teri's solo/respite trip Day 2... Teri gets a life.

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by teri, Feb 20, 2001.

  1. teri

    teri DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 1999
    I woke up. It was dark in the room, I had closed the curtains and blinds last night. I had no sense of the time, or even where I was for a moment. The smell was unfamiliar - cleaner than a room where dogs and cats and children climb into bed with us at will. No LCD lights from the ethernet box, router, SunRay, monitor, speaker amp, answering machine or phone... the corner of my bedrom at home is lit up like a Christmas tree, I can literally turn on the computer without my head leaving the pillow. It took me a minute to realize where I was. I was in my studio room, perched high above the waterway, in the wonderful OKW Resort. I opened the curtains and through open the door... a lovely mist hung over the waterway by the golf course, the sky was partly cloudy, the sun had risen but the sky was still not completely blue. Morning in Florida. Oh, yes. :cool:

    I had the good sense to bring my own good coffee and filters and had set up the coffeemaker the night before. A flick of the switch and I was on my way. I took my morning medications, did some stretches, and took lots of time pulling myself together. :) A morning to myself, I didn't have to be anywhere, or take anyone anywhere, or argue with anyone about breakfast or the plans for the day. I lingered in my room, savoring the freedom. I spent an inordinate amount of time in the large, uncluttered bathroom - no competition for the facilities, nobody else's messes. Pulled myself together, put on my bikini :eek: and my DVC coverup, put up my hair and set out for the main pool. :cool:

    Why I picked the main pool at OKW for my first public outing I am not really sure... perhaps it was the large number of teenage cheerleaders with their boombox around the quiet pool near my building. Perhaps it was some crazy disinhibition, a remnant of the sleep deprivation I had suffered the day before. But off I went, feeling rather self-conscious but still determined to find a good spot to get some sun. I had my new prescription sunglasses (bifocals, of course, I am that age) and a funny book to read (Native Tongue by Carl Hiassen, a mystery set at a Florida theme park) and I was all set. I needed a hat, had forgotten to pack one, so I went and grabbed a Minnie visor hat at the general store. I wasn't the least bit hungry... I could wait until lunchtime to eat. I did grab an O'Douls and a bottle of water, though.

    I got more self-conscious as I approached the pool, but there were plenty of people there who were normal moms and dads... I felt anonymous enough to go for it. Found a spot away from the pool pointed at the sun, set out the towels on the lounge, and took off the coverup. Nobody gasped loud enough to hear it, I couldn't hear any laughter... a good sign. ;) I spent about an hour in the warm Florida late morning sunshine, reading my book and watching the clouds go by. It all came to an end, though , when a large family of fully-dressed men, women and children set themselves up at a table 2 lounge chairs away from me (there were several other tables, but of course my location was so prime that it was reasonable to expect others to see its value) and my sense of privacy and anonymity dissipated in a flash. It put my coverup back on and pulled my stuff back together. Time to go back to the studio.

    Took a shower, pulled myself together, once again lingering in the bathroom much longer than I ever would at home. I did take a few minutes to check my e-mail and log onto the DIS :) as the servers seemed to have been fixed overnight. No problem at all, logging in through the phones at the room was simple. I put my afternoon and evening meds into a baggie in my backpack, grabbed my water bottle, checked to make sure I had my tickets and headed out the door. I had promised myself that, on this trip, I would shop in the stores where I could not take my children... the places where I would be so busy keeping them from grabbing or begging or wandering or throwing merchandise or clearing off shelves or having a tantrum or fighting or pulling on my sore arms that I would not be able to really appreciate the merchandise. :eek: (I am still recovering from a rotator cuff tear, dislocated elbow and wrist from 1999 that I got during a tantrum in a store...) On our last trip, I had wanted so much to linger in the shops at Animal Kingdom, but it just could not happen. So, off to Animal Kingdom I drove in my lovely red Taurus. I arrived late enough in the day that the parking guys were no longer directing traffic, and was able to get a spot close to the tram stop without having to show my GAC. The tram ride was more painful than I thought it would be, though... my neck was not doing well, even though I had been taking it very easy. In I went, heading straight for the shops.

    I was not planning on doing random shopping on this trip - I had specific things in mind. On our second visit to WDW in 1998, we were among the first guests to see Animal Kingdom. It has developed into a beautiful and comfortable place to spend a day. We have seen these beautiful Tree of Life snowglobes on every subsequent visit, and my son has wanted one. He does not fix on many things like this, it was something that just captivated him. But it was too expensive for us, and I had always said no. Well, on this trip, I decided that it was time to get the snowglobe. I went into that first store, where we had seen the snowglobes on our las visit... they wre gone. The display had been changed. I asked the CM at the counter and was shocked to hear that they had been discontinued... there were no more. :( Oh, well! I decided I had better eat something given that it was about 2PM and I hadn't even had breakfast. I took the easy way out, got a sandwich at Flame Tree. Usually I appreciate the food there, this time I was not thrilled. I did enjoy the scene, though.. I had a quiet table between the fountain and the waterway, with flowers and birds all around me. I could hear the sounds of the peacocks calling from across the river in Asia, and the sounds of the Tarzan Rocks show finale in the distance. I closed my eyes and tried to shut out the artificial sounds... it didn't quite work, but it was still worth the effort, just trying.

    I walked towards the Tarzan Rocks show, as I have not yet seen this one, but they were already full... wow, it had just ended a few minutes before. I backtracked and headed over to Asia... checking out the shops and carts as I went along. Decided to do the Marahaja Jungle Trek, which my family has done without me in the past. It was quite nice, but I thought it might have been more fun with the kids. I wasn't feeling so happy. On to Africa... and I stopped in the Mombasa Market Place to shop a bit. And there, in the middle of the store, on a clearance rack, were 7 Tree of Life Snow Globes!!! Half price! WOW!!! Unbelievable! This certainly brightened my outlook. I had it shipped home... couldn't imagine carrying it around or checking it in my soft-side suitcase. (It arrived the day before yesterday, here is a link to a picture:

    I walked around Africa a bit more, but I was hurting and tired... it was time to go. I made the rounds of the carts and shops. On teh way out, I walked through the Rainforest Cafe store... that place is an attraction unto itself. I know I have been through there, but my attention was not on the beautiful surroundings... the animatronic wildlife, the rainforest, the gigantic aquarium with overhead tubes full of large, gorgeous tropical fish. Beautiful! I bought my own souvenir, a red sleeveless t-shirt that quickly became my favorite. Very pleasant.

    On the way back to the resort, I decided to stop and see the pool and spa area at Coronado Springs. (As a DVC member, we have pool hopping priveleges.) I had brought a dry suit in my swim bag. :) I made the trek over to the Dig Site, which features a pyramid with a very nice looking waterslide... but the place was packed. The spa was above capacity.. it was pointless. I could have used some time in the spa or a warm pool at that point, my neck was killing me, but it was not to be. I headed back to Old Key West Resort.

    I had called Dan from the car and left a message, in case he hadn't found some other DISers to join him for dinner. He returned my call soon after I got back to the resort. Having just spent my entire souvenir budget at Animal Kingdom, I was feeling a bit frugal. I talked him into trying the food court at Coronado Springs. I drove over and picked him up at the Swan. I had never been inside, and while i was waiting for him I toured the lobby and public areas. (I know this place has its fans, but it seemed like a business hotel to me, more than a vacation resort.) It is a beautiful place, conveniently located, but I am so enamored of the privacy and quiet at OKW, it didn't appeal to me. Dan came down, and we drove over to Coronado Springs, which Dan had never seen. I don't think he was very impressed... the place does not have the intimate feel of Dixie Landings or Port Orleans, and the expansive views filled with buildings rather than wooded areas make the place seem... large. That, plus it has that huge convention area.

    The food court at Coronado Springs is large, labyrinthine, and somewhat confusing for the first time visitor. It is a combination of counter service at open kitchen areas, and table service from CMs who bring your drinks and clear the tables foro you. Gratuity is included in the bill. Dan had the Chinese food, I had the Mexican special (chicken with suace, that is about as descriptive as I get with food) and speaking for myself it was perfectly edible but not spectacular. There was a foursome playing a musical instrument (a vibraphone? like a large wooden xylophone) very well to a small but appreciative crowd. This is a restaurant to which I will never again take my children -- the last time I was there last summer, my son got so overstimulated with the noise and music and smells and sights that he crawled under our table and almost overturned it, then ran over to another table and started throwing other people's plates and dinnerware -- so I appreciated this chance to try it again, to see if my impression would improve. I don't think I will go out of my way to go there again, but I had a decent meal for under $10. Dan had had a full day and wanted to upload some pictures to the DIS, so I dropped him off at the Swan and headed back to OKW.

    I was in my studio for about 3 minutes when I made the decision... it was only 9PM, I was going to Pleasure Island. :cool: I had been to PI once before with my husband. He didn't like it very much. We had to leave early because we had left our kids in one of the kids' clubs and had to be back to pick them up by 11:30. I think we saw one show, at the Adventurers' club, which he did not like - it is not his type of humor, but I thought it was funny. At this point, I REALLY wished that some of my Saturday Night Chat buddies were there with me.. I think it would have been lots more fun, and more comfortable than being a woman alone. (Sigh!) I really wanted to go over to Citywalk, as I have heard such nice things about it, but I didn't feel comfortable going to a place I had never been, at night, by myself. (Chicken!) So off I drove to Pleasure Island. I was feeling quite brave and foolish at the same time. I don't drink much, I hardly ever go out, here I am headed for Pleasure Island?? Alone? :eek:

    Well, I almost chickened out. I pulled into Downtown Disney, saw a parking place right at the front across the street from the main entrance... I took it as a sign. Parked right there, near the sport shop and Ghirardelli's and walked through DD. Thought about going into the World of Disney - it was my chance - but I didn't. I wandered over toward PI, but didn't go in. (Chicken!) I walked around PI to the DD Westside. I went through the shops - wonderful things there! I had no idea! I walked over toward House of Blues, thought about going in.. not sure why I didn't. (Next time.) Went over to the Cirque du Soleil store - we had done the show on our last trip, it was wonderful, but I didn't even know there was a shop... I had been a bit busy at the time. Interesting things in there. But PI was still calling me... so I walked over.

    Now, you must understand, I am a wimp. I am an amateur. I cannot drink much at all- my liver does not produce the enough of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, it is a genetic trait, and my past life experiences of getting wasted had gotten me into so much trouble in my youth that I avoided the whole bar scene through most of my adult life. Now, how can I explain this... it wasn't a religious thing, or a lifestyle choice... it was more of a psychological aversion, a fear of going to places where I could get so out of control that I could be in danger. Going to PI alone sounds like no big deal to most people, I am sure, but for me it required some courage. In avoiding the bar scene, I had avoided so much social activity... I had buried myself in my school, my career, my family... I didn't get out much. (It shows! LOL!) I really wished that I had friends there who appreciated the place, friends that I could just attach myself to, just to go in and enjoy the scene. Going in alone was a big deal for me. (It was a big deal for my husband, too :rolleyes: as he could not imagine what I thought I was looking for! A source of conflict.)

    Well, it was Thursday night. I overheard someone at Westside telling a friend that it was Castmember night... I had remembered that from one of the chat sessions. Thursday night would be OK, it was a relatively safe crowd. :cool: So I pulled myself together and walked to the gate. Darn it! I forgot my ticket!!! I got one at the ticket booth, using my DVC discount it was even less than the discounted ticket I had purchased in advance and left in my room. (In other words, there Will be a next time.) And in I went. Lots of pounding techno-pop music on the streets. On my previous visit, there had been a band playing Allman Brothers tunes, no such luck tonight. It was some kind of Extreme Dance show. A fe people were hanging about bobbing their heads, a few obvious CMs seemed to be having fun drinking beer in front of guests.. but it didn't appeal to me much. I headed over to the Adventurer's Club. Just as I got in, they were seating for a show, so in I went - I got one of the last seats at the bar.

    The show was pretty good, funny. I saw Sarangel and her husband in front, they waved. Had a Seltzer and lime from the bar... a dangerous spot, actually, as the performers climbed up right next to me to to their bits on the bar behind me. I didn't get singled out, they probably have radar for nervous people. The show was enjoyable, more special effects than I had remembered from the previous visit. When it was over, we were herded out of the place. I shared an elevator with a group of completely pickled people who were obviously having a very good time that night and would pay for it in the morning. I was jealous. ;)

    On to the Comedy Club, which was just at the end of seating a show. I was one of the last people in once again. The improv was enjoyable - I have seen better. It might have been funnier if I had been drinking. Back out on the street, it was getting near midnight, the music was pounding, the place was teeming with young adults. I walked down toward 8-trax to check out the scene. I lasted about 25 seconds inside - that was as long as I could hold my breath. The atmosphere was choked with smoke and sweat, the disco music was not to my liking. Not how I remember the 70's, not at all. On to the Beach Club... also not much there for me. I walked through the place, lingered a bit to check it out. Quite frankly, the people on the dance floor didn't seem to be having a very good time. The music was techno-hip-hop-pop-processed-cheesey junk that I am sure sounds like heaven to some people but it wasn't for me. Hey, I used to hang out at real beaches, real boardwalks... this faux-funky scene with its incongruous music and blase' dancers did not do it for me.

    Back outside, it was clear that the midnight fireworks show would soon begin, so I walked back up toward the stage area. I got a good spot on the steps of the Adventurers' Club to watch the rest of the X-treme dance show, which culminated in a fireworks display. It was fun enough to watch - the young dancers had plenty of talent and energy. The crowd seemed mildly pleased.

    After the fireworks were over, I decided to head over to the Jazz Club. On our previous visit, the band was not so hot and had just ended their set as we got our table. This time I got there just as the band was starting their set, and it sounded great!!! Really great!! Francine Reed and the Shadows, from Atlanta. Excellent R&B/Jazz/Soul fusion. Very nice. I started out at the bar in back, but moved to a table at the back of the main room. I stretched out and relaxed, ordered my one drink of the whole trip :cool: and fully enjoyed the show. The band played their hearts out to a room half full of a very appreciative crowd, mostly folks my age more or less. Those kids outside had no idea what they were missing... this was great. :cool:

    I headed back when the set ended... wish I had bought one of the CDs in the lobby. Walked back to the car through DD, now deserted. Back to OKW for a nice, quiet sleep. :) I had a breakfast date in the morning, another DIS meet... I was quite content. Sweet dreams.

    "My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."

    [This message was edited by teri on 02-21-01 at 11:39 AM.]
  2. pumba


    Dec 28, 1999
    to do it....thanks to your report.....sounds like it was fun too......I always go to the pool by myself....brian usually joins me later...for a dip and then he is gone again....I just like to be lazy and hope that i don't fall asleep.....I may snore.....don't know that yet...

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  4. pigletproud

    pigletproud Earning My Ears

    Nov 20, 2000
    I am admiring your trip. I know being solo must have made you think "what am I doing" but I am sure it shows you what you are capable of. Want to hear more!
  5. whosezMN

    whosezMN <font color=deeppink>"A little kindness, a little

    Mar 8, 2000
    Teri, Teri! Your solo trip makes me crave one of my own ... ah, someday. :)

    More please! :D

  6. FairyGodfriend

    FairyGodfriend Mouseketeer

    Aug 30, 2000
    I'm really enjoying reading your "solo" trip reports. You're a true inspiration! That's great that you got to go back to CS and PI to create some of your own "good" memories. OKW sounds like the place to be if you want to kick back and relax. Too funny about the bikini :D

  7. oldkicker

    oldkicker <font color=purple>Pay no attention to <img src=ht

    Aug 23, 1999
    Wonderful report again, Teri.

    I'm glad you found a good band that the Jazz Club. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I had much the same impression of the Beach Club, although my younger siblings seemed to like it just fine. :rolleyes:

    I am so looking forward to your next few trip reports to get the lowdown on all you CCSS folks! :)

    Oh - BTW - I could squeeze into a Taurus just fine! :D

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. teri

    teri DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 1999
    Oldkicker! You have dibs. ;)

    "My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."
  9. LindaBabe

    LindaBabe DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 1999
    You have earned it 100 times over, and I hope it won't be so long before you take the next one! Reading between the lines, you are an amazing, strong woman.

  10. snuggles

    snuggles <font color=blue>A good day with short lines...wha

    Aug 18, 1999
    Teri, Its nice to know you think of your chat buddies even on vacation. You are very brave to venture out on your own. Thanks for a wonderful report. :)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  11. sherrie

    sherrie <font color=CC66CC>On a quest to find a talking tr

    Jan 2, 2000
    YOU GO GIrl! I am enjoying your report so much, it must have felt strange to go it alone, I give you a lot of credit. Are you homesick yet? I bet NOT.

  12. #1 Disney Fan

    #1 Disney Fan DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2000
    Thanks for posting teri, it was great! :) I'm so glad that you found the Tree of Life snowglobe, and for half price... how wonderful!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  13. Barb

    Barb A DIS Original!

    Aug 17, 1999
    Teri, it's as if you read my mind. I was entertaining the idea of going to PI alone on my next trip. It seems like you were quite comfortable there by yourself. Can't wait to read the rest of your trip reports! Thanks!m

    Barb-for Real!
    Been there, done that, GOING BACK!

  14. Marla Hellwig

    Marla Hellwig I'm not lost, it's called creative exploring

    Mar 25, 2000
    Sounds like you are having a great time. It will be a long time before I get to do a solo trip to the world. Thanks for posting!
  15. Mamu

    Mamu <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    Feb 27, 2000
    Teri, I am enoying you report, sounds like you are having a great time.

    Mamu [​IMG]

    <center><img width="174"height="184"src="http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/vltdisney/ladytramp02.gif"><center><font color=666600>L'amore e: WDW nella molla!</font></center>
  16. Leota

    Leota DIS Veteran

    May 16, 2000
    Teri - I love reading your reports! I really wish I could recall mine & put them down as beautifully as you do.....

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

  17. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy We are family.

    Apr 20, 2000
    What do ya mean....I liked CSR eatin' place. :rolleyes: It was just confusing, LOL :D Thanks for the nice report, teri. :)

    Dan-Let's "Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand"
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  18. TimNDansMom

    TimNDansMom DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2000
    I loved reading your trip report, teri! It was so well written and descriptive, too! I was sort of semi-solo for a few days last November, while dh went off on a golf package to the gulf coast, so I know where you were coming from. Also, left the kids at home,what a treat! I didn't have the nerve to go to PI alone and dh didn't want to go when he joined back up with me, but maybe next time, I'll get up the nerve.



    off-site '86,'87
    DXL July 00
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    DXL or All-Stars 200?
  19. Princess Annjanette

    Princess Annjanette Earning My Ears

    Nov 7, 2000
    How wonderful! I just love the detail in your report and it flows so well! I wish I could muster up the courage to go solo. Thanks for posting such a great report!

  20. DisneyHumbug

    DisneyHumbug DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2001
    The instrument played at CSR is a marimba - a vibraphone is electric. Those guys are very entertaining!!
  21. SonjaB

    SonjaB <font color=teal>Mrs. SonjaB, if you please, who i

    Aug 24, 1999
    Oh, Teri, how FUN! I wish I had been there with you, it is nice without kids now and then, isn't it.... sigh.... :)


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