Travelogue of the Trip That Irene Cancelled, Part 1

I wrote briefly about our cancelled trip before.  Normally, writing is very cathartic for me.  Yet, I wasn’t feeling any better.  After putting some thought into it, I realized two things.

One, I knew, intellectually, that there were roads closed and flooding and loss of life due to Irene.  Still, when I looked at our house, I saw a lack of damage and thought “It wasn’t that bad, maybe we *could* have made it work.”  That doubt in our decision to cancel ate away at me.

Two, I had geared myself up psychologically for this time off.  I was looking forward to waking up beside B without any little guys barging in.  I was looking forward to walking hand-in-hand with her without having to keep an eye on where the boys were.  I was looking forward to eating beside her without worrying about getting home before bed-time.  I was looking forward to going to sleep beside her without having the boys sleeping in the next bed over.  No worries.  No responsibilities.  Just B and I enjoying each other’s company for five glorious days.

Instead, the entire trip evaporated into nothingness thanks to Irene’s meddling.  I needed some time to grieve for the trip-that-never-was.  I had even intended to write this last week, but it was too painful.  Now that a bit more time has passed, here’s a quick overview of what could have been had Irene not intervened.  (NOTE:  We might not have done things exactly as described here.  I’m mostly imagining how things might have gone with our dining reservations as anchors.  With luck, we’ll reschedule soon and I’ll be able to make real blog posts with our real travels.)

Sunday, August 28th

With Irene not a concern, we packed the car up early and headed down to see my parents.  The boys hugged Bubbe and Grandpa and we had some fun shopping, eating out, and talking.

Monday, August 29th

We began the morning with breakfast at my parents’ house and then had a leisurely day together.  We ate lunch at a Greek restaurant near my parents that we love.  (Their spinach pie is to die for and I’m perpetually trying to replicate their chickpea recipe.)  As we tucked the boys into bed, we said goodbye to them knowing that this would be the last time we’d see them until we returned.

Tuesday, August 30th

We woke up very early and my father drove us to the airport.  After checking in and getting past security, we had some breakfast in the food court (or perhaps something we took with us from my parents’ house).  Then, we got on our flight and we were off to Orlando.

After landing, we boarded the Magical Express for the Pop Century hotel.  We quickly checked in and left our carry-on bags at the hotel.  Then, we headed over to Hollywood Studios for our lunch reservation at the Hollywood Brown Derby.  I ordered the Coriander-dusted Grouper with Cauliflower Risotto, fresh English Peas, crunchy Sunchokes, and a Yellow Tomato Coulis.  It was fabulous.

We spent the rest of the day in Hollywood Studios and I made good on my promise to ride the Rockin’ Rollercoaster with B.  (Given my fear of falling, I typically avoid fast, winding, flipping rollercoasters.)  We had some snacks to hold us and then saw Fantasmic.  We returned to Pop Century tired and hungry, but very happy.  A quick stop at the Pop Century food court for dinner (and Tie-Dyed Cheesecake) and then we headed to our room for the night.

Wednesday, August 31st

We woke up Wednesday morning for our first full day at Disney.  After grabbing a quick breakfast, we headed back to Hollywood Studios.  Getting there when it opened, we quickly headed for Toy Story Mania.  After quickly procuring some fast passes, we rode the ride together.  Then, once the Fast Pass time arrived, we rode it again.

As noon approached, we went to our lunch reservation at Mama Melrose’s.  We went here during our honeymoon 10 years ago so this was going to be an extra-special lunch.  I opted to get the Wood-grilled Tuna over a seasonal Vegetable Risotto, warm Vine-ripened Diced Red and Yellow Tomatoes, and Olive-Caper Butte.  Yum!

We stayed in Hollywood Studios for a bit longer and made sure to stop by Starring Rolls Cafe for a cupcake.  When we went there in March, they had, sadly, just closed for the day so I was never able to get my cupcake fix.  This time, however, I got to try not just one cupcake but two.  (B ordered one and I ordered a second and we split them.)  Delicious!  Yes, I took photos of it all.

After awhile, we left Hollywood Studios and bus hopped to Animal Kingdom (Hollywood Studios to Animal Kingdom lodge to Animal Kingdom).  To be honest, this is the Disney park in which we had the least number of places we wanted to visit.  We went on the safari and a few more items.  With our half-day at the park ending, we caught a bus back to the Animal Kingdom lodge.

Normally, this would mean dining at Boma.  We *love* Boma.  But we decided to shake things up so we (*gasp*) were NOT eating there!  We were eating at Jiko.  It was tough deciding between the great options, but I finally decided upon the Aleecha, Shimbra Asa, Inguday Tibs with Goat Cheese, Cream Ethiopian Vegetable “Stack”, Chickpea Cake, and Spiced Mushroom-Spinach Roll.

Stuffed, we bus hopped back to our hotel for some much needed quiet time and sleep.

Coming next week, part 2 of the Travelogue of the Trip That Irene Cancelled!