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Old 07-23-2013, 07:17 AM   #151
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Aahhh cute photos of the girls together. I'm loving Izzy playing Merida at home that's even cuter!
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:31 AM   #152
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Love, love, love the report! We sail on the last cruise of the season in 39 days! Who did you book the condo through? We are a party of 7 and currently have two rooms booked at the Delta Suites but I agree that with kids a condo is sweet. We are spoiled by DVC! Looking forward to hearing of your further exploits.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by disneyfaninaz View Post
Thanks for the update. Your little princess sounds a lot like mine. However, mine was 8 when we heard Nooooooooooooooooo! when we suggested she go to the kids club!

Can't wait to see the photos from the beloved rental lens!
I'm hoping it's a phase....but your comment is not inspiring me with confidence!

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Great update! We are just back and the princess meet was one of be highlights of the trip.... Well, besides the line! I didn't have my stuff together todo a real trip report, but when I am home and not laying in a dark hotel room in Vancouver, I will have to do a mini report of the meet!
Yes, the line was a bit intense. You definitely need to bring something for the kiddos to do! We had food and an iPad and lots of adults to swap out during the standing lol

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Aahhh cute photos of the girls together. I'm loving Izzy playing Merida at home that's even cuter!
Thanks! Since she's been home, grandpa has gotten her a suction cup bow and arrow set. She likes to put on her dress and shoot the sliding glass door while Brave plays in the background. She's got surprisingly good form!

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Love, love, love the report! We sail on the last cruise of the season in 39 days! Who did you book the condo through? We are a party of 7 and currently have two rooms booked at the Delta Suites but I agree that with kids a condo is sweet. We are spoiled by DVC! Looking forward to hearing of your further exploits.
It was through homeaway - if you go to homeaway.com you can look at what is available by location and size, and see pictures of the prospective places. Ours was meant to "sleep 4" but we made Isabelle a little bed on the floor and she was fine. They have all shapes and sizes!

I have a new chapter in the works, look for a few updates this weekend.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:11 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Ellester View Post
Love, love, love the report! We sail on the last cruise of the season in 39 days! Who did you book the condo through? We are a party of 7 and currently have two rooms booked at the Delta Suites but I agree that with kids a condo is sweet. We are spoiled by DVC! Looking forward to hearing of your further exploits.
This is where we stayed. We did not realize that the "suites" were not really two separate rooms. The bedroom was separated by these sliding doors with frosted window type things. There is also an open space on one wall near the ceiling between the two rooms, probably 3ft high by 6 feet long. Because of these things, we sat in the dark after the kids fell asleep. Really, we probably could have turned on the TV after they were asleep, but didn't want to chance it! We had it on while trying to put them down and you could see the light flashing through the screens and my kids couldn't ignore it. But, they are little 1 and 2 years- older kids would probably be fine to ignore it! We are also poiled by DVC, so this was hard for us. The hotel does give free meals to kids under 6 in the restaurant and it was a manageable walk to the port (without luggage.... we walked over there to the food court area for dinner). We liked the hotel fine, but the room configuration was just not what we were expecting!
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #155
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Tracy Arm Part One!

Today was the day. Tracy Arm! I had such fond memories from 2011…hanging out on the balcony in close proximity to central heating, clutching my cup of coffee with smuggled-in creamer and seal-spotting with our good friends while Isabelle pretty much slept through the whole thing.

We had made a loose plan to hang out as a group on deck 10 as much as possible, weather and preschooler permitting, with a back-up plan of battling for elbow room on our balcony while the girls watched cartoons on the stateroom television. At the very least we would be seeing a giant glacier and tons of seals. How could I not be excited?

I bounced out of bed, got everyone ready and up to the buffet we went. Everyone was there! Well, expect my parents who were….you guessed it….seeing all of the whales Alaska had to offer. They joined us later for Wake Up with Disney Junior – which we managed to catch this morning thanks to my waking up at what would have been the crack of dawn were it not summertime in Alaska. I was so excited, and happy that Isabelle would be able to dance around with some of the other kids on board. Maybe it would encourage her to go to the Oceaneer’s club….hmm….

But it was pretty clear by this morning that our peanut was out of sorts. Instead of dancing like a psychedelic monkey, which is one of her favorite pastimes, she was a whiny, clingy monkey. Yes, she is three…but she rarely acts that way unless she is tired or hungry. Or sick. Since we had just eaten and she was not feverish, we assumed she was just off her schedule and I proposed an early nap so she could catch up.

The rest of the morning is a bit of a blur. I think Paige went to the kids’ club and I know we had lunch in there somewhere. Most likely a Panini. I had a lot of paninis. And fruit. So much fruit. And then I took Isabelle back to the cabin for a little quiet time while everyone else roamed the ship and practiced the quick-draw mechanism for switching between lenses.

Immediately upon entering the cabin, Izzy removed her pants. I knew that meant she was serious. She climbed up onto the bed, and I tucked her into her special fuzzy blanket (we always bring it), gave her her cow toy and turned on Cinderella. I confidently texted Lionel “she’s about to fall asleep, I’ll text when she wakes up” and settled onto the couch with my iPad, silently patting myself on the back so as not to disturb the sleepy child. I had totally ROCKED this. Now for a little Plants Vs Zombies until the ice floes started drifting past…

30 minutes later, I was stuck on this level with bobsledding zombies that just WOULD NOT DIE….AGAIN….and my daughter was in the same position, eyes fixed wide. As if she were training for the longest-hours-awake championship in her age category. I stroked her hair and sang her a song, turned down the lights in the cabin and went back to the couch for another half an hour.

NOTHING.
Seriously, who gave my kid no-doz?

In the meantime I had been popping my head through the curtains, as if the glacier would pop into view any moment and I might blink and miss it. I was starting to see the odd ice floe, which was making me sweat. Things were not going according to my plan. By this hour I was supposed to be up top, with my husband and my friends and my daughter and my parents, sipping hot cocoa and taking in the breathtaking scenery. Instead, I was trying to bargain with a grumpy, pantless three year old.

“Honey….everyone is up on the top deck, shall we go visit them?”
“No.”
“Paige is up there….”
“No.”
“So is grandma!”

In my experience, the grandma card has about a 75% success rate. I only use it when I’m desperate.

“No.”

No? Crap. I was running out of options. Time to change tactics. Think. THINK!

“We can bring the iPad! You and Paige can watch a movie.”
“I want to watch a movie HEEEEEEEEEEEERE!”

I’m not sure that accurately conveys the sheer whininess with which she uttered that sentence.

“Let’s go get some ice cream!”

She gave me the look. The one that says “#&%^, PLEASE,” and I knew I had played my last card. My three year old had won. Why did I let her take off her pants??? Curses!!!

Cue husband.

The door flung open and there he was – in his fleece-lined jacket and ski cap, giant lens of doom around his neck and a huge grin on his face. “Let’s go see some seals!!!!!” Isabelle eyed him suspiciously, clearly waiting for more. “And some hot cocoa!” She was still listening. “With grandma!” Within minutes she was ready to go.

The classic three-bribe combo. Well played, Lionel. Well played.

Izzy and her Cocoa



Up top the view was indeed spectacular. Waterfalls galore, ice floes becoming more frequent and people were just SMILING. The weather was amazing. Sunny and warm – well, warm for being in such close proximity to a giant glacier. You’ll notice in all of the photos we were bundled up, but it was less for the temperature and more for the wind chill. We were also all wearing sunglasses.

The water looked like one of those spa baths you could just soak in that make you all soft and yummy-smelling…or in this case, freeze you to death before you could even call for help



Giant blocks of black ice…is that like yellow snow?





The Wonder, looking majestic amongst the mountains



We had secured a great spot up on deck 10 – port side, midship, right next to the middle elevators. We were all snuggled in, with places to sit at the rail, no crowding. Everyone was pretty much up at the front of the ship….and I’m sure it looks fabulous from up there, but really we saw everything that they saw just by leaning forward and looking. And it wasn’t NEARLY as crowded and windy.

Here we are! Aren’t we cute?



We were smiling, we were relaxing and snapping photos, and we were all HAPPY. All up there, sitting for hours, taking in what Alaska had to offer with joy. It was awesome. I’ll warn you, it’s about to get picture heavy. Turn your browsers up to full speed for the next update!

Next up: there be ice and seals ahead!
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:02 PM   #156
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I love all you wonderful bundled up Floridians... but after surviving upstate winters... I'd have probably been in shorts!!!
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:02 PM   #157
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I love all you wonderful bundled up Floridians... but after surviving upstate winters... I'd have probably been in shorts!!!
Yeah, yeah. It was windy!
Ok, and also we are from Florida.
Hey - don't make fun of us, y'all are the crazy ones who come to Magic Kingdom, the park that has NO SHADE, in the middle of the summer!

Ok, where were we? Ah yes. Finally up top.

So there we were in this tiny little channel filled with giant blocks of ice, passing waterfall after waterfall and pointing at everything. Look at that! Did you see that? Look at THAT!!! I checked in with the kiddos to see how they were faring. Paige had fallen asleep on the lounge chair watching Monsters Inc, and Isabelle was snuggling with Grandma.

The Grandma card: use it wisely.



I turned my back for ONE SECOND, and then I saw this:

SERIOUSLY? *sigh*



The good news is, now that both kids were out like a light, we could watch all of the scenery we wanted without hearing “I’m bored!” Win win! Except for Grandma, who was stuck watching the seals and glacier through the somewhat clean plexiglass.

Here’s some of what we saw:









We passed all kinds of seals, most of which seemed to be planking. I refer to those as “sassy seals.” As we got closer to the glacier, there were more and more ice floes covered in seals. It was quite spectacular. I wondered how many were out there, hundreds and hundreds?

Planking seals...



Loch Ness Monster seals...



Mom and baby seals – d’awwwwww....



Would you say I have a....PLETHORA....of seals?



It’s funny…you see all these seals and at first you’re like, “omigod, SEALS! Look, that one is swimming! Look, that one is asleep! Oh look, a baby!” but then after about an hour or so you’re like “yeah yeah, seals, move it along….trying to see the glacier here.”

I’m going to cut it here, because there are WAY more pics coming. Well, once dropbox finishes synching. Which will probably be after my bedtime....so, tomorrow.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:50 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zweihund View Post
Yeah, yeah. It was windy!
Ok, and also we are from Florida.
Hey - don't make fun of us, y'all are the crazy ones who come to Magic Kingdom, the park that has NO SHADE, in the middle of the summer!


The Grandma card: use it wisely.
Not me Babe... I don't come down until it's cold enough up HERE to appreciate it!!!

& the grandma card.... HA!!! The kids in my family are in their 20's and they're suckin every bit of the grandma love they can get out of her!!! (especially when it's their favorite recipies...)
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MichelleAll it takes is faith, trust and a little bit of PIXIE DUST!!! Dream of Small worlds and large Mice!Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten. This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says "Oh Crap, she's up!"
1972 - 1986.... Various times while visiting Gram and Gramps!!! 1986 - Off Site Sheraton 192...With Beverly 1987 - Same but this time with Mom 1994 - Poly with Em 1996 - Disney Institute & Poly & Grand Floridian w/Mom 2000 - Grand Floridian w/M 2005 - AS Music & Grand Floridian w/Mom The GRAND Tour!!! Panama Canal WB Repo Cruise 5/2008
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:21 PM   #159
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Love your pictures and trip report. We were on the Dream 14-18 July. Our Grandaughter practically lived in the Oceaneer Lab (she's 8). Two years ago, we couldn't get her into the club until the 3rd day of the cruise!
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:30 AM   #160
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I wonder if the grandma card will work on my furture little one. We didn't see anywhere near that many seals on our trip, maybe because it was earlier in the season.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #161
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Dropbox and I are going through some things right now...we seem to have a love-hate relationship. Meantime, I found a temporary workaround for the extra pics. So where were we?

Big ice chunks ahead! Can you imagine how big these suckers are UNDER the water?







They were getting bigger and bigger as we neared the glacier, which was peeking its brilliant blue and white head out from around the corner. It’s funny, even being right there in the middle of it all, it took seeing a smaller vessel or two out there in the water to realize exactly how big those giant chunks of ice were. Looking down from ten stories up, everything seems very close and looks so small. And when you are parked in front of a glacier with no real concept of how close you actually are, it’s not clear how amazingly and ridiculously GINORMOUS the thing is until you see that tiiiiiiiiny little boat parked up in the distance.



Or maybe it wasn’t so tiny.

Still, we were all looking at it and thinking the same thing – nuh uh!

Peek-a-boo, I see you! What crazy son-of-a-gun drove that boat all the way up there?



Seriously….at one point my dad turned to me and said “I hope that thing doesn’t calve and tip that boat over” – and by “that thing” I can only assume he meant the glacier





Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier was just as amazing the second go around. Part of that could have been the weather – the sun glinted off the water and the glacier and seemed to highlight the blue. Colors you don’t normally find in nature were there – in unspoiled nature. Yes, Lionel did work on the photos before we posted them but it was more to balance the contrast. He did nothing to enhance the colors. And the pictures, while beautiful, are nothing compared to looking at the real thing.

What are you waiting for? YOU WANT TO GO TO THERE.





Awesome scenery on the way out:

Water falls into emerald water



Mountains and snow – beautiful!





Up next: Palo, and our first ever non-show show.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #162
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Sorry about the Dropbox issues.

In the words of Liz Lemon, "I want to go to there." Gorgeous!

Jill in CO
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #163
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Proud to hear you admit you play Plants Versus Zombies. I love that silly game and it makes time pass so quickly when you need it to. Did you know that Plants Versus Zombies II is coming out some time soon? I think it was supposed to be released already, but there have been some delays, at least that is what my son has told me.

Back on topic, I am still enjoying your trip report, and like you captioned over one of your pics, Yes, I know I want to go and see exactly the beautiful scenery that you did, so we will be sailing to Alaska next May on the 9-night, and I am reading every trip report I can find between now and then.

Thanks again, for taking us along on your journey.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #164
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Wonderful photos, brings back great memories.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #165
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Wow, just wow. You are right, I do want to go there!
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