The original plan for today had been to meet Sharon and Evan at the Polynesian for a 9.50am ADR for breakfast at the Kona Café. This plan was changed last night as we all realised that getting up early after going to bed at 2.00am was probably not the wisest idea.
We eventually drag our bodies out of bed at 9.30am and have a fine breakfast of peanut buttered toast and left over brownie.

The revised plan is now to spend a couple of hours around the pool before going into Epcot this afternoon. Grandma and Susan decide to go to Downtown Disney for a spot of shopping and I ring Sharon and Evan to let them know the plans.

Down at the quiet pool the ladies get out their books. That’s one thing about the Stringer women, they’re always reading. At every spare moment out come the books. I’m surprised that they don’t read when Spaceship Earth stops for 30 seconds to load a wheelchair guest. I shouldn’t be too hard on them, after all reading is educational, although how Knitting Weekly and 101 Things To Do With Cucumber are going to enhance their knowledge of the world is beyond me.

At one point we are all sat on the edge of the pool dangling our feet in the water when Georgia wonders whose sponge is the biggest. You may remember that the sponge is the fatty deposit at the top of the buttocks. It’s decided that Tam’s sponge is the larger and I speculate about what would happen if it acted like a real sponge. Tam would jump in and the pool level would drop by half. She would end up looking like one of those round, bubble like cuddly toys you see in all the Disney shops, The girls call them fatties. We’d have to squeeze her out to return her to normal. Oh well, it seemed funny at the time.

Tam and I go to Spoodles pizza window to get the lunch, which we eat at a table by the pool. At this point the revised plan is revised again. The ladies are wanting a sundae, so we decide to drop in on Beaches ‘n Cream on the way to Epcot.
Another hour or so of relaxing and we go back to the room to shower and change.

Across to Beaches ‘n Cream at 3.30pm where we get a phone call from Sharon to say they are on the way to meet us, so we wait to order until they arrive. We get the Milky Way sundae, which is plenty big enough for the 4 of us; lord knows how people manage a Kitchen Sink.

We all stroll into Epcot and meet Grandma and Susan in Morocco. We are heading to watch the new film in Canada, but get distracted by Off Kilter. Evan, me and Sharon get a Moosehead and we all sit to watch the show. Half way through Sharon attempts to take a photo with one hand while holding her beer in the other, never a good combination and half of its contents end up in her lap. When I show my usual sympathy by laughing, she claims it was a deliberate ploy to inject some humour into the trip report. Yeah, right.

We then split up as Grandma, Susan and Inds go to watch the film in Canada, while the rest of us watch the British Invasion and I introduce Evan to the joys of Guinness.

No time to pose for camera ..... drinking ....

The tour group reform as the ladies return from Canada and India says she isn’t too keen on the new film.

We walk slowly round to Japan where we have an ADR for Teppan Edo at 7.30pm. We are seated swiftly and drinks are ordered. For those who haven’t eaten here, this is a Teppanyaki style restaurant with seating around a semi-circular hot plate. The chef prepares the food in front of you. You have a choice of steak, chicken, shrimp, scallops or a combination. You also get some vegetables.
Part of the enjoyment of this meal is in the food preparation, which is a show unto itself. We all enjoy both the food and the presentation, although Sharon says the steak is a little tough. She should know as she comes from Texas and they are used to exceptionally fine beef. Coming from the UK, anything that is slightly less tough than the bottom of a football boot is considered a luxury.

All the chefs follow pretty much the same script, so I guess there wouldn’t be too much repeat appeal other than for the food, but it’s very entertaining and different from the usual dining experiences around World Showcase. The total bill for the 4 of us including drinks and tips is $170.

At 8.30pm we walk round to Norway to find a space for Reflections of Earth. Unfortunately so have most of the other people left in Epcot this evening. Getting a place on the rail is an impossibility. We retreat to Italy to a reasonable position.
Evan, Grandma and I get a Becks from Germany and we settle in to watch the show. I am very picky about places to watch Reflections of Earth and this rates only average on the viewing front, the main problem being that there are lights that are left on the whole time. Oh well, it’s always a privilege and a pleasure to see such a magnificent display, so we enjoy it anyway.

When it finishes we hang around as usual, talking and waiting to hear the old Tapestry of Nations music. Instead something comes on that sounds like it must have come from High School Musical 7 – Revenge of the Clones. Sharon reckons it’s from a Disney advert. Crikey, are they trying to scare people away?
Just as Tam is about to explode in indignation, the true Tapestry of Nations music starts and all is well with the world again.

Susan now tells us that she has had a bright idea. She thinks we should have a sort of secret Santa where all our names are to be put into a hat and pulled out one at a time. You have to buy a gift costing between $4 and $6 for the person you pull out. Susan calls it our Secret Mad Hatter. Grandma doesn’t hear quite right and asks if we have to buy a gift for $46. I tell her yes, neither $45 nor $47 is good enough; it must be exactly $46. The others soon put her right and the names are put into the hat.
Grandma is the first to pull out having first been told to put it back if it’s her own name.

‘Have you pulled out a name Grandma?’
‘Yes dear’
‘It’s not your name is it Grandma?’
‘No dear’
‘Are you sure?’
‘No dear’
‘You’re sure it’s not your name?’
‘Oh … my name! Yes, it’s my name’

Sigh, it’s going to be a long night.
Eventually we all pull out the names. Now I realise that the secrecy of the whole undertaking is generally implied by the word ‘secret’, but I’ll tell you who I picked out if you’ll keep your mouth shut. It’s Sharon. Now don’t go telling her will you.

A slow walk round to the International Gateway and we say goodnight to Sharon and Evan who start their journey back to the Polynesian.
I expect a few of you know there is a shop by the International Gateway and I also expect a few of you know that my tolerance for shopping isn’t exactly high on my list of attributes. In fact shopping and I get on just about as well as Eldred and Edgar (see, you knew they’d show up again sooner or later).
However, I spot the chance to sort out my Secret Mad Hatter gift with the minimum of fuss and the Stringer Tactical Shopping technique is employed.
Enter shop, scan briefly, pick up item from shelf, purchase said item from the gentleman behind the till. 2 minutes spent, job done. Ok, so feathered Minnie nipple tassels are not to everyone’s taste, but it’s the thought that counts.

We walk back to the Boardwalk and I write up my trip report with Mr Beer for company.
It’s been our first proper evening in Epcot and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Bed at 11.30pm with a contented smile on my face.