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Old 04-02-2010, 11:12 AM   #1
tigerdragon
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Just the four of us...and several thousand other people (a spring break TR) ~ DONE!

Hello all! This past trip was our fourth to the World but this is my first attempt at writing a trip report. I'm looking forward to reliving the moments with those who choose to read. I wish I had done trip reports in the past because I know I have forgotten many details that I would have loved to remember.

So I guess you'd like to know who you will actually be reading about.

First there is me, Tanya, I'm 35 and a SAHM which I absolutely love. I am the official planner of all of our trips. I am Disney obsessed, but aren't we all.

Next we have my DH, Dave, who recently turned 39. He is a great husband and father who works hard to provide for us. He does love Disney, though not quite so obsessed over all the little details like I am. He would probably love to have a vacation of just relaxing on the beach or playing golf, but he's still quite content to take us to Disney World.

Then there is my DS, Alexander, my sweet 9 year old 3rd grader. He is in love with all things Star Wars and Legos. He could seriously spend his entire vacation in the Lego store at DTD if I let him. He does love doing all the rides though. There is not a roller coaster that is too fast or too high for him. He's the ultimate thrill seeker.

And rounding out our little family is my princess, Mia, who will be turning 2 in just a few days. Easter Sunday to be exact. She is an independent little girl who loves Mickey Mouse, Handy Manny, and Elmo. It's just too bad Elmo isn't a Disney character. She was a bit of a handful at times on this trip, but it's something I totally expected.

So here is what we all look like (along with a certain mouse you might all know)


So let me explain the title. All of our past Disney trips have included other family members.

In October 2005 we went on our first trip ever to WDW and stayed at CBR. We were there for Alexander's fifth birthday and was one of those truly magical trips. Of course this was before Mia was born, but my Mom came along with us.

In March 2007 Dave, Alexander, and I went with, again, my mom, my sister's family, and my brother's family. All of us stayed in connecting rooms at CBR There were 12 of us altogether. It was fun but it was also a headache at times. I planned everything for everyone and it was stressful. We even had all of our meals together. Never again!

Last year we went in June. This time Mia had been born and was 14 months old. We also had my mom (btw, she is always invited with us wherever we go) and my sister's family. We rented a house offsite this time which was nice but I really missed being at a Disney hotel. We also spent a few days at Universal, which none of us really cared for.

So that brings us to this trip. It was time for us to do a family trip alone. I did ask my mom if she wanted to come along. She's just a go-with-the-flow type of person so I never mind being with her. But she said she had seen enough of Disney for a while and elected to stay at home. She lives with us, btw. Okay, so that just makes the four of us. And, yeah, several thousand other people also happened to decide to vacation at Disney World while we were there too. Ah spring break, gotta love the crowds.

Up next I'll actually start writing about this trip.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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Friday, March 19 ~ Travel Day

So a few little details about this trip before I begin.

Our dates for this trip were March 19-28, with March 27 being mine and Dave's 11th anniversary . We again stayed at CBR. We chose to do the quick service dining plan this time. We did the regular dining plan in '05 (free!) and in '07. I love, love, love the dining plan. I like having it all paid for before I get there. But Mia isn't always well behaved in restaurants and I just didn't want us to be tied down to too many reservations so I thought the quick service plan would suit us best this time.

Now on with the show:

Friday began with me getting to sleep in until 7. Normally I get up at 6:20 and get my shower in before I wake everyone else up. But since Dave took the day off I didn't have to get ready quite so early. Well, I didn't exactly sleep in. Instead I was wide awake at 5 am. I didn't want to be but who can sleep knowing they are leaving for Disney World that day? I laid in bed for two hours trying to fall back to sleep and I think I did maybe a minute before my alarm went off. Great.

So the alarm went off and I got up, woke Alexander and Dave up and got Alexander breakfast and sent him off to school. I had emailed his teacher the week before and got the okay to pick him up from school early. He normally has a math, reading, and spelling quiz on Friday but she gave him the tests early so we could get on the road as soon as possible. Love his teacher!

Oh yeah, I should mention that we did drive. I would have loved to fly but the idea of taking Mia on a plane at this age makes me very nervous. She has this high pitched scream that I just did not want to subject dozens of strangers to in such an enclosed environment. So we drove.

Okay, so in the two and a half hours that we had while Alexander was in school Dave loaded the car, I bathed and fed Mia, and ran around like a crazy woman trying to remember everything we needed to take. Finally at about 9:45 we were done and had a little while to relax. Oh my goodness did the time just slowly tick by! We watched part of Family Feud (can you believe it's still on the air?) and the beginning of The View (can you believe that is still on the air too?).

Finally, finally! it was time to get Alexander from school. I checked him out and he was ecstatic to be leaving. Not so much because he was going on vacation, but because he got to leave and his classmates had to stay til 3.

So finally we were on the road. No need to stop for anything since Dave had gassed the Expedition up the night before. Well, we did actually have to stop to drop off some library books but it wasn't out of the way.

Here are some "lovely" road pictures to enjoy. Don't we all look so eager?

Okay maybe Dave doesn't look so eager because he knew he had many, many hours of driving ahead of him. He does all the driving. He loves to drive and I hate it so it works out well for us.

But I was eager. See:

Not my finest photo ever.

I made a little bag of goodies for the kids to have something to play with on the road so here is Alexander showing off one of his surprises.


And Mia just being silly. She always makes us laugh.


So we were determined to make good time on this trip. I made some tuna for our lunch and had it in a cooler. We didn't want to stop for lunch. We had plenty of other snacks to eat too. There's just something about traveling on the road that always makes us hungry.

Nothing really interesting happened while on the road. Mia was very resistant to taking a nap and that was taking a toll on me. She finally gave in at about 2:30 but only slept for 45 minutes.

Ahh, the silence was golden...while it lasted.

We stopped in Jasper (I think), Alabama for some Mcdonald's and made it to our lovely Super 8 in Troy, Alabama at 10:20 pm. We had only made two stops for gas/potty breaks so I do think we made good time.

Around this time I realized I had forgotten to get Alexander's Mickey hears. He wasn't bothered by it, thank goodness. But the next day I realized there were more things we had forgotten.

Our room was nice enough for what it was but I wouldn't want to have stayed there for more than one night. But it was a bed that was bedbug free (yes, Dave and I checked) and we were tired. Dave unloaded some of the car and we were all soon asleep.

Up next, more traveling and we finally arrive!
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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I'm in! I love Spring Break Trip Reports!
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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How fun! I'm in
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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can't wait to hear more!!
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerdragon View Post
What an adorable picture!

I was one of the thousands there at the same time as you. I'm looking forward to reading more about your trip and see where we came thisclose to meeting each other.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:02 PM   #7
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joining in
can't wait to read more
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
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You have a beautiful family.
Can't wait to read more.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I'm in! I love Spring Break Trip Reports!
Yay, my first reader!

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How fun! I'm in


Quote:
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can't wait to hear more!!
Glad to have you here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NMAmy View Post
What an adorable picture!

I was one of the thousands there at the same time as you. I'm looking forward to reading more about your trip and see where we came thisclose to meeting each other.
That's the best picture of all, because she's asleep, LOL.

You'll have to look and see if you're in the background of any of our pics. That would be so cool!

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You have a beautiful family.
Can't wait to read more.
Thanks and welcome!

I'll try to do updates about once a day. I can't do too much unless Mia is sleeping because she likes to "type" on my computer sometimes.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:10 PM   #10
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Saturday, March 20 ~ Day 1

I'm calling this day 1 since it's our first day actually at Disney World. I don't really consider a travel day as a real vacation day.

Okay, so I had set the alarm to go off bright and early at 6:45. The goal was to leave the motel by 8 am. I was wide awake again at 5 am. So much for getting some much needed sleep.

As I was getting ready I realized I had forgotten my hair straightener. So that's item number two I forgot. It wasn't really a big deal though.

After I was ready I woke everyone else up. Dave gave Mia a bath and realized we had forgotten her baby soap. Yep, item number three forgotten.

Soon after that Dave comes up to me and says "What do you know about my tennis shoes?" I couldn't believe it, we both forgot his tennis shoes. The only shoes he had were flip flops and some brown shoes he had worn the day before with pants. Neither of those would do for walking around the parks all day.

We finally checked out of the motel at 8:20 and decided to find a Target or Walmart to buy some shoes and baby soap. I asked Dave if he'd rather wait until we got to Orlando and find a place that had Nike's but he was fine with something else. We used our GPS to search for a Target or Walmart.

Let me just say this about our GPS, it's really just a base model Garmin and I don't always trust it. There were many times on the trip that it wanted to take us on smaller roads instead of the major highways so we would just ignore it and follow the atlas. I don't know how many times we heard "recalculating" on this trip.

Okay, so we found a Walmart that was a little over a mile back the way we had come in, according to the GPS anyway. Neither Dave or I remembered seeing a Walmart but we figured we just overlooked it because we were trying to find the Super 8. So we backtrack a mile and the GPS tells us to take this little road and there would be a Walmart. Uh no, the only thing there was some cement remnants of what I guess was an old gas station. I don't think a Walmart would have even fit in the space it was supposed to be in. So we just decided to go ahead and head out and would eventually come to a store to buy some shoes.

So we headed back the other way. We stopped at a gas station to fill up again and started heading out. Wouldn't you know, we see a Walmart less than a mile away from the motel in the other direction. Dave decided to go ahead and find some shoes just to get it over with. I don't think he was 100% happy with what he bought but it would do for this trip. He also bought some baby soap because I didn't want to use regular soap and shampoo for Mia.

All that took probably an hour or so and we were finally ready to go. We got going and halfway listened to and halfway ignored the GPS. On the way we came across many Targets and other shoe stores that I kept pointing out to Dave. He was not amused. I did find it humorous.

We traveled through Florida with only one stop in Tallahassee for lunch and gas. Finally we were getting closer to Orlando. Everyone was so excited! Our not-so-trusty GPS decided to take us through some back roads instead of over to I-4. I wasn't sure which way would be quicker so we put our faith in the GPS.

On the way we passed some orange groves. This was the best picture I could get.

Oh they looked so yummy!

I would like to now show you the beautiful sign that almost everyone has in their TR. You know the one at the entrance to the Disney World resort with Mickey Mouse? Yeah, I didn't get to take that pic because the GPS took us in a back way. I was a little nervous that we were actually getting lost. But then I started recognizing some of the sights.

And then we saw this:

Please excuse the bug-splattered windshield.

These are better:



Oh Caribbean Beach Resort, how we love you! Our home away from home! It's the only Disney resort we've ever stayed in. We will stay somewhere else on our next trip just to try something new, but CBR will always be special to us.

We arrived at approximately 5:15 pm, EST. We all hopped out of the car with huge grins on our faces. I think everything is better at Disney World. Even the air smells better.

We all went into the Custom House to check in. Dave tried to take the kids over to watch some cartoons while I checked in but there was a huge group of what I'm guessing were college aged girls right in front of it so they couldn't see a thing. They wandered around a bit while I checked in. I had already done the online check in and had requested a ground floor. I wanted to request a certain building in Jamaica or Aruba but didn't see a place to do it. We didn't get the ground floor but we were put in Aruba building 52. Room number 5246 to be exact.

Check in was so quick and easy and we were soon on our way to our room. We opened the door to this lovely room.



I just love the Nemo theme they have in the rooms now.

We have only stayed in Trinidad South before but we loved Aruba. Trinidad South is a lot farther from Old Port Royale with the food court and main pool. To get to OPR from Aruba is just a short walk over to the little island and over the bridge. It took a few minutes but it was always a pleasant walk. Aruba has a smaller pool and each "island" has a beach, some with playgrounds.

So, Dave unloaded the car and I took this picture right outside our door.

Is that Bigfoot? Nah, just Dave walking to the car.

So Dave got all of our luggage unloaded and I unpacked. I just can't live out of a suitcase for a whole week. The kids had fun running around the room and just enjoying some freedom. After all that we were ready to go!

Up next - the Magic Kingdom!
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:02 PM   #11
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Chiming in!!! Can't wait to read more about the trip!!! I have to tell you...You handled forgetting your hair straightener very well!!! I would have had a flipping heart attack!!! I can't live without mine!
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:06 PM   #12
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I've got 6 months to go....on the edge of my seat waiting to hear about your trip!! My husband thinks I'm goofy reading all of these discussion boards...LOL!
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:48 PM   #14
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Yea! you got there-via the backway- but you got there
(i didn't even know there was a back way )
The room looks simply wonderful
can't wait for park days
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #15
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I have 45 days to go so I will live through your report(even though you had on that horrible Arkansas shirt- Geaux Tigers!)- lol
And we are planning on going back during Spring Break next year, so I'm looking forward to your insight.
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