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Old 04-29-2009, 07:53 PM   #1
michael's mom
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Magical Memories, I'm planning the sequel already! UPDATE: 9/13

I can't believe it's over already. I remember when I was anxiously sitting at my mother's computer checking for resorts and when POR had an availability I rushed to book our Grand Gathering. The excitement that I felt was overwhelming. I can still bring myself back to that September evening and feel that happiness again. Now, I'm home from that trip and am amazed at how quickly the 7 months from that September night to now passed by.

About 2 weeks before my trip I actually started to feel sad because my trip would be over in less than a month...I'm sick, I know. But there's something about WDW that makes me just feel good...forget all my cares. This past year has been a very difficult one for my family. My youngest sister was diagnosed with a non-curable breast cancer at age 23, she entered menopause almost immediately because of her medication and had an oopherectomy (ovary removal surgery) right before Thanksgiving. While her doctors are giving her great hope and no-one has ever given her "time", it has been very rough for her obviously, but also the rest of us. It's been hard for me to accept that this beautiful woman with an immense love of children is unable to bear her own, and has the burden of worrying that she won't be allowed to adopt because of her medical situation.

You can imagine why this Disney trip was so important! Our Grand Gathering involved 14 people: 11 adults and 3 children (2 kids' first times) and we had a blast. My parents, both my sisters and my younger sister's (not the youngest) fiance, my husband and my son, my aunt and uncle with their 2 grandchildren, my cousin and his girlfriend (on leave from the Army), and yours truly arrived in WDW between 4/15 and 4/19, and left between 4/23-4/28.

To read my pre-trip report to get more information on our "cast of characters" click here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1985988

Okay, so I wanted to get this started but won't really be able to add too much until this weekend. Thanks for reading. Don't be shy, let me know you're here


Day One: post #11
Day Two: post #16
Day Three: post #26
Day Three cont: post #32
Day Three cont: post $41
Day Four: post #43
Day Four cont: post #50
Day Five: post #59
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1980-1989 many times at Polynesian;1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002 CBR;2004 CBR Honeymoon;2007 CBR Baby's 1st trip; 2009 Grand Gathering at POR;
2011 Wedding and Grand Gathering at our home...CBR Pirate style; 2013 CBR Baby's 1st trip

Last edited by michael's mom; 09-13-2009 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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I'm here.
I was there the same week.
We really had great weather.
It will be interesting to see if I recognize your group.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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I'm in too!
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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I'm in.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:51 AM   #5
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Signing on for more! I often say that trip reports and pictures are what keep me same until our next WDW vacation. Because we know we are going to WDW every year, I start planning our vacations while still on vacation. I'm messed up! I know!
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http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51642226


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Old 04-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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I'm in! And, Welcome Back! Can't wait to read all about it!
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
michael's mom
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Hey everyone! Thanks for signing in! I promise I'll start with Day 1, the dreaded travel day this weekend, but DS is in dire need of a bath (he played outside all day and got a bit sweaty) and Grey's is on in 10 minutes.

I'm excited to share our trip with you all.

And, Mickeystoontown...I think we all start thinking about our next trip before the current one is over...at least all of us here on the Dis! I said it over and over again, "Next time we'll do this, or next time we'll eat here again" that's part of what keeps me from crying as I drive away from the purple road signs back to the ugly reality of the green ones!
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1980-1989 many times at Polynesian;1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002 CBR;2004 CBR Honeymoon;2007 CBR Baby's 1st trip; 2009 Grand Gathering at POR;
2011 Wedding and Grand Gathering at our home...CBR Pirate style; 2013 CBR Baby's 1st trip
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:13 PM   #8
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GA was so good tonight. Can't wait for the wedding next week.DO you also watch Privete Practice?
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:25 AM   #9
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me too!


for sis!!
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:57 PM   #10
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I have become addicted to both GA and Private Practice...but, DS was having trouble sleeping so I missed PP, I'll have to catch it on my Tivo tonight! I missed a bit of GA so I'll probably watch them both again.
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1980-1989 many times at Polynesian;1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002 CBR;2004 CBR Honeymoon;2007 CBR Baby's 1st trip; 2009 Grand Gathering at POR;
2011 Wedding and Grand Gathering at our home...CBR Pirate style; 2013 CBR Baby's 1st trip
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
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Day One, the longest day ever!!!

I've decided that Day One would be the day we flew down to Orlando and let me tell you, it was the longest day in the history of the world, or so it seemed to the woman anxiously awaiting the final bell signalling dismissal.

I had had all of my work done for the week at school. Report cards finished on the 14th, plans done for the week and the week after vacation, all things photocopied for the week. All I had to do was teach until 3:00 on the 17th and then I was on my way.

Normally, if you ask a teacher in my school what they would like more of, they would say TIME. There never seems to be enough time in the day to do what we'd like to with our students. On this particular day, my morning went on pretty smoothly and recess/lunch came and I thought, only 1 1/2 more hours to teach...this is going to be a breeze. WRONG. That hour and a half dragged on like nobody's business. I crammed so much into that hour and a half and I still had my kids ready to go home 15 minutes early. I was just so excited that my trip was finally about to begin.

The dismissal bell finally rings and I'm in my car before the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are even on the buses and I wait.....and wait....and wait...for those darn kids to just sit down. Don't they know I have an important date with a very special little mouse?

Our flight was departing at 8:30 from Providence, which is just over an hour away so we did have plenty of time. But there were some things that DH was supposed to do while I was at work that he just didnt. So, I get home, I change into my Disney flight attire and we do some final house closing preparations, then we're off. Off to the kennel that is with our dear little Louie. I was so nervous leaving him there for such a long time. He'd only been kennelled one other time and it was for a long weekend. this was two long weekends with a week in between! You see, my aunt was checking in on my cat everyday and feeding her but Louie is just too much to handle. We have run out of family members to watch him, other than my father who was in Disney already, so the kennel it was.

I will say, they are fabulous at this kennel and we got photos in the mail of Louie playing with the other dogs. As a way to give us pet owners a little piece of mind that our dogs are in fact fine, they take pictures during the playgroup to reassure us that our pooches are happy. From the looks of things, Louie was having a blast!

We leave Louie off at the kennel at about 4:15 and we are finally on our way to the airport! Then...what's going on around a major city at about 4:30...RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC!!!! Now, we weren't worried about missing our flight, but we were so anxious to get there that this traffic, which was only about 10 minutes, felt like days. But, we see it. The sign that says T.F. Green Airport next right! HOW EXCITED AM I?


DH drops DS and I off on the curb and goes to park the car in the parking garage....

Remember I told you this was the longest day ever?

I think DH was gone for a half hour (probably 15 minutes) but he was taking so long I thought he might have been inside the airport waiting for me. Like I could have pushed the stroller, pulled 3 suitcases, and carried 3 carry-ons.

He finally starts walking up the sidewalk and we give our bags to the skycab, then off to security. DS made it through pretty well. I on the other hand kept making the alarms go off. I think I went through 4 times (now picture a big sweaty mess because I was starting to panic) when finally the TSA agent asks me if I'm wearing a bracelet. YES! My beautiful Cape Cod Jewelery bracelet which has to be opened so it won't set off alarms. Okay, now I'm through. DH's turn...the carseat won't fit through the x-ray machine (now another big sweaty mess is about to walk through).


Phew...we have all of our things off of the belt, we all wore our crocs so we just slipped them back on our feet an we proceeded to our gate. Once we got settled in a few chairs near a window so DS could watch the planes, DH went to the T.G.I. Fridays and bought one cheeseburger, 2 orders of chicken fingers, and 2 sodas. $36 and 20 minutes later, I was eating a very tasty burger, DH was enjoying his chicken fingers, and DS had to be bribed with his new CARS toys to eat one chicken finger. (as a side note, DS is a very lazy eater and doesn't like food that takes too long to chew, hence the bribery).

You see, I had decided that I would have special toys that were brand new in hopes that he'd behave on the plane. Well, this was the perfect time to whip out Lightning McQueen, Chick, and The King. He ate his chicken and played with those cars.

Okay, so after we eat our "gourmet" dinner, it's 7:30 and time for me to check into the Customer Service booth for our pre-boarding sleeve and peanut allergy documents. DS is peanut allergic and Southwest allows those passengers to board first and wipe off seats and tray tables. The documents that they give us serve as a reminder to the flight attendants that they cannot serve peanuts on the plane. Because we got to board first, DS was able to greet everyone that boarded the airplane with "Are you ready everybody?"

We had a great flight. No turbulence. DS was pretty well behaved, although I thought he'd sleep seeing as though the flight was at 8:30...yeah, he was awake until 10:15 ish. While he was awake, he kept kicking the seat in front of him. (more sweaty mess now).

Let me tell you, that was the best flight I have ever experienced. The flight attendant was a riot...she had the whole plane clap for the man that took forever to sit down and sang Zip-a-dee-doo-dah to us when we landed.

At landing time, I had now been awake for 17 hours and the stress and excitement of the day had me exhausted. I was prepared to go to the Budget counter to get my rental and then drive to our hotel for the night. What I was not prepared for was the line at the Budget counter that took me an hour to get to the front of it. (sidenote...I will never rent from that Budget again due to some major issues that I will explain probably in my last post).

Once I walked away from the counter, I took the stroller from DH and DS said "Let's Rock 'n' Roll Mommy!" Definitely the laugh I needed after the day I had.

We get our car, put the carseat in, and we are off...at 1 A.M.

My parents had told me that the tolls to get into Disney were $1 and $0.75 so like a good little girl, I had them ready in my wallet before I went to work that morning.

Yeah, I went south like the sign said instead of north and the tolls were $1.25 each, adding up to $2.50...and, when we got off of the highway I took the wrong turn and found myself heading back to the airport so we got to pay that twice. DH joked that we paid the same tollbooth three times...heading in, heading out, and heading back in.

I am on the verge of tears because I am sooooo tired and all I want to do is put my head down on the Comfort Inn pillow so I can wake up and go to my Disney home.

At 1:45 a.m. we finally pull into the parking lot at the Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista. I leave DH in the car with DS who is finally sleeping and think, I'll be out in 2 minutes because it's almost 2 in the morning...who else will be checking in?

True, I was the only one there...but would you believe I wasn't in a room until 2:15? Yup, the guy apparantly didn't read the sign on my forehead that read...I'll take any room as long as it has a pillow...even if that pillow is in a bathtub because I am so tired I just need to sleep. Nope, he missed that. He was trying to do me a favor and upgrade us for free to a family suite. Nice, yes, necessary, not at all because we were leaving at 9am. So, he spends about 5 minutes tooling around the computer and says..."Okay, I'm going to check on this room and xxx will finish checking you in." He leaves, xxx comes and I have room keys 5 minutes later.

You may be thinking, finally she gets to sleep....well, you're thinking wrong.

As I sit in the drivers seat he comes running around the corner and says "Mrs. xxx?" I say "yes" and he returns with "I'm really sorry but that rooms not ready like I thought it was, I'll have to give you a different one."


(all in my head of course) What the heck kind of room may or may not be ready at 2 a.m.? Why don't you know for sure that a room's not ready? Does housekeeping work 24 hours a day? Is this one of those establishments? Don't you realize that I am thinking of sleeping in my car?

But of course, I say none of that and stumble back inside. He did give us our next room very quickly and gave us coupons for 2 free breakfasts. And, the room was a family suite (not any bigger than a regular room, but it had walls and a bunk bed and a trundle bed so DS had his own "room").

I can tell you that by 2:15, we were all in bed and fast asleep, only 20 hours after I woke up to go to work!

And Day One is finally put to rest.
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1980-1989 many times at Polynesian;1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002 CBR;2004 CBR Honeymoon;2007 CBR Baby's 1st trip; 2009 Grand Gathering at POR;
2011 Wedding and Grand Gathering at our home...CBR Pirate style; 2013 CBR Baby's 1st trip

Last edited by michael's mom; 05-02-2009 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:12 PM   #12
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Well I was up at that time too.... we had to be at the ME bus for 4:10 am to catch our flight home

Did your DH have trouble putting the car seat on the plane? It took DH quite a while to figure it out and only after he took off the bottom cushion.

TF Green is a great airport for us.... we only live 5mins from there.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miprender View Post
Well I was up at that time too.... we had to be at the ME bus for 4:10 am to catch our flight home

Did your DH have trouble putting the car seat on the plane? It took DH quite a while to figure it out and only after he took off the bottom cushion.

TF Green is a great airport for us.... we only live 5mins from there.
Actually, I am the carseat person for us. I am so strict about it being done right that I don't trust anyone else to do it. I worry that DH will put it in too loose. I had a little trouble on the flight down with the carseat, but because we were able to preboard we chose the front row and I had a little more room to work with on the way home. We skipped the front row thinking we'd need our carry-ons accessible and the whole flight down I was kicking myself as I watched those in front of us stretch out their feet.

Of course, on the way down, I put the carseat in the middle, not by the window and the flight attendant didn't notice it until we were taxi-ing away from the gate. Now, I mentioned in my report that they clapped when that guy finally sat down...I was freaking out inside thinking they were going to stop the plane and make me switch it right there. Thankfully they didn't. She told me that as soon as the fasten seatbelt sign went off I needed to switch the seats. There just isn't enough room to really put those seats in tight enough.

I loved T.F. Green. In fact, I'd fly out of there again even though Southwest is now offering flights from Boston. It was just so quiet and easy to get in and out.
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1980-1989 many times at Polynesian;1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002 CBR;2004 CBR Honeymoon;2007 CBR Baby's 1st trip; 2009 Grand Gathering at POR;
2011 Wedding and Grand Gathering at our home...CBR Pirate style; 2013 CBR Baby's 1st trip
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:51 PM   #14
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Great Start! I can't believe it took 30 min, to check in. You poor thing!
Can't wait for you to get to your Disney Home!
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvngoofy View Post
Great Start! I can't believe it took 30 min, to check in. You poor thing!
Can't wait for you to get to your Disney Home!
30 minutes seems long now, ...wait until you hear about our departure day!
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1980-1989 many times at Polynesian;1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002 CBR;2004 CBR Honeymoon;2007 CBR Baby's 1st trip; 2009 Grand Gathering at POR;
2011 Wedding and Grand Gathering at our home...CBR Pirate style; 2013 CBR Baby's 1st trip
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