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-   -   Our 1st FAMILY vacation... We survived! 6/20 - 6/27 at POFQ (pg 9) LAST DAY (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2215764)

catherines_mama 06-28-2009 04:44 PM

Our 1st FAMILY vacation... We survived! 6/20 - 6/27 at POFQ (pg 9) LAST DAY
 
Welcome to my trip report! We got back yesterday and with laundry piling up, I decided to take a break and start this up. I've been uploading pictures, uploading photopass and after 402 pictures taken, I'm about 1 quarter through editing them.

A little background if you didn't read my PTR (1st Trip as a (blended) family!):
*me* Deedee - 32 (as of Sunday) work as an IT Project Manager, and everything I can save... I put into this trip for my kids. I've always been a single mom and have done everything I could to give Catherine everything. We've had Annual Passes for years and enjoy everything about Disney.
Steve - 35 he's a single dad to his 2 kids.
We began dating Sept 07 and will be getting married 9/5/09. We waited a good year to move in together, and I'm glad we waited... it was the right thing for the kids, but... if we'd waited another month, I'd have been half crazy. LOL

Catherine - 8, my DD. She's a Disney freak and can probably tell you where everything in WDW is located. Her teacher told her she should write a childrens story about WDW. She is a great student and athlete, I am very proud of her.
Jack - 7 (just 5 mos younger then Catherine) is Steve's oldest. He's all boy. He loves to skateboard, play basketball and baseball. He is a chatterbox but good student when he puts the time forth to actually try. Jack and Catherine are so close in age, they spend much more time fighting the not. If they took time to find their common grounds, we think they'd get along great.
Emma - 4 is Steve's youngest and completely owns my heart. She is a stubborn, strong minded little thing, but we love her so much. She has an amazing sense of humor and can make us laugh all the time. She's fearless as all get out and cannot wait to go to Disney.

Jack & Emma have only been to Magic Kingdom, and only one to two times. So this trip will be a big 1st for them. Its also the 1st vacation Steve has taken as an adult, and he also has only been to Magic Kingdom.... so this is just a big trip for them all.

For me - I've always done Disney alone with Catherine. I've always wanted that "dad" there to do things with, to share the burden, to share the happy moments etc. I was so excited to share this with Steve. I was also very excited to see this through the eyes of 1st times and watch Jack & Emma experience it all for the 1st time!

I'll post the 1st chapter soon :) Day 1 is looking to be a long one, that is not like me, so please stay tuned!

catherines_mama 06-28-2009 04:58 PM

A few fun facts:

We'll be staying at POFQ. I love this resort. I stayed here in June 06 with my best friend.

We were going to stay at a Value resort, but with 4/3 could afford the Moderate level.

We got DDP this time around - it will be a 1st for me. I've never done DDP and was very interested in how it all worked.

Steve has 60% custody of J&E. Their mom does not take all her days, so we really have them about 75% of the time. We get the last 2 weeks of every June consecutive... so it allows for great vacation time.

After our 1 week vacation, my parents will be driving down from SC to pick up Catherine and take her to stay with them for the next 5 weeks!!! This is the longest I've been without my baby. She went for 2 wks last summer and we did okay, but 5 weeks!!! Yikes!

Okay, no more from me right now. Steve is working to get dinner ready and I cannot let him do all the work on his own. We're steaming crab legs tonight - great deal at the local grocery :)

catherines_mama 06-28-2009 08:07 PM

Day 1 - Part 1 (of 3)
 
Okay... dinner done - and wow it was good. Dishes cleaned! Kids' lunches made, kids put to bed... time to write :)

Saturday started like any average Saturday – up and at ‘em for Catherine’s swim meet. Only this time, we had to pack the truck and drop off the dog on the way to the meet.

Steve and I woke up at 6am. We’d gone to a friend’s cook-out the night before, and he was feeling a little sluggish. We finished our packing and woke the kids. Catherine got her shower and we fixed her hair in her swim cap. Lots of kids go to the meet, put them on, take them off between races. No, I cannot do that with Catherine. She hates putting her cap on, screams while I do it, and I will NOT do it in public ever.

So showered, ready, packed, the kids get their “car activities” and we load up. We honestly looked like the Klampets! Steve has a Tundra, and it fits the 5 of us more comfortably then my CR-V. We had all our luggage in the back, as well as the dog, his crate, his food – all we needed was Granny in her rocker! I tried to take a picture of it, but the muggy-ness of the morning caused issues for my camera. This was a lesson we learned throughout the week.

We were on the road, short road, but we were on it. We had a quick 5 mile trek to Steve’s parents. They were watching the dog for us this week. On our way there, Catherine realized she forgot something important – her Pillow. It is an infant size pillow that was MINE when I was a baby, and its been hers all her life. Its now just a lovie really. She didn’t need it for Disney… that was not the concern. What was upsetting to her was that after Disney, she was off to my parents for FIVE weeks – she had to have it during that time without me (understandable). Thankfully Nana & Papa (Steve’s parents) were coming to WDW for dinner on Sunday, they were more than happy to come by the house and bring it with them. I knew EXACTLY where it was, so it would be easy for them to find. It was on her bed, on top of her folded blanket ready to be picked up and taken with us on our trip.

Dog delivered, crisis adverted, we are finally on our way to Cat’s swim meet. The meet was across town and right near the interstate, so it’d not be out of the way at all. Steve stopped and put some air in the tires and we were at the YMCA right on time.

This meet is fun for us, because it’s the club Catherine swam for last year before we moved out to the west side of town. Her bestest friend swims there and I am friends with her mom. So we had folks to sit with, talk to, and it was enjoyable.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03262.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03268.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03272.jpg

Catherine did GREAT!!! She swam the butterfly for the 1st time in a meet and did really well. She was a crooked monkey on her backstroke. She was headed for 1st place but just went crooked and hit and got hung up on the ropes. Our club is an indoor pool, so she’s used to ceiling lines to help her out. Her last race was freestyle (her best). Her friend who we were swimming against is a great little swimmer, she does triathlons etc (crazy, yes) and Catherine was right there with her the entire time, she touched only .5 sec behind her. I was SO proud of her. What makes me the most proud, is to see the smile on her face when she’s done, no matter how she finished – she just enjoys it SO much!

Okay…. Swim meet OVER – it’s about 11:30, everyone is HOT (it was a heat advisory day with heat index over 100 degrees). Emma was cranky pants, she was not handling the heat well (a little foreshadow). We loaded up and headed to McDs for some lunch to eat on the road. We were FINALLY on the road – we were so excited. I was bouncing in my seat.

WDW here we come!!!!

iluv2go2disney 06-29-2009 06:27 PM

I'm so glad you've started your TR. :cool1:
Tell Catherine "Congratulations from us!!!!" Sounds like she's quite a swimmer.
I'm so jealous of that short drive you had. Our flight was longer than that......2 hours.

catherines_mama 06-29-2009 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iluv2go2disney (Post 32491298)
I'm so glad you've started your TR. :cool1:
Tell Catherine "Congratulations from us!!!!" Sounds like she's quite a swimmer.
I'm so jealous of that short drive you had. Our flight was longer than that......2 hours.

I know, we are very lucky... but think, you got to go home to cooler weather... its still really HOT here! LOL

Yes, she's a great little swimmer, I'm so proud of her, more for her attitude towards it then anything.

I'm working on PART 2 right now :) Stay tuned.

Oh, hope Cody's appt went well! I was thinking about ya'll today.

dd50 06-29-2009 08:15 PM

:wave:I'm here.

iluv2go2disney 06-29-2009 08:20 PM

It went good. He has a TON of food allergies. He sees a gastroenterologist at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital because his allergies don't affect him like they do others. They basically affect his stomach and not his breathing. They've diagnosed him with something called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. We found out today that he has to have an upper and lower endoscopy sometime in the next month or so. He's OK with it though....he's had this done twice in the past.
One of the things I love most about Disney is their ability, and willlingness, to prepare foods for any allergy. We had no problems getting Cody something to eat so he never felt left out.

catherines_mama 06-29-2009 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dd50 (Post 32492830)
:wave:I'm here.

SO glad you are here!!!! I think I write too much, but I'm working on it! LOL Hope you enjoy!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by iluv2go2disney (Post 32492896)
It went good. He has a TON of food allergies. He sees a gastroenterologist at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital because his allergies don't affect him like they do others. They basically affect his stomach and not his breathing. They've diagnosed him with something called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. We found out today that he has to have an upper and lower endoscopy sometime in the next month or so. He's OK with it though....he's had this done twice in the past.
One of the things I love most about Disney is their ability, and willlingness, to prepare foods for any allergy. We had no problems getting Cody something to eat so he never felt left out.

Disney is just amazing, I'm glad he can go somewhere and feel so comfortable and not worry about getting sick from eating. That's just crazy. Glad he's doing good though and has a great attitude about it!

catherines_mama 06-29-2009 08:44 PM

Day 1: Check-in and our room
 
So today was a tough day... 1st day back at work after vacation. But ya know what - it's a 4day work week :) WOOHOO! Once I got to work I learned 2 things: 1) I got a laptop 2) we're now allowed to wear jeans and be more casual at work. OKAY
1) the laptop - not sure if this is good or bad. When I work from home now I have to use my laptop, connect in.. its not easy or fun but it works. They better not expect me to work MORE from home. I already work 46 - 50 hrs a week and that's enough for me. But.. when I do want to work from home it will be easier
2) Jeans all the time. Hmm? Jeans are HOT in the summer and its summer a LOT here. and I only have 1 pair of jeans. I need to lose weight and refuse to buy jeans right now. I think I'll keep my normal wardrobe... black slacks, dress shirts, dresses on occasion.

ALSO - a funny note. Steve got sent home early today. Not bad, its because he has to travel tomorrow - TO DISNEY! LOL They are installing a communication platform to a warehouse in DTD. LOL They cannot start until 5pm and have to be done by 7am. He'll have a fun day! But i'm Jealous - he gets to go to DISNEY! He laughed, he knew I'd be jealous - and I love that he's excited to even get to work there! LOL

***ON TO THE REPORT*** (sorry for the sidetrack)

Before you know it, we were getting off I-4 at exit 62 to Walt Disney World. Everyone was excited, even Steve. We found our way to Port Orleans – French Quarter. It felt so good to pull up to the guard shack! “Welcome Home!”

We pulled under the portico & unloaded our baggage to the bell service CM – he was astounded with how much we had. LOL I had so much extra stuff that would not be used, but only passed off to my mother in a week. With the heat we didn’t want to leave it in the truck. Steve parked the truck while I took the kids to the bathroom. On our way into the lobby, a Cm stopped and chatted with us. He gave the kids wishing coins for the fountain and beads to wear. While we were walking away he slipped a handful of coins into my bag and winked at me. LOL So fun!!!

We settled the kids in to watch TV and went to get in line for check-in. I had not done online check-in for a couple reasons…. We had 2 separate reservations but were together. We had requested connecting rooms, and needed to make sure we got them. I just wasn’t ready to trust new technology. I’m an IT Project Manager and I know things can have issues.
We were 2nd in line and it didn’t take but 5 minutes to be our turn. We (well okay I) bounced up to the counter, Steve just walked while he rolled his eyes at me. The CM was very helpful. We got checked in, he explained our dining plan and tickets etc. I had 1 day MYW, but wouldn’t use them. So he explained how they are non-expiration and we could even upgrade the childrens to an adults eventually. COOL!

Now, when I book rooms, I don’t request a location – I just let the universe do what it thinks is right. Our rooms were ready *YAY*, and when Steve asked to ensure they were connecting, we were told “No, but they are right next to eachother”. I shook my head, said “no no no, we have 3 kids ages 8 and younger, we had to have connecting rooms. I told him it was on my confirmation and started pulling it up on my iPhone. He said he’d go talk to his supervisors and see what he could do. I took deep breaths and we waited and looked through our packets, reading about DDP while we waited.
CM comes back, and says they’ve worked it out  YAY!!! They moved some things around and were able to provide us with connecting rooms. He got the map out and started circling rooms – WATER VIEW rooms!!! Thank you universe!

We had rooms 6333 and 6334. 6333 was ready but 6334 needed to be cleaned still. No problemo! The kids and I wanted to walk through the resort while Steve moved the truck over to our parking lot. I LOVE this resort, its just so peaceful! We got to our room and did a happy dance – what a GREAT VIEW.

Pictures of our View:
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03277.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03278.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03279.jpg

The room was awesome. When Steve walked in he said - "we're doing our bathroom like this". Umm yeah, we'd need to knock some walls out but OKAY. LOL

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03274.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03275.jpg
Find our towel Mickey head
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03276.jpg

After getting in and settled, I called bell service to bring up our bags. I had an extra bag that was with me with swim suits, so the kids went and got changed. Steve got up right before our luggage, so we quickly unpacked OUR room (the one that was ready). We then changed and headed to the pool.
As Steve’s 1st resort stay at WDW, he LOVED the place. I told him about the differences in Mod and Value and he thanked me for upgrading us to Moderate. He thinks the theming at the value might be too much for him. I think so too.

We got to the pool and wow, it was crowded. We were only looking for 1 chair to put all of our things on, and it was shocking how hard that was to find. We finally found one in the kiddie-pool area. We swam for about an hour or so, the kids loved the slide. We were not there 5 minutes and Jack found a friend. He is such a social kid! He made friends with this boy and his brother and played with them until we left. Steve always stayed in the same area as them, but gave him space to “be cool”. LOL Catherine is more like me. She is more reserved, has lots of friends, but she takes longer. She was more than happy to watch over Emma and take her on the slide, swimming around the pool, they did ‘bobs’ together (some swim team exercise). I kept up with the girls.

We finally figured it was time to head back to the room and get showered / changed for dinner. We had ADRs at Whispering Canyon at 7pm.

catherines_mama 06-30-2009 09:05 PM

Day 1 - Dinner at Whispering Canyon
 
I wanted to drive over to WL for dinner. I wanted Steve to get the whole picture that coming in the main gate allows you to get. I LOVE this resort and it is on my short DREAM list. The resort is so beautiful, everyone could not believe all the detail. I even saw things I had never seen before, like the carvings on the top of the log pillars that are bundled throughout the lobby. I wish I'd taken more pics of the WL. I love this resort!

A few pics of the family in the lobby:
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03283.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...4_edited-1.jpg

We enjoyed the lobby before checking in for dinner. After we checked in, the kids played with the Lincoln log cabins. It did not take long before we were seated. I had explained some of the things about this place to Steve, but Jack & Emma had no idea what they were in for. Our server was great!
Steve ordered the Skillet and I got the Chicken Penne. In the middle of dinner, they made an announcement that all the Dads needed to stand. While standing all Dads were then led in a rousing turn of the HOKIE POKIE!

Steve singing and doing the hokie pokie
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...7/DSC03292.jpg

LOL Steve played along and had a blast with it. Emma, of course, needed ketchup, so that was fun to call for ketchup and then share when others needed it.

Jack & Emma participated in the pony races. Catherine was a bit too cool for that I think. LOVE HER – she just is 8 going on 18 sometimes. Why don't they just let themselves stay little for awhile, stop growing up!

Dinner was very good. I remembered them having Prime Rib the last time I was there, but oh well, my pasta was good. Steve loved his!! Jack didn’t finish his dinner, so we took his cookie togo for another day, while the girls got to eat theirs. Yes, we are on vacation – BUT some rules must still apply. If he ate great all the time, it might be different. But getting him to eat something a bit different is always a battle, no matter where we are.

After dinner we wandered around upstairs and outside to enjoy the resort. I was hoping to get to see the Water Pagent, BUT while walking around someone (EMMA) was running and tripped and fell. She had skinned her knees the night before and only made more damage with this spill. Steve scooped her up and I ran into the lobby for bandaids. Once Steve caught up, I took her to the rest room to clean her up. Thankfully someone had Neosporin and let us use it. She was so pathetic. 2 nights in a row! Poor girl!
With that, we were all a bit worn out, it was about 9:15pm so it was time to head home and get to bed. Tomorrow would be our 1st FULL DAY at Walt Disney World and EMH at Epcot was on the agenda.

*****************
See - I tried to keep this one a little short. I'm solo tonight as Steve is in Orlando (DTD to be exact) doing an install. It was a hectic night doing it all on my own w/out my best helper. She's doing great though and having a BLAST at my folks. They went paddleboating and are packing to head to the mtns to a bluegrass festival. I'm really NOT a hick, my mother is actually a darn yankee but hey, you live in the country you act country I guess. LOL

Hope everyone is having a great week! Thank you for following along.


Next : EMH at Epcot - our 1st day at WDW parks and... there is something about Emma...

amandamims1 07-01-2009 12:06 AM

Subbed :-)

We're planning to stay at POFQ the first week of august, so I'm very eager to here about your experiences there.

The view from your rooms is absolutely gorgeous!

pooksma 07-01-2009 10:30 AM

I'm enjoying your TR. We are also staying at POFQ with another couple and a total of 3 kids. What a great view you had:thumbsup2

zendisney 07-01-2009 10:42 AM

enjoying trip report
 
Wow, sounds like you had a blast! I love POFQ. I think there are some attached pics of our stay from last year on my signature. Can't wait to read more. :)

kk8273 07-01-2009 10:51 AM

I love your trip report. We are going in August and staying at POFQ, so it was nice to see your pictures. Can't wait to read more! :)

catherines_mama 07-01-2009 11:22 AM

WOW I am feeling the love! Thank you all for your kind words!!! :flower3: I've never had huge followings on TRs before but I always do them for myself anyway. I LOVE being able to look back and read about our trip yrs later. Its SO Much fun. So to knwo that you are enjoying them also and finding value in them - means so much to me!

Quote:

Originally Posted by amandamims1 (Post 32511131)
Subbed :-)

We're planning to stay at POFQ the first week of august, so I'm very eager to here about your experiences there.

The view from your rooms is absolutely gorgeous!

The entire resort is just gorgeous. I'm still going through my pics and am bummed I did not take more pics of the resort. I have one great pic of a fountain LOL but not much more. You will LOVE it there! I have tons more to say about it too, so stay tuned.

Quote:

Originally Posted by pooksma (Post 32515636)
I'm enjoying your TR. We are also staying at POFQ with another couple and a total of 3 kids. What a great view you had:thumbsup2

You and the kids will love it. Theming is so much less "in your face" (for lack of a better word) but its still so well themed. The kids will love it too, the pool is gobbs of fun!

Quote:

Originally Posted by zendisney (Post 32515808)
Wow, sounds like you had a blast! I love POFQ. I think there are some attached pics of our stay from last year on my signature. Can't wait to read more. :)

POFQ is a wonderful resort! I think it will be our 'return to' resort whenever possible.

Yes, it was an amazing trip. I'm having such fun going through my pics and writing this report. I'm trying to post at least a chapter a day. I have it all on my laptop at home so look for an update tonight.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kk8273 (Post 32515969)
I love your trip report. We are going in August and staying at POFQ, so it was nice to see your pictures. Can't wait to read more! :)

Welcome!! Thank you for posting. It is good to know who is out there. I'm already working on the next installment in my head... so watch out! popcorn::

**Okay back to work - joy!**


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