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Old 10-14-2012, 10:27 AM   #16
Tracerr00
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I love the outfits that you made for MNSSHP!! You all look great! I sure wish that I could sew because I just went costume shopping with my DD13 and everything was either way too sexy for a 13 year old or too little kid-ish for her. But great job - I can't wait to see the clothing that you've got lined up for your Med cruise! Someone on our board has already packed their suitcase for our cruise on June 1st as it's cold now and they probably won't pull out the clothing before they're in Barcelona! I couldn't do that because I'd forget what I'd packed and I'd also change my mind and add in more and take things out way too many times.

It looks like your trip got off to a great start! Looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:56 PM   #17
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I love the outfits that you made for MNSSHP!! You all look great! I sure wish that I could sew because I just went costume shopping with my DD13 and everything was either way too sexy for a 13 year old or too little kid-ish for her. But great job - I can't wait to see the clothing that you've got lined up for your Med cruise! Someone on our board has already packed their suitcase for our cruise on June 1st as it's cold now and they probably won't pull out the clothing before they're in Barcelona! I couldn't do that because I'd forget what I'd packed and I'd also change my mind and add in more and take things out way too many times.

It looks like your trip got off to a great start! Looking forward to hearing more!
Thanks! And I agree about the appropriateness of clothing for kids. That's part of the reason I sew for my daughter...some of the crap they sell is so awful! I see her classmates come to school (9 year olds!!) in the most ridiculous outfits....but then...you have to look at the parents, right? I can control her and nothing else. Breathe in, breathe out.

And while I am a planner, I cannot imagine already having a bag packed already! I'd be afraid that I'd accidentally find out that I'd, um, "outgrown" something. But...I totally get that if you're packing all your stuff away, you might as well put it in a suitcase! For me though, since I pack "across" suitcases and group outfits, it wouldn't work...Ashleigh would have outgrown her stuff by the time we left!

And, I really need to start pondering anything I'm going to make for myself for next summer. That summery fabric is likely on the clearance rack and if I were smart, I'd be there now scooping up the deals. Sigh. But I'm not....

And I digress, back to the TR...
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:38 PM   #18
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Day 2!

We woke up fairly early and discover that, of course, the wifi issue was not resolved. I hopped in the shower and let Sean work his magic with the front desk. By the time we'd showered and got everything back into our suitcases, Randy from Bell Services was at our door with new room keys and a luggage cart to take us to our room! We went from the 9th floor and a less than magical view to the 2nd floor and a view of a pretty courtyard. This room was the biggest standard hotel room I'd ever seen, and Randy told us it was the biggest room in the hotel (I'm assuming that suites were not included in this statement). He also told us that Darryl Hannah had stayed in this room and had a bunch of gym equipment moved in there for the duration of her stay! Interesting to ponder that fact...

So, before they moved us to this room, the staff had gone TO the room to check the wifi connectivity. There was a router ON the dresser . Yeah, that worked!! Too early for a FaceTime on the West Coast, so off to the Boardwalk bakery for breakfast. This was not well thought out, but as we were hungry, we decided to brave the ginormous line. I'd read about the fruit parfaits there, and as my breakfast usually revolves around fruit, yogurt, and granola, it seemed like a good option. It was ok. Their idea of fruit was strawberries in syrup. Meh. But...it kept our stomachs from eating our spines until the food and wine kiosks opened. So, breakfast complete, off to future world!

We headed for the Land, as no trip to Epcot is complete without Soarin', right? Well the Fastpass return time wouldn't have been convenient to our F&W touring, so we braved the standby line...which I don't think is something I've ever done! The queue was completely new (and boring) to me. But, it only took about 20 minutes, then we did Living with the Land. I love that ride! I always want to come home and form some sort of fabulous garden. Oh, but the lack of sun, warmth, and my general distaste for gardening always seems to botch that plan up...Still...pretty cool to ride thru!

And I need to comment here...wifi in the parks? Awesome! Did a Facetime with Ashleigh before she went to school! Had to wander looking for the strongest signal, but it got done! I don't think she was really happy seeing all the park stuff, though...

So being as far into future world as we were, we headed to Spaceship Earth. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this ride! Did a different scene at the end of the ride and got a giggle seeing Sean's head on a goofy-looking character from the future! Headed from here over the the Festival Center. We've done F&W twice before and never made it here! I'd almost reserved one of the seminars, but I really wasn't willing to commit money to a schedule I wasn't sure was going to pan out. But, we wandered over to the Chase Visa area and took advantage of the ability to get a soda, then wandered about the wine area and found a few bottles to take on the cruise with us! They offered to ship these to International Gateway for us (can't go to the resort...alcohol), and assured us it would be there by 2. Sure..okay...Got some free chocolate and headed toward Mexico! First stop: Argentina! Beef skewer and a Malbec, please! YUM!! Australia? Lamb chop (for Sean, not my thing) and a glass of Shiraz-Cabernet (tasty!). Break in Mexico to go on the ride so as to escape some heat....then on toward Germany! Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll....and a bottle of water!! In looking at the Passport for the event, it looks like this may be all we ate on this particular day. But, we did stop by France.



Yup. Grand Marnier slushies! While all the other items we'd tried were shared, we each got our own drink here. These are un-freakin-believeable!! Almost like an adult melted orange creamsicle! Finished with these, we decided to go see the film in France! We'd never seen it and figure it would be fun! And, other than the very dated clothing and hairstyles, the film was beautiful! I'd book a trip to France in a heartbeat! But, we were now hot and a bit ready to be done with the crazy crowds. So, off to International Gateway to go get our wine. Or not. It was 2, but the wine hadn't even been picked up yet from the festival center. Sigh...ok can we come back tomorrow and get it? Yes? Fabulous! Back to the room, get the car, and head to the race expo!
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #19
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I'm pretty sure I said this before, but this was my 1st RunDisney event. I've done non-Disney runs before and had a good time, so why not mix a few of my favorite activities? We had the option of picking up our race packets either Friday the 28th or Saturday the 29th, but in listening to the chatter on the Wish boards, I figured that I needed to scope out the merchandise earlier rather than later.

We drove over to the ESPN area....I'd never been here before either! It was really big! I was shocked at how full the parking lot was! We had to cruise up and down a bit to find a parking spot. We walked over to the building the expo was in and upon entering, we saw this:



After heading downstairs, you head to the very back to pick up your stuff. Good for 2 reasons, I figure: control bottlenecks and makes you walk past all the stuff! We got our packets, walked over the thingie on the floor that activates your chip in your bib, then headed to see if I could exchange my shirt. Why? It was HUGE! I ordered mediums for both of us, and it's too big on Sean, let alone me! I'd asked for a small, but they were out. I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't ask to see what the x-small looked like. At this point, Sean either has 2 shirts or I'm going to try and rip mine apart and re-sew it. At worst, it'll become the background on some sort of mounting for our medals. At best, I'll pull it off and be able to wear it. I did email RunDisney about my displeasure and got a canned "thank you for your feedbacK' sort of reply. The Tink 1/2 is supposed to have a women's cut shirt, thankfully. So we wandered around looking at merchandise, but I was really unimpressed with the prices. IMHO, these weren't any sort of deal, just capitalizing on people in a building with running as an interest. We didn't take the time to attend any of the seminars, though the topics were interesting. I did manage in the "official merchandise" area to find a short-sleeved women's cut technical t-shirt with the ToT logo on it...and it was purple and teal! Love it! Oddly, it was cut very small and I ended up buying a large...not my usual medium. I also got a magnet for my car...a Mickey head 13.1 "in training" logo! It said to apply to a clean surface.... might take a while for the car to get to that status...

We were off back to the hotel. It was going to be time soon to get ready for the Halloween Party. It started raining on our drive back to the Swan, and it refused to let up! We called our friends and changed the 5pm meet time to 6pm. Then, what does a married couple do without kids in attendance do? Go to a bar! We ordered a split bottle to share, but look at the size of this glass!!!!



The rain let up and we were off, calling our friends to let them know were were on our way. Now, my friend Marcy is great, but she runs on Canadian time, which is apparently a little, um, slow... (just kidding...no offense....I tell her this all the time as a joke...). She drives fast but has no concept of being early. So, as they had our tickets, we got to people watch at the Magic Kingdom. Remember what I was saying about level of appropriateness? Yeah. But...this was the most creative thing I saw! So creative I walked over and asked if I could take a picture:



As I already posted comments about the Halloween party, I'll refrain from saying anything further except for this: We were watching the parade, when I hear my husband comment on a costume and get my attention to show me. I look over and he's pointing out to me.....this is great.....a woman dressed up....OMG.....as a character out of SPACESHIP EARTH!!!!! Specifically, she was the woman in the mission control scene in the mini-skirt, boots and Afro!! My husband (and he's gonna kill me for posting this...) is an official DISNEY GEEK!!!. So, yes, 15 years of brainwashing has effectually rendered my husband into Disney Geekdom! I'm so proud!
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:21 PM   #20
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Great report so far.

Jill in CO
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:06 PM   #21
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Great report so far.

Jill in CO
Thank you!!!
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #22
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The day of the race!

I find it interesting how the ability to sleep in late declines with age. Now that my daughter is old enough to not require our services first thing in the morning I am incapable, it seems, of sleeping much past 7am. Well, until the day of the race, that is! After staying out as late as we could at the MNSSHP, we slept until...get this....11:15!!! Holy cow! Our intent that morning had been to go the the breakfast buffet (or ala cart, who knows) at the Swan's Garden Grove. Yeah, totally slept thru that! And we were worried that we'd be up early as we were able to hear a baby thru the wall at 1am. Now, the baby was cooing and making happy noises, but still, noise is noise. But no...the baby slept in too, I guess.

We even slept thru our phones buzzing as Mindy was texting me. I must have put it on some clothing to decrease the noise. Mindy and Jim had arrived the night before and got to their hotel around midnight, I think. They got a decent rate at All Star Music, I think, which was a host hotel, important for the fact that Mindy had purchased tickets so they could come cheer us on that evening!! Mindy will chime in to give you her details if she see fit, but they ended up at Downtown Disney for some shopping and lunch, then went to Wide World of Sports to pick up their tickets and some Disney swag. There's a race in their future..........

Sean and I needed food. We'd had dinner at Pecos Bills, and while Sean had a massive burger and fries, I, she who has tummy running issues, was trying to stick to "normal" consumption and had a chicken wrap. Incidentally, this was pretty good. I'd expected the wrap to be drenched in creamy dressing of some sort, but it wasn't! Just chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes. I used the toppings bar and added pepperoccinis, grilled onions, and mushrooms! Yum! So in wandering around, we realized that we were a bit limited on the Boardwalk, and ended up at the ESPN club. Which, surprisingly, was quite good! Not greasy in any way! I had a chicken sandwich on foccicia and Sean had a roast beef sandwich of some sort. Ok, hungry beast quelled, we needed to head over to International Gateway to pick up our wine. However, we didn't want to waste a park admission going in there.....so we asked one of the gate attendants how they could help us.....and let's just say she lacked the Disney standard. We caught the attention of one of the store employees that was dealing with the stroller rentals, and she more than helpfully got our package! So, wine returned to the room, we decided that as we'd had no shopping opportunity the evening before, we headed over to the MK so as to wander in and out of the shops on Main Street! This was definitely an adult activity! How nice to take your time, not being pulled to one thing or another! It didn't matter that we were primarily shopping for our daughter anyway, it was just nice to take our time and enjoy the details!

Before we left, I asked Ashleigh what she'd like for our trip. Without much hesitation, she wanted something with Stitch or Jack Skellington. Ok. We found a cute black and purple Jack t-shirt easily since all the Nightmare stuff was out for Halloween. Stitch, however, was another matter. All I could find were plushes. That child has more plushes that she has space to put them. No WAY I was going to buy one, especially as it wasn't one of the small ones.....it was at least 16" long! Sigh. So we held off hoping to find something later on in our trip. We were kind of wanting some ice cream, but the line was out the door and down Main Street a ways, so we left the park and headed back to the room to rest our feet.



Ahhhhhh......Air conditioning and football! But after a while, we knew that we'd need to fuel up a bit. We decided to try out the Fountain at the Dolphin.....and while we split a salad, both of us were still really craving ice cream, and as I knew I wouldn't really eat after the race (I know, I should to help with muscle recovery, but I have a really hard time doing so...), I figured that a wee bit of ice cream would be good, right?? Here's the pic I texted Mindy:



Sean had rocky road, I had a caramel coffee something or other. Very tasty! And, as it had been really hot, we did take the time to guzzle water to pre-hydrate, as we'd been doing for the last few days.

Race instructions asked us to be on a bus by 8 in order to be in a corral by 9:15. Uh, ok. That seems excessive, but not having done a Disney race, we figured we'd follow their advice. So the plan was to leave the room about 7:30 and walk over tot he Boardwalk to catch a bus. Knowing that we'd be out very late again, we got out our running gear and clothing for the next day, and packed up the luggage in preparation for heading to the Port. Wine in carryon, along with swimsuit and coverup; all the toiletries would be thrown in there as well. We left the big case open, knowing that our nasty, sweaty running stuff would need to be in a plastic bag and crammed in later that night.

I have to say that while their estimation of when we "needed" to be on a bus was waaaaaayyyyyy too early, the transportation to the race was efficient. We walked on a bus and were whisked off the barely 1 mile to the parking lot somewhere at Hollywood Studios. Um, ok, I suppose had I not been saving my feet that this would have been a very easy walk...if fact, they overshot the bag drop off spot by about 1/4 mile and we had to backtrack. Sean and I used 1 of the bags they gave us and had prepared dry clothing for later on. That dropped off, it was still just before 8pm. The race didn't start until 10! They had a stage set up with a DJ(dressed in a ToT uniform!) hosting a dance party a ways away from the corrals. Not wanting to be on our feet, we headed to the corral and found a seat.

I believe that the official # of registered runners was about 10,000. The corrals were broken into groups of 2500. So while we were there early and could get an easy seat along a fenceline away from the general crowd, imagine how that was for those that got there late! Here's Sean while we were waiting:



There were lots of portalets IN our corral (corral A)...the only corral to have them! Not sure why that was, though. There were a lot more outside our corral, but it seems like poor planning on Disney's part. I'd be interested to hear the opinion of someone in one of the other 3 corrals.

So, if you're not a runner, I can imagine you asking "what the heck is a corral?". When you register for a race, you can submit a time from a timed race so as to get you in a faster corral, or, you can submit an estimated time that you think you might finish the race in. I had an official 1/2 marathon time I submitted, and put down that I figured I'd finish in 1:45:00. I figured there would be things to see and characters to stop for and that this would be a generous estimation. Sean insisted that he'd run with me, though he is, by far, a faster runner than I. Having been dead last in a 10k a few years ago, I'm simply glad to be middle of the pack. I once thought I'd never run again, so I'm happy just to be ABLE to run. Sean is a born competitor. Hates having people pass him. Remember this.

So right was I was thinking I might zip over to the portalet one more time (getting a bit nervous), they get us up and Moooooooooooove us (get it..like a cow? herding us?) to the starting line. This, my friends, was quite a long walk. But, we were pretty close to the starting area:



Mindy was texting me at this point wondering where we were and at some point she did find the 2 of us, but it was so loud I couldn't hear her yelling at us!! So she got to see us start off! Each corral got a fireworks start, but not knowing this, I didn't get any pics . They were pretty, though!

So here I need to mention the weather. It was 80 degrees. At 10 pm. And really, really humid. We live closer to Canada than we do to Seattle, and it rarely gets to 80, let alone be 80 and that stinkin' humid. I was sweating before we started the race! The other thing that's important here is that in spite of being what I consider to be fairly fit and athletic, I have an abnormally high heart rate. Resting is usually high 80's. Ok, what ever, not an issue. I keep hydrated by running with a hydration pack (love this thing!). eUntil I hit the 180 range, which is where I start to feel symptomatically short of breath and generally like crap. It took me 33 minutes to achieve a rate of 185, at which time I announced to Sean that I needed to walk to slow it down. Sean, not ever having experienced this sensation or heart rate, was annoyed. I will spare you the finer details, but we've agreed never to run together in a race ever again. Kept telling him to go ahead. Wouldn't listen. I ended up walking 6 times, with the ONLY picture stop to be this:



We were running thru the WWoS baseball field and caught ourselves on the jumbotron! Very cool! I heard that there was intermittently a green screen there that would somehow show the runners coming out of the ToT, but did not witness this myself. In addition, another really cool thing there was that one of the Casey's Corner cast members was there wearing his baseball duds. Pretty neat!

Mindy and Jim had made their way to HS, and Mindy said she saw us run by, but Jim had turned his head and missed the photo op . We ran thru a LOT of HS. Must have been at least a mile....I never knew how much park you could actually cover there! But, at least it was interesting to look at and kept the fatigue at bay for a bit. The course overall was a bit sparse on entertainment, IMO. My (our) finish time was 1:49:15. Yikes. Over shot my "generous" estimation a bit, eh? But, we finished:



And our medals (the elevator moves up and down...):



As you cross the finish lie, you get your medals, then continue walking, get water or powerade (or both), a banana, a snack box, keep walking, hit the bathroom, keep walking, walk some more...get the idea? I get why...it really kept the bottle neck to a minimum, and I can imagine that it might get very crowded later as the other corrals and walkers that were grouped together came across the finish line. But the bag pick up was off in no-man's land (Sean finally went and got it), as I waited with Mindy and Jim. They had tents for us to change in, but those things were bloody saunas! It was hard enough to peel off the sweaty clothes, but then you had to pull dry ones over your sweaty self. Phew!

There was a ton of stuff open, but after doing a few attractions, we were shot. The feet were sore, and neither of us brought another pair to change into. I was walking around in my running shoes with the laces wide open! So off to the busses and back to the room for a well-deserved shower! Again, the bus transportation was very efficient. Got off at the Boardwalk again and walked over to the Swan. A security guy asked us what we were doing, as apparently the Boardwalk area was closed and usually no one could/should be there. He didn't give us any trouble though, when we explained what we were doing. In fact, I'm surprised he asked at all. A) we looked like runners and B), the swan and dolphin were sold out that night so there was no way we were the first to come by here....

Anyway, we set an alarm for 8 as our plans were to be at ASM to pick Jim and Mindy up at 9. Ug. That was early....
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:12 PM   #23
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We even slept thru our phones buzzing as Mindy was texting me. I must have put it on some clothing to decrease the noise. Mindy and Jim had arrived the night before and got to their hotel around midnight, I think. They got a decent rate at All Star Music, I think, which was a host hotel, important for the fact that Mindy had purchased tickets so they could come cheer us on that evening!! Mindy will chime in to give you her details if she see fit, but they ended up at Downtown Disney for some shopping and lunch, then went to Wide World of Sports to pick up their tickets and some Disney swag. There's a race in their future..........

I will chime in with my details a little later...need to download the pictures first. One correction. We picked up our tickets at Disney marketplace and got our swag at HS while waiting for you. I've never been to the Wide World of Sports


Mindy was texting me at this point wondering where we were and at some point she did find the 2 of us, but it was so loud I couldn't hear her yelling at us!! So she got to see us start off! Each corral got a fireworks start, but not knowing this, I didn't get any pics . They were pretty, though! ][

I found you 2 minutes before the race started and one very un-Disney like lady would not let me to the ropes to call to you. I have pictures of the fireworks


Mindy and Jim had made their way to HS, and Mindy said she saw us run by, but Jim had turned his head and missed the photo op .

I was so angry with him. He was poised and ready and he missed it. I was by the ropes and couldn't get it because my camera wouldn't adjust to the light.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:49 AM   #24
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Thank you so much for your great description of race day. I had so many questions as I plan to do this run next year and I think you answered them all in your post! I'm just a beginning runner (currently on a little shin splints break due to trying to run too fast on hills near my home) so it was very informative to hear how this whole thing works from the transportation to the corrals, hearing about your hydration pack etc. Very cool medal and it's awesome that you had Mindy and Jim to cheer you on! Do you have some sort of gadget that measures your heart rate while running? (like I said, I'm a beginner so I don't have any cool stuff yet!) I did a 5K this past weekend and after a little bit I felt like my heart was doing flip flops so it freaked me out a little. It would have been so embarrassing to die after only two miles.

I can't wait to hear about your cruise!
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Tracerr00 View Post
Thank you so much for your great description of race day. I had so many questions as I plan to do this run next year and I think you answered them all in your post! I'm just a beginning runner (currently on a little shin splints break due to trying to run too fast on hills near my home) so it was very informative to hear how this whole thing works from the transportation to the corrals, hearing about your hydration pack etc. Very cool medal and it's awesome that you had Mindy and Jim to cheer you on! Do you have some sort of gadget that measures your heart rate while running? (like I said, I'm a beginner so I don't have any cool stuff yet!) I did a 5K this past weekend and after a little bit I felt like my heart was doing flip flops so it freaked me out a little. It would have been so embarrassing to die after only two miles.

I can't wait to hear about your cruise!
Glad to hear it was helpful. Shin splints are very painful, so good luck with that! I use a pack from Ultimate Direction. They are not a well-known company, it seems, but I got it after actually seeing it...an acquaintance of mine knew a woman who had one....a distance hard-core runner. This pack is sized for smaller women. I'm very short waisted, and most packs are far too long on my to be comfortable. This one is great, and unlike the Camelback packs, it has 2 chest straps....one above and one below the ladies....you know...! Keeps the pack from bouncing around. I did have to replace the bladder...it was a bit flimsy and sprung a leak. I replaced it with a Platypus 2L bag. Here's a link to the bag:

http://www.ultimatedirection.com/p-5...ydration-packs

And yes, I do have a heart rate monitor. I use a very old (3-4 years? ancient in electronic terms) Garmin. It's a Forerunner 50 that is no longer even made. However, it has a chest strap and a foot pod that feed data into my watch. There's no GPS in this model, but the newer ones have it so that it takes into account elevation changes. I primarily use it to track distance and watch my heart rate. I can tell how well I'm training/feeling by looking at my average run speed and distance and what my HR did during the run.

I've had to work the last few days and have been working on another project, but the next installment, you know, the cruise part, should be up this weekend!
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #26
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Errands run, housework...well, never done but at least tackled, time to write!

8am rolls around awfully early when you didn't fall asleep until after 3am. I don't fall asleep easily, sadly. Sean? Out like a light! But, put the phone waaaaayyyy across the really big room and was forced to get out of bed and silence it. Up, into the shower, and packed...out the door in 45 minutes. Hit the hotel coffee cafe and got our caffeine fix (oh...the swan has starbucks coffee in the rooms, BTW....) and a parfait. Remember when I criticized the Boardwalk Bakery's parfait? This one was far better. Real fruit, no syrup, yum. I was getting texts from Mindy asking if we were on our way, and ultimately, after saying we'd be there at 9, we got there at 9:07. Not bad. And...they were out waiting for us! This is when we saw their (Jim's) pile of luggage. I so should have taken a picture of it.

So we were off to the port. I completely forgot to bring a car phone charger, but the car ended up having a USB port. Good, because the new map on Apple's new iOS sucks the battery down fast. We made good time, were quickly parked and put on a shuttle at Park 'N Cruise, and off to the port:



Couldn't get a great picture. We wanted to get there early enough to see about upgrading. Sean and I had never done concierge before, and figured it might be cost effective this time around. Well, as early as were were there, they were down to on regular room and one suite. And to go from a 5A to a regular room was $540. Meh. We passed. The suite would have been $980 (I think). Not worth the extra cost, IMO. And as we had such a great location, I really didn't want to switch. We were in cabin 9560, a starboard midship verandah room. Jim and Mindy were next door. We were in group 6....9?? It didn't take very long for us to get on the ship. And the entry didn't disappoint! I do love the new chandelier:



We'd wanted to got to the sit down restaurant (Enchanted Garden, I think), but it wasn't going to open for about 45 minutes, and as we were all hungry, Cabanas it was! Their buffet was surprisingly good! Unlike Topsiders/BeachBlanket, this restaurant has a nicer feel to it. Seems cleaner and more finished, at least to me. After we ate, we decided to kill time until our stateroom opened by going on a tour of the ship. Well, after being there for a few minutes, we realized this was cruising for those who'd never been before, and wandered off to look around on our own. We headed to our staterooms about 1:30 and unpacked what we had, then headed to the spa. On the Magic/Wonder, the spa tours were well advertised. Not so much here, IMO. They had the raffle, but we had to ask for a tour. Which they gladly gave, mind you, but just surprising that we had to ask. We loved the look of the rainforest room and we each got length-of cruise couple's passes. Best. Purchase. Ever. Went back to the too to find luggage there. I got laundry together (smelly wet sweaty stuff) and headed to the 8th floor (didn't see the one on the map that was right down the hall and didn't do my research before ) and then met Sean at the mandatory drill.

More later....
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:28 PM   #27
MinnieDiva
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I forgot to post these earlier:



one of 2 photos with a character. I also forgot to add these from when we boarded. Sorry for B&W, but I'd been tinkering with camera setting the previous day and forgot to reset them, ending up with very yellow photos.





See what happens when you're sleep deprived?

I also failed to mention that there were 2 stateroom gifts awaiting us: one as a Castaway Club Member and the other from our TA:



So after the drill, Sean went back to the room. He was tired. And cranky. So he went to take a nap. I went to go deal with the laundry and try to make it to the Dis-meet. Sadly, I couldn't find any dis'ers , but I did get a few pictures of the departure.



It was fun to watch them waving us good-by! I sent some last texts for Ashleigh for her to get when she got home from school.

So back to fold laundry and to the room. Sean was awake, as it had been too noisy for him to sleep. We decided to skip the Golden Mickeys in favor of the rainforest room. It was a hard decision, as we really enjoy the show, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up! So some time in the spa, some dozing in the heated tiled recliners, some of the showers then the sauna, and back to the room. With wineglasses!



Our sunset:



Yeah. That was rough. So our dinner that night was in Animator's Palate. We were really looking forward to see how technology had changed this restaurant from the classic ships. We weren't disappointed.





The screens came to life, and Crush came on and interacted with the guests. It was very cool!

Got a great pic of Mindy and Jim:



Dinner was good, and our servers were very nice. Our assistant server was Jorge from Peru, and our server was James from St. Vincent. I did notice that the menu was in no way unique to the ship. I'd had some of the dishes last year on the Alaskan cruise. I find that a bit disappointing.

So, we were waaayyyyy too tired to stay up for the adult entertainment in the district. So, it ended up being an early night. I was looking forward to a really good night's sleep! I love towel animals!!

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #28
mindelmouse
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So, since I was actually invited to tell my story and it is integrally entwined with Kim's I guess I will Here I go again...hijacking one of Kim's trip reports. Now let me just set expectations to the proper level. I am in no way as detailed or as good a writer as Kim is. Part of it stems from the drastic age difference and the fact that I can't even remember what I did yesterday, but I'll do my best to try

Let me start at what was the beginning for me. I knew Kim had booked her run at Disney and the 4 day anniversary cruise. I also knew that she had been able to rebook it and got a great deal on a room. None of this really phased me because I was going on a NY-Bahamas cruise on the Magic at the end of August (which I had booked since it was announced.) As far as I was concerned, with my DH's propensity for spending money on the cruises and knowing I was booked for Europe next June, I was pretty much done with booking vacations for a while. Until that is, until the Merrill clan descended upon NJ for their much anticipated visit.

While sitting around the table after a barbeque with some other cruise friends, the topic of Kim's anniversary cruise came up and Kim happened to mention how she could get the discount she got on more rooms and everyone jokingly was saying...they should go...I actually became interested...

Now let me back up here and give you an insight into me and my personality. I am totally not spontaneous and very tight with my money. I am married to a spender and it drives me nuts. I hate spending money...I want to make sure we always have money to pay out bills (I'm an accountant for gosh sakes.) Don't get me wrong, I have no problem spending money on other people, I just don't spend it on myself.

So anyway, I digress, the seed had been planted. A few days later we took the Merrills for an overnight in NYC and we seriously started discussing the possibility of us going on the cruise with them. Jim and I had not ever been on vacation alone since our 11 year old twins were born and we needed the alone time. But how? Who would watch the kids? While we contemplated Kim contacted her TA and had them hold a room for us at the same price (1/2 off the regular cost) Cat 5A and low it behold, it was right next door to hers. We then called Jim's parents in AZ and asked if they would come watch the kids if we flew them out? What a deal for them? Uninterrupted time with their grandkids and they don't have to pay for it...it's all how you present it, isn't it? We chose his parents first because his dad has no problem driving around in our area. Well, I want you to know, we waited until the next day for them to call us back and say no...At that point, we tried my parents. The kids would be happier with them, but they wouldn't drive. Within an hour, my mom called back and said she would come. At this point we were on our way home from NYC in the back seat of the car and Kim and I managed to book and pay for the cruise, my airfare ($200 RT from NJ to MCO), my mom's airfare and my room at Allstar Movie Resort for the two nights prior....I now realized OMG...I'm actually doing this...going away again, a month after I get home....it's all paid for and I haven't even asked for the time off from work....The PANIC of what I had just done was starting to set in.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:50 PM   #29
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So we went on our cruise from NYC to the Bahamas and had a great time. Met a whole bunch of really great people. We came home, got the kids set up and started school and before we knew it, it was almost time to go again. The week before I realized I needed a less formal dress than the one I had and I needed one for a Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of one of our cruise friends (which is next week) anyway, so I went out and bought a dress. The week before we left flew. There was so much going on, I just couldn't keep up. My mom came into town Thursday night and we left Friday night. I didn't get to spend much time with her before we left, but we had a little on Friday afternoon. I had typed up a schedule of every day of events and where everyone had to be and when. Left her take out menus of places that delivered and a credit card. I was most worried about how my ADHD son was going to act. I knew my kids were mad that we were going without them, but I never expected the behaviour they exhibited while I was gone (but I'm jumping ahead.)

So Friday at about 5 pm, Jim and I left for Newark airport with one bag for me and two for him (you saw Kim already mentioned his luggage.) I'm not sure what was in all those bags but he did have two of them. We parked at a new place called the Parking Spot, apparently they are popping up in airports all over the country. It was very convenient and after we parked there we found a coupon for 20% off in the airplane magazine. We got to the airport a little later than expected because Jim was behind schedule. We barely had time for him to get us $24 salads to take on the plane with us for dinner since we hadn't eaten and didn't arrive in Orlando until 11 pm. .....
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:40 PM   #30
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This is fun! I get to read 2 TR's in one!
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