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Old 09-28-2008, 12:30 AM   #1
avalon451
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"Do Over!" Avalon and LizKitty Meet the Mouse! FINAL DAY POSTED: Update page 6



Welcome to my trip report! Many of you were there for me last March, when my family took our very first trip to Disneyland. That's right, none of us, including DH and I, both in our 40's, had ever been to any of the Disney properties. Needless to say, we were so excited to finally go, and to share the wonder with our three darling daughters-- aged 12, 10 and 5 at that time. However, while waiting for our flight at the airport, DD12 said, "Mom, I don't feel so good."

And it only got worse from there. Tuesday, our first full day at the parks, when I woke everybody up for Magic Morning, DD12 got out of bed, ran for the bathroom, and threw up. She perked up later in the morning and came to the parks with Dad. Then wilted again in the afternoon. Every day, she woke up a little worse, perked up, and wilted faster. By the time we got home on Friday, she was quite ill, and narrowly missed being hospitalized for dehydration due to some random virus.

DD12 was miserable. She thought she's "ruined" the vacation for everybody. She felt bad for holding us back, she felt bad for "wasted money" and she was sad to have missed so much of the parks. We made the best of it that we could, but when we got home I posted miserably on the boards that I was so disappointed and upset. You all were so supportive, and the thing I heard over and over was, "Well, you can just start planning another trip!" I hadn't even thought it possible. This trip was so long in making, and I have never thought in terms of DL being a frequent destination for us. I figured this would be our once-in-a-lifetime trip. But you all got me thinking. I had my own little cache of personal mad-money that I earned working part-time last year. I had enough left over that I could finance a trip for two, if I budgeted carefully. DH was extraordinarily supportive. "You tell me when, I'll take that week off." So, the "Mom-Daughter Do Over" trip was born! With all the tips I've learned on these boards, we've put together 5 days of a fabulous trip in which BOTH of us are intending to see and do all those things we missed the first time-- DD because she was curled up in a bunkbed in GCH with a fever and nausea; me because I was sitting in the hotel room with her, worrying my head off.

So, the CAST:

Me, Gail, age 44.

I've been a stay-at-home mom since my oldest was born in 1995. Before children I was a secondary school English teacher, having substitute-taught for a year in our local district, then taught 6-8th grades at our church's Christian day school. Last year and again this year, I've been teaching morning Kindergarten at the same school, where my own three kids are all now attending. I have a master's degree in Medieval literature, which really helps out with those Kindergarten lesson plans, let me tell you.

DD13, Liz.

She is the typical eldest child in so many ways. She is very responsible and conscientious. She is beautiful, and at the same time, all elbows and knees and adolescent acne. She is hypercritical of herself and sensitive. Part of this is due to the ravages of adolescence. 13 is a tough age for everybody, including those living with the 13-y.o. Liz is very smart, technically minded (if the computer is down, we send her to fix it), and also artistically gifted. She loves to draw and spends time daily in her drawing. She's especially good at Anime and Manga styles. She is adventurous and very independent-minded; not one to go along with the crowd. While she is currently going through periods of extreme "too-cool-for-you"-ness, she frequently reverts to her true sweet and perky nature, and has been known to throw her arms around me and say, "I'm so lucky to have you for a mom!"

Supporting cast: DH, 47 and my real-life knight in shining armor.

He is an engineering supervisor for Boeing and has worked there for 24 years. We've been together for 23 years, and married for 19. DH has never been the Romeo-type, with sweet words and sentimental gestures, but he shows his devotion in the way that he SPOILS us rotten. Me, and his three daughters. He works hard and slays the corporate dragons for us daily. He is taking an entire week of work off during our Fall break from school, so that while Liz and I go on our little jaunt, he can hang with our younger two....

DD10, crazy/beautiful/graceful/girl/woman.

She matured early and just passed me in height (I'm 5'4"). She has a wickedly funny sense of humor and is the butterfly, constantly flitting and pirouetting, acting weird, hugging randomly. While DD13 is awkward and coltish, and tends to clomp rather than walk, DD10 has this scarily innate grace of movement and gesture, making her always seem older than her years.

...and DD6.

Youngest, diva, sweet and mischievous with an impish gleam in her eye. Pesters her big sisters to distraction. Her favorite color is still purple, she still loves to dress up. The look of wonder in her eyes while we were at DL in March was one of my favorite memories from that trip.

Tellingly, the two younger daughters were absolutely cool with this whole thing. I was amazed and gratified as both of them have diffidently stated, separately and together, "Oh, yeah, you should totally take Liz again. She missed so much while we had fun. We will have a blast doing fun stuff with Dad while you're gone." Makes me cry! They are so unselfish! DD6 added, "Just bring me back one of those Stitch hats that look like he's eating your head!"

I will miss DH and younger DDs very much, and wish they could be there, too. That said, I'm so looking forward to this special time with my teenager. I'm so blessed to have a kid that still talks to me, seems to enjoy being around me, and is as enthusiastic as I am about this trip! We like the same kinds of things, and we will be able to do the "big stuff" without worrying about wearing out the littler ones. We can go, go, go from morning to night if we want!

THE PLAN:

Sunday, October 12th-Thursday October 16th. We fly in to SNA via Alaska Airlines around 1-ish. We are taking Super Shuttle to Howard Johnsons, where Lorealle has us booked into a top floor NQQ1 room at the fabulous Entertainment rate of $74 a night.

We have 5-day parkhoppers, acquired through GetAwayToday, which come with 2 Magic Mornings. We got them back when the "podcast" discount code still worked, so for the same price as DL travel, we have 2 MMs instead of just one.

We will hang in the parks on Sunday afternoon and do some things we missed, like see the parade, ride the DL railroad, and take pictures by the Mickey Floral. We have PSs at Cafe Orleans for dinner. Then fireworks and at least one ride on Liz's favorite, Space Mountain!

Three full days in the parks, Mon-Wed. Thursday morning we will hit MM, and ride all our favorites again, before an early lunch at BB. Super Shuttle picks us up about 3:30 from HoJo, and our flight leaves around 6 p.m., putting us back in Seattle about 8:45.

That's the general plan! Now that I've put you all to sleep, I will go away for awhile, and gather some pictures of us and our preparations. We are ready for an adventure!
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Last edited by avalon451; 10-24-2008 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:55 AM   #2
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We were there in March and my little DSis got some weird stomach bug. Luckily, it didn't last that long but it was terrible watching her go through it. We're taking sort of a redo trip too in four days. I hope you and DD have an awesome time!

And that's cool that your other DDs were okay with you only taking older DD. They sound like really good kids!
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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You are going to have a fabulous time! My 13-year-old daughter and I went in July, just the two of us, and we had so much fun. We have always enjoyed one another's company, but I was still worried she'd get tired of hangin' with her 40 year old Mom at some point during our trip. Happily that never happened! We giggled non-stop for 5 days. We're going to try and go next summer too!
Have a wonderful wonderful time. I can't wait to read about it!
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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You guys totally deserve a do over! I'm glad you are able to do this. Our trips overlap, so who knows, maybe we'll run into each other. Can't wait to read more!!
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:35 PM   #5
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I hope you have a great trip. It's wonderful that your family is fully supportive of this. I think it speaks volumes not only of the kind of people they are, but also of how you and your husband have raised them.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingshockey04 View Post
We were there in March and my little DSis got some weird stomach bug. Luckily, it didn't last that long but it was terrible watching her go through it. We're taking sort of a redo trip too in four days. I hope you and DD have an awesome time!

And that's cool that your other DDs were okay with you only taking older DD. They sound like really good kids!
Isn't that the worst? You feel so bad for them-- it's supposed to be the happiest place on earth, and they are missing all the fun. It's like, you'd put yourself in their place in an instant if you could. So you're doing a re-do, too! Hope you have a fabulous time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisybelle View Post
You are going to have a fabulous time! My 13-year-old daughter and I went in July, just the two of us, and we had so much fun. We have always enjoyed one another's company, but I was still worried she'd get tired of hangin' with her 40 year old Mom at some point during our trip. Happily that never happened! We giggled non-stop for 5 days. We're going to try and go next summer too!
Have a wonderful wonderful time. I can't wait to read about it!
Thank you so much! I love that, 'giggled nonstop' -- I think we will, too! I'm so looking forward to it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaU4 View Post
You guys totally deserve a do over! I'm glad you are able to do this. Our trips overlap, so who knows, maybe we'll run into each other. Can't wait to read more!!
I'd love to run into you! If you see a beanpole daughter and a pooh-shaped mom wearing a periwinkle Baggallini with LGMMHs on it, say "HI"!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepless Knight View Post
I hope you have a great trip. It's wonderful that your family is fully supportive of this. I think it speaks volumes not only of the kind of people they are, but also of how you and your husband have raised them.
Thank you so much. I hope we've done okay with our kids; as any parent can tell you, there's long periods of time when you really second guess your child raising techniques. Before having children, you figure you'll be the perfect parents That delusion lasts all of about 10 minutes. Sometimes I'm pretty sure that we have awesome kids IN SPITE of ourselves. Other times they do something pretty obnoxious and you think fleetingly of disowning them.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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Random musings on visiting the Land

When I was a kid, Disneyland was, literally, an unreachable dream. Only rich kids went there. It would never have occurred to me that we could ever take a vacation to DL.

Disneyland was that place you saw fleeting clips of, when you watched "Wonderful World of Disney" on Sunday nights. You saw the Monorail, the teacups. Then you watched something from those rather bad interim years when all they did was live-action movies... 'Charlie the Lonesome Cougar"... "The Parent Trap"..."Wilderness Family"... "Grizzly Adams".

I came from a family of 8 kids; my dad was a minister in a Lutheran Church with a salary that was pretty minimal. My mom worked part time as a med tech, sometimes full time. We always qualified for free lunch at school. We all worked our own ways through college. So yeah, Disneyland was not an attainable dream.

My brother and his wife went there for their honeymoon and we all thought they were a little nuts. It's for kids, right? We didn't really feel like we'd want to visit until our kids made us. And we wanted them to be "old enough to enjoy it." (i.e. potty trained!)

They did start pestering us about it as they got older. There was always something to put it off, though. The baby was too young. Finances are too tight this year. Finally, just after Christmas, this year, I said to DH, "Well, are we ever going to do this Disneyland thing?" DD5 was nearly 6 and the older two don't even like to play at a playground any more, so we'd better get it in.

He said, "If you want to research it and book it, I'll work out my vacation days." So with my usual over-enthusiasm for research and planning, I bought the Unofficial Guide, read it cover to cover, and in the process, discovered the DIS boards.

And that's how the addiction began!
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
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Great pre-trip report, can't wait for your full trip report. Your descriptions of your daughters are so sweet. Getting to spent all that time with your oldest will be awesome, I'm thinking about taking my kids separately at some point.

Have a great trip!
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avalon451 View Post
I'd love to run into you! If you see a beanpole daughter and a pooh-shaped mom wearing a periwinkle Baggallini with LGMMHs on it, say "HI"!
LOL Will do! And if you see an also Pooh sized, tired mom of four ready to pull her hair out, yet still smiling cause she's at Disney, that's me! Say hi back.


I'm so glad you guys were able to finally take a trip after it being "unattainable" for so long.
For me growing up, it was the opposite. Not to say we were rich, very far from it. But somehow since we lived in CA we always managed to go at least once a year, so I grew up going there.
I have great memories of being at DL as a kid, then with friends as a teen, with my boyfriend in HS who became my DH, and finally taking each one of my kids.

Sadly though with things going the way they are these days, money is becoming tighter and since our APs are expiring, our October trip will be it for us for awhile. I'm ok with that though. I know we are lucky to have been as often as we have and I know we'll be back.

Anyway, is it time to go yet?!?!?!?!!?
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:22 PM   #10
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What rides will we dare?

LizKitty *thinks* she loves roller coasters; she did go on Space Mountain last time and love love loved it! Rode it three times in quick succession (on the one night she wasn't feeling cruddy) and the last time, we waited for the front car. Now she's really jonesin' to go on Matterhorn and BTMRR, which she missed. Screamin', however, she's not so sure about. And she says definitely not to ToT. I personally KNOW she would love Screamin' and I think she would even like ToT, but I'm not that parent that shames their kids into riding stuff. Whatever makes them happy, yanno?

However, LizKitty tells me we must ride the teacups. Puuhhhleeze! "But, Mom, they're like, a classic!"

"But, Liz, I promise you I will barf!"

"But, Mom, you liked Screamin, and it goes upside down!"

"But, Liz, that's one loop, compared to a spinny, whirly death trap!"

So we made a deal. She will try Screamin', if I will do the teacups. She made me pinky swear.

I just better do it before a planned break, and have NOTHING in my stomach before hand. Also I told her that if she so much as touches that center wheel, let alone tries to spin us faster, I will personally aim at her lap when my stomach rebels.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:49 PM   #11
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I am so happy for you!! What an awesome time for the two of you to be going. This will for sure help to bond your relationship with your daughter especially now in her teen years. I look forward to reading more!!
You may have to make this a tradition with your other 2 wonderful girls.

I know that when I was a teen my mom and I had mother/daughter time every Monday. We would go have lunch together. I treasure those memories so much and to this day I am still very close with my mom. We don't live anywhere near each other, but I talk to her everyday. So as you can see I am all for special one-on-one time with a child and I know that this is something your daughter will treasure all her life.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:16 PM   #12
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avalon451, I have seen you posting, but I just now caught up on your story from the Spring. Honestly, I think this is going to be so special for you! Not quite the same, but when we took our trip this last May, DH and DM flew in after I drove with my boys. I was alone with the kids for a day and a half in DLR, and I have to tell you, it was so great!!! I still get a little teary thinking about how special it was, just hanging out with them, no worries about the speed of their lives or the stresses of my own, just me focusing on them and them enjoying every minute!

My oldest is about to turn 14. I don't know where the time has gone, but what I do understand is the challenges we face entering the teen-age years with our kids. To maintain the closeness we have built, to firmly keep them on a safe and productive path, to support their budding dreams (which of course, we cannot possibly understand! Jeez, Mom!), and to keep a sense of balance and discipline, all the while dispersing sympathy and compassion for the awkward and trying time they are going through without it turning into World War III... It's amazing, truly. And I, like you, have really good kids! It is still tough.

I think that is what makes this trip you are taking so great. Any chance we have to spend that one on one time is valuable. I wish you luck, and look forward to hearing all about it!
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:37 PM   #13
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Hi,

I just found your TR and I am so excited for you! I'm glad you get the opportunity for a do-over and I agree with the other posters: You have great kids AND you describe them so lovingly!

I'm really looking forward to the rest of your PTR and, of course, your TR.

Your writing is really nice. (OMG that sounds bad.. NICE.. what a boring word). LOL *sigh* I like it
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:25 AM   #14
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I have to agree with you, I love roller coasters, but the teacups? Not on your life!

It sounds like you've planned carefully and have a wonderful trip laid out. All that's left is to overdose on vitamins and put your daughter in a plastic bubble until it's time to leave.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:00 AM   #15
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Hi Gail! My family will be at Hojos the 13th and 14th on the wonderful ent. rate. Then we check out and head to Dolphin Cove (inlaws timeshare= free!!) I have an 11 year old dd so I can relate to everything you wrote about having a young teen. I'll keep my eyes open for you and your dd and I"ll even say hi if I'm feeling brave enough

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