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Old 08-18-2008, 06:06 PM   #1
jwhtewolfd
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Two Bunnies Walk into WDW...Now it's time to say goodbye-Completed 10/11-tons of pics

Greetings! Welcome to my first pre-trip report, as well as my first post.

Shall we start at the beginning? (Sure, what better place to start?)

The Cast:
Me (Jamie): 25 yr. DLH FS (domestic long hair, female spayed)
Heh, sorry. That's my "cat" designation. It's how I write everything at work as a vet tech at a cat hospital. Unfortunately, I am not spayed...yet. Nor am I very domesticated, but I DO have long hair. I last went to Disney World in 2001 with mom, dad and younger brother after I graduated high school. I had been 2 times before then, at ages 5 and 10.

Tony: 34 yr. old boyfriend/fiancee. He's "between jobs" atm. Who am I kidding, he is the stay-at-home wife. He is also the money for this trip, thanks to a recent settlement from when his dad died of mesothelioma...10 years ago. Tony was last in Disney World when Epcot was under construction.

The dates:
September 21, 2008 - September 27, 2008
The 21st (Sunday) and the 27th (Saturday) are for driving to and from New Orleans. That leaves 5 days for the theme parks. I originally thought Friday would be a free day, but the planning bug got me...more on that later. Oh yeah, the 25th will be our 5 year anniversary.

The place:
All Star Movies. Planning to request the Mighty Ducks section. Won't be devastated if we don't get it, but this was one of those movies my brother and I almost broke the VCR with when we were little. We had a VERY high tolerance for seeing things over and over and over and over again. Don't even get me started on Ninja Turtles.

The Cat Sitter:
My brother, 20 years old. Still lives with mom and dad. Very excited that he will be house sitting for me for a week. What was I thinking??



The Cats (skip this section if you're not into cats, because I am, and you're about to hear their life history):

(pics to follow when I reach a postcount of 10)
Jezzie - ~4 years old. Grey and black tabby. Her official name is Jezebel, but that is reserved for breaking-out-the-full-name-because-now-you're-in-trouble usage only. She was found on the street in my (old) neighborhood in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina. She had somehow managed to survive. A "nice" lady picked her up off the street and dropped her off at our hospital about a month before I was hired on. When I found an apartment four months later, I decided I needed to take her "home" because us St. Bernardians have to stick together. The lady who brought her in had named her Georgie Girl, and we had been calling her Georgie. I changed it to Jezzie for 3 reasons: 1. Jezzie sounds similar to Georgie, so she would still recognize it. 2. I like J names because, well, I have a J name. and 3. Georgie is a stupid name. Plus it sounds like a boy's name. So Jezzie came "home" to the apartment, which was never really "home," though we lived there a year and a half. I studied human psychology and animal behavior in college, and I am thoroughly convinced Jezzie has PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Louie - ~7 years old. Orange and white tabby. His official name from his previous owner was Louis Prima. His official name now is Lucifer. Sometimes he's known as Lucifurry. His mafia name is Handsome Lou - hey, I'm Italian, what do you want? (Yes, you read that right, my cats' names are Jezebel and Lucifer. I joke that the next one will be named Beelzebub ) Louie had been adopted from the hospital as a kitten, then 5 years later his "family" dumped him back off because he had issues with inappropriate urination (meaning he peed all over the house). To this day I don't know what their problem was. He does perfectly fine for me so long as I scoop the litter box once a day and his daddy doesn't leave his boxers on the floor. Boxers left on the floor = urine on boxers. With or without pee, it's still icky, so daddy has more incentive than just mommy's nagging to pick them up!

Enough about the cats, suffice it to say that they will NOT be coming along, as I know the rest of you will be very angry with me if Mickey is suddenly MIA. (Does it say something about me that the "cat" section of my Disney trip report is thus far longer than the actual Disney information in my Disney trip report?)



More info than you wanted to know:
Tony and I, we call each other "Bunny." Yeah, I know.
When we first met, I was in my passive-aggressive-scare-off-all-men phase. I tried the be-too-disgustingly-cute-for-him tactic and told him I needed a snuggle bunny. He went with it. That was five years ago. We got engaged on my birthday in January.
As I mentioned before, Sept. 25th will be our 5 year anniversary. Now Bunny keeps wanting me to set a date...for the wedding!

So the reason he is the money for this trip is simple: I'm cheap and I hate debt. Hate it. I pay my (Disney visa!) credit card off every month. I pay extra on my car note every month (which I wouldn't have if I had been allowed to take my already-paid-off car when we evacuated for Katrina. It drowned). I am a month ahead on my mortgage. Yep, 25 and I have a mortgage - you didn't actually expect me to keep paying RENT did you?! So we came by some extra money and decided to splurge with a little of it. The trip was totally paid off the day I booked it. Just the way I like it. I am also intrigued by this bounceback I keep reading about, and could probably be convinced to book a Sept. '09 trip without much...convincing.

I am excited about this trip because:
1. I have only been to WDW 3 times.
2. I have not been to WDW sine 2001
3. Novemeber will mark 3 years at my job and I have yet to take a vacation. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I love my boss, but we've had some staffing issues since Katrina and things have been rough from time to time. I gave them my dates in April and our office manager wrote them in INK! I will still feel a little guilty leaving everyone behind. And I will miss the cats!
4. I have not been on ANY vacation since 2001.
5. The following events make me NOT feel guilty about wanting/needing a Disney vacation. Since 2001, I have:
a. gone to and graduated college (go TULANE!)
b. done the oh-crud-i'm-in-the-real-world-now career search after college
c. been hired on at Audubon Zoo
d. lost everything in Hurricane Katrina (I was living in my parents' house at the time, as I had just graduated and got my job at the zoo. I had 4 feet of water in my room - on the second floor).
e. got laid off from Audubon Zoo
f. moved 7 times though this really wasn't SO bad b/c I didn't own anything anymore. (cue Monty Python - Always look on the bright side of life - c'mon, sing along - doo do, doo do....ok I'll stop)
g. went through the whole career search again 3 months after the first one
h. bought and rebuilt a house that had been stripped down to studs after the hurricane (sorry, no emoticon to cover that range of emotions)
i. had my childhood home where I have lived the past 17 years bulldozed to the ground.
6. This is my first ever self-financed, sans-parents vacation.

ADRs, itinerary and special events to follow in the next post, as this one seems kinda long. And I need to pay attention to the Olypmics!
Thanks to anyone who has managed to read this far!

Last edited by jwhtewolfd; 10-12-2008 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:30 PM   #2
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ADRs, Itenerary and Special Events

The more I look at bounceback, the more I am tempted to plan an 8-days-in-the-park trip next year. That being the case, I will think of this trip as a tasting sampler and consider next year's trip the slow-down-soak-in-the-magic-and-actually-relax trip. But this year - full on, non stop, go go go!

I'll also add that I felt really stupid and disappointed that I booked this trip without free dining. We do have the dining plan, but here's what happened. I booked in late April. I heard about the dining plan in June. I shrugged it off because it ended Sept. 20th and we were not arriving until Sept. 21st. It was not until after the window to book free dining closed that I realized that as long as you ARRIVE by the 20th, you have the free dining for the length of your stay. DOH! By adding a day to the beginning of our stay I could have saved a bunch. Or I could have upgraded to POFQ for just a tiny bit more. But now I know better. Lesson learned. Moving on. sigh.

So here's the deal. I work Wednesday - Saturday (aka 4 10's). Recently I've been working most Sundays too, but that's another story. We close early on Saturday - 3pm. Which means I might get home any time from 3:30 to 7:00pm, depending on how late we run and if some crazy emergency comes running through the door at 2:59. It happens alot more then you'd think. Anyway, whenever I get home, Tony WILL have dinner ready (or else! ). The plan is to have everything already packed before I go to sleep Friday night so I can get home Saturday, eat dinner and go immediately to sleep. Hey, I said it was the PLAN, not what would actually happen.

Whenever I wake up Sunday morning on the 21st, probably between 2 and 5am, we will load the already-perfectly-packed-and-ready bags into the car and hit the road.

Using mapquest and my good common sense, I am estimating a 10 hour drive, arriving in WDW roughly around 3 or 4pm. Check in, find the room. We may or may not do a round of Fantasia mini-golf tonight. We may or may not head to DTD tonight to check out shops. It all depends on how exhausted I may or may not be. So, at best - golf and shopping with a CS at DTD, at worst - All Star Movies food court and sleep.

Now for the serious stuff:

Note that I am planning on rope drops for each park, so the goal is to leave the room by 7:45 at the latest, shooting for 7:30, but I'll be telling Tony we need to leave at 7:15

Monday, Sept. 22
Magic Kingdom
Lunch and Dinner both CS (saving those TS for Epcot!) Cosmic Ray's and Columbia Harbor House both sound tasty and seem to fit into our touring schedule.

I am using touringplans, but just FYI the must-sees for us are Space, BTMRR, Splash, Jungle Cruise, PoTC, Enchanted Tiki Room (only because I was out-voted and didn't get to go in 2001), Haunted Mansion and Mickey's PhilharMagic. Our would-like-to-see-but-won't-be-devastated-if-we-don'ts are Buzz (because I want to beat Tony; I know about the holding-down-the-trigger trick - shh! don't tell him!), Stitch, Liberty Bell Riverboat, Hall of Pres, TTA, CoP and Toontown. What?! Nothing in Fantasyland? Just wait...

We plan to watch the 3:00 parade (at 3:00!), Spectro and Wishes. If we must miss one, it will probably be the 3:00 parade, but we're going to try hard to see it. However, I will not be devastated at missing certain parades, seeing as how we live in New Orleans and it takes a mighty impressive parade to...uh, impress us.

If we have anything left in us, we will head to DHS after Wishes. The EMH have it open til 12, and we have a mission.

We are NOT rollercoaster/drop people. Spin me all you want. Shake me all you want. Go as fast as you want. Don't care. Both of us bunnies are terrified of upside downs and drops. In '01 I sat on the bench while mom, dad and bro did ToT and RnR. SIX times. So now we are determined, if they could do it, we can do it. At least once. Then never again. I have a suspicion that I MIGHT like RnR, but I'm pretty sure ToT will be on my "things to never do again - ever." list. Anyway, our sole purpose of going to DHS tonight will be to ride ToT and RnR. And get them OUT OF THE WAY. I DO NOT want to be dreading these until Thursday. If we like one or both, great, we'll squeeze them in on DHS day. If not, one less thing to squeeze in that day. Either way, the anticipation will be over.

Tuesday, Sept. 23
Animal Kingdom My favorite park!
Lunch - an early Pizzafari, as it is a/c and we have very early ADR for dinner
Dinner - Yak and Yeti @ 4:15pm.

Animal Kingdom is giving me fits as far as planning the actual attractions. I know about Steve Soares' website, but seeing the times for the shows change ever so slightly throughout the summer is freaking me out. The current plan is to nail down the plan of attack the week before we leave so I have the most up-to-date show times. I'm not terribly keen on following touringplans' suggestions for AK because they don't have you "working in" the shows until the end of the day, and I really want to plan for them earlier in case we miss one. We can get to a later showing, but not if we were planning on the last show of the day!

My must-sees at Ak are: Tough to be a Bug, Lion King, Safari, Dinosaur (I know it's not considered a favorite, but I remember enjoying it in '01 - or at least not thinking it was bad at all), Nemo, Flights of Wonder, Kali River Rapids, every walking trail available, and Everest (to fulfill our "we can do it too!" quota - I'm actually expecting this to be closer to BTMRR than RnR. We have no issues with BTMRR. If this perception is incorrect, please set me straight). We actually wanted to try Primeval Whirl, but it will be down for rehab. As you can see, pretty much the whole park is on this list.

With dinner at 4:15 and AK closing at 5, I'm figuring anything not done before dinner will not get done. Things we'd like to see, but will be able to survive without: Pocahontas (I know it's closing, and I'd really actually like to see one of the training shows, but I just don't see it fitting in to the schedule), the Camp Minnie-Mickey trails and Rafiki's. I'm pretty sure our 4:15 ADR rules out the Jammin' Jungle Parade. I had read somewhere that someone had window seating at Yak and Yeti and was able to see it pass. I'm not sure if this is correct, but I will ask at the restaurant. If we can get the seats and are able to see, all the more excellent. If not, well, there will be other parades in our lives.

After dinner, immediately hop a bus to TTC, then boat or monorail to MK for...MNSSHP!

At first I thought I would dress in my scrubs, draw red lines on my arms with sharpies (to look like cat scratches, and b/c I love sharpies) and pass myself off as a vet tech at a cat hospital. But we will be leaving directly from AK; I don't want to waste time making a pit stop at the hotel to change. I don't want to wear scrubs to AK all day (hmmm, or do I? They ARE pretty comfy....). So my current plan is to buy some PoTC shirts in MK on Monday and wear them on Tuesday.

My optimistic arrival time is 6pm. My I'm-getting-ansty-and-worried-and-everybody-better-hurry-the-heck-up-and-get-out-of-my-way arrival time is 6:30. First up is PoTC and HM, followed by funnel cake and Fantasyland!

Yes, the funnel cake is non-negotiable, and I'm planning most of Fantasyland during the first parade (when all the little kids will be distracted, I hope). My Fantasyland musts are: Dumbo (b/c I have NEVER ridden Dumbo, mom and dad said the line was too long when I was 5 and 10, and would have laughed me silly if I had brought it up in '01), Pooh and probably PhilharMagic again. Then Peter Pan, Mad Tea Party, and SnowWhite in that order, if there's time. If we are somehow way ahead of schedule, I will bite the bullet and do IASW.

Then position ourselves for fireworks, villains meet and greet and the second parade. Proceed over to Space Mountain, Buzz, Stitch, Monsters Inc. and TTA. That is the order of attack unless we run out of time. When time grows short, we will immediately head to TTA, as I really want to see the nighttime view from above. Ideally the last ride of the night would be the Skytram, or whatever it was called...sorry, not old enough to remember the proper name. I'm really into the gazing-from-a-distance-and-taking-it-all-in moments. But alas, it seems TTA will be the closet I'll be getting to the sky.

Word is that the CMs are heaping the left over candy on you as you walk out at the end of the night. This would be nice, but if it is not the case, it will be OK, as I'm not a big fan of candy bars. I'm very picky about my candy. But I could always bring the surplus to work. They'd like that better than any souvenir I could buy.

Wednesday, Sept. 24
Epcot Tony's most anticipated park!
and now we get to all those lovely TS credits. (where's the smiley with a fork and knife?)
Lunch - Coral Reef @ 11:30 am
Dinner Tutto Italia @ 5:30 pm

Now don't berate me for wasting so much time in restaurants. 1. It is our cool down/break time 2. We are from New Orleans. Where our motto is: we don't eat to live, we live to eat. Another note - I resisted making ADRs for a little while after booking, thinking we were going during the off season, but sanity set in about 115 days out, so some of my times are a little earlier than I'd normally plan. In fact, we had to switch our AK and Epcot days to be able to get anything in Epcot. And I couldn't get Le Cellier at all.

My plan of attack is grab Fastpasses for Soarin', standby Test Track, then work our way around Future World in a counterclockwise direction. For Mission:Space we will ride whichever side has the shortest wait. We will spend 3/4 of an hour with Ellen. If there is time, we will do Spaceship Earth, if not, we will go straight to the Seas for lunch and Nemo. Soarin' should be ready for us in the Land, as well as Living with the Land and Circle of Life. Onward to Figment and HISTA.

If all is going smoothly, we should be entering Canada at some point during the 3:00 hour. That gives us ~ 20 min. per country in World Showcase plus an hour for dinner. Let's face it, some countries are more interesting than others. We may watch the movies in America and China, or we may save them until Friday. We will definately ride Maelstrom and have margaritas while watching Illuminations. We may even have more margaritas while waiting for the crowds to clear. Normally I'm the driver, but Disney's driving tonight, baby! Don't worry, alcohol puts me to sleep long before I get anywhere near drunk enough to do anything silly. We'll probably make this an early night.

Thursday, Sept. 25
Hollywood Studios Another highly-anticipated-by-Tony park
Lunch - CS Probably working out to be around ABC Commissary or Backlot Express
Dinner - Sci-Fi Dine In @ 6:00pm

This is another one that's giving me minor fits due to showtimes, but not as bad as AK. We will get Toy Story Fastpasses first. ToT and RnR should be already taken care of. If one or the other needs to be repeated, we'll grab fastpasses later in the day, but I doubt that will be the case.

Must-sees: TGMR, Backlot Tour, LMA!, Muppets, Star Tours!, Indy, One Man's Dream, Animation Tour and Narnia. Fantasmic! is a given. Would like to see the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast shows. MUST find time for the Villains store to replace now-drowned Scar t-shirt that I had purchased in '01. Would aslo be ecstatic if could find a Sher Khan shirt as well. The parade would be a bonus, but again, won't be crushed with one less parade in our lives.

If after Fantasmic! we have energy to spare, may take a trip to DTD, go play mini-golf or may just call it a night.

Friday, Sept. 26
Epcot and DTD
Lunch - Garden Grill @ 11:20am with Ch-ch-ch-chip and Dale! Sorry, I'm of the Rescue Rangers generation. I've seen the early cartoons, but RR is my Chip and Dale staple.
Dinner - Capt'n Jacks @ 4:00pm - I'm a seafood girl, so I'm excited to eat here, but I'm first and foremost a red-meat girl, so I may spend the week trying to find a Le Cellier ADR for Friday night. If I can get it, I might have to cancel this one.

Arriving in Epcot, we'll have to decide if we want to do Soarin', Test Track and/or Mission:Space again. Also, will definately do Spaceship Earth if we didn't get to it Wednesday. Then lots of time for Innovations, as this is Tony's kind of thing. Lunch with Chip and Dale and more time in the World Showcase if needed. If unable to secure a Le Cellier ressie, off to DTD, leaving Epcot absolutely no later than 3pm.

Will be checking World of Disney for what I'm sure will be an elusive Sher Khan t-shirt. Generally take it easy, stroll around, finish up souvenir shopping. If we were crazy impressed and there are tickets left, there is another MNSSHP tonight, but the extra $$ will probably hold us back. Other options include back to Epcot for Illuminations, or DHS for another round of Fantasmic!, slight possibility of checking out Pleasure Island or Disney Quest, but most likely an early night, as we have been go, go, going for five days.

Saturday, Sept. 27

Sleep In! Wake up as late as possible to check out at 11am and hit the road. Don't mind too much getting home late, b/c even if I do have to work Sunday, I'll have Monday and Tuesday off to recuperate. And Sundays are easy, no clients to deal with, just cats.

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Old 08-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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Wow your report so far is really fascinating! I can't believe all you have been through. How neat that you work at a cat hospital - my cat is the light of my life so I will definitely be tuning in for your report.

I also love Rescue Rangers (what a great theme song) and the Mighty Ducks - when I was a kid I had such a crush on the kid from Mighty Ducks 2 who was from Texas
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philadisney View Post
Wow your report so far is really fascinating! I can't believe all you have been through. How neat that you work at a cat hospital - my cat is the light of my life so I will definitely be tuning in for your report.

I also love Rescue Rangers (what a great theme song) and the Mighty Ducks - when I was a kid I had such a crush on the kid from Mighty Ducks 2 who was from Texas
Thanks for finding it "fascinating!" I was boring Tony to death with it earlier. He claims he is excited, but I start going on and on and totally lose him.

I guess I have been through quite a bit. I was suprised so much "storm stuff" ended up coming out; I don't usually talk about it much, but the last 3 years have been steeped in it, and it's such a big part of why I SO NEED this vacation. I am lucky that my family was safe and financially prepared, but sometimes it's still hard to see the silver linings.

My cats are definately the center of my world, and I have another whole cat family at work. We have 12 house cats that live at the hospital. Buddy, Spiderwoman, Allie and Mothra! are my nearest and dearest. I miss them even on my 2 days off; a whole week will be tough! I will definately be in cat-withdrawal at night. I don't know how I'll ever sleep without 9 pounds of Jezzie on my chest!

I can guarantee I will be singing "Ch-ch-ch-chip and Dale" in my head walking into Garden Grill. Aside from Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers, the tv in our house was stuck on Disney channel. Even in high school I didn't leave the house in the morning until Timon and Pumba was over.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:50 AM   #5
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Paperwork and Packing

I received my paperwork in the mail today!

Hotel and discount vouchers all seem in order. Tony took some offense at learning that he is, in fact, guest #2. Sorry, but when the on-line planner asks for my name to start the reservation, I tend to put in MY OWN NAME.

As for the packing plans, we made an impromptu trip to Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond last Sunday while at the mall to see the new Mummy movie and The Dark Knight. Picked up some essentials - blue rain ponchos, Coppertone sunscreen spf 50 (spray for body and cream for face), small hand-held fans, a misty fan, band-aids and moleskin. I didn't have my list with me, so I missed a few things; guess I'll have to suck it up and make that dreaded trip to Wal-Mart.

I did manage to find a decent messenger bag. We had been planning on using a National Wildlife Federation backpack, but I was not superkeen on the idea of the backpack on what is guaranteed to be a very sweaty, sticky back. It's got a good number of compartments; my one issue is that it does not zip closed at the top. It only has the flap that buckles at the bottom. My concern is riding RnR and ToT with it, but as these are the only gravity-defying elements of the trip, I can probably manage by just holding tight. I'm sure I'll have a death grip during those two rides anyway.

Oh yeah, I also picked up - are you ready for this - a 2G memory card for the camera.

Big deal, you say.

Yes, I say...but I was able to fill my 1G card in one 5 hour trip to Audubon Zoo!

A little history on the digital camera story: I got my first digital camera for x-mas several (many) years ago. It was a Fujifilm Finepix, 2.0 megapixels, 3x optical zoom. My dad picked it out, and he's kind of an electronics snob, so it was pretty decent for the times. I've used that camera until January '08. I was at a dental conference in January when I won a door prize at the fancy auction/dinner. The prize was a Canon Powershot A570, 7.1 megapixels, 4x optical zoom. It came with a 16MB card (useless!), but they included a 1G card with the prize. So, score! for me.

I had pushed my Fugifilm to the limit at the zoo before. A 32MB and 16MB card just BARELY got me to the end of the zoo, IF I was conservative. I put the Canon's 1G to the test a few weekends ago. I managed just near 400 pics before getting the dreaded "MEMORY CARD FULL." And that was pushing it, taking pics of signs and wall sculptures and such. So I felt pretty confidant my plan of bringing the laptop and off-loading the card every night would be sufficient. Until I realized...AK and MNSSHP are on the same day! THIS could be a problem.

So we were strolling along at Target, waiting for our showing of The Dark Knight, when Tony spots the electronics section, and says to me, "Why don't you get another memory card for the camera?"
The 2G was only $5 more than the 1G, so he bought it for me, and now my picture anxieties are quelled. With 3G worth of memory cards, I should be able to make it through the marathon-picture-taking Tuesday. Or, to put it another way: if I burn my way through 1,200 pictures in one day, shame on me. And someone please send an intervention my way to remind me to "experience" my vacation, not just take pictures of it.

I'm thinking I'll also bring along the Fugifilm for Tony to use in case he wants to take any pics - 'cause he sure the heck ain't touchin' my camera! That's very generous of me, right?
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:18 AM   #6
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Packing List and...some good news

I'm not usually this organized, but no way am I heading off on this trip without a packing list. My usual idea of packing for a week is 5 shirts, 3 pants and a toothbrush. I was getting a little nervous about the whole thing, especially knowing there will be no mom and dad to back me up, so I trekked over to that Ultimate Packing List site and stole from there. A list is of utmost importance if I intend to keep my be-finished-packing-before-work-on-Saturday plan, otherwise I'll be running around at 3:00 Sunday morning like a cat on catnip: at full speed, with lofty intentions and accomplishing nothing. So without further ado, the packing list:

(p) = take into parks

driving directions!
laptop
camera (p)
memory cards (p)
batteries (p)
ziplock bags (p)
$2.50 x 2 for tolls
rain ponchos (p)
umbrella (p)
quarters and pennies for penny presses (p)
confirmation #s (p)
MYW package paperwork
diet cokes
snacks
meds (pepcid, advil, claritin, neosporin) (p)
park bag (p)
extra socks (p)
extra shoes
light jacket/long sleeve shirt (p)
clothes, pajamas, underwear
water bottle (p)
cell phone and charger
hairbrush, tooth brush and paste, deodorant!
eyedrops (p) and extra contacts
sunglasses (p)
sunscreen
watch (p)
insect repellent
scissors (p)
money!
sharpie (p)
nail clippers
camera and laptop cables
memory card reader
moleskin (p)
band-aids (p)
hand-held fans (p)
misty fan (p)
aloe vera gel
planning/autograph book (p)

My planning notebook was a gift from my boss. It has a magnetic seal and archival quality paper. It's dark blue with cats on the covers. All the important info is in it already. I'll have it out all the time for reference and note taking, so I figured I'll use it for autographs too. I know we'll at least get Ch-ch-ch-chip and Dale at character dining, villains from MNSSHP, and any really cool characters that happen to have short lines in the parks. The book also has one of those nice page marker ribbons. Having the next blank page marked will save me from flipping through pages during valuable character time.

And now for the good news. I just realized that my dates coincide with a conference my boss is attending. She will be away on Saturday, which means we will not be seeing appointments. I'll just need to do treatments and cleaning, which means I'll actually get to leave at 3:00pm WHEN WE CLOSE! I'll be able to get home early, eat dinner early (because Tony WILL have dinner ready when I get home, or else!), go to sleep early, wake up early, start driving early and get to WDW early! We might even have time to do mini-golf or DTD before we crash Sunday night.

The only downside is that my boss was going to send me to the technicians' one-day conference on Sunday. It will focus on feline urinary tract disorders. Now don't laugh, but since I studied animal behavior in college, I try to take any related classes I can when they come up. Most animal behavior topics in pets are focused on dogs. The only cat behaviors people are worried about are scratching and inappropriate urination. Since I get really frustrated and tired of trying to talk people of out declawing, my secret passion is cat urine. I said don't laugh! I suppose WDW will just have to do.

I know I promised pictures when I reached a postcount of 10. Since I managed to fit the cats into my sig, I had some really nice ones of the alligator feeding at Audubon Zoo lagoon. But photobucket currently keeps crashing IE, and I'm not about to lose my whole post again!
I SWEAR after the trip I'll have more pics than you can stomach. And I'll try to get those gator pics up too.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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I love all the cat references in your posts...and the Rescue Ranger theme song reference of course!
You are so organized....I have a list written down but it keeps changing! I think I am almost there - it drives me crazy not being able to pack things like my wallet, makeup etc. because I still need them this week
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:57 PM   #8
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Yeah, I have cats on the brain.
I know what you mean about the things you can't pack because you still need them. I always worry that I'll forget soemthing really important like my hairbrush. I need to use it that morning, what if I set it down by the sink as usaual and forget to put it in my bag? And I have crazy thick, long hair, so just any old little cutsie brush you could buy in a resort shop won't cut it, er...brush it. That will definately be part of my Sunday morning panic.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:41 PM   #9
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Those pics I promised

Don't know what happened with photobucket. It kept crashing IE on my computer, but worked fine on Tony's. Of course I don't have any pictures on Tony's computer, but it's working now. Here are those hungry gators.


and some cat pics for good measure.



26 days to go! Does everyone else get sad that there won't be anything to anticipate once their trip is over?
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Old 08-30-2008, 02:07 AM   #10
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Signs...it's written in blood.

I started neglecting my MMOPRG (City of Heroes) once I booked my Disney trip in April. I started neglecting my Disney planning when I started playing Kingdom Hearts in July.

Now with Gustav bearing down, I'm forced to neglect everything else. Local government is...hmmm, how not to use expletives here? Shall we say, a little gun shy? Gustav is not yet in the Gulf, they still don't know exactly where it's going, yet as of 4pm tomorrow I'm not allowed to leave my parish. And if I do, I can't get back in; I would HAVE to evacuate.

I know the government has to be extra careful because they screwed up so bad last time, but they are really cheezing me off. How can I get to work on Sunday if I can't leave my house after 4 pm on Saturday?? How can I sit around in my house for 2 or 3 days just waiting? Let me DO something. Let me be productive. Don't get me wrong; I'll leave if I need to. I'm not stupid (so says I). But if I don't need to leave, then I'm not going to leave. People keep asking me what are my plans. My reply has become "Pepcid." Yeah, 'cause I own a house now. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!

I am a responsible person. I work for a living. I support myself. I pay taxes (I'll be stimulating Disney's economy in 23 days!). I own my own reliable transportation. If I choose to stay, I am well prepared and stocked. If I need to evacuate, I will get myself out. And if I'm too stupid to do the right thing, then I have only myself to blame. Sure, get all those people who expect you to take care of them and do everything for them out first. But leave me alone! I will go if and when I am ready to go!

So everything here is news, news, news. All weather, all the time. People are freaking a bit. I'm trying to remain calm and reasonable. But inside my stomach is churning that there is a possiblity that I might loose everything again. And this time I have a lot more to loose!

But today at work I received a sign. We pulled blood on three cats today. At the end of the day, I was going through the bloodwork to make sure everything that had needed to be run had been run. When I got to the last sample, it dawned on me. The names of the three cats we had pulled blood on were (are you ready for this?):
Jamie
Mickey
Minnie

It's a sign!

Jamie will soon be with Mickey and Minnie in WDW and all will be well. My house will not be soggy. I will enjoy my vacation with Mickey and Minnie and not worry that I will be returning to contractor nightmares!

Am I stretching it a bit? Probably. But it's been a very stressful summer with a difficult co-worker. Then a differently stressful month when short-staffed, but a happy stress because we are short staffed because difficult co-worker was fired. Add hurricane stress on top of that and you've got a bunny bordering on delirium. I worked entirely on nerves today. It's kind of like working on pure adrenaline, but without the "oomf." A surreal, slow-motion, frantic chaos, if you will.

Dang, I need a vacation.

(side note - hadn't really noticed how difficult it is to write on this board without expletives until writing this post!)
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Old 08-31-2008, 02:44 AM   #11
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Fleeing to Atlanta. I said I would evacuate only if I needed to. I think this qualifies.

They don't make enough papcid and advil for this.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:59 PM   #12
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20 more days

Not exactly what I had planned for 20 days out, but we are in Atlanta. Took just under 12 hours to drive, which is actually not too bad, considering. We took Paris Road out of the parish to I10 east. We left right around noon. Contraflow forced us north onto I59, which was mostly bumper to bumper crawling with occassional stops. In Picayune, Mississippi we took 43 down through Kiln and Diamondhead south back to I10 east and made decent time. Got to Mobile, Alabama about 7pm. In Mobile, we took I65 north to Montgomery. That was steady traffic, ranging from 20 to sometimes 50 mph. Then I85 to Atlanta, Georgia. Reached I85 roundabout 10 pm. Steady, but fast traffic, as I'm sure everyone had been on the road forever and wanted to get to their desintation. We averaged 60 - 80mph.

We are at a Holiday Inn Express near the airport; pet friendly, of course. It's nice. We have a king size bed! (We have two rooms, me and Tony in one, mom and dad in the other. Little bro went with a friend round Shreveport, LA way. Grandma left way early for relatives in Mississippi.) We were going to stay in St. Bernard until they started saying we could be looking at a category 5. In Mobile, my dad wanted to turn around and go back beacuse they were saying it was weakening. He was outvoted since we were already on the road. I say, we've already gone through the trouble of packing (and YES, I packed my Disney supplies and paperwork!) and driving, let's go where we will have power and a/c and internet. He wanted to try to find a room in Mobile, but Atlanta rooms were already reserved, and like I said - if you're going to run, run far enough that you still have the amenities.

It's 6:30 pm central and as far as we can tell, no flooding yet in St. Bernard, though watching very closely for levees overtopping now. Keeping fingers crossed. Mom talked to my uncle, who stayed with the sheriff's office in St. B, at 2:30pm and he sounded hopeful. He stayed during Katrina, as he was on the parish council at the time, so he knows what he's looking at.

Keeping close eyes on the local stations (wdsu and wwl) live internet feeds. Have I mentioned how much I hate buffering. I'm not even sure what it is exactly, but it seems like everytime they're about to say something really important, the video has to buffer. Have plently of Tylenol left, but running low on Pepcid. This could be bad.

So remember how I said I'm 25 and own a home? Yeah. Strongly thinking of reconsidering that! (Not really, just send more Pepcid to Atlanta for me.)

The cats traveled fairly well and are adjusting to the room. Worried about my boss who evacuated with 21 cats from the hospital, plus her 4 at home (one of which is a bobcat she rescued years ago that lives in her garage!). They headed Tennesse way, so they should be safe. Not so sure about sane, though.

But I learned my lesson and packed way more than 5 shirts and 2 pairs of pants (like I did for Katrina). This time I brought everything, which still isn't very much. I really wanted to take my couch. I really love my couch. It's perfect for me. Nice color, soft fabric, low enough so that my short legs touch the floor when I sit, and low enough to the floor that no cats can fit under it to hide from me when it's time for nail trims. But we couldn't QUITE fit the couch.

Here's a pic of my comfy couch
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Last edited by jwhtewolfd; 09-01-2008 at 11:59 PM. Reason: add couch pic
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:28 PM   #13
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Updating from the computer at work. Just realized only 15 days left. YIKES. Time has gotten away from me.

We returned to St. Bernard Wednesday morning. We made good time from Atlanta. Power at my house just came on Friday while I was at work. Still have no internet or cable. Not having internet makes last minute Disney planning pretty difficult. Also pretty ticked that I won't be able to watch the Saints game tomorrow.

I called the cable and internet service provider. All I get is an electronic recording that states "We know your service is out. We're working to fix it. Don't report outages. You can check our website for updates." Click. That's it. No option to speak to someone. No ability to ask questions. And, HELLO!?! Did you not just tell me you KNOW my service is down, yet you want me to check ONLINE for updates on when my INTERNET service will be working?!? (Not everyone's place of business happens to have power and internet and a boss nice enough to let me play around on disney sites! )

I really need a vacation. Only 15 more days. OMG! I'm SO not ready. HELP! (where the emoticon for PANIC?)
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:09 AM   #14
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Quick update to say the cable and internet FINALLY JUST came back on. Just in time for bed. Arrived home Wednesday, power came on Friday, cable and internet showed up Tuesday night. Now with only 12 days to go, I can finally get down to planning Animal Kingdom.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:57 PM   #15
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I almost have Animal Kingdom nailed down. Will be packing tonight or tomorrow. Between losing two weeks with hurricane evacuation and power/internet outages, and my internet classes starting last week, I've lost any sense of excitement. I know I'm 6 days away. I'm happy about it. I'm definately feeling the need for it at work. I just don't have that same happy anticipation I had in late August. It doesn't help that I need to accomplish three weeks of class work in a matter of one week so that I'm not behind when we get back. Tony's making a grocery trip for traveling snacks tomorrow, and it looks like we might be able to avoid the dreaded Wal-Mart trip!
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