Sept 4, 2010




A happy reunion!


Today was another exciting day, the day Mary Ellen and Joe were to arrive and we would all spend the rest of our vacation together. Since we were only to meet after lunch we slept in quite a bit, had some snackish breakfast out of our well stuffed fridge, washed a load of laundry and by 11am finally left the villa to drive to the Polynesian resort for our lunch reservation. We signed in at the Kona Café right on time, were handed the infamous buzzer and off we went on a little walk over to the gift shop. After a little browsing we headed back to the restaurant and right when we got to the entrance our buzzer went off. We were led to a table near the front of the restaurant, got our menus and a few minutes later our server was at our table to introduce herself.

We both ordered Diet Cokes and were discussing what to order as we both weren’t really hungry and knew that we would meet Mary Ellen and Joe at Beaches and Cream for ice-cream in the afternoon. Tom ordered the Kona Salad - Mixed Greens, Blue Cheese, fresh Fruit, Red Onions, and Smoked Almonds with Citrus Vinaigrette as his starter.We were stunned as it was quite a huge helping but at least it was a light starter. I ordered the Lump Crab Cakes - with Asian Tartar Sauce and Pineapple Relish. These were really very good, we both liked the tartar sauce and the relish was very refreshing. Our main courses were the Beef Teriyaki Salad - mixed greens, vegetables tossed with Asian vinaigrette and grilled beef in a taco shell for me, which I ordered I ate and ate and ate and barely made a dent in it! My only complaint - the vinaigrette could have been a bit more spicy! It was very light and there could have been a bit more of it. Tom went for the Kona Club Sandwich - served with Asian Vegetable Slaw. This was huge!! There was loads of lunch meat in the sandwich and they were really tasty - just too much to finish. We were both stuffed, but since dessert was included we wanted to at least try some. I chose the Chocolate Fondue, which came with fruit and cookies and was very good. What's not to like about fruit and  chocolate? Tom had a hard time deciding and ended up ordering the Kona Kone, which was such a nice treat. A fresh waffle cone, Vanilla and Chocolate ice-cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, M&Ms and some cotton candy. Unfortunately he was really full and I ended up having most of it. Once we were finished with our meal we paid with our Dining Credits and left the restaurant.

There was just a little time left until we were to meet Mary Ellen and Joe, so we walked back to the car and before we wanted to go and meet them at the Beach Club, we went to Hess, to fill up the car and have our car washed. There was quite a row of cars before it was our turn, but once we had gone through we had just very little time until our meeting. So we drove over to the Beach Club, parked the car quite close to the entrance and off we went.

We walked around Cape May Café, and usually we are able to “creep” up on them and take fun photos of them, but this time they surprised us. They were already waiting and once we had made our way over to them and were done hugging and kissing we headed towards Beaches and Cream. This has been a tradition for us ever since the first time we met.

They told us that it would be a 30 minute wait and so we went off to explore the resort grounds. About 20 minutes after we had received our buzzer it went off and we were seated in a booth. Usually we go for a Kitchen Sink but Tom and I were stuffed from lunch and Mary Ellen and Joe had just had a snack. So we settled for something different. Joe had his favourite - a Hot Fudge Sundae! He really loves them and kind of "inhales" them. I think he finished first even though we all got our treats at the same time. Mary Ellen and I had sweet little treats - Mickey Mouse Sundaes!! Mary Ellen had Vanilla and I had my favourite - Mint Chocolate Chip. They were nearly too cute to eat! Well, we DID eat them in the end. Tom just had a Diet Coke! He could not take any more sweets right there and then! When we had finished our sweet treats Mary Ellen and Joe decided to walk to the parking lot with us to take a look at our rental car.

Now we were pretty happy that we had driven it through the car wash. They were both pretty impressed with our Camaro and we jokingly said that if they could squeeze into the back we would drive them over to the Wilderness Lodge to find out if their room was ready. Low and behold they WERE able to squeeze into the back of the car. So we all got in and off we went to the Wilderness Lodge. When we arrived their room was ready and we all went in search of it and finally got lucky. They had wanted a room in the bearface and had been granted their wish. They called down for their luggage and we all checked out the room. After a while they noticed the gift bag that had been put into their room and they were eager to see who had sent them a few treats. Well, they were surprised to find out that it was us! Joe emptied the bag and had a look at the goodies, before he tried the first one right away. And while we were having fun their luggage arrived.

After they had unpacked what they immediately needed they decided to take a shower and change and Tom and I went downstairs to check out the lobby and gift shop. 20 minutes later, they both came downstairs and we headed back to the car and drove over to our villa at Old Key West. The boys had some coffee and Mary Ellen and I had some drinks too and we all caught up on old times.

Mary Ellen and Joe got the presents we had brought for her birthday and we just had a good time. Time just flew by and we had to leave again to drive to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Jiko. Once we had arrived we walked through the lobby, took in all the decorations and finally headed downstairs. We signed in and were handed a buzzer. They told us, it would be a few minutes, but we had barely sat down when our buzzer went off and we were led to our table at the back of the restaurant. Our server was quick at hand to introduce herself, give a few recommendations and take our drinks orders.

She quickly returned with our drinks and in the meantime we had decided that since Tom and I were on the Deluxe Dining Plan we were entitled to a starter and we were all going to share those. So we ordered two flatbreads. One of them was the Grilled Flank Steak Flatbread - with Manchego cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and berbere sour cream, which was very tasty. The other one we ordered was the Barbecue Chicken Flatbread - with Apple-Jicama slaw, African barbecue sauce, and four cheeses.

We all enjoyed them very much and once we were done our server brought us a basket full of African Style Bread and some Spiced Butter. All of us kept on nibbling until our main courses arrived. I had ordered the Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon - with mac and cheese and red wine sauce, which was very different from what we are used to, but very good. Tom had decided on ordering the Seared Barbarie Duck Breast, with Polenta and red wine and plum sauce. I didn't even notice it, but lateron Tom told me that the server had come to him and told him that they were out of duck and would he mind pork loin. No, he didn’t mind and it was really wonderful. Once we had finished our main course, our server was at hand to recommend desserts and drinks. Tom wanted some coffee and the server brought him a Press Pot of coffee, because we would have been entitled to some bottled water and since we had not ordered it, she gave him the coffee as a Disney Dining Plan item. My tea was included as well!

I love a good cup of Earl Grey after dinner and this flowery Earl Grey with corn flowers was really really good. For dessert I decided on Chocolate overload! Tanzanian Chocolate, Cherry and chocolate - Chocolate cremeux with chocolate crunch, chocolate-cherry mascarpone and cocoa nibs. Mary Ellen ordered the Cheesecake and Blueberries - creamy cheesecake with lemon curd, blueberry coulis, blueberry compote and sesame "bee sting", which she enjoyed very much. And Tom had the South African Spice Cake, layered Spice Cake with Pistachio Frangipan, Amarule White Chocolate-Mousse and Caramel. Joe traded his dessert for a cup of coffee. Once we had settled the bill we all rolled back to our car, squeezed in and then we dropped Mary Ellen and Joe off at the Wilderness Lodge before we headed back to our Old Key West retreat. We sat down and watched TV for a while, discussing the days events and sipping an adult beverage before it was time for us to go to bed.