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Old 03-27-2013, 11:50 AM   #436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
I really want to watch your videos but don't have the right cookies here at.....work So glad you son got in his last sledding of the season! I don't blame you for not wanting people out there at night or in their 4x4's. Sheesh.

I am fortunate enough to live next to a huge field where the crop varies betwen corn and soybean. I cross country ski out there when it actually does snow here. Unfortunately we didn't get any appreciable snow this year, so no skiing for me.
Work firewalls are awful. It's like they want us to do actual real work or something.

Cross country skiing sounds like too much work for me. I'm sorry you didn't get the opportunity to do it this year though.

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Originally Posted by SAT887 View Post
Enjoyed your last day update. I am spoiled by going in down times as well - when I see major crowds I tend to run the other way! Our jobs don't let us go during busy timesaver the year- while I'm sure with a little bribery (we would probably need to sell our first born....) we could get spring break or Christmas off I much prefer to travel when everyone is at work or school! I loved your little update on potentially the last snow fall of the season- we were completely melted and got 8" dumped on us last week... It is almost gone - and I'm hoping it is our last! Kids are so awesome and as much as I want to move to a warmer climate we will definitely have to make sure our kids continue to know what sledding is!
Any time you can go is a good time. We're trying to take advantage of the slower times while the kids are young by going early Dec/late Nov while schools are in session. Once our kids are in school we'll probably only do trips in the summer, once again.

We haven't had much snow at all this year. I think we've had about 4 or 5 snowfalls that have given us enough snow to sled, but the kids were sick during one of them so DS didn't get to go out. For most of the winter weather this year, we've been on that southern fringe that gets more ice than snow.

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Are you near Ft. W?
Not even close. I'm SE from Indianapolis.

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First, both videos work.

I had seen the one on FB. Looks like DS is having a blast.

I'd feel a little creepy myself if strangers were on my property at night. Kind of like the coyote we had roaming in my backyard two nights ago.
I'm glad it is working. I forgot to try to check it last night at home.

I really don't mind people sledding, but that definitely is a little creepy. We came home from church one afternoon when there was no snow on the ground at all. As we were coming down the road I saw a dark spot on the hill and I assumed it was either a deer or a coyote. As we got closer, it was a person.

We basically just let people come and sled when there's snow, but whenever I see someone around when there's no snow on the ground, I want to know what they're doing and why they're on my property. I hopped on the 4 wheeler and took off, but by the time I got there he was gone and I couldn't even find where he went. I assume off through the woods somewhere... not to get into a debate on 2nd amendment rights, but this is one reason why I am a gun owner.

Not to mention coyote population control. Sounds like you could use one too.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:12 PM   #437
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Hey Andy, I'm finally caught up on your last chapter. I could sense your frustration with the whole Downtown Disney thing and the switch to MK from Epcot. I completely understand! And the whole time I was thinking, "and you'll get there hours after the park opened". But hey, that's what you've gotta do when you travel with a group. Just go with the flow. And it sounded like you made the most of it.

The picture of your son hanging onto the hitching post, not wanting to leave the park, was really cute.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:40 PM   #438
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I'm not sure I'd want strangers on my property either.

How awesome! You should be a proud daddy!
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:01 AM   #439
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Catching up...sorry I've been MIA!

Your last few updates were great! Sorry Rapunzel wasn't the greatest at the meet & greet.

The night in EPCOT sounds like a lot of fun! I could go for some Via Napoli & a drink right now myself.

WOW! Those crowds the last day in MK. But, it sounds like y'all had a fun time and a really great trip! Thank you for sharing these family memories with us.

And your DS is too cute on his sled!
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:04 AM   #440
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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Hey Andy, I'm finally caught up on your last chapter. I could sense your frustration with the whole Downtown Disney thing and the switch to MK from Epcot. I completely understand! And the whole time I was thinking, "and you'll get there hours after the park opened". But hey, that's what you've gotta do when you travel with a group. Just go with the flow. And it sounded like you made the most of it.
Heck, this wasn't the group changing "our" plans, it was DW! The group planned to split up anyway! I figured super planner like you who makes spreadsheets of his spreadhseets would understand my frustration.

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The picture of your son hanging onto the hitching post, not wanting to leave the park, was really cute.
Very fitting of the way we all feel.

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I'm not sure I'd want strangers on my property either.

How awesome! You should be a proud daddy!
Thanks! He has a blast, so of course it is fun for me too!

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Catching up...sorry I've been MIA!
I know, but I undersand.

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Your last few updates were great! Sorry Rapunzel wasn't the greatest at the meet & greet.
She wasn't awful. I'll say she wasn't feeling too well that day because she certainly wasn't acting like herself.

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The night in EPCOT sounds like a lot of fun! I could go for some Via Napoli & a drink right now myself.
It was a fantastic evening. I can go for some Via Napoli any time. I'm half tempted to try to get someone who's going soon to ship me a pizza.

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WOW! Those crowds the last day in MK. But, it sounds like y'all had a fun time and a really great trip! Thank you for sharing these family memories with us.
It definitely worked out well. I certainly wouldn't want to have gone there that day if we had things that we felt like we needed to get done, but since it was a more laid back touring plan for us it was a great way to end the trip.

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And your DS is too cute on his sled!
Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:29 AM   #442
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Aww, sledding looks so fun! My little Louisiana boy will never get to do that, I'm sure. Unless we drive up to your house and try it out in the middle of the night...

Seriously though, that is so strange that people do that? I would be so creeped out by that!
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:57 AM   #443
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Yay for sledding! I don't think the E's will get any this year. It is possible we will still get another snow, it can be into mid April, but it's unlikely.

Fun!
Well, a late March snow is highly unlikely for us, so never say never.

Last March was uncharicteristically warm, so this is pretty much a polar opposite. Last year we were in the 70's and 80's, this year, we're getting snow.

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Aww, sledding looks so fun! My little Louisiana boy will never get to do that, I'm sure. Unless we drive up to your house and try it out in the middle of the night...

Seriously though, that is so strange that people do that? I would be so creeped out by that!
Bring him on up, you wouldn't be the only ones.

You know, it is a rural community and the farm I bought was owned by the same family for about 150 years. In fact if you look on satellite maps, the hill is actually named after their family name. Over the years, it was mostly people who were from the area/grew up around there and they knew the family and were always welcome to come over any time. This continued as the oldest sister in that family was in her later years. She just requested that people either stop by or call to let her know they're coming. The last 5 years of her life she was away from the farm and in the nursing home and it just kind of became a free for all.

I really don't mind if friends and neighbors show up and they all know they have an open invitation any time. It does get a little annoying when there are people who I don't even know out there. I've had strangers stop by the house and ask to sled and I always tell them the're welcome to after I make sure to tell them no snowmobiles, no vehicles on the hill and be gone by dusk. It does kind of irritate me when there are people I don't even know just showing up. The fences around the pasture area have been gone for probably 20 years, but I've put some serious consideration into rebuilding them. I'd like to get back into raising cattle and turning a bull loose on the hill when I don't want people out there might be a good deterrent.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:26 AM   #444
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Glad you and DS were able to get out for a little sledding after all. Now spring can arrive, anytime.

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Cross country skiing sounds like too much work for me. I'm sorry you didn't get the opportunity to do it this year though.
I remember my geometry teacher in high school teaching us about the slope of a line. She said to think of it as a ski slope. Positive means you're gaining altitude, negative means you're going downhill. A vertical line has no slope because it's impossible to ski--everyone dies. And a horizontal line has a slope of zero--like cross country skiing, it's zero fun.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:37 AM   #445
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…The fences around the pasture area have been gone for probably 20 years, but I've put some serious consideration into rebuilding them. I'd like to get back into raising cattle and turning a bull loose on the hill when I don't want people out there might be a good deterrent.
Yes… yes it would.




Unless they’re idiots.

Then a video camera would be in order…
along with a quick link for uploading the results to AFV.

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Old 03-28-2013, 05:25 PM   #446
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Great closing!!! Can you go back soon so I can see more photos of your adorable children? K thanks


Really though, thank you for sharing!
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:43 AM   #447
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Glad you and DS were able to get out for a little sledding after all. Now spring can arrive, anytime.
Yeah, I'm ready. This time last year we'd had some 80 degree days and had a lot of field work done getting ready to plant corn.

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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
I remember my geometry teacher in high school teaching us about the slope of a line. She said to think of it as a ski slope. Positive means you're gaining altitude, negative means you're going downhill. A vertical line has no slope because it's impossible to ski--everyone dies. And a horizontal line has a slope of zero--like cross country skiing, it's zero fun.


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Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Yes… yes it would.




Unless they’re idiots.

Then a video camera would be in order…
along with a quick link for uploading the results to AFV.

I like the way you think! I've thought about using one of those motion activated game cameras out there to catch the ones I don't see coming in at night, but this might be an even better use for that camera.

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Great closing!!! Can you go back soon so I can see more photos of your adorable children? K thanks
Sure. Convince my wife.

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Really though, thank you for sharing!
Thanks for reading along!
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:18 PM   #448
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Closing Thoughts

Ok, I've finally gotten around to composing some closing thoughts I've had from our trip. Before I get to them, I'd like to thank everyone for reading along. Whether you've been posting or just lurking, thanks for taking the time and interest to read what I've had to say. If you are just lurking, don't be afraid to say hi.

We really did have an awesome trip and for the most part, everyone had a lot of fun. There were setbacks and disappointments, but that comes with the territory. As with any trip to Disney World, the positives definitely outweighed the negatives and I know we all made memories that will last forever. With that, here are a few random thoughts that I want to comment on.

ADR's: I love them and I hate them. It is fun to be planning the trip 6+ months out, but I hate having to lock in ADR's so far out, especially for a group as large as ours. We had a few changes that we wanted to make and it just became nearly impossible to do anything. Sure, I could have kept checking and trying to get it done even a day or 2 before, but by that time I was already on vacation and ADR stalking wasn't something I wanted to have to deal with. I just really hope this new Fast Pass system doesn't suck the fun out of planning the way locking in ADR's can sometimes.

Traveling with Extended Family: It isn't always a disaster. Truthfully, we take a trip with my wife's family about every 2 years to Gatlinburg and since 2008, we've been going to WDW with my family every 4 years. I hope these patterns continue, because we really do have a great time on all of these trips. And everyone tends to get along really well and enjoy a lot of the same things, so I'm sure that helps exponentially.

The New Fantasyland: I'll be honest. When this project was first announced, I wasn't excited. I wanted to see the next big expensive project to be a new thrill ride or something epic to add to the experience at DHS or AK. A new Fantasyland dark ride and a restaurant didn't exactly excite me. Especially when it was coming at the expense of Toon Town.
Having been there to experience the new Fantasyland first hand, it restores my faith and hope for the future of Disney imagineering. They did an excellent job and now that I've seen the (partially) finished product, I love it. I really hope that Iger will come around to the idea of putting more capital towards new attractions in the park, because even though every year that passes is one year farther removed from Walt Disney, the imagineers still seem to have that ability to channel his creativity and make an experience that just captivates everyone.

And as they say the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Be Our Guest might have played a significant role in my change in attitude.

Pushing a Double Stroller: Kind of a play on the first PTR I wrote titled "I'll Never go to Disney World Pushing a Stroller." I always remember going to Disney World and seeing those poor suckers trying to get through the crowds with a stroller and dealing with whiny kids. I always thought there's no way they could be having fun and their kids are too young to enjoy it anyway. Since that experience, I've been an advocate of taking younger kids. Anytime a friend mentions going to WDW in a few years, I always point out the fact that they can save a lot of money by going before the child is 3. I love the fact that this time DS was a month away from being 3 so he really took it all in and had a blast... and didn't cost us a dime! Now having that second one around... well that made it a little more complicated. I'm glad that we had some extra hands to help us out. Dad not being able to or wanting to ride most rides was a huge help to let the rest of us get a lot done, but I really do feel bad that he spent so much time sitting over in the shade somewhere. I know he loved the time with the grandkids, but I really feel like he was missing out to a degree.

Pop Warner: Obviously this was one of the biggest negatives on this trip. As many have said, they aren't bad in the parks. If you plan a trip during Pop Warner week, don't be discouraged at all. However, if you're booked at a resort and a month or 2 before your trip, it is announced as a host resort for Pop Warner... RUN!!!!

Don't ask questions, just book a different resort. You'll thank me later.

Food Allergies: As I discussed earlier, this was a huge disappointment for us. Disney has a reputation for being so good with food allergies, but it is clear that there is something lacking with the way they handle it at quick service places. It was bad enough that Sis missed a couple of days in the parks and MVMCP, but it could have been much worse. I appreciate the reply from DIsney and the fact that they give Sis and BiL a ticket to use later, but then again, they got two 1 day tickets to make up for 2 park days she missed, an MVMCP they both missed, and several meals that didn't get used on the days she was sick. That said, we weren't asking for anything back from Disney, but hopefully they'll at least take action to make sure that kind of thing doesn't happen in the future. That was our biggest concern.

All of the Diser's: I want to thank all of you who have shared ideas with me over the past couple of years, either by replying to my PTR/TR's or by sharing new ideas with me in yours. I've learned a lot of neat tricks and ideas on these boards and it is the little tips and tricks that really help to make the trip a little bit better. I've seen and done some new things that I'd never thought of because of all of you. Thank you!







And as for our next trip...

Well after a little further consideration we won't be going to Disney World in 2013. We looked at a week in June when DW's sister will be there, but it just didn't work out really well. We liked some of the discounts available during that week and I have to admit, I was really, really excited about the idea of going during Star Wars weekends. In the end though, June isn't a great time to go since spring planting could potentially run that late for us. And right now it isn't exactly shaping up to be an early or even on time spring. We had considered going back in December again this year too, but in the end we decided to just wait until 2014.

When we sat down and priced everything out and started talking about it we made this decision for a few reasons.

1. DS was 36" at the time of this trip. Right now he is 37" and we will have to pay for his tickets. We really want him to be able to do more things if we're going to have to buy a ticket for him. If we do Nov/Dec 2014, he'll be almost 5. Hopefully he'll be tall enough to ride a few more rides and old enough to get more out of the experience. Also, DD will be 2 1/2, so she'll still be "free" and hopefully will be into it the way DS was this time.

2. We can do our beach trip for just a little bit cheaper than Disney. With the year we had on the farm last year, saving some money, even if a marginal amount is a good thing. We're also going to buy a few Disney gift cards over the course of the next year and a half or so to go towards our next trip.

3. The week that was being considered for our beach trip coincides with a weekend that the Reds will be playing in Atlanta. So if DW gets her beach, I get to make a slight detour on the way to see my Reds play in another ball park.

So with that all said, we're planning a July trip to Panama City Beach. We'll be driving with a detour through Atlanta for a baseball game and enjoy a few days on the beach at the hotel that DW and I went to for our honeymoon in 2008.




Again, thanks to everyone for reading along, and I do plan to stay around these boards, even though it doesn't look like we're going back for quite a while. I hope to stay in touch with everyone through your TR's/PTR's. For those of you who send a PM when you start one, I appreciate it, if you don't send one, don't be afraid to. I'm sometimes a little slow to leave my list of subscribed threads and see what new ones have been started.



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Old 04-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #449
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Great wrap up! You are so spot on with taking younger kids. When we went on our big trip in 2009 before having DS, it was supposed to be a big blowout trip because we wouldn't be back until our kids were older and "could appreciate WDW." Boy, am I glad we changed our mind on that! Taking DS has been so much more fun than I ever could have imagined! I'm sure with 2 kids it was a little more challenging, but you and DW seemed to handle it just fine. I guess we are both now proud members of the Stroller Brigade!

Bummer you will be missing out on Disney this year, but all the more reason to get even more excited for 2014! Then I can live vicariously through you since we won't be visiting that year.

Anyway, really enjoyed this TR! I loved seeing your DS experience things differently now that he is a little older, and of course, seeing DD experience them for the first time! What a special thing, to be able to share those magic moments with our kiddos!
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #450
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Really enjoyed your report and am excited that you will be going back in 2014. You have very sound reasons and Snow White's Mine Train will be open by then!

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