Sanaa + Resort-Hopping + Shopping + Meet-and-Greet = a Busy Couple of DaysAugust 12, 2009
After getting settled into our hotel yesterday, my mom and I went to dinner at Sanaa, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village. All I have to say is that it was an amazing start to what I’m sure will be an amazing few months.
This restaurant opened just a couple of months ago, and I’ve been hoping I’d get to eat there at some point ever since I heard about it. Billed as African food with Indian flavors, I don’t see what made the menu “African”. Not that I’m an expert or anyting, last time I had Tandoori Chicken and Curry, it was at an Indian restaurant.
Menu origin aside, we ate the aforementioned Tandoori Chicken and had a bread appetizer. The appetizer came with your choice of three kinds of bread, and three types of sauces. We chose to have Tamarind Chutney, Roasted Red Pepper Hummis, and Mint and Onion Raita. All of these were very good, but especially the hummis. In fact, our only real disappointmentt was the portion size of our entree. My mom and I can share a meal at most restaurants, and have plenty left-over. But last night, even with the bread, there wasn’t enough for two full meals. Although the food was good, what really made this restaurant special was the setting. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining area look out onto a savannah area, filled with giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and antelopes. There’s also a large deck which extends out from the restaurant’s waiting area into the middle of the savannah, giving you a panoramic view of the animals.
Unfortunately, we experienced first hand the only hitch in having live animals at a restaurant: halfway through our meal, a big antelope came right over by our window, raised his tail, and did his business right there as we ate. It was disgusting, but we got such a laugh out of it that it was one of the highlights of the night. Hilarious, but really not the best way to convince people to try the chocolate mousse.
Today, my mom and I slept in, and then went to visit some of the resorts. If you ever find yourself in the Orlando area with nothing to do, I highly recommend this inexpensive method of time-wasting. There are some truly incredible things to see at the Disney resorts. We rested in hammocks on the beach at the Polynesian resort, shopped for hand-made soap in the Grand Floridian, and re-lived Disney vacations past at the All-Star Resorts. And then, this afternoon…IKEA! I really, really love this store. Two and a half hours after entering, I left with a list full of things to come back and buy after I’ve moved into the apartment and can some new purchases into my car. Then we headed down to Downtown Disney to shop and attend the meet-and-greet dinner for tomorrow’s check-in. The dinner was originally supposed to take place at Earl of Sandwich, but more than 60 people decided to attend, so it was moved to the bigger venue of Planet Hollywood. The food here was surprisingly good, and we had a great time cheering when they welcomed us over the loudspeaker, and dancing to the YMCA. In case you didn’t know, college students+food+YMCA=tons of fun. That’s science!
Tomorrow’s the big day: check-in. Tomorrrow I will find out who I’m rooming with, where I’m living, and where I will be working. It will also be the first day I can use my cast member discount, so I see a little shopping in my future. But for now, I’m just going to try to get some sleep–I’m going to need some serious energy tomorrow!