Day Ten – Margaritaville

Day Ten – Margaritaville

We are transferring today to our Universal Studios resort the ‘Cabana Beach.’ Wendy has ordered a Mears shuttle. With Disney World and Universal being in competition you understandably can’t use the Disney Shuttles. Cost is $20 per person for the 30 minute drive. The freeway is very busy with it being Easter Sunday and many people are on their way to church services. Check in time is not until 4PM and we arrived at 10:30. Lucky for us that our room was ready. Must say the resort is very swish.

Kate is excited as she can see the spire of Hogwarts in the distance from our 4th level window. The girls virtually drop their bags and head out to catch a shuttle to Universal. I had a nap then caught up on a few days blog. Just saw on Facebook that Kate has wasted no time in getting into the Harry Potter experience  as a photo has already been uploaded of her with a butter beer in hand, you need to have either read the books or seen the films to understand the butter beer reference. I have had a look at the Universal brochure and saw the there is a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. If I remember correctly (having dined at the franchise in New Orleans) the food and atmosphere is pretty good. I messaged back to Kate via Facebook (how techo am I) that I would meet them there at 6 o’clock.

In fact I got itchy feet and headed over to Universal City Walk to have a look around. City Walk is much like Downtown Disney with the added advantage that both the Universal theme parks are right  next door. There are a lot of great restaurants, bars, clothing outlets and a cinema among other sights and sounds. I decided to pull up a stool at the Lone Palms outdoor bar just across from Margaritaville. There I can have some suds and watch for the girls to arrive. After all as Mr. Buffet is fond of saying ‘It must be five o’clock somewhere.’ I am drinking a lager called Land Shark which is brewed in Tallahassee. I think I am getting the gist of the etiquette of drinking here in the states. If you have a few beers when your fourth or fifth beer is handed over the barman doesn’t take your money off the bar. I reckon that this little gesture of kindest then encourages the said imbiber to leave a decent tip. The bar I can see across the road is named the ‘porch of indecision.’ My position gives me a great people watching opportunity. The girls arrived at 6 and we had a drink and then went to join the line to get a seat for dinner.

It took us about half an hour to get lead to a table. The time went quickly as a musician was playing solo to the dinner crowd.  He was entertaining with a good voice for the country tunes he favoured. I ordered a volcano burger in honour of the volcano pizza I once shared with Alan Moloney some thirty years ago. The waitresses have on cool t shirts with the back of them emblazoned with ‘only bait in town.’ Kate started singing along to a Bruno Mars song. I asked during the break if the singer (Eric Von) knew any Towns Van Zandt songs, he did but said that the crowd was not a music crowd and that he had to stay with well know chestnuts. He said after learning I was from Australia that he knew a Keith Urban song but he knew I wouldn’t want to hear that commercial shite, I had to agree.
Our meals seemed to be taking a very long time. Well over an hour and a half and diners that had arrived after us were already eating. We called over our waiter and asked if there was a delay with our meals. He was most apologetic and went to inquire in the kitchen. He was back in a few minutes with a lady who I assume was the supervisor who has also very apologetic. Our meals then arrived within five minutes. The food was very good. We got our bill and was most pleasantly surprised to see that the $63 food tab had been deducted. All we had to pay for were the drinks.

As we went to leave for home Eric Von was bringing down his gear from the same stairs we were using. We told him that we enjoyed his singing. He said thanks and gave us a free C.D. of his album ‘Down Here On The Island.’ All in all a good night, a belly full of beer, free food and some music to go with it.

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Two tickets please on the Hogwarts Express

Rob Rowe

Day Nine – Hollywood Studios

Day Nine – Hollywood Studios

The girls have weakened. They can’t handle bacon every day and have now opened one of the tubes of Vegemite I was carrying as gifts for my friends in New Orleans.

It only took 15 minutes on the shuttle bus to get to the park. Everything is so well organised that getting from resort to park and vice-versa is a breeze.
Being a holiday weekend there are a lot of people about but walking around is not to bad. We went into the Star Wars adventure. One of those 3d, get strapped in simulations where you know you are not moving but is sure feels like you are. I actually felt a little nauseous and was glad when we got out. Next up we hit a large theatre for the Muppet studio 3d show. What a hoot, with the old grumpy guys sitting up in the balcony with their corny jokes and Miss Piggy right in your face. Next up we went to the ‘Frozen’ sing-along stage production. I have not seen the animated film but I must be the only one. Kate is singing along at the top of her lungs. We then went and had a look at the extreme stunt driving show. Reminded me of the car park clearing out after a WOW Sunday arvo gig.

Lunch time and I had a turkey and cheese toasted sanga and Wendy and I have a frozen margarita. Pretty hot out in the sun. The theme parks are very civilised in that you can carry your alcoholic beverage around with you.

We next had a look around the Walt Disney museum and viewed a 20 minute film of his life. The man was a genius.
The Indian Jones show was pretty good, lots of spectacular stunts.

We left about 4:45 and got a shuttle back to Downtown Disney. Last night we were rushed with having to get to the House of Blues ( I thik I called it the Hard Rock in my last blog). We wanted to spend some more time exploring what Downtown had to offer. It was great to stroll around and enjoy the sights. Outdoor music performances, restaurants and stores of all descriptions. Kate purchased three prints from an artists co-op and she was served by an exchange student from Brisbane. I went into the Harley Davidson store to check out the merch. Looking for something to wear when I get on my machine back home. The gear was all a little tame for me. I talked the girls into buying some ice-cream from Ghirardelli, a chocolate store of the highest quality. I remember my trip to Chicago with Herbie, Brocko and Golly and how good the sundaes were there.
We got back to our resort around 9ish. Wendy has been averaging some 17,000 steps a day according to her wrist band thingy. No wonder my feet ache each night.

Tomorrow we leave for Universal Studios where we are staying at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Rob Rowe