DAY 10 - SATURDAY 11th DEC 2004

I wake up at 7.45am and open the curtains. As I lie in bed the view is lovely. No, it’s not Tam naked clutching a bottle of beer. The sun is pouring in and a clear blue sky sits over the placid waters of Bay Lake. I’ve decided there are some advantages to staying at the Contemporary.

The weather today is supposed to be turning colder, in the mid 60’s and a cold North wind with some cloud cover.
Out of bed and ready for our last full day, Tam and I head to Epcot on the monorail. Deb and Matt are taking it easy this morning and meeting us in Mexico at midday.

Into Epcot at 9.15am and it’s actually a beautiful morning, slightly crisp but with bright sunshine and lovely Florida blue skies.
We jump on Spaceship Earth first for no other reason than that it is the quintessential Epcot ride. Next we grab a coffee, breakfast croissant and cinnamon bun from the Fountainview Café. This is a first for us and I find it a pleasant place to begin our day at my favourite park.

We go to Innoventions next as it’s somewhere we haven’t visited for a long time. I do the home cinema exhibition, which is very good, but it would cost a few bob to set up a movie theatre like the final section of the exhibit.

The Land and Journey Into your Imagination follow before we walk across the park for Tam to ride Mission Space. There’s no way on God’s green earth that I’m getting on that thing again. Although I didn’t actually vomit last time, it was a close run thing.

It’s now just after midday, so we go to Mexico where we meet Deb and Matt in the Cantina where we start our drinks around the world with a Dos Equis for the men and margaritas for the women.
There is a stall nearby that’s called ‘Ring Carvers’. Make up your own jokes about that. Deb and Tam do.

We miss Norway and go to China where I want to try the beer as I have been in Shanghai recently for work and much Chinese beer was despatched. Much to my delight they are serving Tsing Tao. Luverly.

Hold on! Who nicked me beer?

We pass through the small African section where Matt gets talked into trying on a poncho and safari type hat. The hat suits him so he buys it to wear around all day. The poncho doesn’t.

Clint Eastwood is alive and well.

We then miss out Italian and American pavilions, as we need to get to Japan to meet up with some friends. At this point Matt volunteers to go back to the Contemporary to get some warmer clothes as it’s starting to get cooler. Deb wants to do some shopping in Japan so doesn’t put up too much of a fight. It takes him about 90 minutes to complete the round trip. Meanwhile, Deb and Tam have been stocking up on Hello Kitty merchandise. This is another first for me, as I can’t ever recall walking through the shop in Japan before. It’s quite nice, as shops go.

At 3.00pm we meet Kath (Nativetxn) and Karen and Jon from the UK DIS and enter the lounge in Japan to enjoy the delights of Japanese alcohol. It’s Kirin Light for me, which I quite enjoy. Mind you, there’s not too many beers I don’t enjoy on some level or other.

L-R: Jon, me, Karen, Tam, Kath, Deb and Matt

We sit and chat for a while and are re-joined by a thirsty Matt. Poor Deb has not bought any warm clothes with her, so she’s on a mission to buy a warm top.

Morocco is next where Tam and I share a lamb sandwich, which is nice and a Casa beer, which is also nice. (See comment in previous paragraph). You can tell the kebabs here are not authentic. They appear to be less than 3 months old and are not being served by an unshaven, greasy aproned, fag smoking Greek chap. (Apologies to any Greek males out there who fail to shave regularly and chain smoke. I think I’m on fairly safe ground here.)

Missing out France and the UK we arrive in Canada where Deb’s quest comes to an end when she buys a very fetching bright red top with the word ‘Roots’ emblazoned across it. I don’t know what it means, but it keeps her warm.
While the ladies are busy in the shop, Matt and I take the opportunity to sneak in a Moosehead, which, let’s face it, is a difficult thing to do.

At this point Karen and John depart to relieve their baby-sitting parents. I would like to feel sorry for them having to leave the party early, but I can’t as they are here for 3 weeks and won’t be flying home until early January. Envy wins out over sympathy every time.

The dwindling group move on to the UK to watch the British Invasion. I refuse to buy alcohol here, as the prices are extortionate. Let’s face it; I can live without UK beer when abroad. You have to try the local firewater, don’t you?
The British Invasion are not as good as usual, they play a set full of quieter songs. Deb and Matt have not seen them before and are not completely impressed. I can’t blame them.
Kath leaves us at this point and so we are back to the Fantastic Four again. I’ll be Johnny Storm, Matt can be The Thing.

We walk back round to the American Pavilion where we grab something quick to eat and a beer and then stand outside to watch the Candlelight Processional. It’s quite good, but I must admit you don’t get the full effect watching from a distance.

Onto Norway to ride Maelstrom. I squirt myself with something from a bottle on the way out of the shop. I’m not sure if it is aftershave or perfume. That would probably account for the admiring glances I receive from quite a few men as we walk around.
El Rio del Tiempo in Mexico is next before we trek back to China for more beer! Well, I do. The rest of them wimp out and go for girlie cocoa. Tsing Tao me up landlord! I feel rather bad about calling Matt a wimp when it comes to drinking, as he is an expert in this field. I am but a lowly serf bowing down before the master.

We find my favourite spot in front of Norway to watch Reflections of Earth. It may be cold and I may be merry, but the show is as spectacular as ever. The additional Christmas section at the end is amazing.

Yep, it's chilly.

I always hate this point in any holiday. We always try to do Epcot on our last night, so it is always a sign that the holiday is drawing to a close when everybody starts to make their way towards the car parks and bus stops.
We have not quite finished yet as we walk slowly towards the entrance admiring the Christmas arch as we go. Even then there is time for one more brief visit to Mousegear.

The monorail whisks us back to the Contemporary where we head back to our rooms. There is still time to gather in our room to see off the last remaining alcoholic beverages and discuss the days events.
Bed around midnight.