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  1. #1

    It's a Wonderful Trip-mas!

    Unfortunately, I haven't done a trip report in awhile (since 2006!!), so forgive me if I've forgotten how this goes. Here's the deets:

    WHO

    Me, HTanner, Mom (30----ish)
    Carl, Hubby, Dad (OLD MAN-ish)
    Josh, Son, Big Brother (8... I can't believe it!!!)
    Natalie, Daughter, Lil Sis (6, going on 13)

    Grammy (a young 68)
    Uncle Will (as old as the Haunted Mansion)

    PLANNING

    This trip was originally planned for early 2010. We try to go every four years. After our last trip in 2006, we knew we wanted to go in the winter months. We all wilted in the heat in Sep. 2006, and the thought of going again when there was any heat, whatsoever, was not pleasant for any of us. Granted, we're from the cold part of California (Pacifica) and our HOT is around 75. (I always say that when it hits 70, we enjoy the beach; 80, we go inside and enjoy the air conditioning; 90 and our county calls it a federal emergency... LOL). We originally decided on late January because we heard the weather was great and crowds were not so bad.

    In early 2009, I was forced to close my side business due to the loss of a big client. I run a small contract business doing side work for other attorneys. At the time, I also had a full-time lawyering gig. I was busy, had my own office, and was making a good chunk of money. My husband and I decided 2009 would be the year we finally saved up enough money to get our from under our debt and to have a down for a house. So, we were cranking out as much work as we could handle.

    The loss of the business was sad, but we were grateful I still had a full-time job that paid all of our necessaries. Unfortunately, we still hadn't gotten enough out from under our debt to save anything substantial after the close of the business. Still, we were doing well enough to not stress.

    In May 2009, my firm suffered a significant loss of revenue when one of our insurance companies decided to stop writing policies for the type of cases we received. It meant that, after the cases we were working on, that company would no longer give us work. My boss scrambled to find more revenue but, without that promise of work, he couldn't afford to pay me full-time. I was "temporarily" placed on part-time status as they reassured me it was temporary and they knew they had work coming after the summer.

    Now, we were dipping into that savings we had just started to accrue. We had just renewed our lease with an apartment complex that wasn't at all sympathetic with our plight (they offered to let us out of our lease if we paid two months' rent in penalty - - nearly $4000!). Knowing it was temporary, though, I didn't worry about using the savings to tide us over - that is what it is for, right? Still, we downgraded everything we could, just in case.

    On August 26, 2009, two days before the kids started school, my boss came into my office. I will never forget the ashen look on his face or the way my stomach dropped when he said, "we're going to have to let you go." The firm was collapsing and everyone was jumping ship. I was the last employee hired and the last one let go - - at least I can say, for sure, it was not because of my job performance.

    Like most people, I assumed my layoff would be temporary. I would collect unemployment and go on interviews and be back at work in no time. After all, isn't that why I went to college and law school? For various reasons, I did not want to open my own firm - - I suffer from great anxiety and I know being a trial attorney is not for me because of it. I also did not want to open a firm unless I could do so responsibly - with full insurance and the confidence to represent whomever walked through my door. So, I went the traditional route.

    The first shock was how few jobs were listed for attorneys. I used to say attorneys would never be out of work because when things get bad in society, people are more likely to sue for things they'd otherwise just let go. Especially employment cases. Back when I got my job with my old firm, there would be 10-12 listings per day that fit my qualifications. When I was laid off, sometimes days would go by without even one listing.

    The second shock was how many resumes I sent out without even a nibble. I wasn't shy about being laid off. I shouted it from the rooftops. I like to work. I let everyone know I would do anything - and anything, I did. I painted, I babysat, for two years, I drove kids home from school (it paid for gas and groceries). And, with the help of a great lawyer friend, I resurrected my contract business - which has saved me more times than not.

    Things got very desperate quickly. I went from saving for a down for a house to living without a clue as to how I was going to feed my kids the next day. It is amazing how much you take for granted. Simple things like buying school supplies was suddenly wrought with tension because the kids needed them and I didn't want to embarrass them by saying we just couldn't afford them. Even worse were the monthly eviction notices we received while playing the waiting game with my unemployment. Every few months, one would be delayed - so, we dipped back into the 401K to cover those months. Sometimes, by the time the check would arrive from unemployment, it would be mostly eaten up by late fees and bounced charges on our account.

    To make a long story short, we had to delay the trip. I refused to cancel it because it was the beacon of light keeping us all going. Some nights, when the power would be out or when I was particularly down about our situation, just talking with the kids about when we would finally be able to go made us all perk up. It kept hope alive in our house.

    We moved the trip from January 2009 to November 2010. By then, surely, I'd have a job. I'd been out of work 6 months, but things must be getting better in the world. Surely, I'd have something by then!

    I was desperate to go back to work. I missed being around people and feeling capable. I had several part-time jobs (working at a hotel gift shop, teaching reading at the kid's school... anything!) and I was going on interviews constantly. I was signed up with every temp agency, hiring agency, or whatnot in my area. And everyone I met, I told about my needing a job. I even did a two day stint as a hotel maid for a Marriott hotel.... NOT for the faint of heart. (After two days of back-breaking labor, I could not get out of bed for a week...).

    By August 2010, things were slightly better. My husband was working regularly at long-term temp gigs, and my unemployment had gotten extended. Between that, my part-time work, and unemployment, we were able to pay rent on time more months than not. But, I knew we did not have the money to make the trip. I made the very hard decision to delay the trip, again.

    We decided to make the trip a full year away - in December 2011. Surely, by then, we would be in a better position!

    In mid-November 2010, I learned I was likely going to be laid off again from my part-time hotel gift shop job. The company didn't tell me. The employees of the hotel told me the shop was closing and being eliminated as part of a remodel my company had known about for 6 months. I found documents in our store room that showed they were intending to close the store and fire all of the employees. When I confronted my supervisor, she denied it saying we would be temporarily transferred to another location. The only location near me was already over-staffed, with the employees complaining about not getting enough hours.

    Shortly after that, I qualified for a lower-rent apartment, but only if I could move in two weeks. The rental amount brought the total rent down below what I was getting for unemployment - which meant I would have money for savings, groceries, and all the things I had been missing out on. Not a lot, but enough. I took the apartment and began preparing to move.

    I asked to not be scheduled the days I needed for the move. I was part-time and, because of that, I could ask to be on the schedule or not. My supervisor told me if I didn't work every day that week (aka a full time schedule), she would fire me immediately.

    That was enough for me! I decided to go back and shake all the trees I had shook dry and see if there was any more fruit anywhere. And, that is when I got the call from an old friend saying one of her old employers was looking for an office manager. The rest, shall we say, is history.

    I can still remember the day we made the final payment on the trip. I cried because I never thought we'd be able to go. Never.

    So, the plans:

    Early on, I decided to add an extra "acclimation" day. We always traveled all day Friday and then ran into the wall the next day because of jet lag. So, I decided to travel on a Thursday, and take Friday to just get used to being on vacation. This proved to be a very good idea!

    We argued for about a minute over where to stay - Wilderness Lodge or someplace new. My mom put her foot down and said she would stay all by herself if she had to... so, Wilderness Lodge, it was!

    We stuck with the first week of December which we had heard was relatively quiet (SO wrong!).

    Dates: 12/1-12/11, 2 regular view rooms at WL.

    Flights - we kept looking for flights, but the prices were terrible. We finally found a new direct flight on Virgin. We'd never flown Virgin, but the flight times were perfect - - leaving SF at 9:45 and arriving Orlando at around 5 (local time).

    Now all we had to do was wait until it was time to go!!!

    Tomorrow: Day One of the Trip O Fun!

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

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  3. #2
    Registered User scoobydooby's Avatar
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    I can't wait to read this! Unemployment is horrendous. Well done for surviving it.

     

    If no-one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man (Billy Bragg)

  4. #3

    I knew bits and pieces of the backstory from your various posts, but to see it all laid out chronologically confirms just how horrible it must have been! I'm glad you have managed to weather what was hopefully the worst of it. What a light at the end of the tunnel Disney World must have been at times. A very dark, long tunnel I'm sure.

    I am looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip.


  5. #4
    Registered User Hannahbelle's Avatar
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    Wow~what a wonderful trip it must of been! I cant wait to hear about it and KUDOS to you for sticking it out. I remember being so depressed when I was laid off and if you knew me, I dont get depressed and do NOT wear it well. I feel fortunate that my unemployment only lasted 5 months which I know now was a very short time compared to other stories I hear.
    We will be staying at WL in the Spring so Im also looking forward to hearing about that.


  6. #5
    Registered User Teddi's Avatar
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    I forgot what folder I was in, presuming midway into your TR you were headed to DL, not WDW. Now I'm even more excited! I'm sorry the economy took it's hit on you, but your resilience paid off. In Nov 2009 we were also hit with a surprise layoff for my DH, and we had a week-long DL trip planned. We ended up going. We were lucky that he got *some* work right away but it took almost a year and a half of contract jobs, waiting always to get the word on whether another month- three months of employment was coming. April of last year he got an awesome job (which I hope he has in a year from now so we can do our first ever trip to WDW). Unemployment is sooo stressful. I'm glad you guys finally got to your trip and that things have turned around for your family. Looking forward to reading more of your TR.

    Teddi ~ Wife to Rob. Mom to Bert 14, Chloe & Kaylie 9
    1st trip to WDW 2013: Jan 28-Feb 6 Cabins@ Fort Wilderness & Villas @ AKL Kidani
    2013 May 11 - 18, Boardwalk Inn CL, Great-Grandma's 1st trip
    DLR 2013: Feb 20-22: DLH, April 2-4: offsite June: 18-22, Paradise Pier
    2014: DLR May 24 - 27, Paradise Pier

  7. #6

    Thanks, guys!

    This was a truly magical trip and it meant so much more to me than any other trip I've taken. We had to budget and I questioned whether I was "right" in taking a trip, but, in the end, we had to. There were times when it was the only thing keeping me going - the idea that we would, one day, take that trip!!

    I will post more later - - I was out of work with a terrible sinus infection the past two days and it really piled up!

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  8. #7

    Day One - - Of Cheerleaders and Football Teams, Oh my!

    Today was the day we'd waited an eternity for - - travel day!! Woo hoo!

    This year, both of my kids participated in Pop Warner at the Tiny Mite (non-competitive) level. It was their second year, but I was much more involved this year. I never knew that they held a championship in Orlando! (Yes, I think I was deaf or something!). And wouldn't you know it - we picked the *exact* days of all the Pop Warner hoopla. I was semi-excited because one of our cheer squads had made the cut and were off to Orlando. It was cool because these kids were so genuinely nice and so excited that you couldn't help but get caught up in their enthusiasm. Plus, they had really looked out for my daughter at competitions. So, I had someone to root for!!!

    The weekend before the trip, we had a last planning meeting at Olive Garden. There was so much to do before the trip! Although I had begun packing literally a month before, I still needed to re-pack to make sure I hadn't left anything out. I also had just finished up three very big projects - and had to make sure to get the kids' schoolwork packets. Top it all off with it just being a busy time and I felt time-crunched, for sure. I also had to cook a turkey we had thawed in anticipation of eating it that weekend.... (didn't happen!).

    I was bound and determined to get to bed on time. Every trip, I manage to stay up way too late and then I find myself exhausted the first couple of days. So, I delegated the work! Yay for me! I put the turkey in the oven right after work and told my husband to keep an eye on it while I packed. The kids got to be "runners" - - finding things in their room that were needed for the trip. My brother agreed to get lunch for the plane, so I gave him cash and that was that. And my other brother (who wasn't coming) agreed to watch our dog - - so I had him come over and grab her things that he would need.

    Wouldn't you know - - the turkey came out beautifully (albeit a little dry), the bags got packed and we were to bed ON TIME!

    We woke up right on schedule, too. I have never seen my kids get dressed that fast. They were at the door waiting to leave an hour before we were scheduled to be picked up. LOL. We had all the luggage ready, the DS's packed and charged up, and time for a little breakfast.

    At 7, my dad came to pick up the first round of people. We were trying not to spend too much money on extras, so my dad graciously agreed to drive us to the airport. He had to make two trips because he has a sedan and there were 6 of us (and luggage). The airport is 20 minutes round-trip from our house. Luckily, there were no accidents on the freeway!

    My dad took my husband, my mom and my brother to the airport first. I stayed back with the kids. I walked to dog, made sure she had extra loves and all the necessaries, and then told the kids we might as well wait out for grandpa! We were all jumping around the house, anyhow!

    Of course, we hadn't considered that I would have the kids, their carry-on, a big suit case and a car seat to figure out how to get down to the car. Luckily, my son has decided he is big and tough (at 8), so he carried the carry-ons. My daughter carried her car seat for about a minute... lol. And I manhandled the big suitcase and my carry-ons. We had actually packed pretty light - two suitcases and I had a purse and backpack for me (with headphones and the DS's) and the kids had an extra backpack. I think my husband packed his IPad and computer in a separate carry-on for himself. He had some work to do, so he dragged it along.

    About two minutes after I dragged it all down the stairs, grandpa arrived. Right on time. Woo-hoo! We scrambled into the car and twenty minutes later, pulled up to the curbside at SFO. Hugs and kisses with Grandpa and we were on our way to check in!

    Everything went fairly smooth through security. I *did* get selected for extra screening, but that was just a swab of my shoes. Big whoop. Took a minute and we were on our way. We had a little over an hour until boarding. We were in a nice part of the terminal - there were Starbucks, a candy shop, a restaurant (or two) and a newsstand. We found some seats and hung out, waiting. The kids soon grew bored. They were *too* excited! So, grandma took my daughter off to the restroom. Unfortunately, on the way back, she tripped, landing on my daughter. Both were fine - if not a little shaken up.

    We took several excursions around the concourse - buying some treats in the candy shop (where they gave us a discount because the shop and my daughter share a name!), and touring the gift shop. About ten minutes before boarding, we went to all use the restroom - where we discovered a children's play area! Urrrrgh - - go figure! We let the kids play for a minute and then it was finally time to board!

    We had a full row across (the beauty of being in such a big group!). And, everyone wanted a certain kind of seat, so there weren't any arguments, either. My brother and husband wanted the window seats and my mom and I wanted the aisles. It was perfect to have the kids in the middle! We got strapped in and settled, and I passed out the headphones for the t.v. consoles. (99 cents at dollar store - and they held up!). We all tuned in - the kids found Phineas and Ferb, and I found re-runs of How I Met Your Mother.

    In the back of the plane, there was a coaching staff from the Almaden Mustangs football team. My son's team had played them, so it was fun to see them on the plane. The whole plane ride, they were going over strategy - would have been funny if we were playing them - - everyone was privy to their conversations! But, I wished them luck. Nice kids with them, too.

    There was also a cross-country team and a volleyball team. Lots of kids' sporting events happening that week. Uh-oh.

    What can I say about Virgin America? I LOVE them. I will fly them wherever I can from now on. First, they have brought SERVICE back to the airlines. Yes, you have to pay for food and for your check-ins, but they back that up with good amenities and great customer service. The food choices are nice - and not at all that expensive. Pay-per-view movies were a little pricey ($8), but they had a decent first-run selection. It wasn't $8 for movies from the '80s (ahem, Netflix....). Of course, feeling in a good mood, I offered both my kids a movie - which they took. And then only watched 1/2 of the movie.... lesson learned.

    At about the 4 hour mark, I started getting antsy. That is a long time to sit. But, I got up and walked around for a minute - and nobody disturbed me for it. That was enough to get me to the end of the flight.

    We landed on time and then made the long trek to the DME queue. Why isn't this better marked? I know the airport has some regulations, but isn't there anything Disney can do? Luckily, my brother remembered where it was - but it was a long walk with lots of stuff and tired kids who just wanted to be at the hotel!!!

    When we got on the bus, we found comfortable seats and waited... and waited... and waited... and waited. About 35 minutes later, our bus finally took off. The driver didn't say anything, not welcome, not here's the route... just flipped the video on and drove. It was weird because even on non-Disney shuttles, they'll say something! Oh well, maybe he was having a bad day?

    We got to Wilderness Lodge fairly quickly and went in to check-in. There were a lot of people getting off our bus, so I hustled into the lobby. I was too tired to wait a long time for check-in. I was second - after my brother and mom! Woo hoo!

    We got a new cast member - Cynthia. She was awesome. She was so excited to work there and was quick and efficient. We found out we were on the 6th floor. We were stoked! We had been joking the whole flight about our last trip when we got put on the sub-level floor in about the worst possible room there could be. For four of us, there was only one bed... sure, we could have moved rooms, but that was all in hindsight. Anyhow, we were very excited to get to our room! We were in room 6048.

    We walked into the room and found it was exactly as we had remembered the rooms. Very ample space for the four of us - although, there needs to be one more drawer in the dresser. It is a room for four people with only three dresser drawers... I unpacked everyone, while my kids ran about giggling. My mom and brother were in the room next door, and the kids soon discovered they could chat to grammy on the deck.

    Grammy and I decided to go check out the Mercantile after checking in to Whispering Canyon Cafe. We would call the room when it was time for dinner. The rest of the group would finish putting stuff away and wait for our grocery order from garden grocer. The last trip, I used garden grocer mostly because I needed diapers for the kids. We ended up wasting a lot of food/drinks because of it. This time, I ordered a bag of bagels, cream cheese, turkey, some puddings, some juice boxes and some diet pepsi (because I can't live without it.. I've tried). I figured this would be enough for us to have a little something in the morning so we didn't have to run first thing for breakfast in the parks and so we wouldn't burn our snack credit on the first tasty bit we saw every day, but really be able to pick a snack we wanted.

    Grammy and I were scarcely in the store when our buzzer went off telling us our table was ready! So much for the 1 hour wait they told us we'd have. It had only been 5 minutes!

    We found a phone in the lobby and called up to the rooms, telling everyone it was time for dinner. My brother and the kids arrived a few minutes later and we were seated. Then we waited for my husband. (Turns out, he was waiting on the grocery order from bell services).

    What can I say about Whispering Canyon Cafe? It is fun if you want to participate - - but no one forces you to. The food was great. My brother, husband and I ordered the all-you-can-eat skillet. My son ordered the grilled chicken strips - much to our surprise (he's not a chicken eater) and my daughter, who loves chicken, ordered the child's skillet because she wanted salad. Go figure! The food was delicious. The brisket on the skillet was so tender, it was amazing. It was the only thing I had seconds on.

    After dinner, we rolled out of there, walked around the resort a bit and then went back to our room. We walked in to a loud BOOM - only to realize we could see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our room - with an unobstructed view!!!! We ran out to the deck, pulled up chairs and watched the whole show. I had a tear in my eye... we were here and it was a most magical ending to our day.

    After that, the kids went to bed and I went to grammy's room to make plans for the next day. We played Mad Libs (a trip tradition) and when we had laughed ourselves to convulsions, it was time for me to go.

    Tomorrow.... Downtown Disney and Chef Mickey's!

    Totals for the day:

    Fun - 2 Tiggers. Virgin America was a great flight. But, spending 6 hours on a plane will never be my idea of fun.... especially with some turbulence!

    Food - 4 Tiggers. I can still taste the brisket in my dreams... nom, nom, nom. The sandwich I had on the plane was delish, too!

    Best of the Day: Tie between the brisket and our awesome room location!

    Dud of the Day: Grammy falling at the airport.

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  9. #8
    Registered User scoobydooby's Avatar
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    You have made me laugh. My son uses the expression 'nom, nom, nom' on FB and thinks it's hilarious I don't know what it means. Now I got the context I do! So happy about your room location. Keep posting!

     

    If no-one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man (Billy Bragg)

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydooby View Post
    You have made me laugh. My son uses the expression 'nom, nom, nom' on FB and thinks it's hilarious I don't know what it means. Now I got the context I do! So happy about your room location. Keep posting!
    I always figured that is the sound you make when you really enjoy your meal. Kind of like mmmmm, while chewing. LOL
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  11. #10

    when people ask me why do you go to disney so much ? reading your trip report says it all .


  12. #11
    Registered User foolishmortal's Avatar
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    Htanner....love the report. So glad you finally got your trip, it was way over due.
    Too funny with the nom nom nom. That's what my dad always used for a yummy sound.
    Good to know WC has great food too. Will be there in MAY.


  13. #12
    Self-proclaimed Diz nut
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    Fab start! Cannot imagine the struggles you went through the past few years. I always forget that I'm not the only one with the bad stuff happening....LOL.

    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  14. #13

    Day Two - Where Did She Come From???

    Ah.... the first day of vacation. We had *nothing* planned. Well, that's not entirely true. I had *plenty* planned, but nothing officially. The only things set in stone were we were going to meet my brother in Magic Kingdom at 5 to ride Haunted Mansion, and we were going to eat dinner at Chef Mickeys - per the kids' request.

    Now, my plans were to check out the pool and then go see a movie (The Muppets) at Downtown Disney. That plan was nixed very early on by what I shall call the Grumpy Syndrome. You know the one - - where what sounded great to everyone before the trip is suddenly poo-pooed with "Well, you guys can go, but that doesn't sound at all fun to me" once you are actually there. Never mind I had made the kids see Arthur Christmas for my son's birthday movie instead of the Muppets that he wanted to see because we were going to do a special movie in WDW.... Nope, once this person got the GS, it was better for us to just change plans.

    At first, the kids were crestfallen.... until, that is, they saw the waterslide. What movie theater? Why would we possibly be interested in doing anything BUT swimming - say, for the rest of our lives? Ah, to be a kid....

    So, first things first, we had bagels with turkey in the room. Then, after a short amount of time, we all got our swimsuits on and headed down to the pool. It feels weird to have to walk through the lobby in your swimsuit (especially after, when I was all wet and dripping), but I decided I didn't care because I was on vacation with the only people who mattered to me - - and they all wanted to go to the pool with me.

    My kids are at very different swim levels. My daughter is content with being a beginner in her life jacket for the rest of her life. No hurry to learn there. My son is a beginner who is ready to be Michael Phelps.... he scares me more because he would be content with jumping off into the deep end and then panic because he can't touch. So, I required the kids to stay near one of the adults at all times. My daughter decided quickly that she wanted a life jacket, so she and my hubby went off to get one (and the nice people said to keep it for the week!). My son, seeing the opportunity, then decided to take 6 quick trips down the waterslide....

    We swam for about an hour, until I started to get cold. The weather was fine - in the 70s - but a breeze rustled up and it got chilly.

    We went up and got dressed and decided to go shopping at Downtown Disney. My kids were itching to spend their daily $10. (BTW, $10 doesn't go very far at WDW! They would have done better with a bit more spending money!).

    We headed down to the bus stop and barely made a bus going to DD. When we arrived, it was starting to get quite warm. My kids wanted to play in the fountain, but I was mean and said no. LOL. We headed straight away for Earl of Sandwich - - the line wrapped around the store and out the door. The one with Grumpy Syndrome took one look at the line and started crabbying about it, so I suggested they all leave me in line with their orders and go get a table. I was soooooo much happier that way!

    We all got something different. On the meal plan, you get a drink, a sandwich and a dessert. They will sometimes let you switch a dessert for a side. Mom got a tuna sandwich, I had a roast beef, my husband had the original, and my son had a grilled cheese with added mayo (yuck!). I got fruit parfaits and jellos for the desserts. I went outside and they had a table saved and we ate. Another yummy!

    At lunch at the table next to us, a mom panicked because she didn't see her kid - - who was sitting right next to her. When she finally calmed down, she yelled at him for not being where she could see him... LOL, poor kid!!! Of course, sometimes as a parent you do thinks that are totally irrational, so I kind of understood...

    After that, we decided to go shopping. I knew we had to pay tip on the meal that night, so I saved some of the money I had budgeted for spending. There wasn't much that I saw that I wanted - - but, I kept mental notes of things I might want to get as gifts. Christmas was just around the corner, after all.

    My daughter, on the other hand, wanted everything she saw. And was bitterly disappointed that this magical $10 I had handed her wouldn't buy any of it. So, she made a deal with Grammy. She would give her the $10 and help her find a present for me for Christmas. Grammy's make the best deals, don't they?

    So, out of World of Disney we walked and plopped on a bench outside. DD had a new Bolt stuffy and my son still had his $10. That kid is a saver!

    We had about an hour until we needed to leave for MK, but we were too pooped to pop. The kids were starting to melt down, and we had a late dinner ressie at Chef Mickey's. I made the parental/executive decision to forego the MK for a nap at the hotel - - I wanted to enjoy the meal that night and I wanted the kids to enjoy it, too.

    So, we called my brother and left a message that we would either meet him at the hotel or at Chef Mickeys.

    Back to the hotel for a nap. I think I fell asleep for awhile. When I woke up, I decided I wanted to go shopping at the Mercantile. (Seriously, we spent so much time there this trip, I could immediately tell what displays had been moved or added just upon walking in the store... LOL). My mom decided to come too.

    She told me that she had heard from my brother and he was very disappointed that we hadn't met him at the MK as planned. I figured that he doesn't know what it is like when kids start to melt down - he's the uncle and he just gives them back when they are that way. LOL. Still, I felt bad. I wanted to go meet him.

    So, I started looking for a present for him - a "welcome to the trip" present. I turned around to say something to my mom and here comes my brother! But, there was something off. A woman who was walking lock-step with him. At first, I thought "wow, what a nosy gal?" Then, there was something familiar about her. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Until she said, "So, we meet at last!"

    A bit of back-story:When we first started planning this trip, we invited a long-time internet friend I had met through mouseplanet, oh, 10 years ago. We had never met in person, but, over the years, we had shared a lot. She had also become friends with my brother. Well, about 6 months into our plan, she hit a snag and was not going to be able to make it, after all. I had joked with her over the time about whether or not she was sure she wouldn't be able to come - but, I thought nothing more of it. I was disappointed, sure, but understood that Disney trips aren't always in the budget.

    Well, apparently, something changed in her budget and she was able to come for some of the time, after all. She didn't tell me - she and my brother decided to make it a surprise! Which is why they were so bummed out we hadn't made it to the Haunted Mansion, where they were staging the BIG SURPRISE. Oops... LOL.

    After hugs and an explanation, WB and her daughter, Carlee, came upstairs with us to see our great view and to meet the rest of my family. Funny thing - WB and I look a LOT a like. At one point, my son even wrapped his arm around her leg and said, "Momma!" and then, "Oops..." LOL.

    We stayed in the room for awhile and played Mad Libs and made plans for the next couple of days. They would be with us the next day at Epcot, and then the day after, they had plans with some other friends. The third day, we would all go to MK together. Then, they had to go home.

    We hung out until it was time to go to Chef Mickeys. They had tried to add them to our ressie, but hadn't been able to. So, we bid adieu for the time being and headed out to the boat dock. They were going back to Pop Century.

    We got the boat fairly quickly. My kids had *loved* taking the boat on our last trip - but decided they were afraid of it this time. They thought they were going to fall in the water. I reassured them, but they really weren't thrilled! (Poor kiddos)

    The walk from the Contempo boat dock to Chef Mickey's is long. Good thing we'd left plenty of time.

    On the way in, we were stopped by the DVC guy. We've taken the DVC tour in the past - and came very close to becoming members. We decided not to because our finances weren't as stable as we would have liked - - and it was probably a good thing because of my lost job. (Wouldn't that have stunk to have had our DVC foreclosed for unpaid dues? OUCH). Anyhow, in the past, we took the tour and received everything from a free meal to a resort credit. This time? They were offering fast passes! Um, what? I mean, I know they don't have to offer anything - but what kind of an incentive is that? A free fastpass? And, we couldn't get one for everyone with us - only the people who went on the tour - - so, we probably wouldn't have used them, anyhow.

    Not a big deal. We knew we weren't going to buy in at this time because of our finances, so we declined. And we probably would have declined even if the incentive was a little better. We were here to go to the parks and we didn't want to waste a minute of that time. I just thought it was incredible how much the incentive had gone down. I guess Disney has enough people interested in DVC now.

    I was getting hungry, so I decided to check in and see how long we would have to wait until we could be seated. The hostess told me she could seat us right away. Wow!

    I went and gathered everyone up (some were, ahem, shopping) and we headed over to get pictures. This picture ended up coming out great and I think was the only one with all of us the whole trip.

    When we were seated, the server explained that a chef would be out to see me. I have an allergy to citrus - lemons, limes and oranges. It is (thus far) not life-threatening, but does cause me to get hives if I get even a little bit. I can tell instantly if something has citrus in it. But, I decided to give Disney's allergy system a try - mostly because I didn't want to have to pop a Benadryl before every meal like I do sometimes at home (it is the worst if you eat Mexican or want to order fish.... both of which, I love).

    Well, everyone else went off to the buffet and I waited. They came back and ate. I waited. They went off for seconds. Our drinks came. I waited. They started dessert and the chef finally made it. He didn't know what they had on the line, so he went off to look at it and then came back. Nice guy, but he missed several things (I noticed when I went to the line that they had some fish with lemons on them that he hadn't mentioned and they had a few more dishes with seafood - that I then questioned). So, I finally went off for firsts - when everyone at my table was nearly done.

    The food was... meh. I know this is a favorite, but I found it to be pedestrian. The parmesan potatoes and mac-a-roni and cheese were fantastic. Desserts were, overall, great. Everything else was just your standard buffet stuff. It was o.k., but nothing remarkable or even very memorable (I am struggling to remember now!). Of course, maybe the seafood was outstanding...

    After we paid (tip was about $40 for the 6 of us), we went back to the stores. The kids were getting very wonky, so we decided to head back and call it a day.

    Back in the room just in time for fireworks!!!

    Then, we all fell asleep without any trouble.

    Tomorrow - - Epcot Conquers Us!

    Day Totals:

    Fun: 3.5 Tiggers. WB and Carlee were here! Woah! The pool - fantastic. We barely get in our pool in Pacifica in July because it is always cold here. It was December 2!!! The only thing keeping this from being higher is the Grumpy Syndrome and the wait at Chef Mickeys for the chef. Not that I blame him, but it was a long wait.

    Food: 3.0 Tiggers. Earl of Sandwich is still great after all these years. Other than that, the food was adequate, but not special.

    Best of the Day: The surprise by my good friends!

    Dud of the Day: Chef Mickeys. I had heard great things about it and really wanted to love it. I liked it, but it probably won't make the "must repeat" list.

    Last edited by HTanner; 01-09-2012 at 10:50 AM. Reason: add title
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  15. #14
    Registered User Tater's Avatar
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    I'm loving your report. I must make better notes when I go again.


    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  16. #15
    Registered User foolishmortal's Avatar
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    Awesome report!


  17. #16

    So That's How May-December Romances Start!

    Today's destination was Epcot. We were really looking forward to going to one of our four favorite parks and enjoying the food. Epcot (for us) = food Heaven!

    We woke up a little late and scrambled to get ready. I got the kids a half bagel to eat, and made myself one of the last bagels. I was so glad we had those bagels in the room!! We all got dressed and met my brother and mom at the bus stop.

    We were meeting our friends, WB and Carlee at Spaceship Earth (our traditional first ride), but we were running late. Oops. And, wouldn't you know it - - we missed the bus!! My husband had already lost his room key and had to go to the front desk to get a new one cut. (On an aside, this was the first time we didn't put down a card for room charging privileges - - and it really helped us stay on budget! I didn't miss it!)

    Finally, the bus came and we were on our way. When we got to Epcot, the driver let us off at one of the closer stops - - this was the only time that happened all week. Security was already crowded and the line to get in was long. It was not boding well for us - - we were used to 5 minute waits on rides and relatively few people. Oops.

    We made it through security and got into the line with the people who had no idea how to work the turnstile - and the CM helping them didn't seem to know, either... so, we bumped to another line only to have that machine stop working. Back to the original line... LOL. Does anyone else notice these "mishaps" only happen when you are running late?!?

    We finally made it through and found our friends waiting for us at the entrance to Spaceship Earth. We quickly paired off (I've never gone in an 8 person group before!) and headed through the queue - it was about a 10 minute wait. This is one of my favorite rides - I feel like I see something new every time I ride it. Of course, it had also been re-done since the last time I went on it, so there were a lot of new things this time, too. We particularly had a good laugh at some accidental photos at the end of the ride.

    After the ride, we let the kids decide where to go next. My dd wanted to go on Soarin (her fav in DL), so we headed over to the land. We told her we would at least get fastpasses. We grabbed 8 FPS and then decided to tour the land while we were waiting on our modest return time (about an hour later).

    First up - Living with the Land. Which my mother unfortunately read as "Living with the Dead -- why do you guys want to go on that?!?" This would become a running joke. (She also misread a traffic sign that morning as "Caution, LanD ends" - - instead of LanE ends.")

    My kids actually really enjoyed this ride. I was surprised. Both are very scientifically curious - but this sort of thing would have bored me silly when I was their age. They really enjoyed it and were still talking about it days later.

    After the boat ride, we went to the Conservation Film. I can never remember the name of it. The one with Timon and Pumbaa. It was a little irritating - they have some fairly steep stairs and some people just HAD to push to make sure they got there before my mom - and almost knocked her over. There were plenty of seats for everyone! It is a huge theater.

    After the film, we made our way to Soarin. With 8 people, we had almost a whole section to ourselves! Now, maybe it has been awhile since I rode this in DL, but I thought there were a few differences. My family still laughs at me for screaming when the fireworks went off. I'm fairly certain they don't go off that closely in the DL version!!!

    When we were done with Soarin, my son announced he wanted to go to Nemo at the Living Seas. It was about 12:15 and we had lunch reservations in Italy at 1. We told him we would go for a short visit and then try to go back later. He was bummed, but dealt with it and said that was what he wanted to do.

    Now, we haven't been over to the Living Seas for about 5 years - last time, everything was under construction. The queue was very cool - but deceptively long. It looked like a 5 minute wait, but ended up being over 20. When we got off the clam shells, we had no choice but to just haul out of there towards Italy. My son was very bummed out. Next time, skip the clams!

    On the way to Italy, I saw a dad and mom screaming at each other over which direction they were supposed to go - in front of their four kids. Seriously, guys, when it gets to this point - do yourselves a favor and go back to the hotel to rest and go to the pool. You're on vacation!

    The park was getting very crowded now and it was quite warm today. We decided to save our energy and take the Friendship Taxi to France and then walk to Italy. We waited about 10 minutes for the boat to come and drop us off. We were in Italy in no time - and ready for a lunch we'd been waiting for for almost 2 years!

    Tutto Italia was everything I'd hoped it would be. First off, the hostess seating us shared a name with my daughter. It did not go unnoticed and she talked to my daughter about where she was from and gave her a few words in Italian. Very nice touch!

    The bread and olive tray they put at the table was tasty. Of course, I really like olives (so do my kids -- I had to fight them off!)

    The kids ordered pasta - - theirs came with an appetizer salad. My daughter said sure (then didn't eat a bite) and my son said no and then ate some of his sister's salad ... LOL. They also had milk.

    **Mini-Rant On** Why is it that, with a child obesity epidemic, you can get unlimited refills on soda for your kids on the dining plan, but if you pick juice or milk, you pay for every single refill**** (Rant off)

    Everyone had some sort of pasta, except for my husband who had the lamb shank. My husband and I also split the prosciutto di parma and prosciutto and artichoke heart. Yum!!!

    Now, my dish was HANDS-DOWN the best! I had the gnocchi with creamy cheese sauce. I am drooling just typing this. It came in a deceptively small dish - I was full, full, full!!!

    For dessert, we all had various versions of gelato. GS (grumpy syndrome) raised its ugly head again as someone insisted I was given their dessert and they were given mine - very clearly not as I remembered what I ordered quite well. But, I didn't really care. Yummy gelato is yummy gelato - in whatever form!!!

    After lunch, we discovered that the park was crowded and hot - - and, being as full as we were, we were all starting to experience some GS. The kids were dying for some pool time - and, I gotta say, it didn't sound half-bad to me, either.

    Trouble was, we were scheduled to eat at Rose and Crown in just a few hours. I had been dying to try this place for several trips now.... but, we reconnoitered and all agreed - it was time to think about leaving the park for awhile for some down time.

    We decided to shop our way to Germany and then head across the pond via Friendship Taxi. Our friends, WB and Carlee, left us in Germany.

    In Germany, we went into what used to be the cool toy shop with unique things - and now its been homogenized with most of Disney. The things that had that were unique were all the high-end stuff that cost quite a bit. They no longer had any small steiffs or dolls or playmobil. Bummer!

    My daughter picked up a piggy bank in a box to show me - - only, it wasn't bolted in the box! When she leaned it towards herself to look at it, it came right out of the box, hit her on the head, and then shattered on the ground. Now, we have a strict "Look, don't touch" policy in the stores with our kids, so we made her take it to the shopkeep and apologize. Then my husband asked how much we owed for the broken bank (thankfully, none!). My daughter was crestfallen, though!

    Headed to get my brother a bottle of wine and the wine shop. I was second in line and I stood in line for nearly 30 minutes. I forgot how laid back Europe is! LOL.

    We finally made it back to the hotel where my husband, God bless him, took the kids for a swim. I lasted three minutes before I was snoring in the room... LOL.

    After we woke up for our various naps, we started thinking about where we could go for dinner. Our friend had suggested we try the Grand Floridian Cafe. I had wanted to see their Gingerbread House, so this seemed like a good thing. Luckily, we were able to get a reservation - around 7.

    We headed out via boat, then monorail, to the GF. I don't understand people - the monorail was packed and yet, they were angling their bodies so they didn't have to let anyone sit down next to them. Even my 6 year old daughter or 68 year old mother! I can stand, but c'mon. Have some courtesy, people!

    We made it to the GF and had a terrible time finding the cafe. It is not well marked and exists in a tiny corner. We had time from check-in to go to the Gingerbread house (I bought some mickey ears).

    Dinner was great. I ordered a specially-prepared Mahi-Mahi and a cheese plate. My mom had the same thing. My brother had the lobster burger. My husband had a steak. The kids had noodles, again. We all *loved* our meal. And I LOVED the waiter. Oh, wow, he was soooooooooooo cute! I couldn't help myself. I had a hard time talking to him... <g>

    Desserts were hillarious. I was so glad we were on the meal plan - - the desserts were about the size of my kids' hands. So tiny! Tasty, but tiny.

    After I left a great tip and told the manager how great our server was, we left.

    On the way home, the Magic Kingdom fireworks started - we could see them from the boat dock. So much fun!!!

    Tomorrow - Where the Wild Things Went!

    Totals for the day:

    Fun: 3 Tiggers. I loved hanging with WB and her daughter, but it was hot and crowded and the GS came back!!

    Food: 1400000 Tiggers. Gnocchi... NOM!

    Best: Gnocchi - does it need repeating?

    Dud: The crowds. Where did all these people come from? Especially the parents fighting!!!

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  18. #17
    Registered User Tater's Avatar
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    Living with the Dead, I'm laughing just typing that. Great report. When you mentioned the parents fighting on which way to go, I was about to double check the dates and saw you said 4 children, whew it wasn't us.

    I know this may not sound very "Disney" like, but if that were me on the monorail and either needed to sit, like my toe is about to fall off, or a member of my party. If I saw people hoarding the seat I would and have before said "excuse me, would you mind scooting over a bit" and proceed to start the down motion. Trust me when this gal is going to sit down they don't want me in their laps and they move over.

    I didn't put this in my TR, but on day 3 when we were at DHS and Trouble and I were trying to get back to the room. I had about given up getting on a bus and started to walk to EPCOT when the bus pulled up. Everyone got off but this one lady that just kept talking to the driver. Trouble and I were next in line, I couldn't take it anymore, I told Trouble to follow me and we went and got on the bus through the handicap door. Yes there was a lady with a scooter sitting waiting, but key word, "sitting". The bus drive told me that others had been waiting and next to to wait in line. I said we were next. I got dirty looks from the lady with the older lady on the scooter. I should have took my shoe off an put my foot in her lap.

    Sorry to rant in you TP. I'm looking forward to your next installment.


    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  19. #18
    Registered User foolishmortal's Avatar
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    Great report!! Now I know why I insisted on rental car! I have a group going that will most def. have the GS's!! Ie my dad and Dh! LOL.


  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Tater View Post
    Living with the Dead, I'm laughing just typing that. Great report. When you mentioned the parents fighting on which way to go, I was about to double check the dates and saw you said 4 children, whew it wasn't us.

    I know this may not sound very "Disney" like, but if that were me on the monorail and either needed to sit, like my toe is about to fall off, or a member of my party. If I saw people hoarding the seat I would and have before said "excuse me, would you mind scooting over a bit" and proceed to start the down motion. Trust me when this gal is going to sit down they don't want me in their laps and they move over.

    I didn't put this in my TR, but on day 3 when we were at DHS and Trouble and I were trying to get back to the room. I had about given up getting on a bus and started to walk to EPCOT when the bus pulled up. Everyone got off but this one lady that just kept talking to the driver. Trouble and I were next in line, I couldn't take it anymore, I told Trouble to follow me and we went and got on the bus through the handicap door. Yes there was a lady with a scooter sitting waiting, but key word, "sitting". The bus drive told me that others had been waiting and next to to wait in line. I said we were next. I got dirty looks from the lady with the older lady on the scooter. I should have took my shoe off an put my foot in her lap.

    Sorry to rant in you TP. I'm looking forward to your next installment.
    Yes, I do understand and I don't blame you.

    I think if we had been going further than the next resorts, I would have said something. As it was, everyone got off at the TTC, so we were able to sit down - - and made room for others. We did encounter several wonderful people on the trip who gave up seats - even to those of us where it wasn't necessary. One day, I was *that* tired and someone gave up their seat for me - - and I gotta tell you, I about cried at the kindness. I thanked him profusely, offered to put my kids on my lap so he could still sit - - but it was not a big deal to him. My feet and back hurt so bad at that point that day that it made a BIG deal to me.
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by foolishmortal View Post
    Great report!! Now I know why I insisted on rental car! I have a group going that will most def. have the GS's!! Ie my dad and Dh! LOL.
    My dear mom can't help with the GS. She is nearing 70 but won't admit that it affects her sometimes. I would have been fine if she could communicate she's getting tired or having trouble, but she doesn't. She just gets this air about her - and I am very sensitive and can feel it. Several times on the trip, she snapped at people - imo inappropriately - and she pretty much ruined our last meal for me because she was just so dang grumpy.

    Still, she's my mom and I love traveling with her. We have a great time together! I just need to remember her limits, even if she won't set them for herself.
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  22. #21
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    Great TR. Thank you for taking the time to post. I love "GS". I think there is one in every family (if not more - especially with small children).


  23. #22

    What Me and The Hippos Have In Common (according to my 6 yo daughter)

    My kids were most excited about today. We were headed to Animal Kingdom to see all the animals. My daughter also promised to ride Dinosaur and Expedition Everest. She has absolutely no fear. My son (8), on the other hand, wasn't certain he'd like either, but he thought he would give them both a whirl.

    We were nearly out of snack foods in the room that passed as breakfast, so we headed down to Roaring Forks for breakfast. Time to crack open some of those counter service credits! I saw the size of the breakfasts and opted to buy two meals for us to split. We're not the biggest breakfast eaters and we were having a semi-early lunch at Yak & Yeti. The kids wanted Mickey waffles, so I ordered them a plate of that, then got a breakfast platter for me and my husband to split. On the side, I got a croissant and some fruit. Also got everyone a drink. We used two counter service and four snacks on this meal...

    The breakfast was tasty and did the trick. Everyone felt like they had enough (seriously, the adult breakfast platter is hash browns, eggs, biscuit, and bacon and the kids' waffles had 3 mini waffles, strawberries and bacon) and we were all satisfied.

    We headed out to the bus stop and waited for quite some time for the Animal Kingdom bus. It was semi-over cast and neither warm nor cold. They had some cute games for the kids at the bus stop to pass the time, so our kids had fun with that. My son also just got into pin trading, so he and his dad were scoping out everyone's pins. This would become a painful (for me) obsession as he would use his money on pins and then, as an 8 year old does, get tired of carrying them. LOL.

    When the bus finally arrived, we hopped on for the journey!

    When we got to the AK bus stop, the bus driver announced, "Little Boy with the Hidden Mickey Book, please come up..." Well, I knew well enough that it was my son - who has to have a book with him wherever he goes.

    Turns out, the bus driver was also into Hidden Mickeys and gave my son some bus driver trading cards to show him the difference between buses with Hidden Mickeys in them and those without. We looked for the rest of the trip for those Hidden Mickey buses!

    We made it out of the bus and finally began ambling towards the front gate. My mom decided she was already tired of carrying her backpack, so asked if we could stop for a locker. Sure, I guess.

    After that 10 minute diversion, we went immediately to the safari and got fast passes. The guy said we weren't going to need them and to go ahead and use them later. So, off we went through stand-by.

    The cheerleaders were out in force today - -but, for the most part, they kept to their herds. We would see them cheering everywhere (competition wouldn't start until the next day - - so I am sure they were mostly practicing and nervous), but they never seemed to be on the rides when we went?!? Still, there were several squads in line with us at the safari.

    One thing about the safari. I like that they have a stroller drop-off point so parents don't have to carry their kids and the gear all through the long line. We are beyond stroller years, but I still remember that. But, is there a way they can make it flow better? A passing lane or something? Parents are kind of surprised by it and then try and get the kid and the gear out of the basket while not losing the rest of their party and they invariably do it in line.... one poor dad got stuck behind us after getting by-passed by people not wanting to wait for him to figure it all out.

    Another nice thing about having a party of 6 at AK? We got two full rows to ourselves on the safari. No trying hard to look over the shoulder of some stranger who just happened to get the aisle seat....

    We saw lots of awesome animals - - it seemed like every giraffe in the place was coming to see us. And the baby elephant and his big sister.... SO cute. We also saw the lion up and about?!? I've never seen that - - and we go to our regular zoo often!

    After the safari, we decided to head over to Dinosaur and ride. I was worried how my kids would handle the dinosaur jumping out at them. They are troopers when it comes to noise and dark, but that part frightens me. They had gone on Tower of Terror with their uncles earlier that year (I never would have taken them that young!) and found it fun, not scary. So, I thought maybe they would tolerate this ride?

    Not only did they tolerate it, they LOVED it. Although my son said it was a little boring... LOL. My daughter thought she had to protect me from the dinosaurs - and asked if I was o.k. LOL. I guess I made too big of a deal over it...

    After dinosaur, we decided to head to EE. I had loved this ride when it first opened. I thought it was one of the most fun roller coasters I had been on. My mom wasn't feeling it, so she decided to go in the shop. My son wasn't sure, but I promised to ride with him and told him it was just like Big Thunder.

    Well... either my memory is off or they've made this ride much more extreme! The g-force on the first drop nearly took the wind out of me. The backwards drop felt like I was going to die - it was much too much for me! And I wasn't alone - my kids and brother said the same thing. I said to my son, "I am so sorry, buddy," He: "It is o.k., mommy, it was my choice to go on the ride." Gotta love my mature 8 year old!

    We went to the shop and found mom and decided to do a little shopping on our way over to lunch. My daughter had $10 burning a hole in her pocket, after all. Josh wanted to pin trade, too.

    Finally, we made it to Yak & Yeti. We were early, but decided to see if we could be seated. They were crowded and we were told it would be at least 20 minutes. We walked into the lobby - very cool decor. It looks like what you'd expect a little cafe in Thailand to look like. Of course, five minutes later, we were being led to our seats - - only in Disney does 20 minutes equate to 2. LOL.

    The inside of the restaurant is neat, but the seating left a little to be desired. Maybe it was our location in the restaurant, but I felt like I was at a grade school cafeteria! The chair wasn't very comfortable, either!

    We love Chinese food - and I'd been dying to try this place. Let me tell you, it definitely did NOT disappoint.

    We ordered appetizers - my kids love pot stickers, so I got an order of those. My mom got some green beans and my brother got a salad. All of it was tasty.

    For lunch, my mom got honey chicken and my brother and I got the Malasian Seafood Curry. I can't remember what the other people got - and I wasn't interested anyhow after I took one bite of the curry. It is HEAVEN. Especially if you like seafood. Clams, muscles, THICK pieces of fish, shrimp (and not the puny ones, either). A light, very authentic Thai curry broth, with a hint of tomato, and some rice. I ate half the dish, was so stuffed and I really wished I could eat some more.

    Of course, I *had* to try the wontons for dessert - wow, delish! Cream cheese stuffed won tons!!! With caramel and pineapple. I am hungry thinking about it!

    (well, I hate to bring in the real world here, but I have to finish some work... so, more tomorrow!)

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  24. #23

    I think I read somewhere that Disney heats certain rocks to make them even more appealing to their lions. But I still haven't seen one up and about. Very cool!


  25. #24
    Registered User Tater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTanner View Post
    Yes, I do understand and I don't blame you.

    I think if we had been going further than the next resorts, I would have said something. As it was, everyone got off at the TTC, so we were able to sit down - - and made room for others. We did encounter several wonderful people on the trip who gave up seats - even to those of us where it wasn't necessary. One day, I was *that* tired and someone gave up their seat for me - - and I gotta tell you, I about cried at the kindness. I thanked him profusely, offered to put my kids on my lap so he could still sit - - but it was not a big deal to him. My feet and back hurt so bad at that point that day that it made a BIG deal to me.
    Absolutely, it was a big deal to you, and I'm sure it made him feel good to do something for someone else. I was near tears and not really thinking clearly. Only thinking of getting to my room. I should have just picked a spot and chilled till DH and Shaggy were finished riding TOT. Well ya live and learn.

    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  26. #25
    Yellowrosedtxn yellowrosedtxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Texas

    I am really enjoying your trip report. Next time I go to WDW, I will have to ask the bus driver about the Hidden Mickey cards and how to find the buses with Hidden Mickey's on them. That is very cool!

    Shelley
    DLR - '05, '06, '07(x2), '09; WDW - '97, '10; '13; Disney Cruise - Fantasy '13

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