Day #11 - Wet, Wild and Thoroughly Soaked!不

It felt like we were cheating on Mickey today since we ventured out of Disneyworld and headed to Universal's Volcano Bay water park.
James loves water parks and this is the second of our trip so far. The weather was just right for a day of slipping, sliding and soaking ourselves on all the attractions although it could have been a tad sunnier if we were being picky.
Having been immersed in Disney up until now, it was strange to get used to another company's way of doing things. One thing we really liked is that at this park you were give a device to wear on your wrist that allowed you to join queues virtually by tapping on a sensor and then it kept you updated as to when it was your turn to ride. Disney has similar technology through its app and MagicBand system but not virtual queues for everything.
Volcano Bay is centred around, you've guessed it, a huge volcano which rises out of a large wave pool. The reverse side of the volcano houses several rides, snaking in an out of each other.
It was difficult to get many photos of the day because we didn't have our phones with us and also, we didn't want to pay the extra $50 for the on ride photos. So I've cheated and grabbed some of these images off the internet!不
One of our favourite rides was TeAwa - The Fearless River. This was a lazy river ride but rather than riding it on an inner tube, you donned a life vest and free floated in fast flowing water around the course. Every now and again a large wave swept around the river picking you up and carrying you further along. It was great fun.
We also rode the Krakatau aqua coaster. This was a first for us. It was the usual water tube ride and we sat in a long, four seater inflatable raft but the course we took, was a series of rollercoaster style ups and downs. The ascent sections had us accelerate up them via a fast conveyor belt and water jets before we plunged back down the other side. It was a really fun and fast ride.
We also enjoyed all of the raft rides including Honu of Honu ika Moana, which sweeps your raft up massive two walls on this twisting, turning, raft ride.
There was the usual lazy river ride to enjoy called Kopiko WaiWinding River where you float down a meandering river on an inflatable inner tube - a must have in every water park! This one had a really cool cave section too complete with waterfalls at its entrance. 
The slides that we didn't do were the body slides where it's just you speeding through the big pipes. The headline attraction of this type is the Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides where twin drop doors simultaneously plunge two guests down clear, intertwining tubes before sending them along a chute into a splash pool at the end.
We had a really great day and were quite shattered after all that water fun! So it was definitely time to head home - especially since I hadn't been able to sleep the night before and had had only about two hours sleep. 
On returning to our hotel room we were greeted by two amazing treats. The first was a Mickey Smartspeaker! This rebranded Amazon Alexa device was a cool addition to the room and discovering all the Disney extras it features has been fun. I love the way you can use it to order extras for your room, find out details about the park's opening times as well as all the usual - weather forecasts, alarm setting and casting your own music. 
The second treat was the animals right outside of our balcony. There is something quite memorising about watching animals going about their day, oblivious to all the observers around them. 

We had something very special planned for the evening - a luxurious meal at the famous  Jiko restaurant. This is a signature dining restaurant which offers a unique blend of African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant's name, Jiko, means "cooking place" in Swahili. The d矇cor is inspired by the vibrant colors and textures of Africa, with wood carvings, pottery and other artifacts from the continent are on display. Interestingly it has one of the largest African wine collections in North America, with over 1,800 bottles on hand. That's more than enough to keep us busy! So we popped on some smart clothes
For starters, we had Duck Confit and Honey-Raisin Flatbread and Braaied Wild Boar Tenderloin - both were an incredible blend of flavours and textures that really worked together.
James with our starters
For our mains, one dish we had was Oak-grilled Filet Mignon with the most amazing chocolate & red wine demi-glace, served with seasonal vegetables and lovely four cheese macaroni. The other dish we ordered was their Sorghum Chicken which consistent of sumac-roasted chicken breast served with Carolina gold rice which was infused with Grains of Paradise (seeds from the Aframomum melegueta plant, which is native to West Africa) dukka-dusted broccolini with a peach gastrique. 
Spencer with the mains
And yes, we went for dessert. One was a Potjie Pot which consisted of chocolate custard, a lemon-olive oil cake with whipped caramel, cocoa nib crunch and cherries. The other was a Malva Pudding - a kind of melting chocolate lava pudding but so much better with its Melktert ice cream, kataifi, a kanu Tuile and Cabernet gel矇e. Sublime! 
The desserts!
Don't ask us about the size of the bill, but this was one incredible meal and we thoroughly enjoyed the food, the restaurant and if I'm allowed to be a little romantic, each other's company. 
I have to end today's post with some more pictures of the hotel, but this time with the addition of a very handsome man!