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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, 10:39 AM   #5
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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, 10:50 AM   #6
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Oh that was hilarious....I am totally along for this ride!
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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, 11:03 AM   #8
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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   #9
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OMG I love the Cinnamon story, LL only you could pull that off
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #10
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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   #11
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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   #12
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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, 08:08 PM   #13
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New and Old - Introductions....



Before I go any further into the “how we got here” portion of our tale, I must introduce some really special people.

They’re truly the greatest friends a gal can have. They’re the rocks in my Zen garden. The cream in my coffee and the icing on my cake. The only people I’d bring my fat butt into the Africa-like heat of Florida in August for.

First up…you all know her as PrincessV…V and I have become very dear friends over the last few years.

Ok, ok...so it's an older picture. What can I say...I look awful in the ones from this year...

She’s been my sounding board – whether it’s talking me
down from the various ledges I’ve been on or happily enabling my latest case of addonitis with a touch of fuzzy Disney math on the side. She’s such a wonderfully grounded and gorgeous person and has such a great soul. Although some days when I look back at pictures of her and I together, I wish she’d indulge in a few more of those black and white cookies. Just sayin’…Look to the cookie, V…look to the cookie…heh heh…

V and I first “met” here on the DISboards and finally met in person back in 2006, but it feels as if I’ve known her forever. We bonded over Lapu Lapu’s at our favorite haunt and hardly a day goes by that we don’t chat via email.

Next up is Tracy – Disneyland_Mama. She is one awesome chick, lemme tell ya.

Hmmm...I can't figure out why this picture is so small...it's a darn funny one too...sorry. We appear to be having technical difficulties...please stand by...T - when I find the original in my Photobucket account, I'll replace it...

It's like Honey I shrunk the drunk girl...



Funny thing about T…the night V and I met we chatted about a couple of trip reports that we enjoyed and T’s was a favorite of ours. T had written her first “Waldo” TR and was hi-larious. We had a few laughs over parts of T’s TR and just how darn funny she was. Little did we know that she’s even funnier in person than you could imagine. She’s a beautiful person – inside and out and on days when I’ve cried, she’s been able to make me laugh.

This trip report wouldn’t be complete without Kate.

Darn it - I thought I had a picture of Kate and I from last year...guess not...sorry! Hi Mr. Kate!!

She was with us even when she couldn’t be. She guided us through crowds and had drinks with us…she was there in spirit with us and although we missed her terribly, she was never far from our thoughts and hearts.

These three lovely ladies make up my tight circle of friends. We’ve been there for each other through just about every circumstance you can imagine, with love, laughter and advice. I talk to these girls on a daily basis…more than I talk to my own husband and in fact, I tell them more than I tell my husband, but shhhh…that’s just between us, mmmk?

V’s adorable little boy Leo deserves an introduction as well as Leo has become a big part of our lives too. Michael declared he and Leo brothers on this most recent trip.
Disney World is better with MissV and Leo in it. Truly. We have never had more fun than we’ve had when they’ve been with us.

And bless V’s heart, she and Leo even make a special trip up to see us if she’s not already there, which means a great deal to me. Heck, she even spent a day with my family in November. Of course, if I get to write that TR, you’ll see why she deserves at least a medal of honor for joining that circus for a day…

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the rest of the gang that we hung around with – Andy, Tracy’s DH and Tony’s buddy. Disney World is better for Tony with Andy in it. And Waldo too. He, as do I, enjoy their company. Ahhh Waldo. The first year I called him Waldo…now it’s just “dad”. I absolutely adore him and plant a big fat kiss on his cheek the first time I see him each trip. TE, T’s mom, is adorable too. She’s the sweetest person and I really enjoy her company. She’s very easy to chat with and both she and Waldo are very young at heart and lots of fun to be around. Also on this trip were T’s brother Rick and his wife Debbie and their boys…well, young men, really…Max and Michael. We had a lot of fun with them and they were gracious to share their family vacation with people they’d only met briefly a couple of years ago. When we first met them they were really quiet…this year they, especially Rick, broke out of their shells and we had a blast with them all!!

Next up – T’s kids, Evan and Maddie. Michael looks forward to these August trips for all the kids to play with and although some days he claims he doesn’t like holding hands, we find him holding hands with Maddie an awful lot during the week each year.

We’ve been not-so-secretly hoping for a Disney wedding for our kids someday. Imagine the babies they’d have…caramel colored skin and blonde-ish hair…ahhh…stunning. Of course, some days Mads prefers Leo.

Either way, I want a darn Disney wedding.

Here's Michael pulling the old yawn-and-stretch on Maddie last year...


And either way – Tracy and Andy are paying for it…heh heh…Love you guys!!

With all of the kids within about 2 years of each other, they get along beautifully and each year now it’s as if no time has passed for them…although they look older, they get right back into their usual trip rhythm and it’s game on from there. They ride the rides together, sit and eat together, play in the pool together…it’s really heartwarming for me to be with the people I’ve come to love so much and see that our kids love each other too.

I think of the 50-plus years of DVC ownership we have and the many future vacations and imagine the kids all getting together when they’re grown just as we do now…I just love the thought of it.

And if Kate’s boys were here, they’d be right in the mix as well. They were great with the kids last year and we missed their presence in our lives this trip. But as I said, not far from our hearts…

Hmmm…speaking of playing in the pool…I just realized I forgot two of the most important people on this trip…my husband and son! DOH!!

My husband Tony, usually a not-so-willing-participant in these trips, was actually looking forward to this year. Andy and Waldo were coming and he’d have his boys’ night out at Fuego’s again this year. Not only that but our friends Jason and Margarita were coming and Tony had plans to play golf with Jason a couple of times. Plus, Tony’s been traveling for the better part of this year, coming home every 2 to 3 weeks...you know, for those conjugal visits whether he needs them or not. It’s been tough on all of us and we were looking forward to spending a whole week together.

Tony is NOT a huge Disney fan like the rest of us. According to him, he only comes on every trip because it’s the only way he gets a vacation. He despises my commando touring style and drill sergeant wake-ups in the morning (AIS and all, ya know…gotta keep to the Plan). Every year he says he won’t ride any rides because they kill his back. And what’s the one ride he breaks down and rides every year? Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Yep…and then his back hurts. Big dope.

I think he’s becoming a closet fanatic, although he makes it very difficult to prove. He does pitch a fit if I even mention going to WDW without him, so that says something, right? Yet he doesn’t like being dragged around like a ragdoll and had more than a few incidents of neck-craning, arm flailing and, one night in particular, he even hisspered at me. Whoa. That’s new…



And lets not forget the kids…Tony’s a big hit with the kids. An overgrown pool toy if you will.


V's probably got better pictures than this from our pool time...really - the guy was like a giant water ride...

The kids adore him and flock around him like he’s Peter Pan or something.



I knew Michael always preferred his dad to me, but now I see all the other kids do too…Hmmm…must be something to this guy…

And last, but definitely not least…my little guy Michael. He’s 8 going on about 30. He’s sweet, sensitive, loving and a wise…well, you know.


He’s become famous in our small circle for his Michael-isms and they come out fast and furious and are so freakin’ funny you just want to follow the kid around with a pad and pencil to write the stuff down.

Michael was overflowing with his usual wit this particular week and in fact there were more Michael-ism’s than I could keep track of, but I remembered a few that are sure to make you giggle. Sadly, most of them are at my expense, but I blame his father for that…

Also I should mention a couple of cameo appearances by some other very dear friends, Jason and Margarita and their girls all the way from North Carolina. We met them through another group of friends just about a year ago and love them dearly. They’re fun with a capital F and are very outgoing and funny. And Margie..she’s a lovey. She just loves people. We were out one night and somehow it came up that they were going to be at WDW the same week we were so it worked out great. I just wish we’d have been able to spend more time with them though.

They joined up with us a couple of times on this trip and they really enjoyed themselves, as did we.

Imagine their surprise, and the look on their faces, when one night over several drinks at their place we were talking about our upcoming trip and plans, etc. when it came out that we were vacationing with people we met on the internet…heh heh…Wish I had a camera.

I did manage to find a couple of pictures...this is Jason and Margarita on the right with our friend Johnnie and Tony & I...


And this is me with Margarita and our friend Martha on the left.

Martha actually introduced us to J & M and the group of us have been inseparable since then.

Well, until we moved. I had other pictures, but I don't have them here...

Sadly most of my pictures are back home in my computer. With all the rest of my stuff.

Home…big, heavy sigh…

Ahem…sorry – got sidetracked…

Game on…

Well, this thing already went ahead and posted on me once and it's really getting late so I'll end this for now, but I was on a roll...the juices are flowing gang...

More to come soon!!
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Last edited by Lauralee131; 08-12-2009 at 08:48 PM. Reason: DANG IT - I WASN'T DONE YET!!
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkB8HooHaHa View Post
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.

Yeah - I debated about posting this part of the story...

At least I could have given a waiver...or said the names had been changed...

Something?!?!?
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:46 PM   #15
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I love it! Love all the back story, I always forget the darn backstory!

Next year I'm bringing Tony a flute... I swear those kids just flock to him like he's the freakin' Pied Piper!

But now, I'm all verklempt... AGAIN!
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