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Old 05-28-2014, 05:05 PM   #136
mvf-m11c
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
The backside of the goat.

Love the Springtime photos and decor in Disneyland. I don't know that we've ever gone in Spring. Love the whole vibe.
Glad you are enjoying the decorations at the DLR during Spring. It is very nice in Springtime with the Easter decorations in April and the flowers are very nice. It is quite busy during Spring Break and it was busy all week during the trip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Great pics from Vegas.

safe travel back. Hope the tournament was a successful one.
Thank you PiO.

I got home safely yesterday night and it was a long drive all the way to Sacramento. Glad that the event is over. The event went really well for the first event in Vegas. The tournament organizers that put the tournament at Vegas this past weekend had another basketball tournament in Reno and they had over 1,000 basketball teams around the country. My boss sent me over to Vegas to oversee the Vegas tournament which was better for me instead of going to Reno.


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Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
Hi Bret,
We'll plan on riding BTMR in July for sure! Your Vegas trip sounds like it was very busy. I enjoyed the photos. Was it really hot there? I hope where you were working it was cool. Were you a referee?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I enjoyed seeing the Vegas photos, Bret!

For one thing, I haven't been there in sooooooo long -- since right before the Excalibur opened -- and I'd love to go back and see some of the nifty hotels that have opened up since I was there (though there is no way I would go to Vegas in spring or summer). That's what I did in Vegas 24 years ago -- I wandered the Strip and explored the hotels (like The Mirage and Caesar's Palace, among others)!

I noticed that pedestrians never stopped for lights in Vegas -- they always just plowed right ahead into the street. I don't know if that still happens but it was interesting!

Also, I like the Vegas photos because it's something we don't see a lot of on this board. Sure, there are people who stop in Vegas and take photos to share in their TRs from time to time, but Vegas is not as common a subject as DLR photos. It's something new, in other words -- and something new for you to take photos of. I don't know about anyone else, but I like to see you branching out and practicing your photography on other subjects (besides DLR) every now and then too!
Thank you Sherry.

I haven't been to Vegas since 2008 and a lot has changed since I was last there. There are some new hotels that I have never seen or heard before and the walkways have changed a lot where you can't walk across the streets on the major roads on the Strip. I walked a little bit around that night and didn't stay too long since there were a lot of people that Sunday night. I was also worried since i might get jumped since i have my DSLR in my hands. It was just so weird for me to walk around Vegas by myself since I am not so used to walking around during a large crowd area (except Disney parks when crowded).

I have seen a lot of people walk on the streets when the light is red and cars honking at each other to go or stop. I wouldn't even want to drive on the strip since you barely move an inch on the road.

When I was about to head on the strip with my DSLR, I was thinking of not bringing it since there are a lot of people and there could be people that will try to steal my stuff from me. So it was also scary when you are a solo person. I was able to get some decent pictures of the hotels during that night. It was nice to try some new photos that day instead of a Disney trip but if I was with someone else, I would feel comfortable taking pictures. I wasn't comfortable taking pictures at the strip with the possibility that I might get my stuff stolen somewhere at the Strip even with all those crowds.


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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Absolutely.

I've been trying to get him to photo walkabout in Sacto for quite a while!
I don't go out much in Sacramento (movie theaters, downtown, etc). I only go to my usual stops and places when I do work, shopping and family activities. I don't want to get my stuff stolen in Sacramento. There are a lot of great places to get pictures in Sacramento like Old Sac, Cal Expo during the California State Fair, Arco Arena (oops actually Sleep Train Arena), etc.


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Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
That sounds like a fantastic idea, PiO!

Really, there are interesting -- end even beautiful -- photo subjects all around us, anywhere we go, and they are there to be appreciated! Some subjects are more striking than others, of course, but it really just takes an open mind and being able to notice what's around us to find those little gems. It could be something architectural. It could be a unique cloud formation. It could be the colors in a sign on a shop door. It could be the way the sun is shining through tree branches. There is always something interesting to see. (I like to walk around my neighborhood and scout for little details that many people would overlook or take for granted. One time I stood in the middle of a sidewalk, looking down at the fascinating spiral pattern a tree's roots were forming as they pushed up through the cement. The passersby probably thought I was crazy!)

I think a Sacto walkabout would also be good because it would be a great way to start with a blank slate and dip into the creative well -- without any influence or predetermined ideas of what to photograph -- and find material that is fresh and totally different from what Disney parks offer.
There are a lot of nice places around Sac that I could take pictures. However, since I am busy with other things like work it is tough to take my camera with me everywhere. It would be nice to take my camera with me and get great pictures but I just don't like taking it with me and have it get stolen. Mostly I am at my home on my computer where I am mostly all the time instead of going out. Times like going to the DLR where I like to be outside a lot since I am mostly a indoor person. There is no question that I will continue to improve my creativity of photography.

Thank you for the suggestion PiO and Sherry.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:52 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by mvf-m11c View Post
There are a lot of nice places around Sac that I could take pictures. However, since I am busy with other things like work it is tough to take my camera with me everywhere. It would be nice to take my camera with me and get great pictures but I just don't like taking it with me and have it get stolen. Mostly I am at my home on my computer where I am mostly all the time instead of going out. Times like going to the DLR where I like to be outside a lot since I am mostly a indoor person. There is no question that I will continue to improve my creativity of photography.

Thank you for the suggestion PiO and Sherry.
SacTo is a lovely town to take pictures. But you don't even need to head out to town to take pictures.

It rained here the other day. And I just grabbed my camera and headed out into the garden for 10 minutes and took pictures.


















I'm focussed on water this month on the photoboard. Hope to see you posting on those monthly threads.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:26 PM   #138
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^^Gorgeous photos, PiO!

That's exactly what I meant. There is beauty everywhere, or interesting things to see and photograph all around -- outside one's front door, around a corner, in a tree or in the sky, on a billboard, in a garden, in the rain, wherever. (I am now sounding a bit like the kid in the movie American Beauty, who stares intently at the footage he shot of a plastic bag floating in the breeze and says, with a lump in his throat, "There's so much beauty in the world...")


Bret --

I'm very glad your camera and gear didn't get stolen in Vegas! I have no idea what the Strip is like now and if it is more dangerous than when I was there. As I mentioned, it's been forever since I was last there.
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:26 AM   #139
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Cool pics of Vegas Bret.

Wow is the backside of goat going to become as awesome as the backside of water?
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:00 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
SacTo is a lovely town to take pictures. But you don't even need to head out to town to take pictures.

It rained here the other day. And I just grabbed my camera and headed out into the garden for 10 minutes and took pictures.

I'm focussed on water this month on the photoboard. Hope to see you posting on those monthly threads.
Very nice pictures PiO of the close-ups. I don't have a telephoto lens right now and I will consider getting one in the near future. Sac is a nice place to live and there are good places like parks to get nice pictures.

I have been so busy lately after getting back from Vegas and worked another Anime show this past Sunday. I have just been so busy lately and glad that my upcoming DL trip is not too long.


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Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Bret --

I'm very glad your camera and gear didn't get stolen in Vegas! I have no idea what the Strip is like now and if it is more dangerous than when I was there. As I mentioned, it's been forever since I was last there.
I completely understand what you are saying Sherry. There are a lot of places around town that I can find something interesting and get a picture of.

I was glad that nothing happened to my camera during my trip to Vegas last week. The Strip was so busy on Sunday night that it was a big mistake on my part to go and walk down the strip. I should have gone on Monday or Tuesday since most of the people would have left town.


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Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
Cool pics of Vegas Bret.

Wow is the backside of goat going to become as awesome as the backside of water?
Thank you Angela.

It was nice to see the dynamite eating goat on the backside of BTMRR. Now I can't wait to ride it.


The next post will be up shortly.

For my upcoming trip in a few weeks, we have pushed our dates back just a few days. We were originally suppose to go to the DLR on June 20th to 22nd. But we are now moving it back a few days and we will be going on the 23rd to 25th. We will be staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Harbor Blvd which I will be staying for the first time since the other hotels are already full.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:04 PM   #141
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Last Installment of the Trip Report

Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 3

Above on the Highway of the Skies


After walking through Big Thunder Ranch Springtime, it was time to head on over to the next area at the park that afternoon. The park crowd level started to pick up later that afternoon with more and more people already in Fantasyland. Rides like PP is always in the 30+ minute wait time area while the Meet & Greet of Anna and Elsa was in the 2 hour range. I can understand that people would like to meet them and get pictures with them but a 2 hour wait is crazy for a M&G.


I was in Tomorrowland while walking from Fantasyland. When in TL, the walls around the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage were up during my visit. The ride is expected to be down until September. There were a lot of rumors about the FNSV closing permanently for a Star Wars theme land. But after hearing that the ride won’t be closed, I was happy and it will be fun to ride it again later in fall.


I decided to head on over to my favorite ride at Disneyland. I always like to ride the Monorail at the DLR since I am a huge fan of trains and have loved the monorail when I rode it when I was a young child.


When I was walking up towards the TL Monorail station, there was blue tarp covering in the direction of the FNSV lagoon. I have seen a lot of pictures from other sites showing the lagoon with the blue tarp. It was tough to get my DSLR through the gaps and get pictures of the construction but I will be able to get those when riding the Monorail when going over the lagoon.

A window decorations of the Mark I Monorails. The first DL monorails when it opened back in 1959. I can’t believe it has been over 50 years since the monorail began service at DL.


The Disneyland Monorail plaque which was named a historic mechanical engineering landmark back in 1986.


Monorail Orange was approaching the station.


I rode the monorail all the way towards the Downtown Disney station. Here is a tip for anyone that doesn’t know about the DL Monorail. You can actually ride the DL Monorail a round trip when you enter the TL Monorail station. But when you get on the monorail at the DTD station, you have to exit the monorail when you get to TL. This is not like the Walt Disney World Monorail where you can ride it round trip since the DL monorail requires a park ticket.

Passing by Buena Vista Street at DCA.




Now entering the DTD station


After waiting at the DTD station to pick up the guests boarding the station, it was time to head on back to DL.

It wasn’t that busy at the turnstiles to enter DL that afternoon.


Now entering back into DL and over the FNSV lagoon. It was so weird to see the subs in the docks while it is all dried. I haven’t seen the lagoon dried when the FNSV was under construction in 2006.






Passing by Matterhorn Mountain


Just about to enter the TL Monorail station and seeing the rest of the dried FNSV lagoon.




It was weird to see the FNSV lagoon all drained and not even any site of construction workers working on the attraction. It has been left alone for a while since the lagoon was dried. I have read that work on the lagoon have just recently started up.

After getting off the monorail, I decided to go back to the room and meet up with DAF so we can get ready for our dinner that night. So I walked on back to Best Western Anaheim Inn.

Just when I was walking down MS, there were people waiting on the sidewalks for the 4pm Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.


When I was passing by the Disneyana store, I had to go and see the Mechanical Kingdoms exhibit with the artwork.


I left DL before the 4pm so I can get back to the room and meet up with DAF so we can get ready for our dinner that night. I have been looking forward to this part of the trip when we made the reservations two months in advance. It was not only us but we had also asked two other DISers to join us for dinner that night and it was nice that they are going to join us for dinner.

Stay tune for what restaurant we ate that night and who joined us.


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Old 06-02-2014, 11:36 PM   #142
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A 2-hour wait for any character is crazy and I won't be waiting that long!

The extra, extra, extra-vibrant Matterhorn picture, with the super-blue sky and super-green water, is very striking!

I know there are a lot of rumors floating around about how the Subs are supposedly going to be removed in the not-too-distant future, but I have my doubts. I don't think Disney is going to remove them before Finding Dory comes out, if ever. Why would they be working on the Subs now, if they were only going to close them forever later?
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:53 AM   #143
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Interesting to see the lagoon all dried up. I reckon that it's going to be amazing when they open it back up. We were lucky enough to be in Anaheim in late June of 2007 when the ride re-opened. It was the first one we hit first thing after rope drop. Then....it had 3 hour queues before 9.20 am. Rather similar to RSR.

Nice pics from the monorail. I need to get myself on that monorail again at some stage. I haven't ridden it in a while.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:04 PM   #144
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It was neat to see the pictures of the subs in dry dock! Thanks for sharing them. NEVER would I wait 2 hours for a character (one hour for Toy Story yes ) That's why DL has Character Meals!

Beautiful looking day~ I can't believe it's your last day to report.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:56 PM   #145
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Where do the mermaids live when the subs are under dry dock?





Wow on the pics PIO. Thanks for sharing those.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:27 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
A 2-hour wait for any character is crazy and I won't be waiting that long!

The extra, extra, extra-vibrant Matterhorn picture, with the super-blue sky and super-green water, is very striking!

I know there are a lot of rumors floating around about how the Subs are supposedly going to be removed in the not-too-distant future, but I have my doubts. I don't think Disney is going to remove them before Finding Dory comes out, if ever. Why would they be working on the Subs now, if they were only going to close them forever later?
That is a long time for a character meet & greet wait time. I thought the Rapunzel m&g wait time a couple of years ago where the Frozen m&g is now today in the 30 minutes to hour range was crazy just for a character m&g. Then all of a sudden with Anna and Elsa m&g went to a new level of wait time. For anyone that wants to meet Anna & Elsa, I would do it first thing in the morning before it gets crowded later during the day. I can imagine it would be even worse at the MK at WDW with the Anna & Elsa m&g at Princess Fairytale Hall. I don’t know what it is like at the MK but I would imagine it would be in that range or longer.

Thank you Sherry. I got a nice picture of the Matterhorn from the Monorail. It is so fun to use Lightroom to enhance the pictures even more.

We always hear all these rumors about the subs going away ever since it closed for refurbishment earlier this year. The FNSV is one of the most expensive rides to maintain and I can see why management wants to close it so it won’t be too expensive. But it is a classic ride and would be sad for it to go since it is one of my favorite childhood rides at DL when it was the Submarine Voyage. I’m still sad that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage at the MK was taken out in the mid 90’s. But at least it was replaced with a new land which is now the New Fantasyland. I was a little surprised that the construction crew wasn’t working on the lagoon back in April and all of a sudden in late May I heard that construction crews are working on the lagoon.

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Interesting to see the lagoon all dried up. I reckon that it's going to be amazing when they open it back up. We were lucky enough to be in Anaheim in late June of 2007 when the ride re-opened. It was the first one we hit first thing after rope drop. Then....it had 3 hour queues before 9.20 am. Rather similar to RSR.

Nice pics from the monorail. I need to get myself on that monorail again at some stage. I haven't ridden it in a while.
It was weird to see the lagoon dried during the trip and it definitely needed a cleanup where it will be all nice and clean when it reopens in the fall time. I remember back in 2007 when the FNSV opened and this was the ride that everyone was waiting to get on first thing in the morning from the rope drop to MM. Now today it barely even goes over an hour during the busy season where I have seen that wait time in December. Even with RSR now two years old, the wait time to get on the ride is still as high as ever.

Thank you PiO. The Mark VII Monorails are very nice to ride. Have you and your family rode the Mark VI Monorail’s at WDW during your trip last year when you went to the MK?

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Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
It was neat to see the pictures of the subs in dry dock! Thanks for sharing them. NEVER would I wait 2 hours for a character (one hour for Toy Story yes ) That's why DL has Character Meals!

Beautiful looking day~ I can't believe it's your last day to report.
Your welcome TK. It will be nice to see the lagoon filled up later this year. 2 hours for a character m&g is way too long and I would not even wait an hour for a character m&g (unless someone in my party wants to meet that character so much). I can tell that it will be a while until there will be another area for a m&g for Anna & Elsa. Have you read on the Disney Parks Blog from last month that a Frozen float will be added to Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. It will be a pre-parade float that will be ahead of the parade. I’m hoping that it will be up and running during my trip later this month so I will be able to see it and get pictures of it.

What do you mean “my last day to report”? I still have two more days to report and I’m not even at the nighttime yet of the trip report. The next update will be the highlight of the trip.

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Where do the mermaids live when the subs are under dry dock?
I wonder the same thing. We all can't wait to see the FNSV reopen later this year.


The next post will be up shortly.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:33 AM   #147
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Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 4

Last Installment of the Trip Report

Day 2 –April 26th, 2014 – Part 4

Dinner at the Napa Rose with Friends

When I got back to the room to get DAF, we were already to head on over back to the DLR to have dinner that night. For dinner, we are eating at the Napa Rose restaurant at the Grand California Hotel. This is our first time eating at the NR in which after all these years we have been coming to the DLR, we have never ate at that restaurant. It has been a lot of first times these last two years for me and DAF to try different restaurants that we are not used to eating.

I made the reservation for the Chef’s Counter 2 months before our dinner date since Disney dining does allow reservation up to two months in advance. This is common for the DLR dining where WDW does it differently like over half a year. I was fortunate to get the reservation at the Chef’s Counter.

For our first dinner at the NR, we were recommended by Alison (franandaj) to get the Chef’s Counter which is limited for every evening at the restaurant. I believe there are only 16 guests each night that will be able to eat at the Chef’s Counter (8 for 5:30pm which we got and 8 at 8:30pm). It was going to be very nice to be able to eat at the NR that night with Alison and Fran.

When it was around 5pm, we started to leave our room and head on over to the GCH and meet up with them.

While we were walking pass both parks at the Esplanade, there were quite long queues to get in the parks that time. Mostly around this time of the day where the parks started to get a little busy with the guests coming in the parks or hopping on over to the next park.

When we got to the GCH and at the NR, Alison and Fran were waiting in the lounge and we were able to find them. We were all in the lounge for a while until hostess took us to our seats at the Chef’s Counter.

When we were about to be seated and passing by the wine room, I remember seeing Pixar Wine bottles from different movies that was supposed to be somewhere at the NR and they were right in a glass case. It was neat to see the Pixar Wine bottles that each one shows a different film.




We were seated on the left hand side of the Chef’s Counter where there was another group already seated on our right hand side. At first, our impression of the NR was that it was nice and the service was great. It was neat to see the kitchen where the chefs were preparing the dishes for all the guests.


Just like the restaurant, the menu looks so nice.


There was a lot of different variety of dishes to select during our meal and by the menu it isn’t cheap like the other DLR restaurants that we have ate in the past.


When we ordered our meal, we had the option of selecting dishes that we wanted to try or we could have done the random dishes. Since DAF can eat specific food, she was glad that she was able to have a good meal where the chefs are able to cook specifically for her.

We were first started off with the bread and Alison told us that the bread is so good that we should not stuff too much of it since we have dinner that night.


While we were waiting for our food to be ready, our waitress asked us if we wanted to get a picture together and it was nice of her to get a picture of all four of us.


First, we were started out with a small dish that wasn’t in our order but a small started. I can’t remember the name of this dish but it was very nice.


Our appetizers arrived and the first course for me was the Portobello Mushroom Bisque “Cappuccino” with Brandied Thyme “Froth”.


DAF had a special dish since she isn’t able to eat any of the items on the starts so the chef’s made a fish dish for her and she really enjoyed it.


Just like I was taking pictures of our dishes, Alison was doing the same thing with their dishes. I checked on her WDW thread that she already posted that night. Here is a link to her thread of that night and she did get pictures of their dishes that they ordered. You mean I DO get to go to WDW in 2014?? - Single Digit Dance!!!!!!

Later that night, Executive Chef Andrew Sutton was in the kitchen for a while and he knew when he saw Alison and Fran and greeted them and it was nice to talk with him for a while.


For our next course, I got the Warm Local Beet Salad with Chenel Goat Cheese Panna Cotta Cara Cara orange, Wild Arugula, Hazelnuts and Blood Orange Vinaigrette.


DAF got another dish that wasn’t on the menu and made for her. It was a rabbit type dish.


Our main course arrived and I got the Grilled Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Scalloped Potatoes, Sauteed Asparagus and Coastal Mush room Sauce.


DAF got the Grilled “Maple Leaf Farms” Breast Duck with Fennel Orange Puree, Braised Lentils and Kumquat Marmalade.


We can’t forget about dessert and there was a lot of interesting desserts to choose from on the dessert menu.




It was time for dessert after a very nice first three course meal. I am mostly never a dessert type of person so I was able to order something on the menu while DAF ordered a warm manjari chocolate truffle cake.


I was able to get a Seasonal Sorbet that night which was Strawberry Honey


After we finished our meals, we stayed in the NR for a while and see all the chef’s working in the kitchen. It was so neat to watch the chefs make all these different dishes that night.


There was a party that night at the NR and we talked to the chefs of what they were making and Alison knew that one dish that the chef were making since it is no longer on the menu at the NR.


We stayed in the NR until it was around 8:30pm which we were in the restaurant for 3 hours. Since it was time for the next guests to have the table, we started to walk-on out of the NR.


One more look at the Pixar Wine Bottles before we left.


Our first impression of the NR restaurant which was a nice place to eat. The food and service was so good and great. But when DAF and I talked about it we have to come back and eat at this restaurant in the future, she told me that one time is enough. We mostly don’t eat at high quality restaurants like the NR or any four or five star restaurants. We treated both Alison and Fran that night and they had a great time eating with us at the NR that night.

After we exited the NR, since DAF AP was blocked out that night and she didn’t want to pay a black out ticket, she went back to the room while I head on in to DCA with Alison and Fran.

Stay tune for the next update to see what we done later that night.


Last edited by mvf-m11c; 06-10-2014 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:04 AM   #148
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Great dinner, Bret. I enjoyed vicariously licking my screen when Alison posted it and I'm doing the encore with yours. Love the food porn.

And good on ya for treating Alison and Fran.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:13 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by mvf-m11c View Post
What do you mean “my last day to report”? I still have two more days to report and I’m not even at the nighttime yet of the trip report. The next update will be the highlight of the trip.



I wonder the same thing. We all can't wait to see the FNSV reopen later this year.


The next post will be up shortly.
I read the link at the top that said 'Last Installment of the trip report' and thought that meant it was the last installment. I'm so glad it isn't!

Thank you for the review and pictures of NR. I agree with your DAF it looked like a lovely meal and event but for our family of four the cost would be over $200. Now I feel like I've been there myself through your report.

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Old 06-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #150
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Thank you PiO. The Mark VII Monorails are very nice to ride. Have you and your family rode the Mark VI Monorail’s at WDW during your trip last year when you went to the MK?

Yes, we did. But it wasn't quite the normal trip.
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