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Old 06-09-2008, 07:49 AM   #1
podsnel
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Leaving the kids and DH's Home!! SSR girlie getaway June 1-4, 2008 Update July 20th!

Hi there! My name is Ellen, and this is my first TR. My DF, Lonnie, and I spent 4 days in WDW last week and I can't wait to tell you all about it!!

Here's the cast-

Me. Ellen, 45, wife of DH Pods and Mom to 3 sons, ages 14, 11 & 9. I am a Disaholic, and they couldn't take it anymore, so they sent me packing to WDW without them, hoping I would get it out of my system and would shut the h*** up. So far, not so much!

DF Lonnie, 40+, wife of DH Mike and Mom to 2 gorgeous girls, ages 11 & 3. Lonnie and I were roomates in college, she was my Maid of Honor 22 years ago and I was her Matron of Honor a few years after that. We never, ever see each other. She's in Fla, I'm in NJ, and this would be our first time together in 10 years!!!!!

Being inspired by another TR a few months ago where someone booked a last minute trip to SSR with a girlfriend, I went ahead and did the same. DH and I bought DVC at AKV on our trip last November, and this would be my first trip using points! Add in $200 airfare, and how could I say no? Lonnie said she'd drive down and meet me there, so it was time to start planning- ASAP, before all the good stuff was gone!!! Lucky for us, early June is a slow time for WDW, so we were able to get pretty much everything we wanted. The only thing we couldn't was an ADR at Le Cellier on the day we were planning to be in EPCOT. That's ok- I'll be back lots more times and I can go then, right? LOVE DVC!!!!

Here we are on our first night- Lonnie is on the left, I'm on the right. By the way, I am standing on my tippee toes to be in the photo with my DF- I'm 5'3, and she's just a little bit taller than that!

Last edited by podsnel; 07-20-2008 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:34 AM   #2
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June 1, our first day

So after a quick (although delayed) flight out of Newark, NJ, before you know it, I was on the Magical Express to SSR. By 12:30, I was checking in, and waiting for Lonnie out front. Literally 2 minutes later, there she was!!! Perfect timing!!! Let's go see our room!

I had requested Congress Park or the Grandstand, but was really hoping for CP because we wanted to be able to walk over to DTD quickly and easily. Lucky us, we got Congress Park with the coveted DTD view!!! Woo Hoo!! Check out our view!



I was literally jumping up and down like a nut over this view! I had pretty much counted on admiring the parking lot for 4 days, so this was very, VERY cool instead!!

Anyway, after I got done doing back flips, we stocked up the fridge with the groceries and, more importantly, wine that Lonnie had picked up and then in a flurry of clothes got on bathing suits and sped over to the spa for our 2:00 appointments. I was getting the mystical therapies, which was a combo 25 minute Swedish massage and 25 minute reflexology, and Lonnie was scheduled for a 50 minute upper back & neck massage followed by a deluxe facial. All of our treatments were great, my massage was perfect, and I spent the 2nd half of it asking a million questions about future DVC plans- you know, what's at the Contemporary, when are they announcing it, etc...to which the masseuse replied that there would be DVC's built at all the hotels on property in the future, but not the Poly because THAT is not owned by Disney.....

Any way........

She also told me that the Contemporary is the most haunted hotel on property and that weird things happen in their gym, like treadmills going on spontaneously and the numbers 666 flashing on the screens. Well, I don't know what I think about any of this, but it was interesting, and she gave a GREAT backrub, so I was very satisfied with the whole thing. Lonnie had a great experience, too, and the best was that her facial didn't hurt- the technician was very gentle...how nice!

For some reason, I forgot my camera- which I NEVER do, except, apparently, on this trip, because I did it at least twice!!! Anyway, I went back to the room, got the camera, and took these photos of the SSR spa-

The lounge, where we waited for our treatments:


The spa:


And best of all, (but blurry, sorry!) Minnie's locker:

Last edited by podsnel; 06-09-2008 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:47 AM   #3
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A date with our girlfriend, Rita

Spa stuff done for me, I headed to the pool bar for a Margarita- yum, he made it not-so-sweet for me, which I really appreciated! I'm just not one for very sweet drinks. Sorry I don't have a pic of Rita to show you, I wasn't into full photo mode yet, but don't worry, I was in a picture taking frenzy for most of the rest of our trip and you'll see Rita more than a few times before I'm through!

I waited for Loni by the main pool and read through all that great stuff they hand you when you check in. I was pretty impressed by all the activities that were listed!! Lonnie showed up to pay homage to Rita as well, and then I decided the Ritas needed to wash down some food, so I made my way to Artist's Palette. I chose a roast beef and blue sandwich because it looked soooo good- and it was delicious!!



OK, the photo isn't my best, but I had already snarfed down half the sandwich when I remembered to take a pic. The bread (ciabatta) is my FAVORITE sandwich bread, so this was very yummy!!

A little more hanging out, and we were ready to shower up and unpack everything else. Then it was on to DTD, we had an 8:00 adr for Raglan Road.
The sunset was beautiful that night!!




Next, it's dinner time!
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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Lonnie turns into the St Paulie girl

So we went to Raglan Rd for dinner- wow- what a fantastic place! It really felt like we had hopped the pond for the night! We ordered some beer- Lonnie had a Weiss beer (I think) and I got a Smithwick's, remembering I really enjoyed that beer when I was in Scotland on another girls trip (I know, lucky me!). Here's Lonnie with her's, I think she's lookin' like the St Paulie girl-



The next hour or so went something like this:

Man at the bar: Please can I buy you a drink?

St Paulie girl: No thanks, I've got a drink.

MATB: It would be my greatest joy in life to know your name and buy you a drink...

SPG: No thanks, I've got a drink.

MATB: Please, I must know the name of this beautiful woman who I will remember the rest of my life as long as I live!

SPG: No thanks, I've got a drink.

Well, you get the idea.

Anyway, we ordered some amazing stuff for dinner- I had Paddy's pork-


SPG got Sod the Stew with a side salad instead of green beans:


And for dessert, what else but that AMAZING bread pudding!!!!


OMG, that stuff was the BOMB!!!!! Too bad I was so full from eating that whole porkchop!!! Yikes!!! Our server informed me he NEVER sees anyone finish that whole pork chop-
Uh, thanks for the compliment, it's nice to feel special.
Here's our server, he was alot of fun!


I'll be back with the rest of the night later!
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
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Dtd

After Raglan Rd, we were on to check out Pleasure Island and DTD. Now, I had thought when planning this whole thing that we would be going into the Adventurers Club, etc, but once we got there, we were so excited to see EVERYTHING there was, that we just couldn't bring ourselves to commit to just a couple of clubs. So we snagged a couple of drinks from one of the outposts, and went on to explore what we could. We spent alot of time checking out the memorabilia in Starabilias, they had the coolest stuff! I had not been to DTD in 11 years, a LOT has changed!! Anyway, we started to fade around 1 or so, pretty respectable considering I had woken up so early that morning to catch a plane. We made our way back to SSR, which luckily for us was in the first building next to DTD, and fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow.


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Old 06-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #6
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Cool, I'm the first to post after you! It looks like so much fun. DH and are thinking about going the first week of June next year. We just bought our DVC. We have Kidani points, so we're hoping it is open then.

I'm interested in all you have to say about SSR. We'll be staying there for a week for Mardi Gras.

Keep it coming!

BTW, that bread pudding pic got me hungry right away. I LOVE LOVE LOVE bread pudding.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:31 PM   #7
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Great TR so far!!! Thanks for taking the time to write it!
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:44 PM   #8
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I looooove this tr!! thank you so much for the spa pics.. I'm always trying to see pics of the spa things like the locker rooms and treatment rooms and they are hard to find! can't wait to hear more!
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
A little more hanging out, and we were ready to shower up and unpack everything else. Then it was on to DTD, we had an 8:00 adr for Raglan Road.
The sunset was beautiful that night!!




Next, it's dinner time!
Beautiful pictures! Great trip report so far!
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Proud DVC members at SSR! Off-site: 1976 (my 1st trip), 1990 & 1998 (Coronado Springs); Ft. Wilderness Cabins: 2006 (DH's 1st trip, became DVC members!); SSR: 12/2006; 7/2007; 11/2007; 9/2008; 5/2009, 10/2009
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave teacher View Post
Cool, I'm the first to post after you! It looks like so much fun. DH and are thinking about going the first week of June next year. We just bought our DVC. We have Kidani points, so we're hoping it is open then.

I'm interested in all you have to say about SSR. We'll be staying there for a week for Mardi Gras.

Keep it coming!

BTW, that bread pudding pic got me hungry right away. I LOVE LOVE LOVE bread pudding.
Hi Brave teacher! The first week of June was really wonderful- very low crowds, weather was a little bit hot, but not like August hot/humid- we did have some thunderstorms at night and early evening, but it all worked out!
We bought at AKV too (in Nov, so Jambo- just plain developer pts) but I truly thought SSR WAS BEAUTIFUL and relaxing. So did my friend! I was glad she had a car, though! I would stay there again in a heartbeat, being close to DTD was excellent!
PS- the bread pudding was the BEST!!!!

Last edited by podsnel; 06-10-2008 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allaboutmm View Post
Great TR so far!!! Thanks for taking the time to write it!
You are very welcome, and thanks for the complment!

"I looooove this tr!! thank you so much for the spa pics.. I'm always trying to see pics of the spa things like the locker rooms and treatment rooms and they are hard to find! can't wait to hear more!"

THANK-YOU!!!! I'm glad you like the spa pics- I know I searched for them all over the place on here, and really didn't see many, so that's why I took them, for Dismaniacs like myself!! Too bad I didn't have the camera with me when I got there, because I would have taken a pic of the treatment room, too. Since I forgot the camera in the room, I checked out and went back for the camera, and then went back into the spa to photo it.

"Beautiful pictures! Great trip report so far!"

Thank-you!! I'm glad you're enjoying it- REALLY glad!

OK- onto day #2!

Last edited by podsnel; 06-10-2008 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:02 AM   #12
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Day 2- Animal Kingdom in the day and the dark!!!

Hooray!!! Our first full day in Disney!!! I can never sleep-in there, can you? I am always just sooo happy and sooo excited about everything! So, after we opened the curtain and said, "LOOK AT OUR VIEW!!!!"

again for the millionth time, we got dressed in record time and headed over to AP with our refillable mugs for some coffee on the way to AK. Now, I have to say it was a HUGE convenience to have a car, especially at SSR when you wanted to very quickly run into AP for a refill or go anywhere else. This is the first time I have ever stayed at WDW with a car for the length of our stay, we always use the WDW transportation when we are here. I love riding the bus, because I love talking to all the peeps on vacation and listening to whatever Disney happens to be talking about on the speaker, or laughing at all the funny things the ferry captains are spewing that day....but having a car made me realize those buses are driving SOOOOOOO SLOWWWWWWW!!!! I mean, really!!!! Oh! I just remembered another interesting tidbit offered by the girl at the spa- she said the buses are running on cooking oil!! Does anyone know if THAT one is true?

Anyway, we were almost there, and guess what I did AGAIN!!!! I LEFT MY CAMERA IN THE ROOM!!!!! Ok- can someone explain to me how when I'm here with my 3 kids and DH I can manage to get everyone ready to go AND ALWAYS remember that camera, but when I have no responsibility other than which umbrella drink do I have next I keep screwing up?!!!??? Oh- maybe it's all those umbrella drinks you say? Well, that situation will NOT change on THIS vacation, so we'll have to get another plan...from now on, Lonnie will ask me a dozen times (or more if neccessary),
"Do you have your camera?" before we go ANYWHERE.

So, back to the room, back to the car, back to AK- I felt so bad, because I really wanted to get there for rope drop, especially for Lonnie because this was her first visit to AK. But guess what? When we got into the park, Mickey was up on the Tree of Life!! We didn't miss it all- yay!!!



Next we made a beeline for KS. The wait time said 20 minutes, but honestly it was more like 10, so yippee kai yay!! I haven't been on the safari in a while- this last trip in Nov with the kids, my oldest DS had a MAJOR meltdown in line (I don't think I've mentioned- he's autistic) so I took him out and DH rode with the other 2. So I was very glad to be on the safari again. We saw a TON of animals AND we were in the front row!!!




See the baby?




That was fun, and we both agreed it would be awesome to come back and do the sunrise safari sometime- looks like I'll have to do my best to book us in concierge at AKV someday....
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:35 AM   #13
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On to more AK!

Of course, next we walked the Pangani FET. We saw alot of gorilla backs, and then we saw one of the males off by himself looking right at us- COOL!

And the meerkats were so cute-


And then my phone rang from home.


I had scheduled a dentist appt for DS14 since DH has to take him anyway (sometimes it's hard to keep him in the chair and DH is MUCH stronger than me!) but, unfortunately, DS did not want to get out of the car at school- he associates going to school with getting out of a bus, not a car. So we all came up with the idea of getting him into a school van and driving him around and then he got out. PHEW! I have to say, I have gone away with a girlfriend more than once before, leaving DH in charge. He is a VERY capable Daddy, and I am so lucky to have him! But sometimes, when I come back from being away and he is like "Piece of cake" I feel a little unappreciated. This time, all h*** broke loose while I was gone, and while I don't wish that on any of them, I certainly felt more valued when I got home!

OK, so after an hour or so back and forth to NJ, we were back to having fun. I had never been out to Rafiki's Planet watch, so we hopped on the train.

When we got there, we said hello to Jiminy Cricket-

Then we sat in the rain forest room and listened in:


You know how the guide books all say, "If you're lucky, they'll be performing a procedure on an animal while you're there!". Well, I guess we were luckier than the proceduree, a porcupine who was about to have his, ummm, manhood cut off! YIKES!!!
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:29 AM   #14
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Yak & Yeti & Majarajah JT

You know what I noticed was so different about this trip? SHOPPING!!! My boys do NOT get into shopping unless it involves them and some kind of sports equipment. This was my first trip EVER to WDW without the wallet police, aka, my DH. LET THE MAD SPENDING BEGIN!!!!

Ok, not really MAD spending, but some cash was layed out all the same. Lonnie bought a Buda and some good luck thingees to hang around the house, while I got a necklace to wear to my friend Fiona's for Chinese New Year next year (I'm year of the Tiger). We were starting to get hungry, so we decided to see if we could get in early for our ADR at Yak & Yeti. I have to say, I nearly cancelled this one numerous times because it is not getting the best reviews here on the DIS. But although the food was kind of average, the atmosphere was A+++ and I would highly recommend a visit.
We each had a House salad:

That was yummy. Then we split a Dim Sum Basket and Lo Mein:


The shu mai in the basket were very tasty. And our Iced Teas were incredibly refreshing on such a hot day! But the atmosphere is what we loved-


And that's just what we saw on the way to the bathroom!!!
Really, it was a neat place- I just wish they would incorporate some Indian & more exotic Indonesian food in there because the restaurant itself is so much like you are in those places.


Next was MJT, for bats (who were fanning themselves to cool off) and tigers-




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Old 06-10-2008, 10:57 AM   #15
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Flights of Wonder and hell-OOOO Rita!

The tigers made us a little thirsty, so we decided to find the Dawa Bar and refresh ourselves with some refreshment-

This time our girlfriend, Rita, was frozen, but she was melting fast!!! So, drink 'em if you've got 'em! Or her! Or whatever! My Rita was plain, Loni's was a mango berry concoction which they were nice enough at the Dawa Bar to let me sample before I made the mistake of ordering something too sweet for moi. But Loni loved it.
We then went to FoW, and waited for the next show, being entertained by the owl and bird cm while we waited in the heat (soooo glad we had our girl Rita with us! ).

Does this bird remind anyone else of Mr Rodgers, or was I just having heat stroke? FoW was EXCELLENT!!! I can't believe I never went to this show before!! We sat up in the 3rd row or so on the left center of the stage, on the aisle. I'm telling you because these were GOOD seats- we had alot of birds flying directly overhead. This turned out to be Loni's favorite thing all day, as she is a bird girl, has 2 right now, but has had many others in the past. We even had two in college when we lived together, which her BF and I would always let out of the cage so they could fly and be free, AND which her BF & I found hysterical , but, Lonnie...not so much. Anyway, here are some birds for your viewing enjoyment:


We were so glad to have seen those birds, we can't wait to take our kids! We decided to do one more thing before heading back, well, 2 or 3 if you count the shopping! On sale sparkley tshirts! Antannae toppers for every holiday! Mickey etched wine glasses! All shipped back to the room! We decided to see Finding Nemo over Lion King, because we thought we'd do it at night along with EE and Tough Bug. I'm glad I saw Nemo without my boys- it's really good, and I loved watching all the little ones freaking over nemo, but my DS's are just too old to enjoy it anymore . On our way out of the park, it was PARADE TIME!!!


Time to head back to SSR....

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