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Old 09-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
LAH LAH
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Castles & Hogwarts & Blizzards...OH MY! LAH LAH's TR *Update 12/18 ADOPTION DAY*

Let's just get right to the point...
WE HAD A WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL TIME!!!!

My name is Melissa and this trip report is from my point of view. Michael is my first born son and he is 14 years old. Elsa is my one and only daughter and she just turned 12. We are in the process of adopting 3 little brothers. We have been caring for (and loving) them for the past 19 months. E just turned 3, C will be 2 this month, and Baby N is 6 months old. This was our final trip before the adoptions become final and a chance for one last "trio" trip!

(feel free to check out our PTR to get the inside scoop!!)




My parents joined us for this adventure!!!


The one on the left is my dad, Garry, but the kids call him Peepa and sometimes Peeps (although he doesn't care for it all that much). He gifted all his children (and his two grandchildren) with a 6 day trip 4 year ago. That's when the extreme excitement (dare I say obsession) with Disney started for me. He loves the Disney magic as much if not more than we do. He takes the time to sit for the parades and call me crazy, but I think he feels like a kid when he is there! He once pushed my mom in a wheelchair all over Disney for a week following a serious surgery she had 2 weeks earlier. Dedicated? Oh yes he is!

The one on the right is my mom, Donna, but the kids call her Meema and sometimes the Meems (she doesn't mind that at all). She is a selfless go-with-the-flow Disney-er. I have definite ideas of plans and she willingly goes along with them. She came along with the kids and I on our trip in 2008 and again with my dad in 2009...what a trooper! She ends up carrying most of the essentials and is ALWAYS good for an anti-bacterial wet wipe!



The kids and I have traveled to Disney once a year for the past 5 years and we love it more and more every time! This trip was to be our longest and most involved. Seeing that life for us will change a great deal in the next few months, forever altering how and when we do Disney again, I decided that each of us would get a special wish this trip, to be granted by, well, me! Including our travel days we were gone for 9 glorious days. So...now that you have "met" us, it's time to get down to business! Thanks for joining me for this TR. I have lots and lots of pictures and memories to share!


TRAVELING
Hotel Fun
And Away We Go!

DAY 1 ~ Magic Kingdom
The Kingdom of the Magic
CRT ~ CRT ~ CRT ~ CRT
Full and Ready for More MK

DAY 2 ~ Universal Studios and Hoggi-Hoggi-Hogwarts!
Cheating on Disney
Cheating on Disney ~ Part 2
Enjoying Our Day
Universal, Here We Come

DAY 3 ~ Blizzard Beach
Bracing for the Blizzard
Blizzard's Over...Back to Summer Fun

DAY 4 ~ EPCOT
An Underwear and Chip Emergency
EPCOT-ed
I Want Me Some of Those Potatoes

DAY 5 ~ Animal Kingdom
It's an Animal Kingdom Kind of Day!
Meems is Back
Meema on a Mission

DAY 6 ~ Hollywood Studios
Hooray for Hollywood
More MGM, errrr, Hollywood Studios

DAY 7 ~ Magic Kingdom
Kingdom, Here We Come
Last Day, MK Style
All Good Things Have to Come to an End

TRAVELING HOME
It's Easier Going Home When You Have Babies Waiting For You!

ADOPTION DAY!
Part One
Part Two

Last edited by LAH LAH; 02-10-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:15 AM   #2
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Yay! I am so excited that the TR has begun!

I have to laugh at your Dad not liking being called Peeps, it's cute!!

I really can't wait to hear about your fabulous trip and I love your title! Very cute indeed.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:37 PM   #3
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So excited to hear about your trip! Glad you had a great time!
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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welcome back!! I can't wait to hear all about it!
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Lallie View Post
Yay! I am so excited that the TR has begun!

I have to laugh at your Dad not liking being called Peeps, it's cute!!

I really can't wait to hear about your fabulous trip and I love your title! Very cute indeed.
We had such a wonderful time! (still so excited about your pregnancy!)

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Originally Posted by ScotsMinnie View Post
So excited to hear about your trip! Glad you had a great time!


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welcome back!! I can't wait to hear all about it!
You're probably going to hear more than you want! Hahahahaha
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #6
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HERE WE GO!


I lead a glamorous life. This is evident by the cleaning, cooking and all the diapers I tackle daily. If that isn't proof enough you could drop by any day of the week to find me either still in my jammies or slubbing around in sweats. It's glamorous because I love it. I love my Michael and Elsa and we love our little boys!

E (who is 3) and C (who is almost 2) have been living with us for the past 19 months. Baby N is 6 months old and came home from the hospital to our family. It looks like the adoptions for E and C could be finalized as early as this November! We have to wait a little longer for baby N, but that is on the horizon.

Knowing that our baby-free Disney days were quickly slipping away, we decided to take just one last final big kids trip. This is that trip:


School here starts after Labor Day, so Michael and Elsa spent a grand total of 4 days in school before I pulled them for our trip. I was hoping this would be a little easier than pulling them at the end of a grading period like we did in December, and I think it was. Packing up for vacation is fun. Packing up 3 little boys for 10 days in respite is slightly less fun. Thankfully the boys would be staying with some of our closest friends, who also happen to be foster parents! It's a little easier to leave them knowing they will be greatly loved while we are gone. This family also took in our puppy for the duration of the vacation. They are some mighty good friends!

I dropped off the boys, said my goodbyes and shed a few tears. It is so hard to leave them, but I knew this was our last chance for a final just-the-three-of-us Disney trip. I have worked hard during this foster experience to help make Elsa and Michael feel important and special. I find ways to attend all their special school things and try to make sure they don't miss out on things because of the boys. This will all change once they are adopted. Michael, Elsa, E, C and baby N will all be on an even playing ground. Being stretched by 5 kids with 5 different responsibilities will not be easy. That is why I knew this last trip was so very important. Life for us is about to change...in a wonderfully, huge way!

After dropping off the boys (and the puppy) I headed home to find Michael and Elsa home from school and ready to go, go, go! Our flight wouldn't leave until the next morning, but we were headed up to the big city to spend the night in a hotel. We live 1.5 hours away from the airport and with our 7am flight we thought this would be our best bet!

ON OUR WAY!


I had been battling a migraine for days and this day was no different. The drive out was rough and I was really hoping I could find a way to make it go away! We made it to the hotel safely and were excited to check in. Other than Disney, this was their first time staying in a hotel. Unfortunately, my migraine only got worse on the drive over. I wasn't sure what this meant for our trip, but I knew I would push through the best I could. Had my head felt better, I would have joined the kids in this; their first jumping on the bed escapade:














They had a bunch of fun! We quickly settled into the room and found out there was no pool, but their was a hot tub! Thank you, Jesus! This was exactly what I needed! We suited up and headed on down. Just sitting in that 104* water was relaxing enough to take the edge off of the pain!












Once we returned to the room, we got ready for bed, repacked our suitcases and tried to fall asleep early. That 5am wake-up call was going to be brutal!

UP NEXT: And Away We Go!

Last edited by LAH LAH; 10-04-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAH LAH View Post
You're probably going to hear more than you want! Hahahahaha
NOT POSSIBLE! Unless of course there is vomiting then please, warn me first

I know I've said this before but its worth repeating, . You are an amazing woman doing everything you do for those 5 children. I wish nothing but the best for you and your entire family!

Those action photos are awesome!! Love the one of Elsa pointing her "gun" at the camera!

So sorry to hear about the migraine but I'm glad the hot tub helped!!
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #8
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You are amazing, 5 kids all on your one is simply amazing.

The kids really got some height on their bed jumps! My goodness! I'm so glad the hot tub helped to ease your migraine a bit. I've been experiencing those the last few weeks for the first time ever and I don't like them one freaking bit!
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
NOT POSSIBLE! Unless of course there is vomiting then please, warn me first

I know I've said this before but its worth repeating, . You are an amazing woman doing everything you do for those 5 children. I wish nothing but the best for you and your entire family!

Those action photos are awesome!! Love the one of Elsa pointing her "gun" at the camera!

So sorry to hear about the migraine but I'm glad the hot tub helped!!
Thank you!

We've never done the jumping on the bed stuff before so I think they gave it all they had!

No vomiting, so I am in the clear!!!

Because of the migraine I never got to paint my nails all fancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Lallie View Post
You are amazing, 5 kids all on your own is simply amazing.

The kids really got some height on their bed jumps! My goodness! I'm so glad the hot tub helped to ease your migraine a bit. I've been experiencing those the last few weeks for the first time ever and I don't like them one freaking bit!
Migraines are the WORST! I started getting them after I delivered Elsa. Thankfully they haven't ruled my life like some people I know who have them!

I love doing what I do, so it doesn't seem so much like work. Kids and babies are the best!!!
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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AND AWAY WE GO!

Right before falling asleep I went to plug in my iPhone so it would be fully charged for tomorrow morning. I pulled out the USB cord and searched and searched for the adapter:



IT WASN'T THERE. When I started packing I originally chose to bring my computer. I could easily recharge the phone with my laptop so I only brought the USB cord. Right before we left for the hotel I pulled out the computer deciding that without internet access the laptop would just be something I was lugging through the airport. I never even thought about the adapter. After freaking out, I walked down and asked the hotel manager if they might have one that was left behind that I could borrow or buy. Sadly, they didn't. I turned off the phone for the evening and hoped the battery would last until I could purchase what I needed.

5am came quicker than I would have hoped for. Waking up early and migraines just don't really mix. I showered, then Elsa showered and then we rolled Michael out of bed. We ate a nice Continental breakfast of waffles, muffins, eggs, bagels and orange juice. YUMMM! I love when things are figured into the cost of your room. It all feels so free. The hotel shuttle took us across the street and we were through security in the blink of an eye! The airport was so empty. Had I been feeling better I would have taken a picture.

We easily found our gate and then went in search of an adapter for my iPhone. After much inquiry we were told of one store that might sell something like what we needed. It was at the opposite end of the terminal. With my head pounding, we booked it on over to the small boutique. They had what we needed!!! It was $50 Because it wasn't manufactured by Apple I was concerned about he compatibility of the adapter. The cashier offered to open it up and let me try it before I bought it. I thought that was so kind! I plugged it in and heard that tale tell beep that it indeed was charging!! So I sucked it up, paid the money and we hurried back to our gate, but not before we took our classic saluting picture:


We had about 15 minutes before they started boarding so we found an outlet and plugged in the phone, hoping to get enough of a charge to use it for the rest of the day. It did charge, but only for 45 seconds. After the initial 45 seconds it would state it was not compatible with the phone and stop charging. WHAT?!!!! No matter how many times I plugged it back in it gave me the same error before it made it to the minute mark. What a bummer. Wouldn't you know we threw the packaging away on our way to the gate and with the store being so far from our airplane we couldn't even return it. Poop!

We eventually boarded and enjoyed our individual tvs, but as the flight progressed, so did my migraine. I spent the second half of the flight dizzy, nauseous, shaky and terrified of what this meant for our park day today, let alone the whole week. Thankfully the tvs kept Michael and Elsa preoccupied and oblivious to the fact that I was holding onto my barf bag, praying I wouldn't need to use it. We had big plans for today! We are supposed to be in the parks by 12 pm and we have reservations for Cinderella's Royal Table @ 4:15. WE CAN'T BE SICK. NONE OF US!

We touched down 36 minutes early (great tailwinds or something like that) and it only took Elsa one glance to realize I was feeling far from ok. I explained that we might need to go straight to our room so I could sleep this off and hopefully we would be able to still make it for our CRT ADR. Remember? The one that took me 4 months of checking every day, multiple times a day to finally land that ADR 2 days before we left? Yes, that one. The kids understood 100% and they truly felt bad for me. They knew it must be bad if I was willing to miss ANY time at the parks. I am so grateful for them!

We grabbed the rest of the barf bags from our row as I didn't think I was even going to make it to the fake monorail. We did make it without incident, and for this I am thankful!


As we passed the Orlando Airport Disney Store, Michael and Elsa were excited to take some pictures. I realized that I was being negligent in my picture taking. Apparently when I feel like death warmed over, I don't even hear that "you must take pictures of everything!" voice. I knew I needed pics for the TR so I snapped these two:




In our excitement (or in my case, migrainedness) we went to the wrong side of the terminal. We ended up on side A and went the whole way to the end only to find no Magical Express. We were in good company. 3 other families were as disappointed as we were, so we trekked together and I was so relieved when we finally sat down on the ME bus! The Excedrin Migraine was starting to take the edge off and it was the first time I thought maybe, just maybe we would make it to Magic Kingdom today!


And by the time we crossed this sign I knew the day would be rough, but I would make it through.





We made it to POP by 11 am, and after an uneventful check-in we sat down to eat lunch (or in Michael's case breakfast):


We were excited to find out what room we would be in. Each of us had a special wish granted during this trip. Michael's biggest wish was to be in the 60's section close to the pool, close to the commissary, and most importantly close to the arcade I had paid for a preferred room and we got just that! Michael was thrilled with where our room was located! Once we checked out the room I checked the adapter for the iPhone one more time and it was still a no-go. Double Poop!

I stopped at concierge and asked them if there was any chance they might have one in lost and found I could borrow for the week. They checked and they had no adapters. How in the world was I going to contact the babies? My phone was about an hour from losing all battery function. How would I keep in contact with my parents who were coming in 2 days? I was starting to freak out. I went to the gift shop in POP and explained my situation to the manager. I was hoping he could tell me where on the WDW property I could buy one. He called around and even the Business Center in the Grand Floridian doesn't carry one. So let me make it clear to all you iPhone users; one cannot buy a charger for an iPhone while staying on property, so bring yours with you!

But the manager did a lovely, lovely thing. He went to the Cast Member break room tucked away behind the scenes and within 5 minutes he came back with an adapter from one of the cleaning ladies. I was allowed to keep it all week. I cried. I hugged the manager and I hugged Joanne, the cleaning lady. I told them what this meant to me and that now I would be able to call my babies. I LOVE WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!!

*I promise we will be on photo overload from this point on. As I started to feel better my photo count went way up!*

UP NEXT: The Kingdom of the Magic

Last edited by LAH LAH; 10-06-2011 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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Here I am! Your trip sounds like it started a little rough but I think I'm predicting clear skies ahead Can't wait to read more.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:52 PM   #12
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Here I am! Your trip sounds like it started a little rough but I think I'm predicting clear skies ahead Can't wait to read more.
Happy you made it! It was a very rough start...but the skies do get pretty clear!

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Old 10-05-2011, 08:41 AM   #13
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Oh my goodness, that was a nail biter of an update. I can't believe the charger you bought would only work for 45 seconds. UGH. Talk about crummy luck.

I'm so happy though you had a bit of Disney magic and they let you use that charger for the whole week, no where else would you get service like that. That is seriously awesome. That is why I keep going back to Disney, little moments like those.
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:26 PM   #14
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Oh my goodness, that was a nail biter of an update. I can't believe the charger you bought would only work for 45 seconds. UGH. Talk about crummy luck.

I'm so happy though you had a bit of Disney magic and they let you use that charger for the whole week, no where else would you get service like that. That is seriously awesome. That is why I keep going back to Disney, little moments like those.
No other place would have helped me out like this. I was sooooo thankful!
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #15
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What a nice thing for them to do. Sorry you were out of pocket for the other adapter.

Isn't little things like that what makes Disney so special?
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