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Old 01-19-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
sarbah77
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Complete 4/14!: A marathon, a family visit, and a week! (aka: No witty titles here)

Hi all!

This is my first EVER trip report. I'm a blogger by nature, which means I write it up and dump my story on my blog and keep going. I'm inspiried by so many reports here that I thought I'd try my hand at it!

I am Sarah. I'm a newly minted 32 year old (5 days before we left for Disney!).

My husband, Jeremy, is 35 and indulgent of my Disney fasination!

Here's a picture of the two of us from last June. It was a strangely bright sunny day in the Misty Fjords of Alaska, so we were squinting at the camera:


This was my 7th trip and his 3rd. I started in 1985 with my family. We all loved it so much we went back in 1989 (we stayed offsite the first time, then my parents swore never again with kids), 1993, and took what I called "the college break" and returned in 2001. The 2001 trip was neat, as I was post-college and married... yet my parents brought all of us down! In 2005, my husband and I went again and in 2007 I went with one of my best friends.

This trip was developed when, in July, I looked at Jeremy and said "next year is 2009."
"yeah, so?"
"Well, it's 4 years since our last trip. We're going to Disney again, right?"
"Can I run the marathon?"
"Of course!" ... since it means *I* get to go to Disney!

That was that. We were signed up. I found myself an awesome travel agent and all was good. But I mentioned it to my parents. And my brother. Did I mention we're a family who loves Disney? Before I knew it, it was a family trip! (I should note that Jeremy's family had ZERO interest in going, unfortunately)

Side characters, only appearing through Monday, are:
My mom & dad: older than me, kids at heart when it comes to Disney, and doing a two day commando style trip

My brother: 30 years young, now a world traveler, but not one to say no to Disney. His wife is like my husband - indulgent - so she stayed home. He roomed with my parents for this trip.

Our trip dates were Friday January 9 through Saturday January 17th. We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside (my second time, my parents second time, and my brother and husband's first time). We were Disney-fied the whole trip, relying on them for transportation.

We were also relying on Mother Nature's cooperation. Flying from Michigan in January can be dicey!

Anyway, I'm still sorting out pictures to help make this a more interesting trip report. Since it was my 7th trip, we didn't take a lot of interesting photos, but I'll put in what improves what I write!

More tomorrow, I hope!
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Last edited by sarbah77; 04-14-2009 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:33 PM   #2
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Great pic!

Great picture and start!! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:43 AM   #3
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Day 1: Getting to Florida

Friday, January 9

It snowed on Friday and the forecast kind of kept flip-flopping between when the snow would fall and how much would fall each time. Towards the end of the day, the weather looked as good as I could hope for at that point, but I admit it - I was worried most of the day about road conditions and getting to the airport. They really weren't great, but I'd certainly seen worse. Two inches of snow on sanded and salted roads could be worse. Traffic was also pretty light (we got about a 15 minute head start) as we drove home. Our airport shuttle was also on time and, while slow, the driver slogged through the roads to get us to the airport. (As predicted, once we left the county, everything was fine) It took us about half an hour to get to the airport, rather than our usual 20 minutes, but that was fine. When I'd made the shuttle reservation, I'd padded the time since it was January!

We got IN the airport and... we were the third group back to check our bags. We got to security... and we were through in about 5 minutes. We walked to our gate and... the plane was already there (whew! The rest of the midwest was getting hammered pretty hard). Once ON the plane, the pilot informed us that the plane was fine, we didn't need to be de-iced and we were quickly on our way.

At the Orlando airport, well, it seemed like we waited foreeeeeeeeeever for our luggage but when we got on the Magical Express bus, everyone else from our flight was there, too. And they hadn't waited for luggage. Cool.

Once we pulled into Port Orleans Riverside (the first stop! I think the bus detoured because of the road closures for the half marathon), Jeremy and I split up. He waited for the driver to pull out our suitcase (did I mention? We packed for 8 nights in one suitcase for two people and stayed under the weight limit!) and I bolted to go check in, getting ahead of all the other groups (which made up the majority of our bus). One of the guys also checking in asked "I take it you've done this before?" I laughed and nodded.

After we checked in, my parents and brother met us (yes, at 1am!) at the main building,and we walked the long seeming walk back to our room. When my brother had checked in earlier in the evening, I'd asked him to see what he could do to get us all nearby. We weren't side by side, but we were in the same building, which I thought was perfect.

Our building was 28, in the Alligator Bayou, room 47, on the second floor. To my amusement, we got one of the much-discussed five person rooms, complete with trundle bed. Apparently not a lot of families were staying at the resort that week. It's a nice enough room. Looks similar to the room I stayed in in Magnolia Bend, but this one has the "rustic" feel to it. I admit I was a tad disappointed. The Magnolia Bend rooms get SO little love that I wanted to stay there again and remind everyone that it's a nice place to stay. Well, whatever. The room we ended up in was just fine. We had faux-hand hewn bed frames and mirrors. The TV stand/dresser looks a bit rustic. But otherwise? It's a room. It works fine. (And the beds? Heavenly. I'm not sure the last time I slept on such a comfortable mattress that wasn't my own. I slept like the dead all week!)

We quickly went for lights out, since 24 hours later (holy cow!), we'd be getting up for Jeremy's marathon!
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DearDaisyinDurham View Post
Great picture and start!! Can't wait to read more!
Thanks! :D
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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Hey,


I 'm here I'm in!! Whoo!! how's that for excitement for ya?
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeehousemom View Post
Hey,


I 'm here I'm in!! Whoo!! how's that for excitement for ya?
Hooray!! Yeah, I'm not a hugely exciting writer (alas), so I'll take whatever excitement I can get!!



See?
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:00 PM   #7
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Looks great so far!! I'll be reading more! Keep it coming!
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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Can't wait to read more!
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:50 PM   #9
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Goodness 1 suitcase! You guys are good!
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
Looks great so far!! I'll be reading more! Keep it coming!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monny2AE View Post
Can't wait to read more!
Thanks, ladies!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneychix View Post
Goodness 1 suitcase! You guys are good!
I couldn't believe it, EITHER. I was so convinced that we'd be overweight. Or we wouldn't be able to pack like that on our way home. Or ANYTHING.

And it wasn't super-warm on our trip - we wore jeans, jackets, and long sleeve shirts almost all week.

*pats self and husband on the back*

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Old 01-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #11
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Day 2: Saturday, January 10

Per the usual, I was up and at 'em good and early on Saturday morning (like, before 8). I turned off the alarm, got dressed, grabbed my cell phone, and snuck out of the room to visit my folks while J slept. Well, wouldn't you know it... Garden Grocer confirmed with the resort that we were staying there and, in the process, CHANGED THE PHONE NUMBER from my cell to J's. I know they had mine - they called me Thursday to, again, confirm my order with them. Well, J ignored his cell phone and they eventually gave up and called the room. I feel bad for the delivery man... it's not his fault that something got screwed up and J was listed first on EVERYTHING instead of me, despite the fact that I did all the work. Well, oh well, I guess. (Of course, Jeremy didn't know our room number at this point!)

And the delivery guy had to carry EVERYTHING up to the second floor - no elevators in the Bayou! But still, it was great. We got a case of water, two 8 packs of soda, and a lot of breakfast foods.

Once we were showered and dressed, we decided to make our way to Disney's Wide World of Sports for packet pick-up for the marathon! We walked to the West Depot bus stop, which was technically the closest bus to our room. After a very brief wait, a luxury motor coach pulled up, with a sign taped to the front window indicating it was the bus we wanted, and we were off. Slowly. It took us nearly half an hour to get there, around the closed roads because of the half-marathon and because of everyone going to check in!

I think Disney hired EVERY motor coach in the greater Orlando area. Holy cow! In fact, at one point, one bus pulled up next to our's and the driver begged to be allowed to cut in front. Because it wasn't the same company as the bus WE were on, our driver refused it. It was both cut-throught and hysterical.

Luckily, check-in for the marathon was a breeze (he picked up his chip, got it verified, and was done almost before I'd found the ChEAR squad booth!). We even wandered around the Expo for a short while (I will say, however, that the press of humanity was overwhelming, even for a Disney lover like me!).



There's my husband, posing with his number, next to the sign that was in the Expo, by the t-shirt pick-up area.

We decided to stop for lunch after we were done with the Expo, picking the counter service restaurant at WWoS. This was our first time using the DDP, so we walked up to the register and basically said "HELP!" The woman walked us through what we could get, from entrees to suggestions about drinks and desserts. I ended up with a cold sandwich of roast beef, topped with blue cheese. It came with a bag of Baked Lays, which was a nicer healthIER alternative to fries. It was a tasty sandwich and not too big (but since we hadn't had breakfast, it was kind of hard to say). For dessert, I had a frozen strawberry lemonade. Yum. It was, of course, warm and bright'n'sunny on that Saturday, so it really hit the spot.

After lunch, we called my family and agreed to meet them at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was a bit of a hike and then a bit of a wait for the bus from WWoS to DHS, but we got there. We had our bags open for the bag check and, quick as a flash, we were in our first theme park of the trip! Both of us considered this our "free" day. We had plans for going there on Wednesday, so this would just be a good day to do some things and kill some time. And, you know, get on Rockin' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror more than once!

We turned down the road to those two attractions and immediately saw a side show set up and take place. Again, since we weren't in a hurry, we parked ourselves on the curb and watched the comedy show unfold. We had Babs Fabulous and Otto von BonBon, which was hysterical.




(I suspect it's obvious who is Babs and who is Otto. And yes, in the second picture, they did both stop their skit to pose for me. I forgot the name of the guy with Babs in the first picture!)

We grabbed FastPasses to ToT and then went to wait for RnR, which had a 45 minute wait. After 15 minutes of not moving, we decided we didn't care that much that day. ToT's wait had dropped from 40 to 30, so we rode that instead... in less than 30 minutes. As always, I asked why I was riding it, I hated it, it scared me.



I took this from our non-moving R'n'R ride, before we gave up and went back to the ToT.

This was a slow moving day - we didn't want to tax the husband, pre-marathon, so there was a lot of resting, sitting, drinking water, and, oh, getting Sarah sunburned. Right. We broke in our gift card buying baseball caps for us, since we hadn't brought them. At all. We meandered over to the new Toy Story Midway Mania, which had NO FPs available and a wait of 90 minutes. Hmmmmm. No. By the time we made it around to the Muppet 3D adventure area, my family had made into DHS, so we sat and waited for them.

I'd never noticed these signs before, on the side of the Muppet building:



From there, we watched the Muppet 3D Adventure (which hasn't changed, though my parents swear it has!). We walked around the parade, most of the way BACK to ToT, and then parted ways. My family was doing the park commando style and we just weren't up for that. At the bus stop, we learned we'd just missed the bus, so by the time it turned up and we got back to our resort, just over an hour had passed. Ack and ick!

Dinner was at the Riverside Mill (POR's counter service). Jeremy got a make your own pasta bowl and I got the fish and chicken basket. He said it was very good pasta - assembled per your request and then finished cooking together. My fish and chicken were fresh and deep fried. Yes, they were nugget style rather than finger style chicken bits, but it was tasty and a good portion. Our cashier once again walked us through how to best use the DDP (my bro had purchased and given us the refillable mugs, so she suggested we pick up a bottled something and use the mugs to get our soda).

My family stopped by once again, but by 8pm, we were ready for bed. Too much sun was enough for me - I was out like a light just after 8am until about 2am. 6 hours. Not so bad!

(Of course, since no sane person goes to bed that early, I had to tuck my cell phone under my pillow... I received a few text messages, some of which I put off replying to until the next day *cough*sorryKayte*cough* and another, to my best friend, that I did reply to that night with a "sleeping time. shhh.")


++++

Whew, okay. Now I need to get caught up on going through my photos before I update again!
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:43 PM   #12
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Your dh looks so happy with his race number! Can't wait to find out how it went!
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:00 AM   #13
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I'm in! Great start!

I can't believe you packed only 1 suitcase!!!
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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Ah ha so that's why LOL.

All is forgiven. If I remember correctly we turned in early that night also. Ohh ya wait now I remember I had the kids down at the Hippy Dippy pool swimming & letting Chuck catch up on sleep. I was on a texting marathon that night while my "true Snowbird kids" swam.
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil'Mermaid75 View Post
I'm in! Great start!

I can't believe you packed only 1 suitcase!!!
Me neither!! My DH is a CHRONIC overpacker. CHRONIC! I'm perfectly fine with packing exactly what I need (+1 extra set of undergarments! ). But we did it!

Quote:
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Your dh looks so happy with his race number! Can't wait to find out how it went!
He was pretty excited at this point in time! And when you figure that there were supposed to be about 15k runners, he had a surprisingly low number!

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Ah ha so that's why LOL.

All is forgiven. If I remember correctly we turned in early that night also. Ohh ya wait now I remember I had the kids down at the Hippy Dippy pool swimming & letting Chuck catch up on sleep. I was on a texting marathon that night while my "true Snowbird kids" swam.
Yeah, you were at the pool. I certainly don't know you well enough to reply with "shhh" like I did to my poor friend (who didn't take offense, either!)... and I was just dopey enough to go "Hmm, will have to get back to her tomorrow." (Then my day started really early, so I had to keep thinking "no. do NOT text her now. Just because you've been up for 4 hours does NOT make it a reasonable time of the day!")
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