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Old 11-15-2013, 09:32 PM   #16
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Following along!
Yay

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Interesting start to the trip! I can't wait to read more!
Interesting wasn't the word

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Yay, another awesome Disney trip report from you AND it doesn't suck!!! :
Yes, NO suckiness

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Yay, I love trips reports. I can't wait to read more chapters. The whole camera, electronic thing drives me batty before every trip. One of my greatest fears is forgetting something. On our last vacation in Boston, my camera DIED. I almost had a panic attack and then, I decided my batteries were old since I had them over 4 years. They were slow to charge so, I knew it was coming. So, we walked all the way across town to buy new batteries. I have DSLR so, I had to find a camera shop. I cannot live without my camera.
YIKES!!!

Right after my sister left, Rob says..."Do we really need a camcorder???"

UMMMM YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Loving it so far, can't wait to read the rest!
Hiya Beckster Glad to have ya!

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Joining in!!!!
Wooot woooot

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Woop woop and a big whoopie!! She's home, hi Cass:

I'm so happy it has started, my new book that is, because after all that is what you bring us all , the best story ever. I SO look forward to this. And the beginning is just perfect. Welcome home by the way. Okay Lilo, she was actually saying, "what, you're not taking me?" I know this. We have two labs. I know labby speak. They talk with their eyes and that is exactly what she was saying! And how adorable Kira has grown up to be! Oh, she would not have liked our flights to Africa, oh no, they took 21 hours Cass! (We're actually headed to Spain and Portugal in March omg but i digress, this is not my story) I absolutely love that Rob indulges you and your picture taking, he knows that you would have to answer to us if you didn't.

On with the show, cannot wait!! Fantastic start!!
LOL, you make me laugh Jill

How's your golden retriever speak? Not sure Lilo knows lab

Rob is such a trooper, he's awesome to travel with

21 hours??? I couldn't even handle that! Spain and Portugal? You go girl!!

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She doesn't look grumpy at all.
How about this one???



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Hi Cass,

I was so happy to see a report from you on here. I think the first time I read one of yours was back in 2005 or somewhere around there. I remember checking your blog from time to time and loving the pictures and just your whole writing style so I am glad you are back with another one! Also happy to hear the camcorder incident was the only real snag of the trip. I can't wait to hear all about it!
Awww thanks for posting and letting me know you're here! Wow, yeah 2005...that was an awesome trip!!! Yeah, the camcorder thing had me I could probably forget just about anything but the camera and camcorder and probably would have been fine
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:19 PM   #17
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Lilo's not a lab, so sorry Lilo, please forgive, you sure look like one! Hey Cass, how are you feeling? I'm sooooo happy you were able to take this trip. Already waiting for the chicken fingers, and did you lie on my Castaway Cay hammock this time, did you?? (there's a hammock in this picture right)
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:02 AM   #18
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Yeah, you have started your report. I am so coming along for the ride .....
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:03 AM   #19
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Joining in....can't wait to read the rest of your report!
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:07 AM   #20
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Yay Cass! Although you DO know you are showing me up don't you You were back a week after us and I haven't started my report yet.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:58 PM   #21
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Hooray I made it. Kira looks so tall.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #22
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Day 1 - Part 4 - "Are we ever going to be at the hotel?"

Disney's Coronado Springs hotel was only about 10 minutes away from Celebration. In fact, it was less than 10 minutes away from ANY location we went to all week!

Location was one of the reasons I chose this particular resort and I am so glad I did! I didn't care for the Southwest motif but the location was awesome, the room was quite nice and the pool was great!

As we drove up to the main entrance, Rob let me out while he tried to wait close to the door. They ended up booting him out so he went and parked in the 30 minute check-in zone, just across from the main doors.

It was about 7:30pm and the registration area was pretty much empty. I walked right up and got all checked in. I got a nice girl who was actually from Victoria, B.C., my favourite city in the whole world! She was very sweet and happy when I told her how much I loved her city

The Magic Bands that I had customized 50 days earlier were there waiting for me as they don't ship to Canadians. I was also happy to see that they also gave me Key to the World cards as there had been rumours just before I left that they were starting to just give out the bands with no cards.

I had clients that checked out that same day after a week at Disney and they had nothing but problems with their bands their entire stay, so I was worried about not having that KTTW card back up!

I was happy to learn that both of my requests had been met...Ranchos 7B and first floor




Once that was all set, I gave them some cash to put down on my account, which we were going to use to pay for our food, mostly for testing the whole MB system. Well, that really messed everyone up! She called in her supervisor and then he called another guy. Finally that guy knew what he was doing and told the other two how to set it up. Then the girl next to us was watching too because she was all confused about how it works. So, I was glad I could be of service and have them learn something new

I had told Kira about the Magic Bands and how she could open our door and even buy us lunch every day and she liked that!

So, I found my family and gave Kira her Magic Band and she said "Are we ever going to be at the hotel?"

So off in search of the Ranchos section, we came to the gate and while I was just told at check-in that the bands did not work for the gate or Photopass just yet, I handed over my MB to Rob and asked him to try it.

And...

TA DAH!

It worked!

We found the parking lot for Ranchos and off we went in search of our room. It was a bit of a ways down from the parking lot but that meant it was closer to the Dig Site pool area, so I was okay with that!

Kira, always being 47 steps ahead of us was ready to use her band to open the door for us...



She was quite thrilled that it worked! She's all independent like that so we let her use her band as often as possible the whole week.

We checked out our room real quick then Kira and Rob went back to the vehicle to grab all of our crap while I took some photos and video of the room before it looked like a war zone



















And of course, it's not a vacation without our bed tester...



While I quickly put a few things away, Kira camped out on her new bed and did some doodling...



We were pretty happy with the room. It wasn't spectacular or anything but it worked for a week. The beds were not as comfy as I had hoped they would be. I recall the beds at All Star Music being much better back in 2011. Being a moderate, I thought the beds would be significantly better than a value resort, or at the very least, just as nice.

I wrote a note for Mousekeeping asking for a couple feather pillows and left it right beside their tip envelope but after 3 days of not getting any, I gave up and threw the note out

The bedding was also a little lackluster, no heavy blanket or bedspread at all. I used those two bed runners, which were small but nice and heavy, to cover Kira every night because she was cold. Even with the temp at 72 every night, Rob and Kira were cold so I took the sheet and gave Rob the extra blanket every night.

We didn't even use the drawers on the dresser, it was just easier to live out of our suitcases for the week. The TV was nice and Rob enjoyed the coffee every morning. The fridge was barely cold, except for the second shelf on the right. There was a super cold spot, which I found after day 2 when the strawberries froze! So every night, I would put a bottle of water in that spot and by the morning, it would be mostly frozen so we took it to the parks with us! It was so darn hot and humid though, in an hour into our park touring, it was barely cold LOL!

The safe was a joke! Too small to fit anything really and it locked with a key!! HAHAHAH! I was like...a KEY??? Seriously????



The thing I loved about the bathroom area was the heavy doors near the sink! I could get up early and shower and get ready with the doors closed and not even bother my family. Although, it got smokin' hot in there so I usually waited until everyone was up before blow drying my hair so I didn't have to sweat like a little piggie!

And one last thing that I loved was the little shelf bench at the back of the shower! This was SUPER handy for holding all our stuff!



We were VERY close to the quiet pool (I will show ya later), the laundry and about a 3-4 minute walk to the Dig Site! (main pool area)

We were pretty far away from El Centro, where the registration, concierge, shop and food all are but I did walk home one night from there and it only took 5 minutes to the Dig Site, then another 3 to our room, so while it wasn't too bad, I would suggest paying the extra bucks to stay in Cabanas if you plan on spending more time at El Centro. Especially if you spend $18 on a refillable mug and want to use it! There is a place to refill your mugs at the Dig Site but it has very limited hours.

At my image limit so I have to end this chapter.

Next up, our first Disney meal!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:54 AM   #23
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Joining in for the fun!
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:03 PM   #24
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Interesting, we checked in at Pop on October 30 and were not given Key to the World cards. I remember getting to the door and thinking "Where's my room key?!" before remembering the Magic Band...
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:24 PM   #25
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Lilo's not a lab, so sorry Lilo, please forgive, you sure look like one! Hey Cass, how are you feeling? I'm sooooo happy you were able to take this trip. Already waiting for the chicken fingers, and did you lie on my Castaway Cay hammock this time, did you?? (there's a hammock in this picture right)
Hahahahah, that's okay Jill, she's not easily offended Most people at the dog park don't even know what she is! Most ask if she's an irish setter because of her colour

There will be a few chicken strips in this report but sadly, no hammocks We did not make it to the adult beach...hmmm not since 2005, I'm afraid Guess somebody else was occupying your hammock this trip

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Yeah, you have started your report. I am so coming along for the ride .....
Glad to have you here Karin

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Joining in....can't wait to read the rest of your report!
Well hello there stranger

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Yay Cass! Although you DO know you are showing me up don't you You were back a week after us and I haven't started my report yet.
It's totally why I started Char, needed to show up my fellow Canadian

Actually, I am still rather sick and it's like the Arctic outside, so I am hibernating and have lots of time on my hands

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Hooray I made it. Kira looks so tall.
OMG, right? Tall and thin!!!

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Love your screen name
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:40 PM   #26
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Subscribing GREAT so far and cant not wait till the next installment
Kira is Adorable!!
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:20 PM   #27
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Subbing too! Better late than never. Enjoying the excitement so far! I love Kira's glasses!
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:26 PM   #28
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Day 1 - Part 5 - $15 and 45 minutes, lovely!

After unpacking the necessities, we were all STARVING! We decided to have a late dinner at one of our all time faves, Beaches & Cream.

Jump in our Flex and off to the Beach Club!

We pull up to the gate and the guard asks us if she could help us. We tell her that we would like to eat at Beaches & Cream. She says the only parking they have left for B & C is valet at $15!

Seriously?

FINE! Whatever, we are about to pass out from hunger and we are already here so we pull up to the Port Cochere and wait for the valet dude to come grab our Flex.

Kira flexes her own pose and we're off!



We've eaten at B & C on every trip except the last one in 2009, so we are all looking forward to it. The burger at B & C was easily the best burger on property during our first 5 trips together. The beef was smooth and velvety...I can still taste it!

So we walk up to the podium and ask for a table or counter for 3. I normally would wait for a booth but at this point I don't care if you stick me in a broom closet, I am hungry!

Then she tells us that it's a 45 minute wait...



I take a big deep breath in and give her my name and grab the pager from her.

We look for some chairs to sit our tired butts in but they are all taken by other hungry peeps chowing down on ice cream from the to-go counter.

I spot some tables in the pool section...

Normally I wouldn't take up a table near a pool at a resort that I am not staying at but I was pooped and there were plenty of other tables for actual resort guests so we plopped down and relaxed under the umbrella.



About 10 minutes later, I look over at Rob and notice something weird on his hat, hanging down in front of his face. My eyesight has been really crappy since July when the prednisone started doing some nasty things to my body so I squinted my eyes and looked closer...

"Ummm, babe, there is a spider hanging off the visor of your hat"



Me no likey spiders!!! It's a good thing it was hanging off of him and not me

I don't freak out like a lot of women do but once I see a spider, I get the heebie jeebies and then a little freaked out and I keep looking around for more of their little creepy buddies

After killing said spider, I quickly moved over to a chair without an umbrella

About 20 minutes after the pager started to go off. Oh my! That was such a lovely sight

So we walk back up and the lady leads us to a...

BOOTH!!!!

SCORE!!!!

I'ma booth kinda girl, you know

We were a little excited now The tiredness, the soreness, the crabiness, the hunger...all of that disappeared cus we were in DISNEY and at BEACHES AND CREAM and we were about to eat some DISNEY BURGERS!!!



Normally Rob consults me about his choices. He might ask, do you think I will like this? Or maybe, do you wanna share this? Not this time! Before I knew it, he had order some ice creamy drink and he didn't care about anyone else's thoughts or opinions

Before I knew it, this was on the table..



Kira's eyes grew big and she grabbed at a straw and started sharing with her Daddy LOL! She didn't realize though that the top was just hard ice cream and there is was no way that it was getting through the straw



We ordered our burgers and Kira asked for a grilled cheese sandwich with fries.

The food came so fast, I could have kissed our server!



Kira's grilled cheese was just okay. It was slightly burnt and a little crunchy, two things she hates about sandwiches



The fries were delicious but the burgers were just okay. Not horrible but a little dry and a far cry from the burgers they used to serve here. I'm pretty sure I ate it all though

Kira's meal came with chocolate chip cookies but we got them to go so we could have some pool time before bed. Kira and I shared one of them about 3 days later and it was quite delish!



I will have to wrap up this chapter because I am at my image limit again.

Hey, yo...DIS peeps...please change the image limit on posts! Pwetty pwetty pwease!!!
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:10 PM   #29
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Day1 - Part 6 - "Thanks for letting me buy whatever I want, Mommy"

As promised, we let Kira pay for our meal

The server tapped her band and then gave her the little machine to type in our pin. We told Kira the pin number and asked her to keep it a secret as she has a bad habit of actually saying the numbers as she presses them



She was quite thrilled about the whole experience too! I thought it would be more like the machines they use at the restaurants where we live where you could add in the tip in the machine but what happens is you punch in your pin number and then they bring you a bill (sorry, cheque...ahem...I mean check, for my American readers ) and then you write in any tip amount, sign it and then return one copy back into the folder.

Easy peasy!

So, far, loving the magic bands

On our way out Rob says ""Can I just go look for a fanny pack real quick?"

Yeah...sure! Quick! Kira and I want (need) some pool/hot tub time!

So, we all pop into the Marketplace and...

...we all get all googly-eyed.

You know what I mean people!

That look you get in your first Disney store of the trip. Oh, I want that....and oooohhhh I would love that and hmmm maybe this would be good too!

I am NOT a shopper and only get the googley-eyes in Disney but Rob and Kira were born to shop, so I imagine this is how they feel every time they step into a store...any store

And it's been a loooong time since we've been in Disney World stores!

Kira had been saving for 2 very long years for her spending money. Birthday money, chore money, etc. She ended up with $250 USD and before we left I had a long chat with her about buying things. I told her that she can buy whatever she wanted with her own money, with some minor stipulations...it couldn't be too big, or ridiculously expensive and I told her before she chose something, to think hard about if she REALLY wanted it or just sort of wanted it because there was tons of stuff to buy in WDW and I wanted her to make some smart choices. Plus Disney stuff is just ridiculously overpriced!

Then we also had some spending money set aside (from aunts/uncles) for her but her Mommy and Daddy had veto rights for all purchases made with that money

We all kind of wandered around the store...Kira and Rob went in one direction while I was eyeing a new hoodie. By the time I met back up with them, Kira had this huge pile of stuff in her arms and then I looked over at her Daddy and he had the same kind of pile in his arms

I looked at every item that she had chosen and asked her if she was sure she wanted it all and she said yes. Then we headed up to the cashier and paid for all of our loot. She did some damage, spending $150 in the very first store she stepped foot in! But I didn't say a word, not even a peep!

We headed out to the valet desk to get our car and watched part of Illuminations while we waited. A very quick journey back to our hotel and room and then while I was getting our swimsuits ready Kira looked lovingly into my eyes and said "Thanks for letting me buy whatever I want Mommy!"



Sigh.

What a good moment.

It was time to get our swim on!



We all walked over to the Dig Site to check it out but then Rob went back to the room to get all organized and get some work done.

Kira and I had a great time in the pool. The slide was closed but we still enjoyed the pool and then some hot tub time together. The hot tub was hot enough but the jets were few and puny!

We spent about an hour there before heading back to the room for a quick bath (her, not me) and then straight into bed.

It had been a very long but very fun first day. I think she feel asleep in only a minute or two


Last edited by Timon; 12-31-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #30
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What a great evening! I have never had food at b&C, onlly icecream and I sure loved that. I do find often the wait time is less than they predict in most cases. It's almost like they want you to say no and go away.

I am laughing the Kira came up with $150 worth of stuff already on your first night. too funny.
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