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Old 12-17-2009, 10:24 PM   #1
OttawaWendy
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Default DW's Birthday and Pre-Christmas Trip

Hi all,

This is going to be my first trip report with photos I think. Let's start with a photo of what we are leaving behind:



Actually this is from 2 years ago, and there's only about 2 feet of snow now, but it is bloody cold. That's my dog Arthur on top of the snowbank (he's playing "I'm the king of the castle"). If you can believe it, there's a small tree under that snowbank.
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OttawaBoy's birth announcement and hospital support thread - good to read if you need a cry
OttawaWendy's views on "buy where you want to stay" versus "buy where it's cheapest"
Previous trip reports:
December 2009 - AKV and SSR; March 2010 - HHI; December 2010 - Kidani; January 2013 - Boardwalk Villa (OB = 19 months); November 2013 - AKL (OB = 31 months)

Last edited by OttawaWendy; 12-17-2009 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
OttawaWendy
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OK, that worked! I'm thrilled.

So, I will post here a brief outline of the trip, and then you probably won't hear from me until Saturday evening. But our plan is as follows:

Saturday, December 19:
wife turns 35 (reason for this trip, and getting over the disaster of our first fostering experience)
we fly out early in the morning on a direct flight, arrive about 10:30; should be in Disney by noon
lunch at Sanaa
play in the pool at Kidani (yes, I know it will be cold, but it will also be about 70 degrees F warmer than home - it will feel warm to us!)
dinner at Jiko
night in a Jambo studio

Sunday, December 20:
sleep in
Boma breakfast
play around Animal Kingdom Lodge including swim at Jambo
dinner at Narcoosees
night in a Jambo studio

Monday, December 21:
crazy park day (probably all four parks in one day)
Yes, I know this sounds crazy but we've done it before and it actually means the rest of the vacation is really relaxed; remember, as adults we can go from 8 am to 2 am
lunch at the Wave (to break up the day)
move to Saratoga studio for the rest of the trip

Tuesday, December 22:
sleep in
breakfast at Kona
possibly Blizzard Beach and/or miniature golf

Wednesday, December 23:
sleep in
no particular food plans (probably Earl of Sandwich, maybe something else fun at Downtown Disney)
shopping at Downtown Disney, swim at Saratoga

Thursday, December 24:
sleep in a little and then travel home (arrive in time for church)
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Family = me, OttawaMum, OttawaBoy (7 years) and LittleOttawa (4 years)

OttawaBoy's birth announcement and hospital support thread - good to read if you need a cry
OttawaWendy's views on "buy where you want to stay" versus "buy where it's cheapest"
Previous trip reports:
December 2009 - AKV and SSR; March 2010 - HHI; December 2010 - Kidani; January 2013 - Boardwalk Villa (OB = 19 months); November 2013 - AKL (OB = 31 months)
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:44 PM   #3
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Have a great trip!
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:19 PM   #4
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Have a great time & to DW!
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:21 PM   #5
janet1106
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OttawaWendy and DW have a great trip..
Too bad Arthur can't come along...
He is a good looking dog..
Happy Birthday to DW
Your trip outline of restaurants sound great.
Enjoy.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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Have a wonderful vacation, Wendy!
Happy Birthday to DW!
Arthur is adorable.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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Can't see pictures at work, but I'm sure I'll agree with the others regarding Arthur. Have a great trip! Happy birthday to your wife!
-Brian
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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Hope you all have a magical trip!
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:19 PM   #9
OttawaWendy
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Default Arrival and Sanaa

Jambo everybody!

Dealing with photos is taking longer than I imagined. So I will try to do a trip report somewhat as we go, but I expect I'll fall quite far behind. Be patient please!

Our flight was pretty good. The only really irritating thing was the US Customs official who refused to allow us to use one form because they won't recognize our marriage (and I'll point out that we've used one form before). I know it's meaningless, but I hate having to say "zero" next to "number of family members you are traveling with?". But, read on - karma came back to us!

We arrived about 10:40 a.m. in MCO (Orlando airport) and were sitting on the Magical Express bus 30 minutes later. We checked in at Jambo house with no problem, although of course our room wasn't ready.

Here's a photo of the beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby:



For those who have never been, the Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby is a sight to behold. My camera can't do it justice but the detail and the size of the thing take your breath away.

It was my wife's birthday today, so our first stop was a quick trip to Animal Kingdom theme park so we could get her birthday fun card. Disney will give you free admission on your birthday, and if you have a multi-day park admission ticket, you can get a spending card worth the value of a free ticket (about $80). So we caught a bus to AK, went to the right place and then discovered we had left our multi-day tickets back at Jambo House. So that was a waste of an hour.

Here's a photo of some vegetation around AKL, while waiting for the bus:



Went back to Kidani Village (for those who are new to DVC, Animal Kingdom Lodge has two complexes - Jambo House where we are staying, and Kidani Village). This was our first visit to Kidani.

We ate at Sanaa for lunch. The idea is that it is African cooking, influenced by Indian flavour. I imagine that is consistent with Zanzibar and other places on the Indian Ocean coast of Africa, with a certain amount of latitude. We are on the Deluxe Dining Plan (Daitcher, I know you hate it, but we just added up the cost of what we were going to eat over these three days and decided DDP for two nights was cheaper.), so we asked about which appetizers were acceptable. Our server told us everything, including the appetizers marked for two, were eligible for the DxDP. That was completely contrary to what we heard another server say to another table. So, our server was either: a) very new or b) giving us the gay discount (if this boy was straight, so am I). I'm betting on b.

We got the bread service for two. I won't get the names right, but we had something onion, naan, and paneer parantha (which is an African bread with Indian cheese), served with a mango chutney, a spicy red chili paste, and a red pepper hummous. All were excellent (well, I didn't eat the onion bread, but DW says it was good). We also had the selection of three salads: a chickpea thing with onions and some other stuff, a roasted beet thing, and one with potatoes, corn, spinach and oil. Also all good. We took a picture and for some reason I can't upload it.

A word about photos - my wife if careful about privacy, so she won't let me post a picture of her, or her name. So this trip report will mostly be photos of what we ate and saw.

Sanaa is right on the savannah. Here are some pictures we took while eating.

An eland (I think):



A wildebeest:



Giraffe (with ostrich behind):



For entrees, my wife had today's sustainable fish, which was Icelandic Arctic char in a light curry broth. She said fish, broth and vegetables were excellent:



I asked for advice and got the pork chop with ginger and lime sauce. I substituted a fruit salad for the potato salad that is normally served. I think I have read that the pork chop isn't authentic, but they know people want at least one pork dish, but it was great:



For dessert, my wife had a trio of a chocolate cake, Chai Cream (chai tea and spices in a cream and gelatin base) and something that was like a cross between cheesecake and ice cream. All were excellent. I had the full sized version of the Chai Cream which was outstanding.



The restaurant itself is interestingly themed. Here's the ceiling:



We walked back to Jambo House (a nice 10 minute walk) and here's an interesting plant:



OK. I hope all this works, and I'll try to post more.
__________________
Family = me, OttawaMum, OttawaBoy (7 years) and LittleOttawa (4 years)

OttawaBoy's birth announcement and hospital support thread - good to read if you need a cry
OttawaWendy's views on "buy where you want to stay" versus "buy where it's cheapest"
Previous trip reports:
December 2009 - AKV and SSR; March 2010 - HHI; December 2010 - Kidani; January 2013 - Boardwalk Villa (OB = 19 months); November 2013 - AKL (OB = 31 months)

Last edited by OttawaWendy; 12-20-2009 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:47 PM   #10
OttawaWendy
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Default More AKL Lobby and our room

Here's another of the lobby:



The fifth floor walkover bridge:



Looking down into the first floor sitting area that is right in front of the savannah (you would go out the doors left of here to get to the fire pit and the Arushu rock looking area - spelling doesn't count!):



And here's a detail one of a table in the lobby:



We got our room and unfortunately it is one of the ones that looks onto the water hole in the Sunset savannah, which means it has fewer animals than some of the other savannahs. But we do seem to have our own resident eland:



Here's the tv and wardrobe:



The sitting area:

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Family = me, OttawaMum, OttawaBoy (7 years) and LittleOttawa (4 years)

OttawaBoy's birth announcement and hospital support thread - good to read if you need a cry
OttawaWendy's views on "buy where you want to stay" versus "buy where it's cheapest"
Previous trip reports:
December 2009 - AKV and SSR; March 2010 - HHI; December 2010 - Kidani; January 2013 - Boardwalk Villa (OB = 19 months); November 2013 - AKL (OB = 31 months)
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