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Old 04-03-2012, 03:21 AM   #61
dizneeat
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Thanks for the photos of your walk around the hotel. So nice to see other hotels too.
When you wrote that Claire didn't want to swim for the first time, I was thinking - oh really?? And low and behold she wants to swim once she sees the pool. Kids!

Can't wait for more!
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:45 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
March 26, 2012. MondayThe day had arrived. I slept pretty decent and got up at the crack of dawn…..but I normally get up early anyways.
I started out with a little computer time and sending out those last minute client emails.
I then started packing all the last minute stuff. At 8 AM I see a bouncy little girl emerge from her room shouting that she was too “esscited” to sleep. Claire never gets up this early on her own. Each school morning is a ritual of basically dragging her out of bed and dressing her while she flops around. Today she was in high gear and wanted to get dressed and just leave.
Sounds just like my kids. Won't get up for school, but if we have something planned they want to do they are up at 5 am.

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Originally Posted by jenseib View Post

Claire and I made a bathroom stop. I love the bathroom here, it is so pretty, but I feel weird taking pictures in there. I did snap this one of Claire washing her hands. The sinks are very unusual. Toledo is the glass city, so I guess that is the theming of this bathroom.
You felt weird taking a picture of a bathroom??? Your last TR had 4,927 pictures of bathrooms!!


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We landed about 15 minutes early and out bags came rolling out fast as well. Skip went to get the car and he seemed to take forever. We had a good rate through Hertz from his sister, but I found out he fell for the “you need insurance” line. UGH! I tell him over and over not to get it. They were out of cars too, but they borrowed one from someone else.
Got it. Skips sister got you a good rate on a stolen car.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:32 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by francis6306 View Post
I have those vacation dreams too! But it always seems to go smoothly after that!!
I always have those weird dreams and they seem so real and then I wake up and am so thankful they aren't.

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Originally Posted by annmarieda View Post
I haven't rented a car in a while... but last time we did, I remember having a similar thing happen. Hard to find and then hard to figure out how to operate. You would think that features in a rental car would all be standard

Your hotel looks very clean and comfy. And the room is so big! I think I tend to forget that rooms at WDW tend to be on the small side.

Too funny that Claire wanted to swim after all. Isn't that just how kids are?!
I was shocked when she said she didn't want to swim. I should've known better.
The car was frustrating. A couple of times during the trip I thought we were locked out of it for good. I was about to throw a fit. Don't stand in my way to get to where I need to go.

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Originally Posted by ibob52 View Post
a few - chip clips or office binder clips ...
are on my travel list - multi purpose ...
and keep those hotel/motel curtains closed.
Yep. Thos was frustrating. I tried to pull them together (never thought about my clothes pins though) and it just wouldn't stay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dizneeat View Post
Thanks for the photos of your walk around the hotel. So nice to see other hotels too.
When you wrote that Claire didn't want to swim for the first time, I was thinking - oh really?? And low and behold she wants to swim once she sees the pool. Kids!

Can't wait for more!
It surely wasn't as pretty as Disney, but it was a decent place to stay.
Skip did say a couple of times that he wished we could just take a bus like at Disney.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddy_of_Princesses View Post
Sounds just like my kids. Won't get up for school, but if we have something planned they want to do they are up at 5 am.



You felt weird taking a picture of a bathroom??? Your last TR had 4,927 pictures of bathrooms!!



Got it. Skips sister got you a good rate on a stolen car.
Yep. Any day where we have something planned and she needs her sleep, she is right up! On a school day she is mean and nasty. Yesterday after school she had a play date and then fell asleep on the chair watching TV when she got home. She was so nasty to move to the bed. Ans she swears she never fell asleep. .....even though she was snoring. And then this morning she was still tired and I had to dress her while she was laying in her bed and fighting me. The joys of being a parent.

I know! I don't know why, but at the airport I felt weird taking pictures. I need to get over that fear!

I wonder if that dang car was stolen. I bet a thief could get in it easier than we did.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:45 AM   #64
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Jen, I posted on your other thread but didn't want you to miss it

Bad news, Jen. Allegiant is starting to charge for carry ons. Boo!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1397911.html
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #65
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Yay, I am so glad I found your link for your new TR!!! Off to read now!
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #66
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I wonder if that dang car was stolen. I bet a thief could get in it easier than we did.
Of course it was stolen. Let's see, the key didn't unlock it, you needed Skip to pound on the left front fender while you kicked the right rear hubcap, all while Claire was humming "Yankee Doodle Dandy" just to unlcok the drivers side door should have been been all the information you needed to figure out it was stolen.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:14 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by NWOhioAngela View Post
Jen, I posted on your other thread but didn't want you to miss it

Bad news, Jen. Allegiant is starting to charge for carry ons. Boo!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1397911.html
I did see you posted that. YUCK! I am not too happy about that one.

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Yay, I am so glad I found your link for your new TR!!! Off to read now!
Thanks for joining in! I know you are a fan of Universal. Have you been to both parks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddy_of_Princesses View Post
Of course it was stolen. Let's see, the key didn't unlock it, you needed Skip to pound on the left front fender while you kicked the right rear hubcap, all while Claire was humming "Yankee Doodle Dandy" just to unlcok the drivers side door should have been been all the information you needed to figure out it was stolen.
Actually if that was all we had to do, that would've been easy. this stupid thing didn't have a key, just a fob, so I was really worried what happened if you couldn't get the door to click open!
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #68
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Thanks for joining in! I know you are a fan of Universal. Have you been to both parks?


Yes, we love them!!! I miss the Back to the Future ride though. It was one of my favorites! Then with them getting rid of Jaws didn't make my husband too happy! lol That was his favorite ride.

My MIL actually has a friend who works for Universal and when we go, she gives us tickets. So on our trip in February of last year, we didn't have to wait very long in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The crowds were really low. This past October trip...forget about that!! The lines were crazy!!!
I am actually thinking of taking Chad on a surprise birthday trip in October for just the Universal parks and if we do, I am definitely getting the express passes.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:41 PM   #69
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A little late to the party, but can't wait to read more!
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:02 PM   #70
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Yes, we love them!!! I miss the Back to the Future ride though. It was one of my favorites! Then with them getting rid of Jaws didn't make my husband too happy! lol That was his favorite ride.

My MIL actually has a friend who works for Universal and when we go, she gives us tickets. So on our trip in February of last year, we didn't have to wait very long in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The crowds were really low. This past October trip...forget about that!! The lines were crazy!!!
I am actually thinking of taking Chad on a surprise birthday trip in October for just the Universal parks and if we do, I am definitely getting the express passes.
I highly suggest staying onsite. You'll get early entry and unlimited express pass usage.
If you don't stay onsite, at least stay at a good neighbor hotel where you can get early entry. Thats a MUST if you want to have less crowds in Harry Potter. It's a madhouse there.

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A little late to the party, but can't wait to read more!
Welcome! Better late than never!
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:40 PM   #71
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March 27, 2012. Tuesday

I had the alarm set for 6:25, but I woke at 6:15 and started to get myself ready. Skip was up right behind me and he got dressed and headed downstairs for coffee. Claire got up fairly well this morning. I knew this would probably be the only day, and it was just because of excitement.

Look who joined us this trip!



Sadly, we kept forgetting we had him and only took a handful of pictures with him in it.

We headed down to get a quick breakfast.

The choices weren’t great, but it was free. Claire went with a mini powdered donut and only because I insisted she eat something. She’s not much of a breakfast person.

I went with the biscuits and gravy. They also had hard boiled eggs (which I thought was weird), and make your own waffles, toast and bagels, a couple of cereal choices, fruit, like apples and oranges, and a couple of juices and milk.







Skip came in (he was outside smoking) and told us he had talked to some people outside that said the park crowds weren’t too bad and many of the basic rides were walk on. I didn’t quite believe that, but was happy to hear that it might not be too bad after all.

We finished up breakfast and then made our way to the car.



We had another fight with it this morning. We couldn’t get it to unlock. We kept hitting the button and then a combination of buttons and finally it opened. I was about to have a panic attack. We NEEDED to get to Universal early today.

We got in and I gave Skip the directions. They were right up to a degree. Our directions stated we would need to make a Uturn to get to the parking garage. That was not the case and we almost passed the entrance because we were on the wrong side of the road.

As we drove, I took a few pictures.



This pirate ship was right around the corner and we found out it was a pirate dinner show.



After we made a big swerve across a couple of lanes, we were at Universal. It was VERY close to our hotel. Technically we could’ve walked if we were adventurous, but it wasn’t worth the time or energy to do that. I would say it was a good mile away.



We paid for parking, which is $15 for standard parking, and weaved along towards the garage.



We got a very close spot, right next to the elevators and just a short walk to the escalators.



It was about 7:30 now. I was happy that we actually got moving this fast.

The walk to the parks is not a short one, so be prepared.

There is a bag check, but it is really fast.



They have moving walkways which help make the trip go faster as well. BUT, be sure you keep walking…this is NOT a ride. In the morning we had no troubles, but in the afternoons when we left, people would get on and stand 3 wide and not move an inch. This annoys the heck out of me….it is called a “moving walkway” for a reason. You are supposed to move and walk!

If course the whole time I am snapping pictures along the way. Some turned out decent, some really bad.



I kind of got photo bombed here too. Not intentionally, but come on…get out of my way!







There’s a better picture.



For those who don’t know, this is City Walk. There are lots of shops and restaurants here and you have to walk through it to get to either park.





I was proud because the family was moving pretty fast and keeping up with me. I really had slowed myself down too, but we kept up a good speed.







I never did make it into this store. I had wanted to check it out, but time didn’t allow it and Skip was anti shopping.




Last edited by jenseib; 04-03-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:45 PM   #72
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The park is in my sights now!!









We had to go to the will call kiosk and pick up our tickets.



This was a very easy process and it had no line. You just swipe your credit card that you paid with and punch in your confirmation number and out pops your tickets. We also got tickets for city walk, basically a waste for us. It’s for the night clubs at night, and we got our Three broomstick breakfast tickets as well.

This guy wanted to have some fun today too.



They had not opened the gates for early entry yet. I had heard they do this sometimes as early as 30 minutes prior and let you in so far, but not today. Look at the crowds waiting.





It was 7:45 now and we just had to wait.

Skip was in charge of a bag this trip. Since we didn’t bring a stroller along this time, I said he had to carry a few things to keep the load off of me somewhat.
Skip does NOT know how to wear a backsack evidently. WE laughed and joked on the ways he would carry it.






A little before 8 we were let in. We were behind a lady in a scooter. She went up and scanned her ticket and then backed up at full speed. We had to pull Claire out of the way or she would’ve been toast. The lady seemed like she wasn’t familiar with the scooter at all, but she also never looked behind her when she backed up. The lady behind us about had a heart attack. She said it was good we were on our toes, because that lady was crazy! LOL!

Claire didn’t have to do a finger scan, but I did. And it didn’t like me. The TM asked if I had used the ticket yet, and I told her no, this was our first day. Eventually she had me scan my thumb instead. Skip said he told her I used to be a bank robber so I took my fingerprints off. LOL!

We only got to go a few steps in and there was another rope blocking us, but we were there less than a minute and they dropped that and we took off with the herds of people…most heading in one direction….Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Of course I took lots of pictures on our journey.





I oohed and ahhed my way through. I just loved all the details and thought of my photographer forum friends who would enjoy snapping away here as well.













I pretty much knew where to go and it was easy NOT to get lost since the whole crowd was heading the same direction.





I must say, with walking, gawking and taking pictures, I didn’t get the best shots. I got a lot that were either under or over exposed, because I wasn’t paying attention to my settings at all.









I also had to remind myself that I would get back to these areas later and would be able to get more shots.

Last edited by jenseib; 04-03-2012 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #73
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Love the update, Jen!
All those photos bring back lots of memories. We used to go to Universal for 4 days every year, but have not been since they opened Harry Potter.

Can you imagine that we stayed on property and NEVER went for early entry? Just not that much of a morning person.
I love how Skip is carrying his backpack. He looks like a really fun guy.

And thanks for posting right now, ........ now I can go to bed and don't fall too far behind. (it's past midnight here!)
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #74
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Claire not wanting to swim then wanting to, is so typical of children!

The crowd is pretty large! That is why I don't go during Spring Break, a plus when the children are grown!

Where did you get the cute shirt Claire is wearing? The one with the pomeranian on the front. That looks like my dog!
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #75
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OMG!!! The walk from the parking garage to the parks takes FOREVER!!!!
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