January 29, 2014
Miles walked: 5.18
Pins traded for: 2
Today started out looking pretty dismal: thanks to work actually expecting me to work (weird?), I never once left the hotel room until “5:00” (read: 4:15, but fuck it).My Mother also freed herself from work obligations about then, and despite the rain and 43 degree temperature (WTF, “Florida”?!?!), we headed for a quick jaunt into the Magic Kingdom before our 7:50PM ADR at my personal temptress, the Yachtsman.
(Wait, if the Yachtsman is a man, then would the correct term be “tempter”? “Tempterer”? “Lead role in fantasy where I whisper sweet nothings into the ears of steaks, realize they have no ears, and then eat everything in sight while moaning erotically”? Whichever.)
Meanwhile, back at the Magic Kingdom and meat-free for the moment, I looked at my watch (not my MagicBand, as that does not tell time, no matter how often you glance at it expecting to see otherwise) and saw the hour turn to 5:00PM: I was officially on vacation!!!!! This was a cause worthy of celebration and running through the streets with joy!
And running through the Magic Kingdom I could’ve. You know what a Thursday in January with an EasyWDW.com crowd calendar rating of 1, combined with rain and 43 degree weather results in? A most wonderfully deserted theme park. We used our FP+ for Space Mountain, and then walked right on to Buzz Lightyear, Pooh, It’s a Small World, and Pirates – mix in our other two FP+ for Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan, and we’d hit up almost all of my favourite attractions in less than 1.5 hours.We would’ve done even more, but it was time to head back to the buses in order to have enough time to shed our soaking wet clothes (and that was with both ponchos and an umbrella, thank you very much) and get into something more appropriate for dinner.
I was trying to argue that we were allotting way too much time to Waiting For A Bus and should instead exit slowly through the Emporium to pin trade (do you know how hard it is to stalk outdoor CMs for pin trading purposes when they’re wearing coats?! It’s like they care more about their own comfort than my ability pillage their pins. Inexcusable), but I was overruled.
And wouldn’t you know it, we stood in the cold for a good 30 minutes waiting for a bus to the Boardwalk. Hell, we saw four buses come and go for the All Stars in the time it took one bus to arrive for us. Is that any way to treat Deluxe guests?! I’m composing my indignant, rage-filled entitlement letter to management right now.
Some longer-than-anticipated period of time later, we finally arrived back at the hotel with barely enough time to find dry clothes, let alone take a whack at blow-drying. And, as I don’t associate 43 degree weather with “Florida,” the outfit I had packed for this dinner was a short, sleeveless dress and jellies. I’d say “FML,” but I was about to be eating at the Yachtsman, so I’m assuming that I don’t deserve all that much sympathy here? Maybe?
We took off on foot to speedwalk our way to the Yachtsman in order to meet up with my aunt and eight other coworkers of hers and my mother’s. In exchange for the use of my Tables in Wonderland discount, I was getting a free meal expensed to their company. (I feel your well of sympathy starting to reach drought status.)
Meanwhile, my aunt and the others had never been to the Yachtsman before, so part of my day stuck in the hotel, between work nags, was spent on hand-drawing maps of Crescent Lake and the Yacht Club Resort (incidentally, this was the exact same thing My Mother was doing at the convention — though she had the assistance of a white board for her renderings). Given no other aid in finding the restaurant, it was a real toss up of whether or not my aunt and crew would even be there when we arrived, five minutes late.
Huzzah! They had made it and checked us in! All present and accounted for for our 7:50 ADR. What’s this? Oh, they’re not entirely ready for us? No problem – I enjoy drinking at Crew’s Cup. And so we headed there, me and a bunch of Frenchmen, because that’s how I roll. No, really – half of our party were dudes from the company’s French office. Because that’s how they roll.
There was a bit of a language barrier; “Tables in Wonderland discount” and “Annual Passholder” weren’t translating all that easily. Each time I asked if they understood, my favourite and Frenchiest of the bunch, Francois, would reply, “yes.” After awhile, the one who spoke the best English finally confessed that Francois did not understand and is just going to reply “yes” to anything I said. Give me another Manhattan, rewind the clock to 2007, and I’d be breaking out the only French I know: “Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”
Luckily for My Mother’s ability to show her face at work the next day, it was 2014, and I’m a spoken-for lady.
Well, at least two out of three of those descriptors are true.
Interestingly, the Frenchmen were in utter disbelief that I didn’t speak French. I’m not sure why they’d assume that all Americans spoke French as a second language, but they did. So much so that they started speaking to me in French, assuming I’d know what they were saying because I’d clearly been playing a practical joke on them this entire time by “pretending” not to understand them. Silly Frenchies.
After one round of drinks, still wet and cold and at this point ravenously hungry, I went to check on the progress with the ADR. Nope, still waiting. Time for round two. And then another check on the progress. Still not ready. At this point, we’d been waiting over an hour. Luckily, we had in our party a man far more assertive than myself. He ascertained that there was, indeed, a screw-up with our ADR, and he made sure to speak to someone in charge. We were eventually seated at about 9:30 and told that dessert was on the house.
NOW LET THE FEEDING FRENZY BEGIN.
For reasons that I don’t entirely remember (perhaps because by that time I was already on my third cocktail and a severely empty stomach or because this was five months ago now and I didn’t take very good notes), we didn’t seem to get appetizers until 10:07PM. Hell, the bread service didn’t even appear on our table until 9:50. By now, the offer for free desserts would’ve probably best been altered to “free breakfast,” as that would be more in line with the timing of events thus far.
All I have to say is, crazily enough… it was all worth the wait. Holy. Fuck.I mean, first of all, when the bread (which was apparently baked just for us, at least I’m assuming so based on how long it took to arrive) is served with roasted garlic on the side… I give in. You win. I’ll do whatever you want. You own me. And then there was my charcuterie board that had me high-fiving each individual piece of meat before I ate them because I wanted to properly celebrate their awesomeness.
Sadly, I don’t think My Mother was having quite the same bromance with her meal, but that’s probably because she doesn’t eat red meat. I would assume, if any place were going to turn a (semi-)vegetarian into a meat lover, the Yachtsman would have that power. But alas, My Mother was not looking to find Meat Jesus that night, and instead asked the chef what he could whip up for a vegetarian (he was already at our table to talk to a gluten-phobic member of our party). I guess he missed the memo that she also loves seafood and chicken, because they next thing you know, she’s being served what’s probably the world’s most expensive pasta dish with steamed vegetables. I guess the chef is a one trick meat-centric pony?
Regardless, my ribeye was to die for. Perfectly cooked (nice and rare!), juicy, full of flavor. Then again, it’s hard to go wrong with any dish that comes with a side of bone marrow. And bleu cheese butter?! Throw some bacon on that shit, and you’ve got heaven (or a heart attack. But that could lead to heaven, depending on your religious beliefs?). I had been tempted to order the 28oz porterhouse, but I wimped out. Also, it didn’t come with marrow. However, the skinniest dude at our table did order it, and he practically licked the bone clean. It’s always the ones you least expect…
Meanwhile, I may have gotten a smidge carried away with the bread, garlic, the dude next to me’s truffle fries, and my charcuterie, because there was no way I was finishing my meal. Or touching that “free” pumpkin cheesecake that somehow made its way in front of me somewhere around the near-witching hour of 11 o’clock. No matter – that’s what mini-fridges are for! And as you know if you’ve been following our journey from the beginning, we most certainly needed more food in our room.*
*This is blatant sarcasm. Just thought I’d help you out in case you weren’t keeping up.I had been curious all along to see what a tab for a party of 11 at the Yachtsman plus cocktails and non-shitty wine choices would come to, but when we finally got the bill at 11:30PM, I was way too
The healthiest course of action right about now would’ve been to roll one’s self home and pass the eff out, but oh no. We had obligations elsewhere. My mother and aunt’s boss was expecting the group to join him at Kimono’s for karaoke and drinks. “More drinks?!” Yes, more drinks. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could fit the sheer volume of liquid inside of me at this point, but I was peer pressured to give it a go.
I ended up with a cocktail that boasted lemon-infused ice. While I envisioned ice cubes delicately concocted of lemon juice, what I ended up with was a high ball glass (and teeth) full of lemon zest as my drink melted. It felt like I had just eaten corn on the cob, but with better breath afterward. Good concept; poorly executed.
After a few painful renditions of European tourists butchering Disney classics, I tried to call it a night, but I was talked into staying a bit longer because one of the coworkers was to be going up to the mic next. Well, I’m glad I stuck around. Why? Because dude was a former professional opera singer. Nothing seems to command the attention of a bunch of drunk convention-goes like someone not assaulting your eardrums with their take on “Piano Man.”
However, even melodic genius couldn’t keep me awake, so around 1:30AM after song #3, I bid my adieu to everyone and the French and hoofed it back to the Boardwalk alone with my doggie bag of steak, cheesecake, and half bottle of merlot. My Mother stayed out for another round; she’s far cooler than I am.
I believe when she ultimately returned, I was found asleep on the pull out couch, cuddling a now empty bottle of wine. I may not be cool, but I do know how to warm up.