Rosé Tasting with Master Sommellier at Wine Bar George and a Walk Down Memory Lane

Oh my, my, where to begin? Well, when I saw the special event posted on Instagram, well, I had to forward it to Rich and he immediately bought our tickets for Saturday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. It soon sold out and we noticed that in addition to the Friday afternoon event at the same time, a new event was created for 1:00 p.m. before our tasting. Nice to see the popularity of such an event. As you will recall, we ate lunch at Wine Bar George on the first full opening day a couple of weeks ago. We were so impressed, we knew we’d be back, but not so soon and at a special event.

Loving wine, vineyards, wineries, and anything related to wine, having grown up in a family’s Central Valley vineyard, living near Napa/Sonoma/Livermore and even a few years living near the Willamette Valley vineyards, well, let’s just say neither of us can resist such an event.

George is amazing, so friendly, knowledgeable, sef-effacing, and a great storyteller. We’re not that into Rosé but he made it an awesome event. And we came away with a new respect for Rosé.

We were divided into groups of six at five tables. We managed to sit next to the woman who won the little contest identifying all six wines by region – she identified all six correctly, a feat nobody had managed at the two previous events. She’s quite the Rosé drinker. 🙂

Each table also had a charcuterie/cheese/bread board – amazing! What’s not to love – food, wine, good company, and Disney?

So stoked after the event, we decided this was the time to walk over to Saratoga Springs for the first time since we’ve been back in Central Florida. We used to do this walk often when we lived in Windermere. In fact, this was my “go-to” place to celebrate (i.e., let off steam) the release of my books.

We noticed the new boat dock and shortcut to the walkway leading to Saratoga Springs, which was a great improvement. We stopped in at our favorite pool bar and Rich asked about bartender Rich to see if he was still there. He was, much to our surprise, but he wasn’t working that day. Well have to go back and say hi.

In the wine mood and a bit hungry after just a few snacks during the tasting, I found a table and Rich ordered two glasses of Cab and a cheeseburger flatbread. It was a bit warm sitting here, so we found our way to some shadier chairs on the other side of the pool near the Agapanthas, a flowering bush found all over California, including the Disneyland resort. After our meal, we stopped in at Artist Palette and the gift shop for old times’ sake.


We walked back and made our way to the Orange garage, and ended up walking 4.5 miles again. But this time, unlike at Epcot, whenever my hip started hurting after about 3-3.5 miles, we sat down and took a break so I was able to make it back to the car without any problems.

We stopped off to listen to some music reminiscent of what we used to hear at Downtown Disney near the Grand Californian. Disney Springs has so upped their vibe, Disneyland is going to have to work hard to keep up. 🙂



First Guests at Wine Bar George

Yes, that was us – the first guests on the first full opening day, Sunday. 11 am. George himself greeted us both coming and going.

The atmosphere was way cool, the food incredible and the wine perfectly paired.

We shared the Skirt Steak (with fingerling potatoes and asparagus) family platter meant to be shared. We ate about half and brought the rest home. Heated up for dinner, it was even more awesome – the flavors all married together.  So tender… we’ll be back for more.

As for wine, I had a glass of Argentinian Malbec and Rich had a California Merlot that reminded me of more of a Cab. I don’t recall the names but I took photos of the bottles, which I will post.

We also shared the Olive Oil Cake. I’d wanted to try that for a long time and it was also amazing!

Our server Jason was simply the best!

We were well-rewarded for the long drive through a deluge of epic rain. This was the kind of Disney magic that dreams are made of and we renewed our Annual Pass.

Margarita Sunday at Frontera Cocina, Disney Springs

We’re still settling into the beach house but we took some time this weekend to enjoy the beach on Saturday. It’s so wonderful to be living near the beach again. We really love the pinks/blues we see in the sky.

As fun as that was, I’m feeling a bit unsettled living in a new place. We moved across the country, back to Florida for the third time, but we’re living in a place we haven’t lived before. We’ve only been here 2 months – it’s still so new to me. I was really craving a feeling of the familiar. So we went to our favorite church in Orlando, drove through Dr. Phillips and Windermere remembering when we  lived there, and pointed the Challenger towards Disney Springs.

We’d had reservations at Frontera on Valentine’s Day but after participating in FAWM (February Album Writing Month – write 14 songs in 28 days), I got sick 7 songs in, so we had to cancel. We were making this weekend our Valentine’s celebration.

It was a holiday weekend and after twelve p.m., so our usual Lime Garage was full. This was our first time in the Orange Garage and we were a bit confused on how to get to Frontera and ended up taking the long way around. The good news is, on the way back we figured it out, which will help us immensely should we have to park in that garage again.

We bypassed the long line of those waiting for a table and headed for the bar – a trick we learned on our last visit to Frontera. We ordered our usual Blood Orange Jalapeno Margaritas, which were served to us right away, and our lunch entrees (Carne Asada Tacos for me and Short Rib Tacos for Rich), which took a bit longer. We were starving by the time they arrived but they were worth the wait.

We chatted with a nice couple sitting next to us – they’d had dinner there the night before and were back for Margaritas and then had an extra tequila shot before leaving.

After lunch, we headed for the Ganachery. While there we chatted with the CM and the guy in line behind us. The CM was going to Italy and he had been there when he lived in Paris. He mentioned Marseille and we mentioned we would be in Marseille on our future Med cruise. He said we would love it – great food and wine. He wished us a great trip! He was fabulous and why we love people we meet at Disney.

Alas, it was time to drive back to the beach, but were halfway thinking about making our favorite church in Orlando our regular church and combining church and Disney on a regular basis.

Christmas at Disney’s Yacht Club

We knew we wanted to spend Christmas Day at Disney World (outside the parks for crowd and AP blockout reasons) and have Christmas dinner at one of the restaurants. We couldn’t decide which, though, so we changed our ressies several times. But when we read about the new Ale and Compass at the Yacht Club, we settled on that the day before. And we were so glad we did.

Of course we love the Yacht Club – it is our home resort at WDW ever since our first stay there back in 1999 (the Contemporary was Kathy’s first back in 1982). We were very impressed with Ale and Compass – the decor, the food, and the service.

Christmas Lunch
by Rich

Starter (Shared)
Oven-roasted Oysters
with Spinach and Creamed Kale, White Cheddar, and Cornbread Crumbs

Entree – Kathy
Maine Lobster Roll
with choice House-made Vinegar Chips

Entree – Rich
Open-faced Skirt Steak Sandwich
with Caramelized Onions, Poached Egg, Fennel, Watercress, and Tomato Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette

Wine – Kathy
Domaine Savary Chablis, Burgundy

Wine – Rich
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah, Columbia Valley

The oven-roasted oysters were fabulous, just the right start to the meal. The breading and accompaniments to the oysters were in perfect proportion to the oysters.

Kathy’s lobster roll was wonderful – not over-dressed, just delicious chunks of lobster on a nicely-sized roll. Kathy enjoyed an ideal pairing of hard-to-find Chablis.

Rich’s medium-rare skirt steak was incredible – tender, juicy, and full of flavor. The caramelized onions and truffle vinaigrette were especially nice touches. The Syrah was a splendid pairing, achieving a lovely balance between blackberry fruit and sweet smokiness.

After our meal we walked the Boardwalk, stopping at our usual kissing spot, and popped into the Boardwalk where we were each offered a complimentary peppermint sugar cookie. We continued our walk full circle to the Yacht Club – Rich even skipped his usual Boardwalk skip – and two stools at the Hurricane Hanna pool bar called our names and we each had a Margarita.

We chatted with other guests from St. Augustine, noting that this is the real replacement for the Trout Pass Bar at Wilderness Lodge. It has the same vibe that Geyser Point sadly does not quite have with so many families gathering there.

After our cocktails and conversation (love this about Disney World), we were in search of coffee before we hit the road and ended up at Beaches and Cream where Rich got us two coffees and two ice cream sandwiches (huge but yummy – lol) while Kathy grabbed us a table overlooking Stormalong Bay.

We stopped in at the gift shop where Yacht Club coffee cups captured our attention, made our purchases and then we drive back to the beach.

It was a gorgeous day out – low 70s compared to mid 50s at the beach. What an awesomely perfect Christmas! Disney for the day was even better being able to return to our new home at the beach.

Is Everybody At Disney for Easter Week?

This week on the blog, it’s been very quiet out there. I don’t know if it’s because everybody’s at Disney during Easter week or it’s something I said. 🙂

Watching Tim Tracker’s video, I’m thinking it’s because everybody is at WDW this week.

I hope that’s the reason, unless I was actually at WDW, and then I wouldn’t be too excited by those crowds – sheesh!

Anyway, hope you’re all having a great time and hope to see you real soon.


Thanksgiving in Margaritaville: Day 4, Part 3: Artist Point

We checked in at Artist Point close to our 5:45 PM reservation. We were seated at a table for two near the windows overlooking the walkway down to Roaring Forks. We had never been seated here before, but we had always noticed it. It turned out to be a very nice location, secluded and quiet with a nice view of the rest of the dining room.


Rich & Kathy
Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills


Chinook Cedar Plank Salmon
Baby Sweet Potato, Chicory Greens, Forelle Pears, Yogurt, Lemon Vinaigrette

Seared Diver Sea Scallop Paella
Little Neck Clams, Mussels, Carolina Gold Rice, Tomato Broth, Petite Fennel


Rich & Kathy (Shared)
Seasonal Berries, Black Raspberry Ice Cream

Our server Rae was wonderful. Before long, she was pouring us huge glasses of Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir. It is one of our favorite Pinot Noirs. We have visited the Sokol Blosser winery many times and were members of the wine club.

We skipped the appetizers so we could save room for the cobbler for dessert. The menu was much different from the last time we were here, and Rich was happy to see that there was a paella that did not contain shrimp, which he is allergic to. The combination of scallops, clams, and mussels was a perfect blend. And the rich, thick paella was creamy and delicious.

Kathy’s salmon, the signature dish of Artist Point, was spot-on, with rich, deep flavors and a wonderful blend of accompaniments. We tasted each other’s entrees, and we enjoyed everything.

Kathy’s comments: It was really a classic Artist Point menu, but I could have done without the extra greenery on top. In fact, the couple who were seated behind us after we were seated had obviously enjoyed Rae’s service before and the woman told her to skip the greenery on her plate. Disney seems to be getting carried away with what they think is healthy eating. I enjoy veggies but this was ridiculous. lol! Still, they were tasty.

We had to have the cobbler, something we were looking forward to for so long. And it didn’t disappoint. Warm, yummy, and comforting, it was the perfect end to the meal. We shared the cobbler, and even then we were quite full from the scrumptious meal.

It was hard to tear ourselves away from the incredible atmosphere and the memory of the delightful meal, but alas we had more adventures ahead.

Kathy’s comments: Rich started talking about how tired he was and he didn’t think he was up for the drive back to Clearwater Beach. He mentioned something about checking to see if we could get a room at Wilderness Lodge. I wasn’t quite sure he was serious at first – this isn’t like him. But he kept mentioning it.

I was thinking it would be nice to boat over to Ft. Wilderness and we could do that if we were staying over. But being the budget keeper of this trip. I was a bit concerned about WL as a choice, so I suggested we stay at the nearby Residence Inn, which was $99 per night. We knew that because at one time we’d planned to split the trip. So we booked the room and boated over to Ft. Wilderness and back. More about the room in tomorrow’s post.

img_7626Waiting for our table

img_7627Enjoying our wine

img_7630Rich’s Paella with fennel moved

img_7628Kathy’s salmon with greens moved

img_7632Ah… the Cobbler!!


Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Friday, Getaway Day

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 1: Disneyland

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 2: DCA

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 3: Dinner at Carthay Circle

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 4: DCA, Soarin’ & Sunday: Beach Breakfast


Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 4: DCA, Soarin’ & Sunday: Beach Breakfast

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

After that marvelous dinner, our first order of business was to ride some rides! Woo hoo! So we headed for the new “Soarin’ Around the World,” figuring if we only did that one, so be it. The wait time said 70 minutes but we got in line anyway. It ended up being only about 40 minutes, which was awesome.


We chatted with the couple next to us in line and then we were seated with them on the ride vehicle.

We hadn’t expected to like it – after all, we loved Soarin’ Over California and while we were interested in maybe a Soarin’ Over Florida or a Soarin’ Over America, we weren’t that impressed with POV videos on YouTube.

The experience was so much better. We loved it!! We were seated close to the far end and it’s true about distortion in that location. But overall, it was great! And we all clapped at the same ending as “Soarin’ Over California.”

After Soarin’, we peeked into our favorite gift shop, Rushin River Outfitters to see if they had any more of those fluffy tigers. They didn’t.

And the we stopped in and rode Mermaid, which is so fun!

Then we headed for Luigis Rolickin Roadsters, the replacement for the Luigis tires ride we’d never been on. But this ride was fabulous and a great addition to Cars Land.

One of the CMs wished me “Happy Birthday” in Italian and so I said, “Grazie,” of course. 🙂

I was craving an ice cream so Rich suggested the Cozy Cone in Cars Land. It was dark by now and the setting was awesome! We love this place – really takes me back to my childhood.


We took our cones to watch the Racers zip by – FPs were gone by this time so we had to give it a pass this trip, but it’s almost just as much fun sitting there and watching.

And then we headed back down Cars Land and caught some of the Disneyland fireworks over the Cozy Cone.

We’ve been wondering if we should get another Disneyland AP this fall and, perhaps, DCA alone would be worth the cost. Love this place!!

By this time we were ready to head back to the resort so, of course, we manage to time it with everybody leaving Disneyland after the fireworks. Oh no! And that meant, standing room only for the shuttle going back to our resort. But the ride was short, but longer than usual because the driver managed to hit every light. 🙂

We were exhausted when we climbed into bed but so happy that we managed to ride so many rides and have so many wonderful experiences in Disneyland Park and DCA. It had been a full but fruitful day. And the dinner was truly memorable. The only day was memorable.

The next morning we checked out, retrieved our car, and drove to Norm’s for breakfast in Huntington Beach. Then we drove south on PCH, took a drive around Newport Beach hoping for a parking place so we could take a quick walk on the beach. But the parking lot was already full at 10 a.m. so we hit the road and drove home.

What a short but fabulous weekend birthday getaway!

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 3: DCA, Dinner at Carthay Circle

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

Rich wrote this post highlighting our dining experience at Carthay Circle.

Dinner and Drink Selections


Kathy & Rich:
Carthay Diamond Martini (60th Anniversary Cocktail)
Classically prepared with Hendrick’s Gin (Rich) or Double Cross Vodka (Kathy), Lillet Blanc Dry Vermouth, and Gourmet Truffle Olives served with an Ice Sphere


Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits
Stuffed with White Cheddar, Bacon, and Jalapeño with Apricot Honey Butter


Kathy: Carthay Shellfish Cioppino
Royal Shrimp, Black Mussels, Manila Clams, Snow Crab Claws, Ramen Noodles, Lemon Grass, Pineapple

Rich: Grilled White Sea Bass (Sustainable Fish of the Day)
Avocado Relish, Tree Ripe Peach-Almond Gazpacho

DESSERT (Shared)

Meyer Lemon “Cracked” Meringue Tart
Fresh California Strawberries and a Birthday Candle


When the parade ended, we followed the end of the parade, and then entered Carthay Circle restaurant. After a brief wait in line, we approached the desk to check in for our 6:10 pm dinner reservation.


The hostess was friendly, and she asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion. We said yes, it’s Kathy’s birthday, remarking that the hostess’ name was also Kathy.

She invited us to sit in the lounge and wait to be escorted to our table. Soon, she returned with a personalized Happy Birthday pin for Kathy. Very nice.

After a brief wait, a host arrived and asked if we had dined at Carthay Circle before. We told him we had (Valentine’s Day 2015). He then escorted us up the stairs to our half-booth table just across from the table we had last visit. Our server Ernie quickly arrived to wish Kathy a Happy Birthday, take our drink and appetizer order, and tell us about the fish of the day.

We both ordered Martinis – Gin for Rich and Vodka for Kathy. The martinis were fantastic, perfectly made and delicious. And what can we say about the “biscuits!” They are not really biscuits in the traditional sense. They are hard to describe, but they are fried balls of goodness with an incredible cheese, bacon, and jalapeño filling. Rich ate them with apricot butter while Kathy ate them straight.

IMG_7122Kathy’s Vodka Martini/Birthday Pin

IMG_7093Rich’s Gin Martini


Basket of Carthay Circle Biscuits


Inside the Biscuits

We took Ernie’s suggestion for the light fish dishes, and we’re glad we did. Kathy’s cioppino was definitely light but full of flavor with a wonderful variety of seafood and yummy noodles and broth. Rich’s dish was so flavorful, he savored every bite. The combination of peach and almond in the gazpacho (more of a coulis) was delightful.


Kathy’s Cioppino


Rich’s Sea Bass

After perusing the dessert menu, we decided to share the lemon tart. Ernie delivered the dessert plate with a lit birthday candle adorning it, once again wishing Kathy a Happy Birthday. The perfect ending to a perfect meal.

IMG_7099Meyer Lemon Tart with Birthday Candle

Service throughout the meal was superb. Ernie was friendly, knowledgeable, efficient, and attentive. He was assisted by the equally adept Ryan (who we had seen on a YouTube video as a tour guide for 15-minute The Story of Carthay Circle Restaurant tour that occurs every day at 10:30 a.m.).

You can watch it here via Tim Tracker’s YouTube Channel:

Everyone we came in contact with wished Kathy a Happy Birthday, a nice touch for our sumptuous celebration.

Carthay Circle is one of our favorite restaurants on Disney property, in fact, it’s one of our favorite restaurants anywhere. We love the food created by the brilliant Andrew Sutton, the mostly unsung and under-rated chef of Napa Rose and Carthay Circle. We met Andrew at the 2010 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, and he’s as humble and gracious as he is talented. If Disney offers the cooking experience with Andrew Sutton at next year’s Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, Rich would love to participate.

Napa Rose creates a lovely dining experience, but for atmosphere, Carthay Circle wins out. The beautiful recreation of the Carthay Circle Theatre–where Walt introduced the film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”–is stunning. And the service is much more Disney-like–friendly and fun.

This was a totally delightful experience, an ideal way to celebrate Kathy’s birthday with a terrific, memorable meal in stunning surroundings with top-notch service.

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 2: DCA

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

We headed out to the shuttle stop and I realized I’d forgotten my wrist wrap and it was a bit hot out – it seemed too early to return to the park. So we returned to our room to relax for a bit and considered doing the DD valet park thing again, even though they’ve tripled the rates. In the end, we decided to stick with the shuttle.

The bag check wasn’t as annoying this time – everybody was sent on to the metal detector, which worked better we thought. Less confusion. The crowds were low, of course, so maybe the morning’s are just too busy for that. We entered DCA and I started recording the walk to Carthay Circle.

We continued on to Golden Vine Winery where we were planning on grabbing a glass of wine before our dinner reservation. Oh boy, do we love this part of the park! It reminds us so much of our San Francisco days with trips to Napa/Sonoma and even Livermore just a couple of years ago when we were living there again. We love wineries!

The seating at Golden Vine was full and the parade was about to begin. So we got our wine and stood in front of the Trattoria restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous elevated view of the parade.

Our wines were:

Kathy: Casa Vinicola Zonin Proseco (Italy)
Rich: Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis (France)

The “Play” parade was so much fun. This is just a small part of the beginning:

By the time the parade finished, it was time to make our over to Carthay Circle for our dinner. Naturally, the crowds were all headed our way. Great timing, huh? lol!

Next: Birthday dinner at Carthay Circle – can it get even better than Valentine’s Dinner, 2015?

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Saturday, Part 1: Disneyland

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

We woke up to overcast skies, which surprised me because I’d only seen sunny skies on Periscope the day before. But the clouds were expected to burn off soon.

We hopped aboard the Hilton shuttle at about 8:40 and arrived about 10 minutes later. After going through the bag check line, we were a bit confused about where the entrance was but then Security pulled us back and made us go through the metal detector. Of course, that annoyed me because I didn’t even have a bag – just my cell phone. As the Trackers mentioned on their Disneyland vlog, it is so annoying that Disneyland does not have a bag free line the way WDW does.

I get it that security is heightened but it was all rather confusing. Eventually, we made our way to the ticket booth and the Disney magic began with the friendly CM at the ticket window who chatted with us about me growing up nearby. We still weren’t sure if we wanted a 1-day single park or a 1-day park hopper. But faced with only getting to do 1 park, we got the 1-day park hopper.

I took a video with my iPhone and Rich started up the GoPro in front of the 60th Anniversary sign in front of the Disneyland park entrance.

Then we entered on our favorite left side and stopped to record Pluto hanging out with some of the guests. The skies were still a bit overcast.

Then we walked down Main Street and Rich captured it on the GoPro.

We’d just learned that Rancho del Zocalo now serves breakfast so we headed over there. You can order from the American breakfast menu or the Mexican breakfast menu and we chose the Mexican breakfast. Rich got the breakfast burrito and I got the tamales. It was huge but it would also serve as lunch.


Breakfast Burrito

IMG_7080Tamale Breakfast

Enjoying our breakfast in our favorite spot next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, we were inspired to jump in line and see how we fared. Actually, every ride we rode was a walk-on. We couldn’t believe it – on a Saturday in July? But we must have hit a slow weekend in-between two very busy weekends (4th of July and Disneyland’s birthday).

We were happy to note that BTMR now has the cushioned seats like at WDW, along with the new effects that WDW is now just getting.

The sun was also out by now and we had a blast, jumping on Pirates of the Caribbean next, Haunted Mansion, and Pooh. We stopped it at the bakery by Pooh and got a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie and a Snickerdoodle and then browsed in some shops in Frontierland. We then headed for Toon Town (we’d heard a rumor it was going away but discovered later that was no longer true). We were just about to get in line for It’s A Small World but it was shutting down so we kept walking.

We stopped in at a Five and Dime in Toon Town to pick up some sunscreen we’d forgotten in our car, which was hanging out in valet parking back at the resort. We sat down for some relaxation and to enjoy the atmosphere.


We continued to capture Toon Town with the GoPro and then walked back through Fantasyland. Ah, this is where the crowds were. Peter Pan had a 45-minute wait and we decided to skip it.

It was getting close to noon now and we were ready to catch the shuttle back to the resort for a bit of rest and a nap in preparation for our dinner at Carthay Circle at 6:10 p.m.

We might have spent some time in the pool but I forgot my swimsuit – oh no! We took a nap and relaxed instead. After our nap, we ate our cookies and washed them down with a diet coke to wake us up a bit and to tide us over for dinner. This was, basically, lunch.

Summer of 2016: Disneyland Birthday Trip: Friday, Getaway Day

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Anaheim
What: Kathy’s Birthday Trip
When: July 8-10, 2016
Why: Kathy’s Birthday

This was a last-minute trip short trip because along about Wednesday or Thursday, we decided it was time to get away from Las Vegas and because it was also close to Kathy’s birthday. Why not plan a trip to take care of both?

Rich was able to snag a 2-night ressie at the Anaheim Hilton for just $122 per night. Well, that was too good to pass up. And then Kathy said, “Oh, I suppose Carthay Circle is already booked up.” Rich called and we had several choices for dinner and we chose 6:10 p.m.

We were undecided whether to get a 1-day 1 park ticket or a 1-day park hopper. We figured we’d decide once we got there. But having made dinner ressies at Carthay Circle, which is located inside Disney’s California Adventure (DCA), we had definitely chosen DCA. If we also wanted to see Disneyland Park, we’d have to get a hopper.

We feared the crowd on a Saturday in mid-July and were concerned that a park hopper would require we split our time too much and we wouldn’t get much done in either park.

Friday was a work day for Rich but he worked at home in the afternoon and we were all packed and ready to go by 4 p.m. This really helped because he works in North Las Vegas and we live in the Southern end – closer to California, which is quite convenient.

Traffic in the summer was a bit heavier than usual, but we still made it to Anaheim in 4 hours. We left the car with valet, Rich checked in while Kathy sat with the luggage in the lobby. We were soon relaxing in our standard view room on the 11th floor. Amazingly, we had a view of DCA and could even see Disneyland fireworks if we craned our neck a certain way – lol!

We sipped on some wine and watched the fireworks and activity in the park and then turned in. We were tired from the work day, the drive, and tomorrow would be a long day.