My Big Florida Escape Trip Report Part 6: “So, What’s The Plan?”

March 25: “What Are We Looking For?”

While a day at The Magic Kingdom needs to be almost meticulously planned lest you find yourself hanging around the hub saying, “What do we want to do?” and then you wind up eating the sub par chicken nuggets at Tortuga Tavern and seeing The Country Bears 4 times because all the other lines are too long, trying to over structure an Epcot day is in exercise in futility.

So I try not to overthink it with Epcot. What I hadn’t considered, with Epcot’s COVID hours is that those first two hours walking around in Future World and getting all the rides done are pretty key in that lack of structure. But we’ll get there. I started the day around 8, knowing that Epcot wasn’t opening until 11, and knowing that I was just going to get a coffee and a pastry for breakfast anyway, I decided to take The Skyline (MY LOVE) over to Art of Animation and get my coffee and pastry there.

I love it so much. The transfer station at Carribean Beach is well organized and signed and my god, the ride from Caribbean Beach to the Pop Century/Art of Animation is wonderful. When you dip down over Hourglass lake it is just so magical. I’ve always pushed Port Orleans over Pop and Art, for my own preferences, as it’s usually not much more expensive, but I think the Skyliner changes that calculus quite a bit.

I got a coffee cake and a cold brew. (Me to the nice lady getting my coffee, “Is, is there almond milk?” Her response, “Oh my goodness! Yes!” I was so relieved. I don’t like asking for it when it isn’t clear, but not starting my day with a giant swig of dairy is much better on my stomach) I then got on line to head back to Epcot, and the line was long, it took about 20 minutes to board. Then the line to transfer at Caribbean beach was another 10. I was getting stressed as my parents were texting me that they were heading for the boat.

I got back in time to head to my room and get cleaned up and we still made out 11 o’clock opening, and I’m very glad I did the Skyliner ride, but I probably should have considered the loading delays.

We scanned in at International Gateway and got Mom’s wheelchair and headed towards the front of Future World. Unsure of what the deal was going to be with the wheelchair, our first step was Spaceship Earth, which has a back entrance and loading. We happily rode our time machines and then headed to The Seas, visiting with Nemo and then walking around the tanks and looking at the various fish.

We had a lunch reservation at The Garden Grill and then decided to ride Living With The Land before checking in. I love Living With The Land, it’s such a fun time capsule of what they thought they were doing with Epcot, and probably the last of that strange, boring and silly thought experiment. Then we checked in for a lunch at Garden Grill.

Mom had requested a character meal if they were happening. This seemed a good choice, with it’s traditional American Menu and social distancing wise, having Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale walking around on one rotating platform while we sat on the other made for a fun and more spontaneous experience than I could have even imagined.

But let’s talk about the food. My god, this is a wonderful meal. Roasted turkey and beef, stuffing, seasonal vegetables, a big old salad, macaroni and cheese, and then a berry cobbler for dessert. (Also a cupcake for the birthday girl.) All incredibly executed and served quickly and effeciently. Plus, it’s a slowly rotating platform and you get to see all of the Living With The Land biomes again! (Or for the first time if you didn’t ride the ride.)

After lunch we got on Journey Into Imagination and then Mom declared she wanted a nap/pool time. I was still raring to go, and decided to head back over to Studios to do some Star Wars based shopping. Wandering back into Battuu I felt giddy, and I headed to Doc Andar’s Den of Antiquities to get myself a holocron, and to pick up a couple of Kyber Crystals for Jess. She also requested a First Order pen and while waiting on line I decided to get a Green Milk. (I went green rather than blue because I will always pick citrus over berry) and then found a bench at Ronto Roasters and just, looked around and watched people.

It was pretty great. Because I was with company most of this trip, my quiet moments where I could just be in the parks were fewer this time. I do love them though. It’s a big part of what brings me back over and over again.

Aside from the rides and restaurants and good service, these are incredible spaces to simply be in. After that I hoofed it out to the boat dock, and waited a little while for the boat and quickly hopped in the shower.

My hope for the evening was to do a little mini “Drink Around The World” crawl, hitting Italy for Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, Mexico for La Cava and UK for Rose and Crown before our dinner at Chefs Du France. After a misunderstanding about timing. (I’d said I wanted to be back in the park at 6:30, which my dad took as, “get to the boat by sometimes around 6:30.”) ANYWAY, while I waited for my parents I decided to head in and check out the lines for the bars. La Cava was wrapped all the way around the pyramid, so I decided to hop on.

After fifteen minutes and finally hearing from them, I was only just in the lobby and we were told that because of a sanitation need, it would be another 15 minutes before anyone got back in.

After checking in with my parents, we opted to meet in Italy instead. Turns out Tutto Gusto CLOSES at 7. I was, not happy, to put it mildly. We landed on grabbing an outdoor cafe table and get wines from La Bottega Italia.

This is part of why I don’t make strict plans for Epcot when I’m with other people. (When I’m by myself it’s because there’s such a fun sense of discovery when you’re just wandering around) I always wind up disappointed and pouty. This is not helped when I’m with my father, who was trying to coax me out of my pout. I assured him I would be fine a minute, I just wanted to be disappointed for a minute and needed to rethink the evening.

We decided to keep the same trajectory, but stick with the outdoor bars. So after finishing our wines, we headed over to Mexico to go to La Choza De Margarita (good as an alternative, but not nearly as interesting a menu as La Cava) stopping to admire the Topiaries for The Flower and Garden Festival as we went.

At La Choza, I got the Mint Cucumber Margartia (delicious), Mom got the Mango Frozen and Dad got the classic Frozen. A Good time was had by all, as we perched on a ledge outside of the patio.

Our final bar crawl stop was Rose and Crown, which had no line and we walked right up to the bar, and then found seats on that patio, where we talked with a couple of girls about my age, who were visiting from Queens. Dad got a Guiness, Mom got a Harp and I got my traditional Rose and Crown Snakebite. Watching the sun set over Showcase Lagoon is wonderful, but seeing the braziers remain unlit hurt my heart a little.

I’m never going to super miss Fantasmic, I’m always happy when I go, but it’s not a show I go out of my way to see every time. Yes, I cry every time “Touch The Sky” kicks in while I’m watching Happily Ever After, and I missed that, but sitting with a beer in the dark in Epcot without the stirring strings of Illuminations (Or whatever Harmonius is going to sound like) really drove home how strange this trip was.

After finishing our beers, we went and checked in to La Chefs Du France. I’m a fan of this restaurant and was happy to return, even though, were it not for my mom’s birthday, I might have pushed for a different venue where I haven’t yet eaten. But we had a wonderful meal, complete with another fantastic server.

After dinner we contemplated our next move. It was just about 10 o’clock, and the park was open for another hour. I suggested we could either go on Soarin’ or, if we wanted, we could walk over to one of the bars at the hotels for a night cap.

“We could go back to Abracadbar!” Dad exclaimed, and laughing Mom and I agreed, so off we trotted, grabbed the exact same table and got our whiskey’s and enjoyed being in until last call (11).

I assured both of my parents that there was no reason for us to rush to Animal Kingdom in the morning, I was not interested in rushing to pack before 7 AM, in order to check my luggage and head to the bus stop in time for an 8 o’clock opening. We decided to aim for getting to the stop around 8, rather missing the opening for a smooth check out experience.

We parted ways and then headed back to our respective hotels for bed.

Tomorrow! We head to Animal Kingdom, and head back south.

My Big Florida Escape Trip Report Part 3: “Wait, how are we getting there?”

All right! All right! All right! We’re in for the real thing now! Thank you all for putting up with me getting me sea legs under me by talking about boring errand running with my mom to get to the main part of the trip, I got to go back home!

Monday, March 22: Arrival Day! Pool Bars! Disneybound!

Waking up sort of early to get a little bit of work done despite being on vacation was probably the best decision I made all week, because it did make my reentry to the real world a week after this a good deal more smooth. But I digress, by 10:30 AM, we were on the road, and by 1, we’d gotten our bags checked at both The Walt Disney World Dolphin (Mom and Dad) and The Disney Beach Club (Me!) though none of our rooms were ready. We also grabbed some quick sandwiches at Hurricane Hannah’s. (I do not recommend this, although it served our purposes)

I had seafood salad sliders and a froze, Mom had an Italian Sandwich on Ciabatta and a Bannana Cabana, and Dad had a Turkey Sub and a Budwiser. Really, I’ve had worse and less thought out first meals on a Disney trip and in less fun atmospheres, because Hurricane Hannah’s is the pool bar and the absolutely lovely Barefoot Bay pool complex at The Yacht and Beach Club. Which, rules you guys, it is the best.

After lunch, we took a walk around the Crescent Lake region. Popping into the gift shop at The Boardwalk Hotel before heading back to the The Dolphin to get my parents settled. This lead to my favorite brand of conversation from the whole trip.

“How are we getting there?”

We had a dinner reservation at The Grand Floridian, so Dad got a little panicky. (If you don’t know Walt Disney World has a largely fantastic public transportation system that is free to everyone who’s on the property. But it doesn’t run hotel to hotel, you have to transfer.) I suggested we take a bus to The Magic Kingdom and then the monorail to the Floridian. This settled him down quite a bit.

I headed back to The Beach Club, and settled in the “member’s lounge” and did some more work. (I wish I was kidding. I’ve become one of those people now) before getting the text that my room was finally ready. I settled in, took a shower, got dressed and then Mom called asking if they should head over to meet me for the bus.

I said sure, and then turned on the TV and learned that OMG Must Watch Disney and the delightful Stacy have been replaced by probably actually entertaining Cartoon Shorts. Again, I say probably because I was too busy being outraged that my friend Stacy didn’t welcome me and yell at me about “HOW COOL IS SPLASH MOUNTAIN?” and I was quite put out.

Anyway, we had a late dinner reservation, but I wanted to check out the Enchanted Rose lounge at The Grand Floridian, having not visited since my beloved Mizner’s was converted to the trendy Beauty and The Beast style bar.

Enchanted Rose is gorgeous. And the drinks are good and the bartenders are, like all Disney Bartenders, top notch chatters. While I will always mourn when a wonderful simple hotel bar goes away, I can’t deny that at least this replacement is super worthy. I also wore a Belle Disneybound and Mom and I did a little photo shoot of me in the dress with the bar. (This room was completely empty, which is why I took my mask off. If there had been even one other group of people there I never would have. There was a level of irresponsibility even going on this trip, I certainly followed every single rule while doing so).

We also made some friends while we were having drinks who were also heading over to Narcoosee, where we were eating, so we all walked over to the restaurant together. We got a great table right by the windows, and I was thrilled when Mom gasped in happiness when The Electrical Water Pageant went by. She was probably the one most preemptively bummed out by the lack of things like parades and fireworks, (I later realized how odd and hollow the experience felt without them) so she was happy.

Narcoosee is meant to be a classic Florida restaurant, so you know what that means! MORE FISH! (I ate so much fish this week it was delightful) We started with a cheese plate which I very much enjoyed. We also ordered a bottle of Silverado Zinfandel. I suggested the Silverado as it’s the Disney Family’s Winery. It was good. I rarely choose ZInfandel, but for fish, it makes sense.

I had The Surf and Turf with Shrimp, Mom had the Porkchop and Dad got Lobster I think? I should have taken pictures. We had the first of a series of truly excellent and attentive servers. Seriously in nearly 30 years of going to Disney World and a decade of these regular adult trips, I had the best service experiences this time. Pretty much every Cast Member was enthusiastic, chatty and exceedingly helpful. The Cast have always been such a huge part of what makes Disney World special and at the moment they are working around masks, face shields and distancing requirements, a shoestring staff and a guest population that’s deeply on edge, and they’re still sunshine in a bottle.

After dinner, one of my all time Dis-nerd dreams came true. I timed this trip around my mom’s birthday, which also happens to be my parent’s wedding anniversary. (They got married on Mom’s 24th Birthday, a move she now describes as, “so romantic at the time, but kind of a pain in the ass as we grew up.”) I enlisted my siblings to give them a specialty cake for the occasion.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the Disboard Cake Chatter Thread and as such had a good idea of how to get exactly what I wanted and was very, very excited to see and taste the cake.

After dinner Dad excitedly asked what our transportation options were, and I said, “Oh, it’s midnight, unless you’re at Disney Springs, the option is Uber.” So we Ubered to the Dolphin, made our plans for the morning, and said goodnight.

I walked back to The Beach Club, Crescent Lake was eerily quiet, but it was lovely.

Tomorrow! I finally get to Batuu, long afternoons in the sun prove a bad call, and I fall in love with a gondola! Stay tun

My Big Florida Escape Trip Report!

Hello All!

I apologize for my lengthy absence, but I wasn’t feeling much like writing or watching Bond movies, so I decided taking a few months off was worth it. I’ve always said that the minute anything on this blog starts to feel like homework it goes!

I haven’t exactly been slacking, entirely of course. I did a bunch of work over on The Marina Chronicle, I’ve been very active on Twitter, and well, I got to go Home again.

Yes, friends, I finally got back to Walt Disney World!

But not before a few very relaxing days in Jupiter, Florida, where my parents now live.

Having not really travelled in two years, I’m out of practice on writing up a trip report, but here we go! This one should take up quite a few weeks, if I post one a day.

So, we begin!

Thursday, March 18 – Newark NJ – West Palm Beach

I had a lot of anxiety about going to the airport and flying. We are, after all still in a pandemic. But the whole experience was very organized and well distanced and I didn’t feel unsafe. I also managed to get a full work day in, so that was nice too! And I wound up sitting next to a woman who I’ve known most of my life, the mom of a girl who went to middle school with Mary. (She’s a nurse so was fully vaccinated! So that was also reassuring!)

My flight was at 2 PM, so I landed in West Palm Beach around 5:30. My mom picked me up and we drove to my parents’ new house in Jupiter, Florida.

My Uncle Denis has been in Jupiter for well over a decade which is why my parents chose the town. It’s a lovely house that they have a lot of plans for, but for my purposes on this trip included a kitchen and a pool, so all good on this end.

Rather than go out in a rush, Mom made Corned Beef and Cabbage and we stayed in and drank wine. It was a lovely start to my trip, if I do say so myself!

Friday, March 19 – We Get Fancy, Mom Eats Spicy Fish and Go To The Lighthouse

I wasn’t yet officially on vacation here. I was working in the morning, but there’s a world of difference between working at my tiny little cafe table in my apartment and working poolside. One is a good deal more pleasant. However, after the morning of working, Mom and I headed down to Palm Beach to go to High Tea at The Chesterfield Hotel.

Pretty much anytime we travel, Mom and I say we’re going to go get High Tea at whatever fancy hotel has it. And then we always forget and don’t do it. So, this year for Christmas I gave her a gift certificate for the High Tea at The Chesterfield.

If you find yourself in Palm Beach (and if you can swing a long weekend, I highly recommend it, it’s a very fun and different place to check out) go to The Chesterfield’s Leopard Lounge. We have every intention of doing this every time I’m down there now (not always tea, we’ll probably just grab drinks) The room itself is themed around exotic animals. (This is a British owned fancy hotel, bits of colonialism are a given.) I love a hotel bar, especially when it feels different from other Hotel Bars, and The Leopard Lounge, uses sleek blacks and animal print rather than the traditional dark woods and red velvets.

The tea itself was good. We had to take half of the sandwiches home with us since it was a Friday in Lent and we couldn’t eat meat. But the pastries and scones, which are the real reason for going to tea, made the whole thing worth it.

We then walked around Palm Beach a little, but my stomach was hurting from too much sugar and having my period so we quickly headed back to the house and I took a nap and felt much better.

That night we’d planned to go to this awesome outdoor waterfront bar that the whole family loves, called Guanabanas, but there was two hour wait for a table, so, no, we didn’t do that. Instead we headed to a place called The Bistro, which is where we used to eat at least once every trip, because when we called they said they could seat us as soon as we got there.

Again, it was a Friday, and also it’s Florida, so we all got fish. I got a thin sliced salmon dish, Dad got crab cakes, and Mom got a snapper cooked in paper, and it was made with sweet chili. Now, my mother does not eat spicy food. Ever. She’s a real baby about it, even too much black pepper will ruin something for her. But she very much enjoyed this. I was proud of her. One of these days I will get her to eat Thai food!

After dinner, Mom suggested we head back to the waterfront, and grab a quick drink with a view of The Jupiter Lighthouse. I smilingly agreed, I’d go anywhere, this was their portion of the vacation. We parked the car and walked into a “divey” (as divey as anything in this area of the state gets, it’s a pretty chichi area) and hanging behind the bar were more moscow mule mugs than I thought existed and “Don’t Stop Me” by Queen blaring over the speakers. I was thrilled. We ordered drinks and headed out onto the dock and saw the beautiful and Iconic Jupiter Light House, before going home and heading to bed.

That’s the beginning. Tomorrow, we’ll cover the weekend! I go on a boat! And eat dinner at a serendipitously named restaurant with a coincidentally named bartender! Very exiting stuff! Hooray!]

(I thought I had pictures for this post but i got a new phone and now I can’t find them and it is very frustrating)

California Here We Come Part 1: Heaven Is A City Much Like San Francisco

Hey everyone! So I’m nearly a month back from my trip to Northern California, my first time on the west coast, and just an absolutely transformative experience, and full of learning and family bonding etc.

So, I figured, let’s write about it!

The trip started on February 22, when I left work at lunch time and headed to Newark Airport for my first cross country flight. I’ve flown to Vegas, but I had a Layover then, so I was nervous about the length. It wound up not being bad at all. I didn’t sleep, but I watched Bohemian Rhapsody and A Few Good Men, so that was pretty cool.

After I arrived, I grabbed my bags and hopped in an Uber to the Sheraton at Fisherman’s Warf, where Mom, Mary, Dad and I were staying. The hotel was nice, a chain in a tourist area, so a little bland, but nice, clean, the room was big and the breakfast buffet was sufficient the next morning.

The only thing I didn’t totally love about San Francisco is that the town shuts down relatively early. Even the wharf, most restaurants shut their kitchens at nine. (Even in the tourist no mans land of  Midtown Manhattan you can get a burger at midnight!) Since I didn’t even LAND until 8, this was a struggle, but we wound up at The Tonga Room, a tiki bar in the basemant of the Fairmont Hotel.

It was the kind of “secret touristy” kind of thing that I’ve always loved, plus I’ll always take Asian fusion food and a rum drink.

We had a great time, and I lost my phone, but I was exhausted and figured that I’d be able to get it back. I’d recommend the Tonga Room for sure. It’s a big place, and there’s live music, so it was pretty great. Also it was nice to see the Fairmount. I have a certain soft spot for big old hotels. (Can’t imagine why!)

In the morning, we had plans to take the Love Bus tour, but first I had to retrieve my phone, so Dad and I grabbed an Uber over to the Fairmount to get it. That was quick, and easy and we had a chatty fun Uber driver.

BY the time we were back at the Sheraton, Mary and Mom were having breakfast, but we still had a bunch of time before our plan for the day, so we mostly just sat around the hotel room, before wandering down to the corner of fisherman’s wharf, where we would be picking up The Love Tour.

Dad found the tour online, basically a painted VW bus picks you up and you get driven around different San Francisco neighborhoods and taken to a few really good photo spots.

I very much enjoyed the tour and it seems like everywhere in that city has the most amazing view you’ve ever seen.

After the tour we went to lunch. I wish I remembered the name of the restaurant, because it was great. My dad found it. (Dad was in the driver’s seat of this whole trip, which was hard for me, normally the trip planner. Really hard.)

After lunch we gathered our things at the hotel and got on a ferry to Napa County. There was a bar on the ferry, so Mary and I obviously befriended the bar tender which was great, because it got us to the top pours on our wine! (YAY!)

The ferry went from Fisherman’s Wharf to Vallejo, and our house was in Fairfield. We got an uber, (SO MUCH UBER this trip!) and got to the house. After unpacking, another Uber took us to a shopping center where we ate a Thai restaurant and then bought snacks and stuff at Safeway. I got a pumpkin curry that was delicious but waayyyy too spicy for me. Well, just the curry and chicken were, when I actually got a bite of the pumpkin it cut the spice perfectly, but there wasn’t a lot of actual pumpkin pieces in it.

We were all completely wiped at this point, jet lag being what it is, and being on our feet most of the day. So we basically just went back to the house and crashed. Just, completely passed out.

Next up, we start our day drinking, light eating journey through wine country. It’s amazing.

I’m behind on EVERYTHING

So you guys, I know I’m way way behind on stuff.

I’m planning on writing some fun, in detail trip reports for my week in California, I hope to get to them soon. (I’m still adjusting to East Coast Time, and I’m VERY BUSY at work getting caught up.)

But here are some highlights:

  1. I am wildly in love with the city of San Francisco. It’s my favorite city I’ve ever visited. I’ll detail why, but it’s so beautiful, and I don’t think I encountered one grumpy customer service person!
  2. You all don’t know this about me, since I changed before I started writing this blog, but I used to pretty much only drink Chardonnay and Miller Lite and the occasional margarita. After a while I just stopped drinking Chardonnay. BUT I REDISCOVERED IT THIS PAST WEEK AND I LOVE IT VERY MUCH.
  3. 10 days of togetherness and wine drinking would have at one point driven my siblings and I to murder. Now we just had a lovely trip. Growth!
  4. I have a fun new hobby where Mary and I pose like we’re on the cover of Vanity Fair as a joke, and some of those pictures actually turned out cool!

So those are coming! As are book reviews. (Though I barely read on this trip! Too much wine!) And more Supernatural. And hey, Captain Marvel comes out this weekend, that one snuck up on us, huh? And Winter Is Coming one last time, so we’ll have winners to track. And an ultimate winner. (I promise not to cop out and insist that we’re the real winners for having been given the blessing of Game Of Thrones…) There’s a few new projects to breakdown and start.

Seriously, with what may be the final movie season, my renewed interest in my own literacy, an unrelated project and finally, finally cracking the creative code on that family memoir I’ve always wanted to write, plus this blog just changing shape as I change as a person. (I went back and read some old posts, it’s a cool thing to do. What I’ve learned? I’m much much better about vocalizing anger than I used to be.)

 

 

Revenge Of Dapper Day: Favorites

It’s time for favorites! You guys, seriously, I’m so fortunate, but in reality, this one was hard this time. Only because so much has become old hat for me, that the standouts stand out even more than usual! Seriously, I can’t believe that I have “routines” at Disney world now. I’m grateful for it, but it’s weird.

Ride:

I think Frozen gets the cake this time. If only for repitition. That I rode it three times within a day feels completely surreal. Also, I just love it so much. Because I rode it so many times, getting to really focus on Sven, he who is my favorite Animatronic, was a delight. Also, when I went on it with Mike and Megan, we took a really good pic.

Show: 

This was tough. “Happily Ever After” finally left it’s impression. And obviously, I will always and forever love “Illuminations,” but I think I have to give it to the floor show at The Edison. There’s the dancers, and the band and acrobats, and it’s really, really special. If you’re of age, give it a shot.

Meal: 

Biergarten. For sure. While it’s hard to dispute me devouring half a lobster in under 20 minutes due to not eating food on an MK day (not my greatest decision) I can’t get in the way of excellent German food, a liter of Heffewiezen, a baby grabbing at said liters of beer, and children dancing to German music.

Also seriously, the food. The pork schnitzel. HOLY CRAP. The warm potato salad, YES! The spatzel, the best I’ve ever had (sorry Uncle Mark!) and obviously the apple streudel. I mean obviously. 

Drink:

I DRANK A LITER OF HEFFEWEIZEN! Though the Martinis at the Edison are a very close second.

Snack:

This isn’t even mine. I didn’t  even snack much. (#costumeseasoniscoming and all…) But, I have to tell this story and I forgot about it while I was writing up my Animal Kingdom trip report. Mike was basically running a fever the whole time we were there. But this did not stop him from while we were sitting on line for Safari, turning me and saying, “hey is there someplace here that I can get a Dole Whip, or do I have to go to Magic Kingdom?” I replied, “Oh no, you can for sure get one here, you can even get it on a rum float!” He sighed, “I’m not feeling up to that, but that sounds AWESOME for next trip.” Before we left the park, Mike got his Dole Whip and Megan got a Mickey Bar (I’d already had my Mickey Bar at Magic Kingdom on Saturday) So that wins for favorite snack.

So that’s what’s happening there. I’m going again for a weekend this summer (still working on a date and plans! But it’s looking like mid July) I’ll get everything lined up for that soon. As for life here. We’re about to dive into the heart of movie season, with costume season nipping at it’s heels, I’m pushing through the end of Don Quioxote, which means, I’ll be picking up the new Trials of Apollo.

See you real soon!

Cosplay Corner: Cinderella Dapper Day Disney Bound

Since my decision to go to Spring Dapper Day was relatively short notice. (Within 60 days, so short by Disney World standards!) I was a bit worried about my dapper attire, but not overly worried, since vintage and vintage style clothes are kind of my thing.

Truth be told, I’d probably never wear true vintage to Dapper Day, I’d be far too nervous about tears, stains and other damage. Plus, I tend to be more comfortable in reproduction, and sucking in and wearing a full girdle for a wasp waisted 50’s dress at the Magic Kingdom just seems kinda dumb.

Anyway, my Magic Kingdom outfit was a done deal, as my Easter dress this year was a lovely 50’s looking light blue lace sundress, that needed very little extra to become a Cinderella bound.

The key was in the shoes which were great, and a huge hit, but not quite as comfortable as they should be.

They’re sparkly jellies with wedges. I found them on Wish.com, which is also, incidentally where I got the dress. And the red dress I wore on Friday night to Disney Springs…and both of my crinolines…I really love that site. They actually didn’t beat up my feet too bad, but just didn’t have the support I needed for a whole day at the park. So, I switched to saddle shoes for the afternoon/evening.

If you’re into vintage clothes and events, I really can’t recommend a pair of saddle shoes enough. You can find them online at Amazon, or sometimes even at DSW, and they’re super comfortable, go with most vintage looks, and always get a great reaction. (My pair were pilfered from one of Mom’s productions of Bye Bye Birdie…shhhh….)

I also wore my Black Canary choker and tossed my hair in a bun (my preferred MK hairstyle anyway, especially with it’s length these days…) and voila!

Sadly, because of flights and drinks and eating schedules, I didn’t quite make it to Midnight, but I think I did my girl proud.

Revenge Of Dapper Day 4/30: It’s A Jungle Out There

You know you’re getting old when the third day of your long weekend excursion, everyone’s sick and wiped out, but you soldier on and have a good day anyway.

I was feeling a bit hung over, though not too bad, Mike had caught a killer cold, and Megan was in great shape, when Megan and I headed to Animal Kingdom to get on Flight of Passage during Extra Magic Hour.

The ride is great, but because of my hangover, I hadn’t eaten, and you know, I threw up. It was awful, and it took about an hour to recover, but Animal Kingdom has lots to look at and wander and see during that recovery time. We also met Flick!

Then Mike met up with us and we waiting on line for a while for Na’Vi River Journey, but decided to bail and just do other stuff instead. We wound up doing the Safari, Everest and Kali, as well as lunch at Nomad Lounge. So, all in all, a pretty good day before Megan and Mike had to head for their plane.

I picked up a Tower of Terror fast pass and hopped on a bus to Studios, where I happened to arrive just as The March Of The First Order began. This really is such a cool fun experience. Then I headed to meet Star Lord and Groot, because, you know, I needed to know they were OK. (SOB)

I still had some time before the FP came up so I headed to Star Tours and then grabbed an ice cream for my walk over to Tower of Terror, which I rode, and then decided I was done. It was after 4, so I hopped on a bus to Springs, and then went to Homecomin’, didn’t eat nearly enough of that delicious chicken I loved so much last year and then hopped on the boat back to Riverside, before grabbing a Lyft to the airport.

I was completely wiped out you guys, I had no energy, and was deeply frustrated because only 1 security line was operating. But I got to the gate in plenty of time, slept for most of my flight, and then was happily flopped in my bed by 1 AM.

It was a great weekend, but I’ve come to the conclusion that these “Fit it all in” long weekends just aren’t sustainable. I still plan on doing weekend trips, but I think from now on I’ll stick to one park on them (maybe 2) and not do parks on arrival or departure days. (Or fly at 7PM instead of 10, and only do a morning).

Up next, we’ll talk favorites. No hotel review, because I’d stayed in the hotel already. (Update, I still love it. 10 out of 10, will stay again.)

Revenge Of Dapper Day 4/29: A Dream Can Be A Dream Come True

I don’t know why I ever even tell myself that I’m going to go to Studios for Extra Magic Hour on Sunday. I never wind up doing it. It just doesn’t happen. This time, I was actually ready, but missed the bus and I decided rather than rush it when the next bus came, I’d take my time, get some breakfast and rope drop at Epcot.

This wound up being a much better choice, in the long run, I think. While waiting at the turnstiles I made some friends (YAY!) with two girls who were bounding as Rey and Kylo Ren, we parted ways quickly, but I was happy to have talked to them. Once we got in to the doors, I reconnected with them and there was again, a bunch of chatting, giggling and explaining of dapper ware. We wound up riding Soarin together, before I was off to Norway, ready to redeem my Frozen 9:30 fast pass.

There wasn’t much of a line, so I decided to wait for it on standby and then ride again with the fast pass. This worked awesomely, and by 10 I’d ridden the ride twice.

I had a bunch of time to kill, since I was waiting to meet up with Michael and Megan, and with our friend Nick, and his brother in law and his girlfriend (We had quite a crew), so I decided to wander around a bit. I stopped for photopass pictures, I met Baymax, I rode Spaceship Earth & Imagination (had to, you know, the bound..) Then I heard from Nick, and we met up with him and his baby daughter Eva. (His son Matty was sick, so Matty and his wife Jen stayed home). We rode Nemo, which was Eva’s first Disney ride. (She’s not even 1, she was such a trooper all day.) We then met up with Nick’s brother in law Mike and Mike’s girlfriend Gabby, headed to Mexico to get La Cava Margaritas, before Mike and Megan finally got to the park.

So, we were supposed to eat at Biergarten at 2, but by the time we’d met up with everyone, it was closer to 3. (Notes on a theme) Luckily, we still got our table. The German buffet was delicious, the music was really fun, and I heartily reccomend this restaurant for larger groups. (We were seven including baby…) especially if you like meat. Pork in particular.

Then we just got to wandering in World Showcase, stopping for drinks in Italy, France and The UK, before the locals decided to split. We took some group pictures in front of Spaceship Earth, and then Mike, Megan and I decided to ride it.

I teased Mike that this felt exceptionally like when we were kids and our dad always took us on Spaceship Earth in the evening before the fireworks. He nodded, “Dad, really loves this ride.” After our trip through time (I should note both times I rode, no breakdowns. HOORAY!) Then we decided to go for Margaritas (TWICE IN ONE DAY! BLESS!) then Mike said he wanted to try for Frozen.

Wait was about a half hour, and we got right on. (3 times, I rode Frozen 3 times this day, if you’re keeping track.) Then we headed to Morocco to check in for our Spice Road Table reservation. We settled at a table, ordered Hummus Fries, (YESSSS) Rasberrie Brie, Fish Croquettes and a pitcher of Sangria, and watched Illuminations. It was lovely. As always.

Next stop was The Beach Club to grab a Minnie Van to Springs, where we had drinks at Enzo’s Hideaway and then Raglan Road before heading back to the room and basically pass out.

Stay tuned for Animal Kingdom, light Studios, and a quick AF trip home!

Revenge of Dapper Day: 4/28 – So Much Pretty

WARNING: This Trip Report Contains VERY Light Infinity War spoilers. No details but some sketchiness.

I’ve complained in the past about feeling largely cut off and unwelcome at Dapper Day events, not on a macro level but on a micro one. People were just not willing to engage with the weirdo stranger there by herself.

That was not the case this trip. Seriously, I talked with TONS of people, exchanged contact info and even enjoyed some serious ride time with the folks. The first was Rob, who I’d met at the Edison the night before. We teamed up for Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom.

I was a few minutes late, but we managed to hit The Barnstormer, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and take some pics by the purple wall before he had to head to work. I then picked up my touring plans, and ran around riding just about everything, and taking lots of pictures, before my feet gave out.

See, the night before, I’d gone for 4 inch heels. (HUGE MISTAKE) They looked great, but it got me started at a disadvantage for Saturday, and I was wearing these adorable jelly wedges, to play on the glass slippers. (We’ll get into that in the cosplay corner!) They were adorable, but KILLED my feet.

So, I decided to head to the Grand Floridian for lunch. There were no tables available so I headed right to Springs instead. I opted to treat myself to a Minnie Van, because I wanted to try the service.

My driver was wonderful, we chatted about the Studios expansion until we eventually hit the most fraught topic of my weekend.

“Have…” he exhaled, “have you seen Infinity War yet?” I exhaled and said that I had, and we went on to commiserate about our various levels of NOT OK, and speculation for the future of the franchise. We also both cried.

It may have been the weirdest, most wonderful moment of nerd bonding I’ve ever had with a stranger. (Except for that time a girl I was working with asked if I was a Doctor Who fan, but you all know how that one turned out.) I then hopped on the water taxi and popped to the Boathouse, where I ate half a lobster, downed a ton of water and a couple of Bellinis.

Feeling much better, if I do say so myself, I had two options, but not time for both, sadly, I could explore Springs a bit more, or head back to the hotel and hit the pool. I decided on exploration.

I headed to Amorette’s and picked up the Millenial Pink Champagne…which is a light Kir Royale. It’s delicious, and very pretty, just not like, revolutionary. I also got a pastry, that I wound up not eating because I was never hungry at a time that was convenient to eat it.

Then I shopped. I only bought one thing, and it wasn’t even for myself. Well, I also bought these baller Cinderella Havianas, because they’re very cute, and seriously, my poor feet couldn’t take it anymore.

Finally, I reached the boat dock to get back to Riverside and headed first to Fulton’s for some aleve and a bottle of wine, and then back to the room and watch a different forty minute stretch of My Cousin Vinny than I’d watched the evening before, while enjoying said wine. Delightful. 

My next big plan was to go on Jungle Cruise and head to California Grill to try to get up to Lounge for a fireworks seat.

I did get on the cruise, where I had an AWESOME skipper (Jordan, she was really great) and then hoofed to the Contemporary. Couldn’t get up to lounge, so I rode the monorail over to the Floridian, thinking I could at least get a drink at Mizner’s before the show.

It was packed.

So I got BACK on the monorail and headed to the park, got a Mickey bar and managed to find a really nice spot on the Hub.

I’m falling in love with Happily Ever After. It’s a beautiful show. I cried a whole bunch this time. Then I quickly zipped over to Tomorrowland and hopped on the People Mover. It’s fun at night.

Next came a ride on Dumbo, which, while fun, I would probably not do again. Finally I hopped on line for Big Thunder, and that closed my night. I was hoping to stay until close, but I was completely beat, so I headed back to the hotel, poured another glass of that wine, and watched some TV again before passing out.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Epcot, family, friends and Figment!