of some of these places, now I understand why reservations go so quickly.



I loved the menus.

Our waiter mistook Luke for a girl. At the time I didn't understand why because he was dressed as a pirate.



But he only had half the costume on and now that I'm looking at the pictures I guess the shirt does look a little girly.

I decided to order Luke his very first kids meal. He had the grilled cheese and tomato soup. They were both really good.



I had the vegetarian sandwich.



It really disappoints me whenever there's only ONE designated vegetarian option AND it has the word "vegetarian" in the name. It lacks creativity and it makes me feel like I'm being pacified. Everyone can and should eat vegetables! It's not some weird choice that only vegetarians make.

Here's the description of the sandwich: "Fresh mozzarella, hummus, basil pesto, cucumber, roasted red pepper, tomato, and lettuce on freshly baked focaccia." Doesn't that sound delicious? Unfortunately, it had absolutely no flavor. I don't even know how that's possible.



I'm not even sure what Brian had. Turkey sandwich?



I gave the Plaza Restaurant a 2 and Brian gave it a 2.5. If we returned here, I would order the kids' meal. It was cheaper and much better than my own sandwich!

During our lunch, the mayor came in and gave a little girl a some sort of junior mayor award. It was kind of cute.



After lunch we went to Space Mountain and I rode first. There were a bunch of rambunctious preteens in line, and I ended up riding with five of them. I like to scream on Space Mountain, but because I'd lost my voice I couldn't. I knew the kids would make up for it though.

But...they didn't. We rode in ABSOLUTE SILENCE. It was so bizarre. As soon as we got off the ride, they were super loud again.

While Brian took his turn, I took Luke to the bathroom and changed him out of his pirate outfit. I'd wanted to get some pictures of him in it, but it was just too cold.

Next, we went to Laugh Floor. Normally I try to avoid the seats that I think are susceptible to being put up on the screen. But now that I had Luke I didn't mind showing him off. They didn't use us, though. It was a fun show. The guy the monster picked for the mind-reading trick didn't even speak English, so that was funny.

We checked on the wait time for Minnie and Daisy at Pete's Silly Sideshow and it was 35 minutes so we decided not to wait.

As we were walking toward New Fantasyland, I noticed for the first time that the dwarf paintings on the construction wall around the mine coaster were themed to each area. So I let Brian walk ahead while I stopped to take pictures.



Dumbo.



Alice in Wonderland.



Winnie the Pooh!



Beauty and the Beast.



Little Mermaid.

So adorable.

When I walked past Enchanted Tales with Belle, the wait time was OUTRAGEOUS.



As I was taking that picture, a CM walked over to me and said, "It's really only 20 minutes, come on in!"

But I had to meet back up with Brian and Luke, so I walked on to Gaston's.



Brian got a cinnamon roll and a LaFou's Brew and we sat outside and ate it.



After that, Brian played some more Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom while I fed Luke at the baby care center.

And then it was time to leave.

Before we left, we took some family pictures on Main Street.



I love that Luke and the random woman behind us are making THE EXACT SAME FACE.





We let Luke have one more look at the castle, and then we left Magic Kingdom for the last time.



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Old 02-09-2013, 11:39 AM   #78
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Wilderness Lodge and Downtown Disney

THURSDAY DECEMBER 13 (Part 2)


After we left Magic Kingdom, we headed over to the Wilderness Lodge. This was the only DVC resort at WDW that we had never visited before.

We weren't exactly sure how to get there, so we got turned around a few times. When we drove under the Magic Kingdom sign, they were already getting ready for the MVMCP that night.



The Wilderness Lodge is very similar to the Grand Californian where we stayed for our honeymoon.



















I seem to remember them having this exact thing at the Grand Californian, but I couldn't find a picture of it.

We walked around the lodge and looked in the store, and then headed back to the Wyndham.

When we got back to the room, I laid Luke down for a nap, and then I changed...into my bathing suit. I was getting in the hot tub. Even though it was cold and raining. At this point I had done 29/30 things on my birthday list, and now I was going to check off #30. I AM NOT A QUITTER.

There was a sign in the room that said we should NOT take the towels down to the pool because there would be towels down there. So I pulled on my bear hat, grabbed my iPod, and walked down to the pool.

The good thing about going to the pool, in December, in the rain, is that I had the whole place to myself. That was also bad, because I was incredibly paranoid that a drifter was going to jump out of the bushes and abduct me. I'm not even kidding. I was being SO overly dramatic about the fact that we weren't staying on Disney property anymore.

I couldn't figure out how to turn on the jets. That might have been what all the orange netting was about. But the hot tub was, in fact, hot. I also didn't know how to access the WiFi, so I played an episode of This American Life on my iPod. But I didn't have my headphones, so I had to hold it up to my ear. This ended up being good, because any drifters with nefarious intent would think I was talking on the phone and probably wouldn't try abducting me.

The episode of This American Life was about some huge Native American slaughter. It was incredibly depressing. So there I was, all alone, sitting in the rain, listening to this depressing broadcast and keeping my eyes peeled for drifters in the bushes. Now if THAT'S not "relaxing in the hot tub," I don't know what is. BIRTHDAY LIST COMPLETE.

When I got out of the hot tub, I discovered there were ZERO towels in the pool area. I had to walk back up to the room, shivering and dripping wet.

I took a shower and then after Brian and Luke finished napping, we decided to go to Downtown Disney. Our hotel was so close, we could have walked. We didn't, but we could have. We hadn't been to the West Side yet, so we parked over there.

First, we checked out the Harley-Davidson store.



Then looked in D Street.





Then we walked over to Marketplace.



I'd loved Wolfgang Puck Express so much, I insisted we had to go there again.



This time I ordered the four cheese macaroni.



I was a little leery of fancy mac and cheese after the disappointment at Chefs de France. This was okay, but I wouldn't order it again. The green specks ruined it for me.



Brian got the traditional margherita pizza. He didn't care for it and gave it a 2.5. I tried a bite and it wasn't ANYWHERE near as good as the four-cheese pesto pizza. I wish he'd tried something a little more exciting.

We spent the last fifteen minutes of the meal bickering about who should go get a box for my leftovers. Finally, we looked over and saw that the to-go containers were literally right next to our table.



After dinner we looked in a few stores, then went to World of Disney to take care of all our last minute shopping.

With that, we concluded the vacation portion of our vacation, and now all that was left was the long drive home.


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Old 02-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #79
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The Long Drive Home

Friday December 14th


We woke up, packed, and got on the road a little after 8am. Brian drove. We stopped for breakfast at McDonald's around 9:30.

Our next stop was in a shopping center in Darien, GA at 12:30pm. I tried to nurse Luke but he was so excited to be out of his car seat that he wasn't having any of it. I spied a store called Book Warehouse in the shopping center, so we walked inside. Really, how could I see a store called "Book Warehouse" and NOT go inside?

The bad news (for them) was that this store was going out of business. The good news (for me) was that everything was one dollar.

So...I spent quite a long time shopping. After awhile, Brian quietly walked up and added this book to the pile.



OKAY, OKAY, WE CAN LEAVE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DIVORCE ME.

Between Christmas presents for all the kids in my life and a few for myself, I got seventeen books. It was pretty awesome.

By now Brian professed to be starving, so we got back in the car and drove...

ALL THE WAY across the parking lot to Ruby Tuesday. I remember the service being subpar, but the food was good. We finally got back on the road at 2:30. I drove.

At 7, Brian wanted to stop for the night. Luke was being well-behaved, but Brian said he felt bad that he was cooped up in the car seat. I hadn't planned on stopping unless Luke started pitching a fit, but if Brian wanted to stop, we could stop.

We found a Holiday Inn with a Denny's attached. Before we left for vacation, I saw an ad for a grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella sticks ON THE SANDWICH. If I was ever going to eat anything that disgusting, it had to be on vacation. So, Denny's sounded like a good dinner to me. We went in and I took Luke to the bathroom to change his diaper. When we came back, Brian said they wanted $100 for a room. Ummmm...no, can't do it. So we got back in the car and drove across the street to a Super 8. They wanted $73 which still sounded freaking ridiculous to me, but at least I had saved us $27.

We grabbed a few things and carried them up to our room, then Brian went out for more, came back in, and said, "Please tell me you have your spare keys."

HE HAD LOCKED THE KEYS IN THE CAR.

Right before we left for vacation, I had grabbed my set of keys just in case something like this happened. Fortunately I had put them in my purse instead of a random bag, so I found them quickly and we got the rest of the stuff out of the car.

I refused to go back across the street after I'd stormed out, so we decided to have dinner at the Waffle House next to the Super 8. We all had breakfast food and I got a huge Cherry Coke in a to-go cup for the drive tomorrow.

Saturday December 15th


We got up a little after 6am and left. We stopped near Rocky Mount, NC for breakfast. That is the same town where we stopped for breakfast when we departed for vacation two weeks earlier. As much as I love things coming full circle, I had no desire to eat at Biscuitville again. Instead Brian found a Chick Fil A.

As soon as we walked in, a festively-dressed cow grabbed Luke and took him over to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus!







Poor Luke. He wakes up in a strange place and then his parents hand him off to strangers!

The people at Chick Fil A were so sweet. They took a bunch of pictures and then emailed them to us since we weren't local. For the locals, they were printing the pictures out and having them available for pickup.

After breakfast, we got back on the road and made our next stop at the Virginia Welcome Center to feed Luke and let him roam for a bit. The "WELCOME TO VIRGINIA" sign was practically in the parking lot, but there was a British woman inside the welcome center on the phone telling someone she was eight miles from Virginia. Haha.

Brian drove the rest of the way home while I entertained Luke in the back seat. It was a little exhausting. It seemed like Luke knew whenever we were in the home stretch, and that's when he got super fussy. He fell asleep when we were about 20-30 minutes from home. We got back around 2pm. All my cats were still alive.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:12 AM   #80
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The Trip in Review

THE TRIP IN REVIEW


This was such a special trip. Between Luke's first birthday, and all the Christmasy stuff we've never seen before, and my family coming down for (only) three days, we had a great time.

Favorites and Least Favorites:

Favorite Part: My night out. I felt bad saything this until I asked Brian what HIS favorite part was and he said, "I feel bad saying this, but I really had fun when I went to Magic Kingdom by myself." Haha. As much fun as it is to be together, it is so nice to only be responsible for YOURSELF. I think we'll incorporate nights out into our future trips, time permitting. My other favorite part was the sleigh ride because it was such a fun surprise, and so different from everything else we did. AND we were together.

Least Favorite Part: Not getting to ride Tower of Terror with the kids.

Favorite Food: The four-cheese pesto pizza at Wolfgang Puck Express and the burrito from Pepper Market. And that brownie from Art of Animation.

Least Favorite Food: The burrito from Tortuga Tavern. I hope I never eat anything that disgusting for the rest of my life.


Some Numbers:

We drove 2241 total miles.

We visited Magic Kingdom 6 different days (7 for Brian), Epcot 3 days (4 for me), Animal Kingdom 2 days, Hollywood Studios 2 days, and Downtown Disney 3 times (4 for Brian).

We tried 12 new restaurants. The best new restaurant we tried was Pepper Market at Coronado Springs. Our other top 2 restaurants were Columbia Harbor House at MK and Flippers Pizzeria off property. Our bottom three restaurants were Captain Cook's at the Polynesian, the food stands in Asia at AK, and Tortuga Tavern in MK. Most of our ratings were similar, but the biggest difference of opinion we had was a tie between Chefs de France (2 and 3.5) and Wolfgang Puck Express (4 and 2.5).

We visited 12 resorts on this trip and checked out their Christmas decorations. At this point, I think the only DVC resorts we haven't seen are Vero Beach and Aulani.

We met 28 different characters, including Mickey three times, and Pluto, Donald, and Goofy twice each. About half of these were characters we hadn't met before.

I finished all 30 items on my birthday list. I liked having the list to prioritize the things I really wanted to do, and I'll probably make shorter lists in the future. The only regret I have is not riding the safari at AK to see the new zebra ending.

But that's okay. We'll be back in 7.5 months.

Thanks for reading!

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:34 PM   #81
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Great reports! I really appreciate how you post all of it, even when it's cranky. I also love that you both agreed on your favorite part. My husband and I felt the same about our alone time. We have a 3 year old, but he's still definitely a lot to keep track of. And Luke is a total cutie pie. He smiles so much for the camera.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #82
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Great reports! I really appreciate how you post all of it, even when it's cranky. I also love that you both agreed on your favorite part. My husband and I felt the same about our alone time. We have a 3 year old, but he's still definitely a lot to keep track of. And Luke is a total cutie pie. He smiles so much for the camera.
Thanks! I love the TRs that feel honest and balanced, so I tried to do the same.

I bet a three year old is so much more work! Luke is still young enough that we didn't have to cater to his whims on this trip. I'm sure that will NOT be the case two years from now.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:40 AM   #83
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Really enjoyed the end of your TR. I like how you had listed your favorites and least favorites. You gave me quite a few ideas for our next few trips. Are you doing a PTR or TR for your Oct trip? I am thinking I can't start mine until I finish my Dec TR... Hehe
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by SAT887 View Post
Really enjoyed the end of your TR. I like how you had listed your favorites and least favorites. You gave me quite a few ideas for our next few trips. Are you doing a PTR or TR for your Oct trip? I am thinking I can't start mine until I finish my Dec TR... Hehe
I definitely want to do a TR and I'm about 75% sure I'll do a PTR. I think I started last year's in June, so that seems like a good time to start. Or sooner. I don't know. We'll see how bored and/or excited I get in the meantime.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:44 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by holleypie View Post




Also, here's the plush I bought the day before. SO CUTE, right?





Do you, by any chance, remember what store you bought this in? I NEED to get one on my trip next month!

Thank you!
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:42 AM   #86
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Do you, by any chance, remember what store you bought this in? I NEED to get one on my trip next month!

Thank you!
I bought it at the Emporium, in the section closest to the park entrance. I hope you find it! It's adorable.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:33 PM   #87
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Thank you soooo much!
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