Aug 15, 2010




Enjoying the good life!


Even though we had had a late night we were both up by 6.30. It takes a while for our bodies to adjust to the 6 hour time difference. So after getting ready we headed over to Olivia’s Café for breakfast. They were virtually empty and so we were seated immediately even though we were early for our reservation.

When I first changed my reservation from Pop to Old Key West I had promised myself to start this vacation off in style. So, after we had ordered our beverages, coffee for Tom and hot tea for myself I fulfilled my promise to myself by ordering Strawberries and Cream as my breakfast starter. The strawberries were brought out shortly after our beverages and were hidden under some soft brown sugar and a huge dome of whipped cream. Tom and I shared them and they were divine! Tom ordered the Breakfast Cuban - Scrambled Eggs, Sliced Pork Loin, Ham, Swiss, and Tomato on a Grilled Cuban Roll served with Breakfast Potatoes and I ordered the Shrimp and Conch Eggs Benedict - Poached Eggs with Shrimp and Conch Cakes on a crispy English Muffin topped with Key West Hollandaise. We shared both and both were so good. We really enjoyed our breakfast. Once we had finished our meal we got into our car and did some grocery shopping.

Our favourite store is the Xentury City Publix, where we can spend hours just walking the aisles. We took our time picking up different items and enjoying the variety. By 11 we were done shopping and since there were no perishable food items we had bought, we decided to spend some time enjoying the Beach and Yacht Club and drove there. Since we have stayed at the Yacht Club in 2006 we love coming back and enjoying the atmosphere.

So we checked out their stores and grounds before we made our way over to Epcot. By 1pm we had made it to Italy and walked up to the reception to ask if they would have room for the two of us. Yes, they did and after waiting for about 3 minutes we were led to our table. The restaurant leaves a very relaxed impression, even though you would not find anything like it in the “real” Italy.

Once we had taken in the restaurant our server arrived, asking if we were on the Disney Dining Plan and explained what our entitlements were. We told him that we would use our Tables in Wonderland card for any extras and he started explaining the menu and then headed off to get our drinks. We both had ordered some Diet Coke and some Aqua Fresca, Tom had the Blood Orange Aqua Fresca and I had the Strawberry Aqua Fresca.

Both were very good, cold and with a strong taste of strawberries and orange.

We had seen photos of the Arancini - (fried saffron risotto balls) with mozzarella and meat ragu and wanted to try them.So we shared an order as our starter. There were 4 risotto balls and they were wonderful. The tomato sauce they came with was tasting very fresh and light. We both loved our starter, which was crisp on the outside, then there was the creamy risotto, the gooey Mozzarella filling and the well seasoned ragout. It was so good.

We were sure that we could not hit a Pizzeria without sampling the pizza. So Tom chose the most intriguing pizza on the menu. The Prosciutto E Melone Pizza - fontina, mozzarella, pecorino, prosciutto, canteloupe melon. We were wondering if they would bake the melon with the pizza, but no, the melon was put on top after the baking process and so was the prosciutto! It was a wonderful combination. I on the other hand love artichokes and went for the Carciofi Pizza - artichoke, pecorino, mozzarella and truffle oil. It was so good, lots of gooey cheese and nice tender artichokes. Both pizzas were huge. The only downside to the pizzas was that they were served on metal plates that allowed the pizza to go cold very fast. Tom finished his pizza and I tried hard with mine, but did not succeed, but that did not stop us from ordering dessert. Tom was really stuffed, so he went for a dessert that he thought was “lighter” than the others.

He had the Coppa Di Brutti Ma Buoni - Amarena cherry and vanilla gelato sundae with cookies. It was huge and tasted like “holiday in Italy” all the way back when we were kids. I had decided on trying the Zeppole di Catarina - ricotta cheese fritters with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. The ricotta fritters were hot and crisp on the outside and the dark chocolate sauce was to die for – but the fritters dipped in the sauce, together with the whipped cream were divine!  We used our first dining plan credits to settle the bill and left Via Napoli stuffed and happy. The time change seemed to catch up with us, so we wanted to go back to our OKW villa. We walked towards Germany, explored their goods and funny hats and watched the figurines outside the building chasing each other.

Then we slowly walked past China and onto Maelstroem in Norway,  and over to Mexico and then the International Gateway. We enjoyed the stroll to the Yacht Club and were on our way to Old Key West. Once we had parked the car, we tried to pick up as many of our shopping bags as possible and walked up the stairs to our villa. Once he had gotten to the kitchen he called out, “We got a surprise”.

And there on the counter were two sets of Mickey ears, complete with rice-crispy treat and bows from our friends Stefy and Dave from England. After taking pictures of our new ears, we tried them on and had fun. We were both a bit tired though, so after putting away our groceries we relaxed on the couches and watched a little TV. It was going to be a long night, so we needed some rest.

By 6.30 we arrived at the Contemporary Resort for our dinner reservation at The Wave. Since we had had a late lunch AND had sampled some of the snacks we had bought, we both were not very hungry and therefore decided against ordering a starter. After we had ordered our main courses, they brought out some warm crusty Bread and Butter, sprinkled with sea salt. We both tried a bit, but we didn’t want to fill up on it too much. Tom had ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin - port wine jus, potato and onion gratin and summer ratatouille. It did not fail to impress, very tender meat, tasty gratin that went well with the sauce and ratatouille. Tom loved it. I went with the Apple Brined Pork Tenderloin - with Bourbon Sweet Mashed potatoes, warm spinach-bacon salad and Sassafras Jus, hoping that it would be a smaller portion, but it wasn’t. The pork was soft and tender and the infused sweet potatoes were so good, but I loved the fact that it came with a salad that was to die for.

We both did our best to clean our plates. I don’t need a dessert menu when it comes to The Wave, the Creamy Indulgence - Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis, Coconut Panna Cotta with Passion Fruit Drizzle, Chocolate-Passion Fruit Mousse with Pecan-Olive Brittle is what I get. And it was as good as I remembered. Tom gave the Freshly Crafted Sorbets - Lemon-basil, Pineapple and Strawberry a try and was impressed too. They all had very good taste and finished off the meal well. We again used our Free Disney Dining Plan credits and then headed over to the Magic Kingdom to view the parade we had so hoped to see, the Main Street Electrical Parade. The park was still packed with people, so we got on the only ride you always can get on, the Peoplemover. After finishing our round through Tomorrowland we decided it was time to stake out a spot to view the parade.

Main Street was packed, so we walked over to Liberty Square and found a spot right at the rope, where we stood and waited for the parade to begin. It took us a while to realize it came from Main Street and we needed to be patient. But then, there it was, the music started and the lights were dimmed and finally the first floats made their way over to where we were standing.

The Main Street Electrical Parade had been the first ever evening parade we had seen during our first visit to Disneyland and it was so much fun to see it again. A lot of photos later we decided that it already was time to head over to Main Street to watch Wishes. That is one fireworks show I won’t get tired of. We were a little early, so we strolled through the stores to pass the time.

We finally made our way onto Main Street about 2 minutes before the fireworks started.And another lot of photos later they had closed the park and Extra Magic Hours had begun. We decided on another ride on the Peoplemover, as the park was still packed, then headed over to the Liberty Street Bridge to watch the parade one more time.
After the second parade we walked to Cosmic Rays and Tom got a Frozen Cappuccino, while I got a Diet Coke and we sat and chilled for a while. The lines were fairly long for most of the rides and we were already getting tired, well, by that time it was way past midnight, so we walked towards Adventureland, saw that the line for Pirates was reasonable and walked right in and onto the ride. But after the ride we were beat and decided to leave the park an hour early to finally catch up on some much needed sleep.