How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?*Final Thoughts & Farewells* 10/7 p100

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by MEK, May 13, 2011.

  1. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl2: I definitely didn't sherpa much that evening AND if you went to soarin where the heck did I go???? I thought we went pretty much straight to the Ditch. How many times DID you ride Soarin????

    Welcome Back! Hope you had a fabulous vacation!
    BD was definitely one of my favorite meals of the trip and I do think it ranks as one of the best in park meals!!!! I loved it and those pictures made MY mouth water because I forgot what we ate until I actually saw the pics! :laughing: I don't have BD planned for December, but I know I will be back again soon!

    It was helpful that we were so independent in our daily travels, but our community time was so darn fun. I loved that I wasn't the master of the plans. I just showed up where and when I was supposed to. Very liberating! ;)

    Brian has really struggled the last two years so we hope this will be a good step in terms of his maturity. It remains to be seen. We realize that there is a good chance he will not do well in college. We hope it ends up a positive experience for him, but we know its a risk. He really isn't as mature as some of his peers. He's street smart, but he really doesn't understand what it takes to get a real education. Fingers crossed!
     
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  3. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Just twice I think, I need to figure out exactly when and where though as I could be confused, it definitely happens! I definitely did it before Tutto and know I did it once more and was thinking it was before LaH. But it could have been the last day.

    Maybe we did go straight to the Ditch. My photo's die after my own long walk home and photo journaling and I know I I didn't take the camera to dinner. I'll have to check facebook and see if I checked in anywhere! :rotfl:

    The memory is going....
     
  4. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Don't feel bad....Your memory is still MUCH better than mine! :rotfl:
     
  5. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    SOOOOOOOO..........

    You are not going to believe this, but this update is going to be pretty picture-less. I know, I know - it's hard to believe, but it was day 6 and I actually left the camera at home for the evening.

    I knew there would come a point where I would regret it, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do. I really wanted to use the cute little Vera wallet thing-a-ma-jig (I'm sure it has a name) that Tracy had given me, so I put my cell phone in one pocket and my AP, room key, and Disney Gift Card in the handy little slats and off we went.

    That was, of course, after we visited the pool for the last time. :sad1: Which reminds me. I never did write a chapter on the fine art of noodling. You see I forgot to mention that- Tracy, Christine, Melissa, and Jen were all quite good at noodling. They each had one and they could sit and balance that thing for hours (or so it seemed). They had perfected it. Their hair never got wet. In fact, the water never went above their shoulders. They just sat, almost motionless, in one spot of the pool, talking, laughing, meditating, ect. I almost forgot they were on a noddle.

    Before Melissa left (the queen of noodling), I borrowed when of her many noodles. She had quite the assortment. I positioned it between my legs and tried to gently move my arms to stay afloat. So - how well do you think that went?????

    :rotfl2: Not! (Isn't it great how you can use smilies when you have no pictures!)

    In about 30 seconds I was flailing around like a fish out of water, trying my level best to stay upright. Not gonna happen. That noodle shot out of my legs like a torpedo and in a split second I was under the water trying not to swallow any. When I came up I was laughing like a loon.

    So - what did I do? Give the noodle back - nah! I tried it again. I actually did a little better the second time, but I was squishing that noodle so tight between my legs that I was afraid it might break. Can that happen?

    Anyhoo - I decided to leave the noodling to the younger, more nimble girls.

    So - where was I ? Oh yeah. After our last night of swimming Cynthia and and I showered, changed, and headed back into Epcot for our last evening. I felt a real sense of freedom leaving my baggalini and my camera at home. Wow - for the first time, probably EVER, I didn't have to go through bag check. How great is that?

    Here is my cute little Vera with my soon to expire AP. sniff sniff!

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    Next stop - the Ditch!!!!!!

    If you have read my prior TR's you know that its been a long road to the Ditch for me.

    In may 2010 I was sidelined and unable to drink alcohol of any type. In September 2010 Jen and I skipped the Ditch in favor of frozen margaritas while we were doing KP missions, and at the beginning of this trip I had mistaken taken Flagyl and was once again in the penalty box when it came to alcohol consumption.

    Finally, finally, FINALLY I was about to try one of the world famous margaritas. Ellen (Podsnel) chastised me for not trying one in September. She swore to me that they were the best margaritas on EARTH! Was she right?????


    HELL YES! (I think that word is going to be bleeped out).

    When we arrived C and Tracy were already there - sipping away and munching on chips and guacamole. We sat at a table with a young girl (late twenties to very early 30's) who told me she was drinking the jalapeno rita. She was over the moon as to how good it was. What choice did I have????? So when the server came over I said, "I'll have one of those"

    And, here my friends, is how that little beauty arrived.....

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    So what did I think??????

    Well - Undoubtedly it was the BEST RITA EVER!

    Ellen was so right and I could have kicked myself on the spot for not trying it sooner.

    Let me just say that I am not a "spicy hot" person, so for me to try a jalapeno rita was a big leap. It really wasn't hot. It was just so darn tasty. There was a little kick when I got to the bottom of the glass, but it was definitely not hot.

    In case you don't believe how great the Ditch (La Cava del Tequila) is, check out this review I found on Yelp:

    Allie C.
    Orlando, FL
    5/2/2011 1 Check-in Here
    I give this 4 stars because every time I shovel out 12.50-13.00 bucks plus tip(which makes there drinks a solid 18 bucks for me, and knocks a star off for affordability) for my amazing amazing drink.. amazing that is every time, I am drunk by the time we round the corner to Norway. I'm no light weight, these guys are just great tenders.

    Atmosphere is great, Everyone at the bar is always super sweet and quick to respond. And well, it's so hard to find a drink this good anywhere else in town, and by the time you start to feel it, you have spent more than you would here.

    Takes the edge off when dealing with all those tourist that wonder around so lost in magical translation.



    Yup - I think Allie from Orlando pretty much summed it up with this review!

    Checking our watches we realized we didn't have enough time for a second round before we headed over to check-in at La Hacienda. It was a gorgeous night and I guess I didn't realize how late it was. I was just enjoying the comfortable temperatures and the setting sun.

    We sat outside for awhile and I just marveled at the stillness of the night. It was really lovely. Whatever the temperature and humidity was that particular night, I think it was the perfect setting for my body. I could not have imagined a more perfect night.

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    After we had been outside for awhile I realized I needed to visit the ladies room. I was too afraid to go back into the Mexican pavilion for fear that they would finally call us, so asked if I could go into the restaurant. I recall some hesitation on their part but we finally convinced them that we were patrons and they had already been making us wait 30 mins for a table.

    How long did we wait? Probably close to 45 minutes before we were seated. But once we did get seated we had one of the best seats in the house.....right up by the windows to watch Illuminations.

    I'm not sure where I found these pretty little tiles....

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    The lights in the restaurant were quite pretty.

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    First up Drinks:

    This was the blueberry mango margarita.

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    Mango Blueberry Basil Margarita - El Mayor premium silver Tequila, coconut rum, orange juice, mango, blueberries, basil, served on the rocks with a hibiscus salt rim. - $13.00

    It was fantastic. Very different from the Jalapeno rita, but equally as good. Loved it and I highly recommend it!

    I think Christine had this

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    In addition to the mb rita, here are the others on the menu:

    The Rosita margarita is made with rose syrup, orange liqueur and fresh lime. Fresh rose petals are in the drink – so festive!
    Lime raspberry, with those flavors as well as agave nectar and orange liqueur.
    Orange mango fire, with ginger and Tabasco.
    Coffee, with Kahlua, Mezcal and ice cream.



    Up Next Dinner:

    I had the shrimp tacos:
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    Tacos de Camarones - Fried shrimp, chipotle-lime aioli, cabbage, lime and salsa verde, all served over flour tortillas $22.95

    I'm pretty sure we shared some of these:

    Chiles toreados y chorizitos - roasted sweet peppers with lime and sea salt, served with mini "cantimpalito" chorizos $12.25

    However, I don't have a picture to prove it.

    Somebody had this as an appetizer, I think????

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    I'm taking a guess here, but I think this may be.....

    Taquiza - taco trio featuring Rib eye taco with chipolte salsa, roasted chicken taco with salsa verde, and Chilorio (marinated pork) taco $10.75

    And somebody had this:

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    Pescado a la Talla - Grilled tilapia served with esquites (roasted corn), nopales (cactus leaves) and mango Chutney $23.95

    I'm pretty sure someone tried the black bean soup.

    So how was the view? Well, considering I took these with my cell phone and cropped the crap out of them and edited them like crazy, I still think the view was pretty darn good.

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    So they aren't the greatest pictures, but you get the idea.

    Dinner was a wonderful success. Since Cynthia and I had used up all our dining plan credits, I decided to skip dessert. We still had a boat load of snack credits to use up before we left, so I figured I could skip the calories tonight (like I didn't consume enough already).

    When Illuminations was over and we had finished eating, we looked around to a near empty restaurant. None of us wanted to leave. The night felt much too young, but in actuality it was probably well past 9:30pm when we finally settled our bill and headed out. I don't remember there being anyone in the park. I am sure there were a few stragglers other than us, but not too many.

    Leaving the park well after park closing was very liberating. We laughed, we skipped, we joked, and we enjoyed this very magical time. This was one night where I wished the walk to the international gateway could have been just a tad longer.

    Time to say good night to another wonderful evening.

    Up Next: Day 7 My last day and a very cool way to experience rope drop!
     
  6. Poolrat

    Poolrat I am alive, sometimes I wonder too.

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    So much fun. :goodvibes


    The fine art of noodling takes some practice. ::yes::

    The ditch sounds heavenly and it is on the list for this trip.... probably 1t night even... or afternoon. :laughing:
     
  7. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    It was a really fun night for our last night. I do wish that I had some good pictures of the empty park. Oh well!

    For me it sure does!!!! :rotfl2:

    You absolutely must try it. I am a huge fan. I am stopping there on my first night in December. I have to take my DH there. He'll flip at the prices at first, but as soon as he has one he, too, will be a believer! :worship:
     
  8. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    MEK, great photos at the Studios and the various resorts. I am so sorry I got so far behind again (out of twon trip, being sick, etc.). The resort lobbies are beautiful.
     
  9. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Great photos at the Ditch too. Andy is definitely going to want to stop there (he loves his tequila). :thumbsup2
     
  10. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

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    He will be okay, Mom. There may be some missteps, but just keep getting him through it and he will find his way. My youngest was a little immature - we really went through some nightmares at times too, but God is good, and he is a fine man now!
     
  11. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my Goodness! I keep seeing all these fabulous Ritas from the Ditch - it is def a must do. I love me some tequila too. I think I will send Jim on an errand so he can't see the prices! He complains about my $7 ones here - I always tell him I'm worth it!:rotfl2:

    Dinner at San Angel looks delish, too! I would vote for the Talapia, although it would be hard to choose - I love Mexican food. I'm thinking there must be a huge improvement - we ate there once and were way unimpressed.

    How cool that you had such a wonderful night! The temp, the feel, the relaxation, the drinks and good friends and the walk back! I love the pic of the lights on the Aztec temple!
     
  12. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Do not feel bad! I cannot noodle for the life of me! Seriously, I can't even begin to imagine how I would finagle that thing so I would possibly balance one of my limbs on it for a second. I never even knew they were used for lounging until recently, actually! I thought they were just used by kids to have giant noodle fights :laughing:.

    Ooooooh your 'rita looks great! I'm intrigued by the avocado one myself. But I still can't get over the feeling that it would be like drinking pureed guacamole. :rotfl:

    I'm glad to see you guys enjoyed La Hacienda, I thought that was a really nice place too! And your view looks great! :thumbsup2
     
  13. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    No worries Kathy! I know you have been sick and I am so glad you are starting to feel better! I feel confident you will be 100% when you start your trip in what????? under two weeks I'm thinking! :cool1: Woo Hoo!

    I think they have really good Tequila flights! He should just belly up to the bar and let them pour away! :rotfl: I can't wait to go back in December. Those ritas were A-MAZING! I can't find anything close around here!

    Thank you! We had a great time checking out our future home in Phoenix, and meeting our wonderfully sweet DSIL! Our camping trip follow-on was full of misadventures, but good memories were made with my parents. Too funny you forgot what you ate at BD - although when you have so many good meals, it gets hard to sort them out in your mind.

    Moving to Phoenix? Cool? I would think that's going to be a big change from Oregon. Sounds exciting.

    I would imagine a camping trip has the potential to be full of many misadventures! :laughing: Glad you had a nice time with your parents. That's awesome!

    I am definitely going to write down what I eat on my next trip. My memory is just too bad these days and if I drink anything at all at dinner, forget about it! :rotfl:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Sometimes I think he's going to be fine and other times I just :sad2: don't know. Anyway - I have decided not to call or text him for awhile. I didn't realize it was going to be this hard. :sad1:
    I'm so happy that your youngest was able to come around! I do have this theory that if a kid has a rough time early on, it does help them mature into a better adult. At least that's the way it was for me. I was a teenage mess, but turned out OK. :laughing:

    You are worth it! :lmao: Yes - you better send him away so he doesn't see the prices. I will be doing the same thing with Denny, but once he tastes on he will be a believer. :thumbsup2 OMG - I was literally craving one of those ritas for two weeks after I got home.:lmao:

    I have a reservation there in December and I think I am going for the Talapia. It looks really good. I'm not sure if we will be on the dining plan or not, so that will probably determine if I get dessert. There is a salad app on the menu that looks pretty darn good.

    It was a wonderful night for our last night in the world. I regret that I did not have my camera to take night pictures, but after two of those margaritas I don't think I could have held it steady without a tripod. :rolleyes1

    :rotfl2: Me too! I figured they were designed to help kids float, but they evolved into a fighting implement! :rotfl2:

    I obviously don't go swimming enough or perhaps I would have known they can be used as an in pool lounger. Me - I prefer an actual lounger WITH a cup holder! That's my speed.

    I heard the avocado rita is really good. I think I am going to try that one in December. It's supposed to be really refreshing. I will make sure I take really good notes and pictures so you will be fully informed for your trip! :thumbsup2

    I obviously enjoyed it enough to go back in December. I doubt we will ever be lucky enough to sit at that same table, so I made our ADR earlier. We will be done dinner well in advance of Illuminations and should have plenty of time to get a good spot. I may use the park in the BC parking lot trip that night. :rolleyes1
     
  14. WannaBeADisMom

    WannaBeADisMom WDW...it's my "happy place"....

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    What a PERFECT night....All my favorites: margaritas from the Ditch and La Hacienda, Mexican food, Illuminations and, of course, a DISmom favorite....Leaving after park closing!!!:thumbsup2 Sounds like a magical night!
    BTW, MEK and ladies, I know I've been lurking, but I really, really have enjoyed your TR. Power-read it in two nights! Good stuff and good times!
     
  15. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for reading Joan! I can't WAIT to get back to that Ditch!!!!! YUM YUM! I know Kara is going to be there the morning of my first day of our trip. I'm contemplating rearranging my schedule a bit so I can meet up with her for an afternoon rita before she and her family depart to HS. I am afraid of starting a little too early at the Ditch, if you know what I mean. :rolleyes1 I do want to make it through Illuminations because my son Nick hasn't seen it in a couple years.

    Thanks for dropping by! :thumbsup2
     
  16. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Well, I think I need to face the fact that our TR is losing some steam here, so I am going to try to wrap it up with more frequent posts. You know that when even your trip partners have dropped out of your trip report, it must be turning into a dud. BOO! Oh well! Thanks to those of you who are hanging in there. I feel really lucky to have met some really great new DIS friends with this TR.

    So in the interest of 9/11 (which I am fascinated with and I'm not sure why), I have decided to post a few of the flag pics I took while in Williamsburg. I am also fascinated with flags, but the American flag in particular.

    So let us Never Forgot!

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    Love this picture. It was taken near the Norfolk naval base as the air carrier Enterprise was coming back to dock after the hurricane.

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    God Bless America!
     
  17. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  18. I Believe In Magic

    I Believe In Magic Mouseketeer

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    Beautiful tribute to 9/11 Mary Ellen!! Again, your talent amazes me, I have never seen pictures like that on here!! Great job. My best friend's husband in in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, so I just texted her to ask if that is his ship. Small world!!

    I am fascinated with the coverage with the 10 year anniv. being tomorrow and I can't seem to get enough of it! I actually won concert tickets to an outdoor venue tomorrow night, and as much as I love the 2 bands that are playing, it seems so disrespectful to go. I wish I wouldn't of told my daughter about the tix, she will be a tyrant forever if we don't go! lol
     
  19. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Nothing better than the margarita's at The Ditch...pure yumminess and a great break from the afternoon heat...or late morning which did happen a couple of times:lmao:

    I can't pull myself away from the TV tonight...I've got it on while I'm on the laptop! I am having my cup of tea, have the box of kleenex from the bathroom and I am sobbing as I listen to the parents, spouses talk about their loved ones...I still can't believe it's been 10 years:sad1: We must never forget! Beautiful pictures of the flags....they are stunning, thank you for sharing with us :hug:
     
  20. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    aw, I haven't dropped out, just slammed with back to school stuff! Hoping to get an update of my own up, maybe tomorrow :) And, will comment tomorrow as well!
     
  21. nilla

    nilla The sky is falling!

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    Wow, that dinner looked AMAZING. We may be eating in Mexico next year, but sadly, I don't think there (is that a 2-crediter?).

    If you need noodle advice, I can educate you to the simple "noodle chair" (one noodle around the backside), and for the more experienced noodler, the "noodle recliner", with a noodle under your arms and another under your ankles, held together at the waist.

    Also, Dylan claims to have STOOD on a noodle for over an hour last weekend, but I didn't see it, so I can neither confirm or deny :)
     

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