Bean's World

Monday, November 28, 2005

NO MORE TURKEY! (Gobble, Gobble)

Well, it's official. I'm sick of turkey and all of its fixings. I ate it Thanksgiving, yesterday, made turkey soup for today and tomorrow and had lunch of mashed potatoes, stuffing and green beans today. And I still have a ton of it left. (Burp.)

Makes me glad we don't eat if for Christmas - here comes the prime rib - YUM!

Happy Beaniversary Mr. Bean. Seven years ago we were married; and it was the happiest day of my life. Still is seven years later - which really flew. Thank you for loving me and know I love you with all of my heart.

And I can't wait for 77 more years.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Boy I hate waiting. Especially when it's something important. I normally can be patient, but I'm finding my mind totally consumed with waiting for an answer that I'm not going to get for awhile. I can't work, sleep, think - nothing. This waiting is absolutely all encompassing. Waiting sucks!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Oh to be Thankful!

Yes, it's Thanksgiving week; so the obligatory thankful blog. Sometimes it's tough to be too thankful when so much goes on in your life where you just feel like saying "huh?!?!?!?" But I'll give it a start:

1. I'm thankful my parents are coming to spend Thanksgiving with us for only 4 days and not more.
2. I'm thankful that I'm no longer sick from this nasty cold, viral thing Mr. Bean gave to me.
3. I'm thankful I got half of my Christmas presents wrapped and my parents are taking them with them so I save on postage.
4. I'm thankful my sister and brother in law live 12 hours away from me.
5. I'm thankful that I had appropriate regifts to give aforementioned sister and brother-in-law as their gifts to us are never appropriate.
6. I'm thankful that there is a place where I can order a turkey dinner that tastes really good and I don't have to cook it.

Well, that's about all I can think of right now - why don't you add some?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hacking Hubby

Poor Mr. Bean. He is sick as a dog - well wait a minute, I won't say it that way as it's not fair to our puppy Jefferson. But he's pretty sick.

But he won't not go to work.

It drives me crazy. How are you supposed to get better when you won't take care of yourself?


That's the sound of Mr. Bean coughing up his heart each night while we're trying to sleep.

Poor thing.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ZZZZZ . . . . .

God I'm getting old.

Real old.

So old that 10 pm sounds like a horribly late time that only hookers and drug addicts seem to enjoy.

What's happened to me?

So, my best friend is in town for a few days (YEAH!!!!) We've been best friends for 17+ years. Unfortunately, we only get to see each other a couple times of year as we live 600 miles apart. But this is one of those happy weeks we get to see each other.

But she's killing me.

And no, it's not on purpose. And no, she hasn't done anything bad at all.

It's because I'm old.

I'm actually doing things for a change instead of just get up, work crazy hours, eat, sleep again.

How dare she!

But seriously, although I'm exhausted, I'm having a blast. We have:

1. Been to NYC - Ground Zero, Century 21, Times Square, Mama Mia! and an amazing italian dinner. Hours up: 4:30 am to midnight.

2. Dinner at a delish local restaurant called Cabernet Cafe - I recommend it to anyone.

3. The local dinner movie theatre to see "In her Shoes" and eat and drink.

This in addition to me working 8 hour days (I've cut back a bit to spend more time with her).

And unfortunately, she's going home on Wednesday.

God, I'll miss her.

But I'll need two weeks to make up the sleep.

But, she is definitely well worth it; and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Although exhausting, it has been an amazing few days.

Zzzzzzzz . . . . .

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Remember Me?

Yes, I know, it's been almost a month since I've written a report. Way too long. But October was a good month - 9 days at Walt Disney World and a weekend in Chicago with all of that "work stuff" in between.

To hold you over until I can think of a good topic, I'm going to post two trip reports I've written about my two trips. Hope you enjoy them.

BTW, did you say "Rabbit, Rabbit" today?


Well, Mr. Bean had a seminar in Chicago this weekend so I went along for the ride. The last time I had been in Chicago was in the fall of 1993, so it had been awhile to say the least. The funny thing was that the last time I had been I was a college student who hadn't been to NYC yet. I was amazed at the beauty of Chicago and how clean it was.Well, 12 years later, and having been to NYC numerous upon numerous times, I can still say without a doubt that, although I enjoy NYC, it can't hold a candle to Chicago. It's still a gorgeous city and still amazingly clean. The two issues that NYC has up on Chicago are (1) pizza; and (2) handling the homeless.

I got in late Friday night - we stayed at the Allerton Crowne Plaza - very nice hotel in an amazing location of North Michigan Avenue - we had a conference rate of $169 per night. Hotel was beautiful and you could see the history. Nice size king bedroom - bathroom a bit small. Conference rooms were beautiful on the top floors with amazing views.First night we ordered Lou Malnati's deep dish (deluxe) and mozzerella cheesesticks. Cheesesticks were boring like you see everywhere. I enjoyed the pizza while Mr. Bean most definitely did not. It was just too much for him. So we think we're both NY pizza lovers which is a good thing as we live in upstate NY.

Next full day was spent in the conference. We went to dinner that night at the Rosebud Steakhouse which was amazing! Great steaks. We ordered the Saturday night special prime rib which was only $35 each - and I say only $35 because the steaks were the biggest thing I had ever seen in my life - they had to have been at least 2 lbs each. Mr. Bean and I could have shared one with some left over. And for such a large piece, it was grilled masterfully - a lovely medium rare. We were with a group of 10 and no one could get over how big the steaks were. Thankfully, one of the group lived in Chicago so she gladly took over our leftovers.

Afterwards, we have a glorious nightime walk along North Michigan Avenue which was really pretty on a nice crisp night.

Sunday, we didn't have a flight out until 6:30 pm so we had the day to have fun. We were proud of ourselves because we walked all the way from 701 North Michigan down to the Planetarium. We went to the Millineum Park which is something everyone should see. It was beautifully done with a wonderful open auditorium area (and boy would I love to see a show there) and these amazing monuments including what looks to be a large silver kidney bean that shows the reflection of the city and a double tower monument, each with videos of Chicagoans' faces smiling, etc. I heard in the summer water shoots out to look like they are spitting which sounds neat. We then walked to the Buckingham Fountain and then on the museum area which has the Fields History Museum, The Aquarium and the Planetarium.

We originally intended to go to the Planetarium because Mr. Bean loves them; but he decided to be sweet and picked the Aquarium because he knew that would be something we would both enjoy (as I don't like planetariums). Boy were we happy we did! At first, I thought the $23 admission fee was expensive, but it was totally worth it. It was the most amazing aquarium I have ever been in! It was absolutely amazing! And, although I love Disney, the Living Seas even could not hold a candle to it.

They have an amazing HUGE section completely showing life in the Amazon; a section showing Under the reef - life of the coral reef near the Phillipines - so many amazing fish and a great tank where, if you stand close enough to the glass, it seems like sharks are swimming above, beside and below you, it feels like you are in it. We stood there watching for a really long time.We also loved the oceanarium section which had a dolphin show, Beluga whales, the cutest otters showing off and then a HUGE surprise for me - PENGUINS! They were the cutest thing ever and I could have watched them for days - they were fascinating!

We spent 3 hours in the Aquarium and it felt like minutes and we didn't see everything. There was also a nice restaurant and food court area which I thought was a good value with great views of the lake while you are eating. Mr. Bean tried the Chicago Hotdog but once again thought it was too much.I'm so jealous of Chicagoans because you have such an amazing museum system. Is there a season pass or membership you can get for all of them together? I wish we had had time for the planetarium, art institute and fields, but this just means we'll have to go back!

We then went to Ghiaredelli's for chocolate and coffee - YUMMY! - it was such a nice day we sat outside people watching. Question though, how in all of Chicago did the two chocolate places, Hershey's and Ghiaredelli's end up on the same corner?I had really wanted to go to Bistro 110 which was right next to Ghiaredelli's, but we didn't have time.Now I'm excited to make plans for a trip solely for fun!

The Walt Disney World/Universal Report

Mr. Bean and I absolutely LOVED our trip and had a blast. But, instead of a detailed trip report giving you blow-by-blow descriptions of our 9 day stay from 10/14-10/22, we’re going to give you a list of our loves, hates and likes. I’m going to go in the order of hate, like and love. I’m going to end with the love because you are always supposed to save the best for last. I think some of my opinions you will agree with, some may shock you and some may make you cry (J/K – I hope!). So here goes Bean’s lists!

Bean’s Hates:

AKL Guest Services – We spent our first night at AKL, savannah view, as my birthday present. I spent the extra for a savannah view because I didn’t want to risk not getting an upgrade and my dream was to sit out on the balcony and just watch animals. I booked it in May, making requests for King size bed, NS, zebra trail. Now believe me, I understand not getting all of your requests – but getting NONE of them? After checking in, which was quick, the CM told me we had a Kingsize bed and got an upgrade to deluxe savannah – I was SO excited. So after walking what seemed like miles, we got to our room, opened the door, I RAN to the balcony (not kidding about this) and saw we not only were on the 5th floor which I didn’t really want but that we had a room on the outside of the building (you know how it’s a circle – we were on the outside) at a CORNER room! No animals visible at all and even if there was an animal, the view was lousy because it was blocked by another room, i.e. the corner, and the closest an animal would be was 100’s of feet away! Because I was unhappy, I tried calling the front desk. I’m not kidding you, I tried two separate times, was on hold BOTH times for 10 minutes each, and no answer. So we gave up, and walked the miles back to the front desk with our luggage to only be told too bad, too sad, we have nothing else. So here I paid well over $300 for one night for a room supposedly with a view and got jack. It really upset me because you always hear of people paying for the standard room and getting upgraded to these amazing savannah views and here I specifically paid for a view and it was awful. I was so devastated I cried. And guest services not only didn’t care but didn’t even try to help.

Transportation – This is actually going to be divided into several parts, as I was REALLY disgusted with the transportation this time and NEVER had a problem before – and on numerous issues. So this is going to be entitled “I shouldn’t have to . . . . “

Take an hour and 20 minutes to get from BWV to the Hoop de Doo Revue show. We left our room at 6 pm for the 7:15 pm show and were 5 minutes late. We took the bus to MK and then the boat over to Fort Wilderness. Part of the problem was that the boats were on top of each other so we had to wait forever for a boat to get to MK and once it did, we were on the last of three (which all arrived at MK at the same time) so as there are only two docks at WL and FW, we would have to wait in the middle of the lake at each place for our turn. Now, if I was driving, I could drive 80 miles in that amount of time so why should it take that long to get about 5-6 miles?

Be the fourth hotel stop on the Magical Express from the Airport. That’s right, people from four different hotels were on my bus – ASMusic, Pop Century, Coronado and then AKL – mine. I can understand one or two on a bus – but four? It took forever to get to my hotel. And I’m sorry, if there is only one deluxe resort, shouldn’t the people from that hotel be left off first?

To take forever to get from my resort to any of the parks. For most of our trip, we stayed at BWV’s which we absolutely LOVED except the transportation. There is absolutely no reason that a deluxe resort should have to share transportation services with essentially four other resorts. The value resorts, where we normally stay, never have this issue; and I have always had great transportation – why am I getting worse transportation for a resort I paid three times more than I did for the value? And the Boardwalk always seemed to be the last stop in either direction, i.e., going to the parks BW was picked up first, then the pickups for the other four resorts, then the park. On the way home from a park, we were always dropped off last. Then one night we were going to DTD and it took and hour for a bus to show up and when it did, it was already packed and we couldn’t ride it. Ridiculous.

Have to pay for a taxi to get to Epcot because I can’t get into International Gateway early enough for a tour. Because we were at BWV, the only way we could get to Epcot was through the International Gateway. Problem is that, because we were during the 8:30 Segway Tour which is before Epcot is open (and starts at Guest Services at Spaceship Earth), we could not get into the International Gateway before the time. So we had to pay $10 for a taxi to take us to the other entrance to get in. It’s not that $10 is a lot – it’s the principle of the thing – we already paid $80 pp for the tour itself, shouldn’t WDW provide a way to get there without it incurring more costs to us?

Keys to the Kingdom Tour – I know, I have shocked some of you with this one and let me tell you, I was shocked myself. I was so totally excited about this tour and couldn’t wait, especially with the recommendations from this board. Mr. Bean was excited too. And I don’t know, maybe we were on a different tour, but I found it absolutely BORING. Maybe it was the CM we had, whose name I won’t give because the CM was an absolute sweetheart, had been with WDW almost 20 years and obviously loved Disney, but the tour almost killed me. I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, the CM was always pulling us into these out of the way corners where you couldn’t see anything to tell us long drawn out things, the standing for 4-5 hours without relief was killing me (that part I blame on us doing the tour the 5th day into the trip – if you’re going to do it, do it before your legs are tired). And quite frankly, I thought the backstage stuff was very short and not that interesting. We rode POTC and Haunted Mansion – but as Mr. Bean said, if we had been at the park for 5 hours and only rode two rides on our own, we would be ticked off - and we paid for it! Afterwards, Mr. Bean said to me, that was five hours I’ll never get back. I never thought someone could make MK boring for me but it happened!

Dinner at IOA’s Dino Digs – yes, I know it’s not Disney, but we went to Universal for their Horror Nights and had a quick dinner at the counter service place in the Jurassic Park area – YUK!!!!!!! The burgers were dry and tasted like they had been cooked for days and I got excited when I found out they had a “toppings” bar (and that’s why I ordered the burger instead of the chicken tenders I wanted) but that bar has NOTHING on Disney’s toppings bar – all it had was lettuce, tomato and pickles - nothing special at all. Well, live and learn.

Flying Fish Café – It’s not that the food was bad, it’s just that it wasn’t great and for the prices you are expected to pay there – it should be. I have no problem spending a lot of money on a meal if it’s good (see review of Fulton Crabhouse), but I don’t want to pay +$30 for an entrée and it to just be okay.

Lack of good coffee – you would think that with a bakery, candy place and a big boardwalk, there would be good coffee somewhere – but a big no to that one. Although there was supposedly a coffee stand on the boardwalk it was closed the entire trip.

Phew, I’m done with the negatives, so now I can get to the good stuff:

Bean’s Likes:

Hoop de Doo Revue – now normally, this would be a love, but in recent years, we have done it four times, so the jokes are a little old to us. We need to wait a few years to go back. The performers were great though – they did an amazing job. The food was great too – loved the ribs; but we could have used the mashed potatoes we used to get and the strawberry shortcake strawberries weren’t as fresh as they used to be. If you haven’t gone before – you definitely must and we’ll be back!

AKL Room – I put this in the like because the room itself and bathroom were large, spacious and absolutely beautiful. If I was there for the room only, it would be on the love list. Because I hated the view, however, as discussed above, the average makes it only a like. We won’t be back though.

Soarin’ – Yep, I only have it under like. If I had only ridden (sp?) the ride the first two times when we were in the front row, it would have been a love. But the last time we were in the third row and it was awful because (1) the feet are a HUGE distraction; and (2) you are so low on the movie screen it’s hard to get into the movie because you can see the whole bottom. So I recommend always asking for the front row, especially if you waited in the LONG standard line. Thankfully we fast passed it so it wasn’t an issue. Mr. Bean and I renamed it “Feetin!” instead of “Soarin!” after that last ride.

Boma – Great food, but the service, once again wasn’t great. Love the food though and will be back.

Southwest – Great ticket prices (less than a $100 each), we got good seats each time (we had the row to ourselves both ways) and a direct flight each way so you can’t beat it. The only reason it’s in the like category and not the love is because our flight to WDW was over an hour late and our flight back was the bumpiest and scariest I’ve been on.

Room Service – had breakfast room service at AKL which was very good. The deal where you get continental breakfast was great at $11.99 because you got a croissant, a lot of jam and butter, a huge muffin, a huge bowl of fresh fruit, a glass of juice and a big pot of coffee – it would be more than enough for two. Had room service twice at BWV. First time pizza late one night – came within a ½ hours, very tasty and very reasonable. Another time it was salads, footlong hotdogs, fries and dessert – came fast and everything tasty but the key lime pie (they took it off of the bill) and also very reasonable.

Food & Wine Festival – Good Food, we ate at Scadanavia (yummy meatballs); Puerto Rico (guava pastry); US (peach salsa chicken wrap); Africa (lamb stew and a beef casserole; US (cheddar crabcake). I got the cookbook which was a good deal at only $10. Only a couple of complaints though – crowded; and I think it should be a requirement that each booth have at least one native NON-alcoholic drink – kudos to China (peach tea), Mexico (congo – a mix of juices) and Puerto Rico (coconut soda) for having them. Thank goodness for the delicious Kiwi slurpee drinks – we drank a ton of them – YUM!

Magical Express Luggage – Now Mr. Bean refused to believe me that our luggage would magically appear on it’s own at AKL from Albany, NY. He was positive it was going to be lost and gone forever and actually got very stressed about it. My thought was either we got it which WDW seemed to be doing a good job in that department anyway; or we didn’t and we would get stuff there and if it disappeared for good, WDW would just owe us. Mr. Bean, however, made me ask every single airport and Disney person from Albany to WDW about whether it would definitely make it and if we were doing it right. And guess what? It made it – thank goodness because I didn’t want to hear an “I told you so”. Mr. Bean actually admitted to me later that he was secretly hoping it wouldn’t show up so he wouldn’t be proven wrong – too bad for you Mr. Bean!

Now to the fun stuff!

Bean’s Loves:

1. Guest Services at BWV – It was like night and day from AKL. And what’s funny is that I paid WDW directly for AKL and rented points for BWV (so technically WDW didn’t get any money from us for lodging there) and BWV was wonderful to us! They gave us a great room, they gave me a Cinderella card and balloons for my birthday, any request I made of Concierge they were quick to help, every call to the front desk was quickly answered and everything was ALWAYS with a smile. I cannot say enough good things about my experience there. AKL could take A LOT of lessons from BWV.

2. Our BWV Studio – Unlike at AKL, I had no requests here, other than NS; and they gave us an amazing room. It was on the second floor, only 5 or 6 doors down from the lobby, with a partial view of the boardwalk and had an overhang so when it rained we could still use the balcony which I loved. We were in room 2059 which is right over the tunnel where the arcade is on the way to the Luna pool. I would totally recommend it. We loved the sounds of the boardwalk and even kept our door open at night to have the sounds put us to sleep – but if we closed the door, nothing could be heard – GREAT!

3. The Weather – funny thing is, I REALLY wanted to go to WDW the following week because (a) my bday and (b) closer to Halloween. Between flight tix on SW and renting DVC points however, the week before worked out better. And thank goodness it did! We had amazing beautiful, blue sky weather from 10/14 (Friday) to the following Friday – it was gorgeous! Friday 10/21 was gray during most of the day which was fine for Epcot and didn’t rain until we were already back in the room for the night. And that Saturday we were leaving, although cloudy, did not rain so we could use the pool until we left BWV at about 3 pm and then it rained but who cares at that point? And if we had gone the week I originally wanted, we would have enjoyed Wilma and cooler weather. So I’m very happy how things worked out in that department and now have a nice tan that I’m sure will be gone very soon, especially in light of the fact we had snow yesterday morning.

4. Segway Tour of World Showcase – this competes as my number one favorite thing we did on the trip. It was amazing!!!!! I would recommend this tour for ANYONE. I’m the clutziest person in the world and after a little bit, was driving around like a champ. It was so much fun and now Mr. Bean and I want one. Everytime we saw one after our tour, we wanted to mug them for it. And walking around WS after using the segways was just not the same. Go on the earlier tour so you can have your whole WS tour without others around – the later tour makes you go to WS while others are there. And the pin you get at the end is cool too! I even had CM’s ask me where I got the pin.

5. Typhoon Lagoon – another contender for top highlight of the trip. We had been to BB and River Country before, but this was our first time at TL – I loved it! Now, I’m not really a slide person as I broke my tailbone on one a couple of years ago (ouch), but I loved the beach, the wave pool was fun (I’m a wimp though, I only like little waves so I don’t go too far in). What puts this place over the top though is the Shark Reef. I’ve never thought much about snorkeling, but this was the most amazing thing I’ve done in awhile. It was beautiful to see the fish and sharks and I could have stayed in there forever! I just floated slowly by and because it wasn’t crowded, I got to go two times in a row. In my book this is a must do.

6. Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights – the last contender for the top spot on the trip. Mr. Bean and I are huge Halloween aficionados and go to all the haunted hayrides, houses, etc. that we can every year. This was our first year going to HHN. It was well worth it! There were seven haunted houses – we loved all but one. All of them scared me and one even got Mr. Bean! Then outside of the houses were “scare zones” which had smoke, scary people, monsters, etc. that were also good at scaring! We liked the fact that it was mostly adults (and kids should not go as it would be REALLY scary for them) and it really was a blast. The rides were all open and walk-on. The key here though was to buy the extra express pass for an extra $30 (in addition to the original $50 ticket). Yes, I also blanched at the price; but after that day, I really was glad I spent it. Otherwise the lines for each house were HORRIFICALLY long; and if we would have had to wait in them, what was one of our best nights would have been the worst as Mr. Bean HATES waiting in long lines. Those express passes were literal gold and we never had to wait for a house. So in three hours, we were able to do everything. We loved it!

7. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on 10/20 – I loved this but Mr. Bean didn’t so he’ll probably tell you different. We didn’t wear costumes per se, but I wore a black t-shirt with a cat face on it that looked like my McKinley (she is a black cat) with boo socks, cat barrettes and cat earrings. Mr. Bean wore a black tshirt with a scary jack-o-lantern face on it. We got there at 4 pm and rode Jungle Cruise, POTC and Haunted Mansion and then went to LTT for dinner at 5 pm. I could put LTT as a separate love category on its own because we both loved the food and the character interaction was great too – loved their costumes (but where was Mickey?). I love that mwah! Kissing sound Minnie makes when she kisses you! Afterwards, we went on Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and did some trick or treating. ALL of the rides were walk-ons. This is the time when Mr. Bean started to get, well grumpy. He thought it was too crowded (yes it was crowded but the rides were all walk-ons so I didn’t care). We then went to Small World and walked on (renovation looked great! But did anyone notice the nasty standing water on the right side in the beginning of the ride?) and then only waited five minutes for Peter Pan.

Then I wanted to see the parade. Mr. Bean didn’t because he hates parades and especially waiting for them. I usually do too but there have only been two parades I have forced him to see because I wanted to: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade, and now this one (this was our first time to the Halloween party). So I made him wait 20 minutes before the parade and then the parade didn’t reach us until about 8:20 p.m. So he had to stand for 40 minutes. Well, he didn’t really have to stand, he could have sat like I did as we were in the second row behind some kids. But instead, he decided standing and grumbling was a better option. I loved our spot – if you face the castle, we were on the outside part of the right side of the circle road. I also loved it because we had a big light behind us so I got some great pix! And the parade itself was a blast. I loved the guys with the shovels making sparks, the costumed characters, etc. It was great. After the parade, we hightailed it over to TomorrowLand and walked on Buzz and pretty much walked on Space Mountain and then rode the TTC. Then we hightailed it back to the Tomorrowland bridge where we had an amazing view of the fireworks – what an awesome show! Probably one of the best I’ve seen. I really wish we could get the music for Halloween night. We’re still singing “happy Halloween, happy Halloween, halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!” Afterwards we were exhausted, so we got Mr. Bean a Halloween tshirt (very cute orange tie-dye shirt) and a pin for me.

8. Fulton Crab House – We always come here – we didn’t for the first time this past January and it was a big mistake. Now this is a place where you spend a lot of money but you get a lot for it. Mr. Bean had raw oysters and Alaskan King Crab legs and loved it all. I had the calamari for an appetizer (enough for two) which was delicious; and the crab cakes for dinner – great and I had to bring ½ the meal back for another time because the appetizer was so big. We will ALWAYS eat here. YUM!

9. Beaches and Cream – YUM! It was our first time there and we got there at exactly 11 am – first customers. I loved my chicken sandwich and onion rings (so much food I couldn’t eat everything) and my raspberry sprite which had free refills. Mr. Bean and I shared a chocolate milkshake which they even put in two separate glasses for us with our own whipped cream and cherries! Loved the waitstaff and the bill was very reasonable.

10. Fantasmic Dinner Package – so over the years, I’ve always wanted to do the Fantasmic Show, but because Mr. Bean doesn’t like to wait in lines or big crowds (see a trend here?) he always refuses to do it. So this year I demanded that we go (with my bday and all) and did the dinner package at Brown Derby to soften the blow. We had never eaten there before but definitely will again! We shared the cobb salad which was excellent and made me realize I had never had a true cobb salad before. Mr. Bean had the filet mignon which he loved and I had the lamb which was cooked to perfection. I had asked for wasabi potatoes instead of the spaghetti squash, and while good, were not spicy at all. For dessert, Mr. Bean had grapefruit cake and I had the white chocolate cheesecake. Once again, delicious. When my cheesecake initially came out, I thought, “wow, that’s a small piece” but once I started in on it, I understood why – very dense and rich – it was the perfect size.

And I loved the show. While I’m sure Mr. Bean will tell you that it wasn’t worth the wait, he did admit it was good. I loved the pictures on the water and the fireworks and everything was just amazing. I thought it was well worth the wait and got a glow necklace and spinning light up Mickey out of the deal!

11. – Amazing grocery service. We got it for BWV and for a mere $56, we got enough breakfast food, coffee, snacks and drinks to last us for 7 nights, 8 days (with extras to spare) and it was delivered to our room. How much easier can you get than that? I would totally recommend it to anyone.

12. Festival of the Lion King – An absolutely amazing and beautiful show. Our first time seeing it – we were smart, we went to the safari to get fast pass tix, then walked back to the show for 9:20 which hardly had anyone in it, saw the show and then it was time for the fast pass. I didn’t know what to expect with the show other than it was great per DIS board, and I wasn’t disappointed! Mr. Bean didn’t really want to see it – he just did it for me – but he ended up really liking it as well. Our favorite part was the monkeys doing all of the acrobatics – very cool. And Mr. Bean also loved the air conditioning, especially because it was horribly humid out.

Bean’s Pixie Dust Moments:

1. Getting the Cinderella picture and balloons.
2. Getting the Happy Birthdays from Cast Members.
3. Because the Land at Epcot was closed for awhile one day, we got fast passes so we got to ride Soarin’ three times in a row with hardly any wait.
4. Being with Mr. Bean and just having a great time with him.
5. Being surprised with pins, bath salts and an amazing Globe (I collect them) from Mr. Bean.

Bean’s Final Thoughts:

1. Every room should have a foot massager. Wow, even though we didn’t go crazy, all of that walking really hurt my legs and feet after awhile. On a good note, however, I think I lost a little weight this trip as my pants are feeling a little loose.
2. The CM’s were all really nice. With the exception of AKL staff, the Cast Members all over were pleasant and seemed to be very happy to be at WDW.
3. Disney finally got me. Over the years, I fought furiously against the pin craze. Then WDW did a smart thing – they sent with the Magical Express packets a coupon for two free lanyards and pins. Well, that did me in as I can never pass up a free thing. I am now the proud owner of 17 expensive pins on my lanyard (most of which Mr. Bean would secretly buy for me – he was very cute about it); and 5 on Mr. Bean’s. The funny thing is that Mr. Bean refused to wear his lanyard but he wanted to be able to trade and get pins so he made me wear his on top of mine! By the end of the week, they were pretty heavy.
4. I think we’re going to wait a few years to come back. Not that anything was wrong – it wasn’t, it was an amazing vacation. It’s just that usually we go every other year and this was the first time we went twice in one year. I want to wait a couple of years now, maybe 2007 for the 25th anniversary of Epcot.
5. It was A LOT more crowded than I thought it would be. Mr. Bean and I usually go in off-season, late November/early December after Thanksgiving, January, or May and it’s always been slow. While I thought it would be a little busier because of the F&W Food fest and Halloween party, I was really surprised with how busy it was. And I was surprised to see so many school age kids out of school – please don’t think I’m judging because Mr. Bean and I totally plan to do the same thing when we have kids as we will NEVER travel in the summer or holidays. So the busy-ness of October just reinforced that we will never go in the summer and Mr. Bean even thought it was too hot for him and wants to return to the December or January schedule.
6. We are conflicted as to where we’ll want to stay next time. We really loved the Beach Club Resort but because of the horrible transportation issue, not sure what we’ll do. We would love to stay at the Poly; but unless we win the lottery, I can’t justify spending the money to be there. I hope the transportation issue changes – is there any way to let WDW how awful it is? I’m really surprised the DVC people haven’t started a petition or something. If I was spending that much on DVC timeshares, I would want to have better transportation – or at least as good as the value resorts.