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Old 08-11-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
Lauralee131
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A Much Needed Trip for the Mominators...10/12 NEW! Much Ado About Nothing! #80

I've been suffering a bit of writer's block - even though I'm not really a writer - but the babbling has started so indulge me while I try and spew this out and get a trip report out of it...

For those of you that know me, you know my life has been in major chaos the last several months. Actually, chaos is an understatement. I worked for several months more hours in a day than an 18-hour bra was designed to withstand. I’m sure several of you recall my 3 am postings on the DIS after I’d gotten home from work (since 7am)…I needed this trip. Better yet, I deserved this trip.

BUT – life, and other various forces of evil – my job, the economy, Bank of America, Capital One and Chase – yes, I’m talking about YOU…kept getting in the way.

And, for those of you that are aware of our August trips, which have become somewhat of a Focker tradition, well, you probably also know that somewhere around the time we’re either getting ready to leave for August, or while we’re down there, we already start perusing the calendar for the following year. And also in fine Focker tradition, my family tends to go rushing home the night before school starts. It just works this way.

This year though, was going to be different. We’d go early August. No rushing back to go to school. No fighting off the incoming free dining crowds either. 2009 was going to be the best. The summer of ME.

Sadly, I was the last of us to book this annual pilgrimage. See, there was also this little matter of the economy and the way it kicked construction into reverse. Not even back in to first gear after years of ripping and tearing. Nope. Everything came to a complete stop.

For a while, it actually looked like both my husband and I were going to be out of work. That’s a big blow. I don’t care if you can collect unemployment…losing both your incomes at once is devastating.

Especially if you’re like me – which hopefully you’re not. Remember me, the one who chooses not live within the restrictions of my bank account.

I know there’s a recession.

I, however, have made a conscious decision not to participate in it.

I chart my own course.

I am the master of my domain. The captain of my own ship. That ship, the USS Oblivious, is usually found cruising up and down the river of Denial. Which is not in Egypt. TFI.

I tried, I really, really tried to be a grown up about this. Knowing that I may be out of work, I tried to be responsible and hold off on booking my trip.

It was torture. As it turns out, adulthood doesn't look good on me.

For months I waited to hear about my job. I even got proactive and began looking into a job in our Texas division just to ensure that I’d keep my job.

Gotta keep those Benjamins rolling in, right?

My Mouse don’t eat cheese…he consumes all my lettuce.

I had my first phone interview with the Texas division of my company and although it wasn’t really a job I’d normally go after, it was a real position, in…gulp…the main office. But hey - it was steady work. Scary as it was, unemployment was scarier.

Then I found out that I was being transferred to our Southeast division. Yes Virginia, there is continued employment!

Wooo Hooo….

Lauralee…you’ve just found out that you’re going to stay employed! What are you going to do now??

I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!

Within 15 minutes I was on the phone with DVC Member Services.

Why yes, I’d like to book a trip please…

I gave them the dates and the resort I wanted and they said certainly…let me just put you on hold while I book your reservation…

After a few minutes, the CM came back on the phone and apologized profusely…Ma’am…I’m sorry, but you don’t have any points available.

That’s impossible. I banked enough points for this stay!

Yes, that’s the problem.

See, I banked my points into the following use year, which doesn’t start until September 1, 2009. DOH!!

NO TRIP FOR YOU!!

Defeated, I hung up the phone.

Down, but certainly not out.

I put on my thinking cap. There had to be some way to do this. There was no way I was going to miss out on this trip.

I couldn’t!

And I wouldn’t. No way.

Think, think, think....

So, not easily broken, I called the following day.

I booked a trip for early September. I had a plan…yes, I had a plan.

Since I booked my trip in this current use year, if I cancelled, then the points in question would have to be put into this use year, right? Yeah, I thought so too…

But, upon doing a bit of research, I discovered that the opposite was true. Nope – the points would go back into the next use year where they were originally banked.

Bummer.

I may have been down, but not out…

I called the next day…I was desperate. I had a plan.

I needed to pull the wool over the Mouse’s eyes. Errr…ears…

I decided to throw myself on the mercy of court.

I dialed the number, nervous about what I’d say, hopped up on caffeine and adrenaline. This was the last shot. Bottom of the ninth, 2 outs and bases loaded…

I pressed “1” and waited for the next available cast member…

A short bit later, “Cinnamon” answered the phone.

Yes, Cinnamon. Remember the bad economy? Well, exotic dancers apparently do phone work these days!

Anyway, I explained to Cinnamon that I booked this trip and due to the industry problems and the economy, my company has made it mandatory…no vacations after August 15th. I may or may not have embellished quite a bit more and may or may not have carried on about the big annual trip we had planned but now have to either cancel or move up…and yes, there may have been some fake tears involved.

Cinnamon, lovely girl that she is, felt very bad for me and consulted not one, but 2 managers about allowing me to move up my trip with my banked/borrowed points. They said no initially, but Cinnamon herself laid it on thick and after quite some time, they gave in.

VOILA!!! I got my trip!!

We did it! We did it!!

I don’t know who was more excited for me…Me….or Cinnamon!

I thanked her profusely. Booked my trip for August 2nd to the 8th, promised to remember her always and hung up.

And danced my lovin’ butt off…...probably not an exotic looking dance, but a victory dance nonetheless!!

Hooray for me! I got my trip. I may have been shady about it, but I got it. Plus booking early August would eliminate the need to go rushing home the night before school starts!!

So...it begins now. Thank for allowing me to babble and get the random thoughts out of my head - maybe now that it's clear, the actual trip will flow freely!

Up next…re-introductions, nomadic movement and a chink in my chain…
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:02 PM   #2
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Chapter Links...Maybe...Possibly...I tried anyway...

This spot for rent...

Or links...

Which ever one comes first...

I've Got Time for a Quickie!!

Meet Tha Playas...Introductions

If you thought I was kidding about needing a vacation....

Oh The Plans, They Are A-Changin'....

Arrival Day - Finally!!

Day 2 - A Day of Reunions

Day 3 - Looking for the Disney Spirit

Day 4 - Who's on the Blacklist NOW???

Day 4 Continued...Much Ado About Nothing! New 10/12
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
I worked for several months more hours in a day than an 18-hour bra was designed to withstand.
Yeah, thanks a lot for that visual!
Quote:
I’m sure several of you recall my 3 am postings on the DIS after I’d gotten home from work (since 7am)…I needed this trip. Better yet, I deserved this trip.

Quote:
I know there’s a recession.
I, however, have made a conscious decision not to participate in it.
You and me both sistah!

Quote:
I needed to pull the wool over the Mouse’s eyes. Errr…ears…
I decided to throw myself on the mercy of court.
I have a confession. I secretly gave you ZERO chance of pulling this off. I was totally prepared to call and sympathize when they said "No." I had all sorts of Fuzzy alternatives in mind to get you down here. Know who the only person who may have been more happy and excited than you and Cinnamon was? ME!!!

Quote:
Plus booking early August would eliminate the need to go rushing home the night before school starts!!
Okay.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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Hey LL! Off to a great start and can't wait to read more!
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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Oh that was hilarious....I am totally along for this ride!
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
[SIZE="3"] Actually, chaos is an understatement. I worked for several months more hours in a day than an 18-hour bra was designed to withstand. I’m sure several of you recall my 3 am postings on the DIS after I’d gotten home from work (since 7am)…I needed this trip. Better yet, I deserved this trip.
OMG! I always wondered what happened after 18 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
[SIZE="3"]This year though, was going to be different. We’d go early August. No rushing back to go to school. No fighting off the incoming free dining crowds either. 2009 was going to be the best. The summer of ME.
Ah, yes. Another one of "the plan". Along with Ridemax, "the plan" blows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
[SIZE="3"]Especially if you’re like me – which hopefully you’re not. Remember me, the one who chooses not live within the restrictions of my bank account.
Ooh, I know her! She shows her face around these parts occasionally as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
[SIZE="3"]Lauralee…you’ve just found out that you’re going to stay employed! What are you going to do now??

I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!
Dude, as if it had to be asked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
[SIZE="3"]]I put on my thinking cap. There had to be some way to do this. There was no way I was going to miss out on this trip.

I couldn’t!

And I wouldn’t. No way.

Think, think, think....
Some of the best emails ever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
[SIZE="3"]Anyway, I explained to Cinnamon that I booked this trip and due to the industry problems and the economy, my company has made it mandatory…no vacations after August 15th. I may or may not have embellished quite a bit more and may or may not have carried on about the big annual trip we had planned but now have to either cancel or move up…and yes, there may have been some fake tears involved.

Cinnamon, lovely girl that she is, felt very bad for me and consulted not one, but 2 managers about allowing me to move up my trip with my banked/borrowed points. They said no initially, but Cinnamon herself laid it on thick and after quite some time, they gave in.
Hands down, the BEST story EVER!!!!

I'm so glad you're writing this! I feel like the guy from The Seventh Sign who tells the kid to write about what happened so no one would ever forget! This was that story!

Yes, ladies and gents, you can work over DVC MS. Well, maybe not all of you, but those with an inner LL can.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessV View Post
Yeah, thanks a lot for that visual!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyland_Mama View Post
OMG! I always wondered what happened after 18 hours.
Yes girls, but hey - all I gave ya was a mental picture...it's not like I posted the actual picture...which was not at all pretty...


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessV View Post
I have a confession. I secretly gave you ZERO chance of pulling this off. I was totally prepared to call and sympathize when they said "No." I had all sorts of Fuzzy alternatives in mind to get you down here. Know who the only person who may have been more happy and excited than you and Cinnamon was? ME!!!
WHAT? Really? You didn't think I could do it?? Wow...I never knew that!Silly rabbit. I always Trust V, don't I? Tony didn't think I could do it either. Don't feel so bad...you weren't the only one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyland_Mama View Post
I'm so glad you're writing this! I feel like the guy from The Seventh Sign who tells the kid to write about what happened so no one would ever forget! This was that story!

Yes, ladies and gents, you can work over DVC MS. Well, maybe not all of you, but those with an inner LL can.
I wish I'd saved the emails...they were much better than this re-telling of it and honestly, it's been so long I wasn't sure I'd remember half of it.

Well, I know I won't get another installment done on my lunch hour today so I'm off to read yours...

Talk to ya's later!
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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I suppose I have time for a quickie...

A bit more...since I'm here and all...

Ok, so when we last left our heroine, she'd found out she still had a job and somehow managed to do the impossible and got the trip booked.

Naturally, and historically, I'd immediately start planning park days and ADR's and even throwing a bone to my husband and son by penciling in an hour a day or so for pool time...

HOWEVER, in line with the chaos theory so often touted by Jeff Goldblum in Jurrasic Park, nothing went as it should have or normally does...

I was working from home - all kinds of crazy hours - getting the house on the market in preparation for our move to Georgia. While my husband got sent to Virginia to work. Great. Perfect timing. Which has become a habit as you'll all soon see.

So, between being an employee, a mom, a cook and bottlewasher and homework-checker, I was busy cleaning, painting, staining the deck, re-arranging furniture, etc.

The last thing I had time for was to plan a trip. Crazy, no? Even crazier still...I had absolutely no desire, nor the energy, to even buckle down and pick parks and restaurants. Shameful, isn't it?

I am the consumate planner...in fact, look at my book...(but please don't look at the cheesy rental furniture it's lying on. ICK)...This book holds everything related to traveling to Disney World...maps, tickets, schedules, park hours, DVC discount info...everything...



I've got index tabs for everything...itineraries, dining info - including menus, reservation confirmations, Owner's Locker inventory...you name it, it's in there....



All in this beautiful package (so nicely given to me by the drywall sub on my last job)...It's zips all around and has a handy dandy carrying strap. Ahhh...I love this thing...

And speaking of love, don't even get me started on laminating...

Which I didn't do either...

If my life sounded crazy in the first installment, well, by the time I'd booked this trip, it got even worse. Yes, I was going to Georgia. Yes, they could wait till June when Michael got out of school since I was only being "stashed" on a job in ATL.

Then I received word through a former boss that I was going to get a call about going on a temporary assignment to cover for someone going on maternity leave. She was due the 3rd week of May so Tony and I planned it so that he'd stay home till school got out and I'd head on to Georgia and start this temporary gig.

Then Tony and I went to St. Louis for a weekend for my company's annual shareholder shin-dig and I introduced him around to the gang from the Southeast division. His company does a lot of work for my company (which occasionally makes me giggle that I'm not only his boss at home, but also at work), but anyway, his company told him that if they had room on the staff, he could go to the job I would be heading to. We spent some time hanging out with the manager from that job - seriously one of THE best guys I could work for...we had a great time that weekend getting to know everyone better and I thought it'd be good for Tony to know some of the players in the event he ended up there...

Well, the following Monday we got a call from Tony's boss - demanding to know how Tony knew the manager of this job and why the guy is insisting on having Tony on his job immediately. OH CRAP!!

This was a huge, huge problem.

We had a plan...the plan now was in the crapper. Flushed away like...well, you know...

The following Monday, April 6th, my husband was in his truck on his way to LaGrange, Georgia...

After that my life's a blurry haze - kind of when that witch chases bugs bunny and all you see is dust and bobby pins in her wake...yeah, like that...

Over the next few weeks, the girl due on May 22nd had her baby on April 27th...I had to go. I pulled Michael out of school and had to put him in a daycare since it was too late to register him for school in Georgia. We were living in a No-Tell Motel until we found a furnished apartment for a month to allow us to at least feel like we had a home while we looked for a home...

Ya'll still with me? Darn it - I have to get back to work so I'll finish this later, but for those of you counting...we're at:

1 new daycare
2 temporary living places...

Up Next....the hits keep on coming...

Hmmmm...perhaps this should have been a pre-trip? I'm getting there, eventually...I swear...indulge me - it seems like it has to come out in this order for some reason!!

Thanks for hanging in there with me...you won't be disappointed in the long run...promise!!
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:09 PM   #9
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Cinnamon was last seen at the county court house having her name legally changed to Nutmeg in an effort to keep her job with MS.

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #10
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whew thats a lot of craziness! But Disney is always the best payoff!
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
I am the master of my domain. The captain of my own ship. That ship, the USS Oblivious, is usually found cruising up and down the river of Denial.

Insert two peas smilie.

Quote:
A short bit later, “Cinnamon” answered the phone.
Hopefully Cinnamon doesn't DIS.

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Old 08-12-2009, 11:19 AM   #12
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OMG I love the Cinnamon story, LL only you could pull that off
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:47 PM   #13
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Just sent you a PM, let me know if you have any ????

Ok, wow what a ride your real life is huh? you really did need an escape!

Atlanta traffic

My college roommate moved there several years ago and closest I can tell the only time there is no traffic is about 3 am and even then it is a carp shoot. I refuse to drive in that town, though I have had lots of fun, just make sure someone else is driving!

ETA, I love the binder!!!!!!
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:52 AM   #14
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The Pl,ans...Or Lack Thereof...Are Changing....

Ok, so when we last left off, we had just moved in to our 3rd temporary living place and as we set our few boxes and suitcases on the floor, my husband left for a job in Florida.

Michael and I were on our own in a new state, a new city, a new apartment.

And the only thing in the fridge was a big ole’ jug of Kinder, Gentler Kool-Aid.

Yep – that’s right. I wasn’t just sipping the Kool-Aid this time. I was practically chugging it from one of those 5 gallon jugs. I just didn’t have it in me to plan every moment of this trip. I was too stressed out and too darn tired.

And too busy frankly. Finding daycare #3 for Michael. And hoping our house would sell so we could move to place #4. And commuting to job #2. And playing the single parent on top of it just left me worn out and not at all inspired to plan.

Off Topic for a moment – Mad, mad props and applause for you real single parents out there…I don’t know how you do it. Tremendous respect for all of you. You don’t just deserve a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day…you seriously deserve an entire month for a holiday and not just one day. I am in awe of you. And not worthy.

That said, back to our TR…

In fact, by 3 weeks prior to the trip we’d been basically planning for just shy of a year, the only ADR I made was O’Hana’s. For real. I had let my subscriptions to TGM and UG lapse and hadn’t renewed.

I couldn’t focus on planning. Can you believe it? Me. The Mominator.

I decided that The Plan was…there would be no Plan. I knew where T & V would be. That would be good enough for me. I’d just go wherever the girls would lead me.

And seriously…since we’re all usually drinking from the same planning trough anyway, my Plan would be virtually the same as theirs.

Except for Animal Kingdom.

Yeah, I hate going there in summer. ICK. I may as well just go out into the hotel parking lot, get in my car and sit with all the windows closed and no A/C running.

At noon.

On a clear, cloudless day.

UGH.

So coming into this trip, my dates were August 2nd thru the 8th, slumming it in a studio at SSR. With the 2nd thru the 5th on points and the 6th thru the 8th on cash at the DVC member discount.

But, with school starting early in Georgia, I needed to tweak my plans a bit. BUT...that’s where it gets sticky. Tweaking the dates meant having to borrow more points, which A) I really didn’t want to do and 2) Would I be able to pull the wool over the Mouse’s ears a second time? Doubtful…very doubtful.

So…I had to do some shuffling around.

First the dates. I’d change my dates to the 31st thru the 6th and leave at the crack of dawn to get to Michael’s new school for orientation on the afternoon of the 6th.

So I called Member Services and altered my cash dates. Booked the 31st thru 2nd and the night of the 5th on cash. No problem.

Then it was brought to my attention by my friendly neighborhood enabler (coughcoughVcoughcough) that there was a great rate on Mods.

When I priced it up, I could get pretty much get 2 nights at a Moderate for the price of 1 night – at the DVC discount – in a studio at SSR.

So…yet another change needed to happen.

I called CRO and booked the 31st thru the 2nd at CBR – requesting a water view in the Jamaica section. Then I called Member Services and cancelled the 31st thru the 2nd cash nights at SSR.

V and Leo would be staying at CBR so the location was the obvious choice. Although I must admit, I had my moments of weakness and almost booked AKL. Booking a Moderate was the smart, sensible thing to do anyway. I was watching my money anyway, remember?

Then V told me the extra money for the water view was no necessary so I called the following day and changed my reservation again.

Phew…finally set my dates…it feels so good when everything’s finalized.

Then it started.

The itch.

You know the itch right? It’s nearly as bad as the itch that Morphine gives…and scratching it feels so darn good…

Yep – addonitis. Worse than dry skin in a New England winter, it wouldn’t stop itching.

And it only got worse when the planets seemed to align for me. Turns out that my jobsite was going to be closed on the 31st so I’d have the day off.

Seemed like a perfect waste of a good vacation day, right? I didn’t need to use a vacation day so I felt like I had a perfectly good vacation day just burning a hole in my pocket.

Obviously I couldn’t add on to the end of my trip…thanks for nothin’ State of Georgia…so I decided to use it on the 30th rather than bank it for later. See? I’m not good at saving money OR vacation days…

So, I casually mentioned this idea to the girls. Probably looking for validation of my insanity. Which they usually gladly provide.

Then the email came.

Michelle (TheDISneyFamily) said that she knew a DVC member who’d rented her points, but the person cancelled and she was trying to re-rent them.

Hmmmm…using Fuzzy Disney Math, I was able to deduce that renting the 13 points necessary for 1 night in a studio at SSR was actually cheaper than the DVC member cash price.

So…I considered adding the night of the 30th at a studio at SSR.

But that was just silly. Moving 3 times in a week? Even me, a big fan of split stays, couldn’t justify that.

So I asked the DVC member to see if she could book me a studio at SSR for the night of the 5th. If she could, I’d cancel my cash night, link the 2 reservations and add a cash night at CBR for half the price of the cash night at SSR.

You’re all keeping up right?

So sure enough, it worked out. I rented the points from this awesome DVC member, cancelled my cash night and booked the 30th at CBR.

Now, you might think that I was actually spending more money by renting points and booking another night, but theoretically, I’d already paid for the initial cash night with my deposit so I considered the money already spent. And the money saved by renting the points would pay for the night of the 30th.

I was actually ending up with money left.

A virtual refund if you will. Heh heh.

That’s how I justified it anyway. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Fuzzy Disney Math at it’s finest.

So within 10 days of departure, I did the online check-in. Sweet.

All I needed to do was pack and show up.

Tony, already working in Florida, would meet us at CBR after work on the 31st. I may or may not have mentioned that Michael and I would be arriving a day earlier to enjoy some pool and drink time with V and Leo.

Alone.

Ok, so I didn’t mention it. There. I said it.

Until ummm…the night of the 28th.

When I started itching.

Yep. Addonitis was back.

You know when you have an itch that you can’t quite reach to scratch? Well, it was now suggesting that if I left right after work on the 29th, drove until I got tired and grabbed a cheap hotel somewhere, I’d have a super short drive on the 30th, thereby allowing me nearly a full day to enjoy myself and the company of my little man and my dear friends.

Almost an extra day was how I justified it to myself, since really it’d take at least 7 hours to get there on the 30th. I’d almost be wasting my added day just driving there.

Crazy? Yes. But foolish? No.

I have a problem.

I need to take a meeting. I know this.

But it’s all part of my charm.

Perhaps my addonitis was so bad this time due to my lack of planning. I needed something to occupy my head.

I don’t know.

In the end though, I ended up deciding to keep to the plan and leave the morning of the 30th. Michael and I could use a good night’s sleep. Desperately actually.

So we ordered a pizza, packed the car and relaxed. We checked in with Tony and that’s when I sprung my added night on him.

He wasn’t surprised.

At all.

I think he’s gotten to the point where he just becomes numb to my itchy/scratchy issues and lets me work them out myself.

And of course, as usual, I couldn’t sleep that night.

I was too excited.

As was Michael.

And so, the next morning we slept a bit later than I’d have liked. I wanted to be on the road by 7, but we didn’t even walk out the door until 9.

But…having had some Kinder, Gentler cream in my coffee that morning, I didn’t care. I was on vacation as of 4pm the day before really.

No waking up at 3:30am, no rushing around for me and my boy this morning. No fighting 6am traffic.

We were Southbound and Down baby!!

It was all smooth sailing on this bright, sunny morning…

Or was it???
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:43 PM   #15
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OMG, I think that all gave me a headache! Or maybe it was those Mojitos last night?

Either way, that was a whole LOT to process, LL! How the heck did you keep your head straight? But I do think you're right - you didn't have "A PLAN", so you had to keep yourself occupied. And that, my friend, is why I LY/MI!

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