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Old 09-27-2010, 09:09 PM   #1
guitarob
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When We Get to Heaven, We'll Hear "ALOHA!" - Update 10/17, Day 6


Our Pre-Trip Report
More Photos from Day 1
Room and Lounge Report
Day 2
More Photos from Day 2
Day 3 - Part 1
Day 3 - Part 2
More Photos from Day 3
Day 4
More Photos from Day 4
Day 5
More Photos from Day 5
Day 6
More Photos from Day 6


Day 1 - 9/18/2010

…and your wish… will… come… truuuuuue.

Days like this are impossible to come by. Sometimes you have expectations that things just aren’t going to go your way, and you fear that no matter how much you pray that they will, something is going to go wrong. Once in a while though, the Lord comes through in a huge way, and a day can exceed your wildest expectations.

We had been planning this trip for four of the longest months that I can imagine. It was one of the most mentally and physically challenging (not to mention snowiest) winters in my memory. A winter wrought with my Father's stroke and the ensuing care, a not too well-planned move to care for him after his hospitalization and rehab, and all of the stresses that come with things of this nature.

Mrs B. and I decided that a trip back to the Polynesian was definitely in order. Yes, long afternoons spent at the most beautiful pool in the world while gazing out at the most magical view one can conjure up and sipping fruity beverages containing goodly amounts of alcohol were just the thing to sufficiently erase the stress. We needed long, lingering, oversize meals in overpriced restaurants including more of the aforementioned fruity beverages and trips to whimsical lands and far away places. Of course, everything is made better by just being ensconced in that famous Walt Disney World magic, all of it served up with a smile, and a genuine warm wish for a happy anniversary and a wonderful vacation. They lodge you, transport you and feed you. They take away all of your worries. You just foot the bill, and let them take care of the rest. Yeah, that's what we needed...

After an extremely tumultuous day before vacation, including, but not limited to:
  • A 35 year old having a temper tantrum over a 65 year old who wouldn’t cooperate with the plan for his care for the week
  • A possibly broken (probably just bruised, but definitely sore and discolored) toe
  • A lovely “good morning” greeting from a pretty serious sinus infection (that turned into a rather nasty cold during the trip)
it looked as if this vacation would be ruined, if not have to be put on hold completely. But it turns out that the Lord just has a strange way of doing things - sometimes you might not understand it, but that’s just how it works. I like to think it’s to keep me on my toes. To remind me that good things aren’t just handed out, and that they should never be taken for granted.

It was a terrible pre-trip day which ended up rather well. Dad was finally off with the family, and the sinus infection had been abated by a strong dose of antibiotics and cold medications. I picked up Mrs. B. from work and we had a lovely dinner out, alone. We got home from dinner, finished packing and went to sleep.

I slept for three hours. At 1:00 AM and my body decided that it was time to get out of bed. Great. There will be no limo until 4:30 (oh yeah baby, I upgraded us to a limousine for the ride to the airport, Mrs. B. will love that and so will I….) what to do?

It turns out that playing SimCity and whining about “Poly-somnia” on the Disboards is a great way to kill time… and not much to type about, so let’s fast forward to 4:15.

I see a limousine prowling the street, stopping at every house. The driver getting out and examining addresses at each mailbox. I quickly come to the conclusion that we’re probably the only ones in the neighborhood getting a limousine at 4:30 in the morning, and that I should go out and chase him down to make his life a little easier. A short while later the baggage was loaded and we were off.

We arrived at the airport in what seemed like no time at all to two giggling thirty-something teenagers, and entered the long line for check in. After standing for about 5 minutes, my brilliant wife notices that because we’re flying business class (Another last minute upgrade. YAY ME and my propensity to spend money!) we don’t have to wait in this interminable line, there’s another line that’s apparently just for us! 10 minutes later we were on the way to security.

Security was a breeze, and we sailed through without an issue. We stopped and had breakfast at Chickie’s and Pete’s (a local phenomenon of sorts, famous for their Crab Fries which are French fries, seasoned with Old Bay and served with a marvelous, velvety cheese sauce that had opened up a satellite shop in our terminal). We had a breakfast that was by all dietary standards completely unacceptable. No Crab Fries, but I was sorely tempted. I figured I’d be doing enough damage with the “South Philly” steak, egg and cheese grease-wich that I was ordering (aforementioned velvety cheese sauce? Check!), and boy was I right.



This was breakfast defined in clearly the loosest terms possible, the egg only making an appearance for appearance’s sake, the cheese and grease soaking the bun and dripping all over the wrapper that I had placed on the table for just such an event. Mrs. B’s sandwich wasn’t much better, although it did contain more eggs and made her feel better about her choice. It was excellent. Absolutely the best meal I’ve ever had in an airport. I realize this isn’t saying much. But, after last year’s sandwich debacle (What was that sauce anyway? Is that an egg? That CAN'T possibly be an egg...) it was a near miracle if ever there was one.

After feasting on our cholesterol sandwiches, we only had a few minutes to wait before boarding (first, by the way, since we were now extravagant business class travelers). We were the first passengers on board, gear stowed safely under the seats in front of us, seated, offered our complimentary beverages, and out of the gate on time. We had an uneventful flight (the best kind), landed in Orlando and exited the plane precisely on time.

Orlando International airport is such a departure for us. After living in Philadelphia for so long, one gets the opinion that an airport should be dark, dank, foreboding and strictly utilitarian.



This is not the case in Orlando. Large skylights, wide open concourses, the teaser monorail, a great court of shops and real restaurants and a hotel that sits in the center of it all. It is truly a departure from the building that we boarded the plane at.



We arrived in baggage claim and met up with our driver who was patiently waiting for us with a sign that had our last name on it (first class all the way on this trip baby). We didn’t have to wait too long before our bags came rolling out on the conveyor belt, intact, and within the first 10 or so bags off of the plane. We were ushered to the town car, and whisked away to paradise.

We happened to notice, somewhere between getting off of the plane and getting into the car, that the weather was not at all stiflingly hot like it usually is. This would play out throughout the day and into the evening. Low humidity, a cool breeze – in a word, perfect. One cannot even wish for a day like this, because it would seem too absurd and impossible.

The ride to the Polynesian is all in the same a nerve-wracking and fabulous experience. It seems to take forever, slowly cruising past teaser signs, Sea World, International Drive, motels, office and warehouse parks, and finally traveling through the magical gate that leads to the purple and red road signs of another world. Soon, you catch a glimpse of Epcot, see your first monorail (the “Tronorail” in our case) and your first Disney branded bus.


(Not taken the first time we saw it.)

Finally you travel through the Magic Kingdom parking gate and over to the Polynesian where, immediately upon getting out of the car, you are greeted by an “Aloha!” and you know you have returned home.



We gave the greeter our name, he returned with a “Happy Anniversary”, and the news that room 1512 (details in post 2) was ready and waiting for us, at 10:45 AM. Right now. There’s no waiting for you my friends. Hop on the cart and we’ll take you there… take your time, settle in, check in whenever you feel like it, you’re staying Club Level, Aloha!



We wasted no time settling in, quickly throwing our bags into the room. We tipped the bell man, and ran to get our Keys to the World. We were worried that we weren’t going to make the end of breakfast at the Kona Café, we had to actually rush a little. Our fears were unfounded. We arrived at the Kona at about 11:10 or so, were told there was a short wait, were seated within 5 minutes and presented with breakfast menus!

We had arrived. There’s nothing like sitting down and finally having a chance to take it all in. You’re at the Polynesian, having brunch, you’ve made it, and everything is really going to be ok!



After an amazing brunch, consisting of Tonga Toast, a Big Kahuna, mimosas, glasses of Lilikoi Juice and “Happy Anniversary” complimentary cupcakes, we finally headed back to the room to settle in.







After getting freaked out by all of the disboard posts on the subject, Mrs. B did a check for bedbugs and was pleased to find no evidence of them. We unpacked and decided to take it easy for the day. We slowly got changed and headed over to the pool for a swim and a drink (a Captain’s Mai Tai for me, a Banana Cabana for Mrs. B.).



We spent some more time absorbing it all. We relaxed in the pool and just soaked in all the sights. We had a long talk about the whole week that was laid out before us, and reveled in the fact that for the next 6 days, we had nowhere to be and had no schedule to follow (except for our ADR’s, and let’s be honest, that is definitely a schedule worth following!).

After growing tired of the pool and the Hannah Cyrus/Miley Montana music and the Disney trivia, and oh...yeah… actually physically tired, we retired to the room to shower and nap and prepare for dinner at Narcoossee’s. After our brief respite, we headed over to the GCH for our first (short) monorail ride to the Grand Floridian.



There is a totally different vibe at the GF. Although the main lobby area is cavernous, it is much more subdued than the bustling, waterfall-centric Poly. While you can possibly see Polynesian dancers in the GCH (which we did see, shortly before being called in to brunch), you hear a quiet piano playing at GF. We took our time exploring the shops and the grounds and finally wound our way over to the restaurant.



We were greeted and seated almost immediately, presented with personalized menus that wished us a happy anniversary and our server asked us if we’d like a complimentary champagne toast, which we of course accepted.



I started off with the Shrimp and Crab bisque and a Godiva Chocolate Martini.



Mrs. B. had the mussels.



For my entrée I had the Crab Crusted Halibut and the Potato Gratin, which were nothing short of heavenly.



Mrs. B. had lobster and seafood paella, with the wine pairing.



For dessert I had the Almond Crusted Cheesecake and she the Cheese Plate.





This was an amazing meal, from the second we sat down until the second I waddled out of the restaurant and contemplated renting a wheel chair so Mrs. B. could roll me back to the Polynesian.

We walked over to the boat dock and enjoyed some time waiting for the boat, taking photos and absolutely marveling over the evening’s cool air and soft breeze. The boat ride back to the Polynesian was possibly the most enjoyable trip I’ve ever taken across Seven Seas Lagoon. We arrived back at the Polynesian and wandered the grounds to take photographs and enjoy the cool evening air. We made our way up to the lounge and got ourselves a couple of drinks (a Longboard Lager and Ku’ulei Punch for me, and Punch for Mrs. B). We rested on the beach and enjoyed our drinks then returned to our patio to watch the EWP and Hallowishes.







The view was spectacular, the night was amazing. It truly was the perfect end to the perfect day. We retired to bed, exhausted, and quickly fell asleep to rest up for day two…



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MrsB's 2012 Dining Report

When we get to heaven, We'll hear "ALOHA!" 2010 Trip Report


1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990 & 1993: Family trips to the Polynesian,
2001 - All Star Music, 2006 - Polynesian, 2008 - Honeymoon at the Polynesian, 2009 - Anniversary at the Polynesian, 2010 - Another Anniversary at the Polynesian, 2012 - Yet ANOTHER Anniversary at the Polynesian and a Christmas trip to the Polynesian!!!

Last edited by guitarob; 10-18-2010 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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More Photos from Day 1

Here are a few more photographs from day one.

Arrival:




Our View:

Left:


Center:


Center with zoom:


Right:


One of the our official greeters and friends for the week:


More shots from the patio:




The view from bed with the Contemporary in the door, and the Grand Floridian in the mirror:


The volcano pool:


A flower by the pool:


The Kona Cafe:


A few more shots at the Grand Floridian:








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MrsB's 2012 Dining Report

When we get to heaven, We'll hear "ALOHA!" 2010 Trip Report


1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990 & 1993: Family trips to the Polynesian,
2001 - All Star Music, 2006 - Polynesian, 2008 - Honeymoon at the Polynesian, 2009 - Anniversary at the Polynesian, 2010 - Another Anniversary at the Polynesian, 2012 - Yet ANOTHER Anniversary at the Polynesian and a Christmas trip to the Polynesian!!!
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:43 AM   #3
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awesome . I have exactly the same feelings when I'm driving from MCO to WDW. Beautiful pictures as well
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:20 AM   #4
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I am so excited! So far I am hooked. Your pictures are incredible!

I can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:56 AM   #5
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HEY!!!

I totally saw you guys multiple times!!!! How did I not recognize you???

Great start to the trip report!! I think we just missed you at Kona on Saturday because we had a lunch ADR at 12:30.

I completely felt the same excitement when we drove in Thursday night and then again on Friday, heading into the World.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:58 AM   #6
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Jumping in!

We stayed at the Poly back in June and your report is already bringing back wonderful memories! The food pics have me drooling. Looking forward to more pics.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:04 AM   #7
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Absolutely beautiful. Your pictures are amazing. I am really hoping to stay at the Poly next summer.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:56 AM   #8
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Awesome Guitarob....love ther pics and wit
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:57 AM   #9
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Woo-hoo!!! I have been so excited waiting for you to return and start this report! Your photos are tremendous and I can't wait to see and read more!!!



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Old 09-28-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissLiz View Post
HEY!!!

I totally saw you guys multiple times!!!! How did I not recognize you???

Great start to the trip report!! I think we just missed you at Kona on Saturday because we had a lunch ADR at 12:30.

I completely felt the same excitement when we drove in Thursday night and then again on Friday, heading into the World.

Can't wait to read more!
Are you serious? Darn!!! Every time someone looked at me for more than, like, a second I thought it might be a DISer! Yes, we must have just missed each other on that first day.

I fully intend to start a food report soon as well! Because...the food needs to be described. It really does.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:04 AM   #11
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I'm here too!

Can't wait to read more and see more pics. This December will be my first visit to the Poly and my parents first time staying on property at Disney.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:06 AM   #12
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Thanks for taking the time to post a TR! Your pictures are great!

I might have to hold off reading, I might just end up changing all of my ADRs after your reviews LOL I just booked Narcoosee for dinner
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNewMrsB View Post
Are you serious? Darn!!! Every time someone looked at me for more than, like, a second I thought it might be a DISer! Yes, we must have just missed each other on that first day.

I fully intend to start a food report soon as well! Because...the food needs to be described. It really does.

I'm pretty sure I saw you guys at the pool once (we only went one time) and at the lounge a couple times! I can't believe I didn't realize it until now!

I'm sure you probably noticed us in the lounge. My MIL was probably the only one at breakfast asking for beer. We were the big group with the unruly toddler. Seriously, my little one didn't want to sit anytime we were in the lounge. I was so embarrassed most of the time.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:10 AM   #14
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I'm in, great pictures!!!
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:29 AM   #15
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Fantastic photos! I'm loving the report and looking forward to more.
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