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Old 11-18-2009, 10:38 AM   #1
kschafer
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Leaving the hubbies and kids behind - A May 2010 PTR, TR has begun!

I’m going back to Disney World!!!!!

I can hardly believe it’s actually true. But when Hubby said “if it will make you happy, just go already” I decided to move forward before he changed his mind!

Welcome to those of you who wandered over here because I already call you friend! I especially welcome those of you who wandered over here out of curiosity (or perhaps by accident) and choose to join me on this little adventure. I hope you’ll stick with me through my ramblings and plans and I’ll try my hardest to be at least a little entertaining.

SO…Who am I? I’m Katie…



I am a science teacher by training. I taught high school for 8 years before deciding I needed a break. I then was fortunate to get a half-time job I loved at a university working in outreach with the College of Natural Sciences. I planned events and opportunities for the local community and really enjoyed the work I did. Unfortunately, I was a casualty of our economic conditions and after a year was told they could not keep my position going. I was then unable to find another job and am currently working as a part-time substitute teacher. I am likely to return to teaching next school year (3 positions are probably going to open up in our district) and I know the difficulty of taking an off-season trip to Disney on a teacher's calendar so I’m grabbing this opportunity while I can!

I am also a wife to my hubby Greg and mom to my 2 boys Patrick and Daniel…



I’m a little nervous about leaving them for so long. I have never been away from the kids for more than 1 night at a time. Greg is a high school teacher and I know this trip will mean he has to step up and take over all the parenting duties on top of his work. However, he is a basketball coach and between Halloween and Valentine’s Day, he is very busy and I step up and do most of the work. I think he recognizes that 1 week of doing the daycare drop-off and pickup, homework checks, meal preparation and house cleaning is still a pretty good deal for him!

In June 2008 we went on a trip with my extended family to celebrate my parents 40th wedding anniversary and the boys “got it” in the same way I did during my trips as a kid. (Link to that TR is in my siggy if you are bored) Greg on the other hand…well let’s just say he enjoyed the trip and would like to go back “someday” but doesn’t feel the need for that day to come soon. I haven’t really explained yet to the boys that I am going back without them (not really looking forward to that day!)

The idea for a Flower and Garden trip began with a group of Disers I am proud to call my friends. We wanted to take a trip together (affectionately dubbed gnomefest). Unfortunately, other trips and life in general seems to have stopped those plans for several of this group. A few of my gnomies may still be planning a trip sometime during F&G and I’m hoping to have a Dismeet or two while I am there.

So in the meantime I decided to invite an old friend (that of course implies that we have been friends a long time, not that we are getting old) to join me for a girls-only trip. Meet Beth….


(Sorry about the resolution, this was taken from her facebook profile)

We grew up in the same town but went to different elementary and middle schools. We met in high school and quickly became close friends. I “stole” this picture from Beth’s brother who posted it on facebook. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t have any recent pictures of the 2 of us, this is one from our senior picnic almost 20 years ago…



After graduation, our lives took very different paths. She got married young and quickly took on the responsibility of a family. I went to college and led the easy life of a carefree young adult. Although we lived only a little over an hour apart and kept in touch, our different lives meant we didn’t have a lot in common at that time. We slowly drifted apart.

However, thanks to the power of the internet, we reconnected last year through Facebook and found that in the meantime, I had started my family and she had returned to college and we still connected in the same way we did all those years ago in 9th grade. She is still the awesome, thoughtful and funny chick I once called my best friend!

She is still happily married to her husband Steve and is the mom to 2 teenagers, Brett and Michael. They are currently waiting for the arrival of their daughter who will be coming to them from China sometime next fall.

Here’s her boys…



When Greg suggested a week ago that he was OK with me going on a trip to Disney, Beth was the first person I thought of. When I told her all about last year’s trip, she told me she had never been there and had always wanted to go. She talked it over with her hubby and he told her to go!

So the planning begins. I must confess to feeling a little behind on getting this trip planned given the last one was 2 years of talk and negotiations. However, I feel so much better prepared now that I have the Dis as a regular part of my life. Next up…deciding when and more importantly…the ADR window is already open, we’d better start planning the FOOD!!!

Be sure to say HI if you want to stick around for all the details as our trip unfolds.
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Me (Katie) DH (Greg) DS12 (Patrick) DS9 (Daniel)



June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse

Last edited by kschafer; 05-14-2010 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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I'm definitely in!! I'm so excited for you Katie!!! Girls only trips are the best and I know you are going to have a great time!!!!

I'm looking forward to hearing all about your plans!!!!
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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I am here, Katie, and so excited for you!!!
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:13 PM   #4
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Yay, Jen and Jackie are here!
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June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kschafer View Post
Yay, Jen and Jackie are here!
You know I wouldn't miss it for anything!
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
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I'm here too! So excited for you and can't wait to hear all about your plans. Your ADR window will open soon!
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:25 PM   #7
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Sounds like a fun trip! Can't wait to hear all about it!
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Our July 2011 TR: Surf, Sun, and Big Family FUN! Our July 2011 PTR: Big Family Fun...Hopefully!
Our 2009 PTR: Twice the Excitement, Twice the Fun Our 2009 TR:Plans Change with a 4 year old!

Honeymoon-Yacht Club July 2001 All Star Movies July 2003 Hannah's First Trip-All Star Movies September 2006 Owen's First Trip-Pop Century June 2009 Our 10 year Anniversary - Caribbean Beach July 2011
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:19 PM   #8
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Shoulda put some blinking lights and arrows on that siggie link DOH!! I'm so blind!! but I'm here now!!!

Can't wait!


Paula

Last edited by ILuvCrush; 11-19-2009 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:19 AM   #9
kschafer
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Woo Hoo, more of my gnomies are here!!!

Christine, the ARR window is already open, see post below

Welcome Janell!! It's good to have you here!

Paula, it's all good! I'm not as popular as some of you guys' PTR's/TR's so I don't have 3 pages in the first day



I should also mention that I pointed Beth to this PTR and she told me she likes the intro. Maybe she will decide to join the conversation!
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Me (Katie) DH (Greg) DS12 (Patrick) DS9 (Daniel)



June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kschafer View Post
Paula, it's all good! I'm not as popular as some of you guys' PTR's/TR's so I don't have 3 pages in the first day



I should also mention that I pointed Beth to this PTR and she told me she likes the intro. Maybe she will decide to join the conversation!
Slow and steady wins the race

Ohhh HI BETH!!!!!
Come out Come out where ever u are!!!

I hope we get to meet you.... MOST of us don't bite

Paula
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #12
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The ADR window is open, time to plan FOOD!

So the first big question to be answered was “When are we going?” Since I have had to follow a school calendar for so many years, this was a strange experience for me. I mentioned before that Greg coaches basketball and his regular season goes through mid-February. Add in the (slim ) chance that they might get to playoffs and I can’t seriously consider anything before March. I got onto my trusty TouringPlans and found that crowds are predicted to be large (of course) much of March and April with spring breaks and Easter then slowing down through mid-May.

Beth and I talked and compared our calendars and found that we both have an empty week the first of May. I had looked into flights and found Des Moines to MCO are currently running about $360 and Cedar Rapids is even higher, way more than I would like to pay! We also have service through Allegiant air in Iowa. For those of you familiar, this is a no frills airline which in exchange offers low cost flights. The huge advantage of this airline is their flights are all direct. No flying north then having to wait to turn around and fly south! The main disadvantage (honestly, I don’t care about amenities, I just want to get there!) is they don’t fly into MCO, they arrive in Sanford, about 1 hour from WDW. Disney doesn’t offer Magical Express so we would either need to take a taxi (about $100 each way) or rent a car (about $150 for the week)

SO we can get a more convenient flight and rental car for less than the inconvenient flight and depending on Disney transportation the whole week…

Another part of the no frills of Allegiant is they only have 2 flights a week so you have to be OK with the day and time they offer. In May, they are offering Tuesday or Saturday flights so we are working with the dates of May 1-8. We will wait on purchasing the tickets until after the holidays. Prices now are at $100 each way but for the last few years in January, they have dropped the price of their spring flights to $80 each way. We are also waiting to book a resort until Disney releases their deals for this time.

HOWEVER there is the all important decision of FOOD!!! We are already within 180 days of May so we can make our ADR’s ASAP! I explained to Beth how the Dining Plan works and what the options are. We both think the regular plan is the way to go.

Although I had some great food last time I was there (most notably, Kona Café and LeCellier) my goal this trip is to try all new TS. My one complaint about the DP last time was I felt like I was constantly eating so this time I would really like to do at least 1, possibly 2 signature restaurants and maybe share some QS meals along the way.

Beth so far has been really fantastic about trusting my advice knowing that I have done all my research. BUT this trip is for both of us so I have sent her a list of suggested restaurants with good reputations and I would happily eat at any of them. I pointed her to the menus on AllEars and she will get to pick the ones she likes and I’ll plan ADR’s from there.

So what did I recommend?

Starting with signature restaurants: Narcoossees, Citricos and California Grill

Beth likes the idea of character dining and I would do a breakfast at: Chef Mickeys, 1900 Park Fare and Crystal Palace (the only possible repeat for me but we did lunch, not breakfast)

Others on the list are: Ohana, Whispering Canyon, Biergarten, Chefs de France, Tutto Italia, Rose & Crown and Teppan Edo

Yes, that is heavy on Epcot restaurants but they are known to be so good and she likes ethnic food.

OK my fellow disers, the big question is…what are your favorites and are there others I should have recommended? Keep in mind, I am not a big breakfast eater so I don’t want a lot of them and Beth is allergic to seafood.

The ADR clock is ticking!!!
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Me (Katie) DH (Greg) DS12 (Patrick) DS9 (Daniel)



June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse

Last edited by kschafer; 11-19-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:30 AM   #13
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WOW LL and P, you are quick

Glad you are here Leslie!!!

I agree Paula, it would be fun if Beth joined us (hint, hint!!)
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Me (Katie) DH (Greg) DS12 (Patrick) DS9 (Daniel)



June 2008, WDW with the entire family, May 2010, Girls only...woohoo!
June 2011, Two week blowout, December 2013, Christmas with the Mouse
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:37 AM   #14
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ohhh I like all your choices!! I haven't eaten at the 3 signature ones you listed... but the 2 I have are Brown Derby and Yachtsman...and both of those were amazing!!! I've heard really wonderful things about the other ones though!

I think 1900 ParkFaire and Tusker house are the BEST breakfast Character buffets.... That said I haven't had Bfast at CP or CM, just dinners and I find them both to be soooo chaotic!

Les Chefs is great... I also love Marrakesh if you are looking for something exotic (but not too overly spicy or wierd)


That probably doesn't help..... I threw more into the mix LOL!!

Paula
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:21 AM   #15
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I highly recommend the California Grill!! One of the best dinners of my entire trip in October!!!!!! You will not regret going there and you should try to get a time to go so you can see wishes!!!
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