Category: Grande Vista

Spring Escape Pt 4: Best and Worst of Grande Vista

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By , April 21, 2010 11:47 am

Pt 4: Best and Worst of Grande Vista

Wednesday, April 21

The first unplanned day for us brings a little bubbling of bodily discontent. I woke up in the middle of the night with some sort of gurgling. I’ll spare you the gory details but suffice to say my insides were not happy. Seems GM has been going through the same the last day or so. I’m thinking he passed it along to me.

No worries. I’m getting to know my shower well enough to tame the water monster. We have meds in our collection for such emergencies (traveling with a pharmacist pays) and we don’t have any set place to go today.

While I was tending myself this morning (meds do knock you out a bit), GM indulged himself at the pool. Last week’s trip to the hospital (i.e. the surprise angiogram) left him with a collagen plug in his thigh so his restriction is no “inside the pool” for another week. He was good about it. Just got his feet wet, he said. Yeah… right. You can tell he’s like a little kid itching to bellyflop. The restriction will be up next week when we get to Bay Lake. That is unless he sneaks off when I’m not looking.

(Works for me since the pools at Disney are so much more accessible. But GM hates it. Spending all day at the pool is a frequent past argument we’ve had here. Back before there was a DVC in the collection and we were stuck offsite with one car and two different itineraries.)

When GM returned from a morning at the pool he was wiped. Silly man neglected to eat before he left. My insides were behaving well enough I wanted some food. So we pulled together a light breakfast on the balcony (his balcony this time).

The space is huge. Room enough for a big round table and 4 chairs. The location however is directly next to the main pool walkway. As I was setting the table a gentlemen walked up and stood there watching me. Good thing I was dressed in my day clothes. Yikes! We had a pleasant little conversation about the weather before I excused myself to go back inside for the drinks.

Breakfast consisted of cereal, sausage, orange juice, coffee (for GM) and assorted melon slices. Despite the walkway we were tucked away a bit, hidden behind tall leafy trees. Through the cracks you could see the sun shining on the pool. Kids screamed (as they always do in a pool for some bizarre reason) and music played (combination of reggae, Caribbean and generic summer oldies).

While we ate a couple maintenance workers happened over to examine a leak over the walkway (apparently from an AC unit above). Now while I can’t really tell you who works the Front Desk or Marketplace areas of Grande Vista, we have gotten to know the Maintenance workers. All very friendly fellows who are seen zipping about the place on golf carts fixing things. This fellow (Linasha) had come over yesterday morning when GM thought he’d blown out the microwave nuking coffee. (He tripped a circuit breaker.) When we left for the park yesterday, Linasha had seen me going out to get in the van. The setup of my tricked out van was quite a spectacle for him (press a button and door slides open, ramp deploys, press another button and the engine starts, gears shift, etc.) so I gave him the 5 minute tour.

Linasha stayed to visit for a little as we finished our meal. Anything we needed or wanted, he asked us to please remember to call him. Nice touch Marriott. GM joked the only thing he wished for was a silencer on the pool gate. The gate is right outside his bedroom window. Every time someone walks through it they let is slam closed behind them.

Breakfast (which was really lunch) turned into a little time on the computer and kicking around ideas for today. No parks, I ask. My stomach just can’t take it. Perhaps a trip to City Walk for dinner? We haven’t been there for ages. Again my insides protested. Ok, how about the movies? I have my AMC movie card. Look up the schedule and there are three possible 3D movies at DTD. Ok, we’ll do that. And what do we do this afternoon?

We settled on a nice long ride around the resort. GM in his scooter, me in my powerchair, exploring every little nook and cranny of Grande Vista. I made one last trip to the rest room to prepare myself (took a little more medicine, but not the drowsy kind) and popped on my headphones.

I guess you can say I was a little bit of a devil. I cranked up the volume on my headphones so loud I couldn’t hear any pool music, screaming kids or even GM’s rambling tour guide schpeil. He took point and I just followed him about the place.

We checked out the BBQ pit across the street. Then the little lake the Front Desk called our “lake view” (i.e. more a drainage ditch). GM found lots of dead ends on the sidewalk and doubled us back again. He debated which buildings we stayed in by the golf course, which ones by the pool, which one when the kids pulled the fire alarm at 1am. I didn’t really care. The sun was warm, a cool breeze was in the air, my seat comfy, my body behaving and Princess & the Frog music played in my ears.

Now I did find my favorite part of the resort. That’s the newer section by the Copa Loco Bar. We stayed there only once, in a spacious 3 bedroom villa overlooking the lake. That’s the building I wanted to be in this trip. There’s a big pool with a water play area, zero entry and full pool bar & grill. But the biggest feature to me is the long winding walkways along the lake with cubby holes dotting the path and swinging benches to sit and while the afternoon. Across the lake you can see the resort’s main buildings, Lighthouse (now an ice cream shop), a bit of the golf course and marina (where you can rent paddle boats and kayaks).

We walked down the lakefront, over the long connecting bridge with scenic views of the lighthouse and into the Marketplace. GM was eyeing the ice cream, while I stuck to simple food. There’s a Pizza Hut eatery on this side of the lake. Offers your usual fare of pizza, flatbread, salads and some nice Italian dinner platters. But if you want a better food selection (real lunch sandwiches, frozen drinks, etc.) you’re better off going to Copa Loco. GM savored his vanilla and coffee ice cream cone while I found my chicken tenders merely adequate (SSR’s chicken and chips is my preferred rendition of that delicacy).

By the time we returned to our room is already after 6:30pm. Check the movie times on the computer and we realize we have until 8:30pm to get over to DTD. Our choice for the night was “How to Train a Dragon” in 3D. On the way, GM reminds me it’s Wednesday… free popcorn day at the AMC courtesy of my frequent Movie Watcher card. (We have an AMC in our local mall at home so this card gets a lot of use.)

Before we can leave my neighbor calls to check in from home. We left her in charge of our new kittens while we were away. The kitties are fine. Seems they are having fun chasing each other about. They come running to her when she arrives and she keeps finding their toys in different places. But there are some signs they are pulling at the tablecloth in the patio room. I guess without us around they are a bit like crazy teenagers running wild. Oh well, at least they aren’t hurt or lost. Onto the movies…

As we drive onto I-4, the sky is decorated with one of the most perfect sunsets you ever see. No clouds and a perfectly formed ball of pink touching the horizon somewhere over Disney. The wild storm that blew through last night brought with it a nice tropical High. Tonight turned cooler, but thankfully not a rumble of thunder.
We made it to our movie with plenty of time to spare. As for what we thought of it, I give “How to train a Dragon” a rousing thumbs up. It’s on my “to be bought” DVD list. A fun and somewhat quirky yet predictable adventure story about Vikings and mythical beasts by Dreamworks. My nephews will love it. GM came out saying it was very “loud and violent”, typical old man speak for “I’m cold and getting cranky”.

I still have energy to burn so we take a little ride around West Side, down the street and up the lake front. But it’s getting colder and GM still has his day “where is that hot humid sun” clothes on. I must remember to nag him into wearing long pants at night and bringing a jacket the rest of the trip. A week ago we were dealing with 40-50 degree weather, rain and downright frigid air. Today it was 84 in the day and 71 at night, yet the man acts like it’s the arctic as soon as the sun sets. That, of course, means he’s adjusted to the Florida mindset. (A friend of ours, another Maryland transplant, tells us her daughter puts on gloves and a scarf whenever the temp drops below 70. Seems transplants expect Florida to be 80 degrees all the time.)

Well that’s the day today. It’s after midnight and I’m off to bed. I don’t know what’s up for tomorrow. We have lots of ideas but no firm plan yet. As for doing any work, well there is one thing I probably should do.

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