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Old 05-19-2009, 07:18 PM   #121
hurleysweety
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ESPN Zone Review

Alright, ESPN Zone review.

About a month before our trip I signed up for the MVP club online. About a week before our trip I got the plastic card in the mail. It had a sticker on it to show that we should take it "to our nearest ESPN Zone to receive 40 points in the Sports Arena..." I also got to make reservations online which are actually PS. It guarantees that we will be seated at the next available table. How cool is that? It is a definite must have if you plan on going here.

We walked slowly and took our time to get to the restaurant. We took in the sites and sounds of DTD, since it was only 5:50 and our reservations were at 6:00. When we arrived, the line was practically out the door. Uh oh...but both DH and I were surprisingly calm and not frustrated, so rare in this kind of situation. About 5 minutes later, a man was going through the line to ask people what they were there for - to eat, to have drinks, to watch the game...I was so happy that I had reservations as many disappointed customers were turned away since they were told that the Screening Room was at capacity and was on a stand-by wait. This meant that for every one person that left the screening room, one person could come in. It also meant that many people were a little ticked off, since who would leave a game in the middle of it? So pretty much, those people with us in line who wanted to watch the game were a little out of luck.

When it was finally our turn we gave the lady the card. She didn't even pick it up or look at it or anything. She just gave us a pager. She was not in a good mood. We sat down on a bench and were the next people called, after a large group. We were seated at a 4 top table in the Studio Grill area and our server came promptly. I noticed that our ticket said, "MVP" on it, but we didn't recieve anything special for it. When I made the reservation, I was also asked what game we would like to watch so I got to explain it was DH's birthday and a specific baseball game that he wanted to watch. Both of these things were completely ignored and they wouldn't let us change any of the tv's around us to the baseball game. Only one tv had it on and it was behind DH. I understand that the Lakers game was the most popular to watch - but why couldn't they change just one? I took a couple pictures of where we were seated.





Also I made a little map from the ESPN zone's picture on their site to explain where everything is located:



I already knew what I wanted since I had perused the allears.net menu for so long. DH and I were the most excited about the free wi-fi that we had discovered while waiting in line. We were both trying to get it to work right so we could do some quick email checks and surf a couple sites on DH's ipod touch. Definitely made us wish we had an iPhone at this moment! Watch out, the internet will keep resetting itself if you access it there. If you switch to a new browser or tab, you have to accept the terms and conditions again and it resets everything . I posted that disboard post after trying about 6 times and trying to type it about 4 times. Oh man did it make me a little grumpy. Anyway, we soon ordered and I decided against a drink since my stomach was a little bit iffy. But I took some pictures for those interested...





Our food arrived rather promptly. Because we didn't order any alcohol, I felt the waitress would much rather pay attention to other tables.

DH had a burger with a side salad. He enjoyed it, but it took the server almost 10 minutes to get him mustard - eight minutes to get her attention and 2 minutes to bring it to the table. DH was not happy and had eaten the entire salad by the time he had mustard. Also, once again, our server really didn't care to take care of our table. The family next to us had a dad who continually was ordering cocktail after cocktail. She always made sure he had a new one...



And I had the southwestern salad. It was pretty good. The chicken had great flavor and tasted like it should. I did, however, feel like it was made in a large batch and that many other entrees on the menu that included grilled chicken came from this large batch. I would have preferred something a little more unique to the southwest flavor as indicated in the salad. The chicken was the best part of the dish though.The pasta overtook the lettuce way too much. And the corn salsa got old fast. If I got it again, I would get the corn salsa on the side. Also, the vinaigrette that it comes with, I would also get that on the side.



We didn't get desert since DH was stuffed after burger, salad, and turkey leg 2 hours earlier. We planned to maybe have dessert in the park later if need be.

All in all, service was bad - but it was a big game night, so I'm sure that added to it. It seems like a family friendly place, but there were definitely some foul mouths in there that I would not want kids around. A lot of families that had kids in there, the kids seemed bored and tired (maybe it was just me??) and the parents seemed to be happy to be there. There was also a large group with a bride and groom that seemed to be having a great time too. I think this place would be much better at lunch when it was quieter and we didn't feel rushed to leave our table so more people could come in. DH was happy and liked being there for his birthday, but even easy-to-please-if-it-comes-with-sports DH said, "I need to take you to the one in Denver, it is sooo much better."
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #122
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Weird, wonder why they bother asking you what you want to watch and then not following through! At least the food was.... ok. I could see the pasta in your salad being a bit weird. I prefer lettuce! I will make sure to make PS if we decide to go there. Although most playoff type stuff will be over by then I think maybe?
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:06 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blabbermouth View Post
Weird, wonder why they bother asking you what you want to watch and then not following through! At least the food was.... ok. I could see the pasta in your salad being a bit weird. I prefer lettuce! I will make sure to make PS if we decide to go there. Although most playoff type stuff will be over by then I think maybe?
You would hope so about the playoffs right? It seems like the basketball playoffs take FOREVER! Even DH agrees with me on that!! We were at the gym last night and the Laker's game was on and it was funny how much people were getting into the game. Every other point and foul, there was at least one "UGH! or YES!" heard in the gym. I was intrigued so I asked DH if it was an important game or something. Its the West Finals and only Game 1. Geeesh! Will it ever be over??? Although, playoff games are more exciting than regular season to me, so I'll actually tolerate watching them, even if I don't follow that particular team.
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Past Trips: WDW: Feb 1997 BWI, June 2008 *Honeymoon!*, May 2010 OKW & POR *2-year anniversary*, May 2011 OKW/BWV *3-year anniversary*, October 2011 VWL & POP DLR: 1994, Thanksgiving 2003 Portofino Suites, Oct. 2004, Oct. 2005, Nov. 2006 Carousel Inn, May 2007 Fairfield Inn, May 2009 DH Bday Trip Marriott Suites Anaheim, May 2009 *1-year anniversary*, GCH Suite, June 2009 Worldmark, Sept 2009 PPH, December 2009 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, April 2010 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, January 2011 Staybridge, September 2011 Red Lion, June 2012 Hilton Anaheim *4-year anniversary (celebrated late), Oct 2012 Ayres Anaheim, May 2013 GCH *5-year anniversary*, Sept 2013 Red Lion, Nov 2013 (1 Day Trip) Red Lion, Dec 2013 *Club 33* Castle Inn DCL:October 2013 - HalloWonder (Halloween) Cruise - Wonder 7 Night Bahamas from Galveston
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:30 PM   #124
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"Just hand over the Mickey Ice Cream sandwich..." And we're home :-(

Ah! Its that time again! Time for another PTR to take me away from my daily responsibilities at work to fantasize of my dream trip and schedules and planning galore! A time to celebrate my obsession of Disney with others that smile and laugh their way through the boards, instead of hiding in shame as my DH likes to tell people how he has to wait to eat his food since I must take a picture of it first. A time to do some quick planning since we leave in --- 9 DAYS!

Our Cast!

Me: 23, a go-getter with a passion for all things Disney! Tons of energy and I love to talk! And I LOVE food! Sarcastic and loud by nature, easy-going and quieter by choice.

DH: 25, Also a go-getter, type-A personality, loves Disney too - just not like I do, also a bit of a health nut - grumpy when people can't make decisions (like his parents...look out for that crap hitting the fan on this trip!!)



And this trip all started after we got back from our honeymoon, which is when the above picture was taken. DFIL and DMIL really wanted to experience Disney with us, and since DMIL likes to plan things WAAAY far in advance (like our honeymoon hotel reservations that she booked for us before we were engaged), I've known about this trip since last JUNE! And so they planned it for our anniversary and their anniversary ***aww how sweet*** and no, we don't think we're crazy for spending our anniversary with his parents. They're awesome and they've done a lot for us over the past couple years that I've known them!

DMIL: 51, likes peace and quiet, the simple things in life, loves to finally have a "daughter" in the family
DFIL: 54, used to be a super active young adult, would love to do everything - but there are physical limitations do to medical history, lover of just being together with his family

Here is a picture from the wedding of all of us:

And a picture with my parents at the rehersal dinner - probably going on a trip with them in the next couple years - my dad is like a normal person only needs Disney once every 2 or 3 years, haha


So more about DFIL - He was hospitalized after having trouble breathing in Feb 09. It was discovered that he had blood clots in his lungs, knee and a couple other places. All the doctors were amazed that he had lived/was still alive. After weeks of not knowing the outcome and being in and out of the hospital, we are thankful that he is doing well. He is still on medication for it and has many more limitations than in previous years. He would love to ride every ride possible, but with his back, neck, and knee, they are out of the question. Some of these issues are also a result of some fanciful youth mischief, he was quite the brave one in college! This trip will also celebrate his recovery and the miracle of life!

Family Matters
- DH has a very close-knit family that tells each other everything under the sun. Which is different from my family where there was definitely a strict line between parent and child, and there still is sometimes! I like being with them because they are so eager to get to know me and spend time with me. I enjoy getting to know them as well. They always make sure I'm comfortable (like when it was 4 degrees in Colorado when I visited last time, "Are you SURE you're warm enough? Do you need another blanket? Is this food okay?"

Biggest concern about the trip? ILs can probably only ride about 3 rides in the entire park. While DH and I've accepted this, ILs will probably feel obligated to ride other rides which will turn into arguments - since DH wants to make sure that his dad doesn't do anything too much and that his mom isn't too stressed from all the crowds. Not so much with me, but DH...oh look out. So why are we taking them to Disney? Well it was their idea and all they've talked about for the past 8 months and EVERY time we're on the phone. So I really REALLY hope they have a wonderful time and that DH and I just have fun being there and aren't so concerned with go-go-go and rides. We might need some extra pixie dust!!!

So whats the plan?

DH and I arrive on May 30th via driving and ILs come on May 31st via a plane. We're coming in early to celebrate our anniversary without his parents and have a fun night alone in Disney. There was sooo much talk about where we would stay this ONE night and what kinda things we wanted to do before they got there...and so...

Its probably the most exciting news ever that I have to try really hard not to brag about to anyone (haven't shared this news with any of my friends...)

***drum roll please***
DH agreed and we booked our first night at the GRAND CALIFORNIAN!!!

Its only one night, but we have been talking about it for weeks and we are so stoked to be staying there. Its a once in a lifetime type of thing! We used some found money and know it will be worth it. We got the AP rate, but still are in shock that we paid THAT much for a room. But we will be staying with ILs with no cost to us, for the rest of the week. Basically, May 30th is our day to do whatever WE want, even though our actual anniversary is May 31st.

On May 31, when we pick them up from the airport (which one, I don't know, been told probably 5 times but still forget) and head to the Worldmark Resort that is in Anaheim. It looks pretty nice, and its the same kind of resort that we stayed at on our honeymoon in Orlando. So its kinda cool we'll have spend the first week of June last year and this year in the same resort, just different cities - same Disney, just different parks, too! The only other must on this day is Aladdin since its the only time its playing while we're there. Stupid budget cuts...

On June 4, we head to Solvang, which is some sort of Dutch country type place that DMIL picked out to stay. We will be there for 2 nights and then back to DL for Saturday the 6th. On the 6th, I pricelined (yes its a verb now) 2 rooms for us for the last night. We did this so that DH wouldn't have to drive a 9.5 hour drive home on Sunday!!! We got the Hyatt Regency Orange County for $41/night. I'm glad I did this since ILs wanted to do a hotel they found for $84/night on hotels.com. I told DH it was probably one of those sketchy ones that we saw along Ball Rd. So he immedietly joined me on the bandwagon to convince his parents that I could priceline a really nice hotel for us. DMIL, bless her heart, wanted to go ahead and do priceline herself, but I was afraid she would bid to high, or not understand what she was doing - so I polietley offered and gave a couple good reasons why I should. DFIL was thrilled that for two rooms plus taxes would only cost him $100 on his CC. I'm glad to make them happy!

And finally, cuz you all love pictures just so gosh darn much:
Mother/Son Dance - DH said it was SO awkward, but its cute to me!


Dancing with my brand new FIL!


My ILs put their dance lessons to use


And DH and I just had fun, we have no dance experience AT all!


Coming up:
Eats and Entertainment - because there is nothing I love to look forward to more!!
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Past Trips: WDW: Feb 1997 BWI, June 2008 *Honeymoon!*, May 2010 OKW & POR *2-year anniversary*, May 2011 OKW/BWV *3-year anniversary*, October 2011 VWL & POP DLR: 1994, Thanksgiving 2003 Portofino Suites, Oct. 2004, Oct. 2005, Nov. 2006 Carousel Inn, May 2007 Fairfield Inn, May 2009 DH Bday Trip Marriott Suites Anaheim, May 2009 *1-year anniversary*, GCH Suite, June 2009 Worldmark, Sept 2009 PPH, December 2009 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, April 2010 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, January 2011 Staybridge, September 2011 Red Lion, June 2012 Hilton Anaheim *4-year anniversary (celebrated late), Oct 2012 Ayres Anaheim, May 2013 GCH *5-year anniversary*, Sept 2013 Red Lion, Nov 2013 (1 Day Trip) Red Lion, Dec 2013 *Club 33* Castle Inn DCL:October 2013 - HalloWonder (Halloween) Cruise - Wonder 7 Night Bahamas from Galveston

Last edited by hurleysweety; 06-08-2009 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:39 PM   #125
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How about some honeymoon pictures?









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Old 05-20-2009, 05:58 PM   #126
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I love your all the pictures (especially the first one from your honeymoon!). How exciting that you are going in a little over a week! I'm glad you are having one day there by yourselves to celebrate your anniversary; its important to have some alone time once in a while.

You guys will love the Grand Californian! We stayed there a week (yikes! I don't even want to think about what it cost us) but it was so worth it. We'll probably never stay there again and were so grateful that we got to experience it.

I'm glad your FIL is doing better. Even if your IL's cant go on many rides they can still experience the atmosphere and the magic of the parks. I'm sure you will all have a great time!
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:08 PM   #127
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The only sport I can really stand to watch is basketball. It's fast moving and they do some pretty exciting things sometimes. And you can see their faces and bodies But yes, people get soooo nutty about sports. Mostly hockey around here!

Hey... you're a graphic designer, yes? Happen to have any fun disneymoon tshirt designs kickin around? Maybe I can con Jason into wearing one if they look professional.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:58 PM   #128
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I can't wait to read more and I hope that everyone has a good time!!!

We're going to be there the same time you are - May 19-31. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:04 AM   #129
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How exciting. Love the honeymoon pictures! Have a great time!
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:19 AM   #130
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Yay for another trip so soon! Cute pics again. Love your wedding dress, the lace is sooo pretty.

You'll be arriving on the day of my wedding! Where's my nervous smiley face? I mean
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:39 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderella-princess View Post
I love your all the pictures (especially the first one from your honeymoon!). How exciting that you are going in a little over a week! I'm glad you are having one day there by yourselves to celebrate your anniversary; its important to have some alone time once in a while.

You guys will love the Grand Californian! We stayed there a week (yikes! I don't even want to think about what it cost us) but it was so worth it. We'll probably never stay there again and were so grateful that we got to experience it.

I'm glad your FIL is doing better. Even if your IL's cant go on many rides they can still experience the atmosphere and the magic of the parks. I'm sure you will all have a great time!
Thank you for reading! We're excited to celebrate our marriage. We are so looking forward to the GCH!! We talk about it randomly...its like, "Whats for dinner?" "Oh this and that..." "Oh good...yay we're going to the Grand Californian!" We're so weird!

And thanks for your comments about FIL, he is so stoked to go and I hope it is a magical trip for him and his wife, as their anniversary is in about 3 weeks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateFish989 View Post
I can't wait to read more and I hope that everyone has a good time!!!

We're going to be there the same time you are - May 19-31. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!
Thanks! Woohoo! Hope you're having tons of fun right now!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by momto2nenas View Post
How exciting. Love the honeymoon pictures! Have a great time!
Thanks so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blabbermouth View Post
Yay for another trip so soon! Cute pics again. Love your wedding dress, the lace is sooo pretty.

You'll be arriving on the day of my wedding! Where's my nervous smiley face? I mean
Aww...I miss my dress. Maybe I'll start wearing it on a daily basis

Oh yay, wedding day is approaching so fast! Enjoy every nervewrecking, blissful, nervous, excited, emotional, romantic moment of your day!!! (On any given Saturday, if I pass a resort, or nice hotel, or golf course, I always think, "Oh I bet someone is getting married today!" and I get all excited , and now this time, I'll know for sure!)
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:54 AM   #132
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How exciting a week untill your trip back to Disneyland
Love your photos & your wedding dress is gorgeous. Hope you enjoy your night at the GCH
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:33 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blabbermouth View Post
The only sport I can really stand to watch is basketball. It's fast moving and they do some pretty exciting things sometimes. And you can see their faces and bodies But yes, people get soooo nutty about sports. Mostly hockey around here!

Hey... you're a graphic designer, yes? Happen to have any fun disneymoon tshirt designs kickin around? Maybe I can con Jason into wearing one if they look professional.
I don't really have a particular professional looking one ...but I did one for another couple a few months back when I had some extra free time and an anniversary one too.



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Past Trips: WDW: Feb 1997 BWI, June 2008 *Honeymoon!*, May 2010 OKW & POR *2-year anniversary*, May 2011 OKW/BWV *3-year anniversary*, October 2011 VWL & POP DLR: 1994, Thanksgiving 2003 Portofino Suites, Oct. 2004, Oct. 2005, Nov. 2006 Carousel Inn, May 2007 Fairfield Inn, May 2009 DH Bday Trip Marriott Suites Anaheim, May 2009 *1-year anniversary*, GCH Suite, June 2009 Worldmark, Sept 2009 PPH, December 2009 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, April 2010 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, January 2011 Staybridge, September 2011 Red Lion, June 2012 Hilton Anaheim *4-year anniversary (celebrated late), Oct 2012 Ayres Anaheim, May 2013 GCH *5-year anniversary*, Sept 2013 Red Lion, Nov 2013 (1 Day Trip) Red Lion, Dec 2013 *Club 33* Castle Inn DCL:October 2013 - HalloWonder (Halloween) Cruise - Wonder 7 Night Bahamas from Galveston
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:42 PM   #134
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Love your report so far, the photos are great

Those tshirt designs are brilliant
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:19 PM   #135
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And the rest of the trip report is coming!!!

So after ESPN Zone we headed over to DCA to once again, ride Toy Story. This was probably the best time we ever had riding toy story. We decided to do the single rider line so that we wouldn't have to wait 40 minutes. Well DH was going to go first so he could wait for me outside. After waiting for about 10 minutes, the CM was asking for a part of two in the regular line. He kept asking as far as those in line could hear/see. After no answer, he asked for a party of two from our line! DH I got on Toy Story in less than 10 minutes. We looked at all the people in line and though, "If only they were paying attention!!!" Of course, this just made the ride better. DH was all smiles the entire ride. We also both got pretty good scores if I remember. I never took pictures on this ride because I'm just too dang competitive, sorry guys. It was also at this time that DH wanted a mickey ice cream sandwhich, but we couldn't find one anywhere!

Then we headed over to Bugs Land. Here is a picture I took, pretty unsuccessfully, but you get the idea!



At Bugs Land I just took pictures. I have never been back here and didn't realize how empty it felt and how absent of "real" attractions that were available. I felt too big to ride any of the rides, so DH and I just watched. Because of the time, I felt that the Tough to be a Bug show wouldn't be playing anymore, so maybe we'll see it on our next trip.











And over to DLR for the fireworks. Excited DH thought maybe a frozen treat cart would still be open and he could eat his mickey ice cream sandwich during the wait for the fireworks. But no success

I overexposed this photo to give everyone an idea of the crowds 30 minutes before the show. Seriously, people have nothing better to do than line up to watch fireworks. On the next night, people were saving benches around seven. TWO AND HALF HOURS to wait for that? Wow. We showed up 45 minutes early and got a decent standing position. A family was in front of us they were old pros. All the kids had a game or cell phone and they call came to the spot and promptly spaced out and sat on the ground. About 10 minutes before the show, a CM told us we all had to stand. Like clockwork they all got up and stood their ground so no one would cut in front on them.


About 5 minutes later, a family who didn't understand English squished their way through the crowd and past the family in front of us. EVERYONE gave them dirty looks and tried their best not to let them past. But wouldn't you know it? Person after person moved aside and let the family of 5 or so past right ahead of them. But then you have to remember, the fireworks are in the sky. Who cares if you're another foot closer? I have fun in these moments, carefully observing those around me and experience the way different families operate and behave themselves. DH just gets frustrated, which I think is cute and all part of the waiting game for the big show.






And then a movie, for those who so desire to check out my awful camera skills. I had about 10 movies on this battery life, so soon after the fireworks, it kinda died. Oh well...




DH and I just waited and waited and waited a good hour for the crowds to disperse. But at this point, we were so incredibly tired. Our feet were tired and we were both a littttle bit grumpy. DH was at the point of "Whatever you want to do.." and no ride sounded appealing at this point. We sat at the entrance of Frontierland and just watched CMs yell at people for not following directions. Wow...people are REALLY dumb. Even leading their children against the wrong path...I laughed, DH was disgruntled.

I believe at this point we went to Pooh's corner and other places to find a sweet treat. All the snack carts were closed and no Mickey Ice Cream sandwich to be found. He wanted one so badly, but only churros, and the bakery on main street was open - with no frozen treats in site. Gibson Girl ice cream wasn't doing much for him either. Also, we were FREEZING at this point. We both had shorts on, flip flops, and I only had a light jacket. We were miserable and we decided to leave around 10:30.

The lines for the trams were extreme, but our wait wasn't too long. Back at the hotel, we were so glad to sleep and get ready for our morning at DCA! Things were looking up after we were warm and peaceful in the room. Grumpiness subsided as we talked about getting DH a Mickey Ice Cream sandwich tomorrow.

And that was Day 2 completed!
__________________
(me)... (DH)... (baby DD)... (Puppy Otis) --- "Your grace is enough for me" ---
Past Trips: WDW: Feb 1997 BWI, June 2008 *Honeymoon!*, May 2010 OKW & POR *2-year anniversary*, May 2011 OKW/BWV *3-year anniversary*, October 2011 VWL & POP DLR: 1994, Thanksgiving 2003 Portofino Suites, Oct. 2004, Oct. 2005, Nov. 2006 Carousel Inn, May 2007 Fairfield Inn, May 2009 DH Bday Trip Marriott Suites Anaheim, May 2009 *1-year anniversary*, GCH Suite, June 2009 Worldmark, Sept 2009 PPH, December 2009 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, April 2010 Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, January 2011 Staybridge, September 2011 Red Lion, June 2012 Hilton Anaheim *4-year anniversary (celebrated late), Oct 2012 Ayres Anaheim, May 2013 GCH *5-year anniversary*, Sept 2013 Red Lion, Nov 2013 (1 Day Trip) Red Lion, Dec 2013 *Club 33* Castle Inn DCL:October 2013 - HalloWonder (Halloween) Cruise - Wonder 7 Night Bahamas from Galveston
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