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Old 03-27-2013, 11:29 PM   #31
Luv2Diz
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Enjoying your TR! Can't wait for more....we are doing this cruise in May.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:57 AM   #32
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Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your TR

Well done DH for being such a good sport!
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:12 AM   #33
jjje
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Originally Posted by nunzia View Post
Loving your report! We are on this same cruise, leaving April 26. I've never been on the Magic but have sailed on the Wonder and loved it. I have a grandson with Aspergers so am interested in reading about your son's perceptions. ( I know what was removed from the picture at the Walt Disney Theater..do I get a prize? )
Looking forward to the next installment.
Yes, you do get a prize! Here it is:

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Great report so far. We are sailing on Magic in August and cannot wait.
I'm so jealous of all the people that have a trip on the magic to look forward to. It's a beautiful ship!

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Originally Posted by wgeo View Post
I'm really enjoying reading your report! We're taking our very first cruise on the Magic next October and love reading another report from a first time cruiser. Thanks!

We're from WI (although I was born and raised in MN) and we're just like you when we go south, everyone is bundled up and we're in shorts!

Gina
Have you ever been to Disney World in winter? One day we went when it was 50 out and the cast members were dressed in winter parkas. We enjoyed that.

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Originally Posted by beccafish3kids View Post
Yes, yes, yes, we were up there center back (we're in your picture, ha!) watching your dear husband do The Sprinkler and The Pony... and I thought to myself, "This dad is seriously awesome!" I'm glad he jumped right in there; he made us all feel comfortable by his willingness to be part of the magic. Yay, Jesse!
I wondered if I was catching any other Disboard folks in my pictures. Jesse really is a good guy. (And brave!)

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Enjoying your TR! Can't wait for more....we are doing this cruise in May.
Can you fit one more person in your luggage?

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Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your TR

Well done DH for being such a good sport!
Would you believe that this moment was not the one he described as the most embarrassing of the whole trip? It gets better/worse!
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:28 PM   #34
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I am loving your trip report. It will really help me get through the next two weeks until our cruise.

Let me say as a native Texan you telling the truth about our ugly gulf water doesn't hurt at all. Its a good 12 hour drive to south padre for me. For that amount of time I might as well get on an airplane and go to someplace with turquoise waters.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:29 AM   #35
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It was only the first day of our cruise when we figured out that with late seating we were going to have to eat something before dinner to tide us over. So we became hobbits and started the tradition of Second Lunch. Sometimes we had room service, sometimes we had pizza, sometimes we had tacos (until I had a Very Bad Thing happened but more on that later) and often we would have fruit and ice cream from Goofy's Galley.

Grapes make a great Second Lunch


After getting recharged (because we were exhausted from all that dancing and cheering for dancing) we spent a little more time exploring the ship. I wanted to take more pictures but my family was in no mood for slowing down to let me fiddle with my aperture so I didn't have much success.

I did manage to get one of an empty Studio Sea.

FYI, those film canister columns are cute but if you sit any where near them you won't be able to see what is going on up front at all. We liked the games and activities in Studio Sea but the seating felt weird and disorganized. Just a small quibble though.

Next we walked through the art gallery area where I fell in love with (and took a terrible picture of) this Up oil painting.


Look at the tiny characters!



I looked my husband dead in the eye and said "I need this picture."

He looked back at me and said "You lugged all our clothes through three airports so you didn't have to pay a baggage fee and now you want to buy an oil painting off a cruise ship?"

And I never mentioned buying that painting again. But I still long for it.

It was getting close to show time for All Aboard: Let the Magic Begin so we went to the theater. Even though we were on a packed full ship we didn't have any problem finding a good seat just fifteen minutes before the show started.


If you're tall like me you might enjoy sitting in the first row of the second section. You get all the leg room you need and there's no one sitting in front of you trying to secretly film the show with their ipad. The bar in front of you doesn't get in your way at all. In fact even my small kids said it wasn't in their way.

Another tradition my family started was ordering the Drink of the Day while we waited for the show to start. If he deemed it too "girly" of a drink my husband would sometimes order a beer but I always got the Drink of the Day. This annoyed my kids to no end because they wanted to order something too but I always refused. "There's all this free food on the ship! I am not paying for popcorn and candy!" Sometimes they whined a little but I didn't care because I was sipping on the Drink of the Day. I am not a big drinker at all and in spite of my size I am a real lightweight when it comes to alcohol. In spite of that not a single thing I drank on the cruise ever made me feel the least bit tipsy. I don't know if that's because they make their drinks really weak or because all the alcohol was being absorbed by the 3 dozen tacos I ate every day but something was going on with those drinks. Still, it was fun to try a new drink every day and I thought it was worth the 5 or 6 dollars.

So, All Aboard. It was cute. There's some singing and some dancing and a few jokes and the cruise director came out and talked and it was all fine. I imagine we will skip it when we go on our next cruise because I'm not sure it's anything we will need to see twice. If I had to use a smiley to describe the show I would use this one: I will say that E really like the show because she's at the wonderful age where everything new is special and fun and makes you sit on the edge of your seat and clap wildly.

After the show we made what would turn out to be our biggest mistake during the entire cruise. We went to the gift shop.

Take it from me folks, there is no reason to visit the gift shop the minute you walk out of a show. Everyone else in the world is doing the same thing and it makes people very crabby. Huge sensory overload even for people who don't have sensory issues. By the time we realized we were fools to try and browse the souvenir selection at the same time as 600 other people it was too late and we were trapped in the store. After a lot of "Excuse me, excuse me, sir, you're stepping my my daughter, excuse me, I SAID EXCUSE ME!" we managed to wiggle our way out. Don't be like us. Don't visit the gift shop right after a show. Go during the middle of the day when you will literally be the only person in there and cast members will slip you trading pins because you are small and cute. (This works best if you are a small and cute child.)

After our retreat from the Mob That Ate the Gift Shop we made a quick stop at the bathrooms.

People don't look at you funny at all when you take pictures of the bathroom signs. No, that's not true. They do. Just enjoy my picture and save yourself from getting the looks that clearly say "Is this person a bathroom fetishist and perhaps would I be safer using the bathroom in my cabin?"

Can I just say that we used a LOT of bathroom on the ship because E's philosophy is life is that whatever we're planning on doing is fun but certainly doing it five minutes later so we can make a bathroom stop will be even more fun. I never saw any of the bathrooms in anything less that spotless condition. I'm sure that it happens but I never saw it. None of them even had that usual tell-tale public restroom smell. I and say that as a person who spends a lot of time hanging around outside public restroom stalls while E ... I don't know, composes symphonies or whatever it is she does in there that takes so long.

After spending eternity in the bathroom we went to Studio Sea to watch and maybe play Mickey Mania. It's a family game that's sort of like Jeopardy but with teams? And without the answering in the form of a question? And with Disney questions? I don't know. I'm terrible at describing things. You can kind of see the set up in the background of this picture.

We didn't get picked to play. Sad! I will say that although I bad at describing things I am super awesome at Disney trivia. If we had been picked to play J and I would have swept the competition. Oh well. The people who were picked were good too and it was enjoyable to watch. The crew member who ran it did a nice job and kept it entertaining.

After Mickey Mania we headed to dinner. Our first restaurant in our rotation was the Animator's Palate. For some reason I kept calling it the Artist's Palate and this made my kids scream with laughter each time I did it. We made a second blunder here by arriving early and standing in line. Don't do that. There's no need. Just show up on time and you'll be able to walk right in and be seated. Standing in line is for noobs.

We were seated with another family of four. This was instantly a cause of angst for our little group. I had really debated requesting a table of our own but I wondered if we would get sick of talking to only each other every night so I decided to chance it. Jesse is a very friendly guy who can talk to anyone. I however am extremely shy and tend to say awkward things around people I don't know well. J is also uncomfortable around people he doesn't know well. E is seven and has the social skills of a seven year old which is to say that she's a sweet girl and very likeable but she really doesn't care much what's going on with you when she's got chicken fingers and broccoli in front of her.

So our first dinner was a little uncomfortable. I think none of us were sure how much we were really supposed to talk to the other family. I tried to think of a way to break the ice but all I could think of was asking "So .... do you like ...stuff?" so I kept my mouth shut and tended to my kids. This was difficult as about 10 minutes into dinner E got a major case of the I Didn't Sleep Enough Last Night And Now Everything Makes Me Cry and J was eager to get out of there and do some of the getting-to-know-you activities in the Edge.

Let me talk for just a minute about food. As I said earlier I didn't really take pictures but I do remember what I ate:

Wild Mushroom Risotto and Porcini Twist - I don't really like mushrooms but I love risotto more than I hate eating fungus so I gave this a try. I wish I had asked for a second serving. This was the bomb-diggity. It was so good that it made me say stupid things like bomb-diggity.
Ahi Tuna Tartare - Yeah, I ordered two appetizers. That's how I roll. This was pretty good but TINY. On the menu it said it should have caviar on it but mine didn't seem to. Still pretty good.
Smoked Salmon and Trout with Goat Cheese Salad - Not bad at all. I love goat cheese and salmon though so you could probably serve them on a mushroom and I would eat it.
Lemon-Thyme Marinated Chicken Breast - I will go on record and say this was my second biggest disappointment of my MDR meals. The piece of chicken I had was fatty and the mashed potatoes were somehow both runny and dry. I will say that Jesse ordered the same thing and loved it. In fact he ate mine when I quit halfway through.
I don't remember what I had for dessert. Most likely the trio of min-desserts that they offer with every dinner. I'm sure it was good but ...

At this point I was mostly trying to get E to watch the "show" going on around her. Everything was lighting up and changing colors around us. Even the servers changed from their black and white vests to colorful vests. Fun fact - Over-tired seven year olds care very little about the clothing choices of waiters. I on the other hand really enjoyed the show. It felt very Disney to me and in spite of the fact that E had fallen asleep using my arm as a pillow I really got into it. This was helped along by the fact that our serving team was awesome. They were so friendly and cheerful that they helped set the mood for me.

Finally we decided to head out of dinner. If things had been awkward with our tablemates at first I certainly didn't make it better when we suddenly got up and left without saying goodbye to them. Not my best move but my arm was asleep and both my kids had dissolved into sad, mopey piles of whine and I just needed to get them out of there.

When we left the restaurant E instantly perked up and asked if she could go to the Lab to make jewelry. We agreed and Jesse went to drop her off. I took J to the Edge. I had to stand outside with him for minute and help him work up his nerve. He really wanted to go in but he needed a second to feel comfortable. I was really proud of him for going in because I know it was hard for him.

Jesse and I met up in the stairwell stairwell by the Edge. Then we headed down the hall to our cabin.


Once we got to the cabin, just the two of us, we did what came naturally. Yeah baby, that's right. We unpacked.

That's not entirely accurate. I unpacked. Jesse laid on the bed and watched Mickey Mouse cartoons.

I also ate all the chocolate our room hostess left because the rule is that for every suitcase you unpack you get a piece of chocolate. Unpacking didn't take too long because we hadn't brought that much. I was able to fit all the empty bags into the closet and still have plenty of space for hanging clothes. We had more than enough space for folded things in the drawers and the steamer trunk. The only problem I ran into was trying to find outlets to plug our various chargers into. Jesse had to rent an extension cord from guest services ($50 fully refundable upon the cord's return) so that he could plug his cpap machine in.

After I was all unpacked I went to pick up the kids. I found E in the lab sitting at a computer showing a very tiny girl how to play Peggle. I know some people worry about their older kids not wanting to be around the young kids in the Club and Lab but E really enjoyed it. I think she liked feeling like a big kid.

I also picked J up at the Edge. Kids in the Edge don't have to be checked out or picked up and are given the run of the ship but J preferred having us pick him up. He liked knowing what time we would be there because he prefers to operate on a schedule that he knows ahead of time. I found him sitting at a table coloring a picture and talking to a girl. He talked about this girl a lot over the coming days. He started off calling her "my new artist friend" and then changed that to "my new artist friend who lives in Canada" which then became "my new artist friend who lives in Canada and is Korean" and then at last "my new artist friend who lives in Canada and is Korean and I think her name is R___". (If you are reading this and that is your daughter please know that your child helped make the cruise a lot more fun and comfortable for J. He really enjoyed her company and her friendliness towards a kid who can be a little awkward and unsure of himself was a real gift. You're raising a winner!)

At the end of a long day, bed time. I don't even remember laying down. I don't often sleep well in new places but I conked out pretty much right away this night. The ship was rocking noticeably and I felt like I was being rocked to sleep. It was a nice way to end a pretty awesome day.

Coming up: What happened with the taco? Would we ever make friends with our tablemates? Did Jesse's bathroom stuff keep ending up on the floor? Stay tuned for another griping installment where a total stranger tries (and maybe fails) to remember what she ate one night several weeks ago!
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Last edited by jjje; 03-29-2013 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by dallastxcpa View Post
I am loving your trip report. It will really help me get through the next two weeks until our cruise.

Let me say as a native Texan you telling the truth about our ugly gulf water doesn't hurt at all. Its a good 12 hour drive to south padre for me. For that amount of time I might as well get on an airplane and go to someplace with turquoise waters.
I read a ton of trip reports before our cruise too. It helps pass the time doesn't it? And I think I'm done talking bad about Texas.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:01 PM   #37
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Great reports so far. We were also on your sailing. Your husbands dance moves were very entertaining. What a good sport.

I always sleep like a baby on a ship. The rocking is so soothing and we definitely had more to come.

Hopefully you made friends with your table mates. This cruise we had the best and spent so much of our time together you would have thought we knew each other forever.

Also, my daughter is a cast member in Vibe, but she was in the club/lab some of the week. Her name is Carly. I wonder if your daughter met her.

Thanks for sharing. I'll keep looking for us in pictures.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:32 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by jjje View Post

Coming up: What happened with the taco? Would we ever make friends with our tablemates?
Please continue soon with your TR......we need answers to these questions!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:19 PM   #39
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Nice update. I'm really interested to see how the table mates thing works out. I can't decide if we should request to sit by ourselves or not. My DH is not a "group" person, but I think the kids might really like sitting with other kids ...
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:36 AM   #40
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Great update. Good idea about bringing an extension cord. My husband uses a Cpap machine also, did you bring distilled water or did you request it to be on board? We will be traveling next yr on the fantasy and wanted to get an idea.
Thanks
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:55 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Wildernessbride2005 View Post
Thanks for sharing. I'll keep looking for us in pictures.
You're so brave! I am so worried I will find myself in someone else's cruise pictures and it will have been taken at the exact second I decided to pick a wedgie or something.

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Originally Posted by Luv2Diz View Post
Please continue soon with your TR......we need answers to these questions!
Working on it right now!

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Originally Posted by wgeo View Post
Nice update. I'm really interested to see how the table mates thing works out. I can't decide if we should request to sit by ourselves or not. My DH is not a "group" person, but I think the kids might really like sitting with other kids ...
Spoiler alert: In the end we loved our table mates. In fact we've talked about cruising together again.

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Originally Posted by mrsoc View Post
Great update. Good idea about bringing an extension cord. My husband uses a Cpap machine also, did you bring distilled water or did you request it to be on board? We will be traveling next yr on the fantasy and wanted to get an idea.
Thanks
You can request distilled water and they will bring it to your room for no charge. Easy-peasy.

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Great update - in fact it was the bomb-diggity
Lol. I will take that compliment happily.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #43
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I live in about half way between Galveston and Houston, and I can confirm those were Dolphins you saw. Don't worry about them too much. They are very social and fun loving so they like to hang out in the ship channel. They can swim out to the Gulf any time but choose to be near the ships. I agree, the port isn't very pretty, but it is fascinating. The large structure you are looking at in one of your pics appears to be an old deep-water oil drilling rig. Pretty sure that's a museum. There's also dry docks, the tall ship Elissa (150 years old?) and all the active loading and unloading of cargo ships. My son (age 5) loves it. I'm LOVING your posts. We sail on SATURDAY! 5 days. I'm super excited! Thanks for sharing your trip.

FYI... As an adoptive mom, I want to thank you for being a surrogate. That is quite literally something I could never do. It is so beautiful that you were willing to go through all that "stuff" to fulfill someone else's dream. I am in awe of anyone who surrogates or makes an adoption plan for their child.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:02 PM   #44
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Day 2 - All surrounded by the ocean!

Our second day started pretty early in the morning. The one downside to an inside cabin (we thought) was that you would wake up and have no idea if it was 3am or 10am. I think we all woke up around 6:00 but none of us could go back to sleep because we were all excited to start our day. We took our time rotating through the split bathrooms and watched some Mickey cartoons. We were scheduled for a late character breakfast so we were in no hurry to run off and get something to eat. Once everyone was ready we walked up to the drink station to get some coffee and hot chocolate.


It was at this point that my kids realized we really were in the middle of the ocean. They just couldn't get over how no matter where they looked they couldn't see land. E kept looking out and and saying "WE'RE ALL SURROUNDED BY THE OCEAN!" like she was shocked each time she realized it.

We sat like this for a long time.


Next it was time to go to Parrot Cay for our character breakfast. I know some people aren't crazy about the decor in Parrot Cay but I liked it. I thought it was fun.


See that door on the right? It kept opening up so the whole meal I was treated to the sight of empty crates and boxes. I have to say I had one complaint about our dining experience on this cruise. At every restaurant we were shoved back in a corner and wedged in right next to a loud and busy serving station. I know someone has to sit in these seats but it would be nice if there was some sort of rotation so that people who have to sit in these tables in one restaurant could get a better table in another restaurant. It wasn't enough of a problem to take away from my enjoyment of meals but it did seem a little less than "fair" that certain people always had "bad" tables. But seriously, we were on a Disney cruise and the worst table on a Disney cruise is better than eating at home after you have to cook and serve and clean up after. I'm not going to complain too much.



I don't remember what I ordered for breakfast. Maybe a bagel with lox. My main focus was on taking pictures. If you're looking for in depth interactions with the characters the breakfast is not the time to get it. Obviously we knew that going in but wow, even I wasn't prepared for how quickly they would move. Sometimes my camera would flash and before I could even lower it the characters would be off and running. It wasn't really a problem for us since my kids aren't really so into meeting the characters.


Just focus on Minnie and not on that metal door on the right that kept banging open and shut during our entire meal. (Ok, I really am done complaining now!)

The real fun of a character breakfast is the napkin hats that the waiters make for you. I knew about this in advance but no one else in my family did so they were all surprised when the servers starting putting stuff on our heads.


In general J does not like people touching him unexpectedly but we were all laughing and having such a good time with this that he forgot to be anxious and he didn't mind at all when he got a Peter Pan hat.


The dads at our table got the most elaborate hats with Jesse getting something that looked like dreadlocks and the other dad getting a complicated contraption with two metal tray covers tied on to it. They were both good sports and left their hats on for a long time.

E models Jesse's hat.

Side note - this is the first time we ever let E drink Sprite and every time she drank it she got a little crazy. We called this her Sprite Face. She looks like this in a lot of our vacation pictures.

After breakfast E wanted to go to the Lab to try out this Gaga Ball she had been so curious about and J wanted to go do some Disney trivia in the Edge. On the way we had to stop and look again at the ocean.


After we dropped the kids off Jesse and I stood and watched the princesses in the lobby for a bit.


I liked how all the princesses had perfected sitting down while poofing their dresses out around them exactly right. These ladies are fantastic with kids. Getting right down on their level, dealing with both the super shy kids and the over-exuberant ones without batting an eye. I think it takes real skill to be a Disney princess.

I think these banners were up because it was our formal dinner night.


We didn't leave the kids in the clubs long because we all wanted to go make animal masks together in the Promenade Lounge. Jesse want to get J and I picked up E. When I got her she was all red faced and breathless. It turns out that not only did she like Gaga Ball but that it was the Best Game Ever. From her description it sounded like a more gentle version of dodge ball. Sort of. All I know for sure is that for the rest of the cruise she did not miss a single session of Gaga Ball. We had to plan her whole day around it.

But for now were were going to make animal masks. If your kids like crafts you should really keep an eye on what they have going on in the Promenade Lounge during the day. I think every day there was at least one craft making session. Sometimes they were really crowded but if you were able to wiggle your way in you came out with a fun craft and the rarest of all things - a free Disney souvenir.

The poor crew member running this activity kept trying to get people to stop taking the instruction sheets away from the front but no one would listen to her. We skipped the instructions and put our masks together as best we could by guessing where everything went on them. I think we did something wrong on every single one of them but it was still fun and it made us laugh so that was the important thing.

Next we dropped the kids back off at the clubs and Jesse and I headed to Diversions to play Movie Quote Trivia. Another couple invited us to team up with them so we had a better shot at winning. We did pretty well but there was another HUGE group of people there and they won. In fact we saw this same group at a lot of trivia events and they won a lot of them. My tip is that if you're going to play trivia you should find some people to team up with. In addition to upping your odds you might meet some nice new people.

Photobucket is quitting on me right now so I will end this here. More later once I'm able to actually do something.
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Mom Dad and two perfectly imperfect kids Son (13) and Daughter (8)

1982-89 too many trips to Disneyland to count, 1991 Disneyland Paris, 1994 Disney World @ Beach Club, 1999 Honeymoon in Disney World @ Caribbean Beach Resort, 2001 Disney World @ All Star Music, 2004 Disney World during Hurricane Jeanne @ All Star Sports, 2005 Disney World off property, 2006 Disney World with a newborn @ All Star Movies, 2008 Disney World to celebrate surrogacy #1 @ Port Orleans French Quarter, 2010 Disneyland to celebrate surrogacy #2, 2012 Disney World @ Port Orleans Riverside to celebrate surrogacy #3, 2013 Bahamas on the Magic, 2013 Caribbean on the Wonder, 2014 Panama Canal on the Wonder

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Old 04-01-2013, 12:19 PM   #45
jjje
One time I saw a guy wear cut-off jean shorts to dinner.
 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anibur315 View Post
I live in about half way between Galveston and Houston, and I can confirm those were Dolphins you saw. Don't worry about them too much. They are very social and fun loving so they like to hang out in the ship channel. They can swim out to the Gulf any time but choose to be near the ships. I agree, the port isn't very pretty, but it is fascinating. The large structure you are looking at in one of your pics appears to be an old deep-water oil drilling rig. Pretty sure that's a museum. There's also dry docks, the tall ship Elissa (150 years old?) and all the active loading and unloading of cargo ships. My son (age 5) loves it. I'm LOVING your posts. We sail on SATURDAY! 5 days. I'm super excited! Thanks for sharing your trip.

FYI... As an adoptive mom, I want to thank you for being a surrogate. That is quite literally something I could never do. It is so beautiful that you were willing to go through all that "stuff" to fulfill someone else's dream. I am in awe of anyone who surrogates or makes an adoption plan for their child.
Thank you! Surrogacy was an amazing gift to me as well and I am thankful every day that I was able to do it. I'm an adoptive mom as well. J joined our family through adoption so I know how really incredible adoption is as well. I love and respect all the wonderful ways there are of building families.
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Mom Dad and two perfectly imperfect kids Son (13) and Daughter (8)

1982-89 too many trips to Disneyland to count, 1991 Disneyland Paris, 1994 Disney World @ Beach Club, 1999 Honeymoon in Disney World @ Caribbean Beach Resort, 2001 Disney World @ All Star Music, 2004 Disney World during Hurricane Jeanne @ All Star Sports, 2005 Disney World off property, 2006 Disney World with a newborn @ All Star Movies, 2008 Disney World to celebrate surrogacy #1 @ Port Orleans French Quarter, 2010 Disneyland to celebrate surrogacy #2, 2012 Disney World @ Port Orleans Riverside to celebrate surrogacy #3, 2013 Bahamas on the Magic, 2013 Caribbean on the Wonder, 2014 Panama Canal on the Wonder

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