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Old 11-13-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
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The "Worst Vacation Ever" trip report 10/25 - 11/4

Okay, so it wasn't totally the worst vacation ever, but it was came very very close a few times

By the end of the week, we were laughing about how crazy it all was. Anytime anyone dropped anything, if anything went the tiniest bit wrong, someone would say "Yep, worst vacation ever!" It became the running joke for the 11 somewhat-glorious days we spent at WDW, Cocoa Beach and Universal. We decided by the end that if they ever made a movie in the National Lampoon's family about a trip to WDW, they could use our trip report to write the script

Curious? First you'll have to hang on while I do some introductions to our own not-so-little version of the Griswalds. In order from the baby to the "Old Man".

First up DS3 (O). He'll turn 4 the end of this month. What to say about O? He's typical boy. Huge dinosaur nut. Watches Jurassic Park whever he gets TV priviledges, knows the scientific names of most dinosaurs. It's all he talks about, draws etc. He goes to preschool 2 days a week and thinks he's big stuff for getting to go to school like his siblings.

Next DD6 (R) She's a tomboy who tries to be girly, but being surrounded by boys, she just can't quite figure it out. She'd rather be playing Pokemon or soccer than Barbies. R started first grade this year and loves going to school. It's a good thing I dressed her in dresses when she was a baby, because I can never get her in one now (so much for finally getting that girl!)

Third DS12 (J) J is my class clown (you'll see in our pictures) He's always goofing around making people laugh. He's a national champ in karate, plays goalie and defense in soccer and made the basketball team the day after we got back from the world. And he's probably smarter than I am

Fourth in the herd, DS15 (K) K is a sophomore, just got his permit (teaser - this will play a big part in our trip report!) He skipped soccer this year just to work on basketball, and is in the middle of tryouts right now. He's another smarty pants and going through the moody sullen teenage years, but he's still a good kid (I hope )

The Griswald parents: DH38. Works nights to be at home during the day with the kids while I work. Great for not paying daycare, bad for me never seeing him.

Then there's me. Mom. Thirty something. Boring part time accountant by day, kids taxi driver by night. Huge overplanner, even bigger budgeter.

This is us. A sneak preview picture from our Grand Floridian shoot on November 4, our last day at Disney. Look! We all survived. And we were still smiling!

This was our second trip to the world. First time was in 2006, the same time frame we went this year. We loved spending Halloween at Disney so much last time we knew if we ever went back, it would be the same time. We flirted with going before Christmas-time, but the kids' fall breaks (all 3 schools) all landed around the same time so we knew it was Halloween again.

Our first trip was the most magical time ever. Never a bump. Not one, but TWO visits from the Dream Team (fastpasses for AK and for EP) breakfast in the castle, MNSSHP, character meals everyday, beautiful warm, sunny weather, no crowds at all. It was supposed to be the once in a lifetime trip. But there was a problem.

We had a great time. It was wonderful, magical and we loved it. We were hooked. And as of October 23rd, we set off again for what we hoped would be another magical vacation.......

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Old 11-13-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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I'm in. This sounds like it is going to be quite a journey. Can't wait to read more!
Trip Report in Progress: There's a reason I'm not a parent. (I'd link it, but I don't know how.)
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:30 PM   #3
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You hooked me in. I can't wait to hear all about it. We went in 2006 for the first time and we went back this year too. I hope it really wasn't a bad vacation. You have a beautiful family. I love the family picture. It really came out nice.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:12 PM   #4
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I can't wait to "hear" the rest of the story. It sounds like it was quite the journey.
Kim J
, Oct' 11 AKV/BW, May '11 AKV,'10 BLT, '09- SSR, '08- Dolphin, '07- Off site Sheraton Vista Villages, '06- Beach Club, '03- Disneyland Paradise Pier, '01- Hard Rock Hotel, '00- Port Orleans Riverside, 1996- Carribean Beach, 1989- off site, 1986- off site

ME (40) DH (41) : DD (8) DD (4)
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:18 AM   #5
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I'm in! And your family picture is absolutely stunning!
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:47 AM   #6
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I'm in too! Can't wait to hear all about the ups and downs!
Many trips as a child * Honeymoon - POFQ Aug 2007 * 1st Anniversary while DH was deployed - POFQ Aug 2008 * DH's R&R trip - WL Apr 2009 * Expedition Everest Challenge with DH - Sept 26, 2009 - Beach Club * Princess Half Marathon 2010 - I DID IT! POFQ * Girls Trip August 2010 - Upgraded to AP's! - POFQ * Magical Christmas Trip with dear friends - December 2010 - WL Villas * Princess Half Marathon Feb/Mar 2011 - I DID IT - AGAIN! - AKL * Inaugural Tinkerbell Half Marathon January 2012 - Grand Californian Resort - Disneyland - Third time's a charm!* From Alaska to the mouse! - WL - Matthew's First Birthday - November 2013! * Just the girls! Pre-Christmas with the Mouse - December 7-11, 2014 - WL *

Loving life in Alaska, but we're far too far away from my favorite Mouse!

We're adopting from Ethiopia!
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:14 PM   #7
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I love your family photo, very nice! I can't wait to hear more about your adventure!
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #8
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Subbing! Sounds like the title to one of our trips, too! Can't wait to hear about your "misadventures" and the fun you made of it!
July '89--Fort Wilderness; Feb '93--Dolphin, POR; Feb '95--Marriott World Center; Feb '97--Marriott World Center, POR; Feb '99--Marriott World Center; April '02--AS Movies; Feb '03--Gaylord Palms, Hard Rock Hotel; Feb '04--Dolphin, Hotel at Florida Mall; Feb '06--POR, Dolphin; June '06--POP; Sept '07--AKL (a dream come true!!!); Feb '08--Coronado Springs Resort/Marriott World Center; Sept '08--Beach Club/Disney Wonder (our first Disney Cruise!!!); Feb '09--Disneyland; Sept '09--Beach Club; Sept '10--Beach Club (3D Travel's Ultimate Field Trip); Sept '11--All-Star Music Family Suites (3D Travel's Ultimate Field Trip); Sept '12--Art of Animation (3D Travel's Ultimate Field Trip for Homeschoolers)
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:49 AM   #9
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I'm going to have to read this one. :D can't wait to hear more!
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:50 AM   #10
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Welcome everyone!

Sorry it's taken so long to get it going. I have to fight DS12 for the computer since he's trying to finish all of his makeup work before the deadline, plus I'm playing taxi for basketball, karate and school.

Okay, so let's get this going!

Thursday October 23rd.

Dropped off DD (R) and DS (J) at school, took DS (O) to work with me. O is usually at school on Thursdays, but he had Fall Break.

This is where my first screw up came into play. DH works nights and when I had filled out his vacation request form, I forgot to put the night before we left on vacation, meaning DH had to work 10pm-7am the night before we left. Thankfully, he ran and dropped off Duke (our boxer) to Grandma and Grandpa's house, then came home and had time to take a nap. So insted of O being able to stay home with Daddy, he had to come do payroll with Mommy. Thankfully there was a volunteer there, and she kept O entertained while I worked.

This was our first payroll with a new company and I was stressed it was going to take forever to verify all the info, but our sales rep came in and helped me breeze through it, and I was out the door by noon. O and I came home and loaded the van, woke up DH, then headed out to pick up R and J from school....early. J has study hall last period on Tues and Thurs, so we thought we'd get them out early and get a headstart.

Got the kids, their mounds of homework, and squished everyone into the already full van. We were off!

Less than 2 hours later, O was complaining he had to pee, J and R were hungry, so we stopped. I was not happy. It was going to take FOREVER if we had to stop every 2 hours. Ate a quick bite at Arby's topped off the gas tank and got to Louisville in time to sit in rush hour traffic. And sit some more.

Finally through Louisville, we headed on through Nashville and made our hotel stop for the night.

This is when we start to realize it's going to be one of "those" vacations
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:01 AM   #11
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Walk into the Sleep Inn and Suites, where THREE months ago I made reservations for a king suite with a rollaway bed. The lady at the front desk proceeds to tell me they are overbooked and they can offer me a room with 2 double beds.

"Will a rollaway fit?"
"Um, we have 5 people"
"Well, we can give you extra blankets and someone can sleep on the floor"
"Um, no" (ewwww)
"Let me check in the person behind you and then I'll call my manager"

Okay, first of all, I've just driven 6 hours, I was here first, you tell me I don't have a room and then you want me to wait on another person???????

"Hi, Bob. The Griswalds are here, we don't have the suites and she doesn't want the double bed room. Nope, there is 5 of them. Miss? He says he'll give you the double room for half price"


"She said No. Okay. Bye"

"Please just tell me where there is a hotel around here that I can get a suite"

"I'll call Fairfield Inn and see what they have"

As she's on the phone with Fairfield Inn, I'm frantically digging in my purse for my cell phone to call DH in the van to tell him what's going on. No phone. Run outside to the van.

"please tell me my Blackberry is in here"

"nope, I've been trying to call you and it's not ringing"

"Okay, think. I had the phone at home, took it out of my purse to call the payroll people to correct mistake on payroll reports, and LEFT MY PHONE ON THE COMPUTER DESK. My phone, with all our address book, phone numbers, confirmation numbers etc in it. My phone that I changed the ringtone to the theme music from the Boo To You Parade for the week. My life? At home? No hotel room? Can we just turn around and go home? Please?"

okay, so back inside, the lady is still just asking the Fairfield Inn person "What's the rate?" Her eyes bug out, she chokes back some vomit and says "Okay." She fills out a paper, hands it to me, and gives me directions to the Fairfield Inn. I ask her the rate, she says "I don't want to tell you." I say "I need to know if I need to find a place cheaper because I can't afford to pay a ton for a hotel room for one night" and she says "Why? We're paying for it since we screwed up."

interesting twist.

So, back in the van, across the street to the hotel, check in, find out the time is an hour different and we have an hour to swim in the pool before bed Pool is freezing cold, I'm a stressball, so I hit the fitness center to run on the treadmill while DH gets the kids to bed.

J had the younger ones convinced he had to sleep on the rollaway bed standing up

By the time I get to the room, O is asleep and everyone is watching TV in our apparently very expensive hotel suite. Quick shower, hit the bed. Quiet. Bliss.

Until I hear the rain. The POURING DOWN RAIN. That continued basically all the way to Florida. 12 hours of rain.

Want to see our beautiful mountain scenery picture?

While were driving through all this rain, DH's cell phone rings. It's my ex husband. DS15 lives with him in a town a few hours away from where I live

Small side note: We have joint custody of our sons, DS15 and DS12. They lived with me for the first few years, then when the oldest went to middle school we switched so the boys would have their dad available. DS12 was not doing well, so he has since moved back with us, and DS15 still lives with dad. We have him all summer with us, and he works where I work over the summer, so we get to drive to work together, eat lunch together etc.

Anyhow, DH hands me the phone (I'm driving) and ex says "Just so you know, everyone is okay."

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