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Old 07-22-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
Marion
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Paper, Crystal, China....Mickey!! Our Silvery Celebration With the Mouse!

Well, the first order of business is to thank KathyRN for her help in coming up with the perfect trip report name Thanks Kathy... you rock! I've been contemplating writing one for a while now and thanks to some gentle prodding from a Dis'er who shall remain nameless, I've gotten my rear in gear and, well, here we are!

First of all, the cast of characters.

Me... Marion. What can I tell you about myself? I am a daughter, a wife, a mom, a grandma (we're having success with the name Nana finally... yay!). I work in homecare as a nurses aide in the morning and provide personal care/homemaking for a very lovely lady in the afternoons. In my spare time (hahahahaha) I get to play with my sweetie grandbabies who are staying here with their mom for a little bit. I'm a total computer addict. I'm prone to diving headfirst into a new crafting idea and then abandoning it before completion. I'm eying scrapbooking now. I love to read... anything and everything, but particularly escapist fantasy type stuff. Charles DeLint is my favourite author. I love music... country music, rock, folk. Great Big Sea is my favourite band. I'm a bit of a control freak... I love order and lists and routine. But I have a silly side despite my husbands claim that I have NO sense of humour. I say it's a dry humour. It's a prairie thing. And lastly but not leastly, I have a deep seated love of Disney. A lifelong love of Disney. I'll go into that more later on

My DH. My darling husband. My dear husband. My designated hitter! (he always says that when he sees the DH acronym) His name is Tim, and he said I could use his name. His other option was Robin (Marion and Robin... get it? See? I have humour!) He's not feeling the whole Robin Hood vibe though, so we'll go with Tim. He is my high school sweetheart, we met when we were 14 years old. I couldn't stand him. It was our first day of high school and we met in English class over a Scrabble board. He tried to use the word 'Soviet' which is TOTALLY a proper name and not allowed. Anyway, we didn't speak again til 11th grade when our circles of friends merged. He made a much better impression on me when he checked out the book I was reading (one of the Tolkien series) and said with an amazed tone, "You READ??" Fast forward a few more months and somehow we were dating... who knew he'd end up being the love of my life? He's a total computer geek, bookworm (history, sci-fi, genetics) and genealogist, who happens to work in a cigar shop. He and both my sons have a delightful medical condition called ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) which basically means they have the attention spans of 2 year olds. They are absolutely brilliant, can recite the most amazing bits of trivia but can't remember to lock the door/find the keys/call home/etc. He is also not particularly a Disney fan.

Supporting characters who are staying at home:
My eldest son, we'll call him Donald (Duck). He's 22. He's currently away from home participating in a wonderful government sponsored program called Katimavik. See the country! Volunteer! Get paid $3 a day! Live with 11 strangers for 9 months! He's home August 22 and we can't wait!

My DD, hereafter known as Daisy. She's 20 and mom to the 2 most beautiful babies on the planet. Minnie, who just turned 2 and little Mickey who is 3 1/2 months. Daisy is sweet and smart and a great mom and I'm very proud of the woman she has become.

My baby boy, my son Goofy. He just turned 18. Totally brilliant, reads everything he can get his hands on. Very artistic, listens to strange music, is developing an interesting dress sense and just dyed his hair turquoise the other night. The teenage years are always a trip.

Whew! Ok, so there you have the 'who' so we should move along to the 'what', 'where', 'when' and 'why'. Lets tackle the big one, the 'why'. The reason for this trip. Although I guess if you actually read the trip title, it might have given it away On June 19th of this year, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. A real milestone these days. Definitely something worth celebrating!

10 years ago, Tim and I took our very first vacation together. Somewhere that wasn't the cottage, a relatives place, a conference or a shopping trip to Grand Forks, ND. We booked a cruise. A 10 day southern Carribean cruise with Holland America. We needed this holiday after a horrid year in which the two of us lost three Grandfather's. One who filled the father role in my life. The man who raised me, along with my grandma. After we got home I told Tim I wanted to do this again. I wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise for our 25th anniversary. We made a pact that this is what we would do.

I now interrupt this trip report for an explanation of... well... rather a bizarre quirk of mine. Maybe you'll understand. Maybe I'm just weird. Don't judge me! Ok, so I live in the middle of the Canadian prairies. I love it here. I love my city. I love the landscape of the province. I love the prairie and the huge uninterrupted sky. I love the lakes and the geese, the fields of canola, the wheat, the sunflowers. The springtime is gorgeous, the summer glorious, the fall is too brief.... but winter. Winter is very very long. It usually snows around Halloween and it stay until April...sometimes May.

I'm ok with snow til shortly after Christmas. Then I'm ready for it to go away. The days are short, 7-8 hours of daylight, the temperature hovers around the -30c mark. By January I can feel the effects of SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) settling in. Here comes the bizarre part. My personal way of combating SAD is to trip plan. A tropical trip. A Disney trip. I get all the brochures the travel agent has. I search online for airfares. I decide on a resort. I budget, I make lists. I plan itineraries! I discovered the DIS in 1999. All the while knowing somewhere back in the cobwebby recesses of my mind that it isn't a REAL trip. But that's ok... it gets me through the bleakest part of winter. Without drugs. Without therapy. It's all good. My family tolerates the weirdness. Because I feed them. And none of them are sure how to work the stove. Or where groceries come from.

Sooo... fast forward to January, 2007. One dark cold day I come home from work, collecting the mail as I go in. Oooh, something from Disney! Cool! The mouse still loves me! After shucking the many many layers of winter gear I am wearing, I put the kettle on and settle in to read this rather nifty brochure Mickey sent me. There was even a little spinny wheel that turned inside, outlining all the various parties and special theme weeks throughout the year. It told of wondrous packages and resorts, all at 40% off. *blink* The lightbulb above my head went on! This is THE year! Our 25th anniversary! And it's only 6 months away! It's time to start planning our trip to......




The Panama Canal!


The Trip posts themselves if you want to skip the chitterchatter

Travel portion of day 1 Post 108

Downtown Disney, Day 1 Post 123

Animal Kingdom, Day 2! Post 148

Last edited by Marion; 11-01-2007 at 08:17 AM. Reason: To add links to the actual trip report...
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:52 PM   #2
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Smile Marion,

Phooey on that old Canal!! WDW is much more fun (and much more romantic!)

And don't let her fool you, you guys, she came up with the silver anniversary title.... I just "polished" it up a bit!

Can't wait for more!!

Kathy
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:18 PM   #3
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Oh NO! I wanted to be first! I will go back and read now... love ya!
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:25 PM   #4
Marion
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Yay! I knew I could count on you two When you have time (honest, no rush on this) I'm going to need a primer on how to post pictures. You know, 'The Idiot's Guide' type instructions.... use simple words... diagrams would be great.
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Old 07-22-2007, 10:01 PM   #5
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First of all...I LOVE how you've described yourself. Are you sure you aren't <Y mom?

BTW...take the plunge...scrapping is the best! After all you have 2 litlle lovies who need books!


Panama WHAT?

I can't wait for more!
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Last edited by princessjv; 07-22-2007 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Open a photobucket account, upload your pics & paste the IMG code into your report. Got it? Capeesh? If not, I can PM you.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:37 AM   #6
Marion
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Fairly certain.... I'm not quite THAT old I have the next part plotted out in my head so now all I need is some uninterrupted time to think and type. That's the tricky part... we're in the midst of a heatwave at the moment, complete with humidex warnings that it will feel like 42-47c until Wednesday (that's 108-117F for you southerners) so we're trying to keep the little ones entertained and cool and hydrated.

Hehehe... during the time it took me to write the above paragraph I've made 2 cups of coffee, one bottle of formula, set up one Fisher Price barn and tried to convince Big Bird to stay on his nest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by princessjv View Post
First of all...I LOVE how you've described yourself. Are you sure you aren't <Y mom?

BTW...take the plunge...scrapping is the best! After all you have 2 litlle lovies who need books!


Panama WHAT?

I can't wait for more!

Last edited by Marion; 07-23-2007 at 08:38 AM. Reason: I have an account but when I posted a pic on your trippie, it went way too wide!
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:44 AM   #7
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The heat is on it's way here...TODAY! Yuck! Suck it back up there...please.


I hear you.

Kiddos make it tough to write.


Nap Time.


That is the best time to spend time writing.


Can't wait for more.
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Last edited by princessjv; 07-23-2007 at 08:47 AM. Reason: You need to change the size of your uploads to 640x480 (go to options...above the browse button)
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:09 AM   #8
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Marion,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
I have the next part plotted out in my head so now all I need is some uninterrupted time to think and type.

I have one word for you: it's.....well....it's WORD. I get up and down so much when I'm writing that I would time out easily if I didn't write everything out and save it as I went along!!

Sorry to hear about your heatwave...we had a hot weekend, but now....

It's 64 degrees and pouring rain in Jersey!! No swimming today!

Kathy
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:23 AM   #9
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Looks like you have a GREAT start! And I agree with princessjv...start scrapping! It is so much fun!

Hope you can stay cool today! I'm in Ohio and we are actually having a cool day today, which is unusal for the middle of July. Both my kids are in long pants!
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Princess1Prince2006 View Post
Looks like you have a GREAT start! And I agree with princessjv...start scrapping! It is so much fun!

Hope you can stay cool today! I'm in Ohio and we are actually having a cool day today, which is unusal for the middle of July. Both my kids are in long pants!

See more scrappers...Do it, do it! This is the perfect opportunity to start!

1p1p2006- that is cold...we are sweating up/over here... just sweatin!



Marion-

Come out, Come out where ever you are!
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princessjv View Post
Marion-

Come out, Come out where ever you are!

Those kids must be asleep by now......

Kathy
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:46 AM   #12
Marion
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I'm here, I'm here! We spent yesterday afternoon in a lovely cold movie theatre. We went to see Hairspray which we loved. Well I loved... I did catch Tim smiling but that may have been due to the a/c....

Kathy... apparently I don't have Word on my computer, I've been using Notepad. Not too happy with that because it does odd things when I paste it here. I have to go fix all the spacing again.

Princesses... I've bought a 'how to' scrapbooking book and I've been looking at the forum here. Daisy and I both like the idea

I'll continue the report later! Promise!
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:01 AM   #13
Marion
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At the first opportunity I hightail it over to the mall and the travel agency for the latest Holland America Panama Canal brochure. While I was in the office I also grabbed the two Mickey Mouse emblazoned brochures for Disney World that were by the desk. Why? Because THAT'S WHAT I DO! I might not ever get to WDW but I sure do love reading about it!

So back at home I eagerly start perusing the cruise options. I've been on two Holland America Line cruises in the past which makes me 'alumni' and entitles me to discounts. Discounts that I will desperately need once I start looking at the costs! I hadn't realized how much more expensive the Canal cruises are compared to the Caribbean. Anyway, I narrow it down to two cruises that I like the look of based on ports of call and leave the booklet open for Tim to look at later. The Disney brochures are tossed on the kitchen table and temporarily forgotten.

Later that night after Tim has recovered somewhat from the sticker shock of the cruise we hit the 'net in search of cheaper fares. Maybe even a different cruiseline despite our love of HAL. The next couple of weeks are spent tweaking the finances and seeing if this trip is really feasible. You know, the weighing of the wants vs the practicality of spending all that money.

It's now early February and no decision has been made. One evening Tim starts idling flipping through those long forgotten Disney brochures. He turns to me and says these words that I NEVER thought I'd hear come from his mouth.... "Why don't you run the numbers on a Disney vacation and give me a cost breakdown".

"Huh"? I intelligently respond.

He repeats himself but it takes a few tries before I really understand that he's serious.

So, I do what any true DIS'er does. I grab my notebook and start with the brochures. I get up to speed on the latest offerings. Year of a Million Dreams eh... well that's apt! And what's this? A DINING plan?? Awesome! I price the package based on the brochure information, but I know there are better deals out there. I've done this before! I head online and track down the DIS site. I haven't been there in probably three years. Luckily I remember my screen name and password!

So, even with rough estimates things are looking good! A weeks holiday in WDW is coming in at half the cost of the cruise. I tell Tim and he gives me the and says lets do it!

Now it's time for me to get serious. I relearn my way around the DIS. I hit the trip planning forums. I start looking for information on deals and codes. And yes, that cute little card Mickey sent me was forgotten! I know! Doh. Well I was soon reminded of it when checking out the forums. All the buzz there was about this 'postcard code'. "Did you get it?" "How do you get one?" "Who has a code?" FINALLY the lightbulb goes on and I realize I have this postcard and pin number. But.....

Yeah, there's a "but". The DAY BEFORE Tim told me to run the numbers on Disney, I RECYCLED THE POSTCARD! Yup That's what I did. It was GONE. My 40% off package dealie was gone. And you HAD to have the pin number to book. It was a moment of true horror for me. I love a bargain. I never buy things at full price. And 40% off a Disney vacation package is a BIG DEAL. ARRRGGGHHH!
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:05 AM   #14
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Talking A photo attempt

Ok, if all goes well this first photo you see will be me and Minnie (Thanks Princess!)




Next up is Tim and I with Minnie and Mickey.




I love this one! "I didn't do it!!"




The most recent on of the babies

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Old 07-24-2007, 10:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
While I was in the office I also grabbed the two Mickey Mouse emblazoned brochures for Disney World that were by the desk. Why? Because THAT'S WHAT I DO! I might not ever get to WDW but I sure do love reading about it!
Totally something I WOULD DO!


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One evening Tim starts idling flipping through those long forgotten Disney brochures. He turns to me and says these words that I NEVER thought I'd hear come from his mouth.... "Why don't you run the numbers on a Disney vacation and give me a cost breakdown".
That much of a difference? WOWSERS!

Quote:
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A weeks holiday in WDW is coming in at half the cost of the cruise. I tell Tim and he gives me the and says lets do it!
What a great hubby!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
Now it's time for me to get serious. I relearn my way around the DIS. I hit the trip planning forums. I start looking for information on deals and codes.
Went into Crazed DIS'r mode huh?
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the buzz there was about this 'postcard code'. "Did you get it?" "How do you get one?" "Who has a code?" FINALLY the lightbulb goes on and I realize I have this postcard and pin number. But.....
OH NO!

I never ever have gotten any cards/codes...nothing! The mouse hates me...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
40% off package dealie was gone. And you HAD to have the pin number to book. It was a moment of true horror for me. I love a bargain. I never buy things at full price. And 40% off a Disney vacation package is a BIG DEAL. ARRRGGGHHH!
You can't leave us...noooooo....


I love a deal too. In fact I have a really hard time buying anything full priced. Tough. I get all crampy in my hand when I attempt to hand my card over.


Quote:
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Ok, if all goes well this first photo you see will be me and Minnie (Thanks Princess!)
No Problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
I love this one! "I didn't do it!!"
The pictures are great! Love them all, but you are right...this one is special! Boy those babies have changed. You need to update Minnie's avatar
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