First of all, Happy 4th of July to everyone. Thought we’d post another installment before firing up the grill. And a special thanks to all of our commenters: Chezp, LlaffinPlace, PrincessSharon, Zacsmom, Colexis Mom and all the rest. And we are definitely looking forward to the triumphant return of LlaffinPlace. 🙂
On our list of rides for today was the Tiki Birds – we hadn’t done this in years – the last time was at WDW for the “new” Tiki Birds. We were looking forward to enjoying the original Tiki Birds. And this time we would order the Dole Whip Float from within the attraction – a favorite thing to do.We were still rather full from breakfast so we ordered 1 Dole Whip Float and shared it.
We sat in our usual row in the back and enjoyed the air-conditioned, relaxing show. Afterwards, we noticed that Disneyland was getting very busy, and the Adventureland area, in particular, is narrow and shows the crowds. So we popped into the shop right there – don’t remember its name, although it’s a favorite – and I bought a fun, sleeveless, tropical-looking top with Minnie Mouse on the front.
Then we wandered through Frontierland, past Big Thunder, past Thunder Mtn. Ranch (where the bbq has been revitalized), and on into Fantasyland, heading for Peter Pan to check out the length of the line. Too long so we strolled through the Castle, and took some pictures, before heading out.
We then found our way to Downtown Disney: World of Disney for a quick peek at the merchandise and then on to Basin for more of their fabulous body butter for our moisture-starved bodies and on to the Grand Californian for a yummy lunch, drink, and respite in the really cool Hearthstone Lounge (the best in all of Disney property) just off the lobby. Ah, the Grand Californian – nobody does it better – can we just live here?
This is when I appreciate the intimacy of the new Disneyland Resort – you can walk from your resort to Disneyland, to DCA, to Downtown Disney and even stop in at the Grand Californian if you’re not staying there. But because we weren’t resort guests for the first time since we’ve been back to experience this new Disneyland, we missed being able to access DCA from the GC – so we didn’t even step into DCA. Besides, on our last trip staying at the GC and doing the Food & Wine Festival, we spent a lot of time at DCA. It was nice to take a break.
But, feeling tired and feeling the crowds of Disneyland Park this morning, it was fabbo being able to waltz into the Grand Californian and relax at Hearthstone Lounge. What a bar – probably the longest we’ve seen on Disney property. It so reminded us of Lodge bars found in the west – magnificent. Wish we had taken a pic of it, but you can get a peek on Allears.
There’s a fireplace in a small nook off to the side but we sat in the main room overlooking the pool area and the new DVC additions – can’t wait until this is all finished. Looks like there will be another pool and hot tub in this area. While we were waiting for our order to arrive, we saw a GC tour and one of the stops is the Hearthstone Lounge.
It was so relaxing sitting here, soaking up the atmosphere – nice and quiet and we were missing staying here. We looked longingly at the pool and remembered how wonderful it was on our last trip, and were wishing we could just go back up to our room, change into our suits, and jump in. Maybe next time…
We ordered a Flatbread to share:
“Robusto” Flatbread – Topped with Coriza de Bilbao, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Burrata Cheese and Romesco Sauce
And 2 glasses of Cupcake Merlot – Cupcake Vineyards is on the Central California Coast in San Luis Obispo aka SLO. I love their slogan – “Go ahead, live deliciously.”
The flatbread was awesome – right up there with our favorite Kalamata Olive Flatbread from Jiko at AKL – although we might give the edge to the Kalamata Olive – but then, we love olives.
The Merlot was a nice pairing, and we just picked up another bottle from our favorite local wine discount store.
Next: It’s Pool Time or Is It?