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Old 05-22-2001, 01:24 PM   #1
h20jag

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May 18, '01
School's out for the summer (no snow days again!)....so DW,DD (now a 4th grader) & I headed down to UO to celebrate and beat the summer rush.
Had Sat. nite reserved at Sleep Inn on Major Blvd., but decided to treat DW to PBH on Fri. nite. Well, did try HRH first, but to no avail. Choices were: No discount HRH Club for $305, or AP discount for Garden View at PBH for $182. Had to take the cheap way out though, we went slumming at PBH!
Checked in at 1:30 PM and room was ready. Sooo comfy & cushy, would've napped if not so hungry. Had a small patio facing villa piazza (our room was #2316), perfect spot for just sitting and whiling away time. Did that later too.
Off to Nascar Cafe for very late lunch. 1st time there and thought it was just fine. The 3 of us ate heartily for $34. We could only manage to snack later that evening. Worth a visit / meal there, even if not a race fan.
Hit IOA for 3-3 1/2 hours till few minutes before closing. A LOT of school groups were in the park, but thanks to FOTL we got 9 rides in (DD kept the official count). Can't remember exact order now (that's a bad sign I guess), but I do recall the next to last ride....Dr. Doom. I was a little road weary, plus I'm an early riser, so I figured Doom was great way to open them eyes for sure. Yep, wide awake now -- might as well top it off with Hulk. DD & DW hit StormForce.
So, in that short a time we rode the things we wanted the most. Still have Sat. & Sun. to go!
Heading for boat dock back to PBH, knew there'd be a shin-dig going on in front of Margaritaville. 'Twas a much bigger affair than we expected too! While waiting in line for the obligatory Margarita in the commemorative yellow plastic cup, the countdown was announced as the final couple gallons were being added to the drink-shaped vat, "3..2..1....a new Guiness Book World Record for Largest Margarita!"
It's always nice to have your kid around when witnessing history. Maybe it'll be on a test one day.
Back at the room finally, it was patio sitting time. Succumbed to the evil mini-bar temptation (Darn, 2nd time now!) and watched as staff set up eats for a small, private party on the lawn. Caught a beautiful sunset too!
Could sit here all nite, but did promise DD the pool visit.
Would you believe the most popular pool, the one with the beach & waterslide & convenient little bar, closes at 8 PM? Well, it does. On a Fri. nite no less! Headed to the Villa Pool instead where DD found plenty of kids to play Marco Polo with. DW & I sat on steps in the water and took the scenery in. I secretly wondered if the Beach Pool Bar would've had the Braves game on had they been open (and how much we saved by it not being open!).
Went for a stroll after most families were leaving the pool. If you never do this at night here, you're really missing out! Over by the bay it's simply gorgeous. Found "The Thirsty Fish" by the water and grabbed a table outside. DW had the best Pina Colada she's ever had; DD had a "vintage" blue Gatorade (from the store next door); & I had the Bud (with a very fresh born-on date, I might add!). *Note to self: they have a pool table in this place.
Back to the room again, before the Gatorade takes effect on DD. She's prepped & ready for bed as DW & I take in the final patio sitting of Friday (And the final mini-bar indulgence, I hope).
Gotta say about these beds here, you really don't feel like getting out of 'em once you're in 'em. We all had a wonderful night's sleep. I awaken many times between 3:30 and 6:30 and just stay up & make the coffee, it's gonna be a long day! Here, I wake at 3:30 and have a smoke on the patio (no mini-bar this time, thank-you), lay back down & zonk out immediately. I need a doctor to insist I stay here more often!
No one stirred again until 8:30 (yes, AM. - we didn't drink THAT much). Had all the curtains shut so couldn't tell it was Chamber of Commerce weather outside. I think most would agree how nice complete light control is in your room, but 8:30 in the morning to us is extreeemely late! Might as well take 1/2 day off now!!
Got the room service breakfast for $50 (We'd have spent $20-30 in the park anyway, they just have a no pajama rule at the gates). Saturday isn't an EE day and DD really wanted to catch that waterslide before checking out, so that nice, relaxing breakfast by the patio was worth its' weight in gold!
And there was the hotel staff again, setting up for a lavish wedding reception on the lawn. Couldn't help but picture a scene from a Godfather movie out there, before the violence of course.
I'd fathom to say, it was our nicest family breakfast ever. Will do this again real soon!
DD's commentary on the PBH waterslide & pool....liked it better than HRH slide! It is a little more scenic here. Front Desk granted us a late check-out (till noon, all we needed), so was able to partake in poolside-bar festivities also. Bartender agreed they should stay open past 8 PM. An ally!
Checking out, desk-clerk agreed also. Asked me to fill out comment card and duly note for later closing. Another ally!
Well, off to the parks now. Our over-nite in the lap of luxury is over. But the day's FOTL with that key-card in hand is a wonderful remembrance!
Hope this helps for those who have future visits planned - if you can't get HRH, don't automatically write this place off as too fancy or overpriced. You'll enjoy it & all its' fringe benefits!
Jim
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Old 05-22-2001, 02:22 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting Jim! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

The Thirsty Fish is great place to be on a warm evening. DH and I had one of the highlights of our trip there sitting on the patio, drinking bass ale and playing backgammon.:D
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Old 05-22-2001, 03:09 PM   #3
Niecy
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So you didn't feel uncomfortable at all? We're planning on going to IOA on Memorial Day and after seeing all the benefits of staying on-site, I just called and made reservations at PBH. My big concern is that it will be too 'fancy' for us. We'll be driving straight thru from Ohio and I'm sure we'll be pretty grubby when we get there. Do you think we'll feel comfortable upon arrival?

Of course, it really doesn't matter to get FOTL access on Memorial Day. inkbounc I'm very psyched about that!
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Old 05-22-2001, 05:20 PM   #4
h20jag

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Hi Niecy, and welcome to the boards!
No one there will make you feel uncomfortable, they're all regular joes (& joe-ettes?). Do take care of your bellhop though, you may never find your way to your room without 'em!
Renee - wish you'd have been there to re-teach me to play backgammon!
Jim
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Old 05-22-2001, 10:59 PM   #5
Sherrilatte
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Wink Excellent trip report

Great trip report with vibrant and interesting details. What a great a price at $34.00 for lunch at the Nascar. I will consider trying them, since I'm the official "trip planner". It hard to get a price for lunch like that here in my hometown. Your report should certainly make those of us that are a bit aprehensive of the PBH to really consider it as a great family resort hotel when planning a trip to US. Btw, beside that breakfast room service, you were really getting some great prices for room, food, etc. Thank again for sharing.
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Old 05-22-2001, 11:26 PM   #6
SherryfromOK
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What did you order at Nascar? We are going in November and we have 5 in our family, but you seem to eat reasonbly priced.
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Old 05-23-2001, 11:06 AM   #7
h20jag

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Hi SherryOK &SherriL!
Lunchtime again, wish I was at Nascar now!
DD had a chicken tender / fries plate - $7-8 ; DW wanted the grilled shrimp (was on display by front door) - $14 ; and I had BBQ pork sandwich (The Pit Pig - even remembered its' menu name!) with fries & coleslaw for $9. We all enjoyed, it's good food!
Oh, a tea, a water , and a coke, and we did get 10-15% off with AP discount. Can't remember 10 or 15 tho. (gettin' old!)
The menus are on Universals' site for Citywalk. Good planning tool there, just makes me hungry reading it!
I stink at linking, sorry!
Jim
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Old 05-27-2001, 02:51 PM   #8
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Aloha Jim,
Just getting to trip reports after almost two weeks...don't ask
So now you too are part of the fancy pants that stay at the PBH. (Do I sound jealours? )
It sounds like you had a wonderful and relaxing trip. Good for you. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if we could have been there too.
Mahalo for the report.
Donna
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Old 06-11-2001, 10:15 PM   #9
jstmee
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I just finished making reservations for PBH. Was going to stay at HRH but for approx. $30 more they have a "deal" now that you purchase one room, get the second for 1/2 off, since we have 6 people in our family we need two rooms. I also told them I was booking through an airline and the reservationist said they would upgraded me to a Bayview Room for price of Garden View--so, of course I booked directly with them. We have three nights, Ultimate Adventure pass for 3 days, two rooms, cost total $2083 includes tax and insurance for 2 adults, 2 13 yr olds and 2 children under 9. I'm satisfied with the price with the upgrade, It comes out to $1041.50 per room for the three nights and package. Hope I did "ok"......we will be there 9/30 through 10/3
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Old 07-01-2001, 12:38 AM   #10
Lalalindica
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jstme - Congratulations!! You will love it there! We (my children then 10 & 11, & I) stayed there last December for a couple of days and loved it!! This time we will be trying out the HRH to see how we like that. It's going to be hard to beat the Portofino though! It's just so beautiful , unique and comfortable.

Did you try getting the "Entertainment card rate"? You could have probably saved a few bucks, even with their special, but it's nice that you are getting a bayview room! And of course you signed up as a Loew's member, right? They may be able to even further upgrade you upon arrival!

H20Jag - great trip report! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
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