The Never-Ending-Anything-Goes PTR

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by stephielela, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    I've been really behind too! Been feeling really sick lately with this baby growing in me. But i'm glad you made it back safe and sound and cannot wait to hear about your trip!
     
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  3. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    So Jen, I decided to hold off until you had planned, executed AND started writing about your latest adventure before I got started on mine :lmao:



    At least you have the excuse of pregnancy to be behind! I... just am slow :rotfl:

    But no more!! Starting tomorrow I VOW to knock this mini TR out by April 19th... because I am going to DC on the 20th and want to write about it :cool1:
     
  4. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    I figured that was your plan! :rotfl2:
     
  5. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Alrighty! Let’s see it has only been two months since I returned from my mini trip and I am FINALLY ready to start my TR! So let’s go back… wayyyyy back… to review. Long story short, I decided that for my birthday I wanted to take a quickie (literally 48 hour) trip to WDW… alone. Thanks to a stellar Southwest airfare sale and a few giftcards from my parents as Christmas/Birthday gifts, my dream became a reality. The icing on the cake was that my friend and fellow TA NikkiLovesWDW was going to be arriving the day after I was with her husband Tom. They were planning on spending their first day in Epcot which was coincidentally the park I was planning on visiting! It was like FATE! Well, maybe just good planning, but still!

    So Tuesday January 31st came around and I was SO ready to go. I got up, got ready and then woke Jack up to get him to school. I wasn’t real specific on where I was going, but I told him I would be gone on a trip and that I would bring him back something special. He wasn’t too concerned, he was pretty ok with it actually. My flight was at 9:35 am and thanks to the fabulously well-organized airport we have, I didn’t need to get there until about 8:30. Our friend and neighbor met me at the house after I dropped Jack at school and I was on my way! I checked my duffel at curbside check in and waltzed right in!

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    I had a stop in Chicago, and we got in so early, they actually let us off the plane to grab something to eat! When I got back on I moved up to the front of the plane so I could get out faster when we landed  The second flight dragged on… I finished my book that I was hoping would last me both flights and I was getting really antsy to just GET THERE! Eventually, we landed and I caught my first glimpse of the faux monorail…

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    Gross story- so as I was walking towards ME there were lots of people who were obviously at the end of their vacation. I knew that pretty soon I’d be in their shoes, which always depresses me, so I tried to ignore it. Then I saw this mom and her little girl… and the girl was puking (very quietly actually) into a WDW bag! I felt so bad for her, what a horrible way to end your vacation! Anyways I kept walking and tried to ignore the queasy feeling in my stomach (I HATE throwing up).

    Pretty soon I was making my way to this line!
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    There was NO ONE in line. It was empty this time around, which was nice. I got right on the ME and picked a seat closer to the front and got settled in!
    Next to us was a DCL bus. I really hope to be on one of those soon!

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    Our driver wasn’t very entertaining, but he was kinda cute. I watched the movie and got even more excited! Soon I was seeing…

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    I was thrilled to be here! A little nervous at doing this on my own, but still thrilled!
    Now, I have the WORST luck when it comes to ME stops. In September 2010, Jack and I stayed at Pop. The bus went to CBR first. In December 2010, we stayed at CBR, the bus went to Pop first. This trip was no exception, I had to wait for them to drop off at CBR before I could get to Pop. But eventually we did get there!

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    After I did online check in 10 days out, I called and made a few room requests, more or less just to test it out. I ended up getting everything I asked for! I had requested a king bed on an upper floor AND the room was ready! Of course, it was about 4 pm so that wasn’t really shocking. Check in was a bit slow, the girl didn’t seem to be too “with it”. It kinda lacked the “Disney touch” but maybe my standards are just too high? I also work in hotels, and have worked at the front desk for most of the time I’ve been in hospitality, so I am always over analyzing. Who knows. I had also called and pre-purchased my park ticket. When she had me all checked in she asked if I wanted to buy tickets, I mentioned to her that I already had, and it took her another few minutes to find it. Overall I would say check in took about 10 minutes, which was a bit lengthy, but I was also adding gift cards to the room, so that part was understandable. I did get to my room though!

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    And I was pleasantly surprised to see a Bounceback offer! (which I did NOT utilize)
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    I thought this was pretty cool too!

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    View from my room
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    I had packed a t-shirt and sandals in my carry on (since I wore long sleeves and boots on the plane) so I changed, brushed my hair and headed out!
    I wandered around a little, enjoying the weather, and sat down to make some calls. I also got to chatting with an older gentleman who told me that he and his wife come during that time every year. They had been at MK that day and he said they literally didn’t wait in line AT ALL. He also started talking about how he and his wife enjoy coming as adults and that he thinks that people who bring little kids are wasting time/$ since he sees all these screaming kids and upset parents. I thought it was funny the assumptions people make, since he automatically assumed I must not have any children since I was there alone etc. I didn’t say anything, I do see his point (especially after our December trip) but I don’t agree. The good times far outweighed the bad, so I wouldn’t take it back.

    Anyways after our chat I headed to the bus stops and got in line for the MK bus!

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    I think I waited maybe 10 minutes, but it was like 5 pm and EMPTY so I wasn’t surprised the buses weren’t more frequent. I was just happy to be on the bus, in my favorite place! We pulled up at MK and I debated on walking or taking the monorail to the Contemporary. I decided since the weather was so nice I would walk.
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    Once I got there, I browsed the shops for a bit and then headed to get a beverage.
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    I am on a new Sangria kick lately…
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    I sat back, checked emails, and enjoyed the quiet!
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  6. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Once I was done, I headed to the monorail and rode over to the Poly. I checked out the shops here too (usually I have Jack and shopping is difficult- he likes to touch EVERYTHING) and then walked around outside a bit. I really love the atmosphere there! After a bit it was time for my 6:45 ADR!

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    I got seated pretty quickly and I had already checked out the menu so I knew what I wanted! I have been DYING to try a Lapu Lapu…

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    It was delicious but STRONG. It’s pretty pricey at $13, but there is no doubt you get your $$ worth in alcohol. The downside is it’s impossible to carry with you so you really have to finish it there.

    I also ordered the Kona salad, which we make at home, and I am happy to report it tastes almost exactly the same!

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    And I know someone had asked about the bread earlier, and YES they DO have the bread, it is AMAZING with the butter they give you! I had to hold back from eating the whole thing!

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    I also got the sweet potato lemon grass bisque. It was pretty good too!

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    All together I think my meal was about $25 and the drink accounted for over half… my meal was also very speedy since it was just me and I knew what I wanted.

    After dinner I headed down to the beach. I knew I wanted to watch Wishes from here so I walked around a bit and then settled into a lounge chair. They were playing Lilo and Stitch on the big screed outside.

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    It was getting a little chilly so I was surprised to see so many people in the pool!
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    I tried to get a couple pictures, just to show the viewpoint…

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    After the fireworks were over I joined the crowd heading back to the monorail. I decided to get off at the Grand Floridian, my mom wanted me to pick up some stuff for my sister at Basin White. I LOVE that store!

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    I evidently didn’t take a picture of what I bought, but I got her some bath bombs and body butter. I also picked up something for my friend Hope (photographymom517) who had recently had a beautiful baby boy! I also stopped in and got a coworker the Mickey antenna topper she had been wanting.

    I hopped back on the monorail and then to the MK bus stop and waited FOREVER for a bus. Ok, it was probably 15 or 20 minutes, and then I had to stand which was fine except I am only 5 feet tall so I had trouble holding on to the overhead bars… but I made it and it was definitely worth not waiting for the next bus! I headed into the food court (despite the fact I was still stuffed) and got some coffee and my must have cheesecake before heading to my room.
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    I called my mom, unpacked my bag, and watched the various Disney propaganda channels while I ate my cheesecake and then promptly passed out! I had a big day ahead of me after all!
     
  7. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    Yay! You started and what a busy day!
     
  8. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Yep, it sure was! I am wokring on day 2, I will post it all at once, but I need to find my notes, lol. After all the drinks I consumed I can't really remember what I did BEFORE Nikki and Tom got there! :lmao:
     
  9. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Check it out, not 1 but 2 new tickers!!! So the DCL ticker isn't really a new trip, I have had it booked since October, but I decided I might as well go ahead and put it up, depsite the fact it seems like it is NEVER going to get here!

    As for our new WDW ticker, things on that trip are still tentative, but I will give you the basics anyways :lmao:

    My friends from Italy are planning to be in Florida sometime in October, they *think* around the 13th/14th/15th ish. And when I say "they" I mean my friends husband who is attempting to surprise my friend with this trip. It's all very complicated, but once he had tentative dates, I figured I'd start planning anyways. As it stands now, Jack and I will arrive on the 12th so that we can have a couple just "mommy and Jack" days before they arrive to get our stuff done. Then we may move off site to a rental house, as it's a potentially large group coming for the trip. I am planning on the 12th-14th just us, and I think we are NOT staying at Pop :eek: I floated ideas to Jack of other hotels, and while at first he was reluctant, when he heard there was one that had Buzz and Woody, (All Star Movies) he seemed interested. I really want to try and branch out, so we will see. I do know we will be doing MNSSHP on our arrival day. I also know I am going to keep this trip a surprise! :rolleyes1 Jack has just recently gotten into the idea of surprises, my mom and I took him on a surprise trip to the Omaha Zoo a few weeks ago and then I surprised him with going to see Disney On Ice :Treasure Trove, and both times he really enjoyed being surprised. So as hard as it will be, I am going to surprise him with this trip. Or at least try. I haven't booked yet, but my ADR date is coming up soon and I am going to go ahead and book a couple ADR's, though I think the majority of our meals will be CS (Come on free dining!). I do know I want to do Tusker House and maybe Chef Mickey's, but I will be looking at several other options this week!
     
  10. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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  11. NikkiLovesWDW!

    NikkiLovesWDW! "Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?" "S

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    Well I'm extremely late to this party...... :rolleyes1
     
  12. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Lol, so am I! It's all good I'm pretty sure I lost almost all my readers anyways :lmao:
     
  13. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    Ok, as it turns out, I didn’t take any notes on my trip… or if I did I can’t find them, so I will have to reconstruct from fuzzy memories and pictures (which I also didn’t take many of). Why is my memory fuzzy? Well, you will soon find out!
    So day 2 dawned beautifully sunny and surprisingly warm. I decided to be a little more leisurely in my getting ready and not worry about getting to the park right at rope drop. What park, you ask? Why, my most favorite park of all, Epcot! So rope drop was at 9 am and I left the resort about 8:45. Not too late, just enough time to get the rope drop crowd through the turnstiles!

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    I think I waited maybe 10 minutes for a bus, so not too bad. I did have the most awkward bus ride ever though…

    Now I am not a “small” girl and I know that the bus seats are kinda narrow, but sitting thigh to thigh with the person next to you is sometimes expected. On this ride however, my neighbor ended up partially ON MY THIGH. I kid you not, I couldn’t even move over any farther. I tried. I figured it would be fine and I would just deal. Then my leg started to go numb. Seriously. I tried to move my leg every so often, but every time I did, my neighbor would glance at me. Yes, I’m sorry that is your butt moving because you are SITTING ON MY LEG. Finally we arrived, but my neighbor decided to let every other person off the bus first. Oh the agony!

    I finally managed to escape and I quickly sped away towards bag check. Soon enough I was seeing this sight!

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    I stopped to have my picture taken since Nikki and I were buying the photopass CD.

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    Then I hopped on to visit the past a bit
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    And then planned my future!
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    After my future was described in great detail I moved on quickly. I have a love/hate relationship with Spaceship Earth, I always have to ride it, but I’m always ready for it to be over too.

    Next up was a favorite attraction of mine. I lived in California for a while, and so Soarin’ makes me homesick…
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    It would appear I took NO pictures while in line, but that’s probably because I didn’t wait long!
    Next up I headed to Mission: Space. This is pretty much a take it or leave it for me, but today I thought I’d give it a spin!

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    By this point I realized I had made a grievous error in shoe selection for the day. I had gotten these adorable sandals… which I hadn’t ever worn before. I decided there was no way I was going to make it all day in them, but I was not going to waste precious park time by heading back to the resort to get my sneakers so I headed into Mouse Gears. I had to pick up a special item for the day anyways so in I went!

    After much browsing I ended up with some regular flip flops with little Mickey’s on them, which were the cheapest ones I could find, and reasonably comfortable. I headed back towards the front to get a locker for my items and switched shoes.

    By now it was almost 11 so I decided to head over to the World Showcase for an early lunch since I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was craving some chocolate mousse!
    It was an absolutely perfect day. I walked slowly, jus soaking up the sun and atmosphere!

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    I headed into France, browsed the shops a bit and picked up a couple little items for my sister. Then I headed here


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    I was thrilled to see it wasn’t packed! I have missed out on my chocolate mousse the past two trips because the line is usually out the door. I made my selections and headed out to grab a table outside to eat.

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    Delicious! I called my mom and chatted a bit while I enjoyed my mousse and checked out Facebook. Nikki also texted me to tell me they were on their way! I finished up and headed back towards the front to retrieve my special purchase and stow my sister’s souvenirs. Then Nikki texted me to say they were almost there and we decided to meet in the most obvious place… the margarita stand!
     
  14. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    I have yet to have the chocolate mousse. It's a must next time!!!!
     
  15. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    Hey Stephanie.

    Sounds like a lot of fun so far! You need a little mommy time every once in a while!
     
  16. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    Oh my i'm late :sad2:

    That's funny about what the guy said. Usually it's people asking, "Why are you going without kids? It's a kids place!" :lmao:

    What a great first day! And it was me who was asking about the bread at Kona! Yum! So how strong is that Lapu drink? On my last trip, I for some reason did not order it. Enough to give a small buzz, would you say? I would have to waste $15 if it's not even worth it...although the presentation is impressive.

    Sigh, I miss the tie-dye cheesecake from Pop. Is this the only place that sells this?

    Your relationship with Spaceship Earth, is the same for me for Pirates. I MUST ride it, but i'm so ready to get out about half way through. Maybe cause Disneyland's Pirates is so much longer than WDW.

    Goo, that mousse looks amazing! I need to give that a try next time! What kind of sandwich is that? Do they make sandwiches there?
     
  17. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    It is amazing Jen! One of my top 5 snacks for sure!

    Yes, mommy time is essential to keeping what little sanity I have left!! :cool1:


    Don't worry about being late, this has to be the slowest going TR I've ever done! Plus you have a lot going on!! I was in the midst of reading about your DVC purchase when DIS went down, so congratulations!

    That guy was pretty entertaining, and he was totally right about that time of year, it was perfect. There's not a lot going on though so I'm not sure if I will do another trip at that time, we will see...

    The Lapu is pretty strong. Definitely not something you want to drink on an empty stomach. Still one of those once in a while drinks since it's so pricey, but yummy, and definitely worth a try!

    I do love that cheesecake! I think Pop is the only place that has it, but I could be wrong. It's hard to justify a trip over there just for that, but I am thinking we will be staying at another resort next trip, so we will see!

    The DL pirates is MUCH longer, but I love it. Though I do get sleepy lol.

    You should definitely try the mousse. The sandwich was turkey and brie, and while I am not a cheese fan, I do like brie, and the sandwich was awesome. Also relatively cheap ($5.95) and filling, I didn't finish mine. They are all premade in the case, but they don't have any condiments or anything on them so they don't get soggy.
     
  18. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    I will definitely try the Lapu next time.

    I LOVE cheese so i'm pretty sure I would love this sandwich. However, I like lots of condiments on my sandwich, so i'm not sure. Do they have a condiment bar or anything?
     
  19. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    They do have packets of mustard, mayo etc with the utensils and napkins.
     
  20. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    This is good to know. I don't like a dry sandwich, unless i'm starving and there's no time for condiments.
     
  21. stephielela

    stephielela DIS Veteran

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    When I left off, I was just about to meet up with Nikki and Tom for a fabulous Epcot afternoon! We both enjoy margaritas so where better to meet then…

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    (photo courtesy of Disney Food Blog since I for some reason don’t have one of my own)

    So I was waiting for my two new drinking buddies and going through the normal pre-meet paranoia (What if they hate me? What if it’s weird? Who ARE these people really?) Doesn’t everyone do that?


    No? ok, just me then! Anywho, I wasn’t really worried because Nikki and I are “co-workers” and we chat a lot on Facebook etc, so I felt like I probably had a pretty good sense of what she would be like, but still…

    I was watching for them, though I kept getting distracted by some Amish people I saw walking by (I spotted them several times that morning, but didn’t take their picture because I’m not too clear on their rules and didn’t want to offend anyone) and then they were there!!

    Naturally we went through the whole “Hi how are ya” scenario with a quick hug and Nikki introduced me to Tom. Then we hopped in line for our first beverage of the day! We looked at the menu and were disappointed to see that the options were slim. I ended up with a lime marg and Nikki and Tom got a lime and a strawberry to share. Nikki was in the mood for a pretzel so we meandered over to Germany and were able to find a table, which is something I have almost never been able to do! The crowds were non-existent and the weather was perfect so we sat in the sun and chatted while Tom went to get a pretzel. Unfortunately, it was not the kind they used to sell and Nikki said it wasn’t very good. We chatted some more and finished off our margaritas which went down quickly since it was nice and warm and sunny.

    Next in our rotation was Morocco! Nikki had heard that they have good beverages there and neither of us had tried a drink there before so we figured why not! Nikki got a Morroco-rita, which I was going to try too, until I read the fine print and discovered it contained vodka. I am very picky about vodka, I don’t like any drinks where I can taste the vodka in it, so I went for the Habibi Daqueri instead! Tom got a beer, and took pictures of all our drinks for us. (In the excitement of our meeting, we didn’t get pics of our first margaritas, so use your imagination please)

    Mine:
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    Nikki and Tom’s
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    And here we are in our matching ears!! (This was the special purchase I made earlier in the day)

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    We continued walking and ran into Marie all alone in France. She had a handler, but no photopass so the nice lady used our cameras, after asking us to please put down our drinks. Evidently that’s not allowed?

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    After our photo op we continued around to Future World. We stopped in front of the fountains…

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    Then we decided to see what the wait was like at Test Track. Imagine our surprise when it ended up being practically a walk on!

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    I seriously have never seen it this empty! During our brief wait we realized we should do something neat for the picture. Tom came up with this

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    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil! Very clever Tom!


    After our spin around the Track, we headed over to the Land pavilion to see what Soarin’ was like. The wait was about 40 minutes so we got FP’s and headed to Living with the Land. I was the lucky recipient of the famous “red card”! See how thrilled I was??!

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    After a ride that is mandatory every trip, but always threatens to put me to sleep, we headed back over to the World! Nikki and I stopped off to use the restroom in the UK and when we came out, Tom had procured a snack!

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    Let me take a moment to say how much I loved being on a trip with people who totally understand the need to document EVERYTHING! I mean, my family tolerates it, but to be with people who actually “get it” (and who has a way better camera than mine) was so nice!

    I decided to grab a beer at this point so I got a Stella, which I do not have a picture of because I am silly sometimes. Nikki wasn’t feeling great so she had water that Tom had gotten (without asking) when he ordered the chips. We relaxed a bit in the sun and then started moving again…

    Towards our next beverage stop, France! Last December I tried out the Grand Marnier slushie and my sister got the Grey Goose. As I said previously I don’t like vodka, but I tried hers anyways and I loved it! So this time I got my very own!

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    Can I say how nice it is to walk the World with a cool beverage, in beautiful weather, with fabulous new friends?? We finished off the slushies just as we were reach Mexico… I’m sure you have guessed where this is going…

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    Nikki made a fabulous discovery! She looked at the menu that’s actually IN the stand and saw that they DO have the other varieties we had been looking for. So naturally, we got some more! Nikki got the Mango and I got the Fiesta (mango, strawberry and lime layered). As the icing on the cake, we got the pomegranate floats! They not only make the drinks pretty, but they are even tastier!

    Giddy with delight (and the copious amounts of alcohol we had now ingested) we headed back towards the Land with our new delicious drinks! On our way we ran into the cutest (and apparently thirstiest) bear ever! Duffy was a little jealous of our drinks, and his handlers had to remind him he wasn’t old enough for those yet…

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    Poor Duffy

    Once we got there we sat outside and chatted some more while finishing our drinks and then headed inside for Soarin’. Nikki took this picture of our feet, which I am including so you can see my replacement flip flops… kinda.

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    In no time we were Soarin’! After our tour of California we headed back towards World Showcase. We stopped off to check out some Duffy outfits for Nikki’s neice, but we couldn’t find all the ones she wanted so we moved on.

    Nikki decided she wanted some coffee, so she grabbed some before we headed into the showcase. We made it to Italy and I got a Bellini…

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    Nikki and I grabbed a seat while Tom disappeared. When he came back, he had a surprise! He had found a Red Stag Lemonade!! We all thought this was only sold during F&W time, so I was super excited! I had been wanting to try one forever! My Bellini was not delicious, so I think I gave that to Tom and he gave Nikki the Red Stag. We headed to America so I could try one of these tasty concoctions, and sat down (again) to hang out. Our ADR wasn’t till 7:45 so we were pretty much just killing time at this point.

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    Then (as she was finishing her drink) a leaf fell out of nowhere and landed directly in Nikki’s cup! It was so random, and due to the long day in the sun (and probably the alcohol consumption) we all thought this was hilarious.
    We kept walking and Tom stopped for a beer in the UK I believe. Soon we were at Mexico again! We went inside to browse and I insisted on getting a specific picture…

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    A little backstory is necessary here… Recently at work there has been a lot of changes happening. Earlier in the day I had been emailing a coworker and he asked if I’d heard “the news”. I pestered him about what he was talking about, but he said he was just kidding, he wanted to see if I had heard any gossip. Then I told him that if anything changed while I was gone, he’s be in trouble for lying to me, so he said that there was a new policy about having to wear sombreros on Mondays or something… hence the picture…

    So after our Mexican shenanigans it was time to head over to La Hacienda! I hadn’t eaten there before so I was excited to try some place new. Nikki got us checked in and we waited just a couple minutes inside.

    We don’t look AT ALL like we’d been drinking all day do we??

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    Also, note the bright red patch on my chest. My Vera created a tan line that to this day I still have. Who knew the February sun could be so powerful!?

    We got seated quickly and Tom took a picture of Nikki and me.

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    Then we ordered. At this point we had FINALLY reached our limit on drinks. We ordered water with dinner. Nikki and I had discussed the menu before, and we were both eyeing the same thing, the queso fundido. We probably should have ordered one to split, but who knew it would be so rich?! Tom ordered the tacos, which he enjoyed.

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    We also ordered chips and salsa, which we had to pay for…
    Dinner was over lickety split so we had more time to kill before Illuminations. We decided to keep walking around the World so we could end up by the entrance when the show started. Nikki and I were both so full, so we were astounded when Tom proceeded to get a funnel cake, with a HUGE slab of ice cream on top!

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    We had pretty perfect timing and got into place right as Illuminations started. Another indication of how low the crowds were, we walked right up and had only one row of people in front of us! This was our view

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    (I didn’t take any pictures, so that one along with several others before are Nikki’s)

    Once it was over we headed out. We were all exhausted, especially Nikki and Tom since they had started their travels in the wee hours of the morning. We stopped by the lockers to pick up my stuff. You know how usually there is a huge crowd? Yeah, not tonight!

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    After I picked up my stuff and my deposit we headed out of the park. We got to the buses and said our goodbyes. I have to say I’m not sure I have EVER had that much fun in Epcot! I am so glad that Nikki and Tom let me tag along with them around the World. They are the perfect people to hang with, and hopefully we will get to do it again!!

    The bus ride home felt long, and I probably had to wait about 20 minutes, but it wasn’t too terrible. I got back to the hotel and crawled into bed and passed out quickly!
     

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