We received text messages that our rooms were ready. We had 4419 and 4420. Our rooms had a large entryway, 2 queen beds, a couch, a chair, as well as a dining area. The bathrooms differed between our rooms. The sinks were just outside the bathroom in our room while the entire toilet and shower area was large and tiled. For views, we could see the resort itself, the Polynesian Resort, as well as the Magic Kingdom! Our rooms were right next door to the lounge and while this was convenient it definitely was noisy as well. There were loud guests in the lounge after 10 pm, there was staff entering a closet right outside our room, and the movies on the lawn was right outside our balconies.
In the end, these were great rooms and they were kept immaculately. The downside to staying at the Grand Floridian Resort was there weren't any special touches. We didn't really receive any towel animals, for our 20th anniversary we only received buttons (previous trips we were given pictures or cards), and other than the lounge staff everyone else seemed to just get their job done.
We sat at a table by the pool and Barry greeted us right away! Before we ordered Barry asked for Jose to come over to help me with my allergen ordering. We ordered cocktails, lobster sliders, and burgers. My lobster slider was chopped up lobster, mayo, and fennel on a gluten free dairy free bun. Accompanying my dish was house cooked chips. After eating we enjoyed the main pool as well as the kid's splash area. All of my pictures of these areas have my friends kids in them so I can't share them but it's a wonderful spot. The pool is large and warm, there are plenty of chairs, plenty of umbrellas, lifeguards nearby, towels, and the splash area is a blast for small kids!
On Friday morning, we had plans to go to Epcot for the day but that didn't happen. Our friend ended up with a stomach bug or food poisoning and didn't get much sleep as a result. We decided to let him hang in bed and we'd take the kids to the pool for the day.
The first step was to head to the concierge and cancel our dinner plans at the Boathouse and to make dinner plans locally at Narcoosee's. Once that was finished we swam in the main pool for a while. This was actually what we all needed. The sun was shining, the pool was warm, and there was a light breeze!
A little while later we packed up our stuff and headed to the splash pad area. Our friend was feeling a little better and so we all asked Barry for some menus. We basically ordered the same exact thing as the day before and it was just as good. I also appreciated Jose stopping by our table again to make sure I was enjoying my dairy free lunch. Very thoughtful!
When it was time for the kids to nap Greg and I headed to Disney Springs. We spent some time browsing for souvenirs for family members. I found the cutest Tinkerbell cup for my mom (a tradition I keep every time we go to Disney World).
Our main reason for visiting Disney Springs though was to shop at Sprinkles Cupcakes. A few days ago I ordered 6 of their special Game of Thrones cupcakes and 2 vegan red velvet cupcakes. We skipped the main line and went to the pickup counter and within a minute had our cupcakes in hand and headed back to the Grand Floridian Resort.
For dinner, we crossed the resort to Narcoosee's. When we checked in for our reservation we ended up having a short wait due to our need to use the stroller and have a faster paced meal. Once seated at our table our server came over with waters and took our drink order. My starter of poached and chilled shrimp was good but definitely not as good as the dish I had at Jiko. Two of us ordered the scallops for our entree and both of us agreed that they could have used a little more cook on them. We all agreed nothing was bad at Narcoosee's but we wouldn't return.
The next post will be about our drive and overnight stay in Hilton Head NC.
We left Florida and decided to head to Kentucky and venture on the Bourbon Trail (our preferred adult beverage). It was time to relax and take some smaller roads and enjoy the scenery! Greg has been missing his youth and so we just had to venture off the beaten path to the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton GA so that he could purchase a Song of the South DVD. We met a very friendly woman who was managing the museum that day. After a small donation we wandered through the small but interesting museum of artifacts, depictions, artwork, and more. Finally we purchased our dvd said our goodbyes and headed on to Tennessee for the night
We started our road trip with intentions of visiting friends in Orlando,popping into Disney and then heading the the beach on Isle of Palms SC. Unfortunately the weather was definitely uncooperative. So we decided to go with the flow and change up our plans.
We did start on in Orlando with a stop in Brunswick GA (our Hampton Inn review can be found here). We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando (for a full Hotel review visit here). Our friend Diana joined us at the hotel for a few days so that we can have fun and not have to drive to far. We visited the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Downtown Disney, Willow Tree Cafe for German food, and just enjoyed catching up with each other
After a long twisty drive we arrived at the Hampton Inn Cookeville TN. Where we discovered we changed time zones (yes it took us a while to figure it out but I blame exhaustion) :-). For the full hotel review you can visit here.
The next morning we were on our way to Louisville KY!
Our first stop was at Limestone Branch Distillery. We just had to bring home several bottles of their T.J. Pottinger Sugar Shine as well as some of their Moonpie Moonshine! So yummy!
Our 2nd stop is to a very underrated Bourbon Distillery! Bulleit distillery offers a terrific everyday Bourbon, and outstanding Rye Whiskey, and the utterly amazing Orphan Barrel line of 15 year + aged Bourbons! Greg and I were both impressed by Bulleit's new location, tour, and bourbons!
Towards the end of the day we headed into Louisville and checked in at our hotel for the evening. The Seelbach Hilton is a historic hotel and most recently seen in The Great Gatsby. Unfortunately we didn't have the best experience. For our full review you can visit here.
When it came to dinner we decided to go casual and find somewhere that also offered a nice list of Bourbons. We decided to try Doc Crow's for some BBQ. For the full review visit here.
In part 2 you'll read about Four Roses Distillery, Woodford Reserve Distillery, Hilton Lexington/Downtown, and Blue Door Smokehouse.
When planning our vacations I love to do some research, okay a lot of research. Greg likes to be surprised and while I like surprises I find excitement in learning what will be there.
Here are some of my favorite sites for Disney information:
Park info, hours, transportation, and news
Walt Disney World:
OLP Disney Transportation Wizard: http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/aspx/twiz.aspx
Disney Parks Blog:
Restaurants, menus, dining plans, and snacks:Disney Food Blog:
Dining Plan: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2769703
We received two gifts from loving family members while we were on vacation. The first was from my sister. She arranged with the Yacht Club Resort to have a bottle of Spanish Cava and two champagne flutes delivered to our room on our anniversary.
The second gift was from Greg's parents. The arranged with Disney Floral and Gifts http://www.disneyflorist.com/ to deliver a large pirate themed basket. The basket included beers from around the world, tortilla chips and salsa, pretzels and mustard dip, a Mickey beer opener, collapsible cooler, and lots of doubloons.
So if you are looking to surprise a loved one definitely contact Disney for a wow factor!
Greg and I just returned from Walt Disney World. We booked this trip as a celebration of our 13th Anniversary. I will be adding new hotel, restaurant, and park reviews this week but thought you'd like the highlights now.
Disney's Yacht Club Resort - Beautiful resort, lovely grounds, and wonderful staff. We originally booked a Concierge Level Garden Room with a King Bed. We did not get a King Bed but they did upgrade us to a Lagoon View with 2 Queen Beds and a Daybed. The room was terrific and a fun view!
Disney Restaurants we ended up trying 10 restaurants/bars in the "world." Most of them were wonderful although, we ended up having some small problems with 2 of them.
Jetblue airlines - Our flight down to Orlando was great. We purchased Even More Legroom seats so this entitled us to a faster security line and the ability to board first. Our flight home was more difficult. We were delayed, were not pre-boarded, lots of turbulence, and a malfunctioning tv system. I contacted Jetblue about our experience and they did apologize as well as offered us a future credit. So I can't complain too much.