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Trip Reports
02-21-2007, 08:57 PM
WDW — November 2006 (BCVR) by Sue Holland

It has been a while since Sue took a long trip to Walt Disney World but she finally gets one in.



Sue Holland -- November 2006 - Beach Club Villas Resort

Who/When/Where:

Who:
Sue (47), DVC member
SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Dates: November 2 - 11, 2006

Travel Method: Personal car

Resort: Beach Club Villas Resort

Experience: Frequent Guest, Veteran

INTRODUCTION:

At long last it’s time for my “Food & Wine Festival” trip, which is the one I look forward to the most. The weather is getting beautiful in Florida at this point, and I love the Food & Wine Festival for the opportunity to try “Sue-Size” portions of foods and wine. The setting for this trip is always Beach Club Villas, for the convenient access into the World Showcase portion of Epcot, which not coincidentally is the location of the Food & Wine Festival. This trip will also be a nice change from the frequent shorter trips I take during the rest of the year, and although SB initially cringed when I said we were booked for 9 nights he’s going to go along with it. We’ll take our time and take it easy – doing a mix of park stuff and non-park stuff but staying on the property. I’ll be back solo for another trip (7 nights at OKW) about 10 days or so after this trip ends, so anything we don’t do this trip I can do then.

I’ve made very few plans, knowing we (ok, SB mostly) do better when we don’t HAVE TO be anywhere at a specific time. We’re not interested in any character meals, and really don’t care if we can’t get into the popular restaurants. I have LeCellier booked for next trip, but not this one at all. Actually during Food & Wine I prefer just eating from the food kiosks, but I’m sure we’ll add some real meals (the resorts are good options) and possibly snack in the studio for some meals. Last year we did the Party For The Senses, and SB ended up wanting to do that again. This year it falls on my birthday, which isn’t really how I wanted to celebrate, but the alternative would be to skip the party so I went ahead and booked it. One of the department heads who work for me was kind enough to provide my transportation to/from the airport for all my trips to see SB during baseball season, and both she & her husband loved hearing about the Party last year. I went ahead and booked a studio at BCV for them (Deb & Jim) for Saturday & Sunday nights so they’ll be joining us at the Party.

I also booked Hoop Dee Doo Revue for our last night. I figured SB would enjoy the menu and hopefully get a kick out of the show (it’s so totally Disney – everyone has to see it at least once). Unlimited ribs, fried chicken and baked beans are right up his alley – and it’s been at least a few years since I’ve seen the show. We’re meeting a friend and her husband for drinks at Animal Kingdom Lodge one afternoon, and it’ll be SB’s first visit there. I’m looking forward to the new DVC opening up over there, and will definitely book some of my trips to stay there – hopefully he’ll like it as well, but if not I’ll use it for my solo trips. We’ll be sure to spend some evenings at the Comedy Warehouse, and might see a movie or 2 (depending on what’s out). We might play miniature golf – that’s something I’ve never done at Disney. Mostly we’re just going to take it easy and enjoy ourselves, without stressing over trying to do a lot of stuff.

The plans so far (we’ll hit all the parks, but have no idea when we’ll visit each specific park) are:

Thursday 11/2: Work, Drive to BCV, Comedy Warehouse

Friday 11/3: Epcot, Publix

Saturday 11/4: Happy Birthday, Party for the Senses

Sunday 11/5:

Monday 11/6: Drinks @ AKL

Tuesday 11/7: Pool, Laundry, Comedy Warehouse?

Wednesday 11/8:

Thursday 11/9: Comedy Warehouse

Friday 11/10: Hoop Dee Doo Revue

Saturday 11/11: SuperSoap?, Drive home

DAY 1 – Thursday 11/2/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Leesa, Comedy Warehouse Regular

Plan: Work, Drive to BCV, Comedy Warehouse

Actual: SB took me to work so we’d only have one car (work is sort of on the way to WDW, while going back home to get him would add about 1.5 hours to the trip). The staff in one of my departments had a breakfast set up for my birthday – I discovered it when I went to the kitchen to toast my half bagel and discovered the toaster was missing <g>. SB came back at 2pm to pick me up, and we were on the road to WDW!

I went in to check in while he parked the car. Even though valet parking is free, I don’t have the patience to wait for it to be brought up. Check in was a little frustrating – the lobby was overly noisy and only 3 cast members were working. One of the parties ahead of me had a couple of unruly young boys who delighted in tossing their empty milk/juice bottle onto the marble floor to make noise. Finally it was my turn, and the check in process went quickly. I mentioned the lovely service road view we had last year and asked if we could possibly get a studio with a nicer view. She said she had a garden view, which sounded perfect to me. I asked about my Hoop tickets, and specifically whether I could only pick them up within a certain # of days of the show, and she assured me I could get them from Concierge at any time (no limit). As I passed concierge there was a cast member without a guest, so I stopped to get the Hoop tickets. After a while I found out tomorrow is the first day I can pick them up – there IS a limit to the # of days in advance they can be picked up!

I met SB at the elevator and we headed up to our 5th floor studio. It’s right in the corner, so while our balcony faces the garden/wooded area, it also looks into the 2br villa around the corner. Anyone other than a klutz could easily climb from their balcony to ours – so much for a “view”, lol! I would have liked to perhaps spend some time out there, but not if I’m looking into someone’s living room. The rest of the studio was just fine – but definitely would be cramped if 4 people were in here. There are only 4 small drawers for clothes, which was just enough for the 2 of us. We hung as much stuff as possible in the closet. I wish the sink area was more like OKW, with drawers & cabinets to keep your toiletries & stuff out of sight! Overall though, we’ll make do with the storage issues – it’s just good to be back!

I unpacked, and SB helped a little before laying down and leaving it to me <g>. He kept wanting me to open my birthday gifts, but if I did then I wouldn’t have anything on my birthday. We finally agreed on opening 1, which was a nice set of candles in stained glass holders – they were really pretty when we lit them after dinner.

By now it was about 6pm so we decided to get a bite to eat. I’d brought a few menus of places close by that I printed from allearsnet.com and he’d noticed the Crews Cup Lounge page. That’s the lounge at the Yacht Club, and their appetizer menu looked good so we headed over. Once we got there we saw the menu had been significantly downsized, and there really wasn’t anything we wanted. When we passed Beaches & Cream it was not busy at all, so we ended up going back there.

We were seated pretty much right away, and ordered a double cheeseburger with fries (SB) and an order of onion rings (Sue). He did say the burger was excellent – perhaps the best he’s ever had anywhere. I agreed it was very good. The onion rings were ok – a little greasy, but a HUGE platter of them. Between us we were not able to finish them. The Disney Dining Experience card is taken here, so we got 20% off everything. A party of 3 adults and 3 little kids ordered the Kitchen Sink, so it was pretty neat to see that. They didn’t finish it <g>. After dinner we walked back to the studio and relaxed a bit before leaving for Comedy Warehouse.

We left about 7:15 and luckily made it over to Pleasure Island in about 15 minutes. We met up with Leesa outside Comedy Warehouse, and chatted until the show began. The 7:45 cast was John, Lisa, Philip, Mary and Krista (with Jamie on the keys). John led the “Perfect Scene”, where Krista & Philip created a scene then redid in a couple of different styles to make it “perfect”. Philip was a former telephone operator turned eye surgeon (online degree) and Krista was the operating room tech sent over by the temp agency. All 3 versions of the scene were very funny. Next was Schmeopardy, hosted by Krista. Mary was a machinist named Connie, who runs the slurpie machine at the 7-11. John was a pastry chef named Red Neck, who makes Twinkies. Lisa was an electrician who works in a mental institution giving shock treatments. Overall it was a great first show (small crowd, but great performances). Mary joined us outside after the show, so we had time to catch up some. Lately most of my trips have been on her “off” nights, so it was really nice to see her again.

The 8:45 cast was Mary, Brian, Philip, Krista & Lisa. They started with the name rhyming game, which Philip won. They did Emotions, where the scene kept changing as the actors had to stay in whatever emotion was called. Lisa & Philip were in a Kinko’s store – she was taking his passport photo. The scene was crazy, as expected from those two! The rest of the show was Cliché, where Krista was tortured until she guessed “Tougher than a puppy pulling a freight train”. I always like Cliché, and tonight was no exception – another great show!

We decided to stick around for one more show – the 10:00 cast was Matt, Brian, Mary, Matt & Christine. Most of the show was Story Time, led by Philip. The story was called “Weekend with Dana” and as usual took a lot of silly twists and turns. It took a long time for the first actor to die, as everyone was doing so well! Finally Matt had to die, and did so by a rusty Florida state spoon in a Stuckey’s. Chris was next, with a death by sweatshirt being returned at the Emporium on Main Street in Disneyland. She was Japanese, and Mary translated everything she said, while Brian did the same for Matt (cast member at the store). It was very funny! Brian did a rap death by penguin, which was also funny – then Mary wrapped up the story.

We left after this show, driving back to BCV and settling in for the night. I finished up the report, and we were in bed by midnight – a great first day, and I’m so glad we have quite a few ahead of us still.

DAY 2 – Friday 11/3/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Plan: Epcot, Publix

Actual: I was up a little after 7, made some cappuccino and settled down on the couch for some computer time. Of course, at that moment SB woke up <g>. I told him I figured he wanted to sleep longer (hint, hint) and I’d keep busy online while he slept. He said 8:30 was when he wanted to get up, so that gave me about 30 minutes before I needed take my shower and get dressed. I figure we’ll have more down time later today, so I just concentrated on getting the report posted and reading a few emails.

We left the studio before 9, and since he was hungry we headed over to Spoodles. I’d printed their breakfast menu before coming up, thinking he might like to eat there. We walked over, and found there was about a 10-15 minute wait. That didn’t seem too long (since he was so hungry and there really weren’t any other options <g>) so we waited. For whatever reason, there were plenty of empty tables the entire time – guess they don’t have enough servers hired or something.

Everything on the menu was a big breakfast – I was hoping for something like an English muffin a la carte since I wanted to be hungry enough for Food & Wine later. SB suggested he get the all-you-can-eat breakfast platter which came with French toast and he’d give me the French toast. I didn’t think they’d allow it, but I asked our server and he said that was fine except he couldn’t bring any refills of that item. That was fine with us – in fact, it seemed more than fair! The French toast was just a single piece of challah bread cut in half, but it was plenty for me this morning – I didn’t even finish it. SB ate the eggs, bacon, sausage & home fries that came on the plate but didn’t ask for refills of anything. It was a good breakfast, and we left satisfied but not stuffed!

We walked into Epcot and realized he’d left his driver’s license in the studio so we couldn’t renew our FL Resident Seasonal passes today. They expire tomorrow, so next time we enter Epcot we’ll take care of renewing. We headed first to Future World to get fastpasses for Soarin – at 10:10 it had a 20-minute standby time and the fastpass return time was 10:48. We decided to visit the Living Seas since he’d never been there and I haven’t seen the new Nemo ride over there. It was quite busy, but the line never really slowed down. We got in our clam-mobile and enjoyed the ride, then walked around and watched the dolphins and fish in the big aquarium. He thought it was really cool – and I enjoyed it too. We returned to the land about 10:45 and waited for our fastpass window to open, then rode Soarin’. As always, we loved it! Afterwards we waited in a 10-minute line for Living with the Land and enjoyed that as well. He wanted to see the Circle of Life movie, so we waited 8 minutes for that and watched it again.

By now it was noon or later, so we headed to World Showcase, starting in Mexico. We had perused the Food & Wine guide, so we had some idea of what we wanted to try. We made one circuit, and tried a lot of different items. Some we shared, and some we ate individually, and everything was at least good (some was really great) – there were no duds encountered today. In Florida he had the Rock Shrimp with Mango Salsa (good) and I had the Blue Fish Riesling (just ok – wouldn’t buy it again). In Mexico we shared the quesadilla, which was excellent as always. He also got the dos equis. In South Africa we each got the Durban spiced chicken, which I knew was great but he discovered for the first time (loved it, although he didn’t like the idea of buying from South Africa). In Australia he got a couple orders of Shrimp on the Barbie (excellent) & Foster’s lager, and a Rosemount Riesling for me (very good). Passing through Germany he was interested in apple strudel but not really hungry, so we picked up a full portion “to go” from Sommerfest and carried it back with us. Our final stop was in France (the longest line of the day but it moved quickly), where we got the goat cheese pastry (chausson au fromage de chevre), chocolate crème brulee, a Kronenbourg and a Riesling. I loved the goat cheese thing, while he thought it was just ok – all the more for me, lol! He did like the crème brulee, and ate half of it – most of the rest we brought back for me to eat later. Overall it was a great first outing – we were full but not uncomfortable. Food & Wine isn’t cheap – all those samples add up to far more than you’d probably spend for a restaurant lunch, but what the hell! This is a vacation, and money doesn’t matter this week ;-)

We walked back to Beach Club Villas, and along the way the wind blew open the apple strudel container I was carrying. Luckily nothing fell to the ground, but my shirt and arm was covered in confectioner’s sugar. I looked like I was snorting cocaine backwards or something, lol! We stopped at the Marketplace and picked up some sandwich meat and bread, so we no longer needed to go to Publix. He took everything up to the studio while I stopped by Concierge. There was no wait, so I picked up our Hoop Dee Doo Revue tickets for next Friday night, along with a birthday button to wear tomorrow.

We spent the afternoon relaxing in the studio and watched General Hospital. SB got a good nap in, and I downloaded the photos taken at Comedy Warehouse last night. It got pretty cloudy outside, and looked like it might rain but never did. After dark we weren’t in agreement on how to spend the evening. SB felt like just staying in the studio, while I wanted to get out for a bit. So, I left him watching tv in bed while I walked over to Epcot and renewed our seasonal passes. I brought his driver’s license with me, so I didn’t need him there at all. I thought about wandering through World Showcase again, but instead walked back over to the Swan and visited Debbie/Deseylou at work there. It was great seeing her again, and we spent some time chatting since work was very slow for her.

When I left the Swan I went over to the Dolphin in search of dinner to bring back. At Picabu they had a pretty decent menu and everything could be gotten “to go”. I got the half rotisserie chicken with 2 sides – it was almost too much for the 2 of us, so I cannot imagine 1 person eating this whole meal! They give a 10% to DVC members, too. I just missed the boat, so I walked back to the Beach Club and was sort of surprised the food was still hot after that long chilly walk!

We ate our dinner, then shared most of the apple strudel for dessert (heating it up in the microwave – it was delicious). We spent the rest of the night in the studio watching tv and doing stuff online. Today was really nice – perfect weather, doing the new Nemo ride, riding Soarin’, trying new (to us) places to eat, and I especially enjoyed the Food & Wine booths. I’m not sure where we’ll head tomorrow – it would have been MGM, until I realized it’s early entry there tomorrow! We’ll see what we’re in the mood for in the morning.

DAY 3 – Saturday 11/4/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Deb & Jim, Potential DVC members

Plan: Happy Birthday, Party for the Senses

Actual: Last night SB said he wanted to get up at 7:30 this morning, and since we didn’t set the alarm I kept waking up to see what time it was (but didn’t get up to just go set the damn alarm <g>). I woke again at 7, and decided to get up to take my shower at that point. I wasn’t in the mood for a restaurant breakfast (takes too long, and I brought stuff for my breakfasts) so I had some cappuccino and a little piece of apple/cranberry bread I’d made last weekend. He was up and ready to go by 8, but there was no reason to leave that early since the park opens at 9, lol! We hung out in the studio and headed to the bus stop around 8:30.

We waited for the Animal Kingdom bus to arrive, and got to the park about 10 minutes before 9. I’d told SB about Expedition Everest on the bus, but to my surprise he didn’t want to ride it (I would have waited for him). We headed back to Africa first, planning to get him breakfast. However, Tusker House did not open until 9:30 except for pastries! We picked up fastpasses for the Safari (return 9:45) and decided to catch the 9:40 Festival of the Lion King show instead. The theater was approximately half full for this show, but the show was excellent as always. Once we got out we returned to Tusker House and got the scrambled egg breakfast for him and fruit with yogurt for me. His breakfast seemed a little better than last trip, but still no comparison to Spoodles (or even the local Denny’s).

After breakfast we were still within our fastpass window so we went on the safari. This time we didn’t see as many animals, which surprised us. The weather was ideal, but perhaps the animals had a different opinion, lol! From there we went to Asia and watched the Flights of Wonder show. It was SB’s first time, and he really liked it. It was my 2nd time, and there probably won’t be a 3rd – birds just don’t do anything for me I guess.

We left the park and decided to hit Epcot, so we caught the bus over there. It was pretty easy getting through the turnstiles and didn’t seem too crowded until we got to World Showcase. Saturdays during Food & Wine are just insane – long lines everywhere, and it’s really not nearly as enjoyable as on the weekdays. We called Patty to see where she was, and while I was talking to her on the phone we ran into Deb & Jim (going to the party with us tonight). Patty was in the USA, so we headed back there to visit with her at the Sam Adams seminar queue.

We joined the line, but eventually decided to leave the line and skip the seminar. I’m not much into beer, and SB would rather just buy it than sit through an explanation for a free sample <g>. I got a glass of some sauvignon blanc outside the USA, while he got in line at the USA food kiosk. I then waited in line to get him a beer, but the cast member was moving so slowly we decided not to wait any longer. We sat on the wall outside the American Adventure and shared a couple of the bbq ribs with corn on the cob. He spotted some women waving and asked if I knew them – I figured I must, and then recognized who they were – Gail, Diana, Bay & Krisi! They came over to visit and meet SB – I’m glad we ran into them. The food from USA was very good – the ribs had a lot of meat, and were very tender & flavorful. The corn on the cob was the tiniest cob I’ve ever seen, and I thought it needed more butter.

We continued walking and stopped across from the Australia food booth. SB got a Foster’s and I tried a Riesling. They only had 1 cast member working, so although the line was not long it still took a while. Hopefully she won’t be alone tonight if she’s working there! We headed back towards USA and stopped to get him a turkey leg and another beer, then sat over by Italy for a while. We thought about taking the boat back, but we just missed it again and did not feel like standing in line for 20 minutes. We walked to the International Gateway exit, and got there faster than the boat would have! We left the park and went back to the studio to relax until it was time for the party.

I made him a half sandwich with some of the turkey leg meat (there’s plenty for a full sandwich tomorrow, too) and a “ferris wheel” (drink we enjoyed at the pool bar at Boardwalk). I was too full for anything, so I worked on the trip report. My son Chris called, so we chatted a while, then my SIL Renay called to finalize plans we’re making for Memorial Day Weekend at Boardwalk Villas next year. It’ll be her, her sister (a WDW virgin), and my 2 teen nieces – and me. I’ll book the 2-bedroom villa on Monday and waitlist for the boardwalk view!

We left the studio at 5:45 to meet Deb & Jim at the elevator so we could walk into Epcot together. This is their first time at the Party, so this way they don’t get lost! Well, we got downstairs and there was no sign of them, even thought they called when we were in the hallway to say they were already there. We walked down to the other elevator and didn’t see them, so we called them on the way back. They were waiting outside over by the Marketplace.

We walked over to Epcot and encountered quite a crowd entering the park. It seems this entrance is busiest in late afternoon & early evening. Patty had called while we were walking to report people were already in line for the party (thanks again, Patty). Our timing ended up being perfect, as the big line was people who’d already checked in. We were directed right up front along the side to check in, and the doors opened just after we got our plate and wine glass. Even still, it was a mad dash to the tables and we ended up grabbing 4 seats at an empty table for 10. Another couple sat to my left, and while they didn’t really talk to us they at least seemed somewhat social. People across the table made no impact on me at all – they evidently said nothing. Later another couple came and took the 2 empty seats next to Deb. The woman actually turned her chair around so her back was to the table – it looked incredibly rude in my opinion. It’s not like she was watching anything – we were next to the stage but the performances were only done every once in a while (and then you couldn’t see it all due to the people standing between us and the stage). I’ve never seen someone join a table at an eating event, and then sit with her back to the table, lol!

The décor and layout of the room was the same as last year. I found very little food that I would eat – there was mostly seafood and other items I simply don’t care for. I think I tried part of a few different foods, but ate more desserts than anything else (and desserts are actually pretty limited). They didn’t have bottles of water on the tables like last year, but I learned you could pour yourself a glass of water at the end of several wine stations. Everyone had plenty to eat, and Deb & Jim loved it but said the food was really rich. SB ate enough for both of us <g> but admitted that the food selections last year were better. I doubt we’ll do the party again next year – but I don’t regret doing it this year, as we enjoyed the company and it was a terrific evening. We both really liked the Irish cheese – Kerrygold Dubliner cheese. I wouldn’t say it was worth $266 for some cheese, though <g>!

The Cirque de Soleil performers were excellent, but it was hard to see everything unless you went up and stood next to the stage. I’m thinking next year we’ll go see La Nouba on my birthday & have dinner somewhere. I just love that show, and I don’t believe SB’s ever been to a Cirque show.

We left when they were basically throwing people out <g>, getting outside at the tail end of Illuminations. It’s so convenient staying at Beach Club Villas and just walking out of the park this way! Deb & Jim were heading to Pleasure Island, but we went back to our studio for the night. Tomorrow we may get a later start, and head over to MGM to do a few attractions there.

Since I know people like reading about food, and since I have no idea what we ate, AND since SB is watching a football game as I type – following is a list of the food available at tonight’s party.

- Sugar cane skewered pork and shrimp lollipop over thai green papaya slaw with lychee dressing (Disney MGM Studios Conventions)

- Seared duck breast with winter vegetable slaw and pomegranate glaze (Sci Fi)

- Blue crab-filled conchiglioni with spicy heirloom tomato sauce and agrumato evo

- Black forest beef roulades with sweet-and-sour red cabbage

- Shrimp and crab mojito

- Six-onion custard tower

- Pan-roasted California poussin with autumn vegetable salad and parsnip-salsify fondue (Club 33 at Disneyland)

- Pan-seared diver sea scallop over cocoa bean-short rib pancake and harissa oil

- Rou jia ma with sweet and spicy cucumber salad – spicy stewed beef shank on Chinese steamed buns (Nine Dragons – Epcot)

- Cantonese lobster with honey-glazed parsnips and toasted cashew vinaigrette

- Serrano-wrapped quail with pomegranate lacquer and roasted pumpkin (Kona Café)

- Roasted garlic and herb-crusted lamb medallions with Spanish olive salsa, celery root and coconut-baniato mash (Coronado Springs conventions)

- Gaea olive oil poached diver scallops, “fava santorini”, red onion caper vinaigrette and dadonis feta and kalamata olive

- Curried mushroom strudel and cucumber dill sauce with a fire-roasted pepper and asparagus salad (Boma)

- Black grouper in citrus escabeche on baniato mash (Narcooses)

- Scallop, shrimp and blue crab kromaski with dill butter sauce and mizuna

- Escabeche of bronzini with vanilla – roasted fennel and almond gazpacho

- Pan-seared tuna with chayote seaweed salad and lemon-basil-chipotle vinairette

- Shrimp and ahi nicoise with olive oil-poached potatoes and citrus-vinaigrette (Napa Rose)

- Cilantro-chipotle-rubbed hanger steak on garlic tostones with sweet papaya butter (Le Cellier)

- Umm ali with pear butter and honey moscato cream

- Warm chocolate bread pudding with butterscotch ice cream and caramel spice sauce (Le Cellier)

- Coconut-infused panna cotta with pineapple sorbet

- Chocolate textures and vanilla ice cream

- Strawberry almond brioche

DAY 4 – Sunday 11/5/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Plan: MGM, Spectromagic

Actual: We were pretty much asleep by 11 last night, so when I woke up around 7 I knew it was time for me to get up. SB needs more sleep than I do, and ended up sleeping until around 8:30. I had some cappuccino and apple/cranberry bread while he slept, took my shower and got online. Eventually he got up, and we left the studio around 9:20 to take the boat to MGM Studios. The boat was so full the cast member told us to line up and not everyone would be getting on board. Luckily we did, but several were left waiting another 20 minutes for the next boat. We stopped at the Swan/Dolphin, where we picked up more people (standing room only at this point), then finally got to the Studios.

Entry was a breeze, and it was delightfully uncrowded here today. Next weekend it will be a zoo! SB was hungry, so we stopped at ABC Commissary. He got the scrambled egg breakfast and I got a side order of hash browns. Although it’s the same menu items as we’ve had at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom, this food was so far superior we couldn’t believe it. Everything tasted great, wasn’t too salty, wasn’t under cooked or over cooked – in short, it’s the way it should be rather than the way Tusker House does it. The staff working seemed much more pleasant and happy to be there, as well. At Tusker House they say the right words, but their attitude is so bad I just want to send them home and do it myself! My only complaint about the ABC Commissary is the tv sets in there were BLARING, and I hate when the tv is too loud. Of course, SB didn’t notice and seemed puzzled when I mentioned it (are men born hearing-impaired??).

After breakfast we went to Star Tours, which had a 10-minute standby wait posted. In reality, there was nobody in line with us until we got to the boarding area. SB had never ridden this, as it always had a 20 minute or longer wait during our infrequent visits to MGM. He enjoyed the ride, although he joked that he felt beat up by the jerking around. Next we went to the Great Movie Ride, which also had about a 10-minute or so wait. They were operating both sets of cars and we were lucky enough to get the front set (with the western bank robbery scene rather than the gangster scene). A family in the line next to us was telling their terrified little boy there was nothing scary in here. I thought for a second about letting them know about what might scare him, but then we were boarding and I let it go. Of course, it wasn’t long before the kid was hysterical in his mother’s arms, with the family trying to comfort him by promises they’d be done soon. Good luck getting that kid on any other indoor ride, now that he knows his parents will lie to him.

By now it was just after 11 and we wandered over to see the 11:30 Indiana Jones stunt show. To my surprise they were already seating people, so we figured we could sit in there as easily as sitting outside the theater. This was another first for SB, and he enjoyed the stunts. It had been several years for me, and while I don’t need to repeat this very often I didn’t mind it today. Exiting took a while, as the theater was full! We were done with MGM at this point and were headed out when SB asked if I wanted to get one of the flourless chocolate cakes. I really didn’t want the calories, but who knows when I’ll be back in MGM – so we stopped to purchase one “to go”. The male cast member working in there was a trip – he seemed to speak English but sure had trouble understanding it (and he seemed as American as us). Luckily the female was able to show him was “to go box” meant @@

Chocolate in hand, we left the park and arrived at the dock as the boat was arriving. We took the slow ride back to the Yacht/Beach Club after a stop at Swan/Dolphin. Up in the studio I made him a sandwich and left him to watch football while I went down to the quiet pool and did some reading. At one point a big dark cloud covered the area and it even sprinkled a bit, but it passed. I only lasted about an hour though, as I wanted to have time to get the report caught up before we went out later. I was back in the studio around 2:45 or so, and found him finishing yesterday’s turkey leg (I could smell it as soon as I opened the door, lol). I got cleaned up and updated the report, then hung out with him for the rest of the afternoon.

We left around 5:30 and saw the Magic Kingdom bus leaving well before we reached the bus stop, so it was a good 20-minute wait for the next one. By then a lot of people had arrived, but fortunately we got a seat. It was a noisy ride, and unfortunately SB was not in the best of moods. Upon arrival at the Magic Kingdom we were able to go right in since neither of us had any bags to check. It was pretty cool not carrying anything for a change! We went up to catch the train but just missed it – and the next segment of the evening was less than pleasant. The plan was to eat at Cosmic Ray’s, and we did that. It was really busy, but the line moved pretty well. He got the bacon double cheeseburger and I got the kids’ mini corn dogs. The corn dogs were pretty tasty, and that meal is really more than I’d eat at one time (it came with 2 sides – I picked fries and grapes) but I liked that it came with a small bottle of water as a beverage choice.

After eating the plan was to stake out a spot for Spectromagic – he’s never even heard of it, and it’s been years since I’ve seen it (I always loved it). I wasn’t sure we’d make it to 8pm, as we seemed to be stuck in one of those moments where you just can’t stand each other. At just before 7 almost every spot of curb along Main Street was taken, with people already forming a 2nd row behind those people. SB absolutely hates crowds – perhaps it was a bad idea to bring him, as it really soured him to the point he’s saying he wants this to be his last WDW trip. We found a trash can we were able to push back and the 2 of us could squeeze into the newly found curb space in front of it. Then we had an hour to wait for the parade to start. FINALLY it began, and was just as I remembered except for the float that used to open/shut during the Fantasia sequence is no longer there. It was all gorgeous, and afterwards SB admitted it was really great (to his surprise). Men – argh!

We exited the park after Spectromagic, which wasn’t bad because most guests were sticking around for Wishes and then extra magic hour. In fact, people were still arriving as we left. The bus wasn’t quite full, and only stopped at Yacht Club before going to our resort. We caught the end of Amazing Race, and settled in to spend the rest of the evening in the studio.

As for tomorrow – we’re going to play it by ear and see what we feel like doing when we wake up. I wouldn’t mind going to Magic Kingdom to do some rides, but he might be a bit overloaded on parks at this point. Tonight was definitely more crowded than the MK normally is when we’re in there – if it wasn’t for Spectromagic I never would have set foot near the place tonight!

DAY 6 – Tuesday 11/7/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Leesa, Comedy Warehouse regular

Plan: Pool, Laundry, Comedy Warehouse?

Actual: I didn’t sleep very well, and finally got up shortly after 6. There’s no point laying there awake! I decided to take a walk, so I got dressed and walked the loop around the Epcot resorts. It was very cloudy, with 80% rain forecast, and it started to sprinkle as I approached Boardwalk on my way back to the resort. Guess I won’t be spending time at the pool today after all, as weather.com calls for 80% rain or thunderstorms the entire day & evening.

Back in the studio I made some cappuccino and biscotti, and got online while SB snored away. We’d talked about getting up at 9, but when 9 came he was still asleep – so I decided to head into Epcot myself. Since the weather was expected to turn bad I couldn’t see wasting the day. It was early entry at Epcot but it was deserted! There was no wait to get in, and I didn’t even see that many other people. I went to Spaceship Earth first and walked right on the ride at 9:30. From there I went to Test Track and did the single rider line. It had a posted 25 minute wait, but it was me and 2 other people, with a wait of maybe 5 minutes. The ride broke down as we approached the unloading area, so we sat there for a while. Eventually it resumed and I was able to get off the ride.

SB called as I left Test Track so I headed back to the studio. We hung around a short while, then he asked if we could have lunch at “that chicken place”. He meant 50’s Prime Time Café – and wanted a reservation for TODAY for lunch – this was at 10:45, lol! I called Disney Dining, and to my surprise I had my choice of 11, 12, 12:15, 12:40, etc. I took the 12:00, which gave SB time to shower before we went to the dock for the boat to MGM. We arrived at the restaurant about 10 minutes before noon and were seated right about noon. That place was mobbed – steady stream of people coming in constantly. I had the herb cheese appetizer, while he got a chocolate milkshake and the fried chicken meal. We weren’t able to finish the milkshake even with me helping, and we were pretty full when we left (no dessert).

We left the park to ride the boat to Epcot and while we were pulling away my boss called needing something that just came up. We made a detour to the studio so I could address the item (needed the laptop) and then we went back out to walk to Epcot. However, I wasn’t hungry at all, and he didn’t feel like walking. So, I suggested we just get a Stormalong (frozen drink) at the pool bar here instead. There was almost nobody at the pool since it was cloudy and somewhat cool. We got our drinks and sat at a table for a while, then returned to the studio to relax the rest of the afternoon.

All week as SB would drink a small bottled water I’d refill it with cold water from the gallon jug containers for him. Last night I stopped doing that – and let them sit on the sink for him to fill. Today he wanted water and I suggested he go get it <g>. He filled the bottles, but also topped off a bottle he found in the fridge (without me seeing). He brought that bottle back to where we were laying on the bed and took a big gulp from it & started choking. Without realizing it, he’d topped off a bottle of clear coconut rum, lol! He said he thought I was trying to poison him or something <g>.

By about 5 he was talking about wanting to eat, so we discussed our options. Unfortunately he was also slipping into a pissy mood and I was getting increasingly irritated at that. We drove to Downtown Disney Marketplace and parked at the far end, then walked right in to Earl of Sandwich. It had rained heavily not too much earlier, and it evidently drove a lot of people away. Parking was a breeze, and there was nobody in line at Earl!

He got the Earl’s Original sandwich and wanted chips but was not happy because they didn’t have original Lays (just baked). I stuck with a cup of the tomato soup, which I actually didn’t quite finish (wasn’t really hungry). The soup was very good, and it’s such a bargain at $1.25! Dinner was spent partly in stony silence, his mood was deteriorating further, and I was basically upset and fed up with it all. We were done eating at 5:30, with 1.5 hours to go before the first show. We went back to the car and he asked if I could drop him back at the resort, as he wasn’t in the mood for a comedy show tonight, and I said YES and drove back there to drop him off. I really hate/resent being sad here – this is supposed to be a happy place. Oh well.

I drove back to Pleasure Island and hung around for a while until Leesa arrived. We waited in Adventurer’s Club until the first show, then headed over to Comedy Warehouse. Jim Roberts was on the keys tonight. The 8:00 cast was Brian, John, Krista, Joy and Mary. John & Mary did a Fill in the Blank scene using the entire audience – they were in a court house. Next was Scene Freeze, where each actor creates a different scene and they all rotate between them. Joy had tripod, Brian had psychology, Mary had horseback riding, and John had Mole Hole (a specialty store). It was just ok – but perhaps it was ME who was off, as I wasn’t exactly in the best mood <g>.

They also did Up Your Alley, hosted by Joy as Dixie B. Cup. The topic was meat cutting, and they had a meat cutter from the audience as one of the “experts”. Krista was a mental patient who had earned the right to cut the meat there before it was served on toothpicks to the other patients. Brian wore a white goalie mask and was Jason – the really creepy horror movie character. He was almost too creepy, lol! The scene was pretty suggestive (thanks to the audience – small but *****), and was quite funny.

The 9:05 cast was Mary, Krista, Philip, Brian & Joy. Under Philip’s direction, Brian & Krista created a scene about her dropping a cell phone and him lowering her into some drain to retrieve it and then redid the same scene in the styles of Shakespeare and then an insect show on some cable network. The final structure was Cliché, and tonight Mary was tortured. She had to guess “You can’t hit a horse of mine more than once without starting a funeral”. It took her a while, and I imagine it was tough to remember such a long cliché. Overall though, it was a lot of fun to watch!

Leesa was staying for a 3rd show, but I decided to head back to the resort and see how SB was. The parking lots are all changed in this part of Pleasure Island, but I found my way out easily enough. SB was watching tv, and in much better spirits. I left the report for tomorrow and talked with him a bit, then we turned in around 11:30 or so. Overall it was not the best of days, but that had nothing to do with Disney. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

DAY 7 – Wednesday 11/8/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Plan: Food & Wine Festival

Actual: I slept better last night, and woke up around 7:30. He was up a bit later watching ESPN so I figured he’d sleep later this morning. However, when I got up to brush my teeth & stuff he was up watching tv when I returned. We spent the morning relaxing together in the studio, and I also updated & posted yesterday’s report. He didn’t want breakfast, so I had my cappuccino and biscotti.

Around 10:30 or so we wandered over to Epcot, planning on eating & drinking our way around the Festival again, and perhaps ride Soarin’ at some point. Once again it was a breeze walking in through the International Gateway – I truly love this location! Epcot wasn’t crowded at all, either. We had to wait about 10 minutes for World Showcase to open, so we stood in the sun to stay warm. It was very breezy, and the wind was chilly even though it was a sunny day.

We started in France, where I was one of the first customers of the day (perhaps the very first). I got the Sparr Riesling and the goat cheese pastry. The goat cheese pastry is pretty huge for me, and I knew I’d pretty much be finished after that. It was delicious, and since SB didn’t want any, it was all mine <g>. The Riesling is good, but I later found one I liked better. After I finished the goat cheese we continued walking. SB needed some food, but the Food & Wine booths don’t really count for him – he calls them “samples” while to me they’re “perfectly sized meals”, lol! We checked the menu at Yakitori House in Japan, and he was going to get the combo platter but when we got inside they told us they didn’t open for another 15 minutes.

We continued on to the USA and checked the menu there, and SB decided to get food from there when they opened. I finished my wine at a nice quiet table next to the fountain indoors while he got a burger and hotdog (both for him – I helped with some of the fries). Everything seemed to taste pretty good, and I spotted a kid with the Mickey rice krispie treat I’d seen on the menu. It’s a mickey-shaped rice krispie on a stick, with the ears dipped in chocolate! I’ll definitely have to get one some time, but not now.

We finished lunch just before noon, and went inside for the 12:00 showing of the American Adventure. There must not have been more than 30 people in the theater this early in the day. The show was terrific, as always. Back outside we continued walking around World Showcase, although neither of us was particularly hungry yet. In Germany we stopped at the Octoberfest booth to get me a glass of Two Princes Riesling, which was very good. I liked it much more than the Sparr, and will have to remember this one. As we continued around we stopped in Norway at the Scandinavian stand to try the meatball Patty had raved about. It actually looked and tasted more like a Salisbury steak than a meatball (it was not shaped like a ball at all), and came with cauliflower mashed potatoes (sounds absolutely disgusting but surprisingly were good – no cauliflower taste detected). SB loved it, and said a bigger portion would be perfect (think about 4 portions – that could be a meal for him). As for me, a bite or 2 was enough – it was good, but I’m not much into meatballs or Salisbury steak.

We ate the meatball while freezing on a bench – the wind was really strong on this side of the lake. As we passed Argentina I thought about the sirloin steak we wanted to try, but neither of us was really in the mood for more food right now so we left it for another time. SB wanted a beer, but when we got to Mexico hordes of people got into line just before we got there – no beer was worth that wait, so we kept walking. At the cinnamon almonds stand we saw beer bottles, and stopped to get him a Budweiser before continuing to walk through Canada. The Poland stand has kielbasa with potato pierogies that I want to try, but not right now. We continued into France, where I got another Sparr Riesling (this was where I really realized I preferred the German Riesling) and sat on a bench with our beverages. A multi-family group came with many, many children (very fertile people, evidently). Three of the kids had toy swords and shields, and were “fighting”. I was a mean parent – Chris NEVER had toy guns, swords, or any other “weapons” that were intended to hurt/kill someone. I was always disgusted by parents who did buy those things (like the guns in the Pirates of the Caribbean shop), as there’s nothing “fun” about shooting a gun at someone/something. Anyway, a lady came and sat on our bench and started talking – she said in her day she never would have allowed her kid to have such a toy, and I laughed and said “me neither”. As we were chatting, the littlest boy got hit hard in the arm by one of the other swords – parents had to keep telling the little girl to be more gentle. Helllllooooooo parents, why not just NOT give the kid a freakin’ weapon to “play” with??? Ok, enough of my rant – at least the parents weren’t smoking <g> too.

When we finished our drinks we made one last stop at the ice cream & crepe stand and got a vanilla waffle cone for SB (but I shared it). We ate it on the way back to Beach Club Villas, getting back around 2. We relaxed in the room, watched some tv (including General Hospital) and updated the trip report. Today is (DVC) Member Update day, with a presentation over at Atlantic Dance at the Boardwalk. Since my trips are mostly shorter and around a weekend, I’m never here on Wednesday afternoons so I decided to attend even though I figure it’ll mostly be about all the places outside of DVC we can use our points. SB decided to skip it, which I figured would be the case – but I don’t mind going alone at all.

I left about 3:40 to walk over to Boardwalk, arriving about 10 minutes before 4. A cast member with Mickey gloves was waving people in, and greeting everyone with a “welcome home”. At the door everyone had to show their dvc member id and then were given a card to fill out and drop in a box. Once inside they had chairs lined up on the dance floor to create the audience for the game show. Beverages and snacks (popcorn and crackerjacks) were provided, and several people chose to sit at the tables surrounding the dance floor. They did a game show, in a similar format as Jeopardy, but all DVC-related topics. It was pretty hokey, but at the end everyone was given a 15th anniversary DVC baseball cap on the way out. The Welcome Home Wednesday isn’t something I’d do very often, but I was glad I gave it a try this trip.

I walked back to the Beach Club Villas – it was getting chilly now so I walked pretty quickly. SB & I hung out there for a while, then dressed more warmly to head into Epcot. He wore the DVC cap – and earlier asked if we could come back right before he starts Spring training this year. Not sure what will be available this late, but we’ll see.

We left for Epcot about 5:30 and found not a single guest at the security check or turnstiles – we walked right in! World Showcase was pretty busy, but that was expected. The lines at the food booths weren’t too bad, and seemed to be moving quickly. We were heading to Germany and as we approached the USA realized the 5:45 Southside Johnny concert had just begun, so we grabbed a good seat in there rather than waiting for the 7pm concert. I’ve never heard of him, never heard any of his songs, but it was pretty good. SB had heard a couple of the songs before, but that’s about it.

After the concert we continued to Germany and went to the Octoberfest booth. The line was long, but it moved really fast here. I had a glass of the Two Princes Riesling and we each got a pretzel roll with bratwurst (without sauerkraut). We were both impressed with the pretzel roll bratwurst – it was excellent. SB would have loved a full-size version, while I thought this one was just perfect. I wouldn’t have needed to eat anything else, but I knew he needed dinner.

We checked the menu at Lotus Blossom Café in China, but he decided against it. He considered fish & chips at the UK, but didn’t want all that grease & batter (the line was huge here – evidently many other people like grease & batter <g>). I finished my wine and we left through the International Gateway for the peaceful walk back to the resort. I can’t help saying – I just love it here! We continued past Beach Club and went into Yacht Club to check out the Yacht Club Galley. He was hoping he could get a club sandwich “to go” since I wasn’t really hungry, but the menu didn’t have anything like that & they were pretty busy. Instead, we walked around the corner to Crew’s Cup Lounge and shared some nachos for dinner. The nachos were actually quite good, and the lounge was not too busy so it was nice. After we ate we walked back to our studio – along the way SB commented again what a beautiful resort it is (Beach Club Villas).

We spent the rest of the evening watching tv and relaxing in the studio – just like at home. Today was a terrific day, and a big improvement over yesterday! Tomorrow we’re heading to Animal Kingdom to give the safari another try and then we’ll return to Epcot. There are still a couple of Food & Wine menu items I’d like to try, but it’s tough because there are too many I already know I like and wouldn’t mind having again! Too bad this wasn’t a year-round thing!

DAY 8 – Thursday 11/9/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Plan: Comedy Warehouse

Actual: I didn’t wake up until 7:30 this morning, and got right up to shower since SB had said last night he wanted to be up at 8. We were out the door by 8:30, and caught the bus to Animal Kingdom. It was pretty busy getting into the park – busier than we’d seen it all week. It seems the holiday weekend crowd has arrived, as everywhere was busier than before. We went straight back to Harambe and got fastpasses for the safari, with a return time of 9:55. The standby time was posted as 10 minutes, but the line was backed up all the way to the entrance & really wasn’t moving, so I knew it was really much more than that! We sat on a bench until Tusker House opened at 9:30, then went in for breakfast.

SB got the usual scrambled egg breakfast and I just ordered a biscuit. I thought it was a bit much for a biscuit to be $1.99 but when the food came out I saw a side order of biscuit is actually 2 biscuits. I ate most of 1 biscuit, and he ate most of his breakfast, then we headed over to the safari. Today we saw lots of animals, and he thought it might have been the best one yet. There really wasn’t anything else we wanted to do here (I would have done Dinosaur, but I don’t think he wanted to be jerked around), so we left the park and rode the bus over to Epcot.

We got there about 11am and the park was quite busy. Spaceship Earth had a huge line, it was mobbed in the Land, and generally everywhere it was just really crowded. We went & rode Soarin’, waiting longer than we normally do but we figured “what the hell”. We ended up with the front row, which was nice for a change! After Soarin’ we were going to try a couple more attractions but then I suggested leaving the park for a nice quiet lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Café instead. That way we could try some more food & wine samples for dinner when we return to Epcot tonight.

We walked back to Beach Club Villas and went straight to the car and drove over to the West Side in Downtown Disney. They were setting up for Festival of the Masters (starts tomorrow), but otherwise it wasn’t busy at all. We had no wait, and were seated at a table outdoors for our lunch. The weather was perfect, and it was a great day to be eating outside. I had an email giving me double points (Levy Brothers – they own this Puck’s) since my birthday was this month, and we ended up earning enough to where I hit the $25 reward level. They gave me a $25 gift certificate for a future visit (good for a year). We also got 10% off the check for being dvc members.

SB ordered the chicken fettuccine alfredo, which was excellent. I stuck with the small field greens salad since I knew I’d sample some of his pasta. Everything was really good, and we took the rest of the pasta home. There was an actor from Young & Restless at the next table, and Disney picked up his check. I didn’t quite understand why – unless he’s now on an ABC soap or something.

After lunch we drove back to Beach Club Villas and relaxed in the studio for the rest of the afternoon. I did another load of laundry, updated the report, SB took a short nap, we watched General Hospital, etc. We left around 5:15 to walk over to Epcot, figuring we’d catch the early concert at 5:45. He suggested I not take my bag in, so I grabbed the passes and room key. I commented I didn’t have my phone, but he said I didn’t need it (this comes into play later <g>). We got into Epcot easily and over to the USA with 10 minutes to spare. We found seats in the same area as last night, then I ran over to Octoberfest for a glass of the Two Princes Riesling. Coming through Italy it was not crowded, so I began to jog, and soon noticed a woman get up off a bench to run beside me – it was Patti/Pebbie from DVC (always a smart alec, lol). We chatted briefly before I continued to get my wine and she joined her party for the Jon Secada concert.

After getting my wine (no line at all – I was amazed), I got back to my seat with SB just before the concert began. I wasn’t sure what to expect, having hear of Jon Secada but not really knowing his music or anything about him. He has a beautiful voice, and most of the songs he did were love songs – very easy to listen to but not very lively. Of the 3 concerts we attended, we both liked Chubby Checker’s the best (and not because of his pants, lol).

After the concert we started walking but I could tell SB didn’t really feel like wandering around. I suggested he go back to the resort & watch tv, and I’d hang out in Epcot for a while and join him later. He agreed, so we parted company at the International Gateway. I continued on, and at the Poland stand I got the kielbasa with potato pierogie. The kielbasa was very tasty – 3 bite-sized slices. The pierogie was nothing special, but I’m not a huge fan of them anyway. It also came with some sauerkraut, which I didn’t eat.

I decided I wanted to ride Spaceship Earth again, and since I now had the opportunity to do so without hearing “all the way over there???” I took advantage <g>. The ride was a walk-on, but had a steady stream of people. Afterwards I thought about riding Soarin’ with a fastpass we didn’t use this afternoon, but decided to skip it. I went back to World Showcase and rode the boat ride in Mexico instead. When I started walking again I stopped in the wine store at Germany and got a glass of the Madonna Spatlese, which was very good (sweet wine). I sat on a bench in Italy and sipped the wine while watching all the people walking by.

Eventually I continued on my way, and this time stopped in the USA to get a Mickey rice krispie treat for tomorrow. In France I stopped to get what may be one last goat cheese pastry. I wasn’t hungry, but I wasn’t sure what we’d be doing tomorrow and I know Epcot will be very busy tomorrow anyway. Tonight the line was very small (which surprised me), so I got the pastry and took it to a table with the rest of my wine from Germany. I was pretty stuffed at that point, so I decided to head back to Beach Club Villas.

I got back just before 8:30, and SB was saying he thought he’d have to come search for me – guess I was gone longer than he expected. He asked if I wanted to hear how stupid he was, and of course I said yes (what woman wouldn’t??) – evidently he decided he wanted something sweet so he called me to ask me to bring him something. He dialed my number, and my phone started ringing – right on the bed next to him, lol! Actually, I wished I had my phone, because I wanted to call him to see if he wanted anything brought back – not realizing he was trying to call me.

Since I was still dressed, I offered to go to the Marketplace (here in the resort), so I went down there. It was great when I arrived, then got mobbed before I got in line – figures! I got us a couple of chocolate chip cookies and a large gelato, along with a couple grocery items. He ate half of a cookie and most of the gelato – I finished the gelato and we have the other stuff for tomorrow. The gelato here is really good!

We spent the rest of the night in the studio. Today was another nice day, except for it getting close to the end of the trip! Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow, other than I know I’ll need to pack our stuff up and we’ll be at the 7:15 Hoop Dee Doo Revue.

DAY 9 – Friday 11/10/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Plan: Hoop Dee Doo Revue

Actual: I was up around 7:30 again, and made some cappuccino to enjoy with a piece of biscotti while I got online. Last night we’d decided to make today a lazy day, with possibly breakfast and then some time at the pool rather than going to a park in the morning. I sat out on the balcony for a little while, and it was really pleasant. Around 8:30 SB woke up and we hung out together for a while.

He wanted to have breakfast at Spoodles (best breakfast at WDW according to him), so we walked over there. We had a 15-20 minute wait but it wasn’t bad. However, they don’t use all the tables at breakfast so it’s sort of a pain to see lots of empty tables while you’re sitting waiting for a table! I noticed on the seating chart only certain sections were staffed, which left the remaining tables to stay empty the entire time.

SB ordered the all-you-can-eat plate again, which had scrambled eggs, French toast, potatoes, bacon & sausage. Today he even had a 2nd plate! I ordered the Mickey Waffles, which came with 4 of the small Mickey’s. I ate 2 of them – 4 is really too much. Our server did a good job, and the food was excellent. After breakfast we rode the boat back to our resort and got changed to spend some time at the quiet pool.

The pool was very quiet – the only other people at first were 2 women who spent most of their time making out at one end of the pool. A few other people came & went, but it was basically a very peaceful time. Around 1pm or so we headed back up to the studio. I showered and packed up our stuff while he did some computer work, then we just hung out there together the rest of the afternoon. With Hoop coming up, I really wasn’t able to do any Food & Wine sampling, unfortunately. Oh, we did notice the guy from yesterday’s lunch at Puck’s on One Life to Live – not sure what his character’s name is, though. He’s slender, with shoulder-length hair – and they just called him Nash so mystery solved <g>.

We left just before 6, dropping some of our stuff off at the car. We rode the bus to Magic Kingdom, then transferred to a boat to Ft Wilderness. It really doesn’t pay to drive to the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, especially if you plan to enjoy the unlimited beer, wine or sangria. We’re not big drinkers, but why take an unnecessary risk!

We took the stuff out to the car around 5:30, and then got to the bus stop just as the Magic Kingdom bus was arriving. I’d allowed enough time for us to have to wait, so this put us ahead of schedule. At MK we walked to the boat dock and the Ft Wilderness boat pulled in just as we got there – saving even more time. We found seats outside at the front of the boat, and it was a beautiful ride. The sunset was gorgeous tonight, and the lights reflecting on the calm lake creates such a nice atmosphere. We made a stop at Wilderness Lodge first, then continued to Fort Wilderness.

We checked in outside Pioneer Hall and skipped the $29.99 photo opportunity. We did the Disney cruise photo in January, the Empire State Building in July, and didn’t need a Hoop Dee Doo Revue photo in November <g>. We had about 45 minutes to wait, so we sat on a bench. I struck up a conversation with a couple next to me who were interested in DVC and who were just nearing completion of fixing their home after hurricane Katrina made it unlivable (New Orleans).

Finally at 7:15 they opened the doors and we were led to our table – right down front, center up against the stage. I’d commented to SB that they assigned tables based on when you made your reservation and I’d made our reservation a long time ago because I don’t want a crappy table. He laughed when he saw this table – to be any closer we’d have to be in the cast <g>. Salad and corn bread was on the table already, and both were very good. Our server came by to take our drink orders – coke for him, sangria for me. The rest of the menu was fried chicken, bbq ribs, baked beans and corn on the cob – everything was very good! Dessert is still strawberry shortcake, and we couldn’t finish it. The show was very good – lots of fun, and SB really enjoyed both the show and the food. This was a good pick for him! The table next to us had a little girl maybe 2 years old. During the washboards part of the show she was looking at her mom with a look that said “do you realize how freakin’ stupid you look doing that??” It was pretty funny. We used our washboard, and had fun doing so.

When the show ended we had to roll out of there – stuffed! They had some buses brought in to bring us back to the resort. We ended up on a bus with a party going to the Boardwalk and another going to Pop Century. The Boardwalk group had a couple of kids with some sort of light toy, and they put on a really cool light show for us on the dark bus. See – I don’t hate all kids <g>. We were the first stop, and got back to the studio by 10pm.

I finished up the report, and we crawled under the covers to watch tv (Pioneer Hall is still freezing – SB swore they could hang meat in there, and he is not normally cold). Today was a really nice relaxing day – with no park time at all. Tomorrow we head home, but will probably go into Epcot for one last Soarin’ and hopefully some Food & Wine favorites if it’s not too crowded. Super Soap is tomorrow, but I don’t really see him enjoying the crowds and walking around to see soap stars (he’s met his share of “celebrities” so it’s no big deal), plus I only watch one soap and the stars attending aren’t the ones I’d be most interested in.

DAY 10 – Saturday 11/11/06

Who: Sue (48), DVC member

SB (49), Sexy Boyfriend

Plan: SuperSoap?, Drive home

Actual: I was up around 7:30 or so, and found where SB had brought the bill in from the front door already. It was 3 full pages, but we charged everything to the room to keep track of what the trip cost. It wasn’t bad when you back out the pass renewals – dvc sure does make vacationing inexpensive!

We made another change plans, deciding to skip Epcot and just get on the road to home instead. We had 10 days of mail to get through, lots of unpacking to do, and wanted to get out and do something around home (movie, dinner) since on Sundays we tend to not do much (other than spending the morning at the beach).

Overall this was a really nice trip. There were a few bumps, or challenging moments, but I guess that comes with any relationship when you’re sharing a small space 24 hours a day. I really loved having a longer trip this time, and 9 nights felt really good! After consulting with SB, below are some of the best/worst things we remember from the trip.

Not-So-Magical Moments/Things:

- Noise level on bus transportation – I guess the engine noise causes people to talk much louder than they would otherwise, and when you get a bus full of people trying to talk over the engine and over each other, it’s bedlam even when no kids are screaming. We really noticed the noise and it made for some unpleasant bus rides.

- Magic Kingdom on an extra magic hours evening was just way too crowded. While the rest of the time was barely “busy”, this evening was “mobbed” and made it very unenjoyable. We’ll be steering clear in the future, lesson learned.

- Party For The Senses was a disappointment this year. We enjoyed the people we were with, but for $266 we did not feel we got our money’s worth. The price went up significantly from last year, with no increase in what was provided. In fact, we were less impressed with the food & wine selections this year. I doubt we’ll do it again.

Magical Moments/Things:

- Our studio was in a perfect location and was a great home away from home. We were in #539, which is halfway between the 2 elevators, overlooking trees & the walking path, and we heard no noise from the hallway. The only thing that could be improved would be not having a neighboring villa’s balconies looking onto ours. If you picture a letter “L”, we were the horizontal piece and they were the vertical. Luckily, the neighbors weren’t out there much, were quiet, and weren’t smoking!

- Hoop Dee Doo Revue was excellent, and a big hit with SB. He really enjoyed the show, and the food was good also.

- Spoodles breakfasts were a good way to start some of the days. On a solo trip I’d never even think about eating a full breakfast (especially when Food & Wine Festival booths are out there), but it worked really well for SB.

- Wolfgang Puck’s Café lunch – leaving the busy park for a leisurely lunch at Puck’s was a great decision, and we ended up with a $25 gift certificate towards next time!

- Food & Wine Festival remains my favorite, and I could live off the booths for the entire trip. To SB they’re just samples, and not enough for a meal. For me however, they’re perfect. Trying to fill him up at the booths can definitely get expensive, but what the hell – we’re on vacation!

- Comedy Warehouse was great as always. I did take some photos but will wait and publish the album after my next trip later this month.

- The Eat to the Beat concerts were good, with Chubby Checker’s being the best. The others didn’t quite match his, but were worth attending. You can’t beat “free”, lol!

- We both enjoyed spending time with Lisa & Andy Cubbon over at Animal Kingdom Lodge. In fact, when I asked SB what his favorite parts of the trip were, this was one he mentioned.

My next trip will be a 7-night solo trip to OKW beginning just 11 days from now (day before Thanksgiving). It’ll be fun to see the holiday stuff, and do more walking around than we did on this trip. After that, we’re booked for OKW again over Martin Luther King weekend in January but it’s possible SB has to be elsewhere part of that weekend (so I’d be solo again).

Until then – thanks for reading

Sue

Sue Holland
WDW1972@aol.com