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Old 02-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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Book it. Buy it. BELIEVE it! - TR is started! link posted 8/11

Welcome to the latest eandesmom and gang adventure! (chapter links at the bottom of this post)

It’s been quite a while since I did a true PTR. I really debated whether or not to do one as the cruise forum seems to be much more focused on the TR side. Fact of the matter is I love PTR’s. I love hearing all the plotting and planning that goes into the magical trips we all plan. And for some of us, the drama, the heartache and the stress. Hey, it might be Disney, but real life has been known to intrude! The fact that I wrote a year long PTR, followed by a year long TR probably is a bit excessive but shows how much I enjoy it. Actually, that might show how slowly I write, I’m not sure. At any rate, now that I have completed my most recent TR…only a mere 5 months in the writing…well maybe 6 if you count the month of PTR in it lol…I couldn’t help myself.

As usual, I’m getting ahead of myself! Introductions are in order I think.

I’m Cynthia, eandesmom here on the DIS. The title of this PTR tells you how this trip came to be. In fact, once I really thought about it, it’s how almost all of our trips have come to be. I have a tendency to book trips (always in a way I can move, cancel or get out of at this point) and then inform my DH. I book them after having come up with the idea, “soft” floated it by him (or not), done my due diligence on potential conflicts, obstacles and budgeted the entire trip out so it makes it easy to say yes, hard to say no and easy to tweak as needed. I have to admit, this pre trip planning, combined with whatever deal I’ve magically found that “made” me book the trip in question, pretty much gets me my way in just about all cases. Christmas bonuses help as well. Case in point. This past summer we went on our first cruise ever. I had a bonus. I really really like to use at least part of any bonus money for something fun, the rest to something practical. Bonuses aren’t something I count on so if they happen, when they happen, it can be fun to think outside of the box. Something just for us that we wouldn’t do without that extra fun money justifying the splurge. I’d been looking at the MR itineraries prior to learning I’d get a bonus. They seemed relatively reasonable for the time I was looking and I thought the perfect easy fun new thing to do. My DH was NOT remotely interested in that. DCL was just now going to Alaska. I hadn’t looked at it as I’d heard it was really pricey and just not something in our budget or at least not to do it the way we’d “want” to. We are funny that way and I think it’s an age thing. I’m definitely at that stage in life where I want to vacation a certain kind of way (for the best deal possible of course) or I won’t do it. Funny how an unexpected bonus can change perceived options…we’d been thinking DC, and definitely not anything Disney. I looked at it, and just “happened” to mention it. Jeff, my DH said, “You’ll never get me on a cruise…unless it’s to Alaska!” and “If I was going to do a cruise, I’d want it to be with Disney”. We had looked into it many years ago after seeing the Magic dock in Key West while on a couples trip (and then had sticker shock over 2 staterooms) but that bug, for a family trip, was planted then it still had roots. The stars aligned and a trip I never thought my anti cruiser DH would go for…happened. And was magical. You can read about it here. That was a different trip, for many reasons. It was our first cruise, true, but it was also our first big family trip missing a couple of kids. To have that make any sense, I think some intro’s are in order.

Here’s the full gang, from our WDW grand gathering trip back in 2010. You can read about it here “Life is too short… to never sleep in a treehouse!”, and here “The Adventures of Dr. Jones and the Spitting Camel”.

You’ve got me (Cynthia), DH (Jeff), DSS Taylor (then 17), DSD Kendall (then 14), DS Evan aka E1 (then 10) and DS Eric aka E2 (then 9)

Fast forward a year and we have one HS graduate who is busy working the summer before college starts. We also have one HS Sophomore, booked solid all summer with club and HS soccer. The older 2 are my step children (bonus kids!) and the drama of getting our vacation time is well documented in my treehouse PTR. Last summer, to be honest, we were worn out from the fight. They both went on a very pricey youth group trip at the start of summer that we helped fund. We had hoped to take both of them on a separate trip later in the summer and really couldn’t pull off a cruise for 6 as that would require 2 staterooms. Not to mention the fact that Alaska didn’t interest the teen and the almost college student was focused on earning as much money as he could before school started. So we booked the cruise for 4, late summer, during a time that we could afford but definitely conflicted with soccer and summer jobs. And then both older kids had valid conflicts like college soccer recruiting residential camps and jobs that kept them from joining us on the other trip. That sucked, and meant we had a way bigger condo than we needed. We had a nice time but we missed them.

Here’s the same motley crew from our ONE group pic (that of course I’m not even in) on a local hike last summer.

And the four of us that made it on the Alaska cruise

And while we know we won’t get Taylor on a family trip over the summer (I mean honestly, if my family went on summer trips while I was in college…and I’m sure they did as I’m the oldest of 5…I definitely didn’t join them…I was far too busy doing my own thing), we are committed to making sure we have at least this one last summer trip with Kendall. I say one last, knowing we have two before she hits college because of well one word. Soccer. Soccer rules her life and the summer before her senior year is that last chance at college recruiting before the final HS season and we are not going to even attempt something major, out of town, that summer. This summer though…we are taking our time and have deployed strategies to ensure we get it.

So…who is going on this trip?

Me. Disney freak, full time working mom and a bit of a computer geek. Obsessive planner and ridiculously detail oriented (about everything) but I have learned to actually relax and let go…most of the time…once I get on vacation. I’m a little ugly the day before or the morning of. I’ve been known to do a little Disney without the gang…these are from a DIS girls trip during Flower and Garden in 2011, one of the rare times I got pictures of just me on a trip!

And with Minnie on our Alaska Cruise

Jeff. My DH. He puts up with my obsession, lets me get my way with travel 90% of the time and as much as he might say he is anti Disney…emails me news articles all the time about anything Disney related, tracked the building of the Fantasy, has Disney pins on his backpack and even apparently has a favorite park. Marriage, as everyone knows, is a compromise (and is a title of someone’s current TR lol). I support Jeff in his obsession (he is building a seaplane in our garage) and he supports me in mine. As he said recently…turnabout is fair play. More on that comment later.

He complains a lot but as you can see in this Alaska cruise picture, he has fun.

The opposite of Alaska, a pic from our couples only Hawaii trip last year. This, in some ways, was a catalyst for THIS trip but more on that later.

Kendall. She will turn 16 on this trip. Serious soccer player, great student, who loves to sing and is still a girly girl but surprisingly low maintenance (drama free) for a 15 year old girl. We are timing the trip for the “break” between club and HS soccer which just happens to actually fall on her birthday. HS takes a mandatory 2 weeks off of training at the beginning of August. She might miss something small with club, or HS training but we’ve plotted out every tournament under the sun to make sure our dates are good and as Junior, with 2 years of Varsity under her belt, her spot on the team is pretty secure. It’s going to be an exciting soccer season…they came in 4th in state last year and K is part of the returning core that made it happen. Still, she needs to get away from soccer once in awhile and so…we are dragging her. Willingly. This trip is definitely a 16 year old girls dream trip. Or almost. It would only be better if she could bring a friend (sorry but…no). Her excitement about the trip is definitely fueling mine and Jeff’s! She’s plotting spa and beach volleyball days, sounds like heaven to me!

Girly Girl

And..get out of my way girl

Evan. Evan will be 13 at the time of the trip. He is giving me grey hairs. Ok, I had them already but oh my word. He is, by far, the most drama prone high maintenance kid of the 4. We knew that already but once he hit 7th grade? Holy cats! He pretends to be cool but still likes pin trading and Goofy and recently informed me that a year off from WDW was more than enough and he’s ready to go back. He has also discovered girls, which hasn’t exactly helped with the transition to middle school and a ton more homework plus 3 honors classes. UGH! Both he, and his little brother, have been lobbying for another cruise from the minute we got off the Wonder last August. That is when he isn’t lobbying me for an iphone…and then crying that I’ve crushed his dreams. He’s the resident foodie, jazz musician and chef, and also a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Goofy kid

Cool kid

Eric. Eric is 11 but probably 13 in academics and 9 in social skills and maturity. He’s our little intellectual and cracks me up. He knows how many staterooms are on each ship in the DCL fleet and all kinds of other fun trivia about each ship and somehow keeps it all straight. Eric will obsess about the trip it for months and probably drive Jeff nuts. He’s only known about it since Friday night and is already driving us all over the edge. Although he’s helpful, given his ability to remember random esoteric facts I’ve already learned new things from him. LOL! He is a very focused kid and when he latches onto something, watch out! Eric loves scouts, reading, writing, the piano and more recently, the trumpet. He also has a thing for dogs. Stuffed more so than the real thing.

Chapter Links

Book it!
Book it Dano! v1
Book it. v2

Buy it
Buy it?
Fuzzy Disney Math - DVC Style - and Slushie Credit Quiz #1!
Quiz # 1 results and answers!
And the winners are...
Post surgery pain killers of a different kind
We bought it. Can we sell it?
What the Yapta?

A side trip - mini TR
Free beer!

Believe it!
Spatial relations
Here we go loop de loo!
It's all about the food! Dining Part 1
Dining Part 2. DREAMY dining!
To insure, or not?

As the trip turns
And the drama begins
Ch Ch Changes!
As the trip turns

The un-update

Keep on Believing
Dining with the Animals
Jeff's drinking the koolaid again!
The clock is ticking!
Ch Ch Changes!
Shut the Door!
2 weeks! Making a dent in the list

This update is brought to you by the letter D
One of us has left the building!
A 2 day Dance!
One Sleep
TR Link Coffee on the Verandah

Last edited by eandesmom; 08-11-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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I'm here. Great intros as always. Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
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Looking forward to all of your plotting, scheming and all the fun that goes into planning
So excited you are taking another cruise!!
Great intro!!!

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Old 02-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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Woo Hoo!

So excited to see a PTR from you! I just read your entire Alaska TR and have already started working on my DH to take the cruise to Alaska soon!

This time, I won't be a lurker. Your writing style is fabulous, your family is beautiful and you seem like a ton of fun. Sign me up!!!

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Old 02-01-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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Hello! I'm here.. I always love your intros. So thorough and detailed. I wonder how much of Kendall's lack of drama comes from her being such a soccer super star? The soccer shots are really amazing.

And Evan and the joy of seventh graders. Love them, spend every day surrounded by them, but wow...middle schoolers are their own separate sub-species, I swear. Can't wait to hear more, as I think you have a few surprise lurking.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #6
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Doh! I found it. It must be my screwed up neck ruining my concentration!

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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I just read through your oher TR! It was very entertaining I've been lurking on this board trying to figure out how to get MY cruise-hating DH to agree to one, so I'll be taking extensive notes! Cant wait to follow along!
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Can't wait to hear more about your PTR...I'm going to check out your Alaska TR as this is one cruise I will want to plan in the future. We are going on our first cruise this summer and my husband was always reluctant, but I finally ordered the DVD and he was sold. Can't wait!
Me DH DD(13) DD(9) DS(6)

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Old 02-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #10
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I'm getting in on this one from the beginning...though there are definite advantages to catching up, like not having to wait for the next installment....
Me DH DD (19) DS (17) Sheldon Howard

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Old 02-01-2012, 09:20 PM   #11
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Joining in!
Love your reports.

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Old 02-01-2012, 09:23 PM   #13

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Me, DH, DD10, DS9, DS4
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:29 PM   #14

There's never enough vacation time
I'm always thinking about it
I can't imagine being in it alone
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You know I'm in. All it takes is a single spark to make a trip happen.
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You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report

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Old 02-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #15
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I'm in !!!!
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