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Old 02-21-2013, 08:18 PM   #631
Roger, Simba One!
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"I'm Sorry"- Brenda Lee

Hi everyone! Let me start off by saying I am so so SO SORRY that I have been gone for so long. As a matter of fact, the song choice for my update has absolutely nothing to do with the update itself. Itís all about the deep remorse I feel for abandoning my beautiful wonderful amazing DIS buddies for two months! I hope that you accept this musical dedication and my deepest apologies. I promise, it wonít happen again!

So I guess youíd like to know why Iíve been gone for so long? I promise, I have a pretty good excuse! Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@Joni_Russell) already know this, but John has been home since the day before Christmas Eve! I didnít really announce it in advance because I wasnít really sure when he would make it home, but he was able to take a very long leave starting on December 23rd! It was so amazing having him home for Christmas, and these last two months with him have been such an unexpected blessing. Unfortunately, he has to head back to Afghanistan on Sunday. Obviously Iím not thrilled about this at all, but luckily he will only be gone for a couple of months this time. So anyway, thatís why Iíve been MIA for so long! I have spent the last few months completely wrapped up in time with John!

However, with John getting ready to head back and my next Disney trip only NINE DAYS away, I realized it was high time to get my butt back on these boards and updating! Thank you so much to all of my friends who have reminded me and pushed me to update. You guys know I need a little motivating sometimes! I seriously love all of you!

In other news, as I mentioned above, my next trip is only nine days from now. My sister and I will be staying at Art of Animation from March 2nd- March 7th for our first ever sisters only trip! I am really excited about that, and Iím also excited because...drumroll...my mom and I are going back to Disney too! We are going to be taking our second annual mother/daughter trip from May 28th-June 2nd! We will be staying at POP Century, and it will be a combination of my momís Motherís Day/birthday gift. I actually surprised her with the trip on Christmas. She is beyond ecstatic! I am so excited, and Iím also thrilled that I am getting some use out of my Annual Pass!

Anyway, thatís pretty much whatís been going on with me. Iíll stop rambling now and get on with an update. I think you guys have waited long enough!

"I'm Sorry"- Brenda Lee

July 9, 2012

Iím sorry (Iím sorry)
So sorry (so sorry)
Please accept my apology

*That one goes out to all you patient DISers out there who haven't given up on me.*

When I left off, John and I were enjoying a fun evening in DHS. We had been playing around in The Magic of Disney Animation. It was starting to get late and I was getting pretty tired, so we decided to get ready to head out. Before we went, however, we had to make time for one of my favorite Disney activities- Animation Academy! Ever since we stumbled across the drawing class a few years ago I have loved it, so I was dying to draw one picture before heading back to the resort!

We were a little early for the next class, so we sat down to wait and relax a little.

John was getting sleepy, but I had to take a picture of his Donald Duck hat!

I love the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. They are so endearing, and I love that they are absolutely terrible at homemaking, just like me. That cake and dress they make are a hot mess, and I respect that. Merryweather is my favorite, of course! Barbara Luddy, the voice of Merryweather, was also the voice of Lady in Lady and the Tramp, as Iím sure you already knew. I love her voice!

After waiting about fifteen minutes we were let into the drawing room and I raced kindergartener-style to a good seat so Iíd be ready to draw!

John, like me, takes this whole drawing thing pretty seriously. He was in the zone.

Because Iím a creep, I snuck a picture of our artist. I wanted you guys to be fully immersed in this experience.

Speaking of our artist, he was one of the cool ones who lets the class vote on who they will draw. He asked us to raise our hands if we had drawn certain characters, so we could pick one no one had drawn before. He started out with the pretty generic ones like Minnie and Donald, so naturally lots of us raised our hands. However, as he started getting into the more obscure characters, I noticed there was this one group of tweenage girls who raised their hands EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Literally, every time. He named several characters that I really wanted to draw, but then this group of girls would raise their hands and say they already drew that one. It started to get a little ridiculous. Donít get me wrong, I love Animation Academy, but thereís a lot of other stuff to do at Disney World. I feel like these girls need to branch out a little bit on their next Disney vacation and try new things, like going on a ride or eating a cupcake...just sayiní.

We were finally able to find a character that no one had drawn, including the obsessed girls. Well, either they hadnít drawn it or they lied in order to avoid an angry drawing class mob. Either way, we were ready to draw!

I thought it would be fun if I showed you what I drew step by step, so you could try to guess who it is! Sound fun? If youíre not really on board, feel free to scroll to the bottom quickly and eliminate any of the building anticipation.

Hereís the first step...a ball with some lines in it.

Any idea who it is yet? I'm guessing no! Letís keep going!



Thereís something starting to take shape there, but what is it?



Itís getting a little bit clearer....



I bet someone has guessed it by now!



DEFINITELY now, right?



Almost finished!



Hereís the finished product!

Itís Carl from Up! Did you guess it? How many pictures did it take before you got it? Iíd love to know!

I was pretty pleased with my Carl. I thought he turned out alright!

Johnís was nice too, although he looks kind of disappointed in this picture! Haha, he holds himself to incredibly high standards.

After our time at the Animation Academy John and I were both exhausted, so we decided to head back to the room and turn in. Plus, DHS was super crowded that night! I took a picture to document this, and I ended up with a few oddballs looking directly at my camera.

I felt like Lilly Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries- ďNot YOU! I donít even know you!Ē

On our way out of the park I took an obligatory balloon picture. Not my best.

We made it back to the friendship boats at about 10:15, and got off the boat at the Beach Club at 10:40. On our way back to the room we stopped to admire the beautiful Stormalong Bay. I was so excited to go swimming the next morning!

When we made it back to the room we were both exhausted, so we watched a little TV, I updated my trip journal and ate some salt water taffy from Cape May Cafe, and we both fell fast asleep!

Hereís our end of the day wrap up!

Awesome animal sightings at Animal Kingdom
My first experience on Muppet Vision 3D
My unplanned and delicious cupcake at Pizza Planet

The ďfudgingĒ nerd on Expedition Everest
Dropping my camera and breaking the flash trigger

Last edited by therussells08; 02-21-2013 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:00 PM   #632
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I'm thrilled to have you back and posting again, I can't wait to read more and I can't wait to hear about your upcoming trip. However, I can't think of a better reason to be absent from the dis and your loyal fans Coming from a military family I know how bad it sucks when your loved ones are away, but I can't imagine if it were my DH. Mine was gone for 9 months working in Arizona (we're in Iowa), and that was miserable but we flew to see each other a few times while he was gone.

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Old 02-21-2013, 10:46 PM   #633
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First of all, yes, Tierra must be included. Otherwise, she may just lose her sparkle.

Secondly, I AM SO EXCITED THAT YOU ARE UPDATING AGAIN!!!!! I mean, obviously. I've been begging for this for about a month now. I am sorry that John has to leave soon, though... but thank God he won't be gone as long! AND I'm so excited for you to go back to Disney soon! AND in May/June!!!

Merryweather is my favorite fairy, too! Her voice is so unique and awesome. AHHHHHH you drew Carl! That's amazing! It was around the third or fourth picture that I figured it out. Awesome. I didn't realize they did Pixar characters, too! Although I don't know why. DHS is pretty heavy on the Pixar! (Side note: I actually told you how many pictures it took me to guess before I read that you asked that. So yeah, twin telepathy at its finest.) Your Carls are awesome!

(Um... I used the word 'awesome' one too many times, didn't I?)

I feel like a game could be made from this. Take a picture of literally nothing but a crowd of people and see how many of them look at your camera. It has potential.

Ahh, Beach Club pictures. So beautiful! One day I WILL stay there.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:06 PM   #634
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I'm here for your TR. I don't know how i have over looked it.

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:35 PM   #635
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Phew girlie!!! You almost had me checking obituaries and local hospitals!!! 😊 I'm glad you are doing well. And so happy that you were able to completely enjoy our husband. That is waaaay more important than us!

Hope your time apart goes by fast.

My brother is in Afghanistan now at Camp Leatherneck. Where will John be? We are planning a huge family trip to WDW for when my brother gets back. I'm sure you will be doing the same. Heehee...

As for my strange encounter...I'm alllllmost there in my TR.

Can't wait to read more about your trip and about your upcoming one.

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:46 PM   #636
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Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post

Merryweather is my favorite fairy, too! Her voice is so unique and awesome.
She is my absolute favorite fairy too!! So spunky! I actually considered getting a tattoo of her a long time ago. I'm glad I didn't go through with it. But if I did get a Disney tattoo it would be of her.
The ticker had to be deleted. All hope is not lost though. I don't know how. I don't know when. But I'm going back!
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:29 AM   #637
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I'm so happy that you were able to spend so much time with John. I will be keeping him and you in my prayers as you have to be separated for a few months again. Yay for the upcoming trips though!

How adorable that you go to draw Carl! I haven't been there that often to have done many characters, but of course, we've done Donald twice out of the like, three or four times we've been there! At least it was a different expression. I still have fun though even though it does kind of stress me out while I'm there.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:11 AM   #638
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Yay Joni is back. I'm glad you got to spend so much time with John though. Prayers for you guys while he is gone again. I have never done the drawing class before. I should probably try that sometime soon. Have yet to try TSM as well, i know it is a crime , but that is something I am changing on my upcoming trip.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:12 AM   #639
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I'm so happy to have you back updating, I love reading your trip reports!

I'm glad you got to spend some quality time with your husband! Its also great that you have Disney trips to look forward to to get you through the time he is away!!

Looks like we will be down in Disney at the same time, we leave in 5 days and will be there from Feb 26th-Mar 6th. HAVE FUN!!

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Old 02-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #640
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Just joining in....great TR.
For the love of Disney...
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #641
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Welcome back!!!! It was so such a good reason for you to be away for a bit. TR's can wait... a hubby home from overseas can NOT! But, we did miss you, so yay for an update!

I always see these great updates from Animation class and I have never done it. Ever. I think I have to rememdy that. It just looks so beyond fun! Although I have zero drawing ability, outside of flowers, palm trees, and stick figures... I think I would be too intimidated. But great job on the Carls!

Enjoy these next few days with John and thanks for the update!!

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #642
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Aww don't even WORRY about it! I'm so happy you've been enjoying time with John! It's so important! But obviously if you couldn't tell, we all missed you!

OMG, if you love the faeries from Sleeping Beauty, you would LOVELOVELOVE the Sleeping Beauty castle walkthrough in Disneyland! They are in it and they are so cute.

Hahaha I would have gotten so annoyed with those girls in the drawing class. I'd probably be tempted to get up and slap their hands down when he announced something that I loved.

Okay, I'm excited you are doing the drawing revealing in a fun way! I'm totally curious as to who you guys drew!


NOPE I WAS WRONG, but you guys drew one of my other favorites, CARL!! aldfjkaldkfjsdlkfj. That is so cool! Yours came our fabulous! I thought it was Ralph when I saw the nose and kind of crazy hair... but then I saw the square glasses and knew it was Carl! I love that movie so much.

I love that John is so disappointed in himself, hahaha. It's okay John, we still think you did a good job.

STORMALONG BAY AT NIGHT! Be still, my heart. I love that pool when it's all lit up at night... One day I will swim there AT NIGHT. I mean, it's awesome during the day but I LOVE nightswimming so being in SAB would be perfect. I am jealous of all those families swimming at 10:30 at night in there!

YAY! Great update! So glad you are back, and I can't wait to read more about this trip AND your sisters trip!
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:33 PM   #643
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Yay! What fun to visit the DISboards today and find your update! (Seriously, does it make anyone else feel just a little bit stalker-ish when you keep checking for updates from your favorite trip reports? Is it just me?)
I'm so glad John was able to make it home for Christmas and spend 2 months at home!
I envy you your sister trip and your trips with your mom. My sister, our mom and I visited WDW together for many years and I have such great memories. Have a great time and I'll look forward to those reports, as well!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:18 PM   #644
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Yay! Joni!! This may sound weird, but I'm so happy you were gone for two months! How wonderful that would have been to have him home! I would have been off the Boards for that long too!! Please tell him thank you for his incredible service! He does a wonderful thing!

Ok, how exciting!!!!! Nine days?! That's like nothing! What a great sister getaway! I can't wait to hear about it!

I love Mother/Daughter trips! They are so magical!

I really really really need to get over there to Animation Studios and draw something!!!

It honestly took me longer than I'm willing to admit to figure out your drawing... I think my mind went blank! For some reason, I kept thinking muppets!!
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:14 AM   #645
well, all that's left now is the happy ending.
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Glad you're back Joni!! I've missed your updates!

So awesome that you got to draw Carl from Up, good job!! After my Stuck in Disney trip, I became obsessed with the Animation Academy because I do not have any talent at all when it comes to drawing but what I did in the classes was actually good (for me)! I drew Pluto, Stitch, and Merida, and it was SO MUCH FUN. I seriously can't wait to go back.
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