Animal Kingdom Lodge
We’ve been trying to get back to Jiko for years now – first, we missed a Jiko dinner with Bob & Larry right before we left Florida due to Rich’s dental surgeries.
Then we missed the second Jiko dinner with Bob & Larry and other Passporter friends last October (thankfully, we got to see them and more at the Dessert Party later in the week).
Niece Emily couldn’t extend her stay and we wanted to spend her last night in Florida having dinner with her and her dad at JBs Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach. But the conversation that night really led to an insight into my issues with Florida. 🙂
Again, my apologies for so many missed Jiko dinners. So, it only serves us right that we couldn’t get into Jiko on this trip.
But we really wanted to visit Animal Kingdom Lodge again. After all, it was there at the Valet Desk where I met the real “Mr. Unobtrusive,” that inspired the Mr. Unobtrusive in The Tom Jones Club. So, we left the rental car with the valet, courtesy of our Tables in Wonderland card, and I looked around but there was no sign of Mr. Unobtrusive on this trip – lol! We stopped in at Zawadi Marketplace and Rich found some cool-looking lounging pajamas – blue plaid with Mickey subtly hidden in some of the squares.
Then we went outside for a bit of a look at the animals on the savanna – such fun! On to Victoria Falls, one of our favorite lounges at WDW, where Rich went up to the bar to get us each a glass of red wine – Pinotage. We didn’t see any servers on this trip – perhaps, this is the result of a budget cut? On our last visit, the CM was about to return home to Africa the next day and was so helpful – she even went downstairs to check us into Boma. We missed her. 🙂
This is such a fabulous lounge – it’s located a half-level below the lobby and a half-level above the restaurants. The atmosphere is so awesome, I can honestly say it’s just as good as hanging out at the Grand Californian for me – I can be just as happy in either place. For one thing, the same architect designed both, as well as Wilderness Lodge – all 3 of our favorite places. We wandered down to the restaurant level right before our ADR time and sat around for about 15 minutes and then we were seated. Both restaurants were very busy.
We got the alternate menu from the time before so they didn’t have my favorite – Potatoes with Afritude – but they did have some yummy pasta and cous cous salad, watermelon and tomato salad, avocado salad and an assortment of other salads – the salads were my favorite part of the meal – and the Durbin Chicken that Rich loves so much. The ribs were outstanding, too. Our waiter recommended the Curry Chicken Soup and Rich loved that. We enjoyed the little dessert mousse bits, such as the Zebro Domes and the Butterscotch/Caramel Cheesecake. It was a great end to a fun day and a great meal and we went home satisfied.
During the night, I couldn’t sleep. A lot had been happening – family stuff, our feelings of being back in Florida – and I needed time to take it all in and to process it. I got up, sat on the couch, and wrote some notes and realized the issue for me about living in Florida is what I told Emily at JBs Fish Camp. It’s that, due to complicated circumstances, “My family is southern California – that’s where my best memories are – and I can’t call it on the phone or email it or text it. The only way I can experience it is by being there. And Florida is so far away from that. If I could ever get over that and the right opportunity presented itself, then maybe we could move back to Florida, although in tough times, there’s something comforting about being “home.”
Next: Don’t remember but something to do with Downtown Disney.