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Old 06-22-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
WDWAurora
I may not be Peter's Tink, but I'm Patrick's...And his princess...Can Tink be a princess? Please?
 
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3 Generations on Free Dining-Both sets of Parents, 9/20-9/26

The title pretty much sums it up. DH and I are going to WDW in September with both sets of parents and my grandmother. We picked this time of year because even though I'm a school employee, I work 12 months, so it only seemed fair that I could have a few days off in September. We wanted cooler temperatures (if only slightly), cheaper prices (love value season, and the FREE dining plan was a bonus), and fewer crowds (although in recent years, I don't think the differences are as great). We are staying at POP. DH and I stayed there for our honeymoon, and it was fine.

Our Cast of Characters:

Me: 25 (26 then), a school psychologist, and a bit of a control freak. I've been to WDW over 30 times and know the parks like the back of my hand. I am all about making sure we see everything and do everything. I've done all of the planning for this trip. All everybody else has to do is show up. DH and I have been actively TTC for over a year, and I had hoped our next trip would be as a family of 3, but I finally determined that I just can't put my life on hold and that I needed a little pick-me-up. I'll be completely happy if I'm pregnant before we go, although that's not looking like it's happening and I'm a thrill ride junky. I'd happily miss out on the rides knowing there was a special someone on the way.

DH: 26, an electrical engineer, and my shy counterpart. When we met, he'd never been to WDW, so during college, he and I went with my grandparents for spring break. He's a reluctant convert. You ask him, he'll say he doesn't like it, but then he'll tell you how excited he is and what his favorite rides are when you're not asking. He was even pulling up Disney 3D on Google Maps! He likes pin trading and mild thrill rides. Not so much the drops...He'd rather have pool time than stay and watch all of the nighttime shows.

DDad: 59, my dad, a retired school principal, and my best friend. My dad has been with me on most of my 30+ trips and he's good for helping wrangle the troops (which will seem necessary as you keep reading). He just wants to be with me and will go along with whatever I plan.

DM: 57, my mom, she has dementia, so she's not at all "there." Ever. I miss her, because she was a terrific, talented, smart woman and besides, a girl just needs a mother. Anyway, my dad is her caregiver and she will be wearing either a bracelet or watch for ID in case of separation. My dad never takes his eyes off of her, so I'm not really worried about that, but we'll have to be careful during bathroom breaks when there are multiple doors out.

DGM: My grandmother, and the reason I've been to WDW so many times. All of my trips, with the exception of my honeymoon, have been with them. This will be my first trip since my grandfather's passing. She has had knee and hip replacements and is unsure if she will definitely end up going or not, but I hope so. It's weird to go without her! My grandparents took me several times that my mom and dad didn't go.

DFiL: Late 50s, DH's dad, a counselor for the military. He has some leg/back issues and is concerned about the walking. He's new to Disney.

DMiL: Late 50s, DH's mom, a librarian. She has some feet issues and is concerned about the walking. She's new to Disney.




Basically, our plan looks something like this:

Day 0 DH and I drive to my in-laws' house after work to spend the night.

Day 1 DM, DDad, & DGM leave from their house. DH, DMiL, DFiL, and I leave from the in-laws' house and drive down. Our car will likely stop through Daytona Beach for a few minutes on the way. My parents will almost definitely stop for gas at this one gas station in South Carolina, where they will get coffee at the McDonald's next door. They will eat lunch in Brunswick, GA, probably at Sonny's Barbecue. Have I mentioned they are predictable? Our car will stop when we get hungry and when we need gas. No planned stops. Dinner will be at POP's foodcourt, Earl of Sandwich, or Wolfgang Puck Express. We will visit DTD and hang around POP.

Day 2 Our first day! We're going to start at Epcot. Dinner will be at Biergarten.

Day 3 We will be at Magic Kingdom. Dinner will be at Cinderella's Castle.

I'll post more tomorrow!!
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:46 PM   #2
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I just wanted to say Hi and I will join you in your pre-trip planning!
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:53 PM   #3
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Wow, thanks! I didn't really figure anybody would read all of this!

I guess I'll pick up where I left off last night.

Day 4 We will be at Animal Kingdom, with dinner at Wolfgang Puck. DDad, DM, and DGM are sitting this day out for rest. They'll catch up with us for dinner, but mostly just putter around all day.

Day 5 We will go to MGM Studios (I don't care what it's called now). Dinner will be at 50's Primetime Cafe.

Day 6 Our final park day will be a repeat of Epcot. The dads are going to ride Segways (and I may end up getting the tour for DH for our anniversary). We're eating dinner at Teppan Edo, although I'm going to keep trying for Le Cellier. I haven't eaten at Le Cellier since it was a cafeteria.

Day 7 We will all return to our respective homes, leaving us 2 days to relax before heading back to work.


I'm exhausted already thinking about it!! It seems so far away and yet so close. I've been studying the maps, checking for things that have changed since our honeymoon in 2005. I can't believe it will have been 3 full years since we've been down!! I'm kind of nervous about taking the in-laws for the first time. In a lot of ways, the only way they could go would be with us, because I'm a control freak and always have a plan. In DH's family, people don't make decisions, and definitely don't make them quickly enough at times. Also, without me planning the day around lines, they would get there, ride 2 things, and get sick of lines. I have my routes that I always use in order to maximize rides, and minimize lines.

Now it's just a matter of figuring out what they will and won't do or like. WDW is still something that can't even be imagined for them, because it's so big and so much larger than life. I want them to see and do everything. Also, this is only DH's 3rd trip. There is still so much that I want him to see, that I am having a hard time balancing "it would be nice if we..." vs. "we have to see..." for him and his parents. For example, he's never seen Hall of Presidents. Considering this could be a once in a lifetime trip, there are things that I would want them to see before going to HOP, if that makes any sense.

I'm a little nervous about having both sets of parents together. They've never spent all that much time together, and my mom can try even my dad's patience. My dad's like me, and a little loud and bossy, so I'm not sure how they'll handle that. DH's parents act old, if that makes any sense, and complain about physical ailments, etc. all the time, which may frustrate my family.

Did I mention how glad I am we didn't try doing fewer rooms and splitting by gender? Ugh.

I'll probably start trying to put together a more comprehensive touring plan for each day soon and starting a packing list. Any advice on the weather for September? I feel like it could go either way.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWAurora View Post
Wow, thanks! I didn't really figure anybody would read all of this!
I love pre-trip reports and trip reports, and yours is really good so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWAurora View Post
It seems so far away and yet so close.
That is how I feel too!


Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWAurora View Post
I'm a little nervous about having both sets of parents together.
I can understand that and I will tell you, you are much braver than me but maybe I just have exceptionally diffrent inlaws and my parents whom I love very much are quite opinionated themselves. lol


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Originally Posted by WDWAurora View Post
Any advice on the weather for September? I feel like it could go either way.
I have never been to Orlando in September but I have heard it is very hot. That is when DH and I are going also. Can't wait for your next installment.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:45 PM   #5
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Sorry BellaSwan, I didn't get notification on your response, so I didn't reply.

I figured it was time for an update, so...

My parents and grandmother were here visiting this weekend. I'm realizing more and more that we are going to have to have to split up for pretty big portions of the days. My grandmother has such mobility issues and (her words, I hadn't said this-just thought it) we want DH's parents to see everything since it's their first time. DDad will have the hardest time with this, since he wants to be with me all the time. It's also hard to push my mom. Sometimes she just gets to the oint where she wants to stop for a while, so I want them to be able to do that without holding back my in-laws. We'll definitely do meals together.

My dad's going to bring his swimsuit, so we'll have family night at the pool! That should be funny.

I've been a few times in September, but it was so long ago that I can't remember how the temps were! According to the average temps, we'll be in shorts and t-shirts/tanks daily.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:23 PM   #6
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A few more things to add!! Primeval Whirl will be closed during our trip. I'm trying not to get too excited, but I feel like if there was anything major that would be closed, it would be posted by now. PW? Totally cool with that, if it's the worst thing closed during our trip. I emailed DDad, DMiL, and DH the day I found out and it led to a series of funny emails back and forth with DMiL while I was at work. She had written back saying something like "darn, that was the one thing I really wanted to ride" or something (she doesn't even know what it is). So I wrote back and was explaining my relief because I don't love it, but I feel a responsibility to ride all roller coasters, so this just frees me from that...she told me to be careful or it would haunt me in my dreams!

Ok, probably not as funny posted on here, but during, it was funny.

Country Bear Jamboree will be closed later in the month, so again, I think that bigger stuff that's going to be closed would already be posted.

I'm finally starting to try to figure out clothing for the trip. I own almost enough shorts now. I may end up having to re-wear, or wear soffes or something, because I don't really want to buy any more, since I don't wear them all that often. I should be good on shirts (although I have 2 disney non-over the top shirts in my "cart" on disneyshopping) and socks, undies. I think I need a new bathing suit and tennis shoes.

I'm a firm believer in sneakers for disney. I rarely wear them in my normal life, and am a complete flip flop a holic. That being said, maybe it's my retired dancer/cheerleader feet and bad ankles, but I need the support and structure of a sneaker. I worry about my feet getting stepped on and run over, so I always wear sneakers. To DTD, whatever goes.

Ok, that's this entry, I'll write again soon!
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:05 PM   #7
WDWAurora
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3 Generations on Free Dining-Both sets of Parents, 9/20-9/26

DH and I have just returned from a wonderful vacation with his parents, my parents, and one of my grandmothers. I did a pre-trip report, it can be found here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1864362. I'm going to copy and paste some of the info here.

We picked this time of year because even though I'm a school employee, I work 12 months, so it only seemed fair that I could have a few days off in September. We wanted cooler temperatures (if only slightly), cheaper prices (love value season, and the FREE dining plan was a bonus), and fewer crowds (although in recent years, I don't think the differences are as great). We are staying at POP. DH and I stayed there for our honeymoon, and it was fine.

Our Cast of Characters:

Me: 25 (26 then), a school psychologist, and a bit of a control freak. I've been to WDW over 30 times and know the parks like the back of my hand. I am all about making sure we see everything and do everything. I've done all of the planning for this trip. All everybody else has to do is show up. DH and I have been actively TTC for over a year, and I had hoped our next trip would be as a family of 3, but I finally determined that I just can't put my life on hold and that I needed a little pick-me-up. I'll be completely happy if I'm pregnant before we go, although that's not looking like it's happening and I'm a thrill ride junky. I'd happily miss out on the rides knowing there was a special someone on the way.

DH: 26, an electrical engineer, and my shy counterpart. When we met, he'd never been to WDW, so during college, he and I went with my grandparents for spring break. He's a reluctant convert. You ask him, he'll say he doesn't like it, but then he'll tell you how excited he is and what his favorite rides are when you're not asking. He was even pulling up Disney 3D on Google Maps! He likes pin trading and mild thrill rides. Not so much the drops...He'd rather have pool time than stay and watch all of the nighttime shows.

DDad: 59, my dad, a retired school principal, and my best friend. My dad has been with me on most of my 30+ trips and he's good for helping wrangle the troops (which will seem necessary as you keep reading). He just wants to be with me and will go along with whatever I plan.

DM: 57, my mom, she has dementia, so she's not at all "there." Ever. I miss her, because she was a terrific, talented, smart woman and besides, a girl just needs a mother. Anyway, my dad is her caregiver and she will be wearing either a bracelet or watch for ID in case of separation. My dad never takes his eyes off of her, so I'm not really worried about that, but we'll have to be careful during bathroom breaks when there are multiple doors out.

DGM: My grandmother, and the reason I've been to WDW so many times. All of my trips, with the exception of my honeymoon, have been with them. This will be my first trip since my grandfather's passing. She has had knee and hip replacements and is unsure if she will definitely end up going or not, but I hope so. It's weird to go without her! My grandparents took me several times that my mom and dad didn't go.

DFiL: Late 50s, DH's dad, a counselor for the military. He has some leg/back issues and is concerned about the walking. He's new to Disney.

DMiL: Late 50s, DH's mom, a librarian. She has some feet issues and is concerned about the walking. She's new to Disney.


So I'll start from the VERY beginning. My in-laws have 4 children. DMiL didn't really work while they were growing up, so vacations were slim. Disney just wasn't an option. I got DH to go with me before we were married, while we were in college, with my grandparents. He liked it, and agreed to go back for our honeymoon a couple years later. He's now into pin trading with me, and enjoys it, but not as much as I do. We both wanted his parents to see the world, but knew they would have to go with me, because I'm bossy. Sounds weird, but they're the type that would get overwhelmed, not be able to decide what to do, see a long line, and go back to the hotel. So, with me going, they didn't have to make any decisions. It works for everybody. So, when DH and I started talking about going and my parents invited themselves (not that I mind), we decided it would be the perfect time to take them.

Meanwhile...it's mega-drama with DH's siblings. Two of his brothers aren't speaking, a baby was born in June, one due at the end of next month, and us with our infertility battles. The sister is about to have a baby and her husband can't find a job now that he's out of grad school, etc, etc, etc. My in-laws are dealing with a lot of stress with everything going on there, and on top of all that, their home was broken into on Tuesday before we left on Saturday. A lot going on! There was some doubt about whether or not they would come, but they did decide to join us, as there wasn't anything else they could do at home.

On to the story...

On September 19th, Friday, I had to go to a training session about an hour from home from 9-12. I took the rest of the day off, and left my training for the drug store. I picked up a prescription and headed for home. I made it by 2, and finished our packing. I got all of our bags downstairs and took care of some of the last minute things. DH left work at 4 (with me checking the driveway every minute, and finally sitting in front of the window to look for him) and arrived home around 4:30. We loaded the car, he took care of our cats, and we hit the road for his parents' house, which was about an hour and a half farther down I-95, so on the way to FL. We had some dinner (from McD's, and it was terrible) and spent the night with the in-laws. I could tell they were pretty excited, especially DFiL. He was a chatterbox and was asking nonstop questions. He was concerned about eating breakfast, because he has eggs for breakfast everyday. Luckily, a wonderful DISer sent me some food vouchers that we were able to use to supplement meals for everyone. We headed to bed fairly early because we had an EARLY departure the next day!

On Saturday, we left the house at 6am. After several bathroom stops, we ended up eating lunch just past Jacksonville, FL. We went to McDonald's AGAIN, and the boys (DH & DFiL) were VERY disappointed to find out that McRibs aren't in Florida. It definitely seemed as though we were making extremely frequent bathroom stops, and most of them weren't my fault, which was shocking. Overall, the trip was fairly easy. We got down there around 3pm, and checked in. The check-in was fairly smooth. My in-laws were pretty overwhelmed! It was so busy and they were just overwhelmed by the size of WDW in general. We finished up (our CM was fine...nothing rude, but she had NO personality! Not the greatest for your first entry point to vacation!) and found our rooms. The four rooms our group had were very close to each other. We had 3 in a row, and across the corner from the 3rd was our last room. We were a little far from the parking lot in the 70s section, despite a beg for mercy due to my grandmother's difficulty with walking. It wasn't SO horrible, but it did make it more difficult at the end of the day for her.

Our rooms were great, the in-laws were pleased. I don't think any of us are used to upscale lodging, so these rooms were perfectly adequate. Since DH pouted at McD's when they didn't have the McRib, and only ate a 4 piece chicken mcnugget, he was starving. I talked to my parents all day, and the 3 of them were taking longer to get there due to needing more stops and driving from a different part of the state. We went on over to DTD and ate dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. Our food was wonderful. DH had the BBQ chicken pizza, DFiL had spaghetti & meatballs, and I had the chicken bolognese. DMiL was left to her own devices to order, and she ordered "crispy chicken" which was chicken tenders. Hers was the only meal that disappointed at all. They've remodeled in there since I was there last, and it looked great. They even had sweet tea! We were very happy with our choice for dinner.

After dinner, we did a little shopping and headed over to the TTC for a monorail ride as an introduction to WDW for the in-laws. We rode in the front over to Epcot, then hopped into a regular car for the ride back. DMiL is afraid of heights, and she was a little bothered by the ride up there, especially when the driver told her that she was the only person actually over the rail and that the rest of us were over air. After our rides, we drove back to the hotel and got our refillable mugs. These were TOTALLY worth it for us! We each had at least 2 fill-ups a day. We met up with my parents and grandmother and checked out the shop. We all turned in pretty early because our first park day is coming up, and my in-laws had no idea what they were in for, with me as their tour guide!!

Up next-Intro to WDW, aka our first day at Epcot with dinner at Biergarten!!
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:49 PM   #8
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Your title caught my eye. We just returned and we had 4 generations! Happy to hear you had your family with you as well
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:06 PM   #9
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I hope you had a wonderful trip, Ziggie! I would love to have 4 generations go, but with the age of my grandmother and our current childless, not by choice situation, it doesn't look good. Your granddaughter is beautiful!

Now, on to our first park day! I will eventually try to add some pictures in here, because there's a really funny one from early on in the day in our first day.

Our plan was to leave our hotel around 8am. Now, DH and I have a very different getting-ready philosophy than our parents. When he and I leave the room for breakfast, we are ready for the day. We don't have to go back to the room. Our parents and my grandmother, on the other hand...they get up, dress, go to breakfast, then come back and do sunscreen, final getting ready stuff, etc. So we were given a hard time all week for being "late," but in reality, we were ready earlier than everybody else, because we usually made it to the POP foodcourt before they were done eating, and we ate cereal bars, so we were ready. So, the first day, we head out. I tell DH to bring his key, because I'm leaving my bag since I know we have to come back to the room for everybody else. Yeah, so after we leave the room, DH immediately tells me he didn't put his key back in his wallet. So, we have to go to the check-in desk and get new ones. Well, the lady at the desk screwed up and printed new keys for my inlaws. We finally got it straight and joined our family in the food court. By the time we rounded everybody up, we missed my 8am departure time. We still pulled into the Epcot AAA Diamond lot (and handicapped parking for the other car-which was like 6 cars away! Funny.) by about 8:35. Woohoo! We were able to send DFiL to the restroom (lots of those visits on this trip with so many people!) and line up with time to spare. DMiL was already experiencing problems with her feet, which I had worried about before the trip, and her feet plagued her throughout the trip. After the turnstiles opened up, we got everybody in with minimal drama.

We started out by wandering through the "tombstones," looking for the N'Sync pictures. I was thinking that the rope was in the normal place. Apparently not! I discovered after a few minutes that they were doing several mini rope drops! I was so upset that my perfect plan hadn't accommodated that! Oh well. We went and lined up for Spaceship Earth-my in-laws' first disney ride! They hadn't started loading yet, so we waited there until right around 9. Then, as we start up the ramp, they pulled my grandmother and sent her and my parents through the handicapped entrance. She had hoped to avoid that, but I guess they can't slow it down from the regular line. I loved the look of most of the updates, but a little into the ride, the lights came on! It totally ruined the effect. I was upset about that, too! Also, where they take your picture, DH's apparently didn't work, so I ended up with a cartoon husband! Very funny. After riding, we met up with my grandmother and parents, and visited another bathroom!!

Now, onto our next ride, aka, what will we break now?
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:01 PM   #10
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I'm loving your TR thus far! My DH and I have been ttc # 2 for awhile now, so I feel your pain. Here's a little baby dust for ya!

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Old 10-07-2008, 04:51 PM   #11
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Thanks! I tend to ramble, so I know it can be hard to read at times. I write like I speak-A LOT! You should check out the TTC thread on the community board-a great network of support over there! I'm glad to see you're a Twilight fan-I love the books and can't wait for the movie!

Hope to get the rest of Day 1 up tonight!
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:52 PM   #12
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I hope you had a wonderful trip, Ziggie! I would love to have 4 generations go, but with the age of my grandmother and our current childless, not by choice situation, it doesn't look good. Your granddaughter is beautiful!

Now, on to our first park day! I will eventually try to add some pictures in here, because there's a really funny one from early on in the day in our first day.

Our plan was to leave our hotel around 8am. Now, DH and I have a very different getting-ready philosophy than our parents. When he and I leave the room for breakfast, we are ready for the day. We don't have to go back to the room. Our parents and my grandmother, on the other hand...they get up, dress, go to breakfast, then come back and do sunscreen, final getting ready stuff, etc. So we were given a hard time all week for being "late," but in reality, we were ready earlier than everybody else, because we usually made it to the POP foodcourt before they were done eating, and we ate cereal bars, so we were ready. So, the first day, we head out. I tell DH to bring his key, because I'm leaving my bag since I know we have to come back to the room for everybody else. Yeah, so after we leave the room, DH immediately tells me he didn't put his key back in his wallet. So, we have to go to the check-in desk and get new ones. Well, the lady at the desk screwed up and printed new keys for my inlaws. We finally got it straight and joined our family in the food court. By the time we rounded everybody up, we missed my 8am departure time. We still pulled into the Epcot AAA Diamond lot (and handicapped parking for the other car-which was like 6 cars away! Funny.) by about 8:35. Woohoo! We were able to send DFiL to the restroom (lots of those visits on this trip with so many people!) and line up with time to spare. DMiL was already experiencing problems with her feet, which I had worried about before the trip, and her feet plagued her throughout the trip. After the turnstiles opened up, we got everybody in with minimal drama.

We started out by wandering through the "tombstones," looking for the N'Sync pictures. I was thinking that the rope was in the normal place. Apparently not! I discovered after a few minutes that they were doing several mini rope drops! I was so upset that my perfect plan hadn't accommodated that! Oh well. We went and lined up for Spaceship Earth-my in-laws' first disney ride! They hadn't started loading yet, so we waited there until right around 9. Then, as we start up the ramp, they pulled my grandmother and sent her and my parents through the handicapped entrance. She had hoped to avoid that, but I guess they can't slow it down from the regular line. I loved the look of most of the updates, but a little into the ride, the lights came on! It totally ruined the effect. I was upset about that, too! Also, where they take your picture, DH's apparently didn't work, so I ended up with a cartoon husband! Very funny. After riding, we met up with my grandmother and parents, and visited another bathroom!!

Now, onto our next ride, aka, what will we break now?

I'm enjoying reading your report.
That is so sad that your mom has dementia. Your mom is so young to have it.
My mom is 69 and has it. It is so very hard to see my mom with it.

How old was your mom when she go it?
And is she taking Meds for it?

What state are you from?
We are from La. and we stayed at POP Aug. 29-Sept. 10th.
We ran from the storm!!
Are you going to post pictures of your DH and family also?
Can't wait to read more!!!
Oh What was the dates you all were at POP?
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