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Old 03-16-2011, 04:57 PM   #31
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Hi Michele! Oh gosh no worries about not knowing; these early pre-trippies are semi-embarrassing to write anyway, LOL. The fewer that realize I'm here the better, ha ha.

I asked Robert (all hush hush since it's a secret from E) if we're still doing the Nick Hotel, and he said yes. I told him that if we were staying onsite, I could do the ADRs tomorrow! He did not seem to care about this. Perhaps b/c he knows I'm not ready. But whatev'. Being ready to make them is so inconsequential... I just wanna do my ADRs!


So I guess I'd better go plop down on the couch and map it all out. Sigh.


On the positive side, I got my travel arrangements for coming home from the reunion. There might be a partial day or two in Anaheim involved.
Oh Molly I love your threads. I think I mostly enjoy our chatting. I am a chatting fool.

How fun to do the Nick thing!! I personally would love to do that and honestly so would my teenagers. Silly things.

Oh I hope you get a couple of days at our favorite location in Anaheim!! Visiting an old friend is always wonderful.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #32
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Conversation is good.

When you go, stay a couple days at the Nick Hotel! It seems like a blast. We don't normally get into Spongebob (or "bop" as E says for some reason) but *might* do a character breakfast.



So anyway....

9/12

A decent flight that doesn't have us waking up at 2 in the morning. Whew.

Get into Orlando, get rental car (unless the price doesn't come down by, oh, 2/3), go to Nickelodeon Hotel (not yet booked). Relax. If relaxation becomes boring, go to MK and see the Main Street Electric Parade (seems it'll still be there even in September...my heart aches for Disneyland b/c of this but if true I'm pretty jazzed for us!) and/or Wishes. Otherwise, just relax then sleep.



9/13

Maybe wake to a Spongebob character breakfast. Or maybe go to the Kona breakfast I just arranged, just in case. Maybe swim some. At some point, get over to Old Key West to check in to our 2 bedroom and meet up with family!

We might relax, we might hit a park. If the park is the choice, I imagine we'll choose MK. I'm trying to make up for the lack of MK love we showed in December! Because if we get sick of it, we can leave. But if we realize we didn't do enough there when it's too late, well, it's too late.



9/14

Family day, with Epcot and DHS being the go-to parks!

We also hope to explore OKW, do some fun things there, SWIM.... And DTD is always a possibility...ooh how much fun would miniature golf be? We have an overwhelming wish to do things early at parks, then get back to the resort by 2, so we can always have relaxation time.



9/15

Family day, with Epcot and AK as possibilities!

We also hope to explore OKW, do some fun things there, SWIM....etc



9/16

Family day, with MK and DHS on our list.

We also hope to explore OKW, do some fun things there, SWIM....etc



9/17

Waaaaah, family time comes to an end.

And we move to a Boardwalk Villa studio room for the night. I figure family will stay semi-late (though I figure they'll be off to church the next morning and won't want to be exhausted), so I doubt we'll be able to do any resort stuff.

Oh now wait a minute....DVC members and guests staying with them are allowed to pool-hop (within the rules of course!)....and they'll have been guests through that day in our 2 bedroom, so hmm, it's actually possible.... If so, that really opens up the next day!

awesome.........let's just hope my extended family doesn't mind the scary clown pool!



9/18

This is the day we move back to OKW, to a 1 bedroom. Before my brainflash above, I figured we'd take THIS day as a relaxation day. Have our main stuff sent over to OKW by Bell Services, keep other stuff with us, play in the pool for hours, get a little sun, rest, relax....but now, if we do all that the day before...well the world is our oyster now, isn't it?

I'd originally figured we would have that day of rest and then go to MK for MSEP and/or Wishes, if we haven't already seen either/both. Still not a bad idea! Of course, seeing them with family would be awesome, too! I'm going to try to make that happen at some point *earlier* in our trip.



9/19

Epcot day, and if for some reason we haven't seen MSEP and/or Wishes, we can jump to MK and do that this evening.

I have lunch scheduled at Coral Reef, because we didn't even get to that area of Epcot last time! I want to see the stuff over in that section this time, most definitely! For those who don't know, Coral Reef is a restaurant where one of the walls is the thick glass (plexiglas?) of an aquarium. If we weren't veggie I doubt we could eat there, or at least not eat fish, but as long as Robert doesn't go wild and have fish/chips, it's a guilt-free zone, LOL.



9/20

Breakfast at Chef Mickey (at the Contemporary). I've been hearing negative things about this place, but Robert really really wants to eat there. So we'll do it.

After that, it's MK day! And, maybe...our day for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Any ideas for costumes? (september 20th and dressing up for Halloween, how hilarious! but I've heard the party is a blast)

Will probably have late lunch/early dinner at Columbia Harbour House, because their veggie sandwich sounds divine. And I've heard they have a vegetarian chili, too!



9/21

It's our DHS day, which means lunch at the Brown Derby again. Yay! We'll do all the typical DHS things...Toy Story, Star Tours (woo!) and the like.



9/22

Today is officially the day we leave WDW and go to Universal (not yet booked), and I thought we'd head on over there early-ish like last time, but...there hasn't been a time for us to eat at Tusker House yet! So I figure we'll make it an AK day, have lunch at Tusker House, and move over to the other resort when it feels right.



9/23

Universal...



9/24

Universal...



9/25

Universal... and go home.




Of course, any of those Universal days we could choose to go to WDW or wherever as an extra. And, heck, any of the WDW days we could choose to visit somewhere else! I have plans, but they can be changed.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:23 PM   #33
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Sounds fun and busy ~ so much moving, but it worked for you last time. I hope you won't mind me asking for WDW & Universal tips later on ~ when we visit WDW again *I'm hopeful for 10/12* I really want to spend a couple days at U ~ DS would love it there, I owe it to him. And I hear ya on not spending much time in the MK *lack of love* ~ we preferred the other parks for sure - DL is much better than MK IMO.

I suppose my biggest concerns with both WDW & U is cost - WDW makes it easy to stay there and use their transportation.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:44 PM   #34
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Just got travel arrangements done for the reunion, whew. No train, yay!

And just as that got all settled, Robert found out he's going on a quick trip, and while I don't know when exactly it is, I think he'll be missing his b'day AND won't be available to take us to the airport at 4am next week, LOL.

Ach, life....
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #35
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All you need to do is get yourself over to Universal (and back to WDW if you wish). You can use a taxi, towncar, rent a car, or use Mears. Once you're there, you're immersed. Everything is walkable. In that way it's more like Disneyland.


By the way, I tried to not have as much moving, but it was either dump a day and have something like 13 points leftover, or do the Boardwalk studio... I have promised to take care of all the moving part and not make poor Robert think about it at all, just follow along...

And the Nick hotel was HIS idea!


OK back to Universal. There are offsite hotels, but you don't get the super-duper express pass (almost all the rides have a line for it, and with the hotel-based pass, you can go multiple times on those rides...you can buy an express pass, but you get ONE ride on each of the EP rides, and you have to buy them for each person that wants to use one, for each day you want to use them!). If you buy a package with an offsite hotel, though, you do get Early Entry to Harry Potter, which is nice. The express passes don't work for the BIG ride there, Forbidden Journey, so the EE gets you into that line before the hordes descend; it's just those with package deals and those staying onsite.


Right now I *should* book the hotel, but I'm holding out for an AP rate so I can see if upgrading one of us would work out financially. Meh, I should book it now....



OK I am so much better at this when there are questions given! Because my blanket statement is "it was awesome, we were happily surprised, you should go".
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:55 PM   #36
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Molly, you are one planning queen!!

Too bad Robert isn't going to be home for his birthday or to take you to the airport.

I am thrilled to hear that there is no train involved.

I look forward to hearing about your adventures.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:21 PM   #37
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He's leaving tomorrow. So fast!

Yikes, I gotta do more laundry!

As soon as I figured out that he was leaving so soon, E and I got in the kitchen to make him a b'day cake.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:27 PM   #38
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He's leaving tomorrow. So fast!

Yikes, I gotta do more laundry!

As soon as I figured out that he was leaving so soon, E and I got in the kitchen to make him a b'day cake.

Wow that is quick.


Yuck laundry. I need to do laundry tomorrow. I am not a laundry fan by far.


How fun that you are making a cake with E. I think it is great fun to be in the kitchen with the kids when they are little. Loren and Kacy both take turns cooking dinner now for me. Kody does rarely, she is usually really good about helping me when I cook though.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:45 AM   #39
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It's laundry day for me, too. DH and I have a system. I wash the laundry, he folds and puts away the laundry. Sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn't. But, just so you know, I ALWAYS wash the laundry!!

Molly, your trip sounds like so much fun. You almost make the overwhelmingness of WDW feel okay. At least I can read about your plans and see what you are doing before I decide whether to go in Jan. 2012 or not. It just seems so expensive, unless I stay in the value resorts and those seem not nice enough for a 25th anniversary.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:24 PM   #40
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How fun that you are making a cake with E. I think it is great fun to be in the kitchen with the kids when they are little. Loren and Kacy both take turns cooking dinner now for me. Kody does rarely, she is usually really good about helping me when I cook though.
How fun is it to have them cook for you?

I like cooking with him b/c I feel like it helps him learn about fractions and the chemistry of it all (baking especially), etc. I'm not a big fan of the "I want to do it!!!!" stuff, but the more I let him do, the more he can do it and do it without making a mess... I've been really mess-phobic, and it's weird considering how much of a tomboy I was, playing outside and getting muddy and wormy and all of that, but with him I've been anti-mess for some reason (he was a difficult little dude and dealing with messes&him always caused me to hurt my back which is weak b/c I never got my abdominals back in shape, so there's a physical reason, but still). So kitchen-messes are a start for me!

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Molly, your trip sounds like so much fun. You almost make the overwhelmingness of WDW feel okay. At least I can read about your plans and see what you are doing before I decide whether to go in Jan. 2012 or not. It just seems so expensive, unless I stay in the value resorts and those seem not nice enough for a 25th anniversary.
It really is fun, and especially with a kid-free trip you guys would have a great time. I think that you could make a value resort romantic.

But if the extra magic hours and ability to charge to the room aren't something you need, there are really amazing houses and townhouses that you could rent for not-very-much. If you google Windsor Hills in Orlando you can see some of the places you can get to rent. Really amazing. There's one family (homeschoolers!) who have a website all about the romantic houses they have; they have a philosophical slant to their rentals, and it's all about how families NEED their parents to be in love and romantic, and their nice houses help couples and families have lovely getaways. Kinda neat.

Of course that requires a car! And right onw I"m SO frustrated! Just the other day I went through National with the dates and times, and tried out the contract IDs and whatnot, and got a relatively somewhat decent rate for the amount of time we need. I stupidly didn't reserve it. And just a couple days later the prices literally doubled...

I think you should just make the plan, then start to plan, and maybe it'll all work out! If anything you would see what you need to budget over the next 9 months. And in all likelihood there will be specials that come out as time goes on.

I don't normally use a travel agent, but for Caribbean Beach we tranferred our reservation to one, Mouse Unlimited. It's a husband/wife run travel agency, they get all the deals that WDW puts out (they are specialized for WDW vacations), and they will do it ALL for you, even down to making your dining reservations and even putting suggested itineraries down onto 3x5 cards for you!!!!! If you do a rewards site like sunshine rewards, you can click through sunshine to get to mouse unlimited, and then you can get a small percentage back after your trip. (which is why I transferred my reservation...helped the TA, helped sunshine, and helped me!)

I mean, sure, you can use Dreams Unlimited b/c they are either sponsors or run by the owners of the Dis, but if you don't want to use DU, you can use MU.

For a first-time trip like this, nothin' wrong with using a travel agent, especially one of the WDW-specialized ones who will be ON every drop in rate, every special deal, that comes out...
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:35 PM   #41
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It is wonderful to have them be able to cook. And Kacy is a good cook, she can cook any recipe you give her. Loren is funny. He started watching the Food Network and he thought he could experiment in the kitchen like the chefs do. I had to stop that one. And Kody although she doesn't usually cook she is the best at blind seasoning. She can go into the kitchen and season a tomato based sauce with her eyes closed. It is great fun to have them in the kitchen.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:36 AM   #42
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OK well I'll be over for dinner someday.



Totally forgot that I want a lunch at San Angel, because it's like Blue Bayou! Dagnabit! Where to squeeze that in?



Poor Robert, he'll be landing soon...it'll be the proper morning for him, but it'll be midnight to his body! I knew I should have booked him a hotel for today so it would be waiting for him... Hopefully they'll have a room for him early.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:06 PM   #43
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Anytime Molly.

Poor Robert. I can remember my dad telling me how hard it was to travel to different time zones like that. It can be rough.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:35 PM   #44
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Molly,

Thanks for the advice. I checked out the Swan and Dolphin and some of the hotels in DTD, but the houses sound super nice. I don't mind driving, DH and I love to explore around the areas where we stay. We usually yelp some food places to try out and we like to be able to at least make/have breakfast available. I love having a fridge for leftovers or snacks or whatever. A townhouse might just work. I don't need to charge to my room and I've read mixed reviews about EMH so I don't know whether I need them or not.

I love the philosophical idea of parents needing to be in love and romantic and all of that. I believe it, too. It helps us stay connected and helps us love our kids more. Having some weekends or vacations just the two of us has been great. We weren't good at it until just a few years ago and now we can't seem to stop ourselves from planning time away.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:23 PM   #45
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Anytime Molly.

Poor Robert. I can remember my dad telling me how hard it was to travel to different time zones like that. It can be rough.
He actually managed to get into his room (at like 9am!) and started work immediately. One of his co-workers took a 2 hour nap and managed to mis-read something entirely...so...napping is bad? (I always had a feeling that was true, LOL....avowed non-napper (except when pregnant, with a newborn, or, interestingly, in college) here, it always makes me feel so much worse when I wake up.)

But I digress.

I'm supposed to make hotel arrangements for him for the 20th in a new city, but I don't know what train station he's getting into!


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Molly,

Thanks for the advice. I checked out the Swan and Dolphin and some of the hotels in DTD, but the houses sound super nice. I don't mind driving, DH and I love to explore around the areas where we stay. We usually yelp some food places to try out and we like to be able to at least make/have breakfast available. I love having a fridge for leftovers or snacks or whatever. A townhouse might just work. I don't need to charge to my room and I've read mixed reviews about EMH so I don't know whether I need them or not.

I love the philosophical idea of parents needing to be in love and romantic and all of that. I believe it, too. It helps us stay connected and helps us love our kids more. Having some weekends or vacations just the two of us has been great. We weren't good at it until just a few years ago and now we can't seem to stop ourselves from planning time away.
Oh I totally want to stay at the Swan/Dolphin someday. But I like Westin/Sheraton properties (beds, mmmm). I think they, and some of the DTD hotels (or maybe just one? The Hilton comes to mind and that's all), come with EMH, so if you decide to try it out it's probably available.

But most touring plan type people tell you to stay away from EMH; it's not like Disneyland's MM where you WANT to go b/c it's so helpful. EMH is good, but typically only if you have hoppers and can hop OUT of that park once the crowds start to build up after the EMH in the morning.

I think we're going to try an evening EMH during this trip; Robert REALLY wanted to stay at Magic Kingdom until midnight or later during our December trip, but it just didn't work out. It might be solo it might be full-family, or maybe we'll take my aunt up on her babysitting offers and have a date night along with cousin+hubby. (that would be super-fun!)

If we had trustworthy people who lived nearby I'm sure we would have had more dates just us...but we've adapated fairly well to dealing without datey dinners out etc.

Anyway, keep on working out what you want in your vacation and talk it out!


**********


Shameless brag. E's ballet class was yesterday, and I had to tell Miss Z that E wouldn't be at the snow day makeup class next week, since we'll be out of state. I offered to PAY her for her time, to help E out in an extra session. She said that she's not worried about him, that he picks things up easily, and that he's a "natural". Wowie! How nice was that!? (and she turned down extra money! wild!) So that was nice to hear.

And then he was so exhausted (ballet, an hour of play while I FINALLY worked out on the elliptical again, then an hour of Aikido) that he slept in his own bed for the whole night (with just one wakeup) for the second time! I woke up in the morning and was so confused.
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