As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
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I forgot to say that Strasbourg does have some beautiful areas around the Rhine. Lots of canals and inlets and quaint sections, and the cathedral is amazing. It's a very large city, though, and I agree that the modern section you were driving through (which I don't remember at all-- probably all built since I was there!) looks pretty uninspiring.
I'm sure it probably does. I doubt we'll go back there, as I know Mark isn't keen on the city - something to do with its close links to the European Union.
Saturday 7 September – part five: Disney should adopt this!
We set out again, and we were soon passing through Luxembourg. Now this is where it gets confusing. The country is called Luxembourg, and so is its capital city, so it was the capital city we were passing through. It was tough to get photos with the rain, although I tried my best…
Soon we were coming out of the city, and entering first a tunnel…
… then climbing up a hill.
We started to see signs for the DoubleTree where we were staying, and my goodness, it’s a huge place!
I headed inside to check in, and we got free chocolate cookies which I thought was a nice touch. Even better, they were still warm. The woman on reception asked if I had a preference for a floor, and I said just a nice room would be great, so she told me she was giving me one of the nicest rooms – that works!
We parked up, and headed up to the 19th floor, which was the top floor, although bizarrely, the lift first turfed us off at the 15th floor, which was a bit peculiar. Finally, we made it, and wow what a great room we had!
The view wasn’t much to look at, but it didn’t matter.
The first thing Mark did was grab a shower to clean up after his close encounter with Erma earlier and I decided to get one as well. I’d had two insect bites come up, one on each arm, which was really annoying, as I’d put insect repellent on both arms, so obviously that hadn’t worked. Even worse, I also now had an additional three bites up my right leg. Great!
We headed down to dinner at around 6:30pm, and my goodness, a different scene greeted us in the lobby – it was packed out, as a coach had just disgorged its contents. I wouldn’t mind, but they were all lining up for the elevators, although lining up is being too polite. They were all over the corridor, and you couldn’t get past them.
We checked in at the podium (as most people do… this will become important later on… ) and were taken to our table.
We were amazed at what the menu came on – how neat is this? Mark said that Disney should adopt this, and I think he’s right.
We both went for this for appetizer:
Mark absolutely loved it, but it’s interesting how tastes differ. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. The horseradish cream was too hot for me, although Mark tried to convince me it was mild (it wasn’t to me! ), and I found the onions in the tartare a little too much for me.
And here’s what I got for entrée:
Oh wow, this really was heaven on a plate! I really could not fault this at all. Every bite was superb, as shown by how quickly I managed to demolish it!
Mark had this:
… and he seemed to enjoy it. He kept saying this was his revenge on poor Erma. I kept telling him that she didn’t mean to redecorate his shoes… and the bottom of his jeans….
For dessert, we both went for this:
It’s the first time I’ve tried crème brulee since the wonderful café Hazel took us to back in June, but this was a pretty good one. It wasn’t quite up to the standard of the one we had then, but it did come close.
Now earlier, I mentioned about checking in at the podium. The tour group who were blocking the way when we came downstairs started to arrive in dribs and drabs for dinner, and without fail, every single group just walked in, and took a table, without stopping at the podium. The serving staff were obviously getting very frustrated with them, as they’d come out with a dish, and see someone sitting where they didn’t expect them to be, and they’d then be asked for a menu. In one case, they had to ask a group to move, as they’d managed to sit in the area reserved for those just having drinks. Well, if you don’t check in, that’s what happens to you…
The service here was very good, and thankfully a lot faster than we’d experienced throughout our time in Switzerland. As Mark said, this is how our meal in Montreux should have been, and he’s right. It wasn’t cheap, being hotel food (it came in at €135 or $180), but it was excellent quality, and just what we wanted.
The Green Restaurant
Appetizer 8½ 9½
Entrée 10 9
Dessert 9 9
Service 9 9
Atmosphere 9 9
Value for money 8 8½
Average score: 8.96
With that, we headed back to the room, still early enough to enjoy the kick off show for Strictly Come Dancing (the original that Dancing with the Stars came from… ) Hard to believe that tomorrow this trip would be over…
The weather today was hot and sunny in Switzerland with temperatures in the high 70s, then cloudy and finally raining with temperatures in the low 60s in Luxembourg. The best thing today was cow trekking! The worst thing today was Mark getting pooped on…. The funniest thing today was (you know what’s coming here…) Mark getting pooped on! Today we tried cow trekking And the result was it was a lot of fun, although I’m glad we stuck with walking, rather than riding, as I felt a bit precarious on Erma… The most magical moment today was meeting Erma and Padrone for the first time.
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I can't wait to see more of your exploration of Luxembourg tomorrow. It looks like a photogenic city.
That was a large chunk of meat for Mark! Did he eat the whole thing? Glad you enjoyed your dinner, despite the tour bus folks.
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Warm cookies at check-in is my favorite thing about Doubletree hotels!!
Agree with the worst, and funniest, moments!
Wonder where that bus tour was from, as they sound like a bunch of completely clueless (and rude) people!
Beautiful resort room! Dinner looked wonderful and I love those menus with the visuals as well as the name of what is offered. I don't know if I could have waited as long as Mark did to freshen up after Erma's little present.
Sunday 8 September – part one: how busy would the breakfast buffet be?
There was good news, and bad news on the insect bite front this morning. The good news was that there weren’t any additional ones. The bad news was that whatever bit me is the same as whatever gets me in Florida, as the bites had all nicely swollen up to become about an inch across and bright red. Deep joy!
We got a shock when we looked out of the window to see what the weather was like this morning. Mark told me there’d been a thunderstorm in the night, and this was the scene that greeted us…
I’m glad I took some photos of the view yesterday while I had the chance!
We headed down to breakfast with me dreading seeing one of the tour companies swamping the dining room, but either they weren’t up yet, had already eaten or were eating elsewhere, as it was relatively quiet in there. As well as the tour group we’d seen arrive yesterday and who caused chaos in the dining room later, we’d seen another turn up just as we headed back to the room last night, and we also knew the Dutch Under 21 football (soccer) team were staying at the hotel, as apparently they were playing Luxembourg on Monday.
The spread here was excellent….
… and we both found plenty to keep us quiet. I made sure to stuff myself perhaps more than I usually would, given that it’s a Sunday, so we were assuming that everything here would be closed, in line with the rest of Europe…
The reception was quiet enough for once to get some photos
We headed back to the room, and at least the mist had lifted, and the rain had eased, which was promising.
We got everything together for the last time this trip, and headed out. I’d really enjoyed staying at this hotel, and if we come back to Luxembourg, I’d be happy to come here again.
We set out, and I was able to get a few photos as we drove into the city…
We thought we’d found a parking lot in the centre of the city, but despite the fact that it was only just after 9:45am, it was already packed. We eventually found another parking lot underground that didn’t seem to be too badly situated, so in we went, and it was empty in there.
We came out, and immediately we were in the old city of Luxembourg. As you’ll see from the photos as we go, this is very much a city built on different levels, and it must’ve been easy to defend in the past as a result.
We found ourselves in Clairefontaine Square…
… complete with this statue to Grand Duchess Charlotte in the middle. She abdicated in 1964 in favour of her son Jean.
Luxembourg became a Grand Duchy following the Congress of Vienna (remember that from the Swiss National Museum?) It seems like a lot was sorted out at that congress, with Europe pretty much carved up in the wake of Napoleon’s defeat.