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Old 07-02-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
Chelley00
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"It's a Disney-fied island". A Disney Hilton Head DVC trip report June 21-28



I debated about writing a trip report, but realized I had a hard time finding many of them when planning our Hilton Head trip. I love reading trip reports when they are about the places we will stay at or things we are going to do and hope that this report will help someone planning a future HHI trip.


First, who you are hearing from!

Me: I'm a 30 something mother to 4, wife to 1. I'm an accountant by day and soccer/swim team/guitar lesson/gymnastics taxi by night. I might like Disney a little too much, love to scrapbook, take lots of pictures and am an OCD planaholic.

DH: A 40 something warehouse guy. He's my outdoorsy fishing/hunting/motorcycle lover. He tolerates my Disney fixes and is pretty much go with the flow happy to let me control the world

I don't have all of our pictures uploaded yet, but this is a somewhat dark picture of DH and I at WiseGuys on our anniversary dinner.


DD 11. She's our tomboy Disney lover. She's our musical one and is good at sports but not quite sure she wants to play anymore. She's our shyer one and sometimes takes a little time to warm up.


DD 8 is our baby, all boy, fun loving, always wants to be with people guy. He likes to ask lots of questions about new things then will plunge in head first.

A picture of a couple of very tired kids after a long day at the beach at SkullCreek Boathouse



We left a couple of members of the family behind. DS20 lives 3 hours away from home now and works so he couldn't go. He's going to Hawaii with his girlfriend and her parents later this summer so don't feel too bad for him for being left out. DS17 was on a mission trip while we were gone. He went to Florida with friends over spring break so don't feel too bad for him either.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:10 PM   #2
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Preview
Yes, we NEED a vacation

Friday June 21
Might as well just park it
Welcome Home
Home Sweet Home Away From Home Outside
Home Sweet Home Away From Home Inside

Saturday June 22
What to Do?
Taking a Dip
But, you're too far away from the ocean
I am NOT going in there and the best meal of the week

Sunday June 23
Biking It
We might get to the beach
Monsters and Mushrooms

Monday June 24
A little playing
Pool time and learning to juggle......sorta
Kids Night In, Parents Night Out

Tuesday June 25
Divide and Conquer
The secret is that it hurts
Dinner In
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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How this trip came to be

We had a rough winter.

The kids and I went to WDW in October with my mom, brother, SIL and nephew. We had a great time, but it ended with DS getting what turned out to be a rather lengthy case of pneumonia. In late November, just in time for his birthday, he relapsed and was sicker this time. He lost a bunch of weight and was just plain miserable. His doctor even threatened to hospitalize him, which we thankfully avoided.

December 6th DH ended up having a major surgery that left him bedridden for weeks. I was up giving him medications every 3 hours for the first several days along with having to give him a lot of care. It was painful for him and exhausting for me.

He was starting to turn the corner and feel a little better when 10 days after his surgery we got a call that DS17 had been in a horrific car accident. He came within inches of losing his life. He spent several days in ICU and when he came home it was nonstop doctor visits, physical therapy appointments and a lot of medications and "nursing" for several months.


I had two people in my house hopped up on major painkillers for Christmas.

Between DH and DS, the two smaller kids got pushed aside a lot. They were shuffled between friends and grandparents. They had to miss activities and play dates. I missed both their Christmas programs at school. They were drug to doctors appointments and had to sit in corners during physical therapy sessions. They had to tiptoe around sleeping "patients" and were asked to do a lot of "run downstairs and get something for me please". And they were troopers about it.

Once the fog lifted and people were back on their feet, DH and I realized they needed something fun. DS was cleared to return to "normal life", which included a previously planned mission trip. DH and I thought it would be the perfect time to go somewhere since we wouldn't have to leave DS home alone for a week and it could be just about the little ones.


Why Disney Hilton Head

We are not DVC members. Of course we'd love to be, but it probably won't happen for us. So, we came about our HHI trip in a big roundabout way.

When we were debating on where to go, we started researching beach locations within a decent drive of home. We settled on either Gulf Shores or South Carolina, both around a 13 hour drive. We knew we wanted a resort that was heavy on kids activities but also offered a babysitting option so that DH and I could celebrate our anniversary (which was the day before we left for vacation) We didn't find many that thrilled us. I threw out to DH that maybe we should just go to Orlando and stay onsite but not do the parks (No parks in June for us. We are not fans of crowds which is why we visit WDW in October or November!)

I remembered that Disney had two resorts that were not near parks that were possibilities, Hilton Head and Vero Beach. I looked into renting points and found that Vero Beach was full, but HHI had availability. The more we read, the more we liked what we found.

I looked at other resorts on the island, but honestly, the Disney resort wasn't much more expensive than the others which surprised me. Plus, I was comfortable paying a little more knowing the kind of care Disney puts into training their CMs and the quality of their kids programs. I looked online and found that it was actually cheaper to pay for a cash reservation than it was to rent points from a member.

And so, decision made, I booked it online from June 22-28. When DS's plans for his mission trip changed slightly, I called and added another night, which had us checking in on Friday June 21. To help us save some money, I paid for it all using Disney gift cards from Target I bought with my red card for a 5% discount and ordered online through MyPoints which gave me points back I used for a gas card. I know it's nuts and it took forever to apply all those $50 Disney cards, but I would do it over the speaker phone while I folded laundry or made dinner. It saved us $100+. We also kept an eye on Groupon and bought a kayak tour, a dolphin cruise and a groupon for gelato.

And so, very early on Friday June 21, we loaded up the vehicle, said goodbye to DS17 and headed off towards South Carolina and a much needed and long awaited vacation.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:55 PM   #4
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I am interested to hear more abt the trip.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:15 AM   #5
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Totally psyched for this TR! We will be on HHI in 2 1/2 weeks!
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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In for your TR!
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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Can't wait to read the rest, looking to go there next year.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:28 AM   #8
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Can't wait to hear more....this was definitely a well deserved vacation for you guys!!
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
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I'm in! Sounds like a much needed trip, and I'm interested in hearing more about Hilton Head!
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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I'm in. Sounds like you had a rough winter just like we did.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:29 AM   #11
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Sure sounds like a much needed trip. I can't wait to read more. I'm currently trying to convince my DH we need to go to HHI. Lol.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
I am interested to hear more abt the trip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudMommyof2 View Post
Totally psyched for this TR! We will be on HHI in 2 1/2 weeks!
You will love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
In for your TR!



Quote:
Originally Posted by smt218 View Post
Can't wait to read the rest, looking to go there next year.
You absolutely should. We had a great time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ash-n-brensmom View Post
Can't wait to hear more....this was definitely a well deserved vacation for you guys!!
I may have needed a break

Quote:
Originally Posted by missx0xdelaney View Post
I'm in! Sounds like a much needed trip, and I'm interested in hearing more about Hilton Head!
I'm usually not a fan of saying we "needed" something like a vacation, but we really did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livsmom04 View Post
I'm in. Sounds like you had a rough winter just like we did.
I'm sorry your winter was sucky too. Makes summer even more fun, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carissa1970 View Post
Sure sounds like a much needed trip. I can't wait to read more. I'm currently trying to convince my DH we need to go to HHI. Lol.
Keep working on him! My DH is sold and would be happy never going anywhere else!
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:21 AM   #13
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Friday June 21.
Might as well just park it.



We had loaded everything into "Travis" (we have a Traverse and for the longest time DS thought we said we bought a Travis) the night before except the necessities we needed. Our goal was to be out the door at 6am, figuring a 12 hour drive, 13 with stops. I was thrilled to find we actually were on the road at 6:14am.

Our kids are great travelers. With 6 of us, it's usually much cheaper to drive than fly. And when I travel with my mom who is afraid of heights, we have to drive. The kids each get a travel bucket that I fill with new movies, a new DS game, activity books, coloring books, travel bingo games and anything else I can find at Target Dollar Spot or Dollar Tree. For every minute they watch a movie, they have to spend the same amount of time doing something else. They were excited to have such a "short" drive, having done the 17 hour trip to Orlando 9 months before.

Our GPS had us going a different way than I had planned (east first, but google maps said south first). DH pulled up the maps on his phone and apparently they were both the same amount of time. We debated and decided to go with the original way, rerouted our GPS and headed south first.

Such a huge mistake!!

Because, this would become our view for 2 1/2 hours straight



Yep, you read that right. We were parked on the interstate with a million other people for two and a half hours in 90 degree temps on the side of the mountain with no shade. Apparently a semi took a curve too fast and rolled. The accident was at the 2 mile marker. We were stopped at the 12.

Blech

However, it turned out to be an interesting experience. We met our "neighbors". The kids passed out bottled water since I had packed 2 cases. We walked the interstate just to say we could. We sat on the side of the road in the one piece of shade we could find and had a snack. DS was excited to pee over the side of the mountain.

Once we started moving, it was slow going. Ten miles of traffic ahead of us and more behind us. We passed one exit since we were moving only to come up to people driving 5mph, which is the fastest we went for miles. I was so sick of stop and go crap that I told DH we were ducking off the first exit we came to. Knowing we were on the side of the mountain and wouldn't have many options to detour, we knew it would be just a stop and stretch and maybe find a place to drink and use a restroom.

Only it wasn't. The exit went down the hill and then turned into a gravel road. It was insane! We drove down the gravel road a little and found a place to park. There were a lot of cars back there, but where we ended up driving about a 1/2 mile and were around no one, where we found this



We spent a little while just dipping our feet in the water to cool off and stretch out. It was a nice little break from all the hectic stuff going on just up a hill from us.







Once we decided to brave the interstate again, we were pleased to find traffic actually moving well......until we got into Asheville. We needed to get off on I-26 but the exit was backed up and stopped for miles and miles (at least 10). I told DH I just couldn't do the stop and go stuff anymore, so we grabbed a map and routed out a new way to go. It took us almost an hour out of the way, but I honestly think it was the best decision. One, we were actually driving 70mph again and not 5. Second, there were a lot of people going the other way so I'm sure it would have taken twice as long to get anywhere because of all the traffic.

So, after leaving our house at 6am, we FINALLY arrived at Hilton Head just before midnight.

So, it was a long slow trip. It took 4 hours to go 40 miles. I have never been so happy to hear that GPS chime "You have arrived" as I was that night. We parked and walked up the steps to Live Oak Lodge to FINALLY check in to Disney Hilton Head Resort.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:43 PM   #14
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Wow! What a winter! And what a beginning to your trip. I trust it gets better for you! I am here for the journey! Thanks for doing this.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:22 PM   #15
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YIKES! That is ann intense way to start the trip!
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