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Old 10-30-2013, 08:54 PM   #1
DaveinFallsChurch
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Discovering A Whole New World of Disney-An October 2013 Photo Safari **Updated 2/20

Hello and welcome! To my DIS friends who have followed my PTR and other TRs to this current edition: Thanks for coming back again! And to all of my new friends: Welcome and let me bring you up to speed about the trip I just completed. This one came to be thanks to a major conference that was taking place in Orlando and just like any dutiful DISer I jumped on the opportunity to visit Mickey and friendsÖÖahem, I meanÖÖto continue to work on my professional development through the conference.

Normally Disney World is a family affair for me. But since we already had our annual trip planned for upcoming January and since DW nearly ran out of vacation time for this year thanks to a 2 week vacation to South Korea (which you can read all about in my PTR) I made this my very first solo trip to WDW!

So how did my first solo trip turn out? Well thatís what this TR is all about and I canít wait to share my experiences with you! The shorter answer is that I completely rediscovered Disney. Through an adult centered experience that was a lot less ride-centric and more on atmosphere AND by looking at Disney through the lens of my camera, it was as if I was visiting WDW for the first time all over again.

It meant no strollers! It meant ďwalkingĒ as fast as I want or as I needed to make that FP+ time window! It meant not having to make mandatory restroom pit stops before getting in line for an attraction! It meant not spending 90 minutes at the Dinosaur Boneyard! All kidding aside I did miss having my family with me especially when I was spending time in MK and I canít wait to take them back again in January. At the same time, there were many experiences that I just would not have been able to have with the kids. I am proud to report that I did rack up a decent number of learning credits at the conference. Seriously, I donít think the conference planners had the best educational interests in mind when they decided to hold it so close to Disney. After spending the day time hours here and there at the Orange County Convention Center, I would head into the parks in the late afternoon and evening for some late night wholesome Disney fun. This also meant sleeping an average of 5 hours a night which wasnít a problem thanks to a heavy dose of Disney magic and gallons and gallons of caffeinated beverages.

I think this is a good spot to talk about photography and what it means to me. I absolutely love it and I have Disney to thank for that as well. It all began about a year and a half ago we came back from a wonderful and a magical Disney vacay at the Poly. When we returned home I went through 800 pictures and found only about 200 of them usable. Lots of blurry and dark images which may have worked great for a modern art exhibition but not so much for a family vacation album. I ended up chucking the point and shoot and bought myself an entry level DSLR just so I could get better pictures of the kids. Things really snowballed from there. After lots of reading on the internet coupled with practicing every chance I got and a fairly massive upgrade in camera/lens, my DW can attest (with a slight rolling of the eyes) to the fact that I had become an addict to photography as I continue to learn and improve my skills.

Naturally as plans for this trip began to take place , I looked at this as an opportunity to merge two of my obsessions into one geektastic experience which I unimaginatively called Photo Safari of Disney. My PTR was mostly about putting together a photo safari list with the help of my DIS friends. I did my best to try to get as much as I could so stay tuned to find out which ones I was able to capture.

My trip revolved around photographing Disney. So I thought it would be best if I put together this trip report with a similar structure. I am ditching the tried and true chronological approach of describin the trip since my visit involved a good number of hours at the Convention Center. I know some of you are dying to hear about the time I spent 90 minutes in the ďDermatologic Pediatric Fungal InfectionsĒ and if you want I can email you the play by play or should I say, slide by slide account of this experience.

Instead, Iíll try to tell the story behind each group of pictures, the behind the scenes, and what they meant to me during this trip. Honestly thanks to my severely sleep deprived but high on Pixie Dust state of mind, I donít think I could put together a coherent chronologic timeline so this gives me a highfalutin excuse.

So sit back! I hope you enjoy this overblown slide show and Iíll try to do my best to make it worth your time! Or at least Iíll try to make it a little more interesting than Aunt Betsyís vacation slide show of the Grand Canyon. And as a final attempt of shameless promotion Iím putting up a handful of photos from this trip as a teaser!



IMG_0266 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_0116 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_8874 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_1894-2 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_1587-2 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_1037 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_1275 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:55 PM   #2
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Table of Contents

Grim Grinning Ghosts Come Out To Socialize!
In the Big Blue World Part I and Part II
Hot Dog Dance at the Hub
Can I stay at the Yacht Club Even If I Don't Own a Yacht?
Street Scenes from Hollywood Studios
Wait, Norway and China Are Neighbors?
Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a......oh wait. It is a Bird!
Raiders of the Lost Ark. Without the Ark.
Imagination in Thousands of Sparkling Lights
Street Scenes: Animal Kingdom Asia Edition
Dreams! Come! True! Part I and Part II
It's Not So Very Scary Part I and Part II
Scenes From A Magic Kingdom Rope Drop
Pickles, Jugglers but No Liberty Part 1 and Part 2
The Fastest Ride in the West
It's the Time of Your Life
One Stormy Night Long Ago Part I and Part II
My Biggest Solo Challenge Yet - The Little Mermaid Ride
A Wishes Whirlwind Tour in 12 Minutes
A Morning Safari Before Conference
How Do I Get To Wonderland? Part I and Part II
Hallowishes
Rounding Out DHS
A Couple of Boat Rides
The Festival Part I, Part II and Part III
A Night Time Stroll Through Magic Kingdom
Little Town Quiet Village
Another Stroll Through Animal Kingdom
It's Good To Be Bad
Jammin' to the Rhythm of One Part I and Part II
There's a First Time for Everything
Fall Time in Main Street Part I and Part II

Life Updates
Winter Walk of Lights
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Don't Fear the Rain, We have the Ducky of Death! - Jan '14 Trip Report
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A Winter Escape to the Enchanted Forest - January 2013 Trip Report/PTR
A Solo Trip to Disneyland 28 years in the Making! A Trip Report for October 16 and 17th, 2012
Our First Magical Poly Vacation! April 14-21, 2012 - Trip Report/ Live Report/ PTR


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Old 11-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
Suziannie
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Best TR ever! I recently bought a nicer camera and am really enjoying learning more about photography. I know my trip photos won't be this nice on our next trip (it's in two weeks) but maybe by the next one.

Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goteamwood View Post
I love these! The electrical parade is my favorite. I grew up going to Disneyland in California so this was a staple of my youth. Your shots are outstanding and that is truly a perfect location! I missed the waffle two times now. maybe next time.

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I couldn't have asked for a better spot. I was surprised how not crowded it was in that area but I guess that's to be expected for a second parade.

Before the trip I was intent on trying the nutella waffle that everyone seems to be raving about. But at 10:30pm it just sounded too heavy. So went with the strawberry one instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAT887 View Post
Wow! Amazing Indy photographs!! They look like they are for a layout for the stunt show!! I liked your "Shiny" comment.... Hehehe I'm often distracted by shiny pretty things!

Also, MSEP! We did this last December and loved it! We stumbled upon a spot right in Liberty Square by mistake. It was fantastic. Also, love the patriotic shots! We were lucky enough to get one decent one from my iPhone last December. We were vacationing with a member of the military and I know they appreciated the display of support

Can't wait to see more!
Thanks Sarah! In January I hope that I can be less distracted by shiny things in the Indy show and more focused on fireballs and boulders.

I think the last float of MSEP ends it on a perfect note.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
I'll try to refrain from my normal Spectromagic (R.I.P.) vs MSEP to focus just on your glorious photos.

It's things like this that really make me wish you could FP+ in more than one park a day. I so want to FP this parade, but all my FP's are used in a different park earlier in the day.

It looks like you got a great spot anyway though. At the risk of divulging my favourite spot, it's down in Liberty Square right around where the stockades are located. What makes it great is it's a turning point for the parade, so you get it head on and also from the side. OK I've said too much!
I was fortunate enough to have caught Spectromagic once way back when it was available.

I know exactly the spot in Liberty Square you speak of because a couple of years ago I watched it from that location during a late night MK tour after the rest of the family went to bed. It's a great spot as you said because the route turns right there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigs3 View Post
What a perfect spot with the castle in the background! Your pictures of the parade are beautiful!
Thank you! I really liked how well the castle worked especially with Cinderella's coach.

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Originally Posted by DDuck4Life View Post
Great shots of the parade. This is my favorite parade as well. Probably because it was the first night time parade I ever saw makes it extra special. Nice location for the parade. I really love the shot of the train approaching with the castle in the background.

I was disappointed when we saw MSEP because the train was missing. I guess the train was not working that day for some reason. Mickey and Minnie were just walking down the street. I was let down that the main icon float was not there.

Sounds like a fun night grabbing a table and snack to relax a little and people watch. That is something that's hard to do when traveling with the family.
I'm with ya. Childhood nostalgia is definitely a huge part of this parade. And I agree that a MSEP without the train just wouldn't be the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Amazing photos of MSEP! I've seen this show so many times in passing but have never stopped to really enjoy it until last trip. Seeing as how it was dark and I was not in a great spot your awesome photos show the details that I failed to see.

Your Indy Stunt Show photos catch the action so well. Too bad about missing your shot of the giant boulder. Darn! I haven't seen this show since 2006 and I have to say that I haven't really missed it.
Thanks Brenda! I think I can sit through the Indy show again at least one more time since I have a few pictures I want to try to get. Also I'm very curious to see how our kids will react.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suziannie View Post
Best TR ever! I recently bought a nicer camera and am really enjoying learning more about photography. I know my trip photos won't be this nice on our next trip (it's in two weeks) but maybe by the next one.

Thanks for the inspiration!
Thank you for following and am so happy to hear that you're enjoying it! I hope you're able to enjoy your new camera at Disney in your upcoming trip! It's such a wonderful place to explore photography.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:23 PM   #5
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Street Scenes: Animal Kingdom Asia Edition

There are so many things to look at in Animal Kingdom and every building, corner, and alley is filled with small details that are easy to miss but when combined produces the atmosphere that is uniquely Disney. I think this is especially true in the Asia section. During past trips a lot of these details and theming went by in a flash as we hustled to the next show or ride. So I made it a point during this trip to take a slower stroll through Asia.

Riiiiiight after I finished my ride on Everest. Priorities, people. Thereís no way I could walk through Asia without a Yeti sighting. If you followed my last trip report you saw the extremely (and I mean EXTREMELY) lucky shot I got of Mr. Disco Yeti. I wasnít so lucky this time as all of my shots were not in sync with the strobe lights. I still had a great time on that runaway train and the scenes leading up to it. Like ToT, I have rarely in the past used the standby queue so I spent some extra time in the queue scoping out some of the details.

Everest looked especially inviting this day.


IMG_8565 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

You see that little booklet hanging behind the statue? Itís actually exists in the real world! I googled it and sure enough the author is a famous mountain climber.

IMG_8539 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I found this poster quite amusing because it really didnít say what kind of meat or food is packaged in that can. Could it be that they are selling Yeti meat??? Does it taste like chicken? Yeeesh. Well at least itís hygienic!!


IMG_8541 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Iím in the process of trying to talk DD into going on this with me in January. Sheís tall enough but last year she refused to go on it after watching the drop from the viewing location. So Iíve been slowly grinding away for the past 10 months trying to convince her that itís a fun coaster. I think Iím making some headway. Sheís mostly worried about Mr. Yeti. Iíve even told her that the Yeti is really frozen due to the extreme cold temperatures and canít move so she has nothing to worry about.

How my brain felt after a single ride on the Expedition served as a reminder that I am now a middle aged man. The ground wouldnít stop spinning for a couple of minutes and I had to lean up against a post in the gift shop for a couple of minutes. While doing so I happened to look up and saw this.


IMG_8560 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I donít think I noticed before that this shop was themed as a supply store. Cute. So I had to take a picture even though the room seemed to be spinning slowly and with it my camera aim. Thank goodness for Image Stabilizers!

Also during my prolonged stay in the gift shop I noticed the small Yetis they were selling in the toy section. So naturally I grabbed one to purchase thinking I could give it to one of my kids as a souvenir from this trip. By the time I approached the cashier the cobwebs in my head cleared up and I realized I was making a huge mistake. So I went back to the shelf and grabbed a second Yeti. Seriously, what was I thinking? I was inviting weeks of arguing and fussing between the two children on who gets to play with the one Yeti I brought home.

It was time to start my slow stroll through Asia. Itís amazing how many abandoned vehicles line the streets. There are wagons packed to the brim and just sitting there waiting to be taken. Then there are the numerous snack locations. I donít think I truly appreciated exactly how many snack and drink stations Disney built and positioned throughout the parks until this trip. Normally the only time Iím paying attention to these is when DD and DS is in dire need of a drink because their dad made them go attraction to attraction non-stop. Whatís even more amazing is the extent Disney went to design a lot of these little huts and shacks. Sure they still have the vendors out there with just a cart and an umbrella but many of the other vendors are situated in permanent structures.

Hereís one example that I just happened to stumble onto after crossing the bridge into Asia from Discovery Island. Itís sort of tucked away in the corner so it makes sense that I hadnít noticed it before. Plus I think I crossed that bridge maybe twice all together before this trip. Speaking of the bridge I found these cool carvings on one of the pillars of the bridge.


IMG_9551 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Anyway, I had to look up the name of this snack location after I got home. Drinkwallah. All they sell are drinks and some assorted fruit cups. But I just loved what they did with this place.

Not sure what those things are hanging down from the roof. They sort of remind me of the ďfruitsĒ from Monsters Inc . but Iím pretty sure thatís not it.


IMG_9556 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Another abandoned wagon next to Drinkwallah. This one happens to have lots of Coke on it.


IMG_9557 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Ok. Maybe Drinkwallah is sort of like a giant billboard for the Coca Cola company. Still very cool. Like Club Cool.


IMG_9560 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I probably should have gotten a drink from there to commemorate the occasion but I had a pretty full bottle of water still on my backpack so I was still good from the hydration standpoint.

A tour of Asia wouldnít be complete without a trek through the Tiger Trails.


IMG_9564 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Not sure what the definition of "frequently" is in this Asian country because I rarely get to see the said tigers. Still the rest of the trail is filled with other interesting animals and I just love the design of the trail that transports you to the jungles of Asia.

Have no idea what these plants are called but they look so other worldly.

IMG_9566 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_9571 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

The temple ruins are my favorite part about these trails.

IMG_9574 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

The infectious disease doctor in me shudders at the mere image of this.

IMG_9577 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

The bat cave (as I call it even though itís really not a cave) is always a fun visit for me. These were one of the bat sculptures lining the top of the entrance.


IMG_9568 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Oh and the Tibetan Prayer Flags. I love these and they are so much fun to photograph.


IMG_9579 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_9584 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Finally the bird sanctuary is one of my kids' favorite part of the trail. This was right above the exit of the sanctuary.


IMG_9588 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Now that I've gone through all these pictures I'm coming to the realization that some how I managed not to take a single photo of an actual animal on this ANIMAL TRAIL! Not even the Komodo Dragon which usually just sits out in the open like a sack of potatoes for all to see. I'll try to do a better job in January of photographing the animals but we all know that all I'm going to end up with is another 100 pictures of the prayer flags.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
details.





A tour of Asia wouldnt be complete without a trek through the Tiger Trails.


IMG_9564 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Not sure what the definition of "frequently" is in this Asian country because I rarely get to see the said tigers. Still the rest of the trail is filled with other interesting animals and I just love the design of the trail that transports you to the jungles of Asia.

s.
Your photos are fabulous -- almost gets me inspired to go back to large body with changeable lenses (but I had gotten tired of lugging all that print equipment around in the early days of digital anyway). My little Canon P&S pales in comparison to your shots. Sorry you keep missing the tigers -- I've even seen them walking around in the water (and can always find at least one or two snoozing somewhere).

I always snap a larger frame of the mural tiger to include the border below with the "hidden Mickey" - I love all the details in AK.

Looks like you had a very successful photo safari (except for lack of animals!!!!). Thank you for sharing your report and wonderful photos in a timely manner -- wonderful job!

Last edited by mecllap; 11-19-2013 at 12:41 PM. Reason: (oops I lost your mural tiger photo when I cut this out of your post).
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:06 PM   #7
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Not sure what those things are hanging down from the roof. They sort of remind me of the ďfruitsĒ from Monsters Inc . but Iím pretty sure thatís not it.


IMG_9556 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


Your pictures are so great! I really enjoyed the ones of the parade. Pete's Dragon brings back such memories. Seeing it on our last trip made me really want to watch the movie again.

I didn't read through all the responses so someone may have already identified the fruit in your picture for you. But they are actual fruits. The red hairy kind is rambutan (and delicious!), I believe the dark purple kind is supposed to be mangosteen (tastes nothing like mango but is SO good), and the large tan ones are durian fruits. Durian has the reputation that it "tastes like heaven but it smells like hell". I think it tastes like it smells. Nasty stuff. I didn't recognize the other ones.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:15 AM   #8
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Wow I am way behind! Time to catch up! :surf web:

I absolutely love the details in AK. It is such an incredible park. It's hard to believe a theme park can be so immersive! And EE is probably my favorite roller coasted of all time! The themeing there is amazing as well! Can't believe that the guy mentioned in the pamphlet is actually a famous mountain climber! Any progress on convincing your daughter to go for a ride next month?

I love your Dream Along with Mickey pictures! That CIA lens is pretty awesome! But yikes about Captain Hook & Mister Smee!

The Madagascar breakfast looks fun. Landon enjoys them, but I'd prefer Disney anyway! The ice sculptures are amazing!! It's so crazy to think what people can do with just about anything!

I am dying to be MK's family of the day, too! Waking up that early though is quite hard for my family who is used to mountain time!

I just loved your picture of everyone coming into the MK! What a great feeling. Can you imagine being an opening CM and getting to see that every day and feel that atmosphere?! :good vibes

Italy is probably my favorite pavilion. I myself have shot photo shoots there. It's such a gorgeous area!

How awesome that you were the only one in an Adventureland! Isn't it so insane how similar the masses think? Makes me laugh. And then feel embarrassed since I always hit Tomorrowland first. Your pictures of the Leaky Tikis are great!

You got some incredible pics on BTMRR! How incredible! I love all the details and its so hard to see them all because of how fast you are going! Also, thanks for sharing that backstory! That's so fascinating! I love Disney and their backstories!

ONE OF MY DISNEY BUCKET LISTS ITEMS IS RENTING OUT TOWER OF TERROR FOR A PRIVATE EVENT! But as you know, I'm obsessed. Such a great ride. Lots of other theme parks may have similar rides, but you are rightÖit has a lot that sets it apart! No other one even comes close! As you can imagine, I love your entire ToT photo shoot. It's such a photogenic hotel, I even had my own. The details are so incredible! I am just obsessed with ToT! It's perfect! I never even realized that photo viewing area was themed to a photo developing area! Perfect, I tell ya!

I am going to miss the parade too, but I bet the new one will be great! Can't wait to see your pics of that one!
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:48 PM   #9
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Here! I can't wait to see your all your pictures!
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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I'm in... Those teaser photos got me!
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:43 PM   #11
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Here!

Can't wait to hear all about your trip!
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:01 AM   #12
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I'm so in!

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Old 10-31-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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I'm in! I still can't believe that you have only been at the photography thing for such a short time. Can't wait to see all the fantastic pictures!

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Old 10-31-2013, 08:26 AM   #14
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Well you KNOW Dave I'm in since the S Korea trip or shortly before You had me there was no doubt about it; not just for the awesome " I'm taking you right there with me" photography but for the way you paint the experience with your words too Now that we have met, I can tell anyone that hasn't had the pleasure that you are just as warm and down to earth as you are on your reports Happy to have yet another real life nice guy Dis friend

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Old 10-31-2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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Dave, I can't wait to see the rest of this TR. I realize you're a hobby photographer and in the process of getting a side business going, but I have to say that these teaser photos look amazing and very professional. Any of them would look like they belong on the pages of a Disney brochure or book. I really look forward to seeing the rest of what you have!
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