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Category: Aloha

Last Annual Pass Extravaganza – Day 3

Last Annual Pass Extravaganza – Day 3

We checked out of Bay Lake and brought our bags to the Polynesian where we stayed for one night.   We had breakfast at Kona then took the Monorail to EPCOT.  It was two days before the start of Flower and Garden but a lot was in bloom and smelling FANTASTIC!

flowers

We hit our favorites:

We explored more of the flowers including those at the Canada Pavilion.

 

We then took the Monorail back to the Polynesian.  We hadn’t received the text that our room was ready so we set up to enjoy some Dole Whip and the front desk informed us that the room was in fact ready and had been – they just didn’t send the text for some reason.   Either way – perfect timing.

whip

Like anyone else who has stayed at the Poly DVC I can confirm its absolutely gorgeous.   We stayed in Pago Pago only for one night and it was one of the major highlights of the trip.

We put on some Hawaiian music and relaxed in paradise.

We had reservations a Morimoto in Disney Springs for an early dinner.   This is where my second cautionary tale regarding Uber begins.

  1. We thought they would be able to pick up in the DVC parking lot near Pago Pago – they are not allowed in so we had to walk to the lobby.   This makes sense in hindsight.
  2. We were waiting at the lobby when a cast member asked us if we were waiting for Uber.  She informed us that the GPS locators often send them to the Grand Floridian instead of the Poly and this in fact happened to our driver.   I would recommend texting your driver and confirming the resort location.
  3. There is so much construction at Disney Springs right now and they really only allow cabs to drop off on the West Side – even if you are trying to get to the Marketplace so if your goal was to cut down on walking – waiting for the bus might be the better option.
  4. Pickup for Uber at Disney Springs is in the “Strawberry Lot” – that’s on the other side of West Side so if you are coming from the Marketplace Area it could be a trek.  We were going directly to Hollywood Studios and still thought this was easier than bus hopping.

morimoto Balls

Morimoto makes one hell of a Singapore Sling!   I highly recommend.

We went to see the Star Wars Fireworks AGAIN after dinner because they are THAT GOOD.   Since we had already taken 2 Uber rides we figured we would take the bus back to the Poly – at park closing.   This 45 minute exercise in patience reminds me why I try to be at a resort that is walking distance or linger in the park after hours until I’m forced out.

We closed out the evening at Trader Sam’s Grotto.

trader sams

Last time we were there – they said they couldn’t do anything for vegetarian food (outside of sushi) but this time they offered tofu for the lettuce cups!  It was so tasty!

tofu lettuce cups

On the walk back to Pago Pago we stopped at the Tiki Terrace outside the Grotto to listen to the ukulele player.  He was so good I would say its worth the visit alone to see him perform.  Aloha!

Sept/Oct 2013 Trip Report – Magic Kingdom

Sept/Oct 2013 Trip Report – Magic Kingdom

Days 1-2: Magic Kingdom

Our trip started out with a few nights at Bay Lake so we took advantage of being able to walk into Magic Kingdom.  These were the first few days of the Food and Wine Festival in EPCOT so the lines in Magic Kingdom were very short, especially early in the morning.

Saturday (MK)

  • Be Our Guest (Lunch) – Potato Leek Soup
  • Its a Small World

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ariel Under the Sea (ride broke down, line was long)
  • Citrus Swirl (Snack)
  • Nap Time!
  • Polynesian Torch Lighting
  • Purchased my Luau Bowl at Boutiki

  • The Wave (Dinner) – surprisingly good vegetarian options!  Great tofu dish.
  • Watched Wishes from the Bay Lake Lounge
  • Watched the Water Pageant from the room

Sunday (MK)

  • Kona Cafe for Tonga Toast (Breakfast)
  • Peter Pan
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Thunder Mountain
  • Splash Mountain (x2)
  • Dole Whip (Snack)
  • Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Lots of browsing looking at all the haunted mansion merchandise, including purses, and ornaments

 

  • Main Street Bakery (Lunch) – Chocolate Walnut Brownie
  • Nap Time!
  • Jico (Dinner)
  • Breaking Bad – It was weird to watch how things end for Walt White while in Walt Disney but we couldn’t risk being in line at EPCOT and getting hit with a spoiler.  I’ve never scheduled my Disney Vacation around TV before and it was surreal to watch something so dark while various park fireworks were going off.

 

Mid Century Modern Weekend

Mid Century Modern Weekend

Last weekend we had a mid century modern adventure! Our adventures took us to New Canaan, CT, Mount Tremper, NY, and Mountainville, NY.   Here are the highlights.

The Philip Johnson Glass House

The Glass House in New Canaan sits on 47 acres, some of it former farm land.   The Glass House itself is just one house on the property.   New Canaan was also home to the Harvard Five, a group of architects from Harvard – John M. Johansen, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, Philip Johnson and Eliot Noyes and so approximately 100 modern homes were built in the town.  I want one.

 

I have to say, the coolest part was Johnson’s “Painting Gallery” – a bunker that contains large paintings that remind me of a 30 disc cd changer.   This extremely private space must have been one of the best cocktail bars in the 60’s.

 

Kate’s Lazy Meadow

This motel run by Kate Pierson of the B52’s has “nine atomically designed, mid-century modern suites [that] sit directly on the Esopus Creek” in Mount Tremper, NY.  We stayed in Cabin Suite #1 and it was a blast.  Kinda like hanging out at your trendy friend’s apartment but not feeling like you are putting them out by crashing in their guest room.

The third part of our adventure takes place in Mountainville, NY and involves one of my favorite artists, Alexander Calder –  but will have to wait till next time because the pics aren’t ready!

My Grandpa Loved Musicals

My Grandpa Loved Musicals

The man should have been on stage.

**Update, check out this post from Parkeology.**

Today is my Grandpa Carrier’s birthday, he would have been 92.   He loved musicals and was ALWAYS singing songs from the musicals of the 40’s and 50’s and sometimes we got a little dance out of it too.  I miss the “old fool” as Grandma would say.

I think some of his antics is why I really like the Great Movie Ride – especially the scene with Gene Kelly “Singin’ In the Rain”.  What I didn’t know is that an earlier rendition of this song from 1929 was recorded by Cliff Edwards AKA Voice of Jiminy Cricket AKA Ukelele Ike!   The Jiminy Cricket thing blew my mind but even more so was the connection to Ukelele Ike.

I love this rendition of Sweet Leilani.   I’m going out on limb and I’m going to say my grandpa wouldn’t have minded it either.


 

Debauchery in Disney

Debauchery in Disney

From the extremely talented and sometimes depraved mind of Leonard Kinsey I give you two must read books:

      

These have been out for a while now and its basically insane that its taken me this long to write about them.  They are COMPLETELY different in the sense that Dark Side of Disney is more of an informational standpoint and Our Kingdom of Dust is a fictional story – each of course taking place in Walt Disney World.   Why is it so important to read these?

“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” Walt Disney

Cosmic Rays – or how to turn a side of fries into a full meal.

You can learn a lot from these books while being entertained!   Dark Side (please don’t confuse this with the spiritual dark side in the Star Wars universe which I would never promote – go team Ewoks) of Disney offers a lot of information about various things we’ve all thought about – sneaking into the parks, extra discounts, and potential new places to explore in the park.

 

Our Kingdom of Dust won’t go into the logistics of how to find cocaine in the park but it will teach you a little bit about yourself and make you realize your need for escapism that comes along with a visit to Walt Disney World.  Its also a page turner that you can’t put down. It might frighten you how much you relate to the characters in the book but its a journey worth taking.

So grab a dole whip float, add a nip of rum, and get into these books!