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Old 03-22-2010, 01:10 PM   #1
happybratpack
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"Our Dad farted the whole way here." Spring Break '10 ~ 3/22 Manatee Swim 3/23 MK Day

If you want to know more about us check out our pre-trip:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2412641

Now, on with the show! I’m going to start with the one portion of the trip that wasn’t Disney related, hope nobody will mind…

On Wednesday the alarm went off bright and early at 3:30 am - I know, I know! We were so dragging but forced ourselves up for the part of the trip I’ve been looking forward to the most, swimming with the Manatees. So we were off on our 2 hour drive to Crystal River for what was to be the experience of a lifetime.

We arrived at 6 am at Birds Underwater (http://www.birdsunderwater.com) for our 6:30 boat trip. We struggled into our wetsuits (NOT a pretty picture, let me tell you!!) and watched the safety/info video on swimming with these awesome creatures.



After a short boat ride we arrived at our destination, Three Sisters Springs. I can’t put into words or pictures how utterly awesome this place was. The water was crystal clear and so smooth. It was serene and really just an awesome site.





Getting the nerve to get into the water (68-72 degrees year round) was a challenge, especially since I’m a cold-wimp. It only took a minute or two to acclimate and then it was actually pretty comfy.



It’s definitely eye-opening at first, especially since the air temp was in the 50’s.

I can’t explain how that first glimpse of actual Manatees in the wild made me feel, it was somewhere between awe and the desire to protect these magnificent animals. Hard to explain.



We spent a couple hours in the water, it felt like it flew by though.

Here are some other shots, there was a young manatee that was so super friendly and inquisitive. Quite often once you start rubbing their backs they would roll over so you could rub their tummy, they were sort of like giant puppies in that regard. Just unbelievable!

















Looks like he’s being tickled…





Anyway, I could go on for days, but if you’re interested in more pics you can check out our photo album here:

http://thebratpack.zenfolio.com/p774...eshow#h6188703

Another cool thing Birds Underwater did was both Captains were in the water with us taking video with HD cameras. The quality was great and for $35 it was a super deal, especially since we didn’t get all the pics we wanted.

We were finished with the swim, changed, bought the DVD plus several other manatee items (ha) by noon. It’s definitely something to think about if you’re going to MCO anyway during the winter months. I can’t recommend it enough!!! Add it to your Bucket List!

Up next…WDW!
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:19 PM   #2
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That does look like a very cool experience. Fabulous pics, too!
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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That looked absolutely awesome!!!!
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:47 PM   #4
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I saw your FB message that you had started a trip report and thought I would come check it out.

That looks amazing! I can't believe how clear that water is! Too cool.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
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Wow that looks awesome! My husband and I did this in Crystal River 2 years ago with a different company but the water was not that clear and they said there could be gators and gar fish in the water, so it was a little freaky!!! That place looks awesome though, definitely adding it to the list for next time. I love manatees, they are so gentle and harmless

Did they mention what the bump on that manatees nose was? Looked strange. Thanks for sharing!

Oh what kind of camera did you use? The picture clarity is really good
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:26 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone!! I'm relieved I have readers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieMouseLove View Post
Wow that looks awesome! My husband and I did this in Crystal River 2 years ago with a different company but the water was not that clear and they said there could be gators and gar fish in the water, so it was a little freaky!!! That place looks awesome though, definitely adding it to the list for next time. I love manatees, they are so gentle and harmless

Did they mention what the bump on that manatees nose was? Looked strange. Thanks for sharing!

Oh what kind of camera did you use? The picture clarity is really good
Well.....after we had loaded back on the boat Hallie said something about the "log" she had seen in the far corner of the springs. Come to find out it was the resident gator but she said they've never had a problem. I'm just happy to know that AFTER or I might not have gotten in the water. She also said there were some areas where the water was murkier and brackish and they didn't take people to swim there.

It was a pain getting up so early, but they are the first ones out there each morning so it definitely made it worth it. When we were leaving the boats were piling up with a bunch of splashers.

We asked about the bump, they said it was some sort of cyst and quite common. Who knew?! That was the youngster and he was sooo friendly. If you just started rubbing a little he would roll in place so you rubbed all the right places.

We bought that camera this past Summer and I love it! It's an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW, I found it for about half of the regular price on Amazon since it was the least popular color. (green) I use it all the time now and it does great underwater. (and above!) Another perk is that it can be dropped from up to 6', that's come in handy.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:35 PM   #7
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Wow those pics are amazing!! Can't wait to read your TR, the title is pretty funny.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #8
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Day 1 ~ Travel & LSU

We headed out of DFW via the lovely Tahoe about 6 am...basically just loaded the kiddos into the backseat where they made a comfy bed I was envious for most of the ride. Oh how I miss the days of sleeping in the back while the adults drove. When did I become the adult?!?!?!?



We stopped at the Louisiana welcome center for some yummy Community Coffee and to snap a few shots.



The kids and Larry are HUGE LSU fans so since we were driving through Baton Rouge decided what the heck and stopped to see Mike the Tiger. They got a huge kick out of it and it was nice to have an hour break from driving. I'm a road trip wimp, I have NO patience for being on the road.









We drove for an eternity (ok, 10 hours) and decided to just east of Mobile, Alabama. A bed never looked so good...again, road trip wimp.

Up next...travel day #2 and the Magic Kingdom till 2 am!! (I know everyone is just saying get to the Disney part already)
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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Travel Day 2 & French Quarter

FINALLY after 1,223,432 hours we make it to Florida. I always hate that part, you're finally there but then you still have a million hours of driving ahead of you.



So we pull into POFQ, happy to be here and I'm checking in with the Grandfatherly looking security guard at the entrance. I had rolled the kid's windows down so they could get some stickers he was handing out when he asked THE question to the kids.

"How was the trip?"

A split second later Baker answered..."Pretty good, but our Dad farted the whole way here."


I seriously thought this poor guy was going to wet his pants. I looked over at L in the passenger seat and he looked mortified. I suppose I should have felt sorry for him, but then again I had been stuck in the closed vehicle with him the last 18 hours.

Utter greatness.

I'm going to veer off for a short resort review here. We've stayed at Riverside countless times, love it. This time we decided to give French Quarter a chance and let me tell you I don't regret it one bit!! I don't know if it's the fact that it's so much smaller but we absolutely loved it.

We paid for a standard view room, but lucked into a premier spot in the main area right across from the pool/hot tub/laundry. It was perfect! (Room 5108 for you planners out there)















GREAT bar area, I spent a few late evenings here.





OK, this post has gotten super pic heavy so I'll start the MK on the next one. In a nutshell, two thumbs up to POFQ, can't say enough about it! We felt like it was much more personal and more intimate than many of the other resorts we've tried. There were CM's walking around the food court offering to trade pins with the kids, handing out beads and stickers. The resort was at 100% occupancy while we were there but it never felt like it. A great experience!

Up next...MK. For real this time.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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Saw your post on FB so had to come check out a TR with this title! LOL Love it so far. Can't wait to read more.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:24 PM   #11
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So we pull into POFQ, happy to be here and I'm checking in with the Grandfatherly looking security guard at the entrance. I had rolled the kid's windows down so they could get some stickers he was handing out when he asked THE question to the kids.

"How was the trip?"

A split second later Baker answered..."Pretty good, but our Dad farted the whole way here."


I seriously thought this poor guy was going to wet his pants. I looked over at L in the passenger seat and he looked mortified. I suppose I should have felt sorry for him, but then again I had been stuck in the closed vehicle with him the last 18 hours.

Utter greatness.



Laughed hysterically at your son's comment!!
Priceless!!!
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:35 PM   #12
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Definitely joining in on this trip report!

Swimming with the manatees looks like such an amazing experience!

GEAUX LSU! My mama grew up in Louisiana, so it's always nice to see other LSU fans out there!

HAHAHAHAHAHAH! That's hilarious that your kids told the guard that.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:36 PM   #13
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Great TR so far! The manatee experience looked so awesome! What a great memory for you guys! Thanks for the POFQ pics and review! We will be staying there next month and we can't wait!! Any TR with the word "fart" in the title has got to be interesting!! Looking forward to hearing about MK!!

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Old 03-23-2010, 07:54 AM   #14
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Great trippy so far, the swimming with the manatees looks awesome! Wish we had time for it!
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:37 AM   #15
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Day 2 ~ MK

Thanks everyone for reading along!! Finally, we're off to the Magic Kingdom!

So after getting this awesome room location at POFQ we headed to the MK. We had that great experience of walking up to the bus stop and our bus was waiting...just like magic. I took this as a great sign for the rest of the day!

Off we went...





Hallie was VERY excited that she's finally considered an adult per Disney....us other adults paying the bill weren't that enthused.



Did I mention that it was insanely windy??? It was a fight all the way down to keep the Tahoe on the road and it didn't let up for days.



Hidden Mickey at lunch....(restaurant reviews coming later!)



Lines were looooong, we broke our record for longest HM wait. (We're line snobs and rarely wait in anything over 20 mins) The queue was wrapped around everywhere, crazy.



Next up was Goofy's coaster...the kids love this ride and to be honest I laugh the entire time. 20 minute wait.



I have to say I'm not a fan of the new narration on the TTA. I miss "Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow." Still love the ride though.



We hung out to watch Wishes, especially since we'll miss it this Summer when it's replaced. (Boo, hiss!!)



After Wishes we headed over for a spin on BTMRR, had to use Fast Passes since the line hadn't gone below 50 minutes all day.



We were walking through Fantasyland heading for the tea cups when two CM's stopped us. They asked if we liked ice cream? Yes. Brownies? Yes. Cookies? Yes. Shortcake? Yes.

By then we were looking veeery confused but going along with it...

Then they said that since we loved everything they asked they wanted to present us with a Mickey's Magical Moment! She whipped out a huge sundae that she said was the largest they make in the MK, but it's not available to buy. "Mickey's Magical Sundae"



Very cool!!!

The kiddos talked L into the Tea Cups even though he always looks like he wants to hurl afterwards.





Since the line was actually short, the kids took another spin while we waited for L's stomach to calm down.



The kids begged and begged to drive so that was next...all the while L complained about the waste of MK real estate for the attraction. He can't let it go.



A quick spin on Buzz...



...and we're out of there! 2 am closing and I think the kids were feeling it....



Up next...EPCOT!!!
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