We Ate, We Drank, We Conquered - An Aug/Sep '16 Dining Report - Updated 2/25 California Grill

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by kastoney, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Xclusive2WDW

    Xclusive2WDW Disney is a lifestyle!

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    Party on your spoons, I LOVE IT!!! I am not sure I will be trying Skippers anytime soon, but based on reviews and that awesome looking dessert- I definitely think apps is the way to go when I do try it.
     
  2. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    What do ya know I knew you'd be happy with beer and wine in MK too :drinking1

    Glad to know I'm not the only anti-fungal person out there :-)

    Thanks so much. And yes we are very lucky she isn't a picky eater. Thankfully she literally eats everything so the sky is the disney eating limit :-)

    Welcome back! I would say we've never had a "good" experience at San Angel, but the food is always pretty solid even if the service is spotty. I could see how they could easily flow from either awful or awesome pretty easily.

    Yeah, it is definitely a commitment to get to Sanaa time wise. I can see how you maybe don't want to venture that far on a quick trip. Thankfully we'll be staying at AKL next trip so I'm sure we'll be there again :-)

    With the Plaza reservation changes and new LTT menu, I can't imagine a trip when we won't eat there in the near future :-)

    Please be a pedant, I know absolutely nothing about Indian food so I'm a complete novice. Though with the 30 second schpeal of what dips are what, I'm really not sure how I could mess that up :P Good news is I liked them both though, so bring on the taramind or coriander or whatever. At Sanaa its all good :-)

    It sounds like the soasatie would be right up your alley. And you are totally right, with all that dang bread they can totally cut portions and no one would be wiser.

    :-) After reading your reviews and talking to other parents I think I finally realize how lucky we are. In fact the sad thing is she is less picky than me :-) She finally got over her one food aversion (quesadillas cause I make them with leftovers all the dang time and she just got stick of them) so off the top of my head I can't think of anything she won't eat.

    Yeah I hated milk and all milk products as a kid (insert me being more picky than Casey here) so I never really ate ice cream. Still despise milk, but now eat ice cream its just never my sweet go to. Now dense cakey brownies or dense brownie like cakes on the other hand :-)

    :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

    The background with Belle was nice, but otherwise it wasn't a very nice set-up. It was very apparent it was hastily thought of and set-up so it as just a big empty room with
    Belle at the end in front of a backdrop. Don't get me wrong it was a nice AP perk and a picture Casey wasn't going to get otherwise (cause you know her mean Mama isn't taking her to a princess meal), but it definitely was out of place and not themed at all.

    I am so not crafty. Like I failed home economics in high school because I can't sew or craft or do anything remotely requiring eye hand coordination. But if you give me a computer to "craft" with that I can handle!!!! I do a year in review book for Casey every year on Shutterfly but if you asked me to do any semblance of scrapbooking we could all get a good laugh at the results :-)


    :car: Off to trademark stone-style before you do :P

    Yeah the SEA room was a pleasant surprise. I'd never even thought to ask where to sit, so it was a real treat to get taken here.

    Kid I do not. When I saw your meal I knew we were food twins :-)

    I always love how your hubby gets folded in with the under 5 crowd from a food perspective :-) Hoping for your sake at least one the boys follows in your food footsteps instead of Daddys. And you have disney to a tee, there is literally something for everybody!

    So awesome to hear you have another trip on the horizon. I am certainly not looking forward to the day when we have to worry about school and sports scheduled when planning vacation.

    Awesome!!! Hope you all love Skippers as much as we did.

    Me and you both. There is a middle eastern kabob place not far from our house that has the most amazing chickpeas. They always laugh at me because everyone else is ordering meat items and I get a veggie platter with double chickpeas!!!!

    Yeah the new one sounds pretty similar to me, though I'm disappointed the arepas and yuca are gone. They were the highlights of the plate.

    Yeah, Casey is quite the punny one. I thought about calling the dining report party on our spoons, but I didn't want it to go to her head :-)
     
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  3. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    Dessert is My Favorite Ride

    After heading out of Skippers we headed toward Tomorrowland. Along the way we were pleasantly surprised to run into the Move it Shake it Parade and Casey was beyond excited to catch a glimpse of the Zootopia crew (I not so much because its been running non-stop on her ipad for a few months).
    [​IMG]

    From there we of course did what any good parents would and bribed their kid to get on Space Mountain with the promise of face painting after. #Ain'tTooProud
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    Then it was a quick turn through the carousel of antiprogress and some quality shooting time with Buzz before we took a last ride of the day on our beloved pooper.
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    We got an extra surprise when the lights in space were on and we could see first hand the mangled mess of
    metal we'd just experienced.
    [​IMG]

    We then headed out of the park for the day as rain was on the horizon as this thing was starting to loom on us.
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    By the time we got back to the hotel boat loads of rain were coming down so we knew we wanted to stay close for dinner. We ultimately decided on The Wave. I'd read good things about it as of late and since we had a good breakfast experience there before we figured we'd give dinner a whirl.

    While deciding to stay close was "smart" what we failed to think about was getting to the monorail. While I love the Poly, what I do not like is having no inside option to get to the lobby. We put or ponchos on, but even with that Casey and I did not fair very well.
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    When we finally made it to The Wave, we were met with what I will describe gently as the nastiest fishiest smell ever. Like it was so pungent in there, Jason wasn't even sure if we could stay and eat. Ultimately we stuck it out and stayed through the meal, but only with the promise to Jason of mucho quantities of alcohol to drowned the fish.

    Jason went with his beloved Rye Whiskey.
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    Apparently they served doubles at The Wave for only $3 more so Jason of course did 3 during our meal.


    I kept it a bit more food friendly and went with a rose.
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    This was after a few sips, but The Wave has some very generous pours.

    As we sipped our copious amounts of alcohol, they brought us some bread.
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    I have absolutely no notes on this, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it tasted like bread and butter.

    For an appetizer we got the Bacon and Eggs.
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    This is Maple-lacquered Pork Belly with Perfect Egg and Tillamook Smoked Cheddar Grits. We'd had something similar at Flying Fish and I'm shocked to say this was better. The pork belly was sweet and tender and it paired wonderfully with the smokey and cheesy grits. The "perfect" egg was in fact perfectly cooked and really brought the dish together. We were unfortunately still smelling some fish, but this was making things much more palatable.

    For our entree's Casey wanted her own meal so she had cheese pizza (note she insisted on taking this photo herself).
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    See, she really does eat like a kid sometimes ; )

    Jason went with the Grilled Rib Eye.
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    This is a Medium Rare Rib Eye with Smoked Tillamook Mac and Cheese (man these people really like this Tillamook stuff), Salad, and Port Reduction. While this didn't stand a chance after our meal at Yachtsman a few nights before, Jason said it was good "Outback" quality meat. I'm not sure if that is a compliment or a jab from him as I don't think he's been in an outback in 20 years, but I can tell you its scent finally dissipated the fish smell for him and he ate it all. He also liked the smokey mac and cheese and salad on the side.

    None of their entrees jumped at me, so I went with 2 appetizers for my meal. First up we have Tomato Salad with
    mozzarella, basil pesto, and aged balsamic.
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    The pesto in here was a bit too plentiful and overpowering, but otherwise the tomatoes were exceedingly fresh and the overall dish refreshing.

    I also tried their Lump Crab and Florida Rock Shrimp Cakes With Lemon Emulsion.

    [​IMG]
    These were fine, but nothing fabulous. The lemon emulsion was delicious and really elevated the dish, but the cakes were very flat and there was no chance there was any semblance of "lump" crab going on there. Don't get me wrong the flavor was good, but as a girl who grew up on the Chesapeake bay this was not gonna cut it.

    Casey's meal came with dessert and she went with the make your own ice cream sundae.
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    It took her a good 5 minutes to "construct" her sundae, but once she dug in she declared "Dessert is My Favorite Ride." Kid after my own heart! Though we all know wine is my favorite ride ; )

    And since the kiddo was having dessert, Mom and Dad might as well join in.
    [​IMG]
    Jason and I shared the Peach Cobbler with Cinnamon Ice Cream. The wave had a lot of "smaller" dessert options which were perfect for us. This was slightly overcooked, but nice and sweet and crunchy and augmented by the yummy cinnamon ice cream.

    Overall, The Wave was a decent meal. The horrible fish smell aside, we enjoyed our meal, and my wallet enjoyed a nice non-signature price tag. I'm not sure we'll be running here again anytime soon but its a good last minute option. With our tables in wonderland card we saved $27.80 bringing our total savings to $94.

    After dinner we went on a hunt through the contemporary for some screw top wine so I didn't have to deal with the Poly Mercantile not having a wine opener again. Casey commented that I'm "always looking for wine" and ya know what I am, unless of course I am drinking it. I eventually found some, but not before I charged this kiddo with giving me a dose of my own sarcasm.
    [​IMG]

    Up next, its CASEY DAY!!!!

     
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  5. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    Cool! I've seen a couple pictures like this now, but I've never seen it myself.

    Sounds good. Looks fantastic. I'd almost think about going to The Wave just for this.

    Do I sense a budding dining report writer? Nice job with the photo.

    Looks good, too. I had to google what Tillamook was, I had never heard of it.

    Any time "make your own" and "ice cream" are in the same sentence, it can't be a bad thing. I have to agree with Casey, dessert is my favourite ride, too (except of course I have to use the Canadian spelling :))
     
  6. Niki Andiokno

    Niki Andiokno DIS Veteran

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    Like you, I wasn't that impressed with the Wave. It had a funky smell when we went there too. My ribeye was ok, but I have to say I like Outback better. My husband's home grilled steak is better than either.
     
  7. ArielSRL

    ArielSRL DIS Veteran

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    Looks like a good, basic meal that worked out well location and time-wise. Not sure I could get away from that fishy smell though. Wow...I can just imagine.

    Oh, and I totally need to work on some good bribing ideas for my 5 year old. I might just be able to get him on a few rides with that idea. Hmmm...you have given me much to think about...lol.

    Dessert and wine probably are my favorite rides, too....hahaha.
     
  8. momof3princes

    momof3princes Mouseketeer

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    Love the face paint, so cute! What in the world was the smell?? :crazy2: Love the pour of the wine, going to need to remember that!
     
  9. Disneyhayes

    Disneyhayes DIS Veteran

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    I will have to remember to bring a corkscrew
     
  10. Neverland_Girl

    Neverland_Girl Earning My Ears

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    When I do have kids I hope they're exactly like Casey she sounds like a hoot. :rotfl2: That mac and cheese looks yum though, but those crab cakes look like they got run over by a truck first. I've heard good things about the Wave but it doesn't sound like a must do to me.
     
  11. ThreeBoyMama

    ThreeBoyMama Mouseketeer

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    Ha! Just remind her that a mom with wine is a happy mom :D

    I'm not sure I could have dealt with the fish stink at The Wave. Like raw stinky fish market fish smell? Or like the four tables next to you all ordered fish for dinner at the same exact time? Either way, I am super sensitive to odors and have a feeling that would have wrecked the meal for me. Yuck!
     
  12. summerw

    summerw DIS Veteran

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    Just read this and your last report and loved them. Casey is so photogenic. She always loôks like she's having a great time. I LOVE her Star Wars running outfit. May I ask where you got it?
     
  13. TeeterTots

    TeeterTots DIS Veteran

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    Fish! Ugh no way!!! I have such an aversion to odors while eating!

    Oh girl, those crab cakes wouldn't cut it for this gal either! Bummer! The appetizer looked interesting though!

    Love the pics on your wine hunt! Haha
     
  14. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    The Wave is one of those places that is just ok. (Although I will say the Wine Dinner I did there a couple years ago was absolutely amazing but they weren't constrained like they are normally for those things). Glad your meal was 'decent' even though you had much better. At least Casey was happy with her favorite ride!

    I love your wine hunt :) You could just pack a corkscrew though ;).
     
  15. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    Why did it stink so bad like fish?? I can understand walking in the BC lobby and smelling fish from Cape May Cafe it it's dinner time, but why the Wave? We've never even walked by it so no experience. Strange.........
    Love Casey's face paint, she looks adorable!
    Interesting picture of the Space Mtn. guts, I've never seen it with the lights on. It ain't pretty! Much better in the dark.
     
  16. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    We've got to get her to be able to read and write first, but maybe food reporting is in her midst :-) She does love to take pictures, though they are selfies about 99% of the time.

    You all can keep dessert as your favourites (worked that in there just for you) I'm gonna stick with booze being my favorite

    Maybe the funky smell is a permanent thing then, though I don't remember it from our breakfast there.

    Bribing totally works for us. Casey loves all the big rides, but even if she's ridden them she still gets nervous and sometimes doesn't want to ride early in the trip. So she's gotten face painting like you saw here (twice for space since its right there), the yeti for riding everest, we'll let her go in a store and buy whatever she wants. All sorts of fun!!!

    I still have no idea what exactly the smell was. Best we could figure they had salmon on the menu that night and it was the source. No chance I was eating that for dinner.

    One of these days me too, though so far we've been batting a big fat zero!
    Thanks Casey is definitely a hoot! We joke all the time that we hit the kid lottery. Which is why there is only one of her. :D

    Yeah those crab cakes definitely did get run over by something :-) I'm used to huge jumbo lump crab cakes so this definitely threw me for a loop. Definitely think about trying breakfast at The Wave, that for us is where they shined.

    Oh she might complain, but she does a mama with wine (and a daddy with scotch) makes us a happy family :-)

    Yeah, I'm really not sure how we powered through the fish. I think it was knowing that we really didn't have any other options. If it hadn't gotten better as the meal went on, Jason probably would have had us high tail it out of there. He's super sensitive to smells too. It wasn't fish market it was more like a lot of people had ordered the same thing (which I think was salmon) and they probably needed to think twice about eating it.

    Wow, thanks so much.:love: Casey definitely a happy go lucky who hasn't found a camera she doesn't love. She is preparing for her career as a model. Though with a 5'5" Mom and a 5'7" Dad I think she is going to have to go with her fall back which is driving the mosquito fogging truck at the beach. Girls got goals :-)

    I ordered her star wars outfit online. I wanna say I got it from walmart or target. Just google stormtrooper girl costume and you should find it. I don't think I paid more than $20

    Yeah the pork appetizer was definitely the winner of the day. Given our appetizer success and large wine pours if we ever try dinner again I think we'll stick to the bar and just nibble and drink there.

    Yeah it wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, there are just definitely better places to be had. But Casey was clearly thrilled with her ice cream!!! We'll definitely be on the look out for fun choices like this at other places in the future.

    Best as we could tell they had salmon as a special that night. The restaurant was pretty crowded as it was free dining time, so I'm guessing lots of people were ordering it. And if the smell was any indication I'm guessing lots of people may have been ill the next day.

    Yeah it is clear from the picture why space is in the dark!
     
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  17. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    Casey Day

    Since tonight Jason and I planned on checking the kid into Lilo's Playhouse so we could have some adventures of our own, we told Casey today was her day and she could do whatever she wanted. Whatever she wanted of course provided it was in Ep-A-Cot where we had a fast pass for Test Track and provided there was a lunch with some adult beverages included :-)

    We were still getting the early effect of what would be Hurricane Hermine but we braved the rain in the name of Casey Day. We got to Ep-A-Cot around 10 and were happy to find a 15 minute wait for Soarin'. From there Casey choose to swim the seas with Nemo before she got her disney dose of Coke.
    [​IMG]


    Then we headed over to Test Track for our Fast Pass. Unfortunately it was down due to the rain, but we could hear them testing the cars. We ended up waiting about 15 minutes before they opened it up and Casey Day was saved!
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    She designed a very masculine purple truck, that apparently elicited this reaction for her father.
    [​IMG]

    By now our tummies were rumbling so I gave Casey the available ADR options at Ep-A-Cot. After waffling on sushi at Teppan Edo for a while she ultimately choose something that made her Mama very happy: Via Napoli!

    And when in Italy, one must have Italian Beer.
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    Jason and I shared a pitcher of Moretti which hit the proverbial beer spot (in case anyone is wondering the beer spot is just above your belly button and a little to the right)

    For our meals, Jason ventured out of his typical sausage/broccolini comfort zone and went with regular the Broccolini.
    [​IMG]
    This is fresh diced tomatoes, broccoli rabe, porchetta, fontina, and mozzarella. I called foul on the prochetta as this looked like plain old ham to me (which I don't like) but Jason was happy with it. He does prefer the spicy sausage more, but bonus points for mixing it up.

    Speaking of mixing it up, no chance in H-E double hockey sticks I was going to follow suit. I think for at least our last 5 trips to Via Napoli I always get the Carciofi and added arugula to it.
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    For anyone unaware this is white pizza with artichoke, fontina, mozzarella, truffle oil, and arugula and its #PizzaPerfection!!!! Seriously I forget how good this is until I take a bite and between the charred chewy crust, amazing truffle and artichoke flavor, and crunch from the arugula I can think of no better pizza. Oh and did I mention the decadent and creamy cheese. Needless to say Casey was happy with her Casey Day selection.
    [​IMG]

    Despite the fact that we were in Italy, we had a French celebrity sighting when Jason spotted none other than Linguini from Ratatouille in the house.
    [​IMG]
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    Casey thought this was immensely hilarious!

    To no surprise, this was yet another successful visit to Via Napoli. Amazing pizza, good beer, and a celebrity sighting. What more could a girl ask for. With our tables in wonderland card we saved $16.30 bringing our total savings to $110.

    After lunch Casey asked to go to MGM for the rest of her day. We made quick stops in Japan for some candy
    [​IMG]
    And France for some berets
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    Before boarding the boat to MGM!

    I was able to snag a fast pass for Toy Story on the way over and after a ride on that (in which we all lost to Jason for the millionth time) we stopped for some PhotoPass pictures.
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    Casey insisted on having her Kylo Ren tsum tsum on her head for the photo, cause why not. And they also gave us this amazing "magic" shot.
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    Apparently the magic was making my kid disappear.

    Speaking of Kylo Ren Casey wanted to take her tsum tsum to meet his father.
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    I stayed behind as he totally creeped me out last time, but per Jason he seemed none to amused to see himself in tiny stuffed form.

    After Kylo she met someone much more my speed
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    Before we ended the day on her beloved shooting lady ride (aka the Great Movie ride).

    I'll end it there for today. Up next Casey day continues with some time away from us for her and mucho adult beverages for Jason and I. Spoiler alert one of us imbibes a little too much. I'll let ya make some bets on who that is.

     
  18. princessemsmom

    princessemsmom Mouseketeer

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    Based on your (and @Lisa F ) Skippers review I have changed our May plan up a bit so we can try this. I promise the fact that I could get an adult beverage now did not affect this choice at all! :rolleyes1
     
  19. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    :rotfl:That is the BEST magic shot I've ever seen! Disney magic can make children disappear pixiedust:

    I don't know why we haven't been back to VN since Nov. 2015, especially since I was sick then and couldn't eat my meal. We love it and have had numerous trips since then. I've also never had the carciofi pizza and I know I'd love it so we may have to go back there soon, especially if we stand the chance of seeing Linguini :rotfl2:
     
  20. pepperandchips

    pepperandchips [melinda]

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    Greetings from a frigid but mostly non-snowy Atlanta, where the cold weekend has finally brought me back to the Dis to check in on all my favorite threads. I've gotten all caught up! Definitely laughed a lot and had to read some passages aloud to my peanut gallery (R laughed, the dog did not).

    Me neither, chick. Good thing I get a bonus every year.
    "Ma'am, before you leave, we'll need to check your receipt for a bread service." This may be true since I convinced some guy at the Sanaa bar to purchase the bread service, which he didn't like (weirdo), and then give the rest to me. At least he had the correct receipt to be able to leave the premises.
    YUP.
    :rotfl:
    And it turned out absolutely adorable!
    CANNOT UNSEE THIS ATROCITY! Gah, I don't understand how just putting this thing in the dark makes it so... day and night different. Har har.
    Jason is my spirit animal!

    :crazy2: sick. Glad the steak was good (?) though!

    Hilariously enough when I purchased a bottle in the WL gift shop the cast member asked me if I had a wine opener. I think I might have responded "this ain't my first rodeo" but at least they are warning people over there at the wilderness...

    :rotfl2: this also got a laugh from R
    If you would stop posting about the Carciofi I might stop craving it and I might not have a fat roll above my beer spot... oh who am I kidding I would crave it anyway.
    The accompanying picture absolutely kills me. She is so stinking funny!
     
  21. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    That would make me happy too! I have a hard time deciding which I like best Via Napoli or Tutto Italia. My family are suckers for Italian food and both have been good for us.

    :rotfl2: Awesome! I would have had a chuckle or two at that one.

    Wow, they are really pulling out all the stops with these special add ons and magical experiences. They must be putting their best people on photopass these days :sad2:

    Ah ha! Here's where I make my money back! Any takers?...no...to easy...oh well. I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat with anticipation to find out the answer in the next update.

    dug waiting.gif
     

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