Tag Archives: Olivia’s Cafe

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

 

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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 MembershipDisney 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!

Packing (NOT Puking)

Day 421 in trying to keep my stomach settled on my way to meeting Mickey

Nine days, People!  In nine days I go to Walt Disney World!  I Facetimed with Emi today and we just kept getting more and more excited.  A week from Tuesday, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I will be sitting in a room with Mike, Jake, Eliza, Emi and James.  That is as good as it gets!  We will be having our Unbirthday Dinner at Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.

I’ve reached the phase in vacation planning where I just can’t think about it anymore.  It’s time to start doing.  I will get my suitcase out and start packing for the trip today.  I need to find my Disney bag which becomes my purse for the vacation.  I need to think about what I want to pack in my Disney bag and what will be relegated to the suitcase.

And I need to begin this without thinking about the trip too much.  Because I’m also at the phase where I’m so excited about the trip that I feel sick to my stomach.  I always have been that way.  My parents had to stop telling me about trips in advance, because I would get so excited that I got sick.

So, as you can see, I am scattered.  But it’s still coming soon…Meet you at the Kingdom!

Top 10 Things I Am Excited To Do at Walt Disney World

Day 386 in my excitement on my way to meeting up with Mickey

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 one year’s-worth of birthdays with “the dip” (see below) and birthday cupcakes.  We have been saving up to celebrate our birthdays together in Florida.  Woo hoo!  Happy birthday to us!

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

#7 Experiencing Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party for the first time ever.  See comment from number 8.

#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 for the first time ever.  I have my costume now.  I ordered it from the Disney Store.  I will wear a Mickey Mouse Skeleton Tee and a Minnie Mouse Ears Headband.  🙂

#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. This has been the driving force behind this blog.  I am anxious to shake Mickey‘s big, white-gloved hand and get a picture.

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

Meet you at the Kingdom!

*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 t 350 degrees for 30 minutes instead, because it seem to hold it’s heat longer.)

 

 

 

 

To “Tables in Wonderland” or Not…

Day 323 in my researching my way to meeting up with Mickey (3 months and 16 days to go)

Today’s plan was to look into Tables in Wonderland, a Disney dining discount card.  The card works at the parks and also at Downtown Disney and at most of the restaurants at the resorts.  The card costs $100 for Disney Vacation Club Members.  Tables in Wonderland (TIW) saves 20% on most table service meals at Walt Disneyworld. It includes entrees, appetizers and even alcohol for up to ten people.  When you use it, an 18% gratuity is automatically added to your bill.  So basically you save the cost of the tip plus 2% on all meals. (We’re usually 20% tippers.) There are six of us going to Walt Disneyworld and we will be there for eight nights.  We have at least one table service restaurant scheduled for each day that we are there.  So if we have the card from the very beginning, it will not only brake even, but it will save us some moolah.

We get to Florida on Tuesday, October 13.  We have a 7:00 pm dining reservation at Olivia’s Cafe at Old Key West.  (My favorite restaurant in the whole of Walt Disneyworld!)  So shortly after checking in, I will make my way to Downtown Disney (or is it Disney Springs yet?), to purchase a TIW card.  Then I will squeeze that card dry over the next eight glorious nights!

Meet you at the Kingdom!

The First Six Restaurants

Day 272 in eating my way around the world and meeting up with Mickey

My plan for today was to begin my research on healthy choices at the restaurants we will frequent at Walt Disney World in October.  My go-to site for this is AllEars.Net.  What a great site!  It has all the menus from all the restaurants at Walt Disney World!  Love it!

 

Here we go: (Think: the song from Peter Pan “Think of the happiest things…it’s the same as having wings…you can fly!”)

  1. Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort (our home away from home)  Healthiest thing on the menu for breakfast: Monroe Egg White Omelet  Thing I will probably order: Conch Republic Omelet with a side of fruit.  We are eating breakfast at Olivia’s more than once, so perhaps I will get to try both.  Healthiest thing on the menu for dinner: Key West Salmon Salad (this is real contender!) Thing I may order: Mallory Square Cobb Salad  Whatever I order I will definitely order Conch Fritters as an appetizer to share.  They are my favorite thing at Olivia’s! (The healthiest appetizer on their menu is the House Salad.)   Dessert: Healthiest option: Mile High Zero (a no sugar added tropical panna cotta)  It’s still very rich so this is to share.  I may order this, but we love the Key Lime Pie, so that is a possibility.
  2. Crystal Palace for breakfast: This is that most dangerous of meals–the buffet!  But, hey, we’ll get to visit with Winnie the Pooh and friends (I’m thinking Piglet and Tigger.) I will have an omelet made with vegetables and just a little cheese, a side of fruit, coffee and water.  Yum!
  3. Be Our Guest for dinner: French food–tres rich!  The healthiest appetizer on the menu is Garden Salad.  What I will probably order: Seasonal Salad Trio and I’ll split with Mike and anyone else who wants to try a taste.  Entree: The healthiest thing is probably the Layered Ratatouille, which is a real contender for me.  But I may order the Pan-seared Chicken Breast.  Mike and I will again split.  Dessert: the healthiest choice-Lemon Raspberry Cream Puff (no sugar added), But I already know I’ll try The Grey Stuff.  My friend Lumiere told me it’s delicious!
  4. Yak and Yeti for lunch: Asian food-notoriously high is sugar and/or fats (unless you’e eating raw) Appetizers: Healthiest choices: Lettuce Cups for Two OR House Salad.  I would order either. Entree: Honestly the healthiest thing and probably what I would order to share with Mike–Kobe Beef Burger (I wouldn’t eat the bun) with a side of Sauteed Baby Bok Choy.  Mike will probably order some fries too.  Dessert: Healthiest choice: Sorbet  What I will order Mango Pie and 6 forks.  It’s a speciality here.
  5. Tusker House for dinner (another dangerous buffet): I would choose salads. carved meat and/or fish of the day, vegetables, and I would check out the vegetarian choices to see if anything tickles my fancy.  Dessert: (Yikes! Also a buffet!) I probably will try the Chocolate Volcano Cake and/or the Strawberry Mousse Cup.
  6. California Grill-Appetizers: probably the 2 healthiest things to choose from are Farmer’s Strawberry Salad and Mushroom Flatbread.  I would try either.  Entree: Healthiest choices-Braised Lamb Hind Shank OR East Coast Flounder (Mike will have to choose because I have a hard time ordering Flounder ever since I saw The Little Mermaid!) Dessert: Healthiest options: Chef’s Selection Cheese Board or Plant City Strawberry Cheesecake (no sugar added)  I, however, will choose between Vanilla Creme Brulee (one of Mike’s favorites) or Warm Homemade Fritters (they’re banana for crying out loud!)

That’s plenty to chew on for today.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: Still waiting on my cup.  Isn’t it a shame when you pay for expedited delivery and post office doesn’t come through???  PTLA!

Reserved! (Reservated? Twitterpated?)

Day 251 in the reality of Disney Dining Reservations and meeting up with Mickey (5 months and 27 days to go)

OK, so I was up at 4:30 am this morning ready to get online and make our meal reservations for October.  The online reservation system opens at 6:00 am Eastern Time, which is 5:00 am Central Time.  Am I tired now?  Oh, yeah!  But I’m jacked to have made the reservations.  It’s always a better idea to make reservations and then cancel the ones that you cannot do.

My plan for today is to share  the reservations that I was actually able to make:

Tuesday, October 13–Fly to Florida.  Dinner at Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort (Our home away from home)at 7:15 pm

Wednesday, October 14–Breakfast at The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom at 8:15 am.  I had hoped for Cinderella’s Royal Table, but it wasn’t available.  I can’t be too disappointed though, because the Crystal Palace is beautiful and elegant and…oh who am I kidding…Winnie the Pooh is there!!

Thursday, October 15–Dinner at California Grill at the Contemporary Resort at 5:25 pm.  I had hoped to eat at Be Our Guest Restaurant that afternoon, but it wasn’t available.  (Fear not though it’s a-comin’.)  We have an early dinner so we can head to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween.  Woo hoo!

Friday, October 16–a day out of the parks.  Breakfast at Olivia’s Cafe at 10:15 am and Dinner at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  This is Mike’s favorite restaurant in Walt Disney World.  He and I have been there three times, and each time it has been a delicious, memorable, special experience.  Every time we’ve been there he has said, “We have to bring the kids here sometime.”  Maybe this will be the time.  But they are free to completely plan their own day, as they wish.

Saturday, October 17–Lunch at San Angel Inn Restaurante at EPCOT at 12:30 pm and Dinner at Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  I had to swap out 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because of no availability  (But it’s coming later.)

Sunday, October 18–Lunch at Yak and Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at 2:00 pm.

Monday, October 19–a day out of the parks.  Mike and I will have Breakfast at Olivia’s Cafe at 10:15 am and Dinner at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at  Downtown Disney Area at 7:15 pm. The kids plan to go to Universal Studios this day, to experience all the Harry Potter-ness of it.  😉

Tuesday, October 20–Lunch at 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 12:40 pm and Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom at 4:55 pm.

Wednesday, October 21– Breakfast at Olivia’s Cafe at 8:00 am.  Then we fly home.

So there it is in black and white, dear readers.  It should be fun!  Meet you at the Kingdom!