THURS 13th JAN 2000
I wake up
at 8:00 sweating, shaking and delirious. No, I am not ill
again, it is much worse than that. Shopping day.
AAARRGGGGGH!!! I'm sorry to have to write about this as
I'm sure that many men reading this have now had to go
and sit down quietly with a cold beer to recover from the
We have breakfast in the food court as I need all the
sustenance I get can to steel me for the terrible ordeal
I drive us to the Belz Factory Outlet at the top of
International Drive, arriving around 10:00. The mall
buildings loom menacingly out of the eerie mist as
thunder and lighting crash around us and a wolf howls in
terror. OK, so it's a lovely sunny day but that doesn't
have the right mood setting gothic feel to it.
I will not burden you with the hideous and often
frightening details of our purchasing spree, suffice to
say the credit card is gasping with relief when it is
finally put away for the day and the plane will struggle
to take off on the way home.
As we leave the mall (was it only hours? seems like days)
the shop managers have laid down a red carpet and are
kissing Tammy's feet as she passes.
We finally manage to drag her kicking and screaming to
the car, her eyes bulging as she begs for just one last
ring of the cash register.
With Tammy subdued at last we head back to the 192 to
return the car. I wouldn't exactly say that E-Z Car were
poor but they did not have the professionalism of the
major car companies. We are driven back to Dixie Landings
by an Egyptian gentleman who regales us all the way with
tales of why England is such an awful place and how
Prince Charles was involved in a conspiracy to murder
Diana. He doesn't even know the way and is asking me for
directions! Not the best way to get yourself a big tip.
In fact he receives exactly what he deserves. Nothing.
Back at Dixie Landings Tam has to do some washing, so
Grandma gives the girls showers while Tam and I go to the
laundry by one of the quiet pools. While the washing is
being done we sit by the pool and I write up my trip
notes. It is 5:00 and still a balmy warm late afternoon.
I mention to Tam that this has a slightly surreal feel to
it. Back in the UK it is cold and probably wet, while
here we are, sat by a pool surrounded by trees and shrubs
in a beautiful resort with the sun shining down. Freeze
this moment in time, I want to stay here forever.
This reflective time has even managed the near impossible
task of pushing all thoughts of this mornings terror to
the back of my mind.
We shower and get ready for the evening, then catch the
bus to Epcot. Here we leave Grandma and the girls in
front of Spaceship Earth as Tammy and I are going to have
an evening on our own, eating at the Yachtsman's
Steakhouse and then on to Jellyrolls.
We walk around World Showcase and then out of the
International Gateway. The walk along the waterfront to
the Yacht and Beach Club is very pretty and quiet. This
is our first time at this resort and we begin with a walk
around the pool area. I can see why this is regarded as
the best pool in the Disney resorts, it is sprawling,
with little inlets all over the place. One thing I was
not expecting was the sand in the bottom of the pool,
this is a very nice touch. The pool itself was closed,
which surprised me as it is only 7:30. The pool at the
All Star Movies stayed open until midnight. If I was
paying the money to stay at the Yacht and Beach Club I
would expect to be able to swim in the evening if I
We stroll around for a while. This is certainly a very
impressive resort but, then again, all the luxury resorts
We are seated promptly at the Yachtsman's Steakhouse at a
very nice table by the window. One thing we were
impressed with here was the level of service. It was
attentive without being intrusive, everything was cleared
away efficiently without ever giving you the impression
that you were being hurried.
Tammy and I share the Chateaubriand for two which came
with mashed potato and asparagus. The steak is carved and
served at you table and is excellent. We share a dessert
of macadamia nut and white chocolate pie which is a
little bit too sickly for us. This is definitely not a
cheap place, our bill for 2 entrees, 1 dessert, 2 beers
and 2 glasses of wine (very good) comes to $100 not
including tip. If you are looking for a good quality but
more expensive restaurant then this would be a good
We walk around a little more afterwards to let the meal
go down before wandering over to the Boardwalk and going
into Jellyrolls. There is a $5 cover charge when we enter
I think that this place could definitely blow hot and
cold. On a good night when the place is full it would be
a really fun and raucous experience. However, if there
are not many people in, then it could get old real quick.
The pianists themselves are very good indeed and could
really kick up a storm with the right crowd. On this
particular night it is not really packed and the
atmosphere comes and goes along with the crowd. We both
enjoyed it but I would imagine you could have real fun if
you were with a group of people.
We leave around 12:30 and get a taxi back to Dixie
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