Friday, December 18, 2015

National Christmas Tree 2015

Date of Visit: December 18, 2015

We kept putting off the National Tree because it just didn't rank high on Mik's priority list with the state trees being so boring last year. Honestly, if we hadn't ended up nearby for an appointment today, I probably wouldn't have convinced him to give it a chance this year.

Mik was glad we ended up visiting the trees this year, though, because they were back to normal with different schools or groups from each state or territory decorating the ornaments. He enjoyed checking out the different ornaments on the trees, which mostly honored the state's National Parks with the 100th anniversary of National Parks coming up in 2016.

Mik was most excited to get his picture with the Arizona tree this year.

The National Tree on the other hand was not as good in his opinion this year. He still likes the trains around it, but he preferred the red decorations last year to the gold this year.

Mik also pointed out that the walkway they put on the grass to visit the trees is nice.

Destination Info:
National Christmas Tree
President's Park (south of White House)
Washington, D.C.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Disney's Dream: Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats

Date of Visit: December 9-10, 2015

Having found memories of the Sorcerer at Disney’s Soda Fountain, doing the Family Challenge at Vanellope’s was a must for us. It’s also a decent deal for trying out some flavors instead of each getting our own, especially since we didn’t realize it came with 8 toppings.

The flavors we selected were King Candy Ice Cream, Butterscotch Waffle Crunch Ice Cream, Tiramisu Gelato, Key Lime Pie Gelato, Red Velvet & Cookies Gelato, Candy Cane Gelato, White Chocolate and Rhubarb Gelato, and Candy Explosion Gelato. Mik’s favorite was the Red Velvet & Cookies Gelato.

We also couldn’t resist trying some of the other treats. Mik enjoyed the Red Velvet Cupcake.

I tried the peanut butter blondie, but found it had too much chocolate and other stuff. The peanut butter Mickey cookie was very good, though.

The stuff at Vanellope’s is an extra thing to purchase, which is somewhat unnecessary with plenty of included good stuff on the ship, but they’re mostly very reasonably priced for what you get ($19.95 for the Family Challenge and $2.50 each for the other treats we got).

Disney’s Dream 4-Night Bahamian Cruise: Castaway Cay Holiday Decorations

Date of Visit: December 9, 2015

Mostly we’re not interested in Castaway Cay and Mik doesn’t even get off the ship, but this time we did get off to walk around a little to take photos of the holiday decorations.

The decorations are mostly between the ship and the first Tram station. There’s also some cool wreaths on the road past the tram station, but they’re hard to see from the walkway and I guess more meant to see from the tram.

The main thing to see is the Christmas tree right when you get off the ship. You can do photo ops with the Mickey sleigh and/or sand snowmen in the background, but we decided to do it from the other side sort of with the ship in the background because of where the sun was in the morning.

Of course, a picture with Mount Rustmore was a must!

Disney’s Dream 4-Night Bahamian Cruise: Day 2 - Royal Palace

Date of Visit: December 8, 2015

The Royal Palace was our restaurant for the second and third nights. The second night was the regular menu for the restaurant. Again, I was happy that our location had a half booth.

Mik was iffy on ordering the escargot because for once he actually read the description, which mentions mushrooms. However, I convinced him to still get them because he is always talking about loving escargot and it was on a Disney cruise he first had them. As usual, he loved them and didn’t even notice the mushrooms.

For the soup, he had the Potage Parmentier.

The entree he choose was the Chateaubriand-Roasted Filet Steak.

He enjoyed the Apple Tart Tatin for dessert.

Disney’s Dream 4-Night Bahamian Cruise: Day 1 - Enchanted Garden

Date of Visit: December 7, 2015

The Enchanted Garden was our restaurant for the first night. Walking to our table I was envying the circular booths they have saying too bad we never can have a booth with the wheelchair, but turns out they do have some half booths and we did get one of those tables. Not as cool, but I do love booths.

Mik enjoyed the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli for the appetizer.

For the soup he choose the Cream of Green Asparagus, which he didn’t particularly like, but he did like it better than the tomato soup, which he remembered not liking last time.

Mik loved the Slow Roasted Prime Rib entree.

The dessert Mik selected was the Apple Cinnamon Crunch Sundae, which is one of his favorite sundaes.

I don't know if the Dream really is different than the Fantasy or if we just weren't paying attention or it was our location, but the Enchanted Garden didn't seem to have the flowers open up or the sky ceiling change as you went through dinner like I remember on the Fantasy. The Animator's Palette also didn't have you draw yourself to be animated, which I was thankful to not have to do, but it did make it seem like the restaurants weren't as much of an experience beyond the different menus.

Disney Dream: Stateroom 9170

Date of Visit: December 7-11, 2015

This stateroom was pretty much the same as the one we had on the Fantasy (see review here). Of course, we most love that the door automatically opens when you touch your Key to the World card to unlock it. Although, it is slightly hard to open from inside manually, but that just meant we all used the button to open it to go out and not just when we were pushing Mik. I still want this for our condo, but at least we have gotten something similar installed for Mik to get into our building.

I don’t think it was any different on the Fantasy, but somehow this time Mik found the slightly ramped exit to the bathroom troublesome and kept face planting and getting a rug burn when he crawled out of the bathroom. Dad told Mik he needed to work on his push-ups.

Of course, my favorite part of the room was the verandah even though it was unusable part of the trip when it was raining.

We did enjoy some On Demand movies, but for some reason the selection seemed more limited this trip. I was particularly disappointed they didn’t have all The Santa Clause movies, but at least we could watch the first one and it’s not like we don’t own them to watch at home.