Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Nautical Disney Adventure - Day 1

*drum roll please*

It's time to tell you about my trip!  Let's just jump right in to the very first day.  I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep the night before so after I did most of my packing I took a few sleeping pills and hit the hay at 9:30 p.m.  I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and surprisingly we left the house only fifteen minutes past schedule (4:15) only Matt forgot some money at the house so we had to turn around and come back.  Matt's dad drove us up to the airport where Ben and Barbara were already waiting for us.  I tagged their luggage with Disney's Magical Express tags and then we made it through security in no time.  Barbara's fear of the full body scanner cracked us all up.

When we were on our way to find our gate we happened to pass the terminal map and noticed that a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf existed in the airport.  Barbara and I freaked out and left the bags with the boys while we darted all the way to the other end of the Detroit International Airport.  We legit were sweating by the time we made it.  I got some kind of berry iced tea and a chocolate milk for Matt (the first of many chocolate milks on this trip).  Barbara enjoyed a super delicious apricot tea latte.  By the time we made it back to the gate we were boarding with our drinks in hand, happy as clams.  I was having a hard time moving my big Disney duffel bag through the aisle whilst holding my iced tea.  In the midst of getting my laptop bag strap caught on an arm rest I got my other bag strap wrapped around my straw.  The straw flew out and onto the lap of a gentleman next to me who looked petrified at the plastic flying object coming at him.  I immediately began the slew of, "I'm so sorry!  Oh my gosh I'm sorry!"  Then the guy goes to pick up my straw off the ground and I tell him, "Oh no don't worry about it!"  Only everyone around me took that as I was telling him it was his fault that my straw flung like a lawn dart.  Embarrassing.

The coolest part about our flight was during the landing.  I saw Epcot, Downtown Disney and the monorail resorts from the plane.  As I'm looking out the window,  feeling emotional already, the little girl behind me said out loud, "I think this is my best day ever!"

Once our flight was over we headed to the super crowded Magical Express area and only waited about 10 minutes for a bus (a good DME bus, not a crappy Mears bus) to get us.  The driver was.... a character.  I couldn't understand half of what he/she said.  The entire ride was hilarious because you could tell that everyone on the bus was thinking the same thing.  The bus went to Pop Century first but only one family got off there.  I found that incredibly weird.  My guess is that given the "deals" that were released, people weren't offered Pop Century.  In general, I found CBR to be quite busy the entire trip.

The super nice Florida heat felt so good to all of us and we were all so anxious to get into the parks.  We had to get our room first though!  Even though I did online check-in the process seemed to take way too long.  In fact, according to Ben, "Check in is a conspiracy."  An older lady helped me get my room keys only she seemed to not understand the computer system very well.  She told me that the room was ready but hadn't been attached to the card yet so she had to do that but had issues with it.  Then she took a while to take off the credit card that I had attached to the room reservation.  I didn't want any accidental charges happening.  I also was not granted my room request of Jamaica.  We were put in the farthest building in Martinique.  The initial walk to the building was absolutely confusing.  The buildings aren't lined up but kind of in a zig zag pattern.  I felt like it took us forever to get there!

We were given a corner room on the second floor... Room 2140.  The room looked a little worn here and there but in general it was just fine.  Nothing spectacular but I also didn't expect something super grand.  We weren't there for more than fifteen minutes.  We found the fastest route to the nearest bus stop and hopped a bus to Epcot.

We were all so so so starving so after we got our picture taken in front of Spaceship Earth we headed for The Land to eat at Sunshine Seasons.  It was around 1:00 p.m. so it was super busy with the lunch crowd.  We all split up and got what we wanted to eat and then met back up at a table.  I had my favorite counter service of the entire trip here.  I was so looking forward to the Seared Tuna Noodle Salad and it did not disappoint.  The portion was huge and insanely delicious.  The strawberry shortcake wasn't just enjoyed by myself but also Barbara and Ben as well.  Two thumbs up for that dessert.

Matt chose the Vegetable Flatbread Sandwich that he devoured within three minutes I'm sure.  When I asked for his opinion on his food he said, "It's gone!"  Matt's choice of a chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookie for his drink and dessert says a lot about him.  He loves chocolate.

Barbara and Ben both chose sandwich options.  Barbara ordered the Reuben Panini and said that while it was good there was too much bread.  Ben got the Turkey Foccacia and loved it, of course.  To drink they ordered a water and a Citrus Full Throttle.

Funny story about that Full Throttle.  He snuck it onto Living With the Land.  Kudos, Ben.  I was really surprised when all throughout that ride Barbara kept saying, "this is so cool!  Ben, don't you think this is cool?"  I literally could not stop smiling just listening to how much she enjoyed something so "small" on the attraction scale.

The rest of the afternoon we spent doing lots of fun things.  We rode Test Track and Nemo.  Then we visited Club Cool and totally tricked Ben with the Beverly.  It was the best reaction I've ever seen in my entire life.  I thought he might actually throw up.

We headed into the World Showcase starting in Mexico because I was so stinking excited to visit La Cava, the tequila bar.  I love this tiny little place, especially when it's not busy.  We got a table and ordered some margaritas.  Matt got a water while the rest of us ordered some alcohol.  Ben got the Magic Blue Margarita.  That thing was potent!  If you like the taste of tequila (like me) then you will like it!  Barbara got the Wild Passion Fruit Margarita and it was super good but a little too sweet for my taste.  The real winner at the table was my Avocado Margarita.  I had to order it since I kept hearing the best reviews on it.  It sounded so weird but tasted so dang good!  Barbara nailed it perfectly when she said that it tastes like a Starburst!

After venturing around World Showcase for a while we headed to Biergarten to check in for dinner.  To our surprise we were seated within just a few minutes right in front of the live entertainment on the lower level.  I was so excited!  The folks we sat next to were very nice but kept to themselves.  An older couple and what looked like their grandchildren.  Everyone in my group immediately loved the atmosphere.   After ordering our drinks with our waiter, Alexander, we headed up to the buffet.

My favorites were the red cabbage (so good I could cry), salmon, and the herring salad.  I wasn't the only one who liked the herring salad because Ben loved that as well!  Barbara enjoyed the sausage (hehe), mac and cheese, and the Bavarian cheesecake the most.  She said she was disappointed that the pretzel roll was hard.  By the time I asked Matt his opinion on food he had already devoured his German sized beer so his favorites got listed as "beer and vanilla pudding."

We all had so much fun at Biergarten and everyone agreed that it was one of our favorite meals of the entire trip.  There was so much to laugh about during dinner.  The entertainment was fun, my bathroom antics were... surprising, hollering "Hoy hoy hoy!" was super exciting, and when the gentleman next to Ben sat his napkin on the lit candle and started a fire, we all got a real show watching Ben throw himself across the table to put it out.

At this point everyone was a little loopy from the alcohol.  Matt pushed it past loopy (he has a low tolerance for alcohol) and was hilariously intoxicated.  Venturing around the World Showcase was that much more fun.  I had to follow Matt around like he was a little boy because he kept picking expensive bottles of wine up in Germany and I was very fearful that he was going to drop everything his hands touched.  Barbara purchased an apple wine that she decided we would have to drink the morning of her birthday.  Turns out, the wine was quite disgusting and most of us (not I) couldn't drink it down.  At least she didn't spend too much money on it and the experience made for a good laugh.

A quick trip to Rose and Crown was made and Barbara and I got a couple of drinks.  I, the Welsh Dragon (cc: Fred Hazelton) and Barbara the Leaping Leprechaun.  Her drink was HORRIBLE.  It tasted like feet.  Poor girl drank it down to not waste the money (and liquor) but not happily.

We wandered around until we found a spot around the lagoon to watch Illuminations.  We just sat on the cement 45 minutes before showtime and chatted.  Only, 15 minutes later we realized none of us actually had a strong desire to see the show so we got up and left Epcot all together.  After all the traveling and excitement of the first day we were ready for a good nights sleep because the next day we'd be off to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

To see a lot more photos from our first day including food porn and drunk Matt, click this link!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm Baaaaaack!

I'm back.  And it sucks.  Stacey misses Florida terribly.

On a much happier note... the trip ROCKED!  Sure, we had some crappy weather at times but we managed to make the best of it.  It was like constant laughter throughout the whole trip.  I'm really excited to tell you all about it!  Pictures are edited (went from 1600 to 1000) and that means my trip report will start very soon.

It seems with every trip to Walt Disney World I get more of an affirmation that Florida is where I belong.  Leaving is always really difficult and landing in Michigan just makes me wish I could turn around and go back.  It's kind of like leaving my heart behind.  I just get this feeling (like Hercules) of knowing where I belong.

Chills run up and down my arms when I watch children hug Snow White or the elderly laugh with excitement when flying over California on Soarin'.  It's so cool to watch first timers see everything for the first time and trying to fill their heads with little bits of knowledge that makes them feel the magic a little more.  Cast members are so insanely lucky to be able to share in visitors excitement every day.

Since you guys have been so patient, I'm going to give you a few teaser shots of the trip!

Monday, October 3, 2011


I'm doing my happy dance now.  Only 2 days left of work and then we're off to my "real" home... Walt Disney World.

I've said for the longest time now that where I live now is not my home.  I may have been born and brought up here but the second I stepped on Disney property as a child I was given a new life.  Every time I leave that place I leave my heart behind.  There is no doubt in my mind that it's where I belong forever.  I'd like forever to start right now and I'd like to make a living doing something involving Disney but at the moment it's monetarily not feasible to move to my real home.  Someday soon I hope.

I made out my packing list today but got clothes around to pack last night.  We're finishing up laundry and getting all of the last minute things taken care of.  Matt and I got our flu shots today at Walgreens (is it weird I LIKE getting shots?) and tomorrow we've gotta get our breakfast food for the room.  This is the part of vacation that I hate.  Remembering to do everything the last few days before you leave.

We bought Ellie an indoor/outdoor play yard last week and it should arrive tomorrow.  We're keeping Ellie with Matt's parents instead of boarding her.  The last time we boarded her the place didn't brush her and she turned into a giant knot when we got home.  It was our mess to deal with and we weren't too pleased.  My in-laws have 5 cats so Ellie will have tons of play buddies.

Quote of the day is from Barbara.  She texts me, "I can't decide... creme brulee vs. chocolate wave at coral reef.  Dilemma."  Love this girl.  She thinks just like me.

Matt and I decided that Thursday morning we are leaving the house at 4 a.m.  Well, we're aiming to.  By the time we get packed up it'll probably be 4:15 but that's okay because we're leaving way early anyway.  Matt's dad is taking us to the airport so we don't have to leave our car somewhere.  We'll end up eating a couple of breakfasts that morning.  One at home (so I can avoid fast food) and then a snack or something in the airport.  Gotta warm my stomach up for Biergarten later.  MmmMmmmMmm buddy!