Tag Archives: Olivia’s Cafe

To Everything There Is a Season

Today I traveled home from Walt Disney World. It’s always a bittersweet day. After eight nights in Florida, I was ready to be home. But home meant saying good-bye to Emi and family for several months, and that is always difficult.

They are back home in England safe and sound. Jake and family are safely back in Illinois. And Mike and I are home tonight also. Mary Ann, our cat, greeted us with loud meows and lots of close contact. So, it’s good to be home after an incredible vacation. So thankful!

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Love, Tears and Thankfulness

Today was our last full day at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. We had tickets for a park, but only Jake went in today. He chose Disney’s Hollywood Studio so he could ride Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, his favorite ride. As he entered the gate who should he see waiting there? Daniel Carlson, a dear family friend! What are the chances?? They chatted for a bit as Daniel waited for his friends to show up. Incredible! It’s a God thing.

The rest of us stayed at the resort to chill and begin packing. Ida seemed to have a low-grade fever and Linnie is still recovering from the flu. It was a nice low key day.

Then it was time for Emi, James and Ida to catch the bus to the airport. With plenty of hugs and tears to go around, I thanked God for this time together. I’ll be looking forward to our next time together, perhaps as soon as March.

Mike, Jake, Eliza, Linnie and I wandered up to Turtle Krawl for dinner. With burgers, chili dogs, and pulled pork sandwiches for dinner from Good’s Food to Go and drinks from Gurgling Suitcase we whiled away the hours in the warm evening Florida breezes. It was a perfect ending to an emotional day.

Well, Dear Readers, I am one Disney-exhausted camper. So delighted for this incredible adventure. And yet ready to go home tomorrow. Home, where Mary Ann, our kitty cat, waits for me.

Until the next time…meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Magic Kingdom Day

Day two of our Walt Disney World adventure has been so incredible!

  1. Character breakfast at Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom. Ida was completely traumatized by the arrival of Winnie the Pooh. “Too big!” She begged to be cuddled by her mum and hid her face until Pooh went away. Tigger-same thing. Piglet-a little more interested. Eeyore-not so scared, and Ida didn’t hide her eyes.
  2. We rode Peter Pan’s Flight, and Ida and James were a bit scared. “Too dark.”
  3. We rode it’s a small world next. Ida dug it!
  4. We rode Winnie the Pooh. Ida thought it was OK, but a bit too bumpy.
  5. Finally we rode Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid. When we finished, Ida said, “Really cool!” Success at last!
  6. We finished our day with a swim and dinner at Olivia’s.

What an incredible day! What an incredible time with family! What a beautiful place!

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Final Vacation Itinerary

Gosh! There are only five days now until we head for Walt Disney World. Our itinerary (see below) looks very busy, but actually it gives us plenty of time to chill out by the pool at Old Key West, or head to Disney Springs to wander and shop and nosh. Today I will do laundry, so I can get my clothes into the suitcase and be mostly packed to go. I have so much stuff in my huge suitcase, that Mike may need to pack some of my clothes. But that means I’ll have plenty of room once I unload everything at our villa. My suitcase will be much lighter on the way home. 🙂

Final Plans for Walt Disney World

Day 1

  • Travel to Florida
  • Eat at Good’s Food to Go

Day 2-Magic Kingdom

  • Breakfast at Crystal Palace
  • FastPasses-
  1. Peter Pan’s Flight
  2. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  3. Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Dinner at Olivia’s CafĂ©

Day 3

  • Dinner at Artist’s Point

Day 4-Animal Kingdom

  • Lunch at Yak and Yeti’s in Animal Kingdom
  • FastPasses-
  1. Na’vi River Journey
  2. Kilimanjaro Safari
  3. Festival of the Lion King

Wednesday, October 24-EPCOT

  • EPCOT-take advantage of the Food and Wine Festival for lunch
  • FastPasses-
  1. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  2. Turtle Talk with Crush
  3. Frozen Ever After

Thursday, October 25-Hollywood Studios

  • Dinner at Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood & Vine
  • FastPasses-
  1. Toy Story Mania!
  2. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration
  3. Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Friday, October 26

  • Breakfast at Olivia’s CafĂ©
  • This evening we will attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
  • Dinner at Be Our Guest

Saturday, October 27-Magic Kingdom

  • Lunch at Tony’s Town Square
  • FastPasses-
  1. Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
  2. Jungle Cruise
  3. Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Sunday, October 28

  • Breakfast at Olivia’s
  • Travel home

Meet me at the Kingdom!

Donna

WDW Radio Podcast

Twenty-one days from now I leave for Walt Disney World and Disney’s Old Key West Resort. It’s just three weeks from today, Baby! (Insert Happy Dance here.) 🙂

Usually when I walk or work out, I listen to my favorite music to help the time to pass and make it more enjoyable. It’s usually Bubble Gum Pop or Contemporary Christian music. Today I wanted something new for my walk, so I joined my first Podcast. Jake, my son, (see photo above) has been talking about Podcasts and how they help him when he works out for quite awhile now. Well, I finally took the plunge.

Since we’re so close to our vacation now, I wanted something Disney-entyishtic. I landed on WDW Radio, Episode #529-Olivia’s at Old Key West LIVE Dining Review. Boy! This is right up my alley! The Podcast is over an hour long. My walk went by so quickly, and I’m ready for more tomorrow. I’m getting some great ideas about new things to try this time at Olivia’s, my favorite, WDW restaurant.

I am a Disney Vacation Club Member, and my home resort is Old Key West. My HOME resort, oh yes, it really does feel like my home away from home. So I’ve eaten at Olivia’s Cafe many times. I usually order the same thing each time, but this time I’m branching out. I hope to share entrees with Mike, my honey, so we can try more dishes. This Podcast has me all jacked up. 🙂 I am so excited to make some alternative choices this time!

Anyway, if you are a Disneyphile, as am I, give WDW Radio a listen. You won’t be sorry.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

 

My Ten Must Dos at WDW

Only 34 days to go until we travel to Walt Disney World. It is creeping closer and closer. Yay!

Here are the 10 things I am the most excited about for our trip to Walt Disney World in October:

#10 Riding it’s a small world.  It is my favorite ride!!

#9 Celebrating our unbirthdays with “the dip” (see below) and birthday cupcakes.  Woo hoo!  Happy unbirthday to us!

#8 Exploring EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival.  Looking forward to tempting tidbits of tasty treats.

#7 Experiencing Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood and Vine, Halloween Edition for the first time ever.  I mean, Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy in their Halloween costumes! Plus the food looks yummy.

#6 Spending the better part of a day at Disney Springs exploring and shopping.

#5 Eating at Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. This is by far my favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World.

#4 Experiencing Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween.

#3 Spending plenty of resort time and pool time at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.  It is, seriously, my Happy Place.  When I’m chilling at Old Key West I can actually feel all stress leaving my body.  It is the ultimate in relaxation for me.

#2 Meeting and greeting Mickey at Magic Kingdom. I am so ready to shake Mickey‘s big, white-gloved hand and get a picture with him and my family.

And the #1 thing that I am excited about…Looking at the faces of my husband and children and their spouses and children and spending some quality time together in this beautiful place.  This will be a family reunion extraordinaire!

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

*The dip: In a pie plate spread 8 oz. of cream cheese.  Next sprinkle 6 to 8 cut-up green onions on top.  Then spread a can of No Bean chili on top.  (We usually make a second dip with Vegetarian chili with lots of beans.)  Finally sprinkle 8 oz. of grated cheddar cheese on top.  (We prefer sharp cheddar.  The shaper the better.)  Microwave for five minutes and serve with your favorite chips.  (We usually heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes instead, because it seem to hold it’s heat longer.)

Olivia’s Cafe

Well, fellow Disney fans, I only have 52 days until my Old Key West family reunion. Today I want to talk about my favorite Walt Disney World restaurant, Olivia’s Cafe. I will have dinner there on the first night, and probably a breakfast or two there during the following eight days. Here’s what Disney says about it:

Savor hearty home cooking with a taste of the Florida Keys at this hidden gem at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. 

Outdoor patio seating for 4 at Olivia's Café

As Breezy and Relaxed as Key West Itself

A longtime resident of Conch Flats, Olivia welcomes diners with Island-inspired dishes. This nautical-themed eatery has the friendly, familiar feel of a neighborhood institution and is a perennial favorite of many a Guest.

A must-visit spot for breakfast, Olivia’s Cafe serves up traditional favorites as well as several of Olivia’s own specialties: the Sombrero Beach Omelet and the Banana Bread French Toast.

Come in and Conch out
Conch Fritters, Conch Chowder, an array of stacked sandwiches and the signature Duval Street Burger make for a leisurely and fully loaded lunch.

Dinnertime is delicious time with Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken and New York Strip Steak.

If you have any room left, you can’t go wrong with the Key Lime Tart or the warm Banana Bread Pudding Sundae with bananas foster topping.

Olivia’s also offers a cavalcade of Island cocktails for Guests over 21. Wines and draft beers are also available, as are milkshakes, smoothies and glowing character punch— featuring a light-up Disney character.

Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.

A wall filled with photos labeled

Who Is Olivia?

Olivia Farnsworth lived in a small cottage along Turtle Krawl, upwind of the strip. Almost daily, she would invite curious passersby who smelled her cooking to come on in and pull up a chair. People loved her vibrant flavors and earthy personality, and, before long, she found herself setting more tables.

Eventually, Olivia opened the doors to her eponymous cafe, which has been a haven for locals and a must-visit for out-of-towners ever since.

That’s it in a nutshell. I always feel at home dining there, and I have never had a bad meal there. I can’t recommend it enough. I hope you get to try it, and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

Vacay Day One

In just 67 days, we leave for Walt Disney World. I’ll be so excited to get to Disney’s Old Key West for eight nights. Here’s what’s on the agenda for the first day:

  1. When we check in, our first stop will be Gurgling Suitcase for an order of Conch Fritters to share.
  2. Then we’ll pick up drinks from Good’s Food to Go.
  3. We’ll sit at one of the picnic tables on our mini-boardwalk, breathe in that vacation air, and feel all stress melt away.
  4. Next we’ll freshen up in our room, and enjoy our Three Bedroom Grand Villa for a few hours.
  5. Then maybe we’ll go for a swim.
  6. Later it’s back to the front of the resort for dinner at Olivia’s Cafe, while we wait for the rest of our party to arrive. We’ll bring some food back to the room for our English family who get in later in the evening.
  7. Once they arrive we’ll hug and kiss them, and visit with them while they have a bite to eat.
  8. Then it’s off to bed so we can get up early and make it to the Magic Kingdom for an 8:15 am breakfast at The Crystal Palace.

Wow! What a delightful day it will be!

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

So Much Better

Hiya Dear Readers,

Just want to drop a note to let you know that I am feeling so much better. It’s been seven weeks since my stroke. I spent six nights in the hospital in England. Since I’ve been back in the USA I’ve seen my GP, had blood work done, am currently 24 days into wearing a heart monitor for 30 days, have done a sleep study, have had an echocardiogram and have attended two of three scheduled diabetes education classes. (I have one more class in two weeks.) I will see a neurologist in two weeks and a neuro-opthomologist in three weeks. (I have some residual vision issues.) Then I will breathe a sigh of relief and bask in having gotten through all of that. Whew!

Anyway… I can tell I’m feeling quite a bit better, because I’m back to making plans for our next trip to Walt Disney World. We’ve bumped up our dates from October 2018 to the end of September 2018. Jake, Eliza, Mike and I had such a wonderful time when we went in the fall of 2015, so we thought we’d try fall again. Historically the end of September is a bit less busy than October, so we’ll try that. We can still enjoy The EPCOT Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party while we’re there. The temperatures will be nice for some major pool time. I get so excited thinking about it! And then to have Emi, James and baby Ida there with us will be beyond anything that I can even imagine!

Disney World is so different from when we first started going there around 1990-ish. It’s almost too much for me now…almost. There are so many changes. Some favorite attractions have gone away to make room for new ones. There has been major construction of hotels adding many more rooms to the World. They built a whole new park, the Animal Kingdom. They have built another water park, Blizzard Beach. I miss the “intimacy” of the 1990’s World, but it doesn’t diminish my love for the new World.

My absolute favorite thing to do at Walt Disney World is to spend time with the family. I love hanging out at Disney’s Old Key West Resort at night and just chatting about our day. I love sitting at a great Walt Disney World restaurant (especially Olivia’s Cafe!) and sharing a meal with the fam. I love checking out the looks of awe and wonder on their faces while we watch fireworks at Magic Kingdom. I even love looking at their tired faces on the bus back to Old Key West.

I can call and make our reservation for a grand villa at Old Key West on October 23rd of this year. We already have our 5 day Park Hopper passes. I can make our breakfast/lunch/dinner reservations starting March 28, 2018. I can order our tickets for Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in May of 2018. I can make our FastPass choices beginning July 26, 2018. Then it’s nothing but keep power walking to be ready to go.

I take nothing for granted. But Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, it will be a major Jarvi/Carmichael reunion and celebration. Just to be together with these people that I love in this place that I love is bliss!

I’ll write again soon.  Thanks for reading, Dear Friends! Meet you at the Kingdom!

Donna

 

What to Pack So that I Don’t Overpack

Day 427 in flipping out on my way to seeing Mickey

Three days to go!!!!  Today I’ve been digging through closets, finishing up laundry, checking and rechecking suggestions online for packing for Disney World (Thank you to wdwprepschool.com!), chasing down luggage tags, making a list of what I need to pick up from the store tomorrow and adding things to my suitcase.  What an exciting and nerve-wracking day this has been!  What goes into my checked luggage?  What do I need to fit in my carry on?  What will fit in my purse?

Carry on: , swimsuit, extra underwear (always, in case my checked luggage goes missing), meds and vitamins, book for the airplane, laptop and charger, itinerary

Purse: wallet, MagicBands, all Disney cards (Disney Vacation Club Membership, Disney PhotoPass, 5-day Park Hoppers, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween), photo ID, cell phone and charger, insurance cards, taxi confirmation to the airport

Checked luggage: everything else…clothes, sunscreen, vegetarian chili, aloe, toiletries, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, taxi confirmation from the airport, day-by-day planner, pain medicine, blister pads, wet wipes

And on and on and on…  I will see my beautiful children and their beautiful spouses AND my beautiful spouse all in the same room in just three days.  And Daniel C. will join us at the table for dinner that first evening at Olivia’s Cafe as we celebrated our Unbirthdays together.  What a blessing that will be!

Readers, thank you so-o-o-o much for following me on this journey.  Meet you at the Kingdom!