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Old 02-28-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
bumbershoot
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going to disney&uni again! Sep 2011

Hello again! Long time no see.

Uh, yeah, right. Considering I JUST sent a PM to the mod to do whatever magic they do to finished trip reports (if you missed my scintillating report on the shocking news that the monorail does, indeed, smell funny, it's here, well, unless she moves it and it loses its URL identity), it hasn't even been 5 minutes since I was posting in the WDW report section.

But it's been since 11/20/2010 (last year! a whole year! um, wait, no) (and she calls herself a Math Minor) (she doesn't really) since I was in the PRE trip section.

OK so I'm Molly, the husband is Robert, the kidlet is Eamon and he's 6 right now but will be 7 for this new trip. We like Disney. December saw us at WDW for the first time ever for any of the 3 of us! Nice! We had "just the three of us" time as well as "meet up with the cousins" time, and enjoyed each thoroughly. We'll have a VERY similar trip in September, so that says something about the enjoyment.

That's about all we have for this start-of-report. Right now I'm dealing with health concerns for my (half) brother...he's 28 and has been in the ICU on a ventilator for over 2 weeks now, and it's nerve-wracking! Luckily I have enough knowledge that I try to roll with the changes as they happen, and my stepmom is actually a nurse at that hospital, and she gives me the bare-bones facts by text and the talk-talk on the phone, and then we give the info to various cousins (the paternal side, as opposed to the maternal-side cousins we vacation with) and try to help them through it. Don't get me wrong, I adore my brother, but I'm able to put on a clinical face for long enough to do all that. He's in CA and I'm in WA and I desperately want to go back down there (was there a week ago) but it involves plane fare for me and the Boy, a rental car and a hotel room along with food and gas, as I have allergies and am prone to asthma, and their home and cars are smoked in by the brother in question as well as by dad and stepmom. Plus they have a dog and 3 cats that don't play well with my lungs. Oh, and they live in the redwoods, where there are spiders as big as...well I don't know, I try to not look too hard...so yeah, I stay at a hotel. Which is great, but an added expense.

OMG forgive that run on paragraph! I apologize. I would fix it, but let's just call it "art", like the art of a poem. It was all one thought, so it's all one paragraph. Even though it shouldn't be.

Don't hold it against me, I shall try to not do it again! I'm under stress, I'm under strain! I don't know what I was thinking.


OK gotta jet for now, but I wanted to get this underway!
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DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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intro (or "the what and the why")
the where
the who
the how part deux
not satisfied with food choices yet

long break of rambling and nonsense

Halloween costume thoughts

rambling, nonsense, won't she just shush?

I love it when a rental car plan comes together, and...how should we get to our home airport?
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DLR '05-'09 found within this link
DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!

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Old 03-02-2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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Our trip will be sort of a shorter version of the last.

We will visit Universal, either at the beginning or end of the trip. Both have their positives and negatives...smaller room makes it hard to be happy after so long at OKW, but starting off with the hotel guest version of the Express Pass makes FP feel so wimpy.

The WDW portion will start with a 2 bedroom at OKW, change to a studio at Boardwalk (b/c of points we needed to have one night at a certain point level that meant a studio at BW or at OKW, and we chose BW b/c it just seemed more interesting, if perhaps a bit more annoying, than staying at OKW) for ONE night, then back over to OKW for a 1 bedroom.

To those who don't like split stays, it's a bit of Hades. For me it's OK.

So we have all the WDW bits booked, and it's just Universal and flights we need next. We're hoping to do flights solely with Dh's miles.

I ordered the deluxe passporter for 2011 just yesterday. I liked the 2010 version fine, but it turns out the spiral bound edition really brought my enjoyment down. The deluxe is a fake-leather binder, and will at the very least make a great spot to keep the "passpockets" where I keep my receipts.

Last trip I used TourGuideMike and it was decent, though things really changed after I'd stopped checking, which wasn't his fault but it really threw me. I might try Touringplans this time. Not sure.

The cast of characters will be the same this time, though it's going to be interesting to see how the boy cousin has progressed! His family is finally admitting that he has some issues, and they are working hard with him to help him. I think it'll be fabulous.

I'll be making ADRs in under 2 weeks, which feels astonishing, but it shouldn't be. After all, I made ADRs in June for our December trip!

We are working on lists of "things so good we want to do them again" and "things we can leave out this time" and so on and so forth. Those are fun. Reminds me of planning for Disneyland (which I miss so much!).

So that's what I've got for now!
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DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Sounds exciting! But wait - when will you visit DLR again??
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:01 PM   #5
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Can't wait to hear more! . We are also from WA & will also be going in September! Hope your brother gets better!
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Visitors! Yay!



Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyMomma81 View Post
Sounds exciting! But wait - when will you visit DLR again??
I don't know..... I was supposed to be in San Diego right now, with a one day visit in there...but it got to be too much of a hassle. Then there's the cheerleading weekend coming up where I was hoping I could get down there to see my sis compete and spend a little time with them, but the money just disappeared, because now we're repaying our emergency fund for my CA travel. Waaaaaaaaaaah.

Robert is firm, though...since we're borrowing ALL of our 2012 points for the September trip and our WDW APs will be finished December 6, next year is the year of Disneyland again! (even if we happen to make it down there this year)

So the definite answer is "next year", but we're still hopeful for this year.

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Originally Posted by Princess.Rachel View Post
Can't wait to hear more! . We are also from WA & will also be going in September! Hope your brother gets better!
Yay!

I really should have updated this thread with (the good!!!) brother info!

All of a sudden one day, before they were able to call anyone, he didn't need the oxygen anymore, so they got the tube out and woke him up....the PT got in there and brother was even able to take a step!

Over the next couple days he got rid of even the nasal cannula with oxygen, but was dealing with some mental stuff. I saw a phrase for it elsewhere on the boards..."ICU psychosis". They wouldn't let him leave the ICU until he was better mentally. And that happened two days ago! Woo!!!!!!!


He's got a long long road ahead of him.

With the illness I had (and who knows WHAT it was, since no one tested me for anything...I tell you, I get the WORST medical health care on the planet...never go to anyone mainstream that I see!) where I was about *this* close from being hospitalized b/c I could barely breathe (though I was working SO hard to breathe so I didn't die with only my son here that my oxygen saturation as I finally got to urgent care was still a good 97%, which I think told the staff that I wasn't THAT sick, but tells ME that I have an iron will when it's just me and the kid)....even with whatever I had, my lungs are still healing up. I'm finally able to talk about halfway normal, in terms of how many words I can say before taking a breath. I sound normal to those who don't know me...but to those who know me and know how much I talk talk talk, they can tell. I'm still getting winded doing relatively normal things, but it's not a muscle thing, just a lung exhaustion thing.

So with him, especially since he was a smoker (I grew up with smokers, but I've never done it...he got it from both sides...second AND firsthand smoke) and not athletic at all...he's going to have a long recovery. Poor guy.

My stepmom had already gotten the FMLA stuff done a day or two before he was taken off the ventilator, and it included time for her to care for him at home, AND she gets paid during that time, so that's a weight off their shoulders! Since she is a nurse herself, they won't have to hire people to help out at home if they might have needed to.

So that's the situation with my brother. It really brought the family closer, which has been amazing. Of course, we were all in crisis mode for 2 weeks, and now we're kind of floating around, wondering what to say to each other when we aren't giving each other updates...but hopefully we'll continue this new closeness. The conversations and time with my stepmom alone have been amazing.
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DLR '05-'09 found within this link
DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:36 PM   #7
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I really should introduce us; I got a little weird there, thinking that no one new would show up AND that anyone who was here had read my reports before (combo of low and high self-esteem, I think, LOL).


I'm Molly. Travel agent for the family, fast-talker, homeschooling parent, former chiropractor (who has dreams of training in cranio-sacral therapy).

Married to Robert. Works his behind off for us (thank you!) so I work my behind off making his leisure trips nice. He travels for work as a product tester at Amazon (the company where we met, both doing customer service). A very nice guy.

Our son, aka kidlet, aka The Boy, is Eamon. He's 6 but will be 7 for our trip. We have hopes of more babies, but if it isn't meant to be, he's the BEST "only" a person could wish for. Awesome lil' dude. Even if recently he's been almost literally talking my ear off (hmm, wonder where he got THAT from?).

That's our core traveling group, the one I mean when I say "our family" or "just us" or sometimes just "us".

**********************

The others (who all live on the east coast of Florida) that were with us on our last trip, and who will be with us on this trip, are as follows!

My aunt (aka Auntie), my late mom's sister.

My cousin A, my Aunt's daughter. She's around 8 years younger than me and is married to...

Her husband, S, is a supremely nice guy. He is even more enthusiastic about WDW than A is! And that's saying a lot. He and hubby had fun in December whipping out their smartphones to see who could find out a wait time faster. They also did a good (ha ha, maybe good to a normal person but us highly intuitive women saw right through them) job thinking that they were hiding their nausea after insisting on riding Mission Space, the Orange side.

Their kids are...

Miss A (or Lady A or Lady or variations on that theme, as their nickname for her is Lady), who will be 4 for the trip. An adorable and hyper little munchkin, she won our hearts!

and Mr E (he was Mr Baby as a baby but now we'll just call him that especially to differentiate from MY E!), who will be just about 9, I believe, for the trip. He's super-sweet, and is dealing with some issues. No diagnosis, but they are working on how to help him even without getting one (my cousin, and I totally understand her reasons, doesn't particularly want one)...some of the things he deals with are an inability to easily look you in the eye, he gets a bit obsessive about things, he has a VERY hard time losing, or imagining doing something he doesn't want to do. His immediate family loves him to pieces, but has had a hard time dealing with his differences, have wanted him to just be OK...but now, at last, they are meeting him where he is, and they are working towards helping him. For instance, they are having Family Game Nights to help him work on maybe not being the game piece he wants to be, helping him learn that sometimes you lose and sometimes you win but you must always be gracious, etc etc. He also has some physical issues like upper body weakness, low muscle tone, and being double-jointed, and they are hiring a PT and an OT to help with those things, too. When I met him on our trip it took a day for me to warm up to him, but by the end of their stay with us we were bosom buddies.

I'm sure we'll also see another contingent while out there (as they are extremely local to WDW), but I'll wait until I know to reintroduce them! The above 5 are the ones staying in our 2 bedroom at OKW. We are all very excited to have another opportunity to see each other AND WDW again so soon!
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DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!

Last edited by bumbershoot; 03-05-2011 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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Well, just made our flight arrangements out to Orlando. For the December flight, we got one flight paid for with miles, and paid for the other two out of pocket. This time, because I'm impatient and cannot wait to see if Robert will be sent on any flights for which he can earn Alaska miles, we have "only" two of us going on miles (MVP miles no less!) and are paying cash for one.

Even better, the cash flight is a bit less expensive than the one-ticket cost was in December! Nice!

I'm really happy about the nonstop flight out there. We'll use a different airline on the way back, because of miles, and there are no nonstops, which is a bummer...but oh well. Robert has WAY more miles on that airline so it will almost certainly be "free" (with Alaska you pay a few bucks per ticket, not sure if it's the same on the other airline), and that's worth a plane change IMO.

Because of the difference in the cost of the one ticket AND the price of the Universal hotels, the decision has been made for when we'll be at Universal; we'll be going *after* WDW. This actually works out nicely, especially given that the day of WDW checkout would have been my mom's birthday, and it's sad enough without being on a plane leaving Orlando.

So there we go. We have our way "out".
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:44 PM   #9
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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Woohoo!
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DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:56 PM   #11
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I found you too!

So glad your brother is doing better!!! And you too!
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:08 AM   #12
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And another woohoo!
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:29 AM   #13
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Went crazy this evening and booked our way back home as well. United didn't have 3 tickets at the low mileage price, but we booked two of us with the low miles and the third at the higher "cost". Still only cost $15 in real dollars (you have to pay some sort of fee...the Alaska flights had no stops, so it was 2.50 per person using miles...the United flights have one stop so it was $5 per person).

As Robert reminded me, we got roundtrip flights for 3 people for under $300 (remember, he paid for one Alaska ticket and there were the other fee involved), and that's hard to be upset about!


Not only that, but he told me that he and E had seen an ad for the Nickelodeon Suites up the road from WDW, and so we've decided that we'll stay there the first night. We're traveling on the 12th but OKW doesn't start until the 13th, so we needed something anyway. It looks like fun. Well, it looks like a Motel 6 got a water play area with two pools, but that can be fun.



Edited to add....forgot to mention, the Nick hotel will be a surprise for E. We so rarely have surprises in this family (I hate them and do not welcome them, and that has translated to the rest of the family) that it's fun to have just this one, especially since I know he wants to stay there!
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DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!

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Old 03-07-2011, 12:18 AM   #14
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Workin' out the budget...always a fun part of vacation.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I'm Molly. Travel agent for the family, fast-talker, homeschooling parent, former chiropractor (who has dreams of training in cranio-sacral therapy).
Cranio-sacral therapy is sooooo cool. My sister had some work done on her little person (who is now 5) when she was a wee little mite and it did wonders for her!

And totally off topic - another really cool technique to check out is EFT. (emotional freedom technique) We love it and use it at our house.


I'm following along again - sorry I was MIA on the end of the last TR - we've had some very sick people at our house and after 6 weeks everyone is finally feeling better.

I'm excited to hear about another trip! Super glad that your brother is okay and on the road to recovery. Also very glad to hear that you are finally feeling a LOT better. It's amazing how much iron will mothers (and fathers) can have when it relates to their children. Major, major willpower!
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