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Trip Report "BOAT!" "Boat?" "BOAT!" A November Trip Report

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5, cont.

After a few minutes of waiting we were seated at a table near the middle of the restaurant. Our server, Robert, greeted us and took our drink orders.


It has been so long since we ate here that I don't remember what we actually drank. I am guessing that these are two out of three of the following: Blue Moon, Sam Adams, and/or Fat Tire, because I checked the beer list at A&C and those sound like what we would drink.


Cute utensils

For an appetizer we shared the Ale and Compass Salad: Watercress, Sorghum, Pumpkin Seeds, Rainbow Carrots, Beets, and Radish with Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette.


It was very good! Everything was fresh and flavors worked nicely together. A lot of Disney salads seem to overdo the sweet elements but this leaned more toward a bitter and acidic profile.

For entrees I went with the Grilled Plant-Based Burger and M had the Bucatini Pasta with Seasonal Market Vegetables.





A better view of what was inside my burger:




Again we ended up with too much ketchup because both our own server and the runner who brought our entrees ran off to get some before confirming we needed it. Did Disney send out a mandate to every restaurant to make sure that every guest has enough ketchup?? :hilarious:

I cannot say enough good things about this meal. We both really enjoyed our entrees. My burger had sooo many great components, from the "beef" patty to the "bacon" and "cheese" and grilled onions and grilled bread, and all the flavors and textures worked together really well. M's pasta was very good as well (I tried a bite). And Robert was an excellent server all-around. We have now had two lunches and one breakfast at Ale and Compass, plus one dinner/drinks visit to the lounge, and we have always been pleased. Since we pretty much always stay at the Swolphin these days and it's an easy walk to the Yacht Club, I am sure we will be back in the future.

After lunch we took a walk around the Yacht and Beach Club.








The true Gay Agenda™️ (yes I know I have made this joke before and I will continue to make it, thank you)











Before we returned to the Dolphin we needed to make a quick stop in the Swan.


BOAT



It isn't a vacation without at least one visit to Chill! And they now have GIANT DRINKS!

During our October anniversary trip (which now feels like a veeeeeery long time ago) we met Gretchen, a Swan CM who works in multiple food/beverage locations, including Chill and Java. She was working again today and recognized us immediately. She asked how long we were staying here and we told her we were at the Dolphin this time, but we were checking out the next day. She thought that we were STILL there in November from our October trip. :hilarious:




Portrait mode FAIL!

I think I had the vodka lemonade and M had the strawberry daiquiri, but I could be wrong. Regardless, we took them back to our room and enjoyed them there.

Up next: BOAT!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5, cont.

After resting in the room for a bit we ventured back out for our final park visit of the trip. We watched the boats through our window and went down to the dock when it seemed about the right time to do so.






BOAT! Not our boat, though.




THAT is our boat!








YES I take very similar photos of the Crescent Lake resorts every time I ride the Friendships and NO I'm not going to stop!




RIVAL BOAT











Up next: Epcot time
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5, cont.

The sky was absolutely beautiful so naturally I took a ton of pictures, and of course none of them really do it justice.








No, we're not eating here again tonight


New Epcot country confirmed: UCrane!


BALLOON


UCrane construction




Birds





When I spotted the gorgeous Christmas tree, I knew I HAD to get the perfect photo of it against the evening sky.











There were more. I'm sure M was annoyed with me in the end. :joyfull:

Up next: A favorite, but more...HOLIDAYYYY
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
M’s pasta looks really good!
It was! My brother also had the same dish a few weeks and liked it as well.

I’ve been looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Ale & Compass. E really wants to try it. I have to tell her that we should give it a whirl!!

Your Christmas tree photos are beautiful!!
You should definitely try it! We have had nothing but good experiences.

And, thank you! :)
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5, cont.

We had already ridden Living with the Land in the daylight, but we NEEDED to ride it at night to experience the holiday overlay. Is it really a holiday overlay if it's just a bunch of pretty lights? Maybe.






























Stanley!









We loved the overlay! It was super cute and colorful and well done.

Up next: More Arendelle Aqua
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5, cont.

After the ride we had a bit of time to kill before our dinner reservation, so we thought...why not spoil dinner by having dessert first?






INSIDE

The cupcake was quite good, if very sweet. I thought it was veeeeeeery similar to the Rose Gold Cupcake from a few years ago (?) in all but frosting and fondant color. My suspicions were confirmed when I looked at the receipt:


Not even TRYING to hide the fact that the cupcakes are the same??? Where's the Disney magic???

Despite eating dessert first we were still hungry for dinner and we headed toward World Showcase for our reservation.











Up next: Dinner at the zoo
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5, cont.

The last time we ate at Nine Dragons we had a very calm and pleasant lunch at a leisurely pace. Upon entering this time, however, it was clear that this visit would be very different. There were so many people waiting to be seated we could hardly open the door to the restaurant without hitting someone. The line for the ladies' room was out the door and it was extremely loud in the entire restaurant. Lots of guests were huddling either by the host stand or the door, so it was difficult to move around and get to the hosts to check in. Eventually we did check in and were told the wait would be a few minutes.

We were eventually seated and greeted by Yuan Ping. None of the drinks on the menu interested us so we just ordered an appetizer, an entree, and some sides. And it all came out at once, about five minutes after we ordered. :rolleyes:


Veggie fried rice, Spring rolls, Spinach noodles with garlic


Tofu and veggies

We had a great lunch here a few years ago, but this time it was nothing special. The food was fine but the whole meal was so rushed that I don't think we will return. Plus it's not like you can't get great Chinese food (with many more options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians) in most US cities. At least it was cheap!

And with that we walked the rest of the way around World Showcase toward the International Gateway to get back to the Dolphin.


BIRDS




Yes, I needed to take MORE pics of the Christmas tree

In the America Gardens Theater, CMs were setting up for the Candlelight Processional.







I know I have mentioned this in previous TRs but both M and I performed in Candlelight in high school. I've only actually seen the show once but I've been in it ten times!

Outside the park we just missed a boat so we walked along the Boardwalk.




This was an accident but I thought it turned out kind of cool anyway.



As we got ready for bed we watched Chopped on the Food Network and saw a commercial trying to guilt parents of young children into taking them to Disney.







I think it was a grandmother-themed episode.


NO! Don't send Grandma home!!

We went to bed relatively early as we had to check out, pick up a rental car, and drive to Jacksonville the next day.

Up next: Wrapping up the Disney part of the trip. Maybe a cat photo or two.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
Your post reminded me of an exchange I observed while waiting for my food in the QS restaurant in the Japan Pavillion. A woman received her food, started to walk away, turns back and says “this rice isn’t fried”. The person at the counter says “no, it‘s steamed”. Unfortunately the woman only spoke minimal English and was trying to explain that her child wouldn’t eat steamed rice and wanted fried rice - I could only assume that she thought she was in the China Pavillion when she had ordered her meal. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 

dizfan917

Well-Known Member
My nephews really enjoyed eating at Nine Dragons, so we took them a few times until we realized that they could get nearly the same food at the QS Lotus place outside for HALF the cost!! We never got out of there for under $30 a head, I swear. I'm glad your meal wasn't too pricey, sorry it wasn't very interesting.

Bee and M on the trip of uninteresting meals... sorry.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Your post reminded me of an exchange I observed while waiting for my food in the QS restaurant in the Japan Pavillion. A woman received her food, started to walk away, turns back and says “this rice isn’t fried”. The person at the counter says “no, it‘s steamed”. Unfortunately the woman only spoke minimal English and was trying to explain that her child wouldn’t eat steamed rice and wanted fried rice - I could only assume that she thought she was in the China Pavillion when she had ordered her meal. 🤷🏼‍♀️
Oh no! I hope the kid ate something.

My nephews really enjoyed eating at Nine Dragons, so we took them a few times until we realized that they could get nearly the same food at the QS Lotus place outside for HALF the cost!! We never got out of there for under $30 a head, I swear. I'm glad your meal wasn't too pricey, sorry it wasn't very interesting.

Bee and M on the trip of uninteresting meals... sorry.
Lol it was definitely a theme of the trip. Luckily the next trip was better overall, even if there were plenty of OTHER things that went wrong.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6: Wednesday, November 27

When we woke up I called the front desk to request late checkout and they said I could stay until noon, which was perfect as we were picking up the rental car from the Dolphin Alamo at noon. We had scones and coffee for breakfast in the room.



We enjoyed the view one last time...



...and finished packing up before leaving the room.



We picked up the car right on time with no issues or delays. Fun fact: Disney AP holders get a small discount on Alamo rentals.






NOTHING TO SEE HERE







Traffic wasn't terrible getting out of Orlando, but the traffic going toward Orlando...


YUCK!








We originally intended to stop at a Jimmy John's on the way but then we saw a Tijuana Flats (which we haven't had in AGES) and stopped there instead.






More traffic!!

Up next: A few more random photos from the next few days
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6, cont.

We made it to M's parents' house around when we hoped we would. After settling in a bit we went to Publix to get a few things.


Someone left their grocery list with the apples!

When we returned home we finally got to meet M's parents' new kitty. You may remember Frisky from my previous reports where we visited them. Sadly, Frisky passed away about a year ago. M was able to fly down to be with her in her last moments. Frisky lived a wonderful, happy, long life of over 20 years and was surrounded by her family at home when she passed. MIL and FIL said they didn't want another cat for awhile, but of course sometimes fate brings another furry friend into your life when you least expect it.

Meet Hermione!





As you can see, Hermione is a GORGEOUS black kitty. During this whole trip she was scared of me and M, but by the end she warmed up to us somewhat.

Day 7: Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving!)

M's dad always buys us different fake "meats" before we visit. This time he bought some veggie "sausage" so we tried some for breakfast.



I think they were MorningStar brand. I was never a big sausage fan even back in the day when I ate meat, and these didn't taste tooo sausage-y for me. If you actually love real sausage you may not like these.

Soon after breakfast we started making food for the big Thanksgiving meal. We usually eat around 1:00pm at their house, and M's mom says it's so they can eat, and then eat again later! :hilarious:

I didn't get many photos of the food, but M and I made a giant salad with kale, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, fresh parmesan, grape tomatoes, and red onions. Everyone liked it and we had plenty of leftovers.

We also bought some "turkey" at Publix for us to have while the rest of the family were having real turkey.





They were pretty good. I wouldn't eat them on a regular basis but for Thanksgiving they were good. The cutlets themselves didn't taste particularly like turkey, but the gravy that came with them had the herbs you would expect for a Thanksgiving turkey.


My plate! Fake turkey, corn casserole, salad, and cheese and crackers.

MIL's friend invited herself over to our family Thanksgiving and everyone was pretty annoyed with her by the end. She managed to take over every conversation and make everything about her. She also managed to bring up politics over and over for no reason but to try to start an argument. Everyone was super uncomfortable and despite many attempts to change the topic of conversation she never got the hint. M and I were bummed that we traveled all this way to see our FAMILY and ended up spending so much time with her. Oh well, maybe next year we can host Thanksgiving in NJ for only family.

After we ate, M, FIL, and I took a walk around the neighborhood.


😍

Later we all went to see Frozen II. I did not love it. It felt like the filmmakers tried to cram too many stories into one movie and most of the music sounded bland. No offense if you loved it. I know plenty of people did.



Day ???

On one of the days we were in Jacksonville we went to a park with BIL and walked around the trail.

Day ???

Hermione just started to get used to M and me, but she was still a scaredy cat. She kept hiding under chairs, but we could still see all of her. :hilarious:



One morning we found her sleeping in the parents' bed and she must have felt safe enough there because she let us pet her.



😻

Day 9: Saturday, November 30

We drove to JAX early in the morning and dropped off the rental car. We took off on time and landed at Chicago MDW for a short layover. At least, it was SUPPOSED to be a short layover. We kept getting alerts that it was delayed, then a little more delayed, then a little more delayed. In the end we were delayed about four hours due to mechanical issues. I'm pretty sure we were given free drinks on that flight. Getting home from LGA was a giant pain. Lyft drivers kept cancelling on us and we ended up having to use Uber, which we really don't like to use. When we finally got home I tried to add a tip in the app, and the app crashed. When I reopened it showed that I had not tipped, so I tried again and then it charged me twice for the tip. I could not get a refund for the extra tip, even though it was the Uber app's fault that it happened in the first place. I contacted "customer service" (a joke) and after fighting it they credited my account so I would have to take another Uber to use that money. Needless to say this is the last time I will use Uber, and I will stick with Lyft from now on.

We got home a bit before 9:00 and I had to get up and sing at my church gig the next morning, which was ROUGH. But I made it!

Up next: Some final thoughts
 
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