Welcome back everyone. To another November 2020 road trip post.
I know. It’s been a minute since my last post.
Wait…or has it been a hot minute?
It’s been a hot minute since my last post.
Seriously – what is it the kids say?
Anyways – with last week being Thanksgiving and what not, the time got away from me. But I promise this post will make up for that absence by being awesomely entertaining.*
*Promise void after December 1, 2020.
But I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I know it was a different one for sure – with us all not able to get together like normal and what not. No worrying about having enough food. Or drunk uncles. Or uncomfortable politics around the dinner table.
Yeah. Erm. #Thanks 2020?
On with Day 4!
Day 4 – Leaving Jekyll Island, driving to WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!
Day 4 had us waking up in our room at the Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island. And waking up at a Hampton Inn usually means one thing.
Which meant that the Hampton Inn was no longer doing its usual awesome breakfast spread situation. But being Hampton Inn, they still took care of us. In the lobby, they had coffee…
…so I grabbed Nickie and I two cups. And they had these grab-and-go breakfast boxes.
Inside was a bagel, cream cheese, two hard boiled eggs, and a yogurt. Hampton Inn is legit the best. It’s probably even nicer than the actual Hamptons.
Before we set out for the next part of our adventure, we gave the boys their road trip bag for the day – the last one before we got to Walt Disney World. And this bag was a good one.
Mickey Mouse Veggie Chips. Disney Ring Pops. Personalized “First Visit Since Quarantine” buttons. Disney T-Shirts (Pooh for Owen, Figment for Myles). And two $50 Disney gift cards. Yeah, I know. We’re awesome.
Then it was time to pack up the car and head to…
…WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!
The trip from Jekyll Island to Walt Disney World was around 3 ½ hours and we spent the entire time listening to Disney music. Also, we spend most of our time listening to Disney music. Except for August to December, when we make the switch to Christmas music.
We are the jolliest.
I will say, though, it was a weird drive into Florida since we drove right on past the traditional stop at the Florida Welcome Center. Bah, COVID.
So it was a straight 3 ½ hours. And since we had brunch reservations, we drove right to Disney Springs and parked in the Orange Garage. And we got our first taste of the “new normal” at Walt Disney World – temperature screenings before getting into Disney Springs.
Let me say that again….before getting into DISNEY SPRINGS!!!!!!
I gotta be honest. It was a great feeling being back in Disney. Even with masks and temp screening and social distancing and what not. After this year, it was a welcome feeling for sure.
Plus, it was even more excitinger. Because not only were we finally in Walt Disney World, but we were meeting my brother, Jeff, for the day. And he was staying in our room for the night. And he was going to EPCOT with us.
I know. Awesome stuff.
We waited for Jeff to come meet us and then made our walk over to brunch. On our way we passed a bunch of Christmas trees. Rather than doing the Christmas Tree Trail this year (because of COVID), Disney spaced them out all over Disney Springs.
Like this Star Wars tree…
…and this Fantasia tree…
…and this Olaf tree…
…and my personal favorite, the Haunted Mansion tree.
In fact, they had a Christmas Tree Stroll scavenger hunt thing…for FREE.
Yeah, for free. Like, that doesn’t happen in Disney. And as you can see, we did do the stroll.
I mean…well. We started it. We actually never finished it. Which means we didn’t earn a prize. But I did find out through the YouTubes that you get a button. So we kind of blew it. And it’s also crazy. Since we went to Disney Springs multiple times this trip. We are idiots. Is the moral.
But…we did get brunch. So still. Winning.
Brunch today was at City Works, a new-to-us restaurant. Which is all kinds of exciting. I mean, brunch is exciting on its own. It’s two meals in one.
But brunch in Disney Springs at a new place? Forget it. The excitement levels were high.
We sat outside (because we were still doing that) and started with some drinks. I ordered a Flapjack Old-Fashioned (Devil’s River rye whiskey, butterscotch Schnapps, candied maple syrup, candied bacon, orange bitters).
Which. Was. Delicious.
Also, you might as well get used to the phrase “I got an old-fashioned” because I got A LOT of old-fashioneds on this trip. Jeff ordered a Cranberry Mojito (Bacardi Limón, cranberry juice, fresh lime juice, mint, dried cranberries, simple syrup, soda) but I unforch did not get a picture of it. He said he loved it though.
Nickie went for the Mimosa Flight.
She went for the Classic with orange juice, the Mulemosa (vodka, ginger beer, lime juice), the Bellini (with Peach Schnapps and Orange Juice), and the Tropical (Malibu rum, pineapple juice, grenadine).
She seemed to like it, though the Mulemosa wasn’t her bag.
So, the brunch at City Works. It’s an INSANELY punny Rock N’ Roll Brunch. All the food has these puntastic Rock N’ Roll names. OK. Like, for example? We ordered for the table a…ahem…Jon Bun Jovi.
The Jon Bun Jovi is a giant shareable vanilla cinnamon roll. Yeah, it’s as delightful as it sounds.
It then came time to order our main entrees. I also have to pause and say we LOVED our waiter, Christian. The kids loved how he called my brother “Boss” every time he addressed him and the rest of us were “my friend.”
But when we ordered our entrees, he really shone. Jeff was gonna order the Nashville Hot Chicken Wrap but Christian leaped in quickly to warn him that it was VERY hot. When Jeff asked him to rate the hotness on a scale of 1-10? Christian said it was a “9.”
Yeah. A nine.
There’s legit no possible way this sandwich is a nine. In Disney Springs? No. Way. A ten is the highest you can go. Which would make a ten THE HOTTEST THING IN THE WORLD. And this wrap is a nine?
But still…Christian’s warning hung heavy over the table. I mean, maybe its not a nine. But it’s probably hot. So Jeff changed his order to the same thing I was getting – the breakfast tacos. Sorry. I mean the What’s The Story, Morning Glory.
So. Breakfast Tacos.
Specifically, these were three white corn tortillas with scrambled eggs, bacon, green onion, smoked tomato, chipotle maple glaze, and smoked cheddar. They were delicious. The maple glaze was bomb.com. And they were served with this equally awesome cheesy potato casserole. Which Christian said were a 6 on the cheesy scale.
I mean, he was on point in that case actually. Maybe the Nashville Hot Wrap is a 9? I’ll tell you what. We have a City Works near our house in Watertown so I am gonna try and get there soon to put that wrap to the test. It’s a promise.
Being that we were still early in the trip, I was feeling uncomfortable with snapping pictures of everyone’s food, so those were the only food pics I got. I know Myles got the Mother’s Little Helper (a bowl filled with smoked cheddar grits, braised pork belly, breakfast sausage link, fried egg, and smoked tomato charred scallion relish.) This was actually on my radar as well. I mean. Pork Belly. But I was shocked Myles ordered this. It didn’t seem his bag.
And that seemed to hold true. He liked it. But he didn’t love it.
Owen got the Filet Mignon Sliders, which DID NOT have a fun Rock N’ Roll name. And Nickie got the Breakfast in America (Breakfast sandwich served on a green onion cheddar biscuit with aged cheddar scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage patty, cheesy potato casserole). Both of them seemed to like their meals quite a bit as well.
Oh, I did get a picture of my beer. It was hazy and hoppy. And I have no idea what it was. You’re welcome.
So yeah – brunch at City Works was pretty amazepants. Highly recommend.
After brunch, we walked back out into Disney Springs.
And seeing as it was like 10 minutes since that beer, I was parched. So we got in a short line waiting to get into Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, which was not only all kinds of Indiana Jones-ness but also super decked out for the holidays.
Jeff and Myles made themselves comfortable.
And we ordered up some drinks. Owen ordered a root beer, Myles a Diving Bell (Simply Lemonade® and Watermelon).
And Jeff and I ordered some drinks off the holiday menu – 2 Mistletoe Mules (Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Lime juice, Passion Fruit, topped with Ginger Beer).
Nickie ordered a Cool-Headed Monkey (Starr African Rum, Van Der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, Lime Juice, Watermelon, and Pineapple Juice).
The drinks were all VERY tasty. But the star of the show was another order off the holiday menu – the C9 Light Deviled Eggs (colored eggs with shrimp and tobiko caviar.) Look at these guys.
So good. I love deviled eggs anyways, but the shrimp added some nice flavor and the caviar gave it some good texture. I want these right now.
After we left Jock Lindsey’s, we had a decision to make. Do we head to the resort to try out the pool or do we play miniature golf? Looking up at the sky gave us our answer. The sun was not really making an appearance so we decided to head over to Winter Summerland to get a round in.
But…ergh. As I got out of the car, I checked my pocket and my wallet wasn’t there. I searched the car, searched around the car. Nothing.
My wallet was gone.
I told Nickie and immediately got on the phone to try and reach everywhere we had been that day. Since City Works is not a Disney-owned establishment, I got right through. And they said they hadn’t seen the wallet. Jock Lindsey’s was a bit harder to reach. I was put through to a general lost and found line and was immediately placed on hold.
So Nickie suggested I head back to Disney Springs and go directly to Jock Lindsey’s as it might actually be quicker. It was a good idea but womp. No small ball for me.
I drove back to Disney Springs and parked right near where we parked earlier. I looked around the spot and still no sign of it. Still on hold, I made my way through the temp screening and walked briskly towards Jock Lindsey’s. As I was walking, the other line did answer and I told them my situation. The woman was very nice and said she would make some calls. But since I was so close to reaching the location, I told her to hold tight.
When I got to Jock Lindsey’s, I talked to the hostess up front and she got the manager, who said nothing turned up yet. But she asked where I was sitting, and I pointed out the table. She walked over, looked under the table, and saw it. Just laying there on the floor. I enthusiastically thanked the hostess and the woman on the phone and walked back to the car, feeling definitely happier than when I arrived.
But yeah, I missed most of mini-golf. Nickie, Jeff, and the boys said they had a great time though. It looked super fun – all Christmas music and decorations and what not. And I did make it back in time to get a couple holes in and snap a couple pics. Plus, Nickie sent me a few to fill me in on what I missed.
I’ll definitely have to get back there for a do-over.
While we were finishing up, Nickie got the text that our room was ready so it was time to head to our home for the next few days – a 1 bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Myles and Owen drove with Jeff back to the resort and Nickie and I drove on our own. Which meant we were in charge of unloading all of this.
Worth it though. Because soon enough, we were up in our room…ready for Nickie to completely sanitize the place.
And I really do love Bay Lake Tower. Especially their 1-bedrooms.
I love how there is access to the balcony from both the living room and the bedroom.
And check out this jacuzzi tub with a slide away wall into the bedroom, in case you want to watch TV or watch people bathing from your bed. It works both ways!
And there were TWO FULL BATHROOMS. TWO! One off the master bedroom and one off the main living area.
Two bathrooms come in handy when you have a Myles. Trust me. Dude takes a long time getting ready.
Oh and I mean…no big deal. But we had a park view.
High-rollers we are. It was a little weird being on the second floor though. We were right above where guests were checking in so it felt a little like we were welcoming them to their vacation. Which we did. Multiple times.
The day was turning around a little bit so we decided to check out the pool area. Well, most of us did. Myles went to play some basketball at the resort court.
Well, eh. The day wasn’t turning around that much, really. The sun was still hiding and it was actually a little chilly. So we made straight for the hot tub.
Actually…not straight for the hot tub. We did stop off at the Cove Bar to get some Poolside Iced Teas (Absolut Vodka, Bacardi Superior Rum, Beefeater Gin, Corazón Blanco Tequila, Cointreau and Sweet-and-Sour topped with Coke). I mean, a hot tub without cocktails is like…a world with no oxygen.
Or something like that.
We probably only spent like 30-45 minutes at the hot tub and then headed back to the room. While there, we took in the balcony view for a little bit.
Then it was time for dinner. Our first Disney dinner in a LONG time where we didn’t have a reservation. And that had us panicked. It was already after 6PM and we were starting to get a little worried. Being that it was Day 1 in Disney, we still were clinging to our “only outdoor” dining plan, but our resolve was faltering. I checked the MyDisneyExperiece app to see if there were any reservations or walk-ups available. My hunger building, I came very close to making a reservation at the Wave, a restaurant in the Contemporary with no outdoor seating, but held back.
There was no way we were going to keep to our eating-outdoor-only policy. No way.
Since the boats weren’t running, we opted to drive. And within 5 minutes or so, we were in the parking lot.
Well, actually…within 5 minutes, our GPS took us to an employee-only entrance down a dark wooded path. I pulled up to the gate and while there was a button to push, no one answered. So I backed up, turned around, and drove a block down to the actual entrance. When we got there, the guard running the gate said, “had a little trouble over there, huh?” Which I took to mean he watched us, laughed at us, and offered no help through the little speaker box. Not that I am calling him out or anything. I would have done the same if I were him.
But annyways. We made it to the parking lot eventually.
And we walked into the always-impressive Wilderness Lodge lobby.
We walked to the back and out the door, towards Geyser Point. We walked up to the host and asked if there were any tables available and he informed us it would be at least an hour. And being that we were hungry, we weren’t thinking straight. Under normal circumstances, we would have assumed he was over-estimating and just waited for a table.
But we didn’t. We were hungry. So we walked over to the Lodge’s more standard counter service option – Roaring Fork.
Nickie pulled it up on her phone and all put our mobile orders in. While we were waiting for our orders, Myles started his campaign for a post-dinner monorail trip to the Polynesian for a Dole Whip. But we were all pretty tired so there was definitely some pushback. Jeff came up with a fun way for us to deny our child something he wants.
He had some balled up pieces of paper in his pocket and he said if he could land them on the table next to us without them falling off, we would take Myles to the Poly.
He made three attempts and each time, the paper bounced off. On the third attempt, it was VERY close but it ended up rolling off the end of the table.
Oh well. Apologies, Myles. Onto dinner.
Owen and Myles both chose the chicken and waffles. Which are better than other chicken and waffles. On account of Mickey-shaped.
Nickie, Jeff, and I all got the 10-Hour Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich. I mean, 10 hours. We couldn’t let all that hard work go to waste.
Tossed in apple-barbecue sauce, piled on a brioche bun, and served with fries and cole slaw, this thing was pretty good. And just so everyone knows, we paired these with some Bud Lights.
For dessert, we ordered up some cupcakes to share. We got the special Thanksgiving Cupcake (Pumpkin-spiced Vanilla Cupcake with Caramel Filling and White Chocolate Icing.) The cupcake wasn’t just delicious, but it was also hella-Gram-worthy.
We also got a Campfire Cupcake (Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate rocks, Buttercream and Marshmallow), which – thanks to Myles – did not stay in tact long enough for a proper picture.
After we finished up dessert, we headed back to Bay Lake Tower. And on the walk from the car to the lobby, my heart must have grown three sizes because I told Myles I would still take him over to the Polynesian if he wanted to go.
And of course he wanted to go. We went back up to the room and asked if anyone else wanted to go. Owen and Nickie wanted to just hang in the room, but Jeff said he would join us. We walked over the bridge to the Contemporary and jumped on the Monorail, which due to COVID provided a much less crowded ride than usual.
With the construction going on at the Poly, the Monorail station was closed so they had to drop us off at the Transportation and Ticket Center and we had to take a short walk over. But make it to the Polynesian we did…and we walked right to the Pineapple Lanai…
…and Myles got himself a Pineapple Float – Pineapple Juice with a Vanilla/Dole Whip swirl.
And I mean…since we were already at the Polynesian, it was kind of a given Jeff and I were going to find our way to the Tambu Lounge for a couple of Lapu Lapus (Plantation Original Dark Rum and Tropical Fruit Juices served in a fresh Pineapple topped with Gosling’s 151 Rum).
Oh Lapu Lapu. How I love you. I am not gonna say you’re like my best friend, but you’re up there.
While I was up at the bar ordering drinks with Jeff, I looked over at the table behind us and noticed someone that looked awfully familiar. In fact, I was sure it was him. I stared at him for an uncomfortably awkward amount of time to confirm and then I said to Jeff, “Oh that’s a guy we watch on YouTube – Paging Mr. Morrow.”
Like seriously. We watch this guy A LOT. And…its not like this is the first time we ran into him. We actually saw him a couple years ago at World of Disney and you can spot both Nickie and Owen in his vlog from that day. Check it out (I recommend at least sticking around until like 12:25 to see Nickie singing the Mickey Mouse March):
Anyways, yeah. It was definitely him. So as we were picking up our drinks, I stopped at his table to tell him we watch him all the time. He seemed genuinely happy to see us…he honestly seems like a super nice guy.
When we left the bar area and sat back down with Myles in the chairs outside the lounge, I pointed him out and decided that I would try to get a selfie with him when he came out. And this is the thing that I did. I did, in fact, get a selfie with him and Myles. Again, a super nice guy that Paging Mr. Morrow.
When I texted Nickie and Owen and told them who we just met, they instantly regretted hanging back at the room. I mean, a Lapu Lapu AND Paging Mr. Morrow? That’s a heck of a night.
The three of us hung out in the lounge area for a little bit, finished our drinks, and then headed back out into the night.
Now, if you recall, the Monorail was not actually stopping at the Polynesian so most people would have to walk back to the Transportation and Ticket Center to pick it back up. But we are not most people, I guess.
Because Myles came up with the idea of walking over to Disney’s Grand Floridian along Seven Seas Lagoon. And eh. It was a longer walk, but definitely a much nicer one.
Plus, it gave us an excuse to stop in at the Grand Floridian, which (spoiler alert) we were switching over to later in the week.
This lobby tho.
We even stopped in at Basin White (https://basin.com/) to pick up some bath bombs. And from the Grand Floridian, we jumped back on the Monorail and headed back to the Contemporary.
When we got back up to our room, Nickie was already sleeping so I poured Jeff and I some Angel’s Envy and Owen, Myles, Jeff, and I hung around watching some TV and casting YouTube onto the living room TV. We had a lot of laughs for sure…especially watching some Joey’s World Tour. I wouldn’t say I recommend it, but if you want to know what had us losing our minds search for “Joey’s World Tour Nutella Challenge.” Again, not recommended. But there it is.
And yeah, that was Day 4 – our first official Disney day. And while we did not get to any parks, we still had a crapload of fun. Looking forward to bringing you guys along on Day 5!
Last Post – Day 3 (Virginia Beach to Jekyll Island!)