Flower & Garden Festival #Epcot, Day 1

This time we remembered the suitcase, but, later, we would realize we forgot to put a few things *inside* the suitcase. I hope we get this down before our cruise – lol!

We arrived at the Dolphin around 10:30 in time for my 11 am pedicure. As some of you may recall, the Mandara Spa there is our favorite. This time Rich would kill some time in the lobby while I was busy with my spa morning. You may recall last summer when we were living in a nearby Air bnb waiting for our house to be finished and he’d hurt his back so he had a massage there.

Our room was ready so we even had time to drop off our suitcase in the room before heading to the spa. The room was at the end of a long hallway… and it had seen better days. More on that later in the trip.

Rich stayed with me until they called me in and then he went out to explore. My technician was really good – one of the best. She made pleasant conversation but wasn’t odd or pushy. She even brought me a mimosa. Funny thing is, in Las Vegas, the casino spas did not offer alcohol. Only one offsite place in Southern Highlands called “Professor Nails.”

After the pedi, we were on the search for lunch. We looked at the dining choices inside the Dolphin and noticed a Mexican restaurant called “Rosa Mexicano.” We hadn’t noticed that before so we asked for directions and off we went.

They’d only been open for about 3 weeks and let me tell you, it was some of the best Mexican food I’d ever had. Growing up in Southern California and being a Mexicophile, that is high praise!

Driving Under the WDW Sign

Dolphin Lobby Tour

Rosa Mexicano Live Review

Blood Orange Tequila Sunrise

After lunch, we headed back to the room to unpack and rest for the afternoon. We were planning on heading out to Epcot for the Flower & Garden Festival for the evening. But, it began to rain and even when it sorta started to clear up, the streets were wet and we didn’t want to risk getting stuck in the rain or getting my new shoes wet. 🙂

Instead, we made a late dinner ressie at the Grand Floridian Cafe, which gave us parking privileges at the Grand Floridian. Then we headed for the Enchanted Rose Lounge, which we hadn’t been to yet.

We each had the “Classic Martini” and, oh my goodness! It was the best martini any of us had ever had. Here are a couple of video shorts:

Enchanted Rose Lounge 1

Enchanted Rose Lounge 2

After our martinis, we checked into the GF Cafe, but were late getting seated (kept telling us they were cleaning off our table but does that really take 15 minutes – lol) but awesome service once our server arrived. Afterwards, we walked the grounds and spotted this beauty:

100th Anniversary Monorail

What a glorious ending to a beautiful day!

The Port Orleans Pet Sitter Test Trip, Day 2, Part 2 and Finale

We drove the back way home from Hudson to our resort and took a much-needed nap. By the time we woke up, the evening was descending. It was too early to just stay in so we hopped on the boat to Disney Springs. we were hoping to get to the outside seating area of the Boathouse but the spaces not under cover were closed as they were expecting rain.

We headed over to Jock Lindseys’s Hangar Bar and snagged a seat inside. We’d only sat outside before so this was a new experience, one we really enjoyed at night. Great atmosphere inside, which we hadn’t noticed during the day.

We weren’t that hungry so we shared an order of 3 tacos al pastor. I had my usual Margarita – don’t know why I didn’t get a Singapore Sling as a nod to my youth.

Rich ordered a “Scottish Professor” – Monkey Shoulder Blended malt Scotch Whiskey, Hendrick’s Gin, Pear Nectar, Simple Syrup, and fresh Lemon Juice.

I took a sip of Rich’s drink and it was so amazing, I’d wished I’d ordered that instead. So smooth, which is exactly what my stomach wanted this night. Next time.

fter our meal, we walked over to Ghirardelli and shared the Ocean Beach Sea Salt Caramel Sundae – Caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, handmade milk or dark chocolate hot fudge topped with whipped cream, sea salt and a Milk or Dark Sea Salt Caramel Square. This is what we always got at DCA at the Disneyland Resort. Reminding me of going to the original Ghirardelli at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco when we lived there.

We rode the boat back to our resort and spotted a carriage on the way back to our room. Completely unplanned, the night truly turned into a magical evening.

We slept well both nights on the king bed. For breakfast, we were thinking about those beignets again, but they were out. Rich got us some coffee and a couple breakfast sandwiches, we packed up, checked out and drove home.

By the way, all went well with the pet sitter. She really spent a lot of time with the kitties and I think Chip is especially looking forward to our next trip away. Hopefully, we won’t forget the suitcase. 🙂

The Port Orleans Pet Sitter Test Trip, Day 1

Now that we’re back in Florida, it was time to get a new pet sitter. We had an awesome one in Las Vegas (Shadow so misses Scott), but it can be a challenge to find somebody you trust and the cats like. Daisy hides, Shadow likes male sitters, but Chip seems to love everybody. They all warmed up to Julie and Chip seems to really be into her.

We booked a 2-night stay at Port Orleans. We don’t really like Moderate resorts at WDW, but since this was just a pet sitter test trip, and not the main event, we were a bit more budget-conscious.

This was our first time at Port Orleans and it surprised us in a good way. Thankfully, they got rid of those bathroom curtain doorway separators and the bathroom remodel is a big improvement.

Not only do we need to test out a pet sitter but we obviously needed to test our own process. We were almost to Orlando when Rich realized he’d left our suitcase in the garage at home. He pulled over and, since he was on the busy side of the road, I jumped out to take a peek and, yep, no suitcase in the trunk.

Eventually, we made it back to Port Orleans and checked into our room. Then we took Disney transportation (bus) to Animal Kingdom. Last time we lived in Florida we loved to hang out at Nomad Lounge, chat with the CMs and other guests and were excited to return.

It was odd. Everything about it was odd. The person who seated us, the small table we were given, and the lame service throughout. No awesome CM chat. No guest chat (have noticed this seems to be normal post-Pandemic. People are more insular).

The only good part was the food. It was amazing. Especially the “Chicken Manchurian Nomad Bowl.” Rich had a charcuterie plate but also raved about the Chicken Manchurian. I had the Bolo Rita Cocktail and Rich had the Spice Trader Classic. Churros for dessert were pretty special, too.