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Old 02-17-2009, 08:21 AM   #106
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Great job on your weight loss progress!

We did the same thing on V-day, only we ate at Johnny Carino's, which is similar to Carraba's. We did our best to not overload on bread...hmmmmmm. And the olive oil dip...hhhmmmmm. I'm making myself hungry thinking about it!

It looks like you are going to have so much fun on your trip. We love Sweet Tomatoes.

Do you think your ticket plans would change if they extend the 4/3 deal? You don't have to get a dining plan to get the park tickets...
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:24 AM   #107
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Those flowers DH got you are so beautiful! And proud of you on the progress of your weight loss!
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:00 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsadams View Post
Great job on your weight loss progress!

We did the same thing on V-day, only we ate at Johnny Carino's, which is similar to Carraba's. We did our best to not overload on bread...hmmmmmm. And the olive oil dip...hhhmmmmm. I'm making myself hungry thinking about it!

It looks like you are going to have so much fun on your trip. We love Sweet Tomatoes.

Do you think your ticket plans would change if they extend the 4/3 deal? You don't have to get a dining plan to get the park tickets...
Thanks!! I kind of had a bad weekend, but I've been good so far this week...all two days of it anyway.

We were just talking about Johnny Carino's. We've never been. How would you compare it to Carrabba's (assuming you've been)? Aaron LOVES Italian food so he's always excited to try to new places.

Mmm...Sweet Tomatoes is one of my favorite restaurants. I just love salad and that place is like heaven to me! Sometimes I wish we would try the DDP and try some of the TS restaurants, but I don't think I could give up Flipper's, Sweet Tomatoes and Giordano's...oh, and DH would DIE if he didn't go to Carrabba's.

I was thinking about the 4-3 plan. I need to figure out the cost and see how beneficial it would be for us. I already have tickets, so it's not a line item on our budget. But, if it's worth it I would definitely consider it.

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Those flowers DH got you are so beautiful! And proud of you on the progress of your weight loss!
Thanks!! I love Gerber Daisies, and the fact they were pink made them even better.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:09 AM   #109
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Downgraded to a standard room...

I called this morning to make the final payment on our hotel reservation. While I was talking to the reservation specialist, I decided to downgrade our preferred room to a standard. I was thinking about it, and realized that we don't really need to be all that close to Classic Hall. We enjoy walking and I think it may be a bit more peaceful away from it. I did request a high floor in the 50's section. I realize this is the farthest away from the bus stop, but I also know you might be able to catch a glimpse of the fireworks (at Epcot, I believe) from the top level over there. I thought about requesting a room close to the lake. I may change my mind, who knows?

I also contemplated upgrading our reservation to a moderate, but Aaron said no. It would've cost $603.48 to do so. But, with the downgrade we're paying $332.16. If I had upgraded, I don't think we would've gone to Universal. So, I definitely think I did a good thing.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:38 AM   #110
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When we stayed at the POP we had a standard room and loved it. We were on the third floor of the 50s building, facing the lake. Beautiful view, quiet, steps away from the bowling pin pool and not too far at all to the food court and bus stop. If we stay at the POP again, that is where we will request!!! The walk really didn't seem far at all to Classic Hall.

I read mostly fiction, although I love biographies. Gone with the Wind and White Oleander are my two favourite fiction books. As far as memoirs/biographies go, I love A Long Way Gone, A Nurse's Story, Dancing on my Grave... I just finished reading all of those recently. What are some of your favourites? I'm always looking for something new to read!
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:41 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWRocksMySocks View Post
We were just talking about Johnny Carino's. We've never been. How would you compare it to Carrabba's (assuming you've been)? Aaron LOVES Italian food so he's always excited to try to new places.

Mmm...Sweet Tomatoes is one of my favorite restaurants. I just love salad and that place is like heaven to me! Sometimes I wish we would try the DDP and try some of the TS restaurants, but I don't think I could give up Flipper's, Sweet Tomatoes and Giordano's...oh, and DH would DIE if he didn't go to Carrabba's.
I've only been to Carrabba's once. Carino's is much more convenient to get to, so when we are in the mood, that's where we head. I could compare it to Olive Garden easier...

The complementary bread is a small/medium loaf, with a crusty thin crust and super soft inside. They bring a plate of toasted garlic with it and add the herbed olive oil to the plate to make the oh so wonderful dip for the bread. The olive oil is on the table so you can keep refilling the plate.

They charge 0.99 for unlimited soup or salad. Salad is a choice between a Ceasar or the house, which is greens, tomatoes, carrots, and maybe some cucumber? I leave off the croutons. You have a choice of some very tasty dressings. The unlimited salad is served plate by plate, not from a big central bowl.

They have a couple entree salads on the menu but by far the menu is pasta based. Their menu is divided into a section for traditional favorites and house specialties. Traditional favorites has the things like lasagna, eggplant parmigana (sp?), etc etc and some combos. The house specialties has a mix of pasta dishes (we really enjoy the spicy chicken and shrimp) and a few grilled choices where the side dish is pasta. When we went, DH and I tried to be good (wheat is a big no no on the food plan we are on) and we ordered grilled salmon with a honey citrus glace, sauteed spinach, and a side of angel hair pasta with Roma tomatoes (which was so simple and yet tasted SOOO good with all that butter!).

Their dessert is pretty good. I haven't tried too many. This past time around they had a special valentine raspberry tiramisou (sp?) which was absolutely incredible. We split it and I could have SO easy eaten my own, it was so light and fluffy and wonderful.

Sorry for such a big post on your PTR, but I can't compare the two, so I thought I would walk you through Carino's so you could make your own comparison.

I love salad too. Sometimes I just crave going to Sweet Tomatoes for it. DS loves thier mac and cheese. He thinks it's the best ever.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:43 AM   #112
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Quote:
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What are some of your favourites? I'm always looking for something new to read!
Do you like romance? Ever read Virginia Henley? She's a little racy but she writes a great story. Historical romance.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:08 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnpalm View Post
When we stayed at the POP we had a standard room and loved it. We were on the third floor of the 50s building, facing the lake. Beautiful view, quiet, steps away from the bowling pin pool and not too far at all to the food court and bus stop. If we stay at the POP again, that is where we will request!!! The walk really didn't seem far at all to Classic Hall.

I read mostly fiction, although I love biographies. Gone with the Wind and White Oleander are my two favourite fiction books. As far as memoirs/biographies go, I love A Long Way Gone, A Nurse's Story, Dancing on my Grave... I just finished reading all of those recently. What are some of your favourites? I'm always looking for something new to read!
So glad to hear you enjoyed that view, as I'm hoping that's about the area we get. I figured it would be a lot more peaceful in that area. In October, we were in a preferred 60's room (not facing the pool) and it was very loud. In fact, while I was in the bathroom one time I thought my sister had invited a group of people into our room -- it was THAT loud.

I'm a huge "Harry Potter" fan, and I really enjoyed the "Twilight" series. Although, I don't think Stephenie Meyer is a great writer. I did enjoy the books though. I love reading biographies. My favorite is "Theodore Rex" and "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" both by Edmund Morris. He's a fantastic writer! I just started reading "Walt Disney: An American Original" by Bob Thomas. Although, I don't have a lot of time to read b/c of LSAT stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsadams View Post
I've only been to Carrabba's once. Carino's is much more convenient to get to, so when we are in the mood, that's where we head. I could compare it to Olive Garden easier...

Sorry for such a big post on your PTR, but I can't compare the two, so I thought I would walk you through Carino's so you could make your own comparison.

I love salad too. Sometimes I just crave going to Sweet Tomatoes for it. DS loves thier mac and cheese. He thinks it's the best ever.
Thanks for explaining it so thoroughly! I appreciate that, as it gives me a good idea of what to tell Aaron about it.

So, do you think it's better than Olive Garden? We don't really care for OG
that much, except I do love that salad!

Do you guys have a Sweet Tomatoes near you? I actually wrote to them asking for one in Indiana. The closest one is either in St. Louis or Chicago. My sister and I actually took a road trip up to Chicago a few years ago just to go to Sweet Tomatoes and IKEA. We did wind up going to Wrigley Field and Navy Pier too, but that was on the spur of the moment. Obviously, we are driven by our stomachs.

Quote:
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Do you like romance? Ever read Virginia Henley? She's a little racy but she writes a great story. Historical romance.
DMIL just gave me a copy of one of Virginia Henley's books. I'm not sure the name of it, though. She loves romance novels, and she'll give them to me once she reads them. I'm a closet romance novel fan.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:45 AM   #114
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I'm a huge Harry Potter fan!!! I can't wait until Universal opens up their Harry Potter land. It sounds so neat!

I'll look into Edmund Morris next time I'm at the bookstore.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:54 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWRocksMySocks View Post
So, do you think it's better than Olive Garden? We don't really care for OG that much, except I do love that salad!

Do you guys have a Sweet Tomatoes near you?

DMIL just gave me a copy of one of Virginia Henley's books. I'm not sure the name of it, though. She loves romance novels, and she'll give them to me once she reads them. I'm a closet romance novel fan.
I like Carino's better than OG. The atmosphere is better IMO. It has a little bit of that cellar vibe going with dark woods, but also the tuscan feel with gold and red. There are more booths at Carino's too, whereas most OG don't have too many booths. We only go to OG now when we really want THAT salad. I used to buy the salad dressing from them to try to cut down on our eating out. It's the dressing really, that makes it so good.

Sweet Tomatoes isn't too convenient to get too. We have to make a point to go there. Which is probably good.

I like historical romance...
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:08 AM   #116
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Quote:
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That's so funny! I can just imagine if you woke your kids up to you rolling around in a bunch of money. "Mommy, where did you get ALL that money? And why are you rolling around in it?!?"
Yep, I would've had to come up with some sort of plausible excuse for that one - this trip is a total surprise for our boys! They have no idea that we're going Two reasons for that - (1) if they don't know, they can't tell dh's family (he doesn't want them to know beforehand kwim?); and (2) if they don't know, they won't be harassing us about it Oh, and because we just wanted to surprise them

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It definitely sounds like you got the better end of that situation! How old is your goddaughter? My BFF is having a little girl in July, and I can't wait until we can all plan a trip to Disney together. It will be so fun!
Yep, I definitely did get the better part of that! She will be 2yo on September 1 - we haven't seen them since last summer when they came here to visit We miss them!

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You'll have to let me know how it works for you. Right now, I'm just using a folder to keep all my stuff together. I have a lot of stuff on my computer, but I'm more of an electric copy type of gal -- until the trip rolls around of course. Although, all I have taken care of is our hotel. We don't do ADRs so it makes things a bit easier to deal with.
So far, so good - well, I haven't been printing out every bloody thing I can find on WDW this time like last time yet I NEED Disney to release the park hours for September though!

I, too, am a bibliophile, but I'm way too cheap to buy books new (I read too quickly to justify that in our budget lol) so I buy them at our local library. There's always a sales shelf there and the paperbacks are 3/$1.00, sometimes 4/$1.00 My preferred genres are thriller/suspense/mystery

Thanks to your encouragement, I'm really thinking about doing a TR (maybe even a PTR), but I would be doing that on another site The very idea still makes me , but perhaps I'll try!
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:13 PM   #117
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Quote:
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I'm a huge Harry Potter fan!!! I can't wait until Universal opens up their Harry Potter land. It sounds so neat!

I'll look into Edmund Morris next time I'm at the bookstore.
Oh yeah, me too!! I am so excited for it.

You should...he's really a great author. "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" actually won a Pulitzer. He's also known for his Ronald Reagan bio, but I haven't read that yet. I'm a huge Theodore Roosevelt fan, so I may be a bit bias. I also really like David McCullough a lot.

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I like Carino's better than OG. The atmosphere is better IMO. It has a little bit of that cellar vibe going with dark woods, but also the tuscan feel with gold and red. There are more booths at Carino's too, whereas most OG don't have too many booths. We only go to OG now when we really want THAT salad. I used to buy the salad dressing from them to try to cut down on our eating out. It's the dressing really, that makes it so good.

Sweet Tomatoes isn't too convenient to get too. We have to make a point to go there. Which is probably good.
Ooh, I think I'd really like that atmosphere too. I always get a bit claustrophobic when I go to our local OG. I swear they have crammed as many tables as they possibly could in a tiny little space. That salad, well dressing (you're right), makes it worth it. I actually have a bottle of it in my fridge right now. It's not exactly a healthy option, but it's just so dang good!

Yeah, if we had a Sweet Tomatoes close by I'd probably spend WAY too much money on eating out. It's just so yummy!!

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Yep, I would've had to come up with some sort of plausible excuse for that one - this trip is a total surprise for our boys! They have no idea that we're going Two reasons for that - (1) if they don't know, they can't tell dh's family (he doesn't want them to know beforehand kwim?); and (2) if they don't know, they won't be harassing us about it Oh, and because we just wanted to surprise them
Aw, I think that's really cool that you're surprising them! I would love to do that when we have kids. We kept out last trip a secret from my Mom. We felt that if she found out she'd just invite herself along and drive us all crazy. I was so impressed that I was able to keep my mouth shut for so long -- so was my sister. When you do tell the kids, make sure you capture on camera. I think the reactions would be priceless!!

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Yep, I definitely did get the better part of that! She will be 2yo on September 1 - we haven't seen them since last summer when they came here to visit We miss them!
Ugh, that's a long time! I hope it all works out. It stinks to be so far away from a close friend, especially when there are kids involved. I'm so sad that I don't get to be there for my best friend when she has her baby shower and baby.

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So far, so good - well, I haven't been printing out every bloody thing I can find on WDW this time like last time yet I NEED Disney to release the park hours for September though!
Ugh, don't you hate having to wait 90 days out?! I swear, whoever came up w/ that idea just needs to get the boot!! I don't make ADRs, but I would really like to see my touring plans on TourGuideMike. It's really annoying!!! I have to wait until May, and that just seems like a very LONG time.

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I, too, am a bibliophile, but I'm way too cheap to buy books new (I read too quickly to justify that in our budget lol) so I buy them at our local library. There's always a sales shelf there and the paperbacks are 3/$1.00, sometimes 4/$1.00 My preferred genres are thriller/suspense/mystery
Wow, that sounds like a great sale! I wish we had something like that around here. The Red Cross does a book fair once a year, and I've found some really great deals there. I found the fourth "Harry Potter" in mint condition for only $2! A friend of mine got a copy of a Frank Capra bio signed by Frank Capra for about $3. I was envious over that one.

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Thanks to your encouragement, I'm really thinking about doing a TR (maybe even a PTR), but I would be doing that on another site The very idea still makes me , but perhaps I'll try!
WHAT?! You mean, there is another site other than DIS?!?! You should definitely start one. It's hard at first, and even bit discouraging if you just have lurkers and no responders. But, after you get into it it's a lot of fun!
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:06 PM   #118
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I'm sorry you won't be able to be with your friend for her baby shower and the baby's birth - I know how hard that is

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Wow, that sounds like a great sale! I wish we had something like that around here. The Red Cross does a book fair once a year, and I've found some really great deals there. I found the fourth "Harry Potter" in mint condition for only $2! A friend of mine got a copy of a Frank Capra bio signed by Frank Capra for about $3. I was envious over that one.
You should definitely check your local library - I think most of them do have a sales area Wow, great deals on your HP book and the Capra bio!

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WHAT?! You mean, there is another site other than DIS?!?!
Well, maybe one or two other sites, hey? Just google "WDW Enchanted" - you'll find it That's where I think I'm going to attempt a PTR/TR
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:11 PM   #119
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LODGING = $332.16
Pop Century (standard) - $55.36*6 nights = $332.16

AIRFARE = $360.00 (projected)
Hoping to get a great deal with Southwest.

RENTAL CAR = $150.00 (projected)
Again, hoping for a great code through Mousesavers.com.

TICKETS = $471.00
All tickets will be purchased on UnderCoverTourist.com, unless UO comes out w/ a great deal (like the $84.95 one two years ago).

WDW
We're currently debating on two types of tickets for Aaron. I'm not sure if we want non-expiring days for him.
6 day park hopper = $272.00
6 day park hopper w/ no expiration = $348.00

Universal Orlando
2 Park Unlimited Admission - $99.95*2 = $199.00

FOOD = $350.00
WDW Park Food = $150.00
Universal Food = $40.00
Sweet Tomatoes = $28.00
Carrabba's = $42.00
Flippers = $20.00
Giordano's = $25.00
Groceries (breakfast items, bottled water, snacks, etc...) = $45.00

SOUVENIRS = $200.00
Pins - $100 - $30 Disney Rewards = $70
PhotoPass Share (tentative) = ??
T-Shirt(s) = $30.00
Egyptian stuff from the Mummy ride = $100

BUDGET GRAND TOTAL = $1863.16
Can I please steal this idea for my not-yet-actually-decided-if-I'm-doing-one-or-not PTR?

Of course, your numbers look much better than mine will - between four people instead of two and that bloody awful US$ exchange rate (which better go back up before we go or we may have to cancel ), my numbers are higher
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:14 PM   #120
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We're doing a standard room, too! Honestly, my reasoning was it's further to walk, so I can have an extra funnel cake every day.
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