Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 9: Laidback Kind of Day

This was our latest start to a day so far, we slept in, all the way until 8:45! We had breakfast at the lounge. We started our days much earlier during the first part of the trip and always found ample seating at the lounge. As we started heading to the lounge later and later, we realized that the majority of people start their days late! We had a hard time finding a spot! I know we're not late risers by any means, but I never thought we were that much of early risers compared to other people! It just goes to show you why the parks aren't that busy in the first 2 hours, if you go by the sampling of people at our resort alone, it's obvious that most people aren't trying to go to the parks for opening.

Anyway...we left the hotel after 10 some time. In our typical fashion, we headed to Big Thunder first off. It was already at 40 minutes (no thanks!), so we grabbed a FP for an 1145-1245 return. We browsed a few shops in Frontierland and Adventureland in the meantime. Then we went over to the Pirates of the Caribbean, it was at a mere 5 minutes. Since we were in the area, we went on Aladdin's Magic Carpets right after (which was at 10 minutes).

It was close enough to 11:45, so we headed on back to the mountain, stopping in a few more shops along the way. Sadly, Tamara broke a plastic snow globe. The strange thing was no one in the store really noticed. There was a cast member, but she was busy talking to someone. So, there we are, with glittery water and broken plastic all around us, and no one cares. Oh well!

Here are a few shots from the mountain- the classic entrance sign:

And me, giving a thumbs up!

We made our way to Tomorrowland, via Fantasyland. The wait times weren't that bad, but we didn't bother riding anything. Tomorrowland was pretty manageable, crowd-wise. We checked out the store at Space Mountain, then went to Monsters Inc. The first act was different than the show we had seen earlier in the week. I think I enjoyed the first show better, but both were cute and funny.

We made our way up Main St., checking out even more stores. Keep in mind this was the 2nd last day, so we had to see if there were any other souvenirs we needed to purchase.

We headed out the park and caught the monorail to the Grand Floridian. Guess what, we checked out a few more stores! We had a reservation for tea at the Gardenview Tea Room for opening (2:00), so we had a bit of time to waste. Here's a shot of the lobby there, it's definitely got a Victorian atmosphere. Although Animal Kingdom Lodge's lobby is probably just about as big, it's a totally different vibe. This one was very hush-hush, you could feel the somewhat hoighty-toighty air to it all.

I hadn't taken many shots of flowers yet, so here are some daisy-like flowers from a display.
Once the tea opened, it was very apparent that they were understaffed. There seemed to only be one waitress actually doing anything. There aren't that many seats. The room is quite small and cozy. We both ordered the Grand Tea (sorry, no pictures, I wasn't in the mood for photography, go here if you'd like to see a few). That consists of an assortment of sandwiches- I know there was a Pear and Gorgonzola one, a curry chicken one, egg salad, and a smoked salmon one; scones and jam tarts; dessert (we both went with trifle), a glass of sparkling wine, and of course your choice of tea (I went with the Princess Breakfast Tea- which was a vanilla and strawberry rooibos) Everything was really tasty, and it was such a relaxed, quite environment!

We headed back to the hotel and finally went for a swim (we had only been to the hot tub, and dipped our feet in the pool so far). I also finally remembered to take a picture of these cool lights at the elevators (and almost lost my hat in the process). I dropped it on the ground while taking the shots, oops!
We checked out the hot appetizers before our late dinner at Jiko. There was also some fabulous animal watching today! The giraffes were SO close to our balcony!

Our dinner at Jiko was very tasty! It is beautiful in there. They have these bird sculptures all over, leading the way to the ever changing colours on the wall. The wall represents the African sunset. There are also rings around a lot of the pillar, which are representative of the rings seen around the necks of some tribes.

It also ended up being very dark in there, so it was a little tougher getting decent photos of the dishes. Here's my appetizer- Braised Beet Salad with Smoked Bacon, Goat Cheese, Shallot Marmalade, and Sherry Vinaigrette. It was very tasty, the goat cheese goes so nicely with the beets! I need to remember to do that at home!

Tamara ordered the bread service. I didn't bother taking a photo, it was similar to the breads and dips at Sanaa, just presented slightly differently.

Here's my main course- Roasted Lamb Loin with Heirloom Tomato-Chickpea Salad, Bacon Vinaigrette, and Kottumbari Relish. It was good, it would've been a tad better, had the lamb been slightly rarer. I ordered well-done, because I struggle with describing exactly how I like it cooked.
Here's Tamara's main course- Braised Beef Short Rib, Truffled Potato Puree, Pearl Onions, Baby Carrots, and Cabernet-Tamarind Sauce.

And here's Tamara's dessert- Cheesecake and Blueberries-Creamy Cheesecake with Lemon Curd, Blueberry Coulis,Blueberry Compote, and Sesame “Bee Sting”

And my dessert- Amarula Crème Brûlée with a Chocolate-layered bottom, White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Biscotti. It was very good!
And finally, our last stop before retiring for the night! We picked up a postcard at the gift shop and went to mail it. Is this not the best mail box ever! We specifically bought the postcard for Shauna, as today was her birthday. As far as I know, she has yet to receive it... Boooooo!

After that, we came back to the room, relaxed a bit, then called it a night!

Some observations from the day:
  • It seemed to be super whiny, screeching child day. Now you might say, "you're at Disney, don't you see that everyday?". No. You don't. These kids were crazy. We actually heard one particularly loud child in the hallway right outside our room early in the day. Then there was a temperamental baby on the bus. That got a bit weird, as this man started talking to her in a cutesy voice, saying "you don't want to wake the baby". It ended up working, since she was so confused by the stranger talking that she stopped shrieking. There were also just a lot in the park.
  • On one trip back to the room, there was this kid and his dad. The kid had a ridiculous amount of wooden stir sticks. He kept dropping them, and once he noticed us, he kind of panicked and dropped even more as he tried to rush after his dad. It was hilariously bizarre.
That's all for now, only one more day. I didn't mean for this to take so long, but after editing, then typing it all up, it adds up! After the final trip post, I will start posting general daily-life type posts.

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