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Old 07-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #121
stephielela
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Universal trip, getting there...

Get excited! Iím getting started on my Universal TR ALREADY! No 3 month delay this time!! At leastÖ not yet

So where were weÖ It was 2 pm June 26th and I was ecstatic about being off work! I started celebrating immediately by going to our spa to get my nails done! We have a new product called Gelish which is basically like a combination of gel and shellac. Itís thinner than shellac but faster to put on the gel. I have a lot of trouble with my nails so I had been hesitant to try it out but the spa director had tried it out and hers were still looking good so I figured I would give it a shot! I LOVE it!!



The excitement continued because when I got home my brand new iPhone was waiting for me!!! I was so worried it wouldnít get to the house at a time when someone would be there to sign for it, so I was extremely relieved! I spent some time getting that set up and finished packing.

Every year at my work we do a company challenge where the whole property is divided up into 4 teams (Weíre Navy Blue) and then there are different events over a couple months that we participate in to earn points. Our team almost ALWAYS comes in last! This year though Iíve made an extra push to get my employees involved and so far itís working! We are in 2nd place!!! Tuesday night was the bowling challenge and a big group from my team was going. It was a ton of fun though I probably drank more and stayed out later than I should have since I had a flight at 7:30 the next day!

I went home and crashed and was up bright and early the next morning. Jack woke up fairly easily and we were ready to go right on time! The day before we had gotten donut holes to eat on the plane. They come in a handy plastic container so they donít get smushed in the backpack so we didnít have to worry about breakfast. My mom dropped us off at 6:30 am and we were able to walk right up to the desk to check our bags (we had all the luggage with us since my mom and sister were both catching flights later in the day). After that we waltzed right through security and were sitting down waiting patiently (not so much in Jackís case) for our plane to arrive!

We saw this sign right when we got through securityÖ We werenít flying Air Tran but oh well. Jackís still a little sleepy



Thereís our ride!!!


On the plane!!


This flight originated in St. Louis, then came to get us in KC, then flew to Orlando, Birmingham Alabama and Houston TX in that order. Now I have no idea what could possibly possess someone to take such a roundabout trip, but I think I would be MISERABLE.

Anywho, the flight was pretty uneventful. We were worried about a little bad weather due to what later was just tropical storm Debby, but we had no issues. Jack watched some Ducktales on his DVD player and I read. All in all a very quiet flight! Once we arrived we headed to our favorite fake monorail!



That kid is such a goof! Can you tell he was excited?

We stopped in the Universal store to get a couple maps and times guides. While I was inside Jack got a picture with one of his favorites!



Then he insisted on getting a picture with Goofy tooÖ



Eventually we managed to tear him away. Once we got to baggage claim my dad went to go deal with the rental car while Jack and I rescued our luggage from the never ending luggage carousel. By the time we got all of it my dad was back and we were ready to walk over to the cars.

This was a first for me, usually I take the Magical Express. Or if we rent a car I wait with Jack and the luggage while my parents go get the car and bring it. I think this was the first time Iíve ever set foot in the parking garage! We got our wheels, a shiny silver Chevy Impala and headed out! We were pleasantly surprised to find out the toll sticker thing is automatic so we didnít have to stop at each toll and pay.

I was kinda giddy about being able to take pictures since on the ME itís often hard to get good shotsÖ



Jack was very excited



I was a little upset when I found out the reason gas is so much cheaper everywhere else but where I liveÖ turns out there is some sort of agreement where we have to use some sort of special gas in the summer months and it costs more? I donít know all the details but I knew gas was around $3.30 at homeÖ







/

Do you think people were stopping to take pictures in front of these signs and thatís why that had to put the no stopping sign up?




Our first stop was DTD! We had to look forever for a spot to park but eventually we got oneÖ relaly fara way! We were starving so we were heading to Earl of Sandwich for lunch. This is the first time my dad had ever eaten at the one in Orlando. I went in and ordered while he and Jack got us a table outside. It was hopping in there!! Jack was dying to get his picture taken with Buzz and Mr. Potatohead





All of DTD seemed busy so we didnít stick around for any shopping, instead we moved right on to our next stop!

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Old 07-05-2012, 12:16 PM   #122
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Winter Summerland

For Fatherís Day I had given my dad a gift card to cover lunch and mini golf specifically for this trip so I was really relieved when the weather turned out decent enough to play! In case anyone is curious, this one is adjacent to Blizzard Beach. It was $10 for kids and $12 for adults and if you play a second round itís half off. There are two courses, Winter and Summer. We played Summer. I have a ton of picturesÖ



Jackís ready to get to it!




























My dad got a hole in one here



Vending machines


plenty of benches spaced out between holes in case you had to wait

















A snoring noise comes from a speaker in that cooler on the right!
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
Geez! I didn't even get to tell you goodbye and now i'm saying welcome back! Sorry was MIA for a bit; been sooo busy, no time for the DIS

And what's this DIS app you speak of?!
In the app store on your iphone search for DIS! It's awesome!!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #124
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Great start to the day. You already were doing a lot in a few short hours. How did you get a sticker to cover the tolls?
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:44 PM   #125
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Quote:
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Great start to the day. You already were doing a lot in a few short hours. How did you get a sticker to cover the tolls?
It came automatically with the car. Once we drove through the easy pass lane it activated so at the end of the trip all the tolls were charged I our account. We rented through Enterprise. It definitely made life easier!
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by stephielela View Post
It came automatically with the car. Once we drove through the easy pass lane it activated so at the end of the trip all the tolls were charged I our account. We rented through Enterprise. It definitely made life easier!
I really like that. I hate all the stop and go of the toll booths.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:54 PM   #127
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It was super handy! It made us nervous at first, we weren't sure we were in the correct lane but it worked! They gave us a little sheet with the info and it could have been more specific in their wording but I'm sure they are used to tourists looking confused lol.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #128
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Your ball goes up that spirally thing and comes out a spout in the top and supposedly directly in the hole, but it didnít work for my dad.



In case you are wondering Jack has NO IDEA how to mini golf. He doesnít hold the club right at all and I am amazed no one got hurt with his insane swinging. Of course, he is 4. But it is CLEAR we donít have another Tiger Woods on our hands!










I know I got a hole in one, I think it was on this oneÖ











Once your ball went in it would play a little video. There were several different ones since all 3 of ours were different.







Jack got his first pressed penny of the trip!








/




We had some time to kill so we got a snack







On the way out I noticed these reindeer tracks




Weíve played Fantasia Gardens before but I liked this course much better. I mean, Iím not a huge mini golf fan anyways, but the theming here was so cute and so detailed!

We had plenty of time to spareÖ where would we go next?
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #129
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Yay! You already started your TR!!!

I'm so glad you went to Winter Summerland! I really am debating between that and Fantasia Gardens. Since we have the WP&M option on our tickets & mini golf is now included, I think we may do both if we have time. I just feel I've packed too much into our trip! Seeing that you did so much already & you just had arrived makes me feel soooo much better though!

You're lucky Jack still willingly wants to have his picture taken! Luke refuses almost all the time & I have to bribe him to get in pictures! Either that or I just take a pic of Tyler...as soon as he sees me taking Tyler's pic, he runs over to me & says "Ok mommy, you can take my picture too" because he's jealous! LOL!

I remember what the weather forecast was supposed to be like on your trip, so it's nice to see the sunny skies in FL!

I can't wait to hear about what you did next! And also now that I have the DISboards app, I will keep up better!
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:40 AM   #130
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I've been subscribed, but I'm finally officially here! Can't wait to hear more about it!

LOVE all the pictures from Winter Summerland. Mini-golf has been on my list forever...we really need to get over there sometime soon!
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:53 AM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photographymom517 View Post
Yay! You already started your TR!!!

I'm so glad you went to Winter Summerland! I really am debating between that and Fantasia Gardens. Since we have the WP&M option on our tickets & mini golf is now included, I think we may do both if we have time. I just feel I've packed too much into our trip! Seeing that you did so much already & you just had arrived makes me feel soooo much better though!

You're lucky Jack still willingly wants to have his picture taken! Luke refuses almost all the time & I have to bribe him to get in pictures! Either that or I just take a pic of Tyler...as soon as he sees me taking Tyler's pic, he runs over to me & says "Ok mommy, you can take my picture too" because he's jealous! LOL!

I remember what the weather forecast was supposed to be like on your trip, so it's nice to see the sunny skies in FL!

I can't wait to hear about what you did next! And also now that I have the DISboards app, I will keep up better!
I like Winter Summerland better that Fanstasia Gardens but it's been a while since I've done FG. I think it would be fun to do Blizzard Beach, then walk to Winter Summerland mid afternoon for a break and then back to BB. They are connected so you wouldn't have to drive from one to the other.

Jack is such a cheeseball these days!

The weather was pretty fantastic! Cooler than it was in KC during that time even!

Update coming now!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
I've been subscribed, but I'm finally officially here! Can't wait to hear more about it!

LOVE all the pictures from Winter Summerland. Mini-golf has been on my list forever...we really need to get over there sometime soon!
Yay!!!! Mini golf is fun, and the courses are really adorable. We probably wouldnt normally do it, but since we weren't doing parks that day we needed something to keep us busy!
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:58 AM   #132
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What's next?

My momís flight wasnít due to land until 3:30 so since we had a little bit of time to kill we decided to hang around property a bit more. My dad has always been interested in staying at Coronado Springs so since it was close we headed there to look around a bit!
















We poked around the gift shop a bit. I saw a shirt that I really liked but I didnít get it. Jack was thirsty so we bought a bottle of water and I got a postcard. I noticed more resort specific items than I usually see, and recently I read an article saying Disney was bringing back more resort specific souvenirs which I think is AWESOME!

Finally we figured we should head back to the airport to get my mom. Jack fell asleep in the carÖ





We picked up my mom and then headed to the house. It was EXACTLY like it was in the pictures so no surprises there except there were more bathrooms than we were expecting. We went in and got unpacked and then headed out to get a few groceries. We ended up at a Target which basically put me on !! I love Target, I love Disney, I love Florida so being at a Target IN Florida NEAR Disney was almost more than I could take!! We got our items and then dropped them back at the house. We were also scouting for a place for dinner. My momís best friend from childhood recently moved to New Smyrna Beach with her husband and they were driving up to see us. Right by Target was a restaurant called Bahama Breeze and the menu looked good so thatís where we met.

The food was good, and the weather was nice so we sat outside and they had a guy playing island music which was nice. The food was great as were the beverages. Jack had a good time dancing and he was soon joined by not one but TWO little girls. He was quite the happy boy.

After we sat around talking forever we finally headed back to the house. I had promised Jack he could swim so I let him in the pool for about 15 minutes. Having this little pool was so convenient! I just put his life jacket on and let him jump in while I stuck my feet in the water.





After a little while we figured out that the pool had lights in the water which Jack found fascinating!


After pool time we showered and got our stuff ready for the next day and headed to bed!
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #133
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Yay! Just catching up on your arrival day. I don't know how you arrived at MCO and went through those gates, and went to DTD and Blizzard Beach without BURSTING to go to the parks!!

I actually really do think they put that "no stopping" sign there because people would stop to get out and take a picture.

Can't wait to hear about Universal!
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:16 AM   #134
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Fall trip update!!!

We interrupt this TR for an update on our upcoming adventure!!

I *FINALLY* have most of the fall trip hammered out. Not a ton of details yet, but at least dates are set! This has been a complicated process due to trying to corrdinate with people who aren't OCD planners like myself

My friend Lindsay and her husband John are the basis of this trip. The plan was originally to do Disney for a week or so, maybe rent a house, whatever. Well now that she is expecting we had to alter our plans a few times. So here it is!

New Dates: 10/28-11/6!
Jack and I will head to Gainesville first where we will spend some time with Lindsay's family and have her baby shower. Then on the 1st we will head to Orlando and check in. Lindsay and her husband are flying back to Italy on the 4th and Jack and I are staying at WDW until 11/6.

New Hotel: Pop Century
I love Pop. I really do. I really wanted to stay at Art of Animation though, but they weren't part of the free dining offer that was just released. So Pop it is!

We will still be doing MNSSHP on 11/2. I am thinking of doing 5 day tickets and doing AK the morning of the party, since we don't usually spend much time there anyways and they have morning EMH so we could get in and get all the stuff we want to do done in time to go back and take a nap before the party. Plus since we are doing MK on another day besides the party, I don't feel the need to do as much AT the party so we can go a little closer to 7 pm. I'm working on a rough schedule of park days but all of that is subject to change once we figure out who exactly is going with us etc. We are also not making any ADR's yet, though I am thinking I will probably make one for just me and Jack for after everyone else leaves...

So there you have it, our new and improved plans! I'm sure they will still change about a thousand times before we actually leave but still... it's progress!
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:19 AM   #135
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Yay! Just catching up on your arrival day. I don't know how you arrived at MCO and went through those gates, and went to DTD and Blizzard Beach without BURSTING to go to the parks!!

I actually really do think they put that "no stopping" sign there because people would stop to get out and take a picture.

Can't wait to hear about Universal!
Oh believe me, it was rough! If I hadn't had a fall trip planned I'm sure I would have had a melt down!

Another update on the way!!
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