Labor Day Weekend TR - No kids - just DB and me!


#1

This is my first TR…hope you indulge me in my wordiness :blush:

Friday morning, we kissed the dog goodbye at 8:45 and set out on our way. (He made us promise to bring him back some monogrammed mouse ears.) By 9:00 we were heading South on 75 through Atlanta for a last minute trip to The Dolphin. We couldn’t pass up a $99.00 per night deal discovered right here…who doesn’t LOVE the ‘buzz!

After a few stops at some filthy gas station bathrooms – apparently toilet cleaner doesn’t exist in South Georgia - we arrived. (I think I permanently damaged DB’s eardrum with my screams of delight as we passed under the Welcome Home archway!)

We walked in about 4:30 to a nearly empty lobby. Check in was efficient and friendly – I so appreciate great customer service - and after a quick freshen-up, we set out to tour the hotel. (Oh, about our room – I don’t know what we must have done right in a former life, but we ended up in a corner room with two balconies and gorgeous views of the Boardwalk and Epcot. Room was a bit tired – peeling caulking around tub, and a few other small things – but overall, lovely.)

We’ve never been to the Swolphin before (quick drive-bys don’t count), so we wanted to get a lay of the land. Since the kids aren’t with us this trip, and we’re not planning on cramming every attraction in every park into 3 days, we’re focusing on eating and drinking our way through the weekend!

After checking out all the restaurants at The Swolphin (DB LOVED bluezoo! He’s an architect, and he truly appreciates interesting and inventive interiors), we walked over to the Boardwalk. We scoped out all the restaurants there, and commented that the place felt like a ghost town. On a Friday evening about 6PM, we were practically the only people walking around…and NO ONE was eating in the restaurants. We walked over to Epcot, and peered across the water…again, nearly empty.

We decided on Kimono’s at The Swan for dinner…such a beautifully calm and peaceful atmosphere. At 6:30, we walked in without a reservation to find only two other couples in the restaurant. The seaweed salad, edamame, California Roll and Cajun Roll were good, but not outstanding. The Asparagus Tempura Roll and a Soft Shell Crab Roll were the best we’ve both ever tasted, hands down! By the time we left a few more people had wandered in, but we still felt like we were in some sort of post-apocalyptic world.

As we were walking out, we were lucky enough to run into Timone…and just HAD to have our pics taken.

As the sun was setting (and creating an almost surreal glow against the buildings) we took a quick tour of the pool (DB has nicknamed it Hef’s Grotto) and the pool bar – (LOVE the cabanas!), we headed back to the room…yes, we reluctantly admitted to each other that we are OLD…a 7 hour drive makes us tired, and we were back in our room by 8PM. As the perfect ending to our day, we watched the Illuminations fireworks from our balcony…magical!


#2

WOW, what a beautiful picture of the building. I am loving your Tr. Keep it comming.


#3

Thanks, Mousemom! The sky was starting to turn very dark and stormy while the sun was setting. It truly did make the building look like it was glowing…amazing.


#4

:laugh::laugh: I forgot about the swan boats!!

Great pictures!


#5

That is a great deal! $99!!


#6

Such a great deal for $99

Cute pics. Cant wait to read more.


#7

nice start, keep the pics coming


#8

Day 2
Our second day actually started at 12:30 AM Saturday morning! From a dead sleep, we were awakened by a loud rapping on the door. “Housekeeping! We have the crib you requested!” DB looked at me through a haze and asked if there was anything I wanted to share with him! We repeatedly told the housekeeper that we did NOT order a crib, and she actually tried to argue with us…oh, please, just let us go back to sleep.

The next awakening was of our own accord. We hopped out of bed for a morning run. (The marathon is just 18 weeks away, and we are SO not prepared!) We ran from the Dolphin, to DHS, through the Boardwalk, to the International Gateway at Epcot, and back to the Dolphin…probably about 3 miles. Of course, I had the camera with me (I ALWAYS have the camera with me), and we got some great early morning shots. We got to DHS just as they were letting guests in, and DB and I estimated only about 150 people waiting to get in…can you say DEAD? (We didn’t enter the park, we just stood at the entrance and watched the very quiet, sedate, and staid opening to the park…not like any other opening I’d ever seen!)

After a quick shower and breakfast in our room (I like to bring yogurt, bagels, and juice with us on our trips…I hate paying for breakfast in a hotel!), we headed to the lobby for a scheduled appointment. We were shuttled over to Saratoga Springs and met with - yes, we finally broke down - a DVC rep to get the ball rolling. I have been ready to do this for quite a while, but DB insisted that we look at every single line item, number, and article of fine print before we signed. I think he made Raphael, our Rep., wish he had stayed home that morning!

We signed the paperwork and gave him a deposit, with the caveat from DB that I submit this question out there to all you DVC ‘buzzers: Is it worth it? Do any of you have any regrets for purchasing? Do you ever feel hemmed in? Do you ever find that you can’t get reservations? DB is still not 100% sold, so you all can help me by responding frankly with your positive and negative comments…they will be MUCH appreciated.
After Raphael pushed us out the door (I know he was glad to get rid of us!), we headed over to Downtown Disney, ate a quick lunch at Earl of Sandwich (the most crowds we had seen so far), and did a bit of shopping and a bit of drinking. I was on the fence about seeing the Diana exhibit, but once I was inside I thought is was definitely worth the $15.00 entrance fee. (DB found a chair and dozed - how many margaritas had he had??? - while I absorbed every dress, handwritten letter, and picture.) I’ve been to Kensington Palace, and I’ve seen the exhibit there, but I thought this one provided a lot more insight and details into her life. It was very comprehensive and very well presented.

We headed back to the hotel and spent the next few hours around the pool. We were entertained as management escorted out a group of twenty something guys who insisted upon bringing their own GLASS beer bottles into the pool, playing a LOUD boom box and generally creating a great deal of chaos. I thought they were tremendously entertaining, but apparently there must have been complaints! Other than those guys, the pool and cabana area was fairly quiet…a few families, a few couples, but mostly just an empty pool area.

That evening, we took a chance and headed to California Grille. Guess who was able to walk in with NO reservations??? After a few glasses of wine, we ordered the heirloom tomatoes flatbread appetizer (YUM!), the rock shrimp and pear salad (YUM YUM!), and the lobster risotto (YUMMIEST!). We could have easily stayed and watched the fireworks over the castle (the sky was clear, and the evening was gorgeous), but we were ready for a new adventure.

We hopped on the monorail and rode over to the Grand Floridian. Ghost Town!!! We strolled to Narcoosees, and if we had wanted we could have had another dinner…without reservations! I’ve never seen WDW this quiet.

We hopped back on the Monorail, and with perfect timing, walked to the bridge connecting to BLT to watch the fireworks over the castle. What a perfect view! The music was piped in, so we didn’t miss a thing. There were only a few other people on the bridge, and we all had a wonderful time.

A cab ride back to the hotel, and these old folks were in bed by 11


#9

The only regret I have with DVC is not getting a different use yr. We took several weeks to think it over, read tons of stuff, thought we understood it all. Now since most of our trips occur in the fall, we should not settled for a Dec use yr. I wish we had gotten a June use yr, that way it still would be good for my kids when they take their kids during summer breaks.

I love the crib situation. Who would be getting a crib at 12:30 am? Unless the family just got there at midnight???


#10

Great TR! My DSil and friend were staying at the Dolphin and we had a great time visiting them on Sunday. Great deal on the rooms there!


#11

[QUOTE=jo-jo;991001]The only regret I have with DVC is not getting a different use yr. We took several weeks to think it over, read tons of stuff, thought we understood it all. Now since most of our trips occur in the fall, we should not settled for a Dec use yr. I wish we had gotten a June use yr, that way it still would be good for my kids when they take their kids during summer breaks.

I love the crib situation. Who would be getting a crib at 12:30 am? Unless the family just got there at midnight???[/QUOTE]

Thanks, jo-jo! I’ll keep that in mind. I think I understand the use year, but I’m not 100% sure. We usually go in January for the marathon, so when would be the best use year for us? February? As you can tell, I’m still sort of confused.


#12

[QUOTE=mickeysgirlz;990939]:laugh::laugh: I forgot about the swan boats!!

Great pictures![/QUOTE]

Those Little Swans were already in bed when we got there…the sun was going down, and so were they. I never did see anyone in them, even the next day…hmmm…


#13

I’m enjoying reading your TR as well. Darling kids!


#14

liking the TR keep it up and you have some great pictures. More please


#15

Awesome report.


#16

Such a good report! Ready to read more!


#17

Sounds like you had fun! Can’t wait for more!


#18

Working on Day 3 as we speak…darn job keeps getting in the way:angry:


#19

Don’t youo just hate when work gets in the way of FUN :pirate:


#20

You said a mouthful…
I want to live in a world where we all get paid for planning Disney trips, dreaming about Disney trips, and taking Disney trips! I wish, I wish…