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Old 07-12-2010, 02:12 PM   #1
I will make it work with the ones you have!
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"I have to go to Disneyland for 'Research'" *wink* *wink*UPDATED more from Phuph

We are leaving in 4 days.

Yes, only 4 days!

About right now I should be singing ďZip a Dee Do Da.Ē Our custom luggage tags should be finished and our treat bags assembled and ready to go. Heck, Iím usually packed by now.

What am I thinking???!!!

I donít have anything planned. I donít have any dining reservations. I donít know what we are going to do when. I donít even have the park hours printed and laminated onto a tiny business card. Maybe printing the park hours and laminating them is a bit over the top, but thatís how I am. I am an over-the-top-with-plannning-every-detail kind of girl.

Iím not sure if I have waited until the last minute because I like the challenge--the rush of packing at the last minute only to be on our way to the airport and wonder if I packed the kids any underwear. Well, whatever the reason, we leave in four days and I have a lot to do!

Let me start at the beginning. . . .

The family:
ME--always perfectly aged (like cheese)
DH--40 something. I really do forget his age. I guess it is because I'm so much younger.

I got this crazy idea that I could write a book. You should always write about what you know, and I know a lot about Walt Disney World.

So the book is available and I think I should write a Disneyland book. There is only one tiny problem with this marvelous ideaóI have only been to Disneyland once. I was like 9. I remember riding Dumbo and that is about it.

Now I'm sure some of you are wondering why I actually need to go to Disneyland if the book contains tips from kids. You see reader, I need to know what the kids are talking about. Sometimes the tips have to be edited.

Did you believe that? Well, I'm lucky that my husband believes me . So in the name of "research" the four of us are trekking across this great state of ours to visit the Disney Family Museum and Disneyland.

Up Next: I just can't commit. I'm keeping my options open.

Last edited by TAKitty; 07-18-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:52 AM   #2
I will make it work with the ones you have!
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You know when you book a Disney resort how you have to pay one night. Well, I found that the good neighbor hotels don’t require a one night deposit, so I booked three hotels. I’m not usually this hotel greedy, but I am having a hard time picking a hotel.

Did I mention that my husband doesn’t really love Disney. He is also a very grumpy traveler and has pretty picky tastes. I believe that as long as I’m at Disney all is good. Dust on top of the TV—no problem for me. The past guests’ hair in the corner of the bathroom—I can handle it. He likes frivolous things like a clean room.

And I know that he isn’t entirely wrong. I secretly want a hotel room that will complete our vacation. Like a good accessory, it complements the trip and at the end of the day embraces us in its loving arms and lulls us into a restful slumber.

Too much to ask from a hotel?

This is why I have three rooms booked. The Fairfield was so easy to book that I booked the Ramada and Howard Johnson too! I promise that today I am going to cancel two of the three rooms. Our choices include the Fairfield with a Disneyland view, the Ramada in a newly refurbished room, or the Howard Johnson with a highway view room.

I am leaning towards the Fairfield but after reading a dozen reviews it is getting a bad rap.

I know a lot of Dis people love the HoJo, but the freeway view might be too much for us. We live in the country. It is a twenty minute drive to our nearest freeway. I’m not sure if the HoJo can lull us into a deep restful slumber.

That leaves the Ramada. New room. My DH likes that. Close to the parks. The kids like that.

Hey, picking a hotel wasn’t as hard as I thought. I’m going to go and cancel the other two right now.

Up Next: Sure it will fit in the carry on…
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:14 PM   #3
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I think you may already be gone, in which case, I can't wait to hear how your trip was!

BUT, just in case you haven't left, I wanted to add my two cents about the HoJo freeway view. We stayed there in May with a freeway. I live in Los Angeles, and used to live right next to one of the busiest freeways in the country, and I found the freeway noise to be slightly annoying. It wasn't terrible, but if you're used to a quiet country night, it might be bothersome.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Im really looking forward to hearing about your research when you get back
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
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Yeah, I have two readers! We are here right now!

Back to the trip. . .

Well, we are sitting at the terminal.

All ready to go.

I took this picture with the camera resting on our luggage.

Two hours early.

The plane before us hasnít even left yet, but I am thankful we made it safe and sound. What a night! We (or should I say I) had a busy night preparing for the trip, and then the unexpected, unthinkable happened. The power went out.

I had vaguely wondered what I would do if the power went out. I laughed it off (in my head of course, not like an evil cartoon laugh aloud). We never lose power, and if we do, it is never for very long. There was that one time that I had to get ready for work in the dark, but that was a long time ago. I ended up looking all right. I went to work with two different colored shoes on, but I got through the day.

I could handle this.

We wouldnít lose power.

The rain had passed and we were in the clear. I was working on our last minute transportation plans. DH decided that we didnít need a rental car, so I was trying to find a transfer service. I had just hit the confirm button when the lights flickered.

They flickered again.

Then it was dark.

Everything in our house is run on electricity. You realize how dependent you are on electricity when you donít have any.

Iím a teacher. Iím off on summer vacation, but it seems that I always wait until the last minute to pack. I still had wet laundry in the washer. The dinner dishes needed to be washed, the house vaccumed, my cloths ironed (a very big important one to me), and we all needed a shower. Not to mention that it was getting hotter in the house by the minute, the second, the nano second. How were we all going to sleep without a fan?

We couldnít sit around and wait. I had some packing to do. DS retrieved the camping lantern and we started to pack his bag. Yes, by the light of a lantern. I had all of his shirts laid out and ironed. We were deciding on appropriate outfits. At twelve these things are important. At eleven he would go out of the house with his hair uncombed wearing plaid and strips, but now he was almost a teenager.

His face got all screwy looking when I had him pick three pair of shorts that he liked best. It was at this time that he decided to tell me that his shorts were a little bit tight. He could have mentioned it when I nagged him to let me know if his swimsuit still fit, but he didnít. Itís 7:00 pm at night. We live a good half hour away from any clothing store. *sigh* He ended up agreeing that they fit, but he didnít know if other people would notice that they are getting a little bit tight. Ah, the teenage years.

Coming up next. . . How smelly are we?

Well, you donít have to wait for another post because Iím bored on the plane and thought I would update now.

Since the packing was complete, My main concern was that we were going to be trapped on a plane (crammed on a plane) with other people and none of us will have showered. You know how you canít really smell your own smell. I was a bit parioned that we would be ďthatĒ family. The stinky family.

Thankfully at 9:00 pm the lights and air conditioner and tv and clocks and everything else that was plugged in came roaring back to life. We shut the garage door, completed the rest of our trip preparation, and settled down into our comfy beds cooled off and showered.

Which brings me to the most devastating part of our trip. Leaving our Walter George at home.

Now if you have pets you can understand how hard this is for us. Walt is like part of our family. Thankfully my mother-in-law volunteered her services as his chauffeur. She would take Walt to ďdog camp.Ē You see, at my house, we donít use the K word. You know...K-E-N-N-E-L. Why would someone put her loved one in such a place? No, Walt is at dog camp. Last time he went to dog camp we picked him up and he was several pounds lighter. It seems he went on a hunger strike. He only stayed for two nights. This trip he is in for 10 days! Walt, being the ever loving dog that he is, has been communicating with me via secret dog message, although I donít know how.

ďUrgent messij dis is Walda. Tell dad I am in prison and need to get broken out. I know dad would never do this do me. By the way, grammaw is a spy. She put me in here HELP.Ē

ďI have learned that the place I am in is a supa secret anti-phuph compound operated under the cover of a pet hospital. Grammaw seems to know the people here. From what I have heard, the operation is run by the mysterious Dr. L. (the vet) This is just like Phuph Bond (Walt loves James Bond movies just like DH - go figure). Agent Beagle Butt out.Ē

I should probably mention that we often call Walt Phuph (hip hop for Pup but pronounced fuff). It seems he has a lot of time on this hands because the messages keep coming (......heís in a supa secret prison - duh. - DH).

ďThe inimitable Dr. L has yet to show himself. I have made a weapon from my beagle bone (hard rubber chew toy) and a petrified turd I found in the corner of my cell. I should be able to hold out for a day or two longer but you must send help. They have taken my secret Q section issued collar and I have no other issued equipment.Ē

I know you are all impressed with my dogís (DHís dog - DH) abilities. He is not a very good speller, but without opposable thumbs he does the best he can. Actually, Walt isnít the one texting me. My DH, who seems more heart broken to have Walt at dog camp then when I went away for a week, seems to have a lot of time on his hands and is sending me the messages (lie - DH) even though he is right next to me. Donít hold it against him. He is new to text messaging (not true - DH) and is definitely keeping us all entertained. Wait.......DH just told me how after training Walt to fetch he taught him to build a micro transmitter from his collar, his stainless steel dog dish and dog spit. Ahhhh its so simple when you hear the answer.

After a 45 minute delay, a 2 and a half hour lay-over in Chicago, we are on our way to San Francisco!

Talk to you all when we hit the hotel and actually start to do something fun!

PS: How can a flight from Chicago to San Francisco not have wi-fi?
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:37 PM   #6
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LOVING your trip report, T!

Can't wait to hear how Walt tries to break out. Will DS's shorts fit in 10 days? Maybe he needs some new Disney ones! It's a big conspiracy for expensive resort-wear.

And glad you didn't have to be THAT stinky family. Especially on a plane from Chicago to San Francisco.


'98 at the Disney Institute treehouses; May 2005 at Beach Club Villas; Jan 2006 off-site; Sep 2006 at Fort Wilderness Cabins; Jan 2007 at Boardwalk Villas; Feb 2007 at Saratoga Springs

1/22-1/25/2010 at Bay Lake Tower Grand Villa MK View - super awesome
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:48 AM   #7
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Oh my gosh, I am totally in the same boat as you. I usually have an Excel spreadsheet and plan the entire day in 15 minute blocks. This time around, nothing is done. We leave Thursday and just decided on a hotel last night - yikes! So I am DYING to hear how everything turns out!

And remember to keep all your receipts. After all, the whole trip will be one big business write off
March 2014 - Paris Disneyland Resort, Sept 2012 - Tokyo Disney Resort, Jan '12 - WDW, July '10 Disneyland, May '10 Tokyo Disney Resort, Aug '09 - Disneyland, June '08 Disneyland, Dec '07 - WDW, Sept '07 - WDW, Jan '07 - Disneyland, Sept. '06 - WDW Feb. '06 - Disneyland, Sept. '05 - Hong Kong DL, and many, many prior trips to DL!
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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Love the report so far! Definitely in for the ride!
Mom & Son - The Last Time? August 2013 ~ Mom & Son Take on Spring Break - March 2013
Mom & Son Head to Food & Wine - November 2012 ~ Mom & Son - One More Time with Dad! August 23rd - Sept 3rd 2012
Mom and Son Take on the Land! - July 2010 Trip Report
- Mom and Son Going Back -Another 10 days of Deluxe Dining 8/25 - 9/5/2011
Mom and Son Eat the World -11 days of Deluxe Dining ~Mom and Son Eat the World Part 2-With Dad this Time

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Old 07-17-2010, 07:14 PM   #9
I will make it work with the ones you have!
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The trip to the hotel was pretty uneventful. I usually like to read transportation reviews before I select a car company. On the Dis I think I reread dozens of reviews and looked at every website to make sure we were getting the best deal. This time I had to just wing it. I booked one that had a good looking website, entered our credit card information (yikes!), and hoped we had transportation to our hotel. After landing at SFO and calling for our car, the phone rang and rang and rang before someone picked up. Phew, we weren't scammed.

A short 40 minutes drive and we arrived at the Holiday Inn--Fishermanís Wharf. The hotel is ok, not worth the money. It is in a good location for walking to different things, but Iím not sure if we returned Iíd stay here again.

All we had to eat today was a quick lunch at the airport. Everyone was hungry. Our oldest DS is a picky eater, so we were looking for an Italian restaurant. Thank goodness I have an Iphone. It is like my own personal assistant. I found a list of possible restaurants and we picked the one with the name that sounded interesting, Trattoria. Only three blocks away, exactly .8 miles later, and we arrived.

I was a little skeptical at first. The restaurant and enough seating for 14 people. Iím not actually sure if I have ever been to such a small place. We picked the place because I read a review that the food was good, the decor relaxed, and the price was right.

I bet you can tell which one peaked my interest--the good food--ha ha just kidding. The price was right! When you are feeding two teenaged boys, who can eat a half a box of cereal in the morning for breakfast, I was hoping to save a little bit of money.

Maybe the price was right for San Francisco, but I can already tell that the boys are either going to have to eat every other day or Iím going to have to find a part time job when I get home to pay for their food consumption. In all seriousness, the food was very good. The pasta was homemade and melted in your mouth.

I have noticed one interesting thing about San Francisco; they seem to love their dogs. Many restaurants have outside seating where youíll see fashionably dressed locals eating and sipping wine while slipping small bits of food to their pampered pets. Walt would have been at home here.

Up next: The Disney Family Museum and more calls from Walt.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:21 PM   #10
I will make it work with the ones you have!
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The Disney Family Museum takes you through 10 galleries recounting the history of Walt Disney, the man.

You enter the lobby and wait for your time to enter the first gallery. The lobby is the only place where you can take pictures.

There are a bunch of big display cases filled with Disney awards and mementos.

Throughout the museum are various interactive computer devices. This one is pretty basic, but it lets you scroll through the items in the display cases and tells you more about each item.

Furniture from Walt's apartment at Disneyland.

There is a full case with all of his Oscars.

The first room you enter is the "Beginnings." It looks like you are entering a parlor. There are family pictures on the wall, Eilas Disney's fiddle, the deed of sale for the Disney farm, and early cartoons drawn by Walt from when he was in Kansas City and Chicago.

The second part of the room looks like drawing paper. Here there are home videos playing on screens and one of many cameras found throughout the exhibit.

A very cool detail is the Santa Fe train taking you to Hollywood. It is actually the elevator transporting you to the second floor, but it is made to look like you are in a train.

Gallery 2 and 3: Hollywood and New Horizons in the 30s
Here there are a bunch of Alice Comedies playing and each room has numerous personal pictures, telegrams, and letters from or to Walt. I thought it was neat to see the marriage license for Walt and Lillian and the earliest known drawings of Mickey by Ub Iwerks.

I also fell in love with the wall of early Mickey merchandise. There was a glass Mickey and Mickey toothbrush holder that I desperately want. A little bit of trivia for you. It seems that Walt used to refer to his brother Roy as 'Old Socks' as found in a letter to Roy.

There are many stations where you can pick up a listening device and listen to people talking about the display or hear Walt himself talking.

Gallery 4: The Move to Features
The theme of this gallery is primarily Snow White. I didn't realize the model for Snow White was so pretty. There were a bunch of meeting notes along the wall. On Dec 22, 1936, they had a meeting to discuss the Dwarfs personality. It was fun reading the notes.

Gallery 5: "We were in a New Business"
This studio has one of the original multiplane camera cranes and an animator's desk. The movies featured are Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi. I didn't realize how scientific visual special effects were in cartoons.

Gallery 6 and 7: "The Toughest Period in my Whole Life" and "Post War Production"
Union activity and the animators' strike is detailed through photos and flyers. Dumbo is discussed and Walt's Latin American-themed films. The war propaganda was very interesting. The pinups for service men was a little umm revealing

Gallery 7: PostWar Production
This room is very interesting. It almost looks like you could be underwater maybe and there is a band along the top of the wall that plays different video clips. The underwater camera for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was at the end of the room. There were dozens of Mary Blair concept art for Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.

Gallery 8: "Walt + Natural World"
This gallery is more of a transition. You enter a narrow room with windows floor to ceiling. Wildlife films are shown on tvs. The floor is an ocean blue color with flecks of silver.

Gallery 9 and 10: The 1950s and 1960s and Walt's death
If you are wanting to learn about Disneyland, there is only this one gallery about the theme park. You enter and are greeted by the Carolwood Pacific Lilly Belle. The real train Walt had at his home. This was very cool to see and it looked much smaller than I thought it would be. There are posters about the World's Fair, a cool optical printer used to create magical effects in Mary Poppins and there is a huge diorama of Disneyland.

you end with Walt's death. A very sad ending. I left feeing sad. The last room is supposed to uplift you by providing inspirational quotes, but the visual images of the characters morning Walt's death still lingered on my mind.

The museum has a gift shop and a small cafe. Downstairs there was a special video showing, for free, the Disneyland opening, but that was it as far as a celebration for Disneyland. There were special speakers during the weekend, but not the fanfare you see in the parks.

I think the museum did a good job capturing Walt as a man. I thought the museum seemed a bit grown-up, but the kids found plenty to look at and actually lagged behind me at different times. We entered the first room at 10:30 and left the museum at 12:45. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:56 PM   #11
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AHH! You beat me too it, lol. I'm working on a WDFM post Love the photo of my favorite Oscar!!

Wait, you were there today?
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:13 AM   #12
I will make it work with the ones you have!
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Originally Posted by Belle Ella View Post
AHH! You beat me too it, lol. I'm working on a WDFM post Love the photo of my favorite Oscar!!

Wait, you were there today?
Were you there Sat. too?
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:50 PM   #13
I will make it work with the ones you have!
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It is probably time for a Phuph update. I only have a 200 message texting plan, and I am beginning to think that Phuph might put me over the limit this month.

"New day. Spirits high. They gave me a shot yesterday to 'protect' me from the ravages of local disease. They say. I believe it was sodium puphathol (truth serum). They got nothing out of me. . . except the location of every rabbit hold I have ever found, the combination to dad's safe and the exact location of all food storage in our house. . . mom's dress size, our bank account #s, the password to DS-12s ATM piggy bank and the truth about what DS-16 does with broccoli at the dinner table. I may have mentioned the key to locating nuclear submarienes, but once they knew where we kept the crackers, I don't think they were listening. Slept restessly, but I'm learning their weaknesses. Should be outta here by tonight. . . have a new plan." Agt BB out.

I have had several "What was I thinking moments" this trip. One of the first came when we first stepped off the plane. What was I thinking packing only one pair of pants and one sweatshirt?

Another one was when I was eating a scoop of chocolate ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone--outside--wearing my only sweatshirt which is white. What was I thinking?

As I was printing off our boarding passes today for the flight to Disneyland I was reminded that we will have to wake up at 4:00 am to make our flight. What was I thinking?

There are more moments like these. What was I thinking when I booked us a room with double beds and then thought the kids would be able to keep their hands to themselves. . . . or my DH for that matter.

Today we are off to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TAKitty View Post
Were you there Sat. too?
I sure was. We had 10:15 tickets Probably saw you and didn't even know it!!
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:00 PM   #15
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Really enjoying your trip report!

"Agent Beagle Butt" - LOL!! We have a beagle, too...that might become her new nickname!

I always feel so guilty when taking the pets (cat & dog) to the kennel...we call it the "K-place," the "pet hotel" or the "pet spa" and hope against hope that they have some fun while we're gone. We even pay extra for things like office time and off-lead walks for the dog! All in the name of assuaging my abandonment guilt.

Looking forward to your next installment!
Me (Jen) , DH , DD (11) , DD (8) , Belle , Kiara

DLR trips - '93, '94, '95 (14 trips), '97 (3 trips), '98 (honeymoon), '10 (PPH), '12 (PPH), '13 (PPH), '14 (PPH)
WDW trips - '92 with parents & sister (Dixie Landings), '96 with extended family (offsite - there were 18 of us!), & 2000 with DH (Port Orleans), '14 half day in Epcot due to Conference (offsite)
Disney Cruise Line - hoping sometime in 2016?
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