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Thread: Steve Russo - April 8-13, 2018 - Boardwalk Villas

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    Steve Russo - April 8-13, 2018 - Boardwalk Villas

    A Much Briefer Trip Report:
    April 8 - 13, 2018
    Boardwalk Villas

    Participants

    • Steve and Barb – Just the two of us for this trip.


    Background and Health Issues:
    I’m doing OK… I finished my eighth Chemotherapy session, which leaves me frequently tired. The afternoon naps have become a real necessity and remember, (I recently read) it’s not a great nap unless you wake up in a puddle of your own drool. Anyway, other than a few thinking and memory issues, I’m okay.

    Barb was nursing a slight hip fracture on our last trip in January. She was using a cane to help with her walking but to be honest, she carried it more than used it. Since then, she’s received a good doctor’s report and has retired the cane.

    The Trip:
    This trip falls less than 3 months since our last one. The Springtime is also not a date that I’m used to for a Disney visit and Barb, not me, suggested it. That absolutely convinced me we were making this trip as a final farewell for Walt Disney World and me. Now Barb is adamant that’s not the case but the timing from the diagnosis of Glioblastoma has me convinced. At any rate, this is one of our very few Spring trips but, honestly, Spring in the Northeast has been awful – cold, rain, ice and snow. I’m ready for a trip to warm and sunny Orlando.

    Sunday, April 8, 2018 – It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

    Southwest has made me angry. There is nothing in life that sucks more than having to get out of bed at 2:00 am… NOTHING! Our flight to Orlando will leave Albany at 5:50 am (and, somehow, our return later this week will leave at 10:00 pm). I’m up at 2:00 am and Barb is already in the shower. I’ve slept for a few hours but I don’t think she’s slept at all. That is her nature with travel.

    We’re on the road at 3:00 and, thankfully (unlike our trip in January), it’s not snowing. Driving very early on a Sunday morning, to me, is the same as driving late on a Saturday night. I assume that everyone else on the road is driving home from a Saturday evening of heavy drinking. Thankfully, there aren’t many cars out but there are some and I trust no one. I also manage to stay awake for the trip, which is crucial considering I’m driving.

    We park the car, wheel down our two bags (and one carry-on) and check in with Southwest at 3:45 am. Have I mentioned we have not received TSA-Pre on our airline tickets? I get this so often this is disheartening. Our trip through TSA is awful: my iPad is out; so is my iPhone; my belt and watch are removed; my shoes are off. I have one carry-on bag and I swear it’s empty by the time I’m screened.

    When I go through the scan, I have to remove the money from my pocket and keep it in my hand. Finally, we’re finished and I can re-dress and look semi-human again. We hit the McDonald’s inside (thankfully they are open early) for coffee and a muffin. The muffin is mine, as Barb will likely not eat a thing until we’re at Disney. I can’t blame her.

    We board at 5:20 and, like our January trip, we take off late, as they have to de-ice our plane… in April! Sheesh!

    We leave at 6:00, about 10 minutes late, and the one thing I notice is at least 6-8 people, sitting in front of me, are drinking alcohol at 6:30 am. I’m a guy that enjoys a drink but not at 6 in the morning? Any idea why?

    We land at 8:35. Our flight was mostly fine but a bit cloudy and bumpy during the last 40 minutes. We were in a Southwest 737-700, a model that had an awful issue with the breakdown of an engine, a break in a window and loss of a passenger’s life about 7 days later.

    We make our way down to a very packed entry for Magical Express. The line to check-in was 50 people. I have NEVER seen it this crowded (but it did go fairly quickly).

    Now, on the bus, I receive a Disney text informing me that our room is not yet ready. It’s very early so that’s okay and… it’s a text I never received on our last two visits so I’m glad Disney has corrected the issue. We reach the Boardwalk at about 9:45 and Barb convinces me to check at the front desk for room availability. I’m convinced that’s a waste of time but many of use the SWMBO nickname for a reason so… I visit with Raymond, a cast member who was very nice to us back in January. I express our issue in being up since 2:00 am and ask if there’s any room available for us. I state that we would give up any request I’ve already submitted such as near the elevator, first floor, etc. and accept anything available.

    Raymond stated he would try and headed inside to discuss with, whom I assume to be, management. He came back and asked for a few more minutes and then I saw him talking to a suited man by a computer. In a few minutes, he gave us the great news that they have an available room for us. I thanked him profusely and we headed off to room 4020.

    Barb opened the door and we’re very surprised to see a 1-Bedroom unit. I had only reserved and paid for (with DVC points) a Standard room. For those not familiar with DVC, the 1-BR offers a full kitchen and living area, separate bedroom with a King Sized bed, larger bath, laundry facility, etc. I admit my first reaction was Raymond must have made a mistake.

    We spend a few minutes freshening up and changing – I packed a pair of shorts in my carry-on bag. In a few minutes, we were off to Epcot. While walking through the Boardwalk lobby, I was going to stop and really thank Raymond for this upgrade but Barb talked me out of it. She was convinced they made a mistake and would move us to a Studio if we talked.

    We stopped on the way in and purchased a new Tables in Wonderland card for $150 – ours had expired in February. It’s always been well worth it for us and I’m betting this will be the same.

    Now, our tradition has always been a stop at the Rose and Crown for a welcome home beer (Black and Tan for me and a Carl’s Combo for Barb). As we walked by, the Rose and Crown was almost an hour from opening. Jeez, we were early!

    We walked down to the Land and to Seasons for a few breakfast items and coffee while we waited for our 11:40 Fastpass for Soarin’. We had our “breakfast” about 9.5 hours after waking up. By the way… your Mom is NOT here (well maybe she is but, seriously?!). That’s intended for the two groups that left the remains of their meals on the table after leaving. It drives me nuts when other guests leave their garbage behind.

    While in line at Soarin’, we hear a request for a party of two. We get the top row on the left side but the right edge. That’s just a slight distance from dead center so… pretty good.

    We spend some time walking around World Showcase and viewing the wonderful items that make up the Flower and Garden Festival. Disney really does a wonderful job on this.

    Eventually, we make it back to the Boardwalk and unpack… followed by a much-needed nap. Since my brain surgery, a nap has become a needed part of each day and, with a 2:00 am wake-up, I’m ready. For Barb, this is her first sleep in about 30 hours.

    Woke up (eventually), freshened up, and walked over to the nearby gas station for supplies (and Yuengling). Today was the final round in the Masters golf tournament, and I’m a big golf fan (I would say “golfer” but I haven’t played since last year’s surgery so…).

    Eventually, we decided to head out to ESPN for dinner and to watch the last 6 holes of the Masters tournament. Dinner was salads, beer, water and coffee with a shared slice of chocolate cake.

    We were still tired so I knew another Epcot visit was more likely tomorrow. We spent some time walking around Crescent Lake, did a bit of shopping and made it to the room by 7:30. We were in bed by 8:00 and I’m pretty sure I was asleep in minutes. Our view was over the pool but I never heard a thing… including the 9:00 fireworks from Epcot.

    [B]Things I Think I Think
    [/B
    ]I think it’s wonderful to arrive in Orlando at 8:30 am but I’m too old to handle travel after a 2:00 am wake-up.
    I think being upgraded to a 1-BR was awesome… and it’s my first DVC upgrade in almost 20 years as a member. We have previously stayed in 1 and 2-BR units but, unlike Lisa, I’m cheap. I’d rather spend two weeks in a Studio than one in a 1-BR.
    I think I miss the Rose and Crown… but it’s still there.
    I think I’m tired.

    Monday, April 9, 2018 – Mizner’s, Narcoossee’s and the Belle Vue, Oh My

    The 14 points per night I spent with DVC, on a standard view Studio, would be 37 points per night for the pool view 1-Bedroom unit I’m in. I’m not sure why, but I feel a little rich.

    We’re up at 7:30, have some coffee, shower, dress and are out the door. We walked over to DHS and right down to the Tower of Terror. It showed a 13-minute wait to enter but we were on much quicker using our Fastpass. That sign read 30 minutes when we exited, I do love this ride.

    We walked over and entered Standby to see the Frozen sing-a-long show. Thankfully, they’ve removed several of the changes they made for the Christmas holiday so the show is a bit better but… I thought one of the funniest scenes occurs when Kristoff enters and the woman yells “Its Justin Bieber…” (or Luke Skywalker). Now she just yells, “It’s Kristoff.” C’mon Disney.

    We then rode Star Tours with a Fastpass and saw Poe for the first time.

    Have I told you about my knees? No? OK, get ready or skip this paragraph – your call. They’re pretty bad. I have arthritis in my knees and shoulders. Yes, getting older sucks big time. My knees became a real problem about one year ago. Walking was getting painful and going up or down stairs even worse. I visited an Orthopedic Surgeon a while back and he had recommended Steroid shots. I turned him down originally but, by April of 2017, decided to have it done. Long story short, I was injected and in about two hours, I was out for a 4+ mile walk and my knees felt much better. Long story longer… I began then to have the brain issues that took me to surgery. Of course, first I contacted the Orthopedic Surgeon to ask what the hell he gave me that was destroying my brain. Hahaha, yeah, that was a funny one. Anyway, I should have gotten a second round of shots before this trip because my knees have reached the point that stairs and even getting off a Disney bus is painful.

    I tell you all that to indicate that we rode the boat back from DHS (you see why it takes me so long to write a trip report?). We exited at the first stop at the Dolphin then walked to the Boardwalk Bakery where we shared a sandwich. That may not sound like it’s enough for two people but, trust me, their sandwiches are huge.

    What’s next? A nap! At this point, you should just assume this happens each day. I also spent some time watching the next to last end-of-season episode of the Walking Dead on my iPad. I’ll tell you now that I’ve never been a fan of Zombie Apocalypse shows or films before but I really enjoy this one.

    We get an internal phone call and are told we have a complete cleaning today. Huh? We don’t really need one. As DVC members (and genuine human beings), we’re pretty good at making beds and keeping a room somewhat civil and tidy (I haven’t “Rock-starred” a hotel room in years) but… OK. We asked them to hold off for a few minutes while we freshened up for dinner (and messed up the room to give them something to do).

    We took a bus to the Magic Kingdom and a Monorail to the Grand Floridian for our planned dinner at Narcoossee’s. We’ve only been there once earlier but we enjoyed it so we stopped in Mizner’s lounge for a pre-dinner drink. There was a band just outside the entry playing Disney songs. You can shoot me again but I really enjoy that.

    We took our time, sipped our drinks and listened to some great music before walking back to Narcoossee’s. If you’ve never been there, it’s a very nice circular restaurant located next to the water, specializing in seafood and offering some great views of the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom. We managed to get a table by the window and enjoy the view – along with a Grilled Grass Fed Filet Mignon (me) and Native Hebridean Salmon (Barb). We each had a glass of wine (unfortunately, our days of splitting a bottle of wine seems to be long gone). I’ll tell you that Narcoossee’s is not inexpensive but, after applying Tables in Wonderland, it’s about like a dozen other restaurants we visit and offers a much better view.

    After dinner, we walked around a bit then caught the boat to the Magic Kingdom. The boat stops first at the Polynesian. Are you familiar with the DVC resorts on the water at the Polynesian? My 14 points/day at the Boardwalk standard view would be 160 points (PER DAY!) in a Polynesian 2-Bedroom Bungalow. I’d also tell you that a Friday or Saturday would jump to 187 points but I’ll try not to make you vomit. If you enjoy wasting a lot of money, I think you’ll enjoy this. Now, I’ve asked DVC cast members about availability and they have assured me that the Bungalows are often filled but… I always look and have yet to see anyone there. Sure, they could be at the parks but if I’m paying 160 points per day, I’m spending some time there.

    We rode the bus back to the Boardwalk and enjoyed an after dinner drink at the Belle Vue Lounge. It was such a beautiful night; we sat outdoors on the deck.

    Things I Think I Think

    I think our stays here, when it’s just Barb and I, involve fewer rides.
    I think the sandwiches at the Boardwalk Bakery are much better than I expected.
    I think it’s great of Disney (or DVC?) to clean our room daily but, as a 20-year DVC member, I’m kind of used to a trash pick-up every 3 days.
    I think I really enjoyed Narcoossee’s after a few years away. I could handle that view with dinner for a long, long time.
    I think watching the Boardwalk magicians, boats and visitors from the Belle Vue deck is a great way to spend an evening.
    I think I should tell you that weather has been wonderful – highs are in the high 70s and humidity is low. It’ll be like that all week except for one day – tomorrow, when it will rain and storm most of the day.


    Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – “If the rain comes they run and hide their heads” – the Beatles

    We’re up, at ‘em and out the door at 9:00. We finally board our AK bus at 9:20. We have some “later in the day” Fastpasses today – most notably a 1:30 shot at Avatar Flight of Passage (someday, I’ll figure out exactly what that means).

    We tried for a ride on the Na’vi River Journey when we saw it listed at 30 minutes but, by the time we walked there, it had jumped to 55 minutes. The sky was cloudy but the rain wasn’t supposed to hit until late morning so… we took the new walkway back and saw Festival of the Lion King with a 3-minute wait. A great show but… there was only three tumble monkeys so things were a bit limited.

    We exited and immediately heard a very loud blast of thunder. It wasn’t raining but things were very wet so it must have poured while we were inside. At this point, we made the decision to head out and back to the Boardwalk before it got real nasty.

    While standing at the bus stop, it starts pouring rain. We also have a few severe thunderstorm warnings so this should be a fun day. We board a bus in about 10-minutes and, as soon as we start pulling away, the rain increases significantly. At this point, I’m not really sure how our driver can see anything.

    There’s another couple on the bus, sitting across and facing us, so we have lots of conversation. They’re DVC members and we seem to share many of the same plans here. The husband suggests he would like to try sleeping in lobbies as a way to save DVC points. I realize he’s joking but his wife smacks him anyway. Gee… we’re a lot alike.

    It’s pouring and there’s lots of thunder and lightning. My knees always give me a hard time exiting a bus and, unfortunately, causes me a slight delay while being hammered by the rain. We get inside and head to the room when we realize Barb’s phone needs charging. She didn’t charge it last night and thought she had enough power for today. She didn’t.

    I canceled the remaining AK Fastpasses and book one at Epcot for tonight. Next up is a walk (under awnings where possible) to Big River Grill for lunch. The rain had slowed a bit but it was dark and stormy with continued thunder. Not to surprise you but I had the burger and a Rockin’ Red while Barb went with the turkey sandwich on toast and a water. My opinion of the Big River burger has recently changed from “best in the world” to “very good but not the best in the world”. Today, it was back at the “best” but I’m not sure why. Barb will tell you that my brain surgery, six weeks of Radiation and monthly Chemotherapy, has affected my taste buds. She can site more than a few occurrences of me discussing changes in how I felt things tasted.

    After lunch, we had room for a nap (our hotel room was cleaned again). The rain and thunder continued.

    The rain lightens a bit in the early evening so I don my golf rain jacket and Yankees hat and we walk to Epcot. We walk down to the Imagination films – assuming it would be best to be inside. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but I really like these films. The “Get a Horse” opening is amazing in its 3D use.

    After enjoying those films, we use our Soarin’ Fastpass. We then decide it’s time for a Russo Rule dinner. We walked back to the Fountain at the Dolphin hotel and both of us enjoyed a dinner of ice cream sundaes.

    It was still raining (but lighter) and windy so, after dinner, we walked back to our room in the Boardwalk.

    Things I Think I Think

    I think today qualifies as a “bad weather” day. I know I saw some folks maintained their time at the parks, and I can understand that, but it wasn’t for us.
    I think the loud boom and lightning flash when we exited the Lion King show really surprised me.
    I think the Big River burger has made its way back for me.
    I think the weather for the rest of the week is superb – sunny and high 70s to low 80s.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – It’s a Black Manhattan

    We’re at the bus stop at 8:55 but don’t board until 9:30 and it’s packed. We try to restrict our times requiring a bus while at the Boardwalk but I honestly have never seen bigger crowds at the bus stop or longer waits.

    We bus to Magic Kingdom and begin by using our Fastpass for the Journey of the Little Mermaid. It’s just an “OK” ride but I do like the music… and we quickly learned the Fastpass was not needed.

    We then walked back and right into Mickey’s Philharmagic… and I mean right in. The doors were open as we entered. I truly believe I will never tire of this attraction.

    Next up was using our Fastpass to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (loved it)… followed by a 4 minute wait for the Country Bears Jamboree. I do love me some Country Bears.

    We had lunch at the Harbour House, our favorite fast food restaurant in the Magic Kingdom – maybe the World. When we finished, we decided to leave the Kingdom and, on the way out, we shopped for AA batteries. Now, I have that note but, for some reason, I have no notes on why AA batteries were needed and my brain does not recall the requirement so you’ll have to wait until something prompts my memory. My guess is you’ll be waiting a long time.

    We had another 20-minute wait for a bus. The buses have not been good here but it’s really difficult to complain about a 20-minute wait. I’m just used to mixing the 20-minute waits with a few 5-10 minute ones - not on this trip.

    It had continued to rain last night into very early this morning but today is a beautiful and warm sunny day with a high of 77.

    We were expecting to meet up with Sandi Femino today. She’ll be coming over tomorrow as well but she’s attending another regular weekly dinner tonight at a nearby location so… we’re meeting. I’m probably not to mention she brought me fudge… so I won’t… but she did. We wound up sitting and chatting out on the Boardwalk dock for about 90-minutes. It’s always great seeing Sandi and this was no exception.

    We walked Sandi out to her car (really – that was just to pick up the fudge) and wished her some fun tonight on the dinner. She was nice enough to ask us to join in but I really didn’t want to bum a ride from her in both directions.

    We relaxed a bit, freshened up and then headed to dinner at the Trattoria al Forno. We decided to have a drink first at the nearby Abracadabra Lounge. This brings up one of my favorite complaints – the guy taking up 300% of the seats. This bar has a small number of tables and seats along with a bar with only five stools. Two at the edge were taken by a couple and the other three by a single guy who used the other two bar stools for his backpack (on the right) and hat and jacket (on the left). I decided I didn’t like him and that was reinforced by his loud conversation with the couple to his left.

    You probably know my enjoyment of a good Manhattan and the menu here offered a Black Manhattan. It’s made with Bulleit Rye, Orange Bitters and Amaro Averna vermouth. It was very good. Barb had her (sort of) usual Tanqueray and tonic. We sat at a nearby table and sipped.

    At 6:30 we moved into the Trattoria where I had the Parmigiana di Pollo (for the second or third time) and, this time, found it was just okay – at least a bit less than in the past. The sauce was a little thick and you’ve probably already concluded that this was just another version of the changes in my taste buds. I had Barb with either eggplant or a fish dish but she tells me she had the same thing I did. She probably felt it was very good. We each also washed these dishes down with a Quartino of wine (my new favorite packaging device).

    After dinner, we headed back to Epcot for a walk through the countries followed by a Fastpass on Test Track. I still like Test Track but have to admit it’s getting a bit stale.

    After the ride, we decided on a walk back to the Boardwalk. I’m feeling tired which, unfortunately, is about a 50/50 deal lately. Anyway, I’m tired so it’s back to the room.

    Things I Think I Think

    I think it’s rare for me to bypass the Harbour House in Magic Kingdom.
    I think it’s amazing how we can spend so much time with Sandi and we’re never bored. She probably is but we’re not.
    I think we need to hit the Tutto Italia in Epcot again – and leave the Trattoria alone for a while.
    I think every restaurant should offer a Quartino of all wines.
    I think I really hate how often I find myself tired.
    I think I really liked the Black Manhattan.


    Thursday, April 12, 2018 – A Boat, a Banshee and RADP

    We walked out today to a waiting bus to the AK. That’s a first. Our plan is to use a Fastpass on Flight of Passage (I still don’t know what that title means), something we missed during the storms on Tuesday.

    The Na’vi River boat ride is listed at only 10 minutes so we decide to give it a try. We rode this back in November of last year and found it nice but not worthy of giving up a Fastpass on Flight of Passage. The problem is that the Standby wait always seems way too high to ride so… we don’t. Today, 10-minutes seems great but it jumps to 40-minutes when we arrive. Do I buy the 40-minutes? I don’t so we head inside and on the boat in 20-minutes. Not great but acceptable. It’s a good ride and I think Disney has done a very nice job on it but in my opinion, would lack a bit if you haven’t seen the movie.

    Next up is our Fastpass for Flight of Passage. Something I noticed is that the preshow now misses the “There’s a problem. Wait a minute.” part. Has the preshow been shortened? This is still a great ride and, I believe, will be for some time.

    I turn Barb loose for a ride on Expedition Everest. I would (reluctantly) go with her but she really doesn’t mind going it alone and she, unlike me, really likes the ride. She also uses the Single Rider queue so it’s pretty quick.

    Next is It’s Tough To Be a Bug where we, once again, watch a half-dozen small children exit screaming. There really needs to be a way to inform parents on this prior to dragging in small children.

    Where off for lunch and I take the time to stop in front of Pizzafari (formerly a favorite place) to view the menu. Surprise! They returned to the Pepperoni Pizza and Caesar Salad that, to me, made this a great place. Our last two visits offered an awful chopped salad and a flatbread slice of pizza that were awful. Okay, it wasn’t awful but it also wasn’t good.

    We decide to head back after lunch and find a waiting bus. Yes, it was waiting for us and I now feel compelled to buy a Lottery ticket. Back at the Boardwalk, we enter our cleaned room and I consider life to be wonderful. The Na’vi boat ride, a ride on the Banshee, I hear childhood screaming, Pizzafari is returned to greatness (OK, that’s a stretch), we join a waiting bus and find a clean room. What’s next? A nap at the quiet pool following a brief swim. It’s about 80 degrees so…

    A shower followed and then a walk to the Beach Club to meet up with some RADP folks (and a beer). We had planned something between 5:30 and 6:00 so we arrived at 5:20 and found everyone already there. The group included Sandi, Sue Rayford and Floyd (SB in Sue’s Trip Reports), Bob Me., Mark Fendrick, me and Barb. We drank, had some food and lots of conversation. This was a group of RADP folks that have been on the site for 20+ years so they know their stuff. We’ve exchanged comments and read dozens of trip reports (maybe hundreds in Sue’s case) over the years. This was the first time I’ve attended a meet where I knew and had met everybody there (Okay, it was my first time meeting Floyd but I’ve seen enough of Sue’s photos to figure we had met).

    We had some great conversation. I told Barb to tell everyone about the classic room upgrade we had received. Everyone smiled and congratulated us just before going on an “around-the-table” description of the many times each of them had received a room upgrade. It’s my first in 20 years and they crush it with tales of upgrades to 2 and 3 bedroom units, Concierge levels, etc. I’m fairly certain I heard about someone receiving a free car and a million dollar check.

    After that, I was suitable humbled (and we also had a DHS Fastpass) so we took some group photos and said our goodbyes. I really enjoy seeing these folks. I should mention that these RADPers are those that continue reading and posting on the “real” Rec.Arts.Disney.Parks site as opposed to those that now only consider Facebook – something I can never do.

    We left at 6:50 and boarded a crowded boat to DHS for a ride on Star Tours. We used our Fastpass even though it only had a 5-minute Standby wait. After that, we walked around a bit then walked back to the Boardwalk. Dinner was at ESPN and was a pretty simple salad for Barb and a turkey sandwich for me.

    After dinner, it was back to the room and bed.

    Things I Think I Think

    I think I like the Na’vi River ride but never if the wait time is above 15-20 minutes.
    I think I wish I could ride the Flight of Passage multiple times but can’t (won’t) while the wait time remains so high.
    I think I need to thank Disney for the return of the items at Pizzafari. I never expected it.
    I think it’s a lot of fun to meet up with a group of RADPers. I always enjoy it, learn something and laugh quite a bit.

    Friday, April 13, 2018 – Finally, the Rose and Crown

    What’s worse: flying home at 10:00 pm or on Friday the 13th?

    We’re not leaving until much later but I did nail A18 and A19 boarding passes and TSA-Pre. Can anyone tell me why I couldn’t get it for trip down?

    The worst part of leaving so late (other than the fact that I’m typically in bed sooner than this take-off) is trying to stay fresh for the trip home. Of course, today’s high is predicted for 85 so trying not to sweat all day will be a challenge.

    I check and find we can keep our room until 12:00 so we take our time getting started today. We’re showered and packed and bring our luggage down around 10. The checking of luggage that normally takes 15-minutes takes about three so we’re back upstairs and I watch the latest episode of Homeland on the iPad. We vacate the room at 11:45 and I check the carry-on with Bell Services before we head to Epcot. Barb is carrying her purse, which she typically carries only on arrival and departure days. This bag gets a complete look by Security and, if you’ve ever seen Barb’s purse, this takes about 12 hours.

    We hit the Disney Pixar films again (I know I said this but I really enjoy these films) then went up to the DVC lounge for a soda and some relaxing air-conditioned comfort. We did a little shopping then hit the Rose and Crown for a 2:50 lunch/dinner. Our last day and my first visit to the Rose and Crown – something’s wrong with this.

    The rest of the day is spent in the Boardwalk lobby, followed by a Magical Express bus to the Orlando airport. Naturally, our 10:00 departure has been delayed until 10:30. We land just after 1:00 am on Saturday and, luckily, get our luggage very quickly. The drive home has no snowfall (for the first time in a while) but we do share the roads with Saturday at 2:00 am drivers, which, if you remember my opinion, are mostly drunks.

    We make it home safely and are in our garage at around 2:30.

    Final Thoughts

    As I mentioned, this trip was Barb’s idea and I will give her the credit. Other than a too-early arrival and a too-late departure, it was great. The weather was awesome (except for one day of rain) especially when I compare it to the fact that the Northeast Spring has apparently delayed its arrival until May.

    We rode only the attractions we really enjoy and dined (mostly) in our favorite spots. We need to bring Narcoossee’s back as a favorite.

    A big thanks to Disney for the free upgrade to a 1-Bedroom unit and restoring the Pizzafari menu – they’re both big deals with me.

    Meeting up with another group of RADPers was a lot of fun. We were there with a bunch of locals and I really appreciate being part of this group.

    Our next trip(s) are sort of up in the air. We’ll be here next January with daughter Stephanie, son-in-law Paul, and grandsons PJ and Sean. This will be there second trip with us and, this time, the grands will be six and four… much better ages.

    Daughter Michelle is holding off until President’s Week so we may not be there with her. It’s just too busy for us but has become a requirement for them. We’ll see.

    Son Stephen will hold off for another year as they’re expecting their third child in October. I’m rooting for another girl but, as of this writing, we’re unsure.

    I apologize for what I think is some weak writing and likely typos but I’ll blame brain surgery and a bunch of Chemo sessions for that. At any rate… and as always, thanks for reading.
    Last edited by srusso100; 05-09-2018 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Punctuation
    Steve

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  3. #2

    Steve,

    Thank you for taking the time to write this report. They're always a treat, and this was no exception.

    I'm very sorry to hear what you're going through, but I wish you the best of luck in your recovery!

    Christine


  4. #3

    Steve Russo - April 8-13, 2018 - Boardwalk Villas

    I think I think I’m looking forward to your January trip report. I think I think I may reinvest in the dream of a Disney room upgrade (none yet in 10 years of hotel rooms)! I think sage reflection is a strength. Enjoyed reading about your trip as ever. Respect to you.

     

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

  5. #4
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    I love your reports and this one is no exception. I am sorry to hear about your medical issues. I will keep you in my prayers. I am going to Disney 6/30 to 7/8. I cant decide if Im brave enough to ride Flights of Passage


  6. #5
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormalongSavvy View Post
    Steve,

    Thank you for taking the time to write this report. They're always a treat, and this was no exception.

    I'm very sorry to hear what you're going through, but I wish you the best of luck in your recovery!

    Christine
    Thanks, Christine.
    Steve

  7. #6
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydooby View Post
    I think I think I’m looking forward to your January trip report. I think I think I may reinvest in the dream of a Disney room upgrade (none yet in 10 years of hotel rooms)! I think sage reflection is a strength. Enjoyed reading about your trip as ever. Respect to you.
    I think I enjoyed your reply. Thanks.
    Steve

  8. #7
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suejacken View Post
    I love your reports and this one is no exception. I am sorry to hear about your medical issues. I will keep you in my prayers. I am going to Disney 6/30 to 7/8. I can’t decide if I’m brave enough to ride Flights of Passage
    Please ride it. Trust me... you’re gonna love it.
    Steve

  9. #8
    Registered User Silvercat's Avatar
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    Great report Steve, thanks for taking the time to write it. We will forever invoke the Russo Rule, as we have done for several years now, mostly Ghirardelli's but where ice-cream is involved, I am open to other possibilities too.

    I am really sorry to hear of your health issues, as a long-time reader of your trip reports I have enjoyed seeing your family grow up and increase over the years, and I'm so glad you continue to write these reports, albeit in a shortened version now. It is just lovely to keep up with your news.

    Take care of yourself my friend, sending you virtual hugs.

    Silvercat

    (Enjoy reading trip reports? Why not try my books, "Tiggerific Travels" - all 4 books available now as e-books)

  10. #9
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercat View Post
    Great report Steve, thanks for taking the time to write it. We will forever invoke the Russo Rule, as we have done for several years now, mostly Ghirardelli's but where ice-cream is involved, I am open to other possibilities too.

    I am really sorry to hear of your health issues, as a long-time reader of your trip reports I have enjoyed seeing your family grow up and increase over the years, and I'm so glad you continue to write these reports, albeit in a shortened version now. It is just lovely to keep up with your news.

    Take care of yourself my friend, sending you virtual hugs.
    I agree with everything you said!

    Steve, thank you so much for writing another report; I can personally vouch for what chemo can do to a person's body & spirit, so I also add my thoughts & prayers toward your recovery. Take care...
    Pam
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



  11. #10
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    Steve

  12. #11
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Thanks, Pam.

    Steve

  13. #12

    Hi Steve! So thrilled to find your new trip report after work today! Always fun to read no matter what the length is. I am happy to hear you are both feeling better. Thank you for sharing a little bit of the pixie dust with us!
    Gail


  14. #13
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baylakebeliever View Post
    Hi Steve! So thrilled to find your new trip report after work today! Always fun to read no matter what the length is. I am happy to hear you are both feeling better. Thank you for sharing a little bit of the pixie dust with us!
    Gail
    Thanks, Gail.
    Steve

  15. #14

    Steve Russo - April 8-13, 2018 - Boardwalk Villas

    Steve, ive enjoyed reading your trip reports! thank you so much.


  16. #15
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauldita View Post
    Steve, ive enjoyed reading your trip reports! thank you so much.
    You're welcome... and thanks.
    Steve

  17. #16

    Steve,

    Great report as always! A few things. First about drinking on the plane that early. We went to one of the Whats Cooking breakfasts, and we were handed champagne at 9:30. The lady checking everyone in said that you cant drink all day if you dont start in the morning. 😀
    Second, we really hope that this isnt your last trip to the World. DW and I were hoping to meet yall. 😥
    Lastly, which burger do you order at Big River? The Big Brew Cheeseburger or the Kobe Burger. 🤔

    Kevin

    Last edited by goofy1958; 05-29-2018 at 10:47 AM. Reason: sp

  18. #17
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    "Great report as always!"

    Thanks, Kevin.

    "A few things. First about drinking on the plane that early. We went to one of the What’s Cooking breakfasts, and we were handed champagne at 9:30. The lady checking everyone in said that you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning. "

    Oh, she was wrong... so wrong.

    "Second, we really hope that this isn’t your last trip to the World. DW and I were hoping to meet y’all. "

    I hope so too.

    "Lastly, which burger do you order at Big River? The Big Brew Cheeseburger or the Kobe Burger. "

    I've yet to try the Kobe Burger.

    Steve

  19. #18

    As always a great trip report! Steve, you are in my thoughts and prayers.


  20. #19
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneyintn View Post
    As always a great trip report! Steve, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Thanks.
    Steve

  21. #20

    Thanks for another report, Steve! I always enjoy reading yours and wish you the best with your health.


  22. #21

    I think, I think, I always get excited when I see that you've posted a TR on these boards! You're such an awesome writer who always entertains the reader with your wit! So glad that Barb planned this trip for you both, as I'm sure with all you've been through health wise, it was so nice to have a Disney trip to look forward to! I'm sorry for all your health issues and will continue to keep you in my prayers. I'll look forward to your January TR.


  23. #22
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    Steve

  24. #23
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindawdw View Post
    I think, I think, I always get excited when I see that you've posted a TR on these boards! You're such an awesome writer who always entertains the reader with your wit! So glad that Barb planned this trip for you both, as I'm sure with all you've been through health wise, it was so nice to have a Disney trip to look forward to! I'm sorry for all your health issues and will continue to keep you in my prayers. I'll look forward to your January TR.
    Thanks. If all goes well, we should have a shorter trip in November before the big one in January.
    Steve

  25. #24
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    You were so right about Flights of Passage. I did it and didnt have any problems at all. I think its the best ride I have been on.


  26. #25
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suejacken View Post
    You were so right about Flights of Passage. I did it and didnt have any problems at all. I think its the best ride I have been on.
    So glad you enjoyed it...
    Steve

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