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Old 11-26-2011, 06:57 AM   #586
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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
It's a really fun book. I am totally enjoying it and now I have to go back and see the Mercer house. I am definitely going back to HHI and Savannah. I'm thinking Fall 2013 which will be our first trip as empty nesters. WoW!
Isn't that hard to wrap your mind around? Charles and I were just talking yesterday about how few years we really have left with both kids living at home!
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:38 AM   #587
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Isn't that hard to wrap your mind around? Charles and I were just talking yesterday about how few years we really have left with both kids living at home!
Yes - it definitely has its advantages, but it will be so weird when Nick leaves. I am just really going to enjoy his last 18 months here because it will be over much too fast.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:00 AM   #588
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December TR Plans

Ho Ho Ho........It's Time to Talk About the December Trip!!!!!!

I usually don't pre write my updates, my I did work on this one ahead of time. It's not done and I'm going to try to keep it brief, which is hard for me. But the whole purpose of everything I've written so far is a prelude to the "real" Disney World Trip in 17 days.

So What About December???? Are you curious about our plans? Maybe just a little bit?


Dates:

Wednesday December 14th to Monday December 19th

We leave late on December 14th so Nicholas can get it a full (almost full day of school). Our flight leaves from Baltimore at 5:45 pm. I will probably need Nick to leave school at 1:30 which will mean he will miss his last class, but I'd like to leave 2 hours for the drive and 2 hrs for check-in,ect. I've never actually driven to BWI around rush hour and if the weather is bad, well, you get the idea. In two hours we will be in Orlando and heading to pick up the rental car. I did one of those rentals where I might end up with a compact, mid size, or full size, all for the same price. I'm sure it will be a compact, but with just three of us we should be fine.

Where:

OKW studio. Our original reservation was for VWL, but that's because my original reservation was for one week earlier. I messed up. I completely forgot I am scheduled to sing at the Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting Ceremony on 12/11. Once I realized that and I changed the reservation, only OKW and SSR had studios for 5 consecutive nights. Since I have never stayed at OKW before, I figured it was time to give it a try. I thought having two double beds would be a plus for Nick and the whole key west theme will be a welcome reprieve for the winter.


Food: I was so hoping to do two days of the DxDP (like Cynthia and I did in May), but that is no longer an option for DVC. Bummer. I made my ADRs before learning that. I flipped back and forth for a while on what dining plan to get and then I finally decided just to get a TIW card. I made too many ADRS and I am certain to drop several of them. But I am going to wait until we arrive.


Plans:

I'm not going to sugar coat it. There is nothing out of the ordinary or spectacular about our plans. There will be no special events, no tours, no Christmas party, no CP meal. What can I say? It's sort of a stripped down trip, but its going to be great all the same.



Day 1: Dec 15th MK

I've considered starting the trip at another park, but I really feel like I barely saw MK in May, so I want to start here. I hope I can get up in time for EMH. If Nick and Denny aren't that ambitious, its fine. I'll leave without them.

I really can't wait to see this.....








Otherwise my plans are loose. I can't wait to soak in all the Christmas decorations and let the season's excitement fill the air.



I definitely want to ride Space and the other mountains. A trip to HM, Pirates, and JC might also be in order.







I wouldn't mind seeing the new queue for Winnie the Pooh. Nick said he wants to ride the Blue Line. That may have been a joke, but we will be riding it all the same

Balloons on Main Street are always one of my favorite sights!



The idea of corn dog nuggets is appealing, but we have an ADR for LTT.



I don't have any pictures, but I know I am having the TriCorner Roast Beef Sandwich! LTT is another reason why I want to start at MK. I love their lunch food and I am looking forward to this meal.

Not sure what time we are leaving the park, but it is possible that I ride one of these bad boys over to Epcot.....




[/SIZE][/COLOR]

Today I really hope to meet up with Jess Roxychica7. She plans to be at MK today, too!!!!


I'm not sure what time we will get to Epcot, but I know the first thing I am going to do when we get to Epcot is get one of these bad boys.



I tried the Jalapeno last time (I don't think this is the Jalapeno), but this time I think I might start with the Avocado. Decisions, decisions!

Dinner is scheduled for La Hacienda. I think this was someone's Tilapia from last trip and its high on my list to try.








I think Denny and Nick will like this restaurant. It's any early ADR (6pm I think), but that's OK. I don't think they really care about scoring a table to watch Illuminations. Illuminations was my original plan, but now I think if everyone's up for it we should head on over to HS and see the Osbourne lights.





If we watch Illuminations I may try to catch a little bit of the CP. I've seen it twice so I really don't care to see the whole show, but I would like to catch a song or two.



Of course, two other things I wouldn't mind doing at Epcot are riding Spaceship Earth and seeing the Captain EO show. I didn't do either of these last trip, so I definitely need to ride SE.




Continued.......
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The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:01 AM   #589
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Continued.....

Friday December 16th

My plan for today is Hollywood Studios.





Because Nick has never ridden TSM, I will head there first to grab FPs.



Then its straight to Star Tours. I can't wait to try to new version of this ride. I have a feeling I will want to ride it more than once.

When our FP time comes up again I will probably grab a FP for RnR while we ride




We have a lunch ADR for Sci-Fi today, but this is one of the ADRs I might cancel. If its a nice day out it would probably save time to grab lunch at Starring Roles and eat outside.

Another thing I would like to do today is the Backlot tour. I didn't get on it last trip because one side of the queue was down. I haven't been on it in well over five years.

Nick always enjoys One Man's Dream, so that could certainly be on the agenda.






Not sure how much time we'll spend in HS. This may be a pool afternoon if the weather is nice. We'll definitely play it by ear.



Dinner tonight is definitely a keeper.



No it's actually not Crystal Palace (I just posted that pic because I liked it), but the restaurant name does start with a C. Can you say:California Grill!!!!!!

Denny and I are here in 08 and here was our view from CG. I don't expect to get a great view with the three of us, but I know Nick will love this place and enjoy seeing the castle from the observation deck!





Tonight is a Christmas party. I'm thinking it will probably sell out like the one on December 18th. I really would love to watch the fireworks from afar. Maybe we will hang out and watch them from the observation deck, but there's also a part of me that wants to see them from the Poly. So, we'll see what happens with that.






Saturday December 17th

This is our AK day. Everyone knows I love AK. I enjoy the tropical feel to the park. I also think the Safari is one of the most immersive, best themed rides in all of WDW. Of course, it doesn't hurt that AK has a really cool Christmas tree



Here's Denny and I back in December 08!



My favs for this morning are EE (front row, maybe????), Safari, Dinosaur and finding Nemo. Of course, I have seen Nemo a bunch of times so I will probably opt out for FOTLK.







We have a lunch ADR for Yak and Yeti and that is a keeper. I've tried to eat there a bunch of times and something always happens - either I can't get the ADR or I cancel it. So come hell or high water, I am NOT canceling this ADR. I know Y&Y did away with the snow cone martinis, but I would like to try that drink Pat (poolrat) had. The name escapes me right now but its something mountainy!

I really want to walk both of the paths and if time permits I wouldn't mind going back to Rafiki's planet.



We do have an ADR for GF cafe tonight, but I am planning to cancel it. I really like to go into the MK and watch the parade and fireworks. I don't want to spent a lot of time with food tonight so I'm thinking CS on the fly and I don't really care where. I am more interesting in getting into the MK after dark.











Ok - This Picture is completely random, but I came across it in the December 08 archives. I really think its a beautiful picture of CSR and totally captures the magic of this resort.



Continued.......




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The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #590
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Continued......

I pre wrote those last two updates. Now I am totally winging it!!!!!!

I thought it might be fun to take a look down memory lane.

Here's a picture of Nick when he was 12



He still has this shirt and I think it might still fit because I bought a large



I hope he still likes to try on hats in December



Here's Nick during his last trip in 09



Here is Nick, my homecoming junior prince



Unfortunately, Nick has terrible acne now. He has tried countless prescription creams and oral antibiotics. He now has to start accutane which I really, really hate. I have such mixed feelings about it. I know that countless people have had wonderful success with it, but its got so many side effects and its extraordinarily drying. I would actually like to delay it until after Disney because of how it can really dry the skin. If its warm and we are out in the sun it could be really irritating.

Sorry - I got off track

Sunday December 18th Plans

Unfortunately, this is our last full day in Disney. My plan is to visit Epcot today and do all the headliners - Soarin, MS, and Test Track.






It would be nice to hit the countries for a little exploration. Denny loves the American Adventure and I haven't seen the movie in China for quite awhile.









It may be hard to resist one of my favs:





Is it possible to visit Epcot without visiting Living with the Land



We have a lunch ADR today at Rose & Crown, but that's another ADR I am strongly considering axing. Not that I don't love R&C, because I do and I think it would be fabulous to sit outside on a lovely day. But, honestly, I don't think I want to take the time for a sit down because tonight we have another signature planned.

However, I think I could go for some fish & chips from the stand. Hopefully, I will still be able to find a nice table outside and enjoy it.



Today is a late EMH at AK. Is it really ambitious of me to want to swing by there and ride EE in the dark????? You know I've never done it and I think this is my chance!!!!!


It would be really fun to see the Christmas parade at AK



It's so darn festive.

Pressed for time, we will swing back to OKW and get ready for dinner. Tonight I am treating Nick to another signature meal at Artist Point.

Nick loves to eat and he really likes good food. That's why I decided to splurge on 2 signatures vs doing the Christmas party one night. I honestly think he will enjoy the food more.

Denny and I ate here on our anniversary trip and we loved it. The service was great and the food was delish.



And I even got a bonus tinkerbell



I expect that we will probably spend the rest of the evening just walking inside and outside the resort and enjoying our new home resort.



We will soak in the ambiance of the Christmas decorations and maybe even watch the ELP from the beach.



Monday December 19th

This is our last day in Disney and I have absolutely no plans whatsoever. No ADRs, no park plans. We will just play it by ear and go where ever the spirit moves us. We have a late flight home (probably dinner time), so we still have a pretty good chunk of day to use up.

Maybe we will hit downtown Disney or go see the decorations at the GF (which I have never seen in real life). I also wouldn't mind taking a quick drive over to Celebration, Florida. I have always wanted to see that town and I bet its nicely decorated for Christmas.

So thanks for bearing with me while I posted some of my older, and not so great, photos. I am really inspired now to use my new camera to get some Christmas shots. I am really looking forward to a quick Christmas trip with two of my 3 boys.

Oh - and I even put my trip up at home. Check this out......






















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The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:13 AM   #591
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Great plans for your December trip! I'm sorry that VWL was not available for your dates but yay on staying at OKW!! Can't wait to hear all about your stay here.

The Winnie the Pooh queue is fab but we found the wait was soo long and decided after enjoying the fun part of the queue to get FPs!

Wow the Osborne lights looks soo pretty I would love to see them one day.

Love the trip down memory lane and the Disney inspired Christmas tree!
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:06 AM   #592
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Your December plans sound awesome - I can't wait to hear all about OKW!! I love going to Disney during the holidays, everything is so fun and festive!

Your tree looks great! The little Disney ornaments are so cute!
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:08 PM   #593
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Your December no-plans trip looks very similar to our trip last year. Other than our ADR's and a tour, we winged it! We went to most of the resorts to look at their Christmas decorations, road a ride here and there and just "anti-commando'd" the whole time. It was fantastic. While you are at OKW, make time to try a meal at Olivia's. It is one of the best kept secrets in WDW!
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:39 PM   #594
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I think your plans are great! Did I read right that you are considering 3 parks on the first day??? Woohoo!

Your tree looks beautiful! I love the color scheme! We put up our Disney tree last night and the girls and I decorated it today. That's our real tree and all the Disney decorations are in that room. We have another artificial tree for the living room that has the rest of the ornaments. I used to do it themed white and gold, but we have WAY too many ornaments. Lots of kid stuff!! Someday they will take them when they move out, but that's still some years off.

I'm jonesing for a WDW trip - have to wait through until October, but I do have Paris!!! I'm glad you're staying at OKW! We are buying a small contract there right now and hope to add a night or two at the end of our October trip. I'll be anxious to hear your take!
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:06 PM   #595
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Replies tonight, but I just want to post this website that I lifted off someone else's TR. It has all the Storyteller times in each of the countries. I might have to participate in some of these

http://www.wdwmagic.com/Events/Holid...d-Showcase.htm
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Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

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Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:57 PM   #596
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Hello! I know I've been MIA for awhile..sorry about that. Moving on... Savannah looks beautiful. I really want to visit there someday. Congrats on the singing engagement. How exciting. And your plans for December look great...you're going to be there before you know it.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:39 PM   #597
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I am so envious that you are going to see everything decorated for Christmas! I hope to be able to do that in 2013- I want to go for my birthday at the end of November- and it has to wait until then- too many BIG trips planned in 2012 already!

I hope you do get to ride EE at night- it is a totally different ride! You will LOVE it! It sounds like you have lots of fun stuff planned, even without any extras. We didn't do the Christmas party either when we were there- we bought APs for everyone, and that was enough of a dent in our wallet- KWIM??

So sorry about Nick's acne- my GF Jane (who I go to St john with) put her son on accutane and was very nervous to do it as well- but she is now so glad they did it.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:41 PM   #598
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Oh! And Savannah looks gorgeous- we will have to visit both those cities next time we go down-
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:59 PM   #599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Great plans for your December trip! I'm sorry that VWL was not available for your dates but yay on staying at OKW!! Can't wait to hear all about your stay here.
I was a little disappointed that VWL was not available. I really wanted to see the Christmas decorations. I bet the villas look adorable. But OKW has some distinct advantages, so I am happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post

The Winnie the Pooh queue is fab but we found the wait was soo long and decided after enjoying the fun part of the queue to get FPs!
Well, if the wait is horrendous then maybe I will do it first and then Space Mountain. I'm more interested in the queue then the actual ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post

Wow the Osborne lights looks soo pretty I would love to see them one day.
They are really spectacular. I like when they first come on because the area is not as crowded. I really need to make time to see them on this trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Love the trip down memory lane and the Disney inspired Christmas tree!
The nice thing about having my tree up so early is that I will definitely know which decorations will go with it. It will make souvie shopping easier.

I remember taking Nick on that trip (when he was 12) and thinking it was the last trip with him still as a little boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Your December plans sound awesome - I can't wait to hear all about OKW!! I love going to Disney during the holidays, everything is so fun and festive!
It's been three years since I was there with Christmas decorations, so I am really excited for that and to use my camera to take better Christmas pics than the ones I have.

I am looking forward to OKW and I promise plenty of pics and details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post

Your tree looks great! The little Disney ornaments are so cute!
I love those solid mickey ear ornaments and I should have bought a bunch more when I saw them. The last time I saw them they shrunk, so I will be on the look out for the "big" ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saintstickets View Post
Your December no-plans trip looks very similar to our trip last year. Other than our ADR's and a tour, we winged it! We went to most of the resorts to look at their Christmas decorations, road a ride here and there and just "anti-commando'd" the whole time. It was fantastic. While you are at OKW, make time to try a meal at Olivia's. It is one of the best kept secrets in WDW!
The one thing I really would like to do is a segway tour at Fort Wildnerness, but they are so darn expensive. I am actually toying with the idea of doing one in Celebration Florida where they are half the price.

I have heard Olivia's is quite good, so thanks for the reminder. It would be nice to try something a little different. I've also heard the gurgling suitcase is a winner too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
I think your plans are great! Did I read right that you are considering 3 parks on the first day??? Woohoo!
Yes - call me crazy, but that is what I am proposing. You see - I am just not willing to give up anything. I want MK on my first day. I want a rita at the Ditch and I want to see the Osbourne lights. All my other evenings are spoken for. Too bad we aren't staying at an Epcot resort. You know - I actually want the rita more than I want dinner at La Hacienda. Is that wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
I
Your tree looks beautiful! I love the color scheme! We put up our Disney tree last night and the girls and I decorated it today. That's our real tree and all the Disney decorations are in that room. We have another artificial tree for the living room that has the rest of the ornaments. I used to do it themed white and gold, but we have WAY too many ornaments. Lots of kid stuff!! Someday they will take them when they move out, but that's still some years off.
I used to do one tree that was all kid stuff and one tree that was more adult, but the last couple years I got the tree up so late that I could only do one. Now I've sort of mixed the ornaments together and I left all the kid ones off this year. I really don't think my kids care or have even noticed. The only decorations I would like to add are Disney ones.

I hear ya on way to many. I really need to sort through my christmas and give some stuff away, but everything is so sentimental. It's hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post

I'm jonesing for a WDW trip - have to wait through until October, but I do have Paris!!! I'm glad you're staying at OKW! We are buying a small contract there right now and hope to add a night or two at the end of our October trip. I'll be anxious to hear your take!

Yeah for an OKW contract. I hope to LOVE it. I know Brook loved it when she stayed there. I know I am going to like it. Plus the south Florida theme will be so welcomed in December.

And you are so lucky to be going to Paris. That is tres magnifique!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
Hello! I know I've been MIA for awhile..sorry about that. Moving on... Savannah looks beautiful. I really want to visit there someday. Congrats on the singing engagement. How exciting. And your plans for December look great...you're going to be there before you know it.
Savannah was awesome. Loved every minute of it.

I am really looking forward to participating in the Woodstock event. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Totally can't wait for December.

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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
I am so envious that you are going to see everything decorated for Christmas! I hope to be able to do that in 2013- I want to go for my birthday at the end of November- and it has to wait until then- too many BIG trips planned in 2012 already!
I can't wait to see the Christmas decorations. I am totally going to soak it all.

Too many big trips planned for 2012?????? Lucky you! Can't wait to read about these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
I hope you do get to ride EE at night- it is a totally different ride! You will LOVE it! It sounds like you have lots of fun stuff planned, even without any extras. We didn't do the Christmas party either when we were there- we bought APs for everyone, and that was enough of a dent in our wallet- KWIM??
I know exactly what you mean since we will all be buying APs and a TIW card. Now, if it was the Halloween party that would be different. I love that party, but the Christmas party was just OK. I'm sure I didn't love it because it was a sold out party, but like I said, I rather spend that money on a signature meal.

I can't wait to do EE at night. So looking forward to that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
I
So sorry about Nick's acne- my GF Jane (who I go to St john with) put her son on accutane and was very nervous to do it as well- but she is now so glad they did it.
Thank you for sharing that story. I really do need to hear positive outcome stories. I think Nick has pretty much accepted the accutane so I know he needs to at least try it. Fingers crossed that all goes smooth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
Oh! And Savannah looks gorgeous- we will have to visit both those cities next time we go down-
You and pods need to go down and check out the waterfront. It's too good to pass up. I really can't wait to go again!
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:38 PM   #600
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Oh wow! Your plans sound fabulous! It will be fabulous!!!!!
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