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Old 04-03-2010, 09:42 PM   #91
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Wow! That was a lot of food for 2 people! That cheese plate looks yummy though!!
Yeah, it really was too much food. Especially since it was just meant to be a "midnight snack" and not a full meal
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:44 PM   #92
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Just stopping in to say I hope everyone had a wonderful time on Easter. We had a great day with family. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling under the weather and just found out I have Strep Throat Was hoping to get an update in, but just realized that I don't have all of my next day's pictures uploaded and the Hubby has the portable memory with him Hopefully later today
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:03 PM   #93
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A little bit fuzzy .....

Ok, picture problem solved and I'm ready to continue on I will have to warn you though, for some reason this day is a little bit fuzzy, and I don't have as many pictures as normal to refresh my memory

If you will recall, we had spent a late night at Hollywood Studios followed by a midnight "snack" in our room. Because of this I let Candi sleep in, and I even stayed in bed for quite a while after waking up. After about 15 minutes of laying around I flipped on the TV to Stacey and started packing up our bags. Today we would be switching resorts and I was a little surprised at how much it was bumming me out. I had been so excited about the switch leading up to the trip, and now that it was here I found myself shedding a couple of tears. This was probably due to the fact that Wilderness Lodge is starting to feel like "home" to us, it's where our Honeymoon was spent and where all of our Disney memories together were up until this point.

Anywhooo, after wiping away my tears I got out my leftover fruit bowl from the night before and started munching away while I finished up the last minute packing. I knew that we didn't have to be checked out until 11:00 a.m. and so I wasn't in any huge rush to get out. I was really starting to enjoy this newly found "go with the flow" vacation mood of mine!

I had just zipped up the last suitcase when Candi started stirring awake .... perfect timing if I might say so myself I asked if he wanted some of my fruit for breakfast and he said no, but he wouldn't mind terribly if I got his Pecan Pie out of the fridge

While he enjoyed his mighty nutritious breakfast I started getting ready for the day


You can see the combination sleepy/crying eyes in this picture


Candi absolutely HATES when I wear my hair in a ponytail so he was trying to distract me so that I would get frustrated and leave it down .... ummm, yeah, you try the Florida humidity with your hair sticking to your neck buddy

While Candi started to get ready I went down to the gift shop to pick up our packages that were supposed to be delivered (our Aerosmith T-shirts and our picture from Epcot) as well as turn in our DVD rental from the previous night. When I gave them my receipts for the merchandise they had my picture but not the T-shirts I asked them if they could please double-check and they still could not locate the shirts. They promised me they would get the issue resolved and have the shirts delivered to our new resort by this evening. I was somewhat frustrated but appreciated the CMs willingness to help out and let it go.

After I returned to the room we packed up the toiletry bag and made our way down to the Wilderness lobby for the last time this trip


I stopped for a few minutes just staring while a few tears came down my face while Candi held his arms around me. He knew how much this place means to me and I appreciated that he didn't push me along or crack any jokes about how sensitive I can be. He just got it

After I had absorbed enough of the atmosphere to last me until next time we went up to the nearest CM to find our where we dropped off our bags to be transferred. This was absolutely a piece of cake; we were directed to the outdoor valet stand where they tagged up our luggage, gave us our claim tickets and told us to enjoy our day. We were ensured that our bags would be in our room whenever we felt like checking in for the day.

We made one final trip down to the WL bus stop and waited for the correct bus



I'm pretty sure that I had barely snapped that picture when the Hollywood Studios bus showed up! We were the only people to get on and hoped that the empty bus was foreshadowing of the park crowds that day ....
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:32 PM   #94
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I can't wait to stay at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge in a studio in about a month and half. I'm glad to hear that you liked it so much. Can't wait for the rest of your TR.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:53 PM   #95
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I can't wait to stay at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge in a studio in about a month and half. I'm glad to hear that you liked it so much. Can't wait for the rest of your TR.
Thanks for reading! You will LOVE the WL
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:31 PM   #96
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Within minutes we were pulling up to Hollywood Studios and from the entrance it looked "so far so good" as far as crowd levels were concerned.

On the way to scan our tickets and start our day I told Candi how sad I was that our favorite ride wasn't running



On our honeymoon we had a little bit of time to kill before our reservation at Hollywood & Vine so we decided to go to the Sounds Dangerous show. Major mistake ... on the restaurant and the show .... we laugh about it now, but my goodness we did not enjoy that portion of our trip

We walked into the park and the crowd levels still seemed minimal and I finally let myself believe that it wasn't going to be a crowded day







I absolutely loved when we would get Photopass photographers who would take several pictures. You can't tell in this picture because I have my sunglasses on, but I have a lazy eye and sometimes it gets really bad when I smile. So, it was nice to constantly have options for the pictures

After we had our "beauty shoot" we decided to find the Sci Fi Dine In, so we weren't rushing around to find it when it came time for lunch. Once we located where it was, we just took our time strolling around to see what caught our attention.

We passed by the Indiana Jones Stunt Show and made note of the future show times.



This is one of the two things that we didn't get to do last time that Candi was really hoping to do this year.

From there we made our way back across the park to follow back through with routine.



I mean, afterall, it had been like twelve whole hours since we sang along with Aerosmith while screaming our heads off

If I remember correctly we rode both, Rock'n and Tower twice apiece before we decided we should give some love to other parts of the park.

However, with the exception of those two rides, Studios just really isn't our "cup of tea" so to speak. It's not that we hate the park, but we don't necessarily love it either

After walking around for a while we decided to check out the Backlot Tour and see how many character spots we could find before lunchtime.

On our way to the Backlot Tour we ran into this guy



After dodging his bullets, we got in line for the Backlot Tour



We picked the perfect time to get into line, because we weren't qued up for too long before we were taken into the the area where you watch the special effects show











*** Oh, darn it, gotta stop the update for now .... hopefully will be back later!
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:53 PM   #97
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I am LOVIN your trip report!! And I am loving your pictures.You guys are such a cute couple. My question is did you use a tri-pod when you took your night photos. My hubby and I have been considering getting the camera you have b/c ours takes terrible night/fireworks photos. Thanks a bunch and can't wait for the next installment! (Oh and if we do purchase the camera you will have to give me some tips)
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:32 PM   #98
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I am LOVIN your trip report!! And I am loving your pictures.You guys are such a cute couple. My question is did you use a tri-pod when you took your night photos. My hubby and I have been considering getting the camera you have b/c ours takes terrible night/fireworks photos. Thanks a bunch and can't wait for the next installment! (Oh and if we do purchase the camera you will have to give me some tips)
Thank you so much To be completely honest, I did not use a tripod for any of my pictures. I know it would have made them look a lot better, but I just didn't want to carry it around all the time For the fireworks pictures at Epcot after our dinner at Teppan Edo, I did rest my camera on the ledge of the balcony. For the other night pictures, they were all handheld. The trick is to take lots of shots and delete the bad ones so that nobody every sees them I also do all my night/fireworks shots with the flash off. I would highly recommend my camera (Nikon D5000) to anybody who was interested in a DSLR; it is quite simple to use and does some amazing things! If you have a Costco near you or a membership to shop online they have an amazing package on the camera right now. You can get the camera, 2 lenses (they are 2 of the 4 I own), a carrying case, a memory card, a battery and an instructional DVD for around $850 - that's less than I paid when the camera came out for the body and 1 lens
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:24 PM   #99
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Hannah and Villians and Cars, oh My!

So, I last left you with a bunch of unsuspecting volunteers getting soaked with special effects. Once the demonstration was over, we made our way over to the tram for the next portion of the tour.


I had to stop and take a picture of this from "Hannah Montana: The Movie." My sister absolutely loves Hannah and she was thrilled when I emailed it to her that night!

While on our tram ride we passed by the Lights, Motor, Action stunt show and Candi asked me to check the times for it - it was the second thing he wanted to make sure we did this time.



I know a lot of people don't particular care for the Backlot Tour, but I have to say that I really enjoy seeing all of the different props and things. I guess it's not the same since they don't actually film movies there anymore, but we still enjoy it.


From "Pirates" one of our favorite movie series!


I have a picture of this when it read "Disney's MGM Studios" from when I came with my family in 1998!


After riding this ride on the previously mentioned family trip, I bought one of those clapboards in the gift shop. I actually still have it and it is in our Disney decorated guest room!


The costume designers are such talented people - I could only dream of being so great at something!


You can never see too many pictures of Walt's plane.

Uh-oh, it's time for the scary part of the ride







This is the one part of the ride that gets a little old for me. It's kind of like the Safari ride at Animal Kingdom - it was really enjoyable the first couple of times, but you wish it would change every so often.

After leaving the tour we were hoping to get a good look at the Villians showcase but it was so darn crowded in there. Normally lots of people don't bother me, but it was a massive group of pushers and shovers ARGH!





And....that's all we looked at before hightailing it out of there....

From there we weren't really sure what we wanted to do. We had about an hour before lunch and it wasn't allowing enough time to catch the next time slot for either of the stunt shows we wanted to see. So, instead we decided to roam around and see how many character spots we could find!

The first one we stumbled upon was Monsters Inc. I absolutely adore this move - Candi's goddaughter looked exactly like Boo as a toddler, and it's just an all-around cute movie to me.


This is one of my absolute favorite character shots from the trip!



After hanging out with Mike and Sully we came across my favorite pair of vehicles. Lightning McQeen and Mater ... "The name's Mater .... like Tamater without the Ta"



I'm pretty sure we crisscrossed around several portions of the park, but we just didn't have a particular destination in mind. At one point, I shrieked like a child because I saw it ....... the infamous umbrella picture spot!



From there we strolled along and I let Candi control the camera for a while. He always teases me about my obsession with taking pictures, but boy it's hard to get that camera back once I give it to him!




Candi commented that he would like to eat here next time we come - funny thing is, when I was going over menus while planning this trip he said "ugh, I don't like Italian enough to eat it on vacation"



After this we stumbled upon the Muppets show and decided to head on in. This is another one that I know people think is outdated, but it's the exact stupid humor that makes us laugh for days!





While laughing our way around the park we started heading back towards Sci Fi



So, do I finally get my camera back before it's time to eat?????
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:31 PM   #100
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Great update! I especially loved all your Backlot Tour pictures since DBF and I missed it this past Friday. I didn't realize it closed at 7pm (park was open until 10pm), so we were all the way on the other side of the park when we saw it on the times guide.

And how cute is that pic of your hug with Sulley!
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:08 PM   #101
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Thank you so much To be completely honest, I did not use a tripod for any of my pictures. I know it would have made them look a lot better, but I just didn't want to carry it around all the time For the fireworks pictures at Epcot after our dinner at Teppan Edo, I did rest my camera on the ledge of the balcony. For the other night pictures, they were all handheld. The trick is to take lots of shots and delete the bad ones so that nobody every sees them I also do all my night/fireworks shots with the flash off. I would highly recommend my camera (Nikon D5000) to anybody who was interested in a DSLR; it is quite simple to use and does some amazing things! If you have a Costco near you or a membership to shop online they have an amazing package on the camera right now. You can get the camera, 2 lenses (they are 2 of the 4 I own), a carrying case, a memory card, a battery and an instructional DVD for around $850 - that's less than I paid when the camera came out for the body and 1 lens
UPDATE!!!!! I GOT THE CAMERA. love it so far but it will take me forever to figure half of the tricks it does. I have to "practice" and get comfortable with it before our trip in August. We bought it at sam's club, it came with bag, DVD, and 1 lens for $780 including tax. Happy Anniversary to me!!
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:51 PM   #102
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Great update! I especially loved all your Backlot Tour pictures since DBF and I missed it this past Friday. I didn't realize it closed at 7pm (park was open until 10pm), so we were all the way on the other side of the park when we saw it on the times guide.

And how cute is that pic of your hug with Sulley!
Thank you! I had no idea that Backlot closed early either

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UPDATE!!!!! I GOT THE CAMERA. love it so far but it will take me forever to figure half of the tricks it does. I have to "practice" and get comfortable with it before our trip in August. We bought it at sam's club, it came with bag, DVD, and 1 lens for $780 including tax. Happy Anniversary to me!!
WAAAAAHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOO:wo ohoo:

How are you liking it so far? That's such a great deal, I was impatient and bought mine on the first or second day it came out so I paid more than I would have liked for mine. Oh well! It's been an AWESOME camera and I have no complaints so far!

You will have to show me some of your favorite shots you take with it - I love seeing pictures from other people's perspectives
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:30 PM   #103
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Well, after walking all over Hollywood Studios for a couple of hours it was finally time for our Sci fi reservation





We checked in and were told there would be a small wait. So far, I loved the theming of the restaurant. While we were waiting I heard the hostesses talking to a group of guests and informing them that not all guests get to sit in cars during their meal ..... WAIT! WHAT???? Ok, Ok, call me crazy, but this really broke my heart and I started to panic a little bit. This reservation was based purely on atmosphere and sitting at a regular table was like taking the atmosphere away for me. I occupied myself by talking to Candi and held my breath slightly when we were led to our table.

Our hostess was very friendly and must have seen the fear in my eyes, because she quickly told me "I hope you don't mind but ....."

Oh no, this is not good, not good at all

Oh wait, she hasn't finished her sentence yet, guess I better pay attention. "....you will be hitchhikers for the afternoon" I seriously wanted to give her a great big hug right then and there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All panic aside I started absorbing the atmosphere



I have to say, I truly miss the old Drive-In theaters. We used to go a lot when I was little and it is one of my favorite memories!

It took a few minutes for our waitress to come around .... the place was PACKED! So we killed some time by doing ... what else? .... taking pictures





Once our waitress made it to us we were ready to place our full order, and asked if she could space it so that we didn't receive everything at once.


I had a chocolate milkshake as my "drink" but it was way too think to drink out of the straw.

For our appetizers we had the spinach and artichoke dip which was "ok," nothing great but nothing bad and the 7 bean chili which was phenomenal!





Our main courses were a cheeseburger with bacon and swiss cheese, it was good. Again, not bad but not especially memorable either.



Candi ordered the ribs and said they were really good, but he wasn't hungry enough to actually finish them all. At this point, we were really starting to become overly full from all the food we had been eating.



For dessert we had an apple crumble/pie type thing and fresh fruit. The apple dessert was very good, but the fruit was nice and refreshing and much needed.





Overall, our meal was enjoyable and we loved the atmosphere so we will definitely be back in the future.

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Old 04-24-2010, 02:34 PM   #104
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After lunch we decided to go ahead and stay in Hollywood Studios until we were ready for our "nap time"

As we were walking we realized the Block Party Bash was about to start and there were plenty of spots along the walkway open, so we decided to stay and watch it.



Hmmmm ..... not exactly what I was expecting it to be. I thought it was going to be like the parade we saw at California Adventure earlier that year. We quickly realized it was not, it wasn't our type of entertainment so we moved on. We stumbled upon "Voyage" and since "Little Mermaid" is one of my all-time faves Candi said we should go watch it. We had just missed the start of the show so we sat along the wall to wait for the next one. After about 2 minutes a CM came in and told us she had some bad news. Of course, I thought she was going to say they weren't doing the next show or something. Actually, she told us that we were not allowed to sit in the waiting area About 2 minutes before they let us into the show it got so crowded in the waiting area. We were all seriously crushed in there like little sardines. Luckily, we were quickly allowed in to find seats for the show!





Now, I know that this show gets a lot of bad feedback, and I can understand due to all the other shows that go on at Hollywood Studios. However, I still quite enjoy it and will keep going back to watch it!

After we became part of Ariel's world we decided to immerse ourselves in the movies once again and check out The Great Movie Ride. The line was non-existent and we were in our car within 2 minutes. We got to ride up front with the "guide" which was a neat experience.



I was secretly hoping for the Old West scene because I have never seen it. However, we got the gangster scene ... oh well, maybe next time!




Ahhhh, Wizard of Oz, my favorite scene. I'm from Kansas and loving Dorothy and the gang is a must!



Again, I know a lot of people don't like this ride, but I think it's fun in a super cheesy sort of way. I will keep riding it ..... at least until I experience the Old West scene

After exiting the movies I remembered about the Lights! Motors! Action! Stunt show and we hightailed it over there. This would be the first of the leg cramps I would get on this trip. I am not exactly the most fit person and although we had walked every night leading up to the trip, my muscles are not used to running. Let me say, they were ANGRY that I was running to the show

We made it with a few minutes to spare and I asked Candi if he had any cash for a Sprite to re-hydrate me from our sprint He said he didn't and offered to run to a snack place to use some snack credits. I declined and a super nice man let us know the vending machine takes credit cards .... super smart move Disney!!

Alright, Sprite in my hand and ready for the show. Candi was grinning from ear-to-ear as we had missed this last time and he was super bummed about it.







All of a sudden, in typical Florida fashion, the heavens opened up and it started to pour!!! And, I don't mean pour, like it was all sunny and then started to rain ... I mean it was POURING to the point they shut down the show and people ran for cover.



Luckily, we were already sitting under the little awnings so us (and my camera) were safe They said when the rain calmed down they would re-start the show. We didn't want to get wet so we just waited it out. It was probably 15-20 minutes before the rain stopped, but they did in fact continue the show once the sun came back out for a few minutes.















Overall, it was a fun time, and I'm glad that Candi got to do something he had been wanting to do. At points it kind of dragged on, but I'm sure this is in part due to having the lengthy timeout from the rain. It also stops and go's because they explain how they do all the different stunts. This was super cool, but also takes some of the thrill out of it .... purely my personal opinion though

Once the stunt show ended, we decided to head back to the resort. It was super humid from the rain and we were both tired AND super excited to see our new "home" for the next few days ........
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #105
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Ok, so I have 3 1/2 days of this trip report to write about and I am right here and now making a vow that I will have it completed before we leave on our next trip .... in 12 days

So, without further ado .... let's get this show back on the road!

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We left a semi-rainy and majorly humid Hollywood Studios with a bit of a flutter in our tummies. If you recall, we had checked out of our "home away from home" - The Wilderness Lodge (Villas, this time) - in order to try out our DVC "home" resort - Animal Kingdom Lodge. We were both excited and scared at the same time. We were excited because we had scored a room at the Kidani Villas, which were not only our home resort, but had just been completed 4 months prior to our check-in! We were scared because we absolutely adore Wilderness Lodge and we weren't sure if we would regret our decision to try somewhere new.

I'm not going to lie, when we first pulled up to AKL - Kidani, we weren't overly impressed. They are made to look like an African type hut and it was cool, but it just didn't blow us out of the water the way the log cabin look of WL does. We walked inside the lobby and, to be honest, I don't even recall remembering what it looked like at first We were greeted with a warm "Jambo" and "Welcome Home" and immediately helped at the front desk. I apologize as I do not remember the CMs name, but she was super friendly and helpful. We had originally planned on staying one day extra and then changed plans, but I forgot to shorten our stay and our dining plan The CM was more than helpful in taking care of both - the only bummer was that our points were now lost, because we were at the end of our use year. Not her fault and no point in dwelling over now though She also took care of shortening the dining plan for us; in fact she even made sure we wanted to remain on the deluxe dining plan. We had discussed the night before switching to the regular dining plan if it was an option, but in the end remained on the deluxe plan.

We were given our portfolio of information about the resort, a calendar of events going on during our stay and a map highlighting where our room was located. The AKL is set-up a little odd and although I don't remember what level our room was on (I believe it was third floor) we were informed that it was actually the floor we were on now

After we had completed all our changes and received our key, we set off for the hike to our room. And, I do mean hike. My goodness, the resort just keeps on going and going and going ....... In hindsight, it was probably the same distance as walking from the main lobby at WL to the DVC villas and then down the hallway to our room but boy it felt like a long walk to that room.

We had booked a Savannah view and we couldn't wait to see it .... so, immediately upon opening the door we, of course, ran out to the balcony


breathtaking! But where are all the animals

Ok, remember how the outside of the resort didn't really "WOW" me, well the looks of the room sure did



I love all the colors on the balconies and the subtle artwork towards the bottom and the wood posts. Maybe I was just in "doubt" mode when we first pulled up, but, at any rate, I was starting to really love the look of AKL.

After sitting out on the balcony for a while we went inside to see if our luggage had been delivered over from WL yet. Remember how they said it would be absolutely no problem .... you see where this is going right?

Well, we called the front desk for our luggage and they said that there wasn't any luggage brought over. We gave them a listing of everything we had checked at WL including the ticket claim numbers and kindly asked them to check again. They called back without any success, but said they were currently contacting WL and would make sure to make everything right. I kept telling myself not to stress out and within 20 minutes (that felt like 2 hours ) they arrived with our luggage. Even though the claim tickets were marked with "Kidani" they had been delivered to "Jambo." Oh well, all was good in the world and I had clothes to wear

After we had gotten unpacked we decided to take another glance on the balcony we had "paid" for and sure enough there were some animals out now

*** Quick backstory .... Candi grew up on a Ranch; his Dad now co-owns and Manages a Ranch; both ranches were for raising cattle for ... well, we all know what it was for so I just won't say it .... but, Boy Oh Boy do we love to have ourselves a BBQ after what is done

So, we walk back out to our balcony to relax before dinner and what do we see


Ankole cattle

Candi's response? "I came all the way to Florida for a view of cattle?"

It was by far one of the funniest moments of the trip ... and if it isn't funny reading it ... trust me it was hilarious when it was said!

After a while Candi decided that he wanted to take a nap and I wanted to wander around the resort. We agreed that he would wake up in 2 hours and I would meet him in the room so we could get ready for dinner. He asked me if I would grab him a water while I was out and within seconds he was "out"


At certain spots around they they have these outdoor seating areas. The rocking chairs are very peaceful to me and I love the detailing of the wood carvings in them!


My "artistic" shot of the AKL

I apologize, but I didn't take too many pictures, I was really just on a mission to explore and (I can't lie) compare Don't worry, I took lots of pictures on a different day!

I made sure to grab Candi his bottle of water. They were out of the size that you can use a snack credit on, so I just bought the 1.5 liter instead of going over to Jambo house to check their gift shop. I wanted my first trip over to Jambo to be with Candi, but, sadly, we never made it over there

In what seemed like no time at all my phone was buzzing which meant it was time to meet Candi back in the room. Just like he promised he was awake and getting ready for dinner. Might have something to do with the fact that we were heading to Le Cellier, which he had been "dreaming" about since we made meal reservations

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST

Last edited by ariel1025; 05-16-2010 at 05:04 PM.
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