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Old 05-12-2010, 02:02 PM   #91
deejdigsdis
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OK, so after the detour to our go-to restroom, we headed to Town Square for the Flag Retreat Ceremony. I wasn't sure what was happening where and what would be the best viewing spot. I just parked on the only available bench in the area and waited.

The flag -- pre-Retreat Ceremony.



Flowers by my bench.



Here comes the Disneyland Band. I guess they marched all the way down Main Street, making their way to Town Square. I can't remember exactly what they played during their march.



Marching right past me.



Love the drum.



Leader of the Band.



So...this was my unobstructed view. Apparently the bench I was glad to grab was the last empty one for a reason.



No, it wasn't that bad. They played some patriotic tunes, including the Armed Forces Salute. (Is that what it's called?) As they played each anthem, people who served were invited to stand up around the flag. I loved it. It was a bit emotional as I thought of my own father who served in the Army during the Korean War. My parents would have love this seemingly hidden Disneyland gem. (Maybe it was just hidden to us. I didn't know about the ceremony until I read about it here on DISboards. Have they always done this?)

People who have served our country:



The men who retired the flag for the evening.



More music was played by the band.



"The Stars and Stripes Forever" played while they folded the flag.



Another picture of those who have served the United States. It was interesting watching their faces. I would like to know their stories.



After the flag was folded, the band played "God Bless America" and the audience was invited to sing along. It was a really great moment. After the men marched away with the flag, the band continued to play as they marched off. We enjoyed it so much that we planned to come back and watch it the next day.



Up next... Hopping to DCA for the remaining less than 2 hours. It closed at 7:00pm.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:47 PM   #92
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What a great thing to watch. I've watched the ceremony at WDW and was moved too. It was interesting how each of the service men and women stood too. My father was in the Air Force during the Korean war.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:16 PM   #93
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What a great thing to watch. I've watched the ceremony at WDW and was moved too. It was interesting how each of the service men and women stood too. My father was in the Air Force during the Korean war.

Thanks for sharing.
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I'm glad you had a chance to watch it. It is definitely worth working into your schedule. I thought the way they were standing was interesting as well. Forgot to point that out!

UGH! The ONE time I don't copy and paste my update....it gets lost! So frustrating! One hour's worth of typing and loading pictures and nothing to show for it!
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:35 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by deejdigsdis View Post
I'm glad you had a chance to watch it. It is definitely worth working into your schedule. I thought the way they were standing was interesting as well. Forgot to point that out!

UGH! The ONE time I don't copy and paste my update....it gets lost! So frustrating! One hour's worth of typing and loading pictures and nothing to show for it!
Oh no! I know how hard it is to do a trip report and I've had that happen to me. Looking forward to your next update
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:16 AM   #95
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Where Were We??? Oh Yeah...The Next Installment -- Take 2!

Let's try this again...

The Flag Retreat Ceremony is over (lasted about 15 minutes) and it's time to hop over to DCA for the remaining almost 2 hours. The big DCA draws for me are mainly Soarin' and TSMM. I also like GRR but it was a little too cold out for me today. Another priority of course was to try out TOT for my first time. The first matter of business once we crossed over was to pick up Soarin' FPs. The stand-by line wasn't all that long, but I've never stood in line for that ride for more than 3 minutes, so why start now?

We ran into these guys on our way over to TOT...the Delta Daddios.





Wish we could have seen more than just the tail-end of their show. They sang 60s doo-wop music and they were really good. I remember one of the songs was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." I'm not sure if there is a way to add video here, but it was great.

Back to our long walk to TOT. Long because we passed a group that had just come from the ride and a man in the group was saying, "Never again!" That made me nervous and a little hesitant. But -- it's my husband's favorite ride now and I really wanted to give it a try. We had a 20 minute wait. It wasn't bad since the cool stuff in the lobby, etc. was all new to me -- so much to see. (Oops! Forgot to take pictures.) Finally it was our turn to load. The elevator was much smaller than what I had imagined based on pictures I'd seen of the ride. I remember wishing we could ride with a less annoying, screaming, and generally obnoxious group. Oh well. I knew there were ups and downs in the ride, but I had no idea I'd be catching air! (My husband told me that he purposely left out that little detail when I asked him what the ride was like!) Anyway, I was holding my purse and sweatshirt with my feet (very tightly, I might add) so they caught air as well. I so wanted to love this ride, but... it proved to be a bit much for my stomach. I felt slightly nauseous afterward. Actually it also induced a headache that would linger for nearly 24 hours. Ugh. I would like to give it another try down the road, but I didn't love it.

So after this little adventure I needed something calm and mild. Off to Monsters, Inc. It was a walk-on to boot. After Monsters it was time to head back to Soarin' with FPs in hand. I really really really like this ride. And I still have my "haven't stood in line for this ride longer than 3 minutes" status.

We were starting to get really tired. It was all of 6:30pm. We were beat and hungry. We decided it would be a good time to use our $25 House of Blues GC that we got for $2. We would have preferred outdoor seating, but it was kind of cold so we went inside. The loud music didn't help my headache any, but the ceiling was pretty cool.

My husband ordered the Shrimp Po-Boy.



I had the Grilled Flat Iron Steak Salad.



My husband didn't care for his meal at all. In fact, in our nearly 16 years of marriage I don't think I've ever seen him NOT finish a meal at a restaurant. EVER. So for him to push a less-than-half-eaten plate of food away...whoa. The server asked if something was wrong, he just replied that he didn't care for it. She asked for specifics for how it could be better, and then said she'd go talk to the chef. We weren't expecting any sort of compensation. It wasn't like the food was raw or burnt or whatever. He just didn't like it. So she comes back and says there will be no charge for his meal. Very nice, but it kind of put a damper on the need to spend at least $35 to use the $25 GC. When we mentioned the GC she left again to talk to the chef. I thought my salad was just OK. It didn't have enough steak, and the dressing needed more kick for that kind of salad. I think the dressing was ranch, but salsa and cilantro would have been a better match. It was quite large and filled me up, though. I think my expectations were high, given that it was marked on the menu as one of their specialties. When all was said and done, our bill came to a grand total of $8! (We didn't tip as if the bill was just $8, however.) That was our first visit to House of Blues and most likely our last. The server was great, but the food just didn't do it for us. The main reason for sitting inside was because it was cold outside, so we thought it was pretty funny when we left the restaurant and it was actually warmer outside. Due to those great outdoor heaters that we hadn't noticed earlier.

We decided to ride the Monorail over to Tomorrowland and use our Space FPs. We both commented after the ride that it seemed to go a LOT faster than normal. Was it because we were in the last row??? (Side Note: When we got home from DL, DS10's teacher asked if we rode Space Mountain. She said her sister had ridden it the day after we did. It broke down while she was on it. She said she could tell something was wrong from the get-go because it was going MUCH faster than normal. CMs had to push their coaster in. Another coaster almost crashed into them in the meantime.)

Time for our exotic anniversary cruise. Jungle Cruise at night was one of the things on MY LIST. I love the Jungle Cruise, but the last 2 cruises I've taken have left a little to be desired as far as the skippers go. The nighttime cruise was very relaxing, though.

A Jungle Cruise light.



It was just about closing time. We decided to head toward Main Street. But not without stopping at our go-to restroom first. Is it just me, or is this sign a little...I don't know. It does make me laugh. Thank goodness for Sparkle for schooling us in the hand-washing procedure!

\

Main Street here we come. We just wanted to sit and relax and watch the people walk out. Lo and behold...the wooden bench on the front porch was available! Perfect! My husband snagged the bench and I went on to Blue Ribbon Bakery...

Light photo-op:



...and got some hot chocolate (and a chocolate muffin to take back to the hotel, if it would last that long). Aaahhh...this was the life. Sitting on the coveted wooden bench on the front porch, sipping hot chocolate, surrounded by the glowing lights of Main Street, watching the crowds make their way out of the park...basically soaking it all in. I'm at Disneyland!
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:17 AM   #96
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I have really enjoyed both of your trip reports and your great photos.

We are visiting Disneyland in Aug with our three boys. Our last visit to California was 15 years ago on our Honeymoon.
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:48 PM   #97
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Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trips with us. I too grew up going to DL every summer, so I appreciate the nostalgia of going back. I think it is intensified when you don't go every year, or have a large space of time inbetween visits.

I went for the first time to DW or DL without my kids last December with my sister, and it was hard for me. My kids, unlike yours, did not take it as well.

I'm sorry you did not really care for the TOT. That is my favorite ride ever. I can't do spinning rides either, but TOT does not bother me.

Looking forward to hearing more!!
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:49 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by lisalisalisa View Post
I have really enjoyed both of your trip reports and your great photos.

We are visiting Disneyland in Aug with our three boys. Our last visit to California was 15 years ago on our Honeymoon.
Thank You! I always appreciate knowing that I'm not just talking to myself. I'm glad you're enjoying the pictures. How fun that you've got an upcoming trip with your family! And you have 3 boys too? I love it. If I were to have another child I would hope for another boy! So did you go to Disneyland on your Honeymoon, or just other spots in California? We went about a week after we got married with my parents and one of my sisters. I remember thinking, "I wish we were here by ourselves..."


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Originally Posted by wdwfan22 View Post
Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trips with us. I too grew up going to DL every summer, so I appreciate the nostalgia of going back. I think it is intensified when you don't go every year, or have a large space of time inbetween visits.

I went for the first time to DW or DL without my kids last December with my sister, and it was hard for me. My kids, unlike yours, did not take it as well.

I'm sorry you did not really care for the TOT. That is my favorite ride ever. I can't do spinning rides either, but TOT does not bother me.

Looking forward to hearing more!!
I totally agree with what you said about the feelings intensified when there is a large gap in between visits. So true. It felt SO good to get back there after such a long absence. Yes, we were so surprised about our kids' reaction to the news that we were going again and they weren't. I think if they went regularly and it was a part of their lives, the reaction would have been different. I'm already feeling a bit guilty about going again this Fall, and once again without them. They don't know about that trip yet. (I did ask them if they wanted to go back as a family in 2011 or 2012 and they said 2012...thinking about Carsland. So that makes me feel a little less guilty for some reason.) This Fall I will be going with my sisters and parents. One of my sisters hasn't been in 14 years. She thought she might not be able to make it back, financially speaking, but things are falling into place to get her back there. She's the oldest child in the family and went for the first time with my parents when she was almost 3. It's AMAZING what she remembers from that first trip in the early 1960s. They don't have pictures from that trip to trigger her memory -- Disneyland just had a huge impact on her at that age and I'm glad that she will get to go back. My parents are getting up there in years and we really want to get them back again before they can no longer enjoy it. OK, this is probably all more than you cared to know.

And I'm sorry I didn't like TOT better, too! Now that I know what it's really like and what to expect, maybe my stomach would handle it better?

Anyway, the TR will be continued on Sunday, hopefully. Coming up next...Disneyland alone time while celebrating our long-lost anniversary?!?
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:51 AM   #99
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So I didn't quite make it back here as early as I had hoped. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. Today I watched the video from my family's trip to Disneyland back in 1991. It was fun to see so many things from years-gone-by... Main Street Electrical Parade, the Circle Vision sign, the Motor Boat Cruise, the 2nd Autopia in Fantasyland, the Skyway, the People Mover, Disney Afternoon Avenue (which I had completely forgotten about!), Country Bear Playhouse, the Rocket Jets...

But let's fast forward nearly 20 years () to the trip at hand. We were finishing up our first day, hanging out on Main Street. We finally pulled ourselves off the bench and made our way to the shuttle area. The Hyatt shuttle picks up at Disneyland every :20 and ever :50 after the hour, with the final shuttle leaving 50 minutes after Disneyland closes. We hopped on the last shuttle. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep on the ride back to the hotel. Before calling it a night we discussed our plans for the next day. I'm a be-there-early kind of girl, my husband's more of a let's-just-sleep-in kind of guy. So -- the deal was that I had plans to catch the first shuttle of the day. (The first one leaves the hotel 30 minutes before park opening.) If my husband was ready to go with me, fine. If not, we'd meet in front of Pirates at 11:00 for our 11:30 lunch date at Blue Bayou. OK, that's settled and it's time for bed. I was exhausted but I ended up having a hard time falling asleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow my mind started wandering to that earthquake felt in DL a few weeks earlier. I got to thinking about how we were on the 15th floor of a hotel pretty much made of glass. I have this thing about earthquakes. I've never been in one, but I've had nightmares about them my entire life. Ugh. So sleep didn't come immediately. Once I eventually dozed off I slept well.

Rise and Shine! I got up at 7:15 to get ready to leave on the 8:30 shuttle. Turns out it will just be me going. Alone time here I come! I figured this would be good practice should I ever decide to do a solo trip.

So I hop on the shuttle at 8:27. Disneyland opens at 9:00. Will I make it for rope drop? It was not looking good. Shuttle left at 8:30. First stop Crowne Plaza Hotel to pick-up other Disneyland-goers. Second stop Convention Center to drop people off. (Not sure where these people came from to begin with or what they were doing.) 3rd stop Disneyland -- in the furthermost shuttle area. I didn't stop to check the time, but I'm pretty sure I broke some kind of walking record. Made it to security (picked the wrong line -- I need to remember to stand behind people with no strollers and no backpacks if possible...), then had no wait at the turnstiles. Love that sound when they scan your ticket. I decided to go get a locker first to drop off our ponchos -- it was supposed to rain but I didn't want to carry them around if I didn't have to. After getting the locker I continue down Main Street. I saw the crowd, then remembered the ol' go-through-the-shops trick so that's what I did. There were about 15 people already there, but not too shabby given that I was hopping on a shuttle 30 minutes earlier. Anyway, I made it and was there for rope drop. I headed straight for the Matterhorn, as the line had been so long every time we passed the day before. I ended up being the 8th person in line. The ride was over all too quick. It began to sink in that I was all by myself. I had nearly 2 hours to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I could head one direction, change my mind and go somewhere else and it wouldn't affect anyone else. Where do I begin??? Well, let's just say that all the DISboards tips and tricks for touring Disneyland in the early morning took a backseat. I went against everything I learned and went back to Main Street. I went to the Blue Ribbon Bakery for a yummy chocolate muffin and some milk and then headed over to the coveted wooden chairs on the front porch.



Remember the chocolate muffin from last night? I ended up saving it for my husband to have this morning. So with a fresh muffin in hand, and some milk -- all 3 swallows of it -- look how small that jug is! -- I nestled into my chair on the empty porch. I just sat there. Watching people come in. Listening to the clip-clop of the horses' hooves. Chatting with an older gentleman that came up to sit on the porch -- where he often meets his friends to share their morning coffee. Just enjoying THIS.



I loved it. I took a picture with my phone of a horse going by, taking guests to the end of Main Street, and sent it to my sister. She texted back immediately, "Can you believe that's making me cry?" Yep, I can. That's what Disneyland does.

After my breakfast snack I decided to just wander around and take pictures.

Lights.





I enjoy looking at the window displays on Main Street, but feel like I can't linger like I want to when there are other people with me. Well, nothing was stopping me now...





Do you think I would have stopped to take this picture if I wasn't alone? Probably not. But I remember thinking "How Spring-y!" when I saw it and being glad that I stopped to notice it.



Forgot to include this light earlier. I took this one after leaving the Matterhorn.







I was LOVING my alone time, but still looking forward to meeting up for lunch with my husband at Blue Bayou. More later.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:17 AM   #100
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Love your pictures! I was just telling DH last night that I really want to take the time to enjoy all of the details because this may be our only trip to DLR.

Can't wait to hear about Blue Bayou!
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:29 PM   #101
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Love your pictures! I was just telling DH last night that I really want to take the time to enjoy all of the details because this may be our only trip to DLR.

Can't wait to hear about Blue Bayou!
Thank You! And there are so many details to enjoy. I really missed my kids but at the same time I kept thinking about all the details that would have gone unnoticed if they had been with me. It's hard to take the time to enjoy those details when you're pushing a stroller around. It was like I was seeing some parts of Disneyland for the first time. I would highly recommend slowing down if you have the time.

The Blue Bayou part of the trip will be in the next installment.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:29 AM   #102
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OK, I lied. Blue Bayou won't be coming up in this installment. I didn't mean for the TR to drag on like this. I'm having a hard time sitting down and doing huge chunks all at once.

So...during my alone time I decided it would be a good time to pull out my Hidden Mickey book and search for some Hidden Mickeys. DS10 was expecting some pictures as proof of my promise to him!

This one didn't seem that hidden to me, but it was mentioned in the book. I guess it was hidden from me, as I've never noticed this window before.



I thought this one was cute. I wonder what the fruit-selling CM thought when I crouched down and took a picture at this angle.



The book mentioned a Hidden Mickey on Matterhorn Mountain that could be seen from Tomorrowland. This is the only thing that looked like it could be it...but it seems likes it's stretching it a bit to refer to this as a Hidden Mickey. So maybe the real H.M. is somewhere else and I missed it.



No Hidden Mickey here, I just like the picture.



Not one mentioned in the book...just thought DS10 would like this one.



Another one from the book...found in Star Trader.



OK, Blue Bayou up next. Hopefully Wednesday.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:25 PM   #103
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I love your hidden Mickey posts! We can wait to hear all about the BB. Don't make us wait tooooo long
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:21 AM   #104
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I love your hidden Mickey posts! We can wait to hear all about the BB. Don't make us wait tooooo long
Thanks. My favorite Hidden Mickey is coming up in a bit.

So after lots of wandering and picture-taking, I decided to hop on the train in Tomorrowland and ride over to New Orleans Square. I had a bit of time before I needed to meet DH outside of Pirates for lunch at BB, so I decided to fit in a ride on Haunted Mansion and Pirates.

I love riding the train around. Stopping at the Main Street Station:





I chatted with a lady who was riding with her 1 year old. She was a local who had gotten an AP for a combined b-day/Mother's Day/Christmas present all rolled into one. She said she likes to head to Disneyland with the 1 year old to break up the monotony of the day while her other 4 children are in school. This made me laugh a bit. Breaking up the monotony in my day with DS4 means heading to the library or something. I told her she was a lucky lady to have some one-on-one time with her little one at Disneyland. I just can't even imagine "Go to Disneyland" being on my list of things to do every week!

So I hopped off the train at NOS and rode Haunted Mansion. I was glad I had the waiting area before the stretching room all to myself so I could look for the next Hidden Mickey on my list. I wanted to take a pic with the flash before anyone else came in. (And yeah, I really was in there all by myself. Waiting for other people to come in. Strange.) I give you my favorite Hidden Mickey sighting...



I thought this one was so cool. A REAL Hidden Mickey, unlike some of the others. In order to see it you need to stand underneath one of the candle holders coming out of the wall, with your back against the wall. Look up and there it is. I wish I would've stood slightly more to the right to have it lined up a bit better. Anyway, this was the first time I've ever ridden a doombuggy by myself. My sisters and I used to talk about how creepy that would be to ride alone, but it was fun. There were 2 more Hidden Mickeys that I was on the lookout for. One was supposed to be on a dresser in the attic, but I never saw it. The other one was supposed to be in the party scene on the table. 3 plates arranged on the table to form a classic Mickey. I didn't see that one either, but the book also said the CMs seem to change that one around regularly. If it was there, it wasn't obvious to me.

I went to Pirates next. I had just enough time before meeting DH at 11:00. Love, love, love this ride! As I set sail I glanced over at the empty Blue Bayou. I was really excited about eating there. When I was growing up I remember looking longingly at those lucky people eating there -- they just seemed like they were part of the ride. It was never something in the budget with our family of 8! When we finally did eat there our one and only time it was a disappointment. This was back in 1996, my last trip before my long Disneyland drought. We had 12 people in our party and we just walked by and decided on a whim to eat there. We were seated near the kitchen and the atmosphere was killed with all the comings and goings and banging pots and pans. Anyway, I was hesitant at first to try it again this trip, especially after reading a lot of not-so-great reviews, but then I decided I wasn't really going for the food at all. I was totally going for the atmosphere. I would wait for however long it took to sit by the water. So -- back to the ride -- I miss seeing the flower pots break when that lady looks out the window and then closes the shutters. The flower pots would break when she closed the shutters, and then they'd come back together again. That was always something I'd look for when I was growing up. I didn't see it happen this trip or in Nov., so I don't know if the mechanism happened to be broken both trips, or if it just doesn't happen anymore. It seems like an odd thing to cut out to me.

I got out of Pirates right at 11:00, found DH waiting and we headed over to Blue Bayou. Our seating was for 11:30 (first seating) but decided to go a little early, in hopes of maximizing our waterside seating chances. They gave us a menu to look at outside.



Another light picture...taken while we waited to be seated.



Finally... we were the first ones seated. Yay! A waterside table!

Table light...



Hanging light...



Bowl of bread...



We both ordered the Gumbo...



I ordered Pomegranate Lemonade and the Tesoro Island Chicken...





My husband ordered the Monte Cristo, of course!



And our review...



I was so happy with our waterside table and the atmosphere of it all, I would have been happy if I'd been served saltine crackers. And I don't even like saltine crackers! So to have really great food was a bonus. The chicken was so good and tender. The potatoes...yum! My mouth is seriously watering thinking about them right now. Someone might need to enlighten me on what that white vegetable is. There were 2 sticks-worth but I only ate one. It didn't have any flavor to me. I guess that was better than it being gross. The reason I didn't eat the other one was because I was full. I just didn't want the meal to end. The whole experience was so much better than what I was expecting. Granted, I did have kind of low expectations after my other experience and after reading the non-glowing reviews. But we really liked it. I wish I would have tried a bite of the Monte Cristo. I guess I was too busy devouring my own food and by the time I thought of it DH had already finished eating it.

More later.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:46 AM   #105
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Just a quick note to tell you that I love the pics and posts and got a little magic this morning to start what may be a difficult day at work! Thanks for the sharing!
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