bashful 28 Jan 2009 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 FRIDAY, JANUARY 16 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.