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therussells08
06-23-2011, 06:13 PM
:welcome: everyone, to my second trip report!

Tonight's story is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction...

I think that using this infamous line from one of our favorite Disney rides is appropriate, because at times this trip definitely felt like something from The Twilight Zone.

This was a trip filled with laughter, sweat, surprises, celebrities, arguments, food...and did I mention laughter? I don't think I've ever laughed as hard in my life as I did on this trip. It was interesting, to say the least, but I am thrilled to share it with all of you!

If you are interested in reading the PTR for this trip the link is in my signature. For those of you who don't know, my DH and I were just in Disney in December 2010, but the amazing military discounts gave us the opportunity to not only visit Disney again, but also to check out Universal Orlando and SeaWorld. This was an unusually long trip for us that lasted nine days, from June 8-17. Perhaps the most exciting part of the whole thing was that I surprised my DH by switching our resort reservations from Port Orleans Riverside to Animal Kingdom Lodge! :woohoo:

I have one last disclaimer before I do the oh so important introductions:

DISers should not read this TR if they are: easily frightened by silly stories and jokes, upset by people with crazy senses of humor, or made ill by an excess amount of photographs.

I think that about covers it. Oh wait, one more thing. You know the rules at Disney! No disco dancing in the aisles!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/ABCD.jpg

The Cast

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip221.jpg

Yours Truly: Joni, 24. I am a high school English teacher from North Carolina! I am perpetually young at heart, and I have a country accent that will make the Beverly Hillbillies blush. I love my family, my dogs, teaching ,and anything Disney! This was my eighth trip to Disney World, which is pretty impressive if you consider my first trip was in 2007!

My Disney Inventory:

Favorite Movie: Three way tie between The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Character: Simba
Favorite Park: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Favorite Resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge
Favorite Ride: Rock'n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Favorite Restaurant: Sci Fi Dine in Theater
Favorite Non-Ride Activity: Animation Academy

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip431.jpg

Mine Truly: John, 25. This is my lifelong Disney trip companion. I'm such a lucky girl because he also just so happens to be my husband! John is a Green Beret in the US Army. He's tougher than GI Joe and covered in tattoos, but he has a giant heart and loves Disney as much as I do. He's my Prince Charming, and "twitterpated" doesn't even begin to cover how he makes me feel. :lovestruc We've been married for three years this Tuesday, and I am so lucky to have such an awesome partner in crime.

John's Disney Inventory:

Favorite Movie: Robinhood and Swiss Family Robinson
Favorite Character: Pretty much any villian, but mostly Scar and Prince John
Favorite Park: Disney's Animal Kingdom
Favorite Resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge
Favorite Ride: Expedition Everest
Favorite Restaurant: Boma
Favorite Non-Ride Activity: Trading Vinylmations

Trust me, you are going to learn a whole lot more about John and me as this trip report progresses. But now you have a basic idea of the two nuts who embarked on this journey! I hope you enjoy my trip report as much as I am sure I will enjoy writing it and reliving my wild ride!

**Before I begin, I have to thank my dear friend, the other Joni, shelbys_mommy! She gave me the idea for the title after reading my insane texts. Don't worry, you'll find out what it means in due time... ;)

Up Next: "I'm Too Excited to Sleep" isn't as cute the following morning...

therussells08
06-23-2011, 06:14 PM
:mickeyjum Chapter Links! :mickeyjum


June 8, 2011

You Might Be a Redneck... (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41592838&postcount=26)

Anything to Save a Buck! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41614313&postcount=59)

June 9, 2011

I Hope You Like Nerdy Harry Potter Jokes! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41665504&postcount=97)

A Visit to the Plate Museum! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41823561&postcount=147)

Well It's About Time! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41969377&postcount=182)

June 10, 2011

The Flipper Freak Out (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42236773&postcount=213)

Fish Don't Fry in the Kitchen, Beans Don't Burn on the Grill... (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42252847&postcount=239)

Super Joni Saves the Day! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42589947&postcount=268)

A Commotion Downstream (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42622812&postcount=306)

An Electrosynthomagnetic Update...Finally! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44256961&postcount=369)

June 11, 2011

Don't Judge Me, Deer Creature (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44286807&postcount=381)

Just Call Me Jane Goodall (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44292002&postcount=384)

Blame it on the Giraffes! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44305073&postcount=395)

Star Wars Weekend: Take One (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44326039&postcount=403)

June 12, 2011

Star Wars Weekend: Take Two (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44357467&postcount=419)

New Friends and Famous People! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44422296&postcount=430)

Downtown Disney: Home of the Devil Bug (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44434132&postcount=440)

June 13, 2011

How Was Your Breakfast, Cheapskate? (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44484428&postcount=448)

Adventures on Land and at Sea! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44484914&postcount=449)

Holy Cheese Sauce, Batman! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44495308&postcount=457)

June 14, 2011

Stop and Smell the Oranges (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44516864&postcount=468)

When She Barfed...I Helped Clean it Up (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44541929&postcount=483)

June 15, 2011

Zebra Domes, New Friends, and SHOPPING! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44551861&postcount=495)

June 16, 2011

The "Classy" Update (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44611606&postcount=508)

I Don't Wanna Work! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44665671&postcount=520)

Not Exactly The Dinner I Had in Mind... (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44665740&postcount=521)

June 17, 2011

The Cure for the Departure Day Blues! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44742342&postcount=536)

Finishing Touches

The Wrap Up Post! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44809585&postcount=551)

Nermel9
06-23-2011, 06:17 PM
I'm here! Can't wait to read about this trip! :goodvibes

shelbys mommy
06-23-2011, 06:18 PM
I'm here! I already know what happens & I am STILL laughing!!!!


**Before I begin, I have to thank my dear friend, the other Joni, shelbys_mommy! She gave me the idea for the title after reading my insane texts. Don't worry, you'll find out what it means in due time...

Well, my idea was Stuck on Splash, Swimming in S***, you just made it nicer. My ribs are hurting already. And I DO have all the texts saved :D

DisneyFirefly
06-23-2011, 06:23 PM
I'm here!

Cat0727
06-23-2011, 07:33 PM
I'm here! Can't wait to hear all about it!

EllaBean
06-23-2011, 07:34 PM
I'm in:3dglasses

Disneyfreak616
06-23-2011, 07:43 PM
I'm here!!!! :wave: First page!! Aww yeahh. (:

LOVE the ToT reference!

And yes, there is absolutely no disco dancing on rides! :rotfl:

Can't wait for this to begin!!! :woohoo:

Tracy161
06-23-2011, 08:03 PM
Count me in!!! Sounds like this TR is one not to be missed!!!!!! :rotfl:

Merida
06-23-2011, 08:21 PM
Hi! I've lurked on your past reports so I thought I'd actually leave a message for this one! Can't wait to hear what happened. :)

Kimmy
06-23-2011, 08:31 PM
I'm in popcorn::

Cree629
06-23-2011, 08:49 PM
I'm on board!! :thumbsup2

thechesters420
06-23-2011, 08:51 PM
I'm in too!

saintstickets
06-23-2011, 09:01 PM
From one Southerner to another - Y'all got room for one more? Shotgun!! :lmao:

lbuzz52
06-23-2011, 09:38 PM
Great start! Sounds like fun!

MelMel11
06-23-2011, 09:40 PM
Im here!! Also from North Carolina!!!:yay:

DisneyMissy318
06-23-2011, 10:09 PM
I'm In! I'm from the upper South - Virginia - still below the Mason-Dixon though! We can still pull an accent if we need to! The trip report sounds AWESOME! Can't wait to tag along for the ride and find out what all the laughing is about! popcorn::

Thank your DH for us:thanks:!

IheartDDuck
06-23-2011, 10:20 PM
Joining. :wave2:

Can't wait to hear more!

therussells08
06-23-2011, 10:53 PM
I'm here! Can't wait to read about this trip! :goodvibes

:welcome: You're first! I'm so glad you're here!

I'm here! I already know what happens & I am STILL laughing!!!!

Well, my idea was Stuck on Splash, Swimming in S***, you just made it nicer. My ribs are hurting already. And I DO have all the texts saved :D

:welcome: my other Joni! I can't wait to hear your commentary during this report. You kind of got the worst of my insane texts! :rotfl:

I'm here!

:welcome: You have been my reader the longest! I'm so glad you're here!

I'm here! Can't wait to hear all about it!

:welcome: I'm glad you're here!

I'm in:3dglasses

:welcome:

I'm here!!!! :wave: First page!! Aww yeahh. (:

LOVE the ToT reference!

And yes, there is absolutely no disco dancing on rides! :rotfl:

Can't wait for this to begin!!! :woohoo:

Yay! :welcome:

I thought about your frumpin' around the world trip on this trip a lot! You will probably be mentioned several times! ;)

Count me in!!! Sounds like this TR is one not to be missed!!!!!! :rotfl:

:welcome: I hope you enjoy it! I'm so glad you're here!

Hi! I've lurked on your past reports so I thought I'd actually leave a message for this one! Can't wait to hear what happened. :)

:welcome: I'm glad you've enjoyed my reports before, and I'm glad you're posting! Thanks for reading!

I'm in popcorn::

:welcome:

DisneyFirefly
06-23-2011, 10:54 PM
:rotfl: Am I really your longest reader? I'm not sure who mine would be... Maybe PrincessInOz, but I'm really not sure.

ETA: Nope, it's stephielala :teeth: I went back and looked :lmao:

shelbys mommy
06-23-2011, 10:55 PM
:welcome: my other Joni! I can't wait to hear your commentary during this report. You kind of got the worst of my insane texts! :rotfl:


AHAHAHAHA!!!! It was the best texts EVER!!! I was literally:rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

therussells08
06-23-2011, 10:56 PM
I'm on board!! :thumbsup2

:welcome:

I'm in too!

:welcome: too! ;)

From one Southerner to another - Y'all got room for one more? Shotgun!! :lmao:

Yay! :welcome: I reckon we got room! ;) I'm glad to have you!

Great start! Sounds like fun!

Thank you! I hope you enjoy, and :welcome:

Im here!! Also from North Carolina!!!:yay:

:welcome: That is so cool that you are from NC too! Where abouts?

I'm In! I'm from the upper South - Virginia - still below the Mason-Dixon though! We can still pull an accent if we need to! The trip report sounds AWESOME! Can't wait to tag along for the ride and find out what all the laughing is about! popcorn::

Thank your DH for us:thanks:!

:welcome: It's great to have another southerner on board! I hope you enjoy my TR!

Thank you for saying that to my husband, I will be sure to tell him. That means a lot. :hug:

Joining. :wave2:

Can't wait to hear more!

:welcome: I hope you enjoy it!

therussells08
06-23-2011, 10:58 PM
:rotfl: Am I really your longest reader? I'm not sure who mine would be... Maybe PrincessInOz, but I'm really not sure.

You are! I will never forget when you started reading my first PTR. I was so worried that I would never have any readers, and you were so nice! :hug:

AHAHAHAHA!!!! It was the best texts EVER!!! I was literally:rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

Yeah everyone at Disney World thought I was nuts while I was laughing over those texts! :lmao:

shelbys mommy
06-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Yeah everyone at Disney World thought I was nuts while I was laughing over those texts! :lmao:

You should have seen my house! They all thought I was nuts. I literally had tears streaming down my face!

DisneyFirefly
06-23-2011, 11:02 PM
You are! I will never forget when you started reading my first PTR. I was so worried that I would never have any readers, and you were so nice! :hug:

Awwwww :hug::hug: I love reading your PTRs and TRs :) You guys always take such awesome trips :teeth: Plus, I love reading about you guys enjoying the world as a couple, since I've only ever been to DAK for a few hours with a significant other, let alone a whole week.

therussells08
06-23-2011, 11:04 PM
Wow! I can't believe I have so many readers all ready! Y'all are awesome!

Okay, on with the first update!

I decided to title this post "You Might Be a Redneck..." because that seemed to be the theme of our traveling day to Disney. Like I mentioned in my introduction post I am from North Carolina, and we are about as southern as you can get. That being said, it's not very often that I stop to notice exactly how "country" we are. When I do take the time to notice, however, I realize that we are REALLY country. I don't like to say redneck because it carries such a negative connotation, but well, if the huntin' boot fits, I say wear it!

The night before we left for our trip I was, as you can imagine, about to explode with excitement. :hyper: I tried to pull the same trick that I always do, which is pretend to be nonchalant and hide the fact that my blood pressure is through the roof as a result of my ecstatic anticipation. I talked to my mom on the phone, faked a few yawns, and went to bed. I guess this was my weak attempt to convince myself and everyone else that I actually was calm enough to go to sleep.

Yeah right. I gave up on that whole charade around midnight. John was snoring next to me, completely immune to the Disney insomnia bug. I believe that my John could be preparing for the second coming of our maker and he still wouldn't be too excited to sleep. :rolleyes: Anyway, midnight-ish was when I got up and posted the link on my Facebook account to the "I'm too excited to sleep" Disney commercial. That made me feel a little better. It's normal not being able to sleep before a Disney trip. I could get by on a couple of hours. I would be in the car all day tomorrow anyway, so I could just sleep then. It'll be fine. Sure. Right.

Wrong. :headache: I woke up the next morning at 5:00 (after about two hours of sleep) looking and feeling like a large vehicle had backed over me. If I remember correctly, John's first words to me that morning were, "Look at your hair!" Ugh. Thanks honey. :mad: But none of that mattered! I was going to Florida today, and in just a few short days I would be in Disney. Nothing could ruin my morning, not even if that hypothetical large vehicle had literally backed over me!

It only took a nice refreshing shower and a few minutes of consciousness for excitement to kick exhaustion's butt. I got ready quickly, John packed up the car, and we left our apartment at 6:00 on the button. Before we could hit the open road we had to drop our fur babies off at my mom's house. She was going to be watching them for the duration of our trip, bless her soul, and she was SO thrilled to have us showing up on her doorstep at 6:15 with two hyper dogs. Being the considerate daughter that I am, I carried them straight upstairs and tossed them in the bed with her, cold noses and all. I chatted about the trip for a few minutes, much to my mother's dismay, and then we said our goodbyes. Actually, I believe my mom's goodbye was more like, "Get the h-e-double hockey sticks out of here so I can go back to sleep!" :laughing:

We hit the road at exactly 6:36 am! The first thing I did was plug in Lee, my austrailian GPS, and enter the address for Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Lee did his thing and estimated that we would arrive at 3:50pm. Awesome! I settled in for a very long car ride and turned the radio to my favorite station. I knew I only had a little bit of time before we were out of the station's range, so I wanted to enjoy the morning show while I could.

Okay, here we go with the first redneck moment of the day. The morning show that I listen to (Rod and Lora) do this thing every morning called The Impossible Question. They ask a really vague question that usually deals with some kind of percentage statistic, and then people call in and guess the answer. I never call in, but I love playing along. The question this morning was "93% of households have this. What is it?" Before the question had been out of the DJ's mouth for a millisecond, my wonderful husband shouts out, with total and complete confidence in his answer, "A GUN!" :idea:

Really? A gun? 93% of households have a gun? Okay. I decided to try something a little more likely and I guessed a TV. Turns out we were both wrong. The answer was a junk drawer. I remember the conversation that followed the revealing of the correct answer.

John: "That's ridiculous. I don't believe that many people have junk drawers."
Me: "Really? I do. We have one."
John: "Yeah but we also have guns. Lots of 'em."
Me: "But did you really think 93% of households do? I mean, do you think that many people want to own a gun?"
John: (Huffily :mad:) "Well, they should."

Chalk that up as Redneck Moment # 1. After this conversation things were pretty normal. We reached our first highway, 421 N, at 6:49. By 7:04 we were moving on to 77 S. If any of you are reading my previous TR you might remember that I mentioned that Charlotte, NC is the bane of my existence. I felt really bad because I know a lot of people are from Charlotte and I didn't want to offend them. It's just too big of a city for me. There's a lot I don't like about being in a city that big. Case and point, as soon as we reached Charlotte that morning we got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. While we waited I tried to calm my nerves by taking a few pictures.

Here's downtown Charlotte.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip001.jpg

Here's Carowinds, or as I like to call it, the anti-Disney.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip003.jpg

One good thing about Charlotte is that it is very close to the South Carolina border, so by the time we were out of the traffic we were in a new state! I texted Joni (shelbys_mommy) to let her know. I'm sure she really appreciated this, because it was still really early. Sorry Joni! I managed to miss the welcoming sign for SC, so I settled for taking a rest area sign. It could be argued that this was Redneck Moment # 2.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip002.jpg

Once we made it to SC the exhaustion had crept over me again and I fell asleep. John was kind enough to take a lovely picture of me with my mouth hanging open and text it to me. I won't share that with you, but I'm sure you can imagine how grateful I was.

When we got to Columbia John woke me up for breakfast. My sister had given me a Cracker Barrel gift card for my birthday and I had hoarded it away for this trip, so we were both really excited to eat here for free! :thumbsup2

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip004.jpg

We went inside and we seated immediately. I had never seen a Cracker Barrel this empty! I had to take a picture of the menu and the decor.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip005.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip006.jpg

The deer/creepy old picture mantle combo looked EXACTLY like my in-laws mantle! How weird! :confused3

For his breakfast John decided to get what I think was called The Country Boy Breakfast or something like that. What they should have called it was "The Left Side of the Menu" because I have never in my life seen so much food! :eek:

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip007.jpg

There's a general idea, but that's just what I could fit in the frame of my picture!

Moving on to my breakfast will lead us into the definite Redneck Moment # 2. Now anyone else who is from the south will know that biscuits n' gravy is a staple breakfast round these parts. It just so happens to be my breakfast of choice, so that's what I ordered. That's a little redneck, but not too bad. Here's where it crosses into Jeff Foxworthy territory. What, you may ask, did I order as my side item to my biscuits and sausage gravy breakfast? Why, sausage, of course! :thumbsup2

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip008.jpg

Nothing goes better with sausage than more sausage! That's a life lesson I can take to the bank, if my arteries don't harden first. I enjoyed my double dose of pig breakfast, and we headed out. We managed to keep our bill under the $25 gift card limit, tip and all, so we got off totally free! Alright!

When we got back out to the parking lot John decided to lower his man flag and let me take the wheel for awhile. I hopped behind the wheel and plugged in one of my Disney CDs while he curled up and slept. I managed to drive until almost noon before I was going stir crazy, so we stopped in SC to get gas and change places.

I took a picture of the gas station. Don't ask me why, but I did. It wasn't a very impressive gas station, but I guess I wanted to make sure you were with me every step of the way!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip009.jpg

One exciting thing that I did notice at this gas station was palm trees!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip010.jpg

John asked me why I love palm trees so much, and I explained to him that I've never been anywhere with palm trees that didn't make me happy. They just represent fun places to me! :goodvibes

Not long after our gas station stop we were in Georgia!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip012.jpg

Georgia is the quick state on our drive, so by 2 o'clock we were seeing this beautiful sight!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip013.jpg

Getting to Florida is always deceiving because I feel like we should almost be there, but I always forget that we still have like three hours of our drive left. I started to get a little antsy around Daytona Beach, so we stopped to stretch our legs again. I took a picture of this gas station too. It's a little prettier than the first one, though. It has waves on it.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip014.jpg

This ended up being the last stop of our journey, and at 4:30 we arrived at our first destination: Loews Royal Pacific Resort!

Up Next: Mr. and Mrs. Frugal give themselves a hernia so they don't have to tip the bellhop.

therussells08
06-23-2011, 11:09 PM
You should have seen my house! They all thought I was nuts. I literally had tears streaming down my face!

:lmao: That was hilarious!

Awwwww :hug::hug: I love reading your PTRs and TRs :) You guys always take such awesome trips :teeth: Plus, I love reading about you guys enjoying the world as a couple, since I've only ever been to DAK for a few hours with a significant other, let alone a whole week.

Thank you so much! :hug: I'm glad you enjoy them. I always enjoy your stuff so much too! Your Halloween trip was one of my favorite TRs ever!

shelbys mommy
06-23-2011, 11:14 PM
The night before we left for our trip I was, as you can imagine, about to explode with excitement. :hyper: I tried to pull the same trick that I always do, which is pretend to be nonchalant and hide the fact that my blood pressure is through the roof as a result of my ecstatic anticipation. I talked to my mom on the phone, faked a few yawns, and went to bed. I guess this was my weak attempt to convince myself and everyone else that I actually was calm enough to go to sleep.

Yeah right. I gave up on that whole charade around midnight. John was snoring next to me, completely immune to the Disney insomnia bug. I believe that my John could be preparing for the second coming of our maker and he still wouldn't be too excited to sleep. :rolleyes: Anyway, midnight-ish was when I got up and posted the link on my Facebook account to the "I'm too excited to sleep" Disney commercial. That made me feel a little better. It's normal not being able to sleep before a Disney trip. I could get by on a couple of hours. I would be in the car all day tomorrow anyway, so I could just sleep then. It'll be fine. Sure. Right.

I never sleep either! And I remember your post on "I'm too excited to sleep". I was so happy for you!!!

Actually, I believe my mom's goodbye was more like, "Get the h-e-double hockey sticks out of here so I can go back to sleep!" :laughing:

So totally something I would have said!!! And you did something I would have totally done!


John: "That's ridiculous. I don't believe that many people have junk drawers."
Me: "Really? I do. We have one."
John: "Yeah but we also have guns. Lots of 'em."
Me: "But did you really think 93% of households do? I mean, do you think that many people want to own a gun?"
John: (Huffily :mad:) "Well, they should."

No guns here!


I texted Joni (shelbys_mommy) to let her know. I'm sure she really appreciated this, because it was still really early. Sorry Joni!

Not a problem at all! I wanted to know what was going on, because I am just that nosy!


Once we made it to SC the exhaustion had crept over me again and I fell asleep. John was kind enough to take a lovely picture of me with my mouth hanging open and text it to me. I won't share that with you, but I'm sure you can imagine how grateful I was.

I didn't get that pic either!:lmao:

Love the pics of the gas stations! You crack me up!

Florida is such a tease! We get there in 4 hours. With another 8 hrs left to drive!:scared1:

I am soooooooooo ready for more!!!

DisneyFirefly
06-23-2011, 11:24 PM
Thank you so much! :hug: I'm glad you enjoy them. I always enjoy your stuff so much too! Your Halloween trip was one of my favorite TRs ever!

I'm glad you enjoyed that TR :goodvibes I had such a blast on that trip. I can't wait to go again :dance3: I really hope this December trip works out :banana: I really think that we all need to get a big group of us from the Dis together and do a big Dis trip :teeth:

DisneyFirefly
06-23-2011, 11:27 PM
Yeah, we don't have guns in this house :lmao: My mom won't let my dad keep one, and I'd never live in a house with one. I don't like guns, except in law enforcement or military hands.

It looks like you guys had a good drive down, though :) And oh my GOD that's a lot of food John got at the Cracker Barrel :eek:

ozzyla
06-23-2011, 11:54 PM
I'm in -- not too late

IheartDDuck
06-24-2011, 12:09 AM
You are too funny! "You might be a redneck" cracks me up. Embrace it. Like you say if the boot fits......trust me I live close to Wisconsin. Mention that and you get hammered with "Wis-cahn-sin" and "eh".

I love Cracjer Barrel! What a bonus that you had a gift card.

disneyfav4ever
06-24-2011, 12:28 AM
Great start! I've stayed at RPR twice and it's a beautiful hotel, I hope you enjoyed your stay there.

xDisneyAngelx
06-24-2011, 12:39 AM
Joining in to your TR :-) Just wanted to also drop by and say you make a lovely couple. Congrats on the Wedding also and finding your true love.

TeresaG
06-24-2011, 10:00 AM
I'm in! I love your style of writing. You had me LOL'ing a bunch. :)

mickeystoontown
06-24-2011, 10:15 AM
Can another Southern redneck join in? I take pictures of the gas stations, palm trees, and road signs too so I'm really enjoying your report.

Disneyfreak616
06-24-2011, 02:48 PM
HAHAHA this TR is CRACKING me up. :rotfl:

I totally can't sleep before Disney either, so no worries. :goodvibes The night before our trip in January, Jess was sleepin' like a baby and I was on disboards all night. :laughing: I think I got a total of an hour and a half of sleep or something. But hey, there is NO sleeping in Disney, so that was just gonna have to be enough! :wizard:

My mom would probably say the EXACT same thing. :laughing:

LOVE the redneck moments! That's so funny! I am in NO way a southern girl by any stretch of the means, but give me biscuits and gravy over some fancy bite sized food that'll break the bank ANY DAY. :thumbsup2 And I never want to live in a big city either. No way. I like big backyards and a front porch to match. :goodvibes

AND I have a junk drawer too! I think almost every house I've been to has one! So I'd totally believe that!

Love the gas station with all the waves. So cute. Why are gas stations only cute in Florida? I swear I'm moving there one day. :)

Can't wait to hear about your arrival!!! :yay:

teacher1717
06-24-2011, 03:01 PM
Joining in! I wish my drive was that quick. We drive down from Jersey and I hate drving through Virginia, North & South Carolina. Those states are like 4 hours each!! I wish they were all as short as Deleware!

ddstratton
06-24-2011, 03:22 PM
Just joining in! I am loving your report so far!

Iwant2BAprincess
06-24-2011, 03:44 PM
I'm in!! Another southerner here. I don't understand the not being able to fall asleep the night before the Disney drive, I mean seriously-who has time to sleep when you are trying to pack everyone else in the house's stuff then cram it into the back of the suv so you can leave long before the sun comes up:lmao::lmao: In all seriousness though, did you have sweet tea with your biscuits and gravy, 'cause that would just top it right off!!

saintstickets
06-24-2011, 04:44 PM
http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip013.jpg

Getting to Florida is always deceiving because I feel like we should almost be there, but I always forget that we still have like three hours of our drive left.

Only three hours once you hit the Florida line? I wish! Coming from Mississippi, once we hit the AL/FL border, it is 7 1/2 hours to Lake Buena Vista and that's only if we don't stop so it is more like 8.5-9.0 hours with the food and restroom breaks! Feel sorry for me yet? :sad1: Can I throw a pity-party? :lmao:

Enjoying your TR with the "redneck flavor", especially for those of us that visit the Redneck Riviera quite often! For those that don't know, the RR is that area in NW FL between Panama City and Pensacola. Woohoo! :banana:

shelbys mommy
06-24-2011, 04:54 PM
Only three hours once you hit the Florida line? I wish! Coming from Mississippi, once we hit the AL/FL border, it is 7 1/2 hours to Lake Buena Vista and that's only if we don't stop so it is more like 8.5-9.0 hours with the food and restroom breaks! Feel sorry for me yet? :sad1: Can I throw a pity-party? :lmao:


I have the same drive once we get to the FL state line. Joni is such a tease!

PrincessCharlie
06-24-2011, 05:09 PM
Yay, fun tr! Subbing :)

goofy's_gurl
06-24-2011, 05:32 PM
I'm in. Who can sleep on the night before a disney vacation?

MarieTheCat24
06-24-2011, 05:38 PM
Hi! :wave2: I'm in. I love your style of writing. It's cracking me up.

Nothing goes better with sausage than more sausage!
That is so true. :rotfl:

I agree that arriving in Florida is incredibly deceptive. I always get excited that I'm finally there, except I'm not really there yet at all. It's so disappointing. :sad2:

Can't wait for the next update!

Nermel9
06-24-2011, 05:58 PM
Great first update!!!

LOL, I love John's answer to that question...I would have never guessed guns, but I suppose it makes sense...I'm pretty sure we have one of my dad's old hunting guns in my house somewhere! :laughing:

I love palm trees too...a little too much, actually! I always get so excited when the plane lands at MCO and I see my first palm trees of the trip! :banana:

I remember all the drives down to FL with my family, being so excited to be in Florida, but still having so far to go! :eek:

Can't wait to read more! :banana:

disneypartyof4
06-24-2011, 06:12 PM
LOL Great so far....can't wait to hear more!!

DisDreamz
06-24-2011, 06:13 PM
Late to the party as usual! :laughing:

Anyway definitely looking forward to reading more, we were there almost the exact same time :banana:

Loving the trip so far, wish we could drive it sounds like so much more fun that sitting on a plane all day (and we'd be able to go to the World a lot more if I didn't have to break the bank on airfare).

MickeyisBeast
06-24-2011, 06:53 PM
Joining in! I'm from North Carolina too... you pretty muched summed us all up hahaha, very country here. I agree with you, Charlotte is just too big and too crowded for me. Hehe, I'll be referring to Carowinds as the Anti-Disney from now on :p

Can't wait for more!

MelMel11
06-24-2011, 07:13 PM
Im from Rockingham, NC. Where about are you from?

stephielela
06-24-2011, 07:55 PM
:rotfl: Am I really your longest reader? I'm not sure who mine would be... Maybe PrincessInOz, but I'm really not sure.

ETA: Nope, it's stephielala :teeth: I went back and looked :lmao:

Woot!!! I am extremely honored!!!!

Subbing in!!!

I usually can't sleep either... this trip it won't be a problem because our flight isn't till 6 pm, and since I work that day I can promise I will sleep the night before, even if it involves medication...

Parla
06-25-2011, 12:20 AM
Wow, I have a friend take my computer to fix the dvd drive and 24 hours later you have a new TR with 4 pages!:scared1: When I did a TR the whole thing was only 6 pages and I was really happy with the number of people that joined in. :rotfl:

Biscuits and Gravy has always been one of my favorite breakfasts although if the pancakes are good I'm probably ordering that. But I grew up with my mom making biscuits and gravy all the time.

Who can sleep the night before Disney?!?

I wouldn't think 93% of households have guns but I also don't think that thinking everyone should have a gun is a redneck thing. It's more a diehard American gun rights kind of thing. ;) We have a gun because my brother collects them and gave us one the Christmas before y2k because people were freaking out about it. Now my son is a boy scout and my husband takes the gun once a year to be cleaned and then they shoot it at some camping/shooting even they do. I should probably go, I have no idea how to work the thing.

P.S. I have three junk drawers. :rotfl:

declansdad
06-25-2011, 09:52 AM
We have been laughing out loud; great report so far.

PlutosRHM55
06-25-2011, 10:23 AM
Joining in!

I just started reading this and I love your writing voice, probably attributes to the fact you are an English teacher. Also, English is my favorite class in school, so that always draws me in when there's an English teacher on the DIS, I don't know why, but I just have this feeling the TR is going to be VERY good! (: And I love your whole Redneck Moment thing you've got going. The first one with the "Impossible Question" was very funny. Seriously, guns? LOL I can only imagine how the rest of the trip is. Haha Can't wait to read more about your trip! :mickeyjum

therussells08
06-25-2011, 09:32 PM
I never sleep either! And I remember your post on "I'm too excited to sleep". I was so happy for you!!!


So totally something I would have said!!! And you did something I would have totally done!


No guns here!


Not a problem at all! I wanted to know what was going on, because I am just that nosy!


I didn't get that pic either!:lmao:

Love the pics of the gas stations! You crack me up!

Florida is such a tease! We get there in 4 hours. With another 8 hrs left to drive!:scared1:

I am soooooooooo ready for more!!!

I'm glad you didn't mind my early morning texts! :rotfl: Wow! I can't believe you still have 8 hours after you hit Florida!! :eek:

I'm glad you enjoyed that TR :goodvibes I had such a blast on that trip. I can't wait to go again :dance3: I really hope this December trip works out :banana: I really think that we all need to get a big group of us from the Dis together and do a big Dis trip :teeth:

I would LOVE to do a big DIS trip! That would be the best thing ever! I was so jealous when you met up with Heather and Brad in October! I would love to meet all my DIS friends! :goodvibes

Yeah, we don't have guns in this house :lmao: My mom won't let my dad keep one, and I'd never live in a house with one. I don't like guns, except in law enforcement or military hands.

It looks like you guys had a good drive down, though :) And oh my GOD that's a lot of food John got at the Cracker Barrel :eek:

Pretty much everyone I know around here has guns. John and my dad both collect them. But then again they're big hunters, and John is a weapons specialist in the military, so guns are a big part of their lives I guess. I don't have any interest in them, but I'm used to having them around.

Right?! I couldn't believe he got all that food. Even more surprising was that he ate almost all of it!

I'm in -- not too late

You're definitely not too late! :welcome:!

You are too funny! "You might be a redneck" cracks me up. Embrace it. Like you say if the boot fits......trust me I live close to Wisconsin. Mention that and you get hammered with "Wis-cahn-sin" and "eh".

I love Cracjer Barrel! What a bonus that you had a gift card.

Thank you! :) I guess every region has it's own stereotypes and cultural norms! :rotfl:

Cracker Barrel is soo good, and the gift card was definitely a nice bonus!

Great start! I've stayed at RPR twice and it's a beautiful hotel, I hope you enjoyed your stay there.

:welcome: Thank you! :)

Joining in to your TR :-) Just wanted to also drop by and say you make a lovely couple. Congrats on the Wedding also and finding your true love.

:welcome: Thank you so much for saying that! You are very sweet!

therussells08
06-25-2011, 09:38 PM
I'm in! I love your style of writing. You had me LOL'ing a bunch. :)

:welcome: Thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Can another Southern redneck join in? I take pictures of the gas stations, palm trees, and road signs too so I'm really enjoying your report.

:welcome: There's always room for one more redneck! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

HAHAHA this TR is CRACKING me up. :rotfl:

I totally can't sleep before Disney either, so no worries. :goodvibes The night before our trip in January, Jess was sleepin' like a baby and I was on disboards all night. :laughing: I think I got a total of an hour and a half of sleep or something. But hey, there is NO sleeping in Disney, so that was just gonna have to be enough!

My mom would probably say the EXACT same thing.

LOVE the redneck moments! That's so funny! I am in NO way a southern girl by any stretch of the means, but give me biscuits and gravy over some fancy bite sized food that'll break the bank ANY DAY. :thumbsup2 And I never want to live in a big city either. No way. I like big backyards and a front porch to match.

AND I have a junk drawer too! I think almost every house I've been to has one! So I'd totally believe that!

Love the gas station with all the waves. So cute. Why are gas stations only cute in Florida? I swear I'm moving there one day.

Can't wait to hear about your arrival!!!

Yay! :welcome: I'm so glad you're here!

I can't believe Jess can sleep before Disney! I don't think I've ever slept more than an hour or two the night before a trip!

I feel the same way about Florida! Everything is cheerful there, even the gas stations! :goodvibes

Joining in! I wish my drive was that quick. We drive down from Jersey and I hate drving through Virginia, North & South Carolina. Those states are like 4 hours each!! I wish they were all as short as Deleware!

:welcome: Wow! That is quite a drive! :eek:

Just joining in! I am loving your report so far!

:welcome: Thank you! I'm so glad you are enjoying it!

I'm in!! Another southerner here. I don't understand the not being able to fall asleep the night before the Disney drive, I mean seriously-who has time to sleep when you are trying to pack everyone else in the house's stuff then cram it into the back of the suv so you can leave long before the sun comes up:lmao::lmao: In all seriousness though, did you have sweet tea with your biscuits and gravy, 'cause that would just top it right off!!

:welcome: I'm ashamed to say I did not have sweet tea! :guilty: I think I had orange juice. But I did enjoy many sweet teas as the trip progressed! ;)

Only three hours once you hit the Florida line? I wish! Coming from Mississippi, once we hit the AL/FL border, it is 7 1/2 hours to Lake Buena Vista and that's only if we don't stop so it is more like 8.5-9.0 hours with the food and restroom breaks! Feel sorry for me yet? :sad1: Can I throw a pity-party? :lmao:

Enjoying your TR with the "redneck flavor", especially for those of us that visit the Redneck Riviera quite often! For those that don't know, the RR is that area in NW FL between Panama City and Pensacola. Woohoo! :banana:

Wow! I can't imagine having that far once I get to Florida! Go ahead with the pity party, I understand! ;)

I'm glad you're enjoying the redneck touch! ;)

I have the same drive once we get to the FL state line. Joni is such a tease!

:lmao: I'm sorry!

Yay, fun tr! Subbing :)

:welcome: Thanks for joining in!

therussells08
06-25-2011, 09:45 PM
I'm in. Who can sleep on the night before a disney vacation?

:welcome: I don't think I know many people that could, except for my husband!

Hi! :wave2: I'm in. I love your style of writing. It's cracking me up.

Nothing goes better with sausage than more sausage!
That is so true.

I agree that arriving in Florida is incredibly deceptive. I always get excited that I'm finally there, except I'm not really there yet at all. It's so disappointing. :sad2:

Can't wait for the next update!

:welcome: Thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Getting to Florida is such a tease!

Great first update!!!

LOL, I love John's answer to that question...I would have never guessed guns, but I suppose it makes sense...I'm pretty sure we have one of my dad's old hunting guns in my house somewhere! :laughing:

I love palm trees too...a little too much, actually! I always get so excited when the plane lands at MCO and I see my first palm trees of the trip! :banana:

I remember all the drives down to FL with my family, being so excited to be in Florida, but still having so far to go! :eek:

Can't wait to read more! :banana:

Thanks!

John and his guns! That's all he thinks about!

I'm so glad I'm not the only palm tree fanatic!

LOL Great so far....can't wait to hear more!!

:welcome: Thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying it!

Late to the party as usual! :laughing:

Anyway definitely looking forward to reading more, we were there almost the exact same time :banana:

Loving the trip so far, wish we could drive it sounds like so much more fun that sitting on a plane all day (and we'd be able to go to the World a lot more if I didn't have to break the bank on airfare).

:welcome: You're not late, you're right on time!

That's so cool that we were there almost the same time!

I definitely prefer driving to flying. We have flown a few times but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Joining in! I'm from North Carolina too... you pretty muched summed us all up hahaha, very country here. I agree with you, Charlotte is just too big and too crowded for me. Hehe, I'll be referring to Carowinds as the Anti-Disney from now on :p

Can't wait for more!

:welcome: That's so cool you are from NC too! Whereabouts are you from?

Im from Rockingham, NC. Where about are you from?

:welcome: That's awesome! I live very close to Winston Salem. I'm from a small town called East Bend.

Woot!!! I am extremely honored!!!!

Subbing in!!!

I usually can't sleep either... this trip it won't be a problem because our flight isn't till 6 pm, and since I work that day I can promise I will sleep the night before, even if it involves medication...

:welcome: I'm glad you're here!

Wow, I have a friend take my computer to fix the dvd drive and 24 hours later you have a new TR with 4 pages!:scared1: When I did a TR the whole thing was only 6 pages and I was really happy with the number of people that joined in. :rotfl:

Biscuits and Gravy has always been one of my favorite breakfasts although if the pancakes are good I'm probably ordering that. But I grew up with my mom making biscuits and gravy all the time.

Who can sleep the night before Disney?!?

I wouldn't think 93% of households have guns but I also don't think that thinking everyone should have a gun is a redneck thing. It's more a diehard American gun rights kind of thing. ;) We have a gun because my brother collects them and gave us one the Christmas before y2k because people were freaking out about it. Now my son is a boy scout and my husband takes the gun once a year to be cleaned and then they shoot it at some camping/shooting even they do. I should probably go, I have no idea how to work the thing.

P.S. I have three junk drawers. :rotfl:

:welcome: I'm glad you're here! I couldn't believe how many readers I had already. You guys are awesome!

I love pancakes too. I have to be in a "sweet" mood, but I can tear up some pancakes if I am!

I think you're right about the gun thing. My dad has a lot of guns, and so does John and his dad. I have grown up with everyone I know owning guns!

We have been laughing out loud; great report so far.

:welcome: I'm so glad you are enjoying it!

Joining in!

I just started reading this and I love your writing voice, probably attributes to the fact you are an English teacher. Also, English is my favorite class in school, so that always draws me in when there's an English teacher on the DIS, I don't know why, but I just have this feeling the TR is going to be VERY good! (: And I love your whole Redneck Moment thing you've got going. The first one with the "Impossible Question" was very funny. Seriously, guns? LOL I can only imagine how the rest of the trip is. Haha Can't wait to read more about your trip! :mickeyjum

:welcome:

Thank you so much for saying that; you are very kind! That is great that English is your favorite class! Are you still in high school? If so, what has been your favorite thing you've read so far? Sorry, I love hearing from students about their English classes! :)

I'm really glad you are enjoying the report so far! Thank you for reading along!

Princesca
06-25-2011, 09:46 PM
LOVING your TR! Can't wait to read more... this is the next best thing to going, and I have a loooong wait.

:rotfl2:

therussells08
06-25-2011, 09:54 PM
I still can't believe how many readers I have! Thank you all for reading my crazy ramblings!

Before I get started with this post I just wanted to warn everyone that the next few updates are not going to be about Disney. I struggled with whether or not to post my Universal day here on the DIS; however, I think it's important to post this stuff because it kind of effects the Disney portion of my trip. Also, Disney comes into play a little earlier in this TR than originally anticipated. (Foreshadowing!)

When I left off we were just arriving at Loews Royal Pacific Resort!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip015.jpg

I was thrilled to get out of the car and I think John felt the same way, since I tend to be extremely obnoxious when I have been riding for too long. I think he had heard just about enough of me doing my impersonation of the guy from Dumb and Dumber making "the most annoying sound in the world!" :lmao:

John had refused to park in front of the hotel so we could check in because he was paranoid that the valets would try to park the car for us. Just a little factoid about John, anytime there is a service being provided that requires tipping other than being waited on in a restaurant he gets really uncomfortable. It's not that he doesn't think other services warrant a tip. Rather, he just doesn't know when to hand over the tip. He always feels really awkward when trying to tip someone in one of these situations. I know that sounds weird and trivial, but stuff like that really bothers him. Therefore, we parked waaay out in the parking lot and went on a hike to get to the hotel lobby. I think I was grumbling something about how I should have brought trail mix for this walk when I decided to get a straw, suck it up, and start doing what I'm good at, which is taking a million pictures of random stuff.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip016.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip017.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip018.jpg

If you've never been to Loews Royal Pacific, it is very lovely indeed. I felt like I had stepped into an Indiana Jones movie. Here is a picture of the beautiful fountain that sits in the middle of the main lobby.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip019.jpg

After I checked us in we got our room number and headed that way. I was anxious to get the luggage out of the car ASAP because I could just imagine all of my toiletries melting and spilling and creating a disgusting mess in this Florida heat, but John wanted to stake out where in the building the room was first.

Here's our first view of the room.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip020.jpg

We were in the military discount standard king room, but this was a pretty snazzy hotel so we were instantly impressed with our accommodations. John headed straight for the mini bar to see what was inside. Above the mini bar there was a little drawer with a random assortment of overpriced items you could buy from the hotel.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip021.jpg

They even had the necklaces that the hotel staff wore. I was impressed, but not impressed enough to spend $15 on one.

Here are the contents of the mini bar.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip022.jpg

I'm not very knowledgeable about alcoholic beverages, so all I saw here was a really random assortment of drinks, some with "spirits" and some without. John proceeded to pat me on the head and explain patiently that everything in the fridge was some ingredient for a various mixed drink. I think the conversation then continued like this:

John: "Wow, they have everything I need to make a Jack and Coke."
Me: "You mean they have Jack Daniels and Coke? It's not like that's a very complicated recipe."
John: "Still, it's nice to know I can have one anytime I want."
Me: "Um, if you want to take out a loan to pay for a sip of Jack Daniels and a can of Coke, be my guest."

I managed to talk him off that ledge and steer him away from the overpriced beverages. We did, however, stop to take a quick picture together where we had been crouching to inspect the mini bar.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip023.jpg

I can just see us sharing that photo with family members. "...And here's when we stopped to look inside the mini bar!" :rotfl:

Oh, and let me just add that a bottle of Fiji water was SEVEN DOLLARS. :eek: Y'all, I can get two cases of Wal Mart brand water for less than that. I'm just saying.

After we finished inspecting the room I was a nervous wreck about my luggage so we went back to fetch it. We stopped in the lobby because John wanted to ask for a luggage rack. The hotel employee told us you're only allowed use a luggage rack if you have an employee help you. As soon as he said that John and I had one of the silent conversations that married couples can have just by looking at each other and moving our eyebrows up and down. I was all for the luggage rack and the helpful assistant. John, on the other hand, wasn't handing over the cash for a tip unless they pried it from his cold, dead hands.

So, he kindly thanked the employee and we headed off to the parking lot to retrieve our bags. Let me just clarify that our luggage consisted of: two large rolling suitcases, two carry on size suitcases, one large duffel bag, one small but heavy toiletry bag, two backpacks, and an extra over-the-shoulder bag. Let me also remind you that we were parked halfway to Timbuktu in Loews' huge parking lot.

You know how when you go to the grocery store and come home with fifty bags you would rather break your back carrying all fifty bags in at once than make two trips? Well, that's pretty much the same feelings we had with our luggage. As everyone else is smiling and laughing, trailing along behind a nice shiny luggage rack pushed by a helpful bellhop, there's John and me, grunting and sweating, so weighted down with bags that we looked like a couple of pack mules. It probably took us about twenty minutes to get back to the room, but it felt like an eternity. By the time we did reach the room we both collapsed on the bed, panting and moaning about various body parts that felt like they were on fire. But hey, we saved $5. Worth it, right? Right?! :faint:

After our adventure to the parking lot and back we both needed to shower and change before we headed to dinner. We decided to walk to Universal CityWalk and see what they had to offer. On our way I snapped some pictures.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip026.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip027.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip028.jpg

As we were walking along the path to CityWalk there was a family of fast-walkers that were on our tail. They were walking really close and breathing down our necks, so I moved aside so they could pass us. A few minutes later as we were entering CityWalk I saw that same family standing around a table to the right. I got really excited to be passing them again so I started power walking right by them. I was all proud of myself because I felt like I had won some kind of race with this family, completely unbeknownst to them. It took me a few seconds to register that the person yelling "M'AM! EXCUSE ME, M'AM!" behind me in a very angry voice was talking to me. Apparently the reason that family had stopped was to have their bags checked at a security checkpoint, which to all bystanders I seemed to be desperately trying to avoid. Oops. I apologized to the security guard, but she didn't seem to buy it. She took an extra long time looking through my bag, which I guess I can understand after my suspicious behavior! :confused3

After my bag passed the search I was released and we continued to our destination!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip030.jpg

We have eaten at the Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach several times, so we were excited to try this one. We checked in and they told us the wait would be 45 minutes, but we sat down and our buzzer went off after literally 45 seconds! Woo hoo!

Once we were seated I snapped a few pictures of the decorations.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip031.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip032.jpg

Here's my handsome hubby checking out the menu.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip034.jpg

For an appetizer we got a mushroom, crab ,and shrimp dip! I took a picture of it but it was really dark and John had already devoured about half of it so I won't share that. I will tell you that it was delicious!

For our entrees I decided to go with the Cheeseburger in Paradise and John got the Cuban sandwich.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip038.jpg

Check out that pickle! It makes it look like the burger is really small, but it wasn't. That was just the biggest stinkin' pickle I've ever seen!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip039.jpg

Overall this meal was very tasty. With drinks, appetizer and entree I think the entire meal plus tip was $60. I was really tempted to get a piece of key lime pie since I had just watched the episode of Dexter when Dexter helps Camilla find the "perfect key lime pie" and I was really craving it, but I was just too full from the burger and pickle-zilla.

After we left Margaritaville we were both stuffed and getting really sleepy. We walked around some of the shops for awhile but neither of us were really in the mood to do anything but sleep so we went back to the hotel. We ended up getting into bed at about 8:30, and since it was Wednesday we watched The Middle and Modern Family. Wow, we really like to live on the edge, can't you tell? ;)

The king bed was gloriously comfortable and I fell asleep before 9:30. I was so excited for our first full day of vacation, but I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Why in the world, when I had so much to be happy about, did I feel sad? :sad1:

Up Next: I spot a couple celebrities at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and I figure out why I feel depressed! Stay tuned!

therussells08
06-25-2011, 09:55 PM
LOVING your TR! Can't wait to read more... this is the next best thing to going, and I have a loooong wait.

:rotfl2:

:welcome: Thank you so much for joining in! I'm glad you are enjoying it so far. I hope it can help make your wait seem shorter! :)

shelbys mommy
06-25-2011, 10:02 PM
I was thrilled to get out of the car and I think John felt the same way, since I tend to be extremely obnoxious when I have been riding for too long. I think he had heard just about enough of me doing my impersonation of the guy from Dumb and Dumber making "the most annoying sound in the world!" :lmao:

John: "Wow, they have everything I need to make a Jack and Coke."
Me: "You mean they have Jack Daniels and Coke? It's not like that's a very complicated recipe."
John: "Still, it's nice to know I can have one anytime I want."
Me: "Um, if you want to take out a loan to pay for a sip of Jack Daniels and a can of Coke, be my guest."

Oh dear god, I am literally :rotfl2::rotfl2::lmao::lmao::rotfl::rotfl: right now!!!

Ok I quoted those 2 things because well that is something I would totally do, both of them! I love the conversation!

I would have gotten the $5.00 out of his wallet & paid someone to carry all of the bags! He sounds like Ben about the wheelchair for me at Disney last year!

And LMAO at pickle-zilla!!!!

Oh, I did get a text from you while you was at Margaritaville!

DisneyFirefly
06-25-2011, 11:03 PM
You know, the only areas of Universal property I've ever been in have been the Lynx bus stop, the parking lot, and City Walk? :lmao: That hotel is just gorgeous, though! :lovestruc

My dad's just like John about tipping people. When he and I were at the airport once, he tried giving a skycap $1 after he'd handled four checked bags for us. Needless to say, I gave the guy an extra $5. He just doesn't get it and is a horrible tipper.

Anyway, your dinner at Margaritaville looks fantastic! They're supposed to be opening one here in Chicago sometime soon, so maybe I can rectify the "never been" situation :rotfl:

Can't wait for more! :yay:

MickeyisBeast
06-25-2011, 11:08 PM
I just love your writing style! And great pics (:
I'm from near Charlotte, not in it but close by.

PlutosRHM55
06-25-2011, 11:09 PM
:welcome:

Thank you so much for saying that; you are very kind! That is great that English is your favorite class! Are you still in high school? If so, what has been your favorite thing you've read so far? Sorry, I love hearing from students about their English classes! :)

I'm really glad you are enjoying the report so far! Thank you for reading along!

Thanks! (:

No problem :teeth: I love English. I've been crazy into writing and reading since I was like 6. I'm hoping to get published someday (: Yes, I'm still in high school, this year was actually my first year (AND I SURVIVED :cool1:) And my favorite thing I've read this year... in classes or just in general? In my classes, it would have to be The Hunger Games, but I read that two years before, so... well I didn't enjoy anything that much, but Catcher in the Rye was decent. I just didn't like Holden's personality, but the ending was awesome! Now, I'm rambling on sorry :goodvibes

dmwang9
06-25-2011, 11:17 PM
Joining late, but I'm all caught up and can't wait for the rest!
:cool1:

PlutosRHM55
06-25-2011, 11:31 PM
Haha, when you said your husband doesn't like to give tips, I thought it was going to be because he pays too high or too low. How it works in my family LOL Let's just say tips come in all shapes and sizes. :teeth: My family's "financial" life aside... Great update! I loved reading about your whole chat about the mini bar. Those prices are crazy, sheesh! And I thought Disney was expensive :rolleyes1 And that pickle is huge, but that burger looked really good :thumbsup2 Can't wait to read about your day at WWOHP!!! *jealous*

ddstratton
06-26-2011, 09:31 AM
Loving your pictures! Your burger looked so yummy! We may finally be going to a Margaritaville on our upcoming trip. Have never been to one, and it looks like fun. Looking forward to more!

TinkerbellLuvr7
06-26-2011, 10:23 AM
I'm here!!! A little late but still here! Sorry we never got a chance to meet but I guess you were on your last day when we were arriving!!!

I love the pics of Royal Pacific! I want to stay there sometime this summer..with my brother's discount of course!

We also ate at Margaritaville but on the 17th :) I got the same thing!!!!

I won't spoil for your readers who the celebrities were but I know who they were bc my brother was working that day at Forbidden Journey and met them!!!!!!!!! :) I can't wait to see what you thought of Universal since we were there several days after you!!

A&LDisneyChicky
06-26-2011, 10:36 AM
I'm in, and all caught up! Can't wait to read more!:cool1:

Jaybird6
06-26-2011, 10:43 AM
Subscribing! I can't wait to read more about your trip - I love your narration style popcorn::

TanzUnited99
06-26-2011, 11:00 AM
Yay your back and started!! I finally made my way over!

Love the intros and the no dancing comment/pics! :rotfl: I totally get not being able to sleep the night before - I still don't know how I will cope! Am glad Lee helped you get to your destination again.

Lol I wouldn't have guessed guns or junk drawers to that question!

Leows looks so nice - wow at the price of the snacks/drinks! :scared1:

Love the pic you took whilst looking at the mini bar and how it will be remembered for that moment!

Lol at the story of trying to overtake the fast walkers! Margaritaville looks great and you are right - that pickle is huge!

Mrs. Sojourner
06-26-2011, 11:29 AM
Enjoying your TR; can't wait to read more. :)

Nermel9
06-26-2011, 11:47 AM
Haha, had to :rotfl: at the Dumb and Dumber reference...that's one of Brandon's favorite movies. He especially likes the bathroom scene. :rotfl2:

The Royal Pacific Resort looks so nice! I think if we ever actually decide to do Universal, I'd like to stay there for one night, then move to a Disney resort like you did, get Universal out of the way! :thumbsup2

Wow, $7 for a bottle of Fiji water??? :eek: And that's not even good tasting water (I'm weird with my bottled water, I only like certain kinds!) :snooty:

Margaritaville looks fun, I've only been there once, at the casino in CT, but I think I only got a drink. I'd like to eat there someday. That pickle is kind of ridiculous! :lmao:

Tracy161
06-26-2011, 02:55 PM
Great update! And wow, was your resort beautiful!!! :goodvibes I was so happy to see that you and John went to Margaritaville - I am a HUGE Jimmy Buffett fan and went to the one in Key West several years ago and loved it!!!!!! Can't wait to read more!

Belle83
06-26-2011, 03:00 PM
Thanks for including the Universal stuff, I'm considering staying at one of the Universal hotels for part of our next trip (to get free Express Passes and boat transportation, mostly). Am enjoying your report!

stephielela
06-26-2011, 05:36 PM
The hotel looks beautiful! I had to laugh when you sped past the security checkpoint. Totally something I would do!

I wonder why you are feeling depressed? Could it be that you are betraying Mickey and cheating with Harry Potter?


Ooooh celebrities?! Can't wait to find out who!

IheartDDuck
06-26-2011, 07:40 PM
Oh my god, minibars are just terrible aren't they? I can't believe they charge so much for things. It's crazy.

The hotel looks very pretty. i've seen lots of pictures of it, but haven't actually be there before.

Your DH sounds just like my dad. He always wanted to take the route to have us lug everything rather than just paying someone to help us out. You definitely feel like a pack mule.

pooksma
06-26-2011, 09:33 PM
:lmao::rotfl: Really enjoying your report. Thanks for sharing with us.

Disneyfreak508
06-27-2011, 01:01 AM
I'm here!! :) I didn't know you started a new one but Kristen told me! I finally had time to catch up!

I really want that burger... it looks delicious! haha YUM :love:

I'm excited for you guys to get back to Disney! YAY I love reading about your adventures :wizard:

Disneyfreak616
06-27-2011, 12:52 PM
WOW! The resort is beautiful!!! :worship:

I've never really gotten into the whole Universal thing, because I just can't be in Orlando and not be in Disney, but that resort is starting to change my mind! It's gorgeous!

Love the room! The modern decor is really pretty.

Oh the mini bar...love the pic! You guys are too cute! :lovestruc

SEVEN DOLLARS?!?!? For WATER?? I mean, I know it's Fiji water, but still! I can buy two cases for almost that much at Wegmans!!!

I love the silent married conversation...I can totally picture that. :laughing:

:woohoo: for saving 5 bucks!

That pool looks SO FUN! OMG it's so tropical and gorgeous! If I ever am talked into going to Universal for more than just a day, RPR is where I want to stay. :cloud9:

HAHAHA "Ma'am, excuse me Ma'am!!" LOL. :rotfl: I would TOTALLY do the exact same thing, that is so funny! Good thing you weren't actually a thief! :lmao:

MMMMM...Margaritaville! I love the atmosphere there, so tropical and fun! :thumbsup2 I seem to be noticing that a lot in this update. LOL.

Woah, that pickle IS huge! YUMMM. :upsidedow

What a great first day! I can't wait to hear about the next one! :yay:

sbprincess
06-27-2011, 12:54 PM
Wow, I cannot believe I missed your start by a few days and I'm already stuck down on page 6! :laughing:

Ya know, I totally didn't understand how "southern" people in NC were until I moved here. I am from Georgia originally so I know what country looks like. I just didn't know it extended up to NC too. And I totally know what you mean about the connotation of "redneck". It means very different things to different people.

Loving everything so far! Not sure if you remember, but you recommended to me to read the Harry Potter series instead of just watching the movies (in your December TR). I am so glad I took your advice! I've been reading the series and watching the movies only in between. I am on book 5, Order of the Pheonix and I like the books so much more (but they're also neat to see, of course). All through the movies I sit and commentate on how "this was different in the book" or "they explained that so much better in the book". :laughing: Luckily, my DH doesn't care and even appreciates when I can make something clearer than it was in the movie. I can't wait to go to IOA in October now to see the land. So, I'm glad your including your Universal section in your TR.

You are hilarious, by the way! Love your writing style.

cocofifi
06-27-2011, 08:06 PM
I'm going to crawl out from under my lurking rock for this one. Lovin' this trip report so far!

tinacaplan
06-27-2011, 10:30 PM
You are very funny! And we absolutely spent an evening of one of our trip's watching "The Middle" and "Modern Family." :rotfl:

Vwdiva93
06-27-2011, 11:43 PM
Hi! I lurked on your past TR/PTR, they are so funny and I love reading them. So definitely count me in on this one!

shelbys mommy
06-28-2011, 12:40 AM
Hey everyone, this is the other Joni lol. Joni will be back soon with an update. She has a very serious eye infection & had to go to the dr today for allergy shots.

DisneyFirefly
06-28-2011, 12:41 AM
Oh no! :eek: I hope she gets better soon! :hug:

shelbys mommy
06-28-2011, 01:15 AM
Oh no! :eek: I hope she gets better soon! :hug:

She told me today that she had to go to the dr & get allergy shots. She thought she has poison ivy in her eyes.

DisneyFirefly
06-28-2011, 01:16 AM
Ew :( That really sucks... I really hope she gets better soon. :hug:

PrincessCharlie
06-28-2011, 09:02 AM
Hi, love your report :) I always like hearing about things outside Disney especially HP since we'll be there in sept.

We're the same with tipping, in England tipping is just not something you do that much unless your in a restaurant or a fancy hotel. We could'nt understand why the shuttle driver expected a tip when it was included in our package holiday :confused3 He ended up being so miserable and chucking our bags on the pavement he didn't get a tip. Plus I never know how much, I don't want to insult the person by giving too little, or end up going over the top.

Get well soon, can't wait for the next installment!

shelbys mommy
06-29-2011, 12:37 AM
Joni told me today that she is feeling better, but still not 100% to do the next installment. She hopes to be here soon!

Kimmy
06-29-2011, 06:25 PM
I hope she is feeling better soon! What a beautiful resort. Can't wait to see more great pictures!

therussells08
06-29-2011, 09:37 PM
Oh dear god, I am literally :rotfl2::rotfl2::lmao::lmao::rotfl::rotfl: right now!!!

Ok I quoted those 2 things because well that is something I would totally do, both of them! I love the conversation!

I would have gotten the $5.00 out of his wallet & paid someone to carry all of the bags! He sounds like Ben about the wheelchair for me at Disney last year!

And LMAO at pickle-zilla!!!!

Oh, I did get a text from you while you was at Margaritaville!

I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

You and I are so alike! It's scary sometimes!

I was tempted to, but a part of me didn't want to have to do the awkward tip thing either!

You know, the only areas of Universal property I've ever been in have been the Lynx bus stop, the parking lot, and City Walk? :lmao: That hotel is just gorgeous, though! :lovestruc

My dad's just like John about tipping people. When he and I were at the airport once, he tried giving a skycap $1 after he'd handled four checked bags for us. Needless to say, I gave the guy an extra $5. He just doesn't get it and is a horrible tipper.

Anyway, your dinner at Margaritaville looks fantastic! They're supposed to be opening one here in Chicago sometime soon, so maybe I can rectify the "never been" situation :rotfl:

Can't wait for more! :yay:

City Walk can be a little overwhelming! I think I definitely prefer Downtown Disney!

That's how John is with tipping! He doesn't do it to be rude, but he just doesn't understand proper tipping etiquette!

You would love Margaritaville! I hope Chicago gets one soon!

I just love your writing style! And great pics (:
I'm from near Charlotte, not in it but close by.

:welcome: and thank you!

That's so cool that you are from NC too!

Thanks! (:

No problem :teeth: I love English. I've been crazy into writing and reading since I was like 6. I'm hoping to get published someday (: Yes, I'm still in high school, this year was actually my first year (AND I SURVIVED :cool1:) And my favorite thing I've read this year... in classes or just in general? In my classes, it would have to be The Hunger Games, but I read that two years before, so... well I didn't enjoy anything that much, but Catcher in the Rye was decent. I just didn't like Holden's personality, but the ending was awesome! Now, I'm rambling on sorry :goodvibes

That is so great that you like to write and read so much! Congratulations on finishing your first year of high school! That's probably the toughest. I primarily teach English I so I know how rough freshmen have it! I completely agree with you about Holden Caulfied's personality. He seems a little whiny to me, but a lot of you young people connect with that character so I appreciate him. That book does have a great ending. Don't apologize, you're not rambling! I love hearing from students who are passionate about English! :)

Joining late, but I'm all caught up and can't wait for the rest!
:cool1:

:welcome: You're not late, you're right on time! ;)

Haha, when you said your husband doesn't like to give tips, I thought it was going to be because he pays too high or too low. How it works in my family LOL Let's just say tips come in all shapes and sizes. :teeth: My family's "financial" life aside... Great update! I loved reading about your whole chat about the mini bar. Those prices are crazy, sheesh! And I thought Disney was expensive :rolleyes1 And that pickle is huge, but that burger looked really good :thumbsup2 Can't wait to read about your day at WWOHP!!! *jealous*

It turns out that Universal was SO much more expensive than Disney! I always complained about Disney's prices, but this little side trip to Universal really made me appreciate them!

Loving your pictures! Your burger looked so yummy! We may finally be going to a Margaritaville on our upcoming trip. Have never been to one, and it looks like fun. Looking forward to more!

Margaritaville is great! I always love eating there, and the Universal location was really fun!

therussells08
06-29-2011, 09:42 PM
I'm here!!! A little late but still here! Sorry we never got a chance to meet but I guess you were on your last day when we were arriving!!!

I love the pics of Royal Pacific! I want to stay there sometime this summer..with my brother's discount of course!

We also ate at Margaritaville but on the 17th :) I got the same thing!!!!

I won't spoil for your readers who the celebrities were but I know who they were bc my brother was working that day at Forbidden Journey and met them!!!!!!!!! :) I can't wait to see what you thought of Universal since we were there several days after you!!

:welcome: I'm so glad you're here! I hate that we didn't get to meet too; hopefully next time!

You definitely should stay there sometime! It's even better when you've got a discount!

That cheeseburger was great, wasn't it? I loved it!

That's so cool that your brother met them! All I did was take pictures of the backs of their heads! :lmao:

I'm in, and all caught up! Can't wait to read more!:cool1:

:welcome: I'm glad you're here!

Subscribing! I can't wait to read more about your trip - I love your narration style popcorn::

:welcome: Thank you for saying that! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Yay your back and started!! I finally made my way over!

Love the intros and the no dancing comment/pics! :rotfl: I totally get not being able to sleep the night before - I still don't know how I will cope! Am glad Lee helped you get to your destination again.

Lol I wouldn't have guessed guns or junk drawers to that question!

Leows looks so nice - wow at the price of the snacks/drinks! :scared1:

Love the pic you took whilst looking at the mini bar and how it will be remembered for that moment!

Lol at the story of trying to overtake the fast walkers! Margaritaville looks great and you are right - that pickle is huge!

:welcome: I'm so glad you're here!

I'm glad you're enjoying everything so far! :hug:

Enjoying your TR; can't wait to read more. :)

:welcome: I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Haha, had to :rotfl: at the Dumb and Dumber reference...that's one of Brandon's favorite movies. He especially likes the bathroom scene. :rotfl2:

The Royal Pacific Resort looks so nice! I think if we ever actually decide to do Universal, I'd like to stay there for one night, then move to a Disney resort like you did, get Universal out of the way! :thumbsup2

Wow, $7 for a bottle of Fiji water??? :eek: And that's not even good tasting water (I'm weird with my bottled water, I only like certain kinds!) :snooty:

Margaritaville looks fun, I've only been there once, at the casino in CT, but I think I only got a drink. I'd like to eat there someday. That pickle is kind of ridiculous! :lmao:

John loves that bathroom scene too! That's classic boy humor. Okay, I'll admit, I laugh at it too. :lmao:

Royal Pacific is actually the cheapest resort at Universal, so I can't imagine how nice the others are!

I agree, I don't like Fiji water either!

Margaritaville has pretty good food. The atmosphere is the best part, though!

Great update! And wow, was your resort beautiful!!! :goodvibes I was so happy to see that you and John went to Margaritaville - I am a HUGE Jimmy Buffett fan and went to the one in Key West several years ago and loved it!!!!!! Can't wait to read more!

Margaritaville is so fun! We enjoyed the Orlando location even better than the Myrtle Beach one! :goodvibes

Thanks for including the Universal stuff, I'm considering staying at one of the Universal hotels for part of our next trip (to get free Express Passes and boat transportation, mostly). Am enjoying your report!

I'm glad you are enjoying the Universal stuff! The free express passes and early park admission for the main reason we decided to stay there. It definitely made things a lot easier! I'm so glad you're enjoying it! :)

therussells08
06-29-2011, 09:47 PM
The hotel looks beautiful! I had to laugh when you sped past the security checkpoint. Totally something I would do!

I wonder why you are feeling depressed? Could it be that you are betraying Mickey and cheating with Harry Potter?


Ooooh celebrities?! Can't wait to find out who!

I am such a nerd sometimes! I drive John crazy when I do stuff like that!

I think you have a very good idea about my depression! Stay tuned! ;)

Oh my god, minibars are just terrible aren't they? I can't believe they charge so much for things. It's crazy.

The hotel looks very pretty. i've seen lots of pictures of it, but haven't actually be there before.

Your DH sounds just like my dad. He always wanted to take the route to have us lug everything rather than just paying someone to help us out. You definitely feel like a pack mule.

They really are awful! They are so expensive.

John is so hilarious. He is just like his dad but he refuses to see it. :lmao:

:lmao::rotfl: Really enjoying your report. Thanks for sharing with us.

:welcome: I'm glad you are enjoying it! Thank you for reading along!

I'm here!! :) I didn't know you started a new one but Kristen told me! I finally had time to catch up!

I really want that burger... it looks delicious! haha YUM :love:

I'm excited for you guys to get back to Disney! YAY I love reading about your adventures :wizard:

:welcome: I'm so glad you're here!

I wish I had that burger again right about now!

I can't wait to get back to Disney in this TR! As fun as Universal was you know Disney was a million times better!

WOW! The resort is beautiful!!! :worship:

I've never really gotten into the whole Universal thing, because I just can't be in Orlando and not be in Disney, but that resort is starting to change my mind! It's gorgeous!

Love the room! The modern decor is really pretty.

Oh the mini bar...love the pic! You guys are too cute! :lovestruc

SEVEN DOLLARS?!?!? For WATER?? I mean, I know it's Fiji water, but still! I can buy two cases for almost that much at Wegmans!!!

I love the silent married conversation...I can totally picture that. :laughing:

:woohoo: for saving 5 bucks!

That pool looks SO FUN! OMG it's so tropical and gorgeous! If I ever am talked into going to Universal for more than just a day, RPR is where I want to stay. :cloud9:

HAHAHA "Ma'am, excuse me Ma'am!!" LOL. :rotfl: I would TOTALLY do the exact same thing, that is so funny! Good thing you weren't actually a thief! :lmao:

MMMMM...Margaritaville! I love the atmosphere there, so tropical and fun! :thumbsup2 I seem to be noticing that a lot in this update. LOL.

Woah, that pickle IS huge! YUMMM. :upsidedow

What a great first day! I can't wait to hear about the next one! :yay:

I'm the exact same way about Universal. It's great and all, but it's just not my Disney!

We never did swim in that pool, but we did sit by it one night and eat icecream!

I was so embarassed when I breezed past that security guard! She probably thought I was smuggling in a weapon or something! :rotfl:

Wow, I cannot believe I missed your start by a few days and I'm already stuck down on page 6! :laughing:

Ya know, I totally didn't understand how "southern" people in NC were until I moved here. I am from Georgia originally so I know what country looks like. I just didn't know it extended up to NC too. And I totally know what you mean about the connotation of "redneck". It means very different things to different people.

Loving everything so far! Not sure if you remember, but you recommended to me to read the Harry Potter series instead of just watching the movies (in your December TR). I am so glad I took your advice! I've been reading the series and watching the movies only in between. I am on book 5, Order of the Pheonix and I like the books so much more (but they're also neat to see, of course). All through the movies I sit and commentate on how "this was different in the book" or "they explained that so much better in the book". :laughing: Luckily, my DH doesn't care and even appreciates when I can make something clearer than it was in the movie. I can't wait to go to IOA in October now to see the land. So, I'm glad your including your Universal section in your TR.

You are hilarious, by the way! Love your writing style.

:welcome: I'm so glad you're here!

YAY! It's so great that you are enjoying Harry Potter! I absolutely remember recommending them. I love it anytime I can get someone to hop on board with the Harry Potter obsession. That means you will get all of my nerdy jokes in my next update! :rotfl:

I'm going to crawl out from under my lurking rock for this one. Lovin' this trip report so far!

:welcome: I'm so glad you're here! Thanks for reading!

therussells08
06-29-2011, 09:50 PM
You are very funny! And we absolutely spent an evening of one of our trip's watching "The Middle" and "Modern Family." :rotfl:

Thank you so much! :) I'm glad we're not the only ones who do that!

Hi! I lurked on your past TR/PTR, they are so funny and I love reading them. So definitely count me in on this one!

:welcome: Thank you for saying those nice things! You are very sweet! I'm glad you are enjoying it!

Hey everyone, this is the other Joni lol. Joni will be back soon with an update. She has a very serious eye infection & had to go to the dr today for allergy shots.

Thank you so much for letting everyone know! I really appreciate it! :hug:

Oh no! :eek: I hope she gets better soon! :hug:

Thank you so much! :hug: I'm feeling much better!

She told me today that she had to go to the dr & get allergy shots. She thought she has poison ivy in her eyes.

This can only happen in NC! :lmao:

Ew :( That really sucks... I really hope she gets better soon. :hug:

Thank you! I am a lot better now!

Hi, love your report :) I always like hearing about things outside Disney especially HP since we'll be there in sept.

We're the same with tipping, in England tipping is just not something you do that much unless your in a restaurant or a fancy hotel. We could'nt understand why the shuttle driver expected a tip when it was included in our package holiday :confused3 He ended up being so miserable and chucking our bags on the pavement he didn't get a tip. Plus I never know how much, I don't want to insult the person by giving too little, or end up going over the top.

Get well soon, can't wait for the next installment!

:welcome: I'm so glad you are enjoying the report!

I'm glad we are not the only ones confused by tipping! It just varies so much depending on the service, it really mixes me up!

Thank you so much! I am getting ready to update now! :)

Joni told me today that she is feeling better, but still not 100% to do the next installment. She hopes to be here soon!

Thank you again so much! You rock girl! I don't know what I'd do without you! :hug:

I hope she is feeling better soon! What a beautiful resort. Can't wait to see more great pictures!

Thank you! I feel much better! :goodvibes

shelbys mommy
06-29-2011, 09:54 PM
Thank you so much for letting everyone know! I really appreciate it! :hug:

This can only happen in NC! :lmao:

Thank you again so much! You rock girl! I don't know what I'd do without you! :hug:

I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

You and I are so alike! It's scary sometimes!

I was tempted to, but a part of me didn't want to have to do the awkward tip thing either!

You are so welcome!!! Glad I could help!!!

And yes we are alike! I still say the Joni's need to do Disney!

therussells08
06-29-2011, 09:57 PM
Hi everyone! Thank you all so much for being so patient for my next update. As Joni said, I have been dealing with some serious allergies the last few days, so I'm finally able to stop scratching my eyes long enough to post an update!

Anyway, let's get back to it! We woke up the next morning at 6:30. I showered and got ready with lightning speed because according to John the world was going to end if I wasn't ready to go by 7:15. Well you can come out of your bomb shelters folks because I am proud to say I was ready at 7:10! :thumbsup2 Granted, my hair looked a little crazy and my makeup looked like a three year old had applied it, but darn it, I was ready!

We headed out into the morning sunshine and made our way to Islands of Adventure! There was already a decent number of people walking that way from our resort, so I was anticipating pretty big crowds.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip041.jpg

We made it to the entrance before 7:30 and got into the already surprisingly long line. I started to have horrific flashbacks of our experience with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in December: people racing toward the entrance, almost getting trampled as I tried to get to the restroom, waiting in line for an hour to get into a shop... :sad2: John shook me out of my nightmarish reverie at about 7:45 to tell me they were opening the gates early. Instantly I got my game face on and crouched into position like a professional runner at a big race. I was ready. Let's do this.

The gates opened and I could almost hear the pistol firing. And...they're off! The rushing crowds weren't quite as bad as they were in December, but it was still closer to a Black Friday sale at the Feed 'n Seed in North Carolina than a nice leisurely walk in the park. I managed to keep up with the crowds lest I be trampled like Mufasa in The Lion King, and in just a few minutes we were entering the land of all my childhood dreams- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from very early on in the morning because I was afraid to stop and try to take one with all the people rushing to get on The Forbidden Journey. Speaking of which, we headed straight for that and managed to almost walk on! I realized then what a huge difference getting into the park an hour early makes! In December we waited in line over an hour to ride this. After we finished with that we headed over the shortest roller coaster known to man, Flight of the Hippogriff. Just to prove a point I tried to hold my breath for the duration of the ride, and I would have done it too if we hadn't hit a particularly nasty bump which knocked the wind out of me.

These are the only two rides we go on at the WWoHP because we rode that dragon challenge thing when it went by another name and it gave me the worst migraine I've ever had. I had several other things on my list of "must dos" for that day, and one of those things was eating at the Three Broomsticks. We stopped by to see if they served breakfast and lo and behold, they did! I felt like I had just drank a huge bottle of Felix Felicis. (Nerdy Harry Potter reference.Sorry.)

We went inside to order our breakfasts. John decided to go with the American Breakfast and I went with the Pancake Breakfast. The lovely witch behind the counter asked us our beverage of choice and I asked for a Diet Coke.

"Sorry, there is no soda served in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter."

:eek: I beg your pardon? You're telling me that I am standing in the middle of all of my fantasies come to life and I can't get a Diet Coke? Well, being deprived of my number one choice and my only chosen source of caffeine is not very magical, Harry Potter. I stood there for a minute trying to figure out if maybe they did in fact sell Diet Coke but they just had some clever wizard-y name for it like Dieticus Cokius, but alas. It looked like my choices were milk or orange juice, so I grumpily mumbled "orange juice" and went to find a table.

On a brighter note, the breakfast was delicious! It was extremely greasy, which in my opinion is the perfect amount of greasy. In fact, I was so busy eating that I didn't stop to take pictures of the interior of the restaurant. Don't worry, I didn't forget to take pictures of the food!

Here's John's American Breakfast:

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip043.jpg

And here's my Pancake Breakfast:

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip042.jpg

Oh, and here's my NOT Diet Coke.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip044.jpg

After breakfast we decided to wander over to some of the gift shops. In December we had waited in line to get into the candy store, Honeydukes, for about an hour, but today we were able to walk right in!

I decided not to buy anything since I had spent enough money here in December to pay someone's mortgage for six months, but I did take some pictures!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip045.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip046.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip047.jpg

We left Honedukes and went to a few other shops. Dervish and Banges was pretty crowded so we didn't stick around in there for long. On our way to the next shop, Filch's Emporium, I stopped to take a few pictures of Hogwarts.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip049.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip050.jpg

In Filch's Emporium I deliberated for about an hour and finally settled on a deck of cards for my sister and a coffee cup for my mom. I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance for John because he went into complete shock when he realized that I had managed to go in three stores without buying anything for myself. Chalk this up as another one of my weird vacation symptoms. I had been feeling sad the night before, and now I didn't want any souvenirs? What was going on with me?! ...More on that later!

After we finished my tiny bit of shopping we stopped for my next "must do"- Butterbeers!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip052.jpg

Oh, sweet and delicious Butterbeer. :lovestruc If you've never had Butterbeer before, it tastes like butterscotch, shortbread cookies, and heaven. When you drink it you can hear a thousand harps playing and Elton John singing a song he wrote just for you about the moment when you first taste Butterbeer. Someone should seriously bottle that stuff because I would most definitely buy it in bulk at Sam's Club.

While I was sipping away at my liquid joy I decide to take a few pictures. First I took a picture of the adorable crooked buildings.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip053.jpg

Then I turned to take a picture of the red steam engine, the Hogwarts Express. What's this? :confused: I couldn't see the Hogwarts Express because the area was roped off and there was a ton of people standing around. Well I am a southern girl and that means rubber neckin' is in my blood, so I mosied on over to take a peek. I saw a bunch of people standing around and big lights set up in front of the train. I also saw two extremely familiar looking twin boys. The conversation went as follows:

Me: (whispering dramatically) John...John! Look over there. I think that's Fred and George Weasley.
John: (squinting skeptically) Who, those guys? (pointing) No. That's not them. Those guys have brown hair.
Me: Yeah but, it really looks like them. Plus all these people are standing around looking at them.
John: But, they have BROWN HAIR. Everybody knows the Weasleys all have red hair.
Me: Well honey, in the magical world of Harry Potter land they have this wonderful potion called "hair dye." Ever heard of it?
John: (rolling his eyes) Joni, that is NOT Fred and George Weasley. Trust me.

Well call me crazy, but I didn't trust him. I proceeded to ask the nearest employee who those people standin' over yonder were, and he kindly informed me that they were Oliver and James Phelps. As in, the Oliver and James Phelps who play FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY in the Harry Potter movies! :bitelip: Boo-yah, Johnny Boy!

After I got over my initial "I told you so! See, you said it wasn't them but I said it was and I was right! Neener neener neener!" I switched into psycho paparazzi mode and starting taking a million pictures.

Here are the twins filming the commercial. One is wearing a blue polo and the other is wearing a purple polo. It was so funny because while they were filming they had all these extras wandering around in the background pointing at random things and trying to look amazed.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip057.jpg

Every few minutes they would take a break and wander over to talk to the extras.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip061.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip062.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip064.jpg

I'm pretty sure those two red haired girls were twins, and I got really excited and started secretly wishing that the Weasley twins would fall in love with those girls and whisk them away to The Burrow. (Sorry, another nerdy Harry Potter reference.)

I would have stood there and taken pictures of the backs of their heads all day but John finally dragged me away. I sucked down as much of my Butterbeer as I could hold and we decided to leave this area before the crowds got any worse. I waved to Fred and George, solemnly swore that I was up to no good, and said "goodbye for now" to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! pixiedust:

Up Next: More adventures at Universal and beyond, and I realize why I am so sad! Stay tuned!

therussells08
06-29-2011, 09:58 PM
You are so welcome!!! Glad I could help!!!

And yes we are alike! I still say the Joni's need to do Disney!

You were a huge help! :hug:

YES! The Jonis definitely need to do Disney! That would be one heck of a TR! :lmao:

shelbys mommy
06-29-2011, 10:06 PM
You were a huge help! :hug:

YES! The Jonis definitely need to do Disney! That would be one heck of a TR! :lmao:

Definitely a lot of laughs!!!

And what??? No Diet Coke???? I would have DIED!!!! I get Diet Coke with everything!!!

Yes for Neener Neener moments!!!! I love those!!! You so reminded me of our last trip to Disney!!!

And :rotfl2::rotfl2: at psycho paparazzi mode!!!! I wouldn't have known or took pics, since I don't know who they are. Probably because I don't watch Harry Potter or read the books.

PlutosRHM55
06-29-2011, 10:34 PM
Ok, this update just made me really nervous about going to WWOHP, since I really want to go and now I hear the words "stampede" and "hour long waits", I'm not so sure, but I think I need to go to Universal at least once. Disney, no doubt about it, will still be better in my eyes :thumbsup2 I can't believe they don't serve Diet Coke in Universal! That would not be good if my mom comes :sad2: At least, there will be Butterbeer, really want to try Butterbeer :cloud9: And that's so cool, you got to see the Weasley twins filming a commercial. :D Love all the random Harry Potter references and I love the pictures you took of Hogwarts! :goodvibes Can't wait to read about more of your adventures in Universal! :teeth:

Disneyfreak508
06-29-2011, 10:39 PM
LOL butterbeer sounds really good! I sort of want to try it!

I have never gotten into the whole Harry Potter thing but I still read your update anyway... which is a big accomplishment considering my main purpose on life on the boards is Disney :thumbsup2 I enjoyed your update though!

The candy store looks like the confectionary... LOL

And I can't believe they didn't have diet coke! That's SO weird!

I am wondering why you were sad, so I can't wait for the next update! And also, I hope your eyes feel completely better soon!

disneyfav4ever
06-29-2011, 10:44 PM
That is so cool that you so the Phelps brothers! I am so jealous! I would love to go back to WWOHP someday, but in a few years when it's not so crazy. I really am more of a Disney girl then Universal, but I do like the parks and some of the rides there.

Disneyfreak616
06-29-2011, 11:17 PM
Looks like a gorgeous day for WWOHP! :thumbsup2

Okay, I'm just :rotfl: at the thought of you crouched like a mama bear ready to attack. LOL.

Is Flight of the Hippogriff shorter than the Barnstormer?!?!

Love the nerdy HP reference! HAHA don't you wish that stuff really existed!?

No Diet Coke!?!?!?! Oh my dad is NOT going to be happy about that. I better forewarn him so he doesn't get in a fight with the poor witch or wizard silly enough to take his order. :laughing:

Your breakfast looks delish!

Honeydukes looks like heaven. :cloud9: I cannot WAIT to get my hands on some of that! :woohoo:

Hogwarts looks so legit! And beauteous!

Butterbeer sounds divine! I cannot WAIT to try it!!! :yay:

OMG that was really them?!!?!?!!?!?!?!?! Wow I'm freaking out. I totally would have like shoved all the camera people aside and jumped on them or something. I LOVE them. :laughing:

Oh The Burrow. I would totally love to live there.

I would have stayed all day too. :lovestruc

Can't wait to hear what happens next! This TR just keeps getting better and better!

Cat0727
06-30-2011, 12:01 AM
Wow I'm surprised they don't sell Diet Coke. Maybe it's a ploy to get you to buy the Butterbeer? :confused3 But that doesn't make much sense either. Lol I laughed when there was a special magical name for the soda though! :laughing:

Haha I know, Flight of the Hippogriff is crazy short. And to make it worse it is such a slow loading ride!

How cool you got to see the Weasley twins! I'm so excited to see the new HP movie! :yay:

DisneyDreamerMN
06-30-2011, 12:17 AM
Wow I didn't know you started your new one! Yay!

Vwdiva93
06-30-2011, 12:45 AM
Honeydukes looks so amazing! When I went to WWoHP last summer it was about 2 weeks after the opening, the crowds were so crazy that we had to skip all of the stores, and butterbeer too!:sad2: That is so cool that you got to see the Weasley twins, I'm so jealous!!

ddstratton
06-30-2011, 08:29 AM
Loved this update! We're doing Universal for the first time, on our next trip. WWoHP is VERY high on DD's (and my!) list of things to do. We'll be staying at a Universal hotel, so we'll be doing the early entry as well. I'm glad to see that the Three Broomsticks serves breakfast! I was wondering about that...

cocofifi
06-30-2011, 10:03 AM
It really is so cool that you saw the Phelps brothers at WWoHP. The Weasley twins are my favorite HP characters.

saintstickets
06-30-2011, 10:12 AM
Really enjoying your TR. Thanks for the WWOHP critique. We are staying at VWL next May and will not enter WDW but plan on going to WWOHP, Discovery Cove, etc. I am really looking forward to a butterbeer. And if it is any consolation, I am MUCH older than you and understood every one of your Harry Potter references! :sad2:

TanzUnited99
06-30-2011, 10:26 AM
Am glad to hear your feeling better and able to do another great update! :thumbsup2

I loved reading about WWoHP and what a contrast from your Dec review - you got to walk on to The Forbiddon Journey - cool! :cool1:

Lol am loving the Harry Potter references and wow on meeting the Weasley twins!!

What - no diet coke?! :eek: Hope you managed to get your caffiene fix elsewhere.

Love all the shop pics - yay on getting Butterbeer and being so good in the shops!

pooksma
06-30-2011, 12:13 PM
Ok you have sucked me in-Universal will def. be part of our next trip.

Great shots and what luck to see the Phelps boys.

Happy to read you're feeling better, I was worried I might miss out on the sewage!:lmao:

diznykidz
06-30-2011, 01:09 PM
This is one TR I can't wait to hear! Sounds like an awesome trip. I'm in.

sbprincess
06-30-2011, 01:15 PM
[Sigh]...I cannot WAIT until we're able to go to WWOHP in October! (We're less than 100 days now!!! :woohoo: ) All the pictures I've seen look amazing. I will probably be like John the morning we're to go. We are staying at Portofino Bay so I will want to be one of the first in line for that extra hour we'll get.

I am excited to try Butterbeer too! Do you like the frozen or not-frozen better? Also, have you had Pumpkin Juice? I love almost anything pumpkin so I was hoping to try that too.

I'm glad you're feeling better! :goodvibes

IheartDDuck
06-30-2011, 08:37 PM
How awesome that you saw the ones who played the Weasley brothers!

I know what you mean about taking pictures on your way into the WWoHP. I did the same thing that you did when I visited. I didn't take any pictures on my way in, just walked in (ran actually), because I was intent on getting in line for the Forbidden Journey.

Great morning that you had. But totally weird that they don't serve coke. Just.....bizarre.

DisneyFirefly
06-30-2011, 08:41 PM
Maybe they don't serve Coke products in WWOHP because of some crazy licensing thing? :confused3 I dunno.

I wish I could go there! We have a day that we're thinking about doing it, but we wouldn't be there until mid-afternoon at the earliest, so I don't know if it's worth it due to long lines :headache:

Anyway, it looks like you guys had a really good time! :)

Iwant2BAprincess
07-01-2011, 12:31 PM
pardon me as I get my geek on...That witch really did put liquid luck in your oj at breakfast-to actually see Fred and George there OMG!!!!!!!!!:wizard:

Nermel9
07-01-2011, 01:25 PM
WWoHP looks so cute, but again, never read the books or saw the movies, so it's kind of lost on me! :laughing: Butterbeer sounds amazing, though, I love that your version of heaven includes Elton John singing to you, something to look forward to! :rotfl2:

I have no idea who those famous people were that you saw there, but yay anyway! :banana:

(Oh, btw...the first time I saw that bathroom scene in Dumb and Dumber, I tried to act all grossed out like any proper lady should, then I said forget it, and laughed hysterically. Proper lady I'm not, I find bathroom humor hilarious! :laughing: You should hear some of the conversations my friends and I have at work, you would think we were guys! :eek: :rotfl2:)

MnMMommy
07-01-2011, 05:23 PM
Enjoying reading your trip report. Your title is hilarious!

stephielela
07-01-2011, 06:01 PM
That settles it. When I eventually make it to WWoHP, we will be staying at a hotel that gets us early access!! I am so jealous! I really want to go, but Jack is too yhoung. I wish they bottled Butterbeer too, I know they bottle pumpkin juice, and the Butterbeer must be way better!! It is wierd they don't sell any coke products, I bet it's a J.K. Rowling thing. She was very specific about the designs of the place etc, I bet she felt it would take away from the atmosphere.

tinacaplan
07-01-2011, 07:14 PM
Glad your allergies are better...sounds truly terrible.

SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE
07-02-2011, 04:47 PM
Hey Joni! I finally made it over and I'm all caught up with your updates. I LOVE the TR so far - it is so much fun to read and I feel like I'm right there with you! :goodvibes

I love stopping at Cracker Barrel on the way to Florida. When I would go on vacation with my grandparents (and even now when we drive down with them) we always stop there. :thumbsup2

Ok, what kind of restaurant doesn't serve sodas? Being a non-orange juice drinker, I would have had a really hard time! I can't do without my diet coke! :laughing:

I'm interested to hear what was making you sad - I hope it's nothing too bad!

TinkerbellLuvr7
07-03-2011, 09:33 AM
Great morning at Harry Potter..minus the Diet Coke! I was right on your celebrities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My brother was working that day and said they came through Forbidden Journey a few times and were in the break room talking with the other team members..talk about a day being on cloud nine!!!

Your breakfast looked yummy!

Disneybuckeye
07-03-2011, 05:33 PM
Yeah! Another Joni trip report! I can't belive I missed the fact that you had a trip planned for this summer while reading your last report. As always you report is making me LOL:rotfl2:

The pack mule story cracked me up. When we stayed at the BWV in March my parents picked my daugher up the Wednesday before we arrived on Friday when she was released from her college lacrosse spring break travel trip in West Palm. They took her to their house in Naples for two days, and then brought her to us in Orlando where they all stayed with us for the first two days of our trip. My dad is cheap about tipping and did not want to pay a bellhop to take all their crap in the car to our room. Once they opened the trunk, and I saw all the junk, I said I would tip the bellhop as I was not a pack mule! I ended up tipping their bellhop as well as our ME person.

I am also loving all the HP references. Yes, I am a HP nerd too. Can't wait to hear what you thought of RP. We are staying there in December to get FOL and early entry before we move over to VWL.

Can't wait to hear more and gald your eye is better.

feyrerm
07-05-2011, 04:01 PM
Loving the TR. Cant wait for the next update!

amazingact21
07-07-2011, 11:08 AM
Coming over from your PTR! I love your updates so far! I think it's very cool that you were able to catch the twins filming a commercial. :thumbsup2
I know it's still far off, but I can't wait to see how John reacted to AKL!

Curiouser&curiouser!
07-07-2011, 02:18 PM
Hi!

I just found your trip report today and am loving it! I can't wait to hear more!

I also can't believe that you got to see Fred and George! That is so cool!

therussells08
07-09-2011, 10:30 PM
Hi everyone! Thank you so much for reading along on my TR! I'm so sorry I haven't posted an update lately! John and I have been very busy. We are currently in the process of buying a house (:banana:) and getting ready for John to deploy (:sad1:). I hope I haven't lost any of my readers! I promise I will be back tomorrow to reply to everyone's comments and post the next update. You're gonna want to read this one, because there's a little bit of a surprise coming up! :thumbsup2

Just to tide you over until I post more random and crazy trip pictures, here's our new house!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/house.jpg

Okay, see y'all tomorrow with a great update, I promise! ;)

Pixie Princess
07-10-2011, 01:00 AM
Girl, you are hilarious! I don't read many TRs and usually just lurk, but this I'm subbing to.

I'm from GA, and live in the coouuntryy! When I was younger I had an accent so thick I practically needed a translator. Not sure what happened to it. I just sort of lost it over time. It pops out real quick when I'm around someone else with an accent though.

While I live in GA now, I grew up in SC..Columbia to be exact. I saw the Cracker Barrel photo and knew which one ya'll visited. LOL! And the Palmetto trees..loved the photos. Don't see them around here.

For us the halfway point is in GA. Seems wrong to be halfway to WDW and still be in your home state. I totally get what you are saying about hitting the FL border though. You just want to be there, and like you it is still 3 hrs. ahead of us. Of course at that point I feel like I'm making progress because I'm no longer in GA. For all the folks that responded about traveling from MS and AL. I really feel for ya'll. My sister lived in Ocala for a short while. One time we travelled with our kids from her house to visit our mom who lives in SW Miss. Holy cow! I thought we'd never get out of FL.

I was practically rolling in the floor at your description of Butterbeer. That was hilarious. Elton John singing you a song he wrote about the first time you had Butterbeer. LOL!!! :lmao: I'm one of the few people in the universe who isn't in to Harry Potter at all. :scared1: I do like reading people's reports of the WWoHP though. It seems like a neat place to visit just from a themeing perspective. Maybe I'll get around to visiting it one day.

Well I'm in for the long haul. Can't wait to read more!

DisneyFirefly
07-10-2011, 03:44 AM
Your new house is so pretty! :lovestruc

PlutosRHM55
07-10-2011, 08:23 AM
I'm still here. Love your new house! (: Very pretty.

TanzUnited99
07-10-2011, 08:31 AM
I'm still here!

Love the new house - what a great buy! :thumbsup2

That's sad about John having to leave again - enjoy spending some quality time with him before he goes.

pooksma
07-10-2011, 09:40 AM
Oh I am def sticking around for this one :rotfl2:

SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE
07-10-2011, 11:20 AM
Joni, the new house is beautiful! I know it's not trip related, but I hope you will post some more pictures of it! I love home pictures! Congrats to you and John! I'm so sorry he'll he deploying soon, but at least you've got a new project to occupy your mind and your time while he's away. :goodvibes

heathsf
07-10-2011, 12:29 PM
You are so entertaining! I'm in and can't wait for more! popcorn::

Tracy161
07-11-2011, 06:53 AM
Your new house is beautiful!!! :goodvibes Can't wait for the next update!!! popcorn::

MickeyLover20
07-11-2011, 02:49 PM
Just found your TR from your Christmas one. Love reading them. All caught up and can't wait to hear why you are feeling sad. Love the pic of your house, it looks so nice.

mickeystoontown
07-11-2011, 03:02 PM
I love the house! What a great reason to be away from the Disboards.

tinacaplan
07-11-2011, 10:55 PM
Beautiful house! And, again, a GREAT reason to be away from the boards, for sure.

disneyfav4ever
07-12-2011, 12:40 AM
Pretty house!

caralyn817
07-12-2011, 07:49 AM
Congrats on the house! It's beautiful!:yay:

cocofifi
07-12-2011, 11:18 AM
Your new house is lovely! Congratulations!

therussells08
07-12-2011, 09:09 PM
Definitely a lot of laughs!!!

And what??? No Diet Coke???? I would have DIED!!!! I get Diet Coke with everything!!!

Yes for Neener Neener moments!!!! I love those!!! You so reminded me of our last trip to Disney!!!

And :rotfl2::rotfl2: at psycho paparazzi mode!!!! I wouldn't have known or took pics, since I don't know who they are. Probably because I don't watch Harry Potter or read the books.

I couldn't believe no Diet Coke either!

Girl, you need to watch Harry Potter! You would LOVE it!

Ok, this update just made me really nervous about going to WWOHP, since I really want to go and now I hear the words "stampede" and "hour long waits", I'm not so sure, but I think I need to go to Universal at least once. Disney, no doubt about it, will still be better in my eyes :thumbsup2 I can't believe they don't serve Diet Coke in Universal! That would not be good if my mom comes :sad2: At least, there will be Butterbeer, really want to try Butterbeer :cloud9: And that's so cool, you got to see the Weasley twins filming a commercial. :D Love all the random Harry Potter references and I love the pictures you took of Hogwarts! :goodvibes Can't wait to read about more of your adventures in Universal! :teeth:

I'm sorry I made you nervous! Trust me, it's definitely still worth going. Plus, the crowds were way better just between December and June. I think that it's going to continue to slow down a lot, so you should be fine! :)

LOL butterbeer sounds really good! I sort of want to try it!

I have never gotten into the whole Harry Potter thing but I still read your update anyway... which is a big accomplishment considering my main purpose on life on the boards is Disney :thumbsup2 I enjoyed your update though!

The candy store looks like the confectionary... LOL

And I can't believe they didn't have diet coke! That's SO weird!

I am wondering why you were sad, so I can't wait for the next update! And also, I hope your eyes feel completely better soon!

Yay! I'm so glad you read my update even though it was about Harry Potter!

Thank you! :) The next update is finally coming!

That is so cool that you so the Phelps brothers! I am so jealous! I would love to go back to WWOHP someday, but in a few years when it's not so crazy. I really am more of a Disney girl then Universal, but I do like the parks and some of the rides there.

I was so excited that I saw them! I am definitely more of a Disney girl too!

Looks like a gorgeous day for WWOHP! :thumbsup2

Okay, I'm just :rotfl: at the thought of you crouched like a mama bear ready to attack. LOL.

Is Flight of the Hippogriff shorter than the Barnstormer?!?!

Love the nerdy HP reference! HAHA don't you wish that stuff really existed!?

No Diet Coke!?!?!?! Oh my dad is NOT going to be happy about that. I better forewarn him so he doesn't get in a fight with the poor witch or wizard silly enough to take his order. :laughing:

Your breakfast looks delish!

Honeydukes looks like heaven. :cloud9: I cannot WAIT to get my hands on some of that! :woohoo:

Hogwarts looks so legit! And beauteous!

Butterbeer sounds divine! I cannot WAIT to try it!!! :yay:

OMG that was really them?!!?!?!!?!?!?!?! Wow I'm freaking out. I totally would have like shoved all the camera people aside and jumped on them or something. I LOVE them. :laughing:

Oh The Burrow. I would totally love to live there.

I would have stayed all day too. :lovestruc

Can't wait to hear what happens next! This TR just keeps getting better and better!

I never rode Barnstormer, so I'm not sure if it's shorter, but it is REALLY short!

I'm so glad to hear that you are obsessed with Harry Potter too! :)

Wow I'm surprised they don't sell Diet Coke. Maybe it's a ploy to get you to buy the Butterbeer? :confused3 But that doesn't make much sense either. Lol I laughed when there was a special magical name for the soda though! :laughing:

Haha I know, Flight of the Hippogriff is crazy short. And to make it worse it is such a slow loading ride!

How cool you got to see the Weasley twins! I'm so excited to see the new HP movie! :yay:

I still can't believe it about the Diet Coke!

I am SO excited for the movie too!

Wow I didn't know you started your new one! Yay!

:welcome:!

therussells08
07-12-2011, 09:15 PM
Honeydukes looks so amazing! When I went to WWoHP last summer it was about 2 weeks after the opening, the crowds were so crazy that we had to skip all of the stores, and butterbeer too!:sad2: That is so cool that you got to see the Weasley twins, I'm so jealous!!

I hate to hear that you missed out on some stuff! I hope you can go back soon!

Loved this update! We're doing Universal for the first time, on our next trip. WWoHP is VERY high on DD's (and my!) list of things to do. We'll be staying at a Universal hotel, so we'll be doing the early entry as well. I'm glad to see that the Three Broomsticks serves breakfast! I was wondering about that...

You and your DD are going to love the WWoHP! I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

It really is so cool that you saw the Phelps brothers at WWoHP. The Weasley twins are my favorite HP characters.

They're my favorites too! Well, them and Sirius Black!

Really enjoying your TR. Thanks for the WWOHP critique. We are staying at VWL next May and will not enter WDW but plan on going to WWOHP, Discovery Cove, etc. I am really looking forward to a butterbeer. And if it is any consolation, I am MUCH older than you and understood every one of your Harry Potter references! :sad2:

Thank you! I'm so glad you understood my references! It sounds like you're going to have a great trip!

Am glad to hear your feeling better and able to do another great update! :thumbsup2

I loved reading about WWoHP and what a contrast from your Dec review - you got to walk on to The Forbiddon Journey - cool! :cool1:

Lol am loving the Harry Potter references and wow on meeting the Weasley twins!!

What - no diet coke?! :eek: Hope you managed to get your caffiene fix elsewhere.

Love all the shop pics - yay on getting Butterbeer and being so good in the shops!

Yes, this trip was so much different from our December experience!

It was way better this time!

Ok you have sucked me in-Universal will def. be part of our next trip.

Great shots and what luck to see the Phelps boys.

Happy to read you're feeling better, I was worried I might miss out on the sewage!:lmao:

Thank you so much! I'm glad my TR inspired you to do the WWoHP!

This is one TR I can't wait to hear! Sounds like an awesome trip. I'm in.

:welcome: Thanks so much for reading along!

[Sigh]...I cannot WAIT until we're able to go to WWOHP in October! (We're less than 100 days now!!! :woohoo: ) All the pictures I've seen look amazing. I will probably be like John the morning we're to go. We are staying at Portofino Bay so I will want to be one of the first in line for that extra hour we'll get.

I am excited to try Butterbeer too! Do you like the frozen or not-frozen better? Also, have you had Pumpkin Juice? I love almost anything pumpkin so I was hoping to try that too.

I'm glad you're feeling better! :goodvibes

Yay for being less than 100 days! You're going to have a blast!

I definitely prefer the frozen Butterbeer! Pumpkin Juice is really good, it is very spicy and tastes just like liquid pumpkin pie!

How awesome that you saw the ones who played the Weasley brothers!

I know what you mean about taking pictures on your way into the WWoHP. I did the same thing that you did when I visited. I didn't take any pictures on my way in, just walked in (ran actually), because I was intent on getting in line for the Forbidden Journey.

Great morning that you had. But totally weird that they don't serve coke. Just.....bizarre.

I was so excited to see them!

Yeah, there's no time for pictures when you're in a stampede!

Maybe they don't serve Coke products in WWOHP because of some crazy licensing thing? I dunno.

I wish I could go there! We have a day that we're thinking about doing it, but we wouldn't be there until mid-afternoon at the earliest, so I don't know if it's worth it due to long lines :headache:

Anyway, it looks like you guys had a really good time! :)

You might be right about the licensing thing.

I hope you get to go sometime!

pardon me as I get my geek on...That witch really did put liquid luck in your oj at breakfast-to actually see Fred and George there OMG!!!!!!!!!:wizard:

I LOVE IT! I'm so glad you got your geek on, because that was a great reference! I definitely think I had a dose of Felix Felicis that morning!

WWoHP looks so cute, but again, never read the books or saw the movies, so it's kind of lost on me! :laughing: Butterbeer sounds amazing, though, I love that your version of heaven includes Elton John singing to you, something to look forward to! :rotfl2:

I have no idea who those famous people were that you saw there, but yay anyway! :banana:

(Oh, btw...the first time I saw that bathroom scene in Dumb and Dumber, I tried to act all grossed out like any proper lady should, then I said forget it, and laughed hysterically. Proper lady I'm not, I find bathroom humor hilarious! :laughing: You should hear some of the conversations my friends and I have at work, you would think we were guys! :eek: :rotfl2:)

Doesn't everyone's version of heaven include Elton John singing to them? ;)

Hahaha, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who had that reaction to that scene in Dumb and Dumber!

Enjoying reading your trip report. Your title is hilarious!

:welcome: Thank you so much!

That settles it. When I eventually make it to WWoHP, we will be staying at a hotel that gets us early access!! I am so jealous! I really want to go, but Jack is too yhoung. I wish they bottled Butterbeer too, I know they bottle pumpkin juice, and the Butterbeer must be way better!! It is wierd they don't sell any coke products, I bet it's a J.K. Rowling thing. She was very specific about the designs of the place etc, I bet she felt it would take away from the atmosphere.

It is SO worth it for the early access! Butterbeer is way better than pumpkin juice, you're right.

Glad your allergies are better...sounds truly terrible.


Thank you so much!

DisneyFirefly
07-12-2011, 09:19 PM
:lmao: I just googled the Coke product thing and apparently, it has to do with something J. K. Rowling insisted on.

therussells08
07-12-2011, 09:20 PM
Hey Joni! I finally made it over and I'm all caught up with your updates. I LOVE the TR so far - it is so much fun to read and I feel like I'm right there with you!

I love stopping at Cracker Barrel on the way to Florida. When I would go on vacation with my grandparents (and even now when we drive down with them) we always stop there.

Ok, what kind of restaurant doesn't serve sodas? Being a non-orange juice drinker, I would have had a really hard time! I can't do without my diet coke! :laughing:

I'm interested to hear what was making you sad - I hope it's nothing too bad!

Hi and :welcome:! I'm so glad you're here! I was just catching up about your wedding, it looked GORGEOUS! I can't wait to hear about your Disneymoon!

I'm the same way with Diet Coke, girl. I gotta have it!

Great morning at Harry Potter..minus the Diet Coke! I was right on your celebrities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My brother was working that day and said they came through Forbidden Journey a few times and were in the break room talking with the other team members..talk about a day being on cloud nine!!!

Your breakfast looked yummy!

That is SO cool that your brother got to meet them! I would have flipped out!

Yeah! Another Joni trip report! I can't belive I missed the fact that you had a trip planned for this summer while reading your last report. As always you report is making me LOL:rotfl2:

The pack mule story cracked me up. When we stayed at the BWV in March my parents picked my daugher up the Wednesday before we arrived on Friday when she was released from her college lacrosse spring break travel trip in West Palm. They took her to their house in Naples for two days, and then brought her to us in Orlando where they all stayed with us for the first two days of our trip. My dad is cheap about tipping and did not want to pay a bellhop to take all their crap in the car to our room. Once they opened the trunk, and I saw all the junk, I said I would tip the bellhop as I was not a pack mule! I ended up tipping their bellhop as well as our ME person.

I am also loving all the HP references. Yes, I am a HP nerd too. Can't wait to hear what you thought of RP. We are staying there in December to get FOL and early entry before we move over to VWL.

Can't wait to hear more and gald your eye is better.

:welcome: I'm so glad you're here!

I'm glad I'm not the only person who has to deal with a cheap tipper on vacation!

Loving the TR. Cant wait for the next update!

Thanks! The next update is coming in just a bit!

Coming over from your PTR! I love your updates so far! I think it's very cool that you were able to catch the twins filming a commercial. :thumbsup2
I know it's still far off, but I can't wait to see how John reacted to AKL!

:welcome: I'm glad you're here! The AKL update isn't too far away, I promise!

Hi!

I just found your trip report today and am loving it! I can't wait to hear more!

I also can't believe that you got to see Fred and George! That is so cool!

:welcome: Thanks so much for reading along!

Girl, you are hilarious! I don't read many TRs and usually just lurk, but this I'm subbing to.

I'm from GA, and live in the coouuntryy! When I was younger I had an accent so thick I practically needed a translator. Not sure what happened to it. I just sort of lost it over time. It pops out real quick when I'm around someone else with an accent though.

While I live in GA now, I grew up in SC..Columbia to be exact. I saw the Cracker Barrel photo and knew which one ya'll visited. LOL! And the Palmetto trees..loved the photos. Don't see them around here.

For us the halfway point is in GA. Seems wrong to be halfway to WDW and still be in your home state. I totally get what you are saying about hitting the FL border though. You just want to be there, and like you it is still 3 hrs. ahead of us. Of course at that point I feel like I'm making progress because I'm no longer in GA. For all the folks that responded about traveling from MS and AL. I really feel for ya'll. My sister lived in Ocala for a short while. One time we travelled with our kids from her house to visit our mom who lives in SW Miss. Holy cow! I thought we'd never get out of FL.

I was practically rolling in the floor at your description of Butterbeer. That was hilarious. Elton John singing you a song he wrote about the first time you had Butterbeer. LOL!!! :lmao: I'm one of the few people in the universe who isn't in to Harry Potter at all. :scared1: I do like reading people's reports of the WWoHP though. It seems like a neat place to visit just from a themeing perspective. Maybe I'll get around to visiting it one day.

Well I'm in for the long haul. Can't wait to read more!

:welcome: I'm so glad you're enjoying it! Your comment had me cracking up. You sound like my kind of gal!

Your new house is so pretty! :lovestruc

Thank you!

I'm still here. Love your new house! (: Very pretty.

Thanks so much!

I'm still here!

Love the new house - what a great buy! :thumbsup2

That's sad about John having to leave again - enjoy spending some quality time with him before he goes.


Thank you!

Oh I am def sticking around for this one :rotfl2:

Yay! Thank you!

Joni, the new house is beautiful! I know it's not trip related, but I hope you will post some more pictures of it! I love home pictures! Congrats to you and John! I'm so sorry he'll he deploying soon, but at least you've got a new project to occupy your mind and your time while he's away. :goodvibes

I will absolutely post more pictures, trust me! :) Thank you for your kind words about John. It will be really hard, but you're right, at least I have some stuff to keep me busy!

You are so entertaining! I'm in and can't wait for more! popcorn::

Thank you so much and :welcome:!

Your new house is beautiful!!! :goodvibes Can't wait for the next update!!! popcorn::

Thank you so much!

therussells08
07-12-2011, 09:21 PM
Just found your TR from your Christmas one. Love reading them. All caught up and can't wait to hear why you are feeling sad. Love the pic of your house, it looks so nice.

:welcome: Thank you so much and I'm glad you're here!

I love the house! What a great reason to be away from the Disboards.

Thank you! :)

Beautiful house! And, again, a GREAT reason to be away from the boards, for sure.

Thank you so much! :)

Pretty house!

Thanks!

Congrats on the house! It's beautiful!:yay:

Thank you! :)

Your new house is lovely! Congratulations!

Thanks so much! :)

:lmao: I just googled the Coke product thing and apparently, it has to do with something J. K. Rowling insisted on.

Haha, thanks for Googling that! Darn you, J.K Rowling! Doesn't she know there isn't anything on earth LESS magical than a caffeine-related headache?!

therussells08
07-12-2011, 09:27 PM
Hi everyone! Ugh, I broke my promise! :guilty: I'm so sorry I didn't update the other day. Things have still been insanely busy around here, but I'm here now!

When we left off John and I were saying goodbye to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Fred and George Weasley. John waited patiently while I called my mom and sister (who are equally obsessed with Harry Potter) so I could tell them that I was now officially BFF with the Weasley twins.

We passed into Jurassic Park and debated for awhile whether not we should ride the water ride. In case you didn't read my other TR, John convinced me to ride this ride in December by promising me that I wouldn't get wet. Well, guess what. I got wet. I got REALLY wet. :mad: Oh, and did I mention it was 40 degrees that day? So needless to say we were both having flashbacks to the horrible experience (me remembering being almost hypothermic in Florida and John remembering my head spinning around like Linda Blair because I was freezing and my Dooney & Bourke bag got wet) and we decided to skip it.

After we left Jurassic Park we started heading pretty quickly for the exit. I'm not a big fan of IoA and neither is John, so we were ready to get out of there. I did stop for a picture, though.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip073.jpg

I was trying to look sassy but I ended up looking like I threw my hip out of the socket. :lmao:

John convinced me to go on the Spider Man ride so we used our complimentary Express passes to ride that. I hate comic books, but I figured John had been patient during my morning nerdfest so I could tolerate a little bit of him getting his nerd on.

After Spider Man we decided to leave IoA and head to Universal Studios. The walk between the parks was excruciating because it was so hot. I saw a soda stand and felt like a dying man seeing a mirage in the desert, so we stopped and bought one of the refillable mugs. I wasn't able to get my fix of Dieticus Cokius in the WWoHP so I ordered one there. Ahhh, caffeinted goodness! :cloud9: I instantly felt good enough to pose for another picture.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip074.jpg

Let me just add that this picture took about three takes and a whole lot of bickering to get. John didn't understand why I wanted him to wait until you could see all of "Universal" on the globe in the background before snapping the picture, so we had a few blooper pictures before getting a good one. If you look closely you can see my mug filled with delicious Diet Coke goodness.

I'm sorry to report I have absolutely no pictures from our time in Universal. I do, however, remember everything we did!

The first thing we rode was this insane new roller coaster called Rip Rock It or something like that. That was the steepest stinking roller coaster I have ever been on. We waited in line forever for it, but it was totally worth it. It's really cool because you get to pick the music you listen to while you ride, and no one nearby can hear your music except you. John went with the Charlie Daniels Band and I decided to kick it old school with some MC Hammer. Now here's the bittersweet part about this ride: they VIDEOTAPE YOU RIDING IT! I say it's bittersweet because we didn't realize that it only tapes one person, so John sat in the seat that was being taped. John has a tendency to have this placid look on his face when riding thrill rides that makes it look like he is going on a stroll through the park. If the camera had been on my side we TOTALLY would have bought the video because I know I was having the appropriate roller coaster reaction, which was screaming in terror and having a fit. We considered riding it again so we could get a video of me, but decided the line was just way too long.

After our mini adventure on that ride we went on the Mummy ride, Jaws, Men in Black, the Simpsons, and ET. We had never been on ET before and I got thoroughly creeped out at the end when ET said my name. John thought it was hilarious so he spent the rest of the trip getting my attention by saying "Joooniii" in the scary ET voice. Thanks, honey. :rolleyes:

After riding all of the above we were both sweaty and tired so we decided to head back to the room. When we got back we sat around for awhile and cooled off, then agreed to go check out some of Orlando! If you read my PTR you will remember that I desperately wanted to go to the Titanic museum, so we decided to hunt it down.

It didn't take us very long to find it, and I was really excited to go in. This is one of those moments when I'm reminded how lucky I am to have a patient husband who puts up with my girlish whims. I am completely obsessed with Titanic the movie and have been since it was released when I was 10 years old. I'm talking obsessed as in I can quote every single line, and I considered naming our first born child Josephine (You know, Jack singing all romantically to Rose, "Come Josephine in my flying machine! Going up she goes! Up she goes!"). Yeah, I'm a loser.

Well, right from the start this was not a very pleasant experience. When I asked the man behind the counter if they did military discounts he scoffed at me as if I had asked to have one of his kidneys. We opted to do the self guided tour, but that ended up blowing up in our faces too. About halfway through the tour we came across a guided group, and the tour guide literally forced us to join his group. We tried telling him about five times that we were doing self guided, but he and his little fake Scottish accent weren't having it. So, we grudgingly joined his group. Then we started to notice that pretty much all of the Titanic artifacts were either reproductions of taken from some other ship. Seriously? Isn't the point of a museum to have actual artifacts? We also noticed that pretty much every room had plates on display. Plates plates plates. Fancy plates. Plain plates. Broken plates. Dirty plates. Everywhere we looked, reproductions of RMS Titantic plates.

The best part about the entire museum was the end when we got to see some memorabilia from the movie. This was pretty cool because they had the note Rose leaves that turd Cal when she runs away with Jack, and they had her dragonfly hair comb. They also had an outfit worn by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Here are some pictures from the plate, I mean Titanic, museum.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip076.jpg

This chair was one of the only artifacts actually from Titanic.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip080.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip082.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip085.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip092.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip093.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip094.jpg

John and I voted and we both gave this museum two thumbs down! It was so not worth the money (I think it was $20 per person) and we felt like it was really a waste of time. As we were leaving the final exhibit was a slab of ice that you could rub. Just a big ol' chunk of ice. All of the other people were rubbing it and saying, "Oh my gracious, it's COLD!" Well, uh, yeah. It's ice. I'm pretty sure ice is generally known for being cold. Good thing you paid $20 just to be sure, though. :headache:

Forgive my negativity, but that really was a lame museum. After we left, the sadness that had been nagging at me for awhile was almost overwhelming. We decided to go do something else that had been on my "must do" list, which was check out the Premium Outlets. Thanks to our handy dandy GPS it only took us about five minutes to get there. Once we arrived we headed straight for this beauty!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip096.jpg

Well, here it is, folks. You can call me Sherlock because as soon as I walked through those doors I solved the mystery. I knew why I was sad. I was missing Disney! Being surrounded by all of this Disney merchandise made me instantly realize that I wanted more than anything in the world to get away from Universal Studios and go to my wonderful beloved Disney World. I almost cried when I went inside because I couldn't bear the thought of being in Orlando and away from it for one more minute, let alone a whole night. :sad1: I managed to suck up my feelings long enough to do some shopping, of course. We ended up buying a Minnie Mouse dress and squeaky toy for each of our dogs, a Magic Kingdom shirt for me, and an Animal Kingdom shirt for John. John had to practically drag me out of the store, and I refused to leave until he promised me a million times that we would be at Disney very VERY soon.

After we left I was feeling grumpy and hungry, so we decided to go somewhere for me to eat my feelings. We stopped by the food court in the outlets and I was thrilled when I saw this...

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip097.jpg

Well hello there, Five Guys. Okay so remember when I told you Butterbeer is heaven in a glass? Well, a Five Guys burger is heaven on a bun.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of my burger because I'm pretty sure I had eaten it all before I even thought about taking the camera out.

After we filled our bellies John and I sat around and tried to figure out what we wanted to do for the evening. Neither of us cared to go to the Universal parks again. But what else could we do? :confused:

Up Next: You won't believe where we went! Stay tuned to find out!

DisneyFirefly
07-12-2011, 10:01 PM
I love your reaction to the Slab O' Ice :lmao: That's just funny :teeth:

I know how you feel, though, about being so close to Disney, but not quite there yet. :hug:

dilligaf212
07-12-2011, 10:11 PM
joining in :goodvibes can't wait til you get to disney :thumbsup2

tinacaplan
07-12-2011, 10:44 PM
Very funny observations about the Titanic museum...but you were only 10? Sheesh! :goodvibes And ice? They pass out ice? Huh? I know the Titanic was taken down by an iceberg and all that, but...um... twenty dollars? What am I missing?

And I'm totally with you on Five Guys. Great food. :thumbsup2

shelbys mommy
07-12-2011, 11:40 PM
The museum looked awesome, at least from the pics. So sorry that is was such a bust. And ummm yeah, ice is usually cold!

Vwdiva93
07-13-2011, 12:39 AM
This is a little late, but your new house is absolutely gorgeous! That's a bummer the Titanic museum was such a bust. I love that movie too, it's just one of those movies you can never watch too many times! I love the part about the slab of ice though :rotfl:

declansdad
07-13-2011, 07:31 AM
Tell them to come here in the winter and we can give them all the ice to rub they want. We could probably make a travel package for them.

You have just given me an idea. I think I will start a business selling small pieces of ice from the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. I should have the website up in a day or so. ;)

PlutosRHM55
07-13-2011, 07:50 AM
Looks like you seemed to enjoy Universal Studios more than Islands of Adventures! (: Love the picture of you under the "Betty Boop Eat Your Heart" photo op. Very cute :D I've heard a lot about that Rip Ride Rock it! Coaster at Universal. It looks really cool, but I don't think I could ever go on it, especially with the line you said was there O.O Sorry the Titanic museum wasn't that great, I'm guessing most things would be reproductions since the ship sunk and I think by the time, they do over to check it out, there wasn't a lot left that could be put in a museum :confused3 Just saying but I think that does ruin the whole purpose of the museum, like you said. LOL at your comment on the slab of ice! :teeth: And I totally agree with you on Five Guys! That place is A-MAZING!!! Heaven on a bun is right! :goodvibes Can't wait to read about what you did, now that you left Universal! :mickeyjum

sstewart
07-13-2011, 10:37 AM
Joining....Can't wait to hear more about your trip!!! :yay:

cadesfirsttrip
07-13-2011, 02:15 PM
Here's downtown Charlotte.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip001.jpg

Up Next: Mr. and Mrs. Frugal give themselves a hernia so they don't have to tip the bellhop.


Hey, that's the building I work in! Second from the left.

TanzUnited99
07-13-2011, 03:00 PM
Love the Universal shots and yay on getting your fix of Dieticus Cokius!

Yay on riding Rip Rock It - that sounds like a fun ride! Boo on the video being on John's side instead of yours.

Being a big Titanic fan I was looking forward to reading about your review of the museum. It's a shame it was not what you expected :sad2:

Love all your museum pics. Hope you get to Disney World soon :goodvibes

JayhawkFans
07-13-2011, 03:27 PM
Just found your TR .. LOVE IT!!! Can't wait to read more!

SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE
07-13-2011, 08:04 PM
I had a feeling that was why you were sad! I think I might be the same way if we ever do a few days in Universal. To me, going to Orlando means going to Disney, because the rest of Orlando doesn't appeal to me - at.all. (I used to live there and hated it) When I'm at Disney, I don't want to leave for even a second. I like being in the Disney bubble, and I just don't know how I'd feel to have it "burst". :laughing:

JLCJMC
07-13-2011, 08:08 PM
Totally enjoying your tale :) Thanks so much for sharing. Your new home looks lovely. Thank-you to both you and your husband for your contributions to our safety -- it is appreciated more than you can ever know.

Nermel9
07-13-2011, 08:30 PM
Congrats on the house, it's beautiful! :goodvibes

Ugh, that Titanic museum sounds like such a disappointment. :( It's too bad, I know you were looking forward to it!

LOL, so cute that you wanted to name your kid Josephine because of Titanic! Oh, wait...you don't still, do you? :rotfl: I love that movie too, every time it's on I watch it, I love Kate Winslet in that movie, she's so beautiful! I love her in almost anything...except that Mildred whatever miniseries she just did on HBO...ugh, that was awful...:mad:

Anyway! The Disney outlet sounds awesome, I really want to go there sometime on our trip, I hope I can fit it in during the 10 days we are there! I'm sorry you were missing Disney though...I don't think I could be in FL for very long before I started getting anxious for Disney!

OMG I LOVE Five Guys!! :yay:

209Disney
07-14-2011, 12:22 AM
Love your trip report so far! :thumbsup2

Disneyfreak616
07-16-2011, 02:35 PM
First of all, your new house is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations! :cool1:

That roller coaster sounds awesome! I would have had the same reaction as you. :laughing:

HAHAHA what a fail that museum was! :rotfl: "Oh my gracious, it's COLD!" :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: uhhh...DUH. Brain freezeeee. LOL.

I'm glad you found happiness in Disney merchandise. I totally know how you feel though. :wizard:

YAYY for Five Guys. Nothin' like a heavenly burger to cheer you up! :thumbsup2

Can't wait to hear where you went next! :yay:

Belle83
07-16-2011, 04:06 PM
I'm just getting caught up, that is so cool you saw the actors filming the commercial! I know exactly which commercial, it's been on a lot lately now that it's July.

I agree about Butterbeer too...I wish they would sell it in normal stores.

goofy's_gurl
07-18-2011, 02:58 PM
I am all caught up...

I love the resort. Its sooo beautiful! Aww congrats on the house. It looks astonishing! I think you may need to take some pictures inside. :) I would be angry about the museum, really angry. All we can say is lesson learned. :(

poisonapple_PRINCESS
07-18-2011, 06:29 PM
Joining in! :wave2:

IheartDDuck
07-18-2011, 07:19 PM
Oh, I feel your pain with missing Disney. I think I would miss it too.

Five Guys?! You're so right, totally heaven on a bun! We FINALLY got our first one here and I was sooooo happy.

RachelNinja
07-20-2011, 02:51 PM
AGHHHHHHHHHH, how did I not know that you started? I have to catch up! Bookmarking for later!

mickeyfan71
07-20-2011, 04:02 PM
Just found your TR and I am subbed! I have really enjoyed it so far! Congrats on the house-its beautiful!
My DD just got me to watch all the HP movies about a month ago. :scared1: ( I never got into them til now) I really enjoyed them but need to watch them again-I tend to get lost and confused! :confused: After seeing the movies I would love to go to Universal now. I will have to plan it for a future trip to Disney cause I'm not sure I can go to Orlando and NOT go to Disney! Looking forward to more!

DerangedChipmunk
07-20-2011, 08:19 PM
The sad thing is: I got every one of those HP references. I am a nerd. Anyway, you're a wonderful writer and I cannot wait to hear more!

gumbo1009
07-20-2011, 08:56 PM
Enjoying your TR! Looking forward to reading more...

Shell & Ted
07-22-2011, 04:21 PM
Jumping into your report. I love your writing style. The house is very pretty and has a lovely colonial feel to it. Congrats. It will definitely keep you busy until John comes home.

TinkerbellLuvr7
07-22-2011, 09:59 PM
I'm getting all caught up!!! I enjoyed seeing the Titanic pics..it's on We right now haha. BTW, I'm going to get some butterbeer tomorrow just bc I have my AP and can :) My brother and I went in yesterday after he got my pass and we walked up to Journey and of course it was a 90 min wait and we walked right on thanks to him :) When we walked out it was a 120 min wait..crazy!!!!

Sorry the Titanic museum was horrible..what did you do next??

RachelNinja
07-22-2011, 11:12 PM
It was fun traveling along with you on your drive! It did make me feel better about flying for my Disneymoon though, haha. I'm so afraid of getting on the plane. I've flown many times before, and I've always been afraid of it. It just doesn't make sense to me! Anyway, we're flying so we don't waste time traveling (we're taking off work, and I won't be paid while I'm away). I do love seeing random signs and such ... even gas stations!

HAHA, this sentence cracked me up! I mean, I've been laughing all along the way, but this one just pushed me over: " I think I was grumbling something about how I should have brought trail mix for this walk when I decided to get a straw, suck it up, and start doing what I'm good at, which is taking a million pictures of random stuff." BTW, Howard and I would totally park farther away too and do anything to save money. Haha, why allow someone to do something for us that requires tipping if we can just do it ourselves? That money can be spent on more important things ... like at Disney!

Were those food and other items in the drawer like, stuck down or something? Because if not, if you really liked the necklace, couldn't you just wear it around th hotel room to get your fill? HAHA.

HAHAHHAHA, oh Joni! You were trying to sneak into CityWalk with all your contraband! You gotta play it cool if you wanna do that!

When the lady said there was no Diet Coke in WWOHP, I also immediately thought, "I bet you it goes by another name!" Alas, it is an unfortunately that we were both wrong!

I totally would've thought it was so cool to see the stuff from the movie Titanic! Haha, I was wondering what the plates title was all about!

I think it's so cool how we were in the same outlet. I don't know why. Haha, it's just cool to me that I was there months earlier in the same Disney outlet store and in the same food court just LOOKING at Five Guys (the line was too long, so we all got stuff elsewhere).

littlelamb70
07-23-2011, 01:24 AM
Stumbled upon your TR by accident and I'm loving it! All caught up now and can't wait to read the next chapter! :banana:

Congratulations on your new house also, it's beautiful!

Cat0727
07-24-2011, 05:04 PM
I'm all caught up! I love your house- it's beautiful! Congrats! :goodvibes

Aww I'm sorry the Titanic exhibit was a disappointment. It sounded promising though!

Nicole786
07-24-2011, 07:22 PM
Joining in! I love this TR, you remind me of myself!! One time i went to universal, and went to Downtown Disney that night and almost cried because even though I was gonna be at Disney the next day, I couldn't bear it any longer! lol

therussells08
07-24-2011, 08:38 PM
I love your reaction to the Slab O' Ice :lmao: That's just funny :teeth:

I know how you feel, though, about being so close to Disney, but not quite there yet. :hug:

I just didn't get the fascination with that darn ice!

Oh being so close to Disney was absolute torture!

joining in :goodvibes can't wait til you get to disney :thumbsup2

:welcome: Thanks so much for joining in!

Very funny observations about the Titanic museum...but you were only 10? Sheesh! :goodvibes And ice? They pass out ice? Huh? I know the Titanic was taken down by an iceberg and all that, but...um... twenty dollars? What am I missing?

And I'm totally with you on Five Guys. Great food. :thumbsup2

Yeah seriously, I paid $20 for that?!

I love Five Guys so much! Too much, actually...

The museum looked awesome, at least from the pics. So sorry that is was such a bust. And ummm yeah, ice is usually cold!

Parts of it were pretty cool, but overall it was very disappointing!

This is a little late, but your new house is absolutely gorgeous! That's a bummer the Titanic museum was such a bust. I love that movie too, it's just one of those movies you can never watch too many times! I love the part about the slab of ice though :rotfl:

Thank you! I am the same way, I could literally watch Titanic a million times!

Tell them to come here in the winter and we can give them all the ice to rub they want. We could probably make a travel package for them.

You have just given me an idea. I think I will start a business selling small pieces of ice from the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. I should have the website up in a day or so. ;)

:lmao: That had me cracking up! People pay good money to rub ice, apparently!


Looks like you seemed to enjoy Universal Studios more than Islands of Adventures! (: Love the picture of you under the "Betty Boop Eat Your Heart" photo op. Very cute :D I've heard a lot about that Rip Ride Rock it! Coaster at Universal. It looks really cool, but I don't think I could ever go on it, especially with the line you said was there O.O Sorry the Titanic museum wasn't that great, I'm guessing most things would be reproductions since the ship sunk and I think by the time, they do over to check it out, there wasn't a lot left that could be put in a museum :confused3 Just saying but I think that does ruin the whole purpose of the museum, like you said. LOL at your comment on the slab of ice! :teeth: And I totally agree with you on Five Guys! That place is A-MAZING!!! Heaven on a bun is right! :goodvibes Can't wait to read about what you did, now that you left Universal! :mickeyjum

I definitely prefer US to IoA! Thank you! The Rip Ride Rock it! was fun, but the line was pretty bad! I guess you're right about the artifacts, it makes sense that most of them would be at the bottom of the ocean! Five Guys is the best for sure!

Joining....Can't wait to hear more about your trip!!! :yay:

:welcome: Thanks so much for joining in!

therussells08
07-24-2011, 08:42 PM
Hey, that's the building I work in! Second from the left.

That's so cool!

Love the Universal shots and yay on getting your fix of Dieticus Cokius!

Yay on riding Rip Rock It - that sounds like a fun ride! Boo on the video being on John's side instead of yours.

Being a big Titanic fan I was looking forward to reading about your review of the museum. It's a shame it was not what you expected :sad2:

Love all your museum pics. Hope you get to Disney World soon :goodvibes

I was so glad to get that Diet Coke!

I was so bummed about the Titanic museum, especially since I was really looking forward to sharing it with you guys!

Disney World is coming VERY soon!

Just found your TR .. LOVE IT!!! Can't wait to read more!

:welcome: Thanks so much! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

I had a feeling that was why you were sad! I think I might be the same way if we ever do a few days in Universal. To me, going to Orlando means going to Disney, because the rest of Orlando doesn't appeal to me - at.all. (I used to live there and hated it) When I'm at Disney, I don't want to leave for even a second. I like being in the Disney bubble, and I just don't know how I'd feel to have it "burst". :laughing:

It's so hard being in Orlando and not being at Disney! I am the EXACT same way with the Disney bubble!

Totally enjoying your tale :) Thanks so much for sharing. Your new home looks lovely. Thank-you to both you and your husband for your contributions to our safety -- it is appreciated more than you can ever know.

:welcome: Thank you so much for saying so many kind things. That really means a lot to both of us. :hug:

Congrats on the house, it's beautiful! :goodvibes

Ugh, that Titanic museum sounds like such a disappointment. :( It's too bad, I know you were looking forward to it!

LOL, so cute that you wanted to name your kid Josephine because of Titanic! Oh, wait...you don't still, do you? :rotfl: I love that movie too, every time it's on I watch it, I love Kate Winslet in that movie, she's so beautiful! I love her in almost anything...except that Mildred whatever miniseries she just did on HBO...ugh, that was awful...:mad:

Anyway! The Disney outlet sounds awesome, I really want to go there sometime on our trip, I hope I can fit it in during the 10 days we are there! I'm sorry you were missing Disney though...I don't think I could be in FL for very long before I started getting anxious for Disney!

OMG I LOVE Five Guys!! :yay:

Nah, I've kind of gotten over the whole Josephine thing. Now I just want to have twins and name them Rose and Jack. Just kidding! ;) You're right, Kate Winslet is so gorgeous it makes me sick!

You HAVE to go to that outlet! It's amazing!

Love your trip report so far! :thumbsup2

Thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying it! :)

First of all, your new house is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations! :cool1:

That roller coaster sounds awesome! I would have had the same reaction as you. :laughing:

HAHAHA what a fail that museum was! :rotfl: "Oh my gracious, it's COLD!" :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: uhhh...DUH. Brain freezeeee. LOL.

I'm glad you found happiness in Disney merchandise. I totally know how you feel though. :wizard:

YAYY for Five Guys. Nothin' like a heavenly burger to cheer you up! :thumbsup2

Can't wait to hear where you went next! :yay:

Thank you!

That museum was definitely a fail! I just can't believe I paid $40 to go through it! :sad2:

Yes, Five Guys can always cheer me up!

therussells08
07-24-2011, 08:46 PM
I'm just getting caught up, that is so cool you saw the actors filming the commercial! I know exactly which commercial, it's been on a lot lately now that it's July.

I agree about Butterbeer too...I wish they would sell it in normal stores.

I was so excited to see them! That's so neat that you've seen the commercial!

Oh Butterbeer, it's so delicious!

I am all caught up...

I love the resort. Its sooo beautiful! Aww congrats on the house. It looks astonishing! I think you may need to take some pictures inside. :) I would be angry about the museum, really angry. All we can say is lesson learned. :(

Thank you! :)

Yes, we definitely learned a big lesson with that museum!

Joining in! :wave2:

:welcome: I hope you enjoy!

Oh, I feel your pain with missing Disney. I think I would miss it too.

Five Guys?! You're so right, totally heaven on a bun! We FINALLY got our first one here and I was sooooo happy.

Oh I missed it so much!

I'm so glad you got a Five Guys! I don't think I could live without it! Ironically, I would probably live a whole lot longer without it! :lmao:

AGHHHHHHHHHH, how did I not know that you started? I have to catch up! Bookmarking for later!

That's okay! I am SO far behind on your TR and so many others! I have to catch up soon!

Just found your TR and I am subbed! I have really enjoyed it so far! Congrats on the house-its beautiful!
My DD just got me to watch all the HP movies about a month ago. :scared1: ( I never got into them til now) I really enjoyed them but need to watch them again-I tend to get lost and confused! :confused: After seeing the movies I would love to go to Universal now. I will have to plan it for a future trip to Disney cause I'm not sure I can go to Orlando and NOT go to Disney! Looking forward to more!

:welcome: Thanks so much! I'm glad you're enjoying it! Yeah, Harry Potter can be kind of confusing, especially if you haven't read the books. The movies are great but they leave out a lot. I can't imagine going to Orlando and not doing Disney either!

The sad thing is: I got every one of those HP references. I am a nerd. Anyway, you're a wonderful writer and I cannot wait to hear more!

I'm so glad you got them! Don't worry, we can be nerds together! Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Enjoying your TR! Looking forward to reading more...

Thank you so much! :)

therussells08
07-24-2011, 08:52 PM
I'm getting all caught up!!! I enjoyed seeing the Titanic pics..it's on We right now haha. BTW, I'm going to get some butterbeer tomorrow just bc I have my AP and can :) My brother and I went in yesterday after he got my pass and we walked up to Journey and of course it was a 90 min wait and we walked right on thanks to him :) When we walked out it was a 120 min wait..crazy!!!!

Sorry the Titanic museum was horrible..what did you do next??

Haha I think that movie has been on WE for that past month straight! That is so cool that you got Butterbeer and walked onto Journey! I'm so jealous!

It was fun traveling along with you on your drive! It did make me feel better about flying for my Disneymoon though, haha. I'm so afraid of getting on the plane. I've flown many times before, and I've always been afraid of it. It just doesn't make sense to me! Anyway, we're flying so we don't waste time traveling (we're taking off work, and I won't be paid while I'm away). I do love seeing random signs and such ... even gas stations!

HAHA, this sentence cracked me up! I mean, I've been laughing all along the way, but this one just pushed me over: " I think I was grumbling something about how I should have brought trail mix for this walk when I decided to get a straw, suck it up, and start doing what I'm good at, which is taking a million pictures of random stuff." BTW, Howard and I would totally park farther away too and do anything to save money. Haha, why allow someone to do something for us that requires tipping if we can just do it ourselves? That money can be spent on more important things ... like at Disney!

Were those food and other items in the drawer like, stuck down or something? Because if not, if you really liked the necklace, couldn't you just wear it around th hotel room to get your fill? HAHA.

HAHAHHAHA, oh Joni! You were trying to sneak into CityWalk with all your contraband! You gotta play it cool if you wanna do that!

When the lady said there was no Diet Coke in WWOHP, I also immediately thought, "I bet you it goes by another name!" Alas, it is an unfortunately that we were both wrong!

I totally would've thought it was so cool to see the stuff from the movie Titanic! Haha, I was wondering what the plates title was all about!

I think it's so cool how we were in the same outlet. I don't know why. Haha, it's just cool to me that I was there months earlier in the same Disney outlet store and in the same food court just LOOKING at Five Guys (the line was too long, so we all got stuff elsewhere).

Yay! I love your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed our trip down. I know what you mean about flying. I definitely don't prefer it, but it's so convenient, especially when you're a little crunched for time!

I'm glad we're not the only penny pinchers when it comes to being on vacation! I want to save every penny for fun stuff, even if it means being a pack mule!

Hahaha, my lead teacher at my school always tells the students to get a straw and suck it up, so I picked up that saying!

It really was cool seeing the movie stuff from Titanic, until later in the week when I realized that the Planet Hollywood in DTD had more memorbilia than that stinking museum had! URGH!

That is so cool that were in the same outlet. I remember when you posted about Howard getting his first Vinylmation there. By the way, is he still collecting those? John has become literally obsessed and we have a ton of them now. He is looking for more trading friends, and I told him about Howard getting his first one at the outlets!

Stumbled upon your TR by accident and I'm loving it! All caught up now and can't wait to read the next chapter! :banana:

Congratulations on your new house also, it's beautiful!

:welcome: I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

I'm all caught up! I love your house- it's beautiful! Congrats! :goodvibes

Aww I'm sorry the Titanic exhibit was a disappointment. It sounded promising though!

Thank you! Unfortunately I have bad news about the house in my next post.
:(

That's okay with the museum, lesson learned! :)

Joining in! I love this TR, you remind me of myself!! One time i went to universal, and went to Downtown Disney that night and almost cried because even though I was gonna be at Disney the next day, I couldn't bear it any longer! lol

:welcome: I'm so glad you're enjoying it! The story you just told is pretty much EXACTLY what happened to me this night! :lmao:

therussells08
07-24-2011, 08:55 PM
Hi everyone! Sorry again about the gap between updates. We've had some big changes since my last update, both good and bad. The bad news is that the sellers from whom we were purchasing our house backed out of the deal. :sad1: Apparently they got another offer that was so good they didn't mind paying us and our realtor a whole bunch of money in damages. We were happy to get the cash, but bummed that we missed out on a house we really loved. On the other hand, the good news is that John is not deploying now until late October, and he might be home for Christmas! :goodvibes I am so thrilled about this news and the opportunity to spend more time with him!

Okay, onto the update! When we left off John and I were deciding what to do with ourselves for the remainder of our evening. As I mentioned before, I realized in the Disney Outlet that the reason I was feeling depressed was because I was wasting all this time in Orlando when all I wanted was to be in Disney World! So, any guesses where we went? Come on, you know!

It didn't take much begging and whining on my part to convince John to take me to...

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip098.jpg

Sweet, glorious, wonderful, amazing, perfect DISNEY WORLD! :cloud9: I was literally jumping up and down in my seat I was so excited. I told ya Disney came into play a little earlier in this trip than expected. I just couldn't resist! ;)

The first thing we decided to do was go to Shades of Green to go ahead and pick up our park tickets for the trip. We had been planning on getting the Disney Salute tickets that were four days at the parks with Park Hopper for $138 each. I was really excited for this awesome deal, but a little bummed that we were going to be in Disney for a week and only able to go to the parks for four days. Well, while I shopped around in the AAFES and tried to find excuses to buy things for the sole fact that I didn't have to pay sales tax, John worked his amazing husband magic and surprised me with TWO sets of tickets each. Which meant we had EIGHT DAYS worth of park tickets each! :worship: Upon learning this news I proceeded to do my version of the happy dance, which is a weird combination between the Roseanne dance and the dance the kids do on the Charlie Brown Christmas special. :banana:

So, with our eight days worth of park tickets in hand we left Shades of Green and contemplated our next move. Since I was already so close to the Magic Kingdom and I had extra park tickets to use up I started begging John to take me there. He considered it, but then pointed out that if we went that night we would have to pay to park and we wouldn't be able to stay long because we had to get up early the next morning to go to Sea World. Grr, I hate it when he makes so much sense! :rolleyes: I agreed (with my arms crossed and pouting) that he was right, so we decided to go to Downtown Disney instead!

Like Jen (Nermel9) mentioned before, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Downtown Disney, but I absolutely loathe trying to park there. On this evening we were fortunate enough to find a great spot almost immediately, so I sent a silent thank you up for the pixie dust and practically raced to the shops, dragging John behind me all the way!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip099.jpg

I saw those banners blowing in the wind and had to take a picture. I remember being like, "Look Honey! Our memories are beginning! YAAAAAY!" (Much to John's embarrassment and several onlookers' amusement.)

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip100.jpg

Topiary Mickey and his beautiful flowers! :lovestruc

We walked around Downtown Disney for awhile, not buying anything but just soaking up that glorious Disney feeling. I was tempted to buy so much, but I didn't want to waste all of my souvenir money before our trip really even began. Before we left, however, we went into the World of Disney and I couldn't resist picking up a few things.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip101.jpg

Please excuse my red face in that picture. John told me I look constipated, which I would have been angry about if it wasn't so funny. :rotfl: I had to share it with you though, because I thought those Minnie ears were the cutest things ever. I stood there obsessing over them for awhile, but I finally decided they weren't very practical, so I settled for a pair of the regular sequin Minnie ears with the bow instead of the hat. Ahhh, Disney World. The only place on Earth where you have to decide which pair of fake mouse ears are more practical. You gotta love it!

The other thing I bought at World of Disney was a new beach towel for my mom. She had specifically requested a beach towel as her souvenir so I was really excited when I found a cute one. Unfortunately I would end up regretting this, but more on that later. They had a deal going where if you spent $30 or more you could get a Mickey Mouse beach towel for $12.95, so John decided to do that when we paid.

After our little bit of shopping it was getting late so we decided it was time to head back to Loews Royal Pacific. Well, John decided. I moaned and groaned and dragged my heels and basically showed my butt about having to leave Disney World. :sad2: I think my fingernail marks are probably still scratched into the side of World of Disney from John having to drag me out. Leaving the World was misery, and the only way I could stand to drive back under that big beautiful sign was with my eyes clenched shut and John repeating "We'll be back tomorrow...we'll be back tomorrow..."

When we made it back to our hotel I was feeling extremely bitter toward Lowes Royal Pacific and Universal in general. In hindsight I realize this was completely unfair to poor Universal, because it really didn't do anything wrong except not being Disney. However, this didn't stop me from making angry slurs for the rest of the evening, like "Ugh, the elevators at Disney NEVER take this long." and "Sheesh, ice cream at Disney is so much cheaper."

Despite my surly attitude that would put Grumpy to shame we tried to make the most of the rest of the evening. We went to the pool and got ice cream, then watched the poolside movie they were showing, which was Harry Potter. After a little while we decided to head back to the room. When we got back John took the ice bucket to get ice for our sodas we had brought, but came back to tell me there was no ice. Um, what's the point in having an ice bucket if you're not going to have ice? :confused: I believe that's strike three, Universal.

We drank our warm sodas and watched Billy Madison in bed. I updated my trip journal and fell asleep quickly, dreaming of finally being in my beloved Disney World to stay.

Up Next: I get overly emotional at Sea World and John finally finds out we're staying at AKL!

SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE
07-24-2011, 09:16 PM
Yay! And update! :woohoo:

I'm so sorry to hear about the house. :hug: My dad is a realtor, and from what he says, those kind of things happen pretty frequently. That just means a better house for you guys is out there waiting, though! And yay for some extra time with John! :goodvibes

I knew you'd be going over to Disney! :laughing: How sweet of John to get two sets of tickets. :cloud9: I agree - parking at DTD is such a pain!

IheartDDuck
07-24-2011, 09:18 PM
Oh my goodness, how sweet of him to surprise you with eight days worth of tickets! I would have been so happy too, to go from four days of Disney to eight!

I think I saw your nail marks at World of Disney when I was last there....:rolleyes1

RachelNinja
07-24-2011, 09:23 PM
I don't know how many Vinylmation Howard has at this point, but it's only a few. Plus, at the end of my more recent TR (that I really should work on right now, but I'm catching up on crafting blogs!), I'll show one of the Vinylmation nerds that the 3 of them got for him (they got him a gift for driving all week and handling car rental stuff, and they got me a gift too for planning the trip). I don't know that he has any left to trade though because he might've gotten what he liked. If anything, he has ONE to trade! He's definitely going to be trying to get a Cars one next year!

Aww, it's sad that you didn't get the house, but at least you got some cash out of it. And it only means that that wasn't the right house for you guys! The right one will come along! And yay for the news about John! Woohoo!

Um, how do you come here and describe your happy dance without posting a video of it? Such a tease! Haha.

"The only place on Earth where you have to decide which pair of fake mouse ears are more practical. You gotta love it!" HAHA. I'm wondering whether or not to get the bride ears next May. I've ALWAYS wanted them, and it'll be my ONLY time to get them and wear 'em. But I wear sunglasses in the parks now, and I put them on my head when not in use! Decisions decisions ...

You write so well that I'M feeling so anxious that you're not at Disney at this point in your TR!

jacksmom
07-24-2011, 09:32 PM
Enjoying your reviews! We are from NC also! Will be leaving in 2 days and will be going through Charlotte also (live on Lake Norman)!:rotfl: Leaving at 4:30 am to avoid trafic!:rotfl:

Disneyfreak616
07-24-2011, 10:03 PM
Awww, sorry about the house, but John's delayed deployment sure makes up for it! :goodvibes

Hahaha I am SO glad you went to Disney. That's just what you needed! :thumbsup2 How adorable. I would've been doing the same thing! My trip is tomorrow and I can hardly sit still!!!!! :banana:

OMG, YAYYY for double the park days!!!! We're doing the 4 days as well, but seeing as I'm going back 2 weeks later, I don't really mind. :rolleyes:

Haha well as much as Magic Kingdom would have been just lovely, Downtown Disney is always a great start to the trip. :yay:

Those ears are so cute! :cutie:

Haha it's funny that you were comparing Universal to Disney because Jess and I went to Darien Lake recently (which is sort of like Six Flags or Knott's Berry Farm) with a few of our friends, and we were comparing it to Disney ALL day. From the food to the queues to the prices. Needless to say, Disney won. :laughing:

shelbys mommy
07-24-2011, 10:22 PM
I have been waiting for an update! I do believe I would have cried my eyes out having to leave Disney to go back to Universal & I would have had the same attitude also! The fun is fixing to begin :)!!!!!!!!!!!!

DisneyFirefly
07-25-2011, 12:14 AM
I love the pic of you with the Minnie ears on! :cutie:

I'm sorry the house didn't come through, but I agree, that just means there's a better one out there for you. :hug: I'm sure things will work out, especially since John's home longer :yay: You guys can find a more perfect house together!

That's awesome that he took you to Disney :yay: :yay: I know how antsy I get about wanting to be in Disney, like, the second I land in Orlando :rotfl:

Disneyfreak508
07-25-2011, 12:25 AM
HAHAHA your update just made me chuckle. SO funny! I would have done the same thing if I was you! People always ask me if I have ever been to Universal since I'm down in Florida all of the time. And I NEVER have been. (except for when I was like 2 or 4 or something) I think it's because I know that if I'm all the way there, spending time somewhere besides Disney World would just make me feel like I was wasting my precious Disney opportunity. I mean.. if I was into Harry Potter I would make a special trip for that.. but I'm not. So it's DISNEY ALL THE WAY :wizard:

And I also chucked at your happy dance description. I pictured you doing the charlie brown happy dance :rotfl: since I'm not sure of the rosanne one.

And i am SO excited you got 8 days worth of passes. AWESOME!!! can't wait for the next update!!

And p.s. sorry about the house deal not going through :( that's such a bummer! I hate hearing things like that. But you know what? Everything happens for a reason... so something better must be coming out of it!
And YAY for john being home for christmas! :woohoo: That's a great present! You should go to Disney World to celebrate :laughing:

TanzUnited99
07-25-2011, 05:45 AM
Yay you finally made it to Disney World!!

:woohoo: on getting 8 day tickets. I love the Minnie ears photo.

Oh no on having to go back to Leows Royal Pacific. Am also sad to hear about the house falling through but agree that everything happens for a reason :goodvibes

mickeyfan71
07-25-2011, 09:24 AM
So sorry to hear about the house-everything happens for a reason so some good will come out of this! :hug:

Yay for 8 day tickets! :cool1:

I may take your advice and read the HP books. :thumbsup2

pooksma
07-25-2011, 10:03 AM
Sorry about the house. Must be a better one coming up for you!

Yay for John not having to go yet :banana:

I am thinking the same "WDW" withdrawl may happen to us when we start our trip at SeaWorld. There's something about passing through those WDW gates that makes you feel lighter.:cloud9:

mickeystoontown
07-25-2011, 10:27 AM
Oh I hate to hear the bad news about the house. At least you got a little money in your pocket for the troubles.

What a great surprise....extra days of tickets!

PlutosRHM55
07-25-2011, 10:55 AM
Awww... sorry about the house. :( But that's great you get to spend more time with John. :thumbsup2

YAY! To Disney you go, finally! I love seeing those gates, one of the best things about Disney (: That was so nice of John to get you double the tickets for your Disney vacation time. I haven't even stayed in WDW for 8 days. I can't wait to read all about how those tickets are used :thumbsup2

Sounded like you had a nice time in DTD! I'm going to be searching for those scratch marks now Hahahahaha Love the Mickey fountain thing they have. I've seen it on so many TRs and I just think it's the coolest thing ever. I hope they keep it there for awhile ::yes::

I love World of Disney! I'm a big Disney souvenir junkie, especially when it comes to pins so I love that place. It also is fun to just goof off in there hahaha, which you seem to do (I don't think you looked weird in that picture, btw) Haha @ the whole "more practical mickey ears" comment, though it's totally true. I think it can go for most Disney souvenirs, as well Hahahaha

OMG, I think that is the worst I've seen someone react to leaving Disney. The elevators, seriously? Hahahahaha just kidding But it seemed you enjoyed it in the end. If only Disney would play Harry Potter poolside *daydreams* But at least they play some epic Disney movies to make up hahahaha

Can't wait to read about your Sea World day! :mickeyjum

Vwdiva93
07-25-2011, 12:05 PM
So sorry about your house, that really stinks. But definitely good news that your DH could be home for Christmas!:thumbsup2

Yay for finally getting on Disney property though! And that was so sweet of your DH to get you more tickets. Four days at Disney is never enough, there's just too much to do!

And I love those ears, too cute! But yeah I could see how a more practical pair would be used much more:rotfl:

Tracy161
07-25-2011, 07:13 PM
Sorry to hear about the house! But maybe this just means that something even better for the two of you will work out instead! :goodvibes (I always believe things happen for a reason). Great news about John though!

Oh my gosh! I absolutely LOVED your update, you literally had me laughing OUT LOUD!!! Ahh... the comment about the elevators not being as slow at Disney had me especially cracking up! :rotfl: Can't wait for your next update! :thumbsup2

stephielela
07-27-2011, 12:33 PM
Finally caught up!!! I knew it!! I knew why you were sad! I am a bit hesitant about taking a trip to Universal for that very same reason... but I HAVE to see WWoHP so I will have to tough it out... for one night at least :lmao:

Sorry about the house, but YAY! about John maybe being home for Christmas!!

Maleficent's Dad
07-27-2011, 01:24 PM
On board - great reading and you're making me laugh!
We brought the kids to WWOHP at Universal last year - and although it was a "good" family trip, it was the trip to Disney afterwards that made the vacation! So I know what you mean! :thumbsup2

Shell & Ted
07-28-2011, 12:43 PM
Sorry to hear about the house but great news on the extra cash & having John home.

I feel the exact same way about Orlando. Vacation doesn't really start until I get to Disney. I feel almost disloyal and out of sorts when I'm off property and near by.

Disneybuckeye
07-28-2011, 01:05 PM
Yeah on 8 day park tickets!!!

Sorry about the house, but I am sure you will find a better one.

Too funny on practical mouse ears.

Crossing my fingers that your husband is home for Christmas.

Looking forward to more!!

dancin_princess
07-28-2011, 02:10 PM
oh my gosh, i haven't been on the boards since the 8 of July. i'll be back later to catch up.

wahoostampingirl
07-28-2011, 07:55 PM
I'm so behind on TRs. I was just catching up on your last one, when I saw you had started this one!

I can totally understand you being cross with Universal, just because it's not Disney, but I have to say that the resort looked terrific. We decided not to stay overnight when we go to Universal in 2 weeks because it was too much money on our already overloaded budget, but I really would like to stay there sometime, if only for the early entry and express pass perks.

Can't wait to hear how your hubby reacts to his AKL surprise!

DisneyDreamerMN
07-28-2011, 09:18 PM
http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip101.jpg
I think you should have bought the hat. It is so you! :cool2:

TinkerbellLuvr7
07-28-2011, 09:47 PM
Sorry about the house! At least you got some money out of it and there will be another one I'm sure!! Yay for DTD. I hate parking there too, especially on the weekends ugh!

Kat in GA
07-28-2011, 10:19 PM
I'm in!!

I sooo know what you mean about "not Disney." I took my girls on a surprise trip to sea World over Spring break - we had a great time - but it was so not Disney. We spent two days there -- and then I had to find a way for us to have at least one day of Disney - so we went to Epcot before we finally came home. There is just a huge difference. From the workers, to the food (oh, the food!) - to even the people there. And those same people - they go to Disney too - but they just behave differently!

Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!

LoriJune
07-28-2011, 10:29 PM
I'm very late, but very in! Love your report!
PS. We are in NY, but have both a junk drawer AND a gun. :thumbsup2

magichusky
08-10-2011, 05:00 AM
What a hilarious TR so far! My mouth literally dropped open when I read that you ran into the Weasleys!!! I truly would've made a scene and demanded to be an extra in their commercial. I also went to WWoHP last December and it was just disgustingly unwieldy to say the least. I'm glad you got to enjoy it w/out the insane crowds!

The gift shop at SoG is my absolute fav; their 99 cent Disney keychains are so perfect. I've never been to the Disney outlet store though- I'll of course have to stop by next time since apparently they have souvenirs for dogs! I was never able to find anything suitable for my 100 pounder last time! Things never seem to come in his size...

So excited to read about AKL! Such a very beautiful resort!

therussells08
08-13-2011, 02:02 PM
Yay! And update!

I'm so sorry to hear about the house. :hug: My dad is a realtor, and from what he says, those kind of things happen pretty frequently. That just means a better house for you guys is out there waiting, though! And yay for some extra time with John! :goodvibes

I knew you'd be going over to Disney! :laughing: How sweet of John to get two sets of tickets. I agree - parking at DTD is such a pain!

Thank you! :) We got another house now, and it's nicer AND cheapter, so you were totally right!

I was so excited about the two sets of tickets! :thumbsup2

Oh my goodness, how sweet of him to surprise you with eight days worth of tickets! I would have been so happy too, to go from four days of Disney to eight!

I think I saw your nail marks at World of Disney when I was last there....

Seriously, is he a doll or what? I'm a lucky girl! :goodvibes

:rotfl: I wouldn't be surprised if you did! I did NOT want to leave!

I don't know how many Vinylmation Howard has at this point, but it's only a few. Plus, at the end of my more recent TR (that I really should work on right now, but I'm catching up on crafting blogs!), I'll show one of the Vinylmation nerds that the 3 of them got for him (they got him a gift for driving all week and handling car rental stuff, and they got me a gift too for planning the trip). I don't know that he has any left to trade though because he might've gotten what he liked. If anything, he has ONE to trade! He's definitely going to be trying to get a Cars one next year!

Aww, it's sad that you didn't get the house, but at least you got some cash out of it. And it only means that that wasn't the right house for you guys! The right one will come along! And yay for the news about John! Woohoo!

Um, how do you come here and describe your happy dance without posting a video of it? Such a tease! Haha.

"The only place on Earth where you have to decide which pair of fake mouse ears are more practical. You gotta love it!" HAHA. I'm wondering whether or not to get the bride ears next May. I've ALWAYS wanted them, and it'll be my ONLY time to get them and wear 'em. But I wear sunglasses in the parks now, and I put them on my head when not in use! Decisions decisions ...

You write so well that I'M feeling so anxious that you're not at Disney at this point in your TR!

John is so crazy about these Vinylmations! He has already spent WAY too much money on them! They're cute, but I'd rather use that money to save for a trip to Disney!

You all were totally right, a better house did come along! We love it, and it's cheaper than the last one! :banana:

Hahaha sorry, no happy dance video! That would probably win big bucks on America's Funniest Videos, though!

I would definitely recommend the bride ears! They are so much fun to wear! I wore mine every day and they made me feel so special!

We are almost there! Sorry for taking so long!

Enjoying your reviews! We are from NC also! Will be leaving in 2 days and will be going through Charlotte also (live on Lake Norman)!:rotfl: Leaving at 4:30 am to avoid trafic!

Thank you! :) I'm glad you're enjoying it! That is so cool that you are from NC too! Good idea on leaving so early! Charlotte traffic is a nightmare!

Awww, sorry about the house, but John's delayed deployment sure makes up for it!

Hahaha I am SO glad you went to Disney. That's just what you needed! :thumbsup2 How adorable. I would've been doing the same thing! My trip is tomorrow and I can hardly sit still!!!!! :banana:

OMG, YAYYY for double the park days!!!! We're doing the 4 days as well, but seeing as I'm going back 2 weeks later, I don't really mind. :rollseyes:

Haha well as much as Magic Kingdom would have been just lovely, Downtown Disney is always a great start to the trip. :yay:

Those ears are so cute! :cutie:

Haha it's funny that you were comparing Universal to Disney because Jess and I went to Darien Lake recently (which is sort of like Six Flags or Knott's Berry Farm) with a few of our friends, and we were comparing it to Disney ALL day. From the food to the queues to the prices. Needless to say, Disney won. :laughing:

Thank you! We ended up just getting a much better house for a lower price, so we're thrilled! :)

Disney was definitely just what I needed! But it was so hard to leave!

I am so bad about that anytime I go to another theme park! I can't even stand to go to Carowinds (a theme park near our home) anymore, because it's just so NOT Disney!

I have been waiting for an update! I do believe I would have cried my eyes out having to leave Disney to go back to Universal & I would have had the same attitude also! The fun is fixing to begin :)!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so hard leaving Disney! The fun is about to begin...my Splash Mountain update is very soon!

I love the pic of you with the Minnie ears on! :cutie:

I'm sorry the house didn't come through, but I agree, that just means there's a better one out there for you. :hug: I'm sure things will work out, especially since John's home longer :yay: You guys can find a more perfect house together!

That's awesome that he took you to Disney :yay: :yay: I know how antsy I get about wanting to be in Disney, like, the second I land in Orlando :rotfl:

Thank you! :)

You all were so right! We did get a better one! Thanks for the support! :hug:

I was SO glad to get to go to Disney, even if it was just for a little while! I really needed it!

therussells08
08-13-2011, 06:04 PM
HAHAHA your update just made me chuckle. SO funny! I would have done the same thing if I was you! People always ask me if I have ever been to Universal since I'm down in Florida all of the time. And I NEVER have been. (except for when I was like 2 or 4 or something) I think it's because I know that if I'm all the way there, spending time somewhere besides Disney World would just make me feel like I was wasting my precious Disney opportunity. I mean.. if I was into Harry Potter I would make a special trip for that.. but I'm not. So it's DISNEY ALL THE WAY :wizard:

And I also chucked at your happy dance description. I pictured you doing the charlie brown happy dance :rotfl: since I'm not sure of the rosanne one.

And i am SO excited you got 8 days worth of passes. AWESOME!!! can't wait for the next update!!

And p.s. sorry about the house deal not going through :( that's such a bummer! I hate hearing things like that. But you know what? Everything happens for a reason... so something better must be coming out of it!
And YAY for john being home for christmas! :woohoo: That's a great present! You should go to Disney World to celebrate :laughing:

It was so hard being at Universal instead of Disney! I think we are definitely going to skip it for awhile and just do Disney all the way!

Haha, the Roseanne dance is really awkward so it combines perfectly with the Charlie Brown dance! I tried to find a video on YouTube to share with you but I couldn't find one!

You were exactly right, it did happen for a reason! We ended up finding a way better house that's a lot cheaper! Thank you so much for your kind words! :hug:

Yay you finally made it to Disney World!!

:woohoo: on getting 8 day tickets. I love the Minnie ears photo.

Oh no on having to go back to Leows Royal Pacific. Am also sad to hear about the house falling through but agree that everything happens for a reason :goodvibes

I was so glad to be there!

Thanks! I was so tempted to get those darn ears!

Thank you so much! It did happen for a reason! Our new house it so much better and way cheaper!

So sorry to hear about the house-everything happens for a reason so some good will come out of this! :hug:

Yay for 8 day tickets! :cool1:

I may take your advice and read the HP books. :thumbsup2

Thank you so much for your kind words! :hug: We just signed the contract for another house, so it really did turn out fine!

You should definitely read the HP books! They're amazing!

Sorry about the house. Must be a better one coming up for you!

Yay for John not having to go yet :banana:

I am thinking the same "WDW" withdrawl may happen to us when we start our trip at SeaWorld. There's something about passing through those WDW gates that makes you feel lighter.:cloud9:

Thank you! :) You were right, we got a better one!

You're so right about the WDW gates! I think you might feel the withdrawal, but Sea World is amazing so you will still have a good time!

Oh I hate to hear the bad news about the house. At least you got a little money in your pocket for the troubles.

What a great surprise....extra days of tickets!

Thank you so much! It all turned out alright, thankfully! :)

I was so excited about the tickets!

Awww... sorry about the house. :( But that's great you get to spend more time with John. :thumbsup2

YAY! To Disney you go, finally! I love seeing those gates, one of the best things about Disney (: That was so nice of John to get you double the tickets for your Disney vacation time. I haven't even stayed in WDW for 8 days. I can't wait to read all about how those tickets are used :thumbsup2

Sounded like you had a nice time in DTD! I'm going to be searching for those scratch marks now Hahahahaha Love the Mickey fountain thing they have. I've seen it on so many TRs and I just think it's the coolest thing ever. I hope they keep it there for awhile ::yes::

I love World of Disney! I'm a big Disney souvenir junkie, especially when it comes to pins so I love that place. It also is fun to just goof off in there hahaha, which you seem to do (I don't think you looked weird in that picture, btw) Haha @ the whole "more practical mickey ears" comment, though it's totally true. I think it can go for most Disney souvenirs, as well Hahahaha

OMG, I think that is the worst I've seen someone react to leaving Disney. The elevators, seriously? Hahahahaha just kidding But it seemed you enjoyed it in the end. If only Disney would play Harry Potter poolside *daydreams* But at least they play some epic Disney movies to make up hahahaha

Can't wait to read about your Sea World day! :mickeyjum

Thank you! It turned out fine in the end, we got an even better house! :)

I was SO excited about the eight days of tickets! He's the best!

I'm a huge souvenir junkie too! I love pins as well, but lately John and I have kind of gotten addicted to Vinylmations! They're so fun!

I'm telling you, I was a major brat about having to leave! :rotfl: Poolside Harry Potter at Disney would be amazing! I think Disney should just buy out Universal! :goodvibes

therussells08
08-13-2011, 06:08 PM
So sorry about your house, that really stinks. But definitely good news that your DH could be home for Christmas!:thumbsup2

Yay for finally getting on Disney property though! And that was so sweet of your DH to get you more tickets. Four days at Disney is never enough, there's just too much to do!

And I love those ears, too cute! But yeah I could see how a more practical pair would be used much more:rotfl:

Thank you! It turned out fine in the end! :)

I was so happy to be on Disney property! And you're right, four days is never enough!

I was so tempted to get those ears!

Sorry to hear about the house! But maybe this just means that something even better for the two of you will work out instead! :goodvibes (I always believe things happen for a reason). Great news about John though!

Oh my gosh! I absolutely LOVED your update, you literally had me laughing OUT LOUD!!! Ahh... the comment about the elevators not being as slow at Disney had me especially cracking up! :rotfl: Can't wait for your next update! :thumbsup2

Thank you! You were right, something better did work out! Thank you so much for your support! :hug:

I'm so glad you enjoyed my update! Thank you! :)

Finally caught up!!! I knew it!! I knew why you were sad! I am a bit hesitant about taking a trip to Universal for that very same reason... but I HAVE to see WWoHP so I will have to tough it out... for one night at least :lmao:

Sorry about the house, but YAY! about John maybe being home for Christmas!!

It's worth going for the WWoHP, but there's no way I could do a whole vacation at Universal!

Thank you! It turned out alright in the end!

On board - great reading and you're making me laugh!
We brought the kids to WWOHP at Universal last year - and although it was a "good" family trip, it was the trip to Disney afterwards that made the vacation! So I know what you mean! :thumbsup2

:welcome: I'm so glad you're enjoying it and laughing along!

Disney is always the trip that really makes the vacation! I totally understand!

Sorry to hear about the house but great news on the extra cash & having John home.

I feel the exact same way about Orlando. Vacation doesn't really start until I get to Disney. I feel almost disloyal and out of sorts when I'm off property and near by.

Thank you! It turned out great in the end!

Haha, it's so funny that everyone feels the same way about Disney! Universal is okay, but nothing compares to Disney!

Yeah on 8 day park tickets!!!

Sorry about the house, but I am sure you will find a better one.

Too funny on practical mouse ears.

Crossing my fingers that your husband is home for Christmas.

Looking forward to more!!

You were right, we did find a better one!

Thank you so much for all your kind words! :hug:

therussells08
08-13-2011, 06:13 PM
oh my gosh, i haven't been on the boards since the 8 of July. i'll be back later to catch up.

I know what you mean, I haven't been on in FOREVER! I am so behind!

I'm so behind on TRs. I was just catching up on your last one, when I saw you had started this one!

I can totally understand you being cross with Universal, just because it's not Disney, but I have to say that the resort looked terrific. We decided not to stay overnight when we go to Universal in 2 weeks because it was too much money on our already overloaded budget, but I really would like to stay there sometime, if only for the early entry and express pass perks.

Can't wait to hear how your hubby reacts to his AKL surprise!

I'm so far behind too! I haven't updated my other TR in forever! I need to get back to it!

The Universal hotel was very nice, but I wasn't really happy with the cost! I felt like every time I turned around they were charging me for something else! The decor was beautiful though!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip101.jpg
I think you should have bought the hat. It is so you! :cool2:

Thank you! I kind of regret not buying it now! :rotfl:

Sorry about the house! At least you got some money out of it and there will be another one I'm sure!! Yay for DTD. I hate parking there too, especially on the weekends ugh!

You were right, there was another one! Thanks for your kind words! :hug:

I'm in!!

I sooo know what you mean about "not Disney." I took my girls on a surprise trip to sea World over Spring break - we had a great time - but it was so not Disney. We spent two days there -- and then I had to find a way for us to have at least one day of Disney - so we went to Epcot before we finally came home. There is just a huge difference. From the workers, to the food (oh, the food!) - to even the people there. And those same people - they go to Disney too - but they just behave differently!

Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!

:welcome:

I don't blame you for squeezing in some Disney time! I just don't think I could go to Orlando without going to Disney! And you are SO right about people behaving differently!

I'm very late, but very in! Love your report!
PS. We are in NY, but have both a junk drawer AND a gun. :thumbsup2

:welcome: You're not late, you're right on time! ;)

Haha, I guess they're both more common than I thought!

What a hilarious TR so far! My mouth literally dropped open when I read that you ran into the Weasleys!!! I truly would've made a scene and demanded to be an extra in their commercial. I also went to WWoHP last December and it was just disgustingly unwieldy to say the least. I'm glad you got to enjoy it w/out the insane crowds!

The gift shop at SoG is my absolute fav; their 99 cent Disney keychains are so perfect. I've never been to the Disney outlet store though- I'll of course have to stop by next time since apparently they have souvenirs for dogs! I was never able to find anything suitable for my 100 pounder last time! Things never seem to come in his size...

So excited to read about AKL! Such a very beautiful resort!

:welcome: I'm so glad you're enjoying it! It was so cool seeing the Weasleys! Trust me, if John hadn't been there to restrain me I probably would have done something drastic to meet them! It was SO much nicer this time than in December, even with the celebs there!

I love the SoG gift shop too, but the outlet is even better! You would love it! Awww, they never make big enough doggie clothes! They had some pretty big shirts there so maybe you can find something for your fur baby!:)

therussells08
08-13-2011, 06:21 PM
Hi everyone! I'm so sorry AGAIN about the huge gap in updates.Things have been really hectic around here lately! It turns out losing the last house was a blessing, because John and I found an even nicer house that was a better price! We are in the process of closing and doing all of the necessary work like getting the inspection, so it's been insane! Plus, I started back to work a few weeks ago so my free time has been pretty much nonexistent! Oh well, before I break out the violin and play myself a sad song let's get back to the TR!

I woke up the next morning and literally sprang from the bed. I was so excited to finally be leaving Universal and going to Disney World for good! I wasn't really looking forward to going to Sea World because I was just SO eager to get to Disney, but we had never been before and we really wanted to check it out. Besides, it was free. I think I would go to a theme park where the only thing you do is watch paint dry if it was free. That's why John always calls me "Frugal McDugal" which I find ironic, since he almost gave himself a hernia so he wouldn't have to tip the bell hop. Pot, meet kettle.

Aaaanyway, I started to get a little more excited as we approached Sea World that morning. I've always liked sea creatures, especially dolphins and orcas!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip102.jpg

We went through the very simple process of getting the free military tickets, and before we knew it we were in the park! The first thing I noticed was Shamu doing a meet and greet!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip103.jpg

How cute! The first thing John noticed was two flamingos getting a little um...friendly... with each other. Being the incredibly mature man that he is he immediately grabbed my camera, but the love connection was broken before he could figure out how to turn the camera on. Instead, he had to settle for this boring flamingo shot.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip105.jpg

I dragged him away from the flamingo romance that was unfolding and we started wandering around the park. We had no idea what was around, so we figured we'd just do what country folks do best: mosey! I was really impressed with the decorations around Sea World. It is set up to remind you of a coastal town, almost like a boardwalk, and it's very pretty and cheerful.

I mentioned earlier that I love dolphins and orcas, but dolphins are definitely my favorite of the two. There's just something about dolphins that I absolutely love. So, you can imagine my complete and total euphoria when I realized that you could HAND FEED DOLPHINS for only $7! :eek:

John was more than happy to fork over the cash after a couple minutes of me going, "Canwecanwecanwecanwecanwe?!" $14 to feed dolphins? What a deal!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip127.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip119.jpg

You can really understand how excited I was by this simply by looking at that picture. It takes something really special to make me willing to pick up a slimy dead fish with my bare hand.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip128.jpg

You were allowed to touch the dolphins, but I was never quite able to. They would always swim just out of reach and my arms were too short to reach them. John was able to touch several though, and he said they felt like rubber. That's about what I imagined them to feel like, so I wasn't too bummed I didn't touch one. I got to feed them, and that was cool enough!

After that I was all about the dolphins, so I dragged John over to a show called "Blue Horizons". We were late arriving, but we didn't miss much of it. This was the best show! It was all about dolphins and these really beautiful parrots and other birds.

Here is a video of the first part of the show: (Just click on the image to see the video.)

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/th_AnniversaryTrip134.jpg (http://s953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/?action=view&current=AnniversaryTrip134.mp4)

Okay now here's where Joni turns into a weirdo. As soon as I saw the dolphins jumping out of the water (around 1:23 in the first video) I instantly just burst into tears. Don't ask me why, because I honestly couldn't tell you. I am an extremely emotional person, and John calls me a "hat crier" (because I cry at the drop of the hat) and it's true. I cry all the time, and I tend to cry WAY more when I'm happy than when I'm sad. I guess that's what happened here. The show was just so beautiful and inspirational that I couldn't hold it in, so I sat there weeping like a total nerd throughout the whole thing.

It only got worse when they started playing this super inspirational song (another video):

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/th_AnniversaryTrip137.jpg (http://s953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/?action=view&current=AnniversaryTrip137.mp4)

When the birds flew over our heads I just lost it. I was so relieved that I had my sunglasses on, because I'm sure the people around me would have thought I was totally crazy if they saw me sitting there bawling my eyes out in the middle of Sea World.

After Blue Horizons (and my mini emotional breakdown) we continued our moseying and stumbled across another cool experience: feeding the seals!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip145.jpg

I like seals, but I wasn't too keen on the idea of touching more dead fish so I decided to just watch. John wanted to do it, so he paid (this one was only $5) and got his seal food. It was so cute because all of the seals knew he had food so they would jump up on the rocks and make that loud seal sound (if I try to spell it out I would imagine it to be something like "AR! AR! AR!") until he threw them a fish. One seal, however, was quite the showman and he decided he needed to take it up a notch in order to get John's attention. Therefore, he proceeded to sit there and scream for a solid fifteen seconds. It was hilarious, and I managed to get a little bit of it on video! Here it is:

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/th_AnniversaryTrip149.jpg (http://s953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/?action=view&current=AnniversaryTrip149.mp4)

After we finished with the seals John wanted to see the scary stuff, so we went to the shark tank. Well, I guess you would call it the shark tunnel, because you go through this big tunnel with sharks swimming all around you. John loved it and I was thoroughly creeped out.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip155.jpg

This is the ugliest fish I've ever seen, bless his heart.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip157.jpg

After this we headed over to the Arctic exhibit. This one wasn't too exciting because it was difficult to see a lot of the animals, but it was still cool.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip160.jpg

That was indoors! How cool is that? My sister is scared to death by places that are indoors but look like they are outdoors (like Pirates of the Caribbean) so I texted her a picture of this room. I'm so sweet, aren't I?

I couldn't get a good picture of the beluga whales, but I did enjoy looking at them and singing "Baby beluga in the deep blue sea, he swims so wild and he swims so free..." from Full House.

Here's a lazy polar bear.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip165.jpg

When we left this area I saw a photo op that I couldn't resist.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip177.jpg

At this point it was almost time for what I was most excited about: the Shamu show!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip159.jpg

We went into Shamu Stadium and chose some seats outside of the Splash Zone. It would have been fun to be splashed, but I didn't want my camera to get wet and I wasn't too thrilled about the idea of smelling like whale water for the rest of the day.

At the beginning of the show they asked all military personnel to stand so they could be honored, which I thought was great. It was so nice to see everyone clapping for my brave hubby! As I'm sure you guessed, this started the water works all over again.

So, since I was already crying when the show started you can imagine what mess I was when I saw those beautiful and majestic creatures jumping out of the water. This was such an amazing show! It was funny, inspiring, and just plain beautiful!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip186.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip187.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip188.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip190.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip194.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip197.jpg

Here's a little video I made of the whales splashing all of the people! It was so cool!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/th_AnniversaryTrip189.jpg (http://s953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/?action=view&current=AnniversaryTrip189.mp4)

By the time the show ended it was about 2 o'clock and we had been in Sea World for more than five hours. John and I talked and we both agreed that neither of us had any interest in riding the rides. I had heard that the roller coasters were great, but I figured I could just ride roller coasters at Disney. We were hot, sweaty, and we had seen all of the animals we wanted to see, so we decided to leave.

On our way out we stopped in the gift shop where I quickly realized they had really cool beach towels, darn it! If you remember from my last post, I had bought my mom a beach towel from Downtown Disney the previous night, but I knew she would like a Sea World one better. I debated for awhile about what to do, but I finally decided to just bite the bullet and get her a towel with Shamu on it. I figured I would keep the Disney one for myself, until I saw a really cool towel with dolphins on it. Shoot. I really wanted this towel, but did I really need two? Well, I was on vacation, so I decided the answer was yes. We ended up buying a towel for mom, a towel for me, a shot glass for my dad, and a keychain and postcards for my sister.

We left Sea World already making plans to come back when we have children. I was skeptical at first, but a day there turned me into a believer! It is a beautiful park and you have a lot of really unforgettable experiences for a very low price. Now I know that part of my love for the park stemmed from the fact that we got in totally free, but I think I would have felt the same even if we had paid admission.

With Shamu and Flipper behind us, we hopped in the car and headed for our final destination of the trip. The destination I had been dreaming about and obsessing over months. The best destination on Earth.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip098.jpg

Hellooooo baby!

Up Next: It's time for the big reveal! John finds out we're staying at AKL!

Nermel9
08-13-2011, 07:06 PM
Yay an update! :rotfl: Congrats on your new house, it sounds perfect! :lovestruc

Sea World is a lot of fun! I love dolphins so much...I had no idea there was a feeding area there for them! :eek: We missed a lot when we went there!

Aww, I love that video of the seal! :love: So cute!

We missed the Arctic exhibit too! We tried to find it, but we were confused when we were there because they do some Polar Express thing with it when it's close to Christmas, so we didn't know if we'd still see polar bears or not...so we stood around like dorks for like 20 minutes, debating whether or not to go in! :confused3 I wish we did now, I love polar bears!

The Shamu show is really cute, but do they still do that weird, clapping "Shamu, Shamu" chant/song thing before he comes out? I thought that was a little strange! :rotfl: They're such beautiful whales, but it freaks me out knowing that poor trainer got killed by one there. :sad1:

I can't believe you didn't go on one ride! Although that Manta roller coaster is terrifying! :eek: And roller coasters do not scare me...but that one...never again! :rotfl:

Can't wait to finally hear about getting to AKL! :thumbsup2

Disneyfreak616
08-13-2011, 07:09 PM
YAY an update!!! That's great that your house situation worked out for the better! :)

Hahaha "pot, meet kettle." :rotfl: Reminds me of my mom. She says that ALL the time. And cheyyeah I'd go if it was free too! :thumbsup2

:lmao: at the flamingo romance. I'm glad you guys were enjoying yourselves! Haha.

Yayy for being able to feed the dolphins!! And for $7?! That's awesome. That show is so cool too, it's totally understandable that you cried. I almost burst into tears during Philharmagic this past trip. :rolleyes1

That seal is hilarious! So funny.

I think I would cry if there were sharks swimming all around me. :scared1:

That is a really strange fear to have...I personally LOVE places that are indoors that look like outdoors, I think it's so cool.

HAHAHA Full House. :lovestruc "I WANT BABY BELUGA! I WANT BABY BELUGA!" :rotfl:

Aww that's so nice that they recognized John! :goodvibes The Splash Zone DOES look like fun LOL.

You're making me really want to go to Sea World sometime! Someday I'll get there.

YAY for getting to Disney!!! I can't wait to hear about John's reaction to AKL!popcorn::

SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE
08-13-2011, 07:11 PM
Yay for an update! I'm so glad to see you back, and so glad to hear that you found an even better house! :goodvibes

It has been so long since I've been to SeaWorld, but your update brought back lots of memories! That is so neat that you were able to feed dolphins! Have you ever swam with them before? If not you should do it! Haha, love the term "hat crier". I could definitely describe myself as that from time to time. ;) Woo hoo for finally getting to Disney! I can't wait to see how John liked his surprise! :goodvibes

LauRN25
08-13-2011, 08:00 PM
Another North Carolinian from the Winston-Salem area joining in! :) Your trip report is giving me my Disney fix until I go in January. :mickeyjum

TanzUnited99
08-13-2011, 08:20 PM
Yay glad to see you back and am pleased to hear about the new house - seems like everything has worked out for the best :thumbsup2

Wow your holidays sure flew by - can't believe you are back at work already! I loved reading about your day at Sea World and it is now making me want to visit! :laughing: May have to consider it in a future trip.

Lol I would have loved to have seen the love connection happening between the flamingoes! Yay on being able to feed the dolphins! :yay:

I love the videos and being able to get emotional quite easily myself I understand about that happening during the day :hug: I'm glad you had your sunglasses to hand to fool onlookers!

The arctic exhibit looks cool and can't wait to read all about John's reaction to the AKL surprise :goodvibes

reelmom
08-13-2011, 08:37 PM
First of all, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to you husband for serving in the military and for keeping us safe. Secondly, you deserve lots of pixie dust. I admire you for being a military wife and I know it must be so hard for you to have him deployed. I am glad that he might be able to stay for Christmas. Third, great trip report. We are going to Universal and SeaWorld next year. I am so upset about not being able to go to Disney. I am plotting out how to leave early before DH can and going to Disney with my two boys for a few days before our actual trip starts. If only I was made of money. Oh, my boys loved the video of the seal. We had to watch it about 10 times. They were laughing so hard.

shelbys mommy
08-13-2011, 09:05 PM
Love love love the update!!! I totally would have been singing Baby Beluga too! Totally cracked up at "Pot, meet kettle."

Maleficent's Dad
08-13-2011, 09:05 PM
Glad to see the update! I'm happy you enjoyed Sea World - but now onto Disney!!! Hope it's not too long until the next update!!! ;)

saintstickets
08-13-2011, 09:44 PM
Glad to hear about your new house. Good things happen to good people! :thumbsup2

As for this:
This is the ugliest fish I've ever seen, bless his heart.
Only in the South can you say anything about somebody as long as you follow it up with bless his/her heart! :lmao:

For example - She's uglier than a mud fence, bless her heart... or ... He's dumber than a sack of rocks, bless his little pea-picking heart! :rotfl2:

Keep the great TR coming; especially now that you're heading to WDW! :cool1:

Disneyfreak508
08-13-2011, 11:02 PM
UPDATE UPDATE YAY YAY YAYY! :yay:

CONGRATS on the new house!! See?! Everything happens for a reason! :goodvibes

Dolphins are my favorite animal too!! I would have totally fed them! That's awesome!! I got to swim with Dolphins when i was like 15.... AMAZING EXPERIENCE. I really hope you get to do that someday because you would LOVE it :wizard:

I love your little story about weeping at the Dolphin Show :laughing: So precious. I can understand why you would... those shows are so beautiful!

I laughed about the screaming seal and "the ugliest fish you've ever seen, bless his heart." :lmao::rotfl:

Wonderful full house reference! :thumbsup2 That song always gets stuck in my head!!

This update makes me sort of want to go to seaworld!! I went there once when I was in 2nd grade.. I feel like I would still like it!

And good decision on the beach towels! I would have done the same thing!

MiNniEDrEameR
08-13-2011, 11:17 PM
Yay! I am all caught up and am thoroughly enjoying your TR!! I'm Kimi and my husband and I are also from NC (High Point)!!! It was interesting to see another couple that we have a lot of things in common with... disney crazy, I'm 24 and my husband is 25, and we also have an anniversary in June! Yay for June brides! :yay:Anywho can't wait to read more!!

IheartBroncos
08-14-2011, 12:12 AM
Great Trip Report! Can't wait to hear more!!

jayyyloooo
08-14-2011, 02:55 AM
Joining in a little late! I read your December TR and this one for the past couple of hours :rotfl: and I absolutely LOVE your Full House references! I always talk about the WDW episode when I talk about vacation but no one every seems to remember it! I'm glad someone out there knows how amazing that episode was!!!

Now I have a strong desire to go watch it :lmao:

Can't wait to hear the rest of your TR!!!

TinkerbellLuvr7
08-14-2011, 11:20 AM
Sea World looked like a ton of fun but I have a feeling it's not a park you want to go to when it's super hot outside?? Can't wait to see how the surprise went!

heathsf
08-14-2011, 11:26 AM
Great update! You got me interested in going to Sea World! That is...as long as it's an *extra* day on my trip and not going to take away from any WDW days! :rotfl:

Congratulations on the house! :goodvibes

I can't wait for your next update! I want to know how you revealed the surprise!

Tracy161
08-14-2011, 11:36 AM
Sounds like a great day at Sea World! I haven't been there since 1997, but it's always been somewhere I'd like to return someday. I love that they honored John and all the other military men and women in the audience! :goodvibes Thank goodness for people like him!!! :goodvibes

Yay! Cannot wait to read about Disney!!! :cloud9:

amazingact21
08-14-2011, 11:42 AM
Glad Seaworld was a lot of fun. I've been there a few times, and reading your TR on it reminded me how much I enjoyed the park.
Can't wait to see how the big reveal went!:thumbsup2

walt's girl
08-14-2011, 12:34 PM
A tad bit late joining in... but here we go!! We are from the south as well and I instantly love anyone that says "Bless his heart!" about an ugly fish!! Can't wait to hear more!!

stephielela
08-14-2011, 02:52 PM
Sea World looks like fun!! I am not a "hat crier" but every once in a while, I will get overly emotional at something small. Like the move on the ME. Or the commercials that show all the families surprising their kids with trips to WDW. Or when I took Jack to see TS3 on ice and Mickey came out to start the show... :confused3

PlutosRHM55
08-14-2011, 04:05 PM
YAY AN UPDATE! So glad to see you found another house and a better one! Hope you enjoy it there (:

Sea World looks so cool. My parents just rave about that place all the time. I'm sure they could spend a vacation just going there and not Disney (:eek:). Though... it seems to have experiences you can't find in most places :thumbsup2 And for free, even better.

Ohhhhh... I love dolphins too! One of the things I've always wanted to do is swim with them. I've just seen too many movies, too many Travel Channel shows and read too many stories about being able to do that. And then you get to FEED THEM! I'm super jealous :goodvibes I'll have to tell my parents about the $7 deal :thumbsup2

I've heard a lot about Blue Horizons. On my first trip to Disney, we met up with a family who was staying in Disney but also added in Sea World to their itinerary. They said the show was amazing. I was a bit confused about what was going on watching your video, but it looks really neat. And I love the inspirational music, section, so sweet :goodvibes I can see why you were bawling then.

Oooo... that arctic exhibit sounds really cool. I think I remember hearing on another Travel Channel show that sometimes they come out and take random people looking at the Beluga whales to get into some swim gear and actually get to interact with them for a few minutes. They look so much like dolphins and I've heard they are very sweet. :thumbsup2 to the Full House reference!

Ooooo... the Shamu Show looks amazing! I would totally like to be in the Splash zone, it looks like great fun! I think that may be my only reason to see the show :laughing: Though, based on some of those pictures you took maybe there's more to it with the Killer Whale tricks (makes it even sound more interesting)

Glad to see you enjoyed the place! I'm sorry you didn't end up checking out any of the rides, but there's always next time (which you seem to have planned out) (: Off to Disney...

Can't wait to read about your reveal of the big surprise! :mickeyjum

dcsetman
08-14-2011, 08:38 PM
I'm here - and catching up. Loving your trip report so far. I'm anxious for you to get to Disney (Finally).... I may not sleep tonight knowing that your next post will be about checking in at a true Disney Resort :)

therussells08
08-14-2011, 11:20 PM
Yay an update! Congrats on your new house, it sounds perfect! :lovestruc

Sea World is a lot of fun! I love dolphins so much...I had no idea there was a feeding area there for them! :eek: We missed a lot when we went there!

Aww, I love that video of the seal! So cute!

We missed the Arctic exhibit too! We tried to find it, but we were confused when we were there because they do some Polar Express thing with it when it's close to Christmas, so we didn't know if we'd still see polar bears or not...so we stood around like dorks for like 20 minutes, debating whether or not to go in! :confused3 I wish we did now, I love polar bears!

The Shamu show is really cute, but do they still do that weird, clapping "Shamu, Shamu" chant/song thing before he comes out? I thought that was a little strange! :rotfl: They're such beautiful whales, but it freaks me out knowing that poor trainer got killed by one there.

I can't believe you didn't go on one ride! Although that Manta roller coaster is terrifying! :eek: And roller coasters do not scare me...but that one...never again!
Can't wait to finally hear about getting to AKL!

Thank you! I'm so excited about it! :)

Don't feel bad, you didn't miss too much with the polar bears. They were cute, but they just slept in the corner like big white blobs the whole time when we saw them!

Thankfully they did not do the Shamu chant! I think that would have freaked me out too! I love him, but I don't want to be in some kind of Shamu cult! It freaks me out too about the trainer getting killed. I noticed that the trainers swam with the dolphins during the Blue Horizons show, but they don't swim with the orcas anymore. I wonder if that's why.

I know, I kind of can't believe we didn't either, but it was just so hot and we were itching to get to Disney!

I'm posting the AKL update in just a minute! :)

YAY an update!!! That's great that your house situation worked out for the better!

Hahaha "pot, meet kettle." Reminds me of my mom. She says that ALL the time. And cheyyeah I'd go if it was free too!

:lmao: at the flamingo romance. I'm glad you guys were enjoying yourselves! Haha.

Yayy for being able to feed the dolphins!! And for $7?! That's awesome. That show is so cool too, it's totally understandable that you cried. I almost burst into tears during Philharmagic this past trip.

That seal is hilarious! So funny.

I think I would cry if there were sharks swimming all around me. :scared1:

That is a really strange fear to have...I personally LOVE places that are indoors that look like outdoors, I think it's so cool.

HAHAHA Full House. :lovestruc "I WANT BABY BELUGA! I WANT BABY BELUGA!" :rotfl:

Aww that's so nice that they recognized John! :goodvibes The Splash Zone DOES look like fun LOL.

You're making me really want to go to Sea World sometime! Someday I'll get there.

YAY for getting to Disney!!! I can't wait to hear about John's reaction to AKL!popcorn::

Thank you! I'm so happy about it! :)

Haha, that's so cool that your mom says that too! I think I got that saying from my mom!

John is so immature about stuff like that! He saw a monkey picking its nose at the zoo once and thought it was hysterical! :rolleyes:

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels very strong emotions like that on vacation!

I loved that seal! He only had one eye though, the poor baby. :sad1:

Ugh I hated the sharks! I almost ran through that stupid tunnel!

I love places like that too! I remember when I went to Disney with my sister in 2008 she almost had a panic attack on the Ellen Degeneres ride!

That is the best Full House episode ever! It's perfect for the English teacher nerd in me, because it's making fun of Edgar Allan Poe!

You should go to Sea World! We really enjoyed it! :thumbsup2

Yay for an update! I'm so glad to see you back, and so glad to hear that you found an even better house! :goodvibes

It has been so long since I've been to SeaWorld, but your update brought back lots of memories! That is so neat that you were able to feed dolphins! Have you ever swam with them before? If not you should do it! Haha, love the term "hat crier". I could definitely describe myself as that from time to time. ;) Woo hoo for finally getting to Disney! I can't wait to see how John liked his surprise! :goodvibes

Thank you so much! :) I'm so glad to be back, and I'm thrilled about the house!

Another North Carolinian from the Winston-Salem area joining in! :) Your trip report is giving me my Disney fix until I go in January. :mickeyjum

:welcome: That is SO cool that you live so close by! I'm glad my report is helping you pass the time until your trip! Enjoy! ;)

therussells08
08-14-2011, 11:24 PM
Yay glad to see you back and am pleased to hear about the new house - seems like everything has worked out for the best :thumbsup2

Wow your holidays sure flew by - can't believe you are back at work already! I loved reading about your day at Sea World and it is now making me want to visit! :laughing: May have to consider it in a future trip.

Lol I would have loved to have seen the love connection happening between the flamingoes! Yay on being able to feed the dolphins! :yay:

I love the videos and being able to get emotional quite easily myself I understand about that happening during the day :hug: I'm glad you had your sunglasses to hand to fool onlookers!

The arctic exhibit looks cool and can't wait to read all about John's reaction to the AKL surprise :goodvibes

Thank you! Everything really did work out for the best! :)

I can't believe I'm back at worth either! The summers are too short!

You should definitely consider Sea World! It's great!

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who is like that! It was just so beautiful and overwhelming!

The AKL update is next! :thumbsup2

First of all, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to you husband for serving in the military and for keeping us safe. Secondly, you deserve lots of pixie dust. I admire you for being a military wife and I know it must be so hard for you to have him deployed. I am glad that he might be able to stay for Christmas. Third, great trip report. We are going to Universal and SeaWorld next year. I am so upset about not being able to go to Disney. I am plotting out how to leave early before DH can and going to Disney with my two boys for a few days before our actual trip starts. If only I was made of money. Oh, my boys loved the video of the seal. We had to watch it about 10 times. They were laughing so hard.

:welcome: Thank you so much for all of your kind words! They mean so much to John and myself! :hug: I hope that you are able to add a few days of Disney to your trip! Haha, I'm so glad they liked the video! That seal was so funny! :rotfl:

Love love love the update!!! I totally would have been singing Baby Beluga too! Totally cracked up at "Pot, meet kettle."

Thanks girl! :) I love that Baby Beluga song!

Glad to see the update! I'm happy you enjoyed Sea World - but now onto Disney!!! Hope it's not too long until the next update!!! ;)

Thank you! :) I am SO ready to talk about Disney! I'm about to post the next update! :thumbsup2

Glad to hear about your new house. Good things happen to good people! :thumbsup2

As for this:

Only in the South can you say anything about somebody as long as you follow it up with bless his/her heart! :lmao:

For example - She's uglier than a mud fence, bless her heart... or ... He's dumber than a sack of rocks, bless his little pea-picking heart! :rotfl2:

Keep the great TR coming; especially now that you're heading to WDW! :cool1:

Thank you so much! We are thrilled! :)

Hahaha, you are so right about that! I say bless his/her heart about a thousand times a day! I am so bad about that!

I'm glad you're enjoying it! The next update is about to be posted! ;)

therussells08
08-14-2011, 11:30 PM
UPDATE UPDATE YAY YAY YAYY! :yay:

CONGRATS on the new house!! See?! Everything happens for a reason!

Dolphins are my favorite animal too!! I would have totally fed them! That's awesome!! I got to swim with Dolphins when i was like 15.... AMAZING EXPERIENCE. I really hope you get to do that someday because you would LOVE it

I love your little story about weeping at the Dolphin Show :laughing: So precious. I can understand why you would... those shows are so beautiful!

I laughed about the screaming seal and "the ugliest fish you've ever seen, bless his heart." :lmao::rotfl:

Wonderful full house reference! :thumbsup2 That song always gets stuck in my head!!

This update makes me sort of want to go to seaworld!! I went there once when I was in 2nd grade.. I feel like I would still like it!

And good decision on the beach towels! I would have done the same thing!

Thank you so much! :hug:

That is so cool that you got to swim with dolphins! I would LOVE to do that!

I am such a mess! Anything like that always makes me bawl! :rotfl:

It gets stuck in my head too! I guess that's why it drove Stephanie crazy! :lmao:

I bet you would still like it! It was really cool!

Thanks! I'm glad I got them, because now I don't have to wash my beach towel after every pool visit, I just switch out with one of my clean ones! :thumbsup2

Yay! I am all caught up and am thoroughly enjoying your TR!! I'm Kimi and my husband and I are also from NC (High Point)!!! It was interesting to see another couple that we have a lot of things in common with... disney crazy, I'm 24 and my husband is 25, and we also have an anniversary in June! Yay for June brides! :yay:Anywho can't wait to read more!!

:welcome: That is so cool that you are from High Point! That's not very far from me at all! We really do have a lot in common! That's awesome!

June brides rock! :thumbsup2 :hug:

Great Trip Report! Can't wait to hear more!!

:welcome: Thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Joining in a little late! I read your December TR and this one for the past couple of hours :rotfl: and I absolutely LOVE your Full House references! I always talk about the WDW episode when I talk about vacation but no one every seems to remember it! I'm glad someone out there knows how amazing that episode was!!!

Now I have a strong desire to go watch it :lmao:

Can't wait to hear the rest of your TR!!!

:welcome: You're not late, you're right on time! ;) Haha, I am a Full House freak, so I totally appreciate that episode's awesomeness! I'm glad you're enjoying my constant references to the show!

You should go watch it! ;)

Sea World looked like a ton of fun but I have a feeling it's not a park you want to go to when it's super hot outside?? Can't wait to see how the surprise went!

Yeah you're totally right about the heat thing. We felt like we were going to drop dead by the time we left. I have never been so hot in my life. Walking across the parking lot felt like walking across the Sahara. Plus, we lost our car! :headache:


Great update! You got me interested in going to Sea World! That is...as long as it's an *extra* day on my trip and not going to take away from any WDW days! :rotfl:

Congratulations on the house! :goodvibes

I can't wait for your next update! I want to know how you revealed the surprise!

I would definitely recommend it...as long as it's an extra day! ;)

Thank you so much! :)

I am posting the update in just a minute! Stay tuned! :)

therussells08
08-14-2011, 11:42 PM
Sounds like a great day at Sea World! I haven't been there since 1997, but it's always been somewhere I'd like to return someday. I love that they honored John and all the other military men and women in the audience! :goodvibes Thank goodness for people like him!!! :goodvibes

Yay! Cannot wait to read about Disney!!! :cloud9:

It was a great day! It was so nice when they honored all of the military personnel! It still brings a tear to my eye! :goodvibes

I am about to post a Disney update, finally! :rotfl:

Glad Seaworld was a lot of fun. I've been there a few times, and reading your TR on it reminded me how much I enjoyed the park.
Can't wait to see how the big reveal went!:thumbsup2

It was great! I would love to go back someday!

It's up next! Stay tuned! ;)

A tad bit late joining in... but here we go!! We are from the south as well and I instantly love anyone that says "Bless his heart!" about an ugly fish!! Can't wait to hear more!!

:welcome: You're not late, you're right on time! It's so nice to have another southern girl on board! I hope you enjoy! :)

Sea World looks like fun!! I am not a "hat crier" but every once in a while, I will get overly emotional at something small. Like the move on the ME. Or the commercials that show all the families surprising their kids with trips to WDW. Or when I took Jack to see TS3 on ice and Mickey came out to start the show... :confused3

Oh girl, those commercials turn me into a total mess. I have to change the channel when I see one because I can't stop weeping! :rotfl:

YAY AN UPDATE! So glad to see you found another house and a better one! Hope you enjoy it there (:

Sea World looks so cool. My parents just rave about that place all the time. I'm sure they could spend a vacation just going there and not Disney (:eek:). Though... it seems to have experiences you can't find in most places :thumbsup2 And for free, even better.

Ohhhhh... I love dolphins too! One of the things I've always wanted to do is swim with them. I've just seen too many movies, too many Travel Channel shows and read too many stories about being able to do that. And then you get to FEED THEM! I'm super jealous :goodvibes I'll have to tell my parents about the $7 deal :thumbsup2

I've heard a lot about Blue Horizons. On my first trip to Disney, we met up with a family who was staying in Disney but also added in Sea World to their itinerary. They said the show was amazing. I was a bit confused about what was going on watching your video, but it looks really neat. And I love the inspirational music, section, so sweet :goodvibes I can see why you were bawling then.

Oooo... that arctic exhibit sounds really cool. I think I remember hearing on another Travel Channel show that sometimes they come out and take random people looking at the Beluga whales to get into some swim gear and actually get to interact with them for a few minutes. They look so much like dolphins and I've heard they are very sweet. :thumbsup2 to the Full House reference!

Ooooo... the Shamu Show looks amazing! I would totally like to be in the Splash zone, it looks like great fun! I think that may be my only reason to see the show :laughing: Though, based on some of those pictures you took maybe there's more to it with the Killer Whale tricks (makes it even sound more interesting)

Glad to see you enjoyed the place! I'm sorry you didn't end up checking out any of the rides, but there's always next time (which you seem to have planned out) (: Off to Disney...

Can't wait to read about your reveal of the big surprise! :mickeyjum

Thank you so much! I am thrilled about the new house! :)

I think that's why we loved Sea World so much; the experiences were so unique! It was great, but it still can't replace my beloved Disney!

I would love to swim with dolphins as well! It looks like a blast! Yes, you should definitely tell your parents about the $7 deal! That is so cheap!

Yeah, my video is a little confusing because I missed out on half of the "story" that was going on, but it was still so beautiful!

Oh my gosh, I would love to swim with the beluga whales! They're so cute with their big foreheads!

The Splash Zone did look like a lot of fun! The whales did a ton of great tricks! My favorite was when they kissed! :lovestruc

I was happy to leave without riding rides, because I was ready for DISNEY RIDES! :thumbsup2

I'm here - and catching up. Loving your trip report so far. I'm anxious for you to get to Disney (Finally).... I may not sleep tonight knowing that your next post will be about checking in at a true Disney Resort :)

:welcome: I'm so glad you're enjoying my report! I am about to post the next update, so hopefully you will be able to get some sleep! ;)

therussells08
08-14-2011, 11:48 PM
Look at me, posting two days in a row! Woo hoo!

When I left off we were FINALLY arriving in Disney World! I have no idea whose crazy idea it was to do two full days in Orlando before checking into Disney. Oh, that's right...it was mine. Well, never again, folks! I have never felt so grateful to be driving under that big beautiful sign!

Now, as you all know, the most exciting thing about this trip was that I was surprising John with a stay at AKL. He thought we were staying at POR, but I snuck around and upgraded our reservations behind his back. He's always wanted to stay at AKL, and I owed him an anniversary and birthday gift, so I figured this was perfect. Plus, it would be our first stay at a Disney deluxe resort! (Hence my title. We were "movin' on up"...get it?! :lmao:)

I was almost bouncing out of my seat because I was so excited about the surprise. Luckily for me, John simply attributed this to my overwhelming joy from finally being in Disney. I am pretty much the least sneaky person on the planet, but I had been planning my surprise for a month, so I took a deep breath and jumped right in. (Our conversation is in quotations, and the thoughts going through my head at the time are in italics.)

Me: "Sooo, I have a little surprise for you to start off our trip." Okay, here we go.
John: "Oh really? What's that?"
Me: "Well, I know how much you love eating there, so I made lunch reservations for Boma to kick start our celebration!" That sounded convincing, didn't it?
John: "So that's why you didn't want to eat at Sea World!" (He was a little grumpy because he was starving. I felt bad for lying, but it was the only plan I had to work with!)
Me: "Yep! The only thing is the reservations are for 2, so we have to go to Animal Kingdom Lodge before we check in at Port Orleans Riverside." Is he going to fall for it?
John: "Okay! So I'll just head toward Animal Kingdom."
Me: "Sounds good, but hurry! We don't want to be late." YES! He fell for it! I'm awesome.

I sat there for a few minutes, looking out my window and soaking up my pure awesomeness and sneakiness. Then, I glanced over at John and saw him with this look on his face:

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip199.jpg

Uh oh. That was his sneaky I-know-something-I'm-not-supposed-to-know face. My mind raced: Oh crap, he knows something. Okay, stay cool.

Me: "Why are you smiling like that?"
John: "Oh, no reason."
Me: "Seriously, tell me."
John: "Well, it's just that...I saw your ADR list when we were packing up the car this morning. There's nothing on there about Boma."
Me: OH NO! "Well, I...uh...it was a...uh...last minute..."
John: "We're staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, aren't we?"

AUGHHHHH! Foiled by my own meticulous planning! Had I not been so upset I would have laughed aloud at the irony! In retrospect, I probably could have easily covered my tracks by simply saying that I made sure not to add that ADR to my list since it was, ya know, a SURPRISE and all, but he caught me so off guard I just couldn't recover fast enough to make up a lie!

Oh well, at least I managed to keep it a secret for that long, which is a personal record. Of course, the next words out of John's mouth were:
"How much did this cost?" :rolleyes: My husband.

I recovered quickly from my failed surprise. Okay, Ty Pennington I ain't, but who cares! I was at Disney, and within minutes we were pulling into...

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip200.jpg

And the heavens opened up and the angels sang "Haaaaalelujah!" WE WERE HERE! And not only were we here, but we were here at a DELUXE RESORT! As my lovely DIS friends Kristen (DisneyFreak616) and Jess (DisneyFreak508) say, awwww yeah! :banana:

And so begins the next chapter of our TR, which I will lovingly title, "The Beverly Hillbillies Stay in a Deluxe Resort."

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip201.jpg

Hillbilly moment number one: my adorable husband saw that sign and said, "Look honey! Jam-bo!" (He pronounced it "jam" as in "jam sandwich" instead of the proper "jah". Say it out loud and you'll realize how funny it sounds.)

We got super giggly and excited when we saw the valet, but being Mr. and Mrs. McDugal we quickly parked in the self-parking lot. I think I broke the sound barrier in my race to get inside, and during my mad dash I managed to snap this very blurry picture.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip202.jpg

Do you see that? Welcome HOME! We were finally back to our second home, and we had a whole week to enjoy it!

Needless to say, it was totally worth the extra cash to see the look of sheer joy on John's face as we entered AKL. Speaking of extra cash, it had been a real stretch for us to be able to afford a deluxe resort (even with the very gracious 40% discount), so it had been impossible for me to book a savannah view room. I had been hoping and praying for a month that we would get upgraded to a savannah room, but despite my best sucking up efforts with the CM it didn't happen. Oh well, c'est la vie. I could have had a view of a Port-a-Potty and I wouldn't have cared! I was in DISNEY!

Even though she didn't give us an upgrade, the CM who helped us check in was very sweet! She even went so far as to draw three hearts on each of our anniversary buttons before giving them to us, in honor of our third anniversary! She told us that we would be getting our requested king sized bed (THANK YOU! If you remember my December TR I was devastated when I didn't get a king bed at POP.) but that the room wasn't ready yet. We didn't mind, because we were more than happy to explore the resort while we waited!

We decided to begin our exploration by heading outside to check out the savannah. However, the literal second that we walked outside my phone buzzed with a text letting us know our room was ready. Well, that was fast! We decided to get settled in before exploring, so we turned around and went right back inside.

I snapped a few pictures as we made our way to our room.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip203.jpg

Here's hillbilly moment number two: when we walked by into the lobby I was so overwhelmed by the grandeur around me that I couldn't stop myself from yelling, "Hot dog! Look at this thing!" Only, I said it with my North Carolinian accent, so it came out as, "Hot dawg, lookit this thaaang!"

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip206.jpg

Our room was in the ostrich wing, room # 4125. Can I just say, it was glorious!

Here is our beautiful king bed!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip207.jpg

And here's a close up of our towel Mickey head!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip208.jpg

Here's the bathroom vanity, complete with my nerdy complexion! Check out the look of utter concentration on my face!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip209.jpg

Here's our little table.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip212.jpg

And our lovely couch! This was very comfortable, and I made a mental note to sit on it often, but it ended up holding all of our junk as the room got progressively messier.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip213.jpg

Oh, I can't forget our little buddy that was hanging out in the bathroom! It is truly amazing what the maids at Disney can do with a towel and a couple of pipe cleaners!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip214.jpg

Before getting settled in too much we brought all of our luggage inside and I unpacked. I am really weird about unpacking all of my stuff when I go to Disney. It's not because I'm a neat freak or anything, it's just that it really makes me feel like I live there! :rotfl:

After I unpacked I decided to freshen up a bit before we explored the resort and headed over to Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. When I came out of the bathroom I saw that John was working pretty hard too.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip215.jpg

How stinking cute is that? I was so excited that I got the Mickey towel head in the picture, especially since about two seconds later he rolled over and smushed it.

I let John nap for a few minutes while I finished up my unpacking and watched a little bit of Stacey just to get myself even more in the Disney mood. I love that girl. She is so hyper and crazy, and I am very impressed with her arm muscles. Seriously, the next time you see her check out those deltoids! She looks like she could take somebody out if she wanted to.

Anyway, I figured five minutes was a long enough nap so I woke John up and we headed out. First we went to the food court to pick up our resort mugs and get some grub. I am a horrible DISer and I don't have any pictures of this meal. It wasn't very exciting, trust me. I got some kind of pita with hummus that was kind of gross, and John got a chicken sandwich that he said was bland. Ah well, we would just eat more later!

After our less-than-savory first meal, we went to scope out the wildlife!

We saw zebras...

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip218.jpg

and giraffes! Yippee!

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip220.jpg

I loved that giraffe so much, I had to take a picture with her.

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae20/therussells08/June%20Trip%202011/AnniversaryTrip221-1.jpg

It was ridiculously hot out so I said goodbye to my new photo buddy and we headed to our first park of the trip!

Up Next: Our first night in the Magic Kingdom gets off to a rocky start! Stay tuned!

Disneyfreak508
08-15-2011, 01:12 AM
Oh my gosh I love Disney surprises!! :goodvibes When we surprised Vickie with the princess breakfast in January I was SO excited! That was so fun! I think your plan went over really well... even if he figured it out! He was probably extremely excited!

And that sneaky smile... SUCH a deer face!! Good Job, John. I'm proud.


And the heavens opened up and the angels sang "Haaaaalelujah!" WE WERE HERE! And not only were we here, but we were here at a DELUXE RESORT! As my lovely DIS friends Kristen (DisneyFreak616) and Jess (DisneyFreak508) say, awwww yeah! :banana:

YAYYYY we're mentioned! :yay: AWW YEAH! I'm pretty sure I probably said that when I got to AKL in April!

JAM-bo. :rotfl: LOVE IT. That's so funny!

Your room looks lovely, even though you didn't get an upgrade. But hey, YOU WERE IN DISNEY! :) So I'm sure you enjoyed it anyway.

I'm so glad you updated 2 days in a row - I missed your updates so much! Can't wait for more!!

Disneyfreak616
08-15-2011, 04:28 AM
Wow! Another update?! :cool1: Reading this is literally one of the last things I'm doing before we hit the road!!! :woohoo:

That is exactly why I saved WWOHP for the end of the trip. LOL.

JOHN'S MAKING THE DEER FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :worship: You should tell him.

Okay, I loved that conversation. And your thoughts. You are too funny! :lmao:

HAHA! The ADR list. It gets people EVERY time. HE FIGURED IT OUT! Hahaha this is so entertaining. Boma doesn't even serve lunch, do they? :rotfl: I like your tactics. We told Vickie we were having breakfast in Germany (:confused3) and she totally went for it! John's a little too smart for that now. :p

Awww!!! Thanks for mentioning us! :goodvibes YOU'RE THERE. AWW YEAH. :banana:

At first I didn't get how he said it, but now I totally do. HAHAHAHA. I love you guys. Seriously you are too cute. Jam-bo. I'm gonna call it that from now on. :thumbsup2

We self-parked as well. :rolleyes: Haha and we had a pool view room, which we ended up LOVING.

These hillbilly moments are killin' me. :rotfl2:

Aw your room is beautiful! King bed and a couch, very nice!

Did you know that Stacey is a professional dancer and roller skater? Yep, she is. I'm a HUGE fan. When she dies/retires/gets too old to continue, I AM GETTING HER JOB if it is the LAST thing I do.

Boo about the gross food, even though I am in LOVE with the AKL CS, but yay for finding a precious giraffe and being off to MK! Hope the start wasn't tooooo rocky!

Well, au revior DISboards!! I'm off to the World! See ya hopefully not too real soon because I don't want this trip to ever end! :laughing: Not as catchy as "See ya real soon!" is it? Ah well. I digress...

heathsf
08-15-2011, 07:58 AM
Great update! You are too funny, I love the way you write. That picture of John in the car is just perfect! It's totally written all over his face that he knows your secret! :goodvibes

Nermel9
08-15-2011, 08:22 AM
Yay you're finally there! :banana:

LOL, too funny that John caught on to the surprise! I'm impressed you kept it a secret for as long as you did, I would have definitely blurted it out at some point! :rotfl:

Love all the hillbilly moments! :laughing: I don't think you guys are hillbillies though, there's nothing wrong with being really excited over staying in such a beautiful resort! :rotfl: I try to act all mature when we stay somewhere new, and that lasts for about 10 seconds before I'm freaking out! So what's the equivalent to a hillbilly if you live in CT? Because that's me, I guess! :laughing:

Your room is so beautiful! It's seriously almost making me regret switching to WL! :eek: Today is exactly 45 days from my trip, I wonder if you can still make changes at exactly 45 days? :rotfl:

Aww, that giraffe is so cute, I love giraffes! :lovestruc

Can't wait to read about MK! :cool1:

mamaboogie
08-15-2011, 09:22 AM
Hiya!:wave2:

Just got all caught up on your report and I have to say I love it!:thumbsup2

You have a great writing style - very entertaining!

Your report has been very useful to us - we are considering going back to WDW at some point in the future and we had considered staying at Universal for a few days first.

But your report has shown us what we knew in our heart of hearts - that if you are in Orlando - the first place you want to go is Disney!:lovestruc

We might put a couple of days at Universal in the middle of our Disney goodness!;)

I love the picture of John snuggling up next to the towel Mickey head!:lmao:

Can't wait to read more!:surfweb:

TanzUnited99
08-15-2011, 02:24 PM
Yay you are finally at Disney and AKL!!! :banana: As I was reading I was getting excited that you had managed to pull the surprise off however then I read you were rumbled!! :rotfl: Oh well it's still great that you managed to keep it from John for so long :thumbsup2

I was also hoping you would get an upgarde but :woohoo: on getting a king bed this time round!

saintstickets
08-15-2011, 05:27 PM
Oh well, at least I managed to keep it a secret for that long, which is a personal record. Of course, the next words out of John's mouth were:
"How much did this cost?" My husband.

Hey! It's a guy thing! He's just doing what is recorded in his DNA! :lmao:

Love your TR writing style. If Stacy ever takes a vacation, I'm going to vote for you to take her place!! :cool1:

mickeyfan71
08-15-2011, 05:56 PM
:cool1: Congrats on the house! Funny how things work out! :thumbsup2

Sea World looks like fun. I love sea life so I need to try and go some day.
Hooray for AKL! I'm staying Deluxe for the first time in October and I am so excited! (Wilderness Lodge) Can't wait to hear more about the trip!

usd2bmd
08-15-2011, 07:27 PM
This is the first trip report of yours that I've read and so far I love it...We have been to Disney 7 times since 2002 and have not been to Universal...EVER. I too always get that question, "Do you ever go to Universal? and I always say, No. Everything I want to see and need to do is at WDW.

precious pixie
08-15-2011, 07:49 PM
Really enjoying, love the surprise resort upgrade you planned. I also get too excited and have a hard time keeping surprises as surprises :)

TinkerbellLuvr7
08-15-2011, 09:02 PM
Great pics!!! When you said you didn't get upgraded, I thought you had the parking lot view but you have a good view!! :)