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Old 06-05-2009, 10:12 PM   #1
valleygirl
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While DD does DC, Mom & Dad do Disney! Day 2 added - checking into CSR

In our school district it’s a tradition that the 8th grade travels to Washington DC at the end of the year to celebrate the end of elementary school and to tie into their American History curriculum. Since the school is K through 8, it’s something the kids look forward to for many years. This year it was our daughter’s turn to make the trek to DC. Since it’s been about 10 years since DH and I have been on vacation without children, we decided it was time for us to get away too and what better place to go than to the sunshine state!

I guess this is a good place to introduce ourselves!


I’m Maura and DH is George. We’re both 40 something (although DH only has 8 months left before the big 5-0!) We’ve been together for over 20 years and have 2 great kids, John who’s 23 and Samantha who’s 14.

We decided that we would begin our vacation by visiting DH’s father in St. Augustine and then head to Coronado Springs Resort on June 2nd. We left from TF Green on Thursday, May 28th and flew Southwest to Orlando. We rented a car through National’s executive aisle, picked a Mazda 3 and were on our way to St. Augustine without any problems. Although the plan was to stay in St. Augustine until Tuesday, after spending some time with family, shopping on St. George Street and relaxing on the beach our happy place was calling so we decided to head to Orlando on Monday, June 1st. I went onto Priceline to see what we could get for the night of June 1st and got the Hilton at Downtown Disney for $60.
We left St. Augustine at 9:00 am on Monday and arrived at the Hilton just before 11:00 am. We upgraded to a club level king room for an additional $50 and our room was ready right away.


Here's the view from our room


After settling in we decided to head over to DTD to explore and have lunch at one of our favorite places, Earl of Sandwich. The Hilton is a 5-minute walk to DTD. Here's a picture from the grounds of the Hilton to show how close DTD is.


Yay!! We’ve arrived at Earl of Sandwich!!


Went in looking forward to my favorite, beef & bleu, but, to my dismay, it was no longer on the menu. Oh well, I ordered the original
DH ordered the jerk chicken

Both sandwiches were great!

We then ventured forward

I stopped to pose with a princess


and hubby posed with a plastic family


We made our way through the marketplace and over to Characters in Flight, the balloon ride in DTD.



DH really wanted to try it so off we went! The balloon goes up 400 feet. For reference the Planet Hollywood revolving globe is 100 feet high.






After our flight we decided to head back to the Hilton and relax by the pool. The pool was fabulous and the lounge chairs were so comfortable with padded cushions. The pool bar made yummy frozen mudslides! What an awesome afternoon!






After a relaxing afternoon we headed to the club lounge and enjoyed potstickers, spring rolls, veggie crudites and cheese with a glass of wine.


The Hilton Hotel, grounds and room were beautiful. DH and I both agree that we will return to this hotel in the future.

Up next - we're off to CSR!!

Last edited by valleygirl; 06-06-2009 at 04:02 PM. Reason: enlarged pictures
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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This is my first time trying to post pictures so I'm not sure why the pictures are so small. Can anyone help me - how do I make them larger?
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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Sorry...can't answer about the pictures as I've never used Snapfish for my photos. But I just wanted you to know I'm enjoying your report and here for the rest.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:56 AM   #4
valleygirl
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Quote:
Sorry...can't answer about the pictures as I've never used Snapfish for my photos. But I just wanted you to know I'm enjoying your report and here for the rest.
Thanks Kat! I got a ton of information from your posts over at the CSR thread prior to our trip. I'll post an update over there when I get a chance. I think I know what I need to do about the pictures so I'm gonna try to edit my day 1 report
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by valleygirl View Post
Thanks Kat! I got a ton of information from your posts over at the CSR thread prior to our trip. I'll post an update over there when I get a chance. I think I know what I need to do about the pictures so I'm gonna try to edit my day 1 report
Pictures look great. And I'm glad I was able to help re CSR. Looking forward to the rest of your report.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
annnewjerz
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Great start!

The Hilton definitely looks nice and what a plus that it's only a 5 minute walk from DTD! We're currently trying to figure out what off-site hotel we want to stay at for our quickie trip from NJ in October and that looks like it might be right up our alley!

The Jerk Chicken sammie from Earl of Sandwich looks good---I think I might make sure that's the one I try next time we're down there.
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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Day 2 – Off to CSR!

Our plan was to sleep in today but I was too excited about moving over to CSR and was up at 6:30 am. We packed up our stuff and headed to the lounge for breakfast. Had some really good oatmeal, fruit and coffee and headed out a little after 9:00 am.

When I made our CSR reservation I paid for a king room and requested a room in the Casita section but then, based on information I got from the CSR thread on the resorts board, I called and changed my request to a room with a water view in the Cabana section. I also did online check-in 10 days prior to our arrival.

We arrived at CSR a little before 10:00 am and our room was ready. We were given room 5106 in Casita 5. Since I knew that this building had just recently been refurbished I was okay with the room, even if it wasn’t in the Cabana section I requested. I’m not sure if my second request was ever entered onto my reservation or if they put us in the Casitas because that’s what they thought I requested. Anyway, the room was beautiful and I was very happy with our location.

Since most of you have seen the pictures of the refurbished rooms by now I won’t take up space posting them here. Here are pictures of the view from our room though.







I absolutely loved the Casita section. The courtyards with the fountains were all beautiful and sooo peaceful. I especially liked the fountain courtyard in building 3, it felt secluded and all you could hear was running water.





We spent some time wandering around the resort and soaking up the atmosphere. In case any of you are wondering, this vacation was extremely laid back. We really had no plans other than going to Epcot on Wednesday. The main purpose of this vacation was to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company. It was great spending time with my best friend and realizing that Disney is still one of our favorite places, with or without the kids.

Next on our busy agenda was heading over to the dig site pool to relax and try some of the nachos I had read so much about. The pool was awesome! There were plenty of lounge chairs available and, being the (im)mature adults that we are, we loved the slide!











We ordered electric lemonades (Absolute Citron, blue curacao and lemonade) and split an order of nachos. The electric lemonade was really sweet , too sweet for my taste but if you like sweet drinks you’ll like this. The nachos were, in my opinion, just okay. I was really looking forward to them based on other reviews but I wasn’t impressed. Oh well, to each his own.

After spending a few hours by the pool we headed back to the room to change and get something to eat at the Pepper Market. Since it was a beautiful afternoon we decided to order the food to go and eat out by the lake. We chose to split the ½ rottisserie chicken with roasted vegetables and french fries. The meal cost $16.99 and was a perfect light meal when split between the 2 of us.

After eating we spent a little time relaxing in the room and then headed back to the pool for a hottub and some slide time! Did I mention that we had a blast on the slide???







Once again, back to the room to shower and relax. At about 8:00 we were both hungry so we headed up to El Centro in search of food. We ended up getting pizza at Café Rix. Now, I have to say that I initially planned on taking pictures of all the food we ordered since I really enjoy the reviews that show pictures of the food. Most of the time I forgot to take the pictures, but I really had to take pictures of the pizza because I couldn’t believe how much it cost! A slice of pepperoni pizza was $9.95 and a slice of cheese pizza was $9.75. So, for 2 slices of pizza and 2 cokes we paid $24.72 after tax (I just checked our receipts to make sure the amount was correct).





Granted the slices were on the large side, but they were still just slices! Oh well, we were on vacation and wanted pizza so we paid an obscene amount of money and enjoyed our pizza.

We then spent the night relaxing and watching TV in the room. Shortly after 11:00 Sam called from DC to tell us that they had just returned to the hotel from a dinner/dance cruise on the Potomac River and she was having a great time. I happily went to sleep knowing that we were all enjoying our adventures even if we weren’t together.
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by annnewjerz View Post
Great start!

The Hilton definitely looks nice and what a plus that it's only a 5 minute walk from DTD! We're currently trying to figure out what off-site hotel we want to stay at for our quickie trip from NJ in October and that looks like it might be right up our alley!

The Jerk Chicken sammie from Earl of Sandwich looks good---I think I might make sure that's the one I try next time we're down there.
Thanks for reading. The Hilton was very nice. It seems like the Hilton comes up a lot on both Hotwire and Priceline. If you use betterbidding dot com and biddingfortravel dot com you can pretty much figure out what hotel you've been offered on Hotwire and then bid lower on Priceline. Usualy works for me anyway! Have fun in October and DH highly recommends the jerk chicken sammie!
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:38 PM   #9
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I'm enjoying your report so far. It's nice to hear about CSR as we will be staying there in Sept. I can't believe you paid $24 for pizza slices you could get two pizzas plus salads, wings & drinks at a normal place for that price. It makes me glad that I'm on the DDP so I won't have to worry about it.

Can't wait to read more.
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:40 PM   #10
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Enjoying your report so far! The slide looks like a lot of fun...I can't wait to try it in August!!!

I will look forward to the rest of the report...and hey have you ever noticed that there are always a lot or Red Sox fans at the World!!!???

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Old 06-06-2009, 07:15 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=valleygirl;32159898]




If there was only one thing I think looks awesome about CSR, it would be the pool! Next time we go back to WDW, if I wasn't able to rent DVC points again---this would probably be where I'd choose to stay.

Quote:
So, for 2 slices of pizza and 2 cokes we paid $24.72 after tax (I just checked our receipts to make sure the amount was correct).



That's insane, but like you said---you're on vacation, so live a little!
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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I am enjoying your report so far. We stayed at CSR before the room renovations so I really would love to go again. We also stayed in a water view room in Casitas and loved it. I think it was building 3.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:30 PM   #13
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Great report, love the slide pictures!
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