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Old 08-23-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
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3 generations, Segway surprise, was there Disney magic 4 the 1st-timers?

Welcome to my very first ever Trip Report. I am so glad you are reading -- sit back and enjoy the ride! Let me encourage you also to chime in whenever you can


After reading some of the intriguing TRs, I was thinking it might be fun to share our experiences as well. Although we don’t have years of visits under our belts, we have the enthusiasm and wonder of both first-timers and wow-am-I-glad-to-be-back’ers.

First, introductions:

Me, grandma and baby boomer who faithfully watched the original Mickey Mouse Club, and like every girl then, wanted to be Annette. (Hey, we both have brown eyes )

DH, grandpop and fellow boomer whose inner boy always comes out in an amusement park

DD, whose visit to MK with me and her grandparents lo those 20+ years ago made us all want to return

DSIL, who really doesn’t like roller coasters, scary rides or crowds, but loves his family, so being at WDW is an act of love

DGS8, the world’s sweetest and smartest grandson (what’s that you say? I can’t quite hear you… something about “partial?”)

DGS3, who adores his big brother in every way, but can’t stand loud noises (You’re ahead of me…you’re already predicting one problem.)


You will find out more about us as you follow along!! And there will be lots of photos and hopefully some videos, too


To moi, grammy, fell the honor of planning the maiden voyage to WDW for this extended family, and especially for the precious grandsons. And some of us grandmas know how to use the internet! So, I found several resources and adopted some of the hints and ideas (like what to bring that one might not think of—special blister band-aids, reusable water bottles and to-go flavors, Glide, etc). Of all the resources, the one I used and enjoyed the most was you folks on this board. Thank you, thank you, one and all!


First, when to go: adult and kid schedules require a summer visit—4th week of July, as it turns out. Decide we’ll just deal with the heat. Next, how to travel: DSIL is quite averse to flying and train not cost-effective, so driving...renting a minivan.

Where to stay: on Disney property. I start the persuasion campaign early (hehe) to stay at a monorail hotel – it’ll be so hot, some of us aren’t used to all the walking, we’ll be going back to the hotel from MK and Epcot sometimes in the middle of the day, it’ll be easier with the stroller, next time we can stay at a value or moderate, etc. Well, it works! We book 2 garden wing rooms at the Contemporary for 6 nights/7days.

As time goes on, add DDP and Disney trip insurance (DSIL’s mom has some health issues), and make ADRs. Excitement starts to build, but mainly in grandma—the others are focused on work and school, and of course the grandkids don’t know what they’re about to experience. The boys are actually more into SpongeBob than Mickey et al.

But don’t you think I’d be remiss not to pass along the Disney tradition to the next generation?
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:36 PM   #2
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3 generations, Segway surprise, do 1st timers keep up with scary ride lovers

Hmmm…gotta make the rest of the photos larger! A couple more, then the rest are larger.

DD and family arrive at our place at night and we pack their stuff with ours in the minivan. Squeeze it all in except our overnight bags—rental company said “no roof racks allowed.” Everyone to bed for an 8 a.m. departure Saturday. We’re only ½ hour late leaving, but encounter major traffic within an hour. Hope the whole trip isn’t like this! Both boys fully stocked with toys and DVDs in the back. Have researched McDonalds that contain PlayPlaces on the ‘net so the boys can run around when we stop. (Long car trips are pretty much the only time I’ll willingly consent to eat fast food.) DH does all the driving, except for my spelling him for a couple of hours midday. We’d figured we could make it that first day to a hotel about 4 hours from WDW so had made reservations. Pull into hotel at 9:45 p.m., and another family at the front desk is leaving after apparently just checking in; they say there’s door slamming on their hall. Huh? Hope this isn’t a bad sign…the hotel is a 3-diamond and the area appears nice. No connecting rooms available here, though. We all hope to fall asleep quickly to get a reasonable start in the morning.

Sunday: meet DD and family for breakfast in hotel, where we hear their story from last night: the boys were talking excitedly in the room for the first 15-20 minutes, and someone called the front desk and complained! At 10 o’clock! So DD got a call from the front desk about “noise.” Compared to door slamming and other things you hear in hotels, this amazes me. Make a mental note: consider a different hotel if we drive next time. Happy to be on the road now for the short leg of the trip, boys not yet sated with DVD’s and are watching “Fantasia.” Anticipation builds as we approach WDW and the Contemporary; by 2 p.m. we are fully checked in, and the rooms are connecting! They are large and well-appointed, bed incredibly comfortable, and nice view of the pool and part of Bay Lake. We are eager to get to the Magic Kingdom, so up the escalators to the 4th floor concourse we go. DGS3 just loves the escalators! As we wait to board the monorail, a CM spots the boys and their dad wearing their yellow “1st Visit” buttons, and he gives them the friendly “what took you so long?” treatment.

DGS8’s 2nd grade curriculum included a unit on Spanish, so he is taken by the monorail announcement: “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas." DGS3’s eyes are wide with curiosity about all he can see out the windows. We are inside the MK gates by 3:30 and head to the WDW Railroad. We are taking the touringplans.com and Unofficial Guide’s warning about afternoon crowds at Fantasyland seriously and are avoiding it until tomorrow. So we get off in Frontierland, and is it hot! Get FP for Splash Mt. and then explore Tom Sawyer’s Island some. Next we ride the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and take in the Enchanted Tiki Room. Get FP for POTC and head to Splash Mt. to use its FP. DSIL and DGS3 are sitting this one out, and at the last minute I chicken out too, leaving 3 SM FP unused. However, the three of us do get wet—a lovely, gentle rain begins. We just pull on our ponchos and enjoy being cooled off a little!

Here’s the 3 year old (with his big brother in the background):


DGS3, DSIL and I spot Goofy near SM and wait our turn. Then all 6 of us are together for a tasty dinner at Pecos Bill Café. My taco salad hits the spot. DSIL (and DGS8) try their hand at the shooting arcade.


Next we head to the Jungle Cruise—gotta love those stale jokes . At POTC DGS3 gets scared at the darkness and noise, but DD cajoles him through the ride. The rest of us think it’s terrific! We are sorry to see that the rain has stopped—it was so pleasant For those of you who are doing your FP math, you can guess what happens next—the 3 thrill seekers ride on Splash Mt. again! See, it’s actually good to have some not-so-brave family members; we all get FP and the adventurous ones ride twice.

You can imagine that by now it’s getting late. We don’t want to stay out too long because tomorrow is our main full day at MK and we want to be back at Rope Drop. (BTW, only one person in our group of six is an early riser, so our plans intentionally avoid parks with morning EMH.) Time for the first photos of the castle, so pretty at night!

DD, DSIL, DGS3 and DGS8:


Grandsons tired, but havin’ fun:


Photos on Main St.—first DH and DD:


Then DGS8 and me:


Back to the monorail and CR around 9:30 p.m. with 2 tired kiddies. Mousekeeping has left DH and me chocolates on our pillows All of a sudden around 10:15 p.m. there’s loud music outside the windows and I’m thinking “please don’t let the boys wake up.” Oh yeah, that’s the Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake—almost forgot--very colorful too! The boys are so zonked they sleep right through it.

More to come…
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:53 PM   #3
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Hey!!!

I followed you over from PopArtGal's TR.

I love the jokes on the Jungle Cruise too! Such as 'This is what the backside of water looks like!' LOL

You mentioned how to get ppl to read your TR. I think the best way is to read and post on other people's TR's. Don't start with a TR that is 20 pages long.... there is too much to read! I'd find a few that are just starting.

I'll be following along!

Tim
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Hey!!! I followed you over from PopArtGal's TR.
I love the jokes on the Jungle Cruise too! Such as 'This is what the backside of water looks like!' LOL You mentioned how to get ppl to read your TR. I think the best way is to read and post on other people's TR's. Don't start with a TR that is 20 pages long.... there is too much to read! I'd find a few that are just starting. I'll be following along! Tim
Tim,

Thanks for following along! And for the tips too. I hope to get another day up this evening.

Your daughter is just adorable!
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:48 PM   #5
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Monday: we all make it to MK by 8:30 a.m., well in time for RD. After the little ceremony we head straight for Dumbo, another recommendation of the “Unofficial Guide.” Excellent move—the line is about 10 minutes long just that quickly (later in the day it’s an hour plus).

DH and DGS8:


DD and DGS3:


Of course, DGS3 likes that ride, then on to Winnie the Pooh.

I get to sit next to DGS3 for this ride. There is much to look at, and then my eyes go down to him. A thought forms in my mind: as much as I might like looking at all the colorful things, what means the most to me is DGS’s experience of them. It’s actually an overwhelming feeling and from that point on, I often look at his face. Whenever I’m close enough to see the expressions on his face, I feel so blessed .




Next a short walk past the teacups to Tomorrowland Speedway and very little wait there.

DSIL and DGS3’s faces show how they feel about their drive:



DD takes this close-up of DGS8:


So the 5 of them enjoy the cars while I go to Buzz Lightyear for FPs. We all then head back to Fantasyland, munching food we’ve brought with us, on our way to Small World. (This serves as “breakfast” each morning.) DD remembers IASW from her own trip as a 4 year old—now it’s another family favorite. DGS3 is getting better about being in dark rides. On to Mickey’s Philharmagic , which is so much fun! We all say how much we love that. We go by Peter Pan’s Flight for FPs and head to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. DH is ahead in points throughout most of the ride, but toward the end I get some high-point hits and claim “Winner!” That’s another ride we all want to go on again. But we are ready for a long, cool, inside attraction, so Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is our choice. DGS3 is a bit shy to sit in front with all the kids, but survives with his big brother next to him. The adults get a big kick out of this show—it’s definitely a favorite. And the flawless organization to get people in and out of shows like this is impressive at WDW. By now it’s time to use our Peter Pan FPs, so off we go. If I remember correctly, PPF is the same as it was so many years ago. Thinking that it’s better to do spinning rides before rather than after lunch, we do the Mad Tea Party ride next. It turns out it wouldn’t have mattered, because DH is on his good behavior today and doesn’t spin our teacup a zillion MPH as he’s done on rides like this before.

DD and the boys pre-spin cycle:


Are you out of breath yet? Reading back, it’s amazing that we’ve been able to do and see so much before lunch! Chalk another one up for the UG and touringplans.com. At last, we break for lunch at Starlight Ray’s Cosmic Café. It is huge and we don’t see the entertainment side on this trip…just glad to be cool inside and feeding our faces. Except for the two boys—somehow their request for PBJs didn’t come out on the receipt; they were listed as chicken nuggets. So they’re just sitting at the table looking at their plates and eating a few carrots and grapes. A CM probably notices that, along with their “1st Time Visit” buttons and comes to us to ask how we are enjoying ourselves. When she learns that the boys thought they were getting PBJs, she says “don’t go anywhere, I’ll be back in a minute.” Indeed she is, with two PBJ sandwiches that put smiles on the boys’ faces . Now that’s what I call Disney magic—true customer service, above and beyond!

Feeling refreshed, we queue up for the Haunted Mansion. It is mostly as I remembered it. DH and I are in our own car, so I don’t see the boys’ reactions. Find out later that DD was able to talk DGS3 through it, though it’s doubtful he would choose this ride on his own. Thinking it’s high time for ears, we make our way to Sir Mickey’s. DGS3 gets the standard issue and DGS8, believing he might be a little old for this, agrees to the pirate ears. (What he really wants is the Mickey wristwatch.)

Since we have 7:15 ADRs at Ft. Wilderness for HDDR, we decide to return to the CR for an afternoon break. The boys want to try out the pool and some of the adults just want to relax. DGS8 is into water slides now, but we’re saving the Disney water parks for a future visit when DGS3 is a little older. DGS8 is quite happy with the water slide at the CR pool, but DGS3 looks at it with mixed emotions: I really want to go on it, but man, is it big! So it’s a no-go, but they have fun in the pool. Soon we’re back on the monorail to MK and our 5:05 character story time inside Town Square Exhibition Hall. There are only 8 or 9 kids total, all sitting close to Snow White as she reads them a story.



Afterward, DGS3 is too shy for a photo, and DGS8 is just OK with it (he seems to be entering the “girls have cooties” phase).



We enjoy exploring the nearby cutout scenes to pose for photos.

Here’s DSIL and the boys’ version of Steamboat Willie:



The boys’ take on 101 Dalmations:



DH and I blasting off:


Likewise for DH and DGS8:


DH realizes he left his favorite cap somewhere during our morning here, so he and I try to retrace steps, to no avail. Meanwhile DD, DSIL and the boys ride on Cinderella’s Golden Carousel.

DGS8:


Walking back on Main St, we see part of the performance in front of the Castle and then head to the boat launch. Goodbye to the Magic Kingdom for now!

View of MK and pier from the water:



On the water launch, DGS3 actually falls asleep in his stroller . Arriving at Ft. Wilderness, his stroller is carefully lifted out so he doesn’t wake up for the walk to Pioneer Hall. We let him sleep through the “photo opportunity” and all the waiting time before we can go inside to see the Hoop-de-doo Revue...



Then DD gently wakes him up. I’m a little disappointed with our table location, since I called 89 days out. But we all enjoy this silly show and the way the performers interact with the audience. The food is good, too—the ribs are yummy! At the end, we join in the music-making on our washboard.



When we board our launch, the CM says conspiratorially , “Let’s all shout, ‘Hi Rick!’ to the other boat’s pilot” and we do; that playfulness is one of the things that makes WDW such a happy place. Crossing Bay Lake on our way to the CR, it’s a treat to see another Electrical Water Pageant. Tomorrow, we’re off to Animal Kingdom!
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
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WOW you fit in so much before lunch!!!!!

You have done your homework thats for sure..... like being there for RD and Dumbo first.

I found that watching my DD on rides or just walking through MK is enough to make me get a little choked up. (did I just say that?)

What the CM at Starlight Ray's did for the boys is what Disney is all about. Especially after reading thread after thread on the DIS about all the 'complaints' about what's wrong with Disney. The little things like this are so important in keeping the magic alive.

What was wrong with your table at HDDR? We booked this for our upcoming trip. Our TA booked it at 6am on our 90th +4 day. We have never done this before and we are looking to have a good time!
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:19 PM   #7
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What was wrong with your table at HDDR? We booked this for our upcoming trip. Our TA booked it at 6am on our 90th +4 day. We have never done this before and we are looking to have a good time!
Hopefully, you'll be OK. I actually made the ressie on the 90th day, forgetting that I'd really wanted to get the DDP first, then use it to cover the HHDR. So I was told I had to cancel the original ressie and rebook under the DDP. I didn't realize how popular this show would be--if I had, I might have booked it later in the week (like your "90+4) instead of our first full day there.

The DDP doesn't include Category 1 seating for HDDR, which is the close, ground level area. (Someone may know more about this than me; maybe you could pay some differential to get Cat. 1 on the DDP--anyone?) Anyway, DDP includes only Categories 2 and 3. My understanding is that Cat. 2 is anything left on the ground after all the Cat. 1's, as well as the part of the balcony facing the stage. Cat. 3 is in the balcony, but on the sides. We were Cat. 2, in balcony facing the stage. It was fine as far as seeing everything, but removed from 95 percent of the audience interaction stuff. And it's that "stuff" that makes the show the most fun!

But it's certainly worth doing, and I bet your family will really enjoy it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:09 AM   #8
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Your trip report has been pimped. So I came over to start reading

I loved that the CM came over with PB&J sandwiches, love Disney Magic!!!
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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You all look like you're having such a grand time!! Your photos are so clear, and gave me just the Disney fix I needed today.

Hoop is a lot of fun, isn't it!? We got cat. 1 and loved it. I think, though if we do it again, we'll get the cat. 3 up in the balc.; I just didn't think the extra $15 or more per person was worth the amount of interaction they gave. Just me, though.

We like the EWP too. Nice way to top off the evening before bed.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:00 PM   #10
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Looks like a great trip so far! We went for July 4th two years ago. What did you think of the heat and crowds?? I am going to follow your lead and start tuning in to my kids reactions!!
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by onelilspark View Post
Your trip report has been pimped. So I came over to start reading
I loved that the CM came over with PB&J sandwiches, love Disney Magic!!!

Thanks for joining in! There's more Disney magic to come, too


Quote:
Originally Posted by All7OfUs View Post
You all look like you're having such a grand time!! Your photos are so clear, and gave me just the Disney fix I needed today.
Hoop is a lot of fun, isn't it!? We got cat. 1 and loved it. I think, though if we do it again, we'll get the cat. 3 up in the balc.; I just didn't think the extra $15 or more per person was worth the amount of interaction they gave. Just me, though.
We like the EWP too. Nice way to top off the evening before bed.
"The Fix" is what it's all about between visits, right? Either that, or planning for the next trip

We did enjoy HDDR--I had read mixed reviews and wasn't sure. But DD has a good friend with 4 kids under age 10 who goes to WDW every year, and she recommended it. DGS8 picked up on a lot of the double entendres. And DGS3 just loved the silliness, as did we all. Did you use the dining plan to cover it, is Cat. 1 on the deluxe DP, or do you know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by emmababy View Post
Looks like a great trip so far! We went for July 4th two years ago. What did you think of the heat and crowds?? I am going to follow your lead and start tuning in to my kids reactions!!
Well, there's no denying that it was really hot. When we had the mild rain the first evening, I thought "this is delightful!" We had visited DD when she was in grad school in FL so were almost counting on daily afternoon rains. But none materialized after that first one. We relied mostly on midday breaks back at the CR, leisurely indoor lunches, refillable water bottles with to-go flavors, and indoor shows. And of course our misting fans. As for the crowds, we didn't find them bad except for Friday at MK. Because we generally followed the touringplans.com recommendations, I'm guessing, we avoided some of that.

There is no joy quite like the joy on a little one's face :
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:55 PM   #12
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Tuesday—only our 2nd full day here! We sleep in a little after yesterday’s full day, reaching the Animal Kingdom around 10:00 a.m.. It’s already blazing hot outside, so first we get FPs for Kali River Rapids. The FP return isn’t until 1:30, but it’ll be nice to cool off then! Onward to Kilimanjaro Safari--our driver keeps up a quick pace and there are so many animals to be seen.

DD and DGS3 are ready to go--


A few animal pix:







The king of the forest can’t find much shade either:




This park seems significantly bigger than the others, and we walk past lots of families standing in line for characters. We ask them, but our DGSs aren’t interested in standing in line for the characters—they’d rather be seeing and doing things. As we admire the gorgeous Tree of Life, the Photopass photographer graciously offers to take our pix with our camera after she does hers.



We trek to Dinoland and go on TriceraTop Spin; next DSIL and DGS3 head to the Boneyard while the rest of us queue up for Primeval Whirl. Thank goodness our mister fans are full of water. Back to Expedition Everest for FPs and we’re ready to cool off on KRR. Seeing others exit the ride disguised as drenched rats, we cave and put our ponchos on. At the end, we’re still soaked, but laughing! DH says he notices that people on land control some of the squirting stuff…hmmm. And what that exit needs is a hair dryer! DGS8 has been asking for pizza, so our late lunch is at Pizzafari. Time is starting to be our enemy…there’s so much left to see but we have an early ADR at Boma. The next choice is between Finding Nemo and It’s Tough to Be a Bug. I get outvoted so we head to ITTBAB. Although a couple parents have to take their scared kids out during the show, our DGS3 holds his own. A cool show! We hustle over to Nemo, making it there at the posted start time, but the CM says the doors are closed; sadly the next (and last) show for the day is while we’re at dinner. Oh, and the EE FPs are for while we’re at dinner also. So I can at least reassure our group’s adventurous three that there is a solution for them: we go to dinner and then come back so they can ride EE—the CMs probably won’t hassle them for missing the printed time.

We take our sweet ole time going back to the gate—did I mention how hot it is --and point the minivan toward AKL. What a spectacular resort! Undoubtedly, the meal at Boma is the best we’ve had so far. Huge buffet with interesting selections, kids’ choices, and all kinds of amazing desserts. Zebra domes are just one of many. DH then offers to drop DSIL, DGS3 and me back at the CR before returning to AK. There’s still lots of pool time left, so sounds good. DGS3 is still wary of the water slide, but you can tell he really wants it bad. Meanwhile, DH, DD and DGS8 return to AK with the FPs and ride on EE. Then DH and DGS8 turn right around and go on it again!


DD takes a photo from the ground:



A view from EE:



DD and DGS8:



DH and DGS8:



Well, as long as we’re here, let’s do the Dinosaur, think DH, DD and DGS8. Here they re-create what happened during the ride--
[
[
[
[
[
[




And now time to head out. When they get off the monorail back at the CR, DH strikes up a conversation with a security-type CM who uses a Segway on the job. Next thing you know, the CM offers to let DGS8 try it out! How cool is that! A Segway surprise!




As the day draws to a close, we are looking forward to EPCOT tomorrow…tune in to see what happens on the Orange side of Mission: Space!
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:14 PM   #13
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I love the Dinosaur pic, cracks me up
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:47 AM   #14
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i love your TR.
your grandchildren are very cute! :]
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:59 AM   #15
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With the FP you can return anytime past the return time.. even if it is after the 1 hour window closes.

Our 1st time at AK my DW had to take our screaming DD out of ITTBAB. I read a few books and I knew to lean forward at the bees part. LOL

That Dinosaur pic is great!!!

How cool that your GS was able to ride the Segway!
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