Fun, Sun & Strong Water Rum...*Yo-Ho*...23 Nights @ Sapphire Falls...A May 2022 TR

anca

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
hi mate, long time reader in oz here. i found the dis forums a few years ago and was instantly fascinated and have been enjoying them ever since. i may be a bit different from the majority of dis-users in that i actually have no desire to go to disneyword/land and am not a super fan! i say that with utter respect to everyone here, and because despite having other main hobbies/holiday preferences, i love reading these boards so much, particularly the trip reports.

i do find most topics here so interesting to read about, especially the trip reports. probably as i adore memoirs and autobiographies so much! i don't comment mainly because i am reading prior reports like they are books, and some are very old. also i don't need any holiday advice.

but i have caught up with this one so thought i would write you a note, @schumigirl , to say hello, and thank you for being my favourite writer on here!

mate i adore your reports, your personality just shines through and it is glorious. tom and kyle are absolute sweeties, and so are you! the level of detail you provide is superb, i truly feel like i am experiencing a vicarious holiday through you, which has been a wonderful gift over the last couple of years. books rarely have that type of detail but you have the ability to publish so freely here that it is possible.

the consistency of your reports is particularly soothing in this brave new world. you and tom and kyle remain unbothered, grateful, kind, and fun, in all your encounters. even sending the odd meal back is a lesson in true grace. your enjoyment of all aspects of your trips is lovely, as is your generosity towards the hotel staff. i love returning to the same resort and bars with you, the familiarity is as enjoyable as it always is in a well-written series in a genre you love.

i have read all your reports but am a bit glum i have reached this ones point, may have a reread of one. i would read outside but it is absolutely freezing cold at 15 deg celsius, a bitter winters day! you would love my weather....mid/high 20s into low 30s for most of the year, bright sunny winters, lots of dramatic thunderstorms!

i wanted to just say hi @schumigirl love your work but here have this essay instead. please say g'day to tom and kyle for me...congrats on the new job kyle!
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
hi mate, long time reader in oz here. i found the dis forums a few years ago and was instantly fascinated and have been enjoying them ever since. i may be a bit different from the majority of dis-users in that i actually have no desire to go to disneyword/land and am not a super fan! i say that with utter respect to everyone here, and because despite having other main hobbies/holiday preferences, i love reading these boards so much, particularly the trip reports.

i do find most topics here so interesting to read about, especially the trip reports. probably as i adore memoirs and autobiographies so much! i don't comment mainly because i am reading prior reports like they are books, and some are very old. also i don't need any holiday advice.

but i have caught up with this one so thought i would write you a note, @schumigirl , to say hello, and thank you for being my favourite writer on here!

mate i adore your reports, your personality just shines through and it is glorious. tom and kyle are absolute sweeties, and so are you! the level of detail you provide is superb, i truly feel like i am experiencing a vicarious holiday through you, which has been a wonderful gift over the last couple of years. books rarely have that type of detail but you have the ability to publish so freely here that it is possible.

the consistency of your reports is particularly soothing in this brave new world. you and tom and kyle remain unbothered, grateful, kind, and fun, in all your encounters. even sending the odd meal back is a lesson in true grace. your enjoyment of all aspects of your trips is lovely, as is your generosity towards the hotel staff. i love returning to the same resort and bars with you, the familiarity is as enjoyable as it always is in a well-written series in a genre you love.

i have read all your reports but am a bit glum i have reached this ones point, may have a reread of one. i would read outside but it is absolutely freezing cold at 15 deg celsius, a bitter winters day! you would love my weather....mid/high 20s into low 30s for most of the year, bright sunny winters, lots of dramatic thunderstorms!

i wanted to just say hi @schumigirl love your work but here have this essay instead. please say g'day to tom and kyle for me...congrats on the new job kyle!

:welcome: along anca......

I`m so glad you decided to post after reading for so long, and I`m glad you posted on this one, your post is honestly such a lovely one to read.

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, they do mean a lot to me 🥰 I`m so glad you enjoy all the detail and yes, some repeat places to eat and drink....we are creatures of habit at time!

Disneyworld is not on our radar either, we have no thoughts of ever returning to be honest, nothing appeals to us and certainly not the preplanning required and seemingly the need to be attached to a phone to do a lot of things. One of the reasons we love Universal so much, no planning required, just turn up and enjoy!

Your weather does sound like I`d love it there, even the thunderstorms! And I adore reading autobiographies and memoirs too. I`ve just finished reading Margaret Thatcher`s autobiography, it was so interesting, I`ve read a lot of books about her as she is a fascinating woman, very divisive of course to many.

Thank you for the good wishes for Kyle......he is loving his new job and has settled in so well, as if he`s always been there. And I`ll most certainly pass on your G`day to both of them.....☺️

Don`t be a stranger on the TR, it`d be lovely to see you post more from the other side of the world.......we`ve met some lovely Australians over the years, including some we still keep in touch with.....and hope your winter weather warms up a little soon.

Thank you once again.......:wave2:
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
MONDAY 16TH MAY




Today was going to be another quiet one for us.......looking back I didn`t realise just how many days we had missed going into the parks at all! We`d certainly remedy that in September.

But, for today we got up and headed again over for breakfast. We liked our morning routine, some foks say they couldn`t be bothered with all the walking, but for us, we enjoyed that morning amble over to RP.

We took our time and I did enjoy a couple of glasses again of champagne, and I even turned down extra refills as we had sat so long chatting.....I don`t think I suit an empty glass!!

We were heading back to the Mall at Millenia this morning......I had not asked for the correct eye shadow yesterday, I thought I had asked for the glittery shimmery one, but when I got home and opened it, it was just the non shimmery one, so we wanted to exchange it for the correct one if they had it. So, headed back over for the car and passed a lovely TM I hadn`t seen for ages, I didn`t recognise her initially as she had changed her hair so much and the other girl knew us, but I had no memory of meeting her. I always feel bad when folks say they know us and we can`t remember them, I used to have such a good memory for faces, but now I think it`s names I remember more! But, we had a nice little chat and found out what had changed in her life since we had last seen her and glad to hear she was doing so well.

We went back to the room to pick up the make up and use the bathroom, I do admit I got a little distracted as the housekeeper was in the room, so I quickly went to the bathroom, and we left again. We got to the car and Tom looked at me and asked where the Bloomingdales`s bag was.........






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Yep, we had to head all the way back and get the bag.......I`m not usually forgetful like that, but I don`t like disturbing the ladies when they`re doing the rooms.

Bag picked up, we again headed to the car with the Concierge lady glancing at us wondering if we were just wandering for fun this morning........but, we made it to the Mall but traffic this morning was horrendous. And crazy drivers everywhere...I know this road is not the best and drivers are a little carefree, but today seemed a lot worse, and it`s only a 10 minute drive!

We should have taken some pictures in the Mall today as it was so gorgeous looking as we walked up to it. We had gotten into trouble a few years back for taking pictures of the outside and inside the Mall. There was not a single person outside at all, which is quite unique, so we grabbed some pictures then we were stopped by an overenthusiastic security officer.

Apparently you can take pictures with people in it, inside or out, but you`re not "allowed" to take pictures of the property with no people in it!!!!! There are no signs up to say you can`t take pictures, they don`t want to do that as it would confuse folks......yes, that`s confusing!!! We had some emails back and forth with the management of the Mall, who eventually didn`t answer my question of were we allowed to take pictures of the Christmas tree the way I had done many times as did thousands of other people.

We`ve since taken lots of pictures with neither of us in it and have never been approached by the many security and police officers who are usually around. But, he wasn`t making it up, it was a rule, but a rule they don`t tell you about and don`t enforce it anywhere. Crazy.

So, Bloomingdales. It was like the Marie Celeste......not a soul seemed to be working, eventually a little lady appeared from somewhere and I explained to her I had asked for the wrong one and could I exchange it, sure she said......but she then said she didn`t work for Bobbi Brown and didn`t know the stock or what I was talking about.....I did begin to wonder at this point if she was just a customer who had wandered in....but to save any further time I said we`d be happy with just a refund which suited her fine I think as she genuinely didn`t seem to know anything about their products.

Weirdly, the money she gave us back was the same notes we had handed over yesterday to pay as we had used cash. Tom checked the serial numbers on the small amount of cash we kept in the room safe and they matched! I guess very few folks use cash these days! But, what were the chances of getting the same money back.

We wandered around and had a look at a few things, I did look for a new MCM bag, but didn`t see one I liked, then we wandered around a little but didn`t buy anything this time, it`s just such a nice Mall to wander around in and do a little people watching too.

We then headed back home and went back to our room to freshen up before heading to RP and Jakes for lunch with my good friend Maria aka....Worfiedoodles and Mr Worfie too.

I think we were a little early and headed in for our table, but we didn`t have to wait too long and it was so lovely cacthing up again. We email of course, but it`s nice meeting up in person as we had done on our December trip last time.

Jake`s is a nice place to eat, but for us it`s not the same as it used to be somehow. I can`t quite put my finger on it, but it`s just not somewhere I`d say we have to eat every trip now the way we used to. It`s not dreadful, just not as good.

Chatting away, it did take us some time to order and when we did we all got the crawfish chowder, I had some sweet potato fries and Mr W had a salad. Maria and I both had a Mai Tai I think and Tom had Jake`s Spicy Margarita.







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I do have to say I was so disappointed in the chowder this time around.......I always raved about how good it was, but this time it lacked that punch of flavour that we were so used to, and a definite lack of crawfish in our bowls which is a shame as I recommend it to so many folks....not any more. It should have been boiling hot too, but it was tepid.






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The Mai Tai was gorgeous I have to say, I think we both enjoyed this one.





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Tom said the Margarita was tasty, but lacked substance, something we were noticing a lot with Jakes recently......they were always known as a place for a good pour, but not anymore. I do say though, mine was strong enough! Especially for lunchtime!






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But, of course, food is secondary when you`re meeting up with your buddy......and we did have a lovely lunch with lots of laughter and chatter and time passed so fast!!! Where does the time go when you`re having fun......

And of course, our usual picture together........






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We eventually said our goodbye`s I think they were heading to the parks for some fun.......we did have plans, but they had been changed last minute, so we had a free couple of hours.

I do love this little open walkway from the lobby to the elevators and rooms in Guest House 2, it`s so light, bright and airy.







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Not my favourite pool in the resorts, but it is very pretty and on a day like today, it looks beautiful. We are not folks who frequent pool during the day due to our West of Scotland skin type that is not conducive to sunbathing! We are more moonbathers, preferring to sit round the pool in the evenings when you still have the heat, but no glaring sunshine.






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Tom put the tv on in the sitting room and I went through to the bedroom and snooze I did! I swear I never felt as tired before as I felt some days this trip...it was exceptionally hot which is not a complaint of course but we did feel a snooze was a real luxury for us.

Tom did fall asleep watching something or other on tv, but we didn`t sleep too long, just enough......I woke first, popped my head through to the sitting room to check Tom was awake and headed for the shower before getting changed and then we headed over to the Club Lounge.

Tom and I both had some salad tonight, added a load of tabasco to it too, and as were staying onsite, he could partake in the wine offerings tonight.......

Me in my other sitting room as one of the staff called it......lol....

I really need to remember and take off my lanyard when I`m not going to and from the parks!






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CJ brought us over a little plate with some desserts on it again.....most of them are not for me as they are chocolate based, but I did eat the frosting on two and it was rather nice. But, nice of them to bring them over to folks who don`t make dessert hour.







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Tonight we were planning to eat in Citywalk and in what we consider to be the best restaurant in this area. There aren`t many places we do like here to be honest, we much prefer to eat in the hotels or around about offsite where we know many lovely restaurants and have done that for many years. There are so many places to choose from and most are excellent.

We didn`t wait long for a boat tonight and although we don`t eat here a lot, we do like wandering around Citywalk, it`s not huge and not a lot to do, but it passes some time.







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Tom asked me if I had ever had a picture on the Voodoo chair....I honestly couldn`t remember, surely I must have......but we took one anyway.





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There was a huge line for Vivo tonight, but there were plenty of tables free when we walked in to sit at the bar and I think like so many places now, they are struggling for staff. They have the tables, they have the guests, but unfortunately don`t seem to have the staff to cater for them. We did notice a lot of tables weren`t cleared for a long time which of course exacerbated the wait times folks were experiencing.

We like the bar!!

Sean and Tommy are two of the best barmen in Citywalk and we always enjoy seeing them working......Sean was at the other bar, but came over to say hi which was nice.

The bar was fairly busy tonight but we didn`t wait long for bread with the lovely olive oil and I ordered a glass of malbec as we had enjoyed several in the lounge.....didn`t feel we wanted a whole bottle. I think Tom stuck to water here as we were heading to StrongWater later.







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We both knew what we were having tonight....Tom going back to his linguini with clams which he loves, it`s a little spicy, but not hot, anyone who fears heat in food don`t need to worry, it is very delicate.





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Usually I have chicken, but I liked the sound of the monkfish, so opted to have that.

I had taken a chunk out of the monkfish before Tom took a picture, and it was very nice, it was very well cooked I have to say and had a lovely flavour which was again quite delicate. It wasn`t the most filling of meals I have to say, but it was enough for now. It came with shrimp and mussels and the broth was very nice. I love monkfish and I would get this dish again and Tom would get the clams too, he doesn`t mind pasta now and again, but it`s not something I ever order.







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We used our gift cards we were given from the OI event tonight to part pay for this meal, so it barely cost at all, and once we had paid we decided to walk back as it was so beautiful.

Cutting through the ballroom/convention area takes no time at all and we get a lovely hug from everyone when we come in, it really is the most welcoming of bars and everyone is made to feel so welcome whether you`re in for food or just drinks.

It`s fairly quiet tonight and Fernando said to get a table as he had planned a rum tasting for us....... 🥰






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Tom nipped out before they brought the rums over and took some snaps of the view from the balcony and you get a good view from the fire pit too, such a lovely evening.






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We ordered a Mai Tai and a rum revival while we waited for Fernando and Lenny and did comment it was so quiet, I know it was only Monday, but usually it`s busier than this, we weren`t complaining though we quite liked it like this.






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We love spending time with these guys......and here Fernando was telling us what rums he had for us to taste......and his explanations of where they came from and the abundant flavours in all of them is so interesting, they both really, really know their rums!





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😉




I was going to to be puggled drinking these!!





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They were all lovely, and we all had the same favourite and same least favourite weirdly......The Botany Bay was the stand out for all of us and I did like that one straight. I do love rum but usually have it in a cocktail unless it`s a genuine higher end rum.

I could be a pirate........





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😉



This was a rather unique rum we were privileged to try too, it was something special and Tom enjoyed this one more than me.






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Over the years we had tasted many rums Fernando had offered us to try, form some very unusual places you`d never expect, least of all the Scottish rums we bring him.......lol......but it`s so kind of him to think of us like this and know we`d enjoy and appreciate it a lot.

We did turn down another taste of the bottles.......wheee....I`d be completely pickled if I had any more alcohol!!!!

We`d had such fun with them tasting through the rums tonight, and we said again how much we`d miss our Lenny......but we decided to have something to eat, we didn`t want a lot, but something......fernando said he had the perfect thing as they had all the ingredients for the Guava Pork dish that was going back on the menu, we were supposed to have that dish on the tasting menu Chef made up for us, but we`d be able to try it now.

Guava-rum bbq pork was a smoked pork shoulder, with tostones with a garlic habanero pepper mojo.....we had so looked forward to tasting this dish.

Fernando told us we had to dip right into the mojo to get all the garlic and pepper flavours.....well, we do as we are told........😋






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This was gorgeous! This and the Tuna Tirodito were our two favourite dishes now......lordy!!! Everything was perfect and we both ate all the tostones which we didn`t think we would, but they were so good and the perfectly cooked pork with the sauce and the mojo.....all together this was perfect!! I knew we`d order this dish a lot in the future. Fernando said he`d pass on our comments to Chef as he wasn`t in tonight.

All of a sudden the bar began to fill up.......two words......

Convention people!!!

They had been at an event till now which was why it was so quiet, but once they come in, you know they`re there!!






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Fernando laughed when we said that was our alarm call to leave for the evening.......the whole ambience changes when it fills up like this, but it`s good for business of course.

We thanked Fernando for such a lovely evening again and told him we had really enjoyed the tasting tonight......then we said our goodnights and gave our Lenny a wave as he was now completely surrounded by folks wanting drinks.....

It was around 11.30 when we got back in, and for me straight to bed after drinking a gallon of water! And then once again, I was out for the count........
 

disneyAndi14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
So sad the food at some of the restaurants around Universal just weren’t up to standards! I also despise lukewarm food, ugh!
I have to say the tomato soup and 1/2 grilled cheese I had at Jake’s in 2021 was delicious!
I know how much you loved the crawfish chowder, so sad it isn’t as good now!
How nice of you to buy your friend the Spider-Man boyfriend t-shirt!
I love how you explain some of the people you encounter, like the guy behind the counter doing the t-shirt printing and the older lady at the make-up counter, gives me a really good chuckle 🤭
Keep up the wonderful trip reporting, I love it 😍
 

Cara

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2001
Carole, thank you so much for linking to the previous trip reports. You are so sweet and helpful! I would have said thank you before now, but we had our grandson for five days and are tuckered! There is a reason people in their 50s do not have babies!!

What a disappointment Big Fire was! To be honest, my husband and I have always really enjoyed eating out, but in the last 18 months or so we have been sorely disappointed. In general, quality has not been great, most places are severely understaffed, and service is not great. I prefer my own cooking most of the time, which is something I never thought I would say! And shared bathrooms are not for me either!

I am keeping a list of your favorites though! Confisco Grille, Storm Water, Margaritaville and Sal's are on it!
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
So sad the food at some of the restaurants around Universal just weren’t up to standards! I also despise lukewarm food, ugh!
I have to say the tomato soup and 1/2 grilled cheese I had at Jake’s in 2021 was delicious!
I know how much you loved the crawfish chowder, so sad it isn’t as good now!
How nice of you to buy your friend the Spider-Man boyfriend t-shirt!
I love how you explain some of the people you encounter, like the guy behind the counter doing the t-shirt printing and the older lady at the make-up counter, gives me a really good chuckle 🤭
Keep up the wonderful trip reporting, I love it 😍

Yes, if food is supposed to be hot, it needs to be sizzling hot. I have heard good things about the tomato soup and sandwich, it`s such a shame when things change and not for the better. The chowder was odd as it looked the same as before but lacked any flavour, not sure I`d order it again.

She loved the teeshirt so I was happy with that, suits her too!!

lol.....I`m glad you`re enjoying it Caroline and good to see you.......☺️
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
Carole, thank you so much for linking to the previous trip reports. You are so sweet and helpful! I would have said thank you before now, but we had our grandson for five days and are tuckered! There is a reason people in their 50s do not have babies!!

What a disappointment Big Fire was! To be honest, my husband and I have always really enjoyed eating out, but in the last 18 months or so we have been sorely disappointed. In general, quality has not been great, most places are severely understaffed, and service is not great. I prefer my own cooking most of the time, which is something I never thought I would say! And shared bathrooms are not for me either!

I am keeping a list of your favorites though! Confisco Grille, Storm Water, Margaritaville and Sal's are on it!

You are so welcome Cara, glad to help.

You must have had the best 5 days looking after that little darling! Yes, couldn`t imagine starting all that over again....it`s nice to give them back, but you`ll have loved having him stay.

We don`t seem to be too bad over here with restaurants for service, we tend to go to a lot of the same places restaurant wise and pubs we visit for food are family run and don`t seem to struggle getting younger staff as waiters/waitresses I`m glad to say.

I do like my cooking too lol.....I enjoy it too but I do love eating out!

BigFire was a huge disappointment I have to say, definitely not going back there again and yes....shared bathrooms......no.
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
TUESDAY MAY 17TH





Another morning where the sun was blazing above us and skies were a beautiful aquamarine blue, almost perfect.......and yes, it was going to be another scorcher.......

And another few glasses of champagne lay ahead with breakfast this morning.....it does feel lovely starting the day with a glass of fizz, maybe every day was too much......but hey, who gets to decide that anyway :cheer2:........I was loving it!!






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We took our time this morning as we had no real plans till this afternoon and early evening, but we did have somewhere to be this morning after breakfast.

Breakfast was nice and we sat and just chatted for the longest time and enjoyed some grape jelly that no one else seems to like!! I loved it, but it wasn`t popular so the lovely staff got me some from downstairs as there only seemed to be jam on offer in the little pots. Grape jelly and cream cheese is classic! I only really drink tea, very rarely do I touch coffee, but they had changed the tea bags since last time and they`re ok.....not the best but drinkable, but this morning I tried their camomile and it was one of the nicest ones this brand offer, their Earl Grey was good too, just the breakfast tea lacked substance so I always had two teabags when I had a cup of that.

It had been arranged for us to go visit the Club Lounge that had been completely refurbed over at PB this morning, Jen confirmed with us the manager was expecting us around 10.30ish if that suited, so as soon as we were ready we headed down to get the boat.

It was gloriously hot......seriously going to be a roaster today again.

Didn`t wait long for a boat at RP, and we arrived at the boat dock to be told just hop along to the awaiting PB boat, there was hardly anyone around which was nice. I commented it had been a long time since we had a boat to ourselves.......







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Here below you can see the offending outdoor part of the boat door that folks think is a seat.......so many times folks will park themselves there thinking they have the best seat in the house......lol.......





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We had Capt Rob again this morning of the not so funny but funny dad jokes all the way to PB...he is one of the best Capt`s around and we said we hoped he didn`t leave for the longest time as he is a character and a half. A lot have left now that had been there for so long, so he`d be missed too when he went.

It`s a nice little boat ride to any of the hotels, and it is nice when PB opens up under the last bridge, it`s an impressive looking set of buildings and again, on days like today it looks even more beautiful.







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We had to stop off at the Concierge desk to pick up a key to get into the lounge, although we could have just knocked, someone would have answered, but we went in to get the key and headed to the lounge which is just off the main lobby and now included what had been Bar American which was also just off the main lobby, I was keen to see how they had merged it altogether.






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We let ourselves in and one lady immediately asked if we were there to meet the manager.....we must have looked like we didn`t belong.......lol......I`m ashamed to say I forget his name which is incredibly rude, but it just evades me for now, he was very nice and was obviously very proud of his new lounge although he hadn`t been there for very long.

This was the first area we saw which is to the left when you enter the Lounge. I did like this area and liked the booth style, it felt quite cosy.







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I will say, I did prefer the chrome look for the coffee pots and hot water, and the fridge for the cold drinks was an improvement on what RP lounge had.






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This area I didn`t like, the floor is just too busy and looks like a cafeteria to me......but it does make it easier for folks to get a seat when it`s busy.





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This used to be Bar American, I always thought that should be Bar Americana......but, it does look lovely since they revamped it, it used to be very dark inside, I guess they would call it atmospheric, but it is much brighter now which made it look so much better.

They can close this area off from the lounge for private events if need be when someone needs a space, and it would be lovely for any occasion. I think this was my favourite part of the new lounge.






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You do have a lovely view from the lounge over the bay which is so pretty....and we do capture 2 actual real life people walking by which is so unusual here!!






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We had enjoyed seeing the lounge and thanked our host for taking the time to show us around when we could easily have just wandered around on our own, it was so kind of him.

The lounge itself.......parts of it are nice, but it doesn`t flow together as one space and feels very disjointed. It is pretty and certainly much better than it was before as it really needed an update, but overall it didn`t make me swoon over it. There`s something missing from it. But, I feel that about PB in general....nice, but not for us.

And we did get a boat to ourselves today for the first time in a long time!






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We headed back home to get the car and we headed off to Winter Garden which is around 25 minutes away by car and it was drives like this we found the Visitor Toll Pass to be a real gem. A lot of tolls are unmanned now, so this was ideal for us.

Winter Garden is a lovely place.....it`s as quiet as Mount Dora when you walk around which we really like and there are some lovely stores and restaurants here too and again you`re spoiled for choice.

Chef`s Table at the Edgewater was one place we had really enjoyed prepandemic, and we did think of going back, but the menu for the Chef`s Table is quite limited and there wasn`t really anything suitable for me. Tom would have loved it, but he wants me to really enjoy our meals when we go out, not just have something for the sake of it.

But, there are plenty of places to choose from.

It`s a classically beautiful little downtown area, there are other areas where there are food options but not as nice as downtown.







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To be very honest, we only wandered round a little as we were starving now.....well, it was lunchtime now!

Even though we had several places to choose from, we decided to go back to the place we had eaten on our last lunch visit.......it was a really nice bar with food we had enjoyed, so why not go back, especially as we weren`t looking for a big lunch.

Moon Cricket Grille.........we had mentioned it to one of the ladies in the Club Lounge as she lives here, and she did confirm it was still as good as it had been before and that we`d enjoy it, good to hear.






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Last time we ate here we had sat at the bar to eat as it had been so busy, but today there were a couple of booths available so we got settled down and checked out the menu which is a nice one and ordered a Merlot for me and lemonade for Tom as usual.

Tom ordered a Chef Salad with thousand Island dressing, I went for the Asian Chicken Salad which came with an Oriental Ginger dressing and it was gorgeous!!







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The salads were incredibly fresh and fairly filling considering it`s just salad.......but we did enjoy them and it is a nice place to eat and I think at night it would be a fun place to have a drink with the live music they play on weekends.

We headed out into the sunshine and jeez......hot!!

But, it`s so beautiful here so we did want to have a proper wander round in the sun and we headed to the central area where there are chair swings in the shade around the fountain and we got lucky as someone left one just as we came towards the fountain.







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We passed an hour or so just sitting and swinging back and forward just watching the not so busy world go past, this was so relaxing I half expected my mister drop off to sleep as we rocked back and forward! But, it was just nice.

Eventually we got up from the swing and had a wander round the rest of this area, and again marvelled at just how quiet this place was.







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We had heard of this restaurant from several folks, The Hangry Bison and it was supposed to be excellent. The menu didn`t exactly scream out at me, but I think one day we`ll give it a try. It was certainly busy enough.





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More to come :)
 

Pumpkin1172

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
All caught up again :flower:

Tom would usually get Linda`s Chocolate fudge cake as it`s Kyle`s favourite, but today he wanted something different and opted for Red Velvet Cheesecake for his lunch.
As soon as you posted the first picture of that dessert, I totally would have ordered that! I LOVE red velvet! I don't know if I could eat a whole slice of cheesecake. I get horrible stomach pains from it - my gallbladder doesn't like it :sad: It's good to know that it was delicious!
All of a sudden the bar began to fill up.......two words......
I am the same way. I need a reprieve from loud/crowded places. It's the introvert in me. I can only handle the loud for so long, then I need to seek out quiet space - especially when we are eating out. I would have been heading out too!!!! Just looking at the picture I can hear the volume of the room and my anxiety would have me running for the safety of our room ::yes::
Another morning where the sun was blazing above us and skies were a beautiful aquamarine blue, almost perfect.......and yes, it was going to be another scorcher.......
Those beautiful Florida skies! As we were driving home yesterday, we were chatting about the beautiful day and I commented about how the sky today looked like the bright Florida skies! He said I was right :scared1: ( Imagine that...me...right :lmao: ) that our bright skies today look and felt like Florida!
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
All caught up again :flower:


As soon as you posted the first picture of that dessert, I totally would have ordered that! I LOVE red velvet! I don't know if I could eat a whole slice of cheesecake. I get horrible stomach pains from it - my gallbladder doesn't like it :sad: It's good to know that it was delicious!

I am the same way. I need a reprieve from loud/crowded places. It's the introvert in me. I can only handle the loud for so long, then I need to seek out quiet space - especially when we are eating out. I would have been heading out too!!!! Just looking at the picture I can hear the volume of the room and my anxiety would have me running for the safety of our room ::yes::

Those beautiful Florida skies! As we were driving home yesterday, we were chatting about the beautiful day and I commented about how the sky today looked like the bright Florida skies! He said I was right :scared1: ( Imagine that...me...right :lmao: ) that our bright skies today look and felt like Florida!

I feel your pain! Best thing I ever did was get my gallbladder removed years ago! Worst pain ever when it flared up. But, yes Tom loved that one and said he’d get it again.

It’s funny, I’m quite a loud person, or so I’m told…….no, I suppose I am, when I laugh, everybody hears it :rotfl:but I hate a loud atmosphere at times. Like you, I’m ok for a very short time, then I retreat. It’s not fun.

I do miss that vibrant blue sky when we’re home here……we have a mix of about 4 different greys this morning……very different! But, yes, I can imagine what you meant……and being right too……lol……..

Glad you’re all caught up!
 

Deb1993

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
We left the Mall and set about on our mission for this afternoon.

Since we met Lindsey and found out about her fabulous boyfriend and how he actually is Spider-Man......I had joked she needed a tee that told the world her boyfriend was indeed a superhero!! We had kinda laughed about it, but my little brain started thinking we need to get that girl as teeshirt with that written on it.

So, we had gone to a few places we thought might do it, but we were not succesful......we had about given up when Tom mentioned picking up something from Wal-Mart........💡





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Yep........so simple......there was a shirt printing business in Wal-Mart!!!! Doh.........

So, off we trundled to Wal-Mart, not a fun place to be on a Sunday, but it wasn`t too bad to be fair.......Tom went into get some more sunscreen and I headed in to the tee shirt place, picked up the smallest tee I could find and the very cool dude asked me what I wanted on it..........I of course repeated........My Boyfriend is Spider-Man........his eyebrow raised like Roger Moore in a James Bond movie and he looked at me like I was Lola from Barry Manilow`s Copacabana after she lost her mind.....
:rotfl:

I did laugh and said it wasn`t for me, don`t think he was too surprised by that news........so he asked what she liked and I described her vibe and he said come back in 10 minutes.........I hoped it would be exactly what I had in my mind!!! But, this guy looked as if he knew what he was doing.......

We picked up some groceries.........why can we never come in for one thing and leave.....I swear we are never less than $50 every time we come in here!! Then we went back and we were thrilled with the results! She would love this!!!

Back home I brought it out the sealed bag and popped it in a gift bag we picked up......it was now mid afternoon, so we headed out to walk to RP as the lounge would or should be quiet this time of day and I knew Lindsey was working this afternoon with the lovely Raphael.

The lounge was indeed deserted so when they came over to the table, I handed her the package and she was confused as it was obviously a gift bag.......I told her it was for her and hoped she liked it.........

Her reaction was off the scale!!! She actually dropped when she realised what it was......it was one of those had to be there moments........Raphael as soon as he saw it was a gift shouted for us to get the camera......another Doh moment, so Tom grabbed the camera just before she opened it.






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I think completely overwhelmed could describe it........she was so surprised we had taken the time to go and get something like this for her.....but as soon as I had thought of it last week, I knew we`d go get one for her somehow.....even if we had to go further afield to get it. She is so sweet.






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And here is the tee.........:charac4:





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It was lovely!! And she put it on heading home and Spider-Man was as thrilled to see it as she was.......I can now honestly say I`ve had an email from a real live Spider-Man......and what a lovely email it was too!!!!

She sent us a picture of her wearing it that night at home with her lovely boyfriend in it too......and it looks fabulous!!!

It was lovely to see her so happy with the gift.....she is a very happy young lady anyway and has a very vibrant personality, so we were thrilled to see such a lovely reaction from her.

We sat and chatted some more, and both had a glass of wine tonight as we were planning to eat in Citywalk tonight, nice for Tom to be able to enjoy a glass or two of wine from the lounge. The Concierge Manager came in, waved and sat down with us and chatted tonight, we had spoken to her several times over the last two trips, but it was nice having this time to get to know her a little better, she is so lovely and nice she took the time to sit down and chat to us too.


Maria who is the manager in Orchids also came up to say hello to us tonight. We hadn`t managed to get back down there for dinner yet, but it was so lovely to see her and nice of her to come up and say hello. We`re so lucky to be able to get to know some lovely people over our length of stays.

We didn`t have any, but tonights options were mac n cheese with chicken tenders, one of the more popular choices on offer.







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I mentioned how we never fancied BigFire as so many folks we know had told us not to bother as it wasn`t great....mostly TM from the hotel and parks too......not good when staff won`t go!! There are several places we won`t eat onsite, Bubba Gump is the main one as we have tried it twice and found it to be dreadful and not somewhere we`ll go again, cocktails were decent though. NBC is now another but Lindsey said she would make a reservation for us in BigFire if we wanted, we said we were just going to wing it and walk up, but she booked it so we`d be guaranteed a table.......which was very kind of her.

Staff in the lounge are Concierge trained, so they can make reservations and do the same things as the staff at the concierge desk downstairs, somefolks don`t realise and head downstairs to ask.

We sat again a little longer but looking at the sky outside, we did wonder if the rain was heading our way so thought we better make a move.


Before we did, the staff know we never make dessert hour, so we got a plate of desserts to enjoy before we did leave. The apple pie ones are very nice, and Tom ate the chocolate ones and did enjoy them, a nice little taster.






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We headed down to the boat and it wasn`t too busy which was unusual this time of the evening, but once we got off at Citywalk and walked up to Fat Tuesday`s, we saw they had closed down the boat service due to lightning in the area. We had been lucky to catch the last one for a few hours.

Tom went to the bar while I got a table........it felt incredibly humid tonight and you could feel there was a storm on the way. Tom shouted me at this point, I had forgotten the one drink per person rule, so waved to the barman as the recipient of the second drink.......

I have no clue what we both ordered, I know they were both different, but whatever they were, we did enjoy them! I do use my own plastic straws a lot of the time, I hate paper straws with a passion!!






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The sky quickly changed to looking very ominous.........⚡





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We were a little early for our reservation, but wanted to beat the rain and we got to the door of BigFire just as the heavens opened.....and boy was it a doozie of a storm in the end!!!

No problem being early, and we did have a very nice table upstairs.......







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Our waiter was lovely, he was genuinely very nice and we looked forward to this meal tonight now despite our concerns.

One thing I didn`t like was the bathrooms in here......I loathe shared bathrooms with men. Not all men are messy of course, but generally speaking......it`s a no from me.

We ordered a bottle of wine which was so-so.......nice enough though.






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It was a nice little area up here, not too busy and there were tables available all over the restaurant.

We were enjoying watching the rain out of the window....it was sweeping in and we hadn`t seen it as bad for a long time. The thunder was now rumbling like crazy and lightning was indeed illuminating the night sky.....we were so glad we had made it before it started as we would have been drenched.







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Tom ordered the mussels as an appetiser, I went for the oysters rockefeller which were covered in a béarnaise sauce, spinach, bacon and bread crumbs , even though they weren`t my favoured way of serving them, I prefer them raw with lemon and tabasco, but I`d give them a try.

I went to the bathroom, came back and they had just arrived......they looked ok, just a little small.







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Tom`s appetiser hadn`t arrived yet, and it only took a few seconds for me to devour these tiny little craters.........and then I was finished. Wouldn`t get them again.

And we waited a little longer.........and then even longer.......it was 15 minutes before our waiter appeared to take my plate and noticed Tom hadn`t has his mussels. He said he would go chase them up. About 10 minutes later, we were just about to give up, his mussels appeared at the tabel and they did look lovely......but at the same time our entrees were being brought up the stairs we could see and sure as fate, a second later the entrees were delivered to our table. Not good.

We told our waiter who had appeared, we didn`t want the mussels now, which he apologised for and said they`d be removed from the check. Tom was gutted......lol.....they did look good.

So, our entrees looked a little unattractive to be honest.

I had gone for the BBQ shrimp which the dish was described as blackened shrimp, a cream sauce. sides of coleslaw and cornbread.


The shrimp were cold and not blackened, there was no cream sauce, they had added sweetcorn which I don`t eat and there was some kind of crumbled cheese on top that I didn`t care for nor did I want it on my dish. This was not good.






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They cook the steaks in quite a distinctive flavouring, some love it some don`t......we didn`t care for it. Tom said he could eat it, but wouldn`t order it again, however it was well cooked. And that`s about the only good thing we can say about it.

Carrots and potatoes were undercooked to the point of being raw and lacked any flavour whatsoever. Quite an achievement to cook food in such a bland way.

Tom could eat his steak, but even at that, it should have been sizzling on the outside considering how they brag about the heat on the grill they cook on.





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Our waiter did appear to check on us eventually.....I relayed the issues with my dish and he did again, apologise and say he`d redo it for me.......oh I will say, I had tried the cornbread and it was amazing!!! The best cornbread I have ever tasted anywhere.....even my own!! But, apart from that it was a complete failure from the kitchen.

I said no thank you on the offer of remaking the dish and received no explanation of why there was no sauce or blackened shrimp on the plate and why cheese and corn had been added??? More importantly for me, it was cold.

Tom and I like to eat together and it irks us when service or food compromise that time......we enjoy sharing and this was not correct. The kitchen weren`t exactly overwhelmed tonight, so I doubted it was because they were too busy.

The manager came up and apologised again and asked if there was anything they could do to make up for it, we said no thank you, but they sent desserts anyway which were not good either.


We appreciated her taking the time to come and talk to us and obviously remove the items off the check.....we still tipped our waiter as he hadn`t cooked the food so badly and he was very nice.

This was just a heavy pile of thick claggy pastry with a small amount of apples and ice cream on top, the one Tom received was a chocolate dessert that you could have brick up a house with.......and the ice cream on top was slightly off. We didn`t touch either after we poked them a little.








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This is a place we will never return to either.......we`re running out of places to eat in Citywalk now!!!!

Such a disappointment for us as we had hoped it would be a success. Everyone we told about our meal said exactly the same thing............





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lol....we deserved that!!!

Definitely somewhere we won`t recommend nor will we go back again. A one and done.....

The rain had finally gone off now thankfully, so we decided to walk as it was such a lovely evening now.......







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And such a peaceful walk back home.





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We cut through RP and were home in no time at all. Tom asked if I wanted any food as I must be hungry, but it was late and I really wasn`t hungry. So we watched some tv and I fell asleep watching something or other. Tom lay and watched the whole movie and said I didn`t budge the whole time despite the tv being on. I was tired.

It had been a mixed day, such a lovely afternoon, but dinner had been so dreadful.

Tomorrow we had another quiet day, but a lovely Dismeet :thumbsup2
OMG - that shirt!!! I love it! Lindsey's reaction was absolutely too cute! I love how Tom captures the BEST photos. Adorable.

So sorry about that dreadful dinner. Rachel and I had a nice meal there last year - definitely got lucky!
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
OMG - that shirt!!! I love it! Lindsey's reaction was absolutely too cute! I love how Tom captures the BEST photos. Adorable.

So sorry about that dreadful dinner. Rachel and I had a nice meal there last year - definitely got lucky!

lol....thank you, yes her reaction was incredible....and if it hadn`t been for Raphael we`d never have captured it as he was yelling to get the camera.......

I think many folks have had good meals there and I`m glad to hear it, but ours was just dreadful and I do wished we`d listened to folks who said we wouldn`t like it. Still we tried it, now we know not to go back.
 

Worfiedoodles

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2005
You made it to the best part of our trip, the lovely meet-up with you and Tom! It was such a pleasure to see you and then to see you again a few times in the club lounge -- what a wonderful occurrence :love:

I agree Jake's seems to be a bit off now. Even since December it seemed not quite what we had been used to -- but as seeing you was the highlight, the food was passable and the company divine!

I still can't get over your experience at NBC Grill. Needless to say we'll be giving that one a miss. And I do love that you are able to check out some of the wonderful surrounding areas. So nice to break up your park days with a lovely meander through the picturesque towns!

I am loving every minute of this TR -- Thank you for bringing some sunshine! :flower3:
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
You made it to the best part of our trip, the lovely meet-up with you and Tom! It was such a pleasure to see you and then to see you again a few times in the club lounge -- what a wonderful occurrence :love:

I agree Jake's seems to be a bit off now. Even since December it seemed not quite what we had been used to -- but as seeing you was the highlight, the food was passable and the company divine!

I still can't get over your experience at NBC Grill. Needless to say we'll be giving that one a miss. And I do love that you are able to check out some of the wonderful surrounding areas. So nice to break up your park days with a lovely meander through the picturesque towns!

I am loving every minute of this TR -- Thank you for bringing some sunshine! :flower3:

Yes, it was nice being able to see you in the lounge too several times, but we did enjoy our lunch together, it always passes too fast!! Meeting up is far more important than food, but yes, Jake`s is not the same as it used to be which is such a shame. Several folks have said the same thing to us too.

We love wandering round and seeing other places, they are all so lovely and it is nice to get away from the park area too....much as we love them, I couldn`t and wouldn`t want to spend all day every day in them.

Thank you Maria, I`m so glad to hear that.......:flower1:
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
We got back home late afternoon and felt a little whooped as it had been so hot today, but we did freshen up quickly and headed over to the lounge for a couple of hours relaxation.....although we did think we had enjoyed a lot of relaxation over these last days, but we were having so much fun.

The lounge was busy tonight and there was a woman who was going round asking everyone similar questions....she was a little odd if I`m truthful and kept telling folks how she had a boat, lived on a huge estate and bla bla......but all the while being ever so nice. But tonight she latched on to us and although she was basically nice, she was incredibly nosey......very nosey.......





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There are times when being blunt is the only language some folks understand.

We eventually escaped the chatty and nosey woman as her family appeared and they headed off to the parks I think and we could sit and chat and I enjoyed a glass of wine.

We left fairly early as we were driving to Celebration to briefly meet up with someone who works in The Studios and we hadn`t managed to see him yet, so he had a little time tonight so we said we`d be there and did manage to have a quick coffee/tea before he had to go. This was the briefest meet I think we had with anyone!

We drove to park in the town centre and it was fairly busy tonight, apart from Christmas we had only ever visited during the day, so we were parked further away than normal, but it`s a small town where everything is close.






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Celebration is an odd place. Once owned and ran by Disney, it was touted as a special place to live......yes, very special, but not for us. There are some very beautiful properties here but jeez.....so many tourists, and yes I do get the irony in that statement.

The hotel is very nice, but had been getting completely mixed reviews and the guy we know that lives here does not recommend it, so that`s enough for us. But, it does look very nice on the little lake.






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There are some very cute and not very comfortable rocking chairs around the lake and very popular.....there are always folks sitting on them whenever we have passed, but tonight we managed to bag a couple and had a nice little seat watching the sun slowly resting.





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After what seemed like ages, we got up, well I started walking but a lady asked Tom if he would take a picture of her and her family on the rockers, of course he would. I meanwhile wandered off thinking he was right behind me.......eventually I turned around and headed back as he was walking towards me......I laughed and thought he must have taken loads of pictures....he had.






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The family had wanted a picture for their family holiday card!! But, he said they were very nice about it.

Celebration has some lovely little stores and restaurants and even though the parking spaces were busy, it still seemed a little deserted and we assumed everyone was in bars and food places eating but there were hardly any bodies roaming around.







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I was very good in this delightful store and didn`t buy a single thing!!!






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In the centre of town is the beautiful retro looking Cinema which has sadly closed. It`s such a shame as it is a gorgeous building and could make something wonderful in the place of the cinema for the whole town. The design is inspired by the gorgeous Art Moderne style of the 1930’s to 1950’s era.

It`s strongly rumoured from folks that AMC claim it`s cheaper to take a loss on keeping it closed than it is to pay staff and operate it which is sad in itself. The last two movies shown were Harry Potter 7 and Megamind which I have no clue what that was about. There was talk it was reopening as a dine in stage/movie venue, but have no clue if that`s ever going to happen.







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It was nice wandering around for a little while, peaceful and pretty but it never feels like real life despite it not being Disney owned now. We visited at Christmas when they make it "snow" and it is very nice, but something you need only do once.

We drove back towards home and headed to Kirkman where we planned to eat in Kobe, hadn`t been for a while and decided we`d go back but not for the Tepenyaki tables which is a nice show, but again something you only need do once, maybe twice.

We much preferred sitting at normal tables, and tonight there was a 15 minute wait, seemingly down to staffing as there were a good few empty tables. You can also choose to eat at the bar, which tonight was completely full.






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We waited the full 15 minutes and we got a booth which was nice and a little private.

Both of us ordered coke tonight and we didn`t take long to order as we knew exactly what we wanted. They do have a very good mix of chicken, steak and seafood on offer.






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As always we start with miso/onion soup and the littlest salad which comes with a soy ginger dressing, not Tom`s favourite but he does eat most of it and the miso/onion soup always feels like it`s cleansing you as you eat.






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I could eat those dipping sauces on their own, they are lovely.

Tom had ordered sirloin and chicken in teriyaki sauce which comes with copius amounts of veg, noodles and a little pot of rice. He had asked for the steak to be medium rare, and it was cooked to perfection.






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I had opted for the trio of steak cooked rare, chicken and shrimp again with teriyaki sauce and came with the same sides, although my veg and noodles remained mainly untouched. I was glad they didn`t give you potatoes the way they used to. This is already too much food, but your plate a few years ago was completely overflowing.

This however, was gorgeous.






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My steak was rare and all the food we had was absolutely delicious. We as always, were too full for dessert although we really wanted to have something, but we could barely move from being so full.

We asked for the check and paid......we didn`t notice until later, we double tipped. If we had paid attention we`d have noticed an 18% tip was already included and on the receipt were suggestions for additional tips of 2, 3, 5 & 7%. Well, no matter, service and food had been exceptional.

It was time for home now, it was almost 10pm so we headed back to the room and chilled out with a bottle of wine and some tv. It was odd as all day today it had felt like a Sunday not Tuesday.

We watched tv till around midnight both laying like sloths along that large sofa....we had eaten a lot tonight in Kobe and were grateful we hadn`t indulged in dessert either.

 

KathyM2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
It was lovely!! And she put it on heading home and Spider-Man was as thrilled to see it as she was.......I can now honestly say I`ve had an email from a real live Spider-Man......and what a lovely email it was too!!!!
This is the best thing ever!! So nice of you to do this for her! Also, what a cool service at Walmart!!! I will have to check that out.

Your teppenyaki looked good! I never thought to sit away from the tables though lol I think I might like it better too!!
 










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