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Old 07-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
JessicaKnits
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Arrow 2 Trips 4 The Price of 1 PTR...WDW AND DL in 2014!! *3/6 TR Started!*

Its true. Seriously. After reading this PTR, you won't ever be able to accuse us of not being the most determined Disney vacationers out there.

Ok, maybe not THE MOST determined. I mean, there weren't any epic hurricanes, blizzards, or End of the World theories involved, but this PTR is fresh folks, give it time...

Before this report progresses much further, I would like to introduce you to our first "W", the "We."



My name is Jessica, I am 25 and work in sales. I'm a Wisconsin native, by way of North Carolina, that was transplanted to New York City. Follow all of that? Haha, well in short, I was born in North Carolina (Asheville area) and moved to Wisconsin with my parents when I was young. A little over a year and a half ago, I got to fulfill a lifelong dream, and move to New York City for work. It was always supposed to be on a short term basis, and I knew that eventually, I had to come back to Wisconsin. It didn't matter, I was hooked, and have been trying to work my way back to New York ever since. I likened leaving New York to a really bad break up. Its a year later, and I still miss New York. Every. Single. Day. If only fantastic and fabulous jobs and apartments just fell out of the sky....

Besides my newfound obsession with New York, I also adore Disney. I was a late bloomer when it comes to Disney. I mean, I watched the movies when I was a kid, but I didn't actually get to go to a park until after I graduated high school. After one horribly under planned trip to Disneyland, I was hooked!

This will be my THIRD trip to Disney World (you know what they say about the third time!) I am an obsessive compulsive planner. I LOVE writing trip reports and blogging, LOVE having Disney movie theme nights and really enjoy cooking. On my last trip I picked up a few Disney cook books, and besides regular theme nights, plan to try out a few Disney classics to get us excited for our trip.



My hostage....I mean traveling companion, on this adventure is Megan. Megan and I met many, many moons ago thru a mutual friend of ours and have pretty much been best friends ever since. She is a Disney Virgin! This will also be her second time EVER on an airplane! She, like me, is a very type A personality. She loves animals and FOOD. She and I also enjoy a good cocktail (sometimes two!) on a regular to very regular basis.

How did this PTR come to be you ask? Are you sure you want to know? Its a long story. Really. Long.

I shall try to condense for you.

This trip was originally planned for end of April/Early May 2013 as a "Thank You" to a great friend of mine who helped me through a hard year. I bet now she wishes she maybe hadn't signed up for Disney Week.

Trip 1 had to be postponed because I received a promotion at work, and would be training for my new position during our originally scheduled trip.

We rescheduled our trip for late September/Early October. I was THRILLED because I had always been dying to go to the Food & Wine Festival, but due to work restrictions in September and October, was never able to go. With my new promotion, that opened up the possibility of going in late September. We were seriously so excited to have to change!

And...then I got another promotion. I thankfully don't have to go through any more training this time, but I do have to move to Charlotte, NC for 5 months. I know, life is ROUGH! Work simply just doesn't want me to go to Disney. I have to leave for Charlotte on August 4th, which unbelievably is less than 1 month away already, and I will return just before Christmas. Once I am back I have about a month of work left to do for the project I have been assigned to, so that means we are free to go to Disney any time after January 31st!

The great thing about my new position (I can't believe I'm actually saying this) is that I have pretty much reached the top of the ladder for now, so work won't be interfering any further. Let's face it, going to Disney is clearly much more important than a successful career. Please don't tell my parents who generously put me through 4 years of college that I wrote that.

I hope I haven't bored you to tears getting through our introductions. I promise you that the fun is just beginning!

Let's play a little game to get to know each other, shall we? Even if you just planned on lurking here, come out and say hello!

Please share your name, where you're from, when your next Disney trip is, and what is one Disney attraction or show that you've always avoided going to.

Mine is Journey Into The Imagination with Figment. I don't know why, but I always have avoided that ride. Which is sad really, because it can't possibly be worse than Captain E.O. was!

Last edited by JessicaKnits; 03-06-2014 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
JessicaKnits
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Chapter Links

When/Where
Dining

Day Zero Plans (Posted 10/25)

Arrival Day Plans Pt. 1
Arrival Day Plans Pt. 2
Arrival Day Plans (Revised) (Posted 10/28)
Arrival Day Plans Pt. 3

A Date AND a Hotel Change! Oh My!

Day One Plans Pt. 1 (Posted 10/25)
Day One Plans Pt. 2 (Posted 10/27)

Day Two Plans Pt. 1 (Posted 11/3)
Day Two Plans Pt. 2 (Posted 11/6)

Day Three Plans Pt. 1 (Posted 11/17)
Day Three Plans Pt. 2 (Posted 11/23)

Day Four Plans Pt. 1 (Posted 12/1)
Day Four Plans Pt. 2 (Posted 12/11)

Day Five Plans Pt. 1 (Posted 12/12)
Day Five Plans Pt. 2 (Posted 1/19)

Day Six Plans (Posted 2/13)

Day Seven Plans (Posted 2/13)

Day Eight Plans (Posted 2/19) **New**

Day Nine Plans Pt. 1 (Posted 2/19) **New**
Day Nine Plans Pt. 2 (Posted 2/19) **New**

Day Ten Plans (Posted 2/20) **New**

Day Eleven Plans (Posted 2/20) **New**


Disney Swag (Posted on 10/28)
Little Mermaid Theme Night (Posted 11/10)
Disney Swag AND a Thanksgiving Surprise! (Posted 11/28)
My BEST Surprise Yet!!! (Posted 11/28)

Real Life: A Door County Field Trip!
Real Life: A Trip to Mt. Mitchell via the Blue Ridge Parkway
Real Life: A Trip to Mt. Mitchell via the Blue Ridge Parkway (Part Two)

Random Disney Musings By Jess: Episode One -- FastPass+

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Old 07-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #3
waltsgrl
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Joining along!! From your photo we would obviously be very good friends... Champagne and mouse ears!!!!!!

I'm Chris and I'm from right outside of Austin Texas y'all I am currently planning a trip to Disney World in September staying @ POR!! As far as rides go I avoid Stiches Great Escape. Because well, it's dumb. I am also scared of Dinosaur and the Tower of Terror. I know other people love them and I totally get that!! They are wonderfully themed thrilling rides. But I can be a real wimp sometimes!! A couple of trips ago I rode the entire Dinosaur ride with my eyes glued shut just because I wanted to feel how the ride vehicle maneuvered around, but I didn't want to see anything, hahahaha!! I have pictures to prove it!! I also love Tower or Terror if it weren't for those darn drops
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #4
JessicaKnits
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Originally Posted by waltsgrl View Post
Joining along!! From your photo we would obviously be very good friends... Champagne and mouse ears!!!!!!

I'm Chris and I'm from right outside of Austin Texas y'all I am currently planning a trip to Disney World in September staying @ POR!! As far as rides go I avoid Stiches Great Escape. Because well, it's dumb. I am also scared of Dinosaur and the Tower of Terror. I know other people love them and I totally get that!! They are wonderfully themed thrilling rides. But I can be a real wimp sometimes!! A couple of trips ago I rode the entire Dinosaur ride with my eyes glued shut just because I wanted to feel how the ride vehicle maneuvered around, but I didn't want to see anything, hahahaha!! I have pictures to prove it!! I also love Tower or Terror if it weren't for those darn drops
I stopped by your PTR yesterday! I will have to live vicariously through you in September since I have to wait until February! I agree, Stitch's is kind of...dumb. But every time I have been on it, it is packed!
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #5
klacey1
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Hi! I followed you over from my PTR! My name is Kylie and I'm from a suburb outside of NYC! I did the city thing for awhile (although just working, not living) and it definitely has its perks! (Definitely downsides, too, though.) My next trip is September 2013 (EEE! The beginning of the month, though, so unfortunately I'll miss the F&W Festival, which I've been fortunate to attend the past two years).

The attraction I've always avoided is Astro Orbiters. I don't get the appeal at all!
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
JessicaKnits
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Originally Posted by klacey1 View Post
Hi! I followed you over from my PTR! My name is Kylie and I'm from a suburb outside of NYC! I did the city thing for awhile (although just working, not living) and it definitely has its perks! (Definitely downsides, too, though.) My next trip is September 2013 (EEE! The beginning of the month, though, so unfortunately I'll miss the F&W Festival, which I've been fortunate to attend the past two years).

The attraction I've always avoided is Astro Orbiters. I don't get the appeal at all!
Thanks for stopping by!

I loved living in the city! But my company completely spoiled us with our living accommodations, and needless to say it would be quite an adjustment footing the bill on my own. I lived at 1 MIMA tower while I was there, which was on 42nd St between 9th & 10th. Such an amazing location!

When I was there last to look at apartments I saw a lot in Queens and Brooklyn that I loved, but its just such a daunting process. Once I am back from North Carolina and Disney I will have more time to devote to the moving process!

Now that you mention it, I think I have only been on Astro Orbiters once! If I were better with a camera I bet it would be a great place to get some amazing pictures!
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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When/Where

In yesterday's post we pretty much covered the Who (Megan and I) and the What (a Disney vacation.)

Today let's explore the When and the Where.

When: February 1st thru the 11th. In Charlotte, I know I will be working between 60 and 70 hours each week. Then when I get back it will be right in time for the holidays and all the craziness that goes along with them. Its a daunting prospect, so I decided to extend our vacation by a few days. I'm sure I will need it!

Where: This is completely up in the air right now! My first trip I stayed at Pop, and I had absolutely no regrets about doing so. The second trip, I stayed at Coronado, and had many regrets about doing so. For this trip, I completely had my heart set on a Little Mermaid room. Unfortunately, they seem to have been excluded from the last few discounts Disney has offered. I don't pay full price for any vacation. Ever. There must always be some form of discount involved. I don't want stay in a Little Mermaid room THAT badly! So, I am strongly considering going back to Pop. My second resort of choice, if they do offer a good discount for February, is to stay at Port Orleans Riverside in a royal room! If we do end up staying at Riverside though, we are definitely getting a rental car. I hate the moderate busses! Uh! So many choices!
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:05 PM   #8
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Hello! Joining in


My name is Chryssy! I live just outside of Boston. My next vacation is also in September the 9th through the 15th at POR and I always have and always will avoid Mission Space.....No thank you!!!!!
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We Have to book Be Our Guest when?!?-Sept PTR
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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Dining

So, I have always done the Deluxe Dining plan. And I love it. I just love not having to worry about how much I'm spending when I'm on vacation and being able to completely indulge myself. However, earlier this year I underwent a pretty major life change and converted to a pescetarian diet. So I eat fish and shellfish, but no land animals. This a huge change, because I used to be a major meat eater. Since I won't be indulging in anymore $50 steaks, the Deluxe plan is not as much of a value as it once was. We are still going to go for it though, given the reasons I have outline above.

Being pescetarian has definitely altered where I will choose to eat. No more Le Cellier for me, thank you! So far I have found that most places have at least one entrée that I would eat that is either vegetarian or pescetarian friendly. My only worry is Ohana, as Megan really wants to try it. I just don't think there is really anything I will eat there. I can't see myself making an entire meal out of the salad and noodles. While I loved the salad last time, I understand that they have since changed the dressing, so it won't be the same. And I enjoyed the shrimp last time, but I believe they are cooked on the same grill as the meats, so they would be a no go for me. Anyone have any experience with this?

Our 180 ADR window also happens to open up on August 5th. I am moving to Charlotte August 4th. Way to plan that one out genius! I can't wait to share more of our dining and park plans with everyone!
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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I'm joining in! That's pretty exciting that your job sent you to NYC for a while! I've been looking into moving OUT of NYC! If only we were in the same field we could just swap (even though clearly that's not how it works!)

It sucks that you had to postpone your trip so much but all those promotions at work are great!

Games are fun! So I'm Courtney from Staten Island, NY. Next Disney trip is in September! And hmmm the attractions I avoid are the Mad Tea Party because they make me crazy nauseous and Ellen's Energy Adventure (or Universe of Energy... hm not sure what it's called anymore ) but yeah, I'm sorry 45 minute was just too long!

You'll be in Disney for my birthday (Feb 5! ). I'll have to celebrate vicariously through your trip.

We're big fans of Pop buttt we've also never stayed anywhere else on property so... I also really wanted to stay in a LM room for our trip but decided not to because it was excluded from discounts so I totally get your decision. I can't wait to see what you ultimately decide!
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Trip Reports In Progress:

Ooo I'm really scaredd! A Sept 13 TR!
Excuse me, your child can NOT go on stage with Mickey: a January 2013 TR!

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Old 07-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #11
JessicaKnits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNEMOfan View Post
Hello! Joining in


My name is Chryssy! I live just outside of Boston. My next vacation is also in September the 9th through the 15th at POR and I always have and always will avoid Mission Space.....No thank you!!!!!
Hi Chryssy! Welcome! I too did not care for Mission Space, not even the green version. Perhaps it was the massive meal I ate, but either way, I did not care for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lvcourtneyy View Post
I'm joining in! That's pretty exciting that your job sent you to NYC for a while! I've been looking into moving OUT of NYC! If only we were in the same field we could just swap (even though clearly that's not how it works!)

It sucks that you had to postpone your trip so much but all those promotions at work are great!

Games are fun! So I'm Courtney from Staten Island, NY. Next Disney trip is in September! And hmmm the attractions I avoid are the Mad Tea Party because they make me crazy nauseous and Ellen's Energy Adventure (or Universe of Energy... hm not sure what it's called anymore ) but yeah, I'm sorry 45 minute was just too long!

You'll be in Disney for my birthday (Feb 5! ). I'll have to celebrate vicariously through your trip.

We're big fans of Pop buttt we've also never stayed anywhere else on property so... I also really wanted to stay in a LM room for our trip but decided not to because it was excluded from discounts so I totally get your decision. I can't wait to see what you ultimately decide!
Thanks for joining in Courtney! So, apparently everyone is going in September. Without me! No fair!

If the 45 minutes of Ellen's isn't enough to scare you away from it, the impending voice of doom, announcing that you WILL be held hostage on that ride for the FULL 45 minutes with NO possibility of escape, is probably enough to frighten away at least a few people.

I just don't get the decision to exclude it entirely from the discounts, I mean, there is plenty of availability at the resort still for September. Believe me, when we were planning for September, I stalked the website, repeatedly. I'm hoping that by the time we go, maybe some of the novelty of it being a "new" resort will have worn off. Hopefully....
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:00 AM   #12
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Arrival Day Plans -- Part 1

So, let's get started with the good stuff, shall we?

Living in Green Bay, we have a few options for airfare.

Option #1:
Fly out of Green Bay, which means flying to nowhere directly (Unless you count Chicago or Minneapolis, where you will fly directly to, before grabbing a connecting flight.)
Pros: Usually reasonable priced and we don't have to pay for parking as I live about 10 minutes away from the airport.
Cons: Flight times are usually awful, which really cuts into our arrival and departure day time!

Option #2:
Fly out of Milwaukee on Southwest.
Pros: Usually decent flight times, and who doesn't love Southwest?!
Cons: Flights for our dates have been available for awhile now, and so we aren't really saving any money. Two hour drive to and from the airport, and need to pay for parking for 11 days. A neutral point is that we can get a park n' fly rate equal to the cost of parking 11 days at the airport, so we can have the convenience of not getting up early in the morning, without having to pay for it.

Option #3:
Fly out of Chicago O'Hare
Pros: BEST flight times! Lowest cost for airfare!
Cons: Three hour drive to and from the airport, need to pay for parking for 11 days, usually have to spring for a hotel for the night before to avoid arrival day exhaustion!

So...we have not yet decided on airfare. Honestly, since I will be coming home a few times while I'm in Charlotte, I'm hoping that perhaps with United I have the opportunity to be bumped a few times in exchange for travel vouchers. This worked out very well when I was working in New York, and I actually paid for both our round trip tickets for our March 2012 trip using vouchers. So, we will give it some time and "wait and see."

The goal is to secure a flight that arrives before noon, in order to maximize our Disney time (even though we aren't actually going to a park our first day.) I just love to have that first day to bum around the resort, get to know the lay out, and relax and have a few drinks before the crazy starts!

Have I mentioned that I absolutely ADORE the Magical Express? Seriously! If they change the arrival video I will PROTEST! Nothing gets you more geared up for the adventures that await you than that video! I get weepy and teary eyed every time! Something about sitting in those seats, and watching that video makes me just go "Ahhhhh....after months of planning and hard work, its finally HERE!" That is my moment when everything starts to feel real.

So, without a doubt, even though we are renting a car, we are taking the Magical Express. It won't feel right to me if we don't. I also don't want to rob Megan of that experience since this is her first trip! At first I thought maybe I could play the welcome video on YouTube for Megan on my iphone while we are driving. Would you believe that there is NO YouTube video of the new Magical Express Video?!?! #Failures. So, that idea quickly went out the window.

We decided the best thing to do is to take the Magical Express to our resort, and then rent from the car care center. The car care center is located on Disney Property and they send a shuttle to your resort to pick you up. We can rent through either National or Alamo. I have Executive Elite status with National (thank you work trips!) which has some nice perks and I have a boat load of free days. Apparently you can only use three free days per rental with National, which I find exceptionally lame. I was tinkering with the idea of maybe setting up multiple rentals of 3 days each, and just changing out the paperwork every few days if they so require. I'm not really sure of the logistics and how this will work out. If I can't end up using all of my free days and am limited to three, then we will rent with Alamo. No free upgrade, and no "pick your car and go" but their rate is so much cheaper than National's! So much so that even with 3 free days, we would save about $100 by going with Alamo. Worth it to me!

(I realize now that this is an incredibly wordy, and very photo-lacking post. I promise, this gets better once we actually get to DISNEY!!)

So...back to the Magical Express. I have had the WORST luck with getting an actual Magical Express bus on the way to the hotel. My first trip I got a Cruise Line bus, and the 2nd trip we had a lame-o Mears bus. Lame is my new word of the week, in case you haven't noticed. On our way back to the airport last trip, not only did we have a Mears bus, but instead of playing the farewell video, the bus driver played Madagascar!! THAT'S NOT EVEN DISNEY!!! I was not impressed. So, my goal and hope for this trip is that I finally get my wish of taking an official, Magical Express bus to the hotel!

Speaking of hotel...

When last I posted we hadn't really decided where we were going to rest our heads. Here's a recap of our choices:

Art of Animation - Little Mermaid Room
Pros: Have never stayed here before, the theming is AMAZING and they have Landscape of Flavors, which sounds delicious! Little Mermaid is near and dear to our hearts, as it is the first Disney movie either of us remember watching!
Cons: Has been eliminated from the most recent discounts.

Pop Century - Standard Room
Pros: Fantastic deal, and would most likely be included in any discounts offered for our stay. It was my first Disney Resort, so would be like returning "home."
Cons: It isn't Art of Animation and isn't as "cutesy."

Port Orleans Riverside - Royal Room
Pros: ROYAL ROOM! Have always loved the theming and wanted to stay here.
Cons: Most expensive option, even with a discount.

So, which option did we decide on...?

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Well...you have to wait until the next update to find out! Until then, where do you think we chose to stay?
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:14 AM   #13
klacey1
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I am going to guess that you are going to stay at POR in a Royal Room! If we had decided to stick with POR, that's what I would want to!

Really, no ME video on YouTube?! But everything is on YouTube!
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:39 PM   #14
JessicaKnits
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Originally Posted by klacey1 View Post
I am going to guess that you are going to stay at POR in a Royal Room! If we had decided to stick with POR, that's what I would want to!

Really, no ME video on YouTube?! But everything is on YouTube!
I will post where we are staying tomorrow!

I couldn't believe they didn't have the ME video on YouTube!! There were a few videos I found that showed a few seconds, but it was the old video, not the new one, and it was only a few seconds. I wonder if it's a copyright issue?
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:08 PM   #15
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Real Life: A Door County Excursion

Yesterday I spent the day at my family's summer home in Door County Wisconsin to celebrate my grandma's birthday. If you look at Wisconsin like your left hand, Door County is your whole thumb. It is always a great little getaway to get up there, so I figured I would show you a little bit about my day.

The BEST thing about going to Door County is the drive up there. Door County is Wisconsin's wine country, so you get to stop for wine tasting, which is usually accompanied by cheese tasting, and olive oil tasting, and fudge tasting...and numerous other delicious things along the way.

We stopped at a few wineries along the way. I'm really not a wine expert. I like sweet white wines, ones that taste like juice. On occasion I will go with something that is a little more dry, but that's what I drink, regardless of whether it is paired correctly or not. I enjoy the wine tasting none the less.

We started off at the Door Peninsula Winery, which is awesome for 2 reasons: You don't have to tour the winery to sample the wines, and they also distill their own spirits (Vodka, Gin and Cherry Vodka among others.) In addition to wine and spirits, they also have a full selection of olive oils, vinegars and FUDGE!

I didn't buy any wine here as I had bought 2 bottles when I was up on the 4th of July.

Next, we stopped at Wood Orchard Market, where the cutest little guy was making some Cherry Strudel


If you're in the market for something cherry, Wood Orchard is THE place to go. They have fresh picked cherries, dried cherries, cherry salsa, those amazing cherry strudels, cherry doughnuts, cherry jam, pie...the list goes on and on and on. LOTS to sample here as well!

A few pictures from the drive...






We finally made it up to the house just in time to enjoy one of Door Counties oldest past times, the fish boil. There are several places that you can go to, but our family prefers Pelletier's.



So in that kettle they start off with baby red potatoes and sweet onions and then the fish of course. I was surprised to find out that the only seasoning used is salt. Lots and lots of salt.

As the fish boils, the oils are released from the fish and rise to the top of the water, forming a gray film. In order to removed the film, thus removing the excess oils, they "boil over" the kettle. This is done by putting two cups of fuel oil directly onto the fire.

"Throwing fuel onto the fire." Not just an expression anymore.






And here you can actually see the water boiling over...




And then dinner is served...




And look at all the yummy stuff that got to come home with me!


There's some Cherry Strudel, Caramel with sea salt, coffee toffee, new bottle of wine and some lemon olive oil! Yum yum!

Hope you enjoyed your field trip to Wisconsin!
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