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Old 01-30-2009, 10:11 AM   #166
NDM#1
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Originally Posted by PinkPrincessZ View Post
Wonderful trip report! I hope you continue to chronicle your upcoming adventures with your family.

I have started to do so on my blog: http://www.waltdisneyboards.com/forums.php

I hope you hop over there. I am working on some very exciting plans for it. You'll be in for some fun if you decide to come along for the ride.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:58 PM   #167
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i really enjoy your writing style, and i look forward to reading more!

I hope you'll join me on my blog then. I only have one last installment, then--sadly--this report will come to an end. But I would love to stay in touch with everyone through my blog, email and facebook (I'm J.L. Knopp and/or search "the Disney Driven Life" for that facebook page).
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:50 PM   #168
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Passing The Torch

PASSING THE TORCH
I return to my villa feeling thankful for my encounter with Park Ranger Stan. But as I open the door and see the condition of our room, I am brought back to the reality that my dreamy week is coming to a close.

DH has done a good job feeding the kids and packing up the kitchen. I see that there is little left to be done, and I am grateful that I don’t have to spend my last moments here in a frenzy as I try to meet our check-out deadline.

A phone call is made to bell services, and shortly thereafter some cheerful park rangers arrive with a shiny cart to transport our luggage to the minivan. They look a lot happier than our family does. I personally am a little deflated as I watch our belongings be removed from our magical villa. It marks the definite end of our wilderness occupation. To watch the progression of our eviction is almost more than I can take.

The villa has been more than a temporary room for us. It truly has come to feel like our “home away from home” even though we have only been here a few days. I attribute this to the fact that these few days have been packed with more unforgettable memories than we have possibly made in the last six months. Every day has been “family day”. Every day has been an adventure. We have taken an incredible journey together while we were here, and we have been rewarded at every turn.

I send the kids on with DH to follow our luggage and get strapped into the van for our trip. After they exit, I have one final look through the villa. I always do this to look for any items that were accidentally overlooked in our packing. This time, though, I also do it to try to fix the memory of this precious place firmly in my mind. Once I have glanced over each room for the last time, I know that I can’t delay any more. It is time to go, so I walk out of the entrance to our villa and reluctantly shut the door behind me.

As I rejoin my family under the grand porte-cochere where the van is temporarily parked and being loaded, I find my children already affixed to their designated, travel spots. I peer into the van from the open sliding panel to assess the situation. DD3 is fervently sucking her thumb again to ease the stress of this traumatic departure. DS6 is clutching his favorite stuffed animal for emotional support, and DD8 is staring at the entrance to the grand lobby we entered for the first time only six days ago.

“DD8,” I ask, “What are you thinking about?” My voice pulls her from her deep thoughts, and she looks at me with sorrowful eyes. “Mom,” she cries as big teardrops run down her cheeks, “I just can’t bear it! Why do we have to leave? This place is so beautiful. It is so wonderful! We have had such a good time. I can’t stand it that we are leaving! I wish we could always live here.” My heart aches for her because I am all too familiar with this sentiment. However, in the midst of her sobbing I see something incredibly beautiful. I see that the seeds of Disney passion that I have been so diligent to sow over the span of her life have come to bloom. I begin to shed tears, too, as I acknowledge that my life’s purpose as a NDM is coming to pass.

The car is finally loaded. DH thanks the park rangers that helped us with this arduous task and tips them generously. I climb into the passenger seat. DH takes to the driver’s side, and we both slam our doors in a way that only emphasizes the closure of our fantastic vacation.

As we pull out of the lodge parking lot, I ponder all the developments that took place during this short week. As a whole unit and as individuals, our family experienced incredible moments that brought about change and impacted us. DH is the first to come to my mind. He made extraordinary leaps in his personal Disney journey. There were moments when he displayed enthusiasm for Disney that I once thought were beyond his scope. I note that this is a true testament to the influence of a NDM and pixie dust power.

I consider that this same power was also exhibited in DD3. Being immersed in authentic Magic Kingdom® culture for the first time, this trip was the beginning of a fanatical Disney process that should continue throughout her years. Significant investments were—undoubtedly--made in her little life this week, and I fully expect to see great returns on that investment as I continue to nurture her fledgling obsession.

My meditative thoughts then turn to DS6. This past trip he made significant strides of his own. Although this was not his first time in Walt Disney World®, the addition of years to his life seemed to help him put all of his Disney knowledge into it’s proper context this time. It was a treasure to see him grasp Disney lore as well as participate in Disney events and make them his own! I cannot deny that these are critical steps that will one day lead him to a love of Disney that is independent of me but at the same time will serve as a strong reference to his identity as the son of a NDM.

Neither can I overlook the blatant progress in DD8’s life during the past week. It is obvious to me that being at Walt Disney World® somehow motivated her to leave behind a few cowardly inclinations and step into a braver temperment. But most importantly, I clearly see that her neurotic Disney personhood has reached maturation. She is the evidence that all my work as a NDM has not been in vain. The torch has been passed. A rich heritage of Disney neuroticism has effectively been transferred to the next generation.

These have all been amazing developments for our family. But in my internal analysis of this trip, I suppose the most dynamic transition of the week has been my own. Somehow within the course of our week in Walt Disney World® I have come to understand the true purpose of The Sacred Seven. It is obvious now that they are meant to function as guidelines rather than commandments. Their purpose is to ultimately position Disney in such a way that it enhances family relationships not to enslave a family so that it enhances Disney. This revelation has subtly become apparent and abruptly blind-sided me all at the same time. I am curious to see how I accommodate this new idea as our family prepares for our return to Walt Disney World® in a whole new chapter of our neurotic Disney story.

I consider that in the next year, there is so much to look forward to in the growth of our NDM family. The possibilities fill my mind, and I feel the excitement rise up within me. Somehow these notions make our departure a little less painful. “Good-bye, Disney,” I yell as I lean out my window and wave at the world around me. Then with the flair of a true mouseketeer I add, “See you real soon!”
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:32 AM   #169
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Oh, this has been so good! I'm sad to see it end, but hopefully we can look forward to a report after each of your future trips. I will definitely check out your blog in the meantime! Thank you again for taking time to write this; it's been so much fun to read!
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:19 AM   #170
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Oh, this has been so good! I'm sad to see it end, but hopefully we can look forward to a report after each of your future trips. I will definitely check out your blog in the meantime! Thank you again for taking time to write this; it's been so much fun to read!
Thank you! Yes, I hope we stay in touch in case I don't bump into you again in these large forums.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:37 AM   #171
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Hello again NDM#1! I finally had time to catch up! Loved your TR!! I also sent you an email to join your blog! We are preparing for our upcoming August trip! Not only are we going "home" we are celebrating the end of the grad school journey! What better place than WDW? We are also taking our friends! It will be there first trip and our first trip ever with a child so it's going to be interesting! They are quickly learning that hanging with a NDW...well...they will be tired, but they won't miss a thing!
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:05 PM   #172
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I want to let you know that I love your report...and on this last installment, I actually cried like a baby. Yes, I'm totally serious...maybe it's the hormones from 3rd trimester or maybe not...

It's just that I totally can relate to that 'dread' of walking into your room for the last time and savoring the memories that were made. It's always sad for me...even though I know we'll do Disney again ...

So proud to hear the torch is passed...I aim to do the same with my DD3.
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