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Old 05-04-2006, 02:49 PM   #121
jamal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZUB
Very well stated! It's important to remember that we don't worship Disney or even that our joy comes from the Mouse. However, God allows us to enjoy rich blessings in life and these blessings are sometimes (frequently?) realized at Disney World. While it's true that we can relax and recharge on virtually any vacation; there's something special about being in Disney World that makes it easier to relax and enjoy our families and the wonder of God's provision for us.

I can't wait to find out how your trip ends although I'm sad your report is nearing its conclusion. I hope you've got another trip planned soon. Like many others, I've enjoyed living vicariously through your report.

Because it means something good. I think.
NM: From one Disney geek to another-- I love the end of your report! I think that by loving Disney you DO affirm God and your family. They are hard to feel 24/7 in the non-Disney world. I'm so happy you had a magical trip.
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:08 PM   #122
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wheres the end??
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:22 PM   #123
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Funny you should ask...

I was just finishing it and trying to figure out how to add a few pics. It should be up in a few minutes!
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"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere." Psalm 84:10

What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW

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Old 05-11-2006, 08:29 PM   #124
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OOPS!
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"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere." Psalm 84:10

What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW


Last edited by nicolemarie; 05-11-2006 at 08:32 PM. Reason: because I hit submit instead of preview and my pics were HUGE!!! I need serious tech help!
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:36 AM   #125
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tease I thought the end was gonna be here
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Old 05-12-2006, 04:23 PM   #126
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Last Day - Saturday April 1st

Saturday, April 1 - Day 8

You may remember that yesterday we tried to book an extra night at the Yacht Club and extend our vacation by another day. Not to do the parks, but just to relax and hang out by the pool. A little decompression time, if you will. But the resort was booked, and this morning we are headed home.

I woke up on this last day actually thankful that it was time to go home. Really and truly, seven days of the Mouse is a little too much. I was ready to get back into a routine. I got up shortly after six and quietly started packing. It was probably a good thing that the Yacht Club was booked for tonight. I am over staying another day. Plus, we teach Sunday School in the morning and it is always a pain to call in substitutes. Let’s just head to the house. Don’t get me wrong, it was an AWESOME vacation – it’s just time to go home.

Guess what day it was? Yep – Saturday, April 1st.

In case you are a little slow – that’s April Fool’s Day. And in case you think any self-respecting DISer can actually tire of a Disney vacation, this is a retroactive April Fool’s joke. What are you – crazy? The above was the exact OPPOSITE of the way I felt! You all know the drill. Good grief, ZZUB coins the word “Disneyfreude” and at computer screens across the world, DISers nod their heads in sad agreement. We KNOW what he is talkin’ about. So let’s just skip it and get to packin’, okay? We’ve got an ADR at Boma before we hit the road.

For our family, packing to go home is just as methodical as packing to go on vacation. It’s been that way since our honeymoon, when my husband and I got in the first disagreement of our married lives. I wanted to just throw all the clothes in and deal with it when we got home. He couldn’t quite get his Type-A arms around that thought process. Let’s put some calm in the chaos and organize our RE-packing just like we did the packing. That’ll make it easier on us when we get home and unpack. He won, and we’ve organized our packing to go home ever since. And it really is better.

So this morning we get everything together, and check, double check and triple check the room to make sure nothing is left behind. As long as I have my wedding rings, my daughter’s Tigger and our camera equipment, it’s all good. I can buy another toothbrush if needed. I can even replace a jacket or pair of shoes. There is not much in life that I am attached to. But my wedding rings, Tigger, and all of our tangible memories of this trip would be a tough loss. I get a visual on all the necessities, and with a sad goodbye to our home for the week, we close the door. We pass off the room key to the happy family waiting in the hall to take over our room. Have a great week -scrubs.

Now ya’ll know what I’m talkin’ about here – there are just some vacations that were OVER before they were over. Or maybe even before they started. Example: A full week at the beach with the following folks all in one 3 BR condo – Me, my husband and our then 5 and 2 year old; my parents; and my sister and her husband AND their 6 month old that did not sleep through the night. Yep, that’s three little families in three little rooms. Who thought that would be fun? 10,000 square feet wouldn’t have been enough for all of that. That was over before it even started.

But Disney vacations are not like that. They are fun from beginning to end. Well… almost the end. The fun actually stops when my REALLY budget conscious husband spots the envelope that has been discreetly slipped under the door. And the fun comes to a loud, screeching HALT when he wants to bring all the week’s receipts (yes, he keeps them) and the check-out documents to Boma to match it all up. Ya’ know, make sure Disney hasn’t OVERCHARGED us for anything. Here’s a tip sweet husband – we’ve been overcharged, alright. And we’ll have receipts for every bit of it.

We pack the car and drive over to AKL for breakfast at Boma. My purpose for this breakfast was two-fold. One, we needed to eat. Two, I wanted to check out the Lodge because of the hype from its loyal DIS fans. Evidently, life doesn’t get much better than waking up to a stare-down with a giraffe. I had to see this for myself.

All the DISers that feel so passionate about the AKL are right. The lodge is absolutely beautiful. The pool area is cool, and the opportunity for my kids to sleep in a bunk bed would be more than they could stand. Since the Animal Kingdom has now trumped the Magic Kingdom for my daughter’s favorite park, I can see a stay at AKL in our future. In fact, the minute we walk in, the kids declare that we HAVE to stay here next time. I’m game. No pun intended.

Like the complete geeks we are, we are seated at our table and my honey pulls out the stack of receipts and hands them to me. “You call them out and I’ll check them off.” At home, we play this fun little game with our credit card bill all the time. Making sure nothing has been inadvertently charged to our Disney Visa. But at the last meal of our vacation, this is not cool. And it’s definitely not magical. Not magical at all. But I humor my husband because this trip was a huge step out of his comfort zone. To agree to a last minute, week long vacation at Disney just goes to show how much he really loves the place, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a closet DISer.

All the money checks out, we’ve finished our meal, we’ve shopped in the gift shop, checked out the pool and there is only one thing left to do. Get in the car and go home. None of us want to. We’ve had a great trip. We’ve connected as a family in a way that the busyness of life outside the World does not allow. We’ve ALL been together ALL week long. Slept in the same room all week. Eaten EVERY meal together. Enjoyed each other’s company – really, really enjoyed each other’s company. And aside from the few minutes at Ft. Wilderness – when we made some bad calls while waiting in the cold for a boat – there has not been a tense moment the whole time. It’s hard to see that kind of thing come to an end.

You see – and I know you all feel the same way – family is really important to us. My husband and I come from close, happy families. Not perfect families, but happy families. We want our children to say the same thing one day. We want them to WANT to spend time with us like we do our own parents. We want them to know that no matter where life leads, no matter what mistakes they make or what trials they face – our home will always be a soft place to fall. A place of love, laughter and Christ-centered joy. That’s why we love vacations. My husband’s business takes a backseat. My carpooling, homework checking, cooking and cleaning take a backseat. The kids don’t have ball games, gymnastics or school. We just have each other – lots of hugs, shoulder rides, smiles and happiness. No wonder we want an extra day.

So with everyone buckled in and the Spectromagic CD blaring, we’re off. Before long we pass the “See Ya Real Soon” sign. There is nothing that finalizes your trip more than passing that sign. And all the cars going in the other direction toward their Disney World vacation. All four of us are singing loudly the words to our favorite parade.

“On this magic ni-ight, a million stars will play beside us”

…and then we get to the part that always makes me teary:

“Though we say good ni-ight, we’ve cast a spell that won’t be broken.
Let this night forever, live in our dreams.”

It will - it will forever live in my dreams.

And just like that, the Disney trip is over. Pretty soon we are on I-4 headed to the turnpike.

Because this trip report is all about Disney – and the remainder of our trip didn’t take place at Disney – I’ll only give a quick summary.

We actually end up in such horrible traffic that we pull off on the exit for the Grande Lakes Orlando and call to see if THEY have any availability. Last summer, before we conquered Disney during a busy season, and when we were too afraid to set foot in the parks during the summer, we took a trip to Orlando. And that trip didn’t include – GASP! – anything about the Mouse. We stayed at the Grande Lakes and had a really wonderful time. Not Disney wonderful, but wonderful still. Our son had just turned three, and it was the first time just the four of us had gotten away without leaving someone with grandparents, or taking the grandparents with us. The Grande Lakes resort has great pools, golf, food, etc. It’s very relaxing. And it sounded like the perfect way to spend an extra night after being denied by the Yacht Club.

So within 30 minutes it was “their pleasure” to have us checked into our room (that was $100 cheaper than our Disney room – go figure) and we spent the day at the pool just hanging out and relaxing. We woke up early the next morning to head back home, and as we drove away from Orlando, we still blared the Spectro CD and sang our hearts out.

Because even though the Ritz rooms SERIOUSLY trump the Yacht Club, and even though getting up and out early every morning to beat the crowds is not relaxing, and even though Free Dining really isn’t free, and the coffee we put in our refillable mugs isn’t worth the money we paid for the mug – Disney is our kind of place. We don’t care about a winter ski trip out West. We don’t care about a Spring Break in the Caymans, or Bahamas or Mexico. We go to Disney. And we love going to Disney. Next time I pull the kids out of school for a trip (hopefully this fall), friends will say “Are ya’ll going to Disney again?” And I’ll smile and say yes. Without apology. Until then…I’ll DIS.

Thank you friends, I’m out.
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"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere." Psalm 84:10

What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW


Last edited by nicolemarie; 05-12-2006 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 05-12-2006, 04:29 PM   #127
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The post above this is the last installment - these are just the pics!

BE WARNED! I LOOOOVE pictures. I took over 400 of our trip - so here are some to share with you our magic. Sorry if this post is a little long!!


The Thanksgiving Weekend 2005 trip - it started the fire to return for a long stay. This is the Christmas Party Wishes. And yes, those are fireworks going off around the entire perimeter of the Magic Kingdom - it was BY FAR the best fireworks display I have ever seen!
(Video Clip - click for link)


Spring Break 2006

DAY 1
We must stop at the Florida Welcome Center for the free OJ – It’s a tradition that’s been passed down from generations of budget conscious family.


If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, nothin’ will!


Check out our view – we can get excited about this!


Our first time to MK – we scored front of the monorail!! AWESOME!!


View of MK from California Grill – I had to really enhance the pic – it’s hard to see, but the view is wonderful.


My son is obsessed with rockets. He drew them all over the "tablecloth" at CG – you see why we HAD to ride the Astro Orbiters first!!


DAY 2
Hang out day – heading to Boardwalk for the ride of our lives. The Surrey Bike


My husband looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in the silly mirror on the Boardwalk – the kids LOVED that.


The location of our only tense moment the whole time. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read day two of my TR.


DAY 3
Taking a taxi to Epcot. This was not a staged photo – my kids thought they were actually formulating a plan. No, sweet babies – Mommy and Tour Guide Mike have already done that for you!



Illuminations – Awesome way to end the day. (And that would be my little man saying "look at the Earth, Mama, look at the Earth!")
Video Clip - Click for link




DAY 4
OOOOH, it just doesn’t get any better than this!


On the Barnstormer with Goofy.


Now that, my friends, is good Fast Pass Management!


Our favorite Disney entertainment. Or is it Wishes? Or Illuminations?



Wishes Clip - Click for Link



DAY 4
Little man gets to see Darth Vader!


DAY 5
It’s a beautiful day for coffee!


The view from Expedition Everest


What a SCARY dinosaur!!


My sweet princess and her Tiggy.


DAY 6
My daughter and her buddy on BTM


The Kingdom at sundown – very magical!


DAY 7
How very sad. But we had a great time – see ya REAL soon, I hope.
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"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere." Psalm 84:10

What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW


Last edited by nicolemarie; 05-12-2006 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:51 PM   #128
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Excellent final installment. I am very sad (as were you) to see it come to a close. Be thankful for the pictures and your memories, as reliving the magic is some consolation until the next trip!

Amy
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Old 05-12-2006, 06:39 PM   #129
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You totally got me! I've never been "got" in a trip report before. I completely fell for your "7 days at Disney is enough" schtick. I was reading along and thinking to myself, "man, this Nicolemarie lady is too uptight!" How can she be ready to leave Disney World??? And then I hit the punch line. All I can say is well played. You get two of these for that .

I'm very glad I started reading your report. I vicariously enjoyed your vacation and like GA, I'm sad it's over. However, I'm confident you'll be back soon and you'll regale us with more adventures.

Quote:
we’ve been overcharged, alright. And we’ll have receipts for every bit of it.
Sad but true.

I don't know what this means either but I like it and have been wanting to use it. I'm using it here, like my ubiquitous use of this to mean something good. I did it again.
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:16 PM   #130
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Thanks for sharing this great TR Nicolemarie. Such beautiful writing!
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:36 PM   #131
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nicolemarie - truly one of the best trip reports! So sad its come to an end!
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:31 PM   #132
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that was awesome!!! thanks so much for that great report!!!


whoohoo!!!

love your pics too!!!

that FUNNY one of the happiest CM ever??? cracks me up!!!
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:56 PM   #133
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Aw, I'm sorry that it's come to an end, but it was a terrific trip report. Thanks a lot for sharing, nicolemarie. Wishin' good things for you.
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:45 AM   #134
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post more pics.. I love to see pics!!! Your report was great!!!
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Old 05-13-2006, 05:20 AM   #135
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I just read your entire trip report and really enjoyed it. As you've stated about other Dis'ers, I go through a lot of trip reports, mainly for research and dining reviews. You, along with many other report writers, express why some people "get it" and many don't. Thanks for the report.
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