Really?? Is this May or is it August? The Trip of a Bunch of Trips.
Chapter One: page one, post one
Chapter Two: page one, post seven
Chapter Three: page two, post 28
Chapter Four: page three, post 39
Chapter Five: page five, post 61
Chapter Six: page six, post 84
Chapter Seven: page 8, post 109
Chapter Eight: page 10, post 143
Chapter Nine: page 12, post 169
Side trip to New York: page 13, post 183
Chapter Ten: page 13, post 187
Chapter Eleven: page 14, post 210
Magic Kingdom Videos: Page 16, post 226
Epcot Videos: Page 16, post 232
Well, its finally here!! We are hitting the road to WDW! Woo-hooooo!!!!! Can I possibly use more exclamation points?
For those of you who are new to my TRs, I will do a quick intro. My name is Jane and I am 51, did 20 years in the Army before retiring in 1998, and am a total Disney freak. The hubby is Leo and he is XX years old (sorry, he is worse than a woman when it comes to his age & but he is older than me & tehehe), and he too is a Disney freak, but not quite as freaky as me. Well, he thinks that, anyway. We have one DD and a DGS and DGD. However, this was an empty nester trip. We usually go to the World once each year and most of the time we go the first couple weeks of May since the weather is perfect and the crowds are pretty manageable. Well, that is usually the case.
Oh, did I mention we are a bit on the nutty side? Well, we are a bit on the nutty side.
Anyway, back to the report.
Everything was packed and the car loaded last night. The only thing left was the toiletries, our overnight bag and the cooler and road munchies.
Doing the last run through the house, I stopped to say bye to my three fur babies. This is not usually a difficult thing since we have a great kitty sitter. However, this year it tore my heart out to say bye to our old boy. Since he is 18 and really beginning to show his age, I was afraid he may not be here when we get back.
All through our vacation, this was at the back of my mind and heart. However, I need not have worried. He is still going strong and, other than a few old man issues, is doing great for his age. UPDATE: Our beautiful old guy passed away on Jan. 31, 2013. He was just two weeks shy of his 19th birthday. We will miss our fur baby.
Back to our morning.
When we stopped at the gas station for ice, I realized that I had forgotten to turn on the AC. Sheesh. Back home. And then we were on the road by 9 a.m. And I actually remembered DH this year and he didnt have to run along side the car and dive through the window.
As usual, I took the first shift to get through DC traffic and so Leo could get some more sleep. Since he works nights, he is use to sleeping until noon.
Shortly after DC, he took over and actually made 1.5 hours before his first potty break. Thats a record for him.
Now, is anyone out there from Virginia? If so, can you please tell me if there is a law in your state against rest areas along the highway? We hit 223 miles before hitting an actual rest area.
When we left Maryland, it was cold, damp and overcast. Here in North Carolina, it was warm and sunny. It felt sooooo nice. Especially since our house heater broke two weeks ago and it has been cold every day since. It felt good to finally be warm.
After about 300 miles, the South of the Border signs started to pop up. I always know we are really on our way south when we start seeing these signs. Now, by this time I was back behind the wheel and Leo was snoring away. At this point I drove through someones luggage strewn all over the highway. Well, there were no suitcases, just the clothes & and there was a LOT of clothes. I felt bad driving over it, but what could I do? I just wondered how someone could lose that much stuff and not know it. No one was stopped along the side of the road. Boy are they in for an unpleasant surprise when they try to unpack.
We stopped at DQ for a quick lunch and then Leo took the wheel. With him driving, I thought I would take some pics of the Border signs. Easier said than done. They seem to just pop up suddenly and I couldnt get my camera up and ready quick enough.
So, holding my camera at the ready, I kept trying. Here is the exchange between DH and I over the next 15 minutes or so:
DH: Did you get it?
Me: Nope. Didnt get it.
DH: Did you get it?
Me: Nope. Didnt get it.
DH: Ya get it?
Me: Nope. Didnt get it.
DH: Shoot, shoot, shoot&now, now now!
DH: Did you get it?
Me: Nope. Didnt get it.
After a looooong time and many attempts, I finally did get it. Whew!
Then I missed a billboard advertising Booty Bros. As far as I could tell, this was an adult toy store. Whatever.
As we hit the South Carolina border, it was about 4 p.m. And SC has a really cool billboard that reads: Our state is not an ash tray. I love that.
With Leo still snoozing, I noticed this large bird on the side of the road. I thought it was a buzzard. But as I got closer, the darned thing took off and nearly flew right into my car! And it was not a buzzard&it was a freakin turkey! Gobble, gobble ya goofball butterball.
Oh yah, I forgot to say that now is the start of the pasty leg count down. I am determined to get some color on these pasty legs of mine this year.
As the day grew longer, we decided to bypass Savannah and shoot for the Florida border before we stop for the night. One problem there & I think they moved the state. It seemed to take forever to get there.
Anyway, by about 9:30, we pulled in to a Comfort Inn just across the Florida border. After checking in, we went in search of dinner. Deciding on Krystals, which we had never eaten at before, we were pleasantly surprised that is was pretty good. We had the teeny tiny burgers and chili cheese fries. Of course, they werent Disney chili cheese fries, but they were pretty tasty. Which, of course, means they are really bad for you.
By 11 p.m., we were in bed and down for the count. And even though I knew we would be home tomorrow and thought I would be too excited to sleep, I was out within minutes.
So ends day one of our 14-day trip.
This year's competition isn't where in the world, but WHAT in the world is this? Any guesses?
Did I miss an e-mail telling me you posted the start of your TR? We are in Virginia visiting DD & thought maybe that was the case. ANYway, I'm glad I found the link so I could start, but was hoping it would give me a little more to read. Oh, well, I have more patience than DH, so will be able to hold on until more is posted. I'M just glad it started :cool1:, since I never DID get mine done last year. I promise, December's will definitely get done. Until then, I can live vicariously through you, until you get to live vicariously through ME!
Today is the day! Today is the day! Oh, and did I tell you … today is THE day!!!!
We are up at 7:30, showered, packed, breakfasted (is that a word?) and on the road within an hour. Leo takes the first shift … for a whole 30 minutes.
While he was snoozing (in the passenger seat, not behind the wheel), I was people watching. Or, rather, car watching. That’s when I saw the car with Florida plates (oh yah, we really are in Florida, aren’t we) with a Steelers bumper sticker. We really are everywhere!
I then occupied my time by playing musical lanes. You know how annoying it is when you move to a lane to pass a slower car, just to encounter a car in that lane going the same speed? Then you hop into the last lane to pass both of them … just to find another one in that lane, doing the same frakkin speed??? I think they look at each other and make a nonverbal agreement to all stay one speed (and one that is five miles under the speed limit) so no one can get by them … and laugh at all those red-faced people behind them spewing colorful language and unique hand signals. At one point, all three lanes were going 55 in a 70 zone. Sheesh.
Not funny, people!
After what seemed like forever, we finally started seeing the highway signs with Disney World on them. Woo-hooooooo! As you can tell by the pic, I was back in the passenger seat by this time and grabbed some shots. Yep, that’s my fat foot.
That’s when the highway seemed to have elongated because those last few miles were taking for-ev-er!
Then … there it was! The welcome to the world sign. One of the most beautiful sights in the world. I just wanted to jump out of the car and do cart wheels down the road. But, since we were going at about 60-65 miles an hour, I thought it might not be such a good idea. Of course, I also can’t do cart wheels and there are big, flashing signs all over the place saying “NO stopping.” I still think they should make an official pull off there so we can stop and take pics. But, could you imagine the traffic backup?
Well, this is actually pic of the MK sign on our way through to Shades. Believe it or not, I didn't shoot the welcome sign ... this time.
OK, so I digress.
We pulled up to Shades at about noon and, before the car even came to a complete stop, I jumped out and made a mad dash to the front desk. Was our room ready? Please be ready, please be ready, please be ready … it wasn’t ready.
Oh well. No real biggie. I signed in and got our tickets and was told to come back at about 3 p.m. I love the new ticket procedure. We fax our ticket needs about a week before we arrive and, when we sign in, all our tickets are right there at the front desk waiting for us. No more waiting in line at the ticket counter. Great idea Shades! Love it!
After signing in, we decided to grab some lunch over at Capt. Cook’s at the Poly. I have heard good things about this place and wanted to try it. Not such a great idea, after all. Leo and I decided to split a sandwich since it was so pricey … $16, just for a sandwich. Anyway, when we got it, the bread was soggy, there was very little meat in it, and it was rather dried out.
After a very disappointing first meal at Disney (trip), we hopped on the boat out back and headed over to Magic Kingdom. I wish we could go inside, but that would be a waste of a day’s ticket since it was well past noon. So, we stood and inhaled all that Disney atmosphere and headed up to the monorail for a quick trip to the Contemporary. We wanted to check out the new Bay Lake Towers and try to go up to the roof to take some pics.
No such luck. We were not allowed up to the observation deck. It is only open to Bay Lake Towers residents. That sucks. It’s perfectly understandable. But it still sucks.
We hung around the Contemporary for a little while and wandered through the shops. That’s where I saw the new design that I absolutely fell in love with. It is on a lot of stuff, so, of course, I want it all. But, I can’t have it all. I really love the t-shirt with the monorail wrapping around to the back of the shirt. But they only sell that one in men’s. The women’s version has pink glittery stuff and Minnie on it. Sorry, I am not a pink glittery type of person and I prefer my man Mickey. Plus, it’s $25! For a t-shirt? Yep, we are at Disney.
Well, after some faux shopping, we headed back to Shades to get our room. Please be 2102. Please be 2102. Please be 2102.
It wasn’t 2102.
But the lady at the front desk did her very best to get me as close as possible … 3101. I’ll take it! Even though it wasn’t on the lobby level, it was still a great room. And it has the added benefit of being right around the corner from the laundry room and microwave. The only hitch was that it was an end room and we could hear that outside door slam shut … even before our alarm clock went off.
After unpacking the car and setting up the room, it was about 4:15. And I made sure not to turn the fridge up too high this year. Did not want a repeat of the frozen, exploding soda this year.
Now, since it was still early … what to do, what to do. I know! SHOP!!!
Hopping into the car, we headed to Downtown Disney. Well, that was the plan, anyway. Following the direction signs, we ended up getting lost, again. It seems the signs stop at this one intersection and you are on your own. Well, we missed the turn and nearly ended up back out on the highway. After a while … and a bit of bickering … I just happened to turn around and see a sign pointing to DTD, the other way.
And, of course, the road went on forever before we had a chance to turn around. (trip)
Finally making it to DTD, we headed in to the World of Disney first. My plan was to look around and get some ideas of what I might want to buy this trip. I ended up with a basket full of stuff. And this year’s plush Minnie and Mickey set. If you remember, I had a whale of a time finding the Minnie for last year’s set. I was not going to go through that this year. As soon as I saw the set, I grabbed them…and my DGD, Jazzy’s, princess crayons and DD, Tanisha’s, window clings.
Then, of course, I just had to head on over to the Christmas Shoppe. But with a very tight budget for souvies this year, I had to curb myself. No small task in the Christmas Shoppe.
But I managed to make it out of the Shoppe with just two ornaments. And, by the end of the day, I had used up my Disney bonus points and had to move on to the three gift cards I got for Christmas.
That went quick.
By this time, we were getting hungry and decided to try out Wolfgang Puck’s. But as soon as we checked out the prices (thank goodness the menu was posted outside), we didn’t walk, we ran away. Good googa mooga!
We ended up at the Earl of Sandwich, which was soooooo much better than lunch. Even though Leo picked the one and only table in the entire place that was directly in the sun.
After enjoying our dinner and some people watching, I headed to the pin hut while Leo (big surprise) went to hunt down the nearest bathroom. I wanted to check out this year’s limited edition pins and also pick up a couple breast cancer awareness pins for a couple survivor friends of mine. Would you believe they don’t make them? Really?
Since I have never been to the “other end” of DTD (aka, Pleasure Island), we headed that way. Of course, for the entire walk, Leo kept arguing with me about whether or not I had ever been there before. And, just for the record … I have NOT been there.
And, I was not impressed. I would like to go to that T-Rex place one day, though. It looks like a fun place to eat.
Back home by 9 p.m., I had time to go online for a bit. Another cool Shades bennie … free wi-fi.
I then got everything ready for tomorrow, hopped in the shower and hit the sheets by 11.
Oh yah, I sat out on the balcony for a bit and was disappointed to not hear my froggies. But, after a little while, they started chirping. My froggies!!!!
Side note: When you see my little notes (trip), that is noting one of many little things that went wrong on this trip of trips. Nothing major that would ruin our visit, by any means. Just many little annoying things that make you think, “Really?”
Hello Jane! Fellow Marylander here :goodvibes Great report so far!! I love looking at the signs for South of the Border...never had the guts to stop there though lol. You arrival day seemed like fun. Looking forward to next post. :thumbsup2 -Amanda :cutie:
loving it so far!!
You better forgive me! :love: And at least I'm om board now, Jane!!! :thumbsup2 Can't wait for the rest!
Love this! We are heading to SOG for the first time this fall. Can't wait!!!
Love the report so far!! We leave for SoG in just 47 days...are there microwaves near the rooms then? The room looks fabulous!!! Good to know about the prices at Puck's, as we'll be dining in DTD on arrival day. I think Earl of Sandwich is where we'll end up.
Chapter 2 GOOD - Love the pics.. Can't wait for Chapter 3...
What did you eat at Earl of Sandwich? We ate there 5 yrs ago and loved it..
So happy to see a SoG trip report ! :) We have not stayed at Shades for 10 years.....so with an upcoming trip this August, you have my undivided attention. I never knew you could fax in a 'ticket request' ...sure beats waiting in line. Do you just pay for the tickets at check in ?
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