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Old 05-29-2013, 08:11 AM   #61
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[COLOR="Teal"][B][SIZE="3"]
My last two trips to the World where with my lovely sister Katharina (nodnol here on the DIS) and you can read about those in my previous trip reports (links are in my signature). This time she did not come along but she told me quite some time before the trip that she expected me to write a trip report about this new trip so that she could read all about it here on the DIS. And I would never disappoint my little sister!!!
I usually travel with my sister so I am definitely going to check out your other reports! This one is great so far even though it is a trip without your sister

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Hello!!!

I accept thank you notes from all other readers
Thank you!!! Glad you kept her on track with writing a TR. I am doing the same with my sister. I am making her write the TR for both of us and then I just chime in once in awhile. It is great!
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #62
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Loving your TR!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:15 PM   #63
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Since Michael lives in Florida having him as a travel companion would also have the wonderful side effect that I had a car and chauffeur for the whole trip.
And the price was right!

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
It did not take us long to get to the hotel despite the enormous amount of building work that was happening. Mainly to introduce toll lanes on a formerly toll free highway. A concept that seemed very strange to me, but then in Germany all roads are toll free for cars (trucks over a certain size on the other hand have to pay on nearly all multi-lane roads).
Highway engineers. You have to watch those guys.

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But I guess you are less interested in road financing than in our lovely hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
Speak for yourself! These roads don't pay for themselves, you know.

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Our room was really nice, even though I could not understand the choice of the light coloured carpet as it seemed to be difficult to keep it stainfree.
Is that the voice of experience?

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Of course it is just a supermarket – but supermarkets in other countries are always full of interesting things as there are different brands – and even items that you had no idea that they existed. Liked Cool Whip. I was intrigued that there was a whole cupboard full of it:
Some people can make a whole meal of it!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:54 PM   #64
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Hey don't knock the Cool Whip... LOL I love it.. I think the closest thing you can compare it to is a whipping cream... the fat free version is I like it on an Angel Food cake with strawberries. Or just plain fruit or Jello.... Or just right out of the container....

Nice start to your trip... wish we could have some of that sunshine right now... Crazy Spring weather we are having I'm so sick of rain...
I guess next time I am in the US, I need to try Cool Whip!!

I could use some of that sunshine, too. It just is cold and miserable here day after day... And it is nearly June!!!

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Oh, I know that Publix. Definitely not my favourite one.

The one we go to is "kind of" behind the Outlet Mall that you can see from the highway when you are close to DTD.

The Silverado winery belongs to Diane Disney Miller. There wines are really good, lots of very yummy whites.
We visited the winery when we visited California in 2006 and went on a tour through the wine cellar.
They are still a small winery, so you cannot find the wine easily, that's why I was so surprised that that particular Publix carried a few different ones.
Good to know that other Publixs are better, but if one is staying at AKL that one we went to was very convenient!! Just a short drive away without any traffic. Getting over to DTD is a nuisance...

Thanks for the info on the Silverado wines. Interesting!
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:03 PM   #65
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I usually travel with my sister so I am definitely going to check out your other reports! This one is great so far even though it is a trip without your sister
The 2010 one is certainly the more interesting trip report! I hope you enjoy it! I think it has a bit of cute banter between me and Katharina - we seemed to amuse quite a few of our readers with it.

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Thank you!!! Glad you kept her on track with writing a TR. I am doing the same with my sister. I am making her write the TR for both of us and then I just chime in once in awhile. It is great!
I just started reading your newest one yesterday - and can already see that! So who of you is the older one?

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Loving your TR!
Thanks and

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And the price was right!
Taking Michael along made a lot of financial sense! Not only did I not have to pay for a rental car, but also saved money on the cruise fare because he qualified for the Florida resident discount. But besides the financial aspects, he was also a wonderful travelling companion!

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Highway engineers. You have to watch those guys.
I hear they are really dangerous!!!

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Speak for yourself! These roads don't pay for themselves, you know.
Ok, I should have said: nearly everyone of you besides the Captain would rather hear about my hotel than roads in Florida... Well, I guess even strange topics need some fans...

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Is that the voice of experience?
Yep - my first ever appartment came with cream coloured carpet. I hated it!

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Some people can make a whole meal of it!
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:07 PM   #66
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Olives or Grapes?

Day 2:

Thanks to staying up very late despite the time difference I managed to sleep in, but by 8 am I was wide awake. We had a slow morning, but the first thing I had to do is get on my balcony to see how nice and warm it was outside. March had been extremely cold in Germany, we even had a lot of snow still and April had not been that much better. Out there on the balcony my first surprise was that there was indeed a ship in the port, the Island Princess:





After taking some time to get ready, we headed to the nearest Starbucks to get some breakfast. Since the Starbucks was only two blocks away, we decided to walk and on the way there we saw a lot of SWAT cars at a street corner together with a group of people in sports clothes. We were wondering what was going on and then we saw some police cars approaching – there was even a police Corvette – followed by more SWAT trucks and then a group of maybe 30-40 runners, some of them in sport clothes that where brown and looked uniform-like. I had no idea what this was, maybe it was some kind of Run for Boston event? At least we got something out of the ordinary to see for our short little walk.

At Starbucks I picked a very untypical breakfast, a box with chicken and hummus. But it was delicious and fairly healthy.



It seemed that the selection of food at Starbucks in the US is much more varied than what we have here in Germany. Another reason for going to Starbucks was that the hotel did not have free Wifi, so I made good use of it and sent emails to my family to let them know that I had arrived and was having a great time in Florida.

Next I needed some more pool time! So once back at the hotel we headed down there. Just after I had found the perfect chair, someone from the pool bar came walking around with a large platter which to me seemed like lots of green and black olives. I had seen that you could order food from the pool bar and thought someone might have ordered a plate of olives. I was just a little bit shocked at the portion size as this was a big plate which was filled generously. He first approached two ladies said something to them, and they shook their heads. It seemed that he did not remember who had ordered these olives. Next he came up to me and – no, he did not ask me whether I had ordered any olives. Instead he asked me whether I would like some frozen grapes. It turned out that the plate was full with little skewers with grapes that had been frozen. I happily took some and thought that was a great idea for a snack in hot weather!



The pool area was actually very nice with comfortable chairs, lots of nice and fluffy pool towels and a place where you could get citrus infused ice water.

And a little later my new friend from the pool bar came around again, this time offering little cups with a taste of the drink of the day, a Pineapple Mojito. Delicious!

As nice as the pool was, there were other things I wanted to do and see as well, so after a couple of hours it was time to get cleaned up and head out.

Next: Being a typical European Tourist
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:17 PM   #67
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Well done!!
Thanks - I was in Spring cleaning mode.

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The way it worked out this time was actually ok. I had other nights when I woke up once every hour, checked the time and then realised that it still wasn't time to get up. Not very restfull...
Oh Yes I have had those nights. I pay for them a couple of days later.


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See Katharina!! Pat agrees with me!!
And Free.... I had free drink tickets for Southwest Airlines and the last trip I was drinking at 10am, to use them.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post

I think a lot has to do with workplace culture. Obviously the German economy still hasn't crumbled under the stress of people regularly being away for three or four weeks at a time... But I also think that long absences put a stress on colleagues, but it is accepted because everyone does it. However, in higher level jobs there is more pressure that people are not away for longer than two weeks at a time, too.

It seems like my supervisor likes to get a little comment in every time I am away. If anything happens( and those things have nothing to do with me not taking care of things, like smoke in my office ) it seems like she says, it happens because you were out. Kind of take the rest out of my vacation when I get back.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:55 PM   #68
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All caught up! I can certainly relate to your pre-trip night waking up. It seems anytime I have to get up early to travel I wake up about every hour and finally just go ahead and get up!

Sounds like you had a good flight, but what an experience making your connection in Paris! ! And hey, free booze is free booze right. Your food looks pretty good too (although stinky cheese doesn't sound very appealing).

That is really that you could pick out your hotel from the air as you flew into Miami. It is a really nice looking hotel, and you did a great job of getting so many pictures of the views and the yachts. And you are off to a great start getting to relax a little at the pool and let your body adjust to the long trip and time change instead of having to jump right into a lot of activity.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:06 AM   #69
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Hmmmm a police corvette??? Now this is something DH would loved to have seen... Love frozen grapes!

Nice relaxing start to your trip. And I love the red nail polish!

And I see that Germany is having the exact same weather Wisconsin is having at the moment...

Being a typical European tourist?? I wonder what that's about...??
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:18 AM   #70
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I hear they are really dangerous!!!
You have no idea.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Thanks to staying up very late despite the time difference I managed to sleep in, but by 8 am I was wide awake.
Nice work! Sounds like you adjusted to the jet lag pretty well.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
After taking some time to get ready, we headed to the nearest Starbucks to get some breakfast.
Kathy will be proud of you.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Since the Starbucks was only two blocks away, we decided to walk and on the way there we saw a lot of SWAT cars at a street corner together with a group of people in sports clothes. We were wondering what was going on and then we saw some police cars approaching – there was even a police Corvette – followed by more SWAT trucks and then a group of maybe 30-40 runners, some of them in sport clothes that where brown and looked uniform-like.
A police Corvette? The taxpayers might have some questions about the department budget requests.

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Just after I had found the perfect chair, someone from the pool bar came walking around with a large platter which to me seemed like lots of green and black olives. I had seen that you could order food from the pool bar and thought someone might have ordered a plate of olives.


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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Instead he asked me whether I would like some frozen grapes. It turned out that the plate was full with little skewers with grapes that had been frozen. I happily took some and thought that was a great idea for a snack in hot weather!
Interesting. Never heard of that before. I remember playing golf once in the summer in Arizona, and they had a guy riding around on a cart offering cold towels that had been soaked in ice water to the golfers. You just took it and placed it on the back of your neck...very refreshing!
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:01 AM   #71
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Frozen grapes - yum! Those and the Pineapple Mojito sound so tropical vacation! Nice way to spend an afternoon.

Looking forward to reading about a "typical European tourist". When I travel to Europe I never want to be the typical American tourist!
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:51 PM   #72
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And Free.... I had free drink tickets for Southwest Airlines and the last trip I was drinking at 10am, to use them.
How does one get free drink tickets for Southwest? Not that I am planning to fly with them anytime soon, but might be useful sometime!

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It seems like my supervisor likes to get a little comment in every time I am away. If anything happens( and those things have nothing to do with me not taking care of things, like smoke in my office ) it seems like she says, it happens because you were out. Kind of take the rest out of my vacation when I get back.
Not nice!!

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All caught up! I can certainly relate to your pre-trip night waking up. It seems anytime I have to get up early to travel I wake up about every hour and finally just go ahead and get up!
Yes, that's not pleasant. But I still prefer morning departures, because otherwise I just wait all day long for the travels to start.

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Sounds like you had a good flight, but what an experience making your connection in Paris! ! And hey, free booze is free booze right. Your food looks pretty good too (although stinky cheese doesn't sound very appealing).
Connections to long distance flights are never pleasant! And I was happy to avoid the additional baggage check.

And by connecting only in Europe, at least my luggage was checked through. If you arrive internationally in the US and connect to a domestic flight, you always need to claim your luggage, go through customs and then hand it back to the airline. Here in Europe customs is always at the final airport.

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That is really that you could pick out your hotel from the air as you flew into Miami. It is a really nice looking hotel, and you did a great job of getting so many pictures of the views and the yachts. And you are off to a great start getting to relax a little at the pool and let your body adjust to the long trip and time change instead of having to jump right into a lot of activity.
It was indeed very cool! And spending time outdoors at the pool is a good way to help with jet lag indeed. Supposedly you should try to get as much natural light as possible as the body reacts to that by not getting tired.

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Hmmmm a police corvette??? Now this is something DH would loved to have seen... Love frozen grapes!
I was thinking about taking a picture because it looked so strange (even though we do have BMW police cars here in Bavaria). But then I wasn't quick enough with my camera and also not so sure how the police would think about a foreigner taking pictures of police cars...

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Nice relaxing start to your trip. And I love the red nail polish!
Thanks! Unfortunately it did not live very long as sand and nail polish aren't the best friends and there will be some sand in the near future...

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And I see that Germany is having the exact same weather Wisconsin is having at the moment...
Yes.

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Being a typical European tourist?? I wonder what that's about...??
I wonder whether anyone has an idea...
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #73
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How does one get free drink tickets for Southwest? Not that I am planning to fly with them anytime soon, but might be useful sometime!

I belong to their reward program and they mysteriously appeared in my mailbox. The letter they were attached to said they were a Thank You.


Not sure for what but they were put to good use.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:54 PM   #74
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[B][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Teal"]Day 1:

Work had been rather horrible the last few months and due to certain work commitments I had to work until the day before I left and had to get back to work immediately after I returned. Normally I would try everything to avoid this, but for this trip I wanted to make the best use of the time I could take off from work.

So this meant that the days before day 1 were very busy with preparing and packing. But I was able to get everything organized so that I did not get to bed too late the evening before. Which was important as my flight from Nuremberg left at 6:30am.

Luckily I dont live very far from the airport and the airport is a rather tiny one. So I had set the alarm on 4:25 am. At 4:15am I woke up, saw what the time was and gave Michael a quick call to let him know that I was awake. Since Florida is 4 hour behind, it was only 10:15pm of the previous day for him. If I had not called him by 10:30pm his time, he would have called me in Germany to make sure that I dont miss the flight! While we chatted I realised that out of the three alarms I had set, only one was actually switched on. The other two were set to the correct time, but I had forgotten to actually switch on the alarm. Got a little scare in hindsight, but then everything worked out fine without me even have to rely on one single alarm!
I avoid early morning flights like the plague for exactly this reason. I've only missed one flight ever but...it was an early morning one! either forgetting to set, turn on...set it for PM instead of AM...so many things can go wrong. I've been known to set my phone, the clock and if already in a hotel, get a wakeup call as well!

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I was quite excited that I would be on the upper deck! Air France currently is the only airline in the world that has Economy class on the upper deck with a seat pitch that is 35 inches instead of the standard 32 inches. They charge a supplement of 50 ¬ if you want to reserve one of the seats and I had done this as I thought a little bit more space would be worth the price. It is not as nice as premium economy, but also much cheaper.

After take off we were first handed the menu for the flight. You could see the different choices (mainly you could chose between chicken or pasta), what kind of meals they were going to serve as well as what kind of drinks you could get.







First they came around with drinks I think these were meant as aperitifs and they were serving champagne. Air France also prides itself as the only airline that serves champagne in Economy class (on international flights only though), so I had to take advantage of that:



I also got some water and everyone got some breadsticks. Next they served the meal, I chose the pasta as you can see here:



I also got some white wine with it (once I started celebrating being on vacation with the champagne, I thought why not continue). The salad was a bit strange, but not bad. The pasta was tasty. Surprisingly the triangle of camembert cheese which was in the gold wrapper turned out to be quite stinky (which I like) and I thought that this is really only the French who would serve cheese like that on a plane, but I love them for it, their cheeses are truly wonderful (but my second favourite cheese country would be the UK!).

After that lunch I took a nap. The champagne and white wine were rather helpful for that& Since I had to get up so early I did not have a lot of sleep the previous night and my plan was to try to stay up as late as possible after my arrival in order to get used to the new time zone as soon as possible.

With the nap, the film and some reading time went by reasonably well. Still, 8.5 hours is a long time on a plane& At some point we got served small ice cream bars:



As we were approaching Florida we got served a second meal:



This was some chicken on quinoa salad. It was very good! And I also loved the little lemon tarte I got for dessert as I love nearly everything citrus!
After all that work, you deserved a glass of bubbly and white wine! Good for you and it looks like it worked brilliantly..you seem to have navigated away any jet lag and time change adjustment quite well. Lovely food selections.

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[COLOR="Teal"][B][SIZE="3"]
Seeing the pool I decided that I wanted to celebrate my arrival in sunny Florida with a dip in the pool, so that’s what we did. It was the best way to get rid of all the tiredness travelling brings with it. After a quick shower we decided to just get something quick and easy for dinner and went to a chain called Pollo Tropical where I had some kind of bowl with some pork, lettuce and toppings – I think I had beans, tomatoes and corn. You could then add sauces. And I also got a side order of fried plantains. All very delicious, but I forgot to take a picture. It appears that the chain is mainly present in Florida and there are a number of them in Orlando. So if you want to get some fast food in Orlando that is different from what you have at home, I can recommend this chain!
What a great way to celebrate arrival, with a dip!

Dinner sounds good, I will have to remember that chain

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After dinner we headed to Publix to pick up some drinks for the room. I was very excited about this as I have read so much about Publix here on the DIS that it felt like I finally found out what people were talking about. Of course it is just a supermarket – but supermarkets in other countries are always full of interesting things as there are different brands – and even items that you had no idea that they existed. Liked Cool Whip. I was intrigued that there was a whole cupboard full of it:



Overall this Publix was especially interesting as it was the one closest to the yacht harbour where our hotel was, so I guess the chefs from the yachts were buying there as the selection was definitely much more upscale than the Publix we would visit later in the trip in Orlando!
that's a LOT Of cool whip I really think one could live their life not knowing it existed...and be just fine!

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Day 2:

Thanks to staying up very late despite the time difference I managed to sleep in, but by 8 am I was wide awake. We had a slow morning, but the first thing I had to do is get on my balcony to see how nice and warm it was outside. March had been extremely cold in Germany, we even had a lot of snow still and April had not been that much better. Out there on the balcony my first surprise was that there was indeed a ship in the port, the Island Princess:





After taking some time to get ready, we headed to the nearest Starbucks to get some breakfast. Since the Starbucks was only two blocks away, we decided to walk and on the way there we saw a lot of SWAT cars at a street corner together with a group of people in sports clothes. We were wondering what was going on and then we saw some police cars approaching – there was even a police Corvette – followed by more SWAT trucks and then a group of maybe 30-40 runners, some of them in sport clothes that where brown and looked uniform-like. I had no idea what this was, maybe it was some kind of Run for Boston event? At least we got something out of the ordinary to see for our short little walk.

At Starbucks I picked a very untypical breakfast, a box with chicken and hummus. But it was delicious and fairly healthy.


Definitely not a typical breakfast but pretty tasty, I've had that box before!

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Next I needed some more pool time! So once back at the hotel we headed down there. Just after I had found the perfect chair, someone from the pool bar came walking around with a large platter which to me seemed like lots of green and black olives. I had seen that you could order food from the pool bar and thought someone might have ordered a plate of olives. I was just a little bit shocked at the portion size as this was a big plate which was filled generously. He first approached two ladies said something to them, and they shook their heads. It seemed that he did not remember who had ordered these olives. Next he came up to me and – no, he did not ask me whether I had ordered any olives. Instead he asked me whether I would like some frozen grapes. It turned out that the plate was full with little skewers with grapes that had been frozen. I happily took some and thought that was a great idea for a snack in hot weather!



The pool area was actually very nice with comfortable chairs, lots of nice and fluffy pool towels and a place where you could get citrus infused ice water.

And a little later my new friend from the pool bar came around again, this time offering little cups with a taste of the drink of the day, a Pineapple Mojito. Delicious!

As nice as the pool was, there were other things I wanted to do and see as well, so after a couple of hours it was time to get cleaned up and head out.

Next: Being a typical European Tourist
Nice pool snacks! It's going to make me crazy..some pool, somewhere, this happened to Jeff and I, I loved it. Great little refreshing treat.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
I avoid early morning flights like the plague for exactly this reason. I've only missed one flight ever but...it was an early morning one! either forgetting to set, turn on...set it for PM instead of AM...so many things can go wrong. I've been known to set my phone, the clock and if already in a hotel, get a wakeup call as well!
I have been known to set watch, set phone, set clock in room. If I am still not satisfied I will also get a wake up call.


One Disney Trip, I had a wake up call set , got up early an got in the shower. After I guess I was out there was a knock at the door- since I didn't pick up the phone they sent someone out to knock on the door.
Can't really remember where I was staying but CSR seems to ring a bell. That was a far walk for the CM to knock on the door.
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