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Old 01-09-2011, 04:40 PM   #76
therussells08
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I love you, Bill and Sookie, but are we there yet?!

Our original plan had been to hang out at my parents' house until 6 or 7-ish and then hit the road for Disney. We were going to drive until around midnight, stop for the night, and finish the drive the next morning. However, by 2 o'clock there was already several inches of snow on the ground and it was starting to stick to the road pretty good too. This left us with two choices: leave for Disney early and get out of the snow before it got much worse, or wait around and leave the next day. However, the forecast was calling for 6 to 7 inches of snow, so waiting around would probably have meant leaving in three or four days, not the next morning. Therefore, John and I decided to leave earlier than planned. We hung out for a little while, packing all of the new stuff we got for Christmas into our luggage, and eating some leftover Christmas feast. We have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, and I refused to leave without having one more helping of my mom's ham and my dad's delicious spicy cheeseball.

John took a quick nap so he would be good to drive and I sat around anxiously. It was a conundrum, because I was eager to leave for Disney, but I was dragging my feet because I was sad to leave my family on Christmas. I have traveled around Christmas a few times, and it's always hard. One year when John was stationed in Alaska I went to visit him the day after Christmas. As much as I wanted to see him, I almost didn't go because I am such a homebody at Christmas and I just couldn't stand leaving my family. I ended up going and of course I was glad I did, but saying goodbye was hard.

Speaking of goodbyes, it was finally that time. I was dreading saying goodbye to my dogs because I haven't spent more than one night away from them in over a year. However, I felt pretty good about it because I wasn't leaving them at a kennel. They stay with my mom during the day while I'm working all week, so they are completely used to being at my parents' house. It's like a second home to them, so I knew they would be happy. I was feeling sorry for myself, not Bella and Vida, because I'm so used to being with them every night. I decided to treat it like ripping off a bandaid, so I gave them a quick hug and kiss and didn't drag things out. My family saw us off and we hit the road at exactly 3:55pm.

I tried to take a picture of the time in the car, but my camera refused to cooperate so I settled for a picture of the snow instead. Sorry about the windshield wipers, but you can see the snow starting to stick to the road pretty good. We got out of there just in time!



Right after logging our departure time into my trip journal I got out my GPS and set it up. John knows exactly how to get to Disney (which he reminded me of grumpily several times as I set the GPS up) but I wanted to have it going the whole trip so I could see our arrival time. I get this weird joy from shaving a minute or two off of our estimated arrival time when we travel, and it was going to take more than John's surliness to deny me this pleasure! The voice on my GPS is set to an Australian man, and his name is Lee. So when I say "Lee said blah blah blah" or something like that during this TR please don't think we had an extra passenger I forgot to mention! Lee said our estimated arrival time was 1:30am. That was way earlier than I expected! I immediately couldn't help but think, "Hmm...should we go all the way tonight?" I didn't say anything to John just yet, but the seed was definitely planted...

After setting Lee up I immediately settled in and got comfortable for the long car ride. I have a 2010 Honda CR-V, so it's nice a roomy. I hate traveling in small cars, I just get so restless! One of the gifts I had gotten for Christmas that came along on the trip was an amazingly soft blanket from Bath and Body Works. I curled up in my blanket and looked through my travel bag for something to keep me busy. Before we even reached the highway I realized the first thing I had forgotten. I forgot to bring my Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World book by Susan Veness! I had been wanting to look for all of the secret stuff she talks about during our trip, but I totally forgot it. John asked me if I wanted to go back since we were only ten minutes or so from our apartment, but I said no. I didn't want to lose any time with the snow coming down the way it was.

Another thing that happened before we even reached the highway was my mom called twice. She is so sweet and she worries like any mom, so she wanted to tell us a few more times to be careful and call her as soon as we were out of the snow.



When we reached I-77 South I decided to watch an episode of True Blood Season 2 on my new portable DVD player. John and I had agreed not to get each other Christmas gifts since we were going to Disney, but we did buy each other an "I love you" gift before Christmas, and mine was True Blood. I had already seen season 1 thanks to Netflix (that was before my sister got it for me for Christmas), but all of season 2 was new to me except the first few episodes. If any of you watch True Blood, you know why I was immediately drawn into the crazy fantasy world of Sookie and Bill and lost all track of time. When I finished the episode I looked up and realized that we were completely out of the snow! Of course, I called my mom and let her know.

We got to Charlotte, NC at about 5:30. I am not a big fan of Charlotte at all, so I was eager to get through it. It was starting to get dark at this point, and I realized for the first time that when it gets dark outside the GPS turns to nighttime too! Haha, who knew?

Anyway, as we were driving through Charlotte I was surprised by the number of cars on the road. I had expected the roads to be dead on Christmas, but there was a pretty decent amount of traffic. We passed Carowinds, which is the amusement park that is closest to our home. I don't like Carowinds at all, and I blame it for my ill feelings towards amusement parks before I discovered Disney. I feel like Carowinds is pretty much the complete opposite of Disney. Everytime I've ever been it's dirty, the lines are ridiculously long, and I feel like I'm melting under the hot sun on all of the black asphalt. I have fainted several times at Carowinds because of the heat, but oddly enough I have never fainted from heat at Disney World, which is in FLORIDA. Carowinds has no way of managing crowds or controlling the heat like Disney does, so going there is pretty much misery, but I digress.

I started seeing signs for fireworks stores, which told me we were getting close to SC because fireworks that go up into the air are illegal in NC. Sure enough, we got to SC at 5:42pm. After seeing that we were in SC I settled in with another episode of True Blood.

We stopped at about 6:20 at a gas station in SC. We used the restroom, filled the car up, and bought a few things for the road. I was still battling the head cold I had been dealing with all week, so I picked up a single packet of Nyquil for later. We got some sodas and John got a snack and we headed back to the car. I took a few pictures of the gas station before we left!





We got on I-26 East at 7:05pm, right as I was finishing up my second episode of True Blood. I tried to take a picture of the sign once and it didn't work out, but it looked so cool I decided to keep it.



When I tried the second time it worked a little better.



We weren't on I-26 very long. At about 7:45pm we got on I-95. I didn't get a picture of the sign because, you guessed it: I was totally immersed in True Blood!

We stopped again at 8:10pm to use the bathroom. By now I had finished up my third episode and was ready to stretch my legs. This gas station wasn't as inviting as the first, so we hurried up and hit the road.



As we were leaving the gas station John asked me to remind him to send a thank you letter to my best friend, Jessy, for buying me the portable DVD player for Christmas. I can admit it, usually I am a nightmare to travel with. I get bored and restless so easily, and I can get pretty whiny and annoying. So far on this trip I had been completely quiet thanks to my portable DVD player and vampire drama. John was so relieved!

We left SC and went into GA at 9:05pm. We were making pretty good time, and Lee's ETA still hovered around 1:30am. We stopped again at 9:30-ish, and I took one more picture of a gas station. I was getting pretty bored with that by this point, so it's the last you'll see before we head home, I promise!



I watched more True Blood after this, and before I knew it, it was 10:41pm and we were in Florida! I was so excited, but now we had to decide what we were going to do about stopping for the night. John really didn't want to stay in Jacksonville, so we decided to keep driving for awhile.

At about 11:15pm John started to lose it a little bit. He was acting so silly because he was ready to get out of the car and he had me cracking up. But my head cold was starting to get the best of me and I was feeling pretty bad. We stopped again at a gas station at 11:45 and I wrote in my trip journal that I was feeling "totally crappy". We were pretty hungry by this point, but since it was Christmas there were no fast food restaurants open.

This was about the moment when John and I started discussing the possibility of going all the way to Disney tonight. We weren't thrilled about the idea of stopping somewhere for just one night and having to repack all of our stuff in the morning just to drive an hour or so. However, our reservations weren't until the 26th! I decided to call Disney and see if they had anything open at POP. It turned out that they did, but they said it would not be the king room we requested. Therefore, we would probably have to switch rooms the next day if we wanted a king room. I told them we would think it over and call them back.

At 12:30am we got on I-4. We were both exhausted and sick of being in the car. I had watched five episodes of True Blood at this time and I was sick of it. We had to make a decision: keep going until we got to Disney, or stop somewhere nearby and finish the drive in the morning.

What to do? What to do?!

Up Next: What did we end up deciding? Stay tuned to find out!


Last edited by therussells08; 01-09-2011 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:17 PM   #77
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Ooooh that is a dilemma! Can't wait to see what you decided!
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:17 PM   #78
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Love the update!!!

I just got a GPS for Christmas, which I haven't even used yet, but I can't wait to hear it's voice options! I'll probably end up giving it a name too. I always used Brandon's for trips that we knew where we were going just to see the arrival time, I love losing 3 or 4 minutes here and there!

I'm so jealous you have a Honda CR-V, I want one of those! I have a 2008 Honda Civic, which I love, but when I bought the car a couple of years ago, my dad tried talking me into buying a CR-V and I said no, and now I kind of regret it!

Ugh that Carowinds place sounds awful! I don't know how I'm going to feel about a different amusement park after being so used to Disney, I really want to get to Six Flags this summer, but I think it's going to be a little boring! Well, except for Kingda Ka (or however you spell it!)

I really have to get a portable DVD player, even on 2 and half hour plane trips I get SO bored! And I have to get the True Blood seasons too, I love Season 1! Season 2 is ok, but I'm not a fan of Mary Ann...and I don't like how Eric had to cut his hair off!

Can't wait to see what you guys decided to do! I'm guessing you went with an extra night at Pop!
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:36 PM   #79
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I'm here and all caught up!

I love True Blood. I don't have any of the seasons yet, but they are definitely on my wishlist! I've started reading the books, and they are pretty good.

I wonder what you guys decided? I bet you kept on goin to Pop!
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:38 PM   #80
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great update!!

I can't believe you are going to leave us hanging! At least you got out of the snow! Ours right now is melting but I guess we are supposed to get hit tomorrow night-Tues with more snow and multiple inches I'd rather be in FL, even if it is 50 degrees!!!
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:41 PM   #81
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I love my GPS. Mine is a guy with a British accent and I call him William. Anytime I talk about William all my friends know I am talking about my GPS
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:03 PM   #82
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Great new update!

First off the food at the beginning sounds delish...it is making me hungry

on leaving family and your lovely dogs but at least you knew they were in safe hands with your mum...like you said they feel like it's their second home. Hope you didn't miss them too much.

I love TomTom as well...am rotten with directions so it is my saviour First time I have heard someone give it a name though...will have to keep that in mind

Am not a fan of true blood but know plenty of people that are...may have to give it a second chance and try watching it again at some point.

Also glad you kept that sign pic that did not work out as it looks super cool.

Looking forward to hearing what you guys decide to do...as usual you leave us on another cliffhanger! Think I am getting used to them...am not as as the first one lol. I am going to guess that you continued to but I could be wrong...will wait and see.

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Last edited by TanzUnited99; 01-09-2011 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:23 PM   #83
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I know exactly what you mean about the sillyness that comes with being in a car for hours! It happens to me too. Normally around 6 hours in to a trip I become "dilerious".

I can't wait to see what you decide to do!
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:25 PM   #84
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Look at you updating regularly! I should follow your example!

I'm glad that you were able to get out of the snow safely! I don't like driving even when there are flurries! Lately, all we've been getting is snow. I'm thinking we might get another snow day on Wednesday if we're really hit bad again (although it won't be as bad as the 23 inches we got during Christmas break!).

It's so good that you can watch DVDs in the car and not have any issues. I get a little motion sickness when I look down too long. I'm hoping there won't be any issues on Amtrak as I intend on watching DVDs, reading my nook, and maybe grading papers (haha, we'll see if that actually happens).

OoO, to the fainting at the amusement park! Do you know when you're going to faint or do you just collapse without warning? I've fainted many times in my life, but after that first time of fainting in the 7th grade, I'm usually aware that it's going to happen and can tell someone.

Curious to know what you end up doing!
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:32 PM   #85
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Sorry, double post! I'll leave a double comment then!

I love how your mom had to call to make sure you guys were a-okay. That's how my mom is too! I still call her in the morning when I get to work. I've been calling her when I arrive at my destination since I started borrowing her cell in college, haha. I did it when I went to the city for worship team practice at church or coffeehouse practice. And like I said, I still do it now!
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:44 PM   #86
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Glad you made it out of the snow! We do the same thing with our GPS. We have it set to the female Australian voice, named Karen. We talk to her as we go and I definitely enjoy seeing our estimated arrival time tick down.

Waiting eagerly to see what you all decided!
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:29 PM   #87
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What a great distraction to have the portable DVD player! I'm glad that you were able to make it out of the snow before things got worse. I can't wait to hear what you decided to do and I'm even more excited to read about your arrival to Disney!!!
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:47 PM   #88
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WHOO HOOO your almost to Disney! I am an avid True Blood Fan, you just cant help but love Sookie. The second season did get a little silly but I still love it. You will love the third season, maybe save it for your next Disney trip. Thank you for updating and taking me to a happy place after a bad day at work.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:20 AM   #89
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I think I would have a hard time staying somewhere else and being so close to POP! and WDW all together...I am a very restless traveler too!!
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:18 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephielela View Post
Ooooh that is a dilemma! Can't wait to see what you decided!
Stay tuned! I am getting ready to post another update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
Love the update!!!

I just got a GPS for Christmas, which I haven't even used yet, but I can't wait to hear it's voice options! I'll probably end up giving it a name too. I always used Brandon's for trips that we knew where we were going just to see the arrival time, I love losing 3 or 4 minutes here and there!

I'm so jealous you have a Honda CR-V, I want one of those! I have a 2008 Honda Civic, which I love, but when I bought the car a couple of years ago, my dad tried talking me into buying a CR-V and I said no, and now I kind of regret it!

Ugh that Carowinds place sounds awful! I don't know how I'm going to feel about a different amusement park after being so used to Disney, I really want to get to Six Flags this summer, but I think it's going to be a little boring! Well, except for Kingda Ka (or however you spell it!)

I really have to get a portable DVD player, even on 2 and half hour plane trips I get SO bored! And I have to get the True Blood seasons too, I love Season 1! Season 2 is ok, but I'm not a fan of Mary Ann...and I don't like how Eric had to cut his hair off!

Can't wait to see what you guys decided to do! I'm guessing you went with an extra night at Pop!
The different voices on the GPS are so fun! Plus, I think you can download more from the internet if you want. My best friend's brother has a Darth Vader voice for his!

I LOVE my Honda CR-V! Before I got it last year I was still driving my 2000 Kia Sephia that was my first car. John told me I could get a new car and as long as it was within reason I could get whatever I wanted. I had been wanting a CR-V for ages so I got it and I definitely don't regret it! I love having a bigger car, but it's not too big, ya know?

Carowinds, Disney, and Hershey Park are the only amusement parks I've ever been too. I love Disney (of course), hate Carowinds, and could take Hershey park or leave it. I've never been to Six Flags, so hopefully you will enjoy it!

OMG, I LOVE Eric with short hair! I think he is so handsome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat0727 View Post
I'm here and all caught up!

I love True Blood. I don't have any of the seasons yet, but they are definitely on my wishlist! I've started reading the books, and they are pretty good.

I wonder what you guys decided? I bet you kept on goin to Pop!
I want to start reading the books too! I got the first one at Target yesterday. A lady I work with has read all of them and she says they are totally different from the show.

Stay tuned! Another update is coming soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerbellLuvr7 View Post
great update!!

I can't believe you are going to leave us hanging! At least you got out of the snow! Ours right now is melting but I guess we are supposed to get hit tomorrow night-Tues with more snow and multiple inches I'd rather be in FL, even if it is 50 degrees!!!
Ugh, we are getting snow all across NC right now. Today was an optional teacher workday so I stayed home and now I regret it because it didn't hit until lunch time, but it's pretty bad now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkermom76 View Post
I love my GPS. Mine is a guy with a British accent and I call him William. Anytime I talk about William all my friends know I am talking about my GPS
That sounds like me! I couldn't survive without Lee! I use it all the time!
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