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Old 02-15-2009, 05:43 PM   #46
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Thanks....make the pregnant lady cry why don't ya!
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:56 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Because, in spite of everything, Billy is touched by magic when he is in the World.

He can be (just) a kid again.

Kathy


Kathy, you always make me cry. You know how to convey the situation in a way that just brings the readers into your family's life. You are such a beautiful person inside and out.

I am a smiley freak and every time I use these:





I will think about Billy and smile.

Thank you so much for sharing your Austism Adventures with us .
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:31 AM   #49
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Loving all you've written so far! Such a joy to share in your adventure, and so much the more so, because I too have a majorly LD son. Inappropriate grunts, arm flapping, major speech issues, etc... on top of the difficulties he has with his school work. We haven't had him evaluated since he was two, and all they could tell us then, was that he was at the "lower end of "normal"". But, regardless of what they want to call it, he's still my precious son, and although, life is more complicated than in other families, we wouldn't have it any other way!


Looking forward to the next installment!

Liesa
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:28 AM   #50
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Thank you Kathy for sharing your son with us. I think we can all learn a lot from Billy and from you as a Mom, whether we are directly affected by autism or not, as your unconditional love and quest for bringing happiness to your children's lives is apparent in all of your words! Thank you so much for your wonderful reports. They always make me laugh and cry!

Sara
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:59 AM   #51
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to you Kathy and the love and comfort and reality you bring to me and others that are (or are not) mothers of children w/ Autism.

THANKS!
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:18 PM   #52
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I'm in...I just started writing my first pre-trip report and I love to follow the "experts" on their adventure as well!! Now I need to catch up!
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:34 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post


Billy (con’t.)



Because, in spite of everything, Billy is touched by magic when he is in the World.

He can be (just) a kid again.

Kathy

Okay, I did fine until these last two sentences.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:50 PM   #54
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Arrow A Halloween Adventure in Autism: PTR

PTR #5:

Let’s Play Resort Roulette!


Well, let’s lighten things up a bit, shall we, and talk about some trip planning! We now have our tentative Cast:

*Me (Your Intrepid Trip Reporter)

*DH (Ed)

*DD(12) Tricia

*DS(10) Billy

*DNiece(12) Catie

Catie’s parents, my DSis Eileen and her DH Werner, may possibly come down toward the end of the week, so I will include them for now. The more the merrier!


**************************************************


Possibly one of the most fun things to consider when planning a WDW trip is next: Which Resort to Choose, or in this case, Which Resort Chooses Us! It sounds funny, but to a Disney Vacation Club owner, that’s the way it sometimes feels!

Since we are planning a trip using our DVC points, let’s talk about the DVC for a little bit…


When we first bought into DVC in 2005, the newest resort available for purchase was Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. This is a huge resort and, although not particularly appealing to me (other than it’s proximity to Downtown Disney), we purchased our ownership here because it was still under construction and we did not want to wait for the next one to be built. Besides, we planned on hopping around trying all the DVC resorts anyway. Otherwise, you might as well just buy a typical timeshare, right?


What I liked about the DVC concept was its flexibility, the fact that you could use it not only for Disney, not just for a particular resort, and not just for the same window of time year after year. This is how it works:


You purchase a certain number of points and you can use those points how you see fit. It’s kind of like being on a calorie-restricted diet; as long as you use only the limited amount of calories (points) allotted, you can eat whatever you wish.

Certain nights (Friday and Saturday) “eat up” more points than others. Certain resorts cost more points no matter which nights you choose (Beach Club Villas > Old Key West). Naturally, a two-bedroom villa eats up more points than does a Studio. And certain times of the year cost more points because they are in times of highest demand (Christmas through New Year’s > First week of September).

So, if you are like us and you don’t own a huge number of points, you need to “spend” your points efficiently and according to how you like to vacation. You can also bank unused points to the following year, or borrow points from the next year.


Example: For the number of annual points that we own, we could:

- Spend a weekend in a two-bedroom at the Beach Club during Christmas, or

- Spend seven nights in a one-bedroom at Saratoga Springs during any week in October (with a couple of points left over to bank.), or

- Spend two-and-a-half weeks in a Studio at Old Key West during any week in January.


Well, you get the idea. I just want to give a little background, not turn this into an advertisement for DVC! (If you want more info, there’s tons of it on the DVC boards.)


**************************************************



So far, our family has had the pleasure of staying at three of the DVC resorts: SSR, OKW, and VWL. They were all great, but we’d really like to try something new. That narrows the untried resorts to:


Beach Club Villas (BCV)
Boardwalk Villas (BWV)
Contemporary’s Bay Lake Tower (BLT)
Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge (VAKL)


The newest resorts (BLT and VAKL) will be hot and in great demand, so I’m not ultra-confident that we will be able to book there this year. There will be lots of competition, especially for the one-bedroom villa. It is the most-requested DVC accommodation.

The week that we will be at Disney (Jersey Week) is usually the last week of the very popular Food & Wine Festival (F&W) at Epcot. Because of this, it has always been difficult to get ressies at either BCV or BWV, due to their close proximity to World Showcase.


Why, you may ask? Because of Home Resort booking privileges!


If you wish to book a reservation at your “home” resort, you may do so eleven months prior to your vacation, no earlier. None of the other DVC owners can book at “your” resort until seven months prior to their vacation. That makes it fair to the members who do not wish to hop and who like staying at “their” home resort.


If we wanted to stay at our home resort, SSR, we could have called for a reservation starting November 30, 2008. But, we don’t want SSR this year, so we have to wait until seven months out, or March 30, 2009 to book for October 30th at any of the other resorts. But, availability can be limited, so you need to have a few choices in mind when you call.

It feels a little bit like we’re playing Russian Roulette, or in this case, Resort Roulette!


I mentioned in my last TR that I am not much of a gambler; I prefer a sure thing. SSR is our sure thing, but here I am, gambling once more on a “new” resort experience because…that’s how we roll! (Sorry, just trying to be "random.")

When planning the Nov. ’07 trip, I got myself all worked up because we (I) had our hearts set on Villas at Wilderness Lodge. Lots O’ Stress with that particular gamble, but worth it in the end….what an amazing place! But lately, I’ve been thinking….

I can really say that I’ve never met a Disney resort I didn’t like! They are all fabulous in their own unique ways. And so, I’ve decided not to stress over it. If we don’t get a “new” resort, I will be fine with it. We’ve got about another 46 years on our DVC contract…I’m sure that we’ll get to them all eventually!

But, because we will be vacationing with two thirteen year-old girls this year, there would be a certain, specific advantage if we could book one of the newer resorts. The new one-bedroom villas in both BLT and VAKL (Kidani Village) have a second bathroom!! Oh yeah, that is big!


So, my choices of resort are (in order of preference):

1. BLT (Takes first place b/c Ed has been lusting after staying at CR for years! Monorail and a 2nd bath.)

2. VAKL (Ahhhh, Savanna View and a 2nd bath!)
3. OKW (Not new to us, but villas have a more spacious layout.)
4. BCV (Stormalong Bay!)
5. BWV (Never been there.)
6. SSR (Been there, done that. Walk to Downtown Disney, though.)


Now, all I have to do is wait until the end of March!


Kathy

Last edited by KathyRN137; 02-18-2009 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:10 PM   #55
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This was a great post! It really explained DVC in an easy to understand way!

Thanks!

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Old 02-18-2009, 04:29 PM   #56
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The extra bathroom is why my family is staying at AKV in August (Dniece is 14, nuff said )
I'm partial to BLT, myself.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:33 PM   #58
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So I guess I won't know where you will be staying till I get back huh?

Love your choices...I so wish the DVC was in the cards for us...someday maybe. But I'm still glad we get to go no matter where we are. I was freaked at first too, when we were set on POR for this trip and then booked us at CSR, but you are right, I've stayed at 4 different resorts over the past 5 trips, I'm sure resort #5 and trip # 6 will not dissapoint!

Ok the oven is not working need to see if we have enough cash for Mc'D's now, guess who won't be complaining!
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:04 AM   #59
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Your vacation sounds ! Great idea taking a "buddy" for Tricia; I went to Orlando (we did WDW but only for a couple days) in 1998 at the age of 16 with my friend and her family (2 parents, 2 brothers who were 13.5 and 10 at the time). We had an AWESOME time, and I have great memories and pictures from that trip!

Thanks for explaining DVC in simple terms; I've always wondered how the points thing works, but have never gotten around to asking. Your explanation was just what I needed!
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:06 PM   #60
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With the list of choices you have, I would have a hard time choosing a resort (which is the story of my life anyway )! I can't wait to see where you end up!
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