Sept 6, 2012





Youíve got a friend in me


After the lazy day the day before we were up early that day. Again, we had breakfast out of the fridge and around 8.30am we were out the door.

We drove over to the Animal Kingdom, went through the entrance and when it was our turn to park they left the last parking spots open and we were diverted to the VERY end of the line. Well, thanks, but NO thanks, I donít want to hike that far, so we left the parking lot, turned around and tried our luck again. This time we were luckier. We scored a spot in the lower third of the row. We were tempted to walk up to the park, but a tram was just pulling away, so we got in line. What a mistake. It took quite some time for another tram to arrive, then once it arrived it pulled a lot further up than the other one, so everyone was running after the tram and people were pushing and shoving to get on.

We did find a seat eventually and were finally on our way to the park. Once we were at the entrance it didnít take long to get inside and we headed up the path. We saw part of the opening show and joined the masses that were streaming into the park.

We headed to Expedition Everest and went to pick up a Fastpass which was good in about an hour. Then we got in line and were surprised that it was more or less a walk on. Tom asked for row 1 and we stepped aside and got right onto the next train out. We had a blast and once we had gotten off we looked at the wait time and it was just 5 minutes, so we got in line again. This time we didnít try for front row, we just took the row that was assigned to us. We had fun none the less. When we got off we just thought about it for a minute before we got in line again. Row one again and we repeated the process 2 more times, the last time we used our Fast Passes.

So after an hour of riding Expedition Everest we were done with it and walked back to the Tree of Life and tried to get in line for ďItís Tough To Be A BugĒ, but it was down so we decided to just check out the shops and then stroll over to Africa to join on of the Safaris. The sign said 35 minute wait which was quite long, but we got in line anyway. It moved pretty quickly, but even with a constantly moving line it took about half an hour to get to the loading zone. We were seated with another couple and off we went on our Safari. The animals were very active and there were a lot of them around, so Tom got a lot of really good photos. Once we got off the ride, we slowly walked to the exit and headed back out to the parking lot.

We drove back to Old Key West and chilled for a while. And about half an hour later we got ready to drive over to Downtown Disney for lunch at Wolfgang Puckís Express. We were also going to meet some friends, who we had met while cruising in 2010, Teresa and Mick. They had only arrived that day and were coming to Downtown Disney after check in at Port Orleans Riverside. We arrived about 20 minutes early for our meet and looked through some of the shops before waiting for them in front of the restaurant. When they arrived and we had hugged each other we headed inside the restaurant for lunch. We placed our orders, then found a table and waited for our food to be brought out.

Tom and I had been longing for some pizza, so Tom had ordered the Barbeque Chicken Pizza, Red onion, cilantro, tomatoes and smokey BBQ sauce, while I had gone for my old favourite, the Four Cheese Pesto Pizza, Parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, goat cheese, plum tomatoes, fresh basil, sun- dried tomatoes. Our friends had also chosen some pizza and we sat there, munched our pizzas and caught up on each otherís lifeís events. Some of us had even ordered dessert, and we all had the same one, the Creme Brulee. Once we had finished our meal and said goodbye to Maritza, our favourite server there, we headed outside to look around Downtown Disney.

We did not get far before we were stopped. The Fairy Godmothers in training of the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique were leading a parade of little princesses to the carrousel to enjoy a ride with them. Everyone stopped and watched and it was really nice to see all the proud little princesses climbing onto the carrousel horses and carriages and ride round and round. Once they were done, we walked along the Marketplace and then over to the West Side. Mick wanted to have a look into he cigar store there and we had fun exploring a lot of the area and its shops. Cigar shopping done we headed back to the Marketplace and our car. Tom opened the top and we all climbed inside and off we went to Old Key West.

And after we had shown them all around the resort and had inspected our villa we sat outside on the veranda, enjoying some coffee, the lovely view and and we were catching up some more. We all had such a fun afternoon and enjoyed each otherís company so very much. Around 6pm we got back into the car and drove over to Hospitality House. We still had a little time left before we had to sign in for our dinner at Oliviaís, so we went to explore the area. We walked through the store and then had a peek into reception before we headed over to the pool area. It was so much fun checking everything out together.

Then it was time to sign in for dinner. We were immediately taken to a table and our server greeted us and told us about todayís specials. He then took our drinks orders and brought out some bread and butter. Mick took up the task of cutting the bread and handing it out and we all enjoyed a bit of it. I think, Tom ordered the Conch Chowder, and Mick ordered the Conch Fritters, served with Key Lime Mustard and Remoulade. Once everyone was done with their first course our main courses were served. Both, Mick and Teresa had ordered the Slow-cooked Prime Rib, 10-oz cut with Oliviaís Potatoes, Green Beans, Carrots, and Cabernet Demi-Glaze.

Tom had ordered the Duval Street Burger, topped with Grilled Shrimp, Pepper Jack Cheese, Avocado, and Pico de Gallo served with French Fries while I had chosen the Catch of the Day, with Roasted Potatoes, Succotash, and Lemon-Tarragon Butter. All of our main courses were delicious! Mick and Teresa were on the Dining Plan and offered to share their desserts with us, so we ordered the Banana Bread Pudding Sundae, served warm with Bananas Foster topping and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It was absolutely delicious, but so filling. We gave up after about half of it. After dinner we headed back to our villa to wait for another friend of ours, Michelle and her family to come by.

We would have loved for Mick and Teresa to meet them, but Michelle and her family were running late and Mick and Teresa had had a long day. So Tom decided to take them ďhomeĒ to Port Orleans Riverside, while I waited for Michelle. We were sending texts back and forth and shortly after Tom had returned they texted us that they were at the entrance to Old Key West. We walked outside, so they could find us more easily and within a few minutes they were turning into our parking lot. Again, we all hugged and helped Angelina up the stairs and after a short walk through the 1 bedroom we all got together in the living room to chat. We all looked at photos from our cruise together and time just flew by and it was time again for them to leave. We stood and waved until we could no longer see them, before we went upstairs again, put the dirty glasses, cups and plates in the dishwasher and got ready for bed.