|04-23-2006, 07:41 PM||#1|
The tag that was here was staler than 3 yr old bread crumbs
The Van Halen song "Running with the Devil" was about my parakeet!
Smell anything? It's just my sauerkraut
Join Date: May 2003
Hucifer and Dan's flipping huge trip report *Last 3 days/Epilogue! 10/9, pgs 36-38*
Well, here it is. Over 6 months late, but hey, I've been busy and stuff. Also, you will notice (or will notice after the second installment) that I am writing this bad boy all in one thread. But be warned! This puppy is at least double the length as my previous trip report.
Day 1. The Mishaps of Little Miss Organized
Two years after our first visit to the World, DH Dan and I needed to return. The first trip was amazing, memorable, magical, hysterical, you name it…it was Dan’s first time to WDW and boy did he have a lot to absorb. Like last time, Dan leaves 100% of this trip’s planning to me, and will have little idea about our 10-day itinerary. But can it live up to the time we had on our first trip? Can there still be surprises and laughs and mishaps? Will Dan ever get to experience Blizzard Beach?
Part 1. Pal Mickey’s return home
4:30 am. Alarm buzzes. Eh, I’ve been waking up every ten minutes anyway…it’s hard to sleep when you’re going to Disney World. I stayed up until almost 11pm to pack. I am one excited little girl.
6:30 am. The garage door closes behind us. I am having that feeling like I am forgetting something again…ah forget it. I know I always feel like this when we’re leaving for vacation. I create packing list spreadsheets, for pete’s sake. I went over it at least seven times last night and this morning. I’m sure I have everything. Well, more than everything. I am an official Overpackers Anonymous cardholder.
8:05 am. We arrive at the airport. Plenty of time to spare. Dan goes outside for one last cigarette.
9:13 am. Take our seats in the airplane. We have exit row seats (poor man’s first class). The airplane pulls away from the gate on time. This morning is going very smoothly!
In the air, I pull out our trusty Pal Mickey (with fresh batteries…I am so organized!) and hold him up to window, but it upsets Dan. “I want his return home to be a surprise!” he whispers. He has his Angry Eyes on. So I pull Mickey from the window and back onto my lap. After the pilot announced that we were approaching Orlando, Dan is suddenly overcome with excitement. He put Mickey on his lap and clapped his hands together. I think it freaked out the guy next to him, who gave us a nervous smile and went back to his reading. His eyes flickered over to Dan once in a while.
The plane lands in Orlando and I’m like a happy puppy with a full bladder. Stuffing Mick back in my bag and trying to ignore his muffled pleas for air, we scamper off the plane and find baggage claim. There’s the dude from FL Tours, holding a sign with my name and waiting for me very patiently. “I’m Princess Wendy,” I introduce myself. Okay, not really. But how can you not feel like one when you have someone waiting to whisk you off to Where Magic Lives?
After the bags arrive, FL Tours Dude leads us to a row of town cars. Stopping at the car, he pulls out his keys, aims the remote at the trunk, and presses the button. The trunk doesn’t open. He steps closer, pushes the button again…nothing. So he walks over to the driver’s door and pushes the button. Nothing. He tries to open the door, thinking that he just didn’t hear the click, but it’s still locked. He stares at the remote as if this will help troubleshoot the problem. Staring at it didn’t help, so he gives up on the remote and sticks the key in the lock. Ah, the key doesn’t work, and now he’s starting to look nervous. Good thing another driver walked by. “That’s not your car,” he told FL Tours Dude. Apparently the nonworking remote and keys weren’t a big enough flag.
We step two cars down and pop! the trunk opens at once. Our driver lets out a big sigh and gives us an apologetic look. I purposely look away from Dan because if I do, I know I’ll lose it.
Driving down the expressway, I am fondly remembering the last time Dan and I took this ride. It was two years ago and Dan’s very first trip to WDW…at the time I didn’t want him to read the billboards and know what to expect. I loved everything about that trip…everything was new to him. So how do I keep this trip fresh? With some careful planning, I made sure we had a different itinerary and did new things. I also kept it to myself, trying to maintain the element of surprise as much as I could.
I pulled out Pal Mickey again and showed him the billboards. Even Dan couldn’t resist letting Mickey see his Homeland. (“Say Pal, these signs look awfully familiar!”)
I pulled out the camera and we took some pictures of our arrival with the Mouse. Oh look, the Magical Express bus is driving behind us. I wonder where the bus with their luggage is headed?
On the way, Dan asks me about how the Shades of Green knows which grade I am as a Department of Defense civilian (which is how they figure out how much you pay for your room). “I told them what grade I was…but come to think of it, I don’t know how they would know that.” We ponder on that for a few moments but then soon let the excitement of our destination take over.
I have my Passporter handy and stuffed with important papers…like if they need our reservation at the Magic Kingdom entrance. I am so organized! Last time, they asked to see it and I didn’t have it handy since it was in the trunk. Of course, this time they don’t ask for it. No matter. That’s just a part of being uber-organized. A few minutes later and we reach the Shades of Green resort. After we leave the guard shack, our driver gets confused about where to drop us off, despite the huge signs. Left? Right? Left? He is jerking the wheel in both directions and pressing hard on the brake, clearly unsure where to guide his vehicle. “Where do I go?” he asks us. Pointing at the sign, we tell him to keep right, RIGHT! Mercifully he drives into the drop-off area. Dan and I get out of the car. I double-check the seat before I shut the door. Good thing I did! I left the camera sitting right there. Duh. I grabbed the camera and shut the door. The FL Tour dude smiled at me while dragging my oversized luggage to the curb, “Don’t forget your camera,” he said.
“Don’t forget which car is yours,” I said back. Okay, I didn’t really say that. I really am much nicer than you think I am.
I hand the man his money and he gets into the correct car and drives away. I do a silent prayer that a different driver picks us up for our return home.
Dan and I walk into the lobby and he says, “Whoa.” This is his first time at the actual SoG resort. It is a pretty lobby, no doubt about it. But he has ten whole days to admire it. “Yeah, yeah. It’s pretty. Let’s go.” I shove him toward the check-in counter and anxiously wait to be called.
“Next,” says the SoG dude at the counter. I ran to the counter. “Hi, I have reservations and here is my DoD card and my CAC card.”
SoG Dude looks at my ID cards. “That’s great, but I’ll also need your Leave and Earnings Statement.”
“My what?…oh crap.” Realization has just sunk in. “I…don’t…I forgot…to bring…it.” Do I have to fly back home to get it? I feel panic and anxiety building.
Dan thumps his hand down on the counter. “THAT’S how they figure out your grade! I was wondering about that.” He is very proud of himself and looks down at me. “Did Little Miss Organized forget something?” His smile is turning very Cheshire Cat-like. While Dan was being so smug about thinking about something that I clearly didn’t, my mind was buzzing about how we get around this little issue. I look back at SoG dude. “Umm…do you REALLY need that?” I almost feel sick, like I’m about to hyperventilate. I don’t like this feeling of being unprepared. Not one bit.
Ignoring Dan’s taunts, he tells me that YES, they really do need it, but Guest Services is around the corner. They have a computer and can print out my LES for me on the spot. “Otherwise you’ll have to go to the Grand Floridian for a printout.”
I thank the man profusely for not making me fly home to get it. Dan and I run to Guest Services. Guest Services Dude tells us with a sigh that we were told incorrect information, Guest Services does NOT let guests use their computers, despite that I’m a Guest and that would be a great Service. It must have been the desperate and pathetic look on my face that made him cave (Dan says I have a great pouty face). “Alright, you can use our computer.” He gives me a stern “don’t-let-this-happen-again” look and gets up from his chair.
I must have thanked the man a hundred times. I sit at his computer, pull up the link, log in, and print out my LES. I thanked the man a thousand more times before leaving Guest Services and getting back in line at Check-In.
We are called again at the counter but we have a different person helping us. “Hi, I have reservations and here is my Leave and Earnings Statement and my DoD card and my CAC card.”
She looks over my LES and for one horrifying moment I thought that there was a problem (the printout cut off part of the right side of the page). But then she hands my stuff back with a smile and says everything is in order. WHEW! And I made fun of the FL Tours dude. Meanwhile, Dan is still grinning down at me. He thinks it is hilarious that “Little Miss Organized” really isn’t so much. Oh, stop being so smug. I absolutely hate this feeling and the panic associated with it (which explains the overpacking thing). This has become a horrifying moment for me, it doesn’t matter that we were able to correct the situation. I am very disappointed with myself.
I ask for the top floor, golf view, on the new wing, and hold my breath. Click, click…she types away on her keyboard for a moment. She smiles at me again. “Yes, we have that available.” Well, this is certainly becoming a better day!
Next installment: The great food hunt
Last edited by hucifer; 10-09-2006 at 11:29 AM. Reason: yer mamma
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