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Old 02-24-2009, 02:50 PM   #1
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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Our “WONDER”ful -May 10 - DCL update June 9

10 nights WDW April 25th - May 9
4 night DCL May 10th - May 14th

Before I go any further, I’ll get the introductions out of the way.

Our Disney Cast includes
Me – Kurby (aka Karen)
DH – Patrick and
DD (3.5 y) Cassandra (aka Cassie)

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a trip report. After all, how much could I offer when so many go to WDW could offer far more than we do, but after reading so many different ones and getting a lot of information from them I thought it would be a good idea if I contributed one myself. That even if I didn't have any new information it would still be fun to read and write. So off we go.

I’m going to start with a pre-trip report as there has been so much stuff going on and I had been taking a lot of notes I just decided not to wait (a little anxious to get on vacation doesn't hurt either ) I’ll also say that because this is a split vacation between WDW and DCL I wasn’t sure where to put it, but since I’ve spent the last several months almost exclusively on the cruise board I’ll put it here.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

One last thing before I start the actual tr, sometimes I type faster then my brain processes and although I try to catch them, sometimes horrible spelling mistakes creep into my writing. I'll apologize to all English majors who are reading this and cringing when they come across any errors.

A little background on our Disney obsession.

When dh turned 30 he decided to take up running. After a couple of years he heard that Disney was going to start an annual marathon and so he entered. His aunt, uncle and cousins all live in and around the Orlando area so he has a place to stay right…. Wrong. Each year he chose to stay in one of the resorts and go to the parks before the marathon – alone. Something I don’t think I could ever do.

Anyways we met in the summer of 2002 and were engaged by then end of October. That January the two of us took our first trip as a couple to WDW and stayed for 10 full days. 3 of which were taken up with the pre marathon, marathon day and family day. So that left us with 7 fun filled days to explore the parks. I hadn’t been to WDW since I was a child when we stayed at Fort Wilderness and had a 5 day park pass and only 1 parks. Can you imagine?

At any rate, our first park was MK (naturally, who doesn’t do this park first?? ). I can vividly see myself walking hand in hand with my newly asked fiancé, through Main Street and up to the round garden to watch the show in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Now, here’s where it gets all mushy. For no apparent reason, while watching the show, tears started flowing. To this day I have no idea what sparked in my brain that started me crying. Remember we had only been here once as a child and although we watched the “Wonderful World of Disney” on Saturday nights it’s not like it was regular family thing – it was just a movie, or show, or background on a movie.

Or so I though. Obviously it meant much more to them then I though. So here I stand, a grown woman, silently crying while watching a mouse and his friends dance around a stage in front of a castle. Dh leans into me, asks why I’m crying and announces that “I caught it” “caught what?” oh am I sick is that why I’m crying? No no – you caught Disney. And once you catch it – it never leaves you.

We went back a few more times before our wedding in July 04 and then the next time we went in the spring of 06 we were a family of and dd was now 7 months old. Now she’s 3 and a half and we’re heading back in a few months.

Cassandra’s a funny little girl who talks to her Mickey plushys like they are her best friends. Over the years her plushy family has grown to include Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, Darby and even a Cinderella pillow book. It’s funny to see how much she loves Cinderella since she’s never seen the movie. We started to show it to her one day in the autumn only to find out that it’s terribly scratched (looks like someone used it as an SOS pad or something). Maybe it’s because she looks a little like Cinderella or maybe she just likes her blue dress I don’t know but if you ask her who her favourite princess is she always says Cinderella

For ease of reading once this gets going, i'll post the single post links here.

Pre Trip Report Part 1 - Christmas and Ballet

Pre Trip Report Part 2 - The Planning Begins

75 Days to go – doing the happy dance

60 Days and Counting

Our Rating System

Passports Arrived

Starting the packing process

Some Unexpected News

One week and counting

Day 1 - Hurray - Todays the day it begins

Day 2 - 4 hours late but we've arrived

Day 3 - Intense Florida sun + SUPER white Canadian girl - Sun screen = SUN BURN

Day 4 - The beach and that damn sun

Day 5 - April 29 - We're here - We're finally here

Day 6 - April 30 - Magic Kingdom and a very sleepy child

Day 7 - May 1 - Epcot and all the princesses

Day 8 - May 2 - How do you fall asleep on a Sarafi???

Day 9 - May 3 - Moving Day / Magic Kingdom...... maybe not

Day 10 - May 4 - Hollywood Studios

Day 11 - May 5 - Magic Kingdom, Meeting Tinkerbell and spending alone time with the Princesses

Day 12 - May 6 - Epcot

Day 13 - May 7 - Hollywood Studios and Fantasmic

Day 14 - May 8 - Epcot

Day 15 - May 9 - Magic Kingdom and Poly Luau

Day 16 - May 10 - CRUISE DAY - - Part 1

Day 16 - May 10 - CRUISE DAY - - Part 2

Day 16 - May 10 - CRUISE DAY - - Part 3

Day 17 - May 11 - Nassau Part 1

Day 17 - May 11 - Nassau - Part 2




Hope you enjoy reading it.

Last edited by Kurby; 10-15-2009 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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Pre Trip Report Part 1

On a cool October 1st morning at 9.30, a call went out to DVC Members.

CM “Welcome home, how may I help you?”
Me “I would like to book our first trip home.”

10 minutes later I had 2 confirmation numbers for a 14 night split stay between OKW and our home away from home AKL. This is our first trip as DVC members and we were really looking forward to staying at our home resort. Fly or drive but stay a few nights with Patrick’s aunt and uncle then enjoy WDW to the fullest and the longest we’ve ever spent. This was our plan and it didn’t last long.

Our plans had changed from driving to flying and back to driving in January. We were so happy to see the cost of flights come down but almost half before Christmas but by the time we were ready to book the had shot back up again. So here we go again, 2 days of full driving then we reach dh’s cousin for 3 days (if we didn’t tell mil, who happens to be a snow bird and down with dh’s aunt and uncle, we were going we wouldn’t have to visit LOL). Arriving on Disney property on the 29th and staying at the first of 2 DVC resorts.

By November we had finished our planning, decided on what park on what day and booked our ADR’s. We’re all ready to go. Well…. not exactly. That was OUR plan but Disney thought differently. Due to their new dining reservation system they suspended ADR’s 180 days out and were only taking reservations up to the end of March. Not good for us…. Or so we though (more on this later)

For Christmas, we bought Cassie some Tinkerbell luggage, well a back pack and carry-on luggage.






But there was a problem. We had ordered the set in the middle of November but by Christmas Eve only the back pack had arrived. After the New Year I called the company and was told that they had oversold the luggage and the carry-on would be on back order only until mid January. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Tinkerbell even sent Cassandra a postcard for christmas - she was so excited (actually she got 3 and a huge thank you to the magic fairies who sent them from CC )

Click to view


Here’s a few pic’s and video’s from Christmas – I know not Disney related but there will be plenty of time for that.










Click to view video







Our little ballerina






Click to view video




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Old 02-24-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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Pre Trip Report Part 2

2 years ago I found out about this wonderful booked called the Passporter and I ordered one for WDW. Not long after it arrived I decided to get the cruise book too. Not because we had any plans of taking a cruise then but because over planning is my thing and dh have come to understand and enable oops I mean support me. Actually he isn’t far off he just leaves the planning to me while he surfs through the DIS reading all the threads I’ve mentioned.

So here we sit with an old version of the cruise passporter with thoughts of taking a cruise in Jan of 09. I’ve marked off all the good cabins people have talked about in different categories and decide on a few that I would be happy with and make notes.

As the months pass we put the cruise on the back burner thinking that it would be too expensive and we’ll just wait until 2014 and plan a 7 night for our 10th anniversary

Planning for our 3 week trip including 17 nights in WDW begin. After Disney came out with their 4/3 deal we decided it would be cheaper to book 6 nights at the beginning at POP even though we would check in then drive up to dh’s cousins for 3 nights and then drive back to spend 3 nights at POP. It was only about $20 cheaper but cheaper non-the-less. So that was the plan, fly down and rent a car.

Within 2 weeks we decided to rearrange everything, cancel POP and add a 4 night cruise instead. Are you getting confused yet? Me too.

I can hear your question. “How did that come about?” Well, we got a laptop for Christmas (dh and my gift to each other) and on my first day back at work after the holidays, I was sitting with it at work one day, (I drive a school bus and have about 45 minutes to kill in between school pickups in the afternoon) Anyways, I was sitting at my second school and turned it on. I was surprised to see it connect to the internet (thank you stranger who has unsecured wifi) ohhh goodie, now I can go to my favourite site. Hummmm wonder what that is…. Oh ya DIS.

So for no reason I clicked onto the cruise trip reports and started reading a couple of really great reports. It’s one thing to read the reports but when you add in the pictures it’s sent me over the “must cruise” edge. Then I see on top of the threads that kids can sail for free for most 3 night cruises and my interest peaks. When I got home Patrick was playing with Cassie in the back yard so I moseyed on over to the desktop computer to do a little research.
I grab the 2 year old version of the passporter and logged into the Disney cruise site and watched the DCL planning dvd online, looked up dates and started drooling. Well not exactly but I’m sure you guys know what happens

What I found made up my mind.

Oh Patrick……… I’ve got something to discuss with you. Give up the thought of a cat 6 instead opting to just be happy we’re on the ship at all and book a cat 12 and 2 hours later we’re on the same page. Everything will work out and it will actually be a little less to take the cruise then to stay at WDW. Now that we decided that we are going to take a cruise, when are we going to go? We can’t do the first Sunday because we’re driving and won’t make it in time, the second Sunday is out because that would split our WDW days and completely destroy our 10 day park pass which we always get so we played with dates and finally came up with the end of our vacation. So that would be May 10 – 14th and guess what, it’s the Podcast cruise. So not only are we going, we’re getting a great deal and we’ll be on the cruise with people I’ve been talking to here for about 2 years.

Now, because the cruise is the last 4 days of our trip we have to reschedule our WDW days. AKV is our home DVC and we were looking forward to finally spending half our days here but because we changed our days we lost it The days we wanted to change to just aren’t available. I was sad about this for about 5 minutes until the wonderful women at member services looked through and figured out what was available and what we could do. SO, here’s the new plan …

Cassie has dance class on the morning of Saturday April 25th and we can’t leave until she’s done, so we’ll have everything packed and ready to go and as soon as her class is over we’re off. Stopping at Mickey D’s for a bagel breakfast on the go and hit the highway for the 2 hour journey to the boarder in Buffalo.

Cross the board and only stop for bathroom breaks, lunch and dinner which we’ll bring in the portable fridge we have that fits nicely behind the drivers seat. Since the plan is to get there by Sunday evening we must slug it out and drive until 10 or 11pm then stop for a few hours of sleep before getting up around 5am and heading out until (hopefully) we reach Patrick’s cousin’s house sometime Sunday evening. Eric (cousin) lives about 45 minutes from Auntie and Uncle but they invited us a couple of nights and we’ll drive in to see them Monday and Tuesday.

Leaving Wednesday after breakfast for the 2 or 3 hour drive to WDW where we’ll check into Fort Wilderness Lodge for 4 nights before changing resorts to Old Key West.

A week to go before we can book Palo and any shore excursions and it’s Family Day here in Canada. A nice made up holiday to give families a chance to be together. I guess that means if you don’t have a family you’re not important ??? but anyways……


The way our weather has been you’d almost think it was summer. Well not exactly. We did however, head down to spend some time making sandcastles. Something tells me the sand on Castaway Cay is much better, but here we are, on the beach.










Double click to view video





What happened the very next day???












Double click to view video



No wonder everyone around here is cranky and sick we’re going from spring to winter to spring to winter. Summer has to come soon or I’ll go nuts. Oops too late.


Now that we’re doing a cruise I decided to join in some fun and join the Fish Extender group for our cruise.

I’m so excited. We’ve never done anything like this and I’m having a blast reading about everyone’s adventures to create the gifts and make the extenders.

Here’s the thing. Since our “gift” is going to be a surprise I can’t post it here until after the cruise. So if you’re reading this pre May 10th you’ll see or even If you’re reading after May 10th you’ll see the pictures.

But I will post pictures of our extender and matching bags.



























Up next – 75 day mark and Disney’s site spits out errors

Last edited by Kurby; 03-14-2009 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:18 PM   #4
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Hi Karen!!

Great PTR!! Cassie is adorable!
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:41 PM   #5
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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75 Days to go – doing the happy dance

As the days slowly ticked forward, I read as much as I could on the different restaurants and meals that are on the Wonder. Many people had glowing reviews on Palo, dh and I discussed having dinner and the possibility of getting brunch reservations. I gave into the knowledge that by the time the 75 day mark rolled around that all the reservations for brunch would be gone and that we may not get the day or time for dinner that we wanted.

I’ve been very tired lately and have been falling asleep not long after 10.30 most nights the past 2 weeks for I was bound and determined to stay up to midnight to get my bookings. Tick tock tick tock. Come on, just how long does it take to get through 5 minutes, 4, 3, 2…. I type in dcl’s website….1 minute and I’m typing in our reservation information 12.00 and 30 seconds. ENTER

12.01 – refresh

12.02 – refresh

Agrrr

12.03 – log out and back in

12.04 - lift off

First stop – dining.

Palo – brunch. Grayed out – sold out. No surprise
Palo – dinner. Decisions decisions decisions. Ok – from reading these threads Pirate night is usually on Castaway Cay night so don’t want Tuesday. And since the repeat restaurant is generally Nassau/CC days, Monday it is. A few choices of times so I picked the same time we will have been eating if we hadn’t gone to Palo. Done.

Register dd into the kids club. Done.

As long as I’m awake I’ll take a look at the excursions and book the bike rental that dh and I had talked about. ERROR. Great.

30 minutes later and the error messages are still blocking me from going any further and I can’t even see our Palo reservations anymore I’m not happy. In fact I’m pretty ticked off. So I just go to bed.

10am I call DCL and I’m told that it’s ok – my reservations did take and on the off chance there may be brunch available I ask but told no but to keep looking online as people do cancel.

Woo hoo – now I’m happy.

So tonight I’m showing dh the site and wanted to show him the excursion page to see if there is anything we may want to do but hit the dining button by mistake (hummm what does Freud say??). Is this right? Does it look like brunch isn’t shaded out anymore???
dare i click????

yes i dare.

1 time left and I grab it. Noon - ok so it's not exactly brunch, more lunch but we're in.

I’m so excited - I’ve heard and read so much about brunch that I can't wait.

Just hope I get to take pictures of full platters since it's the last sitting and not half full/empty ones.
Now it’s just a waiting game. March Break, Easter, Packing then we’re off
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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Hi Karen-
Your thread caught my eye so I had to read about your plans. Sounds like they are coming along fine. We did the 7 night eastern caribbean a year ago and the brunch at Palo's is heavenly! You will enjoy every bit of it and then some. The CM's are wonderful, they will just keep bringing out more selections to try, and if you do not eat it all they will box it up for you for your stateroom...here's a tip, bring along some small plastic containers. They come in handy for leftovers! There is nothing like eating pizza from Palo's at 6am! yummy...

Your daughter is so cute...she will love this trip...Oh and by the way, welcome to the DVC family!

I take it your from eastern Canada...the snow did not look too deep in the pics for this time of year...think spring!

We are heading on the Wonder tomorrow... leaving work in 1 hr, 16 minutes and counting!
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDBRDWLK View Post
Hi Karen-
Your thread caught my eye so I had to read about your plans. Sounds like they are coming along fine. We did the 7 night eastern caribbean a year ago and the brunch at Palo's is heavenly! You will enjoy every bit of it and then some. The CM's are wonderful, they will just keep bringing out more selections to try, and if you do not eat it all they will box it up for you for your stateroom...here's a tip, bring along some small plastic containers. They come in handy for leftovers! There is nothing like eating pizza from Palo's at 6am! yummy...

Your daughter is so cute...she will love this trip...Oh and by the way, welcome to the DVC family!

I take it your from eastern Canada...the snow did not look too deep in the pics for this time of year...think spring!

We are heading on the Wonder tomorrow... leaving work in 1 hr, 16 minutes and counting!


Hi WDBRDWLK

thanks for responding. Hope you had a great cruise I'll have to go look for your tr and pics

Yup - we're in Ontario - Toronto and have had a very odd winter a copule of weeks of snow then it melts then more snow then rain.

I just keep looking at my countdown - 60 days now
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:58 PM   #8
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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60 Days to go

So I came up with a rating sheet for each area of our trip

Restaurants/food PST – Physical Location, Service, Taste

0 Never go back.
Dirty, extremely bad service, food disgusting, manager
completely absent or unwilling to help

1-3 Major help needed if they want our business again
Very slow service
Untidy but not as bad as Ramsey’s make over restaurants

4-7 Needs some help but good chance we’ll go again
Messed up our order but corrected without hassle
Dirty cup, dish, fork etc replaced without hassle
Server ok but didn’t do anything over and above

8-10 Love this place and would definitely go back again and again
Spotless table, bathroom, dining room
Server attentive, friendly, interacted with us
Excellent food, portions, timing, number of times server comes



Transportation

0 Do they even have transportation???

1-3 Gawrsh we could have crawled faster than taking this bus
Driver hates his/her job and everyone can see it
Extremely long wait time – beyond normal and acceptable but
at least it showed up

4-7 Normal, average, nothing special.
Driver said good morning, afternoon, evening but not much
more
Acceptable/decent wait time

8-10 What we expect from Disney
Little or no wait
Friendly driver, talks to passengers, makes the trip very nice
Loves their job and it shows




Hotel

0 Dive, absolute worst. Would never see at Disney.

1-3 Horrible room, mold, dirty sheets, rarely vacuumed/dusted.
Problems ignored when management called or took days to fix.
Request to change room ignored or second room pretty much
the same

4-7 Mild – moderate problems solved in a timely manner.
Clean, tidy with few extras or pluses.


8-10 Wonderful, worth every penny and more (but shhhhh don’t tell
them).
Prompt, friendly staff with few or no problems and solved
Immediately.
Beautifully designed/themed.
Luxury from front door to back. Including restaurants, lobby
and grounds




Rides

0 Never go on again
Dangerous, cast doesn’t care if something is reported

1-3 May or may not go again, daughter liked it, but to wait in line
is a waste of time. Won’t miss it if we don’t go back

4-7 Good ride. Will wait in line but top out at the 20 minute
mark. Everyone in the family liked it and had a good time. Off
season this ride will be ridden several times

8-10 Excellent ride. LOVED it. Would go again and again.
Would wait in line past the 30 minute mark but should get a
fast pass. A great ride to end the trip on
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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Passports Arrived

Well things are beginning to fall into place.

A couple of weeks ago dh and dd both got their passport photo's done as dh's passport expired in the autumn and dd's expires while we are on the ship (not good if we're trying to get back into Canada). It then took about a week to get all the paperwork together and find out that the rules had been changed and that we didn't need our family dr. to sign the form we just needed 2 people we knew to (interesting development and I won't touch it) so we asked my parents to sign both of them and dh took them up the next day. That was last week.

Dh was told it would take about 10 days - 2 weeks to process and be returned to the office and we could pick them up after that.
Perfect. We’ll pick them up with plenty of time to spare before we leave in April.

Today was the start of our March break so Cassie didn’t have a dance class so instead we went out to do some trip shopping and figure out what we may wish to bring for the long drive as far as meals and snacks are concerned.
We get home and there are 2 envelopes waiting for us. Low and behold it’s the passports. First surprise, I didn’t know we got post deliveries on a Saturday (I guess it’s just when it’s registered mail) and second surprise…. How quick was that?

We went from 10-14 days and we have to pick them up to 6 days delivered. Now that’s service.

So we’re good to go. All we have left to do is pack and drive down.

Oh….. and wait 5 long weeks until we can leave
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:18 AM   #10
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Hi!

I've read your PTR so far and have to chuckle a bit ... we will be getting ON the Wonder the day you get off!! May 14th. We will be using our timeshare and going to Disney for the week prior and guess what is funny too? My daughter has a dance recital too that tampered with our arrival plans ... but when she steps off that stage, we too will be packed and ready to leave ASAP!!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more updates!

Kat
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:29 PM   #11
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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Starting the packing process

Oh this trip is starting to feel more real. Last weekend I went out shopping for some tops for me and bought a few more then I was planning on. During the week we did the same for Patrick. Bought him some nice shorts and shirts and finally yesterday I went through Cassandra’s clothes and decided that she didn’t need much since a lot of her cloths from last year still fit her. She’s growing up so fast but not our so shorts and shirts still fit. We did however get a few tops for her to go with some shorts she already has and a couple pairs of shoes (which she loves and won’t take off LOL )

I’m going to spend a lot of this weekend washing Cassandra’s clothes and pack them. Since it’s still pretty cool out she will be wearing pants and warmer tops to school . I know, I know, 6 weeks to go and I’m already starting to pack??? Yup. Just Cassandra’s though. I figure she won’t be wearing these clothes now so why not just get them all packed and ready to go, 1 less thing to worry about in a few weeks.

I’m all ready to produce the FE Gifts for the cruise too. THIS looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. DH still doesn’t under what this is all about haha

I’m starting to get really excited about this trip now.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:35 PM   #12
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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wow - what' a freaky parallel

I hope you're doing a tr too i love reading them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyMomforLife View Post
Hi!

I've read your PTR so far and have to chuckle a bit ... we will be getting ON the Wonder the day you get off!! May 14th. We will be using our timeshare and going to Disney for the week prior and guess what is funny too? My daughter has a dance recital too that tampered with our arrival plans ... but when she steps off that stage, we too will be packed and ready to leave ASAP!!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more updates!

Kat
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:23 AM   #13
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I sure will be! My husband and I are going to Miami next week so I will probably start my PRE when we get back and UNPACKED from that trip!!

Kat
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:41 PM   #14
NikkiLovesWDW!
"Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?" "Sure am!"
 
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Excited to hear more! Less than a month away for you now!

Your daughter is absolutely adorable!
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:49 PM   #15
Kurby
All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
 
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Some unexpected news.

While we knew were would be looking to replace our minivan, we weren’t thinking it would be this soon.

With 3 weeks left to go until we start the long drive down, I take the van into our mechanic’s shop and he pretty much refuses to fix it. Saying he does not think the van will make it there and back and couldn’t in good conscious let us go thinking it was in good working condition. If we weren’t going to stay in the city and drive it around for the next 6 months to a year he would to minimal repairs to get us through but once he heard where we were going he said no – it’s not worth it to fix it. So here we are, 3 weeks before we go. All money spoken for with a little left over for those repairs and boom. Change of plans. Gotta get a new van. Ok well not new.

We found one we like that is just a couple of years younger than our ’95 but has about 50K less km’s then ours so we should (hopefully) get at least 4 -5 years out of it.

Not an expense we were looking for but one we obviously needed. I guess it just means that we’ll skip the souvenirs’, and bring our own meals for the drive instead of restaurants and tighten the money belt to the bare minimums.

On the bright side. It’s a better van then we had, has A/C and power windows plus a passengers door on the driver’s side which will make getting dd in and out much easier for me.

And, Only 3 weeks left to go before we leave how can that not be a positive
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