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Trip Report The GRAND Birthday! *COMPLETED*

“Hey, Ma ~ you’re about to celebrate a BIG birthday. What are you going to do next?”
“I’m going to Disney World!”

If it were only as simple as it sounds in the commercial. But we all know that real life rarely aligns with what is portrayed on TV....or for that matter (dare I say?) social media. My mother was hitting a milestone on 2/1/2019 and I wanted to take her to her favorite vacation destination to celebrate. (The fact that it also happens to be mine was a bonus!) However when I presented the idea to her back in the fall, she was reluctant to accept my offer.

Ten years ago our extended family went to WDW to celebrate her last big birthday. During that trip, paramedics were called because my infant nephew was experiencing breathing difficulties; my sister-in-law got either food poisoning or a bad case of stomach flu which necessitated a doctor coming to her resort room (and an extended stay); and my dear Woody came down with similar symptoms which resulted in an ambulance ride to the ER on the night we arrived home.

Needless to say that was the end of our extended family vacations.

I had to clarify with Mom that I wasn’t planning a big gathering. Still, she wasn’t sure she wanted to go. My father was recovering from some recent health challenges and she was uncertain she’d feel comfortable leaving him. She asked for some time to think it over.

Meanwhile I jumped on some cheap airfare and booked the hotel, figuring it was worth the risk. Just before Thanksgiving, with my dad’s blessing, Mom decided she would like to go.

“Where will we stay?” she asked.
“It’s a big event. Where do you think we should stay?” I answered.
Mom paused and without waiting for her reply I continued: “It’s going to be a grand celebration, so we must stay at the Grand Floridian!”
Mom choked up and said, “I never thought I’d ever be able to stay there.”

Well now she has! And we had a wonderful time at the resort and in the parks. There was even a surprise or two.

As for this:
That's the interesting thing -- something new, fun, or outright bizarre happens on all your trips, and that's what keeps us coming back for more. It's kinda like a written version (with photos), of a Tuvalu WDW reality show. :p Looking forward to the next installment in the series.
Stay tuned for the bizarre!

I wish this trip could have been mother/daughter/granddaughter. Sadly, Em was unable to join us.

Who: Tuvalu and Mom
When: January 29 - February 2, 2019
Where: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (the “and Spa” gets me every time!)

349878
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Mom and her granddaughter have similar tastes in restaurants.

351252


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And she’s not even a drinker! :hilarious:

351254


No one rocks a side-pony like Jean.
351255


Jean is a longtime fixture at Mama Melrose’s. I was happy to see her tonight.

A different host escorted us to our table ~ where we sat for over 10 minutes (there’s that “time” thing again 😉) before our server came over and acknowledged us. I’d like to say this was her only misstep, but it wasn’t. She was painfully slow in taking our order, refilling our water glasses and put our check on the table without clearing away our plates!

I was looking forward to having the NY strip with the amazing mac and cheese (@LisaBelle). But right away Mom said, “Let’s share something!” and I knew I wouldn’t be having the steak. She’s a big pasta fan. I quickly adjusted my taste buds and let her decide.

But I wasn’t giving up something else I’d been looking forward to.

A Magical Star Cocktail! (@Songbird76 & @figmentfan423)
351258

The glow cube also changed to shades of blue and purple.

The warm, doughy rolls were worth the wait. And I love the olive oil & herbs!
351256


I sent the following picture to Em. She instantly replied, “Make sure Gramma gets the yummy Birthday cupcake!”

351257


Em noticed Mom’s Birthday Button prominently displayed.
Did our server notice?
If she did, she never said a word. She didn’t even offer dessert before slapping the check wallet down on the table amidst our dirty plates.

Was she ****ed that we shared the Chicken Penne?

351259


Who knows? She didn’t even deliver the food to our table. I give kudos to the chef for splitting the entreé in the kitchen, as we each got a bowl like the one pictured above. The pasta was cooked al dente and the wood-grilled chicken was delish! Mom thoroughly enjoyed her meal, as did I.

If only the service wasn’t so lousy.....
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Semantics. 🙄

These folks were not photobombing
View attachment 351272

But she was!!

View attachment 351271

Photobombing (imho) is when you purposely get into someone elses picture and look directly at the camera

Max

And you’d be wrong about the family photobombing. A closer look reveals that they are having their picture taken by another Photopass photographer (purple jacket, it was cold.)

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😉
 

Figgy1

Premium Member
Mom and her granddaughter have similar tastes in restaurants.

View attachment 351252

View attachment 351253

And she’s not even a drinker! :hilarious:

View attachment 351254

No one rocks a side-pony like Jean.
View attachment 351255

Jean is a longtime fixture at Mama Melrose’s. I was happy to see her tonight.

A different host escorted us to our table ~ where we sat for over 10 minutes (there’s that “time” thing again 😉) before our server came over and acknowledged us. I’d like to say this was her only misstep, but it wasn’t. She was painfully slow in taking our order, refilling our water glasses and put our check on the table without clearing away our plates!

I was looking forward to having the NY strip with the amazing mac and cheese (@LisaBelle). But right away Mom said, “Let’s share something!” and I knew I wouldn’t be having the steak. She’s a big pasta fan. I quickly adjusted my taste buds and let her decide.

But I wasn’t giving up something else I’d been looking forward to.

A Magical Star Cocktail! (@Songbird76 & @figmentfan423)
View attachment 351258
The glow cube also changed to shades of blue and purple.

The warm, doughy rolls were worth the wait. And I love the olive oil & herbs!
View attachment 351256

I sent the following picture to Em. She instantly replied, “Make sure Gramma gets the yummy Birthday cupcake!”

View attachment 351257

Em noticed Mom’s Birthday Button prominently displayed.
Did our server notice?
If she did, she never said a word. She didn’t even offer dessert before slapping the check wallet down on the table amidst our dirty plates.

Was she ****ed that we shared the Chicken Penne?

View attachment 351259

Who knows? She didn’t even deliver the food to our table. I give kudos to the chef for splitting the entreé in the kitchen, as we each got a bowl like the one pictured above. The pasta was cooked al dente and the wood-grilled chicken was delish! Mom thoroughly enjoyed her meal, as did I.

If only the service wasn’t so lousy.....
The like was for the drink and time with your mom as for the rest sheesh, if I used any other word I'd be banned
 

DisSplash

Well-Known Member
The picture of you and your mom where it looks like Jack Diamond is literally sitting on your shoulder really cracks me up! It's as if he's whispering mischief into your ear or something ...

I love this trip report so much, and the fact that you and your mom look like you have a great time together.

And I MUST find me an angel dip somewhere .... I will not rest until I do!
 

LisaBelle

Well-Known Member
Mom and her granddaughter have similar tastes in restaurants.

View attachment 351252

View attachment 351253

And she’s not even a drinker! :hilarious:

View attachment 351254

No one rocks a side-pony like Jean.
View attachment 351255

Jean is a longtime fixture at Mama Melrose’s. I was happy to see her tonight.

A different host escorted us to our table ~ where we sat for over 10 minutes (there’s that “time” thing again 😉) before our server came over and acknowledged us. I’d like to say this was her only misstep, but it wasn’t. She was painfully slow in taking our order, refilling our water glasses and put our check on the table without clearing away our plates!

I was looking forward to having the NY strip with the amazing mac and cheese (@LisaBelle). But right away Mom said, “Let’s share something!” and I knew I wouldn’t be having the steak. She’s a big pasta fan. I quickly adjusted my taste buds and let her decide.

But I wasn’t giving up something else I’d been looking forward to.

A Magical Star Cocktail! (@Songbird76 & @figmentfan423)
View attachment 351258
The glow cube also changed to shades of blue and purple.

The warm, doughy rolls were worth the wait. And I love the olive oil & herbs!
View attachment 351256

I sent the following picture to Em. She instantly replied, “Make sure Gramma gets the yummy Birthday cupcake!”

View attachment 351257

Em noticed Mom’s Birthday Button prominently displayed.
Did our server notice?
If she did, she never said a word. She didn’t even offer dessert before slapping the check wallet down on the table amidst our dirty plates.

Was she ****ed that we shared the Chicken Penne?

View attachment 351259

Who knows? She didn’t even deliver the food to our table. I give kudos to the chef for splitting the entreé in the kitchen, as we each got a bowl like the one pictured above. The pasta was cooked al dente and the wood-grilled chicken was delish! Mom thoroughly enjoyed her meal, as did I.

If only the service wasn’t so lousy.....
My mouth started watering as soon as I saw the Mama Melrose’s sign. So sorry you didn’t get to eat our favorite steak & Mac & cheese. It was sweet of you to share with your mom on her birthday!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Tuesday, con’t

Dusk had fallen when we left Mama Melrose. As we passed this:

351501

We heard a man call out, “Look, we’ve found the Red Light District!” :hilarious:


“Can we do Muppets? I like the Muppets,” said Mom.

Sadly, we were too late.....
351502

It closed at 6 pm?!

So we headed back to Toy Story Land as it was almost time for our Saucers FP.

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Such a pretty Land at night!

351504


We scanned in and had only a brief wait before we chose our saucer.

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Mom ❤ it! We laughed our way through each whip. We both wish the ride could be a little longer but that would make the line longer.

Slinky Dog standby was “down” to 80 minutes and I told Mom I was willing to wait, but she shook her head. I know she would love this coaster and she was looking forward to riding it, so I suggested we could come back on our last day for rope drop.

“Nope, I don’t want to make that long walk back and forth to the bus.”

Can’t say I blame her.
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
We had one more FP to use but the window didn’t open for another 20 minutes.

351509


Mom decided she’d rather browse a couple gift stores and then head out of the park. It was the perfect plan, as the bus was waiting for us when we reached the stop.

Didn’t your Mom want to see Fantasmic?
She ranks Fantasmic right with AK. I believe it was a “one and done” for her. Of course her first experience was in the sweltering heat of July and we were seated in the theater 90 minutes prior with my restless kids, so that may have something to do with it. 😉
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
Upon our return to the GF we stopped in Gasparilla’s to get Mom a cup of coffee and some breakfast items for the morning.

I was bummed when we entered our room and we hadn’t received turndown service. I wanted Mom to be surprised by this nice touch of drawn drapes, fluffed pillows and Ghirardelli chocolates.

Turndown at GF is now by request only. Earlier I had made a “stealth” call to housekeeping and requested a 7 pm turndown for each night of our stay. The CM I spoke with gave me a choice of times.

Oh well, I thought, Mom wasn’t expecting anything and it’s only our first night.

Happily Ever After was due to begin so we stepped out onto the patio to watch. We could see the smaller fireworks surrounding the castle, but not the big bursts.

This would not do for a fireworks junkie like me. I told Mom I was going outside the back door where there would be a better view. She said she was fine with staying on the patio.

I’m glad I moved.
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“Did you enjoy the show?” Mom asked when I reentered the room.
“Absolutely!”

We were tired and began to get ready for bed. I closed the drapes and went into the bathroom. I heard a knock on the door and Mom answer.

It was a housekeeper wanting to do turndown, two hours later than I requested. Mom of course had no idea why the housekeeper was there and told her our room was fine. The woman gave her a couple chocolates and left.

So much for the surprise, I thought to myself.

But wait, there’s more!

Turns out we did get a surprise after all. A few minutes later we heard the loud chords of a familiar tune. Mom opened the drapes and we had a perfect view of the Electrical Water Pageant!

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(Pic taken from inside our room.)

Mom was delighted as she adores the EWP.....just like her granddaughter (who is just now finding out we had this terrific view of it.....sorry Em!)
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Original Poster
My almost 4 year old has requested balsa wood to make an airplane for his birthday gift :hilarious:
I blame the Berenstein Bear books he inherited from my childhood.
Berenstain Bears are the BEST!! In fact, Mom just gave me this one for my birthday:
351610

I think the ❤️ caught her attention!
Looking forward to reading my collection to Tuvalette & Tuvaleen.

I have two of these in the packages that I found cleaning out a closet yesterday. I am going to give them to my kids in the morning, I wonder what they will think of them.
Did your kids like them?

And I MUST find me an angel dip somewhere .... I will not rest until I do!
I researched the bakery for you to see if they might ship.....alas, no......any orders have to be picked up in person. So next time you're in the Louisville area....
 

93boomer

Well-Known Member
Berenstain Bears are the BEST!! In fact, Mom just gave me this one for my birthday:
View attachment 351610
I think the ❤ caught her attention!
Looking forward to reading my collection to Tuvalette & Tuvaleen.


Did your kids like them?


I researched the bakery for you to see if they might ship.....alas, no......any orders have to be picked up in person. So next time you're in the Louisville area....
Berenstain Bears are definitely the best!!! I think we own every one of them.🤣
 

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