Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vacation - Day 2: Epcot and a LOT of Rain

My mom and I woke up and headed to breakfast at Kona. The trip we were on provided us with free breakfast at any of the restaurants in the Polynesian. We'd talked to people at dinner the night before about the restaurants. They suggested avoiding the Cook's place in our hotel. (We were going to be having a character breakfast at Ohana on Day 3.) I decided to get the banana stuffed french toast for breakfast. Um, clearly should have asked to see a picture of that before ordering. It was about six pieces of toast, along with the bananas somewhere inside. And it came with strawberry syrup. And a side of bacon. It was massive and literally looked like half a loaf. The guy sitting next to me said he was "going to get that, but decided it was too big." I looked at the hellacious meat platter (bacon, sausage, ham, etc.) he was eating. His platter also included toast and eggs. I wish I'd taken a picture. I finished maybe half of my french toast before giving up since I didn't want to be sick later.

After breakfast we went downstairs to buy Mom a ticket to Epcot. I'd done volunteer work so my ticket was free. :) And then we boarded the tram to make the trek. After arriving I got not only a ticket but a supercool Miss Piggy button. I adored Miss Piggy when I was about 3. And I was amazed that people kept thanking me for volunteering and asking me what I volunteer work I had done.

We started out on some random ride that I was so not impressed with, I didn't bother to remember the name. My mom liked it. People had been mentioning Test Trak, so I wanted to try it. Mom refused. It was a lot of fun - fast moving.

We checked out a few other rides, went to ride Soarin which was A-MAZ-ING!!! It's a tour of California where you feel like you're there - sights, smells, rushing through the areas. Unreal! Then we checked out Honey I Shrunk the Audience before I was really hungry. It had begun to rain, someone steadily so we picked up some fashionable Disney ponchos.

Mom and me in our trendy ponchos

Next we took off toward the world area of Epcot in search of a meal. My mom prefers to sit down to eat. We stopped in at British Pub - that had a 15 minute wait. Nope, mom didn't want to wait that long. Let's go back to that restaurant in Canada. By now it's POURING! We get back there, they're booked for the rest of the day. I made the executive decision that we were going back to the other place because if I didn't eat soon, I'd be gnawing off my arm - it was almost 3 p.m.

Lunch was fantastic - I had some shepard's pie type meal, and we were sitting by a small lake that overlooked all the other countries. Our waitress had been on the cruise we were heading out on the next day, so she offered suggestions. By the time we were done eating - the rain had subsided. So we wondered around and checked out all the countries and worked off lunch. It began to rain again around Norway, and we managed to find another ride just in time. :)

After all that, we stopped in a store, picked up some gifts for the kids and headed back to the hotel. Since we ate lunch so late, we decided to just do some appetizers at the Polynesian bar for dinner. My mom doesn't drink much anymore, so I asked if she was going to get anything to drink. "Yes, a daquiri." That sounded reasonable as I thumbed through the drink book. She continued, "And if they don't have that, a whiskey sour." Wow, go big or go home. I was fairly confident they'd have the daquiri. Which was good, since I couldn't carry my mom back to our room. The bartender also provided some cruise related tips. Apparently everyone has been on a Disney cruise. And with that we headed back out into the rain to trek back to our room.
Viking helmut I made mom try on, she was less than enthusiastic.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vacation - Day One

Definitely a bit late on this, but I'm going to back up and post about the vacation.

The trip to Florida was entertaining. My mom had not been on a plane in 45 years. Needless to say, things have changed slightly and I'd done my best to prep her for air travel. Easy on/off shoes. Nothing scary in the carry on, etc. Um, she was pulled aside to be searched and her purse had to be searched too. We were insanely early to the DSM airport. After boarding the plane we sat at the jetbridge for an eternity. Eventually the captain told us there was something wrong with the plane and we had to de-board so they could fix it. Looking at the clock, the odds of us making our connection in STL - slim. Once the plane was fixed we were off and running, only half an hour late. Lucky for us, there were 16 people transferring from our flight to the Orlando flight so they held the plane. An added bonus - the connecting flight was closeby in St Louis.

Arriving in Orlando, we were thrilled to find out that our luggage even made the flight. Woo Hoo!!! The travel agency transferred us to the hotel, where we checked in with the Polynesian hotel and then had to check in with travel agency and cruise line. Which would have been awesome, if I had the paperwork that was in the baggage below the bus. So once that was delivered I completed our check in and took a nap. After my mom told me she had decided to leave her cigarrettes at home (in an attempt to drive me crazy) she announced she was going for a walk. The idea of my mom not bringing cigarrettes along in theory is great. I would love for her to quit, but I knew we'd get on each other's nerves easily and her not smoking would not help.

photo of the Grand Floridain

After my nap, it was time to get ready for dinner which was being held on the beach at the Grand Floridian. Dinner was a pirate themed event. Some of the stuff included: pirate band, temporary tatoos for everyone, pirate moustaches. face painting, pirate gear for the kids, appearances by Mickey and Minnie. Due to the fact that I don't talk about work here, I won't be mentioning the people that were there. I liked all of them very much, but I don't want to get into any of that stuff. The food and drinks were great. Afterward, my mom and I headed back to the room to catch the fireworks and call it a night.

fireworks from our room