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Old 08-08-2013, 02:53 PM   #46
CatDenver
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Well I'm in since I'm cruising with you lol I love how active our FB group is because I am on there most of the day !!! This is such a joy to read because of all the crazy things we do to per-plan for out trip!! I'm happy group 2 closed so I can get to work on my crafting for our FE!!! Hope all is well with you Cat
Lisa, I totally missed your post! By now you're probably cranking away on the FE gifts. Only 79 more days!!!!
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:50 PM   #47
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I think Yen Sid would be a great costume.... I am stuck no clue. I have not dressed for Halloween in over 25 years.


Any help is appreciated
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:29 PM   #48
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Hello!!

Found you!!!

I'm crusing with you, too! Can wait to meet you!
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:34 PM   #49
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Found you!!!

I'm crusing with you, too! Can wait to meet you!
Hey MRP - see you are in Irving. I work in Irving!!! so may from DFW area in this group!
can't wait! counting down the days.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:35 PM   #50
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I think Yen Sid would be a great costume.... I am stuck no clue. I have not dressed for Halloween in over 25 years.


Any help is appreciated
Are you looking for a Disney themed costume or just general Halloween costume ideas?
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Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:35 PM   #51
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Found you!!!

I'm crusing with you, too! Can wait to meet you!
Can't wait to meet you, Michelle! BTW, I read your trip report on you Dream cruise. Loved it and loved the pictures!!!
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:13 PM   #52
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The Back To School/Anniversary Edition

So Iím calling this the Back to School/Anniversary edition of the pre-report to give you some idea of what itís been like around here. I know, what does this have to do with the trip pre-planning? Oh , trust me dear reader, a ton!

To begin, I work from home. Iím one of those lucky telecommuters whose main interaction with people is via conference calls, web conferences, and/or video conferences. Itís very nice because during the school year I kiss my family goodbye in the morning and can greet them, if Iím not on a call, when they get home. But it is a double-edged sword. Picture yourself at work and itís summer vacation. Your kids or husband come up to your desk and begin talking or if they see youíre on the phone, writing a note or playing a very poor game of charades to tell you some critical piece of information about the latest home project or something going on with a friend. That would describe my summer. I love my family and anyone trying to harm them would have hell to pay. But dear God in Heaven, can we reduce summer breaks to 5 weeks???? You have no idea unless you yourself are a teleworker and have lived through breaking up kids bickering between conference calls or muted the phone to listen to DH explain how he almost took out the neighbors fence while cutting down the dead Aspen AND dodged near death when it fell centimeters from him. I know, I sound really cranky but these things would be fine if they occurred on Saturday or Sunday but when Iím working and have IMs coming in from co-workers and am trying to get my email inbox under 1000, itís hard to see the importance of these things in the moment. So you can see why tomorrow, August 19th is a special day.

ButÖ let me add a caveatÖitís special first and foremost because itís my 13th wedding anniversary to Paul Bunyon himself. And for that I LOVE the day because my husband is just the best! August 19 also would have been my dearest grandmotherís 114th birthday. She was an amazing woman who raised my mother by herself while living in German-occupied Paris. And it was also the day my son Michael was baptized. How is that for planning? I target days so we have lots to celebrate in one day. But tomorrow will hold yet another special place in my heart for 2013 because my dear children will rise and eat a hearty breakfast prepared by me and then put on their school uniforms and along with my husband, who is the school librarian, will leave the house at 7am. From 7am until 3:30 pm, the house in all its quiet will be MINE! No more home project updates, no more questions about computer time, friend visits, lunch, etc. And, hereís where the cruise planning comes in. When itís lunch time, I will be all alone to work on FE gifts, to create packing lists, put together the binder that will have all of our travel info, etc. Now, as I type this, my daughter Catie just came in an announced, ďI canít wait for school to start tomorrow.Ē Sheís explaining itís because she misses friends and is bored but I suspect the reality is that towards the end of the summer the kids and DH begin to see me as Cruella DeVil incarnate.

Okay, so enough of the I-canít-wait-for-everyone-to-get-back-to-school whine, on to the planning. The sewing of Catieís Merida dress for Halloween has begun. I finished cutting the fabric today and practiced sewing scrap fabrics because the fabric is a stretchy nap which Iíve never worked with before. Of course, when I googled the fabric I stumbled upon this womanís blog about how horrid the fabric is to work with. Hmmm, okay, guess I should have read that before I bought the fabric. Anyway, itís in progress so Iím hoping and praying my sewing skills wonít get in the way of me producing a costume that is something Catie would wear. Iíve had some past sewing projects in the past that didn't turn out so great. Do you know what I mean?


As far as FE gifts, Iím about 2/3s of the way done and Iíve set a target day of September 26th to complete them and prepare them for packing. I truly donít want to be at the sewing machine 48 hours before we set sail. And because Iím such a Disney geek sometimes, as I was sewing today, I was playing some of the songs from classic Disney movies and rides including ďWhen You Wish Upon A StarĒ, ďYo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirateís Life For MeĒ, ďA Dream is A Wish Your Heart MakesĒ, etc. You get the picture.

My new activity that Iíve begun is to build our packing list. I've read that you really need to pack a mini pharmacy and other things such as nightlights, binoculars, and flashlights to name a few things. And hereís something new Iím trying. Weíre getting new luggage for the trip because most of ours is pretty beat up. And Iím going to assign a name or code number for each piece and then will list out what is in that bag. Oh yes, I know that sounds very anal but it never fails that when Iím looking for something in a suitcase to see if I packed it I end up going through 3 or 4 before finding what I need. And it typically involves unpacking a lot of it. Not doing that. Call me a crazed organizational fanatic but it must be done.

When we road trip we typically designate one bag as our road bag. So when we stop at night for a drive that takes two days, rather than bring in all of the suitcases we have one that has our toiletries, jammies, and driving clothes. Our driving clothes are typically old, stretchy clothes that come close to being considered sleepwear. I mean, really, who wants to wear form fitting, nice clothes to drive and make potty stops at the Sunoco in Fremont Junction, Utah? However, on this trip, we are flying into Houston so no bed head (I only do ponytails on road trips) or torn t-shirts from the 1998 Cherry Creek Sneak with baggy, saggy sweats. We have to look presentable. I read a thread on this board where someone wrote that they wear old underwear on the cruise and just throw it away the night before they disembark. I can totally understand the logic of that and Iíd be in agreement of that for road tripping. However, when Iím on a nice ship like the Wonder, I really donít want to be tugging at the undies because the elastic is nearly gone and wondering if Iíll find them around my ankles.

Where the heck was I going with all this? Oh yes, Iím happy to have my quiet workspace back and my breaks and lunch to work on cruise planning. So yee haw, school is back in session!!!!!!!
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
Trip Report We Are Family (I've got all my children with me) HalloWonder Trip Report
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:26 PM   #53
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Anniversary and Pictures Postscript

Some details I forgot to add in my report that I just posted. When my husband and I married in 2000, I was 38 and he was 46. No way did we see children in our future. In fact, without revealing TMI, one of us was told no way, no how. So, little did we know that our August 19th anniversary would be an issue. We haven't had a decent anniversary celebration since Michael started kindergarten. We had to celebrate this year with a dinner tonight at one of our favorite restaurants only to hurry home so we can get everything ready for the first day of school. And yes, we're celebrating a day early because the first day of school is always exhausting for DH. But that's okay because I have an amazingly wonderful family and I wouldn't trade any of this for the world!

The other thing I wanted to mention is that when I post pictures in my reports I have to post them on FB to provide a link on the DIS. Some of them are so random that I'm sure some of my FB friends are like, "Why the heck is she posting that picture?" It never fails though, I get likes on the random pictures without even a question of why I posted it.

With 69 days out to our cruise here's one of the top 10 hits in 1969 and also an appropriate song for DH and I. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iU1LlBHH54
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Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #54
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Oh Belleville....

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Okay, since you mentioned the Cardinals I've got to post a picture of me with DD at a fundraising event this past February that had a sports theme. My BFF and her husband photo bombed us! When I was a kid we lived across the river from St. Louis in Belleville, IL so I grew up loving the Cardinals! I definitely don't miss those Midwest winters!

Your port adventures sound great! I too want to see the Hemingway house and I'm sure DD will too. The running joke with her is that she'll end up being the crazy cat lady so we need to get a picture of her with the Hemingway House cats.
I HAVE TO CHIME IN! This is cracking me up. My dad is also from Belleville, IL. We currently live in Denver, too. Makes me wonder if you maybe know him.... I also wonder if my Gran taught you in elementary school. Ha! I think you are a LITTLE younger than my dad he is 53(?). But totally young enough that she could have taught you elementary school.

I'm also cruising on the Wonder, but I disembark the day you embark! How is that for teeny, tiny world?
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:05 AM   #55
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I HAVE TO CHIME IN! This is cracking me up. My dad is also from Belleville, IL. We currently live in Denver, too. Makes me wonder if you maybe know him.... I also wonder if my Gran taught you in elementary school. Ha! I think you are a LITTLE younger than my dad he is 53(?). But totally young enough that she could have taught you elementary school.

I'm also cruising on the Wonder, but I disembark the day you embark! How is that for teeny, tiny world?
Wow, that is a small world! Your dad is only one year older than I am. We lived in Belleville from 1964 until 1969. My teachers at Douglas Elementary were Miss Russo (K), Mrs. Briesacher (1st), Mrs. Langer (2nd), and Mrs. Hermling (3rd). The German influence of the area is pretty evident by the names! Let me know if any of those ladies were your Gran.

I almost booked us on the cruise you'll be going on because I wanted to do Grand Cayman but the kiddos and DH would have missed a week of school. It's a small world after all! :-)
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
Trip Report We Are Family (I've got all my children with me) HalloWonder Trip Report
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:16 AM   #56
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Here it is, Friday night, thank goodness! I had to remind myself that 9 weeks from tonight I will be at the Hotel Galvez pool bar, nursing, no wait, guzzling a Margarita on the rocks, salt please. And 24 hours from that moment Iíll likely be, again, nursing another Margarita on the rocks, salt please, double shot of tequila. Okay, I know, I sound like perhaps Iíve got a bit of a drinking problem. Not really. Iím tee totaling right now to shed a few pounds in preparation for the grand trip. But Iím telliní ya, I almost said the heck with losing pounds today. It was a jam-packed day that culminated with me dabbing Neosporin on my foster beagleís butt. Long story that I donít really want to relive right now, especially without a glass of wine or a cocktail.

DH is in Chicago for his annual fantasy football guys weekend . DS is at his friendsí birthdays (triplets) sleepover where theyíll over indulge in video games. So itís just us girls at home. DD is in bed so I thought, ďOh what the hey, time to share more planning fun with the DIS gang!Ē Just be glad Iím not posting a picture of said beagleís butt. I actually have one because I texted it to a friend to figure out what I needed to do to treat it. I know what kind of friend allows you to text her a beagleís posterior? A really good one.

Since my last post Iíve had an email from DCL reminding me of how amazing this trip will be. Good thing they emailed me because I had forgotten all about it! Honestly, itís hard to believe weíre getting this close. Itís like one of those dreams that you want to come true but just doesnít seem like it will. But I realized today when someone from our cruise was posting about magnets and laminating machines that perhaps I need to get in gear and start attending to a few of the details. I havenít printed a single magnet yet! I was holding off thinking if I did too much in advance I would take all the excitement out of the preparation early. If Iím not careful Iíll find myself in Galveston on Friday night at Kinkoís .

I have a folder full of magnet designs on my laptop that Iíve collected over the last few months. DD and DS had a huge debate about Mickey and gang character magnets versus Marvel characters. That got me to thinking of doing a magnet theme each day. No really. I know, it sounds nuts but hereís what Iím thinking. When I do finally get around to printing the magnets Iíll choose which ones will be used according to the day and put them in baggies with each dayís date. So each morning all we have to do is pull the previous dayís magnets down and put the new magnets up. Should take all of about 10 minutes. Some of the themes would be: 1st Cruise/Happy Birthday (nautical themed magnets & DHís birthday magnet), Halloween, Pirate Night, Marvel Heroes, Vintage Mickey and Friends. I even thought of doing an Animatorís Palate theme where I start the day off with black and white magnets and gradually transform to color magnets. Then I realized perhaps Iím giving a bit too much thought to this magnet thing.

I donít know that Iíll follow through with the magnet theme approach but tomorrow Iíll start printing them at least. I guess it is time to start pulling things together for the trip. Only 63 days out!

Until next time..........
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:06 PM   #57
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Don't know those names...

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Wow, that is a small world! Your dad is only one year older than I am. We lived in Belleville from 1964 until 1969. My teachers at Douglas Elementary were Miss Russo (K), Mrs. Briesacher (1st), Mrs. Langer (2nd), and Mrs. Hermling (3rd). The German influence of the area is pretty evident by the names! Let me know if any of those ladies were your Gran.

I almost booked us on the cruise you'll be going on because I wanted to do Grand Cayman but the kiddos and DH would have missed a week of school. It's a small world after all! :-)
My Gran taught 5th grade. I want to say she taught at Ellis and Emge.
Do you know any Ingersolls? If my Dad (Drew) is 1 year older, then my aunt Stacy, is a year younger. And David is 2 younger than her.

It looks like you were on the other side of town.... But still, so funny when I run into people from Belleville.


I'm interested to see what you are planning for your FE exchange though I know you don't want to give it away ahead of time.... I'm just still stuck on what to get people for our cruise.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #58
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My Gran taught 5th grade. I want to say she taught at Ellis and Emge.
Do you know any Ingersolls? If my Dad (Drew) is 1 year older, then my aunt Stacy, is a year younger. And David is 2 younger than her.

It looks like you were on the other side of town.... But still, so funny when I run into people from Belleville.


I'm interested to see what you are planning for your FE exchange though I know you don't want to give it away ahead of time.... I'm just still stuck on what to get people for our cruise.
I don't know any of the Ingersolls. Too bad. That would have been fun to encounter someone from Belleville that I knew 40 some years ago!

Trust me on this, you do not want to make what I did for FE, especially if you have a substandard sewing machine like I do! :-) Check out Pinterest. There are some great ideas out there!

Catherine
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
Trip Report We Are Family (I've got all my children with me) HalloWonder Trip Report
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:32 PM   #59
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38 Days and Panicked!

I can't believe we're down to 38 days. Embarkation is actually 39 days out but we leave Denver Friday morning at 5:45 am. Yes, in the morning. We'll spend the night in Galveston and embark on Saturday. I set 30 days as the deadline for getting my FE gifts completed and wrapped. Ugh! I didn't realize I'd be at this point. For those of you who think you might be starting too soon, you can never start FE gifts too soon!!!

Last week I started pulling the clothes out. We're pretty much done with swimming so I've got the suits set aside and ready to be packed once we receive the new luggage we bought off of eBay. With the kids in school uniforms it's easy to pull out their clothes for the cruise and set those aside for packing.

The other thing I did was work on the spreadsheet for our vacation budget. So I calculated how much we're spending on excursions and Palo dinners plus what we'll need to book our cruise to Alaska next summer. We're all about paying cash so budget is important! Also factoring in a budget for the gift shops on the ship and at CC.

Now this is my first cruise and I'm not sure if all cruise groups are like this one or if I was blessed but what an amazing group of people I'm cruising with. When I first joined our Meet group on the DIS it took a few months before people started to join up the group. I thought I was on a dud cruise. Suddenly people started joining and we're now a very large group, mostly active on Facebook. What a fun group! And even people who have chosen to stay on the DIS and not join the FB group will find a very warm, wonderful and hilarious group of people when we meet at the Promenade Lounge on embarkation day. It's so funny to think how we've gotten to know each other virtually.

I need to wrap it up but I will say if my report is a bit more somber than usual the last few weeks haven't been the best. We foster for Colorado Beagle Rescue and we had an adorable foster who turned out to have a brain tumor. His health went down hill very rapidly and within three weeks I faced having to make the decision to put him down. He was a great dog and had several families wanting to adopt him. I'd never had to put a dog down before so it was a heartwrenching experience. Time marches on and we have a new foster arriving Saturday, a rescue from a small shelter in southeastern Colorado. Still I do miss Riley. RIP Riley!

The last several days we've dealt with torrential rains that have devastated Colorado. The road we used to take to get up to Rocky Mountain National Park to hike is gone in many spots. We were fortunate in that we didn't have any flooding but several friends and co-workers have experienced horrible losses.

Yes, I'm ready for a vacation. Until next time....
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
Trip Report We Are Family (I've got all my children with me) HalloWonder Trip Report
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #60
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3 Days Left

Well, we're getting down to the wire. Tonight I'll post my final pre-trip report. Friday when we're on the 2 hour flight to Houston I'll begin my trip report! Wow! I can't believe the day is almost here. It seems so surreal!

As typical before one of our trips we have a busy day and I'm off to piano lessons and Barnes and Noble fundraiser for the kids' school. Until tonight.....
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Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
Trip Report We Are Family (I've got all my children with me) HalloWonder Trip Report
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