"How much CAN we eat without exploding?" or "The Epcot Food and Wine Festival" Wednesday, 15 November 2000 Cast: Chelley's dysfunctional family We were supposed to eat breakfast at Spoodles this morning, but I did something that would become a trend for the trip: I made an administrative decision to CHANGE THE PLANS. Shocking! I had gotten up early so that I could sit at the table and admire the view from our room, but I couldn't commit to getting ready for an early P. S. at Spoodles. My husband walked over to the BoardWalk Bakery and bought some sweet rolls for us, which we enjoyed in our room at the Swan. After breakfast, I took my daughter to see the Grotto Pool. The sun was shining, and the day was beautiful, but it was chilly. We were wearing jackets, yet a few brave souls were swimming. Amazing! I allowed my daughter to play for a few minutes on the playground. Then, we walked over to the Dolphin and did a bit of shopping. When we called the bellman to our room at the Swan, he admired the great view and told us that he loves the "corner" rooms at the Swan. Then, he asked, "What did you folks do last night?" We told him that we had enjoyed an IllumiNations cruise. He looked surprised; then, he asked, "Did you win some kind of VIP tour or something?" We rode in a town car over to the Wilderness Lodge from the Swan; we had a reservation for opening day at the Villas at the WL. When I checked in, the young man at the front desk said, "You are the first people to check into the Villas!" I said, "Great! Does that mean I win a special prize?" He frowned and said, "Uh, no!" I was only kidding, but I did enjoy making him squirm a bit. He was having trouble keying something into the computer, so I whipped out my 45-pound trip binder to check my confirmation sheet. He was ASTOUNDED. He said, "Oh my GOODNESS! I have never seen anything like that before! You have color-coded tabs. MAN ALIVE!" Then, he called over a couple of other cast members to admire what is basically the evidence of my obsession. He told my husband that he was really impressed; my husband told him that he would be a lot more impressed if I did something other than plan Disney vacations. We had assumed that we might be able to get into the room immediately, since it WAS opening day. Nope! The CM told us that we could get into our villa after 2:00, so we headed to Epcot via the bus. We knew that, if we wanted to enjoy the day AT ALL, we had to do the inevitable: let our daughter ride Spaceship Earth. Therefore, we got that out of the way right off the bat. Granted, I like Spaceship Earth as well as the next person, but I must admit that I have fallen asleep in it before, and we ALWAYS get stuck in it. ALWAYS. Of course, it happened this time too. Then, we headed to the World Showcase with visions of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival dancing in our heads. (However, a day in the parks with my daughter is more like a WHINE Fest. At one point in the day, my husband--the most laid-back, easygoing, non-violent person I know--said that he was "restraining the urge to slap our child into a cartwheel"! YIKES!!! Don't worry; he has good self-control. No cartwheels!) We sampled lots of great food: pork souvlaki (Greece), cheddar cheese soup (Canada), maple glazed salmon with cranberry rice (Canada), escargots provencal (France). My daughter (who is five) did not care for escargots. When she thought her dad wasn't looking, she got rid of her portion! I also bought some fruit tarts at the pastry shop in the France pavilion, and I sampled French and German wines. My husband would have been perfectly happy to continue eating his way around the World Showcase lagoon, but I pointed out that we did have PS for dinner at the Mexico pavilion. My child enjoyed making a chef's hat and a mask at the American pavilion. However, she refused to WEAR the hat, so I got the privilege of carrying it around for the remainder of the day. We spent the entire afternoon at Epcot. My daughter was disturbed to learn that Ellen's Universe of Energy was temporarily closed for maintenance. (My husband and I secretly cheered!) We walked over to the Wonders of Life pavilion, and my husband did Body Wars. I sat on a bench and watched my daughter take a medical quiz on a computer. Since she cannot read yet, some of her answer choices were quite interesting! She was just pushing buttons left and right. When my husband returned, I gave him the update on our kindergartener's health: She really must try to curb alcohol and smoking, and she must get more exercise. Ha ha! We walked to the Mexico pavilion for dinner at San Angel Inn. My husband--who RARELY makes requests--had asked to dine there. Because I had read some negative posts about the restaurant, I wasn't so sure. However, my fears were unfounded. Our dinner was excellent. We had the queso fundido for an appetizer. I chose mole chicken poblano for my entree, and the meal was delicious. (The margaritas aren't bad either!) Stuffed, we decided to waddle to the bus stop and head for the Wilderness Lodge. Finally, we were able to see the long-awaited villa! We were in villa #3504, a one-bedroom unit. It was a corner room, so it was private, and it was on the top floor of that area of the Villas, so we didn't have noise from overhead. We were fairly close to the main elevators, and we were not far from the Wilderness Lodge. Good location! Our villa was very nice; my husband really liked the looks of it. The theming is excellent. The one-bedroom unit had a closet off the entry, a full kitchen, a dining area, a living room (with the balcony outside it) with a sleeper sofa and a reading chair, a HUGE bathroom (with separate vanity areas and separate Jacuzzi tub and shower areas), a big walk-in closet, a closet with a stacked washer/dryer, and a bedroom with a king-sized bed. There were armoires with TVs in both the living room and in the bedroom. There was also a reading chair in the bedroom, as well as a trunk for storage. We realized that we could see the Electrical Water Pageant from our bedroom window. After unpacking, I decided to wash a load of clothes. However, there was a glitch with the washing machine. My husband called the front desk, and two men came up right away to fix the problem. Our villa was spacious and beautiful. However, I must admit that I already missed the Epcot resorts area! (I love being close to Epcot!) I christened the Jacuzzi tub, and we turned in early. Day two down, eight more to go!