We met up with everyone around the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at Cinderella’s castle before heading over to Space Mountain to ride the famous indoor roller coaster. Ordinarily, roller coasters aren’t my thing, but just like the Everest Expedition (the Animal Kingdom equivalent to Disneyland’s Matterhorn), I have to say I really enjoyed it. It took over an hour to get through the line but it was great because we got to hang out and talk, which was a welcome respite from the umpteen miles of walking we had done all day.
Karen caught me up on her MBA program (they are working through bond valuation and dividend discount models) and Blake explained his R&D work on gas turbines for an engineering conglomerate. (Interesting – here you have Ian, a nuclear engineer at a plant on the East Coast, Blake, working on gas turbine technology in the South, and then Aaron and me, who focus our energy exposure through our securities positions in hydrocarbon and wind from the Midwest. In terms of energy policy, we pretty much had the bases covered. Though, to be fair, I have negligible exposure to oil at this point because I sold off nearly all of our Exxon Mobil a few months ago when the stock was in the upper $80’s per share, though I do still have a tiny derivatives position on British Petroleum that amounts to nothing more than an interesting speculation).
At one point we were talking about my career and how it’s difficult to describe to people what we do so our title is just “investor” – I mean, we don’t have a job, we just sit in a room and try to find intelligent things to do with our time and money. Ashly said she just tells people we’re in e-commerce since that was our first business years ago and it seems definitive whereas “investor” is open-ended and leads to more question (“what kind of investor?” “does he run a fund?” “do they think we should buy [insert stock name here]?”, etc.).
It is hard for a lot of people to grasp because they want nice, clean boxes. Maybe we should just call ourselves professional opportunists and capital allocators. It’s just who we are. At one point, Aaron and I fell behind the group at the park and began talking about the potential advantages and disadvantages of becoming an official Disney contract manufacturer for licensed and branded apparel. The family does, after all, own an embroidery factory. We can’t help but think about this stuff. Anyway, I digress … (see? can’t help it …)
Tonight, the six of us are having dinner at The California Grill, which is reportedly one of the best restaurants in the Walt Disney World resort and in Florida. The reviews are very good and I’m excited about getting a chance to try it thanks to Ashly and Ian’s well-organized pre-planning skills.
Appetizers at The California Grill in Orlando
Entrees at The California Grill in Orlando
Dessert at The California Grill in Orlando
Review and Value for the Money
To keep it consistent with our earlier review and make the comparison of value-for-money easier, we’re going to look at the four regular diners in our dinner group. The total for the four came to roughly $375.00 (of which $315.00 was food and $60.00 was tip). Given the view overlooking the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, the experience, and the food, I would absolutely say The California Grill in Orlando was worth every penny. There is no question that the next time I’m back visiting or on business, I will make a point to eat at the restaurant, even if it means going out of my way. Yes, yes, yes. Do it. Book a reservation. Go. Now.