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Old 08-22-2009, 11:52 AM   #31
Lauralee131
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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   #32
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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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Old 08-22-2009, 12:58 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyland_Mama View Post
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!


Yeah...ummm...I can almost guarantee you it was the Devil's Juice that gave you the headache T...call it a hunch...

Actually all the resort changes and stuff are pretty easy to keep straight in my head...it's the every day crap that I have a hard time keeping straight!!
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:37 AM   #34
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Conversation overheard at the Grandstand pool this August...heh heh....


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Old 08-23-2009, 07:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralee131 View Post
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.


But, in truth, for me, being a single parent is about 1000% easier than it was being a married parent, lol!

Quote:
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.
Next time, I'm just letting T plan it all out, and then I'll follow her Plan!

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


Quote:
Fuzzy Disney Math at it’s finest.
You put me to shame, oh Great One!

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Old 08-23-2009, 07:29 PM   #36
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OMG! I am loving this! I just found your trip report and am sitting here reading with the biggest grin on my face my DH must think I am losing it

I love how diligent you were in getting exactly what you wanted! (you SOOOO deserved this trip).

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:24 AM   #37
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But, in truth, for me, being a single parent is about 1000% easier than it was being a married parent, lol!
I'm sure I'll be thinking that if my husband ever comes back... I just need someone to tag me out once in a while so I can have a break...just a little "me" time, that's all I ask...

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OMG! I am loving this! I just found your trip report and am sitting here reading with the biggest grin on my face my DH must think I am losing it

I love how diligent you were in getting exactly what you wanted! (you SOOOO deserved this trip).

Can't wait to read more!
Why thank you! This trip is filled with much less drama than other TR's I've written, but also filled with much more fun
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:53 AM   #38
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Next time, I'm just letting T plan it all out, and then I'll follow her Plan!
Pshew! I'm throwing in that planning towel, sista! Next time, I'm only going to worry about best park days and leave it all up to the kiddo's. They've yet to steer us wrong!
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:28 PM   #39
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I was with you until you wrote, "That said, back to our TR…"












Everything is fuzzy after that!
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:14 PM   #40
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Pshew! I'm throwing in that planning towel, sista! Next time, I'm only going to worry about best park days and leave it all up to the kiddo's. They've yet to steer us wrong!
And there it is. In writing.

To be referred to in next year's TR...

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I was with you until you wrote, "That said, back to our TR…"












Everything is fuzzy after that!
My mind is a scary place to be!
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:24 PM   #41
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Perhaps my addonitis was so bad this time due to my lack of planning. I needed something to occupy my head.
Seriously? You think will all that you'd been dealing with with 3 schools, 3 apartments, jobs, selling the house, looking for a new one, Tony's job here, Tony's job there, Tony's job going somewhere else...You didn't have enough to occupy your head?

I still don't know how you're doing it
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:09 PM   #42
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Seriously? You think will all that you'd been dealing with with 3 schools, 3 apartments, jobs, selling the house, looking for a new one, Tony's job here, Tony's job there, Tony's job going somewhere else...You didn't have enough to occupy your head?

I still don't know how you're doing it
Wow - when you put it that way, it DOES sound like I had enough going on. Not enough FUN stuff going on though...big difference...

Ok, I'm going to go work on my next update...cleaning is done today, laundry's nearly done, kitchen's cleaned, dishes done...secretly planned M's birthday party for next weekend on the phone this morning...now it's ME time...

Soon it will be Wii time...I busted it out last night! Bring on TSM baby!! Just a couple more weeks!!
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:00 PM   #43
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Ooh, this is fun - I'm now following V's TR and yours - I guess I need to see if Tracy has started one....
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:08 PM   #44
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We've finally arrived!!

So with the car fully loaded and our clothes laid out for the morning, all Michael and I had to do was order a pizza and chill out and we could leave at the crack of dawn in the morning. We’d leave between 6 and 7 and get to CBR early afternoon and enjoy a day of sun, swimming and adult beverages with our favorite buddies, V and Leo, all day and into the evening. Ahhhh…sounds like pure bliss…doesn’t it?

Yeah, it didn’t quite go like that.

We suffered a bad case of “I’m too excited to sleep” on Wednesday night. So much so that I actually considered packing the little guy into the car and just driving until I couldn’t see straight anymore.

Finally sleep came for Michael.

But it must’ve zigged when it should’ve zagged as it missed me completely.

I don’t know what time I finally fell asleep but it was late. So much so that it could’ve been considered early for the next day.

Needless to say we overslept. We didn’t get up until nearly 8, but we needed the sleep and we were officially on vacation so I tried my hardest not to freak out and rush Michael around. He gets that enough during the week.

By the time we were walking out the door it was nearly 9am. GASP! So we got gas and hit the road, where I proceeded to…ummm…shall we say, drive it like I stole it, down Interstate 75.

I now know why I never see cops on I-85 on my way to and from work. It’s because they’re ALL hanging out on 75. DOH! Luckily they appeared to either have been sleeping or not concerned as I went un-noticed all the way to the Florida state line! Phew!

Speaking of the Florida state line, it was right about then that we saw it…the wall of water we were about to drive into. Yep – that’s right. You could see it in front of you. Strangely Fay-esque.

The rain came down so hard that even with the wipers on full blast, I could hardly see. The water was building up on the Turnpike and vehicles were creating waves of water which were making visibility even worse. Then I saw it. Just barely. A sign for a rest area.

I pulled off and decided that despite this additional delay, better to be safe than sorry. I’d rather arrive later than not at all.

So with the rain gushing down all around us, I decided to test out the internet on the new phone. Oh – did I not mention the new phone? The Focker Hotline it has been aptly named. Sadly, not an iPhone, but rather a Motorola i465. Haven’t heard of it? Probably won’t either. It’s really nothing special. See, I decided to get a Boost Mobile pay as you go phone so that I could text the girls and take pictures if I needed to. Last year the texts were flying fast and furious but my only cell phone is my work Nextel and I can’t text from it. Nothing worse than getting texts like “It’s AIS time…bus is here…where are you?” and not being able to respond.

So a couple of days before leaving I ran into a Nextel store and bought the phone. For $50 a month you get unlimited texts, internet, calls and it has a 3mp camera. Good enough. No commitment necessary, which is good. I’m trying to put off getting a home phone or anything until I know where we’ll be and when so this phone would be the perfect solution. I could throw $50 on it, use it to my little heart’s content and then either switch to a pay-as-you-go plan or just shut it off.

So whilst waiting out the rain I tried out my texting and internet and it kept me amused for a while. Not the greatest internet – well, the connection was fine, but it wasn’t exactly an iPhone. I texted V and told her we were on our way and before long the rain let up and we were back on the road.

It took much longer to arrive than I’d have liked, but finally we pulled into CBR. Michael and I went to the online check-in area and seriously, we were in and out in less then 5 minutes. Really. It’s THAT fast! I love it! We got our Jamaica request and were happily on our way back out to the car. I talked to V and she was at Old Port Royale so I just drove straight there to meet up with her and Leo.

Hugs all around…it was so nice to see them again! It’d been 8 months. Far too long since we’d seen each other last. And as if it’d only been 8 days and not 8 months, the four of us picked right up where we left off…V and I cruised the racks at the store, enabling each other and the boys were off causing mayhem together. Ahhh…good fun! I loaded a gift card with the loot from Michael’s piggy bank…$79.00 all for him to spend. We’d spent the few nights prior discussing money and its limits, etc. so I was hoping he’d understand that once he spent it, it was gone and there’d be no more toys bought, etc…The boys each got this lollipop-slash-fan combination that they were just going to wither and die if they didn’t have. Hey – it kept them busy and quiet and happy.

After messing around in the store for awhile, we decided to grab a bite. It had started raining again so pool-thirty was going to have to wait.

Oh - we hit the arcade. I nearly forgot.



The boys had a ball and even us girls took a spin on some retro games!

We cruised through the food court considering all of its’ yummy offerings and somehow found ourselves at the podium checking in for Shutters. We were seated faster than you say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious…which is probably spelled wrong, but I’m in a hurry so I’m not even going to go back and check it. Oddly enough though, I’m typing this in Word and it wasn’t picked up as a misspelled word. When “iPhone” was. Go figure.

Anyway, Shutters wasn’t busy at all and we were seated at a nice corner seat where we wouldn’t bother anyone and could catch up uninterrupted by other diners’ chatter. We ordered drinks – an Agave Nectar (of the Gods) Margarita for V and a Hurricane for me. Ahhh….finally. Nothing like the first drink on vacation.

V’s Margarita was a party for your mouth, I must admit. And it would become, short of a few exceptions, my drink of choice for the rest of the trip. Yes, it was THAT good!

V got soup and salad and I ordered the skirt steak, which was really good. The boys…well, I can’t remember what the boys ate…probably chicken or pizza. Hmmm…now I have to go look…

Leo had a little mood issue when the time came for the boys to put their toys away, but really – short of a snarly face he was making, he wasn’t bad. Once he got some food in his belly he was the same old Leo, fun-loving and happy. The boys really enjoyed being together again and we all enjoyed a nice long leisurely dinner while the rain poured down and the wind howled outside.

And V tweeted.

Or Facebooked.

Or both.

I teased V about her iPhone addiction...errr...use. Later I found this on my camera...

I may have been taking a picture of her drink and just got lucky with capturing the "Hi, I'm V and I'm App Addict" look...heh heh...

The boys even split a build it yourself Sundae and no punches were thrown. They really do play well together. So cute to watch!

After dinner, we decided to call it an early night – we had to still bring all of suitcases, etc to our room and it was still raining so we stopped and grabbed some stuff for breakfast and headed out to our room. We’d be heading to Epcot with V and Leo tomorrow morning bright and early.

After all my trips to and from the room and car with our luggage, groceries, etc…I was pretty well soaked and worn out. Our room was nice though. For a Moderate. Hey – I’m sorry. I’m a Deluxe/Villa kind of girl. But will sacrifice in the name of addonitis when it flares up. I may be a resort snob, but I’m not stupid.

It doesn’t take fuzzy math to realize that you can get 2 nights at CBR for the price of 1 at SSR And it’s been about 13 years since I’ve stayed here so I didn’t mind checking it out again. The last time Tony and I stayed at CBR, we had a mini-bar in our room that was a God-send after way too many Margaritas in Mexico and other illicit adult things we did back in those days.

The room was really clean and had a lot of Nemo accents with some Hidden Mickey’s thrown in.




I would stay here again. And I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed relaxing at the beach in a hammock. Although I’d like it even more at the Poly. Just sayin’…

I had my Owner’s Locker delivered and we were all set for our stay here and ready for the morning. With the exception of clothing, everything I need for a trip is in here...from makeup to coffee to toiletries. Owner's Locker rules. I'm sorry I didn't think of it first, but it's an idea whose time has come and I love, love, love it!


As I was getting Michael ready for bed, something dark and moving caught my eye in front of the bathroom vanity.

It was one of those tiny little frogs! ACK! Well, it had to be caught. I couldn’t sleep knowing it was in the room and could hop in my mouth at any time. Ewww…

So it took awhile, but Michael finally caught the frog…trapped it under a glass and then he slid a coaster underneath it so we could pick it up. He just thought that frog was the greatest thing and wanted to name him Squishy and keep it.

I shall call him Squishy and he shall be my friend...


Squishy was what he’d become though if I didn’t get it away from Michael though so I made him take it outside and let it go.

He did. He released it right outside of our door.

Later that night, I made myself a nice big Jack and Diet Coke and was going to go out and finally sit and enjoy a quiet smoke break. I opened the door and Squishy jumped right back in the room! It took me forever, but I managed to catch him again and this time, me and my new friend went out to the DSA together where I released him back into the wild.

I bid Squishy goodnight and then called it a night...big day tomorrow...
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:51 PM   #45
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The following morning I was up bright and early and it took some doing to get the little man up. Typical. I can never sleep at Disney World and Michael can never get up early. I went and sat down at the beach and had my coffee and watched the daylight arrive.




I enjoyed the quiet beauty of this place...and thought about booking the bounceback offer so I can come back and enjoy it again...


Eventually however, I remembered that Michael was still sleeping so I headed back to the room. I got him up and got the two of us dressed and ready to go.

I knew it was going to be hot and sticky so I wore the lightest, thinnest clothes I could think of. Not the most attractive outfit. I asked Michael, “How does this look?” “Fine” was the answer I got. Again, I spun around in front of the mirror and said, “I don’t know, I’m not sure. Really. Do you think this looks alright?”

Without missing a beat, Michael comes out with, “It’s not like you’re going to a prom. Those days are long gone.”

And so the Michael-isms started flowing…

They got so fast and furious this week that I actually considered writing them down as they were too numerous and too stinkin’ funny…

Sadly, I didn’t write them down, but a few, like the prom one, I’ll probably never forget.

So I spoke to V and we agreed to go together in her car to Epcot. She’d be ready in a bit, so Michael and I went out to the beach so I could show him how pretty this place was in the daytime, when it WASN’T raining.

He climbed all over everything, little monkey that he is.

You could really see he was all excited about spending the day with our friends. And the cherry on top of his sundae (on Friday) was that his dad was coming up that afternoon. He hadn’t seen him in nearly 3 weeks and he was really looking forward to a whole week of “all dad, all the time”.

On our way to meet V and Leo, I remembered my little run in with our dear friend Squishy and told Michael about how he had jumped back into the room because he dumped him right outside the door and I had to catch him all over again. His response? “Sounds like a personal problem. Yours, not mine, so leave me out of it.”

Yeah, great. Love you too, kid.

Boys buckled in the car, we were off to Epcot and got a great parking spot. Ok, I’m used to bussing it, but V may be on to something with this driving thing. It’s fast, it required no hand sanitizer and the company was lovely.

Honestly, I don’t mind taking the bus most of the time, I enjoy the people watching and hey – I’m on vacation, I don’t necessarily like to drive.

But – V was driving, so this was great. A shorter wait to get to the magic and I didn’t have to drive. Saaa-weeet!!

So V and her trusty iPhone had the Ridemax plan, the weather, the horoscope…everything you need for a day at Disney World. All I had to do was make a quick stop to renew our AP’s (with a sweet discount thanks to V’s referral card!) and then in just a few short minutes I’d be enjoying the company of my friend and her son.

The last time we had an outing on our own was back in January ’08. And it was awesome. Having V and Leo along back then was so much fun and it truly made our vacation. It was then I realized just how great it is have a friend on vacation. And for Michael it was amazing. He really enjoyed having a buddy to ride the rides with and play with at dinner, etc…they walked together, each keeping the other moving at a nice quick pace. There was even a time when he and Leo even shared a double stroller together and they had a ball.

And so they would again. As soon as I had my passes. Just a few short minutes.

Only it wasn’t really a few short minutes.

It was a lot longer than that.

The CM in the ticket booth, bless his heart, was in no hurry. He was an older gentleman and really was the sweetest thing. But he was S…L….O….W. So after what felt like an eternity, I’d had our new passes hand.

Where to first? Why it just so happened to be one of our favorites. Mission:Space baby! Leo had decided to ride it. So he and V, being Mission:Space VIRGINians would be perfect ride companions for us. There’s 4 people to a shuttle whatdya know…there’s 4 of us.

So off we went….got Leo measured at the start of the queue and headed on in to join the Green Team.

And that’s when I noticed it.

The nervous look on Leo’s face. Right about here….

He's got that deer-in-the-headlights look about him, no?

I think at one point he wanted to back out…but I could be wrong. So with little to no wait at all we were being briefed by Gary Sinise. We were given our assignments…Pilot, Commander, Navigator and Engineer. We’d promised Leo he could be Commander, but I think he ended up going with Pilot.

It was a great Mission and Leo got through it with flying colors. I so enjoyed being there when he had such a big “first”, and to be able to see and celebrate his joy. So big and brave and so proud of himself.

It was refreshing to see that kind of joyous new discovery. You tend to lose that childlike happiness when you’ve ridden everything. You still get excited to ride your favorites, but then again, been there…done that, know what I mean?

To see Leo experience such pure, unadulterated excitement and happiness made my whole day.

And pictures were taken all around to commemorate such a huge occasion.

So, with the Mission behind us, we continued to follow Ridemax. So far, it was pretty much right on. And we even got a later start than V was planning. I don’t recall the order in which we did things…I think, but don’t quote me that we went and like, totally, surfed the EAC with Nemo and the gang where the boys rode all by themselves...

It's pictures like this that I was dreading with that hockey player smile of his...if you open his mouth he could be a bottle opener...MOTY 2009, thank you very much...

And then I think we went to the Land and rode LWTL and picked up Soarin’ FP’s. After that, I’m not sure…did we get food? I don’t think so. Perhaps we then went to Spaceship Earth...This picture was next in my camera...The Jammitors are pretty cool to watch. I don't often take the time to enjoy things like this.



Hmmm...between the 2 of them we could possibly come up with a full mouth of teeth!

After SE we then went back over to ride Soarin’. V and Leo had plans for a lunch at Coral Reef and Michael and I would make a quick stop in Mouse Gear and get CS for lunch. Something quick. Then we’d grab the bus back and see them back at the hotel in time for pool-thirty.

Notice I said quick stop in Mouse Gear…

There’s no such thing.

We were in there for quite a while. Browsing. Having fun actually. We then lost time wandering around trying to decide what to do about lunch. One moment he was starving and was going to die any second now if I didn’t feed him immediately.

The next we’d decided to go back to CBR and get our suits on, eat at OPR and wait for V and Leo to back. Eventually we settled on the EU for a couple of burgers. And then we made our way to the exit, via a Mickey Bar cart…where Michael proved once again that he can actually get some of the Mickey Bar in his mouth and not just all around it….


Several napkins later we headed to the exit. As we were walking through the Legacy graveyard V called. They were already back at the hotel and heading to the pool. We had a good laugh over the fact that she had table service meal at CR, not the fastest place in town, and was already on her way to the pool. I was just now leaving the park. So much for a quick stop and getting back early! V will tell you it’s all because she had a car. I’ll let her have that one. It sounds better than “I spent an hour wandering around in Mouse Gear and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”…

Back in our room we quickly changed and headed to the pool. Tony was on his way up, our buddies were waiting for us and I could hear the blender from the pool bar…it was a good day!

We caught up with V and Leo and hit the water! The boys went down the slide and enjoyed splashing around for awhile and then it was time to dry off and get something refreshing to drink. Michael had been craving his world favorite “Orange milkshake” and I’d been waiting for my first Pina Colava of vacation. And the first Michelob Ultra.

What can I say? The heart wants what it wants. Mine often wants to chase a beer with a mixed drink.

Before long Tony had arrived and we went back meet him at the room. We’d split with V and Leo on the walk back to Jamaica, but not for long. We were going to Epcot that night for a counter service dinner and then wine and cheese with Tracy and family.

And we were bussing it.

And of course, it’d started to rain.

I swear we’re like Focker Forces of Nature when we all are within a few square miles of each other. It doesn’t just rain, it pours. And there was no bus for Epcot for quite a while. One and two buses for every other park showed up. No Epcot.

At one point a man who didn’t speak English very well came up and was talking to Tony. Tony then got our attention and I heard something about a cab. I said something like, “Sure, if you want to take a cab that’s fine, but we have cars here” or something along those lines, but as it turned out, the man was asking Tony about where he could get a cab or something. Strange. Whatever. Finally a bus arrived and we were on our way. Tony and Michael and Leo sat together doing their guy thing. Bonding over noogie’s and fist bumps.

V and I were busily trying to come up with a plan for dinner. Yet again we settled on table service (something about the rain makes us totally fine about wasting an hour and a half in a restaurant). I called Disney Dining and ended up securing an ADR for Nine Dragons. Again I was going to TrustV. She said that she’d eaten there before and it was really good. So I was good with that. I think this was the time it happened…a family got on the bus – an older couple and a teenaged girl – and they sat directly across from me and V. Or should I say V and I?

Well the girl looks strange. She laid across the woman’s lap and looks like she’s really ill. I lean over to V and whisper those 2 little words she’d been hearing a lot of lately…”Swine Flu”…Remember the movie The Cutting Edge with the ice skaters? The snotty figure skater doesn’t want to work with the hockey player and he’s having a hard time keeping up on figure skates and every time he can’t stop and falls, she goes “toe pick”…that’s kind of how I said it. “Swine Flu”…but as funny as it was, it was kind of skeevy too. I was sure to pass everyone the hand sanitizer as soon as we stepped off the bus.

Now I should mention that when Tony and Michael get together they gang up on me and do everything in their power to both amuse themselves and irritate the crap out of me. So much like herding cats, I tried to get Tony to go up to the window and upgrade a 7 day MYW ticket we had to his DVC annual pass. But noooo…he can’t do anything like that on his own. So even though he was able to bypass the stinkin’ guests with bags line, he chose to just stand there and wait. See? I have no patience for time wasting.

My husband doesn’t really see much need to split up in the interest of time. He refuses to be a Fastpass runner. If we can’t all go, then no FP’s for you. UGH…clueless.

So anyway, he’s wrestling the boys and I’m aggravated because he wouldn’t listen to me and take the stupid pass and by the time I get to the ticket window I’m so stressed out that I don’t even remember that I’ve got a ticket to upgrade! Luckily V stepped up and reminded me….DOH! After upgrading, Tony’s annual pass only cost $127. Woo Hoo!!! Ok, I forgot all about how aggravated I was. He was here, having fun and Michael was happy. They deserved their play time.


Later on he would only add to his little group of followers...like the Pied Piper...or The Kid Whisperer...

Off we went towards China. And you know me, I can’t walk past Mexico without having to have a margarita so I scurried off to the Cantina to secure Tony and I our treasured margaritas.

Completely mindless of the fact that in about 5 minutes we’d be at the place we were going for dinner. One short brain freeze later and we’d arrived in China and checked in for dinner…amused that we were having Chinese food with a Mexican drink…heh heh…

And V was right about Nine Dragons. It was excellent! We ordered appetizers…I remembered getting some yummy potstickers and I think we ordered something else too, but for the life of me I can’t recall…and I got the General Tso’s chicken for dinner while Michael got Sweet & Sour Chicken. What’d Tony get? Have no idea. But our dinners were delicious. The only I can think of to describe my chicken other than great, was really, really fresh tasting. I will definitely go back there again.

Anyway, dinner over with, we headed to Norway to catch up with T and family. After searching everywhere (a less stressful version of Where’s Waldo), we finally caught up with T and our little gang was back together again.

What's this? We're looking at the same camera at the same time??

Hugs went all around and the kids all picked right up where they’d all left off as well.

Some of T’s gang was off riding Maelstrom so we waited for them.

And wondered if they knew it was a Fastpass.

Heh heh…

We wandered around a bit and just like I said, the kids just gravitated toward him...

We ended up in Japan for our sake shots and sent the Tony and Andy into the store with all the kids…they were totally outnumbered and went into the store like lambs heading in for slaughter. I honestly didn’t think they’d have a chance. Two of them against 4 tiring, punch-drunk kids…would you take that bet?

I laughed it off, and headed with my girl friends to the sake bar, but not before taking a group photo showing Kate how much we missed her…it’s on V’s TR if you haven’t seen it yet…a sadder looking bunch I’ve never seen…

I took pictures in the sake bar, but I can't find them. They must be on my camera...

Sake shots done, we headed back to find the rest of our flock, waiting outside and not running around like bulls in a China shop. But in Japan.

We continued walking around and all decided to call it a night and headed our separate ways. Completely forgetting about wine. And cheese. And Grey Goose slushies…

Ah well. It was great to be back in the company of friends and we had a big day (and night!) ahead of us with everyone the following day...Woo Hooo!!! But would we make AIS? And has anyone seen the Spirit??
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