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Old 09-22-2007, 06:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Coteau-du-Lac, Qc, Canada
Posts: 368

The cha cha trip or Could there be LESS magic, the trip is not ruined yet...!

Hi all fellow DISers!

As you can very well see by my post count, I’m a newbie here! Unlike many out there, I didn’t lurk for long before joining. Well... of course, I still lurk without posting (some could also say I just don’t talk without having something meaningful to say!), which explains that unlike others, I’ve gone for more than a month with less than 20 posts instead of more than 100…

I’m even more of a newbie when it comes to a Pre-TR (and I’m hoping I'll do a TR when I come back to that very first trip to the Mouse, but we’ll get on that later).

So for all that “newbieness”, I’ll ask for your patience and tolerance : I’m not very used to DIS insides, DIS slang… and even some DIS abbreviations for that matter. (in fact, there are even some american or plain english slangs or uses I’m not used to, english being only my second language…). Of course I could add insides, slang and abbreviations from what I read on other posts, but I feel it would be trying to be someone I’m not, just hoping to fit in more and for what? (Not to forget I’d take the risk of using words in ways I don't understand and make a fool of myself! Now… maybe some of you would get a good hard laugh -and I do hope to make some of you laugh along the way- but… hum, not that way!)

OK. I already don’t know where to start! "Background story" or "Characters"?

Rock, paper, cisors… Wait, I must be two to play that.
Head or Tail? Background : Tail, Characters : Head (don’t you see the analogy?). I’m flippin’ the quarter right now… (Think I’m kidding? I just lost 30 seconds lookin’ for the dam quarter and then got stuff thrown all over my desk in the process of getting it – I’m clumsy like that sometimes).

So? So what? Oh! Tail. Background story.

Background story :
Nope. All that for nothing. I realize I must start with the characters! I’ll start by “I …” or “we…” and if you don’t know who “I” am or who “we” are… it won’t work.

(see… I told you I was a newbie!)

Warning/Side note
I’m a big talker. I’m an even bigger writer. In french, we have what we call “romans-fleuve”, which I would translate as river-novels… Which are huuuge books with an almost never-ending story in them. Where am I going with this? That people say I usually write river-novel emails (or letters, or whatevers). So brace yourselves. I shouldn't include anything insignificant or stupid (not my style, honestly). I just tend to over explain, give examples, add brackets and write in a “proper” way… Not with a lot of abbreviations, "txt msgn stl" or anything like that… (I went to college in arts & litterature, if that can explain part of it…)
End of warning/side note

AnnieDan_Artlover aka Annie-Danielle aka Dan aka Me aka I
28 years old, 5’7“, brown hair (were shoulder length, then had them shaved last june to raise money for children with cancer. Now about 1” long… Many people like it, I don’t. It’s better now, but I thought I looked like a guy.) and a pale complexion. The kind people often think you’re ill.
Now, about that… before, they were wrong and I thought it was pretty funny… Now… it’s fair to say they’re right on! In fact, they often say I look good... and I'm not! (thank goodness for makeup!)
Or should I say, I've always been sick in a way, but not THAT way, as I am today.
Lemme explain (sorry people, sad and dull part ahead aka medical explanation) :
I have Ehler-Danlos Type III Syndrome (otherwise referred to as EDS later).

For those unfamiliar with, it’s a genetic disease involving mainly the connective tissue, and for type III, it involves the joints. Simply put : I have hypermobile joints. All of 'em. Even those you don't think as joints...

I always sprained easily and later I started tearing ligaments (after many sprains, they were becoming kinda worn out). And if you don’t know it : torned ligaments never really heal. ...The list of what's never been sprained is shorter than the other way 'round.

I developed osteoarthritis, from all the tiny, microscopic injuries (and big ones!) my ligaments sustained all over my body. I had to stop dancing (a whole year after doctors had ordered me to stop!) and stop playing most sports. After I received the EDS diagnostic and learned what caused injuries, I had less of 'em. But still : the pain gets more and more intense with each passing year and I sustain injuries more and more easily.

Also, both my kneecaps are kinda chipped (premature aging because of the illness), so I’ll have Synvisc injections soon, to help the joints move better and hurt less… I sure hope it helps at least a little.

Wow… That sure was long for nothing Disney at all! And it was only half! (you'll see what I mean in the next post!)

No one will read me!

But I don’t know... I soooo want people to understand. Not only about why we’ll do things the way we’ll do them in WDW but also who I am... because of course the illness don't MAKE me who I am, but it affects me and it makes me a survivor to day-to-day life... But mostly, I want to explain so people understand about those illesses… They are so misunderstood! (THOSE illnesses I said? There are more than one? hmmm you'll have to read the next post to understand! If you have the courage!)

I promise, my posts... after the next one, won't be neither 1)all about me (well, not more than other pre-trippies or TRs, it's all in a way about ourselves, but... Argh, you know what I mean, dangit!)
2) not a medical journal!

Oooh, How about some pictures before we go?!

That was the "before" pic. And what I usually look like...

That one is the "after" pic. I now have hair, like I said. Maybe I'll have a photo ready in a latter post.

More to come...

Last edited by AnnieDan_Artlover; 09-27-2007 at 03:08 PM. Reason: was too dam long!!! And I'm a perfectionnist... / Edit #2 : Pictures!!!
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:31 PM   #2
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The longest intro to a pre-trippie... part 2

Hi again!
Now... I left you all with that oh-so-not-cliffhanger of "illnesses".

What? There was more than EDS? Sadly. Yes.

So, on with that other part of myself.
I’m also stuck with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I don’t think there was ever a worst name for an illness.

Another person with CFS said : it’s like if Parkinsons was called “Chronic Shakiness Syndrome” or Alzheimers “Chronic Forgetfullness Syndrome”... Meaning CFS is much more than fatigue, that fatigue isn’t even the most characteristic part of the illness.

There was in 2003 a government comittee that found a new name for CFS. But it’s report was shelved because of politics and the new name was forgotten. It’s a very long story, very sad, because the new name was wonderful. It explained very well what the illness was about and wasn’t judgmental. I’m trying to get people to use it and to get the movement going again.
This name is Neuroendocrineimmune Dysfunction Syndrome. NDS.
I know it’s hard to take in at once. But if you get it in chunks, it’s not so bad : Neuro, Endocrine, Immune. Dysfunction. Syndrome. Which means The neurological, endocrine and immune systems all don’t work as they should.

Apart from my joints problems, I was doing fine... When at 24 I got suddenly ill, very ill. From one day to the next, all my life, with hopes and future plans, was gone.

My list of symptoms is too long to list. But mainly, if I try to explain it simply and in short, it’s like I’ve struck a big, mean cold, with a 24/7 headache (migraine-type) and I lost a lot of my cognitive functions. After getting college & bachelor’s degrees, now I often have trouble doing simple math, reading the newspaper, writing takes me a loooong time (I developed mild dyslexia) and I have many cardiovascular problems (mostly orthostatic intolerance, which means I can’t stand nor walk for a long time without fainting). Exercising makes it worst as I don't have enough blood in my body.
The symptoms vary a lot. There are good and bad weeks, days, it can even vary by the hour. Of course it depends a lot on what I do. My best friend is pacing. Not overdoing it when I feel good, resting a lot, etc.
NDS(CFS) is a very complex illness. It took me years to learn how to deal with it, and I’ve not yet mastered it. I’m just better at it now than I was before.

I’m under very strong pain meds (same kind cancer patients take), those are as much for NDS-related headaches as for EDS joints pain.

As much for the joints pain as for the weakness and exhaustion, I often use a cane. In the next months, I’ll get my first very own wheelchair............
In a way I’m truly happy. Because I’ll be able to enjoy more some outings, because I’ll be able to not cut short those outings. Also because I really like the chair I chose (silly as it sounds…).
But I’m really not happy that the first trip EVER I’ll make at WDW will be in that chair.

OK, apart from the medical backstory. Who am I?
I’m a very passionate girl. And very artistic. I was a dancer, I did some singing (I still do, a little, but find it hard because I'm short of breath now), musicals… did theatre in college (wasn’t that good… too inhibited… HATED improv). I play piano (not as much today, hard to concentrate now). I paint, draw (mostly, I copy comic strips… not copy like tracing over, but trying to imitate it, larger or smaller, for instance)… I did ceramic painting when I lived in Montreal and there was a shop/studio/café specialized in that and I do a little wood painting… I also do some crafts and scrapbooking ( I bought a lot of scrapbooking stuff, then I realized I bought a little of each theme, but not enough of any theme to start any project! I’m going to remediate to that soon!).
And now I'm doing a lot of photography... pro photography. I sell some of my stuff and am equipped entry-level pro. I love it, but can't do lots... always because of my health. So I say I'm an amateur being pro and work very very part-time! I mostly do nature pics but also some sports (like figure skating/cheerleading). Of course since it's mostly been a career reorientation kinda thing, I'm only starting!

Here's an example (but of course, compressed-low quality so it could fit)

My biggest problem is wanting to do a gazillion things at once. I have a list of projects I want to do, I now have my own room in the house and my own space to do them in (I had to move back with my parents because I can’t live alone anymore –too dangerous… plus I can’t take care of the routine stuff everyday… fix meals, do the laundry, etc.) but I can’t do most : I don’t feel well enough, don’t have time, etc. (Yeah, even someone who can’t work can manage to not have enough time!)

I love to see shows : all kind of shows. (I had a one-year class on showbusiness production and worked behind the scenes, mostly as director and stage manager, and that was my dream job… I sooo wanted to work for Cirque du Soleil… and sadly by the one time I got the chance to get an interview… I couldn’t go because I had gotten sick. I even tried to work for shows on Disney cruise ships and at Disneyland Paris! But they didn’t hire for such jobs…).

I’m also a big, big kid at heart. I’ve got most Disney movies (along with many other animated), love stuffed animals and many would go as far as saying I'm childish (in what I love! Not how I act! Silly!)

I've been wanting to go to Disney, BAD, for all my life. Or, to be realistic, for about 25 years : since I’ve been conscious of it’s existence. But my parents were never big travelers (not after my birth anyways… more about that later), and I only understood some months ago why we’ve never been. Each time I would hear about friends or family going, I would be sooo jealous, and sooo sad. I would always hope that by some miracle, I could join them. Now, that was because I really wanted to go, because I always hated sleepovers! (I was a mama’s girl… but mostly a “comfy at home” girl!).
Now, many say “we didn’t go to Disney, but went on vacation each year". No, not me.
I did a big total of 3 family vacations with my parents, never more than a week : Once as a 2 year old (where?), the others back to back at 15 and 16 years old (Old Orchard & Wildwood). All other trips I did were school trips (4 of 'em... longest was 3 days).
Oh, wait. I did do trips later! As a grown-up. Twice to the Bahamas (oh-so wonderful, especially the first time. I wish I could live there...), 1 road-trip in the north-eastern states and Ontario to do theme-parks and a little sightseeing... and some short trips close to home to see figure skating competitions (big figure skating fan here!). For ex. we're going to Quebec City for 5 days in about a month for the Skate Canada competition. (woo-hoo!)

In this house, the “please, pleeease, pretty pretty pleeease, can we go on vacation????” didn’t work. AT ALL. In fact, it made whatever the situation even worst.
Oh, of course I tried it. Especially adding "...to Disney?" once in awhile.
But I have to say, I loooove to travel. It’s in me. I knew it even before I went anywhere... so I had to try my parents for ANYWHERE!. But trying was all I could do. Not insist. NEVER.

I never traveled much and can travel even less now (mostly because of money), but travel is another passion of mine and I put all my savings into it.

So how on earth am I able to finally have my dream come true? Well... it comes later, but don't you think you need to know "the others" first?

Of course you do... But you'll have to wait for the next post for that!

Bye bye!

Last edited by AnnieDan_Artlover; 09-26-2007 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Too long too (and didn't stop being a perfectionist!)
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:47 PM   #3
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The others... A short post for a change! (by comparison!)

Well now it’s time to meet :

DM aka Mama aka Ginette (it’s pronounce Gee-net).
Exactly my height (yeah, it’s been a while, I know : 5’7”), brown short hair.

Sorry for the bad quality... You'll get to see much better ones in the TR!

Cool compared to most ladies her age (does wonders on Excel and Word, has her own GameCube, has silly moments that can have me … poor knees of mine!...) but has her “old generation” moments. She can be real rigid too. And I’m not speaking about rules, but psychologically. She tends to buck for weird reasons and reacts aggressively then... Is afraid of what she doesn’t understand. But understands a lot.
She also, sadly, has a lack of passion. Either she lost whatever she has or she never had any (or she hides it pretty well). She likes things, but is not passionate about anything. Let’s just say : I’m not getting that passionate side from her!

We have a mostly wonderful relationship, but sometimes we clash. I don’t think the other way around would be normal, but it’s still sad when it happens.
The thing that makes us clash the most is my father, mostly because of the atmosphere he creates.

After more than 35 years together, I believe he has messed with her psychologically up to a point (I mean, after many years of hiding under your shell and pretending nothing's happening when all hell breaks loose...)

So… here he is, even though is not coming with us on the trip... so you can understand a little more :

Dad aka Robert (in french, his name is pronounced Rob-Air)

No, he's not mad in this picture, just squinting!

Alcoholic. And with social inabilities. Like communication problems and weird social patterns. We used to think he only had alcohol/drugs problems (which were very, very enough)... yeah, he smokes pot daily too... But now we know the alcoholism/drug abuse is only part (altough big) of the problem, because my father isn’t able to get the normal clues of communication right and can’t get them across right either.
That’s why even sobre (which is quite rare), a conversation that would be normal with other people can turn into a full front confrontation with him.
He can also be quite delusionnal about his place in the world vs. the others...
Of course, we also firmly believe that his alcohol and marijuana intake (plus his drugs intake when he was younger) have done some brain damage. To what extent we don’t know, but my mom and I realize he’s not the same.
Most people don't notice a thing unless he's very drunk/stone or he's in a bad day and his weird ideas shows... But then, most people would just think he's... weird! (some dislike him then, but I don't know many who realize he drank!)

So, what’s it like? Living with a time bomb. He’s not physically violent, but verbally very agressive. We take care of not doing this or say that not to set him off… But we can just talk about the weather and that’s it!

We walk on glass most of the time, we live through many rows, he’ll often sulk like a little child and such. On top of it, he takes my illness seriously only part of the time (like when I’m lying on the kitchen floor for 30 minutes and for the hours following that…), but if he has to wash a plate I left in the sink, he immediately is sure I left it there because I’m just plain lazy…

He’s really resentfull and can remember bad things for decades (I’m not joking!), but good things seem to evaporate. (for ex. He holds a grudge because in my terrible 2’s I always said “no” and would refuse to do as he said!!! Altough I’m not sure if he’s getting cuckoo and turned that memory around like that in his head only recently or really always remembered it sickly like that…)

But he does have good sides… it’s just sad, because we can see those less and less often.

Before I was able to hold on by telling myself : “yeah, he’s bad those ways, but he’s also good those ways… And we had that good day yesterday, and that other night we did that together and had fun”, and such… But since I’m back at the house… we didn’t have many good moments I can hold on to.
But that good is still in him : he’s generous and can be kind (when sobre!), has a huge sense of humour (well, when he gets it…... Hum… I’ll just tell the good and you assume it’s in the good days, OK?!)
He’s the one that gave me my artistic side, my passion for music and for watching shows.
And in the most surprising moments, he'll understand me. Sometimes when mama won't have...
He can also be very helpful. You know : reparing things, helping with painting a room, moving, mostly hands-on stuff. A dad!

So, now you have all characters and a lot of background on them… (too much, I know! Hey, at least I won’t repeat it for the TR!). I'll spare you the other characters not coming on the trip. If they ever appear on the pre-trippie or the TR I'll present them.

Now, I'll try posting some pictures in here somewhere to make it more fun... Wish me luck! Oh, yeah, I first have to put the pictures on photobucket... which I don't have an account for yet! Hum. Well, that'll have to wait! It'll come soon, promise!

Next up : How did it happen?! (yay, finally!)

Last edited by AnnieDan_Artlover; 09-26-2007 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Added pics!
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:45 PM   #4
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How did it happen?

Now, the background story on the vacation…

So I had always wanted to go to Disney. Never had been able to go.

And then, one day as I was on a short trip in Quebec City with Mama I asked her how come she and my dad never wanted to travel, when they had traveled quite a lot as youngsters... I told her I didn’t understand and found it sad that I loved to travel so much but they always refused to travel with me, either together or separatly.

It made her think…
A couple days later, she told me she’d like to return to WDW!

Now, sometimes Mama just says things she doesn’t really mean because she wants to please, and later thinks things trough and changes her mind… So I wasn’t too sure and didn’t want to believe her too much. You cannot count how many times in the following days, weeks, months I asked : You really do?

She then told me about her first visit to the house of the Mouse.
It was a 2-day MK visit (off-site) during a Florida trip, with Dad and another couple they’d just met in Montreal and decided to drive down with. To make it short, Dad ruined her Disney trip. Completely. Incapable of letting the child inside him get out, he just saw the bad and refused the see the good. Mr. glass half-empty.. or full of *&$@.
Too much marketing. Too hot. Too long queues. And his exaggeration did the rest (and today his memory makes it even worst). An hour-long queue for a 5 minute ride became a 3-hours queue for a 30 seconds ride. Most people know that there’ll be waits in Disney, that it can be hot (especially if you go in the summer!), that it can be crowded and that, of course, like any company, there’ll be marketing. You can either decide to see it and discard it, take it with a grain of salt (and even laugh about it!) and see the good instead , or be mad about it all, not see what can be good in the place and decide to never set foot in there ever. What is obviously how Dad did it. Which ruined it for Mama. She couldn’t have fun : whenever she tried, Dad was irritated and scowled. Whatever she found good, he replied with what he found bad. She wanted to ride IASM… she couldn’t. Mama isn't resentfull at all. But she still resents those MK days. And when talking about it, is still mad at Dad for ruinind WDW for her.

That’s why I say I realize now why we never went as a family. How could we? Dad saw (and still sees) Disney as a stupid, costly, mercantile, sticky hot and awfully busy place (no planning or fastpasses could do it for him, he's too convinced that place is wrong that he just won't rationalize)
Mama saw it as a place where we couldn’t have fun with him. And at the time, she couldn’t imagine us going on a trip without him. And I don’t believe that, when I was a kid, I would’ve either!

So we began thinking of going to Disney, just Mama and me. The trip that I never had as a kid, and the one she didn’t get right as a young woman. We would do what we wanted and take our time. Just the two of us.

At the time, there was talk that the local company office where Mama worked was going to close. At first she was a little sad and anxious, but not for long. She was tired and the company had changed hands lately, and she didn’t like her job anymore because it changed… So she was happy that it would soon be over and she would have a loooong vacation!

That’s when we decided we would go to WDW a couple of months after she would get slacked. So she could get some rest before the trip. Being off work for the trip would be the best! Since I’m ill we’d need to really take it slow, and if she’d be working we would need to get back home sooner…
We dreamed of going for at least a whole week and either driving or taking a train down there.

Then the time where they were supposed to close the office came… and went!
They didn’t even set a new closing date! Mama was on the fence. She was tired but it meant more money in the bank… And even though she wants to go to Disney, it’s not as high on her list as on mine. When I heard “we’re not closing yet”. I heard “we’re not going to WDW yet”. Of course for her it couldn’t be what she heard first : it meant she still had to wake up everyday to go to work! But I mean… I almost had to remind her what it meant for WDW!

I almost thought about our trip every day. Each time she talked about work and how things slowed down or picked up, rumors of closing or not, I thought "WDW trip"!

And then, finally! Last August, a boss came to deliver the good (well, he thought it was a bad) news. The office was to close on October the 31st 2007.
Yay!!! Woo-hoo!!! Mama and me did some serious happy dancin’!
There had been some rumors goin’ on for a couple weeks, so we had already made our decision final (we. were. GOING!) and I had been doin' some serious research (and, yeah, of course : spreadsheets!). Disney website and such. And that’s when I discovered the DIS! Not long after I discovered PassPorter and TGM. As soon as we had confirmation of Mama’s sacking date, we could make the ressies!

Next up. The ressies. And how are we going to get there?

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Old 09-27-2007, 05:28 PM   #5
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The ressies. And how are we going to get there?

When we got the confirmation that the office was to close on October the 31st, we had already some work done. Well… I had a lot work done, and Mama had sat with me a little, given me some cues and limits to work with and some ideas of what she wanted and didn’t want.

See, I’m on social security-disability income (you could almost say : no income!) so she’ll pay for most of the trip… I’ll pay for all I can and I’m saving all I can for the trip, but… we just can’t count on that.
Also, altough she does wonders on Excel and can be pretty good on planning, she hates it when it's for personnal stuff. She doesn’t want to spend hours online doing research on WDW, make Word files for the info gathered, spreadheets to compare costs and such.
Those are things I love-love-love to do!
So she pays, I do the job. I suggest, we decide mostly together, but as the payer, she has the veto. (But I have to say, this being my first WDW trip and my dream trip, the veto isn’t being used too much and would be used mostly on stuff too costly that we couldn’t afford).

Right at the beginning, or almost, we decided against a value resort.
1) Far. I can't walk long distances and will be in a manual wheelchair...
2) I need peace. I can need afternoon naps; we don’t intend on getting up at the crack of dawn but we do intend to go to bed before midnight… or at least, if we want to, we want to be able to…

I like the looks of the value resorts and will try to make time to go snap pictures there, but have heard about thin walls and kids running around early and late, and of teenagers screaming all day and especially late. We can’t take a chance…

Mama would’ve liked to stay at the Contemporary very much, because she saw it while on the monorail in her first stay. But she quickly decided against it when I gave her the price… We could've went for a night or two, but she hates split stays. She doesn’t like it THAT much… (I personally don't like it very much, just it's location)

We hesitated a little between the moderates, but decided on… da da daaaam :

Port Orleans French Quarters.
We both fell in love with the theming. And the look. And the peace.

Before we could make the ressies, we had to know how we’d get there, right? Since that would kinda influence the departure and arrival dates…

Mama doesn’t like to fly. At all. Having a bachelor’s degree in psychology, I hate it when people keep from doing something because of unrational fears… I have a “note-to-self” in my head to make sure I’m getting her to take a flight sometime. Because it’s not a phobia for her, just one of her unrational fears she doesn’t want to face (think it's the same? Think again! It's a question of levels). Anyways, we’re not flying.
Mama loves-loves-loves taking a train. I do too. But. It can be tricky and costly. If we were to go to WDW by train, we would have to either take the train right here (we have a station 5 minutes from our home) to Montreal, then to New York, then change for another train to Orlando. Or we drive to Montreal and skip that part.

We'd need to sleep in NY because the connecting train is only the next day (same thing when we’d return). But the worst part? The NY-Orlando train ride is almost 24 hours long! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t sleep very well, even if the seats go down a little… I would surely lose a whole day, if not more, in WDW, because with my health, I don’t react well to being tired.
On top of it all, it's as costly as the plane or the car (taking the hotel into account).
So we decided to drive. But we’ll have to rent a car for a month (well, about 3 weeks). Because Mama’s car doesn’t have A/C nor cruise control. Heat is my enemy. It alone can make me faint. And with my bad knees, cruise control helps a lot (I intend to drive as much as possible. I love to drive and… well, Mama doesn’t!).
That adds almost 1000$ to the budget. I'm dreaming of a miracle on that account. Will Disney magic happen?

Up next : The ressies... for real!
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
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The ressies... for real!

So here are, finally, the trip dates… unless a change happens (I’m on the DIS, aren’t I?)

We’ll be leaving home on Sunday April the 27th, not too early in the morning (around 10am probably) and we should arrive at WDW on Wednesday April the 30th in the morning (around 11am)...

With my health, I need plenty of rest and breaks. That’s the reason we’re doing the +/- 24hrs drive from Quebec (near Montreal) to WDW in almost 4 days. We won’t do long stretches of driving at once, won’t leave early, won’t stop late, but will have long nights' sleep!

That's what we thought.

Didn't you see something a little weird just then? Arriving at Disney around 11am? Now, there's streching the drive to be sure I arrive at Disney and still am able to enjoy my trip, and streeeeetch it.

Can anybody tell me the difference in sleeping in a motel on a Tuesday, getting up, leaving at 9h30am and driving for 1h30 to get to Disney around 11am

and driving for 1h30 that Tuesday and arriving at Disney that same day? Anyone? Anyone? (Bueller? Bueller?) Well I do. It's called bad use of Microsoft Streets & Trips and a scaredy cat Mama... It's called being stu-pid.
It's the difference between enjoying an extra night in the House of the Mouse instead of in any Motel... (OK, I admit it, it also means about 50$/night more for that said night, but hey...!)

I redid the whole itinerary, and whadayaknow : even with all breaks, stops and long nights we needed, we are scheduled to arrive at Disney around dinner time on Tuesday the 29th! Woo-hoo!

But... could we add that night to our ressie? That was stressful! Mama hates the idea of a split-stay (I don't love it, I don't hate it).

(OK, I know, what's the difference between staying at that said motel for a night and then transfer to Disney's POFQ or spend a night at any other Disney resort and then tranfer to POFQ, you say? I know... None. But it'd still be better to just extend our stay at POFQ.)

We’re dealing with the wonderful Rhonda at DU. As for now, she’s doing a superb job! And guess what people? She could extend our ressie!

We finally decided on a complete 14 days stay (with 15 nights). (Mama almost wanted to just leave one day earlier since we added a night! )

So we’re leaving on May the 14th, which is a wednesday (in the morning). And we should be back home either in the evening of Friday the 16th or somewhere in the next day. The thing is : we have tickets for a show at 8pm Saturday the 17th. So I’d prefer if we could arrive on the Friday, so we’d get a full night’s sleep and some rest the next day, before the show.

We intend on making reservations for the motels we'll be sleeping at along the way (we know it won't be the high season, but don't want to take any chances)... We'll plan our drive back as to be home on Friday the 16th in the evening... If we can do it in 3 days in one way, we should be able to do it on our way back too!

As for POFQ, we requested, for medical reasons (less walking for me or pushing the wheelchair for Mama), building #2. It’s close to the boat launch, the pool, the foodcourt and the bus stop... Or should I say : close to everything! And it has elevators so we shouldn’t have a problem with the wheelchair. The good thing is if we get that building we are sure not to get a parking view, 'cause if the maps I saw are right : there are no parkings near that building!

Of course, as you surely noticed, I began this pre-trippie after the fact.

Woh , don't get worried! Not that much after the fact! The trip hasn't happen yet!

But you know... I was telling the story in a "once upon a time" manner... Now I've pretty much caught up and it feels better! After all, a pre-TR isn't to tell a story as much as a kind of blog to tell what's going on and chat with other DISers about what we could be forgetting and such, and get insight, suggestions and tips!
Don't hesitate to give me some!!! (Hey, lurkers out there! It's you I'm talking to! Don't be shy!)

So I guess you guys are now up-to-date and next posts will be normal pre-trippie stuff!

Trip dates updated : April 27th - May 16th
in WDW : April 29th - May 14th
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:13 PM   #7
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Argh, the indecisionS!

First, before I forget... I promised you all a picture of me with hair. (less scarier).
So... Last saturday, while I had my hair still looking allright coming back from a ballet show, I remembered and asked Mama to take a pic.

Well... she'll have to practice before the trip, doesn't she?!

I have great news!
I forgot to tell you before. It's not last-minute news... We have known now for about a week...
WE WON'T HAVE TO RENT A CAR!!!! Yep, Disney magic happened!
Dad will lend us his car! Woo-hoo! We were sure it couldn't happen, because he's working part-time (pre-retirement), and since he works on the road, he really needs his car to do so! But... drum roll.... He decided he, too, would take a much needed break at the same time we'll go on vacation! His employee will replace him full-time instead of doing 3-days a week, for the whole 3 weeks we'll be gone! (And in case she just can't do it for whatever reason, well they'll switch cars on Dad's days. His employee will take Mama's car and Dad'll take his employee's for those days). All this because he needs a minivan to work...

This means we'll drive in style!
Well... not in style. But in comfort!
With A/C, cruise control, much needed leg space, more than enough space for all our luggage and the wheelchair... OK, it'll cost a little more in gas than the type of car we would've rented, but we'll save a lot still!
Let me just say, I did a heck of a happy dance when I heard the news!

2 days ago I received the Disney calendar I had ordered on Amazon. It's the 16 months magical memories one. I wanted (not wanted, NEEDED) a calendar. To do a countdown! I have no kids. I'm not one anymore. But how come only kids can have a countdown calendar, uh, uh??? I wanted one.
Now, I've also bought stickers, a lot of them. And I intend on decorating my calendar.

OK, on with the infamous indecisionS. Yeah. You read it right. With an equally infamous S.
First there's the ADRs.
As I've said. Mama hates plans, hates being tied to decisions made 6 months (and a couple of days...) in advance. Having to decide now what to eat then. Etc, etc, etc. And I agree more than less.
But there are places we just can't (won't) skip. Like dining at Cindy's... Like Chef Mickey. Like... some more!
I want my castle. I want my character meals. I want my tour.
And I want to be sure we have places for the Mother's Day Epcot Brunch (should it happen again... there hasn't been any confirmation on that yet for 2008).
shhhh, it's a secret! Mama's in for a surprise! (more on that later).

So. I made Mama realize that we just don't have a choice. If we want some things done, some places visited and some meals eaten, we need those ADRs! She hates the idea, I don't like it much, but we'll do it.

Now. 1st indecision. Which ones to choose??? Which ones are REALLY necessary? Meaning : which ones do we REALLY want to do so much that if we can't get in or can't do without ADRs, we'll be REALLY sad?
And on the other side of that "necessary" meaning : which ones we'd like to do but have a good chance of just walking in? (and wouldn't be too sad of missing in case we can't, of course).
Don't forget... we'll be going at the beginning of May. Supposed to be a mildly slow period. Not totally off-season, but far from peak. Spring break is over, summer hasn't started, no holidays (apart from Mother's Day, but most sources say it doesn't count for much). So I guess apart from CRT, Le Cellier and those really popular places, we could be safe.

2nd indecision. Could also be called 1st real problem.
The window of ADRs opens at 180 days, right? When does Disney releases the calendar for a month? 180 days.
When are we supposed to plan? How are we supposed to know what ADR we need when, if we don't have a plan first? How are we supposed to plan if we don't have the Disney calendar first? Uh, uh?
OK, now stepping down from the soap box...
I guess for people going for 5 days in the middle of the month it's a day in the park (litteraly!). Disney releases the calendar the first of november for the month of May, and they have to wait for somewhere in the middle of November to make their ADRs, which gives them +/- 2 weeks to plan everything!
Not. our. case.

We'll be in Disney from April 29th to May 14th. See the problem?
I already have the Disney calendar for April (was out 2 days ago and I was on it like mouse on cheese or misery on poor people, like we say over here!).
Which means I have the official schedule for 2 days out of 15. Including our arrival night, on which we won't make a single ADR. That helps. NOT.

Thanks to the ADR policy of Disney Resorts guests being able to make ADRs 180+10 (or : all ADRs for all their vacation on 180 days from the day of their arrival), we could (should!) make our ADRs for every day of our trip on November the 2nd, which is 180 days from April the 29th. The Disney calendar for May will go out on November 1st!!!

Now, it's bad enough that it gives me only one day to plan everything, but we have another problem... Mama and I will be in Quebec City for a figure skating competition (Skate Canada... as fans) from October 31st to November the 5th!
Which means.
Indecision #3.
I don't know which is better : Make only the ADRs I know won't change no matter what's in the May calendar, the ones that needs to be made the earliest (Chef Mickey, Cindy's) and wait for my return to make the rest. OR. Make all the ADRs based on the plan I already made (based on previous months and May 2007 EMH), risking the need to move some (or a lot) of them...
Which of these options has the most chances of us getting those ADRs?
Of course I could also bring my laptop (and try not to forget any Disney file from the home computer!) and work on the schedule after a day at the rink on November the 1st, send the list of ADRs to be made to Rhonda (my TA at DU, remember? She's going to make the ADRs one way or the other) in the night, and hope she'll ge the email early enough to make the call and get all the ADRs before 7am! Well... I guess if I tell her I'll be doing it that way, she'll be ready for it!
It just stresses me out!

I don't want that to ruin our little vacation in Quebec City!
But I realize that, on the other side, I'm not likely to just forget about it and enjoy it all if I'm not sure of what is happening... So I guess I could do a combination of all 3.
1-Send Rhonda a list of most important ADRs (in case I can't join her in time the morning of the 180days window).
2-Make my list of probable ADRs and use my temporary-probable plan based on previous months (will be easier and faster to just move things around than start from scratch
3-Bring my laptop (and put the Disney files on it!) to Quebec City so I'll be able to check things out in real time and send Rhonda the rest of ADRs and any changes to the first set if needed.

What do you think about this war plan?

I'll get on with the rest later... I gotta get some cleaning!
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:23 PM   #8
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Relfexions and planning

Now... where was I?

Sorry all that I was out for so long... it was a really rough week.
First my big ol' cat of 15 years died last Sunday... It's really hard on me. It maybe "just a cat", but after 15 years, that silky big ball of purring becomes a little member of family and I miss him.

...and I crashed. In CFS talk it means I had a set back... a symptoms' flare-up. Due to a day out to see the colors in the north mountains (at Tremblant, very touristy place), due to a virus I caught there (many people and children... I have a very weak immune system) and probably also due to the emotional draw of the grief... Stress and such can provoke flare-ups... Like with any immune disorder or many illnesses.

So anyways, I'm a little better and back on the DIS and Disney planning mode!

First, I'm stuck with a whole new question... Brought on by my experience last week... Many times when I go out and there are a lot of people, especially kids, I get sick. Because of the weak immune system.
I catch viruses and such very easily. It's not each time I go out. But often.
And let's face it. Disney, well... It's like a huge kindergarten!
It's huge, with many people and kids running around and I just need one of them, with a slight cold starting, who didn't wash properly, putting his hands on a railing just before I do and I'm done...

If I visit someone at the hospital, I'll put on a mask and wash my hands with Purell (or the like) more than I would usually (because, well, it's an hospital!).
But I
hate the mask.
It just screams illness and people get afraid (they usually don't think you're the one needing protection and not the other way 'round).
Plus, it's uncomfortable, not pretty at all (did I mention I was 28 and single?!) and I'm guessing it would not help the heat factor in Florida.
Not to mention... I don't think it would look good on the pictures. (and I really won't have any warm fuzzy feelings looking back at pictures of me in such a mask... I already had planned on leaving the wheelchair for most pictures). And I just imagine the scenario. I have a mask. I see a character. He sees the mask. I remove it to take the picture. The character is scared he'll catch something dangerous from me because, hey! the young lady had a mask and she removed it... Let's just take a cheese break. Or make it quick. ...Blah. I so don't want that.

I'll already have the wheelchair, which I'm not using everyday, but just for long outings, since I can't walk or stand long. Adding the mask is, in my mind, much much worst and a longest stretch. (you know... in the mind of people : you don't just have weak knees or something, but are really, really sick... maybe dangerous sick)

But if it means not getting sick and if it's the only way for me to do Disney without thus having to stay in my room for days (and feeling miserable)... I guess it should be a no-brainer.

It's just. Argh. Getting ill is hard as is it, I just hate that my dream trip will be in a wheelchair and with a dam mask on top! (and with lots of Purell, of course... it goes with. Probably each time I'll get back in the wheelchair after an attraction).


I have my plan-based-on-nothing done. And changed twice already since last week. (I had forgotten about some TGM "never go to that park those days" infos)
In fact, it's based on April's and last May's EMH... Only my real first day (April 30th, since the 29th we'll only arrive for dinner) is a real-done plan.

And now, there's a rumor that we could have Pirates and Princess parties during May!? I sure hope so! I had read about those and thought "wow, if only those didn't last only until the fall..." HA! Whaddayaknow
For now, TGM says he's pretty sure there'll be at least one for our arrival night, on the 29th ....Which would be the absolute worst night for us. But it's very clear for me : if that's the only P&P possibility for us, we're going! I just hope we'll arrive before dinner and can sleep a little before the party! Because... well, an 8 hour drive can ruin a little a late party!
I was able to convince Mama that the P&P would be a good idea (in fact it was quite easy!)... I might have just forgot to mention the price you had to pay... But maybe I'll pay for the tickets anyway.
I wasn't able to convince her to dress up, though. And I don't think she'll change her mind.
But she will wear a tiara, that's a sure thing! I'm already surprised by that! Hey, a tiara's better than no costuming at all!

I think I will dress up. I checked the costumes online. Not a lot of choices! All the 3-4 same princess dresses or one pirate look. (but Mama wants to go the princess way! And I pretty much agree!) I thought maybe I could go with a general "great dress princess-looking" thing and just add the tiara, but I didn't seen any dress or costume like that. Maybe my old prom dress could do if it still fits.
But I didn't see any pictures of the P&P where girls were dressed up, but not in true Disney costumes. So I don't know if it's a no-no...
But obviously, if I could skip the 50-100$ costume cost, I would. (I want to dress up, I really do. But there's already the tiara and the tickets to pay! And I'd prefer buying souvenirs and gifts with that money). Of course, I saw the Elisabeth Swann white princess dress that's soooo beautiful. But... it's almost 100$ and I'm not even sure it would fit me! (Maybe in May, since I'm on a loosing curb, but that's not the whole question).

So, the plan's already shaky because May's schedule's not out, but it's also shaky because the P&P parties aren't out either (and those could go out later than the rest of the schedule and mess everything up!).
I still managed to decided where we would go and when for at least part of our schedules.

Since we don't like to have too much of a plan and want to have things flexible, we decided the plan would be, for the most part, more of a guide than a true schedule.
We also decided that our first 4 days would be full park days, each one at a time. Meaning we would visit the same park all day, with a break at the resort in the middle, and each day a different park. So that way, we'd seen all parks pretty thoroughly at the beginning of our trip, stay in a park's atmosphere for the whole day, but alternate between them all : because we want to see them all!
And of course, we'll start with MK.

The goal for this is also to be able to see if the rest of the plan is good, if we think we need more time in a park and less at another, etc.
We'll be able to see what parks we love the most and what attractions we really want to see/do (or see/do again if we go to do them on the first day).
As first timers, only once in the parks and after a whole day in each of them at our own pace will we be able to say how long we think we'll need in each one to have seen everything we want to.

Altough our plan can change (and has whole sections that can), we'll follow some basic rules (which we won't break unless we see the attendance is very low or we want to do something specific) :
1) We won't go to the park which has morning EMH that day
2) We will try to chose our afternoon/evening park in function of the one that has evening EMH.
Maybe/probably there could/will be more people there because of that. But since we'll have to take breaks in the afternoon and will have started the day maybe a little later than some, if we go to the park with evening EMH, we'll have more time in the evening to roam that park... It'll kind of compensate our afternoon "lost" time. If we'd go to a non-EMH park after an afternoon nap, and that park closes early, we'd loose our evenings.

We'll go slower because of the wheelchair, we'll need breaks (not only the afternoon nap, but during the day... bench breaks!), and we intend to take it slow anyways. That's why we're going for 14 days! We not only don't want to do Disney commando-style, we don't really need to.
Even with the breaks and doing it slower, we should have plenty of time to see everything.

So our other decision is : after these 4 first days of "full park days, each one, one at a time", we'll almost always do split park days : One park in the morning (and maybe early afternoon), and another one late afternoon/evening (or maybe only evening). Always keeping in mind our 2 basic rules.

And of course, we'll have short days, so we have rest periods (like leaving later in the morning or ending the day earlier to just either relax at the resort or just do anything but a park).
You need to also keep something in mind : Mama doesn't do thrill rides (not even waterslides), but I do. Of course, since she doesn't do them, I'll probably only do each thrill ride only once and maybe I'll skip some rides that aren't as interesting to me... we'll just see how it goes. On top of this, I just can't ride from ride to ride. I mean, even if I could physically run form one to another : my body can't take rides as it used to, so I need to take breaks between them.
What this means is we're not going to rush from attraction to attraction and thrill rides to thrill rides, timing our fastpasses and such. Another reason not to abide by the commando-style plan. We just don't need to.
Of course we want to avoid the crowds and such. But we don't have the same pattern as described in many TGM plans/articles.

It is always recommended, especially on longer trips, to split up at least once, so you don't get too much on each other's nerves. I agree. But how do you do that when one's pushing the other's wheelchair? Of course I can walk. But no long! Especially not when it's hot. So we can't just decide to each go to a park, or I can't just go shopping Downtown on my own...
I guess we will be stuck with : I stay at the pool or in the room while Mama gets to go anywhere she wants (or stay in the room to read while I'm at the pool or vice-versa...).
Or, our split-up moments will be the time I go out in the lobby or foodcourt to get us something. (I guess I could manage that walk). Wow... So interesting and helpful.

The only activity I could come up with (and it's planned!) : I'll take a couple hours one morning to go shopping at Premier Outlets for the discounted Disney stuff... It'll be around the half-time of our trip, so I'll know what I want and what I could get there that's worth it and such. Since I decided to get friends, family and kids around me most of their birthday and christmas gifts (on top of some souvenirs) in Disney, (and some things for me!), it's the best way to save a little.
Not only is that shopping morning a thing I could do by myself (very little driving and a little shopping : inside a climatised area!), but Mama doesn't want to come at all! She says she'll get mad seeing me spend my money over souvenirs and gifts. (so... it's in fact better not to have her sneering behind my shoulder while I go over stuff I like!).

ADRs? What ADRs? I'm kidding...
I'm getting to it... In the next post!
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:53 PM   #9
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ADR ideas!!!

... Yeah... It really seems I'm writing this for myself.
Hum... Well, it's not surprising. I'm writing too much and my presentation was a medical article!
I'm trying hard... but my funny writing (yeah, I have one!) doesn't come in on cue, I just can't seem to stop writing (especially when it's about the trip!!!!) and, well, about that medical article presentation... I already said it : I just want people to understand and learn about those diseases.

I guess I'm OK with writing for myself, though. It's just an online journal instead of a little book with a lock on it, where you hurt your wrist and fingers writing too much in!


Yeah, without a firm plan, it's not easy to, well... plan!

But since we didn't want a true firm plan... uh, I guess we get what we wanted...?!

Since the very beginning of the planning, when I learned about ADRs and that you had to make them 6 months beforehand... I had to convince Mama about them.
The way was to explain this : either we make ADRs for what we really want to do and places we really want to eat or either we just don't do these things and don't eat at those places. (and for the meal part, it also means : if we want to eat at a table-service at some point in the trip, ADRs are probably necessary).
She got it. Hated it, but got it.

So to this point, given the absence of a May schedule, we don't have ADRs done, nor decided by date, hour, etc... nor do we have a fixed plan.
BUT. We do know for the most part what we'll ADR and what special activities we should do, even if we don't know when...

So here's a non-time specific list :
Meals ADRs
Dreams come true dinner at CRT (that one is a sure thing : our first real day, on April the 30th)
Hollywood and Vine Fantasmic package
Tutto Italia (probably dinner)
Tusker house (would love to try and go without an ADR... if ADR absolutely needed, would probably be for lunch)
Crystal Palace (probably dinner)
Les Chefs de France (probably dinner)
Tony's Town Square (probably lunch)
Portobello Yachtclub (dinner... after La Nouba)
Chef Mickey (breakfast... that one's also a sure thing : it's on our departure morning. It's the last thing we'll do on our trip!)
Yak & Yeti (if open! probably dinner)

We'll try the Rainforest Café without an ADR. Since there are 2 and we won't be at peak season, we'll have many chances (we'll go more than once at AK and DTD). But if we see that it won't be possible as a walk-in, we'll try to get an ADR during our trip. If it's not possible, it won't be the end of the world for us. We prefer having one less ADR and taking the chance of not going there at all. It's possible we do the same for Tusker House.

Special activities ADRs
La Nouba
Afternoon High Tea at GF
Backstage Magic tour
A big MAYBE : Safari backstage tour. (I love animals and I love going backstage. But it's 3 hours of our time and we're already doing the other tour. Plus, it's not cheap either. Cheaper than Backstage magic, but in our case it's not one or the other, it would be on top of... And I don't think Mama would like it much).

Non-ADRs special activites
We're planning on going to DTD a couple of times, to rest from the parks a little (and to shop!).
We'll spend a half-day at Typhoon Lagoon, as a rest from the parks. Mama doesn't do slides, but I do (well, haven't done any since at least 20 years, but I'd like to!) and there's the lazy river we both want to be lazy in for many hours!
We'll go watch Wishes and the Electro Water Pageant from the beach twice. Once from the Poly and once from the GF beach.
We'd like to take time to visit some resorts.
We'll probably go play a round of minigolf at Fantasia Gardens. Mama hates minigolf, I'm not a big fan either (pretty neutral), but we both love-love-love Fantasia and want to see the place. Mama hopes she can follow me without playing... I plan to convince her,
before we get there, to get in, play and have fun...

For now, Mama doesn't have a wonderful attitude toward the trip.
She shows absolutely no excitement. She doesn't want to plan anything. The little bit about minigolf? Well... it's been like that a lot.
When I ask her to come sit with me to ask her opinions, show her our options, talk about planning and such, she either says no or accepts but doesn't stay long enough for us to go over really anything... We spent less than 5 hours together in the last 2 months plannig this trip! I've been spending over 100 hours, I'm sure... The most time she spent with me over it was to chose the resort and that was less than 1 hours total (and I had done the research first, of course).
Rest of the time I just give her bits of infos I just read about and half the time she listens... most of the time she forgets about what I told her.

She'll agree on most decision I ask her to make
without really listening and doesn't seem to care (meaning I'll say "we need to decide between such and such and I believe we should go with that choice" and she'll say OK), but then she'll nag on something we had agreed on earlier.
Like the ADRs. We had discussed it through and through, but she either forgets or does this on purpose, hoping I forgot or something will have changed, I don't know : she start to say she doesn't like plans and doesn't want to be tied up to any plans, etc. I tell you : we had this discussion at least 5 times.
And then, she'll say "oh, alright, my opinion isn't valuable anyways, you don't care what I say or think, do as you please". (because I'm planning on making ADRs and am planning a schedule for our trip. Even though we had agreed to do so and I explained to her why we needed to, when she gets back at me like that, it doesn't matter anymore : it's all my fault, I'm acting against her will and keeping her in the dark, etc.)

I so hate that! I want us both to have the trip of our lifetime, I know she's paying almost all of it, why in the world would I make her miserable?!
You know, I'd love it if we could sit together in front of the PC, do the research together and make all the informed decisions together. But she doesn't want to, she doesn't care. So I'm left with the job, and though I love it, it's normal that I seem "know-it-all" and contradict her if she wants something that I learned is now impossible in Disney... And each time I want her to sit with me at the PC, each time I want to share the info, she doesn't want to. Don't come later saying the trip is not how you want it to be!

Most activities I offer, she doesn't want to do or doesn't care. She doesn't want to go to any restaurant in particular ("we're not going to Disney to have a culinar experience"... the fact that I worked out the prices in the budget doesn't matter. The fact that I need to eat sensible meals for my health doesn't matter. The fact that we'd get more than tired of hamburgers and fries after one week... and are staying 2 weeks! and that without ADRs we probably wouldn't be able to eat somewhere else than at a CS doesn't matter. She hates plans, ADRs means plans, restaurant talk means ADR, so she fights).
Instead of getting excited and facing the activities with "hum, I don't really like this stuff, but let's make the most of it", She's doing the opposite. Either "couldn't we just don't do it?" Or "Well OK, if you really want to, but it makes me unhappy, and don't count on me to have fun or participate". So, thanks, I'm left with the choice of either not being able to participate in a fun activity, or to do it anyways, but having your frustrated and/or bored self with me, constantly reminding me you're unhappy and willingly making me guilty of not just listening to you and forgetting the possibly fun activity.

Why couldn't she just go with it and try to have fun?! It's not like I'm asking her to come with me on trhill rides when she has motion sickness...

The worst part? The first time I talked to her about Fantasia Gardens, she seemed excited and said she was willing to go, even if she didn't like minigolf that much (neither do I, remember!). When I talked to her, a little later, of a fact I heard about that activity, she said "I told you I didn't want to go! Why aren't you listening to me and putting things in the itinerary I don't want to do?" GRRRRR!

That's it for ADRs and my frustrating Mama.
And for today, because I'm getting frustrated.

A bit of advice : when people tell you they don't want to plan and say they leave you all the planning... For planners like us, the first reaction is pure joy.
Be careful. Most times, it backfires. It's my 3d time, with 3 different people. Backfired each time, not always in the same way (never as much as with Mama...)
I don't know the solution. I thought it was to inform the other person as much as possible, explain the most you could and leave lot of room to the other to chose between options... (you know, let it look like you only did the research and they chose it all... And in fact they indeed chose some stuff... but between options YOU singled out! ). But it doesn't seem to be working here anyways.

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Old 11-10-2007, 06:42 PM   #10
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Red face I'm here, I'm not dead!

Sorry everyone! (is there ANYone?)... it's been too long, I know!

First, it was because nothing was happening. I mean. Really. N-o-t-h-i-n-g.
It was bound to be that way... after all, I began this pre-trippie more than 6 months in advance! I had my moments, and it passed.
Plus, I had that mini-Quebec city trip for the figure skating Skate Canada competition coming, and it was either I made you endure that preparation (which had nothing to do with Disney! except some learning experiences), or I kept it to myself. Which I did!
Then, of course : I wasn't home for a week, since I was in Quebec city!

But now I'm back, and altough I'm sure, being this early, I won't have stuff happening once every 2 days, I should have stuff to write about more and more often!

Last time I wrote, I had a hard time because I had to prepare my ADR list to give to my TA at Dreams Unlimited (the wonderful Rhonda!), without having first the official Disney schedule...

I followed the plan (after having it approved by dear Rhonda!) :
I had to bring my laptop on the trip, along with my ADR list (meaning : the places we knew we wanted to go and needed ADRs for), my temporary schedule, the links I would need (so it would go faster! Time is money!), passwords... and I almost forgot Rhonda's email!
Before I left, I sent the few ADRs that were "set in stone" to Rhonda. Luckily for us, those were also the more important ones, those that we needed to make first : CRT and Chef Mickey!

Now, since we'll be on-site guests, we got the 180 days +10 advantage. Since we'll be arriving in Disney on April the 29th, it meant that we could make our ADRs for the 10 first days of our trip on November the 1st. Meaning... the same day Disney released it's official schedule!!!
So on October 31st, I tried staying up late... Being ill and having driven 3 hours that day... I wasn't able to!
I put the alarm clock to 0:30am. I woke up, all groggy, and checked Disney's website... See, I was hoping they'd put up the schedule very early on the 1st, so I would have enough time to check it against my own plan and finalize my ADR list, then send it to Rhonda before 7am, at which time she needed to call them in...
No such luck, so I went back to bed.

But I wasn't able to sleep well. Okay, part of that was my mom snoring really loud. I mean... REALLY loud. I'm not used to sleep in the same room as her, but I'm used to hear her, and it wasn't her usual.
But it wasn't the only thing. I was really stressed out about our ADRs. I woke up many times. And one of those times, around 5h30am, I got up again and went back to the computer and Disney's website.
And the May calendar was up!!!!!!!

Better than that, it almost fit my temporary schedule perfectly! I only had to switch 2 days together and I was set to go!
I had made sure to decide beforehand at which time I wanted to have each meal, based on tips, restaurants' schedules and other activies in my plan, which saved a lot of time (and stress!). At around 6am, I was able to send the final list of ADRs to Rhonda... and got back to bed for a little well deserved zzzz.
When I got back to the hotel that evening, I saw that Rhonda was able to make almost all our ADRs! Those she didn't make were for places that didn't take them yet! (Like Portobello Yachtclub, Yak & Yeti, etc.).

I was super lucky : we got everything we wanted! Each ADR right the day we asked, and either exactly at our preferred time, or really not far from it!

But it was too easy...
Once I got back, TGM's calendar and least crowded days were out...
That's when I found out when the rumoured Pirates & Princess Parties would be
...I knew it could turn my schedule around... We (okay... I) want to go! And I'm sure, based on Disney's official calendars, that TGM's "intuitions" are good.
We needed to change one dinner to make sure we'd be free for at least one of the P&P nights. And not the least of them : Chefs de France!
I was lucky again, Rhonda was able to do it!

Then I tried to buy my La Nouba tickets.
Now, I had Rhonda book everything, but that. It's because I'm very picky when it comes to show tickets. Because I've worked in showbusiness. So it was the one thing I wanted to have total control on. To be able to see the seat plan and say "yes" or "no", see where we could sit and select where we would sit.
But when I went on the tickets website, I saw you can't select your seats for La Nouba!!! You just can select your category, pay and they assign the tickets to you! No way!
(unless it's : you pay for a category price and then it's on a first come first serve basis, but it's not explained, so I didn't want to take any chances!)
I could've called... In fact, I should've, since they ask for guests in wheelchair (my case) to call. But that number is in Florida, like all Disney #, without any 1-800 alternative. I really don't want to pay for a long-distance call when I can have Rhonda do it (not pay for it!!! book it!)... and maybe she can get something better than I could!

But the worst part is... I realized I had scheduled our La Nouba evening on a black night! (Sunday & Monday don't have shows). It was lucky Rhonda couldn't make the ADR for Portobello Yachtclub then, since that was our after-the-show dinner... And we had to change that whole evening!...
I was able to find a way to work it all in our schedule... But it meant another ADR change... Tony's Town Square had to switch in place of our Downtown evening!...
Again, we were lucky : Rhonda was able to secure us a place at our new date and time for TTS, at almost the same time we had previously!

*For any wondering : as soon as our new dates and times have been secured, our old ADRs have been deleted! We don't keep any ADRs "just in case".

I then realized the dinner ADR I had asked Rhonda to make for Yak & Yeti wouldn't be great... since Animal Kingdom would close at 8pm (EMH night!). It would mean we would spend almost the entire EMH eating! No way!
One more lucky strike, since that ADR wasn't yet booked! (not until december 3rd). So I could easily change it for a lunch ADR. Phew!

So... see our itinerary in the next post!
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:53 PM   #11
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OK... Here's the schedule!
Keep in mind that altough I made it pretty complete, it may as well go down the drain because of my illness... Also, we could just use it as a guide and decide to do otherwise except the ADRs themselves... because remember? We don't like plans!
(I like to make plans! But once on vacation, we don't like to necessary follow them!)

4/29 - Arrive @ Disney around dinner ; Settle and unpack; Check out resort (POFQ)
4/30 - MK all day! (maybe rope drop); mid-day break. Dreams Come True dinner @ CRT
5/1 - Studios all day! Mid-day break. Dinner @ Hollywood and Vine w/ Fantasmic package.
5/2 - Epcot all day! Mid-day break.
Dinner @ Tutto Italia. Late evening Epcot (EMH).
5/3 - AK all day! Lunch @ Tusker House. Evening break.
5/4 - AK am (try rope drop); Mid-day break; MK pm. Dinner @ Crystal Palace. Late MK evening (EMH).
5/5 - Morning break; Epcot am;
Lunch @ Chefs de France.Studios pm; Late Studios evening (EMH).
5/6 - Morning break; Typhoon Lagoon am; Downtown pm.
5/7 - MK am; Mid-day break;
High Afternoon Tea @ GF. Resorts visits (GF, Contemporary, All-Stars...); Wishes and Electrical Water Pageant from Poly beach.
5/8 - Studios am; Lunch @ Yak & Yeti.AK afternoon;Mid-day break; AK pm.
5/9 - Shopping off-site am ; Mid-day break; MK pm. P&P Party!!!
5/10 - MK am;
Mid-day break; Downtown pm : La Nouba 6pm show + Dinner @ Portobello Yachtclub.
5/11 -
Mother's day brunch @ Epcot (shhhh, it's a secret! It's not even written in my schedule, ADR list or anywhere! My mom mustn' know about it! Only you and Rhonda know!); Epcot am; Mid-day break; MK pm; Late MK evening (EMH).
5/12 - MK am;
Lunch @ Tony's Town Square. Any choice park afternoon ; Early evening break; Fantasia Gardens pm.
5/13 - Backstage Magic Tour all day! Early evening break;
Dinner @ T-Rex if open... Wishes and Electrical Water Pageant from GF beach.
5/14 - Breakfast @ Chef Mickey's; Leaving Disney right after...

And I again have a change in mind!
See, I've read in TGM's least crowded days that my third full park days (May 2nd) is really not a good one... I had planned being in Epcot all day, and I thought it would be OK, being that it wasn't an Epcot EMH morning, plus it was in early May, not a crowded period... But it's not what comes out when reading TGMs...
So I'm thinking of switching my Studio day with my Epcot day. Then, both days would be "green". Meaning : we should have the less people possible in the parks.
I guess it's especially important since we won't necessarily be up at the crack of down...
Of course we wont tour commando-style, we'll be more "smelling the roses" and sightseeing than going for the rides (Mama don't do thrill rides and so I'll probably be doing each one only once), so maybe the crowd levels won't matter much, except for the madness feeling it can induce when the crowds are overwhelming... But if the lines are too much for Everest, it won't be a problem for us, that's what I mean. So the dilemma is : how much should I base a change of my schedule (and ADRs!) on crowd levels...?
I wanted to maximize the evening EMHs because we'll be taking mid-day breaks (so if we get back in a park late and it closes early... it's not good), and if I make the switch, the Epcot day won't be an EMH evening anymore, which bums me out...
But I also guess we'll be tired in the first days and 9pm won't be that early...
On top of that, there'll be other days where we'll be able to stay for EMH evenings in Epcot.
But the main thing is... I've done so many changes already... and the most we change ADRs, the less we get our preferred times!
Also, I know she's there for that, but I hate bothering my TA for that! It makes me feel bad, like I didn't do my homework or something...

I guess I'll ask Mama : does she prefer going to the Studios or to Epcot first, does she prefer staying late in Epcot or having 2 early nites... Or does she prefer making sure we have the least crowded parks in our itinerary! If she prefers the change, I'll ask Rhonda to check if there's availability for our ADRs on the switched days... If there is, we'll go for it, if there isn't, of course we won't! and we'll just hope the crowds will be light!

Now... I'll just go to bed super early 'cause I got both the flu and pneumo vaccine yesterday and that plus the trip fatigue are hitting hard...

P.S. Wow! As I was finishing this post, this song comes up in my earphones : "change! change! change!!!" I don't know the title, but it's from BEP. The chorus is litteraly the word "change!" repeated over and over! hahaha! I'm not one to just do it because of the coincidence, but it's pretty funny!
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:17 PM   #12
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No more changes... yet!

Hey all!
Woohoo! Well, now I know I have at least one reader!

So... No.
The change I had in mind won't happen. Mama wasn't going along with it, at all. (like she went along with anything...).
Ok, I'm not being fair. She did went along for some things, and let me book many of the things I wanted.
It's just, in my mind, you either say "no" or you let it go. You either decide against it or go with the flow and try to play along.
She's not like that.

Which means she agreed we needed some ADRs, she agreed to some activities, but it's not "at least, we don't have too much ", "as long as we need some, let's choose those I'll really like " nor anything of the kind.
It's "why would I give you any kind of input, as all I say has no value...
since you've got all the knowledge and I know nothing" (said with much irony of course... altough it's true I now know a lot about Disney since I've done alot of research and been on the DIS, and she didn't do research at all!)
And it's "No, do it your way, as long as you're happy "... said to make me feel guilty. That's one of her things.

Anyways, I've been on that topic already.

What I mean is : I've tried to run everything by her, so she feels like she's been part of the planning and so she doesn't slap me in the face with a "I'm not happy with our vacation, why did you plan it that way " kind of thing once we're there (or once we're back) because Id've done all the planning myself without asking for her approval first...
But mainly because I feel it's just right! I wouldn't like to be kept in the dark myself!

But I guess she had an overload of ADR, planning and EMH vs. crowds info (or was just in a bad mood) because when I brought the idea of interchanging our Studio and Epcot days because TGM was saying it would be crowded in our Epcot day as it was scheduled, she acted as she couldn't care less...
Which was very weird, since she hates crowds! My other arguments pro- or con- the change were completely lost. It was "I really couldn't care less"... I could have face a brick wall (sing it with me "It's just another brick in the wall")

So I decided, if she doesn't care that Epcot is crowded that day, and considering that it will be an early May crowd... and that if we'd change, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the evening EMH... we won't go through the trouble of switching our ADRs (especially since it could mean we wouldn't have our preferred times anymore!).

Other news :

The always wonderful Rhonda got us our La Nouba tickets!
Although I must say she did made a little mistake.
I guess I wasn't clear enough in my instructions... or it got lost in all my blah-blah!
Oh, we're completely happy with the results though!
Thing is : I gave Rhonda 2 choices : either the wheelchair seating, if it was good value and Mama could sit with me (and be fairly comfortable) or regular cat.2 seating with aisle seats. If it would be cat.2, we'd like the closest and most centered seats possible, of course. (oh, and the aisle, if possible, should be on our right, since it's my right leg I need to strech).
I know it sounds picky. Heck, it IS picky. I'm the pickiest for show seats, since I've worked in that milieu. Plus I've seen many Cirque shows and I know it's even better if you're well seated (or put it another way : a lot of it can be lost if you have bad seats).
What I didn't know was where the w/c seating was... I didn't know there were more than one category of w/c seating, with more than one pricing!
It's not usually the case. (altough I must admit, I haven't had a huge experience with w/c seating yet!).
On my behalf... Rhonda didn't get back to me with the info, to let me choose between the two options... But as of yet, I never really asked her to either, giving her pretty much fully carte blanche, saying for example : "give me the best between thus and thus".
And so, she gave me the best : the wheelchair seating. Which was the priciest! Because it's in the back of cat.1!!!
Oh, it's really not that bad. We'll be very well seated and the price difference is about 40$ for both of us together! Mama, who's paying, simply laughed it off. And was mostly happy about our places.
But I realized my mistake.
Thing is : I wasn't able to find a seating plan with the w/c seating until after the fact! And then saw that there was w/c seating in both cat.1 and cat.2, but being in the back of each section, it's no question why Rhonda didn't book us the cat.2 w/c seating!
Had I seen it first the mistake wouldn't have happened... But we wouldn've had as good seats! Maybe Mama would've agreed to pay more for better seats, but I wouldnt've dared ask!

...I'm going to le Cirque Saltimbanco's arena version in december (I've already seen the original tent version many years ago), and I can't wait... I've also seen their last tour : Kooza, last spring.
I love le Cirque very much. I really can't wait to see La Nouba! I listen to the CD a lot in "preparation"

Also, we finally could secure our Backstage Magic tour ADR!!! (or... Rhonda did for us!)
It couldn't be booked earlier, and I couldn't wait!
It's one thing I knew I wanted to do as soon as I heard it existed!
I always was one interested in backstage stuff, and learned a lot about it in my course in showbusiness (before working in that milieu... before getting too ill to work at all).
Of course I didn't want to do the tour too early in our trip, in case it breaks the magic a little (especially this being my first WDW trip), so we're doing it on our very last full day!
... The 8:45 meeting time will be hard on us!
We're planning on maybe going back to Disney (in at least four years...) but I've heard it doesn't break the magic anyways, just gives you some more insight... As any
backstage info does! (...I guess only revelations on a magic tricks can ruin it...)

Of course the price of that BMT is prohibitive, but in a way, 400$ (for 2), minus the AP rebate, minus the value of the included lunch... (Mama Melrose, mmmm!) on a multi thousand dollars trip... it doesn't sound as much as in everyday life!...
Mama wasn't crazy about the idea (surprised, anyone?), but after I told her about 2 reports of people doing it without wanting to and really loving it, and swearing it didn't ruin the magic, she agreed to it... But only because it would be my birthday present (we're going in May, my birthday is in June)... which is purely philosophical, since we had already decided that the trip was a Christmas and birthday present for both of us! ....But I guess, since the BMT is in the trip, it can count as both?!

Ooh, OT sidestory :
I realized this week that Christmas was coming big time! Exactly 6 weeks "coming big time" time!
I've always loved making cookies and other goodies for Xmas, and have been doing more and more every year. Since I'm not working anymore, I've had more time to cook.

Since I really can't cook a lot, and not 2 days in a row, usually, I realized I had to start, NOW!!! So I started my cookies this week! I had to first decide which goodies ("goodies", since they're not all cookies) I'd make, make a list of all ingredients I'd need, put it on Mama's shopping list (and not all at the same time, it'd be insane)...
This year I should use about 20 eggs, more than 40 cups of flour, more than 10 bricks of butter...
Which should make a little over 500 goodies (like 80 individual butterscotch cookies, 60 brownie pieces, etc.)
I then went to a special shop to buy
cookie decorations like little sugar eyes, and sprikle, special melting chocolate, cookie cutters, etc.

I still need to go buy a bigger bowl (because I don't make one recipe "single"... I double, triple, or even quadruple them all! So I need a very big bowl!).
And since I need to start early to be able to do all the goodies, I need to freeze them. For that, I need a lot of containers... Last year I almost used all of the house', we almost didn't have anymore for leftovers, so we need more!
And I almost killed our mixer, so I need a new one (altough, since it's about 35 years old, I guess that's kind of normal... only my dad thinks it's wasting money!)

...I'm going to do 10 kinds of goodies : 8 kinds of cookies, brownies and chocolates.
I love doing that so much.
I make a lot, keep some for us, and giftwrap the others to give to friends and families. Since I don't have a lot of money, it's sometimes the only gift I can give to some of them. But it's done with a lot of love.
... This also means I already started listening to some Xmas music!
Not a lot, because it feels weird without the decorations around the house... But those are coming on soon... Probably between next weekend and the first one of December! (especially the exterior ones... even if we may not light them up just yet... Because if we wait too much, we'll freeze putting 'em up!).

But cooking for Xmas without Xmas music... it just can't be!

End of OT!

Until next time!
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:50 PM   #13
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Wink I'm not dead!

Hello everyone! (or should I say : hello me!)

No, if anyone has indeed been reading, don't worry, I'm not dead! Even though somedays I feel like I am...

I just been either busy (which, in my case, don't take a lot), or too sick to come to the boards. Even today, it's really only because I've been feeling guilty, in withdrawal and seeing the countdown calendar... because I'm not in my best form.

I'm starting a new virus, again (seems I'm just getting rid of the last one!). That's what you get from visiting you're best friend and her 2 y.o. twins... But really, when it has been almost a year (since seeing the boys, not her), could I really not go just because they were starting a cold? Of course not! But each time they snotted, spitted or aaa-choo-ed on me... I had to really pull myself together not to run and use Purell each and every time... I waited to be in the car to do it.
But I knew... there was a high chance I'd catch it... And it now seems I did.

Lesson learned : no seeing the twins in the month before leaving for WDW! (or bring a mask... but I guess it'd be too frightening)

Now enough about that.

Because of all the Xmas rush, the (1st) virus and the health crash I always suffer from after the holidays (because of the rush), I almost forgot of the trip.
Of course I didn't forget!
But I kinda lost focus. I stopped spending numerous hours on WDW-related websites. I stopped spending hours planning the trip and making spreadsheets.
I continued thinking about it, blurting out :"we're going to Disney!" once in awhile and counting down the days, but that was about it...

In the back of my head, I knew that on the other side of the holidays, there would be another kind of rush, not the kind where you're pushed by time (well, there will be, but... not yet), but the adrenaline one, when I'd realize that it's coming for real, and sooner than it seems! Because if I'd not been too much into my "WDW dossier" for a couple of weeks, and then get back into it, it'd be like those weeks flashed by!
Wich means, when I realized that, I almost not returned to the WDW frenzy on purpose, to add a little more time in the "flahs-by" side!

And it's in fact what happened. Now the days seem to go by in a blink and the countdown calendar just keep on going down, I turned the January page with astonishement... And I'm going back to more planning and organization with a little feeling of urgency!

OK, the fact that I'm not feeling well and that most hours of the days are spent either sleeping or suffering in bed help not seeing your days go by... You cannot do a lot each day, so you feel a month has gone by without you doing anything...

You have to realize that before the holidays, that trip was more than 5 months ago, some things I just couldn't plan anymore... Not until we were closer to the departure date anyway.
Now, the days keep flying by, and we're less than 3 months away!!! Already!

I was so thrilled when we passed the double digits mark! 99 days have come and gone!

We're now at 82 days!
OK, now I have to explain something... We have 2 countdowns. One that's "the-number-of-days-'till-we-leave". The other's the real one : "the-number-of-days-'till-we're-THERE".
See, we're leaving almost 3 whole days before getting there (leaving on the 27th in the morning, getting there on the 29th in the evening). But we're going to be just as excited on the day we're leaving! That day's going to count just as much : we're going to be away, we're going to be on vacation already, it won't be like it's not happening yet, ya know?!
But it's not like it's going to be Disney on the 27th either...
So sometimes I count 'till the 27th, sometimes I count 'till the 29th.
So 82 days is until we leave, not until we reach Disney...

Ooooh, I'm so excited!
When I started this post tonight, I was thinking about bags. We don't have bags for our trip... yet.
I know you need special bags for WDW. Small enough so they don't bother you, that you can fit them with you on the rides, yet big enough to contain all you may need throughout the day at the park (and stuff you may decide to collect that could not be shipped to your resort... or that you may decide not to have shipped... sometimes you like to enjoy your purchase right away!)... Also, since I did my research well, I know security searches all bags and that bags with less pockets (or see-through compartments) are the best.
I know lime-green and Baggalini (or both) are a must on those boards.

I had looked for Baggalini lime-green bags before the holidays, but couldn't find canadian shipping on any website, and the one canadian website that sold some Baggalinis didn't have the bag I liked... I gave up for the time being.

Now that the time is getting nearer, we're starting to buy stuff, a little at a time. And we started looking at some bags.

We also decided on what we wanted :
-a little string bag (don't know the exact name, you know, those one compartment pouch bags, with strings to close it, that you can wear like a backpack...), to hang around the wheelchair handles and leave it there all the time. We'd put non-valuable stuff in there. Stuff that we wouldn't care too much if it got stolen (since for most rides I'll leave the chair behind). That way, it would mean stuff we wouldn't need to carry with us (on us!).
-We then realized, since I'll be sitting in the chair, I won't be carrying a bag myself (you just can't wear a backpack when you're in a w/c). Plus, we'd probably have enough of one bag for both of us. If Mama's tired of carrying the bag, I'll just put it on my lap, or maybe she can put it with the other around the w/c handles.
We also had to remember that sometimes, I'll carry my camera (photo) bag, either the small, regular one, or the big backpack I want to buy, with all my lenses (I figure it'll be for one or two special "photo days" at Epcot, since it'll be the Flower & Garden Festival, or at AK, for the animals).
Yeah, I'm a photo freak. I don't know how she'll keep up with that... but that's another story.

Anyways, I was posting and thinking about those bags. I paused my posting and went to check the boards about bags, once again. What bags were better for WDW and vs the security aspect. Again, it was Baggalini, Baggalini, Baggalini. And ebags.com. So I went and checked it out... I went straight down to the FAQs... were they shipping to Canada, and for how much? (and, especially, were they using UPS... because maybe you don't know this, but if you're canadian, NEVER use UPS for an order made in the US, they'll grab the money right out of your pockets. It's a huge ripoff. Don't get me started.)
It appears they do! And they don't! ebags.com ships to Canada, but they use they're own custom brokerage firm and, it seems, Canada Post for shipping on the canadian side... Once you get through the cart and before payment, they give you the exact amount of duties, taxes and shipping fees.
I'll give it to you : it's not cheap (for an order of around 150$, it was around 35$ in shipping, a little over 5$ taxes and around 20$ for duties).
But it's not the highest I've paid and it's fair. It's straightforward and honest. I'd prefer buying it elsewhere, but it wasn't possible and I know I saved money on something else (continue reading, you'll see!)

The best? : They ship Baggalini bags to Canada!!!
They indeed had the Baggalini sling bag, and it was exactly the kind we were looking for.
Mamma, as the $$$ provider for this one and the probable carryer of the bag most of the time, approved. But we didn't buy the "kind-of-line-green" one (leaf green). First of all, it wasn't really lime green, let's face it. But mostly, it would become dirty too easily. And even though I like lime green, that particular bag color wasn't too much to our liking and... well, we're going to keep that bag after WDW... So we chose the dark blue one (purple). I think maybe I'll convert it to a summer purse after the trip... It'll depend on how I like it there.
(a purse!? Yeah, I may not be a mom, but I have a purse bigger than some mom's! So I'll need to wait and see -and test- but I could guess that's not much bigger than my purse. I wouldn't fit for winter and wouldn't go well with my winter coat, but it could be perfect in the summer, where you don't have any coat!).

But we didn't stop at one bag!
There was also our string w/c bag! A Baggalini too! And this time, lime-green! Yay! I love the color and I think I'll love the fabric too! It looks almost waterproof...

I can't wait to see those bags!

It was our lucky night! Not only because they had everything we were looking for, but because they had a sale! A 20% sale for "Super Tuesday". I thought maybe the sale wouldn't be applicable for canadians (you know... we're not having any elections here... sadly!), but it was!

So I decided to look around a little... see if there was some other incredible stuff lying around, waiting to be bought... And there was! In fact, there were many... Many more than I could buy, many more in fact than I'd need.

But I did find the backpack for my SLR camera and lenses! The exact one that I'd wanted for more than a year, the model that wasn't available anymore on the canadian website I'd visited, the one that was more than 2x the price in our local specialized photo store... So I went downstairs, and asked Mama... I said "feel free to say no, but I found my camera bag" (she knew I've been wanting it for long, knew I wanted to buy it for the trip). And she said yes!
Had she said no, I either would've paid it now on another order or later... or I'd had to pay more in that local specialized store. Either way, I'd have to put it on credit. She hates when I put things on credit. But in my situation, I have so little income that I seldom have another choice.
So, often she'll lend me the money herself (no interest rates!). Or, like tonight, she'll decide to make me a gift. That's not what I asked her. But it's what happened!

Don't think I'm spoiled. I'm lucky. Remember... If I'm living at home and my mama lends me money and gives me things because I have no money, it's because I'm too sick to work. Which means most of the time I'm also too sick to have fun and spend money. The disability pension income I receive from the government is below the poverty threshold, and without my parent's help, I could never pay a rent, only live on the streets (where, with my health situation, I would probably just die).

So yeah, I'm lucky. I do appreciate it. But I hope no one ever thinks I'm spoiled.

(Sorry for that. I wanted to make that very clear)

So... Yay! I'm so happy the bags are ordered and coming! We'll have the bags we needed, and some lime-green! (the camera bag is just plain black).

Last week I also ordered a couple of PassPorter pouches, so we'll be able to keep our valuables outside the bag and each have our own. At first I didn't think I'd order them, but then I realized it would be really useful. We will be able to put our KTTW cards in there, cash, credit cards... well, cash and credit cards are probably only for me... Mama will all put on her KTTW. I wonder if I'll be able to put money on my KTTW with a different cc? Anyone know about this? Because I don't want to have to comb through all the receipts once we're back to see what I have to repay Mama, just because we had decided to use the same credit card on both our KTTW "because we didn't have a choice". If that was the case, I'd prefer paying with cash and cc.
The pouches will also be pretty useful to always have a pen and identity cards on us. Not forgetting AP and Fastpasses!

I also think we'll put name badges in there, where there's a plastic window... Unless we decided to buy Disney name badges of course. (I didn't buy the PassPorter name badges because I didn't like them too much... there was more publicity about PP than space for the names themselves).
Why name badges? Where not babies, not kids, we're adults!
But we're french... And especially since I've decided I want to get autographs... I know not all characters use your name to sign, but since some of them may do so... and I seem to understand the CMs like to use your names... I know some people are good with foreign names, and ours are not so difficult. But I also know some people are horrible with foreign names, it's like they're suddenly deaf. Well I think after a week of repeating my name over and over just to have it said wrong (or having the CM give up and call me miss), or having an autograph spelled wrong (or losing the possibility of having a personnalized autograph because the character didn't get the name right), I prefer having my name on a tag on my shirt (or in the pouch) and having the possibility of pointing to it. Which will be especially useful for a character when signing... he can just reproduce the letters!

You know, Annie and Danielle are names you have in English, but sometimes, just having them combined and said by a voice with an accent (ever so slight) seems too much to take...

At the same time, I bought the 5 extra PassPorter pockets. See, I have the deluxe edition. I love it. So would any Disney planning freak. But we're going for 14 days and 15 nights, and our trip, including the travel time, will be 21 days... The PassPorter guides are all made for trips of maximum 10 days. The extra customizable pocket in my deluxe edition (maybe it's the same in all edition, I don't know) could make for an 11th day... Really not enough! I find it's the same problem with all their worksheets/e-worksheets. I've given them the feedback. Maybe it's not enough of the travelers who go more than 10 days to change the worksheets and number of pockets... but I did find that annoying.
I love those things, which work good and look so much better than what I can do on Exel or Word. But for some of them, I'll have to do my own.
Still, those books (I also bought the Open mouse, since I'll be going in a w/c and since I have stamina and immune issues on top of mobility) are wonderful and even Mama, who wasn't a big fan of that expense of mine and thought I bought them only because I'm a planning freak, now thinks it will be very useful once we're at WDW. (she fell in love with the maps with walk-times).

Now... if I could just find the time and energy to make that trip down HomeDepot... I need to see if here, too, we have LGMH in the paint department!

See ya!
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:49 PM   #14
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Subscribing. I think you might talk more than me and that is saying something I hope your trip goes amazing and I will check in from time to time to see how everything is coming along.

Oh did you do ahappy dance at the PPP dates finally being release today? I know I did. Still am.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:44 PM   #15
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Posts: 368

Wow, how time flies!

Wow! A reader!
Bienvenue Becca! Welcome!
So happy to know I'm not all alone!

Yep, big talker... I warned you (and everyone and anyone else) at the beginning of the thread didn't I? In fact, I've been looking at the pre-trippie and realizing I've put on stuff that wasn't necessary (or was it?), but I hesitate between going back to edit (remove) it or just leaving it there and starting off fresh with a better TR when I'll get back! I don't think, even if I remove some stuff, that it would ever become a short n sweet, funny n witty kind of pre-trippie, so WTH?!

I can be funny, I do! But not when I try to. And reading all those funny, silly and witty TRs (or pre-trippies) make me want to!!!
Of course, trying to remember the words or simply the ideas I had (thanks, CFS), or trying to translate that wonderfully witty phrase I had found in french don't help at all...

Heck, I'll just have to live with the fact that I won't ever have a huge following and that I'm doing this for the fun of it and to have a fun souvenir of this trip-of-a-lifetime.

To answer your question, Becca : yes, I did one big happy dance when I saw the PP&P dates were official. But you know, I was myself surprised that I didn't dance as much as I would've thought! But I know why : the rumors were so largely spread... and mainly, I was very confident in TGM, and he had said those dates were almost certain. So in my mind, I was going to a PP&P on May 9th since november... It was when TGM announced it that I was happy dancin' most!!!

Now, I just have to do my research to find out if I absolutely have to put on a Disney princess dress, of if any "princess-y" dress could do (like my prom dress... if it still fits, or if making it fit costs less than a Disney princess costume). I think I've talked about that before.... But I didn't do the research about it yet...

By the way Becca, I'll go take a look at your pre-trippie too! See ya!

Now, yeah, how time flies!!! Not that I'm not happy about that... Ya know, after waiting so long, I'm not gonna say nutin' bad about time flyin' too fast!!!
But we do have a ton of things to do, and me being in charge means I have the most of that ton of things to do and if I want Mama to do some of those things I must tell her! Which means... I'm almost starting to freak out...
Plus, since I can't do much in a day, and I can't do anything fast... Aaaargh! I'll never get everything done in time!

Not so long ago, the trip was more than 6 months ago, everyone at home was laughing at me for planning it so soon and being on the web so much, we were before the holidays and, you know, the trip was "many months AFTER the holidays"... On the other side...
Well... it appears that having things separated by "a side" makes a world of a difference. It makes things look different in your mind... (but is it just in your mind?!) Before the side, you have all the time in your life... after the side... the world spins twice as fast!
Time didn't go faster 2 months ago, I put stickers on my Disney countdown calendar one day at a time the same way, but either because there were 4 months on only one page (16 months calendar, so last 4 months of 2007 were all stuck on the first page of the 2008 calendar... Lucky I love the Jungle Book, because I saw a painting of that story for those 4 months!), because we were further away from the trip then we are now or just because we were on that side of the holidays, but now it seems it goes faster than ever!

I was so happy when we passed the 100 days to get to the double digits!
But now... it seems it cannot stop! We're already at 71 days! We're almost at the 2 months mark!

And we have so much to do!!!

I started opening many Passporters e-worksheets at a time on my computer and keeping them open to put info in whenever needed. I also started regrouping info I had scattered (I was pretty well organized, but discovered it could still be better). For instance, I had already made Word files with tips, different ones for different categories, but think I like the e-worksheets from PassPorter better, plus, I will be able to print them and put them in my PP binder. So I'll need to classify all my tips (well, they were classified, but not in the same categories) and put them in those PDFs.

We also have many things to buy and... pfff, I'm exhausted.

I think I'll continue in another post, just for the sake of not having one soooo long!
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