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Old 06-05-2011, 05:08 PM   #1
cj9200
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June-11 Trip: Are you Eating, Flying and Sailing Nuts? FINAL UPDATE 9/14

OK, we are back and I decided to try to document a great trip. DD and I spent seven wonderful days at Walt Disney World. The title of the report comes from the three surprises that were planned for this trip. They are hints in case you care to guess what was planned. Feel free to guess but if you are right or wrong you will not hear a peep from me until they occur during the trip.

To any lurkers out there. Most trip reports, including mine are participatory not spectator sports. Please feel comfortable enough to jump on in. We don’t bite. Well, DD does as at times but if you are quick you can dodge her.

The following is a table of contents for updates as they come along. After that is my previously posted Pre-Trip Report and the responses that came with it. Yes, I am too lazy to redo it all.

Hope you enjoy…

The Pre-Trip – Just scroll down a bit and there it is.

Day -1 – Can I wait until Sunday?

Day 1 Part 1 – AKV Check-in and Tea.

Day 1 Part 2 - Our room is ready

Day 2 - Part 1 - AK and out first Day at the Parks

Day 2 - Part 2 - Visiting DHS

Day 3 - Part 1 - Downtown Disney

Day 3 - Part 2 - Dinner

Day 4 - Part 1 - Surprise Number Two?

Day 4 - Part 2 - Are you Flying Nuts?

Day 4 - Part 3 - The Rest of the Story

Day 5 - Second Park Day Part 1 - Breakfast with Cindy

Day 5 - Second Park Day Part 2 - Exploring the MK

Day 5 - Second Park Day Part 2 - Epcot

Day 5 - Second Park Day Part 3 Dinner at the Rose and Crown

Day 6 - Chilling at the Boardwalk

Day 7 - The Last Day Part 1 - We are sailing nuts

Day 7 - The Last Day Part 2 - California Grill

Leaving Day



This is my Pre-Trip, Report. Notice I said Pre-Trip, Report not Pre-Trip Report. A Pre-Trip Report implies that a full trip report will be coming, a Pre-Trip, Report does not. My last TR was on a short visit to BLT in March. It kind of wore me down so I am not positive this one will be documented very deeply. There is much rejoicing in cyberspace over that announcement.

This will probably be our last summer Walt Disney World Vacation until DD heads off to college. This fall she will begin her Senior year in High School. Time flies. Next summer I am hoping to do a Disneyland/Aulani mega trip. We shall see as next year progresses and what the attendance requirements are for her future College. Some mandate attending a summer session. Being the last one, it is more likely this is a Pre-Trip Report vs a Pre-Trip, Report. I will at least post highlights and some pictures.

My last few trips were more seat of the pants than this one. For a number of reasons, I wanted to pull some tricks out of my bag. There are three surprises that she does not know about and neither will you. They will be revealed as the trip goes by. (Insert Evil Laugh from the HM here) I also planned a few things out rather than see what each new day brings us. Meals are planned, surprises are reserved and the excitement is growing.

First the Cast: If you read my previous TR’s you already know us and it is harder to include new and interesting biographies. You may want to skip this. Staring on this trip will be ---

Me: Older than dirt and I will not publish for all to see my actual age. Semi-retired due to health issues that I do not need to go into here. Every day I feel better and better. Still a little fatigued at times so I may be tooling around in a wheelchair on our park days. We shall see how it goes during the first park day. Disney veteran, DVC Member and all around great guy. As you can see, modesty is my strong suit.

This is me (second from the right) with some friends on a Dry Tortugas dive trip last year. Despite only one person in the pic smiling, we really had a great time.


DD: Seventeen and as I mentioned about to become a Senior. She goes to a really good and really tough High School. She is in the International Baccalaureate program, a worldwide program that is administered in Europe. It is a rigorous program that augments traditional curriculums. It includes proficiency in a foreign language and her language of choice is French. Started learning the language in the first grade. Just finished two AP finals and one IB final (5 IBs next year). That is in addition to regular finals. Add on the SAT she just took. She needs a break.

Interesting fact (at least I think so): The tests are graded at other IB locations around the world and the one she took this year was sent to Poland and the United Kingdom. Finals are based on what they have learned since the 9th grade and you need a total of 24 accumulated points on the 6 tests (1-7 points per test). If she doesn’t get to 24 points or gets a 1-2 on even one of the tests, no IB certificate.

DD at Club Cool


Beverly, you have to love it. Bet she would drink a gallon of the vile stuff if it guaranteed getting her certificate.


The two of us when we bought the Photopass thing 2 years ago.


Notice no one else is included. Past trips included DD’s mom, DD’s mom and aunt, a friend (named #1 from the Sweet Sixteen trip) and the mega trip with 6 of her girlfriends. I have also recently gone solo a few times including the last trip. The number of attendees on this trip is on purpose. Just some DD and dad time. Hopefully we won’t kill each other.

She tried to sneak in bringing 1 on this trip. I told her that reservations were already made and this trip is not cheap. If 1 could pay for three days of park hopper passes, then I can see what I could do changing the reservations. I also told her that it was unlikely to happen and I am not going to gut the trip’s plans just to accommodate her and her friend. No news on the tickets so it is just going to be the two of us.

We will be staying at AKV Kidani in a Savanna View Studio for three days and a Preferred View Studio at BWV for the remaining four. It was relatively late when I made the original reservation for this trip and the only thing available for a week was Kidani. Waitlisted for BWV and BCV. Calling, I was able to change the last two days to a BW preferred view. Then three weeks ago, I called again and two more days at Boardwalk on the waitlist came through replacing two days at AKV. Yee Haw.

Signaling for a right turn?


Maybe one of the surprises is a mud bath at the spa?


I love the Red River Hogs. And don’t say there is a personality resemblance.


Ahhh. Boardwalk.




As I mentioned, this trip is reasonably well planned. We will only be going to the parks for 3 days. The rest of the time will be spent relaxing, swimming, eating and doing other things. Oh and we will be doing this really cool thing at… wait I am not supposed to mention that yet. I have six days left on my no expire park hopper passes and bought her a seven day pass at AAA. That will take care of this trip and at least one other.

ADRs were made a while ago and the surprises are set. Since we got the room change at the Boardwalk all the pieces have fallen into place. We have a few expensive meals planned, so I will spring for the Tables in Wonderland card (hate that name). For those of you that don’t know, this will give us 20% off our meals and this includes adult beverages. My current meds prevent me from imbibing so that perk will go to waste. DD is also a vegetarian so that complicates things a bit but not much at Disney. They are very accommodating.

Here is the schedule. It is pretty firm in order to make our ADRs and the surprises:

Day 1: Drive up in the am, check into AKL and have Tea at the Grand Floridian. DD loves tea and this was one of her choices. The only change will be if we drive up the night before and get a cheap room at an off-site motel. It will probably happen.



Day 2: Park Day 1 - Animal Kingdom in the morning, DHS at night. I may change this a bit and hit DHS at rope drop for Star Tours 2.0 (or whatever they call it) and Toy Story. Dinner will be at 50’s Prime Time so we may hit those two rides, head over to the Animal Kingdom, rest, then back to DHS for dinner and more rides.

No fireworks this time at DHS. This is from the 4th of July a few years ago. Very cool!


Day 3: Relax and enjoy the resort. Eat as we go. Surprise number 1 and no it is not swimming in the Kidani pool.



Day 4: Move to Boardwalk. This is an off-site day or possibly pool hop. Surprise number 2. We will either eat off site or possibly Beaches and Cream.



Day 5: Park Day 2 - Magic Kingdom in the morning and EPCOT at night. We will have breakfast at Cinderella Royal Table and dinner at the Rose and Crown. Cindy’s was another of her choices and R&C will be the first time for us. Hopefully we can get a good seat for Illuminations.

Two Princesses in a pod. I mean castle.


Day 6: Park Day 3 - EPCOT in the morning, Magic Kingdom at night. A late lunch at Chefs de France. It has been years since I went there and she has yet to experience it.

Everyone sing, “I got the whole world in my hands…” Or should it be, “I got the Golf Ball in my hands, I got the big silver Golf Ball in my hands…”


Day 7: Rest day at BW or tooling around the other EPCOT Resorts. Surprise number 3. Then dinner at California Grill which was both of our choices but mostly mine. Wishes from the walkway.



Day 8: Check-out, maybe. You never know with me. This will also start a couple of days of college shopping that was postponed from March.

So, there you have it. At least on paper, it looks like a fun trip. I am sure it will be. The computer will be with us but it is unlikely that I will be posting much if any while I am there. No way am I doing a live TR.

Till next time…

Last edited by cj9200; 09-14-2011 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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Sounds like a wonderful and relaxing Dad/Daughter trip. I hope you have a special time.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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Love your per-trip, report

So much information already and it sounds like it's going to be a wonderful trip. I really hope you do manage to do a TR afterwards- if it's as good as this, it's going to be awesome!

Good luck to your DD with her IB
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:33 AM   #4
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I so love that you took her to Afternoon Tea. Isn't it wonderful? I'm doing that with my two adult DDs during our trip in Oct. We will also be staying at BWV.

Have a wonderful time with your "little" girl.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:18 AM   #5
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OHHH, i can't wait to see what you have planned for the surprises! I wish you would do a full out trip report but know that they do take up alot of time. BUT YOURS ARE GREAT (Did it work??) Hope yall have a great trip and will take what i can get for an update if i must .

Enjoy! it's not too far now.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
cj9200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney Princess View Post
Sounds like a wonderful and relaxing Dad/Daughter trip. I hope you have a special time.
Thanks. I am also hoping for a fun time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irenep View Post
Love your per-trip, report

So much information already and it sounds like it's going to be a wonderful trip. I really hope you do manage to do a TR afterwards- if it's as good as this, it's going to be awesome!

Good luck to your DD with her IB
Hey stranger. Hope things are well with the family. I will pass along wishes for her IB success but she doesn’t even want to hear anything about school right now.

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Originally Posted by Cee View Post
I so love that you took her to Afternoon Tea. Isn't it wonderful? I'm doing that with my two adult DDs during our trip in Oct. We will also be staying at BWV.

Have a wonderful time with your "little" girl.
She is a tea fanatic. I don’t know how many tea sets she has acquired over the years. Nice stuff too. The Twinning’s shop in EPCOT is a must stop every trip. At least the Afternoon Tea is better than the teas she used to have when she was my little girl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinks "SS" View Post
OHHH, i can't wait to see what you have planned for the surprises! I wish you would do a full out trip report but know that they do take up a lot of time. BUT YOURS ARE GREAT (Did it work??) Hope yall have a great trip and will take what i can get for an update if i must .

Enjoy! it's not too far now.
It feel like it is a long time away and it is taking forever to get here. We shall see about how detailed a retelling it will be. I promise the surprises will be revealed at least.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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can't wait to read all about it - loved your other trip reports -your daughter is very lucky to have a dad like you
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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Hey stranger. Hope things are well with the family. I will pass along wishes for her IB success but she doesn’t even want to hear anything about school right now.
Can't say I blame her. I'm sure she needs a break from all her hard work.

We are all good and excited about our upcoming trip to the world - I loved your July 4th firework photo at DHS. We will be at WDW for July 4th but planning on MK on 3rd and Epcot on 4th. Would you recommend DHS instead? (Have never seen fireworks at DHS)

This is also going to be our last trip before DD heads off to college - she has decided to head for the bright lights of London(UCL) come September, so now that she and her older brother are too busy with their studies its just going to be me and youngest DS left for future trips.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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Does your trip have a side trip to that beach bar in CCB that serves dinner on Frisbee's?
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:13 PM   #10
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Oh Great One! (will that work?) We are eagerly awaiting all that you might write for us. I am very intrigued about the surprises.

Glad to hear your recovery is continuing.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:47 PM   #11
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OK, is it Sunday yet? Seems like the trip is still months away and I am bouncing off the walls. Last day of school was today for DD and she is spending a couple of days with friends to celebrate with other Seniors to be. We would be gone by now but she wanted to decompress from a tough year with friends as the kickoff to summer.

So ready to go, the laundry is done and I am even packing today! Usually I wait until the car is loaded and then I throw some stuff into a suitcase. Snacks are already bought and packed of course. I even went with DD for clothes shopping. What is wrong with me?

I wonder what the odds are that we leave on Saturday.

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can't wait to read all about it - loved your other trip reports -your daughter is very lucky to have a dad like you
At times she doesn’t think so.

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Can't say I blame her. I'm sure she needs a break from all her hard work.

We are all good and excited about our upcoming trip to the world - I loved your July 4th firework photo at DHS. We will be at WDW for July 4th but planning on MK on 3rd and Epcot on 4th. Would you recommend DHS instead? (Have never seen fireworks at DHS)

This is also going to be our last trip before DD heads off to college - she has decided to head for the bright lights of London(UCL) come September, so now that she and her older brother are too busy with their studies its just going to be me and youngest DS left for future trips.
Congrats on the upcoming trip, sounds like fun. We decided to hit DHS for the 4th because neither of us had seen fireworks there. It was colorful but somewhat short. The music was classic rock. Best of luck to your daughter in college or should I say University? Not sure what you call it over there. Have fun on the trip.

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Does your trip have a side trip to that beach bar in CCB that serves dinner on Frisbee's?
Forgot about that place. Thanks for reminding me. That may be worth a side trip on the way back. DD would love it.

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Oh Great One! (will that work?) We are eagerly awaiting all that you might write for us. I am very intrigued about the surprises.

Glad to hear your recovery is continuing.
Pleeesssee. No sucking up allowed, you will make me blush. I am willing to reveal the surprises early for a price and a signed confidentiality clause. Thanks for the good wishes on my recovery. I feel really good. Now if only Sunday would get here.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:36 PM   #12
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Great start so far Love the pics.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:20 PM   #13
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I quite enjoy reading your trip reports. I hope we get a full report but no pressure. Heading down on Tuesday for a mother/son trip. Enjoy and have fun!
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #14
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OK, is it Sunday yet? Seems like the trip is still months away and I am bouncing off the walls. Last day of school was today for DD and she is spending a couple of days with friends to celebrate with other Seniors to be. We would be gone by now but she wanted to decompress from a tough year with friends as the kickoff to summer.

So ready to go, the laundry is done and I am even packing today! Usually I wait until the car is loaded and then I throw some stuff into a suitcase. Snacks are already bought and packed of course. I even went with DD for clothes shopping. What is wrong with me?

I wonder what the odds are that we leave on Saturday.



Congrats on the upcoming trip, sounds like fun. We decided to hit DHS for the 4th because neither of us had seen fireworks there. It was colorful but somewhat short. The music was classic rock. Best of luck to your daughter in college or should I say University? Not sure what you call it over there. Have fun on the trip.
Packed already! I'm impressed

Thanks for the DHS info ( think we will stick with Epcot), and thanks for the good wishes and, yes, the kids just say they're going to 'yoonie' over here

Hope you have a great trip- even if it is Sunday before you get away.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:54 PM   #15
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Day -1: AKA Can I Wait Until Sunday?

The bags were packed which never happens ahead of time. Well, the snacks yes, but not unimportant things like clothes. I was so ready for the trip that by Friday everything is waiting by the door. Even my suitcase.

DD was over a friend’s house for a couple of days to decompress from a stressful school year. I played on the computer, watched TV and was totally bored. Go on the computer “Just to check.” Find a room for Saturday at the Lake Buena Vista Hilton for $99. Pull out the credit card and book it. Called the kid and told her we will be leaving Saturday morning.

Hit the bed around 1 am and fell right to sleep. The plan was to get up around 7 pack the car, eat and drop off the dog at the vet. Next thing I know it is 3:30 and I am wide awake. Instead of fighting it, I got up and packed the car. It was probably 4:30 or 5 before I finally went back to sleep. The alarm goes off at 8 and I am up. At 10. Called DD and told her I would be leaving now, packed the computer and dropped the dog off.

It was around 11 when she was picked up and we were heading north. The drive was uneventful except I missed the exit off I-4 (so what else is new). Short detour and we pull into the Hilton just before four. We stayed here before and enjoyed it. A decent price even with the $10 extra they charge for parking. Check-in was cake. I asked for as high up as possible and they put me on the 15th floor. My overnight bag and her trip bag were dragged to the room. Yes, I was so organized I packed a separate bag for the one day at the Hilton. Forgot they had a fridge in the room so I went back to the car to grab some drinks and snacks while DD gets ice.

A few pics of the room. Good sized and the beds were comfy. Two double beds.


You can barely see DD. She was soooo exhausted from the 1 hour and a half I made her drive she had to lay down as soon as we got in.


Flat Screen. Finally got me one of those for the house.


Separate vanity and bathroom which was nice.


Not the whirlpool tub of a 1 Br. but we were in studios this trip so no long whirlpool baths.


What a view. Beats the MK View Studio I had at BLT or Kidani Savanna View we are about to enjoy. OK, maybe not. No we did not sit at the window counting blue and red cars (Up reference).




We chilled in the room for a bit and decided it was time to eat. DD of course had to get ready which is an arduous process in itself. Thank god she rested so she had the energy. I have long given up trying to get her to hurry (beauty takes time). Instead, I try to get her started early and take one of these pretty purple pills. Left her to put on the powder and creams and headed to look at the restaurants downstairs.

She wanted to go to Benihana’s so I inquired at the hostess station. No reservations available. They could fit us in but we would have to wait for a table to be filled out which was anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Called and gave her that option and she said she would rather go offsite. There was also an Italian restaurant. They had a special for the night that was spaghetti and meatballs for the very low price of $20. Sorry, but in order for me to pay $20 for spaghetti and meatballs it would have to be made by an Eighty Year-Old Grandmother that just arrived from the old country. So, offsite it was.

DD was down in the lobby surprisingly quickly and we inquired at the Concierge Desk. She told us to go to Sand Lake Road where there are plenty of restaurants. “Go this way, that way, back that way and then take a right. Once you are on Sand Lake, you have the choice of places.” We went this way, that way, back that way and then took a right. Expecting an abundance of restaurants, we found nothing. Well, there was a Sizzler.

We noticed a few places near the resort on I think 535 (the one that intersects Buena Vista and the Crossroads shopping plaza). We decided to turn around and chose Macaroni Grill. Dinner was nice and reasonably priced. I had Mama’s three favorites, lasagna, chicken parm, and cannellini stuffed with chicken. DD had some pasta thing without meat. Sorry, no food porn. We got out of there with tip for less than $30. So far so good.

We head back to the hotel and I told DD to look on the left for the sign that says Crossroads. On the right there will be a welcome sign from Disney. Just before I-4 the middle lane is closed for construction with police lights and flashing warning lights. We pass the backup and are soon off again. After about 15 minutes of driving, I look at DD and asked her, “Where are we?” Of course she didn’t know (what good is she). “Are we lost again?,” asked the ungrateful rat.

Multiple turns later we eventually pass a sign that Welcomes us to Kissimmee. Oops. She kept pointing out restaurants and landmarks she remembered – “There is the McDonalds, oh a Macaroni Grill, there is the TGIF we passed…” She finally grasped the concept that they might be in multiple locations. A few more turns and we are back on 535, or whatever it was and going back the right way. I hoped at least. After an hour and ¼ tank of gas we were about a half a mile away from the restaurant and where the turn is to go back to the Hilton. It was also where they had closed off the middle lane. We laughed about it. We missed the turn because we were distracted by the “Shiny lights. Ooo pretty lights.” It was a gag the entire trip.

All was not in vain because our travels took us by this small, cheesy midway thing in Kissimmee. There was a bungee ride that looked cool. It was a multiple person ride that probably went up 100 feet or more. It was lit up in neon and almost enticed us to stop.

After we finally made it back to the room, I went out to take some more pictures. The pool was nice. It is split into two pool areas with a gazebo and a bar.








The Rent-a-cop was on the phone at the bar and he admonished me for taking pictures at the pool. “Some people are sensitive you know about getting their picture taken.” OK, it is midnight, there is no one at the pool and you are talking to me about taking pictures. After I asked him who I am going to bother I told him, “Don’t worry, I didn’t take a picture of you goofing off on the phone.” I then asked him if he knew who I was. I explained that I am Len Testa with thousands of loyal Disney fans that listen to my opinion and publish an annual Orlando Guide read by millions. I could make or break his hotel. Just ask your boss. OK, that last part wasn’t true but I wish I would have thought of it.

DD and I toured the work-out room. She liked it but didn’t work out that night.


A little TV before bed and the start of our real adventure the next morning. One other thing. The remote stunk. It took about 5 pushes on the button before it would change the channel. Called Housekeeping/Maintenance and no one answered. Gave up, realizing that we are not at Disney yet. Still the Hilton is a nice place to stay and suited its purpose. Since we stayed here twice now, if I ever get the urge to go up the day before (what are the chances of that happening again) we may try another place. Variety you know.

Up next: Day 1- Check into the AKL and Tea. AKA Would like zebras with your crumpets?
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