Day 2 ~ Saturday Sept.20th
As usual on the first day both of us were wide awake really early and the area around our villa was deadly silent. It was obvious that we had no neighbours for some distance along both sides of the street which was great.
After breakfast by the pool, my DW decided that the pool deck could do with a tidy up and clean. Although no-one had stayed at our villa since we were last there earlier this year [we only rent out the place to close friends and family], nevertheless a lot of dust and debris had found its way onto the edges of the deck area from the grass cutting of the areas surrounding the villa. Our cleaners do a great job, but their responsibility lies mainly on the inside of the house apart from a regular check that none of the pool furniture etc. has been “removed”.
Thus a lot of hosing down and brushing was needed to get the area up to the high standards set by “er indoors”! :p015:
Soon after we had finished the task, the phone rang. It was Ricardo, our very good friend from the YSH ringing to welcome us “home” and saying that he was looking forward to seeing us tonight at his restaurant. [He had asked me to email him our itinerary way before we left so that he could arrange a few things for us as usual].
As a lazy day was planned for today [apart from swabbing the deck! ], we nipped out to the Publix at Champions Gate to grab some sandwiches for lunch [I especially like their cheesesteak subs], together with a few other essentials.
After lunch my DW partook in a spot of sunbathing around the pool while I went inside for 40 winks on the sofa. After about 20 of those “winks” the phone rang again. This time it was a recorded message from a very cheerful “Dave” who was trying to flog me a better deal on our cable tv….just the sort of wake up call I wanted…. NOT!!!! Needless to say but the phone was slammed down half way through his spiel! :mad:
We had made an ADR for 7.30 pm at the YSH and we arrived a bit early in order to have a cocktail in the Crew`s Cup bar next door. Before long we were ushered into the restaurant by Becky [Ricardo`s immediate boss] where we were greeted by the man himself along with loads of hugs and kisses…well the latter items for my DW anyhow! :rolleyes008:
Knowing that he is a huge Beatles fan, we gave Ricky a few related items together with a Doulton figurine for his DW as we know that she adores them. In return, Ricky gave us a few items including exclusive cast member pins which were rather cool.
As usual we were served a great meal during which Ricky’s brother [Orlando], who works as a “busser” at the YSH came over and greeted us like long lost friends, which I suppose we were in a way.
Later Ricardo told us that he had arranged for a great server to attend to us tomorrow night when we had arranged to have dinner at the Flying Fish. The server’s name was Jay and he was a very close friend of one of Ricky`s colleagues at the YSH [Frankie], who also came to our table to introduce himself to us.
After dinner we sat chatting to Ricardo for ages, catching up on what had gone on since we last met earlier in the year and arranged to meet up with him and his wife later in the week on their nights off from work. [Ricky`s wife, Luz, works as a manager at Saratoga Springs and they have managed to arrange similar work patterns, sharing their nights off].
Bed was soon calling so we bid our farewells to all and drove “home” for another relatively early night.
Day 3 ~ Sunday Sept.21st
After a leisurely breakfast my DW and I repacked our bags as to-day we would be checking into the GF for a few days courtesy of our DVC points. I always breath a huge sigh of relief when we draw up to the security gates at the GF as by now this resort truly does feel like home as soon as we arrive.
The time was now around 12.00pm when I made my usual request for a room in Sago Cay only to be told that the room wasn`t ready yet, although they could relocate us to another room straight away in Conch Key with a view of Cinderella`s Castle at the MK from our balcony, so naturally I jumped at this opportunity, especially since the room also overlooked the boating marina which is our preferred outlook.
En route to our room we bumped into Joy, one of our DVC friends who was at the desk adjacent to the café. This was fortunate because I had brought out a letter with me from the DVC which needed a notary authorisation and I was darned if I was going to pay for this here in the UK. Joy told me that she would sort this out for me and asked me to call back later.
After a snack lunch at Gasparilla`s, we again visited Joy who had arranged for someone that she knew at the GF who was a notary to help us out. When she introduced us to him, we found out that he was actually the guy who had checked us in a few hours ago…small world eh?…and before long my letter was duly notarised and put in the mail box. How`s that for service?
At this stage a short trip to DTD seemed like a good idea in order to renew our AP`s using the generous DVC discount we were entitled to. I then found out that this HAD to be combined with a short visit to the Premium Outlet Shopping Mall as my DW needed to stock up on some hair product “thingies” which cost an arm and a leg here in the UK. :mad:
We only spent a short while at both locations, saving the main shopping until later in our vacation. The time was mainly spent just browsing at DTD along with a customary stop at Ghirardelli’s for an ice cream.
As we were walking back into the GF using the rear “secret” entrance, we bumped into Louise, a CM who works at the podium at the GF Café who was just leaving for home. She was delighted to see us again amid more hugs and kisses, this time even I got one!...getting to be a habit this!
Sadly she had some bad news to tell us about another of our friends from the café [Marvin]. We have known Marvin and his lovely wife [Judy] for years from our visits to the GF. He is a really nice guy but unfortunately since our last visit he had to be rushed into hospital for an emergency heart operation and Judy had taken time off to be at home with him. He seems to be recovering nicely but we were sorry that we wouldn’t be able to meet up again on this trip. Nevertheless we told Louise to send him our love and best wishes, telling her that we would write to him after we returned home in order to touch base with them both.
After a short while spent lounging on the beach we made over to the FF for dinner.
After reporting to the podium to check in for our 7.30 pm ADR I went to the restroom only to find my DW in the arms of another man on my return! :shocked025:Fortunately I immediately realised that her fidelity was not in question as the guy was the FF manager Raul, who used to be Ricardo`s manager at the YSH who always makes a fuss whenever we meet.
Raul escorted us to our table and introduced us to Jay, the server that had been “arranged” for us courtesy of Ricky`s colleague.
Jay took really good care of us and as usual at this restaurant we had an excellent dinner, my DW being spoiled for choice in view of the selection of fish dishes on offer. Later Raul came back over and spent some time chatting to us, telling us how the Disney Dining Plan had adversely affected his “regulars” many of whom travelled from off site to dine there. He said that he had instructed his staff to make sure that any of these folks managed to secure a table despite the computer stating that there were no tables available, suggesting that we give him a call if ever we wanted to dine at the FF in the absence of us making an ADR which I greatly appreciated and it kind of made us feel very welcome.
We then drove the short distance back to the GF ready to hit the parks the following day.