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Sue Holland -- September 2004 - Walt Disney World (WLV)


Note: As Sue spent time at Pleasure Island and in other adult venues on this trip, this report has some information that may not be appropriate for young readers.

Who/When/Where:

Who:

  • Sue (me - 45), DVC member
  • SB, (47) Special Someone

Appearances by:

  • Rich & Deb, Chris, DVC Friends
  • Dottie & Joe, DVC Friends
  • Fortress Friends (too numerous to list – approx 35 people)
  • Kathy, Gorilla Lover
  • Patti/Pebbie, DVC Friend
  • Patty, Patron of the Arts
  • Leesa, Comedy Warehouse regular
  • Johnathan (with Mom & Alan), RADP Friend

Dates: October 22 – 29, 2004
Travel Method: Personal car
Resort: Disney's Beach Club Villas (studio)
Experience: Frequent Visitor (Sue) & WDW Virgin (SB)

INTRODUCTION:

The Food & Wine Festival at Epcot is my overall favorite special event at WDW, and I look forward to this trip each year more than any other trip. I purposely own enough DVC points at Beach Club Villas so that I have no trouble booking exactly what I want for as long as I can stay, and as usual I made that reservation exactly at the 11-month window. I was all set for a nice solo trip, wandering around sampling food & wine items from the kiosks, laying by Stormalong Bay, seeing various friends who would be in town, and of course attending Comedy Warehouse nightly. Those plans ended up changing somewhat, with the most significant change being the addition of SB to my life (and this trip). We're currently having to temporarily live in different states, but will be together at WDW for this trip. Believe it or not, he has never been to WDW except for a single visit to Pleasure Island (but not Comedy Warehouse). It's kind of ironic that with all of my Disney trips I'd end up falling for someone who has never been and really had no interest in it! We still plan to do the food & wine festival, attend Comedy Warehouse several nights, and enjoy the pool – but the main focus is to simply spend time together. Most likely that time won't be spent in the busy theme parks, because at this point they're not important to either of us. That will also help keep my reports a little shorter, lol!

SB will be flying in to Orlando, where I'll pick him up on my way into town. Since that will be our first night together in almost 7 weeks, I plan to skip the Comedy Warehouse! Saturday afternoon we will attend a gathering of several internet friends, held at our resort. That should be fun, and will be my main opportunity to see most of them, unless we run into them around the resort later in the trip. I hope to spend a day touring Food & Wine Festival with some DVC friends who are great fun to tour with. Chef Gordon from the DVC resort in Hilton Head will be doing a cooking demonstration one day, so we'll try to get over to see him. We'll probably spend 4 nights at Comedy Warehouse, which will leave us a few evenings to do other things – maybe stroll the boardwalk, have a nice dinner, or watch fireworks. I may take SB on a tour of the different resorts, and I hope to see Angelo when we go to Saratoga Springs to pick up some yogurt parfaits for breakfasts. Since we'll be staying at Beach Club Villas, we'll have access to the best pool on property – Stormalong Bay! While I have no need to turn SB into a Disney fanatic, I'll show him the stuff that's most important to me here, which will help him understand why I come here so often.

One week before this trip I took a nasty fall while jogging in the pre-dawn hours. I eventually ended up at the hospital, where no broken bones were found on the xrays but there was a lot of swelling and a diagnosis of strained knee. They strapped the right leg into an immobilizer to keep the knee from bending, which I thought I'd only have to wear for a few days. I also had a cane to help myself get around, but walking became painful pretty quickly. Although I was sure I'd be good as new by the time the trip started, after a couple of days I started realizing this was not going to heal that quickly! Depending on how the leg does, my walking time may be very limited this trip. The parks will be there next time, Food & Wine will be there next year – if I can't walk much I'll still be happy just hanging out with SB and letting him pamper me for a week. My original plan to see the doctor after the trip (I was due to be out of town on a business trip the week before this trip, and not go home in-between) changed when they told me I had to keep wearing the leg immobilizer until the doctor saw me! I decided then to come home from the business trip on Thursday so I could see the doctor Friday morning before heading to WDW. This way I at least have a chance of not having to wear the darn thing!

We don't have any priority seatings, and probably won't make any unless we call on the same day we plan to eat. This trip will be about relaxing and doing whatever we're in the mood to do at that time. It'll be a nice change of pace, although hopefully you won't all be asleep by the 2nd paragraph, lol! Finally, I've always posted the reports at the end of each day, before going to sleep for the night. That's NOT gonna happen this trip <g>, but I'll try to get them typed up at some point the next day or so.

The current plans (subject to change) so far...

Fri 10/22: Drive to WDW, Pick up SB at airport, C/in Beach Club Villas
Sat 10/23: Saratoga Springs (see Angelo?), Fortress Meet
Sun 10/24: Food & Wine?, Comedy Warehouse
Mon 10/25: Resort, Comedy Warehouse
Tue 10/26: Stormalong Bay, Electric Water Pageant?
Wed 10/27: Comedy Warehouse
Thu 10/28: Cooking Demo, Comedy Warehouse
Fri 10/29: Leave WDW

DAY 1 FRIDAY OCT 22, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone

Plan: Drive to WDW, Pick up SB at airport, C/in Beach Club Villas

Actual: The day began at the orthopedist's office, getting good news. The knee has no mechanical damage, and I can even start jogging again as pain permits after one more week! The leg immobilizer came off, and I should only use it as I need it if the knee starts to hurt – otherwise I should not use it. Once that was done I made a brief business stop and then began the drive to WDW.

I'd forgotten to pack a sharp knife, and since studios only have plastic utensils I made a stop at the Publix by Premium Outlets and bought one. At BCV I left the car with the valet and the luggage with bell services, then went inside to find a long line of people waiting to check in. Granted, the line seemed long because the front desk is so small – only 5 stations or so. Once I got up there my studio wasn't ready, but I took another one that was – 4th floor, garden view. Since that was close to the elevator, it was actually a better room than the Epcot view they originally had me slated for.

The front desk notified bell services of my room number, and I went up to wait for the luggage to be delivered. As the bellman was leaving I saw Marti & Kelly walking down the hall, and said hi to them. I got online, then talked to SB – he was on his plane waiting to take off. The anticipation builds, lol! I unpacked and soon it was time to head for the airport. I had no idea how long it would take to park and walk inside, so I allowed plenty of time. I retrieved my car from the valet and headed out to MCO!

Once there parking was pretty easy, but I ended up walking a long way to get out of the garage, plus climbing down 2 flights of concrete steps. Ordinarily that wouldn't matter, but I was getting a little concerned about the knee. I found my way to the terminal and once there I swear I circled the entire building, of course. I sat & waited for SB's flight to come in, but he somehow got past me without either of us seeing each other. My phone rang – it's him saying “Where are you?” He was down at baggage claim already, so I headed down there and eventually he found me. We got his luggage and then went back to Beach Club Villas.

On the way in we ran into Leigh coming out of the elevator, and stopped to say hi to her – then went to the studio. Men don't take long to unpack, lol – but they do like to eat, so we decided to wander down to Hurricane Hanna's to get him something to eat. On the way we ran into Dottie, and learned that Joe wasn't able to make the trip. It was great seeing her – hopefully we'll see her again before she goes home. SB liked the looks of the resort, and Stormalong Bay. At Hurricane Hanna's we got a couple of drinks (pina colada and a Stormalong), and he got a hot dog with fries that we shared. I saw a bunch of the Fortress people nearby, but by this point we just wanted to sit with each other – and I knew we'd see them all tomorrow. We enjoyed the nice weather, fresh breeze, and just being together again. The French fries were good, too <g>.

After eating we headed back inside, and spent some time in the studio. We found plenty of news to watch, then shared some crackers, cheese, sausage and a great wine one of my staff had given me. I updated the report while he watched some tv, then we decided to stay in the rest of the night. Theme parks? They can wait <g>!

Today was a great day, starting with good medical news and ending at Beach Club Villas with SB, with a week ahead of us to just relax and enjoy ourselves. Tomorrow is the big meet, but other than that we'll probably just relax outside of the parks again.

DAY 2 SATURDAY OCT 23, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone

Plan: Saratoga Springs (see Angelo?), Fortress Meet

Actual: We were up around 8 or so, with no definite plans in mind. We slept well, and didn't bother with the alarm. After showering we headed over to Saratoga Springs for breakfast at Artist's Palate. It wasn't terribly busy, which is typical while the resort is only partially open. I got a yogurt parfait but ended up only eating a few bites. SB got the breakfast platter and insisted I eat some of that (since I always take the first bite from his plate) – so I had a hash brown, sausage, piece of bacon & some eggs <g>. Everything was very good, and I brought the yogurt back to the studio for another day.

After breakfast we went to the preview center and asked for Angelo. He used to work at bell services at OKW but now drives guests to DVC sales appointments. They called to tell him I was there, and he drove over to see us. I'm sure SB was wondering a bit about going to meet this guy, but he admitted afterwards that Angelo was a really nice guy. We had a nice visit, and Angelo seems to really like his new job. He's always happy to see any of his regular OKW guests, many of whom have come over to see him at Saratoga!

We drove back to Beach Club Villas and decided to lounge around Stormalong Bay for a while. The weather wasn't too hot, so it was really nice out there. Around noon we had the waitress bring us a Stormalong, a pina colada, and a burger for SB. I of course had the first bite, and thought it was a bit dry – he said the hot dog yesterday was much better. He had an extra shot of rum in his pina colada, which made it quite strong – I helped finish it! We never went into the water, but we enjoyed our time by the pool. I even learned baseball sign language, and we picked dates for our December visit up north.

Around 2 we went back to the room and relaxed before the Fortress gathering. The gathering began at 4, and we got there not too long after that. It was fun seeing everyone, and meeting a few people for the first time. Everyone brings small gifts, and those were exchanged early into the gathering. Cheryl & Lisa/Garf had gotten the food & beverages for the party, which consisted of large shrimp, meatballs, chicken nuggets, mini pizzas, dips, cheeses, and a selection of small sandwiches. They had caprese sandwiches for me and tuna sandwiches for SB <g>. They also got one of my favorite wines, along with some other selections of wine, beer & soda. All in all they tried to incorporate something for everyone and did a great job. There were around 35-40 people present, and everyone had a great time. Merry Elbow had created another Disney song parody, this time to the tune of Under the Sea. It was clever and funny, and she did a brilliant job with it! Too bad Shan wasn't there to hear the reference to her and her “man bone” – SB picked up on that and asked what it meant, lol!

Patti/Pebbie arrived with her friend Ellen, and met some of the familiar screen names from the aol dvc board. They then hung out with SB & me, which was a lot of fun. Soon Kathy arrived, which was the highlight (besides Patti) of the evening – it's always great spending time with her, and she enjoyed meeting SB. Overall it was a terrific evening, and even though SB knew nobody going into the event, he really liked the people we talked to at length. He's a former pro athlete, and a couple of the guys remembered him from his playing days, which was nice.

Around 7:30 we headed out – SB took our stuff up to the studio while I walked out with Kathy. Tonight we stayed in, watching the first game of the World Series on tv. Overall it was a nice relaxing day, and it was a treat seeing so many friends here as well.

DAY 3 SUNDAY OCT 24, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone

Rich & Deb, Chris, DVC Friends

Dottie, DVC Friend

Plan: Food & Wine?, Comedy Warehouse

Actual: This morning we didn't get up until after 9 or so – it's nice sleeping in for a change. Dottie called, saying she & the DVC group were headed into the Dolphin to have breakfast at Fresh. They would be heading to Food & Wine later, so we agreed to meet up in Epcot once we were all over there. SB & I got ready for the day, and headed out around 11 for Epcot. The ticket booth at International Gateway actually had a very long line, and since we didn't think to get his park pass at the resort we had no choice but to wait. It was nearly noon by the time we got inside the park.

First thing SB wanted to do was eat – we'd skipped breakfast. I had to drag him away from the restaurants, saying “food & wine kiosks”, lol. We headed in the direction of France, and in Morocco got some lemon chicken and a beef kabob. Both were excellent – he loved them, so we were off to a good start for his first Epcot visit. It wasn't too crowded yet, either. We continued walking, and as we were going through America SB heard the cm say it was just a couple minutes until the show (American Adventure) started, so he suggested we go see the show (not having any idea what it was). I said ok, and we went inside – the show started shortly and he absolutely loved it! Woohoo – 2 big hits in a row, lol.

Next up was the champagne kiosk in Italy, where we were due to meet the DVC gang. Dottie was in line paying for her champagne, and we were just a couple of people behind her. I tried the Banfi rosa champagne that Johnathan from radp had mentioned in his report – it was wonderful! Thanks, Johnathan! SB got the Pommeroy champagne, which he liked a lot (3 hits in a row now). We joined Dottie & found a table in the shade behind the chocolate booth, and waited for the others to arrive.

Eventually we saw Rich, Deb, Chris, and Rich/Deb's friends Gary & his wife. They all got some champagne and joined us – we had a pleasant time sitting around chatting & laughing for a while, making this the 4th hit in a row, lol. I went to the chocolate stand and got a piece of the flourless chocolate hazelnut cake – omigod is that excellent!! Dottie asked how I liked it, and I was tempted to say “better than sex” but didn't want SB to be offended <g>. After a while everyone headed in different directions, so we said our good byes and set off. SB & I continued our way around World Showcase. SB was looking for a real meal, and suggested we go into Octoberfest in Germany for lunch. You guys all know me – eating in a restaurant during Food & Wine gives me the heebie jeebies, since the F&W portions are so perfect for me. However, SB has a man's appetite, so I was willing to go to a restaurant this trip. I didn't want him buying me a buffet lunch at which I'd eat $2 worth of food, so I suggested LeCellier knowing I'd get my cheese soup.

Once we got to LeCellier we found there was a 35 minute wait, which was not acceptable to the hungry man (or me). I suggested France, and we were able to get in there with almost no wait at all. We were seated at a table by the window, and waited on by a guy on his first day at work. He wasn't the best waiter, but he tried hard – a nice kid. My lunch was my usual – onion soup, of which I ate less than half (wasn't really hungry). SB got the brochette of shrimp, scallop and salmon, and as soon as it came I had to keep from laughing. It was ONE shrimp, ONE scallop, and a SMALL piece of salmon, lol! He claims it was the portion for a 5-year old, but also said it was delicious. I suggested he let the waiter know he was ready for the other half of his lunch, lol. He also got a kronenbourg beer, which he loved – said it was the best beer he's ever tasted.

Overall lunch was very good – he finished my onion soup, which helped a little to round out his mini-meal. We continued walking, and stopped at the champagne stand for another round of the champagnes we'd gotten earlier. We stood over in Italy drinking the champagne for a while, then continued walking. Next stop was Norway, which had a 15 minute wait for the Maelstrom. We had to go in though, as he had refused to believe me yesterday when I said there were hidden Mickeys and people who actually go looking for them in the parks & resorts. Once we got to the loading area I pointed out the Viking wearing the Mickey Mouse ears, and he admitted he believed me now <g>. He enjoyed the Maelstrom ride, and we even watched the movie afterwards – I haven't stopped for that in years.

We continued on to Mexico, where we rode the boat ride there – he loved that one, too! I really wouldn't have been bothered if he didn't like WDW, but it was nice that he did. We wandered aimlessly a bit at this point – and ended up at the Cantina de San Angel – can you guess someone was hungry again?? Hint – it wasn't me. First we went back to Scandinavia in search of wine for me – I got some cherry wine that reminded me of cough syrup. SB got a beer – Carlsberg. We went back to Mexico, where he got a combination platter – I did eat some of it with him, and we threw my NyQuil wine away – it was too sweet & heavy for me! We replaced it with a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand which was much better.

We headed into Future World, and stopped at Test Track. Fast passes were gone for the day, and the single rider line was 30 minutes. We got in line but quickly decided it wasn't worth it – and left. Spaceship Earth had no wait, so we rode that – another impressive experience for SB. He had no idea WDW was like this. After Spaceship Earth we went to the Land, where we saw the Circle of Life Movie (another hit). We had just enough time before it started for me to run downstairs and get us fastpasses for the Living with the Land boat ride. The movie was great, as usual. After that we walked over to Imagination – my knee was getting a little sore at this point, but not too bad. We had just a few minutes to wait for Honey I Shrunk the Audience.

I'd told SB this was a 3-D movie, but didn't divulge any of the effects. It was funny to see this big macho man jump out of his seat when the first thing came flying at us, lol. I was waiting for the mice part – he's watching me type this and accusing me of getting off on laughing at him – which he said scared the crap out of him. He was ok with the snake, but I think he could have lived without the dog sneezing on us, lol! Overall he thought the movie was pretty cool, though – definitely impressive. We walked back to the Land and did the boat ride – where he was amazed once again. At this point it was almost 7pm, and he wanted to ride the monorail so we headed out of Epcot for a monorail ride.

We took the elevator up, since he didn't want me doing the long ramp with my knee. We rode to the TTC, then got off and switched to the local resorts monorail and rode that around to the Magic Kingdom. From there we walked to the buses and waited for the bus back to Beach Club Villas, arriving shortly after the next world series game started. I'd called Leesa to let her know I wouldn't be coming out to Comedy Warehouse tonight. Once she picked herself up off the floor, she was ok with it <g>. SB & I had been running around all day, and since Mary wasn't coming in until 10:30 we decided to wait until Monday when we'd get to see more of her shows.

Once back at the studio SB wanted a sandwich. We have wine, cheese, sausage, crackers, cake, bagels, etc – but the man wants a sandwich <g>. So, we ordered a $20 club sandwich from Private Dining and he had that with a big glass of chocolate milk. Yes, I did take the first bite of the sandwich and ate the first French fry. We hung in the studio watching tv, and I fixed some cheese/crackers for myself. Not sure why, since I'd been eating all damn day! He thinks I need a little more booty <g>.

Overall it was a great day! I'm really glad SB enjoyed his time in Epcot, since he was only there because I had to go to Food & Wine. It was nice meeting up with the DVC friends – all great people, and a lot of fun to be with. It's too bad we only see each other once or twice a year.

Tomorrow will be a quiet day, with me having some business to take care of for work. We'll definitely get to Comedy Warehouse tomorrow night, for a few shows, and plan to eat dinner at Puck's – unless we eat all day again and can't handle another meal by then!

DAY 4 MONDAY OCT 25, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone
Leesa, Comedy Warehouse Regular

Plan: Resort, Comedy Warehouse

Actual: We were up around 8:30 or so, and just lounged around the room. I had some work to do online, and couple of business calls to make – and so did SB. Once that was done I had a 10am conference call, which fortunately I was able to just listen to while doing other things, since it was a colossal waste of time! The weather looks perfect again today, and we decided to do Puck's for lunch instead of dinner. We showered – the water pressure is great here now, unlike my first year when it was barely a trickle.

We drove over to Downtown Disney, and got to Wolfgang Puck's shortly after noon. During the day it's never crowded here, which makes it a great choice for lunch. SB liked the looks of the place, and we got a nice table outside by the lake. The weather was perfect, and it was really nice being out there. I got my usual – field greens salad and a glass of wine. He got a side Caesar and the burger. Both were excellent – the burger was nothing like the thing he'd gotten at Hurricane Hanna's the other day. Yes, I did try both – but didn't try his beer today <g>.

After a nice relaxing lunch we wandered around and decided to see a movie – Ladder 49. It was an interesting movie, about a group of firefighters in Baltimore, MD. We were back at the resort in time for the end of General Hospital, and just hung out in the studio for a while. We started talking about dinner – someone was going to be hungry, lol. SB had seen Cape May Café downstairs and was interested in the clam bake, even though I'd likely eat a bowl of soup and something chocolate but nothing else. We tossed around a few other ideas, then headed down to Cape May. We got there before they opened, and decided to hit Spoodles instead, which turned out to be a very good decision.

We went to the marina and rode the Friendship over to Boardwalk, and were seated at Spoodles almost immediately. Our table was right by the open kitchen, and very few tables were occupied at this point (around 5:30). We ended up with appetizers and a pitcher of sangria – their sangria is excellent here. SB loved the sangria as well – and enjoyed the entire meal. I got the lamb skewers, which were excellent. He got the lemon shrimp and the grouper cheeks, and declared both excellent as well. Please note, I did NOT try the first bite of his food this time – I let him have it all. Overall it was a wonderful meal, and a great pick. SB really loved it, and once again I was glad he's having a good experience here at WDW.

On the way out we stopped at the pizza window and picked up a couple of slices for him to eat later, since we have the microwave in the studio. From there we walked back to the Beach Club Villas and watched the news until it was time to head out to Comedy Warehouse.

We drove over to Downtown Disney and parked in my usual area. Once inside we talked to Joe outside Comedy Warehouse, who informed me Leesa was inside the Adventurer's Club. We stopped to get SB a PI ticket, then went over to join her. When the cm tried to scan my pass (premium annual pass), the machine rejected it and she told me this was a parks pass. I took a close look and saw that it was SB's single-day ticket from Epcot the other day. Evidently when I went to get fast passes in the Land I gave him my PAP by mistake and put his useless single day ticket in my passholder sleeve. Later when he asked if he needed to hold onto “his” ticket, I said no – so we threw it away! Luckily we had time to get over to Guest Services and have my pass replaced, then we met Leesa at the back door a few minutes before it opened – whew!

Carol Stein was on the keys tonight. The 8:20 cast was Christine, Jake, Mark, Brian & Lisa. Brian & Lisa did Story Telling, a tale called Sprinting Leiderhosen. She was a German girl who'd come to this country to hook up with him in order to get her green card. It was a pretty good story. Next Jake came out as author Clement Herd, who created a bizarre poem called “If”. He did a good job with it – sometimes the poems created with a title like that just don't go anywhere. Actor's Nightmare was the last big structure for this show, with it being Christine's nightmare. She had to make sense of a scene where the other actors only spoke dialogue read from 3 different scripts. The scene took place around quicksand, and included a Yeti. Overall the show was ok – as a newbie SB was impressed with their creativity, but as a jaded regular I knew this one didn't measure up to their usual quality.

After the show Carol stopped by to chat, just having returned from a nice long vacation. SB & I headed over to Missing Link to get a chili dog between shows, then returned to wait with Leesa for the next show. Good chili dog, by the way.

The 9:15 cast was Lisa, Jay, Jake, Christine & Brian. They opened with a poem called “My Rock Died Yesterday, which was very funny. From there they did This is Your Life, with Brian interviewing a lady from the audience who has been married for 28 years. They did a terrific job replaying moments from her life and looking into the future – she was a good sport about it, and the cast made it really funny. Next they did Scene Freeze, with Lisa having candle, Jay bouffant, Christine food, and Brian Rabbi vampire. Overall this show was much better – more like usual!

We headed out after this – SB & I talked about whether to stay for another or leave then, and decided to go back to the resort. We said goodnight to Leesa and drove back to Beach Club Villas. For some reason my knee was killing me, and the pain was extending into more of my leg. Eventually I put my leg immobilizer back on, hoping it'd provide enough support to get some of the swelling to go down. Plans for the next day included visiting Animal Kingdom, but that was not looking very likely with the leg.

Today was another great day – very relaxing. I'm so glad SB is enjoying himself here, too.

DAY 5 TUESDAY OCT 26, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone
Patty, Patron of the Arts
Leesa, Comedy Warehouse Regular

Plan: Stormalong Bay, Electric Water Pageant?

Actual: Today's revised plan was to spend the day at Animal Kingdom, but that was not meant to be, evidently. I'd set the alarm and got up at 7:10 when it went off, but still could barely walk. In addition, the knee & leg hurt and was very swollen, so I went back to bed. SB woke up around 8, and was concerned about my leg. We decided today we'd just take it easy, and ended up spending a nice quiet morning in the studio. SB took his shower first and came out to tell me to get in there now – the water had been cold, with little pressure but right now it was ok. I got in there, and before long it had slowed to a trickle and turned icy cold! Not sure what's up with that, but it wasn't any fun!

We got dressed and had decided on lunch at Big River Grille since it was close by and we liked the looks of the menu (checked online). First stop was the front desk, where we got a wheelchair to use for the rest of the trip. There was no way I could walk any distance, even with the leg immobilizer on. SB pushed me over to the Boardwalk, thankful I don't weigh 200 pounds <g>. He'd push me up a hill, then step aside and say “see ya”, letting the wheelchair start going downhill on it's own, lol. Eventually we arrived at Big River Grille and just beat a huge lunch rush from some nearby convention guests.

We ate at a table outside, and while service was slow we didn't mind because it was so pleasant being out there talking and enjoying the nice day. I was able to prop my leg up on a chair, which helped keep me more comfortable. We shared the chicken quesadilla appetizer, which was very good. For lunch I got the cup of beer cheese soup, which was also excellent. He got the Brew Burger, which was a 10-oz burger served with kettle chips. When it came he fixed it up for me and gave me the first bite – it was so good I went back for another after I finished my soup! He did try my soup, and liked it, too. My friend Kelly would hork, but we enjoy sharing each other's food – nothing is off-limits except he does get possessive about his chocolate milk, lol.

After lunch I got back in the wheelchair and he wheeled me over to the marina, threatening to crash me into fire hydrants and other stuff along the way. As we went down the ramp he threatened to let me roll down on my own, and called out to a woman at the bottom “peg-leg coming through” – if we have to use a wheelchair, at least we are having fun with it! We rode the boat to Epcot, then got off there so he could push me back to Beach Club Villas. I was impressed – it was his idea to get off there, because he knew it would bring us to our end of the resort. The ride back to the resort was more fun – he'd look for the tiniest space and push me through it, rather than staying on the normal path. We were laughing & having a good time <g>.

Back at the resort he wheeled me backwards down the hall to the room, then we went into the studio. His career is in professional sports, so he has a lot of experience with people with knee & other injuries. He said my knee needed to be iced, so he went and got ice and then set me up on the bed. He used his belt to secure the BIG bag of ice over my knee, so there was some pressure on the swelling, and had the leg elevated just the right amount. The ice was so cold it hurt, but I toughed it out hoping it would be of some benefit.

While my leg was icing we watched tv, I updated the report, and I talked to Chris and people at work. At 3 we watched General Hospital. Patty called and was in the area so she stopped by for a visit. We sat around talking for a while – SB liked her, and it was nice of her to stop by. She later headed into Epcot and called to report they had a suspicious bag found near International Gateway. Security had blocked off the area & were sending guests through the shop – although realistically, if it was a bomb anyone in the shop would have been in danger, too <g>. SB & I spent the rest of the afternoon in the studio, just a lazy kind of day.

Around 5:30 my baby was hungry for dinner, but we weren't in the mood for a restaurant. Instead, we decided to pick up his favorite fried chicken at Publix, since he can't get it back home. He wheeled me out of the resort, and first I discovered I left my phone in the room. I said forget it, but he very nicely went back upstairs and got it for me. Then, once we got all the way out to the car I discovered I'd dropped my jacket along the way. SB retraced our steps all through the parking lot, around the pool, and into the resort – where he found it near the elevator <g>. He grabbed it & brought it back to me, saying I was going kill him (with all the extra walking), lol! With that done, we drove over to Publix and picked up some chicken, mac & cheese, and something from the bakery.

We drove back to Beach Club Villas and had our dinner, then hung out to catch the start of the world series game. At one point he got up to get a piece of the chocolate cake left from the Saturday meet, and came over with a small bite on the fork to feed me, saying “I might as well get this out of the way”, lol! We figured we'd go to Comedy Warehouse to meet Leesa for the 10:30 show. She & I had both heard from Greg saying he'd be working at CW next week, but unfortunately I'll probably miss him again. Tonight Steve will be there, though- so that will be a treat for SB.

We headed over to Pleasure Island around 9:45, and got our bands at the Adventurer's Club. The last Comedy Warehouse show hadn't let out yet, so we went wheeling around the area by the waterfront before returning to sit at the exit. Bob & Virginia came out, and then several of the Fortress group. We chatted with them for a bit, then they went up and got in line for the next show. I saw Steve inside but didn't go in to say hi, figuring I'd see him after the next show, but it turned out he wasn't working the one show we were there to see! Jim Roberts was on the keys tonight and shared photos of his new baby boy – very cute.

The 10:30 cast was Jake, Matt, Brian, Joy & Lisa. They opened with the name rhyme game, which Brian one. Brian then rang the bell in Should Have Said, in a scene set in the 50's where Jake was going to date Matt's sister so Matt pretended he'd dated Jake's dad. It was a cute scene, and Lisa came in as the sister. Joy & Matt did Transformations, starting & ending with a badminton scene. It was actually pretty good – this is a tough one to do well, from my experience.

The rest of the show was devoted to my favorite structure – Cliché. Brian was tortured until he guessed he was in the laundry room at Vista Way, and then figured out the saying “If you're scared of a horse, say your peas.” It made no sense, but it was a combination of clichés offered by 2 different guests. As usual, the clues were clever and Brian ended up getting the sounds before he had the actual words. It was fun to watch, and I was glad to catch the Cliché show. After the show I stopped to talk with Jim & Brian for a bit, then SB & I decided to call it a night.

We drove back to Beach Club Villas, and learned the Red Sox had won again – good news for Boston fans. Today was another nice day, despite the knee crap. Once again our restaurant pick turned out well, and the show at Comedy Warehouse was great.

DAY 6 WEDNESDAY OCT 27, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone

Plan: Comedy Warehouse

Actual: We were up around 8, but slow to get moving. The knee felt better, but not good enough for extended walking. We hung out in the studio for a while, then decided to make a trip past downtown Orlando so SB could buy another charger for his cell phone. He suggested we just throw some clothes on and go – not showering until later! Being the prissy type, I was horrified – leave the room without washing my hair, shaving my legs, etc???? He said I looked fine, then started toying with me by saying “well, maybe you'd better do what you need to do”, lol! At that point I was dressed and wasn't going to delay our departure by an hour <g>. I did call member services, hoping to get a dvc studio for 4 nights in a couple of weeks, but nothing was available. I went on the waitlist everywhere, and will hope something comes up!

We drove to the cell phone place, in a rather seedy area north of Orlando. They didn't have the specific charger he wanted, so they knocked $5 off the car charger – he said it seems like they make lots of “deals” in there. Nothing came in boxes, either – I wondered who the charger belonged to last, lol. We decided to have a late breakfast, so on the way back I planned to stop at CrossRoads. On the way in he saw Waffle House, and asked if I'd ever eaten there. LOL – I did one time in the 70's but since smoking is banned now I was willing to try it again just as a novelty. So, I took my hairy legs & dirty hair into Waffle House for breakfast – I felt like I was ready for Walmart <g>.

We sat at the low counter and looked over the menu. I got a pecan waffle, which was excellent. He got a breakfast combo – eggs, grits, sausage, toast, bacon & a waffle. Service was good, and it was funny (to me) to see the waitress screaming the orders to the people in the kitchen – a bit of “atmosphere”.

After breakfast we returned to Beach Club Villas, where we ran into Johnathan from radp near the quiet pool. We stopped to chat with him for a little while – I was glad we ran into each other before the trip ended. SB & I went up to the studio to relax for a while, then decided to go to the quiet pool. I stopped at the shop first, and on my way to the pool ran into Rick Gabauer and his family. We stopped to chat – we've seen each other on many trips, including our first Disney cruise several years ago, and it's always a pleasure to run into them.

SB got to the pool just after I got there, and we spent some time in the Jacuzzi then an hour or so in the pool. Johnathan, his mom Patt, and Alan were there, so I got to meet Alan finally. At one point SB rubbed one of my legs against his back and screamed in pain – teasing me for being concerned about not shaving the legs yet (they really didn't need it). It was a nice day – slight breeze, very sunny, and there weren't any noisy kids in the pool <g>. Eventually we headed back up to the studio to shower, and thankfully the water temperature & pressure was great again. SB snacked on some of our leftovers, and we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing.

Around 6 or so we drove over to Downtown Disney and picked up sandwiches from Earl of Sandwich. My knee hurt like hell and was swollen quite a bit. I wanted to rest, but SB insisted I not only go for the sandwiches, I had to push him in the wheelchair because he is the man and I should be taking care of him. At the Marketplace it was pretty crowded, but he used my cane to beat the crap out of anyone within range, which cleared a nice path for me to push him towards the Earl of Sandwich. Once inside he declared loudly that we weren't going to stand in any damn line, and people were so stunned they stepped aside and we scooted to the front. We felt $4.95 per sandwich was too high, so we tried haggling with the cm like they do in Mexico, but they were holding firm on the price.

Once we had the sandwiches I had to carry the bag as well as push him in the wheelchair, then drive back to Beach Club Villas. He ate them all, tossing a few scraps in my direction, making me say I wasn't worthy but appreciated his kindness. He's such a special kinda guy – every woman's dream <g>.

Back at the studio we watched the world series game, having decided to save Comedy Warehouse for tomorrow night.

Today was a very quiet day – this knee injury has been a real pain at times. The trip to Waffle House was pretty neat, and isn't something I'd normally ever do since it involves leaving the hallowed grounds of WDW. The pecan waffle was delicious, though. Our time at the pool was nice, and even though the trip to Earl of Sandwich may have been described a little inaccurately, we had fun <g>. I do miss Comedy Warehouse, and I miss being at Food & Wine, but with this knee injury I'm really glad he's been here – otherwise I'd have been in big trouble earlier in the trip.

DAY 7 THURSDAY OCT 28, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone
Patty, Patron of the Arts

Plan: Cooking Demo, Comedy Warehouse

Actual: We woke up by 8, but just lounged around watching the news until nearly 11. It's so nice to not have to be up early to jog or go to work – this is much more relaxing <g>. We took our showers, and the water pressure was great again. There must have been something unusual going on that one day, and I'm glad it hasn't repeated itself!

We left the studio just before noon and drove over to Wilderness Lodge. We were able to be seated at Whispering Canyon Café with no wait, and I immediately saw the servers were all up to their pranks. SB commented that it was certainly “loud” in here, lol. He had no idea what was coming <g>. At one point they got most people up to do the hokey pokey, and SB noticed another guy across the restaurant who was sitting with his head in his hand and an expression of “omigod, what IS this place??” on his face! They made eye contact, and later SB went over to chat with him – the guy had been up since 2:30 am and wanted to know from his wife why they couldn't just eat their food without all the shenanigans, lol!

Our lunch was great – he's loved all the meals, but declared this might have been his favorite. I knew the skillet lunch was exactly the kind of food he'd like, and that's what he ended up ordering – corn bread, chicken, ribs, sausage, baked beans, slaw. I got the Nutty Chicken Salad, which wasn't as good as I remember it used to be, but it was still good. Our server was a bit of a character, but didn't bother us too much when she saw that we were talking to each other rather than paying attention to most of what was going on around us. During the horse races one server did come sit at our table to make sure we waved our napkins and said Yee-haw at the racers, since they'd noticed us not paying attention. Someone else noticed we were both wearing Minnesota Twins shirts (they spring train in Ft Myers – it was coincidental we were both wearing one today) and shouted – “Hey, they're twins” <g>. It was a nice mix of quiet time and fun stuff, along with good food and a pretty environment – he'd gladly return here for a meal!

Before lunch we'd thought about taking a boat ride, but after lunch decided to just return to the resort and do more relaxing. We enjoy going out to eat, or seeing a movie, but mostly we're just happy hanging out together at home. Back at Beach Club Villas I packed up some of my stuff while he read sports stuff online, then we laid down and spent the rest of the afternoon talking or resting. I knew Chef Gordon was doing his cooking demo at Food & Wine today, but even though my knee was feeling better today I decided I'd rather stay in the studio with SB.

Around 6 or so we heated up most of our leftovers, and drank more of the wine – the less I have to take back home the better. It was enough that we didn't need dinner, so we didn't have to leave for Comedy Warehouse until after 7:30. We got our wristbands at Adventurer's Club and then let the Comedy Warehouse people know we were there for the first 3 shows. Carol Stein was on the keys again tonight.

The 8:20 cast was Christine, Matt, Jake, John & a new sub named Luern (I know that spelling is way off – bad memory). They opened with a very good western ballad about a family moving from Uraguay to Pensacola. Song Cue was next, with Chris as a dance student in a club, Matt as the sexy dance instructor and John as his brother Enrique, the owner of the club. They all did really well with this – it was very funny. They sang “I've changed my mind” as a strange Japanese song and “The woman I love” as an 80's song. They also did a jazz song where John's character explained his thought pattern to the others.

They also did Up Your Alley, hosted by Christine as Lois Common Denominator. The topic was swimming pool management, and Luern was in as a synchronized swimmer named Mary Ellen Simpson. John was Bill Shepherd, the guy who invented the endless swimming pool. Jake was Chester Chiluski, a Home Depot employee. The whole scene was quite funny – overall it was a very good first show! After the show we ran over to Missing Link to get SB a burger, but after we each tried it (me first) we realized it didn't have any flavor at all. We ended up throwing most of it away.

The 9:15 cast was Matt, Christine, Jake, Lisa & John. They opened with a poem called “The Man Was Wrong”, which was cute. Jake & John did a Fill in the Blank scene using 2 audience volunteers. Jake was an old guy trying to vote in Florida, and John was the dishonest polls worker. The volunteers gave great suggestions (stuff that didn't make sense), and the scene was hysterical!

Next we wrote a musical, led by Jake. It was set in a pumpkin patch, with Christine & Lisa as a couple of pumpkins. Matt came in as Eustis the goat. With the pumpkins he headed to Ohio in search of alcohol, and they ended up at the 7-11 where John was working. John sang “Eat your pumpkins” to convince Matt not to drink alcohol. The musical was very good, and overall the show was great! We met Patty outside before the next show.

The 10:30 cast was Mary, Brian, Christine, Lawern(?), & Jake. Most of the show was Conducted Story, which I love! Jake led the others, who told the story called “The Happy Armadillo Cried Today.” The story was pretty funny, but it's the deaths that really make this structure work for me. Christine was first to die, by stapler. She was a teacher who caught 2 of her students (Jake & Brian) sneaking in her classroom to lick her office supplies. It was bizarre, but she eventually decided to lick her stapler, when it went off & killed her. Lawern died next, by paper shredder. She started out exactly as Christine had, and Mary continued the reference by coming in saying she'd just returned from her (Christine's) funeral. Jake & Brian were back as the licking students, and it was pretty funny to see the original scene continued.

That left Mary & Brian, and it took a while for either of them to make a mistake. At first Brian had to tell the story as a self-help book & Mary used the style of silent movie. When that didn't kill either of them, Brian was given harlequin romance book and Mary got horror movie. Eventually Mary committed suicide to get out of the weird story. She died by condom, doing it in a musical titled “Trojan”. One of the first lines was “Today is the day the king will come”, and it just got funnier & funnier from there. It included almost every condom reference you could think of, and we were killing ourselves laughing! Some of the jokes seemed accidental – something would be said, then the actor would crack up realizing the double entendre of what he/she had said. The audience was quick to pick up on all of it, and loved it. Brian was left to wrap up the story, which he did in the style of a poem.

Overall this was an excellent show – one of those shows where your cheeks hurt from laughing so much! Afterwards Mary finally got to meet SB and we chatted briefly before her meeting between shows. We walked out with Patty, said our goodbyes, then drove back to Beach Club Villas one last time – ending another wonderful day at WDW.

DAY 8 FRIDAY OCT 29, 2004:
Who: Sue (me - 45), DVC member
SB (47), Special Someone

Plan: Leave WDW

Actual: Yuck – our last morning! We didn't have any plans or any time to go anywhere before we had to leave. I guess we could have done breakfast somewhere, but that's SB's least likely meal to eat, and the idea of staying in bed vs getting up early and heading to a busy restaurant was too appealing. We left the studio a little before 11, and I drove him to the Amtrak station to catch a train home. I wouldn't have chosen a 17-hour train ride over a 1.5 hour flight (especially since the flight was cheaper), but he isn't crazy about flying and thought the train would be fine since he'd sleep through half of it. The Orlando station is about 15 miles from WDW, and not too hard to find. According to SB though, it's a pretty boring ride – after 5 calls from the train in under 9 hours, I don't have the heart to remind him he could have flown. 17 hours is a long time to sit there missing someone – I guess I was lucky that I had to go to work.

I drove back to Ft Myers and went to work for a couple of hours, then went home to finish up the report and get the Comedy Warehouse photos uploaded. The url is: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=34p4jkm.63gv9fz3&x=1&y=-81l111

SUMMARY:

This trip was almost totally unlike what I expected when I booked it 11 months ago, but it was absolutely wonderful – just in a different way. Hopefully the report wasn't too boring, since we spent an awful lot of “down” time both by choice and due to the knee injury. Food & Wine Festival would have been a priority, as would Comedy Warehouse, but I did a lot less of both of those this time. Beach Club Villas was terrific, and even though we only took advantage of the location for Food & Wine once, and only visited Stormalong Bay once, it was still a great choice for us on this trip. It's a beautiful resort, and the room was very comfortable & quiet. The only problem was the cold water & poor pressure one day.

I didn't spend the amount of time with other friends that I'd normally have done, but I got to see almost everyone at least briefly. SB was a good sport about meeting all these people, even though he stated very clearly before the trip that he just wanted to relax & spend time with me (not part of a crowd). However, he really liked the people he met – so it worked out fine.

This was the first time I've been on a trip where I haven't been very active – jogging lately, walking lots of miles in and outside of the parks, etc. The knee injury was a concern for a while, but thankfully it started getting significantly better by day 7. It's still a little swollen and slightly sore, but hopefully that will pass quickly. SB's seen many people with knee injuries and was concerned about mine – having him there was such a big help to me! Anything I needed or wanted, he took care of. There were a couple of days I would have been stuck in the studio all day & night if I'd been there alone.

We had several great meals this trip, and I got to try a couple of places I'd never eaten at before – Big River Grille and Waffle House <g>. It had been years since I ate at Spoodles, so it was nice getting back there again. The only disappointing food of the trip was SB's burger from Missing Link at PI last night. On the other hand, his chili dog from there earlier in the trip was excellent. I still smile when I remember SB's lunch at Chefs de France arriving – with tiny little portions of perfectly prepared food set before someone with a man-sized appetite <g>! It was comical, to say the least.

It's always a let-down when a trip ends, and more so this time since we're back to the long-distance relationship again. We'll manage to get through this period, though – as many other couples have done. My next trip is somewhat uncertain. Since I missed Food & Wine I tried to book a few nights in mid-November but nothing was available at the DVC resorts. I'm on the waitlist, but may try for a cash room even if I have to take All Star Music <g> just so I can get back there for Food & Wine and to see Mary's play in Orlando. I'm booked to go back to WDW the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, staying 10 nights due to business meetings Mon-Fri the following week, then sailing on the 7-night Magic 12/4.

MAGICAL MOMENTS:

  • Fortress Meet – the gathering of several internet friends on Saturday was very nice. It's the 3rd annual gathering, and the best one so far. The food & drink was excellent, and I got to meet a couple of people for the first time. The kids in attendance were having fun but all well-behaved. Gifts/favors were passed out, and it was very nice of everyone to include SB in that distribution – he got quite a kick out of it, and thought it was a really nice crowd.
  • Having Patti/Pebbie1 and Kathy attend the Fortress Meet was a bonus – they're not part of Fortress but know several of the people there either in person or from their screen names. They've both been friends of mine for years, and both were eager to meet SB. We had a great time sitting around talking – and SB thought they were both really cool.
  • Joining DVC friends at Food & Wine Festival is another annual tradition I really look forward to. We missed Darla this year, but enjoyed meeting Rich's friend Gary & his wife. Rich, Deb, Chris & Dottie are all fun people, and the time passed quickly as we sat at a table in the shade eating, drinking and laughing. After we'd been there quite a while I whispered to SB that we could leave if he wanted to – and he wanted to stay <g>! So, we stayed a while longer – until everyone headed in different directions. I didn't get to try much at Food & Wine since we only got there once, but the Banfi Rosa Regale champagne and the flourless chocolate hazelnut cake were definite favorites of mine!
  • Seeing SB's reaction to Epcot was special. I never felt a need to make him love WDW, but I'll admit I was very pleased when he was so impressed with everything – even simple attractions like the boat ride in Mexico! He was looking forward to another park day, but my knee didn't allow us to keep those plans – I could have gone in a wheelchair but chose to wait until we could both walk together. Besides, the leg would have been too uncomfortable on some of the rides I would have wanted to do.
  • Comedy Warehouse was great, particularly the Conducted Story on the last night. Mary's death had us in stitches, and it was an excellent show to end our trip on this time. SB loved Comedy Warehouse, although he admits he prefers stand-up. He understands now why I go to Comedy Warehouse so often and why I'm so comfortable there.
  • Bringing a non-Disney person to WDW is always risky. There's the chance they won't like it, or only see the negative aspects. I was relieved when SB really liked & appreciated everything he saw & did, since I wanted him to enjoy his vacation. He thanked me several times for inviting him down, and on the last night he commented that everything was so wonderful here but the best thing was the company (double points for that one <g>).

Thanks for reading!

Sue Holland
WDW1972@aol.com


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