I've been gone for over a week.... we went on that fabulous vacation I told you about recently!
We flew out on Friday afternoon, May 27th--thanks to Airtran Airlines who changed our flight from crack-of-dawn-with-a-45-minute-connection-Saturday Morning flight for NO CHARGES. Whoohoo.
We got into Orlando about 9p.m. and just stayed right there inside the airport at the Hyatt. Chik-Fil-A for dinner. Comfy room. Small beds.
Saturday morning we got up, snagged a quick breakfast and headed to the Magical Express to ride to our pre-cruise hotel of Disney's Old Key West. It is another DVC (Disney Vacation Club) property and we thought it'd be fun to try some new ones. Plus we were not planning on going to any of the theme parks...and if the girls could SEE Magic Kingdom (which they could from our home-away-from-home Bay Lake Tower), they might get really ticked off. Nothing but pretty resort to see at Old Key West.
We got checked in around 10a.m. but of course the room was not ready yet. (Official check in time was 4p.m. but we were sure hoping our room would be ready early). Met one of my dear message board friends, Chuck, and his partner Mark while we were checking in. They were staying there too. Fabulous guys. You'll see mention of them a few more times in this trip, but I sure wish I could have hung out with them a little more!
I had read online about bike rentals at OKW and saw they had a four person surrey-bike. We decided to rent bikes and check out the (very large, spread out property). I talked the guy into buy one half hour, get a half hour free. But after the first half hour, we were pretty much done and sweaty! The surrey bikes were totally hysterical. We had Hannah in a basket in front, Brooke on the backseat, and Matt and I pedalling from the front seat. There were two steering wheels in front, but about 10 minutes into it I realized that mine was just the dummy steering wheel. Funny how I kept cranking that thing though when I thought Matt was not going to make a turn. There was water on our canopy so we all got wet on occassion going around the sharper curves. It was a total hoot, and so much fun.
11:15a.m. and our room was still not ready (of course), so we changed into swimsuits that we had in the carry-on and hit the pool. We ate our lunch at the pool too, and were there until 2:30. Hannah just wouldn't quit. We enjoyed some pool games and a little dance party. I shook my booty "all the way to the floor" in my swimsuit, and thank Jesus that no one was video taping (that I know of).
I went to the lobby and begged for our room to be ready and while I was there, it finally cleared housekeeping and we were good to go! A very spacious, beachy themed villa. Loved it. Totally different from Bay Lake Tower, which I also love.
I want this lamp.
We were in the room about 10 minutes before I found Hannah literally passed out on the floor, she was so exhausted:
After Hannah woke up, we headed off to Downtown Disney to eat at Wolfgang Puck Express. We had purchased a one night, quick service dining plan, and WPE is the best bang for your buck on a quickservice meal. So worth it! I mean, where else do you get creme brulee at a "fast food" place? Yum.
The view from the Ferry over to DTD:
It was hot and crowded at DTD. We were supposed to meet up with some of my other message board friends at 6 to say hi. We stopped and said hi for a few minutes, and then went on our little way. Before we got really much of anything done, we were headed back to the hotel because we figured we would hit DTD again after the cruise. Whatever, off to the hotel we went.
The next morning, (Sunday if you are having trouble keeping track!), we got all our luggage ready for the bell guy to pick up for the ship, and relaxed in our villa until 11 (checkout time). I'd hoped to be on the Disney cruise bus by then, but no luck. Our bus pick up time was 1245p.m. Boo. We hung out in the community room of the resort... the girls colored and played air hockey, my mother in law and I played checkers. It was just a relaxing, fun place to hang out in the air conditioning. After that we grabbed a few snacks to eat in the Den/Lobby area of the hotel while we waited for our bus. I chatted with Chuck and Mark some more, and they sat with me on the bus too so that was nice.
We were all a little perturbed to be staying at a Disney resort, riding a Disney bus, to a Disney cruise, but yet we didn't get there till about 2:30. While this made us miss the crowds at the terminal which was nice, we just really thought it sucked to get on board that late! We didn't have time to hit one of the lunch buffets, who wants to eat that much when our dinner time was at 545?
There was a Meet and Greet of my message board friends scheduled at 3. This was the "official" one of the whole group. We threw our bags in the room and I wanted to stop by there to say hi and get our bracelets (to wear during the cruise so we could spot other message board folks), before we went up to Deck 11 to grab a bite to eat. Everyone was hungry, so we just breezed by there for about two minutes and then up to eat.
The first evening went by in a flash. Lifeboat drill (that we didn't have to wear life vests to anymore),
(Brooke found this fabulous gift basket waiting in our room for us. It was from Mickey and Friends, or so she thinks. Really mommy ordered it)
dinner at the new Animators Palette where we met our very wonderful wait staff. They had these huge screens where Crush from Nemo would swim around the room and interact with the tables nearby. It was pretty cool, but our table was not near one of them.
We took the girls to the kids area before our dessert came, and went to pick them up later. A few pictures before we got them:
When we picked them up, they were having a luau with Lilo, and were very excited. Hannah said she cried a little and missed me, but she really seemed to be doing fine!
We caught Princess Tiana on our way back to our room:
Got the kids to bed at a decent time. I wandered around the ship taking some pictures, and then came back to bed. Slept like a baby. Comfy beds. The pillow on our bed, love it.
Stay tuned, coming up next, our first day at Castaway Cay!!!