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Old 05-29-2012, 05:23 PM   #46
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:30 PM   #47
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Did You Fly?!

Hello all! Hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. Alex worked pretty much all of it, but I didn’t mind too much, because my holiday weekend is coming Thursday afternoon. My aunt, cousin, and her 9 month old are coming to visit for 5 days. Laney, (the baby) is the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen, so I’m sure by Tuesday I’ll throw in a random picture of her in my next update. Hope you don’t mind.


The weekend getaway hasn’t progressed very far. June’s work schedule hasn’t been released yet, so there’s still no word on whether or not we have the time to run down to Orlando. However, so long as we have 2 consecutive days off (which can be tricky with Alex) we are going to try and sneak a visit with Mickey in!



But enough about topics that don’t matter. On to the trip report!




May 4th Morning/Early Afternoon:


As a quick recap, Alex and I spent a day or so at his parent’s house, where we woke up around 9 o’clock (remember we’d gone to a 2 hour movie at midnight. I think sleeping in until 9 is justifiable in this instance.) His dad offered to make us BLTs for brunch, which we gladly accepted.


Except Alex’s was a BL, because he absolutely hates tomatoes.


But his favorite condiment is ketchup….


Hmm.


Thoughts to ponder over later…



We stuck around the house for a few hours, visiting with family and trying to make it seem like we weren’t watching the clock constantly.


I didn’t want to be downright rude and be like, “I love ya’ll, but I could be sitting in my Disney resort right now watching Stacy.”


In actuality, I was really good. For readers of my past TRs, you know I’ve had a bit of an issue with leaving the family’s place on time, and it’s the only occasion where I have meltdowns.


This time I was smart, though, and I learned from my past mistakes.


I told Alex that so long as we leave by 2 to meet my mom at All Star Sports by 3, I’d be content. No rushing, no mad dash to the car, no freaking out when the minute hand passed a certain number on my watch.


And the plan worked out perfectly. Alex and I got the car all packed up and chatted until his dad had to get ready for work. In the end, most of his relatives had to go into work fairly early, so by 11 o’clock it was easier to get on the road and get out of their hair.


Fantastic.


We said goodbye to Buster who was not a happy camper.


The only downside to a Disney vacation is having to leave your pets, in my opinion.


But even that’s something that can be overcome.




Alex and I were on the road shortly after 11. I mentioned that we should pick up something quick to eat as we got closer to Orlando, because we weren’t scheduled to eat again until dinner, and my one BLT was wearing off quickly.


The subject was kind of forgotten, though, as we made it onto I-4 and drove towards our exit.


Where were we headed?


I didn’t want to check into our rooms before my mom arrived, so Alex and I quickly agreed upon our normal “first” of a Disney trip.


Downtown Disney!



I don’t know why, but of the 4 trips we’ve taken to WDW, all of them have led us to Downtown Disney. It’s partly because it’s a great place to kill time before checking in and partly because I like shopping.


As we were getting closer to the marketplace, I had the first of many “DUH!” moments.


DUH moments are a nice way of saying “Alicia’s an idiot.” You’d think with this being my 4th trip in two years, I’d have gotten all those kinks out of my vacations, but oh no.


It seems like I have no shortness of “DUH!” in my bag of goodies.





Oh well…they make for good stories.



It dawned on me as we were pulling into the parking lot of DTD that we could just eat here. Where there’s Disney food. Where there’s amazing selections. Where there’s no choice of Firehouses or McDonald’s, the restaurants that cover our town back home.


And, let me repeat…



Where there’s Disney food!


Hello, Alicia! Let’s think this over for a minute. Were you actually going to speed through a fast food drive through when we were headed to Disney.


Sometimes I don’t think…


I was just happy I’d thrown food into the back of my mind while we drove, otherwise I would have really kicked myself for making that disaster of a mistake.



Surprisingly, DTD wasn’t too busy considering it was a Friday and lunchtime.



Any remnants of my bacon and tomato from my brunch had long since disappeared, so as soon as we got inside the shopping area, I asked Alex where he wanted to eat.


He, of course, deferred to his normal reply of “I don’t care.”





This is why I plan our meals 6 months in advance, people.


I thought over my choices. I was hungry, I didn’t want to spend an hour debating with Alex on where we should eat, and I wanted something quick.


That left one option easily available.



Earl of Sandwich.




Meh.


I was on the fence with this one. We ate at EoS last May, and I wasn’t entirely impressed with my meal. I can’t even remember what I ordered, except that the meat was dry and stringy, and the bread was kind of stale.


However, so many of you DISboarders rave about this place, and Alex enjoyed the Club he chose, so I figured I’d give the place one more chance.


The line to order was pretty long, but it was moving efficiently, and I didn’t mind waiting when I knew there was food at the end of the tunnel.


Alex ordered the Club again (with no tomatoes, crazy man) and I went with the Hawaiian BBQ. I was feeling adventurous, and figured it couldn’t be any worse than what I’d received last go round.


We split a fountain drink, and as we were paying, the CM noticed Alex’s military I.D. She thanked him and without asking, gave us a 10% discount off our meal. When we thanked her for it, she said, “I always do what I can to help our military.”


When we moved on and were waiting for our food, Alex looked at the receipt and saw that the woman had actually given us an employee discount, which we thought was incredibly nice of her. Being military, we do get a lot of discounts, and because of that, we don’t try to score deals every time we go someplace unfamiliar. But we really appreciated the CM doing that for us, and it put the two of us in a great mood.


That floundered a tad bit when we walked outside and saw every table being occupied. I didn’t really want to sit on the concrete ledge around a tree and eat my food, but I didn’t see much else of choice.


I could already see the outcomes in my mind.

A)I could pull out my BARBEQUE sandwich and, being the pro eater that I am, devour the meal without spilling a drop of sauce on my shirt while also enjoying the variety of tastes and flavors the meal was providing.


B)The more realistic result- I could pull the wrapper away from the sandwich, watch as a pineapple began its descent into my lap, try and grab it with my free hand, and end up dripping a rain of sauce onto my lap.


I wasn’t too keen on taking my chances with the barbeque, but I wasn’t seeing any way around it.


In an attempt to prolong the inevitable messy eating experience, I took a picture or two of Alex with our food bag:




Why this also happens to be the first photo I took at Downtown Disney I have no idea, but at least I finally remembered to pull the camera out and start taking pictures!


Luckily, a family got up from one of the tables as I was putting the lens cap back on the camera, and I BOOKED it across the sidewalk to grab it.


No way was I missing out on that.


I did get a little peeved when I sat down, though, because directly to our left were this man and woman who had books out and were reading at the table. They didn’t have any cups of food or anything.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I know it was warm out, and they were probably just trying to cool off and relax a bit after their meal, but at least leave the table open to a family that wants to eat.


It frustrated me that I was about to sit out in the middle of the walkway and eat my food when there was a table not being used under the pavilion.


I don’t know, call me whatever you want, but it bugged me.


Mini-rant over….let me get on to the Sandwich.







What did I think????


Oh dear.



It was DELICIOUS!


Earl of Sandwich completely redeemed itself with their Hawaiian Barbeque. It was the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, and the pineapples were really fresh, which was a big plus.


Alex could tell I loved my meal, due to the fact that I finished before him.


I what?! That doesn’t happen very often. In fact, this was only the second time while at Walt Disney World. (The first was at Sci Fi) It’s always a surprise when I do finish my meal first, and we talked about how I would definitely return to EoS if given the chance.


Not wanting to take a table from someone who needed it, Alex went to get a refill on his drink while I ran (well, actually, I walked) to the restroom.



When I returned, he showed me these coffee mugs he’d seen:



Cute, but I had a mug in mind, and I wasn’t about to get distracted by adorable Epcot Mickeys.



I have a friend from school who’s doing the CP (her username is BelleinPink) and so I figured the best thing to do after eating such a big lunch was to walk over to Goofy’s Candy Shop and see if she was working.


We didn’t see her in the store, so we left and circled back to Disney’s Pin Traders. (I left her a comment on facebook telling her we’d stopped by, and as it turned out she was in the back. Wished we’d asked one of the other CMs, but oh well.)



I always like to get most of my shopping done in the beginning of a trip, that way I can concentrate on all the other WDW sights and sounds, and I can peruse the shelves and not worry about not getting something I wanted.


So, both Alex and I did some major shopping inside both Pin Traders and World of Disney. I bought a mystery pin set, a new lanyard, and a Simba pin for my AK collection. Alex bought a mystery pin set (maybe two sets, I don’t remember) and a couple of the special pins that were offered with purchases of 30 dollars or more. I also traded my first Vinylmation of the trip!


I had this green and pink Cutester Vinyl that I couldn’t wait to get rid of; I picked number 3, since there were three of us on the trip and ended up with:




He’s from the Occupation Collection, and I kind of liked him, but Alex wasn’t a fan, so I knew he’d be traded soon.



By the time we walked out of World of Disney, it was 2pm. Don’t ask how we managed to kill two hours shopping around, but we did.


Alex wanted to drive over to the other side of DTD and go to D-Street so that he could get some more Vinylmations.


If it’s possible….he wasn’t burned out on Disney shopping yet.




I was, that’s for sure. But, I knew he had way less time in Disney than I did, so I agreed, but I figured it was about time to call my mom and see where she was at.



For the life of me, I can’t remember why, but Alex ended up calling my mom (I can’t even recall if he used his phone or mine) while we walked through the parking lot.



She answered, I heard Alex ask how far away she was, and then Alex yelled, “You’re here?!”


What? Whoa!



Wow!


I guess my mom had just pulled into the check-in parking lot of the resort when we called, and she was waiting on us to meet her there.


More than a little surprised at the great time she’d made, we told her we’d be there in about 10 minutes, got in the car, and drove away from DTD.


I couldn’t believe we were an hour ahead of schedule, but I wasn’t complaining. The sooner we met up with my mom, the sooner our Disney vacation officially began!


It didn’t take us long to drive up to this:




And see our sign:





All Star Sports!


I know I complained a lot in my PTR about how much I wish I could’ve gotten any All Star other than Sports, but I will admit, it was sort of nice returning to a place we already knew. The stress of figuring out where to park, where the lobby was, what road to take to get to our room was absent, and it was refreshing, being familiar with the property.


I felt like I was returning to an old friend’s house. Not much has changed, but there’s still that tiny bit of the unfamiliar element floating around. Like, I know where the food court is, and I know the gift shop is right next to it, but I’ve never actually been to the shop before, so there’s a small chance I might get lost.



Okay, okay, maybe I’m giving too much credit to a resort I have only stayed at once before, but that’s what I felt at the time.




It took a minute to find my mom’s car, but that was because she had gotten a new vehicle two months before the trip, and I was still looking for her prior car.



Where is it? I don’t see any red cars out here!
Oh, wait, we’re looking for green! GREEN! Ah, there she is!



I’d never met up with anyone at Disney, and it was kind of exciting. My mom and I began talking a mile a minute (a common trait with us) asking each other how the drive was, and how happy we were to finally be on vacation.




Alex, wisely, walked ahead of us and just met us by the lobby doors.


I helped my mom check into her room while Alex checked us in:



(In case you were wondering…I made him take my planning binder. He thought it was ridiculous but didn’t complain, which I give him major credit for. After all, it takes a certain person to walk around with a 1” binder to check in.)



When my mom was checking in, I asked if the two rooms were close by, and the CM said they were next door to each other, which made our lives a whole lot easier. I was very happy with ASSp for being so accommodating with us.


As we got back into the cars to drive around to our building (I’ll go into the rest of our check-in later) I reflected on how much fun I’d already had in the 2 hours I’d been on Disney property.



My mom had made excellent time, didn’t get lost at all, and seemed genuinely excited to get the ball rolling.



And Alex and I got to spend some one-on-one time together before my mom arrived. I almost felt like we were being sneaky, taking some extra time just for ourselves, but as it turned out, it was a smart decision. We think beginning the trip with just each other was the perfect path to take. It gave us a few hours to dork out together, laugh at our inside Disney jokes, and be a married couple before it became a Mom/Daughter/Son(In-Law) Trip. And it got the 2-people mindset out of our system, that way my mom wouldn’t have to worry about feeling out of place.


Not sure if that part even made sense, but I guess for anyone who’s used to traveling with just one other person and has ever added on new members will understand the enjoyment of getting some one-on-one time with your partner in crime.



Up Next…Packet Pickup
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:13 PM   #48
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So glad your EoS meal was a hit! I really enjoy that place, but could totally see how stale bread would ruin it (since most of the meal *is* bread!)

Nice job getting some couple time in before your mom arrived. Sounds like the morning went really smoothly!
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:27 PM   #49
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Yay I'm glad you liked EoS this time! I'm obsessed with that place, everything I've had there has always been amazing!

Glad you guys got to do some things before you met up with your mom, sounds like everything was timed perfectly!

Haha, I know what you mean about driving up to a resort you've stayed at before...it's familiar, but there are still so many unknown things about it! I love going to a place I've stayed before...I like staying at new places, but when you do, there's always that "what if I hate this place" thought in the back of your mind!
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:27 PM   #50
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Sounds like you're off to a great start ! Glad you enjoyed your EOS .. I've yet to eat there !! (I feel like I've committed some sort of crime ). But I WILL try it at some point.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:53 PM   #51
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You definitely made a great choice in your sandwich at EoS. If you were underwhelmed before, I can honestly say there's no way to be underwhelmed with the Hawaiian BBQ. So tasty. You described it perfectly.

Oh, and I also have duh moments all the time too.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:21 PM   #52
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I'm joining in! So far I'm really enjoying it! I really like the way you write. I stayed at All Star Sports in December so it'll be cool to hear what you have to say about it!
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:02 PM   #53
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I've heard that sandwich is awesome! How great that you got an employee discount for being military. Very cool!

Glad you mom made such great time and that you had a fun prevacation visit to DTD. Perfect start to your trip.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:08 AM   #54
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I'm finally here, Alicia! I can't believe I missed such a great start, but thankfully I'm all caught up now!

I have to comment on Alex's not liking tomatoes, but ketchup being his favorite condiment...I'm the same way. I can't stand fresh tomatoes but love ketchup, even like tomato soup and will eat fried green tomatoes. I just can't stand the texture of a fresh tomato! lol

I'm so glad you were willing to give Earl another try and so happy that you loved your sammich! It looked really yummy!

How wonderful that your Mom made it there so quickly! I can only imagine how excited you were!!

I so can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #55
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Some DTD time, EOS, and an hour earlier than predicted! A great start to a Disney vacation!
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:07 AM   #56
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The Hawaiian BBQ is the only sammich I eat from EoS! Its SOOO so yummy!!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #57
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A fun start to your trip! I've only had Earl of Sandwich once and felt "meh" about it, but reading your experience makes me want to give it another try.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:15 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
So glad your EoS meal was a hit! I really enjoy that place, but could totally see how stale bread would ruin it (since most of the meal *is* bread!)

Nice job getting some couple time in before your mom arrived. Sounds like the morning went really smoothly!
It did go really smoothly; I was kind of surprised that there were no hitches along the way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
Yay I'm glad you liked EoS this time! I'm obsessed with that place, everything I've had there has always been amazing!

Glad you guys got to do some things before you met up with your mom, sounds like everything was timed perfectly!

Haha, I know what you mean about driving up to a resort you've stayed at before...it's familiar, but there are still so many unknown things about it! I love going to a place I've stayed before...I like staying at new places, but when you do, there's always that "what if I hate this place" thought in the back of your mind!

I know exactly what you mean about staying at a new resort. What if you hate it? Someone mentioned that I should try a new place on my weekend getaway, and I thought that was brilliant, since I'll only be there 2-3 days, and I won't have to suffer long if I dislike it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Moodyzblu View Post
Sounds like you're off to a great start ! Glad you enjoyed your EOS .. I've yet to eat there !! (I feel like I've committed some sort of crime ). But I WILL try it at some point.

Haha, I know what you mean. There are a few places at WDW that I have yet to eat, and I feel like I'm being a bad DISer. (Le Cellier and Ohana's are unknown restaurants to me.)
Now that I've found something on the menu that I like, I would definitely recommend trying EoS out. What I liked about it was that we paid OOP for the meal, and it really wasn't more expensive than a fast food place back home. Normally, Disney food costs a pretty penny, but Earl wasn't bad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
You definitely made a great choice in your sandwich at EoS. If you were underwhelmed before, I can honestly say there's no way to be underwhelmed with the Hawaiian BBQ. So tasty. You described it perfectly.

Oh, and I also have duh moments all the time too.

Agreed. That Hawaiian BBQ is something to write home about. I can't believe I've never tried something like that before.

I guess everyone has DUH moments, especially when traveling.



Quote:
Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
I'm joining in! So far I'm really enjoying it! I really like the way you write. I stayed at All Star Sports in December so it'll be cool to hear what you have to say about it!

Hi! Thanks for joining in! I read your TR (the "Yu guys are CMs right?" one) a week or so ago, but I don't think I commented. Whoops. It's really good though!

This was our second stay at ASSp and surprisingly, I learned more about the place than I thought I would on a return visit.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
I've heard that sandwich is awesome! How great that you got an employee discount for being military. Very cool!

Glad you mom made such great time and that you had a fun prevacation visit to DTD. Perfect start to your trip.
It was certainly that smoothest start to all our trips thus far, so Alex and I were really happy.
The Hawaiian BBQ sounds a little odd, but it turned out really good. I think you have to be in the right mood for it, though, because it's not an ordinary taste. Alex took a bite of it and said it was good, but he didn't think he could eat an entire sandwich's worth, which I can understand.



Quote:
Originally Posted by UGAFan0829 View Post
I'm finally here, Alicia! I can't believe I missed such a great start, but thankfully I'm all caught up now!

I have to comment on Alex's not liking tomatoes, but ketchup being his favorite condiment...I'm the same way. I can't stand fresh tomatoes but love ketchup, even like tomato soup and will eat fried green tomatoes. I just can't stand the texture of a fresh tomato! lol

I'm so glad you were willing to give Earl another try and so happy that you loved your sammich! It looked really yummy!

How wonderful that your Mom made it there so quickly! I can only imagine how excited you were!!

I so can't wait to read more!

Ah, I'm so happy you're here, but I'm also a little sad for you, because that means you're back from your trip!
Which also made me realize I missed an update from you! I'm going back and reading it as soon as I'm done here!


That tomato thing cracks me up...but I guess I can see where you're coming from. It justs makes me a tiny bit crazy that Alex hates tomatos, because it's a favorite of mine. Every summer my dad has tomato plants, and I probably eat a fresh tomato every other day. It's one of those foods I can't imagine others not liking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by teekathepony View Post
Some DTD time, EOS, and an hour earlier than predicted! A great start to a Disney vacation!

For sure! Luck was on our side that day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GraceMonica View Post
The Hawaiian BBQ is the only sammich I eat from EoS! Its SOOO so yummy!!!

I can see why. It's delicious and unique, which I like. I can get a club or a tuna melt at any of the sub shops locally, but I haven't seen many other places that offer the Hawaiian BBQ.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elleshoodat View Post
A fun start to your trip! I've only had Earl of Sandwich once and felt "meh" about it, but reading your experience makes me want to give it another try.

Can't wait to read more!

I'd say go with something that's a little off the wall if you ever try EoS again. I think eating something so different from the norm sub is what makes the place as popular is it is.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:22 AM   #59
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I am loving this trip report. BUT how can you not love a Disney cruise? It hurts my heart hearing that! LOL It is my all time favorite vacation. Only 136 days until the longest cruise I have even been on - 14 nights!

Please give it another try! LOL
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February 1982 - Off Site; June 1995 - Offsite; February 1998 - AllStar Music; February 2000 - Disney Magic; January 2002 - Carribean Beach Resort & Disney Wonder; January 2004 - Port Orleans Riverside & Disney Wonder; January 2006 - Pop Century; February 2007 - Pop Century; November 2008 - Disney Wonder Wedding & Animal Kingdom Lodge; November 2009 - All Star Movies, Treehouse Villas & Disney Wonder; December 2009 - All Star Music ; January 2011 - POFQ, BLT & Disney Magic Cruise;
September 2011, AKL & B2B - Disney Dream & Wilderness Lodge; January 2012 - Boardwalk; October 2012 - Grand Californian at Disneyland; October 2012 - Disney Wonder to Hawaii; October 2012 - Candy Cane Inn at Disneyland; February 2013 - BLT & Disney Dream & Beach Club Resort; May 2013 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; September 2013 - Polynesian & Fantasy; October 2013 - Art of Animation; December 2013 - Old Key West; February 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; February - 2014 - Grand Californian; May 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney Magic B2B, Bay Lake Towers; May 2014 - Wilderness Lodge for Star Wars Weekend; August 2014 - Old Key West, Beach Club Villas & Disney Dream
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:36 PM   #60
marDgreen88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingact21 View Post
Hi! Thanks for joining in! I read your TR (the "Yu guys are CMs right?" one) a week or so ago, but I don't think I commented. Whoops. It's really good though!

This was our second stay at ASSp and surprisingly, I learned more about the place than I thought I would on a return visit.
Thanks so much!

Very nice! Can't wait to read more!
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