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Old 10-16-2008, 09:54 AM   #1
kschafer
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My better late than never TR

Hi Everyone

First, let me explain the title of my TR. It really has 2 meanings.

1.I grew up in Iowa with parents who love to travel. We went lots of places when we were kids like Yellowstone and the Rockies…



Various locations around the Midwest…


California and Utah…



And lots of summers in Michigan because my parents both grew up there and most of my extended family still lives there…


But both sets of grandparents also had winter homes in Florida. This meant regular winter breaks which often included trips to WDW (I even have faint memories of the ticket system from years ago)…

Here's us with my dad's parents (on the right) and aunt and uncle (on the left)

Same trip (I know you are loving the matching outfits!)


Another trip with my Mom's parents (grandpa only in the pic)


I loved Disney World as a kid but the last time I was there was when I was a teenager. When I got married in 1997 , my hubby and I were going to go for our honeymoon but money was tight and we choose something different (nice, but not Disney). I have wanted to go back ever since but over the last 11 years we purchased a home, multiple cars and had 2 kids and just never quite got there.

Fast forward to Christmas 2005…my parents told the family that for their 40th wedding anniversary in 2007, they wanted to take everyone to Disney. This includes my family and my brothers and their families, 8 adults and 6 kids ranging from 7 months to 5 years at that time. WOO HOO!!! So the planning begins.

Summer of 2006, my younger brother and I are talking and think perhaps postponing the trip 1 year would make it nicer for our youngest. I know, I know, lots of people around here think that kids are never too young to go but we knew this would not be a trip we would do again and thought postponing the trip would be best. My parents and older brother agreed. The only wrench in our plan came along when that winter my older brother and his wife announced they were expecting their third child…add baby to the list of travelers…so much for waiting so the kids were older!

So I’m finally going back to WDW…better late than never!

2. In June we packed up and left for the trip I had been waiting for all this time!! Yes, I realize that it is now October, let me explain. I used the Dis TONS for trip planning but didn’t really discover TR’s until after I returned. This trip really brought out the addiction in me that had probably laid hidden for so long. After discovering TR’s, I have enjoyed trips through many other Disers and thought it was time to give back by writing one of my own.

So here we are…better late than never!!

I hope you join me for this walk down memory lane. Please say Hi and let me know if you decide to hang around.
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Me (Katie) DH (Greg) DS12 (Patrick) DS9 (Daniel)



June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:54 AM   #2
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Next, the main cast of characters:

HI, I’m Katie, I’m 36. I have been a high school science teacher for the last 8 years but left this year and now work at my Alma Matter, the University of Northern Iowa. I am the outreach coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences planning programs for the public and local schools. I also teach an Earth Science course to future elementary school teachers. I love my job and it is only ˝ time which means I have extra time in my life and a lot less stress from when I taught full time. I am a roller coaster junkie!

DS, Patrick, now 7. He is in second grade, loves school and is one smart cookie! He is a really sweet kid but not very brave. There was NO WAY he was getting on any potentially scary or dark rides on this trip.



DH, Greg, 45. He is a high school science teacher. We met in college in…surprise…a science class. He was a non-traditional student after having been in the Navy and working as a car mechanic. I was the teaching assistant, 1 semester away from graduating and leaving Iowa for good. Well, 3 months later he asked me to marry him and I never did leave!

DS, Daniel, just turned 4. He goes to the babysitters 3 days a week when I work and is home with me the other days. He is very shy and is all boy, he loves cars, trucks and trains; but like his big brother, not very brave.

(this is looking like a non-roller coaster trip for mommy! )

Our trip was 2 ˝ weeks in Florida, we had 10 day tickets! The first week was spent in a 6 bedroom house in Davenport, about a 15 minute drive from WDW, with the entire gang. Then the 4 of us had 4 nights at OKW followed by a couple days at the beach and back to Orlando for 2 days of Sea World before heading home.

The supporting cast of characters:

My mom and dad, married 41 years (remember the reason for the trip?), both retired. They live about 45 minutes from us but have been traveling a lot by 5th wheel in the last few years including a summer in Alaska and winters in various southern states. Last winter, they found themselves near Venice Florida (on the gulf ) for the winter and ended up buying a place. Now someday, my kids will get to think back fondly to their winter break trips to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Florida just like I do!



Older brother, SIL, DNeice (now 8), DNeice (4 ˝) and DNephew (just turned 1). They live about 1 hour from us but with busy lives, we only see them every couple months . Their plans were to come and spend a couple days at Disney before meeting up with the whole group followed by a few days with my parents at their place.



Younger brother, SIL, DNeice (5), DNephew (3 ˝). They live in Illinois and we see them only a few times a year. They arrived early and spent a couple days with my parents at their new house before coming to Orlando for the big week. They only stayed 1 additional night before heading home.



The plan for the first week together was:
Day 1 – everyone arrives to the rental house, unpacks, swims, has dinner and gets a good night sleep
Day 2 – DHS at rope drop, staying through the parade and calling it an early night
Day 3 – Magic Kingdom at rope drop, lunch at Crystal Palace, taking an afternoon break and returning for evening parade and fireworks
Day 4 – Day off
Day 5 – Epcot at rope drop, afternoon break, evening for dinner at Biergarten followed by Illuminations
Day 6 – Day off
Day 7 – Animal Kingdom at rope drop, staying through afternoon parade
Day 8 – Day off
Day 9 – Individual families depart for their own plans

How well are we able to stick to these well researched and thought out plans? Wait and see!
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Me (Katie) DH (Greg) DS12 (Patrick) DS9 (Daniel)



June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse

Last edited by kschafer; 10-16-2008 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:19 PM   #3
angela3676
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I agree, it's always better late than never. Great start on your trip report. I've enjoyed reading it so far and the pictures are great too. Looking forward to more.
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:00 PM   #4
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Am SO glad you finally made it to WDW!! Can't wait for the trip to begin!

I lived in Iowa when I was little but moved to Oregon when I was 9 (lived in Davenport, Pocahontas, Des Moines, Rockwell City... we moved alot ). I never have been back to Iowa but have a couple cousins who still live there but have lost touch. I think it's great your family is getting together finally to celebrate your parent's anniversary (here's a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY shout out to them!!)
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
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I am excited to follow your trip report. Great job so far!! Can't wait to read more.

It is great that you both are science teachers. I just returned to school to get my degree in Childhood Education. I have to take my science courses starting next semester and I'm a little worried. I haven't studied Science for at least 18 years.

I am enjoying the pictures.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angela3676 View Post
I agree, it's always better late than never. Great start on your trip report. I've enjoyed reading it so far and the pictures are great too. Looking forward to more.
Thanks for joining me. I LOVE TR's with lots of pics so I hope you enjoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven2dc View Post
Am SO glad you finally made it to WDW!! Can't wait for the trip to begin!

I lived in Iowa when I was little but moved to Oregon when I was 9 (lived in Davenport, Pocahontas, Des Moines, Rockwell City... we moved alot ). I never have been back to Iowa but have a couple cousins who still live there but have lost touch. I think it's great your family is getting together finally to celebrate your parent's anniversary (here's a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY shout out to them!!)
I grew up in Ames and never thought I would stay in Iowa when I was an adult but circumstances kept us here when we first got married then it became a choice to stay. It's a nice place to be after all.

Thanks, my parents are sweet. I didn't mention that they paid a HUGE chunk of this celebration for them. It meant a lot to all of us to make this happen. Mom always said how much she loves the memories of bringing us to WDW as kids and she wanted to do the same with her grandkids

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistydoodles View Post
I am excited to follow your trip report. Great job so far!! Can't wait to read more.

It is great that you both are science teachers. I just returned to school to get my degree in Childhood Education. I have to take my science courses starting next semester and I'm a little worried. I haven't studied Science for at least 18 years.

I am enjoying the pictures.
Good luck with your schooling! I have so much respect and admiration for good teachers. I loved my students and "teaching" but all the extra responsibilities were too much for me to choose to stay in for the next 30 years.

Thanks for reading!
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Me (Katie) DH (Greg) DS12 (Patrick) DS9 (Daniel)



June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:41 PM   #7
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Hi!!

Followed you over

Can't wait to hear more.....I think I'll have to refer back to this first page with your family pics

Always better late.....than never!
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The Vandy Girls are BACK!!
MY FIRST TR!!!!! Our Christmas Trip in PICTURES!!!! ~~Oh...and I'm obsessed with the Castle~~
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
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wouldn't you know it.....me and erica are right next to each other.

glad you're writing a TR! can't wait to read about your trip. what a great tip with all the family!

pretty cool that both you and your DH are science teachers. i didn't get the science gene - my sister did. she has a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. when she told me what she was majoring in, i just said, HUH????
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:48 AM   #9
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I love all the pictures from 'the old days'! Those are treasured pictures, I am sure. There are a lot of happy times showing through in those pictures, and I think the striped shirts picture is awesome!

I'll look forward to hearing all about the adventures of the whole gang. With all those little ones, it was probably very nice to have the free days in between the park days for calmer things and plenty of rest. I could go for some off days, too, if I had two and a half weeks of vacation! Maybe someday we'll be able to stay that long, and if we ever do, we'll probably venture out and check out more activities over on I-Drive, too. We want to go to SeaWorld. We haven't been there since the kids were young, and I know Brooklynn would enjoy it. And, as much as I like to push the fact that I am a teacher aside as soon as I walk out of the building, I know I would enjoy the educational aspect of SeaWorld, too.
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I Don't Know, I Don't Speak Wind http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2962147
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Mingos in da Watah! http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2758143
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My Name is NOT Broccoli www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2611094
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Mother, May I? Yes, You May www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2448482
Ringing in 2010 www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2356794
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A Two Short, Too Different Spring Break Trip www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2122295
Over the river and through the FUN! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post29060069
A Ten Day Ride on a Magic Camel www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1869591
Baby and the Tramp...and a Pop Half Century www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1470678


We've stayed at Pop Century, All Star Sports, All Star Movies, All Star Music, French Quarter, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation, Beach Club, Vero Beach, Kidani Village and Saratoga Springs - many trips, and many wonderful, magical memories made.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:00 AM   #10
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Lovng your trip report and the pictures are priceless.
Would love to have a family reunion trip to WDW.
Your sons are so adorable.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:38 AM   #11
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I followed you over from MeMom's report. We were there in June this year too and I've thought about doing a trip report, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to it. Maybe I'll write one after the next trip.

Is the picture of you, your husband and boys on the train at the St. Louis Zoo? If so, that's right in my backyard - about five minutes away.

Looking forward to reading about your adventures. I'm hooked on these trip reports.

Alice
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:00 PM   #12
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A quick thanks for those who have joined me. I will get to responses later today but I want to take a minute to remind everyone to wear your seatbelt!!

On my way to work this morning I dropped a wheel off the edge of the road, overcorrected, lost control on the rainy road and rolled my van completely over. Luckily I missed the power pole and there was no fence on the edge of the field I ended up in (sorry to that farmer) The van is totalled but I walked away thanks to my seatbelt. I feel very lucky.

Be safe out there! I'll be back later today with adventures of Day 1
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June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:33 PM   #13
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Holy ##@%! Glad to hear you are okay.
I still can't believe the number of people who don't wear seatbelts. Let this be a lesson for them all.

Following your TR and having a blast.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:07 PM   #14
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OMG! I'm so glad you're okay. I feel naked without my seatbelt.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:20 PM   #15
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Oh my gosh! I'm glad you're okay. Your boys weren't in the van with you, were they? Take care of yourself. Thank goodness you were wearing your seatbelt!
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