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Keane and PiC's December 2010 WDW Trip Report -- Days 6, 7 and 8

Index

Wilderness Lodge
A visit to Wilderness Lodge...
Cast:
Me (aka Keane), narrator and scribe of this report.
PiC (aka Partner In Crime), hanger on.
Old Key West Resort, Walt Disney World Florida
December 5 through December 14

All disclaimers still apply

Day 6: December 12th, Sunday. Wilderness Lodge, the Bears lose like curs (again), and another date with three hot chicks at Boma.

We have new neighbors. Really noisy, especially with that kid running around.

I consider briefly if I should go home. Not only is mom in the hospital, but she's the one supposed to be taking care of my cat. He should have enough food and water, but this is day two without having things like his litter box scooped. On the other hand, Chicago and especially North Indiana is supposed to get smacked with lake effect snow. If I'm going to be stuck someplace because of the snow, I'd rather be stuck at WDW than Indianapolis. Just sayin'.

We go to Olivia's and have to wait 20 minutes for a table. PiC had the fruit cup, I had the Cuban Breakfast Sandwich, which is excellent. The potatoes aren't as tasty as they were a couple of days ago. But I would order the Cuban again.

Waiting for a table
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We're going to go take a look at Wilderness Lodge. Just because. The weather turns from cold and sunny to just plain...crap. Cold, cloudy, windy, rainy. Ugh.

I notice some similarities between AKL and Wilderness lodge right from the start, the valet parking lot then the guest parking lots, to a large covered entrance to an amazingly grand atrium. Each hotel exits out the back to a grand view, I think better at AKL, but that's just me.

Registration is off to one side of the atrium, and the signature restaurant is off to the other, although Artist's Point is elevated and Boma is a couple floors down...

The Atrium at the WL seems more airy than that of AKL or the Grand Californian, probably because of the highly pitched roof that Yellowstone Lodge is known for. There's a hot spring in the atrium, but it's missing the sulphur smell, but otherwise a passable imitation. We do some stupid camera tricks, and head back to OKW.

I *will* stay here one trip. [And that trip was in May 2011]

Wilderness Lodge
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Rather than going to a park, we're going to get ready to go home, and see if I can't find the Bears on TV. It's crappy out anyway, and we'll try to get an early start tomorrow morning.

The Bears game is not going to be on TV. I try some streaming sites, and a couple of them want to trojan my machine. I end up streaming audio from wbbm-am who does the Bears radio broadcasts. 'Sides, I like the announcers, some of the TV crews are crap, so I'm usually listening to the radio while I watch the game anyway.

The Bears are playing the late afternoon game, and about 10 minutes into the game, it's painfully obvious how this is all going to turn out. But they're shoveling the yard markers, and all the East-West roads in Northern Indiana are *closed*. They say the Lake Effect snow will be in LaPorte county in Indiana by tomorrow, so I'm hopeful the roads will be clear.

As our final act at WDW, we have a late dinner at Boma with Jenny and Cathy. By the time we made reservations, the earliest we could get was 8:50. (I tried again later, and was offered 9pm. Then 9:20pm. It never got any better.)

I've been there twice for breakfast, but not for dinner. PiC is sure she's been there for dinner. Only if she's had an out-of-body experience, because I haven't been there for dinner. (I probably shouldn't note here that she ...uh... sometimes puts an attraction or two in the wrong park, but it might be relevant to the case...)

Jenny and I are texting each other to meet up. I've texted more this trip than I have in my entire life. Between Jenny and my ex-brother, it's like I'm learning how to type again. I find my brain has to work differently to cut keystrokes. 2day. 4get. u. r. c. Help me, help me...

We drive there (I'm not up to try to use Disney Transportation to get to another resort), and the guard doesn't care, she sees the blue card and waves us through. We're early, find a place to park and go inside to take some pictures.

Did I mention I love Animal Kingdom Lodge? I take some atrium pics with the new camera, then a quick walk though the Marketplace, and on our way to see if Jenny and Cathy have arrived, we're asked where Jiko is. "Take those elevators down to the first floor, and it's on your right." Okay, so I've stayed here a few times.

It's actually Jenny's (and Cathy's) first time staying here, and Jenny's kept it a surprise for Cathy. (The BYPT carried a record 10K pounds, and they were allowed to splurge for a couple of days.) PiC almost blows the surprise, but we're able to cover it up. (Of course, Cathy was also told they'd have to switch to the Days Inn on 192, but I digress.)

We're meeting in Victoria Falls, and none of the foo-foo sugary drinks appeal, so a bar scotch and soda fills the bill. Our buzzer goes off and we go downstairs to a surprisingly still full restaurant. Cathy is upstairs fiddling with the bar tab (using a TiW card), and we're put at a table near the windows in the back, so gentleman that I am (I hear laughter. Why do I hear laughter?), I wait until she comes downstairs to let her know where the table is.

AKL no longer has the hard apple cider that was preached here a couple of weeks ago. I am disappointed. Our waiter tells us they just didn't have any more, and continued to serve it until about a month ago, when their stock naturally depleted.

The food, on the other hand, was as excellent as everyone's described it. I especially relished in the pork, but I like pig. I tried to have a little of everything, but there's a lot of everything. And if I have the choice between say... a salad... and those deserts, the winner is not green. I think I was accused of not eating anything green on this trip. Well, there was that salad in Raglan Road, the tabouleh in Morocco, and the pickles in the Cuban Breakfast Sandwich...

One of the funniest things at dinner was the couple (or at least the woman that I could see from the corner of my eye) at the table next to us. Jenny would tell a story from the farm, and you could see she was sometimes aghast at Jenny's stories. Yet another citified human who doesn't know where food comes from.

It was fun. The company and food was excellent. When we rolled out of there were only two other tables occupied.

Animal Kingdom Lodge and Boma
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Day 7: December 13th, Monday. Going home.

I was up by 4 and out the door by 5:30am. That's 4:30am Central Time, for those of you keeping track.

It was an uneventful day, and I was tired, but I was up late.

One of my original plans was to have dinner with Lisa someplace along I-75 in Atlanta, but she's working, won't get out until 5pm, and I'm through Atlanta at noon.

The mountains through Tennessee have snow all over them and are weeping icicles. I hate it when that happens.

Weeping Icicles in Tennessee
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We finally stop in Glasgow, Kentucky. It's dark, I'm tired, and I want to stop short of Lexington in case I have to detour West around Northwest Indiana. It's probably better to detour from Indianapolis, but I'm not sure. I don't want to go back Southwest.

Ever hear of Glasgow? It's not really the city, but the exit. It's grown up to be something like a mini-Gatlinburg or mini-Wisconsin Dells. It's the center of the cave system in Kentucky, close to Mammoth Cave, Horse Cave, Crystal Onyx Cave, which, uncoincidentally is why the majority of the country's whiskey is distilled around here.

So there's a wax museum here, a 1800's town where they hold gunfights, a dinosaur world, yadda, yadda, yadda. But not now. It's off season and some of the restaurants close at lunch. One is only open for breakfast. The obligatory local BBQ joint closed at 2pm.

I'm in the Best Western and my room doesn't have the heater turned on. I wonder aloud if cold kills bed bugs. No bags touch the floor again. I know, I'm paranoid. But the room does have a widescreen TV...

We have dinner at a Pizza Hut (A sausage and onion with 1/2 mushroom thin crust, was very good), and it's cold, and the parking lot reflects the light prettily because of the ice that covers the asphalt. I am depressed.

The Pizza Hut even has HDTV's and the local news says it snowed 3 inches here, and all the schools and other governmental agencies are closed. Wimps.

Mileage 791
Moving time 11:07
Moving average 71mph
Stopped 29:15
Overall average 68mph
Total time 11:37

Last day: December 14, Tuesday. Arrive home, I get sick. I hate it when that happens.

I get enough sleep, but I'm tired today, too. That might not be good...

The Lake Effect Snow has moved about 40 miles East, so my way home should be clear. It is. I have to go through Downtown Chicago to get PiC home. I drop her off with no fanfare.

I make it home and in my garage by 11:15am. Close another book on WDW.

Mileage 386
Moving time 6:00
Moving average 64mph
Stopped 16:00
Overall average 61mph
Total time 6:15

It takes about 20 minutes to find out where my cat is hiding, and another 20 minutes before he's convinced he can come out. (BTW, he's back to his usual self. That is, a cat. Selfish, mis-behaving, demanding, unappreciative...)

Unpack the car, give mom a call, make sure she's okay (she isn't, but that's another story), turn on my computers and start transferring the image data.

Life goes on.

Afterword:

It was the best of trips, it was the worst of trips. It was the hope for warm, and it was the sorrow of cold. It was the need for escape, it was the proof you cannot. No apologies to Dickens, when you write crap like that, you're going to get parodied.

It was the best of trips. I mean, I was at WDW. What could be better, right?

It was great to see some old, some new faces that I type at all the time. Some time when PiC isn't there, I might actually get out to one of the other meets. But it's the BMaG where most show up and for a small time take over the International Gateway. I wonder if the CM's ever alert security about the large number of graying ne'er-do-wells hanging around.

The dinners were great (the penguin Bashful gave us is leaning up against my computer, staring at me), and it was fun doing the Christmas Party with Jenny and Cathy. Boma was my best meal this trip.

I really missed the Main Street Electrical Parade, changes and all. The Osborne Lights have gotten too crowded. Wishes and Illuminations still stir the soul. And nobody does Christmas like Disney.

But having to do remote parental-care duties by phone in the middle of WDW sort of ruins the experience. That mom was much improved was one of the things that allowed me to get away, but I guess you really can't get away these days. It makes me wonder about future vacations.

By Thursday, I was stay in bed sick. So was Friday and Saturday. Ugh. I'd call it that Disney Karma thing, but my time down at WDW this time wasn't a carefree trip. I didn't deserve this. Sniff.

Mom came home on Saturday. She's doing better than I am...

A note on gadgets:

The MP3 player worked well. I have a playlist that has 22 hours of music in it, and if you shuffle the tunes, you have music all the time on the road. That you like. (There's a total of 174 hours of music on it. I never realized how big my music collection is.) I never did take it into the parks as a voice recorder.

I used that little wireless router once to make sure it worked. It did, as advertised. It is now part of my travel kit.

The GPS worked out well. Even though I know my way there, the distance to the next action point and the knowledge of speed limits was helpful.

The new Canon G12 get's a big thumbs up from me. I'm waiting on final judgment when I hook up my Epson and print some enlargements. Such an advancement from my G2...

I still used a pur water filter for drinking and making coffee.

Those of you who are more familiar with my situation, know there's something missing from this report. I did some editing. I think it turns out better that way. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry about it, Everything in this report is factual. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Also notice I really didn't complain about the cold. I've saved it all so I wouldn't have to repeat myself a dozen times:

IT WAS FLIPPIN' G-D'D COLD! Except for the BMaG, it was pretty much cold all the <bleep>ing time. All right, so if you have to dress warm you have enough pockets that you don't have to do a bag check into the parks, but I would have gladly suffered through 'em for more degrees. I didn't go down there for cold. It sucked. Big time.

If you listen to the weather reports, all of them say it's the cold coming out of Canada, so I'm blaming the cold weather on Canada. (And PiC.)

Going through my postal mail, I see there's a letter from Disney Destinations, LLC, and it's an informational booklet type thing describing OKW, Dining Tips, how to understand the symbols you might see (like what's Table Service, counter service, snacks, etc.) Might have come in handy for a novice IF IT CAME IN TIME for his/her trip...

On one of the last pages, Disney sez the December Average Temperature is 73 degrees. I laugh.

Thanks for reading, everyone! (Well, everyone who got this far...)
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End December 2010 Trip Report - Part 7 of 7.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

Revisions:
  • 12/25/2010 - Page Added
  • 08/25/2012 - Updated to v3
  • 12/30/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2