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Thread: Valentine's Weekend, Celebration

  1. #11
    What a wonderful, romantic weekend! Enjoy!!! Happy Valentines Day!!!!

  2. #12
    Senior Member mumof2's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    West Sussex
    awwww, that sounds like a wonderful surprise Tink, the Tower of Terror comment made me laugh!!

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Great report hun. Enjoy your stay and Disney

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    As usual, your trip report is so beautifully descriptive Tink that you've transported me right there. It all sounds so romantic and I'm hoping the ac noise is sorted for you as quickly as possible. I hope you both enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    It saddens me to hear that Celebration isn't immune to the economic troubles. Geoff and Poppy always pop into the bookshop during a visit.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Sounds like a wonderful trip despite a few bumps.

  6. #16
    Well, as you know by now, the fan in the AC woke us at some ung-dly hour of the morning. I turned it off, but couldn't get back to sleep. Herself had no such problems.

    I spend some time during the wee hours writing the first installment of this trip report and drinking Starbucks coffee.

    After showering and dressing for the day, I went downstairs to report the noisy fan. The concierge took the report and said she'd send someone up (after 10:00 am).

    Herself was showering when I returned to the room, and we went down to breakfast shortly thereafter. The breakfast was complimentary (and tommorrow's is too!). There are no menus. You simply tell the server what you would like and he produces it from the kitchen. There are selections of fresh fruit and berries, pastries, bagels, lox, cheese, grits, bacon, sausage and oatmeal on a side board. You serve yourself from these items as you please.

    While we were waiting for my fried eggs and Herself's cheese and mushroom omlette we had some berries, cheese and sausage. We found the sausage too greasy, but we've not eaten it in ages, so that was more the problem than the sausage. We also had some raspberries, black berries, strawberries, brie, goat cheese and mild provolone. The eggs arrived during this time with our respective orders of toast (rye and whole wheat) and juice and coffee. It was quite a nice breakfast, particularly since we'd not had anything other than our Medi-Fast breakfast in ever so long.

    After breakfast we decided to stroll around areas of the hotel we'd not yet explored. We found the exercise room, the hot tub and the swimming pool. We spent some time in the hot tub and pool, and lolling about on the lounge chairs.

    We then went on a long walk. Celebration has a walking trail that leads to ... well, we aren't really sure! We simply started walking along it and ended up at the end of the trail on a side street. We walked along the side street gawping at the huge homes until we came to Celebration Ave. We followed along that and finally ended back up at the main center of town.

    We hemmed and hawed and finally decided to throw caution to the winds and went to the cafe for a late lunch. We decided to share a turkey burger, with an extra side salad for me (the burger came with a salad). When the food arrived, we were less than impressed. My side salad (described as mixed greens on the menu) consisted of mostly the ribs of romaine, rusty and brown in far too many places, and the turkey burger bore no resemblance to any minced turkey I've ever seen. The salad with the turkey burger was a true mixed lettuce salad, however it had some sort of sweet dressing on it.

    I sent my salad away and took one bite of the burger. I cannot stand bad salad. When you eat as much of it as we do, you get pretty particular about the quality of the lettuce. The burger tasted terrible to me. Herself didn't mind it so much, so make of that what you will. I ended up having one of our Medi Fast bars and being very happy for it!

    The server did deduct my side salad from the check, and I was happy for that. It's always best when the server does those sorts of things without having to be asked. I tipped her on what the amount would have been with the salad and we left. We won't be returning to the cafe. The food really wasn't nice at all, and although the server did deduct the salad she was not friendly in the least. We won't be back any time soon.

    We strolled along reading the restaurant menus and trying to decide where we'd like to have dinner. D'Antonios was a first selection but they had raised the prices on their menu in honor of St. Valentine, and were offering a limited menu to boot, so we gave that a pass by. Columbia was booked, so we headed to the Boston fish place. After discussion with a hostess who did her level best to try and get us to NOT book there we made arrangements to have dinner at 7:30. She assured us they'd be very backed up by then and we'd be waiting a long time.

    We wandered around poking into shops here and there until Herself commented that she'd really like to return to the hotel for a bit of a rest. We headed back and were on the third floor by 4:15 pm. The housekeeper was just getting to our room.

    We sat in the common area and waited for her to finish. Once she had we went into the room, and Herself took a nap and I read a magazine. I also called WDW Dine to see if there was any chance of our booking a WDW restaurant for dinner tonight, but there was NO availability other than Boatwrights, The Wave, Puck's as a walk up, Portobello as a walk up and Chefs du France, oh and Yak and Yeti. All were for dining between 4 and 5 pm.

    Will pick up here later...

  7. #17
    Tink, I love your trip reports...they're so detailed.

    Bit of a shame about the meals and the air conditioning...but it's about the being together most of all isn't it? And it sounds like a lovely break

    Can't wait to hear about the second evening meal...whether you ended up in the Boston fish place or managed to find something elsewhere...

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    United States
    Too bad about the food. I remember staying at a hotel near Universal and had ordered a salad from the room service menu...and boy was it disgusting. I remember thinking that it looked like they took leaves from the bushes downstairs and put them in my look like lettuce. I always wonder how people can serve brown colored salad, it's easy to tell it's not good.

  9. #19
    Sister Tink I've been trying to post a few lines , moving the kids has kept me busy .
    What a lovely gift for you to give Herself . I'm loving your trip reports and except for some minor glitches , it sounds like you two are having an excellent time .
    Thanks for sharing and a belated Happy Valentines Day to you both XXX OOO

  10. #20
    Ok, so where were we?

    Ah right. Resting...

    Given the sketchy sleep of the night before, the rest was much needed. We finished our laze about and prepared for dinner. We dillied and dallied and ended up presenting ourselves at the podium smack on 7:30!

    There was a different woman there, from the one we'd originally registered with. She gave us our lobster pager and said it wouldn't be long. We went to the bar and ordered a (all together now) red wine for Herself and a diet Coke for me. After all, I was walking.

    Within ten minutes or so the Hostess came looking for us, saying that she'd sent someone "before" and they said we couldn't be found. She'd forgotten to write the number of our pager down. Our table (outdoors on the covered lanai) was ready.

    We were seated and greeted by a waitress who commented that we had our drinks and were we ready to order? Ummmm...well, as we'd not opened the menus yet, we weren't.

    She went off and that was the last we saw of her. Was it something we said?

    After reading the menu and discussing the choices we decided to share an appetizer of stuffed clams. I chose the broiled seafood medley (scrod, scallops and shrimp) and Herself decided on the broiled scallops. We waited, and waited, and waited.

    Finally, another waitress came over and said she'd be taking care of us. We placed our order with her and waited a bit longer for the stuffed clams to arrive. They were not nice. There were three clam shells on the service plate with stuffing in the shells and perhaps two (in one case, one) bits of clam in them.

    We were then served our salads. Had they been as interesting as the mix of greens used to serve the clams, all would have been well. Howevever it was the same old tired rib filled small plate of rusty romaine... We pushed the lettuce around a bit, and then set them aside. We were ready to have the entree and put an end to this meal.

    The entrees arrived. They were not broiled, rather baked in a "sauce" that ended up steaming the seafood. The scallops were little rubber balls and the shrimp were much the same. The scrod managed to be edible. The side vegetables, described by the server as green and wax beans (a favorite of Herself) and carrots were actually cauliflower, yellow and orange carrots and broccoli. They were frozen vegetables, not cooked well so were unplatable to say the least.

    Never ones to give up too soon we ordered a Boston Cream Pie for dessert. It was not my Mother's Boston Cream Pie. The cake was dry, the filling so thick and stiff as to be chewy and the chocolate sauce was grainy.

    The port was nice!

    Needless to say, we've been to this restaurant three times, so this was the "three times and you are out" meal. Seriously, go to Red Lobster before you dine at this place. At least you can have a selection of fresh fish there. Oh, pre-tip the dinner came to about $85. Not outrageous, but more than we like to pay for inedible food.

    Oh, and the interesting bit was that the restaurant was nearly empty when we left, so the first woman who had made such an effort to get us to dine elsewhere was wrong in her belief that they would be mad busy and delayed in their seating times.

    Our stroll revealed that D'Antonios was pretty slow, the Japanese restaurant was quite busy and Columbia's was indeed heaving as they'd said they'd be.

    For us, we've come to the conclusion that there really isn't much of a good place to dine in Celebration.

    We returned to the hotel where the lobby was busy. There were tables of diners there, an entertainer with an electric keyboard and the small bar. We ordered splits of champagne and watched people come and go. The Disney transport bus (well, more accurately the transport to Disney bus) arrived while we were there and quite a few people disembarked.

    Several headed straight for the bar (Herself commented that they'd probably been all day at the MK ) for a drink, some to order food, and one family to order cups of milk for their children. The bartender took care of it all.

    That seems to be the strength of this hotel. The staff are seriously hard working folk! They are cheerful, and very attentive and never allow themselves to show that they are overworked, but boy are they ever. The bartender alone was responsible for the bar, several tables of diners, and then all those folks coming in. He never once stopped moving and kept having to run (yes, run) to the kitchen to place orders. He really needed help.

    After our drinks were finished we headed off to bed. We had no repeat of the clattering fan! YAY!!!! We both slept quite well and woke later than expected, which was a real treat for both of us. We rose, showered, packed up, took the luggage to the car and then went in for breakfast.

    What chaos! Yesterday's lovely, peaceful breakfast was not to be repeated. The hostess clearly was either too tired, or too new (we went with tired, and disinterested) to do the job well, which was very noticeable given the hard working nature of the rest of the staff.

    There were two servers and one drinks person (coffee and water pourer) for the entire dining room (roughly 20 filled tables!). We had omelettes, and a selection of fruit from the buffet table. The omelettes were not nearly as nice as yesterday's, but no matter as we found the fruit to be quite nice.

    We watched the drama unfold as some tables were populated with very impatient people who tended to be rude. We felt bad for the servers as they really were moving just as fast as they possibly could. Anytime someone was rude enough to shout out to or at them, they took it in stride and immediately changed course to address the shouter's concern. What is it with some people, eh?

    We finished and left (and were told goodbye and thank you from the server ) and walked over to the Farmer's Market that is held each Sunday. It's a tiny market with not much in the line of vegetables or fruit, but we did manage to buy some hydroponically grown lettuce.

    Once we'd thoroughly looked over all the items on offer we left and headed to Herself's Mother's for our usual Sunday visit. Along the way we stopped at Publix for some vegetables for the week, and found some very nice seafood on sale. We closed the day with a lovely seafood dinner.

    All in all it was a nice, mostly relaxing weekend that allowed us time alone, and time to talk and dream together. We had a whole story going about how we'd like to take the empty former grocery space and turn it into a gourmet food shop. We had the employees picked out and everything!

    We'd recommend Celebration Hotel, and the breakfast, but not the dining room overall. We don't recommend the Town Tavern with it's attached Boston Seafood restaurant, nor do we recommend the cafe. We've been to Columbia before and if you choose wisely, it can be quite nice there.

    Hope you've enjoyed reading about our lazy weekend! Thank you!

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