The Coats, Boats and Little Scrotes Tour 2023 РDay Five Friday 13th January 

Friday 13th January

Here we go with another one of our infamous “rest days”. No parks today so there was no rush to be awake, up or dressed. That did not stop my body being aroused (not like that) annoyingly early again. We lazed in bed for some time before hunger drove Emily and I to get up. Louise wanted to stay in bed so we got ready and walked over to the main building at the resort in search of breakfast.

Being a master of multi-tasking, on the way to eat we dropped off a washer load of dirty clothes into a suitable machine and left that to do its thing whilst we ate.

I had left the camera back at the room so you are spared more blurry food photos of Emily’s Avocado on Toast and my Bacon & Cheese Bagel. Both were very acceptable for food court fare and we set off back to the room, with another bagel in the bag (literally) for Louise. It was coldish and a bit drizzly on our walk back but still significantly warmer than back in the UK.

Whilst Louise ate and got ready I transferred the washing to a dryer and then when that was done, collected it and brought it back to the room.

Our plans today were Disney Springs, mainly as the weather meant we couldn’t do anything related to sitting by a pool. We parked in Lime as ever and I once again got pulled at security.

After watching more vlogs on it than probably any other subject in the last few years and still having never done it, our first job was Gideon’s. It was now, as we stood by the fountain at the bottom of the stairs from Lime garage, that I realised that I had absolutely no clue where it was. I broke Google Maps out and followed it.

The virtual queue was “only” an hour so we checked in. Not having a US phone number meant we could not get a text alert, so we just had to come back at the relevant time.

To fill that hour we walked down towards Splitsville and browsed stuff in that area. We got Freddie a T-shirt and Facetimed Rebecca from outside of the M&M store.

We walked back to Gideon’s at the appropriate time and waited a few minutes in the queue to get our cookies. Mad isn’t it?

Well yes, but they are spectacular and the shop is very well-themed and interesting.

These were our choices.

I had the Pistachio Toffee.

Emily the Banana Bread Chocolate Chip.

Louise had a “piece” of cake. The Peanut Butter one….

Emily and I had the Peanut Butter Nitros just in case there wasn’t enough sweet stuff going on.

Is it worth all the hype and waiting? Well, yes, if you take it in the right spirit. This is an experience, not just grabbing a cookie. They are superb and very, very delicious. Of course, it is expensive but as a one-off “on holiday” thing, yes, absolutely worth it. We sat on a nearby bench and enjoyed them. I finished mine, but Emily and Louise saved a good deal of theirs for later. I will save you the bother of wondering. I ate the rest of Louise’s cake at some point in the coming days.

We continued to browse many shops and bought very little. Some hours passed (yep, I don’t make good notes about shopping), and around 3pm we had a “light snack” at the Earl of Sandwich.

I seem to have taken one photo and have no clue which one it was so….

that was either a Veggie (Emily), Chipotle Chicken (Louise) or an Earl (me). We sat inside as it was still a bit chilly, mainly wondering how we were going to get ourselves hungry for our dinner reservation in a few hours.

A bit more browsing happened as we made our way back to the car. Back at the room, resting and napping happened before we got ready to go and eat again. At around 7.15 we set off for the Skyliner for what would be one of the most well-executed journeys ever conducted on Disney property.

It was proper cold by now which made everything blurry.

We boarded a Skyliner gondola heading for Epcot, on our way to The Swan for our reservation at Il Mulino at 8pm. The ride was a little rocky as the wind was getting up, but we arrived safely and we were ready for the chilly stroll around to the Swan. As we came down the exit ramp we spotted a Friendship boat boarding and decided to get on that instead.

As we sat down, the doors closed and off we went. It was getting close to 8pm now and I figured we’d be a few minutes late arriving at the restaurant once we had called at the Boardwalk and Yacht Club. It’s always lovely to travel around this area at night, no matter how you do it, so we enjoyed the ride.

We docked at The Swan and walked into the restaurant, arriving at 7.59. This journey will be written about in the history of WDW as how to perfectly execute a multi-vehicle trip. Feeling very proud of myself I checked in and we were seated in a few minutes.

If you read about our experience here during our last trip you will know that we loved it, twice. It’s funny how an experience can change on different visits. We still very much enjoyed tonight but had it been our first time we would not have raved about it, as we did previously.

The place was much busier/noisier for a start and we were sat in a different part of the restaurant which didn’t feel as intimate. The food was still fab.

Bread service to start and I of course ordered the Rice Balls, as I have on every visit now as they are superb.

Louise had the same and Emily just polished off the bread. Emily and I had a Corona and Louise ordered a bottle of red.

I failed again with the food photos.

Louise and I both had the Rigatoni Funghi and Emily had Ravioli. We thought we were ordering the same as we had last time, but it didn’t seem to be when it arrived. Again, it was lovely, just not what we experienced last time.

I ended with some Gelato.

It was a dear do at $230 including a tip. Again, the service tonight was fine, just not exceptional as we found it last time.

Fighting every urge to just go home and let our tired, full bodies go to bed, we undertook a very chilly walk to Jellyrolls.

There were no tables free so we loitered at the back near some stools (honestly, the cleaning standards in WDW these days!!) having a drink and enjoying the music.

After a while, a table looked to be becoming available as the folks on it started to get ready to leave. I made a bee-line for it, feeling slightly guilty for the people I excused myself past who were discussing if they should go and sit there.

The view was better. Overall we stayed for a couple of hours before making our way out. I was aware we had a theme park day tomorrow and didn’t want us to be out too late.

Using the Lyft app, I ordered a Minnie Van from the Boardwalk entrance which arrived in seconds. We had a lovely driver in a stunning Suburban. I thought I wanted one until I googled how much they are. She took us back to the resort via some back roads through Pop Century I think and it cost us about $30.

Despite being in a foreign country, and being driven by someone who does it for a living, I could not fight the urge to mansplain to our driver that actually we were staying at Caribbean Beach and not Pop Century and she was going the wrong way. Bless her, she explained that she knew a shortcut ever so politely and managed to save her cursing of me until we left the vehicle no doubt. We were home and in bed by 12.

Till the next time……

If The Stress Doesn’t Give Me A Heart Attack, This Doughnut Will.

For those with the ability to remember all the way back to last Sunday and the much smaller subset of folks who care enough about the moan-fest that was last week’s blog, I should give an update. Mary, Louise’s Mum did get her second vaccine jab on Tuesday. That’s good news of course and hopefully by around now her body is much better equipped to keep her safe from the virus.

In less better news I am still no wiser as to what the actual policy is for vaccinations. Are folks going to get the second one three weeks later or is it twelve? I have no qualifications to dispute either approach but whatever has been decided for heaven’s sake communicate it clearly. My Dad had his letter about his vaccine late in the week so it would be nice for him to know what to expect. But, let’s focus on the positive, that folks are getting some protection at least. Looking at the figures, we desperately need it.

In a world ravaged by a pandemic and where one of the globe’s superpowers repelled a coup attempt last week, you might think that the trivial matters troubling me may have been put into some sort of perspective. You might think that if you have never read this blog before, but of course you’d be wrong. I am troubled by world events. However, my own little world is a busy one and my mind is a whirling mess of all the stuff that is going on.

The putting of our house into boxes has begun. I feel better now a start has been made, but at points during that process, I have stepped back and forlornly looked around at the sheer scale of the task and felt as powerless to affect things as I do with global events. All we can do is plough on and hope that at some point we actually do get to move. After all this time it feels like the day will never come. There has been a little bit of significant progress as we now have the contracts to sign for the sale of our house and we will be doing the signing of those over some form of a video call with the solicitor during the week to come.

There are a million other things to do. They are all little things, inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but nonetheless, they play on my mind. From the sorting of broadband for the new place to telling every company I give money to that we have moved, the more I think about it, the more things I come up with that need doing and it can feel overwhelming. If only I were one of those people that couldn’t eat when stressed. Alas, I am the opposite and if this carries on much longer the removal men may well be carrying me out of the house with the aid of a winch and pully system.

This is where the grown up, buried deep within me tells me it will all be OK, things will get sorted and it will all be worth it in the end. Good pep talk, now back to the stress headaches and lack of sleep.

In other house news, you may remember me mentioning weeks ago that Rebecca and Tom were house hunting? Well their purchase is progressing about as quickly as ours. Despite them being first time buyers moving into an empty property, they too are sat waiting for legal folks to collect various bits of paper before they can get in. What is the betting that we get the same moving in date. It’s one of those odd quirks of fate that I can see coming.

So, I could do with a holiday. To be honest, I’d settle for the knowledge that I was going to get one as planned. On that note, I still don’t have my refund from Virgin. After a full week of trying to extract some sense from their automated text system, I think I did get an actual human to respond, who just said they have referred it to a supervisor who will chase the refunds team and they can give no timescales. Well, I don’t know about you but that makes me feel loved and all warm and fuzzy inside. I am desperately trying not to take out my stress and frustration at other stuff out on someone just doing their job.

Let’s end with something not related to a global pandemic, the breakdown of democracy or my own petty little stresses about everyday life, shall we? Remember the old days when I would blog about holiday plans and food. Let’s take a small step back in that direction. This last week or so saw two new places open in Disney Springs. Gideons and Everglazed. The former is a cookie place and the latter, doughnuts. Those two acts in themselves have made the world a slightly better place. I have watched a vlog or two about Gideons and it looks great. The shop is wonderfully themed and the cookies look amazing. I did see that it had to temporarily close again but I am ignoring that for the time being in this hunt for normality.

One thing that really caught my eye was from Everglazed. Long time readers will know of my fascination and love for the Doughnut Burger at Teak, so something about that sweet and savoury mix pleases me greatly and along those lines I saw this…The Grilled Cheeeeeese

A grilled cheese sandwich on a doughnut seems all kinds of right to me. The article reviewing all the menu items, from which I pinched the image above can be read here. There’s nothing like a little bit of food porn to brighten your Sunday.

Let’s quit whilst we are ahead on that slightly positive note and reconvene next Sunday to see if I have had a stress-induced stroke.

Till the next time……