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Old 05-16-2011, 11:43 PM   #46
VBsHustla
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I LOVE the beautiful photos of you and Heather taken by that wonderful Spaceship Earth camera. So funny! Coral Reef looks super awesome, but I'm extremely impressed that you ate at like 9 pm and were out of there and in the World Showcase in time for Illuminations? What a speedy restaurant!

The Norwegian photos are certainly glorious. Everyone looks amazing in the viking hats. Such a superb accessory. I also love that red horse ornament! So cute! However, I must say that I am disappointed that you didn't scour every inch of those leave a legacy walls until you spotted the nsync photos. Thank goodness you have now witnessed that most important Disney World landmark! In spite of such an egregious error, it sounds like a lovely first day!
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:44 PM   #47
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It's a shame you were seated so far away from the aquarium but it seems that Tony made up for that!

All the food looks yummy and you definitely can not leave without dessert! Yay on getting light up Tinkerbell clip ons!

Great Christmas tree photos and I didn't know about the flash message at SE - may have to try it sometime!
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:17 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by magichusky View Post
TANGENT #1: "SWING KIDS" | Disneyland Saturday, 1/22/2011

I sampled a bit of the Monte Cristo and almost had a heart attack. It was basically a fried donut enshrouding a block of meat and cheese, dipped in some sort of sweet fruit sauce. Definitely less of a sandwich and more like a dowich.

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...
What more can you ask for? Sugar? Good..... Meat? Good.... Combined together? EXCELLENT!
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:17 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
I LOVE the beautiful photos of you and Heather taken by that wonderful Spaceship Earth camera. So funny!
HAHA I actually have a close up pic of my SE portrait but it was seriously so horrifying that I refuse to post it. We had no idea what was going on!

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However, I must say that I am disappointed that you didn't scour every inch of those leave a legacy walls until you spotted the nsync photos. Thank goodness you have now witnessed that most important Disney World landmark! In spite of such an egregious error, it sounds like a lovely first day!
I wonder how much money they made off of those legacy walls?? I wonder if Nsync are the only celebrities included? Like, did they just send their photos in on their own or did Disney request them? So weird!

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It's a shame you were seated so far away from the aquarium but it seems that Tony made up for that!
Tony is truly the most splendid waiter ever- if you dine at Coral Reef you should for sure request to be seated in his section!

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Great Christmas tree photos and I didn't know about the flash message at SE - may have to try it sometime!
I read about the message in this book, "The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World" by Susan Veness. I'll have to try the other wall next time!

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What more can you ask for? Sugar? Good..... Meat? Good.... Combined together? EXCELLENT!
HAHA the sugar overload was definitely fabulous! I thought it was hilarious b/c Kendra actually managed to eat 3/4 of her meal since she had somehow not eaten anything at all that day. I took one bite and almost passed out! I was pretty impressed.
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:33 PM   #50
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DAY 2: Saturday, Dec 18, 2010

SATURDAY, DEC 18, 2010
DAY 2.1: Singin' in the rain in the Downtown Disney


I stumbled off of the pull out couch this cloudy morning and we had the breakfast buffet (the "Garden Gallery") in SoG. My internal clock was all messed up so I was absolutely ravenous- I remember heaping scrambled eggs onto slices of toast and just shoving it in my face. Haha whoa! The breakfast buffets at SoG are only about $10 per person, so it was a pretty good deal. The plan was to head straight to AK for most of the day, stop by DTD for dinner, and return to the Poly for our Wishes cruise. It was raining quite diligently so we decided that instead we would hang out in DTD and hide inside the shops for the morning, then travel to AK in the afternoon- by then it would hopefully have stopped raining!

We took an SoG bus to DTD. See how dreary it was?



The bus driver of course dropped us off in the very back of the lot (it was ~10am) and we had NO idea where to go, plus it was absolutely POURING rain at this point. It's a good thing we had brought along our umbrellas b/c the ponchos wouldn't have been pleasant in such a monsoon! We waded through an assortment of monster puddles which were quickly growing and merging with other puddles to form baby oceans. Someone told us along the way that the bright orange building was the World of Disney store, so we swam in that direction.

We threw ourselves inside WOD and found ourselves in the princess section:





Even though the place was packed (I think everyone else had the same Plan B due to the rain that we did) we actually had an extremely successful shopping trip. We got a plush Minnie Mouse dressed up like Tinkerbell as a Christmas present for my niece, Baby Lily. Heather got a Burberry scarf, Mom got a new glasses case (unfortunately she couldn't find the same kind that she found at CA Adv about a year ago), and Dad bought a massive black and white Mickey Mouse golf umbrella. Believe me, this thing was HUGE. He insisted upon opening and closing it several times in the middle of the store and almost knocked out a few unsuspecting kids in the process. My purchase was this fabulous hot pink Mickey Mouse credit card holder:





I use it ALL the time since there's never enough room in my wallet for all of my credit cards and gift cards and things.

Mom wanted some sort of WDW T-shirt, so we traveled to TrenD. Col. Joy refused to go inside and waited in the rain w/ his golf umbrella.





Mom eventually found a dark grey shirt w/ a black "key to the world" and scrollwork embellished on it.

We followed up TrenD with the Days of Christmas store, but didn't notice anything particularly special. I inquired where the "Disney Tails" store was, this pet accessories store I had heard about, but was informed that it no longer existed! I was super bummed since I had been really looking forward to purchasing Loki a Christmas present (poor little guy had to spend the entire holiday season in the pet hotel!).

By then it was around 11:45am and I was once again ravenous and becoming cranky. I had read raving reviews of Earl of Sandwich on the DIS so we headed over there after looking in the Christmas shop. At this point it was lightly raining and moving towards a manageable sprinkle.

We encountered a rather intimidating line at the Earl, but since it was raining and we weren't familiar w/ the area, we decided to just stick it out. The line was practically out the door. I told Mom what I wanted and was charged w/ finding us a table while the others waited in line and ordered. This proved to be an obnoxious, almost maddening task, since there were of course no tables available inside or outside on the covered patio.

I finally found an empty table after about 10 minutes but it only had one chair. I walked up to the table and had my hand on it, then stood there and scanned the room for any extra chairs. This twenty-something girl then suddenly appeared and sat down in the lone chair and stared at the table. I was pretty irritated since I had obviously associated myself w/ the table and was looking for more chairs. It didn't seem worth it to kick this girl out of her chair, plus the table was in an awkward location anyway, so I retreated. After about 5 more minutes, I saw a family half mobilizing to leave. The father had stood up and was putting on his jacket. The mother was gathering trash and the kids were still semi-eating. I positioned myself to swoop in once they left. 10 seconds after the father finished putting on his jacket a group of college-age boys surrounded them. One of them tapped the man on the shoulder and explained that they wanted the table. Ugh, seriously? I was fed up with these insane people and stationed myself on the patio, where I found the perfect, isolated table on the edge of the seating area.

Triumphant (only took me 20 min! Haha wow), I settled down and waited for my family to appear w/ our food. Within a minute, a huge group of maybe around 10 people or so materialized and commandeered about five neighboring tables. They proceeded to violently drag various tables and chairs across the patio, making a horrendous screeching noise as the metal scraped concrete; this went on for so long that I actually turned around to see what was going down. For the remainder of our lunch, they were SO loud and squabbled amongst themselves. The father loudly berated the teenage daughter and told her she was stupid, an idiot, looked like crap, and proceeded to use all sorts of foul language. It was so annoying, loud, and went on for such a ridiculous period of time that even Col. Joy complained. Thankfully, our Earl lunch was the only instance of encountering unruly people during our entire WDW excursion.

Finally, my parents and Heather arrived:



But, of course, even after standing in line for over 30 minutes, the cashier had forgotten one of our sandwiches. Col. Joy practically blew a gasket b/c he was so hungry. Heather stormed back inside to recover the lost sandwich and returned in around 5 minutes or so.

Mom and Heather split the original sandwich and a tomato soup, Dad had the full Montagu, and I ordered the caprese (I only took a pic of my sandwich since they all looked practically the same!):



I actually despised this sandwich and couldn't eat much of it. There was some sauce on it that was so strong that I could barely smell it without sending a chill down my spine. The cheese inside was super slimy and the slices were so thick that it was almost like a brick, and very unpleasant to bite into. Everyone else thought their meals were passable. Unfortunately, since the food was so-so and the place was almost unbearably overrun, I would not recommend the Earl! We certainly won't be returning in the future.

We hung out for a few minutes after finishing our lunches in order to gauge the weather. It was slightly drizzling and the clouds were lightening so we decided to walk to the bus stop and start making our way to AK. I was pretty disappointed b/c I had really wanted to do the Characters in Flight hot air balloon ride; it was grounded due to the weather.

Once we arrived at the bus stop, it stopped raining entirely and Characters in Flight immediately rose up into the steadily brightening sky just to taunt me. Oh well, maybe next time! We decided that we would wait for the AK Lodge bus and would then take the AK bus from the resort. This seemed like a great plan to me since I was super curious to see the AK Lodge. We waited for what seemed like forever as about 20 CBR, Pop, and WL buses passed us by. Would we EVER make it to the AK??

STAY TUNED!
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:39 PM   #51
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DAY 2: Saturday, Dec 18, 2010

DAY 2.2: The AK Lodge at Christmas: "Welcome home" / Destination: AK

The AK Lodge bus finally arrived after around a 20-25 minute wait! But it seemed like longer since I was so excited to finally see the AK. We were dropped off at the Lodge and I insisted upon going inside to check out the Christmas decorations.

Just outside the lobby in the turn-around:



We walked into the lobby and the greeter standing there had perfect, jet-black skin and his teeth were so white that I was practically blinded. "Welcome hooome!" (In a perfect African? accent). Haha- very nice! I nerdily chuckled and probably said something really lame.

WOW!!!



"Hurry up and sit down, so I can take your picture before anyone comes!"







This is down by one of their restaurants- Jiko, or Boma or something or other. I ran down here to brush my teeth in the restroom, and when I got back everyone crankily informed me that I took forever and why did I need to brush my teeth right then, anyway?



They all practically ran back out to the bus stop but there was only an MK bus sitting there. We had to wait for a surprisingly long time for an AK bus to arrive!

Some strange child had scrawled a message on the ground w/ sidewalk chalk: "Can you name a Disney character for every letter of the alphabet?" An Australian family took up the challenge but got bored by the time they arrived at letter J. I was just confused as to who would carry sidewalk chalk around w/ them at WDW?

Our bus finally appeared and within a short time, deposited us in the AK!



We're finally here!!!



And we once again have no idea where to go!

NEXT TIME: Off to Camp Minnie Mickey to see the FOTLK, plus the Jingle Jungle Parade!!!
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:58 PM   #52
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Oh dear, that weather looks miserable! Looks like Seattle.

I love that Mickey Mouse credit card holder you got. I almost bought the same one when I was there, but I had to remind myself I have a wallet that works perfectly fine. Maybe next time...

And man, I hate having to get a table when places are crowded. It's always a pain. I'm kind of surprised you didn't like Earl, it always seems like it gets such good reviews, and I've had pretty good food every time I've gone there.

I LOVE your picture of the tree in the AKL lobby. So gorgeous.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:10 PM   #53
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:08 AM   #54
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Ewww Earl of Sandwich sounds highly disgusting and ridiculous. I cannot deal with finding tables/CS locations in general. Exactly why I find club level + signature restaurants with ADRs the only acceptable form of dining! That family with the dad yelling horrible things at the child really sounds atrocious as well.

I find it hilarious that your dad would stand in a downpour to avoid that shop How sad that the puppy shop has closed down! Hopefully you managed to secure Loki an appropriate souvenir elsewhere!

I absolutely love the AKL photos! That lobby is insanely amazing. I def need to stay there at some point! But I would find it rather inconvenient to be in such close proximity to the worst park and so far away from all the rest!

Regarding those crazy nsync photos, I think they had a little shop/booth in Epcot where they took those crappy pics of people (probably in exchange for like $30 ) to put on those walls, and they were there to tape a parade or concert or something and just got their pics taken. So glad they did, because I still find it extremely amusing every time I see it!
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:33 AM   #55
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Lol at your description of eating breakfast!!

on making the most of the rain and doing some shopping!! Love the Micke Mouse card holder.

at the EoS fiasco! Sounds horrible and I bet it felt even worse since you didn't enjoy your sandwich.

Love the pics of AKL and yay on making it to AK!
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:54 AM   #56
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I remember the rain on the 18th was horrendous. It felt like it would never end! But it looks like you made the best of it; I love your credit card holder!


AKL looks so nice with all the holiday decorations up!

I have to agree with you on Early of Sandwich. I had high hopes for the place, but I ended up not finishing my Montagu sandwich, because I just wasn't impressed with it.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:11 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight View Post
Oh dear, that weather looks miserable! Looks like Seattle.
Haha yes- it was truly raining cats and dogs for hours. Thankfully, we managed to get to AK for a half day and besides the surprising cold, it was the only bad weather we encountered that week!

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I love that Mickey Mouse credit card holder you got. I almost bought the same one when I was there, but I had to remind myself I have a wallet that works perfectly fine. Maybe next time...
I'm always trying to talk myself out of buying things at Disney but am always unsuccessful! I usually try and buy all of my Disney stuff at DL since my AP gets a 20% discount on all merchandise, but I've never seen that credit card thing anywhere else!

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And man, I hate having to get a table when places are crowded. It's always a pain. I'm kind of surprised you didn't like Earl, it always seems like it gets such good reviews, and I've had pretty good food every time I've gone there.
Yeah I was super surprised, too, b/c DISers absolutely rave about Earl. Maybe it was just too crowded.

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I LOVE your picture of the tree in the AKL lobby. So gorgeous.
Thanks!! I'm SO happy we managed to get over there! I really wanted to check out all the resorts to see their Christmas decorations. We never got over to WL though, but AKL made up for it!

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Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
I find it hilarious that your dad would stand in a downpour to avoid that shop How sad that the puppy shop has closed down! Hopefully you managed to secure Loki an appropriate souvenir elsewhere!
HAHA yes, TrenD was just too much for him! And unfortunately, Lo totally missed out! They had personalized Mickey Mouse dog license machines but each one was like $10- he hates wearing his license anyway b/c it jingles so violently. It's the most obnoxious noise ever!

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I absolutely love the AKL photos! That lobby is insanely amazing. I def need to stay there at some point! But I would find it rather inconvenient to be in such close proximity to the worst park and so far away from all the rest!
HAHA your hatred of AK is totally unfounded! I really enjoy that park actually. And yes, I would adore to stay there as well but I fear that it would take forever to travel everywhere. I always somehow find myself at MK in the wee hours of the morning, so I require to be in close proximity! I'm surprised at how obsessed I became w/ MK- I thought it would be the least interesting park to me since I'm so familiar w/ DL.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:23 AM   #58
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Lol at your description of eating breakfast!!
Hahaha yes, it was the craziest thing! I love my food but that was really just pigging out!

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at the EoS fiasco! Sounds horrible and I bet it felt even worse since you didn't enjoy your sandwich.
Yes, that place was such a zoo- never again!

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Love the pics of AKL and yay on making it to AK!
Thanks! That was probably my favorite resort lobby that I visited that trip- I loved how the Christmas tree was reflected off of the dark wooden floor!

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I remember the rain on the 18th was horrendous. It felt like it would never end! But it looks like you made the best of it; I love your credit card holder!
I know!! I was so afraid we'd get rained out- it turned out to be awesome though b/c once it semi-cleared up and we got to AK all of the animals came out!

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I have to agree with you on Early of Sandwich. I had high hopes for the place, but I ended up not finishing my Montagu sandwich, because I just wasn't impressed with it.
That's too bad! The borderline food combined w/ the huge crowds was just a bummer for us.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:31 AM   #59
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SATURDAY, May 7, 2011

TANGENT #2: Casey Jr. and I
SATURDAY, May 7, 2011
PART A: Wedding Bells with the Stars


I hope you don't mind my going off on tangents every once in awhile, but I enjoy littering the WDW TR thread w/ DL pics! This particular tangent finds us on Mother's Day weekend. Matt (my DBF actually- the funny part is that he later appears in this December TR but not in a DBF capacity; we were friends for ~6 yrs) arrived on Thursday (he's currently stationed in FL), and on Saturday we drove to Thousand Oaks, CA for his cousin Ryan's wedding. The wedding was at a rather elaborate country club (a bit strange I thought, since the interior walls were covered w/ paintings of bloodhounds and English hunting scenes, however we weren't that far away from Malibu- oh well!) that was rumored to be in the vicinity of Oprah Winfrey's CA house.

Oprah, where are yooooou??



The ceremony was under a huge trellis that looked out over this canyon:





The theme was white w/ white roses and black bridesmaid dresses.



We were amused at ourselves b/c we both wound up decked out in Banana Republic:



The officiant for the ceremony was apparently the same one Reese Witherspoon used for her own recent wedding:



Inside, there was a live band- they were actually pretty good! Our table, however, burst into an uproar when they suddenly began singing "Tik-Tok" by Ke$ha. Ryan was scolded when he made the rounds and paid a visit to our rowdy corner.

Huge centerpieces:



Matt playing paparazzi- yup, he's a camera geek:



All in all, I did my best to stay away from the dance floor and not make a fool out of myself. We actually wound up not enjoying the wedding cake- it was some strange fruit mix w/ white frosting. Chocolat, s'il vous plait? In addition, the food wound up giving me a 2-day stomach ache. Lesson learned- be wary of wedding food even if you're in a country club!

NEXT POST: Happy Mother's Day!
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:42 AM   #60
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SUNDAY, May 8, 2011

TANGENT #2 cont.
SUNDAY, May 8, 2011
PART B: Happy Mother's Day!


The next day, Sunday, was Mother's Day. Matt and I had Mother's Day brunch w/ his parents and sisters and then got back on the road to drive down to my house, near San Diego, so we could have Mother's Day dinner w/ my family.

What a crazy coupla days!



He was pretty stoked to meet Loki after all of the stories he's heard. Take a look at this great video I took of Lo violently swinging his rope toy around:

Loki the Siberian Husky Gets a New Toy, Shakes it Around! (YouTube)

He's actually bruised me before w/ that thing!

I was super excited about my Mother's Day gift this year! Back in December, my mom and I had discovered these fabulous glass Mickey silhouette ornaments in Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. The color was this unquie, dark antique peach that we had never seen before and enjoyed immensely. We were on the verge of buying them but were afraid they would get smashed on the plane, especially since we would be traveling to Texas after WDW to visit my brother's family for Christmas. So when I went back to WDW in April, I couldn't stand it and totally bought one for my mom and had the Shoppe wrap it up safely. Not only did it survive the plane, but it made it through BTMR!





Surprise!



Mom absolutely LOVED it and was entirely surprised! Here she is loading up her plate w/ the fabulous treats she made for us all:



The piggy boys had their turn at the buffet:



In the meantime I attempted to take candid photos of the celebration:



Umm, excuse me? That's better:



Everyone launched into hysterics when I insisted on taking a group photo- and this was after my parents instructed me to take one b/c my brother wanted one! Ugh, they're so exasperating- but I finally got them to pose semi-appropriately:



Dave, my sister's husband, has yet to appear in this TR (he's sitting next to Heather). My parents were actually relieved that we weren't able to secure a 2-bedroom suite at SoG in December b/c that meant we weren't obligated to invite Dave to WDW w/ us (he can be a bit of a pill ). My Mom was asking Heather if she wanted to go w/ us again this coming December and she said that if she went, Dave would have to come too b/c he felt left out last time (poor baby), which doesn't make sense b/c Dave doesn't like Disney and didn't even want to go to DL w/ us back in April, when my Mom, Heather, and I went to celebrate my birthday and passing my qualifying exam. So anyway, now my Mom's worried! Haha!

During dinner, Loki was banished to the yard b/c he was being obnoxious and squeezing his fanny into the space under the table, causing it to quake (like, the dishes were rattling). Having a 90 lb. dog under your table is quite precarious to say the least! He was allowed back in for dessert. This is his naughty expression- beware:



Unfortunately (but fortunately for Dave, b/c he's the usual target), Loki had it in for Matt pretty much the entire evening. Novelty breeds insanity, apparently! Here they are battling it out:





Too bad this one came out blurry- you can see Lo's eyes glowing!



NEXT POST: Disneyland!
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