Friday morning was again–HOT. Wowza hot. So we decided we wouldn’t head to EPCOT until about 4, if not later, to try to avoid becoming grilled tourists on stick. 🙂 We started our day with a quick trip to the Boardwalk for pin trading (that’s me) and potential souvenir shopping (that’s Dad). Iin succeed in my mission and we headed to the pool, where we spent a few blissful hours, with lunch at Hurricane Hannah’s in between (and in which I tried to explain to Dad the Disney Dining Plan, and watched a two year old boy become OUTRAGED that a bird STOLE HIS FRENCH FRY. It was super cute).
After lunch, we went up to the room around 2 PM, when it was too hot to even be in the pool. At that time, there was a pool-side magic show/games going on for the small fry in the sand-bottomed pool. The kids seemed really into this, and the man leading it was very funny. Water races and pool rings were involved.
Up in our room we took a nap–well, OK, I took a nap, Dad messed around on the computer (Some of it was legit work, some of it was hockey stuff, which is in its own way legit!). Around 4 we headed for Epcot, this time starting in France and working our way toward Italy, where we had reservations at Via Napoli, which is Dad’s favorite WDW eatery.
In the Japanese pavilion, we went through the department store, and watched a very enthusiastic Japanese cast member fish oysters out of an aquarium, pry them open, and reveal and polish the pearl within. Customers could then have the pearl set in a jewelry setting. ( I think. We weren’t quite sure how it works, but Japanese drums and lots of exclamations were involved.)
The French pavilion is generally considered the best, but I say the Italian one is an extremely close second, and maybe even tied with France, for sheer gorgeousness. It’s modeled after St. Mark’s Square, and has gorgeous theming, details, and architecture. (And, you know, food. Italians do food well.)
A few samples:
So we sat on the piazza (being very true to our roots) until about 6, when Dad went to check on our reservation status and see if we could get into the restaurant early. Voila, we could!
Via Napoli is mostly a pizza place, in the true Neopolitan Tradition, which they take extremely seriously. I’m not kidding. They import the flour, the cheese, and even the water to give you the closest thing to true Neopolitan pie without being in Naples. (The ovens are also from Naples, bien sur, and are named after Italy’s three volcanoes. Here’s a pic of two of them:
*Yeah, it’s dark, sorry.
They’re named Stromboli, Vesuvius, and Etna.
Anyway, so I had to have the pizza. I chose the quattro formaggi and Dad chose the spaghetti and meatballs (polpetti, in Italian). For a starter, we had lightly deep fried vegetables (asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.) with spicy marinara dipping sauce.
There are no pics of the food, because we ate it all. It was so amazing. Sometimes white pizza can be bland, but not this white pizza. The four different kinds of cheese provided a multitude of tastes, so you never got bored with eating it. Dad had a bit and liked it, but probably not as much as his meal. For dessert, we both had gelati. Oh my goodness.
Next to us were two hockey fans (dad was wearing a Penguins polo shirt), so there was hockey talk–the man was from Boston and a chef/IT guy, and his girlfriend was from New Hampshire, and a Penguins fan. (The man was a Bruins fan, natch) So much joyful talk began, since there had been big moves in Penguin world that day (new GM, etc.–I’ll spare you the details.) It was an excellent way to end the meal.
After Via Napoli, we took a few more pictures, bought some torrone (Dad) and a t-shirt (me) at the Italia shop, and headed back to the room to pack, sadly.