A bashful trip report - Day 1

Parks, resorts, dining, attractions, vacations

Okay, it's been a long time since I tried to do any kind of trip report, 
so I suppose I'm due.  Thanks to an unexpected snow day, it looks like I 
have a little bit of spare time today, so I'm going to give this a shot.  
This might be a little disjointed, not completely accurate, probably way 
too long, and yet most likely incomplete, but hopefully at least 
marginally interesting to the trip-report-obsessed members of this fine 
newsgroup.  Keep in mind that I started taking really good notes at the 
beginning of the trip, but began to lose interest near the end, so the 
first few days seem *much* longer than the last few, LOL.

Who:  Me, Kitty, the "bashful" vegan, 40-something, Disney-obsessed; and 
DH, Rocky, also bashful, not vegan but doesn't eat red meat, 50-
something, Disney-tolerant.

When:  Friday Jan. 16 through Saturday Jan. 24

Where:  a pool-view studio at Boardwalk Villas


We were lucky, and got the "big crisis" for our trip out of the way 

decided to hold off packing until Friday morning… when we discovered that 
one of our beloved felines had apparently decided to try and keep us home 
by peeing in one of our suitcases.  (I had the brilliant idea of leaving 
them open on the floor, to air them out.)  Living in the sticks does 
complicate things sometimes, but while I stayed home and started getting 
things ready, hubby ran out and managed to find a replacement at a 
Meijers about 25 minutes from home.  I'm so glad we got up extra early!

Suitcase crisis resolved, we managed to get packed and out the door on 
time.  The airport was fun, as always.  Both of us got a nice pat-down at 
the security check.  I was so careful to make sure I wasn't wearing any 
metal, and that our carry-ons followed all the rules, but apparently our 
over-sized sweatshirts were a concern.  (I recently lost a lot of weight 
- a lot of my clothes are too large.  DH just doesn't have enough "non-
work" clothes, and was making do with something that didn't fit, either.)  
Lesson learned - wear tight-fitting clothes to the airport, LOL.  We had 
already removed and put a bunch of stuff in the carry-on.  As it was only 
10 below when we left for the airport, shorts and t-shirts were pretty 
much out of the question.

Our flight was over-booked - Southwest kept asking for volunteers to take 
a later flight.  Fortunately, I had checked in online exactly 24 hours 
before, and I was pretty sure that we wouldn't get bumped.  (How do they 
over-book a flight?  Don't they know how many seats they'll have?)  We 
didn't get bumped - not sure who did, but every seat on the plane was 
definitely filled.

The flight attendant on our plane was rather amusing:  she *sang*!  We 
were treated to an amusing song, something about "this baby is ready to 
fly", sung to Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel.  Before landing, we got another 
song.  Very creative - and she really could sing.  I also caught a couple 
of little "jokes" during the whole safety spiel.  (In the event of lost 
cabin pressure, an air mask will drop down… If you are traveling with a 
child, or someone you're with is acting like a child, secure your mask 
first, before…)

Our plane was actually full of Ohio State University cheerleaders.  We 
didn't know this at the time, but there was a big college cheerleading / 
dance team competition thing going on at WDW during our trip.  The place 
was over-run with cheerleaders!  Fortunately, the college ones are a 
little easier to handle then the younger variety (who seem to scream too 
much).  Unfortunately for hubby, the cold temps all week kept them all 
well bundled up, LOL.

At baggage check, I looked for our Happy Limo driver, but had to call 
when he couldn't be found.  (I kind of got the impression that they don't 
stand around waiting for you anymore.  She said he would meet us at a 
specified parking spot, and gave us instructions on where to go.)  She 
told me he would be there shortly, in a "long Escalade".  Holy cow!  This 
was *not* the town car I had booked - it was more like a stretch limo!  
(Hubby was initially annoyed that the driver was later.  His first 
comment on seeing the upgraded ride was "Crap - now I suppose I have to 
tip more.")  DVD player was showing "Horton Hears a Who".  Sadly, the 
fridge was empty (but I would've felt too guilty to have anything, 
anyway).  In my attempt to count seat belts, I'd guess that this seats 
about 22 people.  And fortunately for me, it didn't have a trunk, which 
meant that our bags, along with our *camera*, were on the back seat.  :-)

The drive really flew by, and in no time at all, we were checking in at 
the Boardwalk - room 3136, a DVC studio, about as far from the elevator 
as you could get, overlooking the quiet pool and the Swalphin.  
Unfortunately, they were doing work on the outside of the building, so we 
also had a lovely view of scaffolding.  All in all, though, not a bad 
room, especially after we found a short-cut to the bus stop.

We did some quick unpacking, and put away the groceries from Garden 
Grocer.  This service is such a convenience for me, since I'm a vegan.  I 
love being able to eat my favorite breakfast foods in the room, and have 
things on hand, like fruits and veggies and vegan margarine. 

I wish I could say that vegan options have continued to improve at WDW, 
but that really wasn't the case on this trip.  After years of practice, I 
never actually go hungry anymore, but overall, the service and options 
were a bit of a disappointment this time, especially when compared to our 
November 2007 trip.  I know that my diet puts me in a small minority, and 
WDW still does much better than most other places in the "real world", 
but it was still a disappointment.  

We caught a bus to the Magic Kingdom, and headed for what has become our 
traditional first stop - Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café.  Sadly, Sunny 
Eclipse is on a short sabbatical - just didn't seem the same without him.  
I ordered my usual veggie burger, but was in for a surprise.  Despite the 
Cast Member telling me that they are same Boca burgers they've always 
had, this was not the case.  After some research, it appears that all of 
the counter service places have switched from the "grilled-hamburger-
style" Boca burgers to a "very veggie" Gardenburger.  I can see why this 
might be a good move - the new veggie burgers most definitely cannot be 
mistaken for the real thing - they're practically oozing vegetables.  
However, JMHO, but I preferred the taste of the Boca burgers.   They are 
still vegan, though, so I am content to have an option, and it's possible 
that I am in the minority with my preference.

We did Mickey's Philharmagic (no wait), as I knew it was about to go down 
for re-hab in a couple of days.  The park was a little crowded, though 
what I would expect for a Friday night, so we took the monorail to Epcot 
soon after that.  

A note about the weather:  it was cold.  Yeah, I know - we just left "10 
below" in Ohio, so how can I call "low 30's" cold?  I guess it's just 
that we just weren't as prepared as we should've been.  We had packed 
more jeans and sweatshirts than usual, but most nights I would've been 
more comfortable in a turtleneck and my winter coat.  It didn't greatly 
impact our trip, but we did skip anything that involved water, and we 
headed back to our room earlier than usual most nights.  I will say that 
we didn't see a drop of rain all week - mostly gorgeous cloudless days.  
And since Columbus OH actually sees more overcast days than Seattle WA, 
this was a treat that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I live for blue sky!

We wandered through Innoventions, and then headed for the Land.  We rode 
Living With the Land (no wait), and decided that it's better during the 
day.  Parts of the greenhouse were really too dark to see.  I caught the 
last half of an Off Kilter set, while DH did some shopping.  I was glad 
to see Jamie back, as he was absent on my last two trips.  Back to the 
room, and early to bed, after what felt like a really long day.
I agree with you on the Boca Burgers, much better flavor and
particularly texture than the Gardenburger.

Also, we live in N Indiana (well, that's where our mail comes -- ha ha
ha); Wall-E is a sunshine fanatic. He NEEDS his Florida sunshine.
Also, we have to agree, that week was COLD for Florida!

Yes, I'm going to miss the Boca burgers, but like I said, something's 
better than nothing.  I did end up eating 3 of them last week, so I guess I 
got used to them.

I imagine you probably don't see too much more sunshine than us.  The crazy 
thing?  I was born and raised in California.  What am I doing in Ohio?!!  
(It's actually my ex-husband's fault.  He convinced me to move here, and 
somehow I got stuck, LOL.)

I'm glad you thought it was cold, too.  It seemed crazy for us to be 
complaining.  I mean, I did actually check weather.com before we left.  
Somehow, though, I just didn't expect it to feel *that* cold.  But again, 
the sunshine made it worth it for me.  I don't even like to think what it 
would've been like if it had been cold AND cloudy.

And, I didn't get a chance to tell you that I enjoyed your synopsis!  I 
finally caught up on RADP posts last night.  And I agree - walking anywhere 
in WDW is so much better than walking anywhere else.  (The rest of the 
year, I have to settle for a treadmill and WDW videos.)
Thank you!

We begin our journey back to WDW this afternoon. Going to pick up DA
around 2, take her to hospital to visit her dear friend who fell and
broke her hip earlier this week, and then we're on the road again!

Oh! I hadn't thought of watching WDW videos while on the treadmill
Good idea. Lately, I've settled for walking figure 8 around stuff in
the warehouse & listening to Disney podcasts.