Sue's F&W Weekend - Day 3 of 4

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Oct 23, 2021, 10:10:40 PM10/23/21
DAY 3 – Saturday 10/23/21
Who: Sue (62), DVC Member

Plan: Pool, Chefs de France

Actual: Last night I sat outside on the balcony to watch Harmonious. For some reason the music seemed much louder tonight – I could hear every song clearly. The fireworks were very nice, as usual. Once that ended I turned in for the night.

This morning I’d set my alarm for 4:20 and woke up just before that. Checking the port website I could see Nieuw Amsterdam on the radar and figured it wouldn’t make the 4:45 time. As it turned out it was closer to 5 before it was passing by the webcam. It’s such a sad feeling waking up on a cruise and seeing Florida – generally that means the cruise is over. There are people who do back-to-back cruises but I’d rather just book a longer cruise rather than pop back into Florida every week or so.

Once the ship was in I dressed and headed out for my walk. Once again, other than a couple custodial cast I only saw 1 other guest (jogger). It was a nice walk, and I was back by 6. While out I noticed all the chair on the beach were down by the slide for Stormalong Bay. There used to be chairs scattered around, including down at my end. It’s not a big deal – it’ll just change which path I take to walk out there.

I made my cappuccino and took it back to bed, then got online and puttered around while the local news was on. The usual breakfast occurred around 8:30 and by 8:45 I was headed to the quiet pool to pick up towels for my chaise lounge on the beach. The red cooler couple were there, but they were both on their chairs so I had no problem with that. Scooter Grandma & Grandpa hadn’t been down to save any chairs that I could see. I took 4 towels and then walked over to the beach.

The morning was just delightful!!!! It didn’t get hot until almost 11, so until then it was perfect – barely broke a sweat. After 11 it was like someone flipped a switch, and it was sweaty! I did some reading and enjoyed listing to the boats coming and going. Other than that it was very quiet & peaceful out there. About noon I gathered up my stuff and returned to the quiet pool to drop off 2 of the towels (the other 2 I can use again). Red cooler couple were still there – impressive. No sign of the others today.

I went up to the room and since my lunch reservation is at 1:50 I didn’t have to rush. I did check the app to see if I could move the time up a little but there was nothing available. I took my shower and got dressed. I left a little after 1, figuring I might walk over to Creations Shop to look for the 2022 calendar.

Epcot was very busy, but for a Saturday of Food & Wine Festival I’ve definitely seen worse. Some booths had pretty short lines, and there were some that were just ridiculous. It seems though right by the entrance to World Showcase had the most horrific long lines, thanks to people who don’t think – they just get in the first line they see. Heading further in they would have found much shorter lines.

I walked over to Creations Shop and asked the cast member if they had any of the 2022 calendars. She didn’t think so but said they’d be by the registers if they did. I looked at both ends and asked another group of cast members at the other end, but they’re all sold out. They also didn’t have them at International Gateway. I’ve never waited this long to buy one, so missing out is a new thing for me.

As I walked back to World Showcase I saw the friendship boat arriving so I joined the queue. I sat outside, in the back and thought I’d be ok without a mask there since it was outside. But, the cast member reminded me to keep my mask on so I put it back on. Seems silly, but Disney makes the rules. I got off in Morocco and made the short walk to France & checked in at Chefs de France. They don’t have the international cast working here yet – the person checking me in and my server were both from the US.

For lunch I ordered the French onion soup and the house chardonnay. Although I don’t generally like chardonnay, this one’s ok. The soup is spectacular – lots of cheese, not salty, and really good-tasting. I guess I’d forgotten how big it is, or they’ve increased the size since my last visit because this was a huge bowl! It looked and tasted delicious, but no way could I finish it. I did eat more than half, along with half the crusty loaf of French bread (yum). A solo lady across from me ordered the soup and a salad and she didn’t finish her food either.

After settling the check (about $20 plus tip – very reasonable) I left the restaurant, exited Epcot and walked back to Beach Club Villas. I swung by Beach Club Marketplace but no calendars there either. Up in the room I’d no sooner sat down when housekeeping was there to get the trash. I decided to spend the afternoon in the room, waiting to go back to Epcot until after it cooled down.

A check of the Port Everglades website showed my HAL ship’s departure had been pushed back to 6pm. However, they have 4 cruise ships scheduled to depart at 6pm and that can’t happen. They’ll go out one at a time, and I have no idea who will go first. I took care of the rest of the photos on the camera, then uploaded them all to an album for the trip. Once they uploaded I captioned/retitled them. After that it was HGTV and playing on the computer until it was time for the ships to start sailing.

Two other ships sailed first, one right after the other. Then the camera was on the HAL ship, which was just sitting there still tied up! The pilot boats were slowly cruising around, clearly ready, but the “dam” ship wasn’t moving. Finally at 6:40 the lines dropped and the ship was underway. I was out the door at 7:15 to walk over to Epcot.

What’s so great about staying here is by 7:21 I was inside Epcot, heading up the hill to World Showcase. I made it to the America Gardens Theater with a couple minutes to spare. Last night I’d heard the concert as I was walking home, and decided I would see the 7:30 show tonight. Quite a few people were there, but it wasn’t full. The group was the M-80’s and most likely a local band.

I’d never heard of them but I thoroughly enjoyed the concert! Every song they did was one that I knew, which makes a huge difference for me. It was high energy, and a lot of fun. I hadn’t realized just how badly I’ve missed the concerts at these festivals. Having Mariachi Cobre or Voices of Liberty is nice, but it’s no substitute for a real concert. Nothing beats live music, and live entertainment in general. That’s one thing I love about my HAL cruises – the ship is full of live music, and I’d much rather have that vs watching a screen or listening to a recording. I filmed a handful of short videos of most of the songs and uploaded them to facebook while I let the crowds die down after the show.

Tonight World Showcase wasn’t as awful as Saturday nights of Food & Wine Festival have been in the past. There were a lot of long lines, but some of the festival booths had really short ones. India for example had no line at all – but I wasn’t in the mood for chicken korma tonight. I thought mac & cheese sounded better. As I was walking I noticed Spaceship Earth with changing colored lights, and to the left fireworks were going off somewhere (Hollywood Studios would be my guess).

I left World Showcase and walked over to Spaceship Earth to watch the lighting change and take some pictures. It was really pretty! From there I headed back deeper into the park and stopped at the mac & cheese stand. I really wasn’t hungry still, and decided although the mac & cheese tastes good it was too heavy. Instead I went to the lobster booth and got a flute of the sparkling sauvignon blanc. I sipped on that while walking back out to World Showcase.

I had the apple crumble tart from Appleseed Orchard on my mind, since it was on my way home. That’s in Canada, in the venue they use for the movie. Right now the movie isn’t playing, which is a shame because they redid it not long ago. I wandered down there and a cast member stopped me from going inside because I didn’t have my mask on. I’d completely forgotten, but moved aside and went to sit on the wall (outside area) to finish my sparkling wine.

Two couples came and sat next to me, and both of the women had the apple crumble tart. It was massive!! I asked the lady next to me how it was and she said it was amazing. Damn – I will have to get it at some point, but it’s too big to get now with only 1 day left. It’ll be either early in a trip or when SB is with me. I really thought it would be about half the size.

I headed to International Gateway and left the park, noticing big crowds heading to the skyliner. I’m sure it’ll be horrible later, when the park actually closes. I was back at the resort by 9. To satisfy my sweet tooth I ate part of a Gideon’s bite, then settled into bed to update the report. At 9:45 I went out to the balcony to watch Harmonious fireworks again.

Today was a really nice day, with no real hiccups or issues at all – just how I like it! The beach was fabulous, and a much better choice than the pool. Lunch was great but so much bigger than I remember. I don’t know why I like their chardonnay, but I’m glad I do. I was really pleased to see HAL sailing from Florida again – and can’t wait for my turns this season! Epcot this evening was beautiful – weather was perfect, and the concert was so much better than I would have expected.

Tomorrow I’m hoping for sun in the morning so I can enjoy the beach again. It’s supposed to rain in the afternoon & evening, so if I want to get korma chicken I’d better get over there earlier rather than later. It’s too hard to eat while holding an umbrella, and no fun trudging around Epcot in the rain.

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