Monday, January 18, 2010

Special Day with Friends

Our second full day started out with mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. The National Shrine is located at 8300 Vineland Avenue. It was built to service the large number of Catholic tourists who visit the attractions in the Greater Orlando area. While it is a 2,000 seat church and parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando and provides mass for the faithful, it has also become a regional tourist attraction. In 2009, it was designated as the 63rd minor basilica in the United States.

One of our closest friends, Terry (who was one of the first people I met via Disney), came up from Clearwater to spend the day with us. Since this is to be a relaxing trip, spent time hanging at the house and catching up before heading to Downtown Disney.

While there, we ran into Rich and Pauline, who now live in Orlando and happened to be there meeting a friend of theirs from Chicago. Had a nice lunch at Earl of Sandwich (toss up between the Caribbean Jerk Chicken or the Hawaiian BBQ with the Caribbean Jerk Chicken winning!), caught up with them before heading off for some shopping. Hit all our favorite stores .. The Christmas Store, Art of Disney, Aribbas Brothers and World of Disney.

Before heading to the Polynesian for dinner, Toni & Mary wanted to stop at Trends. Turned out to be a wise decision, as Mary finally got her Dooney & Bourke wristlet! Castmembers were awesome, letting her look at all available and couldn't beat the 20% annual pass discount!

Shopping done for the day, time to head over to the Polynesian for dinner at the Kona Cafe, one of our favorite restaurants on Disney property. Decided for the first time to have a Lapu Lapu, Myers rum and tropical juices served in a pineapple, topped with Bacardi 151 .. why has it taken me SO long to try one of these!! :)

Dinner was a no-brainer for me, as I had the Coconut Almond Chicken, sauteed chicken breast served with Asian greens tossed with a honey-lime dressing, golden pineapple, strawberries and toasted almonds.

Time to get ready to head to the Magic Kingdom. More on a special dessert and the greastest servers we encountered so far this trip in my next entry ....

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