Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We Missed Alabama and Ended Up at the Fort!! June 23-26, 2011

Howdy all!! This was gonna be a non-Fort report of a state park in Alabama. The plan was to do some fishing, chillin and grillin out.

I had a day of deferred holiday that I had to use before the end of the month, and since State Parks in Alabama don't take reservations, I also took a day of leave on Thursday, so we could hopefully get a lakeside site.

Now for these fishin weekends, we normally go to Lake Guntersville State park. It's about an hour away, Rick is familiar with it and likes the place. However, it is currently still closed from Tornado cleanup, so I found Wind Creek State park in Alexander City, AL. It's a huge campground with lots of lakefront sites. It is south of Birmingham about half-way between Birmingham and Auburn.

So Wednesday evening, we packed the truck, and loaded the camper and were ready to hitch up early Thursday morning and head down.

Thursday morning, we got on the road about 10:00. We get about half way to Birmingham and Rick says, "call Disney and see if the Fort has anything. I don't think the truck is gonna make the turn onto this other highway. It is really acting like it wants to go East on 20."

I say, "naw, there is nothing available this short notice, plus it will be midnight before we get there, you don't have your scooter, we don't have our tickets, and we have all this food packed."

He said, "Call them!! I have my ticket, you can get another one printed, I promise we'll just chill out and fish, and I will cook at the Fort."

So I called.

Oh my gosh, they have a full hookup site available at Passholder Rate!!!!! So, ok, now we're booked, requested 1700 Loop and sure enough, while I wasn't looking, the navigation swapped itself and told us to go East on 20!! We were headin for the Fort!!

We got there about 11:00 on Thursday night and were assigned site 1727!! WooHoo. Good loop, close to the comfort station!!

Rick also asked about a golf cart and they had some available.

So we pull in and start setting up. I look next door, that looks like Donnie's camper, then I hear what sounds like his golf cart going by. I look closer, it is his cart, but no Donnie, then look across the way and realize that Angie is across from us and they are using his cart.

Then about an hour later, Donnie's truck is parked in front of Angies camper.

Rick had gone to bed by then, and Angie does come over, and I drop in to Angies camper and say hello. Angie, Just Beachy, and Donnie were there!! Yes, it was Donnie's camper next door. He had it rented out.

After getting set up, I finally crash.

We both finally are out of bed about 10:00 on Friday, and Rick whips up some eggs, ham, biscuits, etc., so far so good, we've stayed out of Trails End :-)

We then go down to near the Bike Barn and do a little fishin.





It was getting really hot, so we head back to the camper and try to decide how to spend the afternoon.

CARS 2 was opening that day, so Downtown Disney it was.



While we were there, we stopped by Guest Relations and got my Annual Pass reprinted and got the expiration date fixed on Ricks AP. What's funny, is reprinting my AP should have taken 30 seconds, and fixing Ricks could have taken longer. Reprinting my AP took 20 minutes and two managers, then fixing Rick's expiration date took 30 seconds, cause we told the 2nd manager to stay put. :-)

On the way back to the camper after the movie, we saw the following:



We put some burgers on the grill


Rick then went in for a nap so we could go to late night at Magic Kingdom (midnight to 3am) and I was gonna go loopin, but........

this happened


Rember the pre-film from The Living Seas and it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained.......

Well that's how I felt.

So the next break in the rain, with lots more on the way on the radar, we gave it up, took showers and went to bed.

Saturday morning dawns nice, but there is more rain in the forecast. I get up fairly early and go do laundry cause our towels and other stuff is wet.

When Rick gets up and gets his shower and we get things cleaned up, we decide we don't want to make more mess with cooking so off to Trails End we go!! (I had a feeling we'd be bringing this food back home)

Donnie comes by and says his rental guiest is leaving and he is staying in the 5ver overnight to Sunday and has his rental golf cart just sitting, do we want to use it?? We said SURE!! Got a day credited back on the Disney cart.

Donnie, you've also given me a GREAT idea on storage if I ever do get my own cart.

We then head over to Epcot.

Since Rick didn't have his scooter, we made sure to try and do lots of sit down stuff.

We went by Soarin and got a FastPass, then rode Living With the Land and The Circle of Life.


We then went to the Living Seas and wandered there some




We went into Innoventions for a little bit, and we went to Imagination and Captain EO. While waiting for Captain EO, the skys opened up again, and Rick is like, I don't wanna cook in the rain, so now we're bringin home the steaks we brought too!!!

So here is where the surprise comes in. I get on my phone to see what is available. I open up the web browser to go to Disney's restaurant reservation system.

The first surprise I get is a Mobile Restaurant Reservation Site (it said Beta in the corner). It prompts me for permission to find my location. I ask for dinner reservations based on my location. The site looks like it will be quite useful. It gave me several choices, one of which was LeCellier!!!! 6:20 party of two!!! I quickly punched book this, plugged in my email address and cell phone number, and a confirmation text came right back!!! As many of you may realize, getting a LeCellier reservation same day is almost UNHEARD of. Also dealing with the phone system even on a local basis is a nightmare, so a mobile dining reservation system is awesome!!!

So, now that we needed to spend a couple more hours in Epcot, we needed to make sure we really slowed down our pace.

I kept telling Rick to rent a scooter, but he claimed he was fine.

So we would wander a bit, sit for a bit. We dropped by the Test Track store, and went the long way around World Showcase, visiting almost every bench along the way. We missed the Americian Adventure, but did make it into Impressions de France, then made our way to our LeCellier reservation.

Here is our dinner

Mine is the Potato Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche - with melted leeks and truffle buttter sauce


Ricks is the Grilled Bone-in Ribeye - 16 oz. bone-in ribeye with herb-parmesan potato wedges and maple-pink peppercorn butter


I am not a vegeterian at all, but I like trying different stuff.

Dinner was delicious!!!!!

Well after dinner, we rolled slowly out of the restaurant and used our Soarin Fastpasses, then Rick's brother called and wanted one of the cars we had sent him pictures of in the Test Track shop, so I practically run over there while Rick makes his way toward the exit. Then we sit and watch the last fountain dance before Illuminations, then we make our way to the bus stop.

So much for only being in the park for a couple of hours!!

We get back to the Fort and ride the cart back to the camper, grab a couple of drinks, and ride up to the beach to watch Wishes. They have a huge team of security and management directing traffic at the entrance to the cart path and at the exit of 700 Loop.

After Wishes, we go looping around several loops and call it a night. We got back to the camper and Donnie dropped by for a bit and chatted.

Sunday morning, I got up early and started breaking down, and got all the crap pulled off the camper and then got Rick up and sent him to the shower. While Rick was in the shower, Donnie took me up front on the golf cart to get the truck and we also fetched some coffee from Trails End.

After we all returned from our respective errands, we loaded the truck and hitched up









On the way out, we stopped at the Hess across from Boardwalk to fill up. (The cheapest gas of the trip!!)

Then we pulled into Coronado Springs for lunch at Pepper Market. We find Pepper Market quite good and eat there as often as possible.

Then, headed North on 429 and got home safely!!

Thanks for readin!!!!

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