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Old 09-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #61
Joyciemc
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Day 3: We made $20 bucks!

Our third day at Universal began just before 7AM. We must've been well rested because we got up ahead of the alarm. That almost never happens for me. We made use of the Keuring again and I moleskinned up my feet. They were pretty sore in one spot from my Crocs, but my feet in general felt so much better with those on that I just moleskinned the crap out of them and kept wearing the Crocs.

We learned our lesson from yesterday and did not skip breakfast. Instead, we headed to the Trattoria before heading to the parks. This meal definitely did its part to break the bank- we ate some very expensive French toast and an egg burrito. On the plus side, this was the best French toast I've ever had!

We had decided that we would use today to re visit our favorites at both parks. The low crowd levels meant that we wouldn't need a 4th day at Universal. We now planned to leave early the next day to head to Disney!

We headed to Universal first, and the park was eerily empty.



We were heading in the general direction of MIB when we were stopped by a lady who wanted us to participate in a TV show preview and give our opinions of this show. It would take an hour and they'd pay us each $10. That's half the cost of my French toast!
Since we had the time, we decided to do it. We walked into this store front:



And each sat down at a computer with headphones to watch a new sitcom. Man, oh man, $10 was not enough to be paying people to watch this show. It was bad. Really bad. Not funny, not entertaining. The pilot actually premieres this Wednesday- I can't imagine it will go on much more than the one episode...

I finished answering the survey questions pretty quickly and headed out to wait for Ben. He took a bit longer, and I grabbed some pictures of the storefronts in this area (is it New York? San Francisco?)





I thought the themeing here was great- much more detailed than the DHS streets. After a bit, Ben walked out. We got our money in cash and continued on with our day.
MIB was empty- we had the car to ourselves. They were only loading one track. We ended up never being able to ride the other side, which we was a little disappointing.
Of course we had to see the Simpsons again- and saw a bunch of things we had missed the first time.


This shows most of my shirt- Frosted Flakes! I heard 'They'rrrrrrre Great' a lot this day! It seemed like our wardrobes were destined to get us plenty of attention this trip.

After riding the Mummy a couple of times, we used the single rider line at Ripe Ride Rockit on our way out of the park at 11:45AM. It was time for our daily pool break, so that is what we did. It was Saturday and the pool was more crowded now. Not too bad, but I needed a chair in the shade and only found one in the kids' pool area. Funny enough, there were hardly any kids in that section and it was very relaxing! Ben headed off for a message at the Spa (I didn't want one- after a very public and windy message in Jamaica, I prefer to skip messages when on vacation) and I stayed at the pool to read.
He loved his message and said the spa was really nice.

We were pretty hungry and decided to get some food at the poolside pizza place. The food was good, but not amazing. After lunch we headed to IOA for the last time. We had a list of pictures we wanted to take (including the Beetle Baily Baby Bath you saw in the last post) as well as some rides we wanted to re visit. We used the single rider line for the Forbidden Journey (the stand-by line was over an hour) and got on pretty quickly. This line bypasses all the cool stuff in Hogwarts, so I wouldn't do it if you have'nt seen the rest before!
We wanted to stop for another drink at the Hog's Head, so we weaved through the crowd and walked up to the door. Two CMs were standing there and asked if we were getting a drink. When we said we were, they pointed to a line going around the corner from the building. Looking inside, there were only about 15 people in the bar. So I'm not sure what that was all about, but we just laughed and said 'Nevermind!'
We passed Poseidon's Fury Stuntshow and figured we'd check it out. The building was really elaborate and we thought that much effort for a stunt show must mean it would be pretty good. Boy, were we wrong! After waiting for a while, we were led into a room. Throughout a ridiculous plot with a weak story, we moved from room to room with a crowd of people. We actually almost got squeezed out of one room... I wonder what would've happened to us if we were left behind?
The one redeeming thing was the water hallway. Otherwise, it was bad. And it won the title of the worst attraction ever. Ever.

Free from that ADVENTURE, we ended up at the Backwater Bar on the way out of the park. It was happy hour and we got a couple of cheaper beers. Universal was very strict about carding and sticking to their one drink per ID rule. I had to get up and wave for Ben to get two beers.
This was a relaxing place and we enjoyed it.



He wasn't really grumpy- just modeling!

We were planning on getting sushi at the Royal Pacific, so we left IOA and headed over there. As we got off the water taxi, we found the tiki bar outside of the Tchoup Chop restaurant. It was still happy hour so we got more cheap drinks and soaked up the atmosphere. This felt like a little sneak peak of the Poly.




After this, we headed up to the sushi bar. We ended up eating at a bar near the actual restaurant. Our food was amazingly good! It was accompanied by a few more drinks.





Once back at the Portofino, I wanted to see if the gelato place was still open. Somehow we got sidetracked and ended up at the Bar American. The bartender, Manuel, was great and we had a lot of fun talking to him. We also drank too much. This evening ended up costing a lot of money. Lots. Alcohol is not cheap at the resort. Neither is food. But it was a lot of fun and we met some great people. Once we made it back to the room, I collapsed into bed. We didn't set the alarm- we had no plans the next day until dinner at 'Ohana at 7:40PM.

Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to US. Having time to relax at a beautiful resort was a bonus- we got a couple hours of pool time each day!
The parks are great and offer some awesome attractions. But Ben and I agreed that they lacked something. Whatever it is about Disney parks that makes us want to just hang out there even without riding rides. I can't put my finger on it, but it was missing at US. Ben thinks it has to do with nostalgia- we just don't have the sentimental attachment to these parks because we've never been before. I think the music was too loud and un-themy. But that's just me.

We probably won't be back here anytime too soon, but I really hope that wasn't our last stay at the Portofino!

I finished a whole day in one post!
Up next will be Day 4: You just drank too much at Universal, where are you going to go now?
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:02 PM   #62
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I know what you mean about Universal. We took the kids in 2003 and have yet to go back. Wow, just now I realize how long ago that was. Disney keeps drawing me back even if I try and plan a different trip.

I looks like you had a good time though, and the hotel...definitely WOW. I wish the rooms at Disney were a bit more roomey. I have stayed value to deluxe there and none seem all that huge.

cant wait to hear how Ohana goes for you!
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:38 PM   #63
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Just joining! I was so excited to see a little on Universal, it's been over ten years since I've been and DH and I keep saying that we should go on our next trip! Can't wait to read more... and I'm looking forward to reading about 'Ohana!
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #64
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Ok, I'm all caught up! You've been an updating machine!

Portofino Bay looks so nice! I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay there. It definitely reminds me of Venice. I know it's supposed to look like Italy, although I'm not sure which city, but I'm going with Venice! Very beautiful!

It has seriously been forever since I've been to Universal, but your pics brought back alot of memories! Especially the Jurassic Park ride. Oh my goodness, that was probably my worst ride experience ever. I was about 10 and was not expecting the drop at the end. I was traumatized. My ride photo literally looks like the one of my eyes was in the process of popping right out of my head.

I have to say, I'm really excited you're about to get to the Poly! I can't wait for your pictures from there!
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:27 PM   #65
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I'm really glad you got to spend a couple hours each day at the pool. I'm hoping when we go to WDW in a couple weeks we will have low wait times and can spend LOTS of time at the pool.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:28 AM   #66
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Great updates, loving all the photos

Loving the $5 Happy Hour

What was the show called that they asked you to test?
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:22 PM   #67
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YAY for Day 3 Thats awesome. I almost ended up wearing "Theyreeeee greaaatt!" but we decided it was better for Kris to get the Give a Hoot in the end. Too funny...

Im loving the pics and updates, but secretly SO excited for you to leave US and get to Disney!!
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:00 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annmarieda View Post
I know what you mean about Universal. We took the kids in 2003 and have yet to go back. Wow, just now I realize how long ago that was. Disney keeps drawing me back even if I try and plan a different trip.

I looks like you had a good time though, and the hotel...definitely WOW. I wish the rooms at Disney were a bit more roomey. I have stayed value to deluxe there and none seem all that huge.

cant wait to hear how Ohana goes for you!
The room at Portofino spoiled us, big time. More on that in our next update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy161 View Post
Just joining! I was so excited to see a little on Universal, it's been over ten years since I've been and DH and I keep saying that we should go on our next trip! Can't wait to read more... and I'm looking forward to reading about 'Ohana!
Hi! And welcome!

I decided to include the Universal part of our trip because I always liked reading about it in other TRs. Glad to hear you are enjoying it! I can't wait to get to the Disney stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE View Post
Ok, I'm all caught up! You've been an updating machine!

Portofino Bay looks so nice! I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay there. It definitely reminds me of Venice. I know it's supposed to look like Italy, although I'm not sure which city, but I'm going with Venice! Very beautiful!

It has seriously been forever since I've been to Universal, but your pics brought back alot of memories! Especially the Jurassic Park ride. Oh my goodness, that was probably my worst ride experience ever. I was about 10 and was not expecting the drop at the end. I was traumatized. My ride photo literally looks like the one of my eyes was in the process of popping right out of my head.

I have to say, I'm really excited you're about to get to the Poly! I can't wait for your pictures from there!
I'm trying to post as often as I can- we still have a whole week at Disney to talk about!
Portofino Bay is supposed to look like Portofino, Italy. I have no idea where that is, but it looked like Venice to me, too!
I can see how the drop in Jurrasic Park would catch you off guard- the rest of the ride is so calm!

I was so excited to be going to the Poly when we left Universal. That update should be coming soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyCrafter View Post
I'm really glad you got to spend a couple hours each day at the pool. I'm hoping when we go to WDW in a couple weeks we will have low wait times and can spend LOTS of time at the pool.
We manage to relax just about every day! I have been missing my 2pm nap since we've been home!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefy View Post
Great updates, loving all the photos

Loving the $5 Happy Hour

What was the show called that they asked you to test?
It was called 'Outsourced' I think it'll be on NBC. I do plan on watching- just to see if it is as bad as I remember!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMat View Post
YAY for Day 3 Thats awesome. I almost ended up wearing "Theyreeeee greaaatt!" but we decided it was better for Kris to get the Give a Hoot in the end. Too funny...

Im loving the pics and updates, but secretly SO excited for you to leave US and get to Disney!!
Target has some great shirts! The funniest moment with my Frosted Flakes shirts happened at MIB: the older guy loading the ride leaned in pretty close to my face and said "They are great, aren't they?" It was so random. And awkward. But funny!

I am excited to get to the Disney stuff too... almost there, I promise!
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:03 PM   #69
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Just found your trip report! Looking forward to reading more updates!! Congrats on your marriage and disneymoon!
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:16 PM   #70
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I just wanted to say that I'm worried our trip will too, "break the bank". I have budgeted and planned just about everything. I even estimated snacks/drinks. We're at about $1000 cash and we have "FREE" dining! I'm really hoping we don't end up spending that much because I would love to put the extra into our next vacation.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:37 PM   #71
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Quote:
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Just found your trip report! Looking forward to reading more updates!! Congrats on your marriage and disneymoon!
Welcome and thank you!

Hope you enjoy the rest!

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I just wanted to say that I'm worried our trip will too, "break the bank". I have budgeted and planned just about everything. I even estimated snacks/drinks. We're at about $1000 cash and we have "FREE" dining! I'm really hoping we don't end up spending that much because I would love to put the extra into our next vacation.
I severely under estimated how much we would spend on food outside of the dining plan, and not just at Universal. At Disner, we ate more breakfasts than I thought (had planned on using snacks) and tips added up quickly. We also drank a fair amount of alcohol (vacation! )
At least you are thinking about it now- I wish I had given it a little more thought before we left!
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:57 PM   #72
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Day 4: 'What if we've hyped it up too much?

I had wanted to pack the night before so we could skidaddle right on over to the Poly first thing. Unfortunately, I barely remember getting back to the room after our Universal bar crawl (what can I say? I'm a girl who knows how to have a good time... er, that sounds bad. I mean that I just had a little extra fun. That's all. )
When we got up around 8AM or so, we made some coffee and packed up. It didn't take all that long and we were ready to go a little after 9. Not bad considering that I was moving just a touch on the slow side.
We were hopping to get breakfast at Kona once we got to the Poly, so we tried to hustle. Checkout was quick, but not painless- those room charges were We gulped and handed over the credit card.

I wanted to grab a few pictures around the lobby, but I guess I only got a couple. Here they are:




We went out front for a cab and the bellhop whistled for one. Really loudly. The other guy working laughed and said the whistler loves calling for cabs so he can whistle.
Our kinda grumpy cabby pulled up and we were off for the Poly. I took this picture as we pulled out of Universal.


Ben wasn't sure why I needed a Holiday Inn shot, but I explained that it was a 'car ride to the Poly' shot. Cause I was excited!

I thought our cab driver was a grump, but when he heard me point out the Disney sign, he thoughtfully slowed down so I could get this picture



We were there! I will say that it felt very strange to be heading into WDW after already having been at a theme park for 3 days!
I got even more hyper when we passed the Magic Kingdom entrance plaza. This is where we ended up:




We were greeted with a chorus of 'Alohas' as we entered and we stepped up to check in. I had done on-line check in, but there was no one waiting anywhere. It was only 10 or so, and Ben and I figured we would check in, then get breakfast and hope our room was ready after. Much to our surprise, we were given our room right then! 2614, second floor, Samoa. I was a little sad to have a 2nd floor room in a building without 2nd floor balconies but since I hadn't made any room requests, I went with it. The location was nice and convenient, anyway! We also collected our 'Just Married' pins (I had thought there would be 'Honeymoon' pins which this was. I kinda felt weird wearing a 'Just Married' pin, which we really aren't anymore)
We all laughed at the check in desk at how light we travel (just a couple of carry-ons) when we said we didn't need luggage assistance.
Since the room was ready, we figured we'd drop our stuff off before grabbing something to eat. We were hungry, but this should just take a couple of minutes and the promise of Tonga Toast was so close could almost taste it!
We headed off toward Somoa, past the volcano pool and piled in the elevator. Even with just the two of us and our little bags, we were piling in. This was one small elevator! Having just come from a resort with remarkably nice elevators, I tried not to notice that my dream resort had tiny dingy elevators. Nothing was going to ruin the Poly for me!

We snapped a picture before heading in to check things out:


I unlocked the door, and there was our room... but what was our view like?

Up next: Why a dream is a 'dream' and reality is 'reality'.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:07 PM   #73
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5 pages in and I didn't know? Whaaaaat? Excited to be here now and can't wait to catch up!!
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:26 PM   #74
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Ugh! Great cliff hanger! I'm interested to know, is Portofino more or less expensive than Poly???
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:32 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
I severely under estimated how much we would spend on food outside of the dining plan, and not just at Universal. At Disner, we ate more breakfasts than I thought (had planned on using snacks) and tips added up quickly. We also drank a fair amount of alcohol (vacation! )
At least you are thinking about it now- I wish I had given it a little more thought before we left!
Honestly, I get most of my mindless planning done during the day when I'm at work. I babysit for a family of 3 and let me tell you I'm used to running around like a "chicken with my head cut off" chasing after 20 preschool aged children so I get boooooooooooored during the day many times. This past week I organized all of my recipes while the youngest one napped (she is the only one I have during the afternoon now that school is back in session).

Oh girl, don't worry, I have budgeted for MANY drinks this trip. Relaxing by the pool? Drink. Food & Wine Fest? Drink. Animal Kingdom? Why not, drink! What's funny is that DH and I hardly drink at all...I swear!
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