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Old 08-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #31
shalom
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Planning stuff: Gotta eat sometime

I am not much of a foodie. I appreciate good food, but I don’t go into raptures about it. Well, admittedly I got a bit wound the first time I tasted a honeycrisp apple. And I’m picky – I cook at home, so I know how a lot of foods “should” be prepared (and, on occasion, I know I like it better prepared “wrong” ), and since we mostly eat at home, I mostly get my food right out of the oven/off the stove, so I get grumpy about food that’s not really fresh. And while I must have a fair tolerance for salt – I eat and enjoy American fast food, for crying out loud! – restaurant soup is almost always too salty for me. The restaurant experience loses a lot of zing when you’re sitting there thinking, “Man, I should have stayed home and made this myself —would have cost less money, and the food might have actually tasted good!”

Geek dad thinks I’m a terrific cook, but he lost his sense of smell when he was three so don’t be thinking this means much! Since so much of taste is tied up in your sense of smell, he’s pretty much an “eat to live” guy. He doesn’t mind going out to eat, but it’s not something he particularly enjoys or wants to spend much money on. So I take a kid or two out to eat every month or so at home, and we eat fast food while traveling, and that’s about it for us when it comes to eating out. And I’m having a bit of a challenge getting a couple of my kids out of the “restaurants grandpa takes us to that serve food we get at home” rut.

So if I go out for TS at WDW, it’ll probably be with one or two of the older kids rather than a big family meal. And it’ll likely be outside the parks; I liked the SeaWorld cafeteria set up because you were in and out pretty quick. Less enthused about spending park time waiting on a waiter.

None of these pics are mine – I’ve taken pics of my kids birthday cakes that I made, where I have total control of the light but I’ve never tried taking a food pic in a restaurant. I’m in awe of those who do it with good results.

RESERVATION I WANT TO MAKE

Wishes Dessert Party – I might be able to talk Geek dad into that but probably it’ll be the Hermit, Ballet Girl and myself. Ballet Girl really wanted to go to this in 2010, but for some reason I didn’t find out about it in time. And when I did hear about it, it was in the Theme Park board – don’t know how I missed it in the Restaurant one!


http://www.flickr.com/photos/55159301@N05/5507774219/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/74882933@N02/6826341945/



TS RESTAURANTS I’M CONSIDERING

Garden View Tea Room

Everything at the Garden View Tea Room sounds great except for the potted meats. Not a potted meat fan. The problem with the Tea Room is that I have that kinda stuff at home all the time anyhow. Muffins, scones, tea sandwiches, strawberries with cream… that’s home food! On the one hand, I kind of think it would be nice to have a little bit of home food in pretty surroundings around about the middle of the vacation. OTOH, I’m used to super fresh muffins and scones and bread, and the one gripe I’ve seen about this place is that the bread or scones can be a little stale. Also, a big part of the charm of the place for me was the Old English Rose pattern tea set, and I have heard they changed over to plain white. So I'm waffling…

Boatwrights

I dunno what it is about Boatwrights, or why it appeals to me. It gets mostly bad reviews on the Dis, but the ones that go into detail, seems to me they mostly like the appetizers and desserts okay, and gripe about the entrťe. And I always think, well, if I’m going to have desert, I tend to skip the entrťe anyhow, so that doesn’t bother me much. Which is to say, I go looking for reasons to justify going. Maybe I’ll just try to slip in and get a dessert there or something.

The Wave

The pan-seared sea scallops and the Decadent Flavors Dessert. And that is reason enough. I never make sea scallops -- Geek dad thinks they're just another fish, only really expensive. *sigh* And since they're expensive, I don't want to encourage the kids to develop a taste for them by making them. I convinced most of the kids they didn't want to try shrimp by showing them the original animal, so I'm free to make shrimp dishes, but I don't think that'll work with sea scallops!

And the Decadent Flavors Dessert is one of the rare combo desserts where all the possibilities sound like they'd be really good.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/charact...rs/2569947880/


Marrakesh

Bunch of stuff looks good to me. Also – belly dancer. I'm not actually much for ballet (happily, Nutcracker is one of the ones I most appreciate), but I do like most ethnic dances, and that includes belly dance.

Biergarten

Most of the time, someone brings up the subject of Biergarten and it just sounds noisy to me. But when it sounds fun, it sounds really fun. If we’re in Epcot one of those days when it sounds fun, I might try to go for it.

Chefs de France

This is another one like the Tea Room where there’s lots of stuff that appeals to me, but I make it at home a lot anyhow. Also, I am paranoid about “fine French restaurants”, because, while I tend to find restaurant soups oversalted anyway, the worst soup I ever had was some positively inedible Soupe a l’oignon gratinee. That is also the last soup I ever ordered in a restaurant for a lonnnng time, right up until I got some butternut squash soup at Mara a while back. Which I thought too sweet, but I’d predicted that and gotten something spicy to go with it and it was great.

Whispering Canyon Cafe

All the appetizers look good to me, and all the desserts except the S’more’s cheesecake. It seems really noisy, though, or at least there's a lot of noise from it in the lobby.




THINGS I’VE HAD BEFORE AND WANT AGAIN

Tie dyed Cheesecake at Pop Century

Florida Strawberry Cupcake at the Contempo Cafť


posted in this thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=41236357

^ This is like the best thing ever. I may even try to get the recipe next time out.

Dole Whip



http://www.flickr.com/photos/flashphase/6187658705/

I take my Dole Whip straight, like this guy. :D

Mickey Ice Cream Bar – yeah, it’s a Dove bar with ears, but I like Dove bars and rarely indulge. Plus the ears make it special.



CS THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING AT THE MK

If we go two days I'll probably either head home for lunch (I like to take an early afternoon break anyhow), or hit a monorail resort for one of them, because the pickings are slim if you want something kinda different. Or I might break down and get a reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern, but that's a "lots of good stuff I make anyway" story again.

Columbia Harbor House
I like the Lighthouse Sandwich, but there’s not much point to getting it when I make it at home whenever I want one. If I want something dead basic I’ll get the Fried Shrimp Basket, otherwise I’ll probably get the Broccoli Peppercorn Salad, although I keep intending to try the chili so might go that route. Or both soup and salad – hey, if we’re there in January, I might actually be hungry!

Kiosk
Churro with chocolate. I know they're all over the place, but for some reason I've never had a churro.

Sleepy Hollow has a “Liberty Swirl Slush” I’m considering – strawberry with blue raspberry. Although the “American Dream” at the Drum and Fife sounds similar but better.

And I confess I like their funnel cakes. I never do anything deep fat fried at home, so aside from fries or onion rings (which we get on the road), deep fat fried food is “high holiday time” to me.



CS THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING AT THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

Not much that excites me. But we’re probably only spending one day there, and there’s enough for that, especially when you consider the Anandapur Tea Company.

Africa

Slow Roasted Pulled Beef Sandwich at Tamu Tamu – sounds interesting, and I’ve seen some positive reviews of it as well.

Maybe something at Kusafiri’s, however the only cupcake there that really interests me (Zebra) got a poor review in the Cupcake thread.

Asia

Tea at Royal Anandapur Tea Company Hot and cold and slushy tea opportunities. If I get overwhelmed, a Chai Latte is my choice. I think they have more than one possibility even there but if I get cornered I will eeeny meeny minie moe it.


Kiosk
Shangri-La Cooler, which is lemonade slush topped with blueberry syrup, or

Berry Yeti Blast, which is strawberry slush topped with blueberry syrup.

There’s also the Kali Rive Colada slush – Rum, pineapple, coconut, and they swirl chocolate through it. If they’re talking a swirl of chocolate soft serve, that sounds heavenly, but if they just mean a swirl of chocolate syrup, I can live without it. Maybe I should just buzz up some pina colada slush (I’ve got a recipe we like floating around), and a chocolate shake, and swirl them myself. Except I’d have to buy another container for the blender. Actually, I’ve got plenty of room to store a second one in the gonzo appliance center my dad made for me, which is not usually the case when I contemplate adding to my kitchen gadget collection. Hmmm.


Flame Tree

1/2 chicken – sounds dead basic but Flame Tree gets great reviews, and I'm not likely to want the Tamu Tamu sandwich twice in one day!

Key Lime Mousse or Chocolate Mousse – also all over (well, the Key Lime less so than the Chocolate), but I’m getting desperate, here. Even checked out the Yak and Yeti TS menu, although I don’t want to make any ADRs, but that didn’t look worth the time and effort since it's so easy to get that kind of stuff around here. And really the menus on the internet are not terribly informative when it comes to pastries anyhow, so those are just-in-case thoughts there.

Epcot CS gets its own post.

Last edited by shalom; 08-09-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:19 PM   #32
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CS Food that sounds interesting at Epcot

There are more things at Epcot than I could possibly eat in two, or even three, days, so thatís kinda cool.

Sunshine Seasonings
Iím not sure whether the strawberry shortcake looks interesting or deadly:


from this thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=44031294

Two problems with the strawberry shortcake. One, I have the recipe and know exactly why itís bad for me (like the picture doesnít give it away? ). And two, if I have that, much less likely to have as much World Showcase decadence.

The poster/photographer from the thread I just linked to had it for breakfast! And thatís a review thread that covers the 2011 F&W, btw. Certain people vacationing in October might be interested.

The other thing that interested me is the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. I can probably split the shortcake with the Hermit, but Iím gonna be on my own with the salad.


Refreshment Port Kiosk

Crispy Fried Shrimp and Tostones. I've considered making Tostones at home but have never actually gotten around to it... and probably won't. Our family doctor recommends we not eat junk food we don't make ourselves, and he's got a valid point because I almost never fry and otherwise make healthier junk food than most store bought stuff, however I always ignore him on vacation.



Rose and Crown

Iím a ďCanada firstĒ Epcot tour-er.

The English Bulldog. Bangers and Mash on a bun with bacon and cheddar and mustard. Why in the world do they serve this with fries? Seems totally redundant to me. Another something that would seriously cut down my World Showcase snacking.


EatingWDW Rose and Crown review

I was intrigued by the ďEnglish Bay Sugar CookieĒ Ė I thought it might be a sugar cookie with bay flavoring, which sounded different. And if I didnít like it, I could probably foist it off on the Hermit. But after poking around a bit, Iím pretty sure itís just a plain sugar cookie make by the English Bay company.



Boulangerie Patisserie

If we want real food, we might get a baguette and the assorted cheese plate here, which sounds good. Although cheese is pretty close to decadence, and we get a lot of artisan breads and cheeses at home anyhow (Chicago and its shops to the west, and lots of Amish shops to the east of us -- and of course of lot of the bread I bake is kinda artisan bread), so weíll probably head to Morocco if weíre seriously hungry for real food and get sweet decadence instead of cheesy. But if weíre looking for sweet decadence, the possibilities are overwhelming! I have been known to walk into places like this, and it all looks so good that my brain shorts out and I just walk out again and get something familiar but boring somewhere else. Brain, why are you so stupid?

So Iím planning ahead. If I canít make up my mind, Iíll get the pithiver. Or the crŤme brule. Or the Napoleon. On second thought, maybe I just better let the Hermit choose. I donít know precisely what sheíll go for, but I know sheíll get something chocolate. Although Iíve never had her pick two things (we usually each pick one and split them both in Disney bakery situations) Ė no idea if theyíd both be chocolate. If she suggests two chocolate things, I think Iíd switch out the second one for a Napoleon. Or the crŤme brule. Or the pithiver.

The pithiver is at the top of this page Iím about to link to, the chocolate mousse further down Ė the more I consider it, the more I think thatíd be a good combination to lobby for. Top of the next page in that thread is the Napoleon, which I think Iíll go for if the Hermit decides on a chocolate croissant. And if she goes for chocolate cake, Iíll get the crŤme brule. Problem solved!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2863708&page=2



Tangerine Cafe

Shwarma Platter

Iím thinking lamb, or the lamb and chicken combo. Iím not a huge lamb fan, but sometimes itís a nice change and I havenít had any in forever.


http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tag...e/interesting/

And lately Iíve been consider the Mediterranean Sliders Combo as well.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/5334993956/


But the sides are not exciting me. Well, the hummus looks fine, but thereís no bread or anything for dipping in it, and what is all that green stuff in the tabouleh? Parsley? Parsley and mint? Either way, not enthused. The tabouleh recipe I make is a recipe from a Lebanese guy, and theyíre supposed to like a much higher proportion of parsley to wheat than most, but it doesnít have anything like that much. The bulgur looks like something sprinkled over as a garnish, and I've seen some pics where there's even less.

I guess the tabouleh in the shwarma platter looks just as bad, just hadnít noticed it before. Bah. I wonít be getting the sliders unless they let me add a side of bread or something Ė donít see it listed but I could ask. And the lentil salad is just plain ugly. Admittedly lentils are not naturally photogenic and it could be quite tasty for all I know. Iíve seen pics where itís just lentils and onions; this one has that one tiny piece of tomato. Would it kill them to put a good handful of colorful veggies in there?


Kabuki Cafť, Japan

Iím debating about Kaki Gori. Iíve heard they switched from shave ice to crushed (the SnoCone kind). Bleah. If itís gonna have the texture of a SnoCone, Iíd rather have a slushy.

Actually, if I donít like the looks of the Kaki Gori, I might get a ďJapanese soda, RamuneĒ Ė Ramune comes in something like 35 different flavors, but the only listing I can ever find for the Kabuki Cafť at Epcot is ďRamune.Ē Iím thinking I can safely say one flavor they wonít have is Octopus. And probably not Kimchee or curry, either. If they have Wasabi I am totally getting some (and if itís really spicy the Hermit will finish it off for me). But if ďRamune sodaĒ means just original flavor Ramune (lemon lime), as I suspect it does, Iíll probably pass.

Depending on how snacky I feel, Iíll probably have the green tea and the azuki bean ice cream at either China or Japan, and I might have the ginger as well. I had ginger ice cream years back and didnít like it, but that was pretty strongly flavored with fresh ginger Ė Iím guessing Epcotís wonít be as strong. If it is, to the Hermit it goes!

Fife and Drum Tavern

I might try the American Dream; strawberry and blue raspberry slush with vanilla ice cream. But only if I can con them out of a spoon to go with it.


Italy Kiosk

If I didnít get a soda in Japan, I might try one of the Italian sodas; they have Aranciata or Limonata, which is orange or lemon, so itíll depend on who is around Ė Iím not a big orange soda fan but I could split the orange one with Geek dad. Orange soda and root beer (and drinks I make with fizzy stuff) are about the only sodas heíll even touch.



Sommerfest

Might get a pretzel in Germany.



Joy of Tea



I will definitely be getting something here.

I donít like coffee or anything flavored with it, so one thing I know I wonít be getting is ďTipsy Ducks in LoveĒ, which is tea and coffee with bourbon and chocolate, but isnít that a great name, and doesnít that sound terrific if youíre not a mocha-hater like myself?

If I want cold tea, Iím thinking peach oolong. If hot, Iíll go for the Dragon Well, which is supposed to be a high quality green tea. Itís the same price as the decaffed green and all the rest, so I donít expect itís really that special, but I doubt Iíll care. Before I had kids, I used to get good quality loose tea and drink it straight and when I got the cheap stuff I noticed the difference, boy howdy. After I had kids, I started doing bagged teas, and if it wasnít up to par, I just threw sugar and sometimes even milk or cream in there and, although I still donít like Liptonís, Iím fine with some of the generic brands. If itís at least brewed instead of powdered, Iím happy, pretty much. Having kids took the tea snob right out of me, Iím telliní ya.

I have yet to eat at the Earl of Sandwich, but yesterday I brewed up a gallon of Earlís Lemonade (Earl Grey tea with Lemonade), soooo good. I am drinking too much since I didnít use decaf and I am going to regret it tonight, but right now, Iím loviní it.

Where was I before I got derailed by the tea? Oh, yeah, Norway. Oh boy, Norway!



Kringla Bakeri

Kringla is about as bad as the Boulangerie Patisserie. If I want real food, Iíll go for the Norwegian Club. But when it comes to sweet snacks, who can possibly choose?

Well, I do know I wonít be getting the lefse, because it could never compare to the nostalgic love of my Great Auntís lefse so it wouldnít make me happy. And I make rice cream with their recipe Ė and love it Ė but itíd be silly to get that when we have it at home. Which, alas, does not limit my list of possibilities much. Berry Cream Puffs, Verdunís Beste, Cloudberry Horn, Various Sweet PretzelsÖ

My ďif I canít decideĒ treat used to be the school bread, which got almost uniformly positive reviews (and most of the negative reviews were, ďIíd rather have xĒ instead of complaints about the quality). But then there were a flurry of posts on how WDW had changed the school bread recipe and it was suddenly dreadful. So right now, school bread is just another maybe. Maybe Iíll just make it at home and be done with it.

So I guess my fall back is the almond sweet pretzel.



Mexico Kiosks

Churros with caramel sauce

Paletas (Mexican fruit popsicles) Ė Iíll probably get cantaloupe or coconut.

Last edited by shalom; 08-10-2012 at 02:47 PM. Reason: apparently, I can't spell Epcot
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:27 PM   #33
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We ate at Boatwrights on one of our first stays at Riverside. Although at the time they still served breakfast. Let me tell you, that was some of the best food I had on property. I fell in love with their strawberries and cream. It was heavenly!!

We did eat there for dinner and I found that it was wonderful. Not nearly as bad as some people here make it out to be.

Some of the places that you mentioned at the Magic Kingdom are our some of our families favorites. We are foodies and love to eat while we are on vacation.

Columbia Harbor House. This one is probably DH's favorite counter service restaurant at MK. And he and DS are picky eaters. That's the one place that DH wants to eat on our upcoming trip.

Even thinking of funnel cakes makes me laugh. DH and I went to a local fair and he bought a funnel cake for us to share. Well, I was taking a bite of mine and he said something funny and I laughed and powdered sugar went everywhere. LOL! I love funnel cakes.

We happen to love Flame Tree. It's DH and my favorite counter service at AK. We eat there on every trip. The chicken there is actually pretty good. It's not too dry or too moist.

We don't really do counter service at Epcot. We have quite a few table service places that we love there. LOL! We are trying Biergarten for the first time on our upcoming trip and we are doing Garden Grill again. I don't even know how many times we've done it before. At least once on every trip. LOL! It's our favorite place for Epcot.

I love the places that you have picked. I want to try a few of them myself. They are interesting, but with DH & DS it's hard to get them to go outside the box and try something new. LOL! My men are creatures of habit sometimes.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:59 AM   #34
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More food porn!
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:21 AM   #35
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OMG, love the food porn

I did the dessert party when I went on my trip with just DS (11 at the time). It was incredible. I love desserts, so we actually made this our dinner. It was so rich that we couldn't even eat all that much, but it was so good. I would love to do it again, but DH wouldn't appreciate it.

I love Flametree too. I was very disappointed when they removed the corn muffin though. It seemed to round out the meal. The desserts are both good, not great, but good. I had the key lime just to have something different.

I am intrigued by Boatwrights. Their menu seems decent, and the last few reviews I've read seem decent enough to make me want to try it. I suppose if something goes awry in our daily plans, that would make a good backup since we're at POR anyways.

Gee after seeing your Wave info, makes me want to add that if I end up solo one night. I love scallops
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:35 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNipRules View Post
We did eat [at Boatwrights] for dinner and I found that it was wonderful. Not nearly as bad as some people here make it out to be.
Yeah, I've read a couple of surprised reviews where someone had a good meal there. Although I don't consciously remember it, I wonder if my Boatwrights thing goes back to the description in the Unofficial Guide, where they say there's a "boatwright's tool kid that contains condiments." That sounded really fun to me, for some reason, but now, even if I knew the fun box has gone the way of the Old Rose china at the Tea Room, I'm for some reason committed to Boatwrights.

Also, I like Riverside. I didn't think much of the beignets there (might as well have been sopapillas for all of me), but that hasn't changed my opinion of the resort as well. The Old Key West onion rings disappointed me, and I have crossed it off my list. But with Old Key West, I just didn't like the resort as a whole much for some reason. And it wasn't the "condo vibe" some people complain about, because I loved Saratoga Springs.

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Originally Posted by CatNipRules View Post
Even thinking of funnel cakes makes me laugh. DH and I went to a local fair and he bought a funnel cake for us to share. Well, I was taking a bite of mine and he said something funny and I laughed and powdered sugar went everywhere. LOL! I love funnel cakes.
Yah, that's happened to me. I have discovered that's less likely to happen if you get them with the strawberries and whipped cream. Although really I like them both ways.

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Originally Posted by CatNipRules View Post
We happen to love Flame Tree. It's DH and my favorite counter service at AK. We eat there on every trip. The chicken there is actually pretty good. It's not too dry or too moist.


Sounds great!


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Originally Posted by CatNipRules View Post
We don't really do counter service at Epcot. We have quite a few table service places that we love there.
I figure I might as well give the CS a try first, especially since I don't want to have to commit to an ADR. Although most of the restaurants that particularly interest me, except maybe Chefs de France, you can sometimes get an ADR the night before or morning of, and I've also heard of people getting in with walk-ups. Garden Grill and Akershus interest me, but I'm not going to make an ADR so they're just not on my list. And I'd love to go to Cinderella's Royal Table, but everytime I about talk myself into it, I run across another negative review. I'm willing to pay that much for a magical experience, but in my world, magical experiences don't include mediocre food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNipRules View Post
They are interesting, but with DH & DS it's hard to get them to go outside the box and try something new. LOL! My men are creatures of habit sometimes.
Yah, the more I read the Dis, the more I realize how lucky I am that Geek dad will try about anything I set in front of him. And he's only once said, "Would it be okay if you never made that again?" But of course he can't taste a whole lot of it, and I don't set stuff in front of him I know he hates (he doesn't like spicy-as-in-chilies food). Still, he's pretty adventurous, and so is Sea World son. Mr. Cool, not so much. Although none of them are as bad as Warrior Girl, who practically lives on pb&j.

I never made a big issue of food with my kids and let them eat what they wanted, so long as they stayed out of the kitchen when I was cooking, meaning they could make a sandwich or track down some leftovers if they didn't like what I'd made for dinner, which worked out pretty well with all the rest, but it takes a bit more effort with Warrior Girl. We have had pancakes about once a week for years (we have them for supper since we don't usually breakfast as a family), and she had them with cinnamon and sugar right up until a year or so back when she helped a friend of ours with sugaring off their maple syrup. Now she likes maple syrup -- but only the real stuff. Which when we buy it from our friends is pretty reasonable, but when they run out for the year, Geek dad hits the grocery store and groans, "Why did we convince her it tastes good?"

Last edited by shalom; 08-10-2012 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:09 AM   #37
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More food porn!


In retrospect I realize the pictures are nearly all desserts. Desserts are prettier, that's what. I look at even carefully prepared entrees, like at California Grill or Victoria and Albert's, and about half the time I think, "That is just one hot mess." And if they're not decorated, tends to be a bunch of greys and browns and bleah colors. If my nose didn't have such major input, sometimes I'm not sure if I'd eat main dishes at all. Well, maybe steak. I like mine pretty rare, and they have that nice pink once you cut into them. Or prime rib, ditto. And shrimp. But aside from that...

On the whole, veggie dishes and desserts are so much more visually attractive.

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Old 08-10-2012, 09:16 AM   #38
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I love desserts, so we actually made this our dinner.
Yeah, I can't get away with that -- gotta have real food first. OTOH, I'm totally good with evening snacks, and could probably eat enough of them to make a meal.

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It was so rich that we couldn't even eat all that much, but it was so good. I would love to do it again, but DH wouldn't appreciate it.
Geek dad's always picking up decadence in an evening run to the store, and then not letting anyone have any when he gets home, because he doesn't like sweets after seven or so. He says they keep him up! So no dessert party for him.

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Originally Posted by lurkernj View Post
I had the key lime just to have something different.


I find that, if it's something I have all the time anyway, it needs to be prepared to my tastes (as opposed to perfectly prepared ) for me to want to eat it. So I tend to go for "something different" when I eat out.

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Originally Posted by lurkernj View Post
Gee after seeing your Wave info, makes me want to add that if I end up solo one night. I love scallops
Let me know what you think if you go, and ditto on Boatwrights. I think I heard Boatwrights gets really loud the later you're there; I was going to go on a non-park day and try to get in at five if I go at all.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by shalom View Post


In retrospect I realize the pictures are nearly all desserts. Desserts are prettier, that's what. I look at even carefully prepared entrees, like at California Grill or Victoria and Albert's, and about half the time I think, "That is just one hot mess." And if they're not decorated, tends to be a bunch of greys and browns and bleah colors. If my nose didn't have such major input, sometimes I'm not sure if I'd eat main dishes at all. Well, maybe steak. I like mine pretty rare, and they have that nice pink once you cut into them. Or prime rib, ditto. And shrimp. But aside from that...

On the whole, veggie dishes and desserts are so much more visually attractive.
The photos are BEAUTIFUL! I was drooling the entire time ... seriously. I just wish I could have that strawberry shortcake from Sunshine Seasons. *sigh* Might have to get it and eat just one bite.

Your PTR is a feast for the eyes in every sense of the phrase.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:38 AM   #40
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Tuesday, a resort day

Yeah, did I say we’d do Walmart in the morning? In my vernacular, “getting going in the morning” – especially when we have to buy stuff to make lunch! – means “get out the door prior to 10:00 a.m.” In Geek dad’s vocabulary it means, “walk out the door before 11:59.” This was morning by Geek dad’s definition.

A friend of mine who hits Disney at least once a year particularly recommended the Walmart on Vineland as having lots of cool Disney stuff for cheaps. It doesn’t look that far away from the Fountains on the map, and it’s actually closer than the other one he went to, but Geek dad was grumbling about the distance long before we got there. I think Geek dad really needed to have lunch before we went to get the groceries for lunch, if you know what I mean.

Normally, I’m the one saying, “Walmart? Do we have to?” I don’t like Walmart because, whenever I shop there, I gotta go somewhere else as well, in order to get stuff like tahini and whole wheat pastry flour and a lot of the things I consider staples, and I am a One Stop Shopper when it comes to groceries. But I still liked this Walmart better than Geek dad did.

We walked in and there was a big beach towel display and I said, “You know, the kids really need new beach towels.” And he had to admit that was true, but now we were right off the list, first thing. They had Disney towels, but Ballet Girl picked out one dolphin towel and, after much waffling between the other dolphin towel and a shark towel, Warrior Girl went for the dolphins as well. SeaWorld son was sad, because he had gotten a new beach towel from his godmother recently (also sea-themed, but admittedly not as cool as the ones we were looking at), meaning Geek dad wasn’t going to pony up for his towel, and he already had plans for spending every cent he had at SeaWorld. So no new towel for SeaWorld Son.

While the girls picked out their towels, I got my glasses fixed at the little optometrist shop there. They found me a screw that fit and got me all set and didn’t charge me a thing, so that was nice. Then we went looking for the Disney section, and while there was a nice selection of clothes, I kinda think it was less that it had the biggest Disney selection in town, and more that it had the biggest Disney selection of stuff my friend likes to get. But we managed to find a few things.

I got a Tinkerbell mug! Aside from pins, I hardly ever get Disney stuff for myself because I’m so picky and can never find anything I want bad enough to justify finding the space for it. I’m not a huge fan of the “new” Tinkerbell (although I like Silvermist and Iredessa a lot – consistency, what’s that? ), and I think the old Tinkerbell has some attitude issues I would prefer not to emulate, so I don’t like a lot of Tinkerbell stuff, however I do collect pins with Tink and castles because I grew up with Walt Disney’s show, and I like Disney’s Peter Pan and this mug ties back to the original movie and, I dunno, for some reason I love it.

So hubby came home last night to find me taking pictures of my mug, watched for a minute, and says, “Those aren’t going to come out.” I juuuust about channeled my grandma and snapped “Oh, go pee up a rope!” (which was grandma’s predictable response to anything grandpa said she didn’t appreciate), but I resisted. And I was glad I did! When he uploaded them to his computer (mine won’t talk to the camera so it has to go through his computer, through the server, to mine, so he always sees them sooner than I do), I was totally vindicated, because he thought they looked great. I was less enthused about them, but they’re clear enough anyhow.









If you can look past the startlingly pink bear, you may be able to see the Tinkerbell t-shirt Ballet Girl got:



She also got two t-shirts based on the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland – this one with the cat:



She wore the third one, which remained her favorite, that Thursday to SeaWorld. Although I had to mess with color so you can see her face (she's my most faithful reader here, I suspect ):



And she loves that shirt so much, she made me take a better picture of it when she wore it out. It isn't as clear as I'd like and it's kinda faded, but that's closer to the color it's supposed to be:



And while I'm sharing her favorite things, might as well do the two pins on her hat on the SeaWorld pic -- the Pirates of the Caribbean one we got at the Disney outlet store:



And Cinderella in her pink dress -- Ballet Girl loves the pink Cinderella dress. The stepmother pin that came with it was traded away right quick! Not a fan of the villians, that Ballet Girl.



His Disney Duty done for the moment, Geek dad happily left his least favorite Walmart in the world and we went back to the condo and had pizza. Then, after Geek dad had rested from his labors (shopping with the family is hard!), we headed for Downtown Disney.

Geek dad was actually looking forward to Downtown Disney, because there’a a Lego store. Shortly after he set up his house with all his junk, someone broke into it. When a friend heard about it and asked, “So, did they get away with much?” Geek dad replied, “Just a couple of cameras. Fortunately, they didn’t find the Lego.” So that tells you what he thinks of Lego.

However, while doing this write up, I remembered I had him take bunches of pictures of Downtown Disney, only I couldn’t find them, and since he can’t find them either, he’s starting to think the card may have been in a camera that was stolen. ARGH. He doesn't really care because he was only taking pictures at my direction and there were none of the kids, but I was kind of disappointed.

So we parked down by Disney Quest and then took the boat to the other end. I love Disney boats. I like riding in boats and actually quite like canoing, however I hate being in the sun. I'm not even that happy being out on a cloudy day; I want shade. OTOH, I don't want to be down in the middle on the lower deck on one of those touristy boats where the upper deck is open and the lower shaded, so I just don't go much. But Disney shuttle boats are a great size and there's a shade but you're right by a window and, I dunno, they're just one of my favorite things and this was my first ride on one.

Geek dad either likes boat rides or is smart enough to just smile and nod at my enthusiasm, but certain children are all, "Okay, so we parked down there when we wanted to be up here because you wanted that boat ride? Whatever, mom."

We actually didn't wander Downtown Disney much, but we did spend a fair while at the Lego store and area. We had to check out the Lego Sea Monster (whose name is "Brickley", btw), of course. He was really faded but we enjoyed him anyhow:



from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/3518251...n/photostream/

And of course I forgot to ask Geek dad to take pics of it again in 2011, but I can at least report it is now all bright and colorful again.

I loved the “windows” in the Lego store, which I think are gone now, but of course I can’t find my favorite in a format I may put in the thread, however here is a link to a lovely big copy of Sydney:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1stwave...7624704939784/

It’s the dog sled, I don’t know why that cracks me up, but it does.

If you care to click through to the larger copies, he’s got all of them here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1stwave...939784/detail/

And we hit the World of Disney store because I was in search of Disney earrings. But really, what I wanted is essentially Disney pins for the ears -- I wanted bright, dangly enameled Disney characters. What I found on the Internet for the longest time was just silver this and cubic zircona that -- I like gold better than silver, but even so, the only "plain" gold earrings I have are black hills gold, meaning they're gold and green and red! I was looking for colors, people, and not finding them.

Then, I found exactly what I wanted on E-Bay. This guy:





Okay, so admittedly we're not talking bright colors like blue or green or purple, but Thumper's personality is colorful enough his coat can be a little plain, IMHO. I was so excited to find these! I think the same seller had another set of someone I was less enamored of, which I didn't buy, but the next time I went looking, back to nothing again. Nothing direct from Disney, nothing on e-Bay, nothing. So I hoped I'd have better luck at the store, but, even though I pointed to Thumper and asked, the clerk was no help at all.

That's because my Thumper is actually a charm someone strung into earrings on their own. Took me over two years to figure that out! Finally someone said something on the Dis that got me looking in the right direction, and I tracked a bunch of charms down. Now I'm eying the Marie charms on Your WDW Store, and thinking about taking up jewelry making. I keep searching e-Bay, hoping that same seller will come back, but all I ever find are a bunch of people selling earrings made with cheap Disney knock offs. So I'm thinking either I make my own, or I'm not going to get any. *sigh*

I think we all left without buying anything (Geek dad drooled over the Lego, but he only gets his on sale). So we took the boat back, saw a janitor draw a Mickey Mouse on the side walk, and headed home. Ballet Girl and I had to rest up, because Wednesday, we were going to the Magic Kingdom! And Geek dad had to rest up, because he was going to have to entertain the troops. Heh.

Last edited by shalom; 08-10-2012 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearcatsFan View Post
Your PTR is a feast for the eyes in every sense of the phrase.
Thank you. But, again, the food photos are all borrowed glory; none of those are ours. Although I am kicking myself for it now, I didn't even take along a camera when we went to the Magic Kingdom, because there are so many genius photographers on the Dis I figured there wasn't much point to it. Pretty much everything I saw there has been covered by more talented photographers, and even a few things I hadn't seen before I could track down once I knew what to go looking for. Not bringing a camera was still an error on my part, but I do I think this thread is evidence that there are many talented people sharing their work on the 'net.

Some of the pictures in the last post are mine, though. I did have to borrow the Brickley one off the 'net because we lost that day's worth of pictures. Hubby took the SeaWorld pic and I think the pic where Ballet Girl is playing with the bubbles; my SIL took the one at Knott's Berry Farm (it's from Ballet Girl's camera); and I took the rest. And if I remember rightly, those are the first pics I've posted where I actually shot the picture!

Last edited by shalom; 08-10-2012 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #42
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Disney Day

Only Ballet Girl and I were going to the Magic Kingdom. I’d originally planned to do just SeaWorld this trip, since we were only going to be there in Orlando for four days, but then they came out with the Give a Day, Get a Day promotion, and we couldn’t resist. While there were a couple of possibilities at places we’ve volunteered with before, they were in the summer, and I was afraid the tickets would be gone much sooner, so we signed up to help tutor kids after school. Geek dad couldn’t work those hours, and no one else was interested – er, well, actually it was more than that. Mr. Cool, who does probably more volunteer work than any of us, adamantly refused to volunteer where we were right up until I told him that the Give a Day promotion was over – once there was no “danger” of getting a ticket to WDW, then he started coming along to help.

Geek dad was going to drop us off, so Ballet Girl and I decided to forego the Monorail or boat ride from the Magic Kingdom parking lot and have him drop us off at the Contemporary Resort and walk over. And a lovely walk it was, quiet and cool, with the monorail overhead. Went to the ticket window with my driver’s license and Ballet Girl’s birth certificate; the guy behind the counter handed us to “Honorary Volunteer” buttons while he processed the info. Why “honorary”? If we weren’t actual volunteers, one assumes we couldn’t have gotten those tickets. But whatever, he handed us the tickets and we went through the turnstile.

Correction. I went through the turnstile. Ballet Girl’s ticket didn’t work. What I saw on the digital read out was something about “special Shell ticket,” but whatever it was, it was also “rejected.” The lady CM who came over to help us said it was coded for the day before, opened a gate and told me to come out through it, then took us back to another ticket window. After ten minutes or so of futzing around, they gave Ballet Girl a different, flimsy, entry ticket (the first one was hard, like a credit card). This one worked just fine, so we were finally both in the waiting area.

We were plenty early. I got us our “First Time” buttons at the kiosk, and got a muffin or cookie or something as well; waiting always goes better with food, right? People were lining up at the gates but we stayed out front and center for the opening show. The gates open during the show, and we were off season enough the crowds had thinned considerable by the time the show was over. Before we got there, I’d been all wound up about the scaffolding at the entrance (they were setting up the new meeting places for Mickey and the Princesses), but didn’t even notice them until we were past it and looking for Lady and the Tramp’s footprints in front of Tony’s – facing straight back out, I could hardly miss the big blank wall! But not a big deal, really.

So we wandered down Main Street, got our first view of the Castle, not noticing the scaffolding in front of Casey’s Corner, either. We were walking through the queue area for Pirates of the Caribbean, and I remembered how Ballet Girl hated the flume ride at SeaWorld, so I thought I’d warn her about the drop in PotC, and reassure her that it was tiny, tiny (since as I recall you can’t see the whole thing when it starts). She stopped dead and I had to talk pretty fast to keep her from backing right out of there! But I got her on it and she loved it, of course.

Then we did the Jungle Cruise, which I love, and she thought that was terrific as well. She liked the corny monologue; I really like having a live human narrator for some reason, but I also like the waterfalls:


from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/is0b31/...n/photostream/

Plus it's shady and a boat (on a rail, but still...). What's not to like?

And we did the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, which she liked (she’s since seen the Tarzan one at DL and thinks the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse is best by far). I think we hit the pin kiosk, then hung around until the Pirate Tutorial.

This is where I’m kicking myself. I’d seen pictures and movies of the Pirate Tutorial, and all I’d ever seen, it was always younger kids – usually three little ones, then a kid of nine or so. Ballet Girl was twelve, and people say she looks older, so I didn’t think her odds were too good. I wasn’t too worried about it – she’s been auditioning for ballet for years, so she get the whole “only so many kids get to do it” thing.

But I was totally wrong.. Not only was she picked, but she got to fence with Jack himself! And I have no pictures. *sigh* She wasn’t upset, though. She says she has her membership paper to remember it with. Which, yeah, true. But, man, I wish I’d brought my camera.

The tutorial over, we went on to Tom Sawyer Island. The Old Mill was one of my most favorite-ist Disney shorts as a kid - it was their first experiment working with the multi-plane camera, but I love it for itself. It's like a really long music video, all mood and pretty and appealing characters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYEmL0d0lZE

I still like it as an adult, and the mill on Tom Sawyer Island has a bit inspired by one of the iconic images from that movie, although they’ve change the angle of the gears, so we had to go track that down first thing, then we wandered the island and explored the caves and all. Although apparently there's a waterfall there we missed.

Ballet Girl had a great time on Tom Sawyer Island, although this is where she most missed having her siblings along. She was playing in the Fort and I went down to sit on the rocking chairs below, so I could watch the runaway trains on Big Thunder Mountain, but that didn’t last very long, I think because the kids she was playing with wandered off on her. So we headed back to land and had an early lunch at Columbia Harbor House. The food was good but our choices were kind of boring – I had the shrimp and Ballet Girl the chicken tenders I think. We ate upstairs by the window and our lunch was quiet and peaceable, but we stopped in shortly after noon to use the bathroom and it was a mob scene! The bathrooms in the passageway from Adventureland were closed off, though (which is why we were there), so I’m sure that was part of it.

We headed through Adventure land to get some Dole Whip for dessert, then wandered off to Main Street in hopes of finding a glass blower at Crystal Arts. They didn’t have anyone blowing glass, but there was a guy using a blow torch on a glass rod to create blobs of glass and constructing Cinderella carriages with them. I am not a fan of the lacy blobby stuff he was making but it was interesting to watch.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28495936@N03/6521367667/

Got to chatting with the guy doing the etching but had to confess I really like Chihuly and brightly colored stuff, so not likely to buy any of the stuff he was working on. It was pretty, though. Maybe I should have tried harder to visualize it with a bright red or purple drink in it!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2849593...n/photostream/

About that point Ballet Girl heard the music for the trolley “parade”, so we ran out to watch that. It’s really just a brief song and dance thing, but I’m a total sap for that kind of thing, while Ballet Girl’s always up for watching group dancing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEmdCl3YAME

We wanted to hang around the hub because the Move It, Shake It parade was due soon, and that was one of Ballet Girl’s top five, so since I wanted to check out the historical stuff in the waiting area for the Hall of Presidents but didn’t do the show, I thought we’d do that right quick. I wandered the rotunda while Ballet Girl crashed on a nice padded bench; barely noon and she was wiping out on me! This may be an unexpected side effect of the fact that I’d planned four of her top five in the morning; my “Absolute Must Dos” were all things around the castle that are available pretty much any time, so I hadn’t prioritized then very highly.

Anyhow, she rested while I checked out the paintings and displays around the rotunda. We must have just missed a showing because there was nobody in there, but since we weren’t interested in seeing a show we weren’t bothered by that. In this next picture the photographer has fiddled with the coloring a bit, but I think this picture still gives a nice feel for how quiet and peaceful it was:


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unclegregrocks/5371641698/

There weren’t even as many people as in the picture there. It was just us and the CMs, and one of the CMs wandered over to talk to me. As this photographer notes, the Hall of Presidents in the MK is the only place allowed to have the big Presidential seal displayed like that – it’s part of the rug, but of course you don’t get to walk there!


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wyscan/14229387/

I must have been really distracted by Ballet Girl’s exhaustion or the conversation with the CM, since I barely remember what I saw. I was most interested in the First Lady Dresses, but looking at the pictures I don’t even remember them. Need to get back! Although I do remember the picnic basket, I think:


from: http://www.disunplugged.com/2009/06/...magic-kingdom/

Finally hauled Ballet Girl to her feet and we went out for the Move It! Shake It! Parade. I only walked far enough to sat on a bench with her back pack and she went out and danced and had a good time while I talked to someone sitting nearby. I thought she’d revived but when she got back to my bench she was ready to go home! I convinced her we needed to do the castle area first. We were heading for the rose garden when Ballet Girl realized she’d lost the backing for one of her pins (fortunately one with two spikes). I’d planned on picking up locking backs while we were there anyhow, but now she was in a panic to get that done.

Last edited by shalom; 08-15-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #43
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Magic Kingdom

So we were up to the stuff I'd most wanted to do, but buzzed through the rose garden much faster than I’d wanted to go. Ballet Girl thought it much too hot out there in the sun, and I would have preferred it cooler as well. Afternoon is definitely not the best time to be there; next time I'm scheduling it for the early morning.




both from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shootsnikon/504014884/
LOTS of pretty rose garden pics there

It has Angel Face, which is like my favorite rose ever:


from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigbria...n/photostream/
Which has a lot of great rose garden pics, too…

Despite our speed, I managed to see a waterfall I didn’t know about:


from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephan...n/photostream/

And these topiaries are intimidatingly tall – see the adult person walking through?


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigbrian-nc/3121763464/

Ballet Girl was holding her pin so I dragged her off to see the wishing well – which unfortunately meant passing the smokers’ area. Lot of smokers at that hour for some reason, so they were kind of spread out: yet another reason I want to do this part of the park first next time.


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vanessa...hy/2313238955/


from:http://www.flickr.com/photos/3278137...n/photostream/

We stopped in at a store behind the castle and asked after locking backs for pins, and were directed to a cart over against the Great Wall where the new Fantasayland stuff is being prepared. First we ducked into the castle passageway to check out the mosaics – something about Cinderella in this one always makes me think of a Disney coloring book I had as a kid:


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1822126...n/photostream/

And here’s an artsy shot of one of the mosaics I particularly like:


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32006938@N04/4018231104/

Another reason I want to go to Fantasyland first next time is so we can walk through the castle “proper” -- they shut the passageway for the shows during most of the day.

Then we went over to crown Cinderella at the water fountain:


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/harshlight/5310783049/


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/allegra...n/photostream/

And finally we headed for the pin trader cart, Ballet Girl moaning and groaning about having to go into the sun the whole way. Usually I'm the one whining about the sun, but she took the prize that day. I think she'd forgotten her sunglasses and hat, but it's also kind of a shock coming from the shaded areas in Adventureland and even Liberty Square into that expanse of concrete which is Fantasyland.

We got our pin locking doodads, neither one of us could see to work them in the sun so we ducked into Pinnochio Village Haus and finally got her pin locked in there. So she was happier – right until I proposed we head over to Tomorrowland and do the Buzz Lightyear ride. She looked at that expanse of concrete and sunshine and completely balked. She wanted to GO, now. I suggested we head back to Liberty Square and get a snack, since sometimes she stalls out like this just because she’s hungry and doesn’t know it.

We stopped at Sleepy Hollow and got a funnel cake, and she even talked me into getting the strawberries and whipping cream. I don’t usually like the goo strawberries are in when you get that kind of thing but we both liked this one fine. Tried to find a picture of one like it but couldn’t – I don’t know if we paid for extra whipping cream or if Ballet Girl charmed the CM or what, but, unlike the pics I can find, you could barely see the strawberries for the covering of whipped cream. It was great, and Ballet Girl did revive considerable, however it was still hot and she was still ready to go, so we headed for the gate.

First we got a ride on the train, of course, which we both enjoyed. She was fine with anything that kept her in the shade, let her sit for a while, and was RIGHT THERE. Then we took the monorail to the TTC, out to Epcot and back, and then the rest of the way around the Magic Kingdom loop, finally getting off at the Contemporary. I love the Contemporary all kinda lots – back when they built the MK, I thought the Contemporary the coolest thing ever. The Poly was so thoroughly off my radar, I was surprised as an adult to discover it had been built at the same time. I like the Poly, but the Contemporary remains “the” Disney hotel in my mind. So I was just as excited getting off the monorail at the Contemporary as I had been walking into the MK.


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/5382238898/

We had a snack at the Contempo Cafť – I thought Ballet Girl’s gummi worm cake much too dry, but she was happy with it. I can’t remember what I had; it was fine, but unexciting. I was just happy to be sitting there, sipping my milk and looking up at the Mary Blair mural. Ballet Girl wasn’t interested in going back to the park and I was fine with heading home at that point, as well.

I meant to come back that evening for the fireworks but when it came to it Ballet Girl wasn't enthused. I should have just dragged her off and we probably would have had a great time, but OTOH I wanted to get going early the next day, which would be easier if we didn't go for the fireworks and all, so whatever. Ballet Girl is the most extroverted of the lot, but we all do better when there's a resort day in between our park days.

Last edited by shalom; 08-15-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:56 AM   #44
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Don't know why I didn't see this last week! Love your day at MK with Ballet girl. Taking it easy and checking out the details. That's what I'm hoping for on my MK solo day. We're always rushing to the rides, and don't take time to notice the little things.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #45
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Okay, somehow I got really behind on your PTR. I do't know how that happened!!

I love your pictures. We always try to take time and take in the little things at the park. It's always fun to see what new little things they've added since our last trip.

Love the wishing fountain!!
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