Tuesday December 12th, 2000
Resort hopping with Pamela's Dad..
Sean & I started the day with a wake-up call from Mickey Mouse.. Then we were to shower & head over to Ft Wilderness where my Dad, Jerry Hesselink & his wife Kay were camping. We planned to be there at 830 to have breakfast at Trails End buffet..
It took 3 tries to get through the gate.. as there is no one maning either gate.. We had no way to get in (and no the ASMu card keys didn't work.. cause I was that desperate & tried!) Then a gardener at the big gate told us to speak into the box at the other gate and someone would hear us and let us in.. Well there was no little switch to call anyone and we were fumbling to find it when the gate just went up & we were allowed to drive through... (I guess the box is one-way and the guard heard us complaining at the box.. "dang! this place is harder to get into than an army base!" I think I said.. or something not as nice) I think I DID scream "thank you " as we drove through.. and I never saw who let us in...
So we got in and got to their campsite.. They were camped on Jackrabbit! (the same place I camped with Thea (tdc Rabbit) October 99). After chatting some and exchanging gifts (Kay paints and one of the things we got is this really cool calendar with prints of oils and pastels she has done at the Atlanta Zoo.. she really ought to market these to like B&N or something, IMHO... People love calendars and they would definitely like her work.. she does natural landscapes, wild animals, cats.. portraits and other things... )
Anyways.. On with the pictures!!!
Here we are heading towards Trails End..
very rustic looking, sure but wonderfully modern & Disney!
...the Christmas Tree at Trails End.. (I lightened the photo up a bit so you could see the details)
Schedule Board outside the entrance to Trails End that gives the times for Ft Wilderness events
Outside Trails End we ran into a really nice CM manager there.. who's name unfortunately I can't recall now. He gave us the wonderful advice to look for other CM managers at WDW for pin trading.. as I guess the Managers are the ones who have the better lanyards, and are more likely able to trade with you easily.. The regular CM's you may have noticed, are busy helping customers and running registers.. while the managers just run the whole store! =)
Also, while I ran around the corner to use the public facility.. I was pleasantly surprised to run into Rebekah Mosley (of Laughing Place..) She was getting some pressed pennies & quarters.. We chatted a bit.. but the 2 cups of coke were getting to me, so I had to run.. but I told her Sean was up front with my Dad.. so I was glad to see she & Doobie had stoopped to say HI to Sean and met my Dad & Kay before heading off.. Like ourselves, Doobie & Rebekah were doing a Resort Hopping day before catching their plane back to California.. (You can see their photos on LaughingPlace.com)
We didn't do a whirlwind tour of the resorts.. but we did manage to see the Monorail resorts... as well as Wilderness Lodge... which was the first place we stopped after breakfast!
Wilderness Lodge as seen from the swimming pool...
Mickey & Friends totem pole outside the gift shop (seem familiar??)
the Christmas tree in the lobby of Wilderness Lodge
a kind of over exposed photo of my Dad,(Jerry Hesselink) and his wife Kay Ridge
..some ducks taking advantage of the empty whirlpool
taking the ferry back to Ft Wilderness so we can get over to the TTC for our Monorail tour
Ok.. so on to the Comtemporary!! Unlike most people.. this resort is not one of my favorites and saw very little I felt like taking photos of.. (also I was paranoid the whole trip I would run out of film, as I wasn't up for buying more) so I only have a couple....
..the five (5) legged goat thing..
Mickey gives his congratulations..
It was funny as we ran into Jan & hubby and stopped to say hello! I think my dad started to get the impression we knew a lot of people at the park.. ehhhh.. only 200 or so!! <g>
Next up.. the Poly! We took the monorail over to the Polynesian.. I don't recall ever being here before and like the Contemp, I wasn't exact interrested to do so before. What a place though!!! I think it's super neat! I liked all the landscaping they've done.. as well as the theming.. When we were there, they were still working on the new pool, which will have it's own volcano & slide. Sean really wants to stay here when it's completed, and I wouldn't complain a bit (although Wilderness Lodge is still my favorite of the "over-priced" er... I mean "Deluxe" hotels!!)
the pond that goes from the outside-in..
the Poly's beach with romantic swing... looking out to the lake & the GF on the other side..
So, the Grand Floridian seemed almost in view.. so we walked to the Resort rather than waiting for the monorail to come by again.
The Grand Floridian Resort (with Sean, my dad, & Kay reflected in the foreground mirror)
the really neat elevator inside the main lobby
the GF's main tree..and the real Gingerbread house..
another view of the REAL gingerbread house.. details show Mickey & Donald icons on the windows
Well, it was getting late in the day, so we headed back to Ft Wilderness, had a wonderful lunch & chatted more with my Dad & Kay before heading off. Tonight was another RADP Adventurer's Club meet, which we had planned to go to.. So the visit wasn't too long.. but I am still greatful for the time we got to visit.
Special thanks to my dad & Kay for putting up with me & my pin trading ways! =) ("oh look! another lanyard!") <g>
Dinner at Celebration.. and the Adventurer's Club Meet
this page created 01.12.01