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Old 03-27-2013, 11:20 AM   #1651
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I was so interested to read your TR. We are looking at going on the Dream for FIL's bucket list wish (family cruise) and I have a similar experience with any kind of boat travel, mal du debarquement syndrome where you feel like you are on a boat for months afterwards (http://www.mdds.org.uk/). Last time a 3 hour cruise on the Bosphorous led to 2 months of me walking like I was drunk! Sounds like a fantastic trip and can't wait to hear the rest.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #1652
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Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
I know, right?

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Oh, Cynthia, what an awful morning! It's bad enough that the cruise is over, but then the whole disembarkation is longggggg and booorrriinng! Definitely a cattle call situation.
It's interesting as I've honestly not read of this being others experience on the newer, larger ships. I mean I can't say it was "fun" on the Wonder but really the worst part of that one was just taking all our carryons to breakfast (should have left in the room, I think we could have and been fine but we didn't think we were allowed to) and the crowds right after breakfast. The line wasn't anything like this though and I don't recall it taking all that long.

It definitely caught us off guard. I figured on the outside we'd be at AKL by noon. Not TWO! Granted we had the stop at OKW and Starbucks but still. I'd have been ok with 1. I suppose it is just as well as I'm not sure what we'd have done for the reveal, I suppose drive around and then have folks swim for an hour maybe?

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Great job hosing the kids! (Do people still say "hosing")? Nicely done.
I don't know if "people" do but Jeff and I do



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Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
Yummy looking lunch. I totally remembered the story about Jeff's "first" Mickey bar when you were talking about the ice cream sandwiches. Can you get the zebra domes as a dessert option at Mara? You can still buy a package there, right?
I didn't look to be honest but I think so on the Zebra domes.

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I can't remember if you shared the plans for the rest of the day or any dining plans for the evening. Saana perhaps?

Looking forward to seeing your view.
I can't recall if I did or didn't share them, probably in the PTR at some point but I'm not sure.

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I was already not looking forward to getting off that ship - but your ordeal just sounds horrible. At least we won't have to wait for a rental car shuttle. My friend's brother is going to drop us off at the port and come and get us again after the cruise, very nice to have a personal driver!!
You are on a smaller ship too so that should help a lot. I truly don't remember the Wonder being that awful but then again we were getting picked up as well.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
I guess the best bet would have been to have one person hop in a cab, get the rental and go and fetch the rest of the family...
That would have been best actually, just send Jeff ahead. I'll need to remember that next time. Although since the next one is just the 2 of us and the port is San Juan, that will all be different as well.

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Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
But I loved the story of how you surprised the kids with the stay at AKL!! The food at the Mara looks delicious - I mainly had breakfasts there in the past and really hope to change that this time. WE are planning on hanging out at the pool quite a bit and I can see us getting lunch there a few times. I love the look of Kendall's chicken dish! And those carved sandwiches look fantastic as well. I am not a stew person, so that holds no appeal to me...
Not to spoil anything but we all loved the look of it too! We had lunch there again on our last day and I think all 5 of us got the same thing. I'll have to double check but it was good!

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Thank you very much

Looking forward to taking junoir to Disney as soon as possible. Also trying to talk DH into us doing a MED cruise this year as a last holiday just the 2 of us but its not working so far.
Oh bummer, I know many of the lines will only let you cruise up to a certain point, is that his hold up? I hope it works out and you can have one last hurrah kid free.

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I was so interested to read your TR. We are looking at going on the Dream for FIL's bucket list wish (family cruise) and I have a similar experience with any kind of boat travel, mal du debarquement syndrome where you feel like you are on a boat for months afterwards (http://www.mdds.org.uk/). Last time a 3 hour cruise on the Bosphorous led to 2 months of me walking like I was drunk! Sounds like a fantastic trip and can't wait to hear the rest.
Hi and I don't know if it was the fact that it was a 4 night versus the 7 but the Bonine absolutely seemed to do the trick for me. I had zero experience with vertigo at all. This would have been my 4th cruise. 1st was was a week long one, no issues. 2nd one, also a week, Vertigo for about 2 weeks. 3rd cruise, also a week, Vertigo for almost 2 months. I will say that 2nd cruise was far worse, I could barely function, the room was just spinning, I definitely felt either drunk, or hungover, I'm not sure which! On the 3rd cruise it was more of a pleasant rocking, not really an issue at all just midly annoying. I did take Dramamine on that cruise as a precaution some of the time but not all of it, so maybe it mitigated it and then the Bonine really was just more effective? Who knows. What I do know is I will take Bonine from now on!

I had read up on mal du barquement after the 3rd cruise and figured that was it and some of the readings suggested taking Bonine for the entire cruise which had never occurred to me. I was just thrilled it worked so well.

In all instances though, no vertigo or seasickness while actually on the ships.

2 months after 3 hours? That sounds horrendous
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:15 PM   #1653
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Reclassified!

Between the fact that the last update was short, photobucket is a bit of a mess with my pictures, Easter on Sunday and then a week long work trip next week I figured I'd better get the next update up before it became a huge gap again. Thanks to the photobucket organizational disaster it was difficult to get things in order and as a result, I'm including more pictures than I probably normally would as it's hard to see what's where and cut things down. Supposedly they are fixing the organizer but ugh, in the meantime it's a bit of a struggle. So...get ready for a LOT of pictures!

When I left you we'd left the resort to go check into our hotel for the night. Luckily we were already at the hotel and so all we really needed to do was pull up front to unload the luggage! Not without trying to fake out the kids that we were going somewhere else first of course.

Jeff and I had both been really bummed to give up our original kidani 2b savannah view reservation and we'd moved to a 1b standard at jambo to save points and money and until check in, had fully expected a pool view. The location on the map though, seemed to indicate we wouldn't be looking at the pool. What would it be?


Keys in hand we headed off to find the elevator, first down the zebra trail, past some rooms and then elevator. It's a bit of a funky layout if you ask me. The elevator bay itself is ok but I did find it odd that there is only one elevator for each trail and neither are really right off the lobby. Once on the 5th floor, we kept going all the way down and finally reached our destination.

Of course, me being me, I didnt even really look at the room but went straight outside.

First impression, cell phone pic, thanks to my stitching panorama app



With some instagram love



Our neighbors were out to say welcome home!









A mama and her nest





I decided to get out the real camera to see what mama was up to







And then see if I could get a better giraffe picture



Gotcha!



And not just giraffes&





Can you say reclassified Savanna View or what! Yeah, there was a people pen below us. SO WHAT? For the life of me we couldn't figure out how it got downgraded but then again, I haven't stayed in a "non" downgraded one either but either way, SCORE!

We officially had the verandah view trifecta! 3 for 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A quick note. At this point, view aside, I did a bit of a mental comparison of our Verandahs. As a verandah junkie, it seemed logical.

OKW
Pro: Spacious, Airy, killer view, all 5 of us could eat a meal out there, full size table and 4 chairs.
Con: Hard pressed to think of any except maybe pool noise (worth the tradeoff for location and view) and bugs, same thing, worth the trade off.

Vero
Pro: Spacious, killer view, all 5 of us could probably eat a meal out there, full size table and 4 chairs never tried all 4 at once but 2-3 ate bfast at any time out there).
Con: More enclosed and thus felt a little blocked, claustrophobic and as a result, got VERY warm. Bugs, but same thing as OKW, worth the trade off.

Dream
Pro: Killer View
Con: Only seats 2, have to walk through kids sleeping area to get to it which, with the Murphy Bed down in the am was a bit tight.

AKV
Pro: Killer View, Amazing Animal experience
Con: Very long and narrow, only seats 2, only had a small cocktail tables. Hard metal chairs and tables

This was interesting to me. Ive now stayed at VWL, BCV, BWL in studios as well and they have similarly small balconies, arguably even more narrow than AKV, barely fitting one cocktail table and chair. I really do like to actually have afternoon snacks or breakfast or lunch on our verandahs and for me the size of the verandahs at OKW especially, as well as Vero with seating that matched is a huge plus. I found it a little bit of a bummer that there was such little seating on our AKV verandah as it was huge and there was plenty of space for more. It ended up being fine, Jeff and I are the junkies not the kids but depending on the mix of folks you could end up dragging furniture outside. Which granted, we did with one chair at both OKW and Vero but the chairs at AKV arent nearly as easy to mainipulate. But the animal experience&.priceless. Amazing. Beyond words. At the end of the day Id probably have to call it a draw. Hugely different pros and cons and we loved them all.

Ok, I dont have a picture of one of the chairs here except for the very back of one on the edge of this picture but check it out



Its some serious wood!

Coming back inside I did at least get the mandatory bed shot



And found the boys like this

Eric got busy perusing what the options would be at the resort



Evan did this



As you can see, all the days of play were starting to catch up

Originally the plan had been for K to work on her Geometry, the Es to swim and then once K was done, she and Jeff would go return the car. The boys and I decided to go for a walk and take a trip to the Mara so I could pick up a bottle of wine for the room and they could get a soda, then wed head to the pool. Jeff and Kendall would stay back, K working on her Geometry and Jeff&making sure she did and enjoying peace and quiet on the verandah during the squall before he had to deal with returning the car. As you can imagine after our morning, that was NOT on his top 10 list of fun things to do. A cold beer on the Verandah was on his top 10 but unfortunately it was all warm from being in transit all day so his first order of business was to toss one in the freezer.

Let's go for a walk!


The Mara has a lovely South African Wine Selection





My selection?



It made me smile and the price was right.

We decided to walk back by way of the Arusha Rock Overlook . Okay its not really on the way back but we got turned around and took advantage of it.

Giraffe feeding time



Either that or they were tickling his neck?

I'd like to stay here



Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 03-27-2013 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:49 PM   #1654
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Reclassified, continued

Continued from previous

First stop, the firepit. We talked about coming back for the stories at night if they were offering it and made a note to check the activity list.





Hey, thats what our mama is!















Evan really wanted a picture of the 2 of them in front of the lobby from the outside and to try and capture the whole thing.

I couldnt get back far enough to get the whole thing!







Back into the lobby to head up to the room, now that we had our bearing.





When we got back it was time for Jeff and Kendall to head out and return the car. As you might remember rental rates had been insane and due to our various one way rentals wed done a lot of moving around of car agencies and locations. This return was again, theoretically close to DTD and at a hotel that supposedly had a shuttle they could catch. The plan was to return the car, take the shuttle to AK and then bus back to the resort. I think we figured the whole thing would take about 2 hours. Just as we were about to get ready for an afternoon swim the weather decided it had other plans and a squall hit.

I went out on the verandah with my wine and decided to make the most of the photo opportunity.













You can see the rain once we zoom out a bit











Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 03-27-2013 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:06 PM   #1655
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Reclassified, continued

Continued from previous






When I came back in I found 2 lumps on the couch in front of the TV.

They boys were really bummed out.

Visibly sad.

"Whats wrong ?"

Nothing.

Were just kinda sad. We cant swim and...


"What is it?"

Nothing.

We're being selfish.

We just really wish we were going to a park. Being here makes us want to go to Animal Kingdom.

We know we can't but we really wish we were. Just one, we wouldn't even have to hop.

"Well what if we did?"

Can we?

Please please please, pretty please?


"If we did, it would just be one park and you wouldn't get to pick it."

Really, please, any park. ANY park!

Why yes, yes I think we can!

YAY!

"Are you guys sure you still want to sleep in tomorrow?"


NO!

"Are you really sure? Its extra magic hours& I know youre tired and were looking forward to sleeping in."


No! Can we get there for park opening?


"We can sure try."

This made 2 boys VERY happy. Our plan had been that Jeff would tell Kendall while they were out. In the meantime, the rain continued. I went out to the verandah to enjoy my wine, the rain, and the view. Evan may or may not have come out with me or may have just vegged with the TV (more likely, he was toast and needed to rejuvenate). Eric, who was filthy, was sent to the shower. Or at least I thought that is what he was doing.

While Eric was getting clean (the sad truth is I think hed just been chlorinated, rinsed, in the ocean, chlorinated again and again and neither of us could recall when hed last washed his hair since the day we left Vero) the rain began to subside. After he came out we decided that we had enough time to try and see if the pool had opened and get in a short dip before it was time to get ready for dinner.

Was it open?

Why yes, yes it was! Chairs were still quite wet so I got some towels to dry one off for me and settled in to watch the boys

Slide time





The Verdict? Least favorite slide but the pool is cool.











Boys entertained I walked around the general area a little, not going too far (or too close, I did have a wine glass and knew Id get yelled at)

Pretty birds



Arriving back they had moved to one end of the pool and so I settled into a new spot

Marco Polo Time!













Gotcha!

This is an interesting end of the pool, you can't walk directly around the pool deck here. While the boys were playing, a very small boy, maybe 2 wandered over near the edge where you can see it was 4'9". Obviously the "deep" end.

No life jacket

He fell in

The lifeguard was there and had that boy out before anyone even realized hed gone in. It was amazing. Mom appeared almost immediately, trying to figure out how to even get to the spot through the chairs.. Clearly rattled her first response was

"What did you do?"

"How did you get over here?"

Sigh.

I had given the boys the 15 minute warning

Then 10

Then 5

We really needed to get out of the pool if I wanted a shower, and I did.

J&K were JUST now on the shuttle back to AKV. It had taken them 2.5 hours.

Finally I got the boys out and we made our way to the room. The great thing about being on the Zebra Trail at Jambo is that the elevator basically lets you out super close to the pool so it was easy access to head back up. Walking into the room I hear an awful noise. A sad whirring sound. For the life of me I cant place it.

It is coming from the bathroom.

It is loud

Holy carp, it's the jets for the tub!

Apparently Eric had taken a bath, not a shower. It didn't even occur to me that he'd do that, he gave up baths a long time ago and while he loves a Jacuzzi I guess I didn't expect him to notice and try to use it. Hed used it just fine and then...left it on and in our hurry to get to the pool and maximize time, I hadn't heard the noise.

Yikes. First Villa visit and the kids are breaking things. Almost. Not. Thank heavens! I honestly cant recall the order of things but do know the bathroom situation was a bit complicated. Unlike all the other bathrooms wed had so far, this one wasn't a split, or at least not split in a way that was helpful for multiple people getting ready at once. It was HUGE and had a double sink but it was all in the same room as the shower/tub. The toilet did have its own room but as it was inside the main bath, it really didn't allow for someone to use the facilities while someone else was in the shower. Good thing Eric had already gotten clean.

And then went in the pool. LOL!

Just then our weary car travelers returned.

The last thing Jeff wanted to do was hop back on a bus, to transfer, and take another bus. Which is what we would have needed to do to get to dinner. We would have literally had to leave the minute he walked back in. No. The man needed a beer, and a shower, and at least 5 minutes on the verandah. A cab it would be.

I got out of his way, or maybe Kendall went first, I honestly don't recall. What I do know is....

I went back to the verandah! You can see that the weather had turned (and that I didn't try to change settings or edit after the fact lol). You aren't sick of giraffes yet are you?















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Old 03-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #1656
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Reclassified, con't.

Continued from previous


















Are you sick of giraffes yet?

Don't worry. I'm done. For this update.

Somehow we managed through the bathroom logistics and all got ready, though during the process I realized I'd left my traveling robe on the Dream. Which really bummed me out! So far for the trip we'd had more casualties than I’d have liked. We were down one robe, 2 bottles of sunscreen, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of shoes and with the exception of possibly one of the sunscreens...it was all either Jeff or I who had lost/misplaced or ruined things!

I have to be honest, I do not recall at this point if we had told the kids where we were going or not. We did have a couple more things up our sleeves.

That bus driver looks like Uncle Joe!

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Old 03-27-2013, 06:58 PM   #1657
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It's funny... I'm watching the Les Miz movie... and the soundtrack is providing a nice background to your story...

I had just gotten back where you were coming off CC and back to the ship...

Those Es are quite the characters... but to be a parent is to have been there... (a little bit of child torture is always good... keeps them guessing...)

Your dinner at Palo sounds wonderful... I'm sorry that your photos weren't what you'd hoped

The Animal Kingdom is also lovely... and what a great surprise The Mara is great CS and the boys look simultaneously hungry and tired... I've seen that look before...

Looking forward to the surprises coming up...
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:14 PM   #1658
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Loved all of your AKV pics. We are staying there for the first time in June. I can't wait.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:21 PM   #1659
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Yay for a free savanna view! I love me some giraffes!

Jill in CO
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:32 PM   #1660
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Quote:
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I agree about Mara its great to have some different counter service options. I liked the one at POFQ as well.

Did you see my new ticker


CONGRATS !!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Unfortunately I have heard that they won't hold luggage for you in that situation, I've seen folks ask about it. A 2B sounds much nicer than 2 studios if you can do it!!! Although if you want a view, I'd do the standard at Jambo otherwise you'll have the famous Kidani parking lot. But you'd have 3 bathrooms and there is a lot to be said for that.!
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I asked that question and was told that I couldn't leave our luggage with them even though we were going to be coming back. In the end, it ended up not mattering to us because we drove down and over to the Port instead of taking the Disney shuttle.
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I knew I'd read it recently! Must have been your report, or maybe it was on more than one as it seems like they used to, but won't now.
I guess that is recent or I tricked POP a few years ago or just didnt ask.

I did the "bookend trip" and left a suitcase at luggage services while I went to Houston maybe. A couple of looks when I put down a date about 5 days out to pick up but they didn't stop me.




Great View!!!! BAM for surprise #2. Well done!!! A bit of a bummer for pool time getting sort of cut short and the jets on the jacuzzi

CAn't wait to see where you go to eat.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:37 PM   #1661
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Thanks for the fabulous, update. Yippee, you got an amazing view, for the right price!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:18 PM   #1662
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Wow! That verandah view is fantastic! I just love my giraffe budies - from the time I saw you could stay there and actually watch the giraffes from your balcony, I couldn't wait! I did do that for a couple of nights and I got much the same view as you - so grateful! Looks like your stay is off to a great start - except for Jeff not getting to relax much. Oh, and don't worry - never too many giraffe pics for me!
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:53 AM   #1663
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Can you say reclassified Savanna View or what! Yeah, there was a people pen below us. SO WHAT? For the life of me we couldn't figure out how it got downgraded but then again, I haven't stayed in a "non" downgraded one either but either way, SCORE!
I'd definitely love to have a "standard" view like that one.

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
"Are you really sure? Its extra magic hours& I know youre tired and were looking forward to sleeping in."


No! Can we get there for park opening?
I'm not sure I could handle staying on Disney property myself and not going to a park. I can only imagine how they felt.

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
While Eric was getting clean (the sad truth is I think hed just been chlorinated, rinsed, in the ocean, chlorinated again and again and neither of us could recall when hed last washed his hair since the day we left Vero)
Eh... the chlorine would have cleaned him.

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Holy carp, it's the jets for the tub!


Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Yikes. First Villa visit and the kids are breaking things. Almost. Not. Thank heavens!
Well, he clearly has forgotten how to bathe over the prior few days activities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
And then went in the pool. LOL!
Why smell like soap when you can smell like chlorine???

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
You aren't sick of giraffes yet are you?
Not at all. And I certainly hope you aren't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
We were down one robe, 2 bottles of sunscreen, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of shoes and with the exception of possibly one of the sunscreens...it was all either Jeff or I who had lost/misplaced or ruined things!


Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
I have to be honest, I do not recall at this point if we had told the kids where we were going or not. We did have a couple more things up our sleeves.
I'm interested to see what else you have in store.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:43 AM   #1664
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And not just giraffes&

i like how the animal in the back his head is in a perfect spot for that picture...it disappears at the zebra
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A cold beer on the Verandah was on his top 10 but unfortunately it was all warm from being in transit all day so his first order of business was to toss one in the freezer.
i thought this story was going to turn out different i figured after him being gone so long hte beer would have frozen.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:04 AM   #1665
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That's an awesome view and considering you got it at a standard view point rate, even better.

So, let me get this straight - you rented the car solely to get to WDW and then returned it. Jeff is a trooper. I don't know if I could see Denny going to all that trouble.

Love the room. Love the view. Love the pool. Seriously considering switching half of my October reservation to AKL. I miss it.

Love the bottle of wine.

Love that no one knows what surprises still lurk in the future!
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Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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animal kingdom villas, disney dream, old key west, vero beach resort



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