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Old 10-10-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
hhockman
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The "This is the BEST VACTION EVER!" Trip Report

Hey Everyone, well it looks like this final got moved to the closed thread section, so I've started a new thread here and I am adding a new update right now. So if you'd like to continue the journey you can head here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....8#post37000588 Hope to see you all there!

Okay, well, I guess it is about time I got started on this thing. I think I have been keeping you all waiting long enough, and I finally have a few spare moments. For the sake of anyone who may not have followed along on my PTR (here), let me introduce the cast once again, quickly.

First there’s me:
(this is not the best picture ever)

*note-the pictures are generic and non-descript because I don't want to give anything away*

Heather, 33 year old part-time substitute teacher looking for a full-time job (still). I am a University of Florida graduate (and therefore a huge GATOR fan), and I love reading, writing, sports (especially watching my kids play), scrapbooking, photography, and all things Disney. I grew up on the Florida Panhandle, went to school in Gainesville, and lived in Tampa/St. Pete after I was married. As a result I have been to Disney World approximately 35 times (give or take). I’ve been to Disneyland twice and I’ve never been to any of the other parks. My favorite characters are Mickey, Pluto, Peter Pan, Simba, and Belle (the only Princess I really really like). My favorite attractions are Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story Mania, and Expedition Everest. My favorite of the four main parks is EPCOT.

Next is my DH:


Matt, 32, who is currently an Inventory Specialist at a local hospital. That basically means he delivers supplies, but he just got moved to a position where he also orders the supplies. He’s pretty overqualified, but he was let go about a year and a half ago from the company that moved us here to Georgia, and right now we’re happy he has a job. He also grew up on the Florida Panhandle, moved to Gainesville two years after I did (when he graduated), and moved to Tampa/St. Pete after he was married (which I’m sure is a surprise to you all since he is married to ME, and I already told you this is where we moved after we got married). I think he went to Disney once before we started dating. He went once without me after we’d started dating (his Grad Nite, I was in college). Since we’ve been together we’ve been approximately 10 times (give or take), so his total is about 12. I don’t think he’s ever been to any other Disney parks. His favorite characters are all the Lion King characters, Goofy, and sometimes Grumpy. He collects funny Disney hats (the huge ones, you’ll see two of them). His favorite attractions are Tower of Terror, Rock N Roller Coaster, and Toy Story Mania, and Expedition Everest. As you may have guessed, his favorite park is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Oh, and he’s a HUGE Alabama fan. Everyone is entitled to one fault.

Next we have my older DS:


Will is 7 ½ years old (and will NOT let you forget that ½) going on about 20. He’s going through a stage where he wants to do everything an “adult” gets to do including working and ordering adult meals. We fought about meals a lot. He is in 2nd grade and is great at math. He hates reading but does okay. He loves Social Studies and Science. He especially loves history and the Presidents. He is pretty smart, but his anxiety and some processing issues sometimes prevent him from showing everything he knows. He is very much into sports and plays baseball fairly seriously (for a 7 year old). This past summer he played on an All Star team for the second year in a row. We do baseball for about 9 months out of the year. This year he’s going to try basketball for the other 3 months. His current obsessions are Star Wars and Pokemon. He loves to play sports games on the Wii and Pokemon games on his Nintendo DS. He is very sweet and very giving. He will do anything for anyone and is always ready with a hug. He also has an ATTITUDE and does not like it when he doesn’t get his way. He doesn’t deal well with change and can be very insecure. He also probably has an anxiety disorder, even though we’ve never gotten it diagnosed. He worries all the time about everything from getting a math problem incorrect to whether someone is mad at him. We try to give him a lot of hugs. His favorite characters are Goofy, Mickey, Donald, and Pluto. His favorite attractions are Buzz Lightyear, the Indy Speedway, and (I think) Toy Story Mania (are you seeing a pattern here). He also really enjoyed the American Adventure at EPCOT. His favorite park is probably Magic Kingdom, but possibly Disney’s Hollywood Studios (I haven’t asked him yet). He has been to Disney World about 7 or 8 times I believe, including this trip. He has never been to any other Disney parks.

Finally, rounding out my immediate family, is my younger DS:


Christian is 4 ¼, going on 30. Yes, he sometimes acts older than Will. He is in PreK 4 and he loves everything about school. He can read simple books (he loves to read and desperately wants to be able to read “real” books) and he loves animals of all kinds. He has an amazing imagination and loves to pretend to be everyone from Clone Troopers, to Indiana Jones, to a Pokemon trainer. He is really smart. I’m afraid he might even be smarter than we realize (he’s not inventing a super computer or anything, but he is smart). He is also a good athlete and is currently playing his first season of coach-pitch baseball. He played soccer last fall. He idolizes his older brother and wants to do everything Will does. He loves to play the Wii (especially Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Star Wars) and his Nintendo DS. He is really good at puzzles and has recently developed an interest in Legos (Will has too, somewhat, but not as much as Christian).
He is a very picky eater and we had a monster of a time finding things for him to eat, even on the Kid’s menu, although he does like to snack. He loves thrill rides and was a little annoyed that 43” is just a little too short for Expedition Everest. He is very easy-going and doesn’t often worry about anything, though he does sometimes get upset when he doesn’t get his way or when he gets in trouble (which is when we remind ourselves that he is FOUR years old). His favorite characters are Mickey, Buzz Lightyear, and Lightning McQueen. His favorite attractions are Thunder Mountain Railroad, Goofy’s Barnstormer, and Soarin’. His favorite park is probably Magic Kingdom. He has been to Disney World, I think, 4 times including this trip. He has never been to any other Disney Parks.

So that’s my family. But this was a Grand Gathering and at one point our group included 14 people. I’ll introduce some of the other characters in my next installment, which I hope to get up in less time. I know my friends are waiting (patiently ) for me to get to the “surprise” so I will try to get the “Cast of Characters” introduced as quickly as a I can. Thanks for reading!

Last edited by hhockman; 06-14-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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Let's get this trip on the road! I'm with you!
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
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So very glad to have you along!
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:37 PM   #4
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I'm here! Let's get this party going
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:02 PM   #5
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Hey Heather! I'm here!

Now, I gotta go back and read the entire first post.

Lisa
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51642226


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Old 10-10-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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Whew! I read the entire first post and am really glad to see that I haven't missed too much since I feel like I know your family already. Looking forward to reading about the other castmembers and, of course, the reveal.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #7
KathyRN137
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Heather,

I've been wondering when this thing was going to get going!

So glad you've begun...


Kathy
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:22 PM   #8
longing2Batdisney
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Hey! Heather!!!
you know I'm here!!! Great start!!!
waiting for more take your time I have a year + for my next trip (your next trip will before mine) so Ihave plenty of time to travel with you....

but, I can't wait to hear about the big surprise!!!!
Connie
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:01 PM   #9
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Hi Heather - great start so far! Can't wait to read more!

- Katie
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:59 AM   #10
hhockman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismagiclover View Post
I'm here! Let's get this party going
I'm working on the next installment now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Hey Heather! I'm here!

Now, I gotta go back and read the entire first post.

Lisa
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Whew! I read the entire first post and am really glad to see that I haven't missed too much since I feel like I know your family already. Looking forward to reading about the other castmembers and, of course, the reveal.
You haven't missed anything. I however, have missed a TON on your report. Must get back over there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
I've been wondering when this thing was going to get going!

So glad you've begun...


Kathy
Glad to have you, Kathy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by longing2Batdisney View Post
Hey! Heather!!!
you know I'm here!!! Great start!!!
waiting for more take your time I have a year + for my next trip (your next trip will before mine) so Ihave plenty of time to travel with you....

but, I can't wait to hear about the big surprise!!!!
Connie
Yeah, I'm starting to look forward to June now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWGal210 View Post
Hi Heather - great start so far! Can't wait to read more!

- Katie
Thanks Katie! I'm so jealous that you get to go over New Year's!
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:25 AM   #11
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I'm here Heather. Good morning by the way. I saw last nite late you had started the report but I had to go to bed. So finally I am up and moving.

As always I love your precious boys. And you of course. Have a great day and I'm ready to read anytime.

Ginny
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:49 AM   #12
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Day 1

Well, I’ve decided I’m going to do this a little differently than I said in my first post. The rest of my group didn’t actually arrive until Day 2, so I’m not going to introduce them until Day 2. It’s unconventional, but what can I say? I like to be different.

So…without further ado…here…we…go!

Matt woke me up a little after 5 am on Friday, September 18. 2000 and 9. (sorry, Christian has been doing “calendar time” at school and now every time I say the date I hear it in my head with the day, month, date, and then the words 2000 and 9. Hope he’s not too confused in January!)

I didn’t want to get up. I know. We’re headed to Disney. I’ve been waiting for this trip for over a year. But it’s 5 am and I know I’ve got an 8 hour drive ahead of me.

I got in the shower and once I was dressed we got the boys up. About 5:30 my notes say. Will questions the time, but I put him off. We just tell them to get dressed. About 20 minutes later I’m drying my hair in my mom’s bathroom

(…oops, quick insert here…for those of you that are new you don’t know that we live with my parents. Long story…see the “looking for a teaching job for 3 years” part of the description about me…)

because my hair dryer is already packed. I suddenly hear my mom say to the boys, “You’re going to Florida!”

“Mom,” somewhat calmly…somewhat. “We didn’t tell them where we are going yet.”

“Oh,” she says. “Well I didn’t tell them WHERE”. Uggg.

Will says, “Sweet! I don’t have to go to school!” Yikes. What happened to my kid that liked school? He’s only in 2nd grade.

Christian says, “Sweet! I can play the Wii!”. Uh, no honey, we’re NOT bringing the Wii.

We finish getting everything ready and get in the car to go. These pictures are timestamped at 6:12 am.





They don’t look sleepy at all do they?

They weren’t.

About two miles down the road I realize I’ve forgotten my iPod.

At least we hadn’t driven far.

Once we go back to get it and are really “on the road” it’s about 6:20 am. Not too bad.

Here’s a couple of pictures out the front window time stamped at 6:52 am.





The boys are either watching a movie or playing their DS’s. Watching a movie, I think. Matt and I are talking. Still having trouble believing we are FINALLY on our way.

At about 7:30 am we stop for gas. Matt drops me off at Wal-Mart to grab a couple of things (hair spray-which ends up being so smelly I only use it once, barrettes-that I never use, a notebook to keep notes, some fishing wire, and some double-sided tape). I figure he will get gas while I’m inside. He doesn’t. I come out and it’s starting to get light out. We drive over to the gas pumps. The credit card doesn’t work. He goes inside. Still doesn’t work. So we use the Visa Gift Card we’d bought for him to pay for golf. Full gas tank. What a pain.

We drive across the street and get McDonalds. My mom gave me $20 in cash as we were walking out the door, so we used that. I don’t remember exactly how much it was, but it seems like too much for breakfast. McDonald’s has gotten expensive.

Here we are at 9:02. The boys are playing their DS’s. I’m still just looking out the window. Haven’t gotten out my DS or my book.









Out the window:



At about 9:15 we stop at a rest area.



We pull out of the rest area and drive for about 2 minutes. Matt is pulling to the side of the road.

Apparently we pulled out of the rest area too fast.

Hello officer. We’re headed to Orlando. No, there’s no reason we need to hurry. No, we didn’t realize we were doing 87 in a 70 MPH zone. (Matt swears he was NOT going that fast).

Sit…sit…sit (the kids want to know why we are still sitting)

Finally, we get a warning…for not having an updated insurance car (it expired in July and I never printed the new one off). And a ticket. There’s no amount. He says we’ll have to call.

Matt calls. It’s $221. THAT’S a nice way to start a Disney trip. But then I remembered how Lisa started her Disney trip, and I’m thankful that it’s just a ticket. (See, I was already thinking of you guys!)

Drivin…drivin….drivin….

About 10:30.


Christian singing:







Will:



11:00….what have we here?! Whew. Seemed to take FOREVER.



11:30 am. This van is heading in the same direction we are. Poor guy. He does know he’s going to LOSE tomorrow, right?



Suddenly the traffic slows. I CAN’T be traffic going into Gainesville for the game tomorrow already!

Creep. Creep. Creep.

I look at my watch. Are we going to make our 3:30 TRex ADR?

Traffic creeps for a while and then speeds up. Before Gainesville. I still don’t know what had happened.

At about 12:45 pm we stop at the rest area that is just past Gainesville and just before Payne’s Prairie.







Here’s Payne’s Prairie. I lived in Gainesville for 6 years and never actually made it out there.







At this point the kids are starting to ask questions.
“How much longer?”
“We’re going to be in this car forever!”
“Are we going to Granny and Papa’s house?”

That last one was Christian and Matt told the first outright lie when he said “Yes.: I shake my head. We’re not supposed to LIE. (We had previously told them we were going to SEE Granny and Papa-which was the truth). Will then asks where we are sleeping tonight. We just avoided the question.

I’m starting to get antsy too.

We pass a sign that says “Orlando. Exit 1 mile.” Will reads it out loud. I quickly say, “We’re not going to Orlando!” (Well, we’re NOT) and Will says “I know”. Thankfully he doesn’t know anything about Florida geography. And he also doesn’t realize that Orlando to is very close to Disney World.

They are still clueless. Whew.

Gotta get in the shower. Both boys have baseball practice this afternoon.

I know what you all are waiting for...I'm hoping to get it up tonight.

Last edited by hhockman; 06-14-2010 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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How cute. Boys still surprised despite mom trying to mess it up. I can hear your thoughts now. And Matt telling a lie? I am shocked. I think a lie that doesn't hurt anyone or cause bad repercussion must not count. You were doing it for a good reason after all.

Those boys are so cute. Good luck at practice.
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #14
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Ooooooohh! to leave us hanging like that
what a start...about like Danny forgetting his wallet at least you were less than a minute from home not an hour and a half!!
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:05 PM   #15
dismagiclover
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Oh what a cliffhanger! I would love to actually be only an 8 hour drive from Disney. We have to get on a plane which adds an extra grand to each trip or drive for 14 hours. Still haven't been brave enough to try the 14 hour drive, though I'm planning on it in June.
Don't keep us hanging too long
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