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Old 10-08-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
Cafeen
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Daddy for a week, Emily's Special Trip to "Ally's Room"


Well, I've been over here on the DIS for a few months and have made a whopping 14ish posts (and most of those between Lisa and Ginny's TRs. I figured I'd better start mine now!

So, away we go.

Cast
The "cast" of this trip is:


Me (the right side one, obviously). Allan, 30 year old Quality Assurance Specialist for a software development company in Mobile, AL. (Although, with a whopping 6 pictures of me total on both cameras, I was more of the "crew" heh). Known as "Ally" by Emily.


Beth. 30 year old mommy. She lives up in New Hampshire.


Emily, the star of the show. She's the 2 1/2 year old miracle for Beth. She's such an amazing (and silly!) little girl. There will be much more about her later on as well.

Personal Background (Warning: Long Story)
Now, before I get going forward, I'm going to take a step backward and get you nice people some background on the relationships and how this trip formed.

I have known Beth for almost 11 years now, and we have been very very close ever since. About 10 months after we first met, I moved down to New Jersey. This was tough on both of us, but for the 5 years I was down there, we remained as close as ever.

I moved back to New Hampshire after landing my current job (had been QA for another company, bought out by my current one, so we were all working "remote" anyway). She shortly moved in and things were good. Almost a year after that, she hooked up with "the jerk" and moved in with him for awhile. This is where Emily comes in. Pretty much the only thing he ever did for her was give her Emily (which, don't get me wrong, is an amazing thing).

When she was 6mos pregnant, she left him (again) and moved back in with me. We got a nice little 2 BR and I was there throughout the rest of the pregnancy. She gave birth to Emily in Feb 2007 and I immediately fell in love with her (ok, I was in love with Emily before she was born, and before we knew she was a she... that's beside the point). I was there for the first feedings, the first bath, taking her home for the first time, all that stuff. Well, "The Jerk" started being nice and attentive again with the new baby, so Beth went back to him to give him a shot at being a father for Emily (he already had 4 other kids, 3 of which lived with him).

Well, in the meantime, I had to move down to Alabama (last April) for work. They wanted to get everyone into the actual office. At the time (and now really), I didn't think that it would be a good idea to leave that job and search for another, so I moved 1,500 miles to the Gulf Coast. At the same time, Beth finally had enough (it's about time, but I had to let her find that out for herself) of "The Jerk" and moved out on her own.

Now, here's where Disney comes in. I have been wanting to go back to Disney for several years (even before Emily came along). When Emily was born, that desire grew more and I knew I'd be taking her at some point. About a month after we both moved, I was checking out the Disney website and went ahead and booked (and rebooked a couple times to extend and take advantage of Free Dining).

Synopsis: Beth = my closest friend and the only person I'd consider spending my life with. It's not in the cards right now ("The Jerk" really messed her up), but maybe in the future. I'll be here waiting anyway.

Emily = Beth's daughter and the other love of my life. You'll see much more of her throughout the TR.

Me = Well, Me. I think I've explained a bunch already. There will be some stories related to my past Disney stuff within the TR, since this is a wall of text already.

In the immortal words of Monty Python:
"Get on with it!"


Table of Contents Thingy - (This is for all of you who like to skip chatter)
Chapter 1 - Getting There
Chapter 2 - Are We There Yet?
Chapter 3 - It's About Darn Time!
Chapter 4 - That Magical First Walk
PTR? Inside of a TR? Why not?!
Chapter 5 - We Finally Get on a Ride!
Chapter 6 - Evening in the MK
Chapter 7 - Day 2 - Animal Kingdom "Fun", Epic Phone Tag (pt 1)
Chapter 8 - Animal Kingdom "Fun", part 2 - Trekking through Asia
Chapter 9 - More Animal Kingdom... part 3
Some PTR Stuff - Dining Puzzle figured out
Chapter 10 - Animal Kingdom "Fun" - (Have we dragged this out enough?)
Chapter 11 (part 1) - Day 3 - Akershus, Epcot, and a "stroller nap"! (pt 1)
Chapter 11 (part 2) - Day 3 - Akershus, Epcot, and a "stroller nap"! (pt 2)
Chapter 12 - The Living Seas (Yes, I know it's got a new name...)
Chapter 13 - The Living Seas (pt 2)
Chapter 14 - Epcot Nap Time!
Chapter 15 - A BIG First for Emily! (and the rest of Epcot)
Chapter 16 - Day 4 - A Boat Ride, 1900 Park Fare, and The Magic Kingdom
Chapter 17 - Day 4 Continued - Magic Kingdom and some downtime
PTR - It's OFFICIAL! (Sorta!)
Chapter 18 - Sleepin' In for MGM! (Erm.. Hollywood Studios)
Chapter 19 - MGM Part 2 (Yes, it's MGM Gosh Darn It!)
Chapter 20 - MGM Continued
Chapter 21 - Day 6 - CRT, LeCellier, I can't read a bus sign...
Chapter 22 - Day 6 - Magic Kingdom Finale (pt 1, maybe?) - Extra Pictures
Chapter 23 - Some more Day 6 - Le Cellier and more Epcot - Extra Pictures

Unposted Pics from Beth's Camera
Chapter 24 - Going Back - Bonus Day 1 Pics (pt1)
Chapter 25 - Day 1 part 2. Day 2 AK Part 1 Extra Pics
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(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

Last edited by Cafeen; 11-06-2009 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Aww! Emily is so precious!!!

Definitely sounds like you've got quite the complicated relationship situation going on there! But that's okay. After all, what relationships aren't complicated?

You're off to a great start and I look forward to hearing about your trip!
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:11 PM   #3
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Getting There!


Before we get to Disney (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I've strung this out a bit already! Deal with it ), we're going to take a trip down to see my Mom and Joe (her unofficial husband of almost 20 years!)

First off, as I've mentioned, I live in Mobile, Alabama. I'm not FROM here, I just happen to live here for now. We have a nice little airport here too. Nothing major, but it's about 5-10 minutes from my apartment. This is important as I don't currently have a license or a car (didn't need them up in NH, so I let the NJ one expire). Well, when planning the trip, my officemate suggested that I fly out of either Gulfport or Pensacola. Of course, he basically offered a ride to either airport as well. I booked a nice little direct flight out of Pensacola and into Tampa (and then returning from Orlando back to Pensacola). Times were good, cost was about what I would have gotten from Mobile for a connecting flight, so I thought it was a good deal.

Well, I guess I should have doublechecked that ride thing...

I was leaving on the 18th of Sept (a Friday) at a 1pm flight to Tampa. When we were nearing the time, he didn't have the day (or half-day) off, so that was a no-go. My alternative was to ask my neighbor (a work at home mom of a gorgeous 8 month old little girl). This wouldn't have been an issue, except they were moving that day. So, now I'm "stuck". Why didn't I fly out of Mobile?

At any rate, I checked Greyhound. There were 2 buses between Mobile and Pensacola. One of them arriving to Pensacola at 11:45am and the other at 5:30am. Well, 11:45 was a bit late, considering my flight was to leave at 12:55 and I don't like cutting it that close, so the early bus it was! Called a cab to pick me up at 3am, got to the bus station by 3:30, bus came at 4:30, got to Pensacola around 5:45am, and then another cab to the airport. Hung around the airport until flight time and then I was off. Landed in Tampa around 3:30pm (EDT) and was picked up by mom and Joe. (I did give you the speed version there, I write books, what can I say..)


This is the plane that I took between Pensacola and Tampa (well, that particular one was heading to Orlando, but the one I took was off to the left a bit and was identical)

So, we get back to mom's house around 6pm, and I hadn't slept since 8am on Thursday. I was a bit tired, but oh well, sleep can happen later! We eat a small dinner of sandwiches from Publix and then spend some time together.

I finally get to bed around 8pm after having been up for 35hrs straight (time change between central FL and Mobile).

The next day, we head out shopping in the afternoon and I get a haircut. It's sort of a tradition with me to get a haircut when I visit my mom. Not sure why, but...

... this "before" picture may have had something to do with it!

We did some clothes shopping at Bealls (my mom is a huge clearance shopper, and they had 50% off plus 40% off) and then headed to see my grandparents.

We visited for an hour or so (we had also visited the previous evening for a little bit) and then headed back to mom's house. I went for a swim (first time swimming in years), called Beth to make sure things were set on her side, and then went to bed.

The next day would be Disney!

Now, before I go into Disney detail (shush your groans!) we'll get into "The Plan".

Who - I think I went over this enough already!
When - Sept 20 - Sept 27
Where - Coronado Springs (rm 9253 to be exact. This will hereby be dubbed "Ally's Room" by Emily)
What - Um, Disney... duh
Why - Why? Because we love you!
How - Uh, seriously? Isn't that what this report is for?

Alright, enough tripe (I like that word) and time for fun... almost.
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-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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Allan! I'm here! I'm here! I'm here! (Imagine me jumping up and down and waving my arms.)

If no one has told you lately, you are a sweetheart. Truly a sweetheart to stand behind Beth and give her support through the hard times. Working for a divorce attorney, I hear all sorts of tales and, believe me, I've heard stories like Beth's numerous times. It's great that she has a loving friend like you.

Ally is a cutie pie and I can see why you fell in love with her instantly.

I look forward to reading all about your Disney adventures!

Lisa
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Allan! I'm here! I'm here! I'm here! (Imagine me jumping up and down and waving my arms.)

If no one has told you lately, you are a sweetheart. Truly a sweetheart to stand behind Beth and give her support through the hard times. Working for a divorce attorney, I hear all sorts of tales and, believe me, I've heard stories like Beth's numerous times. It's great that she has a loving friend like you.

Ally is a cutie pie and I can see why you fell in love with her instantly.

I look forward to reading all about your Disney adventures!

Lisa
Thanks Lisa

Emily is the cutie pie, Ally is her name for me (Beth started that when she was real young).

They sure have been through a lot, between dealing with "The Jerk" and dealing with other aspects of their life, but, can't control that, so have to live for what you can. /shrug I guess we can all be thankful that she never agreed to marry him (he tried), that saves everyone around a bit of head- (and heart-)ache. Hopefully he'll follow through with the idea of moving to Greece, so they (and by proxy, I) won't have to worry about it anymore.

As for me, what I do is just something I've always done. Maybe I'm modest, but it wasn't a big deal for me to bring them on this trip (well, other than the trip itself, but that's different). I wanted to go, I wanted to go with them, they couldn't afford it for years, so I did what I wanted to do .

(Man, I talk a lot on my own thread... if only I could get this chatty on other people's!)

Thanks again for the kind words, and pointing people here. Was going to post, but got distracted (ooh shinies!) and forgot.
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(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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Oops! I meant Emily but I typed Ally. Well, you're a cutie pie too so I guess the slip up didn't matter.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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Allan I'm so glad you started your report. I think you are a very kind gentle man who looks for the best in everyone. I like those kinds of people. Your darling Emily it so cute and precious. And dear Beth. Once you get burned it is hard to feel good about yourself again. Just continue to be good to her. You are right. Beth's relationship provided nothing good but Emily. And that's not a bad thing at all. Children are meant to be treasured.

We stayed at CSR also and loved it. What a round about way you had to get there. Hope things go easier from now on.

Good job.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickiwoo View Post
Aww! Emily is so precious!!!

Definitely sounds like you've got quite the complicated relationship situation going on there! But that's okay. After all, what relationships aren't complicated?

You're off to a great start and I look forward to hearing about your trip!
Whoops, missed you between updates! Sorry about that.

Emily really is. The pictures don't do her personality justice, but she is one of the sweetest things out there (ok, I may be a bit biased!) She was always going up to people and saying hi, and making friends everywhere.

The relationship is really hard to explain. We're not "together" but we're not "just friends". Much of the time, I feel that we may as well be together, but not, it's much more difficult to explain than it is to live , but we just do our things and it works.

Thanks for the kind words on the report, I do enjoy writing a lot and I hope that I do the trip justice. I have a large tendency to be a bit wordy though .
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(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:23 PM   #9
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This trip report is off to a really nice start and I look forward to reading more!

It helps me anticipate my own trip, coming up in January!
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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signing on Allen!! great start...you seem to have it all covered and great introductions!!
looking forward to sharing your Disney travels with you!!
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrexie View Post
This trip report is off to a really nice start and I look forward to reading more!

It helps me anticipate my own trip, coming up in January!
Welcome and glad I could help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by longing2Batdisney View Post
signing on Allen!! great start...you seem to have it all covered and great introductions!!
looking forward to sharing your Disney travels with you!!
Thanks , hope I can live up to the expectations.


I should be writing up the next bit today. I took yesterday off due to some news about my grandmother up in NH and today has some backed up work to complete. It shouldn't take long though (hopefully, assuming nothing goes wrong which is a big assumption).

Hope everyone else has a good morning.
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-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaaateamsgrandma View Post
Allan I'm so glad you started your report. I think you are a very kind gentle man who looks for the best in everyone. I like those kinds of people. Your darling Emily it so cute and precious. And dear Beth. Once you get burned it is hard to feel good about yourself again. Just continue to be good to her. You are right. Beth's relationship provided nothing good but Emily. And that's not a bad thing at all. Children are meant to be treasured.

We stayed at CSR also and loved it. What a round about way you had to get there. Hope things go easier from now on.

Good job.
Thanks Ginny!

I loved CSR too, it was a bit large, but we got a great room in Cabanas 9B (2nd floor, on a corner) and I didn't mind the walks to El Centro (maybe 5 mins) or the Bus Stop (maybe 6-7 mins) (though, Bus Stop back to the room, that's another story, I swear the resort grew larger during the day...)

Pepper Market (well, lunch and dinner, wasn't impressed with breakfast) was good and the Maya Grill was very good. The grounds were beautiful and the early(ish) morning quiet was great. I do wish that we took more advantage of the resort, but we were both too exhausted most of the days to do so . I did get a nice walk around the lake on Sunday night at least.

I am trying to contemplate my next trip (solo trip, aiming for early Feb) and think that CSR would work best for it, but at the same time, I want to try the others... so not entirely sure where to head yet. /shrug, I have time to wait, don't have to book for awhile and ADRs would all fall under that Oct 27 date anyway.
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-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:59 AM   #13
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Are we there yet?

So, when I last left off, I was getting ready to head to Disney. No, we haven't left yet. Yes, you're going the long way with me.

Warning: No pics yet. I didn't realize that I barely took any until Monday morning. If you want, I can toss in some random google pics, but that won't make much sense now will it?

Beth's flight was landing around 4 pm, and I was meeting them at the airport. To make things easier on all of us, I was planning to check into the resort along with our stuff from Walmart before meeting her at the airport. So, we calculated, added in some Bealls time (I have no idea what my mom would do without that store!) added in some Walmart time, and planned to leave around 10am (we were about an hour to 90 mins from the airport). We headed off without a hitch, stopping at Bealls for some "last minute" clothes, shoes for Emily (she didn't have any sandals), and a sizable fluffy plush dog.

We made our way to Orlando, dodging the non-existent Sunday morning traffic. Ms GPS (Gipis as my mom calls her) lead us well and we were in Orlando by noonish. We headed off to find a Walmart, and after a nice long drive through Winter Garden (doubling back on ourselves), we found it.

Now, I will say I rushed through here, as mom stayed in the car with my stuff... this will be important later. At any rate, we got the stuff and Gipis took us right through the side entrance and right to CSR. I checked in (it's now around 2pm) and got our room all set. We lugged the Walmart stuff (mostly drinks, a few snacks, and diapers for Emily) up to the room (thank goodness for the stroller... don't think I would have been able to carry the 2 cases of water without it!) and rested for a few minutes. Now, it's time to head to MCO and meet up with Beth and Emily, a reunion that was WAY too long in the making. (And in the telling, huh? ) Mom dropped me off at the airport and we made our goodbyes.

So, I'm waiting there right before security, and waiting, and waiting (geeze, guess I should have stopped to get something to eat!) and eventually I spy them coming down the "tube" (well, it's not a tube, but you know that glass walled area where you can see those coming before they hit the security exit? Yup, that spot). Woohoo! They're here, let the trip begin!

Quick hugs and we're on our way to the ME counter. We hop in line (with no one in front of us) and are eventually let onto the bus. A quick ride and we're at the resort (again for me ) and head up to our room. We settle in and eventually head out for our first dinner at Maya Grill. Food there was great, as was the server. I had myself a nice beef shoulder cut, while Beth had the Ribeye. Emily picked at a grilled cheese sandwich. We headed back to the room.

Beth had trouble getting Emily to sleep, so I went for a walk to let her settle. I walked around the entire resort and it was great. I also picked up some Sunscreen (check 1 thing I forgot at Walmart). When I got back, Emily was out like a light (and had been for nearly an hour... oops!)

Still no "good" pictures, but I snap one of the pyramid at the pool.


Tomorrow will bring Chef Mickey's, Emily's first Disney ride, lots of walking, and more. (And a better update method, as I'll have many more pictures to fill the space.)
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(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

Last edited by Cafeen; 10-10-2009 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Spelling...
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:42 AM   #14
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Yea! Everybody has arrived safe and sound at Disney and you've already eaten a Disney meal! What a great way to start a vacation!
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51642226


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Old 10-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #15
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I'm here!! Great start - you have me wondering if this trip turns out more "magical" than we think for you and Beth If not, I think it is fantastic you are such great friends and love little Emily!
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