Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vacation Days 11,12,13

July 30: B1 and B2 standing in the atrium of the ship. Behind them is Triton's Restaurant and next to them is a statue of the Little Mermaid. This is on deck 3. I took the picture from Deck 4.
July 30: Bruce and me at a picture spot on Castaway Cay. Obviously, the ship is behind us. It sort of looks like a postcard, doesn't it? B1 took this picture.
July 30: Last year on vacation at Cedar Point on Lake Eerie, we wrote in the sand "The Franks 2007." We planned to do the same this year but honestly, there just wasn't enough room to write it all. So we opted just for the year. The sand was not smooth in a big enough space for us to write more than that!
July 30: The girls with captain Mickey Mouse!
Aug. 1: At Epcot outside The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavillion.
Aug. 1: In the United Kingdom section of Epcot. All of us wearing our Cardinal shirts!
July 30, 2008: As I said last night, we slept late today. I didn’t get up until almost 9:30! We headed to Parrot Cay for breakfast and then out onto Castaway Cay. We had snorkel equipment reserved so we picked it up and headed for the ocean. We had to go pretty far out but finally saw some fish and underwater sunken items that Disney had planted there. We saw a submarine, a ship, an anchor, and a statue of Minnie Mouse as well as a lot of fish. It was pretty cool. After turning in the snorkel equipment, we headed back to Cookie’s BBQ for lunch. The menu today was similar to Monday but yet a little different. I didn’t eat any meat but only had pasta salad, Caesar salad, and tomato/cucumber salad. They were all really tasty. They also had the ice cream machine going and the fresh fruit bar. We walked to a different part of the beach today to find some bigger shells. We finally headed back to the ship and to our stateroom around 4:15. We got cleaned up for dinner, which tonight was in Triton’s restaurant. Before we actually went to dinner though, we went to purchase a few of the pictures that have been taken of us on the ship throughout the past 4 days. One is of the 4 of us at night with the ship in the background and the moon shaped like Mickey. One is of the girls in front of the ship during the daytime. The other was taken of the 4 of us one night at dinner. Our servers have been wonderful during the entire cruise and we will miss them. Dinner tonight was French and the entrée I had was awesome. I can’t remember the name of it but it had scallops, spinach, mashed potatoes, cheese/cream sauce, and a little asparagus in it. Yum. For dessert, I had crème brulee which even Bruce liked! Earlier today, we opted to cancel our reservations for Palo, the adult-only restaurant on the ship. We did so for a couple reasons: we didn’t want to miss the last night with our servers and also, the main reason I made the reservation for Palo was so that Bruce and I could have a nice “fancy” dinner. Well the dinners we have been having the entire cruise have been more fancy than I am used to. And that is good enough for us! After dinner, we went to the gift shop to take care of our last minute purchases and then to the kids area for the last time to drop off B&B for about an hour. We finished packing the room and placed our large bags out into the hall to be picked up. At 10:00pm, the four of us attended a short program called “Until We Meet Again” which featured ALL of the characters. It was pretty neat because they sang the Mickey Mouse “See Ya Real Soon” song, which actually made me tear up. This cruise has been wonderful. Everyone is just so nice all the time and they go out of their way to make you happy. It will be hard to beat. We are headed to bed now. Tomorrow, we are supposed to be at breakfast at 7:00am (where we will see our servers one last time) and then off the ship by 8:00am.
July 31, 2008: We had breakfast this morning at 7:00 in Triton’s and saw our servers one last time. We had already given them their tips last night but today, we took a picture with them before we left. We got off the ship about 8:00 and our luggage was waiting for us inside the terminal. Someone helped us bring it to the car and off we were back to Orlando. We headed for Blizzard Beach. Once there, we rode the family raft ride, the big tall Slush Gusher ride, and played in the kids’ area when it began raining. Eventually, they shut down all the rides and many people left the park. Many others sought cover under the pavilions around the park. We finally decided that we thought we would leave and then the rain let up a little bit. So, we decided to stay. Finally, we bought some lunch and right when we got done eating it, they announced that the park was open again…..YAY!!! So we headed to the rides we hadn’t ridden yet. They have some toboggan rides there that are really good! We didn’t leave the park until about 7:00pm. There was a McDonald’s nearby and it really tasted good after having eaten Disney food for the past 10 days. Then we headed to Pop Century and checked in. We are staying in the 90’s section. After bringing the bags up to the room, we walked around the resort a little just to see everything and then went to the gift shop and food court in order to get acquainted there as well. Now, it is 11:00pm and we are headed to bed. I am tired!
August 1, 2008: We slept until the maid knocked on our door this morning at 9:15. After showering, etc., we ate breakfast (B1 actually ate lunch) at the hotel food court (which is much larger and busier than the one at Caribbean Beach. I had a waffle with the Pop Century logo in it and it was very yummy. We arrived at Epcot just before noon. We headed straight to Soarin’ to get the FastPasses and then to the Seas with Nemo and Friends. We first rode the Nemo ride which was cute and then watched the show called “Turtle Talk with Crush” which was also very cute. Then we headed to Spaceship Earth and just in time too because it started to rain. We were pretty much protected from the rain the entire time we were in line. They have changed the ride a bit since the last time I rode it and it is nice (but it was back then too). The rain slowed to a drizzle by the time we exited Spaceship Earth. Anyway, we then decided to head to Test Track and we assumed the line would be over an hour so we were just gonna suck it up and wait. But, the single rider line only said 40 minutes, so we decided to go that route, explaining to the girls that it meant we would not be in the car together. As it turned out, we only waited 15 minutes before boarding the ride and I was in the same car with B1 while Bruce was in the same car with B2. Perfect. We weren’t next to each other but right in front/back of each other. So we rode it again once we were through the first time! Then we went back to the Land and rode Soarin’, which was awesome and then we rode Living with the Land. It’s a ride that I know I rode on my first trip to Epcot in the early 80’s and it’s sort of a nostalgic “must” for me when we are at Epcot. I remember that back then, there was some sort of vegetable band that played music or something and also I think I remember a song that went “just listen to the land.” I bought a stuffed broccoli (like a stuffed animal) that had sunglasses and a big nose on that trip. On the way home, my dad let me hang him from the rearview mirror. Memories. Anyway, we then went over to the Imagination pavilion and watched “Honey I Shrunk the Audience” which I also always love. We were then ready to walk through World Showcase. We visited Canada and United Kingdom and the girls decided they were going to get smashed pennies from each country in the World Showcase. We had to head back to Canada because we had dinner reservations at LeCellier Steakhouse at 6:30pm. The food was good but pricey ($90 total with tip). I had a tomato salad and mushroom pasta while Bruce had prime rib. The girls both had pizza and cheese soup (which this restaurant is supposedly known for). We then headed back out and visited the remainder of the countries in order around World Showcase. They were: France, Morocco, Japan, United States, Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and Mexico. We weren’t able to get smashed pennies in China or Morocco but we did so in every other country. I really enjoyed walking around those countries. I know that 4 years ago when we were here, we only made it halfway around. This time, we saw them all and it’s amazing just how much they really do look like the actual country that they represent. Not that I have visited these places in person but I like learning about other cultures and I like history so I have seen many pictures of foreign lands and do know a little bit about them. We saw the beginning of Illuminations but opted to head for the exit to beat the crowds. We rode the bus back to Pop Century and played some games in the arcade. We are excited because our friends, the Vincent family, are coming here from the Tampa area tomorrow to spend the day with us!

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