This is it, our final day in Walt Disney World for 2009. Dominica’s parents were off in the wee hours of the morning leaving only Dominica, Liesl and I here in Florida waiting for our flight late this afternoon.
This morning we had to pack up, get ready and get out of the hotel room. This was extra challenging since I need to work today and need to do so from the hotel. So I was on the laptop all morning getting as much work done as I could knowing that I was going to be knocked offline as soon as we checked out of the hotel because they don’t use wireless here but Ethernet only.
I worked until the last possible second and then we were out of the hotel and off for lunch. We had been toying with a couple of ideas for food. Dominica went down and talked to the concierge and the concierge desk told us that the bus ride to the Animal Kingdom Lodge was really quick and that we could just walk in and eat at Sanaa. We were very excited to learn that Sanaa would be an option. Sanaa is the new addition to the restaurant selection over at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and if it is anything like Boma and Jiko (and Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom park itself) then the food would be awesome. We had been really disappointed that we were not going to get to eat at Sanaa when we had made the initial Disney plans so this is a huge win for us. It really worked out well because no one else would have the least interest in coming over here to eat.
So we hopped on the bus and over to the AKL we went. Sanaa is not in the main resort but is located in the new Disney vacation club structure at the AKL so the whole area was brand new and totally new to us.
The Sanaa restaurant was beautiful. Great theming and it has its own savanna separate from the savanna that you can view from Boma and Jiko. The food is Indian prepared in a South African style. A neat idea. Indian – South African Fusion. Dominica went for a trio of traditional Indian dishes and I went for the sustainable fish which was an arctic char served in a fish broth. We also got a naan sampler. Dominica liked her food and loved the bread but did not find it so good as to be truly excited. My arctic char, however, was simply amazing. This fish had to be the best meal that I had in Disney this entire trip without a doubt. If I could eat two of any one meal, this would be the meal. Just absolutely delicious. It was extra special as it was a unique dish that you cannot get readily anywhere else. Arctic char is pretty rare on its own and the preparation was quite unique. Just a great experience. We got dessert as well. Dominica getting the trio dessert sampler and me going for the unique orange-ginger cake with passion fruit kulfi which was really good too.
After lunch we returned to the resort to be completely ready for our return voyage home. We had some time to kill so shopped a little in the hotel shop and then sat outside and enjoyed the weather a little. It was not long before the Magical Express picked us up to take us to Orlando International Airport so that we could catch our flight back to Buffalo. We flew down on JetBlue and are returning on Southwest.
Our flight took off at six thirty. Delayed just five minutes, no real concern. The flight back to Buffalo was uneventful. Liesl was, thankfully, completely tired still and fell asleep literally as we left the runway and did not wake up until we were on the final descent into Buffalo. It could not have gone any better. I held her pretty much the entire time as she was asleep in my arms at the beginning and we dared not move her. So it was a bit of a boring flight since we could not talk and I could not read or do anything but I got a chance to just zone out and snuggle my baby.
We landed in Buffalo, picked up our luggage and dad was right there with Oreo ready to pick us up. Oreo was very, very excited to see us (or smell us or whatever as he is pretty much deaf and blind at this point) and Liesl was very excited to see her grandpa who was very thankful to get to see a baby who had been sleeping most of the day and was now very happy.
I drove us back from Buffalo to dad’s house in Peoria, New York. We stopped at McDonald’s near the airport to get dinner to eat as we drove. It would have been about a quarter to eleven when we arrived back at dad’s. We were very ready for bed. We just set up Dominica and Liesl in the guest bedroom and Oreo and I took the floor by the fireplace in the television den and we were off to sleep in no time. We are very thankful to be back in New York and are not looking forward to the impending panic of packing, selling and apartment hunting that needs to be done in the next three weeks. Our target for Texas is three weeks from today. Three weeks. Twenty one days. That is very little time considering we were in Florida this morning and are still hundreds of miles from our home and have not yet even begun thinking about what we are going to do about moving to Dallas. Ugh. We are not looking forward to the next few weeks in any way whatsoever. This is going to be very, very rough indeed.
At the very least, though, we have officially survived Disney 2009. Ten people times ten days equals one hundred Disney people day equivalents of stress.