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Old 06-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #1
Kevin Stringer
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A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 9


The participants:

Me, Kev, 51, husband, father, son, friend. In fact, just about everything to everybody on this holiday.
Wife, Tam, 45.
Daughter 1, India, 18.
Daughter 2, Georgia, 15.
Grandma, 84. The girls Grandma, my mother.
Susan, age kept quiet for fear of kick in soft tissuey area. Our friend from Tulsa.

Attending in part:

Sharon, see above for age. Friend from Texas.
Evan, 21, Sharonís son.

If you want to know more about us, have a look at www.kevinstringer.co.uk/index

I rise at 9.30am with a surprisingly clear head, I had been expecting a Corona backlash after our Jellyrolls excursion last night.
Tam and India are already up and sat on the balcony reading. Itís a beautiful morning and the forecast is for improvement over the next 2 or 3 days, so weíre hoping the rain might stay away for a while.

There is some discussion over what we should do. The plan had been to spend some relaxation time around the pool, but its so lovely Tam says sheíd like to go into Epcot to see some of the Flower and Garden Festival stuff as itís ending tomorrow.
Grandma, Susan and India decide to go to Downtown Disney for a spot of shopping, so me, Tam and Georgia walk across to Epcot, arriving at 11.30am.

This turns out to be a good move as World Showcase has not long opened and France and Morocco are practically empty, allowing us to wander around nearly alone. We donít do much except meander around the countries poking our noses into the gardens, shops and restaurants as well as the floral displays.

We stop in China for a Mango Gingerita, which is much nicer than it sounds, although one between two of us is enough.

We gradually work our way anti-clockwise around the lagoon, pausing only to ride Maelstrom in Norway, you to have to really, itís a legal requirement.
Next we head to the old Wonders of Life pavilion where there are many displays set up along with presentations and demonstrations. In one area they are showing a 30 minute long film, which explains the design, planning and implementation of many of the elements of the Flower and Garden Festival. This is incredibly interesting and I would advise everybody to watch this first before viewing any of the exhibits. Itís easy to become a little blasť about all the beautiful displays, but this film gives a real insight into how much time, effort and thought has gone into the festival.
After watching you look at it all with an enhanced appreciation for the skill, determination and hard work of the Disney horticulturalists.

We continue our walk back through World Showcase, pausing only to share a baked potato between the 3 of us. Itís been a lovely few hours enjoying the sights and sounds of World Showcase without doing very much at all.

Back at the Boardwalk we go down to the quiet pool for a couple of hours relaxing and I catch up with my trip report. The clouds are bubbling up again, but today they are mostly fluffy and white. Dark and ominous we do not like.

The original plan for the evening was to eat at Blue Zoo at 7.30pm, but the glimpse of the fireworks from the Boardwalk last night has convinced Tam that a viewing of Reflections of Earth is long overdue, so we try to bring our ADR forward a little. They manage to fit us in at 6.00pm.
The nice thing about the quiet pool at the Boardwalk is that itís nearly always deserted, today there are probably less than 10 people enjoying the Florida sunshine. I also like the fact that there is no blasted pool music blaring out! The last thing I want as I swim or lie in the sun is the Macarena assaulting my ears.

Back in the room a rum and coke is concocted by yours truly for all the adults. Although we have had the luck of the devil in avoiding getting caught in the thunderstorms, the first week has been somewhat of a disappointment weather-wise. Sat here on our balcony looking out over the Boardwalk and listening to George Gershwin playing quietly in the background while I gaze out at blue skies with a few white clouds scudding by truly brings home the reason we keep returning to Florida.

We all have showers, drying off using towels designated by the patented Stringer towel recognition system. This was first introduced on our Med cruise last year and is brought into play whenever there are 4 towels on a rack in the bathroom. Instead of top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right, they become left breasty dumpling, right breasty dumpling, left buttock and right buttock. On this holiday Iím a left buttock. This ensures we keep the same towel throughout and although you may easily forget bottom left towel, I guarantee youíll never forget youíre a left buttock.

Tam gets out of the shower and starts to dress only to be met with hoots of derision from the girls. She has pulled up her knickers a little too far and the girls reckon she looks like a female Borat in his mankini. Even I think this is a little unfair. Iíd like to show you pictures, but divorce lawyers are not cheap these days.

We meet Susan and Grandma at 5.45pm and walk across to the Dolphin under a near cloudless Florida skies.
We are seated immediately for our 6.00pm ADR at Blue Zoo in a booth on the far side of the restaurant. This is primarily a seafood restaurant and is on the expensive side, but is a very nice establishment with good service.

I have the halibut with a warm crabmeat, Dijon mustard and chive sauce. Grandma has the same, while Tam has a fish none of us can remember, it was a triple tailed something or other, Susan tries the soft shell crab and Georgia wants the flat bread from the appetizer menu. Poor India, I left her out, as I canít remember what she had.
All the food is good, but the fish dishes with the crabmeat sauce are a particular hit.

The ladies have 3 desserts between them Ė a chocolate melange (5 small separate chocolate servings), a pavlova and a Mai Tai banana cream flan. I have a glass of port. The total bill for the 6 of us including a bottle of wine and tip comes to $360. Like I said, not cheap, however this is not a rushed dining experience and we are there for well over two hours. I would definitely recommend this place.

The down side of the meal taking so long is that we now have little time to get across to Epcot for Reflections of Earth, in fact we just get to the bridge between the UK and France as it begins. Itís not my favourite viewing spot by any means, but weíre really not bothered as we know weíll see it a few more times on this holiday.

We leave Epcot along with everyone else and walk back to the Boardwalk. This is the busiest weíve seen this place since weíve arrived, a combination of the improved weather and it being a Saturday evening I guess.

Back to the room where Grandma and Susan join us to discuss what we will be doing tomorrow, Sharon and Evan our friends from Texas are arriving in the afternoon, so we just need a plan for tomorrow morning. We decide on the Animal Kingdom, aiming to get there for opening. An early night is therefore called for and weíre all in bed by 11.15pm.

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Old 06-18-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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those desserts look delicious. another great day.
Andrea xxx
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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Another great day
1982 WDW off site * May 2001 WDW off site * May 2005 DLRP * May 2007 WDW off site * Oct 2007 WDW off site * May 2009 DLRP * DLRP Christmas 09 * April 2011 3 wks Emerald Island, 3nt Dream cruise & Miami Beach * November 2011 SSR & VWL
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:14 PM   #4
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A very pleasant day old chap, just 2 observations...

Firstly, why oh why with all the relaxing walk around World Showcase aren't there more reports of sampling some libations?
Secondly, your room must be cramped with the four of you and George Gershwin (and I assume his obligatory piano).
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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I especially like the picture of the bonsai with the smallest hints in the background that this is EPCOT.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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Great Epcot and Blue Zoo photos Kev, another lovely day
Mandy xx

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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Sounds like a perfectly relaxing day/night.

The desserts at Blue Zoo look heavenly.

we arrive tomorrow!

14 trips and counting ...
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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*Sigh* My kind of day. Sauntering around World Showcase, soaking up the sights and sampling a drinkie here and there. Heaven. And then, to finish it off, dinner at one of WDW's best restaurants followed by my favourite evening fireworks spectacular. Just perfect.

P.S. We sampled the Mango Gingerita during the IF&WF. Matt liked it, but didn't love it, so I had it mostly to myself. Fresh mango and ginger both came through really strongly, I thought.

P.P.S. (To Susan) Are we going to get an addendum describing the further adventures of Susan, Grandma and India?

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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Everyone so far, has turned a blind eye to the towels and mankini. But not me..... Sorry Tam, couldn't help myself. Great report Kevin.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:07 PM   #10
Kevin Stringer
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Originally Posted by Boss Hogg View Post
Secondly, your room must be cramped with the four of you and George Gershwin (and I assume his obligatory piano).
Didn't you get a George in your room when you stayed at the Boardwalk? We kept him in the wardrobe. And don't be silly, how the heck would he get a piano in a studio? He uses a keyboard these days.

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:31 PM   #11
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Another great report. Blue Zoo sounds good.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GOS View Post
Everyone so far, has turned a blind eye to the towels and mankini. But not me..... Sorry Tam, couldn't help myself. Great report Kevin.
Heather I keep telling him too much information but he won't listen. I guess I shouldn't stifle his literary genius

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Old 06-18-2009, 06:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by UKDEB View Post
P.P.S. (To Susan) Are we going to get an addendum describing the further adventures of Susan, Grandma and India?
Tell you the truth, I did think about writing a little addendum, but being lazy had decided to let it slide. Thanks to your gentle nudge, Debbie, I will make the effort. This will be brief as there isn't much to describe beyond the fact that we spent a significant amount of our time apart that morning waiting for and/or riding Disney buses. What happened to us is a good example of how having your own wheels at Disney can increase the efficient use of time--and when you're dependent on Disney transportation, time management is less efficient. While the EPCOT faction characterizes their morning as a leisurely stroll through the World Showcase, those of us on the DTD foray experienced something much more like a forced march. Forty-five minutes+ evaporated getting from Boardwalk to DTD. We walked through the back of Marketplace, window shopping a little on our way to Earl of Sandwich where we had decided to have lunch. We arrived at the worse possible time--straight up noon--and while Dorothy and India held down a table, I took my place in the order line. Another 25 minutes evaporated before I was handed our sandwiches. We all had the original roast beef sandwich and split a brownie for dessert. We didn't linger long over the food (which we did enjoy) as we were aware the time was slipping into the future and our rendezvous time for the afternoon pool session was coming up fast. India really wanted to locate a special item for her boyfriend, something for him to wear at the Glastonbury Music Festival--a beer can helmet, so we pressed on. (Think we should be worried about India and Georgia's exposure to American redneck culture?!!) We asked a sales CM where in the DTD stores we might find such a useful chapeau. She assured us we WEREN'T going to find one in a Disney store. It was time to head back to the bus stop and make our way back to the Boardwalk. I guess I could have made up a story using Kevin's pixie plot, but afraid I'm not up to it. Perhaps there is a moral to my tale, though--Disney transporation is just fine when it's one of those days when it's "about the journey not the destination." On the other hand, when you've only got a three hour chunk of time you must remember that the round trip by bus will take half the time. Though we didn't accomplish much in the way of things that can listed, we did have a long, lovely visit, so I consider our morning a great success.
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:23 AM   #14
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Another great day Kev!
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:29 AM   #15
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Fab day kev
April 2003 DLRP, November 2004 WDW and Barbados, September 2005 WDW, September 2007 WDW,October 2009 WDW

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