9 days, 20 ADRs, 14 b-day treats, & 2 happy bellies! Completed!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by emmysmommy, May 15, 2011.

  1. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    The last time we were at AK I had wanted to try Flame Tree but they were closed for refurbishment. So I was excited to try it this trip. We had a late lunch this day since we didn't get out of the Lion King show until after 2pm but that worked out well since it was not crowded at all in the outside dining area.

    The menu is not extensive here but I saw what I wanted immediately – the BBQ pork sandwich. Em ordered the slab of ribs (St. Louis style pork ribs.) The server lady was handing my tray of food and said, “hang on a minute.” She then put a cupcake on my tray in celebration of my special day! Thanks Flame Tree BBQ lady!

    Birthday cupcake:
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    I had read about the birds that roam around stealing your food so I was a little worried that I needed to keep a close eye on my food. Apparently, the birds were not interested in us today as they were congregated around another family.

    So back to the food… it looked really good but you know how looks can be deceiving? In this case, the food tasted as great as it looked.

    My pork sandwich was perfect! There were two kinds of BBQ sauce and I liked the sweeter less vinegary version. The pork was awesome – tender and moist (not overcooked) and the bun wasn’t the fall apart, whole wheat variety. I really liked the baked beans that were served with my sandwich. I know some people are not fans of the beans but they were to my liking.

    Pulled pork sandwich:
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    Sandwich with extra sauce:
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    Em had the pork ribs and thoroughly enjoyed them. I had one bite and yes, they were good! She is not a coleslaw fan so I had not problem eating that for her. As much as I liked the beans, I liked the coleslaw even better. It was not the sweet kind like KFC but more creamy and the cabbage had just the texture.

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    Once we had devoured our food Em asked me with a question, “We have a serious problem here. What are we doing to do about that cupcake?” I’m all about sharing so I cut that sucker in half and we both enjoyed the cupcake.

    We took a few photos and were trying to decide what to do next when a nice couple that we had said hello to at the table next to us took our photo with my camera. I always liked how thoughtful it was when people volunteered to take a photo of us together instead of me begging to have someone take our picture.

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    Next Up: Teppan Edo dinner
     
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  3. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    We arrived in Japan at 7:40 so we were pretty much on time for checking in for our 7:50 ADR. By the way, they were apparently accommodating walk-in dining requests. We checked in and were given a pager but we had no more than a 5 minute wait.

    Hands down, no contest, no comparison, this was the best dining experience of our trip. I make that declaration based on the interaction of our table mates. We did Teppan Edo last trip and it was good but this trip we had some wonderful people that helped to make this meal special! There were a married couple from the local area that had annual passes and came occasionally for dinner and then there were two “couples”.

    We were shown to our teppan table and Em and I seated ourselves on the short side of the table so that the “couples” could sit together. We immediately introduced ourselves and I asked if the guys wanted to sit with their women – they laughed. They were co-workers there for a conference. Oops! My bad. These fun people were from Pennsylvania; Joe (COO of whatever company), Jeff, Kathy, and Lynn.

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    Some guys from a teppan table next to us had wished me a happy birthday and I told them that they could sing happy birthday to me! Joe and Jeff at our table then struck up a conversation with us and we quickly started laughing and carrying on. Em told the group that I was turning 50 so that resulted in a lot of compliments. Joe and Jeff asked if one camera wasn’t enough? I had my Nikon and my Sony out for different types of photos but it would take too long to explain why! I said that I did dining reviews with photos – at least I try. We didn’t stop chatting and laughing the entire meal!

    Our teppan chef was Kenji and he did a fantastic job. Just thinking that they do the same “cooking performance” every day and still make it entertaining and fun is great!

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    I suppose a dining review should include some feedback on the food so I will take a break from the frivolity and get to the point….

    I ordered the chicken and shrimp combo (Ueno for $26.95) while Em ordered the steak and chicken combo (Nihon bashi for $28.95.) We were so busy chatting with our table mates that we paid little attention to the preparation of the food – although we got a good laugh out of Kenji saying that he had a special birthday treat for me and “serving” the shrimp tails on my plate. He did the onion volcano and put such flair into his presentation.

    My gift from Kenji the teppan chef - shrimp tails!
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    Onion volcano:
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    They serve udon noodles, zucchini, mushrooms, and onion. The veggies and noodles were awesome! The shrimp and chicken was equally amazing! The meal is served with a bowl of rice – you may have seconds no problem if you wish. Because I don’t recall the names of the three dipping sauces but I can tell you that the ginger sauce was the best in my opinion. Although I liked the other darker sauce, the white version was blah.

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    When we had finished the meal and were still laughing and carrying on, the waitress brought out a flaming slice of chocolate ginger cake with a teppan chef hat. They placed the cake in front of me and I handed the camera to Joe to video the “song.” Apparently Joe does a better job at being COO than being a photographer because it didn’t really turn out. Although we laughed about the effort as well. I took one bite which was actually not too bad but since I’m not a huge chocolate fan I asked the waitress for extra forks so I could share the dessert with the table. They actually partook! We took a group photo before we called it a night.

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    The food, the table mates, and the service were all excellent! Teppan Edo doesn’t participate in TIW so the bill was $62.68 without tip.

    Photos of the empty park - we finished dinner after Epcot closed:

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    Next Up: Grand Floridian Cafe breakfast
     
  4. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    We left the room at a little before 8am to go to the monorail station. We arrived at the Grand Floridian at 8:15 and were seated almost immediately after checking in. As we were being escorted to our table, a friendly waiter said Happy Birthday! That nice waiter, Robert, ended up being our server.

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    We were seated at a table for two and when Robert arrived to take our beverage orders he asked if I was 21 (wink, wink!) I said no, [insert lie here] I was turning 50 (hey, if I'm going to lie about my age why not make myself older so I may fetch a compliment for how well preserved I am!). He said that if he had to guess, he would say that I was 45. Ouch! I was actually 47!

    After our chit chat, Robert said, let me buy you a mimosa. Honestly, I had never had a mimosa but what a nice gesture so I said – why thanks! I actually enjoyed my first mimosa.

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    We both ordered the French toast, me with a scrambled egg substituted for meat and Em ordered the sausage. While we were awaiting our food, Robert brought us a plate with a cheese and an apple Danish – compliments of him for my birthday! We split the danishes so I had ½ of each. They were very tasty!

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    The French toast was excellent and the scrambled egg was cooked perfectly. I’m picky about my scrambled eggs since I don’t like them dry and overcooked nor do I prefer them runny and gooey. I thought it odd that the scrambled egg came on a dinner size plate instead of a smaller bread plate so it looked lonely and small on the plate.

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    Robert was very friendly and chatty and at one point another waiter, Chris stopped by our table to chat as well. He complimented me on my graceful aging! We took some photos together. When Robert sat down on the banquette next to me and gave me a smooch on the check.

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    I used our TIW card and the total with the discount and 18% tip was $27.72. I did tip extra since we were provided with excellent service, awesome food, and some love from Robert. (We saved $5.37 using the TIW card.)

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    Up Next: Le Cellier lunch
     
  5. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Although Le Cellier is now a signature restaurant for dinner, I preferred the lunch menu and the smaller portions since I knew we would not be able to eat a big meal in the middle of the day. So I was very happy when I was able to book our ADRs and there were several lunch dates/times available.

    We arrived and checked in for our 1:35ADR and had a short wait before we were seated. We had a table for two along the wall that had banquette seating. I was pleased to see that the young couple seated to my right posed their food for photos as well!! Sitting this close to other guest, I wasn’t too worried that they would be annoyed if I took photos of the food in front of me.

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    Sara, from Nova Scotia, was our server and she was awesome! Again, we were beyond pleased with the service and attention from this restaurant. We started with appetizers, or rather I started with an appetizer since Em passed on that course. I ordered a cup of the bacon cheddar soup – I wanted a bowl since I loved it last time but I knew I had a lot of food that I wanted to stuff in my belly so I took it easy to start.

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    We told Sara that we loved the pretzel bread and she asked if we wanted only pretzel bread but we decided to have both the pretzel and the sourdough to mix it up a little.

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    I declare here and now that I would be entirely happy making a meal out of the pretzel bread and the soup alone! That stuff is crazy good – not sure if it is legal in all 50 states?? I liked the pretzel bread buttered best although I did try dipping it in the soup. I tried a bite of the sourdough but why waste the precious little space I had in my tummy with that stuff when there was the pretzel bread?

    Em and I both ordered the petite mushroom filet with the risotto. The filet was perfectly cooked and practically melted in my mouth. I had read some reviews about this being a bit salty and I kept that in mind as I was enjoying my filet – but for me, it was just fine. I love the white truffle herb butter sauce on the filet. The mushroom risotto was the perfect accompaniment. Some day I would like to try the cream cheese potatoes but for today, I was very happy with my choices. Everything about the meal was perfect!

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    Another view of the filet:
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    Once we had completed our entrees the dessert menus were delivered and I wasn’t hungry enough to order my own so Em ordered the crème brulee and I tried to get her to promise me that she would let me take a bite. Sweet Sara brought me my own birthday version of the maple crème brulee complete with a candle and chocolate scripted “happy birthday” written on the plate.

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    Remember I said that I wasn’t hungry enough to eat my own crème brulee well….I found a way to devour the entire dish. Not that I felt especially good when I waddled out of there but it was delicious!

    The bill with the TIW card was $71.37. (We saved $13.83 with TIW.) I tipped extra since Sara was amazing and really made the meal special when she unexpectantly brought me recipe cards for the risotto, crème brulee and the cheddar bacon soup. Not that I would actually try to make those dishes since I can’t compete with the Le Cellier chefs… and I’m not a great cook so I will leave that to the experts.

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    Sara stopped to chat briefly with us and shared that her program ended soon. She was married to another Cast Member who was a chef in the kitchen. She was a nice young lady that made our experience rememberable.

    One final request was a photo with Sara and we said our good-byes.

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    Restaurant photos:
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    Next Up: Tony's Town Square
     
  6. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    We only had to walk to MK and the restaurant is near the entrance so we left the hotel at 7:10pm. We arrived at Tony’s at 7:30pm right at our ADR time. They were crazy busy and had a lot of families waiting in the lobby. They were taking walk-ups.

    Crowded waiting area:
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    We had a short wait before we were seated. We walked past the Lady & the Tramp fountain. We were seated at a small table near the back of the restaurant. The table had been decorated with Mickey confetti and curly cues – very nice touch. Claude was our server and did a fine job.

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    We were presented with the basket of rolls and olive oil. I thought they were just ok – nothing special. I think I would have preferred butter for the rolls since the olive oil wasn’t that flavorful (must have been some generic brand!)

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    We place our orders, spaghetti and meatballs for Em and chicken parmesan for me. I hadn’t eaten but ½ of a roll when the food arrived. They must have that stuff sitting under a heat lamp somewhere because the basil garnish on my dish was wilted and baked. Looks can be deceiving so I won’t judge this by that alone.

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    Em liked her spaghetti – it wasn’t anything exciting or spectacular – but it did get touched. The chicken parm was ok. I can’t say anything bad about it but if I had to say anything good about it – it would be that it had just the right amount of sauce for the dish. It wasn’t slathered in spaghetti sauce. Oh, and the spaghetti wasn’t overcooked and mushy. I didn’t eat much of this sine I wasn’t too hungry.

    Claude brought out an ice-cream sundae complete with candle and Mickey-fetti. It was a nice touch and although I don’t really eat ice-cream I did eat the chocolate curls.

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    The bill with the TIW card was $40.32. (We saved $7.81 with TIW.) I do have to say that there are so many over-priced restaurants in WDW that I had just become accustomed to paying $12 for an appetizer and $14 for a burger. So paying $17 for the chicken parm was a bargain!

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    Next Up: The Wave breakfast
     
  7. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    We had an 8:30 ADR for The Wave which was right inside the Contemporary hotel. It is located in the lobby area which we hadn’t had occasion to see since our arrival. We checked in and were immediately seated in the near empty restaurant.

    The clientele this early appeared to be mostly business people staying at the hotel for a convention. Our server was Trisha who was friendly, prompt and efficient – we had no complaints at all.

    As was typical, I wasn’t very hungry so I ordered the oatmeal with a side bagel. Em ordered the ham and cheese omelet that was served with breakfast potatoes and a biscuit. They also offer a buffet option which most people appeared to be partaking of. I didn’t go take a peek so I can’t even say for certain what they offered with the buffet option.

    I was very pleased with my selection – the oats were served with brown sugar and raisins. I use Splenda which they had available at the table. The bagel was actually two mini bagels that were perfectly toasted with a side dish of cream cheese. Just the right amount of food for once!

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    Em really liked the omelet. I don’t think she is a big potato fan so those were mostly untouched. I don’t recall if she ate the biscuit which looked soft and delicious.

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    Using our TIW card, the total was $26.99. We took a few photos and were on our way. We saved $5.23 using the TIW card.

    Next Up: Main Street Bakery
     
  8. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    We decided to go to Main Street Bakery and grab a few bakery items since we hadn’t made it to any of our favorite bakery places this trip. (France bakery at Epcot, Kringla Og Bakeri, and Karamel Kuche among some.)

    Selections:

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    For someone who loves all sorts of yummy treats, it was hard to select only one item but Em and I both selected cherry danishes. We ate at a small table in the bakery and enjoyed these fresh and delicious sweets. Since these didn’t necessarily fill us up – not that we were hungry but there were a few items that I wanted to sample before we left MK.

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    I was on a mission to find a soft pretzel. I asked one of the bakery CM’s where I could get one of these and they referenced a guide that told where there were restaurants, carts and kiosks for certain types of food/snacks. Fantasyland had two places so back in that direction we headed. I finally found the pretzel cart and was happy to indulge in one of those snacks.

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    Em decided that she wanted to eat something more as well so we went to the Pinocchio Village Haus and ordered her a kid’s mac and cheese with carrot sticks and grapes. Once you have your food, they allow you to then find a seat. They are pretty strict about this rule because I was going to grab a table while Em waited for her food but they wouldn’t let me until we had our tray of food. No problem. We found a seat after going to a second dining area, it was a bit crowded at that time. Em did not like the mac & cheese – it lacked flavor and had the consistency and taste of paste. Ick! She didn’t eat the carrots or grapes at that time. I must say that I did enjoy my pretzel.

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    Next Up: Bonus section - popular snacks
     
  9. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Whew! I'm almost done... just a final bonus section to go. I wanted to get this posted before we leave to go on our Alaska cruise. It's no WDW but I can't have every vacation my way. Go figure!

    I will be back and wrap this thing up! :cool1:
     
  10. elder

    elder Mouseketeer

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    I have loved your report so far! We can't get ADR's until the end of November, so I am reading up on reviews!

    We are staying at Poly at the end of May, so I'm thinking we may have to hit up Kona! Those pancakes look awesome!

    I had the brownie at EoS, and it was probably the best brownie! I also love Main Street Bakery! :lovestruc

    Looking forward to reading more!!
     
  11. basketkat

    basketkat DIS Veteran

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    Oh it is so hard to chose something at Main Street Bakery! Those danish look pretty yummy though!

    And that Mac N Cheese does look pretty awful!

    Oooo I'm looking forward to your bonus post! :thumbsup2 I hope you have a fabulous vacation!
     
  12. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    WHEW!! A plethora of dining reviews! I wouldn't know where to start so I'll just say GREAT, GREAT, GREAT report. Thanks so much for it all.
     
  13. Disneyfreak616

    Disneyfreak616 DIS Veteran

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    I never knew they gave birthday cupcakes at CS places! How nice. :goodvibes

    I'm so glad you loved Flame Tree! I'm really looking forward to trying it in August!

    Teppan Edo looks great! I'm so excited to go there in a couple days! :banana:

    HAHAHA those waiters at GF Cafe are so precious. ;)

    The CM's that serve you can really make or break the experience. Glad you had a great time at Le Cellier. :)

    Tony's is just basic Italian but I love it and I really want to go back sometime soon. Glad you enjoyed it. It does look crowded though. :headache:

    I really want to try The Wave, that omelet looks delish!

    The Main Street Bakery can be very dangerous, considering I want everything. :laughing:
     
  14. TexasErin

    TexasErin Loves old Pluto cartoons

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    I am really enjoying your reviews. They are very well-written and you have a great sense of humor. Thank you for taking the time to post them. My 8-year-old DS saw the pictures of The Wave and wants to go there next trip.
     
  15. PrincessPaczki

    PrincessPaczki Mom of 2 Prince's

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    Hi.:goodvibes I loved your trip report. :) Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. If you had to choose one TS meal that you would defin. not want to miss what would it be? Thanks.
     
  16. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    You HAVE to visit Kona at least once!! We are booking two breakfasts there next time. I wish I had eaten the brownie while it was still fresh - it may have been amazing but we had too many sweets to fit another one into our stomachs this trip.

    thanks for reading!

    Thanks! I don't think there is anything not amazing at Main St. Bakery. :goodvibes

    thanks so much!:):)

    Thanks for reading along! You have some great places to look forward to eating! :thumbsup2 I know what you mean about wanting everything from Main St. Bakery. I'm a sucker for any pastry, muffin, cookie, or cake. (Unfortunately!) :love:

    Thank you for joining in! We had cancelled The Wave twice last trip and this time ended up making it for breakfast. It was certainly worth visiting. Nothing fancy but really good service and good food.

    Le Cellier lunch. Kona Cafe breakfast. California Grilll dinner. Ok, that was three! If I had to choose one of those - hmmmm..... Le Cellier. :love:
     
  17. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    I really thought this would be locked by now since I've been so neglectful! :rolleyes1 (Alaska was wonderful... then I had a business trip for a week in Vegas....so now I'm back.)

    As promised, here is a bonus post with some photos of treats from a couple favorites around here!! :love:

    Karamelle Kuche (Epcot - Germany):

    We didn't try anything here but perhaps next time I'll leave room!

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    Fantasia Market at Bay Lake Tower:

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    Kringla Og Bakeri (Norway - Epcot)
    This trip we didn't have anything from this bakery but I have had the waffle with berries. Very yummy!
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  18. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Contempo Cafe:
    These are marked as the dining snack options....

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    close up of the lovely cupcakes.
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    As Forrest Gump would say... "that's all I have to say about that." :cool1:

    Since I've come to the end of the road for this dining review, I am please to announce that I have booked a return trip in February that will definitely include a lot of TS dining, snacks, and other delicious food items that I plan to share! :love:

    Take care,
    :goodvibes
     

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