Monday, May 7, 2012

Back from Disney and my feet still work!

On Sunday after Susie, I decided to take the day off and not do my usual outside run.  I didn't do laundry, I didn't do dishes - frankly the family was lucky I cooked 'em dinner :)

Mondays are my off days, so I didn't do anything then either.  Unfortunately, I was roped into working late on Tuesday, which IS a training day for me, so I wasn't able to run.  I also skipped Wednesday and Thursday because I wanted my legs to be in good form for our weekend trip to WDW!

We headed down Friday a.m. and walked around MK for most of the day. We finally had a chance to try Tortuga Tavern for lunch, and I must say that the beef nachos (while not healthy) were FANTASTIC!  We substituted extra plastic cheese for the black bean salsa and found a seat in the extremely busy area between Tortuga and Pecos Bill.  All three of us decimated the nachos and practically licked the little plates clean. We will definitely go back for those, but not at noon! I see now why people suggest eating lunch at off times!
We continued with MK until around 7, when we tried to figure out what to have for dinner (Hubby is very tired of Columbia Harbour House, which DD and I love), and I think DD was the one who suggested we eat back at the resort.  Good idea!  We hopped back on the bus and scooted back to Port Orleans Riverside.

The Food Court was busy, but not crazily so (it was 7ish after all) and we split up to find food.  DD went for chicken nuggets (shocker!) and Hubby headed to the sandwich line.
I made a beeline to the Create-Your-Own-Pasta line, as I've heard a lot about this deal. I created Penne Parmesan Alfredo with 1/2 Chicken & 1/2 Shrimp.  It came with a garlic toast slice for $10.69.  The container of pasta must have weighed 3 pounds!  It was a massive amount of food, and I plan on hitting that again, probably before the race in February to carb-load!  it was very tasty, and next time I'll get all shrimp (the chicken was pre-grilled, and reminded me of leftovers - tasty but just "ok").  
I met Hubby in the sandwich line and realized that he was actually in a different line - for dinner the food court has a chef's carving station!  Hubby got 1/2 Turkey & 1/2 Roast Beef (1 slice each), mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and cornbread for $10.99! He gave me the cornbread because he knows i love it. Sadly, however, I had to share it with DD!
After dinner, we headed back to our room, where DD and I each took a quick soak in the tub before we got dressed and headed to Epcot for EMH.  We were only there for about 2 hours, though, before it closed and we had to go back to the hotel.

Saturday was MY day - the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. We came specifically for this so that I could take photos.  I had so much fun, but it was so hot!


At noon, we took a lunch break at our most favoritest restaurant ever - LeCellier!  DD thought long and hard about getting the filet, but she buckled and got a burger.  Hubby and I of course got the filet with cream cheese mashed potatoes!
For dessert, we all got milkshakes. We forgot to ask for them "to-go", so we got them in pretty goblets. The chocolate shake has a lot more flavor than the vanilla, FYI. They offer chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate raspberry!
Once they rolled us out of there, I continued to shoot outside in Victoria Gardens while DD and Hubby went on an expedition to find a potty.  They headed back to me in Canada and we worked our way over to O Canada, something we've never done. It was fun, and we'd do it again, if we needed some AC.
After Canada, I continued shooting topiaries:

Pooh and His Pals in UK


 

 Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip in France
 Belle, Beast, Cogsworth, Lumiere, Ms Potts and Chip in France

Cinderella and Prince Charming in France

Lady & the Tramp in Italy

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Germany

Pandas in China

Dragon in Japan

 Stitch in front of Mission Space

There's a lot I didn't post and I'm sure I missed some completely, but it's hot, I'm tired, we mistakenly went to World Showcase on CINCO DE MAYO of all days and the douchebagginess was amping up exponentially.  It's time to get the heck out of here!

We went back to the hotel to grab my tripod and fireworks equipment and then made our way, again, to MK for Wishes and the Magic, Memories and You! show. We weren't able to get "our spot" since we were pushing 10pm by then, but we did okay. I ended up setting up behind a pair of strollers, and the kids' dad.  Better than nothing I guess!

Afterwards, we were getting ready to pack up the gear when they announced they were going to do the MMY show again, so we hauled ass up to the Hub in front of the Partner statue and set up again! It was great to be so close to the castle, since I have bad eyes and can't always see the intricate parts of the show.  Speaking of which, at the end of MMY, have you seen the entrance of the castle breathe a sigh of relief?  I didn't get a photo of it, but next time you see it, watch the tunnel entrance at the middle of the castle (that you walk through to get to Fantasyland) - at the very end, it will heave a sigh of relief. Hubby pointed it out and it's so cute!

"To all who come to this happy place - welcome!" --Walt in 1955
After the second viewing, we packed up again and headed over to Storybook Sweets to indulge in ice cream! We love this place - they have HUGE soft-serve sundaes for $4!  DD had a swirl cone. Hubby had a chocolate brownie hot fudge sundae (no pic, sorry!) I had a vanilla caramel sundae. It's a bit phallic, don't you think?

We ate it as quickly as possible since it was melting fast due to the heat, then made our way to Dumbo and the Great Goofini!  These two rides are the first ones open in the New Fantasyland and I was eager to see them!

Dumbo looks great all lit up at night with water in the trenches:

The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini is just a re-theme of the original Barnstormer, so there was no change to that ride other than on the face:


However, Storybook Circus as a whole is gorgeous.  the attention to detail, as always, is amazing.  The train tracks radiating from the Casey Jr Splash & Soak area (not open yet) go towards the restroom (which is fashioned as a roundhouse), and then when you go into the restroom (men's and women's, but not the family restroom), there are tiles in the floor to mimic train tracks!


(Wow, this post is getting way long!).

After Fantasyland, we made our way to the Peoplemover and took a ride, before finally realizing that we were exhausted and headed towards the buses. It was a long day, and I quickly fell asleep at the hotel!

Sunday, after trying to gain access to the now free Wi-Fi at the hotel to view our bill (they don't put them on the doors anymore, did you kow that?) I realized that I neglected to call about the Bounceback for our September trip (we always forget to do this!).  Here is what the CM quoted me for 9/29 - 10/5 (cheapest rooms available / club level):

Contemporary $1864 / $2712
Poly $2062 / $2712
Wilderness Lodge $1707 / $2212
Animal Kingdom Lodge $1634 / NA

Those are some seriously good rates!  After talking it over, we booked Wilderness Lodge Woods View with Bunkbed for $1707, with the option to change/upgrade at the same rate if we so desire in the future!  We put down $300 as a deposit and have $1400 left to pay off by September!!!!  Yippee, a new resort to try, and a deluxe to boot!  I love great deals.  Next question is should I pony up the extra $500 for Club Level? The savings on food and drinks alone may be worth it :) I have 4 months to think it over, I guess!

The car packed, we drove over to MK and monorailed over to Epcot to take a few more topiary photos for me and DD wanted to do Sum of All Thrills.  Hubby and DD headed towards Innoventions while stayed at the front with my camera.


About halfway though my 'shoot' my phone rang. I picked it up and got a recording saying it was my bank calling to notify me that my debit card had been deactivated and "press 1 to reactivate".  Uh, what?  I hung up, but a cloud of doubt began forming over my head. I am very worried when we leave town that something will have happened to our house. We were broken into July 2005 (4th of July, to be exact) and ever since then I am trepidatious upon return home - I fully expect to be cleaned out!  I pushed it out of my mind, assuming it was a scam, but I couldn't really get back into my groove. I made my way over to the side and took a few shots of this pretty purple flower with SSE in the background...


 ....when all of a sudden I see this slide into in my viewfinder!


So I told him to say Cheese!


Done with the flowers (and a very bored Stitch), I make my way up to Innoventions, taking a peacock shot before going inside:


I catch up with Hubby and tell him about the phone call and he agrees that it sounds phishy.  DD had a great ride on Sum of All Thrills, (which I'd love to try sometime!) but we needed to head out for our ADRs at the Plaza in MK.


We mono'ed back to MK and each picked up a new packet of cards at the Firehouse for Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom, then wandered around the Emporium before heading outside and seeing that the Dapper Dans were just setting up for a show.


We watched them for a bit, and at one point, when they were all tap-dancing the Green Dan told me to "take it!"


I did, but sadly, we couldn't stay and see the rest of the show because our ADR time was up.

We had a great lunch at the Plaza - DD and I both had burgers, while Hubby had the Plaza Club, something I may end up getting next time, it was yummy!

Bacon Cheeseburger with Fries
Club Sammich with Fries
While letting our food settle, we decided that we were ready to head home (as by now both Hubby and I were kind of freaking out about that suspicious phone call), so we packed it up and headed home.

Goodbye Magic Kingdom!
We gassed up at the Hess and made it home by 6ish.  The house was intact, no one broke in, the cat didn't have wild parties and once I got onto the bank's website, there was a big SECURITY ALERT on the home page about this scam.  It's been going around for a month, and now the scammers are attempting to also do it with texts.  I felt much better after seeing this with my own eyes! 

We did 'own thing' for dinner (which means, Eat whatever the hell you want cuz mom's too tired to cook!) and I hit the bed around 8, fully asleep by 9!

Miraculously, when I woke up the next morning to go to work - I was able to walk! I am usually in a lot of pain after a trip to WDW, but I think that the Brooks sneakers (and all this walking/running I'm doing) made a huge difference!  So happy :)