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Old 08-13-2007, 11:52 AM   #1
ms_mckenna
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The surprise trip where dreams came true! Update Day 8! LOTS of pictures)

A word of warning in the beginning: This is my first attempt at a TR so bare with me. All my best friends say that I am long winded and ramble so I am sure that will rear it's ugly head soon. Also I should say there are no "official" Disney dreams that came true on our trip, but I think our dreams that came true are better. :

The Players:

Myself : Callie a 33 year old Mom of 2. Substitute teacher/ stay at home mom. Certified Disneyaholic. This would be my 3rd Disney trip.

Husband : James 37 year old Dad by choice to my 2 children from a previous marriage He has always been their Daddy and has been with them since they were 1 and 3. He works way to many hours as an oilfield supervisor to make sure they have everything they want. All around a great guy, but did not share my Disney obsession

DD: Shelby who is 13 will turn 14 on the trip. She is the typical teenager attitude and all. She loves Disney but for the most part when we are not there acts like it is just OK. Spends way to much time on the phone. The week before the trip got back from New Mexico from a mission trip with the church.

DS: Alex who is 11 will turn 12 a week before the trip. He was born 3 months early and is my miracle baby. He has moderate Cerebral Palsy and some other medical issues. He uses a Kwalker most of the time unless there is a lot of walking then he uses a wheelchair. He is an extremely determined kid and very independent. He is the ham of the family and is constantly laughing.

The dates: July 30th to August 6th

How the plan was hatched:
Last year when we went to NYC from Dallas we had to come back early. I could not get a flight home on the same carrier so we ended up with credits with Air Tran. In January DH and I realized that we still had not used them and they expired on 7/22 so we needed to book something with them by then. We talked about doing a birthday trip for the kids and then it evolved into being a really cool surprise if we could keep it from them. We had just got back from Disney in November and 3 out of 4 of us already wanted to go back. Even though our next trip was not scheduled until December of 08. I talked DH into it by saying I would pay for it and would keep it small. So we were in agreement and I booked our short 4 day trip to Pop ... little did I know the changes that it would incur.

Since I am not writing this the way I should have I am going to bring you all up to speed and to the week before the trip and DS's birthday.

DH did not think he would be able to go on this trip because of changes at work so he agreed that I needed to stay somewhere that was at least close to one of the parks with DS. He also thought we needed to take it slow and agreed to help me and we could change it to a 7/8 trip. DD's dream hotel is AKL so I called and changed us over to AKL standard view (rack rate ) for 7 nights 8 days. I called right after to book our airfare because the trip had already grown so much I didn't need it to grow anymore.

The talk then began about AKL construction and since DS would have to take afternoon breaks I started to worry a lot about the noise. At this point I decided to try as hard as I could to get us changed to either Poly (my DD's other first choice) or BC without breaking the bank. So I called several times a week to see if there were any codes added to my account or if we were eligible to be moved. During this time my husband decided to go ahead and take off work and go with us but agreed he wanted to stay in a deluxe hotel. I called and got his airline ticket the same flights as us.

I know the people at Disney probably got sick of me calling but my persistence paid off. We got a "code" but the only thing I could get was BC or BW. I chose BC because of SAB. We ended up at 200.00 less than what we were paying at AKL so I was THRILLED!

Most of the trip I planned under the guise of the Dec 08 trip. Thankfully they just thought I was obsessed with Disney as always. DD always kind of thought in the back of her mind something was going on but she did not know for sure. She ended up getting into some serious trouble and I explained to her that there was a surprise birthday trip that she was one mistake away from not getting to go on.

When I was not planning itineraries I made shirts and picked up pins for hints each night about the park we were going to the next day pins to trade and other Disney things for our trip. Pictures of all our matching shirts: http://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w...merons/shirts/ We ended up with 14 shirt sets.

The kids stayed fairly busy the first part of the summer between camp and friends houses. DD went on a mission trip to New Mexico to work with a Navajo tribe two weeks before our trip. It really was a great experience for her and think it made her understand how truly blessed she is. She came back home on Dis's 12Th birthday. He had a small slumber party for his 2 best friends and they had pizza and cake. Funny it was a very small birthday but he really enjoyed it. Which showed me a lot.

My best friend called to see how the plans were going for leaving. I told her we were coming up a day early to spend the night in Seagoville and my brother in law was going to drive us to the airport. She asked if we could come up a day earlier because a little girl she is the foster mom for was going to have her first ever bday party (she was turning 5). We both saw this as an opportunity for DH to be around children that needed to be adopted. I have been trying to ease him into the idea of adoption for the child we have been wanting. He agreed to going up early so the plan was we would be leaving Saturday morning for the party, spending the night at her house, then Sunday night at Seagoville, and on to the airport Monday for the reveal and to Disney for 8 days.
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Last edited by ms_mckenna; 10-03-2007 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:02 PM   #2
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I am hooked! Can't wait for more. Your family is beautiful and I always love surprising my kids with disney trips..so I am Lookingforward to future posts!
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
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Cant wait to hear more
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:21 PM   #4
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Well I am going to go ahead and update another day or two tonight since DH is stuck out on a job. We are skipping ahead to Saturday July 28Th. Most of what has happened between the last post and now is packing ... packing and more packing. The only other major thing to happen is my sis in law spilled the beans to my oldest about the trip. She kept it to herself and did not tell anyone but constantly asked when she would get to find out her hints! There were lots of other surprises though so at least she had something to be excited about. Plus she was not sure my sis in law was correct in what she thought because she is a bit ditz and we did not tell her that she was.

We left Saturday afternoon bags packed the kids thinking that we were going to the bday party and spending the night at my friends house. Then on to Seagoville the next day where we would pick up my brother in law Monday morning to entertain them while I had a Dr.'s appointment. My DD thought we were going on from there to our surprise trip. We made it into Plano about 5 Saturday evening and enjoyed the bday party. This is where our magic begins honestly. DH has never really considered adoption for us right now. He has always wanted to first have a biological child and then later on foster to adopt older children. My best friend is currently a foster mom to 3 children. The youngest is 1 will be 2 in Oct. and they have had him for close to a year now. There is a good chance they will end up adopting him because his home life is not working out unfortunately. She has had 2 little girls 8 and just turned 5 who she has had for a few months. She said when she first met them she automatically thought of us. They currently are up for adoption but have 2 brothers as well, and the state wants to place all 4 together. Not an easy task and the state has tried and failed to do this more than once already. It is a long story but the boys foster mom would like to adopt the boys and is not as interested in girls (she has never had girls only boys). DH told me that night after the party that he was interested in adoption ... now. We have decided to start the ball rolling and get certified to adopt. Whatever happens happens but the girls we think would be a very good fit for our family if the state decided to take what is available to place the children now. We will see what the state will certify us to do considering we already have 2 children. I have high hopes that it will all turn out for the best and we will be able to make a difference in at least one child's life. Maybe even 2 since we would prefer to take older children and small sibling groups both which are harder to place.

We spent the night sitting up talking about our December 08 trip that they are wanting to go with us on, and fostering to adopt. It definitely got us in the Disney mood.

We left her house Sunday afternoon and headed to Seagoville. Where we sat the kids down and had a long talk to get their opinions about adoption because it would effect their lives greatly as well. Both were very excited about the idea of having a little brother or sister or 2. We grabbed dinner to take back to the room and DH and I discussed it might be best to go ahead reveal that night instead of waiting until the next morning. DS can get overly excited about things and that might not be the best thing when trying to board a plane. We thought it was best that he got some time to get used to the idea. We told them that we had a big surprise for them when we got back to the room. DD told DS it was a trip and he got mad at her because he thought that was the surprise. We explained that she was right it was a trip but there was a lot more to it than that. When we got to the hotel I went to the bathroom and got the reveal stuff ready. Unfortunately my dial up will not let me upload the clip of the actual reveal so I will have to tell you about it for now. When I get access to some wifi I will upload it.

DS's bag of hints:
a box of hamburger helper (the white glove for Mickey's gloves)
just a couple of science experiments off of the Internet - to represent Stitch the science experiment
1 package of silly putty - to represent Goofy
1 set of song lyrics from any Aerosmith song to represent the Rock N Roller Coaster.

Then for DD -
a Magic Eraser - to represent Magic Kingdom
1 package of strawberry fruit bars- because Aurora was sent to pick berries while the fairies made their cake and kept switching the dress from blue to pink (DD is a huge Aurora fan)
a package of sour apple gum apples - they taste terrible and it's for Snow White DD does not like snow white
silly putty~ to represent Goofy

We gave them their bags and I must say I have never seen two more confused kids. DS took forever to catch onto the hamburger helper hint. DD who knew was even confused. She finally got it when she saw the Aerosmith lyrics of DS. She gets a HUGE grin said Alex that is AEROSMITH! Alex where do you know roller coaster plays Aerosmith? He replies RnRC in a confused voice. She screams we are going to WDW !!! Then gets so excited he just shakes and cannot talk when we confirm that yes we are going to WDW the next morning! He spent the night giggling and thanking us over and over again. We gave them the reveal bags that were filled with all kinds of Disney things I had gotten on clearance and printed off line. Including their pins I had bought for them to do pin trading and the autograph pages that I made for them. DS was to excited to go to sleep and in hind site we should have stuck with our original plan and not told them till the next morning because at the very least we would have gotten a good nights sleep.
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:51 PM   #5
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You have me hooked...what a great story so far. We were there the same time as you..July 29to Aug 3 at BWV...cannot wait to read more.
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:11 PM   #6
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Ok I am in. great start.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:19 AM   #7
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I'm there with you - great start, and I look forward to more!
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:16 AM   #8
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Thanks guys I may update more today but most likely will be tomorrow. We are going to the orientation for adoption today. :
Wow Dori! Did you enjoy your trip? Was the weather not great the days it rained so much! It cooled it off and ran so many out of the parks. We really enjoyed it.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:11 AM   #9
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great report

Great trip report. I'm officially hooked, can't wait to read more
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:34 AM   #10
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looking forward to hearing about the trip

Great start! Your family is beautiful.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:49 AM   #11
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Our First day in Disney :)

Well we managed to get some sleep thru Alex's giggles during the night. I think he might have slept an hour at most. We got up at 4 and got everything to the truck while the kids got dressed. We put the weekend stuff in a separate area to make sure I would not get it mixed up with our WDW stuff. We drove to my brother in laws house and he came out and drove us to DFW. I went ahead and bit the bullet and got a skycap because I over packed BADLY! I did not realize how much until this point but we ended up with 6 checked bags plus our carry ons etc. I guess the saddest thing about it is that we ended up using everything I packed and I even did laundry halfway thru the trip!

We stood in line and got checked in and found out I had a bag that was over the limit. So it was pay 25 dollars or move things around. I chose to move things around ... in hind site I would have paid the 25 bucks lol. The lady was really nice about it and even pulled me out of the regular line the second time I went thru to check the bags and just let me come up and check the 2 I had left. James said while we were waiting in line that if we did adopt we would have to mail some stuff down before we went because he could not imagine adding luggage for 2 more people to this. I kind of have to agree with him. The flight there was great no turbulence and we had a great crew. We made it to MCO about 11 and smooth sailing with check in at Magical Express. There was a family waiting next to us mom and grandma had disabilities ... they were so cranky already would hate to see them after the trip. They did not have a clue as to what was going on. If they would have read JUST the material Disney sent them they would have been a lot less cranky. I feel bad for people that do not plan and I realize I do over plan but I did not realize until today how many people just do not have a clue. How you can drop a couple of grand on a vacation and not do the homework is BEYOND me!

We checked in around 1 and our room was ready! We are not where I was told by guest services we would be but we are really close to both the lobby and the elevator so I was more than happy with it. We also did not get a full balcony, I am sure I could have gone downstairs and said something and got moved but honestly I could care less. James is the one that would have used it and he said he is fine with it so we are going to be happy that we are here in one piece and everything seems to be going as well as it has. Everyone is really nice at Beach Clue and very helpful. More so I think than the Dolphin, The room is nice James even thinks he likes it better! We both never thought we would like a Disney hotel better than the Dolphin but we are without a doubt hooked on BC now.

We decided about 2:30 to head to Epcot and the bottom dropped out which would have been awesome if we were in the park but we were stuck in the hotel and my family was not for running to the park. We decided to check out the hotel and upgrade our tickets. The lady at Concierge said this was not the typical afternoon shower so we headed back upstairs. Low and behold our bags were already here! So I unpacked everything that made it we had 2 stray ones but they made it shortly after. Woo Hooo we made it with everything we packed! A big deal to me because last trip we lost 2 bags and did not get them until the end of the trip. After we are done unpacking the clouds start to part so we decide to hit the park.
So we head out to Epcot since the rain had cooled it off we decide to walk it is definitely less than 5 minutes which is awesome. We stop at Guest Services to get Alex's bday pin for the next day and GAC card (no problems getting one either). When we entered the International Gateway Chip and Dale were there they are hysterical!



They were sliding everywhere because it was still wet. They looked like they were having a ball.

We headed into the world showcase. Got our photopass and started with the pictures. One of my favorite photopass pictures is always here so it was fitting that it was our first family picture at WDW this year.



We hit France because we saw Marie and Aurora/ Marie left before we got to her but Aurora was AWESOME! Exactly what you think of when you think of how Sleeping Beauty would act. She made a big deal over the kids autograph pages and talked to them about their pins. Shel has a bunch of Aurora pins so she was excited about seeing herself. Alex was not thrilled with her but he is not fond of any of the princesses. We left and watched the movie about France which is about 20 minutes and BEAUTIFUL! James and I both would love to see it in person now ... though I am still not sure because of what so many people have told us about it.

When we left everyone reminded me that they were hungry and I had promised we wold go to get something to eat from Electric Umbrella. I am still not sure why but my kids LOVE Electric Umbrella and we have to eat there at least once every trip. From there we hit Test Track. It was so COOL! Alex wanted to ride it again already! We told him we would come back to it but right now we were going to the WS. Shelby wanted to see the 9/11 flag from the WTC so we left and went to the US Pavilion. We watched the American Adventure movie which at first is extremely dull but by the end I was crying. Course now that I think about it I cried watching the stupid movies on Magical Express this morning too so that says nothing. James really liked it too and Shelby went to sleep, She went to ask a lady about the flag and ended up the CM was from Wichita Falls Texas !!! They talked for a while, Unfortunately the flag was moved 3 years ago. She did a pin trade with the CM and Alex is at this point still a bit stand offish about pin trading. Both of the kids wanted to stay in the WS so we had to tell them the surprise of the night. That we had a wishes cruise scheduled so we needed to go to make sure we were there on time.

We left and hit the Monorail to the Grand Floridian .... which has to be my least favorite place at WDW. We stay in Deluxes but that one feels as Shelby said Hoity Toity. I have no desire to ever stay there. We did the Wishes Celebration Cruise out of their Marina with a guy name DT. Gina and her family and Christine and her husband joined us for the cruise (both from Dis). DT was GREAT! He took us all over the lake and told us all kinds of cool things. We bought James beer from GF private dining and he told us next time to just bring it on with us that no one will say anything. We saw the Electrical Water Parade and the kids loved it, I was s excited because when I booked they said we would not be able to see it but he took us to Wilderness Lodge to watch. I cannot imagine ever fighting people to watch it in the parks again. The view is SO much better from the water!!!! We ended up paying 35 each to do it after splitting it with some other people from Dis, plus DT let Gina's husband come along even though he made number 11. We did the Celebration cruise and it is decorated so it is more so it could have been cheaper. They give you snacks and drinks on the boat and the Wishes music is piped right in. Picture of our boat and driver. Not the best because my batteries were going dead and the extras were in the 2 bags I had not unpacked lol.



I of course cried it was AWESOME though ... James even agreed! Even Alex was in awe! He just snuggled up and laid back and watched the fireworks. To me the cruise makes the experience more intimate. We really really enjoyed it DT our driver when we got back told Shelby she could take all the snacks because the more she took the less he had to put back up lol. Of course he did not have to tell her twice. So the kids ended up having snacks for our trip all week from the cruise. Anyway it was great, Gina took this picture of us after we got back to the docks.



We took the monorail to MK and then the bus back to BC. I think in the future if we are not going to a park we will take a cab back just because that was a lot of moving around to get where we needed to be. The trip on the monorail at night was beautiful though.

We got back to the room and everyone took their shower and got ready for bed. Surprisingly they did not fall asleep immediately but it did not take long.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:06 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing - can't wait for the rest!
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:56 PM   #13
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Alex's birthday at MGM

We got up at 630 this morning and went to eat breakfast at Ohana ( Stitch character breakfast). We took a cab over and I learned that they do not go by times with the cab company. I called while we were still upstairs and requested a cab for 7 AM. We got downstairs at 6:50 and waited and no cab. What had happened is our cab had come straight over and someone had gotten it because we were not down yet. So lesson learned call from the curb. It did not take long waiting on another cab though.

We had breakfast there at 730 and I really like being there when it opens. The kids were really tired. The next time I plan a wishes cruise I will not plan an early morning the next morning... I know I was warned! We had a GREAT breakfast though. They serve it family style which is really nice, I really liked not having to get up to fix plates. We had probably 15 to 20 minutes of eating before the characters started. I have heard how wild and crazy Stitch can be but sadly he did not get wild with us. I still got some great pictures with the kids. Funnily enough Lilo is the one I was least excited about being there and she was the best! She got Alex to give her a kiss!!!! My slow shutter speed on my stupid camera made me miss it!!!



This was right after he had given her a kiss.



And she gave him one back.



Shel and Lilo

We also saw Mickey and Pluto. Alex told me that was the best breakfast he has ever had lol. James is now sold on the Polynesian so depending on what we can figure out with our future family we may try and stay there the next time we go. We never thought he would think about staying there. So we are thrilled that he is looking beyond the Epcot hotels.

The kids were still tired from the night before. So I asked if we wanted to skip opening MGM and just go back and sleep a bit but by the time breakfast was over they were already very awake and said no. So we left and went to MGM to celebrate Alex's birthday. This was not Alex's actual birthday it was on the 21st, but it was the day we chose to celebrate it at WDW. Since the trip was for both of their birthdays.

We made it through the gates and were just behind everyone that waited at rope drop. I was honestly surprised we made it that early. We actually walked in at the back of the group so we got the slow walk in. We headed first of course to Rock-in Roller Coaster. It is one of Alex's favorites and so we had to ride it twice before we could go do anything else. Here is our yearly picture of James and the kids waiting for the HA car at Rn-RC.



Alex had a ball to say the least. Here they are coming back from the second ride.



Alex wanted to ride Rn-RC again but Shel talked him into giving it a rest for a bit and riding ToT.
We headed to Tower of Terror. I noticed the fog in the que this time which I did not notice when we were there in November. Not sure if maybe it was just not going then because of the weather being cool. Or if it was because it was basically a walk on the days we were there before and there was of course a wait this time. The ride itself was so much better than the last time we rode it! I had heard that it was a little different each time but last time was COMPLETELY different!!! It was really cool.
We left that area of the park and of course before we went we had to get the ToT picture.



We rode the Great Movie Ride next which was OK the guy we had last time was better. I had hoped we would get the cowboy scenario but no such luck it was the gangster one like before. We ran to Indiana Jones after but had just missed it. So we went to Sounds Dangerously with Drew Cary which was something we probably will not do again lol. It did kill some time though, and gave Shel an opportunity for a nap. The rain set in while we were waiting and in the show but it had pretty much let up by the time we got out. We left from there and went back to Indiana Jones, they cannot reset the show while there is lightening in the vicinity so we waited a while. Honestly I would not have been so dead set on seeing it this morning if we had not worn our Indiana Jones shirts. The cast members were trading pins with Alex and Shelby and talking about how cute their shirts were. I was so glad the kids had gotten into pin trading this trip because it gave them something to do instead of being so very bored! Finally they decided to go ahead with the show but because of the rain they did a modified version. Basically it meant the first half of the show is nixed out. The scenes with the boulder and all of that. I think Alex was a bit disappointed but he enjoyed the part we did see. James and I also thought it was a different guy than was there our last trip. I am not sure if they have more than one guy that does the show but it would make sense if they did.

We decided to come back and take a nap and a shower. Shel was so sleepy before we got back but perked up as soon as we walked into the hotel. We had a 5:30 pm dinner at Spoodles and thought we would just relax at the hotel until then. We did not do much sleeping because the kids quickly got excited to be at Disney again. Plus they brought Alex's card from Mickey and Minnie and his balloons complimentary which was awesome! Gotta love anything free right? After everyone had had a shower we decided to head out to the Boardwalk.

We left about 445 and headed to Spoodles so we could walk around a bit first. I guess the rest of my family decided we should just go ahead and eat instead so that is what we did lol. They were not busy at all we went in and checked in and they went ahead and seated us even though we were almost 30 minutes early. Spoodles was wonderful! Our server and he was great to say the least.
First they brought bread and an oil dipping sauce.





The kids both got flat bread as an appetizer which they loved and I tried as well it was really good.



James had the lamb kabobs which he really liked but I took his word for.



and I had calamari which was on a plate with banana peppers and a sauce that made it even better. It was great even Alex loved it.



For main course Alex had pepperoni flat bread (not on the menu but Daniel offered to make him something different since he could not find something he wanted on the menu) and he loved it.



Shelby ordered the linguine with garlic and shrimp



and I ordered the rigatoni with sausage an d mushrooms and tomatoes



She decided she did not like the linguine though and we switched which I was more than happy about! The Rigatoni reminds me of lasagna but the linguine was awesome. James had a pork chop and it was huge!



I had asked our waiter about the cost of the glow tink and hook and kind of gulped when he gave me the price. Asked if we could skip dessert for James and I get the kids the glow things and he said unfortunately no. Told him that was no biggie it was worth a try lol and asked to bring James and I our desserts in a to go box. I ordered the 2 kinds of cakes for James. Shel had gelato which she loved and Alex had a build your own Sundae. It was cool when they brought it out to him they had a candle and sang happy birthday to him it was cute. He loved the Sundae.



When he brought out our to go boxes one of them was glowing. He winked and said that is between you and me. Definitely pixie dust because it was not on the tab. I paid and we left for the hotel because we all had leftovers. I must say that next year I will enjoy being someplace with a microwave for the Spoodles leftovers alone!

We talked about staying in the room but Alex wanted to ride Rn-RC one more time. So he and I decided to head back to MGM again, and Shelby agreed she wanted to go with us. James hung back because he never got his nap. I only did photopass pictures of us at night because I was busy doing the kid things that James and I usually take turns dealing with. I know I could do it on my own but it really made me think about how thankful I am to have him. He helps me so much with Alex. We ended up riding Rn-RC 3 times. We pretty much told Alex that was it we were not going again after or else we would have rode it until the park closed lol. We left there and did the TOT one more time. Much more relaxed than the earlier ride. I talked the kids into heading home afterward. I am by now worn out and we have a big day again tomorrow. We stopped and got James a burger because he called for us to get one and headed back on the boat. We rode back on the back of the boat. I always love that ride at night. We got back to the room and the guy had come for turn down service for the room and James had him just do the kids bed they loved it! Once again it did not take long after a shower to fall asleep.

The next installment we hit MK and have our long awaited meet with Mack and Capt. Jack!
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:08 PM   #14
scottny
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Great update. I also had that make your own sundae at Spoodles and it was good. other than that I did not care for the place. The pics look great also.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:34 PM   #15
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Loving the report!

What is a glowing Tink?
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