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Old 11-08-2010, 10:28 PM   #1546
cdotla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnmel View Post
Haha, that's quite a funny reaction that baby had to your kids stopping giving her attention.

What a lovely view from California Grill.
It was actually really nice seeing my kids relate to the "baby". I am not sure where she gets it from, but Katie has the most amazing maternal instincts with small babies and children. Apart from her brother, who is 2 yrs her junior, she has not been exposed to a lot of small children or babies. However, whenever she is around small children or babies she immediately rushes over to them, plays with them and protects them. It is absolutely heartwarming to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybugmom View Post
Love love LOVE the pictures from the top of the California Grill!! Especially those at sunset!! I really need to make us an ADR there sometime! It looks incredible!
You know, most people fight for the seatings during the fireworks. Instead, I like coming in around 6pm. It is perfect: you come into the restaurant when it is still light outside and you can see the spectacular views. Then you can have a couple visits out on the observation deck during your meal while it is still light enough to take photos. And you still have time to get somewhere decent (like Main Street or the beach at the Poly) to watch Wishes afterwards. Or if you are really determined to watch Wishes from the CG, you can come back with your receipt later in the evening.

The fireworks seatings are highly overrated IMO. Typically you wld arrive about 8-8:15pm by which point you have missed sunset (the best time) and in many cases it will be dark. I have been at the CG about 8pm, well before the fireworks, and it has been pitch black outside. You miss a lot of the great views, and most of what you see looking outside the windows is reflections from inside the restaurant.

If truth be told, I am also not a fan of the vantage point of seeing the fireworks from the Contemporary. They are really off center from the Castle. The best view off of Main Street, USA is on the Beach at the Poly.

So I highly recommend an early seating...which works well with the kiddos too if you are bringing them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dismagiclover View Post
I love Cali Grill too! Glad to hear it did not disappoint!
Nope...not even close. Still LOVE it!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
What a fantastic evening you had! Cali Grill is one of our favorites and I can't wait to go back. Great pics too!!!
Isn't it great? Nothing beat it in my opinion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMomof3 View Post
We loved California Grille and look forward to going back in Jan! Yum sushi!
Hey Amanda...glad to hear you liked it too and you were also able to enjoy the sushi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven2dc View Post
CaliGrill food looks so yummy! Do you know if it take two dining credits for this restaurant on the DDP? I might look into getting an ADR for our trip but didn't want to use 2 credits (I'm lazy - guess I could look at the DDP brochure ) Plus I imagine it would be hard to reserve this late in the game.
Yes, CG takes 2 dining credits. But you will definitely get your money's worth. If you are thinking about it, you should look into those reservations asap. It is usually pretty difficult to get last-minute reservations here. But as a last resort, if it is not available, check 2 days or so out when the cancellation period expires and the penalty comes into play on a cancellation. Miraculously ADRs seem to have a way of popping up at that time.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:39 PM   #1547
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CaliGrill food and view takes the cake! I'm so gonna have to make the effort to get there next time!

Thanks for sharing the great shots of the family.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:10 PM   #1548
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisscot View Post
In all the times we have gone... I have never really done the signature dining.. I always thought my kids wouldn't enjoy it but I may rethink it. I ove your idea of shopping when they had gone to bed. I just drug mine around cranky. I'm going to definetly leave them with DH next time and go. So do all of the hotel lobbys have free internet?
Hi there! You know, I have never been deterred from taking my kids to signature dining. If you think they can sit through their meals and you would both enjoy the experience as a family - do it!!! Unlike the adult meal, which can be quite a jump in price from a regular sit-down dining experience, the cost of a child's meal at signature dining is really only marginally more expensive. So the cost of bringing someone 9 or under won't be a deterrent.

Now if I had to pay full price for a 10 yr old, and wasn't necessarily convinced they would order anything other than macaroni and cheese or pizza, that might be another story.

As for the internet, this is definitely not available at most other lobbies. The Beach Club is pretty unique in that respect. I believe there are a couple of other places on property where you can get free internet....I just can't remember where offhand. If anyone else knows, please feel free to share!

And finally, yes, the trick of doing solo shopping at nite after the kiddos are in bed works out perfectly for me! Give it a try!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyfreak508 View Post
I love this trip report i just started reading it but I will definitely continue!

Quick Question though - What kind of camera do you have? The pictures are beautiful! Do you like that camera and do you recommend it? And how big is it? (like portable or on the bigger size?) and do you edit the photos? they come out so clear and beautifully!
Hello, and welcome!!! Thanks so much for posting...it is so much nicer knowing who is reading!

As for the camera question - I used a now obsolete Canon Rebel XT. It was Canon's baseline Digital SLR, about 3 or 4 years old, but now discontinued. I actually just bought a new camera, but have been using my Rebel for years with no complaints. It is a great entry-level SLR.

However, just recently, and unfortunately during this trip, the camera started to "go". It would have trouble focusing, and just "freeze" and not respond, causing me to have to turn it off and on again before it would work. Hence, the reason I had to purchase a new camera.

As for the editing - I know absolutely nothing about editing. Learning how to shoot manually and edit my photos are very high on my list of to-do projects.

Some of the photos posted in this TR I did a very basic edit job using iphoto in Apple, mostly to attempt to intensify color. However, I hate the way that they turned out. This was the very first time I have ever tried editing and I would have been better off leaving them untouched.

Also - I am not sure why, but many of my photos I have posted on my TR are much less clear and in focus than they are on my computer. I am not sure why, but I have heard of people "sharpening" photos before posting online. Maybe this is something I need to do, but it is well beyond my skill or knowledge.

I hope that by the time I next return to WDW I will know how to use my new camera (i.e. will be able to shoot manual) and will have purchased and learned the basics of photo editing with Photoshop, as I really enjoy photography and would love to take better pictures on our trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooh&OurHunny View Post
thanks for another wonderful update, We have yet to try California Grill which my husband and I love sushi and our 5 yr old loves California rolls and edemame. We always go to CR ever trip b/c our son first trip we stayed at GF and he loves taking the monorail ever evening and stoping at CR to the arcade (he did not like the GF arcade). So ever trip we must ride the monorail (even if we don't stay at the monorail resort) and stop at CR to walk around and play at the arcade.
Hmmmm....maybe on your next trip you will have to make a stop at both the Contemporary and California Grill. From the sound of things, though, you may have to order enough sushi to be able to share with your son!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3timesmom View Post
Wow!!! Nice update!!! I really loved your photos...seems you all had a really great time ( and great food too...). I also love to go to DTD when the rest of the family is asleep..it's great to have some "ME" time...
Wow! I don't think I have ever had someone from Brazil follow one of my TRs. Welcome!!! So glad you posted! Thanks for following!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
CaliGrill food and view takes the cake! I'm so gonna have to make the effort to get there next time!

Thanks for sharing the great shots of the family.
Definitely give it a try next time! Pretty sure you will like it!
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:05 AM   #1549
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Hi Trish!

The California Grill looks wonderful....with amazing views. WOW! I have read and heard from others that it really is terrific. MY DH loves sushi so I am sure that part would make him very happy.
DH and I have talked before how we would love to try it but until then I guess I will have to live vicariously through you and your TR. *sigh*

Glad you got to enjoy another shopping trip at DTD. What fun! I will say you are probably braver than I am to venture out alone.

I wanted to mention a great photo editing site for you. PICASA www.picasa.com Just download their software...they are part of google. I have used this for a few years now. It is super easy to use and has web albums if you wish to share your pics or you can just keep you photos organized with their site also. You can do everything from crop, adjust lighting, change tones, make b&w, straighten, add text and even create photo movies with music to burn on DVD. Best of all it is FREE! Check it out and let me know what you think.

Well I must go to bed...it is getting way too late and I have to get up way too early.

TTFN
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #1550
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What an amazing view at California Grill! I've had reservations there twice now and canceled them, because that whole credit card confirmation thing always makes me feel a little more tied in than I'd like. But your pictures may have convinced me! I watched Wishes once from the 4th floor observation deck at the CR, and thought, eh, the view from CG can't be that much better. But it really looks like it is! Though your tip about being there for sunset, versus Wishes, makes a lot of sense.

(And I love Gramercy Tavern, too.)
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:09 AM   #1551
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Phew - finally caught up! I got behind on your TR (and many others). What an amazing dinner at California Grill! I really would love to try it sometime! Shawn and I are thinking about a couples trip at the beginning of October, so maybe it would work out to go then! I like your idea of a sunset meal - so beautiful! You got some gorgeous photos! I can only do certain kinds of sushi, but I love looking at pics of it - it is a true work of art!

Looking forward to hearing more!

Sara
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:28 PM   #1552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdotla View Post
Hi there!


As for the camera question - I used a now obsolete Canon Rebel XT. It was Canon's baseline Digital SLR, about 3 or 4 years old, but now discontinued. I actually just bought a new camera, but have been using my Rebel for years with no complaints. It is a great entry-level SLR.

However, just recently, and unfortunately during this trip, the camera started to "go". It would have trouble focusing, and just "freeze" and not respond, causing me to have to turn it off and on again before it would work. Hence, the reason I had to purchase a new camera.

Hi, Trish. Just a note about your camera. I've been using Canon cameras since I was 12 years old -- which is a very, very long time now. 40 years, in fact. There are two things that are most likely to be causing the problems with your Canon Rebel:

It may simply need cleaning or ...

It could be a problem with the auto focus. There is a pin that is used in the focusing mechanism and it is made out of plastic. Eventually, it wears and breaks. There is a place online that does repairs and replaces this pin with metal (brass, I think) so it won't break again.

Of course, it could be something else entirely. But if it simply needs cleaning, for instance, it would be worth your time to look into it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:42 PM   #1553
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Wow, your photos of your meal at CG had me drooling and salivating at the mouth. My husband and I are both dying to try it, but think that we may have to wait for DD to get a bit older. I would hate to bring her to such a nice restaurant and be too stressed about her distrubing other diners to fully enjoy the meal. Those views are amazing too. Seeing the sunset on the Castle from up there seems like a fantastic experiences.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:15 PM   #1554
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Hey...what are you doing on page 3? We can't have that.

Soooo....
Bumping you back to page 1.

TTFN
Darlene
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:10 PM   #1555
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Food at the Cali Grill looked really yummy! My hubbby and I both enjoy sushi! Love the pics from ur late night shopping trip. To bad you were to full for a sundae. Great update.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:41 PM   #1556
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WOW! All caught up- wanted you to know I'm still enjoying every minute of your "ride". Looks like you had a FABulous meal at CG, I really hope to get back there someday soon. Great pics of all of you, BTW!
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:15 AM   #1557
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Just came back from a stay at the Beach Club, and the free wifi is no longer being offered in the lobby or pool area! when we asked about it, the concierge told us that people complained about having free wifi. Yeah, i do not think that's the real reason!
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:43 PM   #1558
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Just came back from a stay at the Beach Club, and the free wifi is no longer being offered in the lobby or pool area! when we asked about it, the concierge told us that people complained about having free wifi. Yeah, i do not think that's the real reason!
Hi! We just came back too and, when we asked, they told us that it was a "test" (that lasted a couple of years) and they decided not to go with the free wi-fi. Also, the bellhop told us that he thought they were going to offer it in the rooms rather than the lobby, but there was nothing free offered during our stay. Bummer!
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:16 PM   #1559
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Your meal at Cali Grill looked scrumptious! That's a Disney restaurant that I haven't tried yet, someday I will. I think Grumpy would like it too, he loves sushi!

I'm so jealous of your nightly shopping trips to DTD once the kids were in bed - I just may have to rent a car next trip for that very reason
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #1560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokeemamma View Post
Hi Trish!

The California Grill looks wonderful....with amazing views. WOW! I have read and heard from others that it really is terrific. MY DH loves sushi so I am sure that part would make him very happy.
DH and I have talked before how we would love to try it but until then I guess I will have to live vicariously through you and your TR. *sigh*

Glad you got to enjoy another shopping trip at DTD. What fun! I will say you are probably braver than I am to venture out alone.

I wanted to mention a great photo editing site for you. PICASA www.picasa.com Just download their software...they are part of google. I have used this for a few years now. It is super easy to use and has web albums if you wish to share your pics or you can just keep you photos organized with their site also. You can do everything from crop, adjust lighting, change tones, make b&w, straighten, add text and even create photo movies with music to burn on DVD. Best of all it is FREE! Check it out and let me know what you think.

Well I must go to bed...it is getting way too late and I have to get up way too early.

TTFN
Darlene
Hey Darlene...you really should try CG sometime. It won't disappoint!

Thanks so much for the tips about Picasa. I will have to try that out. Though I really do want to purchase and master photoshop. I could be completely offbase here, but I believe you can get a version of it or at least an add-on that also allows you to do some graphics, ect. Ultimately I want to start using that as well.

I have so many plans and ideas of stuff I want to learn...just never enough time! I can't wait until retirement when I can play and learn new stuff as my full-time job!


Quote:
Originally Posted by norybell View Post
What an amazing view at California Grill! I've had reservations there twice now and canceled them, because that whole credit card confirmation thing always makes me feel a little more tied in than I'd like. But your pictures may have convinced me! I watched Wishes once from the 4th floor observation deck at the CR, and thought, eh, the view from CG can't be that much better. But it really looks like it is! Though your tip about being there for sunset, versus Wishes, makes a lot of sense.

(And I love Gramercy Tavern, too.)
I know what you mean about the cc thing, but you still have 48 hours to cancel, so it is not that bad. Plus, it is nice to know that you have a great meal to look forward to during your trip planning!

It really is worth a trip to check it out. And I doubt it would end up being your last visit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2mek View Post
Phew - finally caught up! I got behind on your TR (and many others). What an amazing dinner at California Grill! I really would love to try it sometime! Shawn and I are thinking about a couples trip at the beginning of October, so maybe it would work out to go then! I like your idea of a sunset meal - so beautiful! You got some gorgeous photos! I can only do certain kinds of sushi, but I love looking at pics of it - it is a true work of art!

Looking forward to hearing more!

Sara
Hey Sara...what a fantastic idea about a couple's trip! You will definitely have to try CG there if you end up going. While I have taken the kids every time they have been with me to CG, I have also dined there childless on my solo trip, and I have to say, that visit was a little more enjoyable! It is far easier to relax and enjoy the meal when you don't have to worry about someone knocking over your red wine, or having to help anyone eat, butter their bread, or cut their food!

For some reason, I seem to never want to leave my kids at Kids Club or with babysitters when they are with me in WDW. I want to share each and every experience with them. But when they are at home, I have no problem whatsoever enjoying the benefits of being child-free!

As for the sushi, you might be surprised at what you might end up trying at CG. It is so delicious and so fantastic it is difficult not to be much more adventurous, especially once you taste it. However, if you just want to stick to the more basic sushi - even just california rolls - they have those too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashton7 View Post
Hi, Trish. Just a note about your camera. I've been using Canon cameras since I was 12 years old -- which is a very, very long time now. 40 years, in fact. There are two things that are most likely to be causing the problems with your Canon Rebel:

It may simply need cleaning or ...

It could be a problem with the auto focus. There is a pin that is used in the focusing mechanism and it is made out of plastic. Eventually, it wears and breaks. There is a place online that does repairs and replaces this pin with metal (brass, I think) so it won't break again.

Of course, it could be something else entirely. But if it simply needs cleaning, for instance, it would be worth your time to look into it.
Really? Wow...thank you! I appreciate the advise. I was planning on keeping my old camera anyway, just for a back-up and to use in situations where I wouldn't want to use my new camera. So I will definitely bring it in to get cleaned and checked over to see if it might be fixable!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilAnn View Post
Wow, your photos of your meal at CG had me drooling and salivating at the mouth. My husband and I are both dying to try it, but think that we may have to wait for DD to get a bit older. I would hate to bring her to such a nice restaurant and be too stressed about her distrubing other diners to fully enjoy the meal. Those views are amazing too. Seeing the sunset on the Castle from up there seems like a fantastic experiences.
Would I have any hesitation about bringing your sweet little girl to CG? Not at all! I think she would be fine! I probably wouldn't start the meal much past 6:30pm, but before that I think it is pretty well expected that people will be bringing children. There were a bunch of other kids there during our meal, including a baby. So don't let that deter you! It is too good of a place to miss out on!

BTW - I have to pop over to your TR to see how things end. I have been so behind in reading everyone's TR's lately. I can't wait to put mine to bed to catch up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokeemamma View Post
Hey...what are you doing on page 3? We can't have that.

Soooo....
Bumping you back to page 1.

TTFN
Darlene


Actually, I am fine with it being on page 3 for awhile. Makes me feel less guilty that I haven't been able to update a lot lately.
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