Friday, September 30, 2016

So Glad to be Home!

The Food and Wine Festival is over for us until November (if we can get a room at the Beach and Yacht Club) and we returned home yesterday. After unpacking, we realized we forgot our Bose Sound Link Bluetooth charger in the room. It takes us 2.5 hrs. to get home and I called immediately to Lost and Found. Long story short, the manager and a housekeeper went to the room (it hadn't been rented out yet) and there was no charger :-(  The end to a not-so- pleasant stay at Old Key West!

However, all was well for me as I got to go to my card group for coffee and cookies and four beautiful cards!


Grateful Bunch Stamp Set and Blossoms Bunch Punch

Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies and Bunch of Banners Framelits Dies

Flourish Thinlits Dies and Flourishing Phrases Stamp Set

Leaflets Framelits Dies and Sheltering Tree Stamp

It was a fun afternoon and today I took the day off from doing anything except going to the Florida Cancer Specialists, Publix and doing laundry.

Tomorrow is World Card Making Day...guess what I'll be doing? Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Last Day at the F & W Festival

Last day for this month anyway. Last day...both bands worked to get into the room! Last day...no rain!! Last day, I had a Snickers bar so I wasn't grumpy :-)

For dinner we stayed in and had a frozen Red Baron pepperoni pizza and two Disney wines, which we purchased from the General Store at our resort.


Actually, it was quite tasty and a lot less expensive than going out to dinner somewhere. We definitely could live forever in this villa but we don't have THAT much money PLUS the bus service stinks!

We started out our morning by waiting for an Epcot bus for over 20 minutes and when it got here it was SRO. They had another bus right behind us which took over all the other stops so we were basically taken straight to Epcot in the full bus.

Our first and only ride was Test Track. After designing our car...


we had a 65 mph ride around the track and our car won for power! I'm not too sure how much longer I can ride that "roller coaster" not because of my vertigo, but because the lower back isn't what it used to be!

Off to the F & W Festival...first stop Germany for a brat, beer and wine. A staff member, Brooks from Columbus, OH, joined us and we had a very pleasant conversation about Disney and NOT about his personal life...with the exception that he drives every day to work from Cocoa Beach. He said it only takes him an hour each way and he tries to avoid I4. We try to avoid that too by taking the back roads to Ft. Myers. 

Back to the food...they took away the pretzel roll and gave it to Canada to serve with their ever famous Cheddar cheese soup. That was the only downfall for this brat.

The "brat" to which I am referring is in the photo...NOT yours truly! Perry had a Radeberger Zwickel (say that 10 times fast!) Pilsner and I had a J & H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfurstlay Riesling Kabinett, Mosel wine. The Germans do get carried away with their names, don't they?

We ventured off to Hops & Barley and tried the Smoke Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese served on Griddled Garlic Toast. Perry liked it but me...not so much. We had the same beverages we did the day before.


I tried the Festival Cabernet wine to go with my grilled Edamame from Japan. Perry had a Kirin Pale Lager and Garlic Shrimp at Japan. I could eat that Edamame all day! His shrimp were gorgeous!


We stopped at England again for our usual...Innis & Gunn, Bass Ale, bird and people watching.







From England we headed to Canada for the grand finale...their beef tenderloin is beyond the best...it NEVER disappoints! We saved our beer from England to go with it but would have preferred a red wine :-)


We tried, once again, to get two bottles of wine to take home but they would have had to escort us out with over a 30 minute wait. You would not believe the number of folks who were leaving their wine at the counter! 

We are already planning a trip back in November... just not to Old Key West Resort.

Tomorrow it's back to "cards" for me and the orange font. It was fun typing in purple as that's my fave color...next to red...and believe me, I saw lots of "red" this trip!!!

Thanks for reading my blog. I really write it for my benefit so that I have memories...good or bad! But, if you have enjoyed it, then it has served a double life. Feel free to leave comments...good or bad. I am used to the bad with the good :-)






Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday and Happy 47th Anniversary to Us!

This is going to be a shorter post. The day started off great with a visit to Epcot again. We had a wonderful experience at the Wine and Dine kiosk after a ride on Living with the Land. We shared the pork tenderloin with white cannelini beans and tomatoes plus Kurt Russell's wines named after Goldie Hawn. I had the chardonnay and Perry had the pinot noir. We love Kurt and Goldie but he needs to come down on the price of his wine. The pork was over the top!



We backtracked to take the Soarin' ride which has been revamped. It was AWESOME!!! The places they took us to around the world were remarkable.

We stopped at Islands of the Caribbean kiosk for Mojo Pork, Presidente beer and a frozen Mojito. I don't like frozen drinks but that was out of this world...as was the pork.



We then headed to Patagonia for the beef skewer with boniato and chimichurri sauce. We have this every time we hit the F & W Festival. We probably won't do that again as it has changed. Last year I said I wouldn't get it again because it wasn't served with boniato...they tried to pass off mashed potatoes for boniato. My palate knows the difference. This year it was boniato but they went way too heavy on the chimichurri. The beef was tender as usual.



From there we went to England for my Innis and Gunn and Perry's Bass Ale. 



We people watched for awhile and then headed back toward the front gate. On our way, we stopped to pick up our free tumblers as I mentioned the day before this post. Guess what? They hadn't changed the fact that I had been there on Sunday. They asked if I had photos on my phone to prove it and, of course, I had deleted them because they were on my blog. Do you think I could get to my blog? No! Apparently, my face tells you everything you want to know and she said, "I believe what you are saying, and they must not have corrected it, so go get your tumblers." Woo hoo...like I said, that's all we need is more glasses in our house!

We ignored the ominous clouds above us because the line for Spaceship Earth (Perry's favorite ride) was fairly short. She hasn't changed her style since Epcot opened!
When we came out of the ride, it was pouring!! We decided we wouldn't melt and made our way to the bus stop where it started raining even harder and there was lightening all around. 


The rain stopped by the time the bus came. We didn't melt then but we did have a melt down later!

The bus had it's A/C on full blast and we were wet so the spa in our room was a welcome relief. We opened our anniversary wine and relaxed. Then came the dilemma ... do we... a) shower and go find a restaurant, b) shower and make reservations at a restaurant or c) stay at the room, have soppressata, cheese and our Childress anniversary wine?   We chose door #2 and made reservations at The Boathouse in Disney Springs for 6 p.m. We got to the bus stop at 5:15 and the buses come every 20 min. There was no arrival time for Disney Springs listed so we asked one of the other bus drivers about it and he said, "they are here all the time". 35 minutes later we asked another bus driver, who contacted dispatch, and they said it would be there in 2 or 3 minutes...10 minutes later at 6 p.m. we walked back to our room, where you guessed it...my band wouldn't let us in...but fortunately Perry's did; we canceled our dinner reservation and were forced to choose "c" a/k/a door #3. Our 47th anniversary dinner...eggfruchatta!


I made a call to the front desk and you don't even want to know my dissatisfaction with that call! Robert Iger will hear from us about this stay! Believe it or not, he has responded favorably to us in the past so we can only hope he has one more ear left for us :-)

We played one game of Yahtzee, did laundry and are heading off to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be the icing on the cake in a good way. Our friend said that our trip would make a good comedy show but too bad we had to be the stars! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Is it Monday already or Sunday again?

You must read the day before this post for it to make sense! Just scroll down to "older posts" and click (for those not familiar with blogs).

Guess what again? The bands didn't work in the morning, BUT the phone in the room knows the number to the front desk...it's the second button in the second row of buttons on the phone...lol. 

The front desk staff tried to fix the bands over the phone but couldn't so they sent a runner to pick up the bands. That woman ran fast...she was here in no time and took our bands away. When she returned, one worked and one didn't. The guy she was working with was sitting in a room at the check-in building and said he could see her on his computer trying to get the band to work. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING! So, he did something from his end and VOILA, the other band worked. Technology either works or it doesn't.

We were going to Hollywood Studios for the morning and guess which bus was waiting at the stop? Yep, Epcot! We DID NOT get on that bus...we waited 20 minutes for the Hollywood Studios bus :-) I learn quickly!!

When we got to our first ride, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the stand-by line was 180 minutes and no one was in that line! The fast pass line was knee deep and was a 35 min. wait. We had no place to be until 11:45 and it was 10:30 so we decided to wait. It was the best ride ever! I love the way they can change the way the elevator drops...always that element of surprise. It lays all my elevator nightmares to rest.

Once we left there, it was time for our next fast pass at Toy Story Mania. That is my second favorite ride. It had to replace the Rockin' Roller Coaster as with my vertigo, I can't do roller coaster rides any longer. The third entrance they set up has really helped with the 90 min. wait lines. We had fun shooting at the targets and I ended up beating Perry but not by much. I could do that ride all day long.

Next stop was the Hollywood Brown Derby for lunch. People have raved about their signature Cobb salad and signature dressing so that's what we tried. I had a glass of MacMurray chardonnay (very good) and Perry had his usual Yuengling. Would we get this salad again? No!



The atmosphere was nice and the menu prices were right up there!



We were stuffed so we had lots of time to waste traveling from HS to Epcot so we took the boat. Getting in line for the boat, people are spaced out about 3 feet apart, standing in the hot sun. At the very front of the line there is a gap of 6 feet in the shade...we say "excuse me" to the people in the back of the sunny line and walk up to the second spot in the line and talk to the people who are in front us :-) We will never see the people in the back of the line again!

As I mentioned yesterday, the boat stops 3 places before getting to the back gate at Epcot. First stop is Swan and Dolphin Resort, 2nd stop is Yacht and Beach Club Resort and 3rd is Boardwalk. We made it to the first stop and the Captain said they were advised to stop all boat traffic as there was a bad storm within a 7 mile radius. He encouraged people to get off the boat and get a bus to Epcot OR walk a mile to get there. We decided to sit there and wait out the storm with another family. He then encouraged all of us to either walk or get a bus as one time the boat was docked for 2.5 hrs. We got out and walked, the other family stayed. On our walk to the back gate of Epcot, we stopped in at the Abracadabra Bar at the Boardwalk. Pretty when no one is there!


This time there was no metal detector for me and we both swiped our bands to enter. We hung a left to go to Hawaii, keeping steps away from the storm. However, the closer we got to Hawaii and Mexico, the closer the storm got. A bolt of lightening made us head for the Craft Beer Pavillion. What better port in the storm! We ordered Flight #1, shared a table and seats with a group of women who did nothing but talk about work! We could hear the thunder inside but couldn't see out. People were coming in soaked and the winds were at 40 mph. so we were told. With it still storming, we ordered Flight #2 along with piggy wings...yes, pigs do fly! The beer flights were interesting and the "wings" were quite tasty. 



The storm was over an hour later...so glad we didn't stay on the boat...and we went to the room where annual passholders can get a free F & W Festival tumbler for entering Epcot 3 days. We were on our 2nd day but I had a feeling I was on my 1st since I was able to walk in the day before without swiping...staff read my band and sure enough, I was never there the day before. They said they would correct it that night and I would be okay to pick up a glass on Tuesday, along with Perry...like we need more glasses in our house and we'll see about the correction!!!

Then we headed to the Festival Center to check out the cookbooks and the wine for sale. We picked out a bottle of LaCrema Chardonnay and a bottle of Acrobat Pinot Noir...total of $50 for Disney. At the checkout, the staff member asked what gate people were exiting. If you went out the back, you could carry your own bottles out. We were going out the front. It would be at least a 1/2 hr. wait because a staff member had to carry the wine out to the gate and escort us but two members had to stay at the register. The third staff had just escorted a couple out. This is a new policy this year. (Meanwhile, people are walking all over Epcot with open beers and wine glasses!) We politely put our wines back as did the couple in front of us. They lost at least $100 worth of sales in a second. It saved us money as we can get those wines cheaper at Total Wines when we get home. 

Guess what? Our bands worked when we got back to the room. An end to an almost perfect day!






Sunday, September 25, 2016

Food and Wine Festival 2016

I had to switch colors on my blog today from orange to purple in honor of the grape! We left home for Old Key West Resort in Disney and arrived at 12:30 p.m. I had done online check-in the week before and let them know we were arriving at 11 a.m. Check in is at 4 p.m. They sent me a text at 9:15 a.m. saying our room wasn't ready...no surprise there!!! By the time we arrived, they had not sent a follow up message so we went to check-in where a wonderful staff member helped us. Thank you, Craig, for the anniversary balloons! There were 3 but we had to leave them in a hot car because our room wasn't ready. That's another story.

We went off to Epcot for the F & W Festival. Here was our first mistake (my husband would tell you it was actually mine!)...it was going to be a 20 minute or more wait for the Epcot bus. So, you-know-who got the bright idea to take the Hollywood Studio bus which was right there and from HS get on the boat to the back part of Epcot. (It's a mile walk from HS to Epcot). The boat makes 3 stops before Epcot and we had just missed the boat (in more ways than one!). An hour later we were at Epcot. Hmm...20 minute wait vs. an hour? Not a wise decision! In our younger, healthier days we could have walked and beat the boat. 

Finally at Epcot, going in the back gateway, I was pulled aside to go through the metal detector, while Perry went through the regular way. I complied, rather than get thrown out, and was able to walk in without scanning my band. This turns into another story tomorrow I bet!

Our first stop was Brazil for the Crispy Pork Belly and Xingu beer. We used to share the pork belly but we can no longer do that because it is too good. 

Our second stop was Hops & Barley where we both had the lobster roll. Perry enjoyed his but mine was dry and skimpy. That happens every year. I could tell you what happened one year but suffice it to say, I got over my OCD and Mr. Monk attitude that day and I'm still alive to talk about it!


Onward and upward to Mexico. This year they switched the locations of the booths. Can you believe at the kiosk they don't sell Dos Equis? I had to go to the food booth while Perry went to the beer booth down the road a piece. We met up on the "pier" and enjoyed our shrimp tortillas and beer.


We hadn't quite had our fill yet so we stopped at New Zealand for the lamb meatball we always love. This one we could have, and should have, shared. It was not half as good as years in the past. Part of the problem was the obnoxious staff member who thought it was a good idea to join us and tell us his life history while we ate. Sometimes I am not too charitable. 

So then it was back to Old Key West to find out about our room. 

The rest of the story: They had assigned us a garden view and I had asked for water view. They were very accommodating and said we could get one but it wouldn't be ready for awhile. We were okay with that and said we'd go to the parks to wait as shown above. The check-in staff member said they'd text when our room was ready and we could go straight to the room without stopping at the front desk. At 3:15 p.m. we got a text message telling us to stop at the front desk for our room assignment! So much for previous instructions. We had parked the car at the building where our room was going to be. Mind you, it is over a mile from the check-in building to where we were to be staying. So, we took the Epcot bus to our building, got in the car and went back to check-in at 4 p.m. They reprogrammed our wrist bands and gave us the room number. We drove back, unloaded the car and proceeded to use our wrist bands to open the door. Guess what? Yup, they didn't work!

We were in no mood to drive back to check-in and there is no phone number for the front desk. It is now 5 p.m. and we are tired from driving and romping around at Epcot. We were able to flag down a housekeeping member and she didn't even know the number for the front desk...she only knew the housekeeping extension and used her phone to connect me. After much ado about nothing, the head of housekeeping said we'd have to go to check-in. The woman who was physically with me, noticed I was on the verge of tears and flagged down security! He was a nice young man from Windsor, CT and said he would stay with us until the duty manager got to the site. The duty manager could not get the bands to work BUT was able to get us into the room by 6 p.m. She said it was a technical glitch and they'd be fine in the morning. 

The room is spacious, well appointed and when we opened the door to the back yard, this was our welcoming committee...




It was so tempting to feed them, but we knew what the results would be :-)

After a little snack, we broke out the port and chocolate and enjoyed our balloon bouquet...minus the red one, which was my favorite.


An end to a day that was not our best experience, but we are grateful to be here another year and grateful to all the staff members who tried to remedy an unfortunate experience. Tomorrow is another day and who knows what it will bring.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Bella and Friends

Bella and Friends is a stamp set from Stampin Up that I have fallen in love with! Yesterday was my turn to host the card group and here's what we made...



The stamp set was designed by a million dollar SU woman named Angie. I got the inspiration from her card and CASEd it. I also created my own version using a different stamp set for my sentiments and the Affectionately Yours DSP from SU.


We also used the Pop of Paradise stamp set and Pop of Pink DSP on a card CASEd from Tami White, another million dollar seller from SU.





Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Happy Birthday!

We have a friend who is having a surprise birthday so ....shhhhh! Here's the card I made for him. You can tell him September 30th!



I am also entering this in the Mojo Monday Challenge. Mojo Monday #466 I was inspired by Marisa Ritzen. Colors were Mossy Meadow and Gold.