Becks534 Kidnaps Kristen K. For A Spring Break

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Becks534 Kidnaps Kristen K. For A Spring Break

Hello! Hello! Becks and I are two weeks out from a Florida vacation with two bonus Disney days! For the record, my husband and I are entirely along for the ride on this one, Becks and her husband Carlos are pretty much kidnapping Geordon and I for our own good. We're not exactly putting up much of a fight - here's what's going on!

  • The Travelers: Becks and Carlos, Kristen and Geordon
  • Accommodation: Coconut Cottage - and adorable beach house on Ana Maria Island. Ana Maria is on the Gulf coast, just north of Sarasota, FL. Here's a link to this adorable cottage https://www.annamaria.com/vacation-rentals/prop/coconut-cottage-unit-3/
  • Transportation: We'll be flying in to Tampa, and renting a car
  • Plans: Are beach days are pretty flexible as far as I know. The plans for most of the week include laying on the beach, drinking cocktails, shelling, swimming, and visiting cute local shops.
Bonus Disney Days!

So, shortly after Becks began to plan this trip she says to me "Let's do a day at the Flower and Garden Festival." Naturally, I acquiesce and the bonus Epcot day becomes a thing. About a month later I say to her "Would you be mad if I said we should stay overnight at Disney and do Disney Springs too? I can get us rooms at Boardwalk on DVC points." Now - to be honest, I knew they had been wanting to stay at the Boardwalk so I felt a little bit like i had an ace in the hole. Needless to say, I didn't really have to twist her arm to make our overnight be a thing.

  • Accommodations: Deluxe Studio at the Boardwalk Inn and Villas
  • Dinning Plans: We have reservations at Chefs de France for dinner, and Art Smith's Homecoming for Lunch
  • Parks: Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival, and Disney Springs

Trip Firsts For Me:

  • Flying in to Tampa
  • Staying at the Beach beach
  • Shelling on the Gulf Coast
  • Day Trip to Tarpon Springs?
  • Outdoor Kitchens at Flower and Garden Festival
  • Tea Garden Tour (fingers crossed I can get a spot)
  • Les Chefs de France date
  • Staying at the Boardwalk
  • AbracadaBAR
  • Geyser Point Bar & Grill

Allie's picture
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So much fun! Have a blast Kristen and Becks!

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Sounds like fun

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Can't wait to hear all about it, hope you all have a lovely time

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Have a great time. You'll love the Flower and Garden food.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Have a great time. You'll love the Flower and Garden food.

I'm really looking forward to it, I've been waiting to try Frushi since it first appeared. laugh
Are there any favorite you have that I should look for?

Oh! And here's a picture of our beach I snagged off the web cam yesterday.

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Kristen K. wrote:
crazycatperson wrote:
Have a great time. You'll love the Flower and Garden food.

I'm really looking forward to it, I've been waiting to try Frushi since it first appeared. laugh
Are there any favorite you have that I should look for?

Oh! And here's a picture of our beach I snagged off the web cam yesterday.

Nice beach. I've always done beach vacations on the Atlantic coast, would love to see the sun set over the Gulf or the Pacific. Over the deck of a cruise ship is as close as I've gotten.

I cannot recall exactly what we liked best of the Flower and Garden food, but since we haven't been since 2014 the menu is probably different anyway.

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Sounds like a great time. Don't miss the chance to try the candied strawberries at The Lotus House in China. They are unbelievably scrumptious. Have fun!

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Florida Fresh booth, Key Lime Sparkling Wine!!!
The Smokehouse Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash

And it looks like Italy may finally be trying to up it's game this time around. I am always disappointed in the "ravioli" they offer, come on Disney, you can get that out of a can! Strawberry Tiramisu, and Antipasto offering and Meatball Parmigiana. If I go, I may actually stop there this year!

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I got Mickey Mail today!! muchlove

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muchlove Mickey Mail. awesome

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banana 12 more hours... banana 12 more hours... banana 12 more hours...

We fly into Tampa tomorrow, and I think the plan is lunch at Earl of Sandwich. We should be all settle in to the beach house by early evening. YAY Vacation!!

We have Sat-Sun-Mon at the beach before Tues-Wed at Disney, and then back to the beach for Thurs-Fri. I'm so excited!

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We have arrived in Tampa, it's a beautiful day, sunny, breezy, 75. Our flight was pretty great, but then I had 3 Mimosas. LoL! We stopped at Earl of Sandwich for lunch to get a taste of Disney even though we're not there. Now we're headed to the beach for snowballs!

I'm not sure either, Becks kidnapped us and we're just along for the ride. I heard beach and I'm all "let's go!"

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I can say for certain that snoballs are delicious! Snoballs is in ST. Pete Beach, FL and is a fun shaved ice shop to stop into. It's Hawaiian style hand shaved ice off a giant block. It's the lightest, fluffiest shaved Ice I've ever had and it's really fantastic. They have dozens of flavors and combinations, and you can even get a boozy snoball, which of course I did. I had a Coco Mojito. I didn't take a picture on my phone until I was half way through, but I'll do a full review with good pictures when I get back home.

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And... Here's a picture of first night sunset, as seen from the end of our driveway. We're just a block from the Gulf.

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Have a great trip Kristen!!

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Today I swam, and took at nap. At one point I did both at the same time laugh

Becks and Carlos went back to the mainland for groceries, and we will be having dinner at a place called Skinny's that is this little beach shack with outdoor seating and greasy burgers.

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Skinny's was pretty awesome - in a gritty, sand in your toes, beach shack, who cares just serve up the burgers kind of way. I love little places like this, and it is right next door to our cottage. Geordon had the Fatty Burger and I ordered a chili dog. They served ice cold Mexican Coke in real glass bottles.

Skinny's Exterior Skinny's Sign Skinny's Wait Time Becks & Carlos at Skinny's Skinny's Mexican Coke Products Skinny's Fatty Skinny's Chili Dog

After dinner we walked across the street to Manatee Beach and watched the sunset. I wadded into the water for awhile while everyone else sat down in the sand. I picked up some cute little shells.

Manatee Beach Manatee Beach Sunset Manatee Beach Becks & Carlos Manatee Beach Geordon Sea Birds Sunset Bird

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Looks like you're having fun! Very relaxing! awesome

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Yesterday we took a trip up to Tampa to the APollo Beach Manatee Viewing Area. We happened to get there just in time for a rare event, a manatee was being released back into the wild. His name was Ice Cube, and as a calf he got cold stress and lost his mama. He's been in rehab for about 3 years (he is 4 years old) which makes him a teenager in manatee years. He weighed 850 pounds, and they will track him for the next year with the buoy on him.

Apollo Beach Manatee Center Apollo Beach Manatee Center Ice Cube the Manatee Ice Cube the Manatee

We also pet the Sting Ray, and saw wild Black Tip Shark, Tarpon jumping out of the water, and needle fish. It was a pretty decent little day trip, and it's free!

Geordon & Sting Rays

Today... EPCOT!! banana

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Yay Disney Day! mickey mickey mickey

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What a great experience you had watching the manatee being released. I would have loved seeing that.

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What cool and great experience!!!!

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I'll post more about our Disney days when I get home, but I'm exhausted and just want to rest today. However - I am still processing through something that happened on our one night at Disney and I feel like I need to talk about it. We had a Housekeeping Cast Member try and access our room from the patio, and it completely freaked me out. Seriously guys, this is NOT OK. And Disney agreed, and I turned the matter over to security, but I'm frankly still a bit shooken up.

I was already having a bad day. I wasn't thrilled with our room (nice but really boring thematically). The phone light flashed all night and the phone was not working correctly so it wouldn't retrieve the message. Housekeeping woke me up at 8am (on check out day) knocking on the door. I had forgotten my hair brush so had already been out of the room once down to the gift ship. We didn't have a room service menu so I had to leave again to schlep back over to the Bakery to get us breakfast. I was sitting on the couch in our Deluxe Studio Villa at the Boardwalk waiting for Geordon to get out of the shower about 9:45, and suddenly there was two very hard tugs at our patio door. I looked up at the window and there was a man standing there with his hands cupped up against the window peering into our room. I jumped off the couch and took the three steps to the door, he darted away. I opened the patio door to look outside and there was a cast member darting into a room about 3 doors down from us.

I was *really* shaken and screamed at Geordon to get out of the shower. I grabbed the phone (which could at least dial the operator) and told them what had happened. They switched me to a manager, who I again told what happened, and he said that he would send security straight away. While I was waiting for security (maybe just a couple of minutes) the cast member came back to our patio and started "cleaning" our chairs, but he had them out of place and facing into our room. I opened the door again and started yelling at him (security was not happy that I did this) and then I heard the knock at our door. The knock on our door was the security guy who I told the Cast Member (Charles from Haiti, BTW) was outside right now. By the time we walked across the room to the patio, the man was gone again.

My heart was *RACING* and I was obviously shaken. The manager in our room (Angel, a legacy cast member from Casablanca, Morocco) was super calm and understanding, which is something that I really needed him to be. He was awesome. I explained what had happened, he asked me some questions, and apologized many times before leaving. I could tell that he was not terribly happy that this had happened.

Geordon and I packed up the rest of our things and departed, because I just wanted to get as much distance between myself and the Boardwalk Villas as possible.

Looking back I'm disappointed that the way things were left that there didn't seem like I would get any follow-up contact. I will absolutely be calling DVC and following up on my own. I was a really scary situation, and you can be sure that I will not be staying at the Boardwalk again, and from now on I will probably always request a higher floor no matter where I am. In my perfect world they will refund my points, but I'm not holding my breath on it.

- - - Conversely I had booked Rebekah and Carlos the same type of room that we had, for the same night, and they had a wonderful time at Boardwalk. Their room was well appointed, they had a lovely view of the main pool, and no one tried to break in on them.

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Holy crap! That is insanely scary! And I would absolutely be sure that you get some sort of refund for that night, if even just half the points or something. That is totally unacceptable and a great way to ruin a vacation. I'm so sorry to hear this happened. Let us know what happens when you follow up. I always request upper floor rooms for this exact reason; I get freaked out by having easy access into my room.

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I spent about an hour on the phone with DVC & Boardwalk today trying to figure out what happened. Apparently all of the rooms around us were out of rotation for maintenance. The cast member who was trying to get into our room thought that there was no one there because it was part of that rotation. I guess I scared the daylights out of him as well.

Now - our had a door tag hanging on it saying that ours was too when we checked in, but when I questioned it at the front desk they told me not to worry and that yes that was our room. I really feel like we weren't supposed to be in that room to begin with (what with the phone not working right and the room not having the typical Disney welcome info/room service contact stuff in it) and the front desk is where all of these problems started.

I ask if I could get my points refunded and that was not an option - however they did come up with a generous solution that will extend my next trip. mickey While it was very scary, I'm satisfied with both what had been going on (no one was actually trying to do anything nefarious) and their apology made me happy.

From now on though, I'll be asking for a higher floor in my requests.

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Well that's reassuring to hear that it was a misunderstanding, but it sounds like all of that could have been avoided had they assigned you to the right room to begin with. Glad to hear you got a resolution you are happy with, though!

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WOW, wasn't there a thread about this recently? I'm not sure if it was here or somewhere else but it was talking about CMs using the patio doors to access rooms...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. I always seem to think "it's DISNEY, nothing bad happens here", but it's just like anywhere else, you never know.

Glad it got worked out for you. muchlove

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"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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JMed wrote:
WOW, wasn't there a thread about this recently? I'm not sure if it was here or somewhere else but it was talking about CMs using the patio doors to access rooms...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. I always seem to think "it's DISNEY, nothing bad happens here", but it's just like anywhere else, you never know.

Glad it got worked out for you. muchlove

Half right JMed. It was someone impersonating a CM that was robbing rooms. That was about 2 years ago I think.

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MrHub wrote:

Half right JMed. It was someone impersonating a CM that was robbing rooms. That was about 2 years ago I think.

That is correct Mrhhub,, That is why the FIRST thing I do when I check into a room is to check and make sure the slider is locked and secure. You would be amazed at the number of times I have found that slider unlocked and needing just a pull to be in the room.

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Alrighty then! On with the trip report and our Epcot day!

We departed our cottage about 6:30 in the morning. I admit it was rough getting out the door that early - but we were headed to Disney!! Once we were all in the car the men folk thought it would be a quiet ride, they were so wrong, Becks and I were totally ready for our Disney adventure. We sang Disney songs, danced in our seats, and chatted about all good Disney stuff during the entire two and a half hour drive there. It didn't seem like long before we were pulling into Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas

We stopped by the lobby so that we could let them know we were on property, check our bags, pick up my ECV, and take care of our Park tickets. The lobby is beautiful, decorated like a charming Atlantic Sea-side Resort.

I used Scooterbug Mobility for my ECV rental this time, they were the only Disney approved company that would rent for just one day. The scooter was fine, but a different model than I'm used to. The whole time I felt like things were going to fall out of the basket because it was at a weird angle. I would rent from them if I needed another 1 day rental. But operating the chair had minor operating points that were different than Buena Vista Scooters, such as it taking an extra second or two to come to a stop once I disengaged. There were a couple of times that I felt a little out of control in this ECV.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Lobby Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Lobby Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Lobby Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Lobby Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Lobby Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Lobby Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Lobby

After that was all taken care of, Geordon and I went to the Belle Vue Lounge to grab a very quick bite to eat. Geordon had a Cranberry Orange Muffin and I had an Almond Croissant.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Belle Vue Lounge Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Belle Vue Lounge Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Belle Vue Lounge Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas Belle Vue Lounge

At this point Carlos had come fully into his Disney spirit and was chomping at the bit to get to Epcot, so we headed out the back of the lobby and towards the boat dock. It was an absolutely beautiful morning.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn Croquet Lawn Disney's Boardwalk Inn Disney's Boardwalk Inn Boat Dock Disney's Boardwalk Inn Bike Rental

We took the short boat ride to Epcot's International Gateway and headed into the Park!

Epcot Back Gate Epcot Back Gate Epcot Back Gate

There was some discussion of breakfast at Sunshine Seasons, and Becks wanted to check the tip board so we headed to Future World.

Epcot Roses Epcot Roses Monorail & Spaceship Earth from Promenade

We were quickly distracted by the Butterfly Garden. I attempted to get some Butterfly pictures, with varying degrees of success.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Butterfly Garden

Once we got out of there we discovered that it was already 10:30 and the Outdoor Kitchens would be opening in 30 minutes. We decided to skip breakfast and wait for those to open. We were really looking forward to eating around the world at the festival booths and breakfast at that point would have ruined our start.

We wandered a bit around future world a little more, Geordon bought a pin that he had really wanted, I snapped some pictures, and we saw the mobile Muppet Lab!

Donald & Nephews Topiary Figment Topiary Figment Topiary Muppet Labs Mobile Show in Future World Muppet Labs Mobile Show in Future World