Father’s Day Brunch at Wine Bar George

From our Inbox:

Seven Layers of Awesome

Behold…The Dad Stack. Join us on Father’s Day for seven layers of French Toast, French Fries, Bacon, Sausage Gravy, Chicken Sausage, Skirt Steak and Sunny Side Up Eggs. See you June 16 for brunch?

Ah, Wine Bar George – no, we won’t be there for Father’s Day (although, we have other fun plans), but oh how we miss you! Just this time last year we were enjoying the “Rosé Tasting with Master Sommellier” event with you, George. So much fun – we hung out with you often. We were your first customers on your first full opening day. And you were the last place we went before our move back West. Thanks for the memories!

Our compensation is making reservations for special dining events for Rich’s birthday this summer at Disneyland! Woo hoo!

 

Catching up with Galaxy’s Edge and Las Vegas Local Stuff

While I catch up with the DIS Unplugged Galaxy’s Edge coverage, I thought I’d post some stuff about catching up with some of our favorite local hangouts – some old, some new.

One of the few sit down restaurants in our old neighborhood is Famous Dave’s BBQ. We hadn’t been there for years but while we were revisiting the neighborhood on Saturday, we thought we’d sit down and have some lunch. They are now offering lunch specials, calories listed, so it was much easier to choose a reasonable meal.

Rich:

Texas Beef Brisket (with Sweet & Zesty sauce added)
Piled high with hand-seasoned, hickory-smoked Texas Beef Brisket
Dave’s Cheesy Mac & Cheese

Kathy:

BBQ Tacos

Flour tortilla filled with pico de gallo, cilantro and fresh jalapeño
Our homestyle version blended with four cheeses
Wilbur’s beans

We each had a glass of Blue Moon, although neither of us finished it. All was delicious, and it was awesome to be back in the neighborhood.

One of our new discoveries is Bobby Mao’s Chinese Kitchen & Mexican Cuisine, located in the former Chevy’s (officially Henderson).  We were so disappointed when so many Chevy’s closed out here, including the one in Vegas, but we’ve come to love Bobby Mao’s. So far, we’ve been focusing on the Mexican menu: Carne Asada Street Tacos (6 to share), chips, salsa and guac, and Margarita for me and beer for Rich, all on the Sunday lunch Happy Hour Menu.

The big surprise for this time was addition of live music was awesome. We were seated to the sounds of “Route 66.” At first we thought it was on a playlist but then we noticed the musician sitting on stage – Calvin Brooks – he was pretty amazing!

Check out his credentials on his web site. I’m dumbfounded that we got to see him perform while eating lunch. That’s Vegas for you – kinda cool! So much talent in this town, and you never know where it’s going to pop up.

An Evening at Wilderness Lodge

We’ve been craving a martini at Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge for some time now. It would be a nice change from hoofing it around a hot park – air conditioning, peace, quiet, ah…

We each had a dirty Ketel One Vodka martini, the Oregon White Cheddar Chardonnay Cheese Fondue that comes with 3 pretzel breadsticks and grapes, and the Asian Sticky Wings. The Cheese Fondue is amazing and the wings are quite tasty, although tonight they were especially salty.

We noticed the famous Artist Point Mushroom Soup is on the lounge menu along with the Berry Cobbler (we’ve had the Cobbler in the lounge before), but we decided to save those two items for our final Artist Point dinner at the end of next month right before it becomes the silly Snow White Character dinner. I mean, did they have to convert it completely? How about special occasions or just until 8 pm or something like that?

 

We noticed Artist Point was quite busy last night so maybe it hasn’t been hurting or maybe everybody is just booking it now because they know time is running out but it seemed like there were many families with the stroller brigade crowding the restroom area. Obviously, Disney World is going after the family dollars above all else.

After our lovely little meal and drink, we walked the grounds and while it’s as beautiful and mostly peaceful as ever. We stopped with another couple to get some photos of a rabbit hiding in the flowerbed and took turns taking photos of each other.

Later on our way to what was once the Trout Pass Bar, we were almost run over by two New Yorkers when I paused for two seconds to take a photo. People seem to be storming over to Geyser Point – that place is always a madhouse these days – and the smores area is making it even more crowded.

Note: Rich is standing in front of where we last sat on stools and enjoyed a glass of wine before our last meal at Artist Point over Thanksgiving 2017. Sigh…

We did enjoy another lovely walk over to the cabins – wouldn’t we like to live there? Wow! Of course, we love Wilderness Lodge and in some ways really hate to see these changes impacting that peaceful experience it used to be. It’s sad that the Trout Pass Bar is now a nail salon – I mean, a nail salon by the pool? Seriously? Oh well, I may have to give it a try for old times’ sake.

It was such a beautiful night and we were wishing we were staying over, but, alas, it was soon time to go home. But first we had a quick look around the gift shop and then out to the parking lot to retrieve our car to begin the drive home via the Windermere townhome for old times’ sake. After all, when we lived there, Skipper, Lovey, and Buddy were still with us. It wasn’t such a bad life, now was it? 🙂

Back when the townhome community was new. The trees in front of the townhomes are so huge now, it makes the neighborhood seem much more crowded.

Welcome Home to Florida

We caught an early flight out of Las Vegas yesterday morning and as the plane circled over our former home, heading out into the open desert, I said something like, “What a pile of dirt!” – lol!

It had been an emotional roller coaster revisiting the place we’d called home for 9 years. I was reminded not only of the excitement we’d had flying in from San Francisco and staying in different hotel properties, but also living there. I was also reminded of why we felt compelled to leave.

The flight on Southwest was pretty good going back – the service was quite attentive – and before we knew it, we were landing in Orlando via over Tampa to avoid some storms. What a sight for sore eyes! I mean, literally! All the greenery and water! What a contrast from the Las Vegas desert.

And I began to feel a renewal of my original love for Florida as we drove the hour back home. So pretty. So peaceful. Sunny but not too sunny. Hot but not too too hot – even the humidity is a welcome relief from the oven-like temps of Vegas. Maybe that was the point of the trip for me. For Rich, well, he had a very productive week at work. Everybody so excited to see him. They’d love to have him back at headquarters but I don’t think I could live there again.

We’re definitely looking forward to getting back to Disney, and especially for the Food & Wine Festival. Rich’s brother will be here for that – looking forward to reconnecting like we did on our trip in 2010. What a year that was – doing the F&W Festival with our Disney friends and family. Looking forward to seeing who we can meet and connect with this year.

We stopped at our little downtown deli and Rich got us some sandwiches to take home because neither of us wanted to prepare food. We noticed a musician set up outside the market/deli area and we stopped for a listen and offered a tip. I took some video and captured a pic of that. What a fabulous welcome home!

A Day in the Neighborhood

Last night I had the strongest martini I’d ever had – wow! I could barely get out of bed this morning. I don’t think it had anything to do with how amazed I was that the view of the Las Vegas Strip from my bed was lit up all night long – lol! You don’t see that in Florida. How soon we forget what a place is like.

Rich brought us some coffee and breakfast from Starbucks in the lobby and then I rode with him to work to have the rental car. So today I drove through the old neighborhood just to see it. Not much has changed in the almost 16 months since we moved away. The new emergency room was finished and open and I hear it’s pretty awesome.

i couldn’t get inside our gated community (although it looks like they’re still having problems with the gate), so I just did a drive by and then drove to our favorite park and walked a bit of the trail. I was overcome by the feeling of being home. Of course, to my psyche, Skipper and Lovey are waiting for me in the house – not on the Rainbow Bridge. I could have stayed for hours but I had to get back to the hotel to get ready for lunch with Rich and our friend John.

So nice to see a familiar face – lunch at Lola’s was awesome! Rich then dropped John off at work and me back at the hotel.

I remember how difficult it is to live here – the heat is so intense as is the sun blinding. The best part about Vegas is staying in a hotel casino in a separate world than the harsh reality of the desert. Still, there are so many memories here, so many things that feel like home.

 

 

1999: Where the Disney Florida Dream Started

You might have noticed our new domain for this blog – DisneynCruising.com. It all goes back to 1999 when Rich and I flew to Orlando from San Francisco and stayed at the Yacht Club for the first time. This was Rich’s first trip to Disney World – I’d been twice before: 1982 after my first Caribbean cruise and in 1987 on a combo Big Red Boat cruise to the Bahamas/WDW trip. It was always about Disney and cruising.

1999 was quite the year. In May, we went to WDW, and in November we celebrated Rich’s parents 50th anniversary on a Caribbean cruise on the Holland America’s Westerdam out of Fort Lauderdale – our second cruise together – the first was on Celebrity’s Century (see header pic) in 1997.

By December, we bought our first home together after Rich transferred to the “Silicon Forest” office in Oregon and I continued contracting for a couple of Silicon Valley companies. That’s when this whole journey began that led to three moves to Florida and where we are today.

Skipper and Buddy were born April 9, we moved into our home on April 14th, and Skipper and Buddy came home June 19th. We got Lovey a year later. The 3 Musketeers. Skipper was devastated when we lost Lovey last year. And, now, with Skipper gone, we are grieving the end of a very special time.

Shadow is grieving terribly – running around yelling all night – not every night, although tonight is one of those nights and neither of us can sleep. So I figured it was time to pay a little tribute to the journey that started with Disney World and cruising.

After church on Sunday in Orlando, I think we’ll drive by the Windermere townhome remembering when I pulled up in front of the townhome and Rich opened the front door and Skipper just walked outside to greet me. I was horrified that he was outside – for 18 years I put my heart into loving him and protecting him and worrying about him getting outside. And now he’s gone. The end of an era that leaves me feeling rather empty.

Here are a few photos from the early days.

Buddy and Skipper with their personalized collars they hated as kittens (those were soon dispensed of) in first house in Oregon

Lovey in the dishwasher

Skipper never very far away from Lovey

Little girl with her big bruiser

“The Little Couple” (Skipper and Lovey)

Lovey loving the fireplace

The 3 Musketeers – Lovey and Skipper with the “Brother/Brother-in-law”

Living 2 miles from Cinderella Castle – remembering when I parked in front of the townhome and Rich opened the front door and Skipper just walked outside to greet me