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Old 06-07-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
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We Went to See Mic-key M-o-u-s-e ... Again! - Sept '12 TR [COMPLETE]



Now that I have exactly 100 days until time to leave, here goes nothing!

This trip is something we've been discussing ever since we got home from POP last September! We almost booked a bounceback while we were there, but we weren't sure what our financial situation would be ... better not to chance it. Tax time rolled around and ... lo and behold ... we're getting a larger-than-expected refund! Guess who my first call was to? That's right, my travel agent! Look out, Disney ... here we come again!

This is the first time I've ever done a PTR/TR. I've tried to hold back making one until I got our plans more concrete, though they are ever-changing, so I guess I can quit waiting. Didn't want to start one too soon because I was afraid I would run out of things to say, get bored, and abandon it. My biggest fear though is that no-one will read it ... and I'll be lonely and talking to myself.

Being that I am a trip report noob, I hope you will give me a little leeway as I update and make changes and figure out what the heck I'm going to talk about for the next 3 months. Just got a new camera, so I'm trying to figure out how to take a good pic of us that isn't blurry. Then, I need to get an online storage account so I can actually post them.

Here is some basic info to get things started - I will be adding more to this page as I go along. Please pardon my dust - this area under construction! In fact, it seems like *everything* is under construction ... I've changed the title of this PTR at least 4 times now.


Cast of Characters:


Me: Hello, I'm a Certified Disney Fanatic. Age 39 (and holding on tight). I have been crazy about WDW since I was a kid. My family used to make the annual trek to sunny Florida from Ohio nearly every year. Our trips didn't always include a visit to the 'World, but boy was I glad when they did. My favorite park is Magic Kingdom. I could spend every minute of every trip there and never get tired of it.

DH: T is 45. You could say he puts up with my Disney obsession, but when you get right down to it, he loves going almost as much as I do. He likes to be involved in the planning to some degree, but leaves most of it up to me. He also has done multiple trips to WDW. His favorite park is Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios (even when pressed, he wouldn't commit to one or the other).


When:
September 15th - September 22nd


We don't actually get to WDW until September 17th, but we will be arriving in Orlando on the 15th to visit with family. In years past, we've always stayed with family for most of our time in Florida. Last year, we stayed on-site for the first time at POP and loved it so much, we decided to stay on-site again this year.


Where:
Port Orleans French Quarter


We chose this resort based purely on size and decor alone. We were hoping to stay here for our 15th wedding anniversary in 2014, but the deal was right for this year, so we went ahead and took the plunge. We've booked a king room and requested river view - hopefully we'll get it. We were originally booked into a garden view 2-queen beds room, but when free dining opened up, we went ahead and splurged on the king.


Why:
Celebrating 13 Years of Bliss


DH and I will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary this coming October. We decided what better way to celebrate "Lucky 13" than with a trip to Disney? Besides, does anyone ever really need a REASON to go back?



Over the next 100 days, I will be detailing our daily plans (which tend to change), our ADRs (which have changed several times already), and hopefully getting some ideas and suggestions on how to make things better along the way ... if anyone ever reads this, that is. If you do decide to read, make sure you stick around for the post-trip report to see how things turned out!

Hope you will join me! Hang on though, it's bound to be a bumpy ride!
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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If you want to skip past other posts and my ramblings, here are the direct links to the important stuff.


Pre-Trip Plans and Information:

Post-Trip Wrap-Up:

Post-Trip Photos:
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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A Little Bit of Backstory

DH and I have been going to WDW since the first year we were together. His family lives in the Orlando area (convenient, no?). Before things got crazy with the economy, we were making an almost-yearly trek down to see them. Our plans always included at least a day in the 'World. It was a given that we would spend time at a park while we were in town.

We learned DH's nephew had become a CM when we were making our wedding and honeymoon plans. Immediately, FL/WDW came to mind as a destination. We figured we could kill two birds with one stone - a few days visiting family, a few days traveling around and doing what honeymooners do. We booked our trip for a 2-week stay in Florida. The nephew gave us park hopper tickets as a wedding gift.

Some in my family thought we were crazy for wanting to honeymoon at Disney. "That's for KIDS!" they all said. "Why not go to the beach or somewhere tropical while you still can?" I dug my heels in, though, and tried to explain ...

Disney is a magical place for me, and not just because of my childhood trips. When I met DH, he told me about how his DB and SIL met while working at WDW, and how long they had been married. They were a great couple - I would have killed to have their relationship. They were probably the most loving couple I've ever known. They had two kids - a son and a daughter. They always laughed about, "And to think, it all started in the Enchanted Tiki Room!" I don't remember all the details, but it was a great story. Cool, huh?



But wait ... there's more ...



Their son (DH's nephew) and his wife ALSO met while working at WDW. They were married two years after us.



So see ... we're a Disney Family. Magic really does happen there. To us, Disney is the place to be with the ones you love ... or meet the one you may love forever.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #4
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Double Digit Dancing

99 DAYS TO GO!

We started at 220 days to go when we booked in early February, and that seemed to fly right by. I can do 99 days standing on my head.

I've been purchasing things all this time, throwing them on the bed in the spare bedroom to keep them out of the way. So far, I have:
  • Bathing suit for me w/sarong
  • New camera
  • Ponchos
  • Camelback backpacks
  • Handful of travel-size stuff

The bathing suit was not a pleasant purchase experience. I hadn't bought one since I started losing weight a couple of years ago, and I was really not wanting to shop for one. I didn't figure the size 24 bathing suit I had was going to fit on this size 14 body, though, so it was a necessity.

We still have a bunch of stuff we need. Guess I need to step it up since we only have 99 days to go!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:36 AM   #5
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Basic Itinerary

These are our plans as of this moment in time. They have changed several times over already, though, so I don't doubt they will change again before we leave.


Saturday, September 15th - CVG to MCO
We have a 9:40 a.m. flight from Cincinnati, so to DH that means being at the airport no later than 7 a.m. That means leaving home no later than 6 a.m. And THAT means getting up no later than 5 a.m. UGH - why didn't we think this through better before we bought the tix? The upside to flying out that early though means we get to MCO at Noon, so we'll have basically the entire day to spend with family.


Sunday, September 16th - Beach Day
We're hoping to convince DH's family to join us for a beach day today and go as a group. If we all go together, we'll likely go to New Smyrna. If just DH and I go, chances are it will be Daytona. DH still wants to take the track tour available there, and we never seem to have time to do it. I could hang on the beach and stare at the ocean all day long, but not him. Hopefully we can talk the family into going, at least for a little while.


Monday, September 17th - Arrive at WDW
Since we'll be coming from relatively close-by, we're hoping to arrive early in the a.m. to check-in. Keeping our fingers crossed we get the room requests we've made (upper floor, river view), but I'll be happy just to be there. It is our first time staying at POFQ, and after all the wonderful things I've read here on the DIS, I think we made the right choice.

Today, we have no solid plans. Once we get checked in, we've got to head to the nearest grocery and pick up some supplies. After that, I guess we'll spend some time checking out the resort and probably spend some quality time down at the pool.


Tuesday, September 18th - MNSSHP
This is the day we've been talking about for months. I'll do a more detailed post later on costumes, etc.


Wednesday, September 19th - EPCOT with PM EMH
We haven't been to EPCOT in years and years, so it had to be on the list for this time around. We haven't been since Soarin' was built, to give you some idea on exactly how long it has been. I have a feeling we're going to be here all. day. long. More details to follow.


Thursday, September 20th - MK with AM EMH and KTTK Tour
We've been wanting to do a tour for years, people ... YEARS! We decided the time had finally come to cross this off the ole Bucket List. More details later.


Friday, September 21st - DHS
This was supposed to be a free day for us. You know, to visit DTD, maybe take in a round of mini-golf, or see some of the other things Orlando has to offer.

Two days ago, DH announces to me that he really, REALLY wants to go back to DHS again (or "MGM" as he calls it). "I know we went last year, but I want to spend our last day in a park ... and I want to get you on RnR if it's the last thing I do!" Okaaaaaaaaay, so scratch all the other stuff I had planned ... now not only do I need to come up with the money from somewhere for another park day ... but I need to try to get an ADR on a Fantasmic Friday during Free Dining? No problem.


Saturday, September 22nd - MCO to CVG
We have a late departure time - I think it is around 5 p.m. - so we'll most likely spend this day with family again after we say goodbye to POFQ.


So there you have it (though at this point, I'm still talking to myself)! Our basic itinerary ... for now. It's nice to see it all spelled out so nice and organized (though I know it will change). I'll be posting more later about what we plan to try and accomplish each day, along with our ADRs, etc.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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First: Congrats on celebrating 13 years of wedded bliss. My DH and I will be celebrating 11years in 6 more days!! I can't believe it! We were actually married at the Polynessian at WDW! So we know all about honeymooning at Disney. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Second: Congrats on such a huge weight loss.... I'm starting my diet on Monday. My husband agreed to letting me plan a disney trip if I promise to get myself in shape so I'm not miserable walking around the parks. So I have 5 months to loose a bunch of weight. ((Wish me luck))

Third: Your plans look like tons of fun. Can't wait to read more.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reyasmommy View Post
First: Congrats on celebrating 13 years of wedded bliss. My DH and I will be celebrating 11years in 6 more days!! I can't believe it! We were actually married at the Polynessian at WDW! So we know all about honeymooning at Disney. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Second: Congrats on such a huge weight loss.... I'm starting my diet on Monday. My husband agreed to letting me plan a disney trip if I promise to get myself in shape so I'm not miserable walking around the parks. So I have 5 months to loose a bunch of weight. ((Wish me luck))

Third: Your plans look like tons of fun. Can't wait to read more.


So glad I'm not talking to myself anymore LOL Thanks for stopping by!

Early congrats on your 11th anniversary how exciting for you! And you got married at WDW ... that was my ultimate plan, but I couldn't make it happen. Too many conflicts with family, etc.

As for the weight loss, it has taken me YEARS to get the weight off, and I'm still not finished. I have a lot of problems (diabetes included) that make it harder to lose weight. You can do it! Once you start, don't give up! Don't look at any day as a failure, even if you do cheat a little. I look at my day in percentages ... as in, I ate well all day but I did have a few chips ... so today was a 95% day. Things like that. Makes you feel much better than saying, "Well, I ate a few chips, my day is ruined, might as well go ahead and have the cake." See? Best of luck to you, and if you need support or an ear, feel free to yell.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:54 AM   #8
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98 Days Out ... and Already Planning For Next Time!

This weekend was supposed to be about going shopping and picking up more stuff we need for our trip. You know what they say about the best laid plans?

DH ended up getting asked to work today. His manager is kind of sneaky. He says, "I approved your July 4th time off. Oh by the way, can you work tomorrow?" DH knew if he said no, there would be no approval for time off next time he asked. I hate the way companies treat their employees these days, ya know?

Guess there won't be any shopping for us today. Oh well. I'm quite sure I can find things to occupy my time.

Here we are, 98 days out from our vacation, and last night DH started talking about going back next year. NEXT YEAR! Our original plan was to wait a year before we did anything Disney related again. Do no trip at all in 2013, then try and save for Vegas and DL for 2014 for our big 15th anniversary trip.

Now mind you, this all hinges on getting a bounceback offer while we're there in September. So I guess in the meantime, all I can do is ... MORE PLANNING! I need to start checking out what resort (it will be a value), how much money we will need to save (a lot - this is WDW!), what parks we want to go to (MK for sure) and how long we want to be there (as long as possible)!

Have I mentioned yet how much I LOVE my husband?
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Monday, September 17th - ARRIVE AT WDW!

I've been trying to come up with things to do on our arrival day for weeks. We're going to be so excited just to get there, but I don't want this day to go to waste. We're going to try our best to get there between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. I'm hoping by arriving so early that we'll stand a better chance of getting to the room early so we can drop our stuff and go.

We definitely have to get to the nearest grocery store to pick up what I call "Breakfast Basics". Since we'll be eating our first meal of the day in our room, I've tried to come up with a good list of items that will not only be quick to eat, but also provide plenty of protein to keep us full for a couple of hours. We will also need some snacky-snacky type stuff - I'm diabetic so I am very careful about what I eat. I know WDW offers whole fruit, carrot & celery sticks, etc. ... but for what they charge for one banana, I can get a whole bunch at the grocery. Not to mention it will get very boring very quickly if those are the only things I'm using snack credits for. More than likely, DH will be glad to use the majority of the snack credits on things like Mickey Bars, sundaes, etc.

Chances are, we'll be using Wal-Mart since there are two supercenters fairly close by. We are used to shopping there for groceries at home, so hopefully they will have the same stuff we're used to buying (for close to the same prices).

Breakfast Basics:
  • Almond Milk
  • Vitamin D Milk
  • Trop 50 Orange Juice
  • Fruit (probably blueberries and/or strawberries)
  • Greek Yogurt (Oikos or Chobani)
  • Special K Protein Plus Cereal
  • Flaxseed Meal
  • Cheap Plastic or Disposable Dixie Bowls

I figure I will be okay with cereal in the mornings - it's DH I worry about. He's used to having a hot breakfast every day. I wish we had access to a microwave - that would make things so much better and give us more options. If the cereal doesn't end up keeping him full, we can always run down to the food court and get a side of scrambled eggs to round it out.


Snacky-Snacks:
  • Bottled Water
  • Crystal Light Single-Serve Drink Mixes
  • Pretzels & Chips
  • Cheese Sticks
  • Granola Bars
  • Nuts
  • M&M's & Snickers Bars
  • Raisins

I am used to snacking throughout the day, as is he. I know we'll be spending a lot of time in the parks, but luckily most of this stuff is portable. I plan to use some of the M&M's, nuts, and raisins to make my own trail mix.

Once we get back from the grocery, it will be time to explore the resort and do some swimming! Later tonight, the unofficial "plan" is to visit DTD. There are several shops I want to try and hit there. Here's what's on my to-do list:
  • World of Disney
  • Disney's Days of Christmas (specifically for an ornament)
  • Basin
  • Design-A-Tee
  • Tren-D (gotta check out the D&B bags!)
  • Lego Store (DH, not me LOL)

Can you tell I'm a list maker?

Oddly enough, this was the one day I thought we had no plans ... ummm yeah! I guess we're going to be busier than I thought on arrival day.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:08 AM   #10
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I'm also going on the 15th! However we're starting our Disney stuff on the 15th and leaving on the 20th, so we probably won't bump into each other! Still following along!!
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxkris View Post
I'm also going on the 15th! However we're starting our Disney stuff on the 15th and leaving on the 20th, so we probably won't bump into each other! Still following along!!


Glad you decided to join in! And remember, one never knows ... these plans have changed a gazillion times already! By the time the actual trip rolls around, we may not even be staying at French Quarter anymore!
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:45 PM   #12
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Tuesday, September 18th - MNSSHP

HALLOWEEN PARTY DAY!

This is going to be a laid-back kind of day for us before the party. It will be the only day we can sleep in because we have nowhere to go in the morning! And face it, we ain't young anymore ... I'll take every single sleep-in day I can get!

Since we're not planning to get up uber-early, we'll probably have a late breakfast/early lunch at Sassagoula's this morning ... then we're gonna hit the pool! We may also walk over to POR to check the place out ... and maybe use one of the pools over there. I *love* having a sister resort this time around! Don't get me wrong, POP was fantastic last year, but having a whole other resort so close by to explore gets me almost giddy.

Anyhoo ...

We're planning to be on the bus to go to the party no later than 3 p.m. Give ourselves a good hour to get there ... just in case. I'd rather be early and stand in line for a little longer than waste a single second once the gates are open to us.

We're not going to the party for the characters or the trick-or-treating. We're mostly going to soak up the atmosphere, for the parade, fireworks ... and to see what everyone else is dressed up as! Gonna make sure I have fresh batteries in the camera today, that's for sure!

As far as our costumes ... well ... we're pretty boring, I'm gonna admit it. After weeks of discussion about couple's costumes (pirate and wench, prince and princess, Mickey & Minnie, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head ... it went on and on), we finally settled on ... drumroll please ...

A Doctor and a Nurse ***ETA: There's a pic of my scrub top in THIS POST. ***

We wanted to be dressed up, but still comfy, and let's face it ... nylon non-breatheable costumes and/or face paint + Florida in September don't exactly equal "COMFORT". We've been in September before and we know it can be hot as the face of the sun. So we decided to keep things as simple as possible. DH got plain blue/green scrubs ... and I got DAISY! We figure the scrubs are cotton, lightweight, and easy to get on/off rides in. This way, we're still dressed up, but won't be burning up. My sister works at a hospital, so she's going to get us all the accessories. Now we just need to come up with some cool names for our nametags and I think we'll be set.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:17 PM   #13
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Wednesday, September 19th - EPCOT with PM EMH

DH and I were talking, and we honestly can't remember how long it has been since we visited EPCOT. Soarin' wasn't there. I don't remember Mission: Space, either. I know we rode Test Track ... too bad we won't get to do that this year as it is one of our favs. Oh well, I guess we can always pop over there and see the Test Track singing group, no?

We have quite a list of must-sees, but I'm hoping we can get it all done. Here's what we want to accomplish:
  • Mission: Space
  • Figment
  • Livin' with the Land
  • Maelstrom
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Grand Fiesta Tour
  • Soarin'
  • Sum of All Thrills
  • See Illuminations
  • Visa Character Meet & Greet

I'm hoping we're not being overly optimistic, considering how hot it's going to be and how tired we're already going to be from being at MK until Midnight on Tuesday with MNSSHP. Anddddd ... I'm not sure we'll stay for all the EMH, being that DH wants to do RD at MK tomorrow morning (and of course, it's an AM EMH, so MK opens at 8 a.m. )

I think DH is forgetting how ginormous EPCOT is ... and how tired we are after going there. Which is why we've skipped it the past couple of visits.

But I have faith! We will survive! We will ride Soarin'! We will use FPs to our advantage! We will take a mid-day break! We can do this ...all of it!!

(Heaven help us!)
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:37 AM   #14
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Ch-Ch-Changes

Okay, okay ... when did I write that we were doing DHS on our last day? :::scrolling up::: June 8th. 4 short days ago.

This morning, DH tells me he's not so sure anymore that he wants to do a park on our last day, grumbling something about "all the walking" and "having another relax day" and "we aren't spring chicks anymore." WHAATT? Whose idea was it to add DHS on the last day, hmmmmm?

I think it *finally* may have sunk in last night when I explained how our new schedule is going to look this time with adding DHS and all the RDs he's wanting to do. Check it out:

Tuesday - sleep in, then out til Midnight at MNSSHP
Wednesday - up at 7 to be on the bus by 8 for RD at EP at 9 ... EMH til Midnight
Thursday - up at 6 to be on the bus by 7 to be at RD at MK at 8 (close at 9)
Friday - up at 7 to be on the bus by 8 to be at RD at DHS by 9 (close at 8)

I could see this schedule if we were 25, but we aren't 25 anymore. There are some who say, "You can sleep when you're dead! This is DISNEY! You spent lots of money to be here!" Yeah, yeah, I know. I just can't see us being able to keep this pace. I know us - we are more the sleep-in type, we've always done things that way, never seen the magical RD or a single opening ceremony. Why DH wants to try and do all the RDs this time is beyond me. I can see it happening on Wednesday, but after that? NO! We'll abandon our plan for some shut-eye, I just know it!

SO ... we may end up taking DHS back off the schedule and have a completely free day on Friday. Which was what we planned in the first place because we didn't want to do parks for 4 out of the 5 days we'll be there and kill ourselves trying to do it all.

AND ... the ADRs are changing, too. I've made 3 different ressie changes over the past 2 days. *sigh* It's like an addiction - "Wonder if I can get in here? OOOOH, they have an opening! I'd rather eat HERE than where we were booked!"

Why do I get the feeling that by the time we are 30 days out that our schedule will look *nothing* like what I posted above?

95 days to go!
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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94 Days till WDW, 92 Days till We Leave!

I'm not sure why I started a trip report. So many things have changed just in the past week or so, I'm starting to think maybe I should have waited just a teensy bit longer. It's all good though. This thing really is keeping my thoughts together in one place, and with a memory like mine, every little bit helps!

"Breakfast Basics" no longer applies. We talked it over, and we're both thinking we probably won't last long on just cereal and yogurt. Ahhhh one more thing to save for - hot breakfasts every morning. Truthfully, though, I am looking forward to it. A good solid breakfast I don't have to cook? SWEET!

We went today and bought me some park shoes so I can start breaking them in. DH needs shoes, too. A couple pairs of shorts between us, some sunscreen, a hat for me and we should be all set. I'll probably try and pick up the sunscreen at Costco - I couldn't believe what they wanted for one freakin' can at Walmart today! Even the off-brand stuff was almost $10 a can. No thank you, I'll wait and buy it at Costco.

Really all that's left to do now is wait ... and make some more changes! I think thus far the only thing that hasn't changed is our dates and where we're staying. I think I've printed a whole tree's worth of paper out by now, between the itinerary and ADR switches. Thank goodness for my trusty PTR where I can keep it all straight!

We have been talking about next year's trip already. I really want to stay at POP again, but after taking the computer for a while, DH really thinks AoA looks like fun. I told him we need to wait and see how the reviews come in for AoA before we make up our minds since there are some who say it looks kind of "loud". Afterall, it is over a year away ... who knows what can happen between now and then? Sure is fun to think about and plan though! What isn't fun is thinking of all the money we're going to need to come up with between now and then ....

94 days!
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