Happy Graduation to Her (May/June '21) - THE TRIP REPORT (10/17 FINALLY COMPLETE!)

kastoney

Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
So happy to see you all made it to Jaleo and enjoyed it. And way to branch out and at least try a few things. I think that is what I love most about Jaleo is since everything is small plates you can try so much more than you could otherwise. What was your favorite?

I may be in the minority but love that they are doing proof of vaccination. Really makes you feel better about eating indroos.

We are being adventurous this weekend and heading back down to the city again. It's our anniversary and we are trying Tail Up Goat for the first time. Its small plates like Jaleo. Will let ya know how it is.
 

kittylady1972

Disneyholic
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
So happy to see you all made it to Jaleo and enjoyed it. And way to branch out and at least try a few things. I think that is what I love most about Jaleo is since everything is small plates you can try so much more than you could otherwise. What was your favorite?

I may be in the minority but love that they are doing proof of vaccination. Really makes you feel better about eating indroos.

We are being adventurous this weekend and heading back down to the city again. It's our anniversary and we are trying Tail Up Goat for the first time. Its small plates like Jaleo. Will let ya know how it is.
Yes it was a very enjoyable meal for sure. We are going to make it a monthly habit to visit a new restaurant, either in DC or a surrounding area. Next time we are trying a nearby new German restaurant. My favorite dish was probably the shrimp, but the chicken fritters were good as were the mushrooms...and the dessert of course!

I do like the proof of vaccination as well.

Oh let me know how the next place goes for sure if you haven't been there already. We'll likely try some other DC restaurants in the future, as it was a fun adventure for us.
 

CruellaNY

It’s Good to Be Bad
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
It's nice to be able to go to different places your kids won't like when you don't have them with you! It doesn't really happen to us at home but there are still just a couple restaurants in Disney that at least one of the boys wouldn't like so it works out well that they usually don't come with us :rotfl2:

I wasn't aware DC restaurants were making you show proof of vaccination to eat inside, is it all of them? I know NYC of course and NOLA and Seattle and now certain restaurants in Hawaii.
 

KathyM2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
I'm super late to this party but am enjoying reading about people's trips back to Orlando since it will be a while for me sadly!! Your trip sounds fantastic....I have to go back and read in more detail but loving the plans I've read about so far!
 

kittylady1972

Disneyholic
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
It's nice to be able to go to different places your kids won't like when you don't have them with you! It doesn't really happen to us at home but there are still just a couple restaurants in Disney that at least one of the boys wouldn't like so it works out well that they usually don't come with us :rotfl2:

I wasn't aware DC restaurants were making you show proof of vaccination to eat inside, is it all of them? I know NYC of course and NOLA and Seattle and now certain restaurants in Hawaii.

My kids are mostly much better about adventurous eating, with my daughter being the exception...at nearly 19 she is still set on a few key things at restaurants: Caesar salad w/grilled chicken, caesar wrap, chicken tacos, turkey sandwich and occasionally a steak or a chicken burrito. Mostly she eats grilled chicken of some kind.

As for the DC restaurants, we haven't been back to check but I don''t think it's all DC restaurants requiring vaccinations just certain ones and that chain was one of them.



I'm super late to this party but am enjoying reading about people's trips back to Orlando since it will be a while for me sadly!! Your trip sounds fantastic....I have to go back and read in more detail but loving the plans I've read about so far!
Thanks...we had a great time! I need to post more about it soon!

Got totally engrossed in your TR today and I’ve loved it. Thanks for taking me along on your adventures. Great fun!
Yay...thanks for reading and posting!
 

kittylady1972

Disneyholic
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Ok deepest and sincerist apologies to all for my extremely long hiatus from here. I owe many updates but September and October have been so busy for me.

I am now on day 6 of a staycation here at home and it's been fabulous, and that was after a last-minute trip the previous weekend as well. So the first weekend in October we made a decision on a Wednesday to book a short trip to Myrtle Beach, SC to join my dad's side of the family in their annual celebration there. It's known as Reese the Beach (for our family name) and it's a chance for a lot of my dad's side of the family, mostly spearheaded by the family of his oldest brother who died in 1987 at the age of 50, to get together and celebrate the life of the family members who have passed on. My dad was one of 8 kids and currently 5 of them are still alive, and this also means I have over 30 first cousins. There is usually a gathering Thursday night where one of my uncles sings and plays guitar at a local bar/restaurant, then the next day is a golf tournament for fun (best ball) and then Saturday more gatherings usually at the Beach and also in the evenings. I've honestly only attended ONCE in the many years they have been doing it, and the last time I attended was October 2017, a mere 8 months after my mom died. Now of my immediate family (mom,dad,younger brother) I am the only one who doesn't golf...I chose tennis instead. However I have golfed in the past and know how to play and my brother is really really good. My dad golfs pretty much every single day since he lives in North Carolina.

So this year I booked a flight to South Carolina on Wednesday, we flew out just about 24 hours later, I rented a car, picked up my aunt who lives near the Myrtle Beach airport, and drove to the restaurant to surprise my family.

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Me with a bunch of my cousins and aunts and uncles and spouses


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Yep...I golfed...thankfully my dad still has my mom's golf clubs at his house

It was so much fun to see them all there and they were all surprised...but surprise was on my when I learned my dad, who had been at the restaurant earlier, was taken to the hospital by his girlfriend when he started feeling ill and was in a lot of pain having hurt his hand earlier in the day at home. So I spent the evening hanging with a lot of my family...but didn't see my dad until the next day. Also our plan was to just hang out in the Myrtle Beach area and enjoy some time there and meet the family for lunch here and there, but we got roped into playing golf on Friday which we did and actually had a pretty good time. Of course I was put on the team with my brother, and since it was best ball, and he is awesome, we won by quite a bit. After golf that day was lunch where I finally was able to see my dad with his fully bandaged hand and he would later learn (just this week finally) that he had a chipped bone near his wrist so he's in a soft cast and can start using it as he feels comfortable.
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Quick trip to the beach

So we flew home on Saturday afternoon, then spent Saturday evening with friends, then Sunday celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary at home, then went to work just Monday and Tuesday.

Then Wednesday I took the day off to go to some doctor appointments, then drive 3.5 hours to West Virginia University to pick up my daughter for her fall break. We came home, then my brother and SIL and two nephews (ages 7 and 9) arrived at my house Wed evening. So Thursday we took the boys and my SIL to the National Zoo in Washington, DC and Friday we had a great lunch on the water and then went to the local Laurel Park Racetrack and bet on some ponies since my SIL loves horses.

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National Zoo Panda
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NOT a REAL Panda (LOL)

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BETTING on some PONIES!

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LOVE my girl!

Friday night we did s'mores in the firepit at our house while watching a movie projected on the side of our house. Saturday we watched college football (WVU lost sadly) then Saturday night a bunch of us went to the local Six Flags America amusement park where we did their Fright Fest for about 3 hours which was fun. Yesterday was Sunday and mostly a chill day for us and then we were up early today and made the 3.5 hour drive (each way) to West Virginia and back and dropped my daughter back off at school. We'll see her again for Thanksgiving break...so we'll see her again in about 41 days...not that I'm counting. It was so great having her here though.

So now I'm catching up on laundry that I've neglected, chilling, and getting ready to watch my Baltimore Ravens play some football at 8pm tonight.

In the meantime, I'm planning another quick trip for this upcoming weekend, somewhat locally, to do some ghost tours...and maybe try to knock out this Trip Report.
 

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  • kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Girls Grad Trip DAY FOUR:


    This was the plan I had in mind initially:

    DAY FOUR: THURSDAY: Our park reservation is at Animal Kingdom, so we'll head there in the morning. Planning to likely have lunch at Satuli. We'll hang for as long as it takes to knock out all the stuff we want to do, then head back to our resort. I do have dinner at The Plaza that night if we want to do that. We could also hop to EPCOT for the last few hours this evening after dinner.

    After hitting 3 of 4 parks the previous day, there wasn't a big rush for today but of course AK was the only park we hadn't visited on Wednesday.

    We grabbed something quick from the room I think for breakfast and then headed out to Animal Kingdom by car. Around 8:30am we were walking by here:
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    Our first stop was Expedition Everest which we got on rather quickly. I can't recall if we rode it a second time or not but we did get this photo:
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    The girls picture at least showed up in our account:
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    So what I do recall is I think we headed to Dinosaur next...and we have no photo from that one. That could be because almost right after they took our photo...the ride totally STOPPED. I mean we sat there in the dark for quite some time. I've never been on that particular ride when it broke down...but what I also remember was we had somebody on the ride with us who clearly was NOT happy and screamed almost the entire time on the ride. That included when we were stopped I'm sure. Eventually the ride did start up again though but what was odd was we got NO announcement while we were clearly stuck there.

    I think our next stop was here:
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    We were all in need of some refreshments...and before we got in line for this:
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    I can't recall our wait here, but I am sure it was less than an hour. Of course everyone enjoyed it.

    At some point we did also ride this:
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    Then on our way out had to get some photos:
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    Probably my FAVORITE:
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    As I recall, it was a hot day and we had pretty much done all we were interested in doing here. Nobody was interested in the shows or anything else...so we headed back to the hotel for a little R&R and pool time.

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    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Girls Grad Trip Day Four CONTINUED:

    So I don't know if we hit the pool or just chilled out...probably both. I did enjoy this view though:
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    What was cool was that we could also see this:
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    It's been way too long for me to even remember what we did for dinner...but I wonder if this was the one night we chose to head over to Shades of Green for dinner. I so enjoy eating there since we don't need an ADR and the food is so reasonable and so good.

    At some point we did make our way back to the Magic Kingdom though as this was around 7pm:
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    What did we do here? Your guess is as good as mine but since the park closed around 9pm I'm sure it wasn't much. We did do some photos though:
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    Plus of course a selfie:
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    Soon we headed back to the room, where my last goal for the evening was a snack that I enjoyed out on the balcony:
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    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Girls Grad Trip DAY FIVE

    Here was the original plan:

    DAY FIVE: FRIDAY: Park reservation for HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS. Arrive close to 8:30am. Either knock out ToT and RnRC first thing or hit the TSM area and do the rides there. We'll see how crowds build as that will determine how long we stay. We will take a break in the afternoon at our resort most likely, our last day to enjoy some pool time. That evening we'll have dinner with CHEF MICKEY. Really looking forward to trying this new experience. The menu sounds pretty good. Maybe head to MK that evening or EPCOT (though with the possibility of Friday night local crazies there, maybe we'll stick to MK).

    So even though none of us were really Star Wars fans, we thought it would be fun to at least maybe ride RotR while there, so at 7am I did attempt and was successful in getting a boarding pass. I can't recall the time on it though but it wasn't too early. We still headed out to Hollywood Studios sometime that morning. Now my plan was to get there at opening...but as I recall I misjudged and got to the gates too early via car...and so we had to turn around and make our way back to the park closer to opening. As a result I think we got there after 9pm and we hopped in line for this:

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    I do enjoy this ride honestly...but I know the girls had something else in mind so it's possible we actually did this one first:
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    And of course also this one:
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    Plus we got a group photo too:
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    I think we had some time to kill before our boarding group after those 3 rides and we were hungry...so it was time to visit one of our very favorite places in this park for some refreshments and food:
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    This is such a great place to take a break and the food and drinks were lovely. I'm pretty sure after this it was time to visit RotR...and we came upon a line that was winding and winding and winding inside the queue...and really wasn't moving. I think we waited for a little while but then decided to just cut our losses and head out instead. The pool was calling once again.

    So we headed back to the room and got changed...and eventually made our way down to the pool. After a little while we looked over and saw this:

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    Yep it wasn't looking good...and sure enough:
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    We tried to wait it out thinking it would clear up but when thunder and lightning happened they had to clear the pool deck so we headed back to the room.

    Basically we chilled out in the room until our 5pm Chef Mickey's reservation. CM was always a must do when our kids were small, though the last few years we made it a tradition to do brunch which was better than breakfast and dinner in our opinion. This new non-buffet option sounded interesting to us.

    Up next: Chef Mickey's the NEW Experience REVIEW
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Girls Grad Trip Day Five CONTINUED: CHEF MICKEY's Review and more EPCOT

    So I know Chef Mickey's has never been a favorite for many people, but we really wanted my daughter's BFF's first trip to include some kind of character interaction and this was the best way.
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    Honestly the menu sounded pretty good to me, and though it was expensive and the character interaction wasn't great I have to say we REALLY enjoyed the food here. So let's see if I can recall what we had and what we asked for more of while there.

    I think first up was the breads and salads:
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    Ok these rolls were so so lovely...we definitely enjoyed a few of those but knew we had to pace ourselves. The salads included a caesar, which sadly I think had onions so I couldn't eat it...and requested I be brought one without onion. Unless that was one of the other salads. I know I did enjoy the salad with the shrimp...it was delicious. The green salad was also pretty good. I mean I do enjoy a good salad and these were pretty good.

    Next was the main dishes and the sides:
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    Ok so the sides were the:

    Potato Gnocchi
    Roasted Mushroom Cream, Baby Spinach, Parmesan, Herbs​

    Roasted Garlic Gratin Potatoes
    Mickey’s Parmesan Frico​
    Plant-based Farro Wheat Fried Rice

    And the main dishes included:

    Prime Rib
    with Mushroom Ragoût and Roasted Onions​

    Traditional Roasted Breast of Turkey
    with Summer Succotash and Gravy​

    Roasted Salmon
    Sweet Mustard Glaze and Southern-style Braised Kale​

    Ok so I'm not a fan of gratin potatoes...but others at the table did enjoy these. I will say though that the gnocchi and the rice...both fantastic. We asked for more of both. Of course there were also the carrots and asparagus...I think I tried some of the carrots and not a fan of asparagus anyway.

    As for the main dishes...I'm normally a big salmon fan and while it was good, I'm not a fan of having it with a sweet glaze of any kind so I tried it and it was good. The turkey was also very nicely done and enjoyable. However the prime rib was definitely my favorite...it was cut with a fork tender and really well seasoned...so enjoyable.

    Now the characters did come around behind us at a bit of a distance so it was tough to get photos with them but I did manage a few:
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    Can't leave without a photo with the mouse of course!

    Overall I was really not as impressed with the character experience here as with the brunch we had at Topolino's (not for this trip). This just seemed forced, and maybe because it was still somewhat new...I'm not sure. Oh I totally forgot there was dessert also for this one but I don't have photos...as we were so full but we did at least try some of it I remember.

    I enjoyed the food though, and wish they had this meal somewhere else without the characters and the high price tag.

    I'm not sure if we'll ever make it back but I do think I'd like to try for my upcoming 50th birthday trip in the spring.

    After this we decided as it was our last night to head to EPCOT as it was the only park open late. Plus my friend and I had a need to do at least one (or maybe more) drinks around the World while there. So we did drive over to EPCOT next.
     
  • kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Girls Grad Trip Day Five CONTINUED: EPCOT

    Bellies full of Chef Mickey food, we headed out to EPCOT and the plan was to get our drink on for a bit. Now I honestly don't recall if we did other stuff this evening...because I can't recall what we did the first time at EPCOT.

    It looks like we at least did this:
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    I know we wanted to at least try the frozen lemonade drink at Joffrey's...with a few shots of Fireball Whiskey. My friend and I shared our drinks..we had to pace ourselves after all:
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    Eventually we ended up in America...and snapped this photo:
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    We have a running joke with a friend of ours regarding AMERICA...so whenever I'm there I always send her a photo or video.

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    Eventually we made it all the way around to Mexico...where we took a boat ride with the 3 Caballeros and grabbed some drinks.

    I think we made our way over to Test Track which the girls wanted to ride again...but we had drinks to finish so they did that one on their own.
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    It was now close to closing time and we figured we'd have time for TWO more rides. Mission Space was showing a wait of like 30 minutes but walking in we were right near where you load so we knew it couldn't be that long of a wait.

    We. Were. So. Wrong.

    I don't know why this ride was being so poorly loaded for this night...but we waited a very very long time with very little movement.

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    Can you see the girls?

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    Eventually we were loaded up but of course they are putting each group on a circle inside the loading chamber. This resulted in a LOT of confusion for the group loading up with us...and for another person in another group to shout what is captioned here:
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    People were trying to cram onto numbers that didn't make since instead of around their designated square or two.


    Finally we did make it here:
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    This would be the last ride of the night for us...so soon we were heading out. It was a very good last night for us for sure.
     

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    KathyM2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2011
    Hey nice to see you back and thanks for sharing!! Love living vicariously through all the other people's trips that get to go these days!! The food sounds decent at Chef Mickey's...like you we used to go when kids were little but weren't impressed with the food...maybe worth another look someday!! I want that lemonade!!
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Girls Grad Trip DAY SIX: FINAL DAY

    So we really had done most of what we wanted to do at all of the parks at this point, or at least what the girls wanted to do. I kept pushing for the nostalgic rides as I think we had still missed out on a few at this point but I can't remember. My daughter would not entertain a visit to the Country Bears but I think this was the day I did get us on Carousel of Progress and maybe TTA? I can only say for sure we did get on this one:
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    I remember it was definitely typical hot and humid Florida day though, so we took some time to get some snacks for sure:
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    And we relaxed for a while and caught this going by:
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    Plus I really wanted to have this photo done:
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    Can you see us?
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    We were definitely just ready to be out of the heat, and I needed to make a quick stop at Shades of Green to buy some tickets for our upcoming July trip...so we headed there next...which is where you can find this guy:
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    Once I picked up the tickets I needed, we thought we'd just hit Disney Springs for a bit, grab lunch there before our flight.

    We walked around and into a few stores and then it looked like some rain might be rolling in so we searched for an indoor place to eat. I'd never been to Splittsville so we thought we'd try it, but they couldn't seat us inside though they had some outside tables. We snagged one of those which was barely covered and ordered some food. I had read their sushi was good so I got this:
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    It was pretty good. The girls got some food as well:
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    Eventually a Florida shower did come through, so we ended up having to squeeze ourselves inside and under the cover here as much as possible, but I remember some of the table was wet but we all survived. Food was pretty good overall and we had nothing else to do, so we headed to the airport as it was around 3pm and we had a 5:30pm flight home.

    While it was sad to say goodbye of course, we had a great trip overall, showed a first time some great stuff, had some pretty good weather and just overall had a lovely girls trip!

    Thanks for tuning in for my report even though it took me about 4 months to finally complete it!
     

    kastoney

    Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Thanks for sharing all of your girl adventures. Hope your daughter is doing well at WVU (even if they beat my Hokies a few weeks ago 🤬). How nice you got down to Myrtle Beach to spend time with your family. Sounds like a fantastic event. Hope your dad is all better.
     

    luvpoohandcompany

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    So glad you took the time to finish this report. Looks like a pretty decent last day. Splitsville food looks good too. Hope your daughter is enjoying university. These kids of our grow up so fast!
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Thanks for sharing all of your girl adventures. Hope your daughter is doing well at WVU (even if they beat my Hokies a few weeks ago 🤬). How nice you got down to Myrtle Beach to spend time with your family. Sounds like a fantastic event. Hope your dad is all better.
    She is loving WVU thanks...and sorry (not sorry ;) ) about the Hokies game! I'm happy we were fortunate enough to make that MB trip also. My dad is getting better daily, just in a soft brace and has been out on the golf course at least once so far to test the waters....of course.

    So glad you took the time to finish this report. Looks like a pretty decent last day. Splitsville food looks good too. Hope your daughter is enjoying university. These kids of our grow up so fast!
    Thanks for reading and being patient while I took my sweet time with this! We did have a pretty low-key last day, mostly because of the heat and humidity and then the short Florida rain. We really likes the food at Splittsville actually, wouldn't mind going back for that again. Yes my daughter is enjoying her college experience so far. I miss her of course, but we plan to visit her this Friday for her birthday! :cake:
     

    KathyM2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2011
    Enjoying reading about your trip!! That sushi looked pretty good...unexpected for a restaurant that doesn't specialize in it!!
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Enjoying reading about your trip!! That sushi looked pretty good...unexpected for a restaurant that doesn't specialize in it!!
    It was very good. I think I'd read good things about the sushi here before and it did not disappoint.
     


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