Christmas at Disney’s Yacht Club

We knew we wanted to spend Christmas Day at Disney World (outside the parks for crowd and AP blockout reasons) and have Christmas dinner at one of the restaurants. We couldn’t decide which, though, so we changed our ressies several times. But when we read about the new Ale and Compass at the Yacht Club, we settled on that the day before. And we were so glad we did.

Of course we love the Yacht Club – it is our home resort at WDW ever since our first stay there back in 1999 (the Contemporary was Kathy’s first back in 1982). We were very impressed with Ale and Compass – the decor, the food, and the service.

Christmas Lunch
by Rich

Starter (Shared)
Oven-roasted Oysters
with Spinach and Creamed Kale, White Cheddar, and Cornbread Crumbs

Entree – Kathy
Maine Lobster Roll
with choice House-made Vinegar Chips

Entree – Rich
Open-faced Skirt Steak Sandwich
with Caramelized Onions, Poached Egg, Fennel, Watercress, and Tomato Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette

Wine – Kathy
Domaine Savary Chablis, Burgundy

Wine – Rich
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah, Columbia Valley

The oven-roasted oysters were fabulous, just the right start to the meal. The breading and accompaniments to the oysters were in perfect proportion to the oysters.

Kathy’s lobster roll was wonderful – not over-dressed, just delicious chunks of lobster on a nicely-sized roll. Kathy enjoyed an ideal pairing of hard-to-find Chablis.

Rich’s medium-rare skirt steak was incredible – tender, juicy, and full of flavor. The caramelized onions and truffle vinaigrette were especially nice touches. The Syrah was a splendid pairing, achieving a lovely balance between blackberry fruit and sweet smokiness.

After our meal we walked the Boardwalk, stopping at our usual kissing spot, and popped into the Boardwalk where we were each offered a complimentary peppermint sugar cookie. We continued our walk full circle to the Yacht Club – Rich even skipped his usual Boardwalk skip – and two stools at the Hurricane Hanna pool bar called our names and we each had a Margarita.

We chatted with other guests from St. Augustine, noting that this is the real replacement for the Trout Pass Bar at Wilderness Lodge. It has the same vibe that Geyser Point sadly does not quite have with so many families gathering there.

After our cocktails and conversation (love this about Disney World), we were in search of coffee before we hit the road and ended up at Beaches and Cream where Rich got us two coffees and two ice cream sandwiches (huge but yummy – lol) while Kathy grabbed us a table overlooking Stormalong Bay.

We stopped in at the gift shop where Yacht Club coffee cups captured our attention, made our purchases and then we drive back to the beach.

It was a gorgeous day out – low 70s compared to mid 50s at the beach. What an awesomely perfect Christmas! Disney for the day was even better being able to return to our new home at the beach.

Catching up with Central Florida Weekend, Day 2: Port Canaveral/Cocoa Beach/Disney Cruise Ship

We woke up this morning and thought, “Hey, let’s go to Cocoa Beach.” Imagine that – waking up and saying that. Much harder to do in Vegas. 🙂

But first we wanted to stop by that new housing community we’d had our eyes on – the one with the rental we almost got but somebody got there first. Later I thought, “Hey, we’d rather buy one of these than rent one – we should look into it.”

Lots for the next phase should be available in August or so and then time for building. This might work out but we’re going to see what else is out there, too.

After our tour, we headed toward Port Canaveral. And, yes, a Disney ship was in port. Woo hoo! We remembered a seafood restaurant we’d gone with Brother Bob during the 2010 Food & Wine Festival trip but we couldn’t remember the name. So I searched on our web site and, sure enough, found the name. We did the voice GPS thingie and “she” found it.

Outside seating was full and we were starving so we were happy to be seated by the window. We ordered drinks – this time I got the Margarita (one of the most amazing ever!) and Rich got some sort of Rum, Vodka Fruity thingie. He was quite happy with it.

We looked at the menu and I wanted the tacos, which came in 3s, but I only wanted 2 so we solved that problem when Rich ordered the tacos, too, and ate the extra one. They were quite scrumptious, but, for me, the real star was that Margarita. After lunch, we walked around and soaked up the atmosphere, views of the Disney cruise ship, dolphins, and pelicans. And then drove to Cocoa Beach for a brief stop on the beach. Can’t do it all at once – lol!

I can see from the photos that this is when Rich flashed his “happy, happy” smile – it was so worth all the trouble to get here.

I could do this every Saturday. I’m sure Rich could, too.

Living on Redwood Shores in the San Francisco Bay when we were newlyweds, we were surrounded by Pelicans – how we have missed our little friends!

Preview Video here.