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Old 03-24-2014, 03:34 PM   #1036
lisaviolet
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Originally Posted by bankr63 View Post

That's some scary sh**...
And apparently that crazy strange/scary ______ took a hit. Oh no.



( I had no clue about the street of Santas. )
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:40 PM   #1037
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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
First I had to find an obsolete aircraft fuselage.
Then I had to hire two models and rent a hangar.
Lighting was particularly difficult.
He's holding two pieces of wood, nailed together and painted silver.
She's holding an old microphone with duct tape around the business end.


You're not buying all this, are you?

I think every word you say is the truth.

Quote:



I know I asked an attendant in Hawaii where the washroom was and she looked at me like I had two heads.
I think she said, "Do you mean the restroom?"

All the time.

Quote:

Smidgy and Nebo don't know yet. (Unless Smidgy read this and hasn't commented yet)
You think they'll run and hide?
Nope. I think they'll cheer.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:02 PM   #1038
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So what do you want first?
The good news? Or the bad news?

The good news is Elle's team qualified for Niagara Falls.

The bad news...

After crunching some numbers, it looks like we'll probably be flying.
Which means no meets with Nebo & Smidgy in Chi town and no meet with OC2 in Cleveland.

Of course, if anyone wants to come up to Niagara Falls...
You know, if we weren't going to Cancun this year, and Vegas in a couple of weeks, we would probably try to go. We're shooting for WDW though. Hopefully we can go around the time you're going. Take it Lady H and I have a job at the beginning of next year.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:32 PM   #1039
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Originally Posted by lisaviolet View Post
And apparently that crazy strange/scary ______ took a hit. Oh no.

)
Santa's down! Santa's down!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisaviolet View Post
I think every word you say is the truth.
Good girl. You can always trust everything I say.

Always.


(Now to think of a way to abuse this power I have.... )


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Originally Posted by lisaviolet View Post
Nope. I think they'll cheer.
Time will tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper_Man View Post
You know, if we weren't going to Cancun this year, and Vegas in a couple of weeks, we would probably try to go. We're shooting for WDW though. Hopefully we can go around the time you're going. Take it Lady H and I have a job at the beginning of next year.
Too bad. I could probably use the company.
Usually at these things it's me and a horde of rabid dance moms.

Not a pretty sight.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:42 AM   #1040
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Nah. I just go on the neighbor's lawn. That way it's not my problem anymore.
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Originally Posted by lisaviolet View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Santa's down! Santa's down!
Coincidence?
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:16 PM   #1041
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Coincidence?
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Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
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Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



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Old 03-25-2014, 10:39 PM   #1042
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I'm just catching up on this thread after our March excursion to Myrtle Beach. After reading a ton of comments on the cookies, I thought I would point out to the 'Mericuns that us Canucks don't get to share this bounty. There are two cookie drives here each year; one with the "classic" chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies (like oreos), and one for the chocolate covered mint cookies. These are the only two options those of us unfortunate enough to live north of the 49th are allowed to partake of.

I did see some girl scouts selling their wares outside the Bi-Lo in MB last week, but we were SOOOO full from all the excess eating already that the thought of cookies made me feel a bit green.
You were in Myrtle Beach? You were fairly close to the Buzz stomping grounds, just about three hours away. Where did you stay? Any great places that you chose to dine? We usually go to MB for a few days in the summer and I'm always looking for good places to eat out while we are there.

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Oh, and forget the Girl Scout cookies, have Buzz send you a case of Blenheim's Ginger Ale (get the pink top ones). Brought home a dozen that we grabbed at the Piggly Wiggly; OMG this stuff is incredible!!

I would seriously trade large quantities of Wunderbars as our stock is running low already...
Well, that could be arranged. I literally have Blenheim ginger ale in close access at a store about 8 minutes from my house. It is good, with a fairly strong ginger taste. For those of you who haven't tried it, it is very different from customary ginger ale.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:13 PM   #1043
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You were in Myrtle Beach? You were fairly close to the Buzz stomping grounds, just about three hours away. Where did you stay? Any great places that you chose to dine? We usually go to MB for a few days in the summer and I'm always looking for good places to eat out while we are there.
Well, I knew you were in the state somewhere. We stayed at Sheraton Broadway Plantation; we own at Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando, just 5 minutes from the house of the mouse. SBP is a block North of Broadway at the Beach on RM Grissom Pkwy.

Doubt we tried anything new to you food wise. Best meal was probably Mr Fish on Bus. 17. I don't much like seafood, but really enjoyed sesame crusted blackened snook with wasabi mashed. I've been telling my coworkers that I ate Snooki in MB.

Biggest meal was Rioz, a churrasco style restaurant. I love these but only once a year - you shouldn't eat during the day before and don't need to eat for two days after (and that may be what we ate before I saw the cookie girls). We've done a couple of these and this was the best so far, beating out Brasa in Niagara Falls.

Biggest surprise was Five Guys Burgers. We do have them in Canada but had never tried. We were at the outlet mall and were getting hungry around 2:00. Didn't want anything big, had a nice dinner planned that night. Thought we would grab a quick burger. Just ordered a regular burger. Did not know that a regular burger is TWO monster patties making it so big you couldn't get your mouth around it. And it was so good we had to finish them. We skipped dinner that night...

I will say that I have now popped my virgininity around hush puppies, and grits (enjoyed both), also enjoyed Cheerwine. Never did try boiled peanuts; have to go back for that one.

We'll probably go back someday, but more likely to stay closer to Charleston. Drove down there for a day trip and really enjoyed it; but it really could use a week.

Quote:
Well, that could be arranged. I literally have Blenheim ginger ale in close access at a store about 8 minutes from my house. It is good, with a fairly strong ginger taste. For those of you who haven't tried it, it is very different from customary ginger ale.
Actually I think I'm good for now. DSIS is heading to a meeting in Rochester next week, and there is an outlet for Blenheims there. I've placed my order. For a change from Sunny D's try the hot Blenheims with vodka and a bit of lime. mmmmm.... I appreciate the offer (well I kind of railroaded you into it), I may take you up in the future!
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:45 PM   #1044
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Is this thing still around?
Guess I'll have to get started on that last chapter.
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Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



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Old 03-29-2014, 06:56 PM   #1045
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Is this thing still around?
Guess I'll have to get started on that last chapter.
NO!

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Old 03-29-2014, 10:16 PM   #1046
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Is this thing still around?
Guess I'll have to get started on that last chapter.
Why yes, good sir, your chapter will be appreciated and enjoyed by all.

What?! It's the last one?
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:33 PM   #1047
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NO!
YES!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeb144 View Post
Why yes, good sir, your chapter will be appreciated and enjoyed by all.
I hope so... Guess I'll find out soon enough.
It will (barring unforeseen circumcisions) be up tomorrow.
Almost finished, just have a few more lines, then edit and twerk.


circumstances


tweek


(Now don't you want it to be over????)


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What?! It's the last one?
You know what they say, "All good things must come to an end."
But this TR does anyway.

Either that, or I see myself sitting in front of the monitor writing,
"So.... yeah.... okay.... <nods head a few times>... Howzit going?"
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP

Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



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Old 03-30-2014, 07:46 PM   #1048
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Endings and Silver Linings

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you once again for all your patience.
We're all set to go now and we'll get you cooled off as quickly as possible."


And then there was the sound of a bang and all the lights went out.


Pretty sure that's where I left off.

Considering I copied and pasted it from the last three lines of the last chapter...
Yup. Pretty sure...


After a brief pause... it might've been ten seconds... felt a lot longer,
our captain comes back on the PA and announces:
"The lights going out is normal as we switch from the auxiliary power unit to the starter unit.
Just sit tight and we'll be started up in a moment."

A moment goes by.
Then another.
Then half a minute.

The pilot comes back on.
"Ladies and gentlemen. It's a comedy of errors today (he really said that).
But the Venice airport starter isn't working.
(Groans... and possibly a shriek or two... are overheard... may have been coming from the flight deck)
They have another one and they'll have it here in seven minutes."

Those of you keeping up will know that meant the starter arrived about fifteen minutes later.

So for the next fifteen minutes, a planeful of hot, sweaty passengers sat helplessly in the dark.
I thought I heard a wolf howl, far off in the distance.
Turns out it was one of the first class passengers losing his mind.


The plane is eventually started (hooray!), pushed back, taxied and airborne...
One and a half hours late.

Elle turns to me and asks, "Dad? Are we going to make our connecting flight in Toronto?"
I smile and shake my head, no.
"What's going to happen to us?"
I tell her not to worry. Either Air Canada will put us on a later flight or put us up in a hotel.
"Would we be able to see Aunty ____?"
"If we overnight, we'll definitely give her a call." I say.

She cheers right up.
I'm pretty sure she's hoping we lose even more time so she can visit her aunt.


We have two hours to make our connection in Toronto.
We were airborne one and a half hours late.
I'll be the last person off the plane.
We have to clear customs, retrieve our bags, go back through security, find our gate...

In half an hour.

Anyone want to place a bet on if we'll make our connection?
I'll give great odds.

No?


The flight over the pond was fairly uneventful, but three things did stand out.

I posted the following way back in Chapter Three.
It was in reference to our first flight of the trip from Winnipeg to Toronto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
The flight to Toronto is uneventful... except for one little thing.
I hadn't seen Ironman3 yet, and was pleased to see it offered as one of the inflight entertainment options.
I watched 3/4 of it and was going to watch the rest on the next flight...
but it wasn't offered on the overseas leg.
The flight we were on from Venice to Toronto is a new discount carrier branch of Air Canada.
Instead of having TVs in the seat in front of you,
there were TVs hanging from the ceiling placed every six or seven rows.

Guess what started playing?
Yup. Ironman3!

But then it was interrupted as the pilot congratulated us all for making it this far.
Then interrupted again to tell us that it was apparently cooling down in the cabin.
(Because there's no way we'd know that ourselves)
Then interrupted to tell us our flying time to Toronto.
Then interrupted to tell us our cruising altitude...
which you really need to know, in case you want to go outside for some fresh air.
Then interrupted again to tell us that they would be serving drinks soon.
etc.
etc.
etc.

I really was beginning to think that I was destined to not see this movie.
Eventually, though, I did finally get to see that last quarter.


I don't remember it though.


For those of you who might be curious, the flying time from Venice to Toronto is nine and a half hours.
Still... faster than swimming.

Pretty long time to sit and just... well...
Even though I tried to avoid this in Venice by using the bathroom...

I tell Ruby.
She tells me that she has to, too.

Slowly, carefully, I leverage myself up into a standing position.
It doesn't hurt too much. But I sure don't want to make any sudden moves.
Slowly, while gripping seatbacks to support myself, I make my way back to the nearest lavatory.
Of course they're all occupied.
If I'd been hale and hearty, they would've been empty.

It's a rule.
The probability of a restroom being free is inversely proportional to your likelihood to pee yourself.

Eventually, one becomes available.
When I'm done, I reverse my course and, gripping seatbacks, make my way back to my seat.
Ruby is in front of me the whole time.
Obviously keeping a sharp eye on me. What a great gal.
We get to our row and she scoots in to her window seat and I sink gratefully back into my aisle seat.

Hmmm.... she doesn't look too happy.
Maybe something happened while she was in the lav?

"Something wrong?" I innocently ask.
"I still have to go!" She hisses. "I couldn't go, because when you came out, I couldn't get around you!"

Whoops!
"Okay, I can get up again; just give me a couple seconds to catch my breath."
"Just forget it!"

Ruby isn't as used to going without sleep as I am.
She might get a tad.... grumpy.
She might also have a bladder that is poking her and saying,
"Excuse me? Weren't you going to do something about this?"

I know better than to try and "fix it".
I settle quietly into my seat and pray for light chop and not severe turbulence.


She never did leave her seat.


Landing in Toronto was.... interesting.
As we were making getting closer, the flight attendants were busy making announcements.
"Passengers on ACA123 (Air Canada flight 123) to New York, you're status is protected on flight ACA321 departing gate H3."
"Passengers on ACA456 (Air Canada flight 123) to Chicago, you're status is protected on flight ACA654 departing gate D7."
"Passengers on ACA789 (Air Canada flight 123) to Denver, you're status is protected on flight ACA987 departing gate B6."

And so on...

I listened, but there was nothing about passengers on ACA269 for Winnipeg.

I really wasn't upset. Or even annoyed.
Our plane was late. We'll figure it out when we get there. What's done is done.
Stuff happens.

Others might not have felt the same.

Most large airports have something called "high speed taxiways".
Taxiways are generally at or close to ninety degrees from the runway.
If an arriving plane exits on one of those taxiways, the plane has to come to an almost complete stop, before exiting.
A high speed taxiway is at a shallower angle and allows an aircraft to exit at higher speed.
It looks like this:



We touch down in Toronto and the plane has just exited onto this taxiway,
at a fairly high rate of speed, when I see, in my peripheral vision, someone hurrying by me.
I was a little surprised, since usually the flight attendants stay in their seats until the flight has slowed right down,
or stopped.

My mind started wondering, "What's the emergency that's prompting a flight attendant to rush to the front?"

I look up and realize it's a woman passenger, with her wheeled carrion.
At about the time I figure this out, an actual flight attendant goes charging by, calling out,
"Ma'am! Ma'am! You have to remain in your seat! Ma'am! You have to stay in your seat!"
I poked my head into the aisle to observe how this would unfold.
The passenger bolted up the aisle to the exit lane then darted towards the door out of my sight.
Was this nutjob going to try and open the door while the plane was still travelling at about 70MPH?
The next thing I saw was the woman being unceremoniously dumped into an empty seat.
She kept repeating, "I have to catch my connection! I have to catch my connection!"

Guess she had some place to go in a hurry.

The flight attendant spent the rest of the trip parked by her side lecturing her on the finer points of stupidity.

I wonder if they did anything?
Charge her for endangering herself, or others?
Put her on a watch list?
Maybe nothing.

Dunno.


Once the plane arrives at the gate, people start getting up and retrieving their carrions.

I usually sit and relax while people are doing this,
since there's really nowhere to go until the people up front get off.

This time, though, because I'm going to need a wheelchair, I've got no choice.
You have no idea how long it took to empty that airplane.

A looong time.

Eventually though, everybody was off and it was just the four of us and an elderly couple.

I make my way out of the plane and there's no wheelchair.
Apparently somebody else needed a wheelchair and they only brought one.
After a few minutes, my chariot shows up.

An attendant accompanies us to show us where the elevator is.
When we exit the elevator, I see a long line of people waiting to go through customs.

Every cloud has a silver lining.
This was ours.

Because I was in a wheelchair, we were directed over to a special needs customs line.
I guess I shouldn't use the word 'line' in this context, since there wasn't one.
There was a young lady with leg braces and supports there... but that was it.

The customs agent finishes with the young lady and we wheel up.
We really didn't buy much overseas so we are done in a few seconds.
A lot of the people who got off the plane ahead of us are still waiting in line.


We make our way to the baggage carousel and I learn how physics works.

I know we'll need a cart. And look! Right beside the carousel is a line of them!
I confidently wheel myself up to the carts and push one forward.

Or tried to.

What happened was this.
I pushed the cart and the cart moved forwards... the same amount that I moved backwards.
So then I pulled the cart back towards me so that I could get back to where I was.
I roll forward... the cart rolls backwards.
Undaunted, I retry this manoeuvre... with the same result.

I do it again.

A mother, seeing my struggles tells her eight year old son to help me.
I quickly tell her that I'm okay, that I have my own family around here, that I'm not insane, that...

Thankfully, Ruby rescued me (and the cart) at that point.
She had gone to the bathroom... really, couldn't she just wait?
Sheesh.


Now I don't know if it's because of my condition or if it was kismet,
but our bags were among the first ones off the plane.

The girls grab them and pile them onto the cart.
We set off to find an Air Canada agent who'll tell us what our fate is.


We see a sign for connecting flights and head in that direction.
An agent takes one look at our boarding passes and tells us,
"Okay, you'll have to hurry! Go down this hall and put your bags on the conveyor belt,
then get to gate F as fast as you can!"

"Will our bags make our flight?"
"Yes, plane to plane is really fast, but you have to hurry!"

We quick-walk/push/roll down the hallway and dump the bags onto the conveyor belt.
They are quickly eaten and we continue on our way.
Another agent sees us and asks for our boarding passes.
"Hurry! You can still make it!"
We hurry.

We find gate F.
Gate F is really a wing of this particular terminal building.
There are seventeen different gates in section F.
But it looks like we might be stymied before we can even figure out which one is ours.

We have to go through security first.
And there's a long line ahead of us.

Silver linings, right?
We are spotted and taken through security immediately.
No waiting.

Now in front of us is a large board with departing flights displayed.
I look for Winnipeg and spot it right off.
"There it is! Winnipeg! Gate 62!"

I'm more than just a little groggy, but something about the flight doesn't seem quite right.
Doesn't matter, we were told to hurry and hurry we shall!

We quickly scoot up to gate 62 and.... there's no one there.
The sign says Winnipeg. 8:30pm.
Wait... isn't it only 7pm? Did I set my watch correctly?
I have to admit, I was a little woozy right about then.
Things weren't quite making sense.

A flight attendant wanders out from the gate tunnel and sees us.
We show her our boarding passes and she tells us that there's another flight to Winnipeg.
She checks and tells us it's down the hall at gate 68.
She also tells us that she's pretty sure it's already boarded and...

Hurry!!!

Imagine this scene:

Me, in a wheelchair.
Elle pushing.... no make that running, while pushing me.
She's shouting, "Beep beep! Beep beep!"
People are scattering in all directions trying to get out of our way.

I am not making this up. This really happened.
She ran.
She kept yelling, "Beep, beep!"
People scattering.

I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea.
It was beautiful.

Ruby and Kay were left to fend for themselves and keep up as best they could.
I figured if we could just get to the gate in time, I could stall them until Ruby and Kay caught up.

Elle and I get to gate 68 and... nobody's there.

Wait, there's an attendant at the desk.
We roll up and she takes our boarding passes and tells us that they were just about ready to close the doors.
By this time, Ruby and Kay catch up and we all board the plane.

I do my chair grip routine to get to my seat.
We settle in and while we're doing that, two more people get on.
Within seconds of us taking our seats, they close up the plane and start to depart.


A lot of things happened that really makes me wonder.
I tell people that yes, I got hurt on our trip, but it came at the best possible time and actually helped in some ways.

If I'd hurt my back on the day we were to leave, we couldn't have left.
Any earlier and it would've made for a really lousy trip.
Being in a wheelchair got us through customs and security in record time.
I'm pretty sure that without that chair, we never would've made our connection.

Silver lining.

Oh, sure. I'd rather have not hurt my back, even if it meant missing our connection...


We arrive back in Winnipeg and my folks are there waiting for us.
I'm pretty sure they didn't want to see me in a wheelchair, but were relieved to see us nevertheless.

Ahhhhh..... Home.
I already want to go back.



So that's it.
We went from not going on a trip to going to Disney to going to Europe.
We saw lots, did lots, ate lots, had fun lots.
Hopefully we were successful in our efforts to give the kids "a taste of Europe."
Only time will tell.
Elle wants to go back.
Kay, for the moment, is content to stay home. We'll see if that changes or not.



A few loose ends that I want to cover before ending this TR.


The cost for the doctor's visit in Venice was not that bad.
Between his visit, the shot and the prescription meds, the total ran about 300 Euros (about $400 USD).
We did put in a claim with my work insurance and it was all covered,
so in the end (which is where I got my shot... heh...) it didn't cost us anything.


I went to the doctor shortly after getting home and I was diagnosed with a prolapsed disk... maybe.
They took X-rays, just to be sure, but they didn't show anything.
Which is a good thing, I suppose.
I was in physiotherapy twice a week for a few months and that helped a lot.
At the time of this writing, I'm still a bit stiff in my lower back and I've changed some habits.
I worry pretty much all the time that I'm going to hurt myself again.
I'm really, really careful when I pick things up.
But who knows. I got hurt picking up an iPod.


I want to thank all of you who've been following along on our adventures.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Nebo always says that it's not just him, but the people who comment that make the TR.
And, as much as it pains me to say this, he's right.
Without you people encouraging me and pointing out my all too frequent lapses,
this TR would've never gotten off the ground.

So thank you all for reading along, commenting along, or just saying "Hi" and letting me know you're out there.


Special shout outs to lisaviolet, Thumper_Man, buzz1121, Backstage_Gal, smidgy, jedijill, mmeb144, Thumper_Man's Wife, orangecats2, bankr63, MAGICFOR2, queenbetsey, nowellsl, ColoradoDisneyFreaks, nebo, My2Girls66, ougrad86, dawnbu40, Queenofallthings, shan23877, winkers, dgthree, KRIS10420, minnie mum, Lady Elle, PrincessCaitlin, Riles_and_Gabe, AbbyMarie, NFLDERS, DizzneyDi, cindermomma, cjlvsccm, Spriesty, bellebud, Lintasare, Self_resqing_princz, Pluplo and The Duck, Kitzka, Mac Brew, Gumbo4x4, 3CW, LSmith, figment52, hops&dreams, Ciciwoowoo and wiigirl...
for letting me know that I'm not alone out there.

It was greatly appreciated and kept me going.


One last word.
Once I was back on my feet and feeling a little more human.

I threw that damned suitcase in the trash.
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Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:50 PM   #1049
orangecats2
All I want is Disney, Crocs and Vera Bradley
 
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Location: Elyria, OH
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Hahaha!!! Poor suitcase. You didn't try to give it another home by donating it to goodwill?

Are the cookies gone? My box still isn't open.

What's up with the summer trip? Will you do a TR of it?

When are we going to Disney?
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me DH and our many children
9/12 - CSR 4th Anniversary 9/09 - ASMo 1st Anniversary, 9/08 - ASSp Honeymoon
96, 87, 86, 83, 80, 79 - all offsite
Vegas: 95-Hacienda, 00-Excalibur, 01-Monte Carlo, 02-Luxor, 05-TI, 07-Tropicana, 10-NY NY
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:03 PM   #1050
Backstage_Gal
Let me rephrase the dog stew remark
I broke more than I used
 
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: On my couch with my laptop and a glass of wine in Florida
Posts: 11,346

I saw you posted your last chapter. I said "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
I couldn't face it. So I did what I do best: procrastinate!

But after eating dinner, curling my hair, etc., I had to face it.

Ponzi, what an amazing, entertaining chapter yet again! I am so sad it's over.

Where will you go next? Do you have any weekend trips? Where will I get my Ponzi fix now??????????
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