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Category: Florida

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Why You Should Consider Not Going To A Resort Prior To Christmas

Why You Should Consider Not Going To A Resort Prior To Christmas

Let me share with you a view that I utterly failed to appreciate until it took place.  My wife joined 6 other women for a week long vacation visit to the Disney resort located in Florida.  This vacation took place toward the middle of December.

  • Within Florida, COVID-19 related restrictions have been lifted.
  • There is no requirement to quarantine when traveling to Florida.

Florida is not near the top of a list for vacation destinations that help control and fight COVID.

My wife returned about the middle of December 2022 from her vacation.  A few days later, she tested positive for COVID as well as some of the other women in her group.  It appears that some of the ladies in the group came down with COVID while in Florida.  Because typically a full recovery takes about 10 days, doing the math, this means that my wife needs to stay home and we can not entertain visitors until December 23.  This comes very close to Christmas on December 25.  Another rather shocking result is that my wife gave me COVID.  I tested positive  a few days later after she came home.  I tested the day before she arrived back home and did not have COVID which points a clear finger of blame.  Doing the math and adding 10 days to December 19 means that we have to postpone Christmas until December 29 or maybe even later!  Our family agreed to postpone our celebration of Christmas.  What a shock!  My point in telling you this short story is that you might want to consider NOT taking a vacation at least 10 days or more before any important family get together such as Christmas, birthdays, religious events, etc.  Because, you just might have enough days to recover in time to celebrate such an important day of celebration.

I recommend further actions for you to consider to prepare for coming down with COVID and having to self isolate.

Have enough of the following items that you might use every day at your residence that you can use for the next two weeks or more because, for many people, you should not go out and shop for anything.  Here is a list to consider for items to stock up:

  • Food
  • Snacks
  • Deserts
  • Water and non alcoholic drinks.  Due to having COVID, I needed to drink water all the time so I was glad that I had stocked up with three boxes of Figi water (24 carton 16.9 fl oz).  I will not drink tap water.
  • Pet food.  One option for you to consider if you can not get out to buy animal food is to oder from Chewey.  Their order and delivery service is fast.
  • Animal litter along with animal litter disposable bags.
  • Laundry cleaning items such as soap, conditioner and fabric softener.
  • Covid test kits.
  • Covid medication. (Even though I had COVID, my doctor said it was ok to travel to the hospital pharmacy and pick up COVID medication. I just had to be sure to wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from every person.)

Summary:  I personally am quite upset with the group of women who decided to go on vacation right before Christmas.  Tomorrow, the time I am posting this blog, is Christmas and I will not be celebrating it.  Note that we have two children and they will not celebrate Christmas also because of the mistake the women made in going to Florida Walt Disney World so close to Christmas.


Posted: 12/24/2022

Restaurant Review: Walt Disney World, Orlando, Epcot, Le Cellier

Restaurant Review: Walt Disney World, Orlando, Epcot, Le Cellier

Restaurant Name: Le Cellier
Location: Walt Disney World, Epcot, Orlando, Florida
Web site:
This is an extremely popular restaurant.  Prior reservations are required about 180 days before you want to dine but check with the restaurant as to their current policy as it may change.  There is also a cancellation fee charged to your credit card.
We attended January 11, 2012.

  • Ambiance is nice, nothing special.  If you are looking for a romantic evening with your date, this is not the place.
  • The seating is a bit cramped everywhere we looked.  This is where individuals come to eat excellent food and do not mind the close spaced tables.
  • The service is very good. The serving staff typically are exchange students that come for one year, only, to Disney World for work.  Our server was intelligent, articulate and accurate and had a most pleasant personality.
  • Bread supplied to the table was very good and plentiful.  My son does not like cold butter served with his bread and the butter that came with the bread was soft and mixed with maple syrup.
  • Speed for food arrival, as you would expect, is not quick.
  • The Canadian cheddar cheese soup was excellent.  We recommend it highly.  They even used Moosehead Beer in making the soup.  Cost was $9.00
  • The Canadian “Prime” New York Strip was a 12-oz cut with Gruyere-Yukon gold potato Gratin, wilted spinach and vin rouge reduction for $42.  It had an incredible taste, tender and perfectly cooked.  We recommend this dish.  The steak was huge, the wilted spinach was applied like a garnish and the potatoes were a reasonable size.  The potatoes were rather good flavor and the spinach was a bit better.
  • For desert, we chose the maple creme brûlée for $8 and the apple tart.  The creme brûlée was very good.  It had a perfect crusty top, soft center, rich flavor, and a hint of maple.  The apple tart was the recommendation of our server, Colin, and was nice.
  • Our bill for four people came to over three hundred dollars.(with tip).  This is a signature dining restaurant which translates into paying lots of money for excellent food.

We recommend this restaurant for food and service but it may be a wallet buster.

Le Cellier Restaurant, Walt Disney World, Epcot.
Entrance to Le Cellier
Looking For The Black Cat (Christmas 2011)

Looking For The Black Cat (Christmas 2011)

A very impressive Walt Disney World, Orlando Christmas celebration activity is viewing a most impressive light and sound presentation in Hollywood Studios area called the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. The story is that the Osborne family decorated their home with lights, the display growing each year. Finally the display got so big, and the traffic driving by got so bad and the neighbors complained so much that Jennings Osborne, the patriarch of the family, donated the whole display to Walt Disney World.

At Disney World the display is shown on the Avenue of the Americas, a movie set of streets from New York, San Francisco and the imagination. The entire surface of each building is covered with lights, and the Osborne family pieces are added. But the lights don’t just look nice. They are coordinated with music, mostly some Christmas carols, but most dramatically with some pieces by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The lights go on and off and form patterns in time to the music. And there is fake snow blowing down at times.

A little known aspect of this show is trying to find the black cat.  (The black cat when viewed is actually purple).  It seems that when the lights were shipped to the park, a Halloween decoration, a black cat, was included by error.  The Disney people, sometimes known for adding hidden objects (like Mickey), decided to have some fun and include the black cat to the light presentation.  Finding the black cat each year has become an interesting aspect of this light show.

Closeup of Black (purple) Cat in alleyway.
Black Cat hidden location
Information and partial article writing provided by J. Edwards
Zanzibar Café, Pacific Beach part of San Diego

Zanzibar Café, Pacific Beach part of San Diego

Zanzibar Café

Pacific Beach of San Diego
976 Garnet Ave.
San Diego, Calif.  92109
Phone: 858-272-4726
Web site:

Reviewed 8-6-08 for breakfast.

Food: A
Menu: B+
Service: self serve
Ambiance: C+
Restrooms: C

This restaurant is for breakfast and lunch only.

The menu costs range for breakfast of between $2.25 for a toasted bagel with plain cream cheese and $9.95 for egg specialties.
The menu ranges in cost between  $3.50 and $9.95 for lunch.

My wife thought the inside of the restaurant looked to be old town.  The ceilings were high with exposed beams, old looking inside and out.  There is very interesting artwork on the walls.   You walk inside the restaurant to the counter cash registers (left one for take out orders only), and place your order.  You are given a number to place on the table you sit at so the servers can deliver your food correctly.

Reviewing any restaurant for breakfast is difficult because the preparation of the meals is no challenge, in my opinion.  The items we ordered were too simple to list here.  What did impress me was the claim that this restaurant tried to promote is they “serve only the highest quality food and beverages available” and it seemed this was the case.  There were two problems I spotted.  As I ordered our meals at the cash register I noticed flies in the kitchen and one fly landing on what appeared to be toast lying on a kitchen table.  When we sat to eat I noticed flies in the dining room.  The doors were left open with no overhead air blast fans to keep flies out.  The second problem was a plumbing problem in the men’s room.  The urinal did not flush, could not flush.

The only parking we spotted was along the streets.  During the week, we found plenty of parking spots near this restaurant.

Vitamix Vita-Prep Blender Web Site Allegidly Misleading

Vitamix Vita-Prep Blender Web Site Allegidly Misleading

Our old blender failed and I took a lot of time to research buying a really good blender.  The choices I came up with were Blendtec and Vitamix.  It looked like it would cost me about $400 for either.  The reviews for both were excellent and came in as being pretty close and choosing one over the other seemed pointless.   I finally settled upon the Vitamix because it offered the Eastman Tritan copolyester container that reputes to have no BPA (a possible contaminate).  I wanted the 5200 model but the manufacturer has the priced locked; dealers can not cut the price.  I found a local vendor that would sell me a Vita-Prep model and he was willing to switch out the container so it would be BPA free.  He would decrease the price for me to get the sale.  he even threw in a $17 Vitamix cook book.  The Vita-Prep only came with a 3 year warranted while the 5200 had a 7 year warranted.  I was told that the Vita-Prep was a professional unit, better than the 5200.  I went to Vitamix web site and it appeared to me that the motor was 3 peak horse power, one more hp than the 5200.  The Blendtec has a 3 hp motor.  I purchased the product and when I got it home I found that the amperage was 11 instead of 12.5.  The Vita-Prep model I had was a 2 hp model.  I went to the web site and found in small print the words “Vita-Prep 3”.  The web page had the title of “Vita Prep” in big letters.  The web site menu system ONLY showed the Vita-Prep web page I looked at to make my decision, which, if you looked closely was a Vita-Prep 3 unit.  My blender was shipped August 20th from the factory and the day I purchased it was September 5th, same year. The web site only showed one Vita-Prep, gave it a more powerful motor and in small print added a “3” which I missed.  My point is that my model was purchased within days of my viewing the Vitamix web site and the model I thought I was looking at on their web site did NOT show any other model.  How am I to know that I was to recive a completely different model?  I tried to find my model on the Vitamix web site but could not!  This seems close to bait and switch or misleading advertising or some other alleged unethical activity.

Starring Roles Bakery – MGM Studios – Walt Disney World

Starring Roles Bakery – MGM Studios – Walt Disney World

Starring Roles Bakery – MGM Studios – Walt Disney World

This bakery is located right next to the Brown Derby Restaurant in the MGM Studios. There is no indoor seating, but there are several tables with umbrellas on the patio just outside the bakery. The tables have a good view of the action on one of the busiest corners of the MGM Studio and are great for people watching and taking a break.

I love this place. It’s great for a (relatively) inexpensive breakfast or a coffee break later in the day. It only stays open until about 3 in the afternoon (depending on the season) so check the hours posted by the patio.

Inside the bakery, one can get coffee drinks, soft drinks, hot chocolate and an assortment of pastries. To my regret they no longer seem to carry the yummy grapefruit cake (which is available next door at the Brown Derby restaurant). For breakfast fare the bakery offers several kinds of bottled juices, assorted muffins, bagels, etc.

My personal favorite is the bagel, cream cheese and salmon plate. The salmon comes either “pastramied” or smoked (i.e. lox). The plate also comes with capers and a HUGE portion of cream cheese. If you order a bagel and cream cheese alone, you don’t get nearly as much cream cheese. You can feed the bagel through the toaster device on the counter if you prefer it toasted.

The condiment bar is well stocked with napkins, cream and that sort of thing. The silverware, although plastic, is quite sturdy for spreading the cream cheese. Every time I’ve been there, there are also plenty of staff there sweeping up and keeping the area very clean.

This place is highly recommended by me. Don’t take all the lox. Thank you.