Taking Stitch to Hawaii and NOT Leaving Him There

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by dolphingirl47, May 27, 2012.

  1. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    The next stop was Captain EO and this time it was up and running. I had just missed the beginning of a show, but they showed a mini documentary about the making of Captain EO on screens in the waiting area and this was pretty interesting. Soon enough it was time to enter the theater. I had heard that this felt a bit dated. Well, I prefer the term retro and I loved the show. This is one of the very few 3D shows that does not freak me out. The storyline admittedly was a little bit strange, but I liked both the message and the execution. If this is still being shown at Epcot when we get there in November, I will definitely make a point of seeing it again. When the show finished, I headed over to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters where I did this ride two more times and then I decided to head back to the hotel. I ended up doing hardly anything that I had planned for the day, but I had an amazing time and had no regrets. I went over to the monorail station. I just missed one monorail, but at least I got a good photo of Mandy Monorail. I ended up riding in Mona Monorail again. I had planned to ask if I could ride in the driver's cab, but I decided that I had enough Pixie Dust in one day and just rode in one of the normal coaches.

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    When I got off the monorail at Downtown Disney, I could not resist and headed back to Vault 28. This bag was just perfect in every way. It was the perfect size to hold everything that I need to take to work, it was cheaper than comparable Dooney and Bourke Bags and it was something a bit special as this had been released for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and was never supposed to go on general release. I knew that I would regret it if I got home without the bag and I also knew that I would not get a second chance to get one. It turned out to be a good purchase as I have hardly left the house without the bag since I got it.

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    When I got back to our room, Graham was just about to head out. He had done the Art of the Craft Tour at the Grand Californian earlier that afternoon and wanted to revisit some of the spots covered on the tour to take some photos. I decided to tag along and it turned into a full-blown resort hopping exercise. We started out in the Grand Californian and I had another go at taking photos of the lobby as the ones that I had taken last year had not really come out. I also took some photos of the artwork around the lobby. Then we headed out towards Downtown Disney. The glass in the gate to Downtown Disney is actually Tiffany. I took a quick photo of the dragon above the Lego store and then we headed towards the Disneyland Hotel.

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    It was great to see this fully finished. We did not stop at the Fantasy Tower, which turned out to be a shame in the end, as we had been inside this before, but headed straight to the pool area. Part of the pool area was boarded up last year. I like the Monorail Pool, but the D Ticket Pool and E Ticket Pool did not really do anything for me. They just looked like pretty standard free-form pools. Apparently there is some clever detail hidden in the tiles of those pools, but I could not see this from where we were standing. As we were in the pool area already, I asked Graham if he fancied a drink. I had always planned to take him to Trader Sam's Tiki Bar at some stage and this is very close to the Monorail Pool. I had a fantastic Margarita there in October. So I went with the Rosita's Margarita again, which consisted of Reposado Tequila, Orange Curacao, Organic Agave Nectar, Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, and Falernum. My memory had not deceived me and it was absolutely delicious. Graham went with a Piranha Pool, which consisted of Strawberry Vodka blended with Pineapple Juice, Cream of Coconut, Strawberry Puree, and Blue Curacao. We also had a look at the food menu, but decided to be sensible and not spoil our appetite. I am sure we will be back on a future trip for a light dinner.

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  3. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Once we had finished our drinks, we headed over to the Frontier Tower. Graham had seen a scale model of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad there and wanted to show this to me. This looked impressive. I also loved the chairs in this area, which looked like cow fur. We decided to take one of the lifts as high as we could go to see if we could get a nice view. We succeeded with a small roof terrace and the view was pretty stunning. We then headed over to the Adventure Tower. This also had some pretty impressive artwork, but nothing like the model at the Frontier Tower. I then decided that I wanted to try to take some photos of the the scale model of Aulani and as the DVC Preview Centre was virtually next door, we went over there. I took my photos and then we had a wander around the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel before heading over to the Paradise Pier Hotel.

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  4. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    At the Paradise Pier Hotel, we had a look around the lobby first and then we headed up to check out the pool area . The pool there is located on a rooftop terrace and is nothing special. We then went in search of a view again and found another rooftop terrace where we had a fantastic view and I even saw the top of Crystal Cathedral, which is the closest I got to that this holiday. We somehow got turned around, but we found a real gem in glass lift that was running along the outside of the building. Graham took a video of our ride in the lift and I got some nice photos of the Paradise Pier section of California Adventure.

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    We then headed back to Grand Californian. I wanted to take a photo of the DVC car that is always parked outside the hotel. We then headed out to the pool area. Graham wanted to show me a few things. One of the gates used to line up with the sun on the Sun Wheel at California Adventure. What the designers had not taken into account is that the trees in the pool area would grown and this kind of spoiled the effect. Of course , the Sun Wheel is now Mickey's Fun Wheel, but you can still get an idea how this would have looked originally. There is also an elaborate design in the pavement in the area, which is actually a sun dial. However, the sun was not cooperating at the time. I took some more photos in the pool area and then we went inside the Storyteller's Cafe. We asked the hostess if it was OK if we came inside to take some photos and she was happy to accommodate this request. The restaurant was nearly empty and we quickly took our photos and left. I quickly wanted to take a photo of the sign outside Napa Rose and then we headed back to our room.

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    When we got back to the room, I quickly took a couple of photos of our view and then I started packing. Soon it was time to head over to the Disneyland Hotel once more for our dinner reservation at Steakhouse 55. We had such a great meal there after our vow renewal vow renewal last year that I definitely wanted to go back this year. We tend to have a special meal on the last night of every holiday and this fit the bill perfectly. I was a little bit concerned that I would not like it as much this time round. I was so caught up in the magic of the day that I was not sure how objective I was about the food. I need not have worried. The food was divine. On the way to the restaurant, we stopped at the business centre to do our online check in. I needed to pay for an extra bag and it was cheaper to do this online. This time round, I had no problem checking in online and it accepted my passport details without any issues. With this out of the way, we walked across Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel. When we got to Steakhouse 55, we got seated straightaway. Our table ended up being close to where we were sitting for our vow renewal meal. We both passed on starters. I had Filet Mignon and Macaroni and Cheese with 4 cheeses and bacon, which was every bit as delicious as it was last year. Graham decided to have some steak this time and went with Bone-in Ribeye with the Signature "Steakhouse 55" Rub and Sautéed Green Beans with Applewood-Smoked Bacon. He enjoyed his meal, too. We both just had water with our meal as we still had a bottle of wine to drink back at the room. We did however have room for dessert. Graham had Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée with Orange Lace and Almond Cookie. I went with the Berries poached in Chambord with Mascarpone Sorbet and Brittany Cookie. This was both deliciously light and satisfying. This was one of the best desserts I have ever tasted.

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    Once we had finished our desserts, we paid our bill and then decided to have a wander around Fantasy Tower. When we got to the lobby, I bitterly regretted that I had not brought the camera. The seats there looked like the tea cups on Mad Tea Party. After we had a quick look around we strolled through Downtown Disney back to the hotel. When we got back, we finished our packing and then settled down on the balcony with our bottle of wine to watch World of Color. The wine was nice, but a little bit too rich for my taste. World of Color however was amazing as usual and a fitting conclusion to a magical day. Graham tried to record it, but after having taken photos the previous day, I just sat back and enjoyed. When World of Color had finished, we went inside, finished our wine and then settled down for the night.
     
  5. dgbg100106

    dgbg100106 Missing the Tag Fiary

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    This was a beautiful day and pixiedust was abundant.

    Thanks for all the wonderful photos.
     
  6. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    What a magical day! A fabulous ending to your fabulous trip :)

    Thank you for all the beautiful pictures :)
     
  7. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    It really was an amazing day. I kind of had come around to the idea that Pixie Dust only ever happens to other people and I was truly OK with this as I am quite capable to make my own magic, but that day I had Pixie Dust by the bucket.

    Corinna
     
  8. DisneyPata

    DisneyPata Trying to Earn My Ears

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    Corinna

    I really enjoyed your days at the parks & hotels. Even though I get to go to the parks all the time & stay at least once a year at one of the hotels it was so great seeing things I miss. I love Steakhouse 55 - such a special restaurant. I will be sure and go slower & smell the roses (as they say) and of course think of you next time I am at the parks. Thank you for the great reports.

    Joyce
    ;):hippie:
     
  9. JLSE50

    JLSE50 DIS Veteran ** I am a post menopausal woman--my br

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    Thanks for sharing the wonderful details of your adventures and the Pixie Dust!!!
    :)

    What is the story of the hanging garment in the Lilly Belle?

    Jan

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  10. dgbg100106

    dgbg100106 Missing the Tag Fiary

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    I am so glad you got your Pixie Dust!
     
  11. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    This is actually totally out of character for me. I normally try to fit in as much as I possibly can and for that day, I had a long list of things to do. I had every intention to do all my favourite rides at Disneyland and then cross over to California Adventure to do the same there, but that was not how it worked out. I loved every minute of the day so and this opened my eyes a little. I will approach our WDW vacation in a different way especially as I want to enjoy all the Christmas decorations.

    This information was never volunteered and I did not think to ask.

    Thanks :grouphug:

    Corinna
     
  12. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Radiator Springs Racers! Sorry I didn't check back in sooner. I haven't been on the computer much other than to update my seriously lagging TRs. I've mostly been DISing from my phone and i don't like to read yours and some other TRs from the phone, because you have a lot of large pictures which don't always download on my phone. In fact I read this last update text only because none of the photos showed up. I'll have to go back on the computer and look them up. I'd really like to see your resort photos!

    You really did have a pixie dust filled day. I'm like you, I always thought that the pixie dust was for other people, but we really got our share of it on our last trip. I'll be heading over to your PTR soon.

    I can't believe Graham covered that much ground in a day!
     
  13. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    I am sorry that the photos are causing issues on your phone.

    I am not quite sure about the distances involved, but Graham did that whole trip on public transportation.

    Corinna
     
  14. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    No worries on the photos, most people with hi res photos cause my phone to make it difficult to read, that's why I can't always keep up. There's one TR with a lot of videos and I can't even watch those because they crash my phone. She has so many large pictures that some times ie just quits on my phone when reading her TR.

    I prefer reading on the computer anyways, the pictures are much more enjoyable.

    That's amazing he worked out a trip like that on public transport!
     
  15. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Day 24

    And all over sudden the day I never want to arrive was there. It was the day on which we had to return home. Mickey called us on last time at 4:30 in the morning. Graham proclaimed that Mickey was lying when he said that there were "doings going on". We got up, got ready and packed the last few things. Then we left our room for the last time. I had asked the day before when the room charges account would be delivered to the room and had been told before 9:00 so I was fully prepared that I had to go to the front desk to get a copy, but it was hanging from the door handle when we left the room. I quickly checked this over and everything was in good order. This saved some time and we got to the front of the hotel about 20 minutes before our pick up time. I finished my orange soda, which somehow had managed to last me all holiday. I also decided to have another go at taking a photo of the stained glass door. I was pretty happy with how the photos have turned out considering that it was pitch black. It was also interesting to watch the early morning activity at the hotel. Our van arrived right at the beginning of the pick up slot that they had specified. There were already two people on the van and the driver advised that we had one more pick up at the Paradise Pier Hotel and then we would head straight to the airport. This was so much better than last year. The person who we were supposed to pick up at Paradise Pier Hotel was running a little late and the driver ended up calling her, but soon we were on our way and the run to the airport went smoothly. We were the first people to be dropped off.

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    Checking in at the Delta terminal was a new experience. We had arrived there a couple of times before, but never departed from there. This is a much more modern terminal then the one that KLM and Virgin Atlantic are departing from, but it is also much bigger. This early in the morning, the check in area was not particularly busy. There was only one person in front of us at check in. When we got to check in, I had a bit of a surprise. The bag that contained all of our shoes, wetsuits and assorted knick knacks and that I had fully expected to be overweight actually was quite a bit lighter than it could have been. However, the suitcase that had just the clothes in was heavier than allowed. I was given the choice between repacking or checking them as they are and pay an additional $15. I figured for the sake of $15 it was not worth repacking. As it turned out, I would have had plenty of time to do so. For some reason our passports would not read at the check in desk and she had to take them to a supervisor who was based at the opposite end of the terminal. So this took a little while. Still, we had more than enough time. Eventually we were checked in and had our boarding passes. At this terminal we did not take our luggage for screening so we were soon at security where there was no line that early in the morning.

    When we got airside, everything was still closed. The shops and restaurants did not open until 7:30 or 8:00. We found our gate and sat down. There were plenty of sockets around so I was able to plug in my iPad. I was reading for a while. Then the entertainment arrived. May must be the beginning of the basketball season and apparently Delta sponsor the L.A. Lakers. They were putting up some basketball hoops. One would have thought that this would not be too complicated, but apart from the three people charged with doing the actual job, there were another 10 or so consisting of security and management just being in a flap. It was all highly amusing. The maintenance guys would start putting the hoops up and then somebody in a suit would ask them to move it a little only for the next person in a suit to ask them to put it back where they had originally tried to build it. The whole thing was just pure comedy.

    Eventually our growling stomachs won and we went in search of some breakfast. We ended up at McDonalds were we both had a Double Sausage and Egg McMuffin with Hash Brown. Graham had a coffee and I had some orange juice. That morning even a breakfast at McDonalds provided some amusement. They had signs up giving detailed guidelines on how much sugar and creamer you were allowed to take for the different sizes of coffee.

    By the time we finished our breakfast, the duty free shops had opened as well. I decided to continue my search for Ghirardelli Peanut Butter Squares that I had started last year, but unfortunately my success rate this year was not any higher. Graham had headed back to the gate area while I had browsed in the shops and I went back to join him. Graham still watched the world go by and I decided to work on my trip report. Soon it was time to board.

    Our flight had come from Australia and therefore we had a Boeing 777 again. When we got on the plane, the person that had the window seat asked us to swap as his friend was sitting across the aisle from us. Graham was quite happy to swap to the window seat. I was not quite as happy being wedged in the middle seat between Graham and a stranger. Still, I actually do not remember anything about this flight so I suspect I spend all of it asleep.

    A couple of days before we flew back, we had an email from Delta advising us that the new international terminal at Atlanta had just opened. I was a little nervous about this, but there was no need. They had repurposed concourse E and added a new concourse F and those two make up the new international terminal. As our flight had come from Sydney, we landed in concourse E and a quick look on the screens when we got off the plane confirmed that this was also where our flight to Manchester would depart from. We went and found the departure gate, had a quick bathroom break and I had a quick look at the displays. All over concourse E, they had displays of fashion items made from recyclable materials like cans and plastic bags. Some of the dresses in particular were absolutely gorgeous.

    By this time, we were ready for some lunch. Last year we had dinner at TGI Friday's in concourse E and this is where we headed this time. We shared some Crispy Green Bean Fries as a starter. Graham had a Steak with Fries and Vegetables and I went with the Jack Daniel's Sampler, which consisted of Crispy Cajun shrimp, Asian-inspired Sesame Jack Chicken Strips and Jack Daniel’s glazed baby back pork ribs. Graham had a Budweiser and I had a Margarita. We were talking and I mentioned that at some stage we had eaten a restaurant in the USA and they kept moving wheelie bins backwards and forwards through the restaurant, which had caused some amusement. Neither of us could quite remember where this was. Shortly after we had that conversation, the wheelie bins appeared so it was a fair assumption that it was this restaurant.

    After lunch, we decided to take a wander around the terminal to walk of some of the food. I had a look at some of the shops. I was still living in hope that I may find my beloved Ghirardelli Peanut Butter Squares. I had no such luck, but I did come across some other treats and treasures. The main duty free shop had a MAC concession in it and I can never resist looking at their goodies. I was both surprised and delighted when I spotted the lilac lip gloss that I had hoped to get when we left for this trip. Of course, I had to get this. They also had the Patron XO Cafe coffee-flavoured Tequila that I love so much so I had to get a bottle of this. Another couple from the Uk caused a bit of a stir at the till. They were in front of me and had just paid. They were still hanging around by the till when I was paying. While my payment was processed, the cashier asked them if she could help them. The man told her in a very sharp voice that they were still waiting to get the items that they had purchased back. The cashier explained that all duty free purchases will be delivered to the boarding gates. At that stage they completely lost it. They were both shouting that this was totally unacceptable and that this should be made clear before people make purchases. By this time my payment had been processed, I took my receipts and made a quick exit.

    We headed to our departure gate and sat down. I was able to plug in my iPad again and worked a bit more on my trip report. It was not too long until they started to board our flights. After all the excitement about the duty free in the shop earlier on, they were really late delivering the duty free purchases to the gate. They had already called the first three boarding groups by the time the duty free purchases arrived. We were in group 4 so we were able to pick up my purchases on the way to the plane. The flight was eventless. As we were still full from lunch, we both passed on dinner. Graham watched a couple of films and I spent the early parts of the flights either reading or working on my trip report. For most part of the flight I slept. Apparently there was a little turbulence at one point, but I slept right through it. I only woke up properly when they started to serve breakfast. I passed on this particular pleasure and just had something to drink. I have learned the hard way that even though no airline food is of gourmet standard, airline breakfast should come with a health warning.

    We arrived in Manchester a little ahead of schedule and it was a grey and wet day. The lines at passport control were quite long and for some reason initially all the self service gates for people with chipped passports were closed. They opened them a bit later and encouraged people with chipped passports to use them, which emptied out the line considerably. I was quietly thinking to myself that the next time I travel, I would be able to use the self-service gates. Of course, this has proven to be wishful thinking as I am still waiting for my British citizenship. In the end we cleared passport control quite quickly and our luggage arrived in quick succession shortly after we got to the baggage hall. Somehow I managed to lose Graham on the short walk from customs to the taxi rank, but we soon caught up with each other again and there was a taxi waiting. When we got home, we just put our luggage in the living room and went straight to bed.
     
  16. tiggrbaby

    tiggrbaby <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder

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    I have thoroughly enjoyed your TR! Thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts and pics. I am glad that you have another trip soon so I can live through your travels!
     
  17. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    What a wonderful trip, thanks so much for sharing the adventure :)

    I left for Cozumel through the same airport earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed the clothes made with recycled items. They were so creative.
     
  18. dgbg100106

    dgbg100106 Missing the Tag Fiary

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    Thanks for the wonderful TR I enjoyed the whole thing and look forward to the next upcoming adventures
     
  19. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Thanks for a great TR!

    What are the Ghirardelli Peanut butter squares? My grocery store sells Ghirardelli Caramel squares and other flavors, but I always get caramel. I'll check and see if they have peanut butter flavor.
     
  20. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Thanks for following along.

    Alison, the Ghirardelli Peanut Butter Squares look precisely like the Caramel Squares, but they are filled with Peanut Butter. I got hooked on those when they were giving out free samples at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World one day and this seems to be the only place where I can find them. Fortunately I can stock up soon.

    Corinna
     
  21. dgbg100106

    dgbg100106 Missing the Tag Fiary

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