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Old 03-20-2006, 10:02 AM   #1
I feel blonder than a cocker spaniel!
I tell people I am 30-10-15 so they are super impressed
I got distracted by all the lovebugs on the pool bar
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How to make $3600 on your disney vacation! WE DID!! NEW 9/3*The Epilogue, DONE* p. 54

Okay, a joke you may say? Nope. Are we in the travel industry? Nah. Did we find a little paperbag full of greenbacks and slither away with it? Not a chance, wouldn't do it anyway, really We wouldn't. Did we sell something there? You're cold. Did we find a credit card and charge away? Well, no, but we'd never do that either. Colder. More on this later.

Meet the crew

DH-DJ-40something- a gorgeous, all around nice guy who works alot
Me-Gem-40something- neurotic, slightly type A mom, works part time
DS-Carson -6 -handsome, serious, sweet and very imaginative
DD-Sky -5-adorable thrill seeker who is part princess, part prince
DSJack4- cute, cantankerous & mischeivous-gives stitch a run for his $

Our Destination- The fabulous World, 5 nights/ 6 days at okw, then onto 7 nights/8 days at the beach

Our trip started out with an ominous and foreboding event, that would jeopardize our journey that had been 6 months in the making. Sound dramatic? Well, yeah, having fun at WDW and the beach is serious business and any obstacle that could potentially put a wrench in our best laid plans is of epic proportions in my book.

Could happen to anyone. Twisters, fog, car accident on the way to the airport, a family crisis. Maybe some of you have been there. Ours was a super snow storm, set to slam into the Northeast during the 12 hours prior to our long awaited departure day and continue on through that whole next day. We were scheduled to fly at 6 am on sunday feb 12th. There it was on every weather map I found- on the weather channel, the local news, the internet sites - they all showed the same thing. A gigantic snowstorm with high winds coming in like a freight train with no other track to go on. This was firday at 6 am. 48 hours til liftoff. I poked my DH in bed. "Hon, what are we gonna do? We'll miss our first day at OKW. You're only going to be there a week. You'll miss one seventh of your vacation." (I was staying on a week longer with our 3 dks) "Maybe it won't come", ever the optimist. I had a bad feeling. We hadn't had any snow all winter, virtually none, and we live in Maine. It was more than overdue. His attempts at calming me were in vain. I knew "the big one" was coming to sabotage our wonderful, perfectly planned trip. I did what I always do. I obsessed. Preoccupied at breakfast, I forgot to put the notes I'd written in the kids backpacks informing them they would be missing school the next week. 'Ah, she's one of those', some of you naysayers who would never take your kids out of school are thinking. 'This is her just reward for attempting to sacrifice the children's education for her hedonistic pleasure'.......Fiddlesticks, is all I say to that! But I digress. Obsessed, preoccupied, anxious=FREAKING OUT.

I did what every self respecting DISer would do whilst faced with Goliath standing in the path of our sacred Disney vacation. I picked up the phone and started working it, but not before posting here looking for a little support and maybe an idea. DISers always have good ideas. I called Delta. We were using frequent flyer tickets and thought, because we are such good customers, they would certainly not want us to miss our trip. Hmmmm, I am not naive, just desperate and well, that thinking was way off the mark. "I would like to change our tickets to fly out saturday as a giant noreaster is on its way and we don't want to cause you stress trying to get us out the next day." Well, that isn't exactly what I said, but you get the jist. I was informed that actually in the event of a big storm they do accomodate people and fly them out early. Eureka, I thought! But alas, she informed me that at this point there was no official word that this would be taking effect. The gal suggested I call back, but not before giving me the option of paying $ to change our flight to 3 pm sat with a layover in Laguardia, and taking a shuttle to Newark and flying out at 9:30 pm. This sounded bad, as the beast was scheduled to hit the metropolitan area sat afternoon. Being socked in in Jersey or New York with three little kids seemed like a nightmare, and certainly not something I wanted to pay for!

So I called back. It is interesting. I got different responses and different levels of empathy and assistance. The airlines, Delta at least, is not one of those companies that keeps a record of your call. You all know, you call back to try to rectify something and they say "I am sorry, but the last time you called at 8:03 am and spoke to our representative, they told you there is nothing we can do, just like the previous 22 representatives said when you called. Uh, Delta doesn't keep those records. So keep calling, if this ever happens to you. By 10 am I had lots of info, but no deal. A really nice gal recommended I call back after noon. So I packed more, kept the playdate with my not so disney fanatic best friends and sat there stressed to the gills. Meanwhile I kept emailing and calling my husband. Should we do this, should we do that. The poor guy works in college admissions and february is a very busy time. He wasn't thrilled about going away at all and had piles of things to do before flying out on sunday morning at 6 am. I wasn't helping taking up his time and casting my anxiety his way, but he is my confidant and I needed to keep checking in...I can be needy that way sometimes.

So I left my play group shortly before noon and optimistically called back Delta, sure they would have given the green light to get their passengers out before the great storm of '06. They were calling for several feet of snow all along the northeastern seaboard. Got a young man who was, not helpful to say the least, and perhaps not informed. Clearly had no kids as there was no emapthy-not a glimmer. "No, no way to change this, because you have frequent flyer miles, there are very few flights we can get you on. If you were a paying customer, we could change and put you on any flight for a fee." WHAT!?*&$#@#!!! We are paying customers, that is why we have so many bloody ff miles!!!!!! Shouldn't we get more respect? Uh, no, apparently not. I hung up devestated and continued to try to get outta Dodge.

I went back on the Disboard and gave my update to the many dear folks who had sent pixie dust our way. One very saavy DISer urged me to keep calling, as she had been in this type of situation once. I also heard from other poor disers in the same boat, uh, "icebreaker" if you will, from all along the northeast. So at 3 pm, I called, again. "We are traveling on Sunday am out of Portland, Maine and there is a huge storm coming and we are trying to leave early, can you help us?", I said, with every expectation of hearing what I had heard all day. "How soon can you leave, Mrs. J? You're in luck. They just put out the official okay for us to rebook people early a few minutes ago," the angel agent from heaven said. OMG, Jiminy, Halleluia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!She booked us on a 6 am sat morning flight connecting in Cinncinati. "The connecting flight from cin to orlando is sold out, mam. I shouldn't put you on the flight, but usually someone doesn't show up. They are expecting snow there too, you realize you could get stuck there." "I'll take a chance"' I replied and grabbed the flight. Didn't cost us a cent. I called DH and started to kick things up. Leaving a whole 24 hours earlier than planned. I had spent months packing and arranging, but leaving early had never been something I had considered. We have 3 dogs, 7 cats, 4 horses and 2 ponies and just getting them squared away before we leave is a major task. Would our pet sitter come in a blizzard? Could my DH get his work done? Could we get everything ready in time to leave our house at 3 am? Wait, that is in 12 hours! We are leaving in 12 hours!

Lesson learned. Be a pain in the butt, send your tentacles in every direction and don't give up until you get something accomplished. I learned this a long time ago, but my satisfaction at making this happen and avoiding a major disappointment reminded me, we can't just sit there and let something roll over us in the face of adversity. But, was the problem solved? Did we indeed avoid succumbing to the monster that was before us?

Stay tuned for installment #2 and learn more about if we beat the big one and if so, how we made all that money!

Part 2- GO to PAGE 3

Last edited by horsegirl; 09-03-2006 at 01:55 PM. Reason: cuz i need to say i do not know how to write succintly
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:22 AM   #2
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Great start!!!

Very well written - I'm looking forward to the rest of this one.

We were in a similar situation last fall - scheduled to fly down to Disney on a Sun. morning, same time hurricane Wilma was scheduled to show up. The Wed. - Fri. before that were chaos - I called my husband every hour with updates from various sources (not all in agreement) and kept our poor travel agent guy late one night when we finally decided to postpone the trip until Tues. I wanted someone with a crystal ball to tell me what would be best. I think the airline waived the fee to change the tkts. But I agree, you really do get treated as second class citizens when you travel on ff miles - its not fair!

Hurry up with the next installment, please!

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Old 03-20-2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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I'm hooked! And eagerly awaiting the next installment.
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Dec 1988-Hilton at Downtown Disney ~ May 1996-off-site ~ June 2000-Wilderness Lodge ~ May 2001-Marriott at Downtown Disney ~ Nov/Dec 2005-Grand Floridian SLC & DCL (honeymoon) ~ May 2006-Polynesian ~ Nov 2006-Beach Club ~ Sept/Oct 2007-Polynesian/Grand Floridian
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:55 AM   #4
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I hope you beat the storm and tell us about the money!

Here we come May 2009! Me DH DMom DDad

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Old 03-20-2006, 11:03 AM   #5
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More! More! More!
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:40 AM   #6
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Let’s just say that Mr. Feeney came out “well done”
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I always worry too about flying out of Portland.......but once we arrived home to a snow storm.....we are going in NON SNOW SEASON...30 something days...Yippee.....thanks for your report and anxious for more

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Old 03-20-2006, 11:50 AM   #7
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FABULOUS start - can't wait to read the rest. PLEASE do not string us along for months . . . (like some others I could mention, LYMI VetteChick and ZZub!)
"Get reconnected" adults only trip! Sept 2005 POFQ
Kids meet Mickey! Sept. 29 through Oct. 7, 2006 OKW
Christmas with Mickey! Our first trip as AP holders! December 2007 POFQ
There's Nothing Like Celebrating Your Birthday with the Mouse! May 2008 POR
October is boo-rific! October 2008 POFQ
Our Friend is on R&R from Iraq, So We're Disney World Bound! November 2009 CSR

Kids, Disney, Action! Extreme Trip (Report) HERE
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:41 AM   #8
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Oh my oh my, come on. . don't leave us hanging!!!

ALL NEW"Keep Moving Forward" TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2907120
DISNEY DREAM/AKL CONCIERGE JUNE 2011 TRIP REPORT "TimandLesley's If The Boat's A Rockin' Don't Come A...........TR with TONS of pics and video!
Nov. 2010 Adults Only TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2601328
ALL GIRLS TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2454788
Tim's Disapalooza guys only TR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2362085
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:42 AM   #9
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I will not eat the second end of the hot dog
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Don't leave me hanging, I need more!!! And that was a doozy of a storm, I live in MA, I remember!

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Old 03-20-2006, 11:53 AM   #10
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Can't wait to hear this keep writing !
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:56 AM   #11
We have squash and zucchini coming outta the wazoo
I just shot coffee through my NOSE!!
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horsegirl ~

ACK!! Don't leave us hangin'.....
July 1992~off-site Dec 1999~CSR Feb 2001~DxL Nov 2001~Dolphin July 2002~CBR Aug 2002~WL Feb 2005~AKL/concierge Feb 2005~AKL Aug 2006~PoP C Aug 2006~AKL Dec 2007~DolphinJuly/Aug 2010~Mystic Dunes April 2013 ~ AKL"That's IT! The absolutely, positively VERY LAST Marino....." "We WEREN'T the 'Castle Family', We Didn't..." "The Trippie Who Hath...""Am I Up to the Challenge..."
I've been BOO'ED!!!
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:02 PM   #12
Eating and Drinking our way around the Food & Wine Festival Sept 26 - Oct 4 2014. Loves being Hunny to the Hubs. On the way to losing 1/3 of myself.
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Howdy - I too try not to fly around during the winter season here in Maine and wouldn't it figure that you get to in almost the only one storm of the season.. great report - can't wait to read more

PS Pumba -- we leave in 28 days but from Logan this trip !!

Our family: Me - Michelle & DH - The Hubs DD -Princess B DS - Buddy Welcome home Hunny 11/26/13

Will our ponchos hold up Holy Rain !! 8D/9D for the Food & Wine 9/26-10/4 2014! OMG I went 3 Times in 2012 !!
Trip #1 With DD 4/7-4/14 2012!! Trip #2 With Work 4/29 - 5/2 2012!! Trip #3 Just Me & Hubs! Hubs 1st Trip 5/2 -5/7 2012 !!
Homeowners = 8/18/2011
R.I.P ( Race In Peace)Uncle Bub 06/05/2010 /Bandit RIP 4/1/1997 - 10/2/2013 / Copper RIP 2/1/2001 -9/23/2011/XO miss you all
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:04 PM   #13
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More!! More!! Great start. Looking forward to the rest!
Several trips as a child! 1984-1995
March 2006 Pop Century with my DH!!!
September 2006 for our Anniversary at CSR!!
September 2007 Pop Century for DD's first trip!!!
May 2009 First Trip as Family of 4!

[/url]Me(31) DH (36) DD (3) DS (2)
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:37 PM   #14
I feel blonder than a cocker spaniel!
I tell people I am 30-10-15 so they are super impressed
I got distracted by all the lovebugs on the pool bar
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Part 3- 2/11/06-tell me if the minutia is boring......

So we're sitting at the airport with 45 minutes until blast off. DJ and I get huge lattes-trying in vain to keep up with the kids' adrenalin. I watch the other kiddies in the gate area. Why are they all sitting down reading a book and just mellowing at their mama's breast? Our 3 look like Mike Myers on Saturday night live when he was the tethered little boy eating a chocolate bar with Nicole Kidman. Some of you must know that skit. He's got the leash that parents use with those little ones who tend to roam. Only problem is mother hooked him to the jungle gym and little mikey has so much energy he pulls it down the block. Maybe I am imagining this but everyone else's kids seem so well, tame. There is even a little toddler just contentedly sitting on a chair. No bribes, no restraints, just sitting like a 50 year old. How do people get these kids to do this? Mine have knocked over the ropey things designed to properly queue. You know, the metal posts with the big ropey things that kids love to swing on, and my dear princess keeps running and nearly knocking into people. I try to contain them, I really do. I am not obliviously reading the Times or anything, it's just they are excited.

So I do what always works, pull out the goodies. This keeps there attention for 2 minutes and I think back to our last disney trip 2 years ago when I went a few days early with our 2 oldest and dh and little Jack joined us later.

That trip Sky and Carson and I boarded with blueberry fruit bars in hand. Never do that, never- hand prints all over the ramp walls and plane door that matched only my kids' handprints. And all over their faces. Kidless parents look disgusted.......blueberry on the face is pretty gross, I must say. Anyway we get all strapped in, and wait. I was a less experienced parent then and boarded the minute they allowed parents with younguns to board. Mistake, that was 40 minutes to liftoff. Anyway we finally head toward the runway and turn around. We sit there for hmmm, I think it was an hour and they bring on technicians. We are there for another few hours and finally 5 hours later take off. This was not long after 9/11 and I seriously contemplated getting off and taking another flight. Wait a minute, I did do that. I remember now because the plane wasn't working or something. SO we were rerouted on another airline, but got to MCO like 6 hours after the original arrival time and missed our rendevous with Grammy J (DJ's mom) who is a worry wart and didn't get my message before she flew out that we were delayed.

So for the seconds it takes to play that whole scenario in my mind, as the kids are sitting eating and DJ is working on details like plane side stroller check in, I wonder if something like that could happen this morning. Not a chance, I think, and nervously sit there, my leg probably the only clue to anyone who knows me that I am stressing, cause it is moving back and forth a mile a minute.

The boarding call begins and we watch our fellow crewmembers all board. At the last final second we hop on, and within maybe 10 -15 minutes were are in the air. SUCCESS!!!!! The seating is good, and the kids are finally allowed to break into their backpacks, which really are more like Christmas stockings, as they are stuffed to the brim with new bobbles and fandoogles. There are wrappers and crumbs all over the aisle and at their feet.

The DKs were wonderful on this leg, and for some reason the stewardess whose name was aloha or zuzu or something unique kept throwing bottled water and granola bars at us. I felt like when we go to the movies and I hide the store bought candy bars and drinks in my coat and my pockets are real heavy. Okay, I admit it. I smuggle cheap food into movie theaters. I can't help myself. The only real excuse I can come up with is that I am cheap. Not about some things but about this thing.

I am always in search of the most compact and perfect little goodies to entertain them on long trips. This year's prize were little mini digital cameras that are on keychains. Have you seen them? Gleaming white for Carson like his Daddy's apple laptop, aquamarine for baby Jack who is happy with whatever color and pink for my part princess part prince girl who happens to like all things pink. I couldn't wait to give these to the kids. What a great thing to have for their trip. Fabulous shots from their perspective of cut off heads, your midsection, characters from 3 feet high, the ground, more of the ground, you know those don't you? I had visions of DJ and I downloading them each night and chuckling as the angels slept dreaming of sugarplums. Oh wait that's another story. It took 20 minutes to open each package, but mom and dad were not the one's who figured out how to do it. No scissors allowed in the air, and you all know those impenetrable plastic packages that some security genius came up with in a brainstorming teambuilding session. I cut my finger on one and Jack starts writhing and screaming because he can't wait for it to be open. We still couldn't open them, and finally we just give it to Jack. ANd what do you know, he got his opened eventually. Light bulb!!!!. Let him open his brother's and sister's too. That should be good for a while. This worked and finally after about an hour our three kids had their cameras. It took a while to get them to work, why didn't we preassemble these doggone things like we do christmas eve? DJ is a huge techno geek, not to be confused with a spectro geek (I cannot digress more on them, but feel the need to later!) and he got all the cameras going. Snap, snip, snop. 70 pix on each camera done in a millisecond, I kid you not and we can't download them, as the cords on each of them had the wrong type of fitting. OMG, all that mommy hype and euphoria in finding, hiding and presenting these little beauties to my cuties and after 1.5 hours of tugging, prying and fixing it is done in a matter of minutes. Talk about a mini let down!!! This caused Jack further frustration, because now he can't use the thing- and it turned out we never used them again. I also found great little flashlights on keychains for the kids and aloha zuzu runs over and says we can't use flashlights on board. Great- another gadget snafu and who can blame Jack for being frustrated. My obsessive guilt ridden mind gives itself several wacks for not better preparing and researching the activities portion of the trip. Poor DJ, I made this leg so complicated.......

I have to stop, the bus is here and peter pan (Carson) and snow white (sky) are home. Ta ta all you people.

Part 4- GO TO PAGE 7, post 102
Horsey, proud member of dorkapalooza 2006
"But having heard the neigh of the horse, they were so enchanted with the sound, that they tried to imitate it; and, in trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing."
Aesop's Fables

Need a Smile? Snowstorm pix of a beautiful snowy day [/SIZE]
A Day at the Punkin Patch-A Celebration of a New England Fall Day
A Week by the Lake- A trip report designed to soothe and calm the reader
How to Make $3600 on Your Disney Vacation...A Trip Report

Last edited by horsegirl; 04-01-2006 at 08:39 AM. Reason: cuz I was rereading and realizing I sounded fresh, and removed something
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:45 PM   #15
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Please keep it coming!!!!!!
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