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Old 01-25-2010, 08:02 PM   #91
LOVEMY3KIDDOS
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Great update!!! Great pix, too!!! I can't wait to hear about your drink around the world!!!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:24 AM   #92
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LOVE the PP pics!! They all turned out great!!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:20 PM   #93
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Those photopass pictures are beautiful!!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:38 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by LOVEMY3KIDDOS View Post
Great update!!! Great pix, too!!! I can't wait to hear about your drink around the world!!!!
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Originally Posted by ladybugmom View Post
LOVE the PP pics!! They all turned out great!!!
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Originally Posted by praisehisname View Post
Those photopass pictures are beautiful!!!
Thank you all!! Trying to get the next chapter up tonight.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:03 PM   #95
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 14- DAY 5- PART 2- EVENING AT EPCOT

We also had a surprise this day. At least I think it was this day. Auntie decided she wanted to go home. Mind you, Auntie is 70 and newly married. She said she was just exhausted and couldn’t keep up and really wanted to get back home to her hubby. They were also trying to close on a house at this point. I think part of it was how upset she was over almost losing Pooh that day at Splash Mountain playground. While we were sad to see her go, it is what she wanted. So she was skipping dinner and getting packed up to head out the next morning on a flight. She was able to change her flight with little problem. Now my parents would have a room to themselves, so that was a plus for them. So everyone gave tearful hugs to her and said our good byes.

Since we would be drinking that night, we decided to cab it over to the Dolphin rather than drive. Taking the bus would be difficult, since a bus doesn’t go directly there and we didn’t want to waste any time or do the long walk from Epcot to Dolphin (or boat). So we called two cabs and were off to the races. All of the adults were going, Me, Alan, my sister Wowo and Mike, my sister Nene and Jeff, Mom, Dad and Chase. Nancy was not feeling so good and decided to stay back and meet us later for drinks. So off we went to the Dolphin. We made it safely and walked in and had a look around. My mom, Dad, Nancy and I stayed here for two nights back in May right before the podcast cruise. I had never stayed there prior to that. It is a nice resort and has a really nice pool area. We took some pictures in front of the beautiful tree with train.
Mom, Dad, me and my sisters!


Mom and daughters!

Then Alan, Nene, Jeff and I headed around the back to see the pool area. It was a long walk, so the others decided to stay back and explore inside instead. So we checked out the gorgeous pool and had a drink at the bar area. Apparently the others did the same in the hotel area.

It was nearing 5:30, so we headed in for our reservation at Shula’s Steakhouse. The restaurant was pretty empty, only about 3 other tables of diners. It was a Monday night and early, I guess that is why. We were seated all together at a long table. We were greeted immediately and ordered some drinks. Our server was fabulous, but I cannot remember his name and did not bother taking trip notes this time around. Oh and a little history on why we were eating here. Of course this was not on our ‘free dining plan’. Mike had just graduated the week before with his associate’s degree after returning to school after many years. So this was his choice for a ‘graduation’ dinner.

We all reviewed the menu and asked questions. Then we got to ordering. I think almost everyone got a salad or soup. I tried a soup of the day, but I forget what it was now! I don’t like salad, so I usually pass or try soup. Then it was time for steak……..almost everyone got a steak, except my dad who had chicken due to his gout. He has to limit how much red meat he eats or it acts up. Chase had the mahi mahi I believe and everyone else had steak. I ordered the:
10 oz. Steak Mary Anne - 10 oz. steak Mary Anne - $38.95


And Alan ordered the:
12 oz. Filet Mignon - 12 oz. Filet Mignon - $42.95


I think most of the girls had the steak Mary Anne- it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland…..”Mary Anne!!!”. Jeff ordered some huge bone in rib eye I think. And he ate every last bit of it. I was waiting for him to pick it up and lick the bone! I could not finish all of my steak, but I ate a good portion. It was cooked perfect for me and delicious. We also shared some side dishes which of course are served a la carte. I think we had:
Broccoli with Hollandaise Sauce - Broccoli with Hollandaise Sauce - $7.95
Double Baked Potato - Double Baked Potato - $7.95
Fresh Asparagus Spears - Fresh Asparagus Spears - $8.95
Potato Pancake - Potato Pancake - $7.95


Everything was very good and very plentiful! One funny thing is Chase. He was on his silly phone the entire time texting to his girlfriend. And then he puts in his headphones. Seriously? We are at a nice restaurant, no headphones please! I just don’t think he is used to eating at such places and didn’t feel like he had much to say in the conversation, I guess? Turns out that his girlfriend and him were having some problems (she goes to school in GA while he lives in SC). Anyhow- it was annoying.

Our meal continued on fabulously. The servers were so attentive. Most of the men cleaned their plates completely! I think Wowo was the last one eating as usual---she tends to talk so much that she is the last one eating! J So after our plates were cleared, they brought out dessert menus, but we declined. But little did we know, a minute later, they brought out three fabulous desserts free of charge for Mike’s graduation! What a surprise. We had noted ‘his celebration’ on the reservation, but didn’t expect anything. They brought out:
Apple Crisp - Apple Crisp - $8.95
Chocolate Souffle for Two - Chocolate Souffle for Two - $14.00
Ice Cream - Ice Cream - $7.95
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake - Molten Chocolate Lava Cake - $10.95


They must have had this planned from the get go, since the soufflé takes so long to prepare. Definitely a nice surprise. All three desserts were amazing. We passed them around and downed almost every last bite! Somehow we managed to stuff dessert in afterall! So the only negative to this meal was the time. By the time we finished up and paid the tab, it was almost 7:30. We were going to have to drink fast to make it around the world by 9:30!!! So we rushed out to try and find the quickest way to Epcot without a long walk. Unfortunately we had just missed the boat, so we had to walk over. Not a bad walk, but difficult with our full bellies! We rushed as fast as we could and went in the international gateway. Everyone stopped for a bathroom break and then we decided to hit the UK first. I had a woodpecker cider, so good!! Nene had the same. I know Alan had a black and tan, not sure what the rest of the group had. It was here that we met up with Nancy too. She had taken the bus over. So we all enjoyed a little drink in the pub. It actually wasn’t as crowded in there as I have seen it before. Since we were in a rush to cover all the countries (or most) before closing, we really had to hoof it. That was the only bad part, I wish we had done this ‘drink around the world’ thing on a night when we didn’t have a big long meal and had time to really enjoy it and each country more. The rate we were going, we would not be looking in any shops or anything- simply getting a drink and moving on pretty much. Lesson learned for next time! To properly drink around the world and have time to sit down, enjoy and maybe look in the shops, I would plan on 3.5-4hours. We had less than 2.



So after UK, we hit France. We had been reading about the wonderful frozen drinks at the stand outside. So that is where we went first- however, we got sidetrack with a Photopass photographer on the way! Mike was obsessed with photopass. He actually managed to get his photo with every World Showcase PP while we did the drink around the world. Many were just by himself. As I mentioned, Alan doesn’t care to be photographed, so we only did the big group one! It was funny though!



So on to France. We headed to the little stand and I anxiously awaited my turn to order. Would it be the grey goose citron slush or the grand Marnier orange slush? Both sounds heavenly. We decided some of us would share. So I think Nene and I shared this time. We got the grand Marnier orange one. It was good, but then I tasted wowo’s grey goose citron and it was a lot better- tasted like lemonade- yum!! Both were good though, I just know next time I want the other one. Some of the guys got a beer here, not sure what kind it was, but they didn’t have many options.




Of course, with all of this drinking after such a big dinner, it was time for a potty break. We found some interesting drinks in Morocco, we weren’t sure what to expect, but they were good- there was a little stand that had some drinks and snacks. Wowo and I shared some kind of frozen fruit daiquiri, I can’t remember the name and can’t find it online anywhere and needless to say I wasn’t writing this down while drinking! Lol

Everyone that got a frozen drink here, enjoyed it. A few of the guys got some kind of beer.


So some of us stopped at a little seating area near the bathrooms, behind the counter service for Morocco to enjoy our beverages, but we couldn’t sit long, time was short! So we hurried on to the next country which was Japan. None of us cared to partake in any Sake, so we just decided to move on in the interest of time- our ultimate goal was to reach the new tequila bar in Mexico before closing and it was getting late. Next up was the American Adventure, so a few of us grabbed a Sam Adams or something here, but most of us were still finishing off our drinks from the last country. The Candlelight Processional was going on as we walked by and I stopped and snapped a pic- it was so beautiful. I had seen it before, but it was over 14 years ago that I saw it. We had decided not to do it this trip, but I hope to on a future trip when Pooh is older. The host that night was Abigail Breslin best known for Little Miss Sunshine. We got a few pics in front of the beautiful tree here by the PP guy and headed off.



So next up was Italy, we needed yet another bathroom break for a few of us, so we stopped. I don’t know if anyone got a drink here though- we were trying to move fast as time was running out. It was like after 9pm and the park closed at 9:30. My mom stopped and bought us all some glow in the dark necklaces from one of those carts too. That was fun.

So we essentially bypassed Italy except for its bathroom, I know, that’s cheating. We just didn’t have time. So next up was Germany. You HAVE to stop in Germany, I mean, all that beer! So we did stop and we got a few beers which were very good. My old roomie, Heather had mentioned about some kind of special warm wine in Germany, but I didn’t see it right then. Only when we kept walking did I notice the little booth, we will have to try it next time. I think it is called Gluwhein or something. It is served with different spices and served hot. I think this booth is only there during the holiday season though. So another thing I missed- oh well.

We did enjoy our german beers. At this point, Jeff had gone missing and it wasn’t the first time. We all did a family vacation last July to the beach at the gulf of Texas called Port Aransas. We all shared a big beach house. One night, all of us went out to the beach, but Alan, Jeff an Pooh stayed in side. When we returned, we asked where Jeff was. Alan said he had gone outside and hadn’t seen him in a while. It is night and dark out. Nene frantically calls his phone and realizes he left it in the house. So she can’t reach him and can’t find him. Like an hour passes by and she is pretty mad now, not knowing where he is. Apparently he had a few too many beers that day/night and had crawled over the neighbors fence (which was like a small condo community) and climbed up on their roof to watch the sunset over the ocean. He even made friends with some guy up there. Lol……so we were hoping the same didn’t happen this time. Finally after a few countries, Nene found Jeff again.

So next up was China, but no time to stop, it is getting close to closing time and we need to book it to mexico. So we skip China and Norway. Alan had to stop for the men’s room and would meet up with us.

We go inside Mexico and they are literally closing the doors almost to the tequila bar. We manage to get in though- it is like 9:29pm. My dad doesn’t drink much, but he does like tequila, so I offered him a tequila shot- I got a good one too- it was like $20! Lol. So Dad does his shot with some help from Nene to remind him about the salt and lime.


This new tequila bar is off to the right when you walk in Mexico and is pretty nice. It is small but does have some seating. So we sat and Mike ordered the margarita flight. Most of us had margaritas. The margarita ‘flight’ had some odd ones in it- including a Jalapeno Margarita, which was actually good, but strong and spicy! He couldn’t drink them all and neither could we.



We suddenly heard Illuminations going off and we should have gone out and watched it, but knew we couldn’t take our drinks out and couldn’t get back in if we left. Alan still hadn’t find us yet, so I keep trying to call him and finally he realizes where we are. He had kept walking past Mexico! So I stood outside while everyone else finished up inside and I saw some of Illuminations, but not very well. We were all the last ones in the bar, so we finally packed up and left. Although we didn’t hit each country, we did consider it a fun time! Next time we will really allocate more time for this though and not have it conflict with Illuminations. This ended up being one of our only chances to see it. I know, with 9 nights, you think we could fit it in, but we didn’t- we had so many dinners, WISHES dessert party, Osborne lights, dis-a-palooza party, chef mickeys, MVMCP and we really had only two chances to see Illuminations and we missed this chance. I would regret this later on.

So the massive crowds were now streaming out of World Showcase and Epcot- heading to the exit. I hate fighting those crowds, so we all just decided to sit down on some benches right outside the little fast food area in Mexico and let the crowds go a bit. It made for some fun people watching. Once the crowds died down, we headed out too and stopped for a minute in MouseGears but didn’t buy anything.


So weary and tired from a long night of ‘rushing’ and drinking, we finally called it a night and headed to the parking lot. It was a fun night and fabulous dinner, but just rushed, we needed more time.

Wendy and Mike beat us back to WL and called me to say that the babysitter had just left, they had tipped her and the kids were all asleep. Now remember that when we left, Pooh was ‘napping’. Pooh had fallen asleep about 3:45pm. The sitter said he slept until about 8pm!!!! Wow, he must have been tired. A 4hour nap! She said he woke up, ate and played and then Pooh and Mikey went to bed at 10:30-11pm. We had not given her a bedtime and just told her to let them play and sleep when they wanted. Princess likes her sleep and she passed out way before the boys did apparently. So we had a great experience with Kids Nite Out and highly recommend them. In fact, we loved it so much, we used them a second time on the trip- which we had no planned. Princess loved it too- she in fact asked if she could have a babysitter again! Once the kids are old enough, we will try out the kids clubs, but Princess was the only one old enough on this trip to do it.

So we got in our room, closed the connecting door and crashed! It was probably about 11:30 by the time most of us got back. We were pooped! But it had been another busy, exciting day. Aren’t you tired just reading? Can we keep up this pace?

SANTA’S NICE LIST
· Spending a night out without the kids!
· Amazing dinner and service at Shula’s
· Riding EE without lines!
· Watching Pooh play in the water fountain
· Seeing D’Vine!


SANTA’S NAUGHTY LIST
  • Not enough time for DATW
  • Missing Illuminations
  • Huge massive exodus from Epcot!
  • Missing the boneyard for Pooh to play

DINING REVIEW
Flame Tree Barbeque- Animal Kingdom
AK isn’t typically known for its food selection, although with Yak and Yeti, now they have a lot more. We usually always eat at Flame Tree- sort of a tradition. We enjoy barbeque and like the seating area here with all the foliage and river view. So we stuck with it. Unfortunately the menu had changed just a bit and the offerings didn’t seem as broad as in the past. It was still good though. I enjoyed the pork sandwich and baked beans. By this point in the trip, I was getting tired of the prepackaged cheesecake or chocolate cake, so I barely ate any dessert. But overall the food was not bad, I just wished there was more to choose from. I would say this gets a 3 out of 5 mickey heads- for the location and great seating areas on the water. Next time I think we will try something else and broaden our horizons a bit!

Shula’s Steakhouse- Dolphin Hotel
This was one of our best meals of the trip. My brother in law, Mike chose it and had eaten here before at one of their other locations I think on a business trip. I must say the restaurant décor was dark, with low lighting and dark wood accents. White tablecloths donned the tables. It was a very forma atmosphere, with sports items lightly sprinkling the décor. It was nice how they pulled off the elegant feel mixed with the sports theme. It was a high end dining experience, yet it didn’t feel too stuffy or pretentious. Which works well for us!

Service was fantastic, the best service we had the entire trip and the best service I have had in a long time. Food was wonderful too. The servers were very knowledgeable and honest in their recommendations. Drinks were quickly refilled or replaced.
The courses were spaced just perfectly. Everyone’s steak was cooked exactly how they wanted it. Even my dad said the chicken was fantastic! They were very good working around Chase’s shellfish allergy too- since the sauce with his fish might have some shellfish in it. The chef came out and chatted with him personally. The restaurant was not very busy this time of night, so who knows if it is any different when the staff is busier, but I imagine not. After our wonderful steaks and sides, he brought out the dessert menu to which none of us were interested. We were so stuffed and planning to drink around the world. We figured we would grab some dessert doing that if we wanted. But within minutes, the server had brought out 3 different desserts- all on the house. They knew of my BIL’s celebration and brought these out for us free of charge. The desserts were all to die for- again, some of the best of our trip and we had a LOT of desserts since we had free dining. We cleaned all 3 plates!

I cannot remember the bill total, but we had 2 bottles of wine, a few other miscellaneous drinks, salads and soups, steaks etc. for 9 of us. I believe it was around the $700 with gratuity added in, then we left more on top of that of course. We highly recommend this dining experience for anyone looking for a special meal. With its unique location, you can get away from the Disney park crowds a bit, but still be in close enough proximity to head to Epcot before or after. Shula’s gets 5 out of 5 mickey heads from me!














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Old 01-26-2010, 07:00 PM   #96
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I am so glad you got to do you drink around the world!!! We got rained out for ours! I managed to get a drink in France and then one in Germany during lunch...that was it! Anyway, looks like you guys had a great time. Good job!!!!
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:13 PM   #97
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wow...was there someone else driving that night?? LOL!

I definitely agree not to eat a big meal before going drinking around the world...DH and I were at WDW last time the first few days of the food and wine fest...well we ate at LE Cellier right before...and could only really drink around the world...and had a hard time at that! So did not even get to eat any of the F&W foods.

I might have to try the grey goose slushie...in 11 days!! :-) I also like the Pomogrante Kir in France too...that was yummy and even DH thought so and he does not really like champange. I should get my dad to try one because at christmas my mom bought stuff to make mimosas and he made it all champange and a tiny bit of orange juice instead of orange juice with a splash of champange. LOL!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:20 AM   #98
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Shula's sounds like a great place; glad you enjoyed your meal!

Bummer on having to rush through DATW. You need a re-do!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:30 AM   #99
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I am so glad you got to do you drink around the world!!! We got rained out for ours! I managed to get a drink in France and then one in Germany during lunch...that was it! Anyway, looks like you guys had a great time. Good job!!!!
so sorry you guys got rained out. What did you drink in France?

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wow...was there someone else driving that night?? LOL!

I definitely agree not to eat a big meal before going drinking around the world...DH and I were at WDW last time the first few days of the food and wine fest...well we ate at LE Cellier right before...and could only really drink around the world...and had a hard time at that! So did not even get to eat any of the F&W foods.

I might have to try the grey goose slushie...in 11 days!! :-) I also like the Pomogrante Kir in France too...that was yummy and even DH thought so and he does not really like champange. I should get my dad to try one because at christmas my mom bought stuff to make mimosas and he made it all champange and a tiny bit of orange juice instead of orange juice with a splash of champange. LOL!
lol, yes, cabs on the way there and bus on the way home. that was the one and only time i used a disney bus the whole 9 days! because we waited for crowds to thin, we didn't have to wait for a bus hardly at all, so that was nice. Pomengrante Kir- sounds yummy, putting that on my list for next time. I can't believe you leave in 11 days!! you guys are going to have a blast.

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Shula's sounds like a great place; glad you enjoyed your meal!

Bummer on having to rush through DATW. You need a re-do!
Shula's was fabulous. i have no pics, since i wanted to just enjoy the meal that night. we did get one pic ni the restaurant all together, but my sister hasn't downloaded it just yet- when she does, i will post.

yes, i need a DATW redo!
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:48 PM   #100
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Shula's Steakhouse sounds incredible!! Glad you had such a fun evening!!
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:52 PM   #101
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Shula's Steakhouse sounds incredible!! Glad you had such a fun evening!!
it is definitely a nice splurge meal for a special occassion and nice to do something different outside the park and official disney resorts!
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:46 AM   #102
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I got the Grand Marnier...loved it!!!
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:32 PM   #103
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Ohh, I would love to be drinking around the world right now!

Last time we did Epcot at night it was so cold that my mom & sister left as soon as dinner was over. I got a grey goose slushie, but it was so cold I couldn't stand holding it and put it in the stroller cupholder! DH wasn't in the mood for drinking and didn't have anything. That is not like him, but he was getting some bad news from work and couldn't relax.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:09 PM   #104
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I got the Grand Marnier...loved it!!!
YUMMY!!!
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Originally Posted by Pollito916 View Post
Ohh, I would love to be drinking around the world right now!

Last time we did Epcot at night it was so cold that my mom & sister left as soon as dinner was over. I got a grey goose slushie, but it was so cold I couldn't stand holding it and put it in the stroller cupholder! DH wasn't in the mood for drinking and didn't have anything. That is not like him, but he was getting some bad news from work and couldn't relax.
no drinky drinks for you ms. preggo! at least not of the alcoholic nature for another 9 months!

lol at the frozen drink in the cold- hey, sometimes you just gotta do it!


SO GREAT NEWS!!!!! i have mentioned DH and I did the DVC tour on this trip at his recommendation - shocker!!! I've never had an interest in DVC because DH just isn't a disney guy. he has been a few times with me, but never had the passion like me- he just goes to appease me. Well this last trip being our first with our son, i think really left a mark. We did hte tour, he thought it sounded good, which is saying a lot from a guy that works in commercial real estate investments and only wants a return on an investment! but he sees the value if we want to go back and stay in a deluxe.

so i've been pushing the issue ever since our trip. Even Pooh got in on the act- he is always picking up the DVC catalog or DVD cover/booklet and showing it to me or Alan. lol Well Alan said today he was going to surprise me for our 10th anniversary (next year) with DVC, but said we could do it now if I wanted. So it is a go!! he said to call our guide whenever I am ready and get a contract to review!!! yeah. I know we will probably go back and forth ensuring the contract is right (I have heard people find lots of errors). So i'll be making the call in the next week and start our journey to becoming DVC owners. We have decided on 200 points at BLT. I can't wait. Not sure when our next trip will be. I am seeing if Alan will consider early/mid October for 5 days for food/wine and MNSSHP and maybe even bringing his mom with us or something. We will see. But regardless, i'll be DVC, so i know there will always be a trip in my future!!! yeah!!!!!!!
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:29 PM   #105
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Michelle, that is AWESOME news on DVC!!! I'm so excited for you!
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