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Old 03-28-2012, 02:23 PM   #31
marciemouse
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Being fairly early on a Sunday morning, the drive to Hollywood was very quick. We parked in the parking structure attached to the Kodak Theatre and walked out onto Hollywood Boulevard.



I should point out that we honestly weren't too interested in Hollywood. We were primarily interested in meeting DH's aunt Wendy and cousin Michael for lunch. Hollywood was about halfway between them and the port, and since I had a slight interest in Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store, we decided to meet there.

We told the girls we were going to see Wendy and Michael. Isabel asked if they would be able to talk and if Wendy would wear her blue dress. We weren't sure what she meant until we figured out that she thought we were meeting Wendy and Michael, the characters from Peter Pan!

The only star I was really hoping to see was Walt Disney. Sadly, there was some construction, and a piece of scaffolding was sitting over most of his star. Oh well. We saw stars for Tinker Bell, Winnie the Pooh, Disneyland and more.



The soda fountain and studio store are cute. It was a fun experience, but once was enough.



A novel factor for us was that we ate lunch with a real movie star! DH's cousin is Michael May, who has been in several movies and also had a recurring role on the TV show One Tree Hill. Since the show is done taping, he and his mom were in LA for casting calls.



Lunch was good. DH and his cousin got French dips, which they said were really good. DH's aunt got a BLT, which she ate without complaint. I got a grilled cheese, which was yummy. DD7 got a hot dog but didn't eat much. (She was complaining and acting tired. Come to find out later in the day, she had a fever.) I think DD4 had a hot dog, too. DH's cousin got a shake, which he said was really good. The girls and I shared two scoops of mint chocolate chip with hot fudge. It was really yummy.

While we were eating, a guy stopped by our table. It was Steve, the character manager from the Wonder! He recognized us from the character meet and greet the night before. I thought it was so nice of him to stop and say hi, especially since he was on a two hour break.

The store had some cute and unique merchandise, but I exercised self control. I only picked up a few souvenir pressed pennies in the store, as I collect them. (Nerdy, I know!)

Overall, it was a fun and unique way to end our trip. I wouldn't drive over to Hollywood again just to eat there or anything, but I would certainly recommend it if you're in the vicinity.
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:28 PM   #32
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What a great ending to your trip - it is always so sad when it is over though… I am amazed at all of the character pictures on TR's lately. When I went on my first DCL cruise, there weren't this many characters (that I recall anyway).

I agree with you that places like the studio store would be great to see, but aren't something that you need to see over and over again (unlike DCL )
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #33
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Our drive home from LA to Phoenix was uneventful. When I walked into my bedroom that evening, I actually thought, "Hmmm, where's my towel animal?" Even worse, I went into our bathroom to brush my teeth and seriously thought, "Why didn't someone clean this?" Back to reality!

I had "the sway" for about three days after the cruise. It wasn't bad enough to impair my driving or daily activities, but I definitely still felt it! A free souvenir, I guess. DH and the girls didn't have any swaying.

The cruise was a really great vacation. Between the Kids Sail Free offer, not having to purchase airfare, and not booking any DCL excursions, it was a really good value, too. Including everything (our gas, one night hotel pre-cruise, meals off the ship, souvenirs, tips, Palo brunch and dinner, cruise fare [9A oceanview] and trip insurance) we came in right around $3500. For a nine day vacation, I think that's pretty reasonable for a family of four. (especially considering the quality of DCL)

As mentioned before, the cruise really was a fairly perfect vacation for our family, a great mix of relaxing but not boring. We had kind of resigned ourselves to the idea that, while our girls are little, vacations would involve a lot more DOING and less just relaxing. Thankfully, DCL provided enough activity for the kids and enough relaxation for us as adults. Perfection!

I am hoping DCL decides to run a few fall 2013 cruises out of LA again. Otherwise, we're interested in the Med, Alaska & Eastern Caribbean, so we'll wait and see where our dummy bookings eventually land! As of next year, DH will have been with his company for 5 years, which gives him another week of vacation. With that, we could possibly even swing a transatlantic! I have our travel agent on the lookout for any Kids Sail Free offers or any significantly discounted cruises. One thing is for sure, we loved cruising DCL and plan to definitely do so again!
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:20 PM   #34
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Boooo, I am sad your TR is over
I've really enjoyed reading along
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:00 PM   #35
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I realized I never posted a picture of our signed photo mat. It was returned to our room on maybe Thursday or so? Here's what it looks like in the frame. (purchased at Target for about $20) Notice the DCL picture's border is slightly cut off at the bottom. We had this problem with the other 8x10 we got to frame also. Oh well.



We also received a blank autograph book as a FE gift. We dropped that off at Guest Services to have signed, too. We got a couple extra signatures in there that we didn't get on the mat: Peter Pan, Captain Hook & Smee. I think it is because when we dropped off the photo mat, the GS person checked the boxes indicating the classic characters and the princesses. When we dropped off the autograph book, a different GS person helped us. She checked both of those same boxes, but then also added a note that said, "EVERYBODY!" Still, I think the frame and mat turned out pretty cute. The girls were so excited when we hung up the new photos from the cruise. Good memories!

I think it's safe to say that I'm a bit obsessed with DCL right now. I can't seem to stay off their website! Hopefully the fall 2013 itineraries for the Wonder and Magic are released soon!

Thanks so much to all of you who commented here!
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #36
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I can't believe you busted out that report so quick! Unlike me..

AWESOME report! Your family is so adorable, especially your children I'm so happy that you guys had a great time, and that the girls especially, had a wonderful time. I can't wait to bring my child on a Disney cruise!

I'm also hoping that DCL will have some itineraries out of LA again. It's just so convenient not having to fly!
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:55 PM   #37
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I thought I'd add a note about packing. I overpacked on clothes (and shoes), but mostly due to not knowing what the weather would be like. And also because, as cruise newbies, we didn't know how casual or dressy we'd feel comfortable being. One of the best clothing pieces I packed was a lightweight drapey black sweater that was easy to throw on over just about anything to take off the chill from either the AC or the sea breeze.

I packed several packs on hand wipes, and we didn't use one the entire trip. Hand wipes are pretty much available all over the ship, so there is really no need to pack your own, unless you're really germaphobic.

I packed a couple Yankee brand odor-eliminating ultimate car jar air fresheners. We hung one on the towel bar in each side of the split bath. While we never had any odor issues, it was nice to have a pleasant coconut smell in the room. The air fresheners were still good after the week, so I hung them in our car. The smell reminds me of the cruise, so it's kind of like a little souvenir! That said, we totally could have survived the week without the air fresheners.

The over-the-door organizer was really handy. If we didn't have split bath, it would be indispensable! We'll take it again on future cruises. I purchased this one on clearance at Walmart for $5. It had bigger pockets and a lot more storage than a show holder type one. Even DH commented that this was worth packing.



A lot of DIS'ers say to bring a power strip. We did not, and we never missed having one. That said, we're not a really tech-oriented family, so we didn't have a bunch of stuff to plug in. Other than charging my camera battery or blow-drying my hair, the only thing we plugged in was the wave phone.

Speaking of the hair dryer, I took my own. I only dried my hair twice, I think, but the onboard hair dryer would have taken at least an hour to do my long, thick hair. If in doubt, take your own.

I probably packed just a few too many snacks (granola bars, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, etc.), but with DD4, I pretty much have to have food readily available. It was convenient to have easy snacks for the girls to take into the shows, too. Next time, I'll still pack snacks... just less of them!

I packed a small canvas tote bag, which came in handy for delivering FE gifts and then as a pool and beach bag. Would for sure pack something similar on future cruises.

I did not let the girls bring toys. I figured they'd stay busy without any, and I was mostly right. They did, however, really enjoy playing with the little trinkets and toys they received as FE gifts. Those were nice for any downtime in the cabin, but there wasn't too much of that!

I had a few ziplock baggies leftover after I emptied FE gifts out of them. The bags came in handy to hold all of the little FE gifts the girls got.

I know many people just wear their KTTW cards on a lanyard, but I carried around a small cross body envelope style bag almost the entire cruise, as I always wanted to have my camera with me. I also liked to carry chapstick and a wave phone, so having a small (hands-free style) purse worked well for me.

Those are the few "unusual" packing things I can think of right now! Feel free to ask any questions!
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #38
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A note about our room category:

As mentioned before, we booked a 9A. (7514... perfect!) Being first time cruisers, we weren't sure if the verandah was worth the extra expense for us or not. We were very happy with just having a port hole window and didn't miss a verandah at all. It was so easy to go to deck 4 or 9 from our room. I noticed that on some of the cruises on the new ships, there is very little price difference (maybe only about $100) between oceanview and verandah categories. In that case, we'd probably go for a verandah. However, I think we'd also be willing to sail in an inside stateroom under certain circumstances. But for us, an oceanview room was just perfect!
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:03 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marciemouse View Post
I realized I never posted a picture of our signed photo mat. It was returned to our room on maybe Thursday or so? Here's what it looks like in the frame. (purchased at Target for about $20) Notice the DCL picture's border is slightly cut off at the bottom. We had this problem with the other 8x10 we got to frame also. Oh well.



We also received a blank autograph book as a FE gift. We dropped that off at Guest Services to have signed, too. We got a couple extra signatures in there that we didn't get on the mat: Peter Pan, Captain Hook & Smee. I think it is because when we dropped off the photo mat, the GS person checked the boxes indicating the classic characters and the princesses. When we dropped off the autograph book, a different GS person helped us. She checked both of those same boxes, but then also added a note that said, "EVERYBODY!" Still, I think the frame and mat turned out pretty cute. The girls were so excited when we hung up the new photos from the cruise. Good memories!

I think it's safe to say that I'm a bit obsessed with DCL right now. I can't seem to stay off their website! Hopefully the fall 2013 itineraries for the Wonder and Magic are released soon!

Thanks so much to all of you who commented here!
Very nice! What size is that photo mat? The photo in middle was an 8x10 right? May have to add this little deal to our upcoming trip
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:01 PM   #40
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What a sweet family you have

I'm glad you had a great time, we were there on December & I have to agree that for the price we paid it was a magical vacation & a good $ deal (we live in Chandler, AZ )

I'm daydreaming about our next cruise
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:42 PM   #41
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Enjoyed your TR Marcie! Brought back lots of memories It was a pleasure to meet you on this cruise, your family is just lovely...

Janice
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:07 PM   #42
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Very nice! What size is that photo mat? The photo in middle was an 8x10 right? May have to add this little deal to our upcoming trip
Yes, the photo opening is 8x10. I'm not sure about the mat and frame. It all came together. I purchased it from Target, and I think it was $19.99. We saw similar ones at Michael's, too.
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:09 PM   #43
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Enjoyed your TR Marcie! Brought back lots of memories It was a pleasure to meet you on this cruise, your family is just lovely...

Janice
I enjoyed meeting you and Trevor, too! I loved recognizing some familiar faces all throughout the week. I hope your 2nd week on the Wonder was just as great as the first!
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:48 AM   #44
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Thanks for the wonderful, detailed TR! Dreaming and planning our time on the Wonder in September!
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #45
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Thanks for the wonderful, detailed TR! Dreaming and planning our time on the Wonder in September!
Happy to help! I've actually been eying the Pacific Coast cruise in September, too. We'll see!
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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