May 26, 2022, 9:10:53 PMMay 26
DAY 2 – Thursday 5/26/22
Who: Sue (63), DVC Member
Holli (57), friend
Plan: Pool, Concierge Lounge
Actual: I slept really well last night – no noise from the room next door at all! I heard something out in the hall at some point, but hopefully it won’t be a regular thing since it was around 2am. I got up at 5 and made my cappuccino to take back to bed. The drapes are open so I’ll be able to see when the sun comes up.
Today I decided to eat one of the 2 eggs I brought from home and supplement it with whatever I find in the lounge. Before that however, I did some work I’d brought with me to get that out of the way. A little after 7:30 I got up and dressed then went out to check the lounge offerings.
Breakfast runs from 7 – 10:30 and for the first time ever I saw them using the hot station as well as the regular area. They had the usual oatmeal, fresh fruit, pastries, bagels, cereals and today’s hot stuff included turkey boboti (eggs, turkey & other stuff – like a quiche), BACON and also the French toast bread pudding w/madagascar vanilla bean sauce!!
The bacon looked great – I’ve never seen that here before! A fellow guest asked if I’d tried the bread pudding and I told her no, but I would be <g>. She said it was “to die for”. While out there one of the cast members came over saying “welcome back – it’s so good to see you again”, so there’s at least one of the old crew still here! I took a slice of cantaloupe and slice of honeydew along with a nice piece of bacon and went back to my studio to cook my egg in the microwave. The bacon here is so much better than the crap I brought, lol.
After eating that I returned to the lounge for a bowl of the bread pudding. It was very good, but it had the golden raisins in it – I’ve never heard of French toast with raisins. While I didn’t necessarily dislike that, I would have preferred they were left out. I still ate it and enjoyed it, and if it makes an appearance again I’ll no doubt eat some. I don’t see myself buying a full portion at Mara though.
SB called so I talked with him for a bit, then did a little more online stuff before changing into a swimsuit and coverup. At 8am it’s already 75 degrees so it will be uncomfortably warm very early – probably before the pool even opens. This 10am stuff is not right.
Around 8:30 I went down to the pool, settling onto a chaise lounge outside the locked gate. It was overcast much of the time, which kept is fairly comfortable – better than I expected. I did some reading, and noticed the cast members opening the gate about 10 minutes early so after a family entered I got up and moved inside as well. I had the perfect spot for me – right as you enter, on the end, front row with a view of the pool. Up until 10:30 the clouds kept it pretty nice, but then they burned away and it got pretty hot. I made use of the nearby shower to cool off.
Around 11:45 I got up and left the pool area, making a loop around the area. The flamingos are still here – I thought I’d heard them earlier so I was checking to see if that noise was them. A couple of the white antelope animals were out grazing on the savannah. I headed back inside and was in my studio right about noon. The afternoon offerings (11:30 – 4:00) looked the same as yesterday. There’s no real food, but rather chips, trail mix, pastries, chocolate chip cookies & fruit. I guess the closest thing to food would be the prepackaged uncrustables. I’m not hungry, so it’s no big deal – later I may get some fruit.
Entering the studio I could see they still do full daily housekeeping in club level – I wasn’t sure if that was happening. I’d sort of made my bed, but now it looked as perfect as the day I arrived. I broke off a small piece of the Gideon’s cookie and ate that while updating the report, then took my shower.
After getting dressed & presentable I went down to the merchandise shop to see what the scavenger hunt was about. I was handed a card that talked about the opening days of MK – basically you’d name the attraction each clue was describing. I was expecting an activity – not this, so that was a bit disappointing.
I took the laptop out to the lounge, got a glass of water and tried a package of the trail mix. This was surprisingly good! I don’t eat all the items in there so I just ate the parts I like. They package it up in clear plastic bags and have them in a bowl. Holli texted about 2:20 saying she’d just pulled in, so I put the laptop away and waited for her to get into the building. She hadn’t done online check in so she went to the desk and found her room was ready.
Once she dropped off her stuff she texted and I met her at the bottom of the staircase up to the lounge. We sat up there and she was giddy with excitement to see things looking so normal. She got some red wine and I had a glass of the sparkling wine. She also enjoyed some of the snacks, but we were more excited for the 5pm offerings since we learned it would include tomato soup and BUTTER CHICKEN!! Yum – both of those are wonderful.
Everything was set up by 5 and we enjoyed a lovely evening in the lounge. We both agreed this had to be the best spread ever – it was all fabulous! We enjoyed the soup and eventually 2 portions of the butter chicken. Both special cheeses were outstanding, so we ate quite a bit of that with pita or crunchy stuff. Holli had a bunch of different hummus varieties, and some stuff I won’t touch. We both had a little watermelon (so ripe – delicious) and a bit of cucumber with the dressing. It was fabulous!! What we used to do as the faux concierge lounge does not compare, and it’s a hell of a lot more work than sitting here being served!
We learned they do Durbin chicken here in the lounge night and it would be on the menu tomorrow night. I LOVE Durbin chicken, so we’re both looking forward to that! When it used to be on the Food & Wine menu I’d buy it so often they’d sometimes give it to me for free (oh, you again).
At 7 we headed out to see the animals, since this is the perfect time. The sun is low, it’s cooler, but it’s still light out and the animals are active. We saw pretty much all of them during the hour we spent on the various viewing areas. This resort is so special!
By 8 we were back in the lounge for dessert. Tonight they had the vanilla cake cones and vanilla cake cones – we both stuck with vanilla and loved them. They had the plant based carrot cake, the Kenyan coffee tart, and I’m not sure what else. The Kenyan coffee tart was my favorite last night and Holli declared it the winner tonight. They really are delicious!
She tried most of the different liqueurs – grand marnier, amarula & Frangelico. I got some kahlua but without milk I used half & half – not a good move. I drank a few sips and left the rest. The people next to us with kids asked for milk and got a couple cartons – that’s what I should have done if I was serious about drinking the kahlua (but I wasn’t). The kids next to us had Mickey ice cream bars – evidently those are available here too. Perhaps Ari will want one.
We ate our coffee tart and cake cones and then went our separate ways. Holli is so thrilled to be here and keeps thanking me. She’s especially happy to see people interacting like normal, without masks. A small number of people wear them, and that’s fine, but for the rest of us it’s nice to be free from all of that. I gave her her Gideon’s cookie and told her where I’d be near the pool tomorrow morning. She went to her room to put on a swimsuit and go to the pool/hot tubs for a while. I returned to my studio to finish up the report and turn in for the evening.
Today was such a nice day – it was great! I love being here, and am so thankful I’m able to be here. Sharing it with friends & family is the icing on the cake. Thank goodness Disney hasn’t screwed this up (yet)!
Tomorrow will be another relaxing day – morning pool time, then enjoying the resort and relaxing in the lounge. I'm hoping Amanda can get off work early, but have no control over that so whatever happens, happens. They’ll either be here for dessert or dinner & dessert.