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Old 10-06-2012, 04:39 PM   #76
jenseib
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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Sounds like a long travel day with a long drive and two flights, but you guys still look so happy in the last pic taken by the amateur photographer.

That's funny that SWA was such chaos. I have actually found it pretty well controlled in Philadelphia and Baltimore and thought the new numbering system helped to keep the chaos under control.

Your room looks lovely. Free parking for TA's. That's awesome!

Great pictures, as always.
It was a long day...but we were on a high too. It's always fun going...coming home...not so much.

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We always fly Southwest from Denver since its more affordable with 5 people. Usually to MCO or TPA, sometimes Midway Chicago. I always pay the extra for EBCI since we have 3 kids and we've lucked out with being near the front, so maybe that's why, but we've never had a problem with people not being in their correct boarding position near us at those airports.

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip. Great start so far!!
I do think for the most part people were somewhat in their sections, but not all. I do know at least that it was all A boarders and not B's trying to get in. As long as we got seats together, I was OK.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #77
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After leaving our 2 new friends, we walked around the hotel lobby and I shot some pictures.











This was the little hallway that was on the side of the hotel and led to where we had parked.



We decided to take an outdoor tour.





I then realized that Texas has Palm trees. I guess I never realized that they would and I was excited.



















It was very pretty around the sides and front of the Marriott .........but then we came to the backside. It was a little bit scary. This alley didnt look so pretty or inviting. We debated turning around ........but we had seen video monitor cameras ALL over the parking lot and could spot them in the alley, so we proceeded on.



As soon as we started walking we saw a guy fishing through a dumpster. I have no clue if he worked there or what, but I did see him a couple more times that night. We walked quickly by him and he never looked up, and I just stayed clear of him when I saw him other times.
As we came to the end of the spooky alley .....and I will NEVER do that again ......we saw a police car right around the corner. We laughed to ourselves about worrying about being safe, and then there was a police car right at the end.
WELL .... ....there was a reason he was there. There was a car parked in the last spot against the building and in fact it had a special parking place with a plaque that said employee of the year on it. 2 employees were talking to the police man, one being our bartender friend. We kept walking, but I came back later and took a picture of what we saw.

And this is it.




Yep, its a car with no tires on it at ALL! ........And was sitting on 2 bricks. Oh my word. We did talk to our bartender friend as he started walking to the building as we were. We asked what happened, and he wasnt sure, but it had to happen sometime today. I told him we were shocked that someone could get away with this with all the video cameras around and the security gate. He told us yes, they had several cameras and it was likely the person would be caught and he too was amazed.

We headed back inside. The gym and pool door was right near where we entered in the side parking lot so we slipped in there for pictures..........you didnt actually think I was gonna work out did you?







While in there I got that childhood memory feeling of being on vacation. You probably know what I mean .......you enter a hotel with a pool and it has that small hint of chlorine in the air. Every time I smell that I feel like a kid again and that excitement of being at a hotel with a pool. That was major excitement as a kid. As an adult, I dont swim much, and when I do, its more of a stand and talk in the pool thing. But still I love that feeling of knowing we are on vacation.

I got a couple of shots of the pool.





It had a little enclosed outdoor area off of it too. It was nice looking. There were a few people out there and they had 2 boys at the pool. I really tried to avoid getting the boys in my pictures, because one had major plumbers butt going. LOL. I swear he kept moving into my frame as I took the picture each time.



After our little tour we headed back towards the room.

Last edited by jenseib; 10-14-2012 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:45 AM   #78
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I just read through my post and for some reason Dis is adding &'s into the post randomly. I tried to get them out...but if you see any I missed or if it decides to add them in again, I am sorry. I am not doing it. Dis is.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:59 AM   #79
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We found out that 1 elevator of the 2 was not working so we ventured up the stairs. Well that totally sucks. We were on the 5th floor. I think we went up the first 2 floors and took the elevator up the rest of the way.





This ballroom is where was saw the chess players going to.







We headed back to the room and I took a few shots out our window. It was not a very pretty area at all.





I noticed this black box.



What the heck could that be?



OOOOOH! It had the coffee fixings in it. Neither of us drink coffee, so it was left intact.

We just laid around from there on. I got on my kindle and checked emails, Lisa surfed the TV stations. I debated on a short nap, but Lisa said we shouldn’t because we may then have issues sleeping later tonight, so it was probably better to be exhausted when we went to bed. Good call.

After a while I got a text from Brook. She had just landed and they were taxing to the gate. I told her we would get ready and head out. We went slowly, as I didn’t want to get there early and then be made to circle around again.

I realized that I must’ve not printed out the directions to the airport from the Marriott. I swore I did, I know I looked at the route, but maybe because it was so easy, I figured I would remember….but I didn’t. So I asked at the desk, and it was very simple and off we went.

As soon as we got close to the airport pick up area we came to a complete stop in traffic. I guess this must be a popular time to get picked up. Brook texted us a few times and I had Lisa text her back that we were on our way and stuck in traffic.
We inched our way there and I just hate traffic like this. I hate when people pass and then try to get in up at the front of the line too and this was happening.
As we got closer though I was able to pull into another lane and got through faster and parked along the furthest curb for pick up. I think I spotted Brook as we drove up and I told Lisa, I think that’s her, so she rolled down the window and yelled Brook. Brook and Lisa have never met, nor seen a picture of each other, and it was kind of funny having Lisa yell for her while Brook took it on blind faith that it was Lisa and headed to our car.
We said our hellos and I introduced them both and we quickly threw her bags in the car.

Brook was starving so we headed off blindly to find something to eat. I went straight out of the airport and as we kept driving I was worried we were getting out of familiar territory. It was mostly residential. I went to turn around and as I did we spotted a lighted area down the road and then a Mexican restaurant, so we turned around once again and pulled in there.
I was a bad trip report writer here. I only took 2 pictures…and those were of food.
I can’t remember the name of the place, but the parking lot was pretty full.
We walked in and it looked like the bar area was having a party…with a bunch of kids….and it was LOUD. Lots of music and they were all doing some sort of dance.
We were seated right away and soon realized this was an authentic Mexican restaurant…we were the only non-Mexican people in there.
Lisa and I were looking for something lighter since we had eaten earlier, but I ended up with my old faithful…chimichonga. Brook got some HUGE meal that looked wonderful. Lisa got some sort of cheese dip with nachos. We also learned we weren’t in Ohio anymore. Lisa asked what kind of pop they had and the girl had no clue what she meant. Finally she said soda, and the girl rattled off some. We did find out from some Texas friends later that usually all pop/soda is referred to as Coke in Texas…so you ask what kind of Coke do you have?

Here are the 2 pictures I took.





The food was very good and filling. I only ate the Chimi and not the sides. Brook just kept having plate after plate brought out and she did some damage to them, but there was no way she could eat it all.

After we paid, we found our way back towards our hotel. Brook was staying with Carolyn and her friends for the night at a hotel just down the road from us, but since the roads are one-way, we had to go by our hotel first.
Just as we pulled into Springhill Suites, we saw Carolyn walking out the doors. They were off to find some food as well. We all said hellos and made introductions. Carolyn had her friends Shelly and Susan with her.
Carolyn and friends are from Canada, though Susan is still a US citizen, and Carolyn said she had only brought her passport and realized it when they went to rent a car. So the car was put in Shelly’s name since she had her license with her. We all laughed about that.
They handed Brook a room key and we all went our separate ways then.
We planned to meet back at their hotel around 7:15 AM. Lisa and I were going to sneak in and eat their “free” breakfast before we took off towards the port. We wanted to head out early and to drive together if possible. Brook was going to ride with us as well so that we could distribute luggage between the 2 cars.

Lisa and I made the circle back to the Marriott and got ready for bed. I think Lisa showered at night, and I was going to in the morning.
We set the alarm on my phone for butt crack of dawn. I had a feeling I would be up by then, but I sure didn’t want to chance being late.

The bed was comfy and soon I was drifted off to dreamland…and believe it or not, I slept halfway decent. It was a very long day…and it even had an extra hour since we gained one with the time difference.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:17 PM   #80
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The hotel looks really nice even though the area around it was not. I could not believe that somebody would steal car tires with all the cameras around. Your dinner sounded lovely.

Corinna
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #81
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Looks like a lovely hotel. And there you go with those food photos again. Don't you know I get hungry this time of day?
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:47 PM   #82
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I am loving all your picture's and can't wait to read more. How much trouble can you all get into
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:04 PM   #83
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The hotel looks really nice even though the area around it was not. I could not believe that somebody would steal car tires with all the cameras around. Your dinner sounded lovely.

Corinna
I know. I sure hope the caught the idiots!!

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Looks like a lovely hotel. And there you go with those food photos again. Don't you know I get hungry this time of day?
I am hungry too. How was the big b-day party?

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I am loving all your picture's and can't wait to read more. How much trouble can you all get into
Hey girl! I am a good girl. Though we had fun, we weren't wild. Geeky fun!
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:16 PM   #84
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What a long day! Love your pictures with the black frame, makes them really stand out!
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #85
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. How was the big b-day party?


Much better than last year ......not that that's a high bar to clear....... Although Katie did say she had to break up an indoor game of volleyball around 2:30 AM...... Oh well, I guess if it doesn't wake me, it doesn't happen.......
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:15 PM   #87
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For such a shady area, the hotel looks awesome! Looks clean and new and modern
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:31 PM   #88
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What a long day! Love your pictures with the black frame, makes them really stand out!

Thanks...and thats whay I do it. It can make some of the cruddiest pictures look nicer.

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Much better than last year ......not that that's a high bar to clear....... Although Katie did say she had to break up an indoor game of volleyball around 2:30 AM...... Oh well, I guess if it doesn't wake me, it doesn't happen.......
Thats good. I know Paige had one...once and I said never again. They were up all night and needed me constantly. it was awful. Some were crying from ghost stories, some were hyper, and it was the longest night ever.

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Hi Subbing on...

I haven't cruised before and am really curious about the experience so I can't wait to read about your adventures.

Hello! I am pretty sure I have read one or two of your reports in the past. Hopefully tomorrow I can get us to the port and that should be slightly more exciting than tires stolen off a car.

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For such a shady area, the hotel looks awesome! Looks clean and new and modern
It was nice. I think they hold quite a few conventions there. Too bad the area isn't nicer. We actually missed the turn off for Brooks hotel and we turned around in this lot...that lets just say I was pretty sure we would see a garage door open and a chop shop going on!
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:49 PM   #89
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Sept. 22, 2012, Saturday…Day 2

I woke up before the alarm, though not too much earlier.

I was full of excitement and a bit of nervousness. I will admit a little fear I had.
I was on the Dream in 2011. Boy is she a beautiful ship…and HUGE. I knew that the Magic was smaller. Just to show you the size difference, here are some pictures I borrowed from some friends.





The Magic is the “little” one. It looks like the Dream could eat the Magic for a snack. Would I be cramped? Would it seem more crowded on a smaller ship? Would I notice the smallness?
I am pretty sure the NCL cruises I went on many years ago were actually smaller ships, and I was fine on those, but after being on such a behemoth, would I be OK?

I showered and got ready. As you may have noticed, I don’t sport a traditional hair color. I had just “freshened” the color on Thursday, so this was my first wash since the new application of color. I am a licensed hairstylist, so I know how to rinse color out…basically do it forever till the water runs clear, shampoo repeat, shampoo repeat and condition. Well when I took the shower, I had more pink water coming out. Sometimes this will happen after the first wash, but this seemed like a lot coming out and towel drying my hair left the towel with some pink streaks….I have NEVER had that before. So odd. I wondered if this is how my hair reacts to good water versus the well water crap we have at home.

We got ready and rearranged our suitcases. I had packed a rolling duffle inside my suitcase. Well I had a heck of a time trying to get it all zipped back up with it in there, so we just pulled it out and threw a few things in it.

We jammed the trunk full and left the backseat for Brook and her bags.

We hit the road about 7 AM and were off to Springhill Suites to meet up with the other girls.

They were just getting breakfast and we joined them. It was a very simple breakfast with cereals, some fruit and make your own waffles, eggs, sausage and other basics.

Brook was tackling the make your own waffle. Lisa got some cereal.



And this is my plate. I think I got a bagel too.



Brook’s first waffle stuck to the waffle maker and she redid it…for one reason…we needed to take a picture of this baby.



Isn’t that so cute?

We talked about what “special” thing the Magic might have, like when she came to NYC she had a bumper sticker. My suggestion was a 10 gallon hat, though I wasn’t sure how that would work on a ship.
Around 8 or so, Brook noticed that people were posting on facebook that she had arrived finally. No one knew what time she would come into port and it was guessed from 4 to 7 AM. I guess she wanted to make a grand entrance in daylight and waited out at sea a bit to do so…and we later learned that is when they put on her “special” attire for Galveston.

After we ate, we made bathroom stops, and a couple of us bought a pop for the road trip and we loaded their car up with their bags. Brook shoved 1 in there and brought her other one into our car.
I had directions, but I wasn’t sure how good they were. Carolyn seemed to have a better idea of where to go, so she said to follow them. Shelly was the driver…and the funny thing is, Shelly is a nervous driver in areas she is not familiar with, so she was really worried…but she did a perfect job.

We hit the road and followed them all the way down. The 3 of us chatted away. It was just like Brook and Lisa had known each other for years. I am lucky to have both of them as friends. Both are nice and friendly and probably can talk to a wall if they needed to.

As we got closer to Galveston (the ride was probably about an hour, but went by VERY fast), we noticed some beautiful houses, and some really neat houses built on stilts. Being the driver, I couldn’t dig around for a camera and take shots. I wish I would’ve had it out though and then Lisa could’ve taken some.
Lisa kept saying, look at that one, or this one. And then we started driving through town with some old amazing looking homes and buildings and she was pointing constantly. I had to tell her I couldn’t look or I might be in the bumper of Shelly’s car. LOL

It was beautiful though. As we got closer to the port we started zigzagging around as many streets were shut down for some sort of festival…I later read it was a shrimp festival… I just kept following and Shelly later told us that some of the roads we went down were one ways…and we went the wrong way. I never even noticed.

Finally we found the entrance and pulled right up and dropped our bags off. We had arrived around 9 AM. Several porters were waiting to start the day. We said good bye to our bags for a while and pulled forward to find the parking lot…..then we saw her…the Magic. Yep, she was hidden behind the terminal. So EXCITING!

And guess what she had on! A 10 gallon hat! It was placed on one of the Mickey heads on one of the stacks. Now I couldn’t take a picture yet. I was driving still.

Next we headed off to find the parking lot. It is quite a ways away and I was hoping we weren’t getting lost. I didn’t think it was marked very well on how to get there, BUT then we realized that a stupid news van was right in front of the sign showing us the way. Not a great spot to park buddy!

We found the lot and asked where to go to get the free parking ticket we needed and they directed us to the lot across the street. We pulled over there and a couple gals ran inside while the rest of us talked outside and oohed and ahhed at this!



I have to say she still looked pretty darn big to me. I felt a bit of relief.

When the gals came back we headed back across the street and got parking right up front. The shuttle pulled right up and we hopped on. I took a quick picture of our rental so I could remember it and the license plate too if need be.



And off we went. I took this shot of the Mickey hat as we drove over.



We were dropped off and there were several people already waiting. Many of them were people from our facebook group and we said some hellos. We were told that they would not be opening doors till at least 10:30 but if we needed to use the restroom we would be let in.
A couple of us went in.



I do think these bathrooms were nicer than the Port Canaveral bathrooms. I still think those are not very disneylike.

I shot this really fast as we walked back out.



And then we sat down and waited.



That’s Lisa and Brook sitting and Carolyn standing with the pony tail and Susan with the short hair.

I think Shelly took these pictures of us.





Brook must’ve been dreaming of corndog nuggets there.

I went around the side of the building and got a few pictures of my new home.







And some of the terminal area.









Here is what the shuttles look like.



Someone must’ve been eating on the go and left their bowl on top of this sign.



I think about 10:15 people started lining up. We had been told that the doors should open around 10:30.



By now it was getting pretty hot outside too, so we were anxious to get in and cool off.



Finally they started letting in a few people at a time and then more a little later.
We made our way through security, which was very easy and went to the check in counter line for silver and gold members. I was now officially a silver member and Lisa got to come in that line since she was in my room.

Our girl was VERY slow. I know this was all new to them with Disney being there, so I was patient. I did have to ask for a silver lanyard though. I think she was leery about giving me one, but then looked it up and found that I did indeed get one. It’s not a huge perk…but darn it, I wanted it!

We got done and found the other girls sitting down near glass doors that you could see the stairway that went up towards the ship. This is NOT where you enter though. You actually go in on the complete opposite side of the terminal and then down a long hallway and then back to those stairs to swipe your card and go up.

Last edited by jenseib; 10-14-2012 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:05 PM   #90
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Oh I am sensing the excitement! Love the 10 gallon hat on Mickey! Such a nice touch! You all seem to be having fun already and you aren't even on the boat yet! I like how they were able to add the Disney touches at a Non-Disney terminal.
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