Monday, April 27, 2009

Leaving Disney...

Well, we've been back home for over two weeks now(!), but that's no real excuse for me to not finish up sharing how our vacation wrapped up. Let's see...I left you at Wednesday night and us both falling asleep rather early....

Sylvain was quite upset by not making it to the late night Magic Hours. To make up for it, we decided to pack-up as quickly as we could since it was our last day at Disney. We had a large number of meals left on our account, so I was determined for us to take full advantage of the remaining credits and tickets by doing a whirlwind tour of the rides we absolutely wanted to ride a second time.
After an okay breakfast at the omlette bar in the Riverside cafeteria, we hopped on the bus to Hollywood Studios. While on the way to the park, I remarked that Sylvain must've been cooking in the sweatshirt he was wearing, since the temps were climbing quickly thru the 70s already for morning. To which he replied, "oh, it's not too bad because I don't have a shirt on under it..." And of course, by the we passed thru the park's gates, he wasn't looking too good, so we picked up a souvenir t-shirt for him.

Anyways, though the park was pretty busy, we waited in line to ride both the Rock-n-Roller Coaster and Midway Mania. We chose not to Fast Pass either since the Passes being dispensed had return times late in the afternoon. Believe it or not, but after those two rides, it was lunchtime, so we had small flat bread pizzas and gelato at Mama Melrose's Italian Restaurant. Afterwards, we attended the Muppet 3D show again. I'm still a little sad that these wonderful characters are lost to younger generations!

After those three attractions, we decided that we were done with Hollywood Studios and rode a boat over to Epcot. While there, we wasted waaaaay too much time waiting in line at Test Track before deciding to head for the single rider line (say, an hour and a half).
The wait in the single rider line was so much shorter that it was ridiculous. We were on it for about 20 minutes. I was also struck by how the concept what being a single rider means is poorly understood. While in line, I watch two different ladies became agitated when their small children were placed in separate cars from them. Listen, folks, if you had wanted to ride with your kids, you needed to get into the 2 hour line with all of the other schlubs.

As you can imagine, by the time we exited the ride, Sylvain and I both regretted wasting so much time in line. We were sick of crowds, lines, and getting tired, and the most logical thing for us to do was to board a bus....and head to Magic Kingdom (!). Which is what we did, but realized that the line for Space Mountain was just as bad as that for Test Track. With plans for that ride deflated, we wandered around Tomorrowland and decided to visit the "Stitch's Great Escape" attraction. At this "ride", everyone are recruits tasked with helping to capture dangerous aliens. The main part of the show has everyone seated in a large circular room with an alien transport device in the center. Stitch is transported into the room and he escapes from that. I'm sure that for small children, this show is very terrifying. Once everyone is seated, shoulder harnesses above the seats tighten down and press you into the seat. The ride doesn't move, so this is more to keep little kids in one spot so they don't flee the theater. I'm still wondering how it was pulled off because Stitch seemed to parade around on top of the capsule, spit at people (and some folks were doused with water!), and leap into the audience. I really didn't like this ride, and would only recommend it to fans of Lilo and Stitch.

Afterwards, it was time to eat again, so we made our way to Liberty Square for dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Dinner was all you can eat family style of salad, bread, turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac n cheese, cranberry sauce, and apple cobbler ala mode. It was a sickening amount of food, and definitely right for more than two people.

After dinner, we walked around Fantasyland a bit. Too tired to stand in more lines, but not quite ready to leave. The parade route was being prepared for an evening show and Cinderella's Castle was being bathed in pink, purple, and blue lights. We eventually made our way to the exit and our last bus ride back to the resort. We still had 8 snacks and 2 counter service credits left on our account. At the Riverside caferteria, we blew out all of the snack credits by picking up juices, teas, and coffee drinks for the car ride.

We left at a good time because most of the evening crowds were still in the parks for the firework shows, so escaping from Orlando was a cinch. We were heading for North Carolina, and I had reserved us a room at a Holiday Inn in Palm Coast, about an hour and a half drive north-east of Orlando. We made it there by 10:30, a pretty decent time of night, and decided to sleep-in the following morning.

That's all that I have time to write now, and will follow-up with the end of our adventure in the next post....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday back on track?

Since Tuesday felt like such a chaotic day because we deviated from what I had originally planned, we agreed to try and get back on track. We arrived to the Animal Kingdom in time for the early Magic Hours of 7 am to 9 am. (I won't make you cringe by telling you what time we got up.) Once we arrived at the park, we headed straight to Expedition Everest for Fast Passes with return times of 9:05 - 10:05, which wasn't too shabby. With Passes in hand, we immediately set off for the Kilaminjaro Safari and stood in what at first appeared to be a long line with a cast member warning that the ride didn't open until 8 am. It was already 7:45, so waiting 15 more minutes for opening didn't seem so bad; besides, the long line was mostly because the actual gates weren't open. Once people were allowed to file in, the line quickly disappeared. We made it to the staging platform by 8:10, which proved that hanging out and waiting was very worthwhile.

[NOTE: I had forgotten to charge the camera batteries, so was stuck with only the camera on my blackberry. I'll post photos from the tour soon....]

After the safari, we still had time to kill before Expedition Everest, so we went on the Pangani Forest walking tour. I enjoyed the walk just fine, but in true teenager style, Sylvain claimed to be bored by it. Next, we rode Expedition Everest, which was a good ride and I wouldn't mind riding it again.

Dinoland USA was next on our list, and we rode the Primeval Whirl (a coaster that was very similar to the Mad Mouse coaster at Michigan's Adventure) and Dinosaur (an in-door dino themed coaster). The wait for both lines were very long, so I'm very happy that I had packed my sock project in my bag. Also, Sylvain was quite frustrated by families that were cutting lone in front of us. I'm afraid that one of these days, his mouth is going to get him into trouble...

After these rides, we split up for lunch -- I went to Restaurantosaurus for a burger and fries (sadly, it feels like I'm having too many of these) and Sylvain went to the Flaming Tree Barbecue for a turkey leg. While we were eating, a Spanish family stopped to ask us, first, if we spoke Spanish (which we don't) and, second, what Sylvain was eating. We told them that it was a turkey leg, but they didn't appear to understand and asked us if that was a type of pig. The only thing I could think of was to say, "Bird. It's a big bird;" to which their child looked quite alarmed, and now that I think of it wonder if he was thinking we meant the actual Big Bird.

Since Sylvain was not at all interested in any other part of Animal Kingdom, we decided to spend the afternoon playing putt-putt at the Fantasia Gardens courses near the Swan Resort. It was an easy bus ride to the course, and it was a wonderful day to be out playing mini-golf. Let me just say for the record that I am not a golfer. Playing golf of any sort (mini- or otherwise) is not my idea of fun. As such, I ended up taking the 6-stroke mercy every hole. On the plus side, the three-years worth of golf league membership that Sylvain's enjoyed has paid off.

After golf, we headed back to the Animal Kingdom to make our dinner reservations at Tusker House. The food was African cuisine served buffet-style, so the choices were many. Returning to his uncooperative self, Sylvain opted to have only corn dogs and mac-n-cheese, dashing any hopes that he'd branch out and try something new. Later, he'd complain of a stomachache, which I dubbed revenge of the corn dogs. Yes, I am a sensitive and caring parent....

After dinner, we headed back to our resort, where Sylvain went for a swim while I sat pool-side and read my book club book. We hoped to head back out for the 10 pm - 1 am Magic Hours at the Hollywood Studios park, but both fell asleep during Lost. At this point, I can confidently say that our patience with the crowds is gone and that we've seen all that we had wanted to see at Disney World.

Birthday on the fly....

We certainly didn't want to feel as run down Tuesday as we did Monday, though we also wanted to get in a few rides before the crowds piled up. I didn't set an alarm, but still wasn't able to sleep past 6am! Sylvain was getting tired of having the days planned in advance, so we decided to shoot for breakfast on the fly in one of the parks. We were out of the room and ready to go by 7:30. The timetable we had listed Epcot as having early morning hours for resort guests, so we decided to head there to ride the Test Track. While on the bus, we noticed how few people were with us since the buses have usually been packed and started talking with another family sitting nearby. We were all sitting close enough for the driver to overhear, and he told us that the timetable we were using was out-dated and a new one had come out. Sure enough, none of us had paid any attention to the dates listed along the top of the brochure and Epcot wasn't due to open until 9! Since we were already on the way there and needed to visit the Will Call window anyways for Sylvain's gift from Disney, we decided to stick with our original plans. You may have seen those commercials inviting anyone who attends Disney World on their birthday to attend for free with a complimentary park pass. Since we purchases a vacation package that included Park Hopper tickets, we didn't need a pass for his birthday; instead, he was offered either a park ticket for a future date or a gift card for $75. Naturally, he opted for the gift card.

Once the park opened, we made a bee line straight to the Test Track, which turned out to be a lot of fun. Not realizing that the Akershus restaurant in the Nordic part of Epcot's World Showcase hosts the park's Princess breakfasts, there was no way we were going to be able to eat there as we had originally thought. So far, working outside of the plans wasn't going so well.

A little wary about having another rotten cafeteria lunch and questioning whether we'll be able to be seated in a regular restaurant without a reservation, I was able to phone-in a lunch reservation at the Biergarten while standing in line for Spaceship Earth. After that ride, we decided to walk the World Showcase, which is something that we had missed during all of our other stops at Epcot. It was during this walk that I found out just how intolerant of others Sylvain can be. Sure, the place was getting crowded, and I was forcing him to go shows (like the "O-Canada!" circle vision show with Martin Short); and compound on top of that his empty stomach and Sylvain became a complete pill to deal with.

Our reservation time couldn't get here soon enough, but even having a full belly wasn't improving his mood! I thought for sure that he's enjoy some of the German food; instead, he became more difficult. Help! Help! I'm dealing with a teenager! After lunch, we quickly rounded out the World Showcase tour and headed to Downtown Disney.

Now, if you read Monday's post, you're probably thinking that I've mixed up may days. Sorry, but this is how inept my plans have become. Remember that gift card Sylvain received? Well, it started burning a gigantic hole in his pocket and he wasn't going to return to his laid-back self until it was spent all away. There were times today that, I swear, if he were his 3-year-old self, he would have thrown himself onto the ground, wailing with fists and feet flying.

We spent the afternoon shopping, then headed over to Disney Boardwalk to have dinner at the ESPN Club. A live radio show was just wrapping up, so there was a little bit of a wait to get in. Dinner was okay: I had a burger and Sylvain had nachos. Neither of us were too interested in dessert, but Sylvain was presented with a birthday cupcake anyways. Afterwards, we were too tuckered out to do much of anything else other than head back to the room, watch some TV, and go to bed. Overall, Sylvain had a good and memorable 14th birthday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In come the crowds...

Rising before 6am every morning and heading to bed late for what seems like every day over the past month has finally taken it's toll. I didn't set an alarm Monday morning and decided to wing the day with Sylvain. The only thing that we had set were dinner reservations later in the evening. After having cereal for breakfast, we boarded the bus for Magic Kingdom -- the park that Sylvain had the least amount of interest in.

Just like on Sunday, we arrived just after the park opened and had to battle virtually no crowds. We first made our way to Tomorrowland and rode the Astro Orbiter; not sure why, but we just did. Next stop was Space Mountain, which we grabbed Fast Passes for, but was able to ride twice without them. Sylvain wasn't interested in a third go, and we probably would have cashed them in by then because the crowd was catching up with us.

Next, we by-passed quite a few attractions, headed for Liberty Square and toured the Haunted Mansion, rode the Big Thunder Mountain coaster in Frontier land, and took in the Pirates of the Caribbean tour in Adventureland. The day turned from bright and sunny into muggy with dark clouds bringing a threat of rain. By lunchtime, we were started to have low expectations of the normal counter service cafes and opted for a Mexican lunch counter called El Pirata y el Pierco. The "choices" were meat tacos, bean tacos, and taco salad. Yes, that's it. Sylvain left me with his request for a taco salad and headed off to save us a table. We arrived just before they opened, and I was third in line to order. The person taking the orders was great, but the person putting the orders on the trays kept getting confused. The two guys ahead of me and I couldn't help ourselves by cracking jokes about it, but I was quite amazed at how inept this particular server was. I truly hope that it was her first day. Needless to say, her delay allowed me to check out the tacos and I was glad that we didn't order them. They had sat long enough in their trays that grease has seeped out of both taco ends (and maybe even thru the bottom). At least the taco salads had the saving grace of lettuce to sop up that mess; had we ordered the tacos, I would have come away with a spattered shirt for sure!

After lunch, we toured the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, where Sylvain was spit on by the toddler in front of us and whose parents didn't do anything, so I yelled at him myself. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am not above being mean to bratty kids, even while at the "Happiest Place in the World". After dealing with the human sprinkler, he decided to put some distance between us and them by heading over to Toontown and rode Goofy's Barnstormer coaster.

By then, the park was getting pretty crowded and we had enough of the humidity and dealing with other people. Our last attraction at the Magic Kingdom was to visit the Monster's Inc. Laugh Factory show. I really enjoyed it, and thought the interactive animation was cleverly done. Afterwards, we both were ready for naps, so we headed back to the room to rest before dinner.

For dinner, we had reservations at Nine Dragons at Epcot. The restaurant was nice, but the food was standard Chinese. Since we were on the dining plan, we had the option of ordering an entree and dessert from the menu or ordering a 4-course limited option dinner. Sylvain chose to have fried rice, a cheesecake eggroll for dessert, and an add-on dumpling appetizer. I went with the 4-course route with: appetizer of two dumplings and two eggrolls, hot & sour soup, General Tso's chicken w/ white rice, and ginger ice cream. All of my concern over keeping my shirt clean was for naught as a piece of saucy chicken landed on a corner of it. Even though I was able to clean it off okay, I guess I was bound to happen were at least one food item this trip no matter how studious about keeping neat I was.

After dinner, we headed off to Downtown Disney, thinking that we may be able to get into the ESPN club for the big MSU-UNC game because it didn't start for a few hours. I'm not sure how I did it, but I had confused Downtown Disney with the Disney Boardwalk. Once we realized that the ESPN club wasn't where we were, we boarded the correct bus to the Boardwalk, but soon lost our zeal for going there. By the time the bus reached the Boardwalk, the game had begun and things weren't looking good for MSU. We were kept up on the game by messages Nestelynn was texting with score updates. Rather than walking the Boardwalk, we decided to head back to our room to finish watching the game, which meant more buses and more wind quickly emptying out of our sails. The rest of the night was pretty disappointing with MSU's loss and us being just plain pooped. Maybe we need a vacation from our vacation....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sunday at Hollywood Studios

Sunday was another early day with the alarm going off at 5:45 so that Chuck could make it onto the airport shuttle. One of the monitoring projects he is responsible for leading for the Lansing office usually gears up this time of year, so (short of still having snow on the ground) it would be next to impossible to have him stay the week with us. Little did any of us know, but Lansing was in for several inches of snow by Monday morning and he wouldn't be out sampling anyways...

One thing that I was sure to do for this trip was to pack food and snacks. This worked well for the long drive down, with us avoiding the temptation of fast food during fill-ups. So, Sylvain and I enjoyed cereal and fresh fruit for breakfast, then headed to the bus stop for the Hollywood Studios park.

We arrived just after the park opened and headed straight to the Sunset Boulevard area. Since it was early, the lines were only 10 minute waits. I made a screaming fool out of myself on both the "Tower of Terror" ride (being dropped several floors multiple times) and the "Rock 'n Roller Coaster" (going 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds).

Afterwards, we toured Animation Courtyard and picked up Fast Passes for the "Toy Story Midway Mania" ride. Next, we took the "Backlot Tour" and Sylvain surprised me by wanting to check-out the "Honey I shrink the kids adventure play park". I guess you're never too old for over-sized playgrounds. By lunchtime, we were both pretty hungry, so we took the suggestion of our guidebook and headed for the Backlot Express cafe. I had the grilled vege sandwich & Sylvain had a double cheeseburger. I'm not sure that I would rate this place as high as the authors had, but I'm also not a bonafide critic....

After lunch, we did "Star Tours", "Muppet Vision 3D", "Lights, Motors, Action" stunt show, "Sounds Dangerous (with Drew Carey)", and "The Great Movie Ride"; all of which I'm sad to say that Sylvain didn't seem to enjoy. I like the Muppets and feel that they're lost to his generation, and thought for sure that he'd like the stunt show, but the wait killed that for him.

Shopping in and out of the many stores was interspersed between the shows, so 6pm quickly rolled around and that was the time for our reservations at the Sci-fi Diner. I'm not really sure what we were expecting, but let's just say it wasn't anything like what we thought it would be. I would not advise anyone to go to this restaurant. I had the shrimp bowtie pasta (minus the shrimp, so it had artichoke, spinach, and roasted red peppers); Sylvain had the ribs (which it seems to be one the menu for him for the third night in a row).

After dinner, we had just the right amount of time for the "Midway Mania" ride, which is an interactive "4D" video game. We both thoroughly enjoyed this ride and, if we have time, will definitely ride again. By the time we were through, we were both pretty tuckered out and ready to head back to our room. Sylvain took a dip in the pool and I sat pool-side, sipped wine, and started reading our book club book. Overall, Disney Day 2 was a pretty good day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Early to rise, late to bed...

So when I set my alarm for 5:45 Saturday morning, it was really with good intentions. I gladly hopped out of bed, plugged in my hot rollers, and flipped on the lights to start packing my bags. For some reason, I had gotten a little too used to rising early and being by myself in our house while my family slept quietly in their bedrooms. Unfortunately for them, a small hotel room offers little means of escape from my frantic schedule.

So, you can imagine their dismay when I announced at 6 that it was time to rise & shine so that we can hit the road to Disney early. After much grumbling, we were packed and in the car just after 7. The road to Disney was free of traffic and had minimal construction. The only difficulty came as we neared the park, and found that the maps in our travel guide and road atlas did not agree, driving Chuck quite crazy. Nonetheless, we made it to there in great time & were in the Port Orleans lobby by 9.

One thing that wasn't apparent to me then, but is quite clear now is how uncrowded this place is. To prepare for this trip, I checked out three different tour books from the library and bought a fourth for the trip; all made clear that Spring Break was one of the worst times to visit. So, imagine my surprise during check-in when the clerk told us that our room was ready if we wanted to take care of our bags. We had intended to pick up our passes for the park tickets and meal plans, and I had been certain that we'd be carrying our bags in the dark of evening after spending the day riding rides. We drove to our building and found the parking lot virtually empty. We quickly got settled then headed out to our first park: Epcot.

Since Chuck was spending only one day with us, we decided to hit the park that was most interesting to him. We made it to Epcot around 11am and had no trouble getting through the minimal line. We decided to stick with Future World, since Sylvain and I had luau tickets for later in the afternoon, leaving Chuck to explore the World Showcase on his own. Sylvain and I have dinner reservations for Monday in that part of Epcot anyways and I knew that Sylvain wouldn't want to see walk thru there twice.

Our first ride was Mission: Space. After much confusion as to which entrance to go into (Fast Pass was a foreign concept), we were greeted by a "cast member" who told us that she was giving out "Magical Moments" and asked us to follow her. She led us through the Fast pass line and put us at the very front of the crowd. Wow! And on our first ride! The ride was fine despite many warnings about motion sickness (and prominently placed vomit bags). Once we were done with the ride, Sylvain and Chuck left me at a bench to get Fast Passes for the Test Track ride. I needed to sit for a moment because I was feeling dizzy. The guys ate cereal while on the road, but I had stupidly only had a couple pieces of string cheese. Next, we had lunch at the Electric Umbrella (mostly because it was between Mission: Space and our next ride), though I now wished we'd have waited and ate at the food court in "The Land". I had the chicken ceaser salad (romain, shredded paremesan, and chunks of chicken), Chuck had the double cheeseburger and fries, and Sylvain had the chicken nuggets and fries (both standard food service fare).

After lunch, we saw the "Honey, I shrunk the audience show"; this was the first of many shows we've seen, making me wonder just what the actor's contracts look like whenever they sign-on to do a Disney movie. Are the "extras" to contribute to the resort shows built in or do they work that out if the movie is a success and there's enough juice in the idea to be wrung out as an attraction. Sylvain thought it was pretty lame; Chuck and I didn't mind, but we grew up with those movies and were familiar with the incompetent scientist bit.

We next headed over to "The Land" and rode on "Soaring" and took the "Living with the Land" tour. By the end of all that, it was time for Sylvain and I to hop onto the monorail and head over to the Polynesian resort for our luau.

The luau was fun and the open beer/wine bar was nice. Since Sylvain had barbeque ribs the night before in Lake City, he opted to have only our table's helping of chicken. I had some of the ribs, but tried to stay good by having more salad instead. Sylvain saw one of these large monkey headed drink mugs go by on a tray and really wanted one. The only way to get one was to order the fruity rum drink that came in it, and being the doting mom that I am, I had to oblige.

[If you're a friend on Facebook, I've posted several luau photos there, so be sure to check 'em out. All other readers, sorry, but I'll link over photos once I'm on a real computer and not the blackberry....]

After the luau, we took the monorail back to Epcot to meet up with Chuck. We got to ride in the front of both trains (we had a change-over). He was waiting for us by the Morroccan attractions, and we took a quick detour for Sylvain to ride the Test Track while on the way to Chuck. I hung out at the exit and texted with Nestelynn, who was giving me play by play of the MSU game since I was having some technical difficulty with the live web feed.

Chuck picked a decent spot to watch the Illuminations fireworks, though I must say that the laser light show part of it was disappointing. We didn't hang out in the park for much longer after the show and headed for our room. Chuck and Sylvain went for a swim, while I took a much appreciated shower & went to sleep.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hitting the road and not looking back

I am a planner. There's very little that I like to do on the fly and travel is not one of them. Though there can be exceptions. We're currently on vacation at Walt Disney World. We decided to drive down because I wasn't too keen on flying right now and wanted to do the "family road trip" thing anyways. Well, according to Google Earth, the way to Disney World is pretty straight-forward, just hop onto I-75 and away you go...

Google's directions for best way to get to I-75 from the Lansing area is to take I-96 to I-23, and hop onto I-75 in Toledo. For the past several weeks, my daily commute has taken me past an MDOT construction sign warning of long delays on 23. Originally, I had thought that we'd skip that by taking 127 all the way from Lansing to I-80 in Indiana to connect up with 75 in Ohio. Since Chuck is flying home tomorrow and staying the full week with us, our last chore before skipping town was to drop his car off at the airport. In a moment of weakness (brought on by starting my day at 4:30 and the stress of vacation prep), I let Chuck convince me that it would be shorter to hop onto I-69 and take that to Fort Wayne, then cut over on state highways to I-75. Okay, now. This is where you can take out your own map book and see for yourself just how utterly retarded a route this is. In hindsight, I'm thoroughly convinced that this route added at least an hour to the trip. Well, what's an extra hour for a trip that Google Earth says is only 16 hours long, right? Well, let's just say that it's not the time; it's the damage to morale. To make me feel better, I'd like for someone to sing me the praises of Lima OH, because right now my memories of it are filled with telling Chuck that I'll never let him navigate again (not true, but it made me feel better at the time).

We weren't on 75 for long until a very strong lightening storm rolled in, carrying with it bursts of torrential downpours. With both Sylvain and Chuck nodding in and out of sleep, I drove us just over the Ohio-Kentucky border in that mess before needing a break and some gas. Chuck woke and offered to drive. It was 11pm by then, and I was tired of driving, so hesitantly let him take the wheel. My Honda is a 5 speed, which he can drive just fine on the highway, but with the slick roads and poor conditions, I was worried that I couldn't rest. As it turns out, that wasn't a problem at all. When I woke, it was 4am and we were pulling-in at a small state park in Athens, Tennessee (between Lexington and Chattanooga). Chuck saw a sign for it off of the highway and thought that it would be a good place to rest for a while. Apparently, every rest area on 75 through Kentucky and most of Tennessee was closed. So, we stayed in the car and all had a quick nap.

By 6:30, I was wide awake again and ready to roll. Taking the wheel, we were back on the road with the goal of getting into Georgia and having some breakfast. We made great time through Georgia and past Atlanta without much traffic trouble. We had reservations for a night in Lake City last night, and I couldn't wait to have a hot shower and normal bed. We were about 150 miles from the Georgia-Florida border when we ran into our first traffic snarl. Remember about the Honda being a 5 speed? If you haven't experienced the joy of stop & go traffic in a manual vehicle, count yourself lucky. I was driving with Chuck taking a nap. By the time we were back on our way, I was able to knock off a couple inches on my magic loop/two at a time socks that I brought to work on. Any more stops like this and I'll have this pair done in a hurry.

Our night in Lake City was good. We stayed at a Holiday Inn; and since I'm a planner, we're lucky because the hotel (and acc'd to the clerk others around it) were sold out. Figuring that I wouldn't be able to strictly adhere to my diet, we decided to head out for some local barbecue. We ate at a place called "Ken's" based on a recommendation from the hotel clerk. I was pretty good with a salad and a small order of pulled pork. My splurge was for the Southern-style sweet tea. [Please don't leave a comment with the calorie count on that; I'd much rather not know.] After a quick shopping trip to the store that won't be named for forgotten items, we capped off our evening out with a treat at TCBY. The only dent was when Sylvain finally figured out that TCBY was frozen yogurt and not ice cream, which is too bad because we've made stops at TCBYs over Baskin Robbins many times since it was a "healthier" the years of trickery are over.

Well, that's all that I have for now; so, check back in tomorrow for a posting of today's adventure...