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Old 08-10-2011, 09:51 PM   #91
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I'm still enjoying your trip report!! But I have a question: what is Tatooine? Is it something to do with Star Wars?
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:29 AM   #92
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I'm still enjoying your trip report!! But I have a question: what is Tatooine? Is it something to do with Star Wars?
Yes. I think it's a planet or a moon - apparently a destination of choice because the boys talked about it quite a bit. Alex would be better able to describe it for me but he's on vacation with the in-laws.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:32 AM   #93
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Hi. I posted the new update last night (well tried to) but in the middle of posting the report, my laptop began shutting down to install all kinds of updates. Sorry about that. I'll get it updated tonight after work. Thanks for your patience.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #94
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I got the update and shutdown thing earlier this morning - I need to remember to check the task bar for those things, so that they happen on my time, not theirs.

Anyway - will look forward to the update when you are able. For now, I'm still enjoying the view from your room at the Dolphin - that was pretty spectacular. Now THAT'S a birthday present!
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:46 PM   #95
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What is Tatooine -

I looked this up in Wookieepedia.

Tatooine was the "home of Anakin Skywalker. It was here that Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn recognized Anakin's potential to become a Jedi and where he introduced him to Obi-Wan Kenobi, his future master and mentor. Tatooine was also the home of Anakin's son, Luke, where he lived until his early adulthood. The planet built up a very bad reputation, often being viewed as the cesspool of the galaxy due to the high-level of criminals who could be found onworld."

So there we go.
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:05 PM   #96
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OK! Thanks for letting me know!! I first became interested in your tr due to the fact that the title was Extreme couponer.... Anyway, I love coupons/ couponing as well.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:34 PM   #97
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Babysitting Night

Today was a blast! We are reluctant to pull ourselves away from the Grotto but we have a commitment. I also have reached a decision about the rest of the trip and have some business to attend to online.

We are scheduled on a 9 a.m. flight out Sunday morning which means that we have to leave the Dolphin by taxi around 7 a.m. We planned to do another hard core day at Star Wars Weekend tomorrow and a Magic Kingdom morning park hopping directly to Epcot for the evening on Saturday. That means no down time to come back here and enjoy the beautiful hotel. I have the W word on Monday with 2 meetings scheduled that I have to attend. Checking Southwest, I can change our flights to a 6:30 a.m. flight out Monday morning. That would put us in Baltimore by 8:45! With luck, I can make my 10:30! We can do that.

Do I extend the Dolphin for another night? No. If we change back to a value, we can use Disney’s Magical Express and I won’t have to worry about the luggage or pay for a taxi! And a value resort is $80 cheaper than our rate at the Dolphin so it’s like saving that $80 plus the cost of the taxi, which would have been another $65! So it’s practically free to stay another night! Not really when you consider the small rate increase on the plane tickets that I paid to switch to Monday’s flight but we’ll not mix that into the math.

Phew. The pressure of only having 2 days left in the world vanishes and we head over to Yacht Club via water taxi.

The grown ups have reservations tonight at Victoria and Albert’s followed by a Wishes cruise (a surprise gift from DSis to DBil) to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Before the trip commenced, DSis mentioned that she thought maybe we should join her for the cruise after their dinner. That would have been fine if she had still been at Contemporary and I could have walked the kids onto the monorail. But transporting 5 kids from Yacht Club to the marina at the GF or Polynesian at bedtime just didn’t seem like a grand idea so I assured her that we would be content to stay back at the hotel while she and her DH enjoyed a kid-free evening.

I grabbed her kids and all the room keys and we headed down to the pool. We presented room keys to the wrist band CMs and took the kids in to swim for awhile. Nick and Matthew partnered together as Nick dug an enormous hole in the sand bar and Matthew tried to fill it with water. Corey entertained himself by collecting as many abandoned little green buckets as he could find and amassed a nice collection. Little Zoe was Alex’s partner. She’s all of 2 feet tall so when she stands in the deepest part of the shallow sandy pool, the water is too deep and she panics. Alex crawled along on his belly staying by her side the whole time. When it got too deep he would just say “Too deep” and she would head in a different direction. He has never spent time babysitting anyone other than Nick but he was absolutely fantastic! It was endearing to see my 15 year old son acting so gentle with her and it made me love him a little bit more. I made a mental note to pay him for his services when we got home.



Matthew and Corey started to tussle a little bit over the buckets so I called it Time to Go Eat Dinner! Back in the room, I changed Zoe out of her swimsuit and into a cute little purple shirt and leggings. OK. Technically they were her pajamas. But when we came back to the room, all the outfits that my DSis had placed out on the bed for me to dress her three kids in somehow ended up being tossed around the room. By the time that I got the wet swimsuit off and the dry diaper on, only pajamas are left. I have no idea where the little darlings have hidden all the outfits that their mommy wanted them to wear. Corey needs shorts and undies. No one knew which suitcase or dresser drawer belonged to Corey so I rooted thru everything and went with stuff that looked close enough to fitting and we went out for dinner.

We walked over to the Boardwalk for pizza but halfway there, the sky was gray and it started to sprits just a little bit. I thought it would be safer to get the kids into Epcot in case we needed to seek shelter.

W stopped for Fish in the UK because it’s right inside the gate. I charged a counter service meal credit on DSis’s room charge but then no one wanted the fish. They wanted Pizza. We head to Via Napoli for pizza. I was thinking for some reason that we could get a pizza to go here. Nope. The hostess tells Alex that they sell it for kids at the American restaurant. In America, we find that there is NO pizza on the menu and they refer me back to Italy. Geez. I need to feed these kids.

Still carrying the fish, we stop in Morocco. DSis had purchased a meal here the other day so I’m thinking her kids might eat that. I burned another counter service and we sit down to eat. Zoe is sound asleep in her stroller and I’m thinking BAD BABYSITTER! She went to bed without dinner! Oh NO. Corey and Matthew don’t want any of the Moroccan foods either. I end up splitting the two entrees with my boys because I’m not throwing it out. Zoe woke up while we were eating and she ate the shortbread cookies and she and Matthew split the lemonade that came with the fish.

The kiddos seemed interested in watching MoRockin so we stopped for that then as it seems it isn’t going to storm after all, we get out of the park to get some p.i.z.z.a. Here's a minute at MoRockin

Another shout out to Alex’s sitter skills. He took his brother and the two little boys to the bathroom at the back exit of Epcot all by myself. He managed to get them in and out PLUS making sure everyone washed their hands while Zoe and I stood guard outside to make sure no one was abducted or escaped Alex’s supervision.

We stop to pick up pizza at the Boardwalk where we started over an hour ago. I put in the order for a large cheese pizza with 5 little ice waters. Everyone sat drinking water and patiently waiting for the pizza. Or maybe they are exhausted and dehydrated from Aunt Lala dragging them halfway around the world (showcase)?


Having finally succeeded in acquiring a pizza, we head to the room. Matthew is asking me how many pieces of pizza can he eat? His Dad lets him eat three. How many can he eat? But how much can he eat. His Dad lets him eat as much as he wants. And on we went until…..Oh look a juggler! Go sit down in the front row with Nick so you can see! We stop and watch for a little while until Zoe starts to get antsy. I call the boys back out of the front row and the juggler actually starts yelling after me “Next time come for the whooooole show. Loooook at that lady leaving before my show is over….” I just waved and smiled at the crowd which is now staring at me but what I wanted to do is give him a special non-Disney wave and die of embarrassment. Have a magical day. I hope you drop your balls.

Next up: Pizza Party Picnic
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #98
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Never a dull moment! And I am so impressed by your Alex, but your boys have seemed like pretty nice young men all along.

And your rearranging of your departure - you certainly do identify what you want to do and go about making it happen. Picture me sitting here applauding!
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:44 PM   #99
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Really enjoying your trip report! You are doing a fantastic job with it. I enjoy hearing all about the family scenarios and you know just the right time to insert photos, all of which are very good. Would you share with me the camera you are using?

I will try to post as my time allows, which once classes start back up on 8/22, I may be more of a 'lurker'.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #100
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great trip report! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:03 AM   #101
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Never a dull moment! And I am so impressed by your Alex, but your boys have seemed like pretty nice young men all along.

And your rearranging of your departure - you certainly do identify what you want to do and go about making it happen. Picture me sitting here applauding!
Awww. Thanks so much! I am missing my nice young men right now. They have been out of town at the in-laws for TWO WEEKS! Can't wait for them to come home today. The reports from father-in-law have been how respectful and polite they are.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:07 AM   #102
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Really enjoying your trip report! You are doing a fantastic job with it. I enjoy hearing all about the family scenarios and you know just the right time to insert photos, all of which are very good. Would you share with me the camera you are using?

I will try to post as my time allows, which once classes start back up on 8/22, I may be more of a 'lurker'.
Hi! Welcome to the report. Thanks for reading.

Hmm. The cameras were my iPhone and a Nikon Coolpix L110. It was less than $200 and I love it. It works great as a video recorder too!
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:08 AM   #103
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great trip report! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.
Thanks for posting! I'm glad that you like it. I'm going to post another update tonight before Alex and Nick get home from their summer vacation.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:25 PM   #104
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The cameras were my iPhone and a Nikon Coolpix L110. It was less than $200 and I love it. It works great as a video recorder too!
Like I have always said, it isn't necessarily the camera that makes great pictures, but the person who is behind the camera - and you do very well.

Oh, and BTW - LynnieLou is my other half.

Fred
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:06 PM   #105
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Pizza Party Picnic

We left Epcot thru the International Gateway (e.g. rear exit). DSis's room is reached via 10 long, carpeted miles of hallway. Back in the room and OMG! Itís 8:30 at night! These kids are supposed to be asleep already. BAD BABYSITTER. Ok letís have a Pizza Party Picnic and then itís bedtime.

If you want pizza, you have to sit on the couch. Look how cute they all are waiting for pizza.



Poor Zoe. I fed her shortbread cookies earlier. Her Mom said that sheís allergic to pizza crust so I pull the cheese and sauce off of her pizza and feed her just that. I canít believe it but I donít have a clue how much sheís supposed to eat. How is it possible to forget how much to feed a small child after raising four of my own? She doesnít seem that hungry anymore but sheís SUCH a good baby that she never cries or asks me for anything. I have no idea what to do! Thereís no baby food or anything that I can find except for Pop Tarts so I tear open a package and give her small pieces of that.

Matthew gets his coveted 2nd slice of pizza, eats half of it and crawls in bed to watch some Disney cartoons. Not long after, he falls asleep while Corey and Miss Zoe are still awake tossing and turning. Alex and Nick are sitting on the floor looking sleepy and bored.

Iím thinking that maybe the little guys are feeling like they canít go to sleep because they might miss fun with Alex and Nick. I send my boys back to the Dolphin to go to bed. I almost didnít do this because I was so scared that they would get lost or worse. Woman next year Alex is old enough to DRIVE himself to Disney and youíre scared to let him walk from this hotel to the one right next door? I hug them like Iím never going to see them again and make them promise to stay on the main path and take the bridge into the door by the big fountain and go straight to the room without going anywhere else. After they leave, I dig out the phone book and find the Dolphinís phone number. I wait half an hour then call the hotel to check on the boys. Please answer. Please answer. ďHello? Yes, mom. Weíre fine. No problems. No we didnít lock the top lock. See you later.Ē I knew they would be ok the whole time! And YOU were worried!

I lay down on the side of the bed and pretend to sleep, hoping that the babies will follow suit. Nope. Not Zoe. I pat her back for a long time but she doesnít drop off. Iím not her Mama. I understand. Every so often, Corey sits straight up to make sure Iím still here and then lays back down. He falls asleep eventually but Zoeís still awake when her Mama and Daddy come in looking really happy!

They had a great time and Iím glad that they had a nice anniversary! And Iím sorry that I fed your daughter cookies, cheese and pop tarts for dinner. Goodnight!!!! Click.

DSis walks me out the side door of the Yacht Club which is literally on the other side of the trees from the backside of the Dolphin. I walk along the sidewalk that follows the little water inlets in front of the Dolphin and canít help but wonder if there are any critters like snakes or alligators just waiting for a tourist to walk along. Of course, not too much later, there is rustling in the grass and I panic until I realize itís just a rabbit. Silly rabbit.

Back in the room, all is well and the boys are asleep. I called bell services to have the luggage brought up. It comes up just a few minutes later and the bellman is not taking my cue of speaking in a whisper. Suitcases are falling over on the tile floor in the foyer and heís chatting with me but the boys donít move.

I set the alarm for early tomorrow morning. Guess why. Another Star Wars day is ahead of us! And we are going to make it before the gate opens this time. Weíre right beside the park. We canít miss it! Sure.
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