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Old 01-17-2010, 10:01 PM   #31
Angies1274
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Thanks for sharing the history behind the trip. What a wonderful story!!! Can't wait to read more!!!
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:30 PM   #32
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It's Disney Day!

When I left off it was July and John had just broke the news to the kids that we were taking a fabulous vacation including almost a week at WDW. Yes I know I haven’t told you about the other part of the trip yet but hey I’ve got to have something to keep you reading right? So anyway he told the kids and I started planning and planning and of course more planning. We decided on Thanksgiving break as that was the closest time available (except Aug and that was too close for planning) where we could have a fairly long vacation without missing as much school. So all that waiting, and all that planning brings us to…

D-(Disney)Day!


It was here the day I, uh I mean we, had been waiting for, for sooooooooooooooo long! I was excited. I was jumping for joy. I was completely thrilled, well I was supposed to be but I wasn’t. What I was, was stressed, tired, stressed, agitated, stressed and ready to strangle the next person to cause me a problem (wait did I mention I was stressed.) How had I gotten this way on the day we were leaving for Disney? Well it all started a few days before when DH broke his right foot. Any break would suck right before a trip to WDW but the fact that this was his right foot was particularly significant. I mentioned that an accident in the Corps. caused John many injuries well a lot of those (32 fractures/breaks to be exact) were to his right foot and ankle. John endured 4 reconstructive surgeries in order to walk again but still has chronic pain in his right foot so having two new fractures in this foot (one in the toe) was agony and right before our trip well that was just a little stressful for me. John hadn’t been sleeping well since he hurt himself and I had stayed up to finish packing and cleaning after giving our pet sitter the tour and telling her how to care for our menagerie so by the morning of the 23rd. I was exhausted.

I woke up early (around 5am) after a very fitful and short night and checked all our paperwork to make sure it was ready. UH! OH! Problem! I don’t know how I did it but I had somehow confused our current flight with the one John and I had taken on our way to an Alaskan cruise a few months earlier. I had their baggage allowances confused and I had been planning on each of us getting one piece of checked luggage which I was totally going to take advantage of and I had eight (yup, eight) pieces of luggage ready to check. I hadn’t budgeted that much for luggage and there was no way I was cutting into our spending money for luggage. It was time for a new plan, which meant it was time to repack so that’s what I did. I repacked our luggage a mere 5 hours before leaving for the airport. Talk about stress. Luckily the kids suitcases were small enough to use as carry-ons so that was taken care of, even though I hated to think of lugging that much carry-on luggage around. I had planned on them only having a small purse or mini backpack. Now I still had 5 suitcases left. One of those I felt I had to have for the second half of our trip (yup I’m teasing you), one was filled with snacks, glowsticks, ponchos and other extras. I wish I had found the DIS sooner because then I would have known to ship a box to the resort soon enough to actually do it. The other suitcases were overflow kids items and me and Johns clothes. I tackled those suitcases pulling out everything I thought we could spare and repacking the rest tighter. I tossed the whole snack suitcase in one half of our big suitcase and shoved sweatshirts in the empty backpack I had been taking for souvenirs. Finally I was done with only two checked bags, whew, that was close but now I was even more stressed and I had errands to do. Oh and in all the repacking I had managed to leave our house looking like a tornado had hit it. I apologized profusely to our pet sitter who had to stay at the house and offered her a little extra money if she’d just shove the clutter in our room out of her way and headed off to Tessa’s school. We had thought the kids wouldn’t miss too much school but unfortunately the girls had been sick the week before and Tessa was flipping out about needing her packets for the last week and for the trip plus I had to run to the store and down to the water company.

Well I got the errands done just about the time my MIL was supposed to pick us up to take us to the airport luckily she was running late. I got home moved all the luggage out to the driveway, and went to check a few things on the computer but my pet sitter was using the computer so I had her quickly check my email (I really should have done it myself) and then my MIL showed up. Unfortunately I didn’t remember why it was so important that I check the computer myself until we were well on our way. Next up finally in the air and what have I forgotten!
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:31 PM   #33
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Whew!!

After all that you need a vacation!

Someone always forgets something, I don't care how hard you prepare...


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Old 01-18-2010, 11:09 PM   #34
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You found a good one! (Man, that is) He sounds like a great guy. I'm sure he burps and farts and gets on your nerves, but his sense of honor and duty is a rare thing these days.
Your mix up with the flights sounds like something I'd do. I can't believe you had to repack 5 hrs before leaving!
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:38 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneylovin24 View Post
Thanks for stopping by I'm going to do my best to post a few new updates soon!
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Hint: Type it out on Word first and then copy/paste. If you "time out" on the reply thread you will lose you post.

Kathy
Thanks for the hint!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Thanks for sharing the history behind the trip. What a wonderful story!!! Can't wait to read more!!!
Thanks! I'll try to hurry with more of the report.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Whew!!

After all that you need a vacation!
Someone always forgets something, I don't care how hard you prepare...
Kathy
I absolutley did Kathy!
but man your quick two posts before I can even reply back on one.

Yep! I always forget something, but this time.....AHHHH!



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You found a good one! (Man, that is) He sounds like a great guy. I'm sure he burps and farts and gets on your nerves, but his sense of honor and duty is a rare thing these days.
Your mix up with the flights sounds like something I'd do. I can't believe you had to repack 5 hrs before leaving!
I did find a good man. I really am lucky. My DH thought I was crazy repacking he just kept saying to just leave it alone but there was no way I was wasting an extra cent of our spending money on stupid airline fees! Plus I had no idea how much we would spend in extra food so I wanted to leave us plenty of room.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:44 AM   #36
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Just found your report and loving it so far
Can't wait to hear how your trip went
You have a wonderful family
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:36 PM   #37
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Just found your report and loving it so far
Can't wait to hear how your trip went
You have a wonderful family
Thanks so much. I am almost finished with the next update.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:37 AM   #38
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Wow, I'm sweating just reading about all the rushing around and repacking you were doing! LOL

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Old 01-27-2010, 06:35 AM   #39
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A Long Day and a Disapointing Discovery

My dear mother in law had offered to drive us to the airport, but she was running a little late, so as soon as she arrived we started loading the suitcases and kids into her SUV. With everybody loaded I hopped into the back seat thankful my pet sitter was at the house so I could avoid my usual pre-trip routine. I get really anxious when I’m leaving the house empty for a time period. My OCD tendencies greatly increase and I have a bit of a habit of going back inside multiple times to double check that everything is turned off and okay. I absolutely realize what I’m doing and even that it is OCD (I’ve gotten over the multiple hand washings and unplugging things at night that were so prevalent in my youth) but unless my husband takes over checking on everything and assures me multiple times that everything is okay I can’t help doing it myself and it can be a bit annoying for all of us. So this was nice. I could relax knowing that I wasn’t leaving the house alone, I knew Manda would take care of it, so I settled back to enjoy the ride without the usual anxiety. We hadn’t eaten too much that morning so we stopped at Wendy’s on our way to the airport

We pulled up to the curb and pulled all the suitcases out for curb side check in. Uh! Oh! Remember that big suitcase I threw all the snacks in well it weighed in at 57 lbs. So there I was on the sidewalk outside the airport with my suitcases open and MIL and I digging through them trying to see what we could shift. DH’s toiletry bag ended up getting us back where we needed to be, well almost but they let 50.7 lbs. slide and we were on our way. We said goodbye to grandma and pushed John inside thankful the skycap people had gotten him a wheelchair so quick. We stopped to eat just inside, at the nearest bench and John mentioned he needed his pain meds. No problem I always carry meds in my purse. Well I looked in my purse and no meds. I practically dumped it out on the bench and still no meds. Oh no did I accidentally check the meds or worse leave them home? John was starting to freak out a bit about how there was no way he could go a weak and a half without any of his meds and I was desperately trying to remember what I did with them. After I checked John and my carry-ons I started looking through the kids suitcases even though I really didn’t think the pills would be there. Much to my surprise I had stuck the meds in Jonnies suitcases when I had been looking for a place to shove a few extra things this morning. Whew! That was a close one. So I gave John his pain pill and afternoon meds and he relaxed. I was able to eat a little and then we took off looking for our gate.

We got through security without any problems, thank goodness. The last time John and I traveled they took 45min to check him. They even wiped his hands down for explosives. He always sets the alarms off, he has too much hardware not to, but that time was the worst we’ve ever had to go through. It was also one of the only times John wasn’t wearing a USMC Veteran hat so this time I made sure he had it. I have a theory that they hassle him less when they see it and I’ll do whatever I have to, to make it easier on him. We got onto the plane got our carry-ons settled and sat back to enjoy the flight. The girls kept themselves busy with their DS’s , Jonnie rocked in his chair and messed with his toys. The toys or snacks help keep the stimming manageable When he is stimming (term for self-stimulatory behavior like rocking and flapping, mouthing objects or making noises) he can rock his body into the back of the seat quite hard. He can also get quite loud. He tends to script (repeat) one or two words from a conversation he has heard recently. For example today when I took him to school I asked him to check to make sure he had everything in his backpack. He spent the rest of the car ride rocking (he calls it bonking) and repeating hmmm check backpack hmmm, hmmm backpack, backpack hmmm check backpack over and over again. I’m used to it after all these years and it’s just background noise but occasionally we can get some strange looks or down right rude comments (more about that when you hear about the flight home.) John and I looked at the sky mall magazine for awhile and tried to relax, John was able to cat nap a bit but I had the beginnings of a really bad migraine and we were seated in the back of the plane where the noise was really getting to me. Finally we arrived in Atlanta for our layover. On one hand I was thrilled to be off the noisy plane on the other hand I wasn’t thrilled to have an almost 4 hour layover.

We were met at the gate by an airline employee with a wheelchair who took John to the gate for our next flight. Jonnie spent the walk to the gate complaining of being hungry. Once DH was seated and we dumped off all of our carry-on luggage I asked the kids if they wanted to get something to eat. This obviously appealed to Jonnie and I knew it would make him much easier to deal with so when he found a hot dog place that looked good to him we stopped and got him one even though none of the rest of us wanted a hotdog. He was very adament about wanting what they called a Texas dog with chili, onions and jalapenos. He loves spicy foods! I decided to take him back to daddy to eat so the girls and I could get the rest of our food easier. It took awhile to walk back to the gate and by then he had been picking at his hot dog enough that he had eaten almost all of it but he settled down to rocking and playing a video game rather quickly and the girls and I were off again in search of food. First though we had to stop and get me some Excedrin and Dramamine, by this point my migraine was horrible and I was feeling nauseous. We found an Atlanta bread company that looked promising and ordered sandwiches for DH and Jenna and very yummy French onion soup for me. It took forever to get the food and the place was crowded and noisy but they let the kids have their pick of theses huge yummy cookies and gave me a couple of free bottled waters which was very nice of them and of course the girls were thrilled, they even gave the Jenna a cookie to give to Jonnie after asking if the she had any other siblings. Tessa hadn’t felt like a sandwich so we stopped at a Churchs on the way back to the gate.

When we got back to the boys we found that the gate area was a lot more crowded and there weren’t many places to sit. A very sweet lady was sitting by Tess and after we had devoured our food we got into a conversation with her. Come to find out she was traveling alone and had a lot of health problems. When her flight arrived she got very nervous about making it to the front of the line and then down the ramp if they didn’t have a wheelchair waiting for her. Tessa immediately asked if she could help her. She ended up carrying the womans carry on for her while she waited. I am so proud of how caring Tessa is. It’s one of the positive things I have noticed as a result of the difficult things she has endured. I know it’s been difficult on her being the oldest with a disabled dad, a mom who is often sick (I have a few health conditions I really try not to dwell on but unfortunately I‘m know it affects my family to see me sick fairly often), not to mention Jonnies past health issues and of course his ASD and other conditions. Recently even Jenna has been having some problems (mostly minor but chronic) and Tessa has always been an amazing helper not to mention kind and empathetic. She so deserved a chance to just be a kid!

We still had a while before our plane so we walked around the terminal some and looked out windows. The kids played video games while I tried to relax a bit and then finally our flight to Florida arrived. Yeah!!! We had to wait for someone to get a wheelchair for John (they had had him transfer to a chair between flights) so John invented some silly game to keep the kids from getting to hyper. I remember they were supposed to see who could stand still against the wall the longest and there was some silly story to go with it about standing on a bridge and trying not to fall in the water or something like that. Anyway Jonnie loved it and still asks if we can play it. Even the girls giggled and had fun but I suspect this was more about their impending excitement for WDW and less about how clever or fun DH’s spur of the moment game was.
Finally we made it onto the plane. We had much better seats this time and after getting everyone situated I decided that it was time to take the obligatory “riding in the airplane pic” and this is when I figured out what I was missing!

Okay you’ve probably guessed it, and this is where I get embarrassed because my pics for this trip just aren’t that good at all. You see I have been trying to finish a photography degree for awhile and in the mean time I have taken some portrait shoots and weddings, not to many because my DH and DS keep me busy but enough.I love taking pictures and have tons of equipment. I was lugging a large camera bag with numerous lenses so I could chronicle every moment of our trip. Yep you caught that correctly! Guess where my camera was. Sitting right by the computer where I had set it when I emptied out my SD card early that morning before the whole repacking mess. I was mortified, and angry at myself. My obsession over not paying for all that luggage had cost me my chance to get every moment on camera. After some stressing on mine and DH’s part I decided to let it slide. Or at least pretend to. This was horribly difficult for me but what could I do? I absolutely didn’t want to cast a dark cloud over our vacation. If MIL could get to the house tomorrow we would have her ship the camera over night otherwise well we still had three cameras. I was really trying to talk my self into not being upset. In anticipation for this trip I had bought each of the kids a camera. They were all point and shoots but they weren’t real cheap kids cameras. They are all different, but all 10 mp or more. I had to hope we would be okay either wayI was still a lot more bummed out than I let on but I couldn’t let it affect the trip right? After that big stressor the rest of the flight went pretty smoothly. When we finally got to Orlando we were met at the gate with a wheelchair. I told the guy we were using magical express and I was a little worried about our luggage because it was already 9:40. He took us right to the ME check in. There wasn’t a line and we had a very short wait but Jonnie was still having a hard time. It had been a long day with lots of changes from his routine and he was starting to show it. I took the seat next to him on the bus and tried to keep him calm. I knew from KathyRN’s reports to expect a “movie” on the bus so I told Jonnie to watch the little TV over head. Jonnie likes most anything resembling a movie so once it came on he relaxed a bit although he was still rocking quite a bit. We stopped at AS Sports where I pointed out the giant football. Then AS Music and finally AS Movies.
At check in we ran into a bit of a problem finding the wheelchair I had rented from a medical supply company for the week. but the kids were all glued to the TV in the little movie themed area so the waiting wasn’t too hard on them. I was extremely grateful when they finally brought a wheelchair as I was completely exhausted and we took off in search of our room.
I had been secretly hoping we would be placed in the Toy Story section so I was thrilled when it became apparent that we were about to walk through Andy’s room. The kids immediately perked up at the sight of the giant toys and soon we found our rooms in the back of the building. We had decided on adjoining rooms so we would have extra space we figured we would keep the doors open and the kids could be in one with DH and I in the other. That worked fine except that Jenna immediately started in on how it wasn’t fair that Jonnie got his own bed when she always had to share with Tess on vacation. DH suggested offering her the other bed in our room for the night but she didn’t want that. She still wanted to be in the kids room just with her own space. I told her to figure it out and she did. She made a bed on the floor out of three pillows, (she’s tiny,) and borrowed the blankets off our extra bed. I wasn’t loving the idea of her on the floor but I figured we could always figure it out another day. : The kids seemed pretty wired even though it was going on 11. Thier luggage had arrived but we were still waiting on ours so I took the kids for a little walk. We ended up stopping at the food court for snacks. Jenna and I got yummy chocolate croissants. By the time we made it back to our room our luggage was there and it was finally time for bed. Next up Epcot..[/SIZE]
[/FONT]
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:58 AM   #40
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Krystal,

Travel days are always tough on kids, especially those on the spectrum. Jonnie seemed to do very well considering all the excess stimulation of the day. Thank goodness for the ME movie!

I was laughing at the thought of trying to get Billy to eat a Texas hot dog! He is so not into spicy foods!

So glad you got the Toy Story section at ASM...it's great when things work out like that! I wonder how long Jenna will like camping out on the floor!?

Sorry about the camera bag... I forgot my cell phone charger last time and I was really annoyed with myself for the first few days. Then I realized that you just have to let things go. I will be looking forward to your pictures, anyway. They are probably much better than you realize.


Can't wait for the touring to begin!


Kathy
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:13 AM   #41
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Wow, what a long day! I'm tired just reading about it. Thank goodness you found DHs meds. I don't know how you could have gotten around that one. I can understand your frustration with forgetting your camera bag. How awesome that you had just got new cameras for the kids. What kind of cameras did you get? And what kind is yours, that you left home? I need both a new point and shoot, and a DSLR sometime soon. I'd like to have both before the trip but we'll see.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:20 AM   #42
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Oh no, I'm so sorry you forgot your camera!

Sounds like the kids did really well for such a long travel day!

Denise
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:38 PM   #43
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That would be my worst nightmare...leaving my camera at home.
Looking forward to reading more of your vacation.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:10 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Travel days are always tough on kids, especially those on the spectrum. Jonnie seemed to do very well considering all the excess stimulation of the day. Thank goodness for the ME movie!

I was laughing at the thought of trying to get Billy to eat a Texas hot dog! He is so not into spicy foods!

So glad you got the Toy Story section at ASM...it's great when things work out like that! I wonder how long Jenna will like camping out on the floor!?

Sorry about the camera bag... I forgot my cell phone charger last time and I was really annoyed with myself for the first few days. Then I realized that you just have to let things go. I will be looking forward to your pictures, anyway. They are probably much better than you realize.


Can't wait for the touring to begin!


Kathy
They all did pretty well on the trip there. Jonnie had a bit of a hard time but I had expected worse. The way back was an absolute nightmare though.

Jonnie doesn't seem to have as many food issues as alot of kids on the spectrum. He does have an issue with anything he considers gooey but otherwise he's a pretty adventurous eater. He's particuraly into intense flavors. Spicy food is his favorite but if we don't watch him close he will over salt or sugar anything he's eating. I had an OT tell me once that his need for strong flavors is a sensory seeking thing. I geuss that makes sense. He's also like Billy in wanting to overstuff his mouth. I laughed when I read about Billy trying to negotiate more pieces of gum from you on a prior trip. Jonnie does the same thing.

I have to admit that alot of the problems I had this trip with pictures were due to operator error. I haven't touched a point and shoot in years. They diden't have the same capabilities as my camera and I was impatient with them. The pictures suffered. Also it was hard sharing with the kids who had thier own ideas on what they wanted pictures of.


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Wow, what a long day! I'm tired just reading about it. Thank goodness you found DHs meds. I don't know how you could have gotten around that one. I can understand your frustration with forgetting your camera bag. How awesome that you had just got new cameras for the kids. What kind of cameras did you get? And what kind is yours, that you left home? I need both a new point and shoot, and a DSLR sometime soon. I'd like to have both before the trip but we'll see.
Yeah. I'm not sure what we would have done had I left John's meds home. He can't go without them that long. That's for sure. I got the kids each different cameras that I read and heard good things about. Tessa's is a Kodak Easy Share, Jenna's a Cannon Powershot and Jonnies a Nikon Coolpix. All of them in about the $150 range. Of the three I liked the Canon Powershot the best, with the Nikon coming in a close second and I may have flipped those rankings if I had used the Nikon more. I have to say I hated the Kodak. I had massive issues with focusing it especially in low light. We have a few DSLR's but my favorite and the one I left at home is honestly my Nikon D80. At the time I bought it it was eigther that or the D200 and I liked that it was lighter and had most of the same capabilities. I have arthritis and Fybromyalgia and I hate tripods. Most of my shots are handheld so weight was an issue for me.The biggest difference between the two was the body style and fpm's. The 200 got 5 where the D80 gets 3 but I don't take sports or action shots so 3 is fine for me. I'm thinking of getting a new one soon and I'm pretty sure I'll stick with Nikon but I haven't researched enough to know what camera I want yet.


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Oh no, I'm so sorry you forgot your camera!

Sounds like the kids did really well for such a long travel day!



Denise
Yeah forgetting the camera was a real blow but the trip was still amazing. The kids really surprised me with how well they traveled that day.

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That would be my worst nightmare...leaving my camera at home.
Looking forward to reading more of your vacation.
Thanks for reading. I'm really hoping to get the next insallment done soon.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:43 AM   #45
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Thanks for the tips. I have a Nikon 35mm, and a Mamiya 645 for my "pro" work which hasn't been much in the past 8 years since Phoebe came along. My parents gave us an Olympus digital to take pics of the kids and it's been okay, but seems to be having problems lately. So I want a point and shoot to throw in the purse for everyday stuff and also a DSLR for the pro stuff I hope to get started again. I have two pending weddings this year, so it's a good time to get one. I like the idea of a Nikon because my lenses would be compatible, but only in a manual focus setting. Everyone I know that has a Canon loves it, so wondering if I should branch out....
I laughed when you mentioned not liking the tripod. My DH always rides me about not using, or even bringing, mine along on shoots. It just seems like too much hassle.
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Nobody EXPECTS the Spanish Reposition!!! Taking the Magic Back to the Med 4/10/10 Tink rules Disney Cruise Meets 3084 01-11-2010 08:12 AM
How much time off do you get for your job? UPDATED MushyMushy Community Board 56 01-10-2010 01:35 AM

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