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Old 11-14-2012, 09:24 PM   #76
ellajeansmom
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Next to visit our table was Minnie, we let Ella and Jean get their books signed and have a picture with just them









but we definitely needed a picture with Minnie and all the ladies in our hats, Minnie thought they were very cute!





Then Goofy came along









And finally Donald made his way over to flirt with Nana (he greeted her by kissing her hand)











During all of this I think we each went up to the buffet at least 3 times! We finally had our fill and knew we had to get moving.

At some point Ella realized that we were not going back to CS and got upset as there had been something in the gift shop there she had planned to get before we left and that never happened. We calmed her down and assured her the gift shop here would likely have it as well, so we hit one more gift shop Ella bought herself Perry the Platypus and Jean bought a Rapunzel playset. Nana and I realized that we still both had several snack credits left (Grammy had used all of hers) so we stopped at the Contempo café and picked up some apples, Mickey rice krispie treats and chips to use those up.

We finally made it back out to the truck and sadly drove off. It was harder for the girls because they knew it would be at least a couple of years before they were back – I knew I was coming back the next day! We dropped Nana and Gramps off at the airport where they were picking up a rental car and then continued on towards Port Canaveral.

Next time...the Dream!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:51 AM   #77
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Yay for Chef Mickey's!! Sounds like you had a great breakfast and the character pictures turned out so cute!

Oohh...I can't wait to hear about the Dream!
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:38 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Yay for Chef Mickey's!! Sounds like you had a great breakfast and the character pictures turned out so cute!

Oohh...I can't wait to hear about the Dream!
We enjoyed Chef Mickey's...it was a terrific way to wrap up our time together at the WDW and we all love a breakfast buffet We had great character greets and pics the whole trip, I think a lot of it was because Nana and Grammy were happy to jump into the pictures and interact with the characters so it helped Ella and Jean relax a little more around them.

I hope to get a post done tonight...there will be Dream pics!
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:38 PM   #79
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Day 5 cont'd...in which we part ways

Having dropped Nana & Gramps at the airport so they could pick up their own rental car, we continued on to Port Canaveral. We easily found our way into the drop off area and they kindly allowed us to park a few minutes while we made sure Grammy and the girls were organized and set. We took a pic



and off they went to board the Dream E and I were feeling a little jealous at this point being so close to the ship – it is amazingly beautiful! I took a few more pics as we drove away









We then drove on down to Cocoa Beach where we had decided to spend the night. We didn’t have anything actually booked but I had found a few options and we ended up at the Days Inn right across from the pier. The hotel was definitely older and could stand some refurb, but it was clean and it included a fridge and microwave. We had a short nap and then headed back towards Cape Canaveral to find Nana & Gramps’ condo – we had to give them Jean’s booster seat as they would be picking Grammy and the girls up on Sunday. Their condo was perfect for them for the 3 nights, right on the beach with a balcony and included a washer and dryer – Nana already had laundry going! We really didn’t have any plans for the afternoon, we had thought about going to one of the parks to watch the ship leave but then realized we could see the ships from the condo so we just relaxed and kept track of the ship on the Port Canaveral webcam. We watched a Carnival ship leave and then it was the Dream’s turn.







We decided to go outside to watch and soon we could see the smoke stacks over the trees





Then the horn played “When you wish upon a star” and the ship slowly emerged from the port







Nana, Gramps and I decided to stay on the walkway to the beach as we were a bit elevated but E went to the beach and ran to get as close as he could – here is a couple of pics of him on the beach





And the pictures he took while at the water's edge








Here's another shot as she moves out to sea, with Nana included to give perspective, although the water plays tricks with distances but she seemed so close!



We hung around for a bit longer not wanting to lose sight, and so pretty as night fell and the lights came on





It was so cool to see this beautiful ship sailing by knowing that the girls and Grammy were somewhere on it! It was so close we could see the Jumbotron, although not what was playing on it.

Finally, we debated what to do for the evening. We were still full from our brunch at Chef Mickey’s and we were all pretty tired after four busy days in the parks. Nana and Gramps had to go out to get groceries and decided to just pick up something light for dinner. E and I had to find a power cord for his phone since we realized he had left his at CS, so we said good-bye to Nana & Gramps and set off to find a Wal-Mart. Driving down the coast we caught a few more glimpses of the Dream! We got the power cord and decided to just find a grocery store and get salads for dinner to eat in the hotel room. After eating we watched some TV and then fell asleep. We were disturbed by noise during the night (around 1 or 2 am when the local bars closed) but it did quiet down and we got a good rest.

Up next...aboard the Dream!

Last edited by ellajeansmom; 12-02-2012 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #80
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Beautiful pictures of the Dream! It really makes me want to take a cruise. I can't wait to hear the girls reaction to the ship!
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:03 PM   #81
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Beautiful pictures of the Dream! It really makes me want to take a cruise. I can't wait to hear the girls reaction to the ship!
Thanks! Even from the shore, the Dream is a stunning ship...so much more character than the other ones we saw coming out of the port.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:39 PM   #82
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Day 5 continued...on the Dream

Grammy and the girls got through the boarding process with no troubles and were able to go to their room right away. Ella says she had butterflies in her tummy as they boarded and was a bit overwhelmed that they were actually on the ship as there was so much to take in. They participated in the lifeboat drill, then returned to the room, changed into bathing suits and sundresses and went on deck to enjoy the sail-away party and the pools









Ella says the pool got a little crowded with all the dancing going on so they moved over to the hot tubs as they were not as busy







I believe they had originally been scheduled for the late seating at dinner but Grammy was able to get that changed to the early one. I had instructed them to at least have a picture taken at dinner each night; this first night they dined at the Royal Palace



Jean has read enough TRs with me that she felt she better take some food pictures too!









After dinner the girls hung out for a while in the Oceaneer Lab and then they went to see that evening's show "Disney's Believe" which they enjoyed.
There were towel animals each night when they returned to their room but they didn’t take any pics this night.

Next time...Kennedy Space Center
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:45 AM   #83
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Great pictures on the Dream!

But, wow! The pool area does look busy! I can definitely see why the hot tub looked more appealing!

I love that Jean took food pictures!! So cute!
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:42 AM   #84
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Great pictures on the Dream!

But, wow! The pool area does look busy! I can definitely see why the hot tub looked more appealing!

I love that Jean took food pictures!! So cute!
Thanks Angie, Grammy definitely got some good shots! Jean was very proud of herself for being able to contribute to my TR with her food pictures!


I apologize for being such a slacker with this TR, between Christmas and then year-end at work I just haven't had time to keep up. I do want to get this TR wrapped up though, because in 2.5 weeks I will be at WDW for the Princess Half Marathon
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:59 AM   #85
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Day 6 – E & Lara: Kennedy Space Centre

We woke up to another sunny, though windy, day. We took advantage of the complimentary breakfast and then took a quick stroll on the Cocoa Beach Pier.



Nothing was really open at that point – I think things didn’t open there until 10:00 or later and it was only 9:00. We decided that it was neat to have seen but wasn’t really a spot we wanted to come back to, especially when we envisioned it with crowds of people!! Nana & Gramps’ spot a couple of miles up the beach was much more to our liking.

We packed up, checked out and drove up to Kennedy Space Centre. A few weeks before we left, KSC announced they were introducing an add-on to their regular tour that would include the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Since the shuttle program was discontinued large fuel cells were no longer in the building and it was deemed safe for visitors . We decided to do the add-on as it sounded cool. I think we were assigned to the 10:30 tour, so we just wandered the gift shop until it was time to get on the bus. The tour was very informative, though I’ve forgotten most of it! First we drove out to the causeway launch viewing area:









We then went to the VAB – we were so glad we had chosen to do this add-on as the tour guide announced that the shuttle Endeavor was being housed in the VAB while having some reconstruction before she went to her new home in California Upon entering the VAB there are still strict rules, we had to stay within marked off spaces and did not go very deep into the building, but being inside really brought home how large the building is and the size of the machinery within it. This is the main corridor



When being assembled the shuttles would be “standing” upright in one of 4 bays off the main corridor



but this day the Endeavor was sitting “airplane style” in the bay, here she is:









Here are some pics showing the size of the machinery







There were rows upon rows of banners that team members signed before every mission – seeing those gave me shivers







Finally the crowd cleared out a bit so I took another pic of E with Endeavour



The tour then continued out to another viewing area of the launch pads





The final stop was at the Apollo/Saturn V Center – for some reason I didn’t take any more pictures. We took in a show in which a launch is recreated from the perspective of the control room, which was neat. By this time we were starving so we had lunch at the Center’s cafeteria. Suspended from the ceiling for the length of the building is a Saturn V rocket (pictures to come when Nana & Gramps visit the next day!), after lunch we read the plaques associated with that, watched a movie about landing on the moon, and toured the Apollo Treasures exhibit (Apollo space suits and equipment used in that program).

We took the bus back to the main buildings where we enjoyed an IMAX film about the International Space Station and also did the Shuttle Launch Experience, which was fun. We meandered through the Rocket Garden – my cameral was still not out but there will be some later from Nana & Gramps! We picked up a few things at the gift shop and felt we were done. There is definitely more we could have seen but we were getting tired. We really enjoyed the day and were glad we had made time for it.

continued in next post...
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #86
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An hour later we were pulling up at the Swan! I was so excited to stay here and was not disappointed. We checked in and found our room



I liked having the sofa instead of the second bed when it was just the two of us, made the room feel more spacious. I would even consider doing this option when the girls are with us as the sofa can pull out to a bed. Here is the view looking straight out the window



looking to the right - I commented right away that Jean was going to be jealous that we could see TOT out our window!



...and looking to the left



It was amazing!!

We changed into warmer clothes and went down to Kimono’s for dinner. We love good sushi and really enjoyed the meal, it was tasty and well presented. To work off our dinner we took a leisurely walk around Crescent Lake…we wandered into the Yacht Club lobby





and then the Beach Club lobby







Here is the Beach Club from outside



We continued our stroll around in front of the Boardwalk. There is definitely a different atmosphere in front of the Boardwalk compared to the quietness of the Beach/Yacht Clubs with lights and music and people. We came back into the Swan and could smell chocolate, we realized it came from this display



We got back to our room in time to see the fireworks from the late F! show and then from Illuminations – a great way to end the night!

Next time...Grammy and the girls enjoy a dolphin encounter!
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:03 PM   #87
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So I have now been home for a month since my Princess Half Marathon trip...we had a amazing time (spoiler alert, we finished the race upright and smiling!) and I plan to do a TR for it but promised myself I would finish this one first So here we go...

Day 6 - Grammy, Ella and Jean on the Dream and Dolphin Encounter

Today’s port was Nassau and Grammy had booked a dolphin adventure. After breakfast (the girls think it was in one of the dining rooms and they had pancakes) they met up with their group and went by boat to the Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon Island.











They were given life jackets and information about the dolphin program and then joined the dolphins in the water.





All three of them had an absolute blast Grammy bought the CD that has the video of their interaction but we haven't been able to decrypt it to be able to share. Their interaction included a kiss on the cheek, a dance (as much as you can dance in the water ) and having the dolphins push them by their feet through the water.

When they got back to the ship, all their stuffies were eagerly awaiting them



Soon it was time for dinner at Animator's Palate



and when dinner was over the stuffies were ready for bed





continued in next post...
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #88
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Day 7 - catching up on Nana & Gramps' adventures

We’ll back-track slightly – on Day 6 Nana and Gramps explored the space coast. They drove south from their condo and stopped at a couple different beaches and just got a feel for the area. They didn’t take any pictures this day. On to Day 7 and it was Nana & Gramps’ turn to visit KSC. First they took some pics of the outside of their condo





Their unit was the one on the second floor with the little balcony. This was looking out to the beach



On to KSC which was sporting some Chritmas decorations



They did the basic tour so they did not see the Endeavour, but still saw the rest of what E and I saw. They did skip the Shuttle Launch experience choosing instead to watch a second IMAX film about the Hubble telescope. Here are their pictures: the rocket garden



the Saturn rocket



space Snoopy



Apollo space suit



They agreed with us that the KSC is well worth visiting and is very well presented

continued in next post...
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:02 PM   #89
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Day 7 - E and myself at Epcot

Our focus today was on the World Showcase so we slept in a bit, E went and grabbed us some breakfast from Picabu’s – it was kind of pricey for bacon and eggs but oh well. We walked past the Boardwalk and entered Epcot at the International Gateway – this was great there were no lines at all It was only 10:00 so we headed for Future World. Our first priority was to head to the Camera Centre as I couldn’t find the PP card that had our Space Mountain pictures on them. Thankfully there was no line and the CM was able to find our pictures and add them to my other PP card. That done we headed to Mouse Gears as E had decided he did want an Agent P shirt after all and we still had coupons for 20% off before noon.

We’d never been in Innoventions so we decided to check it out – E loved the video games



and we tried Sum of All Thrills, which was really cool. We will definitely make a point of stopping here next time with the girls, they would enjoy all the activities – although the natural disasters one may not go over well with Jean as she is very much afraid of thunder storms and tornadoes. We popped into the Land to grab Soarin’ FPs to use later and then headed to Canada. The gardens are so pretty









We watched the movie and chuckled along with Martin Short. We took a quick look through the gift shop and bought a package of maple crusted almonds to snack on (very yummy, but then again pretty much anything maple is yummy!).

We moved on to the UK and explored their gardens







Love the “street scapes” here…this one reminds me of a pic we have of Ella from when we were in London in 2010



here is our actual London street shot for you to compare



Next we wandered over to France and enjoyed a break for our feet while watching Impressions. I was getting hungry by this point so I went into the Boulangerie and got a ham and cheese croissant which they heated up for me. As I was coming out I looked down for a second to make sure I had everything and as I looked up I almost ran into a pretty girl in a blue dress with her nose in a book – Belle was heading “backstage” for a break! I had bought a Diet Coke for E at the bakery but no drink for myself as I had something specific in mind…this kiosk



was calling my name and I had to try a GGS! It was certainly tasty (I silently toasted my Dis-friend Queenofallthings before my first sip ) and my croissant was delish and hit the spot. We sat on a bench and people watched while I ate my croissant – I did share some of it with E and then we continued our wandering.

Jasmine and Aladdin were out meeting fans as we passed Morocco.



We didn’t really stop either here or in Japan as we had explored those countries pretty well earlier in the week. When we arrived at the American pavilion, the American Adventure show was going to be starting in 10 minutes, so I quickly polished off the rest of my GGS (I’m a slow drinker) and we went in to watch the show. After, we resisted the temptation of the funnel cakes and continued on to Italy, which I think we walked by as we had looked around it earlier in the week as well.

In Germany I took some more pictures of the trains, to compare to the ones we’d taken at night





and E decided to buy himself a beer stein with hockey player Mickey on it, so I took some more pictures while waiting for him.



Having just bought a beer stein E felt he actually wanted a beer so he got in line for that and I went in here



to get more caramel corn.

Here is E with his beer



We walked to China and then sat and people watched while E finished his beer before going in to see the movie, love the scenery in this movie. We had noticed that the crowds were picking up but hadn’t really thought anything of it until we got to Norway and saw that the wait time for Maelstrom was 30 minutes. We shrugged and grabbed a FP and moved on to Mexico figuring we would ride there and then come back, but wouldn’t you know it there was a 20 minute wait there too. We decided that was our sign to go and take a break since our feet were getting tired so we went back through the International Gateway and walked around the BC/YC way



We had a short rest and then went and enjoyed the hot tub - although it took us a while to find towels in the pool area, we somehow missed where to get them at the Swan and ended up walking over to the Dolphin gym to get them, then back to the Swan hot tub.

Refreshed and relaxed we walked back to Future World (loved being able to walk to Epcot!) to try something new, Mission:Space. I don’t do well with spinning so we journeyed on green and it was really fun! I just realized there is a definite lack of pictures from this evening, I think we were just enjoying spending time together without the kids and I forgot about the camera.

Anyways, we then went to use our Soarin’ FPs. Unfortunately it was a pretty long wait due in part to the large school group in front of us. These teens were trying the patience of the CMs when it came time to assign lines, the group of 6 girls in front of us didn’t like being split up so kept trying to sneak into a different line, then when it was time to enter they all just ran like crazy to get a seat. The CMs managed to get them organized and one of the girls ended up by herself beside us. We finally realized part of the problem when she didn’t stow her (rather large) purse until the Spanish instructions came on. This was our first time after 4 rides of not being in the front row…the front row is definitely better, but we still enjoyed it and so did all those teens based on their shrieks of delight!

We were pretty hungry so decided to eat dinner at Sunshine Seasons – thank goodness the school group (there were even more waiting at the exit) did not do the same! I had the pork chop and E had the Mongolian Beef, both of which were very good and we commented that if the girls had been there we could have easily shared with them since the portions were, of course, plentiful. We stopped yet again at Mouse Gears to get the last of our souvenirs and then ventured on to Norway.

The standby line for Maelstrom said 5 minutes so we opted to not use the FPs, but it soon became apparent that the posted sign was wrong We got out of the line and then re-entered using our FPs! This was a new adventure for us as well – we were glad to have tried it and the girls will like it but it isn’t at the top of our list. We browsed in the gift shop and I stopped at the Kringla Bakeri to get some school bread that I hear so much about – once I scraped off the coconut it was very good!

We could see that people were starting to stake out spots for Illuminations so thought we would give Mexico another try and we were in luck as we practically walked on. After our fun little adventure chasing Donald Duck we decided to call it a night. We did stop for a picture by the Christmas Tree at the Showcase Plaza





and opted to take the boat when we reached the International Gateway. Back in our room I enjoyed our partial view of Illuminations once more and then fell asleep...it had been a wonderful day but a lot more walking than we realized at the time

Next time...more adventures on the Dream with Grammy and the girls!
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:50 PM   #90
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Hi Lara!

Took a little break from the DIS...but I'm back and caught up on your TR!

Congrats on finishing the Princess Half Marathon!!! I really hope you decide to do a TR! I would love to read it!

Great pictures on the Dream! It looks like the girls had a wonderful time! We recently booked a cruise for next year so I'm loving all the details!

It sounds like you had a nice day in Epcot!
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