Back to this year's Disney trip. The timing has turned out to be bad, sandwiched in between 2 work trips, but I don't care--I need the break. It's the third year in a row I've met my friend and co-worker Krissi at Disney World--last year we were joined by Krissi's mom, and this year by Laurie, a friend of K's from childhood.
On my turnaround time: I got back from the ag show Thursday night, ran errands, did laundry, and packed on Friday, and flew out this morning. K and I met at the airport, took the Disney bus to the Caribbean Beach resort (our third year there, as we like the location), then Laurie, who's local, joined us. We did a little unpacking, went through each other's trading pin fodder supply in case one of us had something the other wanted, then set out for Epcot. We had scored, via Krissi's mom who's doing Disney vicariously this year through us, reservations at Le Cellier in the Canada section of Epcot. Le Cellier is a steakhouse, and is one of the toughest reservations to get at Disney World. We had 4:10 reservations, and (being glad to take anything we could get) decided to skip lunch and enjoy the early dinner.
Lovely it was, too. We're again on the Dining Plan (a promotion offered it free with the rooms), so we had an entree, non-alcoholic beverage, and dessert on that. I added a caesar salad to start. Warm breadsticks appeared: one each of sourdough, pretzel, and whole grain. I then went with the mushroom filet on a risotto with truffles, which was to die for. (Both the steak and the risotto, but the risotto was more so.) I ended with a bumbleberry cobbler with cheesecake ice cream--not bad, but not exceptional. K and L also had steaks, and both of them ended with chocolate desserts.
After dinner, it being only about 6 PM, we wandered a little through the weekend crowds at Epcot, enhanced by the fact that the Food & Wine Festival is in full spate. (We've got plans for that later.) We did find the F&W headquarters, looked for a special pin for it but didn't find what we wanted, used my iPad to determine that all the cooking demos we were interested in were already full, then set out on a common pattern for these visits: wander generally towards the exit, stopping in booths or other spots as the mood strikes, and look for cast members (Disney employees, that is) with pin lanyards to see if we wanted to trade for any of their pins.
We eventually headed out to the bus area and came back via the Caribbean Beach market/restaurant area, "Old Port Royale". A concierge visit, more pin trading, and a look at the shops, then we walked around the lake to our rooms in the Barbados area--Caribbean Beach is (duh) separated into 'islands' of buildings named after Caribbean islands. We laid our plans for tomorrow, unpacked (my suitcase had been delivered while we were out--K's had arrived before we left), and did some more pin-trading and pin organizing. Oh, and K showed off her iPad to L, which is only fair because I addicted K to mine when we were both in Denver for database testing back in June.
Tomorrow we're going to start out at Hollywood Studios first thing, then will probably wander back to Epcot for lunch (HS is rather devoid of good eating choices, to our thinking). We have later dinner reservations at La Hacienda de San Angel, a new Epcot spot in the Mexico area that has windows on the lagoon where the spectacular Epcot fireworks show is held, so we hope to snag a waterfront window table and stay there for the show.
Our Disney trips tend to be structured around meal planning, itself structured around what reservations we (or K's mom) could snag. Blog entries tend to be rather food-focused, especially as the pin trading, another significant and continuing activity, is pretty boring to, well, most anyone who doesn't trade themselves. Food at least is more generally interesting, witness both the Bujold list and piffle.
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