Ooh, the monorail DOES smell funny... (almost finished!) [11/30-12/17, 2010]

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by bumbershoot, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. BillyFan

    BillyFan <font color=deeppink>My white-trashiest chefy mome

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    I'm loving your trip report, Molly! I have not been to Universal in Florida since 1993, and it is neat to see all the changes, including the addition of the new park.

    Oh, and Great America? We had season passes for years. The Demon was my first upside down coaster!
     
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  3. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Yay, more GA/Demon love!

    OK that does NOT sound right....


    By the way, the things mentioned about riding in a pickup...those were things we used to do on our giggly way to Great America. :3dglasses
     
  4. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    WDW portion of December 13, Day 14​


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    Jambo House:
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    The guards at the gate here were weird. They weren't kind, they weren't very polite, and they always needed a driver's license, when NO ONE else (from the places we had stayed at that point) had needed that to enter their resorts, once we had our parking passes. Every time we entered, just unpleasant.

    Check-in took way too long. Getting bags took way too long. Everything took way too long. We were late for our Sanaa reservation b/c of all of this. We should not have been late, but all these little things just took too long.

    The valet lady mentioned that we didn't have to drive to Kidani village for the reservation, that they have a shuttle that goes between the resorts. Well that sounds cool. She knew that we were about an hour late for this reservation, and it was approaching 8 as we caught the shuttle. She KNEW this timing, and knew what restaurant we were going to.

    We had peeked into our room to drop the bags and let E go to the bathroom. I took pix of *the rooms I saw*. I noticed the kitchen was weird and sort of empty, and things looked just...off.

    We'd booked a one bedroom savannah view villa.

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    So here's a link to a map of the rooms.


    We were in room 5319, which means we were facing the Arusha Savannah, on the left upswingy loop (assuming you're looking at the map).


    But we didn't have time to really look around, we had to fly! Got the shuttle, which was a van...and we didn't have a carseat for E. Aughhhh, OK, just dealt with it. Seatbelt plus Molly's arm...that'll do it, right?

    Got over to Kidani, went to:

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    I got the Magical Star cocktail, mmm. I now have, including the one from the Magical Star I got at Paradise Pier a couple years ago, 3 lightup cubes. They sit in front of the toaster right now, just teasing me. Oh wait, I have a cocktail right now...let me go make it light up!

    OK, that's more fun.


    E got the pizza meal (flatbread style pizza crust, yum), and Robert and I (and E) shared the Bread Service (various naans) and the vegetarian sampler. R had a Mango Lassi as well.

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    We had a nice, relaxed meal there. Ahhhh. Stopped at the store there to get some necessities like half and half, etc.

    Went out to catch the shuttle back to Jambo...it was just after 9pm.

    Where is it?

    What? The shuttle stops at NINE? Seriously? It's after 9, we've had a LONG day, the valet lady that told me about the shuttle KNEW the timeframe we were looking at and didn't mention this adorable little PROBLEM (she also knew we had a car that we *could have used*, as she was helping us figure out where best to park it), it's back to freezing, and we're SORE AND TIRED from our trip and our long day at a theme park...and we don't have a shuttle.

    Now out where you wait for the shuttle there are nice heat "lamp" things to wait under.

    Our new options were...cab (actually that wasn't mentioned but I remembered the option later, even if I didn't remember it then), walk along the dark path that we hadn't even seen, or catch the disney bus that goes on to the parks, b/c it stops at Kidani first and then at Jambo. No one at this deluxe place would walk us out to the start of the trail, and would only do the two-fingered-point towards the bus stop. Which was off over yonder and did NOT have those heat things.

    We chose bus. Too sore. E nearly crying. E said, remember, this is late and after a long day and he just wanted to sleep, that "Disneyworld ISN'T the place where dreams come true", and burst into tears. :sad1:

    We waited for the bus. A bus came. We were at the front of the small line.

    The driver came to the door. Stood. GLARED at us. Said not much of anything. Told us to back up, quite rudely (we weren't crowding the door, I promise, R&I aren't that type of commuter).

    Not sure if any of you were aware, or remember, but shortly before our trip, there was a bus incident involving a family that was just freaking out, and one of the men in the family briefly (and to no avail) choked the bus driver before the bus driver went all aikido on him and just brushed his arms down and gently KEPT his arms down and took care of the situation calmly and peacefully.

    So maybe she was jumpy. But it was just ME at the door, me and E. With R behind us.

    Anyway, she needed to help a person in a wheelchair or ECV off the bus. Which means that we couldn't get on during that process.

    But...she didn't STATE this. She just seemed to assume we knew this, and seemed to assume we were going to choke her for this procedure...when we didn't know what she was doing. After all, she came to the FRONT DOOR of the bus and just stood and glared. And left the front door OPEN. While we weren't expected to get on. Sigh.

    I hate miscommunications more than just about anything else, and deliberate NON communication is equal to it, though for different reasons. Anyone remember the story of the "fast pass ticket" back at Disneyland, and the CM that was almost driven over the bend because I didn't understand, but we stuck it out and kept TRYING to communicate with each other, and eventually we did and I gave him an official "thanks for working it out" at City Hall? Yeah, I'm interested in proper communication with CMs. But she wasn't!

    So we waited and had to figure it all out, and finally got on the bus and sat on the bus and were tired on the bus, and we finally got to Jambo, and Robert went to the front desk to communicate his frustrations clearly about the valet person's misinformation while E and I went up to the room so I could break out my Epsom salts and soak ye olde aching muscles after putting E to bed.....


    E crossing one of the bridges over the lobby.

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    Got to the room...only for me to find out that....it was a handicap accessible room. No tub. Only a roll-in shower. No soaking possible.

    Tears showed up at this point. Lots of 'em.

    Called/messaged down to Robert. Robert had been super-successful in communicating his frustrations clearly, and got a credit on our account. Of course, to use that credit meant we had to set up charging on our room account, which we hadn't set up already. So he did.

    But now he gets this NEW problem.

    Got back in line.

    Quite awhile later, after going through THREE managers, he got a sort of resolution. Please know that he's NOT a yeller when he makes complaints like this. In fact, he's WAY more Patrick Swayze from Roadhouse (be polite) or soft-spoken Stephen Seagal when complaining, and he tends to tell the story, then shush up. Let the other person make their offers, as they will generally be more generous with you than you would ever thought to ask for. He's a master at this. So he did NOT yell at anyone.

    He did, however, offer to send ME down at one point when they were being hardheaded... They hadn't even met me, but they knew I was crying and in pain, and that scared 'em.

    When they got the second manager on the phone, they said "we don't offer late checkout to DVC, right?" and that's ALL they said about the situation. Nothing about how it's inappropriate to not tell someone they are getting an HA room when they don't need and cannot USE an HA room. Nothing about how they were oging to move us to a different room the next day, but it wouldn't be fair to make us "homeless" for a problem they had caused, let alone make us pay more tips to Bell Services for a problem they caused. Just..."we don't offer late checkout to DVC, right?"

    So then he told them to get a THIRD manager on the phone, and this time he made sure that HE spoke with them.

    During all of this, the CMs liked to leave the guests alone at the desk. Some sort of weird psych-out thing? All it did was let the guests talk amongst themselves. We were not, by any means, the only people given HA rooms that night who didn't need them and couldn't use them. There was a family with a TWO year old who had been given one when they didn't need one. Most 2 year olds do not shower...how were they going to bathe the kidlet, when it wasn't what they were used to? (of course if the family needed that room, they would be more flexible and it could be done...I'm not saying it couldn't at all by anyone, but that wasn't the time to do it, ya know?)

    So anyway, while waiting, Robert found out that all but ONE of the people there had righteous and real complaints that deserved attention The ONE that didn't, well, she wanted her DVC points back for the hotel stay because it had been too cold to go to the parks. That's maybe not so reasonable. Everyone else, however...

    The third manager finally heard him and understood him, gave him name rank and serial number LOL, times he was working the next day, and permission to have him contacted if there were problems. Got us set up with a "they check out once their new room is ready" checkout.

    So that all sounded great.

    But I still went to bed crying b/c I hurt so bad.
     
  5. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    In case I didn't mention it, we really liked Sanaa. Very good meal, even E's pizza. We would definitely dine at Sanaa again!

    And we saved 9.55 with the TIW card.
     
  6. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    December 14, Day 15​


    The day dawned achey and painful.

    The reality of having to wait around for the phone call that our room was ready had hit us; we really couldn't go anywhere that day.

    My happy chipper yay ya Disney persona that was normally in effect...had slipped. Everyone was down and somber and a bit bummed.

    And...it was still freezing.


    We were going to have breakfast at The Mara that morning, so we followed the signs (thinking it was inside), only to find ourselves at doors to the outside, right next to Boma. OK I was wearing flipflops, in an effort to help my poor feet. And it was freezing outside. NO.

    So we went to see if Boma had some openings. They did. We sat down to wait, and didn't wait long!

    Boma is lovely and lively and happy. We tried our best to fit in!

    We hadn't planned for this meal, so the server didn't know to send the chef out, and I'm not one to want to be walked through a buffet, so we winged it. The shocker, however, was that they did NOT have real maple syrup. Fake stuff only! That's just weird.

    The food was basically good, and we tried their special juice and IT was good (she told us it was real, 100% juice, and no one reacted so hopefully that was true). It felt like she was kinda rushing us, but we didn't respond to it,so it's like it didn't happen, LOL. We were using part of our room credit for this and that made us happier.

    Saved 9.79 with the TIW card, and it looks like we were paying right around 11am (so we'd slept late, obviously).

    Went a'wandering...

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    I just love the cartoons on the TV in the lobbies...

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    OK this was in a MM cartoon, from decades ago, and was playing on a TV in the lobby for EVERYONE to see. They are doing a symphony using various animals, and yes, he was acting as though a mama pig were a wind instrument...here. :rolleyes1

    This is a far more memorable moment from that cartoon.

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    We made our way back up to our room-for-the-time-being, and saw our first animals along the way.

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    An ostrich eating some leaves or something like that. Shaking it, at least.

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    This would have been from our room.

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    I liked these guys.

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    At long last, The Call came. Our new room was ready. We got Bell Services to come up, and he was coming up with room number and new keys. He arrived, we threw everything on his cart, we made sure we hadn't left stuff, we followed.


    We were to be put in room 5579. This room is allllll the way up on the top of the RIGHT upswing loop when looking at the map.

    Sigh. Trudge trudge trudge.


    We were pretty much looking directly across at the old room, but for whatever reason, the animal-viewing was much better.

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    Found out that night that this cow actually has some sort of inner ear problem or injury. He cannot put his head straight, I guess. It looks exhausting even for the healthy one, let alone with your head all off kilter like that!

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    Love them. They look fluffy.

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    Looking around the room...does this count as a towel animal, like an octopus or something? :)

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    And yes, that's a tub. Whew.


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    Now guys, I have NO idea what we did for the next couple hours, but part of it was that we waited. What were we waiting for, now that we got our room? Why, family, of course! The 5 were coming back on out for dinner. Fun! When they got there, there was some roughhousing.

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    And some hugs.

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    We finally went to The Mara, which is the quick/counter service at AKL. It's nearish the pool, it's like a big cafeteria, it's kind of dark, and the food is basically good. We had the Cheese Flatbread, Falafel Pita, and the kid's cheese pizza.

    We had a fun evening of food and talking, then we wandered the lodge. Then we took them outside to take part in the "night vision goggle" viewing, which could have been SO much cooler than it actually was, but instead you have groups sharing three goggles, and they had time limits even though they were handing 3 of us ONE goggle (pair of goggles? whatever) to share. I never actually saw the animal that Robert and cousin-hubby said they saw, but it was still FUN. Then went back to the room and lazed about until it was really late and they had to get home.

    When they left....again, we all cried. Especially Eamon, because he'd already done the "goodbye" thing. When saying goodbye to the 8 year old boy-cousin, I just had to squeeze him so hard, and I think that helped him. He has a hard time connecting, and he's sort of delicate, and I think people avoid being physical with him because he seems easily broken, but the tight squeeze yielded some serious eye contact from him to me, and that is RARE coming from him. It was just lovely.


    My muscles were very happy for the tub.

    If I had the 24 hour period to do over, I would have 1. asked that we have our room changed on that first night, and if that couldn't happen, just 2. deal with being "homeless", and would have gotten out and DONE something. Gone to AK, or mini-golf in the frigid cold, or something. Instead, the day was just wasted apart from seeing the family (not a waste at all!), and no one really felt *relaxed*, because we were just...waiting.
     
  7. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    Honestly I don't remember being like that but I bet I was.:rotfl: I went to a concert once to see REO Speedwagon to make myself even older.:rotfl:
     
  8. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    December 15, Day 16!​


    Today it was time for more cousins, as the very local ones were coming back over! L and her hubby have been perpetual students for ages, and are now finally coming to the *job* portion of their PhD careers, and have found Disney to be a cheap (for a local) way to have joyous fun with their adorable little girl. If you met L (not to mention me), you would NEVER guess that she would enjoy Disney. My aunt is still mind-boggled that she and I enjoy it.

    When we woke, though, Robert needed more sleep-in time. He'd taken care of me the day before, and he needed more zzz's. Fair enough.

    So E and I headed on out to Epcot to meet them, though not all that early, as it was approaching noon. :) They were running late, though.

    Actually, so were we! We should have been there very early, but there was a huge crowd for Epcot, and no bus coming at all. Buses galore for the other parks...2, 3 in a row for Magic Kingdom and DHS...but none for Epcot. We waited upwards of an HOUR for a bus to finally come, and then it was chaos getting on. Yikes. But we finally got there.

    Meanwhile, they'd parked at the Swan and Dolphin, and were taking the boat over, and it was taking a LONG time... So we had to find things to do.


    Since it was basically lunchtime and we were in Epcot, where else but to Sunshine Seasons? This time I had the caesar salad and a vegetarian vegetable soup. A salty combo, but a good one. E had the mac and cheese with grapes and a kozy shack pudding.

    While there, just as we were sitting down, the dilemma that hits most one-parent-with-child(ren) at one point or the other...the extremely inconvenient "I gotta go to the bathroom" moment. We had our food, and he said it, and I realized he'd been saying it since we got on the bus...

    I looked around and met the eyes of a mom with two daughters sitting nearby...hoping they were trustworthy, I asked if she could possibly watch over our food. She'd heard E's announcement that it was bathroom time, and was very empathetic (having two of course she would be), and agreed.

    Well, we didn't get sick, nor did we lose all memory of that day only to wake in a tub full of ice with our kidneys gone...so I suppose she did a good job. :goodvibes

    As we started to eat, L etc showed up! Yay! They'd brought their own lunch from home, so they ate their tasty sandwiches while we ate our food and all was good. We also got FPs for Soarin' for later. I...was a bit unclear on how they were going to use them, as their daughter is very petite. She's just turned 5, and during this trip was still around 37", so there was just no way she was going to ride Soarin', but they felt they could fudge it. Okey dokey, we'll just stay quiet...

    Before we left that morning, Robert told Eamon that he needed to his hugs to a minimum, because he felt that E was overwhelming cousin W. So I told my cousin this, so she knew we were trying to not overwhelm her daughter. She said it was NOT a big deal, that W loves it, and that hugs are great. Well, OK, as long as you're sure (her PhD is in psych stuff, by the way).


    So we headed to the World Showcase, this time starting in Mexico!

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    OK so it turns out...there's a whole country INSIDE that building! Who knew?

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    E and W drew on their Duffy Bear Epcot pictures on a stick things, and then we went further into Mexico. There's a shopping center area, there's a restaurant, there's a ride! We had to go on it, so off we went on: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros.

    OK, that's a cute ride! And there wre "fireworks" at the end, which are done with fun technology (fiber optics, I believe...not new, but fun anyway).


    Later, trying out the drums...

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    I'm SO glad we went IN to that pyramid!


    Next up was Norway, and we went on Maelstrom. OK, I actually kinda liked it. We certainly didn't stay for the movie at the end, but the ride itself was fun. Confusing, that's for sure, though.

    Afterwards, in the shop.

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    Being beaten by a younger girl cousin (the braid is from the helmet).

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    Then on to, hmm, Africa?

    This makes E's eyes look REALLY creepy...

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    Pretty!

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    Throughout our time with them, there were lots and lots of hugs. W hugging E, E hugging W, squeezing and swinging and having fun together.


    At long last, Robert was awake and on his way! He stopped at Mara to get a quick breakfast, then as he entered the park he got a mocha *just at the exact same time* that I was buying a cappucino in Italy. Ooooooh, in synch....


    But then we were in Germany and I saw beer wagon while E saw the pretzel wagon (same wagon, LOL), and I forgot about the coffee I'd just had...got a big ol' souvenir mug of beer for me, along with a pretzel for E, and then I took about 3 minutes to copy Stacey (of the "top WDW must dos" show of course) and say "pretzel, und beer!" I'm sure it wasn't annoying AT ALL. :snooty:


    We backtracked a bit so Robert could ride Maelstrom and see a bit more of the showcases, but then everyone's time was slowly getting close to being done there. We all went over for Soarin'...little cousin did not, of course, get on the ride, but L's hubby wanted to go (turns out they'd never been on it), so L gave Robert her FP...they waited while we went on the ride. Of course, there's no good and apparent reason why a small and older child should not go on the ride, ya know? She's old enough she's not going to freak out, and they have the extra strap anyway... Oh well, sooner or later she'll grow and it will be fine. :)


    So after that, we all said goodbye!

    And as part of the goodbyes,my cousin said that we should get a dog, so that Eamon could have a dog to play with and hug, so that he could get out some of that hugging energy so that he didn't overwhelm other kids.




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    :eek:




    :rolleyes1





    But anyway...

    We had to head on over to Kouzzina for dinner! It was the FIRST day it was open after a small re-model, and the first hour of it being open, so we were excited. OK OK, this time THEY were excited. I was excited for them, but not for me. Blah blah who cares, right?

    Got the "spreads" appetizer, which had pita or something like that, and then we chose hummus, garlic yogurt, and harrisa yogurt. Also got the briami, a greek salad, and then E got their cheese pizza. We also tried the olive oil taster thing...I do NOT normally like olive oil on bread. It is NOT tasty for me. But they offered as a special thing (free), and OK I'll try it. And? It was good! For the first time I could actually taste the *flavor* of the different olive oils. So that was fun.

    I'm pretty sure the food was good. I don't remember it being bad. I also got the sangria, and it was pretty good. The restaurant is noisy and a bit raucous and could easily be very fun. I recommend it, and I'd probably go again if Robert wanted to go.

    Oh, and the TIW card saved us 10.89.

    We'd taken the boat from the International Gateway over to Kouzzina (at the Boardwalk). Didn't realize what a fast walk it actually is (found that out last week on the boards) and felt the need to take the boat back so we could get the car (Robert brought the car). While waiting, we got some desserts (chocolate bar, chocolate coins, a brownie, and chocolate soy milk) from Seashore Sweets and Boardwalk Bakery. I was vastly disappointed by the Bakery! The two things I really wanted were the chocolate mousse cake and the key lime pie...and they use gelatin in both of them! It's such a CHEAP way of making those things...sigh.


    Finally got the boat back. It's very pretty over there, but oh man the cold coming off the water...brr.


    Here are the pictures I took.


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    Got back to Epcot...tree!

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    We had a cold walk back to the car, got back to the room, probably hung out, talked, that sort of thing...but ultimately, it was goodnight day 16!
     
  9. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    My back is seriously hurting and even though I WANT to finish this up tonight I just can't. :(

    This weekend though should see the end! Then maybe some photopass pictures, thoughts, questions answered should there be questions, etc...:goodvibes
     
  10. staley7580

    staley7580 <font color=blue>Hangs Out With Hyenas<br><font co

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    I am loving your trip report Molly! Actually, its exhausting me just to read it.:lmao: I can't believe how big E is getting. I can't wait wait to read the rest, and you have totally turned e on universal. Our next trip to wdw, we are def. Making a stop the.
     
  11. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    Your dinner sounds really good to me. We love hummus, and I have never tried to olive oil tasting although there is a place here in our valley that makes and sells the infused oils. Although I do not dip in them I use them for cooking. If you are ever interested in some let me know I can pick it up and send it to you. I am proud to say we are home to Sepay Olive Oils and Jelly Belly.
     
  12. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Hi, stranger! It was exhausting to experience, that's for sure. I had all these nice rest days planned, but the people that insisted I make the rest days were the ones that didn't want to use them! Crazy people...

    Actually being able to taste the differences in the oils was really unique for me! Guess they are of better quality than Kirkland Organic Olive Oil, LOL.

    Hummus=so good. E loves it, even though he officially dislikes garlic. And even though he knows that garlic is in hummus. I also make these Trader Joes no-meat "beef-less" strips, and I do 'em up in oil, garlic, some soy sauce, and grated ginger...he's WATCHED me make them, and he officially hates ginger, too (except in cookies, LOL), but he nearly inhales those strips, he loves them so much. :upsidedow
     
  13. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    Scotty hates onions it is a texture thing, I cook with them. I almost puree them and I cook them until you have the taste but not the texture.

    Have you tried the hummus they sell at Costco? I have forgotten the brand but oh it is good. We make our own but that is so good. One of them has a little bit of sundried tomatoes in it and oh my. I buy it every two weeks and my kids eat it with carrots and I eat it on tortillas in a wrap. It is so good.
     
  14. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I've tried one or two of the kinds at Costco...I like them, but no one else does. Guess they are purists, LOL, no peppers or tomatoes or anything allowed.


    OK so I'm VERY sad right now. If any of you ever read the fabulous wedding trip report, called Rob&Scott's Big Fat Gay Wedding thread...you will be sad to learn that Rob has died. :sad1: He's the one that wrote the thread, and just seemed like such an amazing, fun, upbeat, happy, loving person...just from reading that wedding report (it was shortly after WDW started allowing ceremonies for gay couples, and they managed to have it at the just-about-to-close Adventurer's Club and at the Grand Atlantic (?) Ballroom) I felt that I knew all the good stuff about him. His husband, too, seemed to be a great person, but it was Rob writing so he's the one one gets to "know".

    Anyway, for anyone who ever read that thread, I thought you would want to know.

    It's even more personal for me, because he was just a year older than I am, and he had complications after a long bout of pneumonia, which hits a little too close to home after what could have happened the other week.

    :sad1:
     
  15. bookgirl

    bookgirl DIS Veteran

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    As you can see from my tags, I totally agree with Scotty. I've even had people try to sneak them by me grated or pureed and I catch it everytime. I use onion powder cautiously when it's something the whole family is eating so that they get some taste but I don't get the texture or strong onion taste. You should try it, the onion POWDER not onion SALT my onion loving family is good with it.
     
  16. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    December 16, Day 17​


    I should back up to the 14th. That day was the last day of our special passes for Rock 'n Roller Coaster, that we'd gotten when we that ride stop happened on the previous DHS day. Alas, we couldn't get over there that day.

    So we were going to just wing it with that ride (it's *possible* we could have TRIED to use the passes, but that seemed too annoying) on the 16th, when we would go back to DHS because we had Hollywood&Vine reservations for breakfast! Eamon was the excited one this morning, because they now have Agent OSO at this meal. They also have Handy Manny, as well as Leo and June from Little Einsteins.

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    We got there a bit early (our reservation was for before opening), got in the reservation line, they checked our names we showed our tickets, and went on through.

    The restaurant looks like a diner or cafeteria. Kind of stark for the guests, but probably good for the characters! The chef came out, and they, too, had real maple syrup! So that's Kona and H&V, but still not Boma. I don't get it. Pay that much for a buffet as at Boma, and all you get it cheaper-than-Eggo? (don't get me wrong, I LOOOOVE fake syrup's taste, much to my upstate NY-born mother's lifelong chagrin, but it's just not what we can eat anymore, and we pay the big bucks to get the good stuff at home, so...)

    Anyway, their buffet was decent. They had cheesy grits, and this casserole-y thing that was too tasty for my heart to be happy with it... Fruit, croissants, pancakes and/or waffles, eggs...it was all good.

    More importantly, though, E had fun!


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    The characters even came around twice, which was nice. In between rounds, they did little songs and dances along with their adorable young female handlers/dancers, but E didn't want to take part. He wanted to eat.

    The chef had brought him out a *bowl* of syrup, LOL, and he was thoroughly enjoying dipping his mickey waffles into it...

    Because of the two rounds of characters and tasty food, we spent some nice time there, and got in a few cups of (nasty, but still caffeinated) coffee. But eventually we did have to leave. TIW saved us 12.79.

    Tinsely tree!

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    An amusing window up above the restaurant that makes it look like Roger Rabbit (I think) went running out of the window...

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    We went wandering again. Eamon had NO interest (the whole trip) in doing the Jedi Training Academy, even though WDW doesn't have Darth Maul to contend with. We've been explaining to him that he has to do it before he "ages out" of it, but he just seems too nervous for it.

    I'd seen pictures taken on this before, but the pictures don't really help you figure out where it is. It's just sort of sitting there, off of a curb, across from Star Tours (which has a much more impressive facade than at Disneyland! though Disneyland's is cool in its own way, of course). I thought it would be a bit of a bigger deal, but oh well.

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    Whoops. He was shot off the speeder bike, LOL.

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    Fun stuff you see while wandering, trying to find the Studio Backlot Tour.


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    Whew, there it is!

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    So that's a ride very similar to some of the confusing ones at Universal. Starts off with a standing time, where you see movie stuff happening in front of you, then you move along and get onto trams. I liked it, I really did, but it was still kinda odd.

    This ride was actually my idea; the guys were moody and just didn't want to do it, so I had to put my foot down. And I'm glad we did.


    That day we DID get to ride Rock 'n Roller Coaster! We had to wait standby for it, which was exhausting, but we did it. After all that time in line, we were so nervous for another ride stop! After all, we'd gotten through almost the entire line when it closed that last time.

    The ride....is awful. OK it's not awful, but it wasn't happy for me! I'd compared it to California Screamin' b/c of the launch...yeah, no, won't be making that mistake again. The launch actually turns into the loop (and it might be a corkscrew loop?), and it was just too painful for me. Didn't like it. They also take the picture at that point.

    Eamon was scared, most definitely, but at the end he was LOVING it. He was thrilled with it. So was Robert. We checked out our ride photos...Robert looks excited and happy, but E and I had looks of sheer terror on our faces. E thought it was hilarious that we looked that way. It was almost enough to buy the pictures, but no one *really* wanted them. I might do it again, earlier in the trip if I feel 100%, but I'm not sure it's going to become a fave.


    At this point, the weather was warmed up a bit, and we were just tired. We were kinda cranky and a bit hot (dressed for cold that day!). So we had a bathroom break, and as we were just sort of staring at each other...someone said...omg why are we here, let's go swimming!

    And so we did.

    And while everyone was slowly getting ready, that's when I sat down at the computer to say that a zebra was outside my window. :)

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    The pool was so pretty.

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    It was also just a bit too chilly. The weather wasn't warm enough to keep the out-of-water parts warm, and the weather wasn't COLD enough to make the water feel luscious...so I was just chilly. :(

    R&E had fun, though.

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    E went on that slide near them approximately 15,000 times. Each time he came down, he got better at getting his feet under him, so to speak, which allowed him to swim quickly away from the strong current of water coming down the slide. They had HUGE amounts of fun.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed myself too. For one, I found out that the women's bathroom near the pool has, at the back, shower rooms with plushy towels. And for two...

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    Oh yeahhhh, the Southern Sunrise...

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    Behind the pool is an area with flamingos. This is very cool, and, as is common with flamingos, a bit smelly. After all, they eat shrimp.

    After we all were dressed and dry, we went exploring, and found a hot tub and a play area...wish we'd realized those were back there before, but oh well. Sigh.


    Hunger hit, and so we hit the Mara again! Garden Flatbread, Falafel with pita and couscous, mac and cheese...

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    We had to get the day-before-the-last stuff done, which is always sad. We were glad we took the time to go swimming, and it just made us wish we'd followed our break-day plans a bit more!

    Good night last full day.....
     
  17. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    30,265
    Oh Molly that is so sad. I am not familiar with it but it still makes me really sad. I really understand why it hit so close to home.:hug:

    I usually only use onion in soups or stew where I cook them so long they are pretty much non existent. I do use onion powder and garlic powder. I think that a little goes a long way for the taste. Thank you for the advice.
     
  18. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    30,265
    I haven't had Southern Comfort for years, but oh that looks so good to me. Yet another reason I am glad we are staying at the DLH. If I choose to sit and get happy at Uva Bar I can.:goodvibes
     
  19. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    48,433
    I hadn't had it either since college, but it sounded soooooooo good.
     
  20. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    30,265
    It sounds really good to me too. But, I am so craving a pineapple upside down cake shooter from Uva.:rotfl:
     
  21. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    48,433
    December 17, our LAST day!​


    Boohoo, so sad! But we had to get up and at 'em.

    I got up early and ran down to the front desk, to settle our bill.

    While waiting, the woman in front of me was having a problem because some charges she'd made to the room were missing. She had charges showing up from later in her stay, but not some from earlier, and this made her unhappy. As I'm sure it would make most of us. You really want those charges to be on your account at checkout, you don't want them to suddenly appear later on! The CM did NOT understand the problem. She didn't TRY to understand, either; she was barely listening.

    Ruh roh.

    So I got up to her with trepidation... And found out that when we created the room account, that also signed us up for express checkout, which means that the charges had already been put on our card. This was not a *problem*, but it was *annoying*, because I had giftcard left to use up! She didn't really care, didn't really listen...she offered to refund the card and charge the GC...but I didn't really want her to do that. All I could imagine was that I would be double-charged, and then have to call or email the people she kept telling the other lady to contact if she had issues later on.

    I looked at the info on express checkout later...it's supposed to be an option you say yes or no to, even if you've created a room charge account. It CAN go along with it...it's not supposed to ABSOLUTELY go along with it. So...yet again, AKL was not giving us full info at checkin and beyond. Obnoxious.


    Took some pictures...

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    Up in the room, I looked outside....ohhhhhh.

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    The guys woke up and Eamon headed outside once dressed.


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    We gave our bags over to Bell Services and headed on over by car to KONA. Told you we had to go back! :) Since we'd already eaten at Boma, we had already canceled our Boma ADR for that morning, and we were looking forward to more Tonga Toast.


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    We parked at the Poly, with plans to move over to MK's lot later. But I realized I had no idea how to get there when it was time! So I went up to the concierge desk to ask for the easiest way to park at Magic Kingdom's lot. Ended up getting two concierge CMs involved in the conversation, because they both thought I was silly for feeling the need to move my car. I did tell them that I was NOT a guest at the Poly, but had just checked out of AKL, and they just didn't understand why I would feel the need to move. They said that they had NEVER had a car towed from their lot, and that we would be totally fine.

    Well, OK, if you say so (as I got their names covertly)...

    We went on up for breakfast. E got more pancakes with real syrup, I got the blueberry pancakes, Robert got the Tonga Toast, and we also got a plate of scrambled eggs to share, to help "cut" the carbs. Glad we did, as that was a LOT of carbs at our table! (TIW card saved 7.19...we'd hit the $75 mark that it cost to buy the card, which means that a future trip before January 2012 will be true discounts!)

    After food, since the concierge people at Poly told us to...we left our car and took the monorail to MK. I didn't feel totally comfy doing this, but with two CMs telling me to (and more listening and not disagreeing)...I did it. In the future I would probably just avoid the situation altogether. But it did work out that day.

    So we were off to Magic Kingdom!
     

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