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Old 04-27-2009, 04:02 PM   #1
mom2mek
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No cats to herd this time! It's just the two of us!UPDATED 11/24-DIS Meet & Departure

Here I am again!

I think I subliminally take FOREVER to finish trip reports, so that I can jump straight into doing another one! If you have read the other reports, than I apologize in advance for all the time you usually have to invest in reading my ramblings! LOL! I’m hoping this one won’t be quite as lengthy or slow-going! (I made that promise before….don’t believe me)!

Apparently, I have had a lot of Kool-Aid as I am heading back to Disney for the 3rd time in 8 months! And apparently, I have served up some of this yummy, delicious, fun-filled, magical, Disney Kool-Aid to my husband of 12 years, Shawn, as we are heading down to the World….

AND IT’S JUST GOING TO BE THE TWO OF US!!!





CHAPTERS:
Day 1 - Part 1 - Getting there!


Day 1 - Part 2 - A Magical Journey!


Day 1 - Part 3 - ALOHA!!!

Day 1 - Part 4 - The ROOM!
Day 1 - Part 5 - Taking it slow at the AK
Day 1 - Part 6 - JAMBO!
Day 1 - Part 6 - JAMBO, Pt 2!!
Day 1 - Part 7 - Close Encounters with Animals of the Wooden Kind
Day 1 - Part 8 - - Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba
Day 1 - Part 9 - Chester, Hester, and Boma! End of Day 1!!!
Day 2 - Part 1 - A Tale of Two Shoes
Day 2 - Part 1.A A Tale of Two Shoes
Day 2 - Part 2 - Flowers & Gardens & Beverly, oh My
Day 2 - Part 2.A - Flowers & Gardens & Beverly, Oh My
Day 2 - Part 3- Buenos Dias - We hobble off to Mexico
Day 2 - Part 3.A - Buenos Dias - Still in Mexico
Day 2 - Part 4 - Norway & China with no jet lag
Day 2 - Part 4A - China, China, China
Day 2 - Part 5 - Outpost and Germany
Day 2 - Part 5 A - Italy and America
Day 2 - Part 6 - Rainy Day & Sara Gets Twins
Day 2 - Part 7 - Tokyo Sunset and Tic Tac Toe
Day 2 - Part 8 - Finally finished with Epcot
Wishes from the Poly beach
Day 3 - A Magical Morning
Day 3 - The Magical Morning continues
Day 3 - Pirates, Thunder, and Spears!
Day 3 - Lunch for two at the Plaza!
Day 3 - Back to the Oasis!
Day 3 - Drinks & the Poly Beach!
Day 3 - Part 6 - Dinner at the Wave and a Big Dose of Karma...
Day 3 - Part 7 - We hobble through the Magic Kingdom
Day 3 - Part 7b - Continued from last post
Day 4 - Part 1 - A Walking Tour of the Poly
Day 4 - Part 2 - Lunch @ Kona and a Tour of the Lake
Day 4 - Part 3 - More lake time and a visit to the pool and bar!
Day 4 - Part 4 - An unplanned evening
Day 4 -Part 5 - A DIS Meet and we say good-bye to the Poly


A little background on our recent trips…

Back in January 2006, my Mom and I decided to plan a little trip down to Disney with the whole family. At the time, there were 12 of us going. We stayed offsite in an amazing 7 bedroom house in Formosa Gardens, and had a fabulous time, except for one, teeny, tiny, little thing…..a stomach bug that ran through almost every single one of us over the course of the week.
It was....how shall I say....a tad bit “un-magical” to always have to carry plastic bags around with you, listen for the little pre-cough that comes right before your 2 year old decides to lose her lunch, you get the picture….

HOWEVER, we had a great time when we weren’t sick. It was a trip of many firsts. It was a first time to Disney for many of the kids! We ate in the castle for the first time! The guys experienced Dive Quest for the first time! We had some really great moments. It was pre-DIS, pre-TGM, pre-EVERYTHING for me, so consequently, we did a lot of walking around, wishing we had time for "that" attraction, wishing we could ride that attraction again, but the FPs were gone, etc, etc… you get the drift.

Still…it set the groundwork for the object of my desires for the next year….

...A repeat trip with hopes of a “do-over” without sickness!!

So we started planning a huge Thanksgiving trip for 2007, figuring that would put us at almost 2 years between trips. This time it would be with all 16 of us (my brother and his family weren’t able to come in 2006 and escaped the vomit-filled extravaganza – lucky them – but they decided to chance it this time and come along)! We found an 8 bedroom house this time (not quite as nice as the 2006 one, but still very nice), and we made that trip down in November of 2007 and completed it with no sickness this time! Yippee!!!

You can read all about it here:
Thanksgiving Trip - It was Like Herding Cats


The planning for the Thanksgiving trip is what did "it" for me.

And by "it" I mean, I found the DIS and TGM before we left, and consequently, I went from being just a “fan” of Disney into a TOTAL.DISNEY.NUT. Yeah, I admit it.

It turned me into one of those people (and I say this knowing that I am in good company), that have to make a mental note to try NOT to insert Disney references into my daily conversations with non-Disney people! And boy, is that a challenge!

I drank the Kool-Aid, and I drank A LOT of it!!

The Thanksgiving trip was filled with lots of magical moments but was quite stressful at times for yours truly. See, I was the ONLY one who planned anything. I was very up front about wanting to have a plan, but the rest of my group fell into one of the following categories….the “we will do whatever you think is best” group (YAY!), or the “we don’t really HAVE to have a plan, do we?” group (ughhhhh).

Yep. Some in the group were very “anti-plan”. It caused a little bit of stress for me as I’m not one to rock the boat, but I also knew what was going to be required of us on certain days in order for the kids (there were 8 of them) to do and see what they really wanted to. It was a large group during one of the busiest times of the year, and I knew to get ANYTHING done, we would need a plan. It was hard at times, and although I think we all enjoyed ourselves, I had this overwhelming desire to go back and try it out with a slightly smaller herd.

Continued in next post....

Sara

Last edited by mom2mek; 11-24-2009 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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Pre-Trip - Part 2:

Late last spring, the kids’ school schedule came out for the following school year, and I noticed that they had 2 days off before Columbus Day weekend!

Well, shoot! Combine those 2 days with the weekend, plus Columbus Day, and whamo….my wheels were-a-turnin!

Well, it only took me about 2 nano-seconds to decide that Disney is where I wanted to be!! I sooo wanted to see Disney decorated for Halloween, and I really wanted to try out the Halloween party, so I casually mentioned it to Shawn and was met with an eye-roll, and a “geez, Sara…give it a rest” or something like that!. Grrr….so I dropped it.

HOWEVER…..

Not too long after that, he came to me and surprised me with a big old “YES” we could go!! I considered this a surprise trip for me, since after the initial eye-roll response, I figured I wasn’t going back anytime soon. So, I decided to keep that trip a surprise from the kids, and got to the planning.

You can read all about our October adventures here (I just finished a few weeks ago...oops)

Surprise Trip in October

We were able to bring my MIL with us this time and enjoyed doing that for her. She is so helpful to us and I don’t know what we would do without her. It was a trip of a lifetime for her and I’m so happy to know that she enjoyed herself and had a blast. We were able to see the lovely autumn decorations, experience our first-ever “party” and celebrate my youngest daughter’s 4th birthday!

Two months later, I managed to drive down to Florida from VA, and meet up with some of my dearest friends (whom I met on the DIS, by the way), and experience an “adult” Disney trip in December! We were only there for 3 days, but boy oh boy was that a trip of a different color! We had a blast!!

There is something magical about sharing your Disney love with your children, but there is something equally magical about experiencing Disney with really good friends. We managed to go to the Christmas Party at the MK, and spend a day each at Animal Kingdom and Epcot. And of course, we were able to fit in plenty of shopping and adult beverages! You can read all about it here, (although it is still not done....ahem....Monica....hello?)

December Girls Trip

Apparently Monica is trying to beat my record for taking the longest to finish up a report!

Anyway, it was a great trip, and it really set the stage for this trip in May with hubby, because when I got back and told him of how relaxing a trip it was, not herding around a bunch of kids and grandparents, bags and strollers, snacks and sippy cups, etc, etc….he jumped right on board.

Plus, because I was doing the October family trip combined with the girls weekend, I had bought an AP, and now it was burning a hole in my pocket!

And don’t forget….I’m a crazy, obsessed Disney fan, remember?

My first thoughts were “let’s do this on the cheap!” I was thinking of a value resort, very few ADRs, and watching the airfares for the best deal. Well, soon after I started researching the hotels, Shawn mentioned staying at the Polynesian or the Contemporary.



Whoa!



Wait a minute!



Back this bus up!



What did you just say?



Ha! Who is the Disney nut in this relationship again? Uh-huh.


But how could I argue with the man? His very valid points included…

• it’s just the two of us, so right off the bat our costs will be much smaller (without our 3 biggest expenses along for the ride);

• I have my AP and Shawn has days left on his non-expiring ticket from the 2006 trip, so no tickets to purchase


Ok! Ok! Sold! Sold! He didn’t really have to twist my arm too much, truth be known…so I was off to find a good deal on the Contemporary or the Poly!

With my AP, I was able to get a rate at the Contemporary that was comparable to a rate I found through Tikiman’s website for the Polynesian. The only thing was that the Contemporary dates would be in March (since, at the time, that was all my AP discount could get the discounted rates through) and the Poly dates were in May. Personally, I preferred the March timeframe since the weather would be cooler, but Shawn pointed out that we had just had some time off in early January for New Year’s and going in March would almost seem like “too soon,” so we decided on the Poly in May!!

Up next, I’ll introduce the cast! That won’t take long!

Sara
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
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Am I first????

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2mek View Post
It turned me into one of those people (and I say this knowing that I am in good company), that have to make a mental note to try NOT to insert Disney references into my daily conversations with non-Disney people! And boy, is that a challenge!

I drank the Kool-Aid, and I drank A LOT of it!!
That is some good Kool-Aid isn't it? And I totally understand being turned into one of "those people"! At least we are among friends here!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2mek View Post
Two months later, I managed to drive down to Florida from VA, and meet up with some of my dearest friends (whom I met on the DIS, by the way), and experience an “adult” Disney trip in December! We were only there for 3 days, but boy oh boy was that a trip of a different color! We had a blast!!

There is something magical about sharing your Disney love with your children, but there is something equally magical about experiencing Disney with really good friends. We managed to go to the Christmas Party at the MK, and spend a day each at Animal Kingdom and Epcot. And of course, we were able to fit in plenty of shopping and adult beverages! You can read all about it here, (although it is still not done....ahem....Monica....hello?)
That was one of the best trips ever!


I'm so excited for you and Shawn getting a couples trip to the World! And I'm also happy that we will be there for at least one of the same days. Can't wait to see where you fit me in on your plans!
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:47 PM   #4
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Okey dokey....a couple of pics:

Our family:


(the two going on this trip are the two big ones in the back....)

On our trip in October:


Supporting cast and trips from our previous trips....up next.....

Sara
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkluvsmickey View Post
Am I first????

First and only.... How'd you find me so soon?

I can't even link this in my old TR as it's already closed....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkluvsmickey View Post
That is some good Kool-Aid isn't it? And I totally understand being turned into one of "those people"! At least we are among friends here!
I love the kool-aid! It is delicious!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkluvsmickey View Post
That was one of the best trips ever!


I'm so excited for you and Shawn getting a couples trip to the World! And I'm also happy that we will be there for at least one of the same days. Can't wait to see where you fit me in on your plans!
Michelle! You are definitely in my plans! I can't wait!

Sara
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:39 PM   #6
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WOW!! He brought up the Poly? You are very lucky. I can't wait to hear more.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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I'm in, I'm in! Who-hoo!! I love reading a trip report from the beginning where I dont have to catch up! (guess that is the point of PRE-trip reports )

Cant wait to hear all about your plans.

Cathy
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeping*Beauty View Post
WOW!! He brought up the Poly? You are very lucky. I can't wait to hear more.
Thanks for reading! I feel VERY lucky to be staying at the Poly! Probably never happen again! LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgfsu1 View Post
I'm in, I'm in! Who-hoo!! I love reading a trip report from the beginning where I dont have to catch up! (guess that is the point of PRE-trip reports )

Cant wait to hear all about your plans.

Cathy
Thanks Cathy! I'm glad you're here! I hope to have my plans up soon! I need advice from the disney nuts!!!

Sara
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
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I'm here! I too love PTR from the beginning. those are some really really grand gatherings that you've put together- i love to plan things so I would take on that task in a heartbeat, though I know how stressful it could be! Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:05 PM   #10
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Pre- Trip - Part 3 - The cast of this grand adventure:

Me – Sara (34) – Wife to Shawn, Mother to Michael, Emily, and Katie (hence my mom2mek name) and lover of all things Disney, as well as all things about planning for Disney!

I'm not really a control freak about anything except planning for Disney. (See aforementioned disney nut comment). Overall, I think I am a fairly easy-going person when it comes to other things. I work full time in my family’s business in the accounting department, where my mom is my boss. It’s great in most ways and I can’t complain.

Other than the trips already mentioned, I have been to Disney a few times as a child, a couple of times during those oh-so-glamorous pre-teen, mid-80's years, and then my first "adult" trip was in 2002 when my son was 14 months old.

My favorite park is (and will probably always be) the Magic Kingdom!!! However, we are planning on spending 2 full days at Epcot over this short trip - go figure!

DH - otherwise known as Shawn (35). Slightly rough exterior but on the inside is a sweetheart and makes up for his (at times) lack of patience with his kind heart. He also considers my obsession with Disney to be endearing…or, so he says anyway. I have him to thank for jumping on board with my Disney obsession, and for pushing that we "upgrade" a bit on this trip!

He is my high school sweetheart, so I have known him for 18 years (we met in August of 1990 – yikes!), went to prom together, then he joined the Army (82nd Airborne Division) and I went to college, but we continued to date throughout all those years, and got married after I graduated and he finished out his service in the Army.

It’s a good thing we love eachother, since we also work together. I work in the office, and he works in pretty much everything! Officially, he is an estimator, but he is also our resident IT guru, as well as a project manager when it is necessary. He is far more valuable to the company than I am, and works very long hours as a result.

He is a very creative person, loves photography, loves graphic design, loves animation. His Disney history consists of his first trip ever in 2002 (he was 28), then the sick trip in 2006, the Thanksgiving 2007 trip, and our recent October 2008 trip. He never went to Disney as a child, and in fact, the October 2008 trip was the 1st time he went to Disney with his mother!

He loves all the parks, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Epcot is his favorite. He loves all the photographic possibility that lies in that park! I'm hoping to have a lot of beautiful photos from him to share in this report.

THAT'S IT!!! Smallest cast I have ever written about in a trip report!

The supporting cast (my nice way of saying they AREN'T COMING ON THIS TRIP! LOL!)

Michael - 8 years old. A very sweet boy. Loves everything Star Wars, Pirates, Narnia, and Bakugan (?) Basically anything with a weapon! A loving, thoughtful, peace-keeper of a boy who doesn’t like for anyone to feel sad or upset. Just an overall good kid. Straight A second grader who loves playing soccer and video games, and reluctantly sings in the church choir but I don't think he is planning on making singing his career of choice.

Emily - 6 years old. A sweet soul but is very shy. She loves princesses, makeup, ballet, Webkinz (they have taken over our house), anything pink, loves animals – but especially our new puppy! She is so very shy but is getting better. Sings in the church choir and really loves it! Getting ready to finish up her first year of real school - kindergarten graduation is in a few more weeks!

Katie - 4 years old. My totally random little child. She is my comic relief! She is very imaginative and loves to sing. She is still at home during the day (with my MIL) but does ballet and sings in the children’s choir at church. She is my little Dory – forgets things almost instantly – but is almost always happy! Well except for the little fit she threw tonight!

Without further adieu....the offspring:










Sara
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:27 AM   #11
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Love the pics of the kids - they are so cute!
But aren't you forgetting one member of your family?
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:51 AM   #12
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Ahhh...the romantic Disney getaway!!! Can't wait to hear all the details...

So happy for you!


Kathy
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shordiebecka View Post
I'm here! I too love PTR from the beginning. those are some really really grand gatherings that you've put together- i love to plan things so I would take on that task in a heartbeat, though I know how stressful it could be! Can't wait to hear more!
Hi! Thanks for reading! I love to plan too! The planning of the big trips was tons of fun! However, the execution of said planning was, at times, um....enormously frustrating? Overall though, the trips have always been fantastic! We have a great time all together as a family!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkluvsmickey View Post
Love the pics of the kids - they are so cute!
But aren't you forgetting one member of your family?
Thanks Michelle! Yes, yes, I know! I was writing that little part up last night but someone kept chewing on my laptop! I'll get to my newest family member in a moment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Ahhh...the romantic Disney getaway!!! Can't wait to hear all the details...

So happy for you!


Kathy
Thanks Kathy! I hope to get some good advice from people on some of those "romantic" ideas!

Sara
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:59 AM   #14
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have a fun trip
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:44 PM   #15
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have a fun trip
Thanks! And thanks for reading along!

Sara
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