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Old 11-05-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
Joyciemc
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"I'm Speaking Italian." A Food&Wine trip around the World October 2012 *NEW 11/25

This was a trip almost 2 years in the making. The thing I looked forward to day and night for months and months. It's over. Bummer, huh? It seriously was hard to take coming home. Things got a little better when we figured out that we'd be back SUPER soon (for a very quick weekend trip in December!), but I still miss this trip. It was fantabulous. It really was. And exhausting. As they always are.

If you've read my TRs in the past, then you may remember that I am Joyce. I work at an animal shelter and it is almost as exhausting as a WDW trip. But dirtier and with more angry people.

Ben is my DH and he is in sales and works from home. He loves WDW, too. Which makes things much easier when it comes time to pick a vacation!

This time around, we were joined by our very good friends- Jen and Eric (they had code names in the PTR, but with pictures and the fact that I keep typing their real names... screw it!) I met Jen when she was hired to work at the shelter, 6 year ago. She doesn't work there anymore, but we have remained super close. All four of us get along remarkably well. And to top it off, they recently moved to the same city we live in. Fun! They also love WDW, but hadn't done much planning on previous trips. They gave me total control to plan our trip. I don't know if they regret doing that.

We were staying in studios, first at Boardwalk Villas 10/13-10/17 and then Bay Lake Tower 10/17-10/21. I was worried about the small size of the room, but we are good friends and are all pretty polite. We pretty much made a pact to poop in other places as often as possible, and that made sharing the space much more managable.

So... let's do this!

Our trip started insanely early in the morning. I have a text that I sent Jen the night before that reads: “Aiming for your house at 3:45 in the morning. Ouch” Her reply: “Yuck. OK” These were sent around 9:30pm, when both households were STILL packing. I am always last minute, but this extra took the cake!

I am not sure when we finally went to bed, but I know I had a hard time sleeping. I got out of bed easily enough when I remembered what was on the agenda for the day! Ben and I stumbled around and managed to get everything situated to leave the house on time. One last look at the coutdown:



Our bags were all ready to go!



And off we went to pick up Jen and Eric. They were not exactly bright-eyed and bushy tailed, but there was a touch of excitement in the car on our trip to RI. We picked up Ben's dad so he could drive us to the airport, and we were at TF Green in no time.

Once through security (which included a nice little pat-down session for me- sexy!), Ben and Eric stopped at Starbuck's for coffees, and Jen and I continued to Dunks for some breakfast (yep, we're from New England, but gosh do we not enjoy Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Their breakfast sandwiches, though, we do love!). We were waiting in line for quite a while and started to think we must've missed the boys as they passed by us. Ben had my phone in his backpack, and Eric wasn't answering his, so we just kept waiting. We finally spotted them heading our way just as we were getting close to the counter. Incidentally, the lady in front of us waited all this time to just decide right then to get out of line. She as all, “I will wait 12 minutes, but gosh-darn it, I will not wait 15!!”

Once we had our food, we found our gate and settled down to eat.
As became a habit on the trip, we banished Ben far away and he took our picture.



Because something weird hadn't happened in a few minutes, it was of course right on cue that we noticed a couple of very interesting women who were standing at the Southwest line up poles. Do you know what I mean? The ones with numbers to organize the boarding groups? They had not started asking folks to line up yet, but these ladies were standing there holding their index fingers up (#1) and looking around. They must've been excited to be first on the plane! Unfortunately for them, Southwest doesn't seat by who lines up first, but by the boarding number. So the four of us were first on the plane. The #1 ladies had to wait a bit.

We got settled in two rows right up front and before too long, here came our #1 ladies to sit right behind us. And what did they bring with them? An odor. I very gross, very distinct odor that I don't think I can explain on a Disney forum. Eric didn't seem to notice, but the rest of us had matching looks of horror on our faces as we thought about the next 2.5 hours. Fortunately, once they stopped rustling around and sat still, we stopped noticing the smell. I will say that I was thoroughly entertained listening to them talk about Disney throughout the flight. And I got the impression that the woman who sat next to them may have been a DISer (she certainly knew her Disney facts and tried her best to help correct some of the misinformation the other ladies had)

Once we were airborne, we got much anticipated bloody Mary's.



I read a bit, then dozed a bit. Ben chatted up the very nice woman sitting next to him. He pretty much never stops talking. We landed right on time, and I directed everyone toward Magical Express land. We found no line at all, and only had to wait a little while. Jen was excited:



We spent the drive to WDW taking pictures and acting goofy. As you do.




Upon arriving at the Boardwalk, we were all still in shock that we were actually here. This place is lovely. And creepy



We got in line for on-line check in, and before we could get up to the counter, a CM named Nic approached us and asked for our name. He took Ben's ID and left to get our packet. He was gone for about 14 years. We started to wonder if Nic even worked for Disney, or if he had just stolen Ben's identity. As we all began to fade further and further into wobbly piles of starving humans, Nic finally came back. Turns out the trip (which was booked using our DVC membership) was under Jen & Eric's last name. Weird. But Nic tracked it down and our room was ready! So off we went... and went. And went. Those hallways are ridiculous. And we were at the verrrrrrrrrry end. Along the way, we had time to talk about our plan. I had thought originally that we'd want to rest a bit if our room was ready. But we were all starving. And giddy with the thought of how close we were to Epcot. So plans for resting got thrown out, the way they always do for me on arrival day. Oh, and we also eventually got to our room:



I don't have any pictures of it. It was nice. Small, but adequate. We had a view of a quiet pool.

Day 1, Part 2 here.

Last edited by Joyciemc; 11-25-2012 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:25 PM   #2
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We pretty much made a pact to poop in other places as often as possible, and that made sharing the space much more managable.
...
Thank goodness the Hubs isn't home. I for real laughed out loud. Explaining why would have been interesting.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:20 AM   #3
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Joyce caved to peer pressure and is writing a trip report.



Muhahahahahahha
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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subbing....
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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I'm here and subbing.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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Glad some folks are reading! I would also like to apologize for the bizarr-o picture sizes. Seems Photobucket only wanted to save my size changes on some of them. Huh.

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Thank goodness the Hubs isn't home. I for real laughed out loud. Explaining why would have been interesting.
I love writing a TR that has to be read in private.

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Joyce caved to peer pressure and is writing a trip report.

Muhahahahahahha
I blame you and Paula!

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subbing....
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I'm here and subbing.
Hellooooo Alicia!
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
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Subscribing!! Great start to your TR, although I can only imagine what kind of smells you had going on behind you on the plane. As a nurse, we see (and smell) all kinds. There are people that come to be admitted and within 10 minutes the room reeks of their BO. How can they not realized they smell so horrible?! But glad it got better once they settled down.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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So glad I could twist your arm!!

I'm here for more! I can't wait to read how you experienced the same week at WDW!
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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Subscribing!! Great start to your TR, although I can only imagine what kind of smells you had going on behind you on the plane. As a nurse, we see (and smell) all kinds. There are people that come to be admitted and within 10 minutes the room reeks of their BO. How can they not realized they smell so horrible?! But glad it got better once they settled down.
It was AWFUL. You don't wanna know. The same smell will come up again, though... I might not be able to hide its identity when that happens.

And also, WELCOME! Thanks for reading
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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So glad I could twist your arm!!

I'm here for more! I can't wait to read how you experienced the same week at WDW!
Hey people, stop replying when I am replying!!

I hope the TR is worth the arm twisting Seriously, I am glad that I started- this was a fun trip I want to be able to remember
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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Day 1, part 2

We threw our stuff in the room, then trekked alllll the way back to the lobby. It really is a long hallway. Jen and Eric had their park hoppers added to their room keys, and once that was done we headed off to Epcot. Can I take this time to tell you how awesome it was to be in walking distance to Epcot?! Seriously amazing.
Hungry and beyond excited to be so close to the Food & Wine Festival, we were practically skipping to the International Gateway. Just one little task to take care of. Well, two: Ben had to buy his AP and a Tables in Wonderland card. So he got in line and waited. And waited. Jen, Eric and I stood off to she side and tried not to die. We were literally coaching him at one point on line-standing; a couple had sauntered up, standing beside Ben. The three of us could tell what was happening, and that they were trying to squeeze in front of Ben. So we called out helpful tips about where he should stand and when he should move up. I think it worked, because they cut the girl behind Ben instead. Eventually, Ben got closer to the front.



Then, a little while after that, he finally was up at the window. All in all, we were entering Epcot before noon, and that's pretty darned good considering we landed at 9:30 or so. I guess all the waiting felt a little longer than it actually was.
I know I mentioned it, but let me reiterate a fact: we were hungry. So it should be pretty awesome that we were smack dab in the middle of the Food & Wine Festival. The only problem was we were so hungry, we couldn't figure out what to eat. None of us had been to the F&W Festival before, and despite everything I'd read, actually being there was a little overwhelming! We passed France with no one wanting to stop (I wanted to try the Escargot, but figured we should head to a booth where more of us could eat), then Belgium came and went (no one wanted mussels and we were not in the market for sweet, so the waffles were out for now). I was starting to panic a little, but everyone kept their game faces on and continued trying to find a booth to stop at.
Once we read the New Zealand menu (and saw a very short line), we felt pretty relieved...even though Jen couldn't eat anything here. She's the pickiest eater out of our group (though really not that picky- it's just that the rest of us will eat almost anything) so it wasn't shocking that it worked out this way.



Ben and I got the scallop and the lamb slider so we could try both. The Spicy Tomato Chutney on the slider was the highlight of the booth for me. Don't feel too bad for Jen- she now had a menu in her grubby little hands and we were able to head somewhere so she could eat, too.



Singapore was a HUGE hit with us... the boys loved the beef rendang (which I thought was good) and Jen and I were floored by the mahi mahi. The sauce it came was was a-mazing!! I am sad that we don't have pictures of the food- I wasn't planning on doing a TR (but I succumbed to peer pressure and look what happened...) and just in general didn't take as many pictures as I usually do. Oh well.

Being the conservationists that we are, we kept our forks to re-use them, as it seemed kinda wasteful to keep getting new ones.


Though I was probably more excited about the fork dispensers than was strictly necessary.

I had sort of been prepared for very small portions, so I was actually pleasantly surprised at the amount of food we were getting. We ate at Japan and then skipped all the way to Germany where Ben and Eric got brats. I had a bad experience with bratwurst during last year's Super Bowl (I re-read that and thought about all the things that possibly could've happened between be and bratwurst; I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea- the truth is, I got SUPER sick the day after eating some... I don't think the two things were related, but my body will no longer accept brats as food), and can no longer touch the stuff.
While the boys waited in line at the kiosk, Jen and I headed off to get beers at the permanent stand in Germany. While in line, we both realized that neither of us had ID... we had conveniently left them in our husband's wallets. We're both in our 30s (Jen just barely-she joined that club on her birthday just a month before this trip), and I hardly ever get carded at Disney, so we didn't worry too much. Sure enough, I ordered my two beers no problem. Jen got asked for an ID... I vouched for her and then offered to go grab her license from Eric. The German CMs took pity on us and let us have the beers. I assured them we were old enough and thanked them profusely. It probably helped that these were our first drinks and we were surrounded by super drunk people in 'drink around the world' t-shirts- by comparison we must've looked very responsible. Crisis averted, we headed back with our bounty. Then we spent about 5 minutes trying to remember which beer was which. I don't think we ever got it right.

By now, World Showcase was getting really crowded (with the totally drunk people in matching shirts we referred to as 'Zombies'- I have never seen so many drunk people in one place and trust me- the four of us consider both beer, and drinking in general, a hobby. So this is saying something), and my TouringPlans app was telling me Soarin' FP were available for a time that would work with our dinner plans. Ben and I don't care for this ride, but Jen and Eric wanted to ride it, so we headed off that way.
As we headed over, we stopped for more beers at the Craft Brew kiosk. Then Ben and Eric stopped to learn about cranberry bogs.



Once we got near the Land pavilion, I had the bright idea to leave them relaxing in the shade with their beers and volunteered to get the FP. I gathered up everyone's tickets and stood in line for the stairs. Yup, you read that right. The escalator was broken, and there was an honest-to-goodness line waiting to go down the stairs. I finally got down there to find the return times right when we would be sitting down to dinner. I figured I may as well get some, because you never know what will happen to plans... but then I could only get 2 FP... cause I am not used to having an AP and I grabbed my room key along with Ben's, thinking those were our tickets. Double fail. To top it all off, I had to wait in another line to go back upstairs. I officially am done with Soarin'.

When I met back up with my crew, we figured we may as well enjoy Future World some more. We rode Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo, and finished up with a spin on Mission: Space. Team 7 was go for launch!




Now we were finally ready for some rest time, before coming back for our dinner ADR. But first we had to stop in Club Cool. Jen and Eric didn't even know this place existed! We sampled tons, and I heard Ben offer Eric one to try. Sure enough, it was Beverly. So Eric takes a sip and makes his that's not bad face, Jen tries it and gags. As I'm watching this happen, I am cracking up. Eric can't figure out what is so funny- he truly did not mind the taste of Beverly, so I couldn't even explain the joke to him!

We made our slow way out of the park, fighting against the most insane crowds I have seen at Epcot... this was a big departure from mid September! We eventually made it back to our room and settled in for a short nap, since none of us wanted to miss our dinner that evening. And Eric was lobbying pretty hard for a trip to Jellyrolls that night. WHY can't we ever take it easy on arrival day??


Day 1, Part 3 here

Last edited by Joyciemc; 11-10-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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Hey there! I am along for the ride!! Can't wait to read more...glad you got suckered into writing this!!
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:49 PM   #13
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Hey there! I am along for the ride!! Can't wait to read more...glad you got suckered into writing this!!
Thanks for reading! You are brave- I seem to have scared most folks away
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #14
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I thought the fork dispensers were fun. I kept saying I wanted one at home!


I got carded in Italy, and the guy wouldn't budge until I nabbed my ID. I'm all "Dude, I have a child almost old enough to legally drink" (he's almost 20)
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:46 PM   #15
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I thought the fork dispensers were fun. I kept saying I wanted one at home!

I got carded in Italy, and the guy wouldn't budge until I nabbed my ID. I'm all "Dude, I have a child almost old enough to legally drink" (he's almost 20)
Way to stick to the rules, Italian CM. We got lucky, I guess!
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