Thoughts on a Disney World Vacation: Day 6: An Amazing Ending (But the Trip Isn't Over Yet)

I got up tired this morning.  I SHOULD have slept more, but I thought that the special breakfasts (due to my allergies) were scheduled to arrive at 7:30.  So I got up and got going (letting the boys sleep).  Breakfast hadn't arrived, so I just grabbed a coffee (ok, make that a mocha latte).  I headed back to the room.  Hubby still wasn't feeling 100%, but he went and got some breakfast while the boy continued to sleep.  I went back to the lounge 45 minutes later and there still wasn't anything, so they made a call and said they would deliver it to our room.  Hmm...seems like things were slipping a bit.

Today, we planned something we RARELY do.  We were going to take it slow.  While I did get my son up (eventually) and brought him some breakfast in bed (muffins), we had no morning plans.  My breakfast did show up and was delicious.  (Turned out my request for breakfast Wednesday THROUGH Saturday had been translated into Wednesday AND Saturday.  Thank goodness for Suzanne who brought it to our room and cleared everything up.)  Instead of getting dressed for the day, we lounged around a bit and eventually put on our bathing suits and headed to the pool.

It was a hot day, but we found some shade and just relaxed.  It being early, there were not too many people in the area which made it all the better.  The kiddie area (which my son had loved so much 4 years ago at the Contemporary) was not yet open, but there were kids going down the pool slide.  I decided to be brave and try it.  As far as I can recall, I had never done a slide.  I was determined to rectify that.  Climbed all the way, sat down and swoosh went down, landing butt first in the water (and getting plenty up my nose too).  I didn't like it.  But I DID it!  And I did it two more times too so that I could get photographic proof!

We spent several hours lounging by the pool and doing some swimming.
 Eventually, we had enough (and it was getting hot).  We returned to the room.  Hubby went and got some lunch from Capt. Cooks.  We showered and changed and eventually made our way over to Epcot. (Walking from the Poly to the TTC and getting on the monorail there.) We had done most of Future World, so it was time to do some more exploration of World Showcase.  The only FP+ we had for the day were for the evening:  Illuminations (which is a special viewing area) and Turtle Talk with Crush (which we didn't use, but more on that later).

Since we had already visited Canada and the United Kingdom the day before, we headed directly for France.  Unfortunately, we just missed the movie (by seconds) so we hung around (in the cool) for 18 minutes waiting for the next show.  My son just started French this year and we knew he'd love the movie (he did).  He and his father also enjoyed a French pastry after the movie was over.  We then continued "around the world" stopping briefly in Morocco (the line to see Jasmine and Aladdin was too long and partially in the blazing son) and Japan (tried to shop here, but it was wall to wall people; it was like they were giving away something!)  Then we arrived in  USA just as the Voices of Liberty were finishing up.  Sorry that we missed them, but glad that we were able to pretty much walk into the American Adventure.  It hasn't changed over the years (except for the ending) and I always get teary.  I just can't stop myself.  Sure it's idealized view of America, but it gives me hope.

Onward to Italy (where it was too hot to even take a photo) and Germany (where we shopped in the toy store and my son pretended to drink beer from a giant stein).  We passed through the outpost and into Norway.  Again, FP+ wait time was over an hour and stand by time was over 3 hours.  (Who would wait that long???)  The only thing doable here was having our photo taken outside of Akershus and doing a little shopping.  Then it was back to Mexico where they boys rode the attraction again and I had my photo taken with Donald solo.

It was then time to head over to the Boardwalk for dinner.  We did stop for a photo over by the bridge that leads from the UK to France before exciting through the International Gateway and catching the boat over to the Boardwalk.  Then it was a straight walk into Trattoria al Forno.

I probably shouldn't saw how wonderful the entire experience was.  I'll admit that it might be better for ME personally if I just kept my mouth shut, but the truth should be told.  Trattoria al Forno was the BEST dining experience we had during our trip and it might be one of the best dining experiences we've ever had.  The service was incredible.  (Even before my friend, Amber, came over to our table.)  We were seated quickly and throughout the meal our server stopped by to make sure everything was ok.  It wasn't okay, it was incredible.  The fact that the chef who prepared our meal was a friend who is incredibly talented with food might have something to do with it, but I think if we had been told strangers, I still would have had a meal that continues to make me drool when I think about it.  Pricey?  A bit, but not overly and certainly worth every cent.  The bread with olive oil; well I could eat it and my husband and I were fighting over it.  I certainly DIDN'T want to eat too much bread because I knew that Amber was going to prepare an incredible meal, but I couldn't stop myself.  My son had a small pizza as a starter and pasta for his main course.  My husband and I shared a Caprese salad to begin.  I have NEVER had tomatoes and mozzarella like that in my life.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  As my husband said, it was something he would never order, but was so glad he did and was just amazing.  And then there was the main course.  The fish was...well I've probably used the world amazing too much, but there is just no other word to describe it.  The restaurant includes an open kitchen so you can see what is going on and being prepared.  We were seated pretty close to that area so we can see everything that was going on (which I found fascinating).  Then there was desert.  Because of my food allergies, Amber had the pastry chef make me a special desert which was something I NEVER would have chosen and included a very refreshing grapefruit sorbet.  James had the incredible Meringe Mushroom S'Mores  It was so cute he didn't want to eat it. (See photo).  He thought one of the "mushrooms" looked like his father! Nevertheless, he did manage to eat it all and declared it delicious.  I am so glad that Amber contacted me and that we were able to have dinner here.  The whole experience (atmosphere, service, food) was five star.

After that incredible meal (and experience) we headed back to Epcot.  My son had so wanted to go to The Living Seas and this was finally his chance.  After the ride portion, we spent a good 30-45 minutes wandering around.  I did have a FP+ for Turtle Talk, but he wasn't interested.  He wanted to spend his time exploring and enjoying.  Who was I to deny him?

Then it was on to our FP+ for Illuminations.  What a great viewing spot and we only had to be there 30 or so minutes before the show began.  We stood beside a (roped off) group of teens who were probably from South or Central America.  They were loud.  They were excited.  And they were fun to watch.  The wait for Illuminations is never too bad.  Perhaps it's because I know the pre-show music so well.  I can tell exactly how many minutes are left until the show begins.  I realize this show has not changed much (if at all) since the century began, but it is still incredibly moving.  And yes, I cry at the end.  (How could I not...just thinking about the music, the fireworks, the torch...I start to well up.)  I could see this every night of my life and not get tired of it.

Once the show was over, we slowly made our way out of the park.  No need to rush and push.  I just love taking in Epcot at night anyway and watching for the monorail as it approaches the park, makes its loop and then heads into the station.

Back at the TTC we walked to Hawaii and arrived in the lounge just in time to see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.  Cookies and wine with Wishes.  Not a bad way to end the evening.  (Even if my husband was not feeling too good and I knew that I was coming down with something as well.  When I'm at Disney I do my best to ignore it!)


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