crazycatperson goes a-cruising!

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The demos and tours sounds great. I really wanted to do them on our last cruise, but I was feeling so lethargic most of the time while the ship was moving and when we were in port, we were off the boat.

Did they only do fireworks on Pirate night?

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Yes, fireworks were just the one night, Pirate night.

Now, we interrupt this trip report for this message:

Jet lag SUUUUUCCCKKKKS.

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Michael Harrison was the ventriloquist. Very funny.

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And the magic act, also very good and very entertaining.

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This is where writing the trip report gets interesting: I have no more notes, so I have to rely on memory, my photographs, and the personal navigator to piece together the rest of the cruise. And then memory, photos, and the Disneyland maps to piece that part together.

So this is Saturday, our last day at sea. We skipped the buffet breakfast in favor of a couple of quick pastries because this morning at 8 a.m. we had our second massage, the hot stone massage in one of the private rooms with a Jacuzzi and lounge chair and a wide open window to the wide open ocean! This was awesome! When we first showed up we got our feet washed and massaged with I don't know what the stuff was, but it was awesome. Then a nice soak in the Jacuzzi while we drank flavored water (I preferred orange, hubby liked cucumber best). Then the hot stone massages with ocean breezes wafting through from the deck. I think we both fell asleep a little during this. Then back to the open deck for a lounge and tea. All in all it took about two hours and was worth every penny. Our masseuses were Sharon and Neren, and if you ever sail on the Wonder look them up, they are amazing.

After the massages I'm pretty sure hubby visited the rainforest room; I showered in the women's locker room and headed out. And now I'm kinda fuzzy as to what happened next. Lunch, probably at the buffet yet again. The drink of the day was mai tais, and I know we got a couple up at the bar by the adult pool, after which hubby took his to the smoking area and I took mine and my audiobooks down to the promenade deck to relax with an ocean view. There was a Pixar Pals party in the atrium that afternoon; we missed it due to seeing Ant-Man at the Buena Vista that afternoon, but caught Remy doing a meet-and-greet in the atrium later in the evening. I didn't meet him this day, but did grab a quick photo from above after dinner.

Dinner this evening was back at my favorite restaurant, Parrot Cay. And that, sadly, is all I can tell you about dinner. Just assume we had good food and enjoyed it.

Toy Story: the Musical was the live entertainment for the evening. This was the first and only actual Disney show that hubby saw in the Walt Disney Theater. He, sadly, was not impressed, so I was on my own to see shows after that. I loved it, of course. Great show. I loved how they blended human-size scenes with toy-size scenes. And the cast was wonderful. No photos because they made it quite clear photos were! not! allowed! (Never mind that I've seen plenty of photos around the web, I wasn't breaking the rules.)

Hubby hit the smoking area after the show, and I think I got my evening cup of chamomile tea and went to bed early. Got a text from hubby later asking if I wanted to get another drink or just go to bed, but by then I was already in bed, so the drink was out.

The next morning finally took us to Hawai'i, Hilo being our first port of call.

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The Quiet Cove pool area and our mai tais.

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Actually, I got hubby to take these - didn't have my phone on me.

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Gonna start our first day in Hawai'i with photos; I just looked at what I already posted and don't want to duplicate, so I'll do the photos while I remember stuff.

The weather was a little better when we set sail, so folks were out on the decks and the Pacific Princess's passengers waved as we sailed past. Also, the dock area in Hilo was not at all picturesque.

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I woke up early Sunday morning all excited because I could see land out our porthole! I hurried up to deck 9 and dodged raindrops trying to get some photos of our docking (these appear on a previous page).

Our excursion to the volcano and nut factory left early, 8:45 a.m., and I don't recall whether we breakfasted at the buffet or got something a little faster, but I'm pretty sure we had time for the buffet (everything opened early so people could eat before leaving on their port adventures). Our meeting place for our excursion was the Walt Disney Theater, and as it turns out ours was the eleventh volcano excursion out of I don't know how many. We were given stickers with the number 11 on them to stick to our shirts and also provided with a free Disney Parks poncho since it was still raining; we saved the ponchos and used our umbrellas instead.

First stop was the Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory. There's a self-directed walk-by tour that lets you look into windows overlooking the factory, but it was Sunday so the factory was closed. Of course, the factory store was open and selling all sorts of delectable macadamia nut products and other Hawai'ian goodies. We looked around and ended up with a large bag of chocolate coconut covered macadamias and a variety pack with nine small cans of nuts, including butter toffee coated (my favorite), honey roasted, Kona coffee coated, chocolate toffee coated, and some just plain nuts. We also picked up a couple of bottles of coconut syrup for our cat sitter; they'd gotten some when they visited Hawai'i years ago and asked us to get them some.

Next stop was the Kilauea volcano visitor's center, which was very interesting; we got to see video and photos of the active volcano and touch various types of hardened lava rock. Unfortunately, although we were standing on freaking TOP of Kilauea, the volcano's crater was completely invisible in the rain and fog.

On our way off the volcano we stopped again and got to walk through a lava tube, where molten lava once gushed but now it's just a natural tunnel through the mountain. This was awesome! And now I've seen part of a volcano, if not the really interesting stuff on top.

Our bus returned in time to make it to the buffet for lunch, but similarly minded passengers made for the longest line I'd ever seen for the buffet, so we (finally!) got a quick-service lunch, although I can't recall what exactly we got. I think hubby got something healthy at Goofy's and I got...um...okay, no clue. After that, I think I spent the rest of the afternoon in our stateroom playing on my phone and posting photos here. I may have finished attaching pins to my hat and to my new-ish lanyard (got it last winter, never used it yet), which is where overflow pins from my hat will go. I think there may have been some refueling going on, which would've ticked hubby off since there's no smoking during refueling.

We went back up to the top deck to watch the ship leave port at around 5:00 pm, then headed for dinner back at Triton's. The evening's live entertainment was a presentation of Hawai'ian music by Elika Santos, who I'm sure is very talented, but we just weren't into it so we went to see Tomorrowland at the Buena Vista Theater (my second time, hubby's first). And that's as far as I can take you this evening; nothing in the Navigator gives me a clue as to what we might have done for the rest of the evening. Of course, Tomorrowland ran till 10:15, so we might just have gone to bed.

Next up, Nawiliwili, Kaua'i

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Kaua'i was beautiful! Exactly the way you imagine Hawai'i should look.

Monday morning began with another jaunt to the upper deck to photograph the beautiful scenery, followed by breakfast at the buffet (we almost always got breakfast at the buffet). This was the morning of the crew drill. I don't recall what else we did that morning, but I know we wanted to try to squeeze in seeing Inside Out at 11:00 before heading for our 1:15 port adventure. We had about half an hour to spare between the two, so it went like this: Movie ends. I run back to stateroom to change clothes. Hubby grabs burgers at Pluto's. We eat burgers. He runs out for a smoke while I throw out most of my fries (finally, a VERY small lunch). We meet for our port adventure...um...that's right, we met in the Wave Bands lounge. And off we go!

Today's port adventure involved a visit to Kilohana Plantation, which included a train ride around the plantation. I've already posted a few photos, but this time around I brought my camera as well as my phone, so I know which photos haven't been posted here yet. The plantation was interesting enough and the train ride was fun. Some people we met during the backstage tour at the Walt Disney Theater were very adult-only oriented; we were on the same volcano tour but they went elsewhere today, thinking the plantation and train ride would be very kid-oriented. Not so much; there actually weren't a huge number of children on the tour or, for that matter, on the cruise (at least not as many as usual, I would think). They grow a lot of different things on that plantation, I can't remember most of it, but interesting stuff we don't have back home, that's for sure. And this is where I found the KITTY, whose photo I will post again just because you can't have too many kitties.

After the plantation we stopped to see Opaekaa Falls, which also included an overlook with a view of the river the falls eventually become, I think. There were kayakers down there, probably another excursion from the Wonder. We also stopped at a spot with a view of the sea. The excursion returned to the ship at 4:45 and the ship left port during our dinner hour.

When we returned, hubby needed a nap. Dinner time came, and he was still sleeping. So I went to Animator's Palate without him. I wasn't terribly hungry and kind of regretted going; I could've gotten something light later up on deck 9. But there I was. The really cool thing was that our servers suggested that I take dinner back to the stateroom for hubby - and our assistant server even carried it over for me! And this is just part of the reason why these guys got an extra large tip from us. (Poor Manuel deserved it, too, after having to see hubby lying on our bed his just his Jockeys.)

Hubby woke up long enough to eat his dinner. Then he went right back to sleep!

A bunch of Pixar characters were doing meet-and-greets in the atrium this evening. This is when I got a bunch of their photos and also got to meet Remy! My favorite rat.

They had Guardians of the Galaxy at the Buena Vista this evening, one of our favorites, so we passed on the evening's live performance (musical performance by Kristian Lei, sorry, Kristian, I'm sure it was a great show). Later in the evening we stopped for drinks in the Promenade Lounge and saw a performance by the Hawai'ian Tihati Performers, which included Hawai'ian music and hula dancing. Very nice. And I think that was it for the evening.

Next up, Maui and a day at the beach.

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Kitty! And Remy!

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Scenes of Kaua'i from the ship.

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Scenes from the plantation. The train stopped to see the livestock (see photos of pigs and donkey a few pages back); they gave out bread for us to throw to the pigs and chickens, very much emphasizing that we should not try to feed the pigs by hand! Not even the little one that could get through the fence (see photo below)! They will take your fingers off! The donkey was okay to feed by hand, though. We didn't take any bread, but trust me, the critters did not go hungry.

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Why the Wonder bypassed Maui and O'ahu to go from the Big Island to Kaua'i I do not know. But anyway, we bypassed O'ahu yet again to get back to Kahului, Maui on Tuesday. Our port excursion was a day at a beach resort. I half wanted to switch it up for another chance at a volcano (there was a volcano excursion here as well), but I also wanted a chance to swim in the Pacific ocean. So we stuck with the beach day. Yeah. Should've tried for the volcano.

Our port adventure departed the ship at 10:15, again from Wave Bands. We arrived early and discovered that they were handing out ship's towels for the excursion! So we didn't need to cram our own beach towels into our luggage. Oh, well. We took theirs anyway so ours wouldn't get nasty. More than one bus was needed to take us all on the maybe 45-minute drive from the dock to the resort on the western side of Maui.

As I've said, we got a discount on lunch, two free (barely) alcoholic beverages (some kind of adult Hawai'ian Punch), and free lounge chairs. Umbrellas and such cost extra; we paid the extra $47 for what they call a cabana, actually just two very comfortable lounge chairs with an awning of sorts over top. Worth the extra money IMO. So we lounged. I applied a generous amount of sunscreen all over; hubby didn't. Even with the cover over our chairs, the beach faced west and soon my legs were exposed to the sun so the sunscreen was very necessary - in fact, I ended up lying the ship towel over my legs as the day progressed.

Lunch was decent - I got a burger and housemade chips; hubby got a veggie burger and chips. (We aren't vegetarians, he just likes those things.) We were able to find seats at the open-air restaurant and bar that overlooked the beach and were under umbrellas, so that was nice. I think I have a photo that shows the view from our seats.

The day was very relaxing and the scenery was beautiful. We could see the island Lanai right in front of us, and Molokai was to the right if we peeked out from under our little awning. But...it was a beach. We have beaches. Should've seen the volcano instead. Eventually I did something that reinforced that idea - I got in the ocean.

So now I can say I was in the Pacific Ocean. And I can say it beat me up. The surf was STRONG! Other people were swimming a little past where the waves were crashing, but I couldn't get that far without getting knocked off my feet and dunked completely into the water. I'm sure I was quite an amusing sight out there struggling to get back to shore and getting knocked over again and again before finally making it. (Hubby confirmed this; he was laughing when I got back.) And remember that sunscreen? It's like glue! I had sand stuck EVERYWHERE on my bare skin and also all through my swimsuit! I tried showering off twice, but it barely helped. And that was the end of the Pacific Ocean for me.

Our bus got us back to the resort past 5:00 and with just minutes before our dining time. I HAD to shower and get the sand off me. This was not optional. So I did while hubby headed to dinner (he'd never gotten wet and didn't use sunscreen, so he was still in decent shape). I arrived to dinner about 15 minutes late, with the sand all gone and changed into dry clothes, but with my hair washed but still wet - didn't have time to dry it. Dinner was at Parrot Cay this night, my favorite, so I wasn't missing it. I did get the stink-eye from a couple at a nearby table - you know you're getting the stink-eye when one of the people has to turn around to glare at you because you're sitting behind her - but I graciously and politely refrained from telling them both to go sit on a tack.

This was the night for the Disney Dreams live show, which I enjoyed and hubby skipped. And I do not recall what we did after the show was over. Definitely none of the entertainment on the Navigator.

And now we're on to Honolulu and no more sailing once we've docked.

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These two photos show the outdoor restaurant where we had lunch at the beach and the view from our table.

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crazycatperson wrote:
I graciously and politely refrained from telling them both to go sit on a tack.

laugh Not certain that I would have had that much self-control. Some people really do enjoy wearing their judgement hat and their jury pants even on vacation, don't they?

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Approaching the dock in Kahului, a couple of shots of the beach, and a pretty flower we saw at the resort.

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alicemouse wrote:
crazycatperson wrote:
I graciously and politely refrained from telling them both to go sit on a tack.

laugh Not certain that I would have had that much self-control. Some people really do enjoy wearing their judgement hat and their jury pants even on vacation, don't they?

The really great thing was that I showed up for dinner with wet hair again the next evening! LOL, I hope they were sitting nearby again!

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So, Honolulu. Our last full day on the ship. It was so hard to believe how quickly it was over. But not over just yet.

Our adults-only port adventure involved a drive through downtown Honolulu, a visit to a scenic overlook from which we could see a Marine base that was also attacked on December 7, 1941, and of course, Pearl Harbor. We were originally scheduled to leave at 8:15 a.m., but I got an email a week or two before the trip saying that for some reason they didn't elaborate, we were being bumped back to 9:30. Thank you! We would've chosen the later time if we'd had a choice up front.

In all our other ports (aside from Vancouver), we exited and entered the ship on the first deck. Not much to see down there - a few staterooms and the medical center, that's it. Wednesday we exited via the third deck atrium, same as we boarded in Vancouver. This was nice. And since the ship was docked overnight, we could've come and gone several times if we had so desired. Cruise director Clayton even mentioned it when he spoke prior to Tuesday night's live show: "You can go on your port adventure, come back...Have lunch, then go out to see the town, and come back...Have dinner...Then go out for the evening and come back...Then go out for a drink and come back..." Clayton is a lot of fun.

For this excursion we met in the Walt Disney Theater again and then made our way to the atrium to leave ship. Our excursion started with the driving tour of Honolulu, where we saw a bunch of stuff we'd seen on Hawai'i Five-0, both versions. Then to the scenic overlook I mentioned above. And lastly, Pearl Harbor. This is a very solemn place, especially the USS Arizona Memorial, where you stand above the final resting place of Sailors and Marines who lost their lives over 70 years ago. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Hubby was unable to find a smoking area anywhere at Pearl Harbor - there was one marked, but a special military event was going on there, and all he found elsewhere were NO SMOKING signs. When we returned to the ship, he was ready for some nicotine. But no! Refueling was going on again! And on, and on, and on. Hubby was not in a very good mood this afternoon and evening. Except for roughly 4:30 to 6:30.

Okay, remember that hot stone couples massage we had Saturday, on our last full day at sea. Yep. Sharon and Neren managed to talk us into another one. Our port adventure got us back to the Wonder around 3:30 and we'd scheduled the third and final massage at 4:30. Everything was just as nice as the last time, except for one thing: Instead of having a beautiful view of the ocean from our open deck, we had a view of...Honolulu. A city like any other, aside from a few palm trees and Diamond Head in the distance. And I'm wondering the whole time, are people in those office buildings and apartments looking at us? Yeah, save this one for a day at sea, folks. And yes, we all but hemorrhaged money into that spa, but I don't regret it at all.

So this is why I showed up to dinner again with wet hair. We'd told our servers that we might not make it, but they all said to come late if we had to, it wasn't a problem, so we were having starters while others were finishing their main courses or ordering dessert. But it was fine. Especially since I actually had an appetite for dinner, since lunch was just a hot dog and chips during our port adventure. And these guys, how awesome. I saw folks at the next table having creme brulee for dessert. When the dessert menu was presented, and no creme brulee, I whispered, "I think I saw creme brulee?" And trying to point unobtrusively, added, "It's right over there?" Dear Aaron, he looked a little concerned, but soon he returned with my creme brulee. And then I found out the people at the next table had ordered it special for a birthday. Thank you, Aaron. I LOVE these guys. I already posted their photos, but their names are Geffrey, the head server; Aaron, the server; and Manuel, assistant server. You will be fortunate to be served by them on a future cruise. And who knows, maybe Aaron will be a head server and Manuel a server by the time you meet them.

Once when he lingered at our table after dinner was over, Aaron told us he has a wife and kids back home in the Philippines. He works 6 months straight and then gets to go home for 6 to 8 weeks, then it starts all over again. Imagine 6 months away from your family. I know, lots of other people do it; plenty of other Wonder crew members have families back home. People in the military do it for longer and under dangerous circumstances. But still, the sacrifices he (and the rest of the crew) make to build a better life for their families.

Instead of a live show, the Walt Disney Theater had Ant-Man this evening. We skipped it since we'd already seen it. I stopped by the "Till We Meet Again" event in the atrium, where characters and ship's officers mingled with guests. I've already posted a few photos, but I'll post one more. Meanwhile, hubby was phoning guest services trying to find out when refueling would be over. They were noncommittal. So he went to sleep.

At 9:45 on the Deck 9 stage the Tihati Performers performed a final farewell to Hawai'i for us. I had some hot tea from the beverage station and got there early enough to get a lounge chair with a great view. And then kept nodding off through the performance. I heard most of it but didn't see a whole lot until finally I gave in and left halfway through the show to find my bed and call it a night.

What a great cruise it was.

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People heading off the ship into Honolulu or to their port adventures.

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A particularly beautiful feral chicken (rooster, probably, in this case).

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Different photos of Honolulu.

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View from an overlook along the way.

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Pearl Harbor.

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These platforms, the first directly beside the USS Arizona memorial, denote the position of ships at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. There are so very many of them, and even more beyond where we could see them.

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Markers at the USS Arizona memorial.

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The entire atrium of the Wonder during the Till We Meet Again event.

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The next morning, I found out hubby had gotten up in the middle of the night and spent quite some time in the finally open smoking area on deck 9. Quite some time. But he was happy again. I'm not sure whether it was this night or some other, but at least once a bunch of smokers had an impromptu party up there, with someone bringing entire bottles of wine.

And our final morning began. Since we had early seating for dinner, we had early seating for breakfast, at Triton's again, same as dinner last night. We got to have our regular servers, which was quite nice. What did I have...pancakes, I think, which came with sausage and hash browns. Very nice. Hubby had something with eggs, I think.

Since we had a relatively early flight out, we were among the first to leave the ship. Our luggage was waiting for us with its Ariel tags hanging off the handles. Customs was ridiculously easy, just turn in a form - I guess we'd done enough customs stuff in Vancouver before the cruise. We caught one of the Disney-chartered buses to the airport, waited in that ridiculously long and unmoving line at the American Airlines counter (remember, nobody was working yet?), and then waited by our gate for the flight to LAX. Hubby went off to locate some sort of sustenance to take on the plane but could only find snacks (I think he didn't go very far). He got something good, forget what it was, and some sort of Asian-flavored snack mix that I thought was horrid - and I usually enjoy Asian flavors.

And then it was several hours flying over the ocean with no change in scenery until after dark, when I finally saw the California coastline. I'd felt fine through most of the flight, but for some reason - empty stomach, change from ship to jet, I don't know - I got very airsick on landing. Not lose what little I had for lunch sick, but I felt really nasty. I did the best I could through LAX, fetched our luggage while hubby was outside having a smoke, and then finally we made our way to the Super Shuttle stop. Alicemouse, our Disney travel agent, recommended taking the Super Shuttle because the Disneyland buses wouldn't be running by the time we arrived and also because she'd had good experiences with Super Shuttle herself. Well, she was right on! I love the Super Shuttle. Every step of the way was smooth and easy. I even got to sit in the front seat between LAX and the Grand Californian, which helped with the motion sickness issues.

We had a great time checking in at VGC. The guy behind the desk, Donald, was immensely helpful, linked our two separate reservations (first night in a studio, second and third in a one-bedroom), and told us to look him up if we needed anything because he'd be working throughout our stay. (The next morning, while we were checking out of the studio and into the one bedroom, he recognized us and said hello.) We then made our way to our first night's accommodations, which was on the first floor with only a view of a fence. I decided the first thing I needed was food and ordered room service - a club sandwich for me and a Cobb salad for hubby. Hubby, meanwhile, well...you know where he went. I only ate half of my sandwich; hubby had the rest along with his salad, and we saved the fruit that came with my sandwich and the bread that came with his salad for breakfast in the morning. And then we went to bed without bothering to unpack anything but what we needed that evening.

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I've already posted nearly all of my last morning photos; here's one I took of the spa lobby. Unfortunately, it was closed so this is as far as I could go.

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crazycatperson's picture
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Okay. Disneyland! I've already posted quite a bit on this part of our trip, and I'll try not to repeat anything.

First, we loved the Grand Californian. I know people have said they were disappointed since it's way more points for something no better than Wilderness Lodge. This is true. We spent nearly 100 DVC points on our three nights, and one of the nights was only a studio! But we still loved it. The studio room was great, and then we got to see the one bedroom. OMG! And the view we had of California Adventure from that one bedroom unit! I even got to watch half of World of Color from our balcony (lol, the upper half, couldn't see a thing below treeline). I don't regret staying there at all, no matter how much it cost us.

Friday we slept late after getting in late and dealing with motion sickness. We finished off our leftovers from the night before, did the whole check out/check back in routine, left our bags with bell services, and then made our way to California Adventure. Which is not my favorite park, but still pretty fun. Over the course of our two days in the parks I walked pretty much all around California Adventure but didn't visit very many of the attractions - in total, I think, Toy Story Midway Mania, of course, and how does this not have FastPasses? We only got to do it once! Mickey's Fun Wheel, which I did alone while hubby hot-tubbed in our unit. Radiator Springs Racers, also of course! OMG what fun it is! And Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue, a really cute ride. That's it for rides. And just World of Color for entertainment at this park. We ate twice at California Adventure, Friday lunch at the Asian-themed place at Pacific Wharf that I mentioned earlier, and then Friday dinner I got a slice of pizza at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta while hubby got a gyro-like something at the neighboring Paradise Garden Grill. And that's pretty much everything we did at California Adventure, even though we went part of each day both Friday and Saturday.

Sometime mid-afternoon I got a text from the Grand Californian telling us our new unit was ready, so we headed back, checked it out, and got our luggage delivered. I think I've already posted a photo of the view from our room, but I'll post another. We loved it! I left the opaque curtains open all night with just the sheer privacy curtains closed so I could see the lights of the park any time I wanted (no, they weren't on all night, but most of it).

Hubby decided to stay in and rest a bit. I needed to see Disneyland! This was the park I'd dreamed of seeing when I was a little girl - Walt Disney World didn't exist yet - but we were on the other side of the country and had a large family, so it never happened. Finally seeing it was truly, truly magical, even if I do still prefer WDW. The first thing I did was visit Sleeping Beauty's Castle and the walk-through attraction that tells the whole story of that film. This also meant quite a bit to me since the very first movie I ever saw in a theater was Sleeping Beauty when it first opened way back when, and this was one of those "core memories" Inside Out talked about because I never, ever forgot it. I know I got on people's nerves, but I had to take a picture of everything! Next I visited Pinocchio's Daring Journey, since we don't have it at WDW. Then the Storybook Land Canal Boats, ditto. And then, another major milestone for me, I got to ride the original It's a Small World for the first time since 1965, when it was at the New York World's Fair. So much better than the WDW version. I am so glad to have had the chance to see it once again.

Around this time hubby texted to say he was in the park. I stopped along the way to take a photo of a Halloween kitty and got roped into taking a photo of some goth kids in front of the same decoration. Smile, I said. Or not, I added, because they didn't. Second photo, one, two, three, say fromage! Nothing. Third photo. Look terrifying, I said, and I think I finally got a smile out of one of them.

Hubby and I headed over to Tomorrowland and rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. In general, I think the WDW version is better, but I did appreciate being able to pick up the blasters. And then, even though hubby had just arrived, we headed back to our rooms so I could take a shower and then we could make it back to California Adventure for our Radiator Springs Racers FP and also for World of Color.

Robyn, remember how chilly it was when you were at Disneyland? We had the opposite problem. It was HOT. I mean SERIOUSLY hot. Fortunately, unlike at WDW, it wasn't humid. So although I was pouring sweat and miserable during the sunny hours, the evenings were quite pleasant. But it did mean I was back in WDW summer mode - park till I can't stand it, back to the unit, shower, and back out again.

And then back to California Adventure to finish the day. Definitely a great day at Disneyland.