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Old 07-12-2012, 06:13 PM   #16
jburgi2505
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Congrats on a successful trip! The pictures are great.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #17
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I WANT TO GO BACK!!!!!!!
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by lmckiel View Post
I WANT TO GO BACK!!!!!!!
Me too!
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:27 PM   #19
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Huzzah! I'm totally here!

Wait, seriously? They changed out the emoticons AGAIN?

Anyway ... Glad you had a great trip down! Happy belated birthday to Katie! Sorry there was no whisking at check-in for CL.

On a side note, glad you're enjoying your Nook! I'd love to hear what books you have loaded onto it. I bought a Nook Color about a year ago, but it was horrid. I think mine was defective, as it took forever to load anything and to turn pages. It was awful, and I took it back within 24 hours of purchase. What few digital books I have, I read through the Kindle app on my phone or iPad. But lately, I've been spending more time enjoying books from the library than online. (So I could use some good recommendations!) Anyway, anxious to hear about how awesome your trip was and thanks for the heads up on the TR!
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:10 PM   #20
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Hello! I was out of town over the weekend, so I missed the beginning of your report! Sorry your intro to the YC wasn't as great as you would have hoped, but I love all the pics. Isn't the walk to the International Gateway fantastic? I'm going to there before the end of the week!
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Mary Ellen, I'm so sorry it took me a while to get back here and caught up.

Hooray for a bascially uneventful trip down. And I'm so glad that the Airborne and fluids seemed to help somewhat with your oncoming cold.

Love the entry pictures to DW...always the best sight. And love the room pics.

I hope Katie had a great birthday.
The problem with DIS is that you meet so many wonderful people that you want to spend hours and hours catching up, and there is just not that much time. I know, I have this problem too! Never worry Kathy! (and I am so behind on your TR...if only work would stop being so demanding )

Quote:
Originally Posted by jburgi2505 View Post
Congrats on a successful trip! The pictures are great.
Welcome! and thanks. There are more to come, honest!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmckiel View Post
I WANT TO GO BACK!!!!!!!
YAY Lesley's here. be sure to chime in!

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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Me too!
ME THREE!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lidian View Post
Huzzah! I'm totally here!

Wait, seriously? They changed out the emoticons AGAIN?

Anyway ... Glad you had a great trip down! Happy belated birthday to Katie! Sorry there was no whisking at check-in for CL.

On a side note, glad you're enjoying your Nook! I'd love to hear what books you have loaded onto it. I bought a Nook Color about a year ago, but it was horrid. I think mine was defective, as it took forever to load anything and to turn pages. It was awful, and I took it back within 24 hours of purchase. What few digital books I have, I read through the Kindle app on my phone or iPad. But lately, I've been spending more time enjoying books from the library than online. (So I could use some good recommendations!) Anyway, anxious to hear about how awesome your trip was and thanks for the heads up on the TR!
Joe gave me the Nook color for Christmas and I totally love it. It does sound like you got a defective one - I have not had those issues with mine, and Katie saved up her Christmas & chore money and bought one too - and she has had not had downloading issues either. Once in a while page freezes on me, but if I go back a page, then forward, all is well.

I have been reading a lot of freebies an cheepies. J.L. Rain has turned out to be a fun and light read - I've read the Samantha Moon and the Jim Knighthorse series. I'll have to check some of the other titles -- Nook has free book fridays on Facebook, so I try to download whatever their free title is. Sometimes its good, sometimes its better than nyquil for putting me to sleep
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #22
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So I know that I need to get this TR moving -- it has just taken me a long time to get all of my photos uploaded, resized and edited to blur Joe out ((boo!)). This morning I uploaded my Trek photos but need to resize them and then I can move right along.

While I was uploading photos, I thought I'd share a bit of Miss Katies extended birthday celebration with you all!

This year, my understanding the budget thing girl opted to do something fun and special with a friend instead of a big blow out party. This is the first year that Katie has not had a birthday party, so that made the her actual birthday a bit of a bummer for her. She literally woke up singing "Today's my birthday, yeah its my birthday" it was so cute! There were presents waiting for her in the morning from Joe and I, Lesley, my friend Yvonne, her grandparents (my folks) and her aunt Nina. but then it was a regular day. Not so thrilling for a new 9 year old!

The next day was the big day - we picked up her BFF Becca and Becca's mom to go to CamelBeach Waterpark. It was about an hour's drive (a bit longer because I missed my turn and then literally drove over a mountain and then back again till I figured out where I went wrong).

We all had a blast - we tackled the wave pool first and well, both girls are July birthdays so they are totally water babies! The wave pool was a lot of fun but depending on where you were standing the waves could be really strong! Around 4 foot, you caught the swell, at 3ft you got crashed on.



and can you tell that I finally got to test the waterproof feature of my Playsport?

Its fun, but with the sun behind me, I really could not tell what I was taking a picture of. I had a doozy shot of Joe's arm pit.

After we got knocked around in the waves a bit, we took it down a notch and went to the regular pool. Joe played catch with Katie .... literally

and the girls had a blast swimming and horsing around.
Becca is only 2 weeks younger than Katie, but Katie has a good 10 inches on her, so Becca wore a life jacket for most of the day for safety.

We took a turn in the lazy river, but I have to say this river was not that lazy. I normally LOVE a few laps in a tube, but there were no steps to help you plop down on the tube, and it took me more than half the river just to get IN the tube. I just got comfy and saw that Joe and the girls were getting out already . aach! so I flipped myself off...the tube and waited for Becca's mom Priscilla. By the time we got out the three of them had disappeared! It took us a few minutes to find them in the kiddie water works.


Bad mom, when Katie was on the swinging tire, I pushed her and got it swinging pretty good. then the life guard promptly told us it was too high. oops. I forgot we were in the little kid section!

After this, Katie Joe & I headed out to the car for a tailgate picnic lunch. While we packed enough for everyone, Becca & Priscilla opted to stay in the park & get something at the counter service place there. I stuck my camera in the locker at this point, so no more water park photos!

At the end of the day, all dressed again,
we headed out for dinner.

We drove to a nearby Olive Garden (I did NOT take food pictures, can you believe it?!?) only I did tell the waitress we were celebrating a birthday, and the staff put a candle in Katie's desserts and sang to her.




The food was delicious but our services was s l o w. I think we were at the restaurant for an hour and a half, maybe longer. By the end of dinner, we were tired and were getting worried about poor Thor, who had not been let out all day.

the girls chatted and giggled the whole ride back to Becca's house, and Katie fell asleep before we left Becca's street after we dropped them off!
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:06 AM   #23
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(hmm are my photos too small? let me know!)

So we headed home & took care of Thor, and Katie went right to bed. She needed sleep because we had another big day planned!

Tuesday she slept in a bit (maybe 9 am?) and by the time she woke up I was nearly packed for a day trip to the Jersey shore. For the past three years, she and I have been taking a day trip just the two of us to Point Pleasant beach. Its about a two hour drive from our house. We have a bit of a routine in that we know exactly where we will park (near a bath house), play on the beach for a while, then shower & dress & walk down to the boardwalk attractions. It has turned into a much loved Mommy & Me tradition - I hope she wants to keep it up as the tween years kick in for her.




Nothing like a picture like this to remind you just how small you are in the grand scheme of things.

We did not stay too long on the beach this time - guess she is outgrowing the whole sand castle thing, and the waves were a bit rough it being right after high tide. We showered and changed and walked down to the boardwalk attractions.

We splurged on a multi-attraction ticket and spent some time in the Jenkinson Aquarium. I was not sure what to expect when we went in but it was a very nice little aquarium. nicely kept and for a boardwalk, a decent variety of aquatic life including poisonous tropical frogs, sharks, penguins, seals, and a touch tank.





can you see all the teeth on this guy? YIKES!

I took a photo of the big ship from the steps:

and we headed upstairs, where we found a touch tank.


this was pretty cool - there were two small sharks in there, and a few sting rays. the stingrays would swim up along the outer edge of the pool and they would look like they were waving at you, really encouraging the kids to touch them. One spit on Katie, which was pretty funny!
This is a little blurry - i tried to crop in so you could see the side of the stingray


Eventually she did reach in and touch the tail of the shark but she'd heard from the staff person to only touch the tail because the little guy had been known to bite.



We stayed long enough to watch feeding time for the pacific shark tank. That was neat but it was pretty crowded there so I stayed back and let Katie go up close to the tank with the other kids, so I didn't get any photos. (plus by this time my phone was really low so I had turned it off to save power for the ride home just in case!)

After the aquarium, we had a bite to eat (not noteworthy this time. bummer) and then visited the fun house. The fun house has a great mirror maze with used to really freak her out but she did it pretty well this time.

There was a great balcony shot, so I had to take a quick photo to get Katie with the boardwalk below.


Right next to the fun house was mini golf (the last of our multi pack !) and we had fun playing. We are not big competitors so we just enjoyed ourselves without keeping score.

A bit of ice cream for the walk back for Katie and that was it! See ya Jersey Shore! Joe said he might go with us again later this summer. Maybe we will pick Seaside Heights or Ocean City --- ok Jersey folks, where else is a fun boardwalk? pretty much anywhere between Point Pleasant and Tom's River will still be around two hours drive for us.

That was our multi day birthday celebration for Katie - not bad for skipping a party, right?

Ok bed for me now but I promise a real update is coming!
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:53 AM   #24
lmckiel
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I think your best bet would be Sea Side Heights. They have a pretty family friendly boardwalk. Before we found the "military" beach we would go to Sea Side. Only problem is, I think you have pay to get on the beach.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:26 AM   #25
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Well, I think Katie had a great birthday. Way more fun that a party. The Camel beach (or whatever it is called) looks pretty fun and not really crowded.

Unfortunately, I know nothing about the Jersey shore anymore since I only go to the Delaware beaches
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Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

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Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:50 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmckiel View Post
I think your best bet would be Sea Side Heights. They have a pretty family friendly boardwalk. Before we found the "military" beach we would go to Sea Side. Only problem is, I think you have pay to get on the beach.
We pay to get onto Point Pleasant beach as well, so I expect that.

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Well, I think Katie had a great birthday. Way more fun that a party. The Camel beach (or whatever it is called) looks pretty fun and not really crowded.

Unfortunately, I know nothing about the Jersey shore anymore since I only go to the Delaware beaches
ME can you believe I have NEVER been to the DE Beaches? I look at them every year but never seem to go there. Its far for a day day trip for me, and I hate dealing with the Philly area traffic. You will have to give me recommendations so that I know where to go when we can finally get there. Its on my bucket list
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
Hello! I was out of town over the weekend, so I missed the beginning of your report! Sorry your intro to the YC wasn't as great as you would have hoped, but I love all the pics. Isn't the walk to the International Gateway fantastic? I'm going to there before the end of the week!
Tina I missed this! I am so jealous that you are on your way! I hope you have a great time.

yes, the International Gateway is fantastic. The only downside, if you can call it that, is that it took us most of the week to use the "front door" and get our classic globe shot!
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #28
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Hello EPCOT!

EPCOT!

We were using Military passes, so stopped at the guest services ticket window to have our tickets authorized an in we went!


We browsed through the shop at the International Gateway, where I picked up a packet of post cards. We had 6 pm dinner reservations in Mexico so we had about two hours or so to meander our way over. First stop: SLUSHIES!


Grey Goose for Joe & Lesley (I didn’t get pictures of their drinks!) and Grand Marnier for me. a little bit of icy heaven there! We watched the Serveur Amusant while we enjoyed our drinks.




THIS is how I wanted to do Epcot – drink in hand, enjoying the entertainment around the showcase! When the performance was over, we headed in to see Impressions de France – a movie we had never seen before.

We had just missed a show, so we wandered through the dump shop first, and then headed back to the entrance.




While we waited in the lovely air conditioned lobby, I gave a quick call to Katie to see how her school day was and how she was doing. She had a few stories to tell, but it was hard to hear, so really I have no idea what she was really telling me about. I texted a funny picture of Joe to her via my sister’s cell phone, and after Joe chatted for a few minutes, we told her we’d call later.

Impressions de France is really a very beautiful movie – I really enjoyed seeing the countryside and the historic estates and castles. Oh, and did I mention how lovely the air conditioning was?

We headed back out and on our way to Morocco. Mo Rockin’ was playing as we got there, so we stopped to enjoy the show and the music. Belly dancing look fun – but I know it’s a lot of exercise. Katie and I saw belly dancers perform last fall at an outdoor festival – they were just every day women of all shapes and sizes – some of average build, some with a lot more belly to dance. We both thought it looked like fun – if I had extra money in my budget I would sign us up for the family lessons. but I digress.



We meandered through the shops in Morocco, and then through that little house/museum. I never knew it was there. I love walking through buildings like that seeing a bit of history and a taste of how people live around the world.






Outside of Morocco was another slushie stand and Joe and I were game for a new flavor. hey, why not, right? Joe ordered the Sultan’s ……. and I ordered the habibi daiquiri. Mine was a bit too sweet for me, but still yummy. Joe’s was frozen coconut yumminess. I would order that one next time!


Here is the drink menu:

We meandered along people watching.

We stopped to see the miniature village outside of Germany,






and HAD to stop at Karamell Küche to check out the tasty treats. Lesley and I have a life long tradition of indulging in caramel apples, and so we could not pass them up here. DDP Note: while all of the other yummy treats in the case ARE considered snacks on the DDP, the caramel apples are not, and you have to pay OOP for them. Oh well, we had them wrapped to enjoy later and were on our way.



I was scoping out tiara's for our little princess at home, and had to try one on myself of course!




(continued next post)

Last edited by Moira222; 07-17-2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:21 PM   #29
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It was getting close to six now, so we walked a bit faster to make our reservations in Mexico. Now here is where I made a huge novice mistake – so much I am almost embarrassed to own it here on the DISboards. I was SURE that we were eating in the Mayan temple. I was so looking forward to eating under the twinkling stars of Mexico, listening to the water from the Tres Caballeros ride. La Hacienda here we come. As we walked along, ready to turn right up those steps we saw this to the left:



oh, yeah, see my mistake? DOH! as we approached the temple, I caught a look at the restaurant to my left, and how surprised was I to see the restaurant’s name “La Hacienda de San Angel” whhaaaaattt?
Oh well, this was where our reservation was so this was where we were headed. No big deal but we laughed at my mistake. some planner I am!!




Joe and I had already checked out the menu in advance and had decided to share the Del Mar platter. We looked over the menu and agreed to stay with our plan. It did not disappoint!


Lesley ordered Puerco en Salsa de Mole negro, which she also enjoyed. The Mole sauce was a perfect topping for the pork.


The rice and beans were brought in separate bowls for the three of us to share, which worked great because I hate beans, but love Spanish rice. this was one of the few meals we had at Disney that had a generous portion of vegetables included on the plate.


Not sure exactly what Disney has against veggies, but we noticed that most of the entrees were very skimpy on the greens. At home, we typically fill half our plate with veggies at dinner time, so after a day or so we really missed them!

Joe and I ordered sangria, and Lesley ordered a margarita, though I don’t remember which one. Funny thing about Florida water – to me it calls to mind how early Europeans always drank wine or beer because the water was nasty. I could taste the sulfuric water in all of the soft drinks & iced tea we had – it made drinking wine and beer that much easier!
Ok I have to own this funny moment. After we ordered and started our sangria's, I needed to excuse myself. I found the ladies room, took care of business, and then all happy with myself, headed back to my table. Just kept walking and walking an dwalking. Walked about three tables past Joe and Lesley before the kindly (and with no small laughs) clued me in on my mistake. Yup, slushies + sangria. Yumm.
For desserts, we all ordered something different. Lesley ordered Crema de Chcolate Abuelita – a chocolate custard with crunchy strips and caramel syrup.


I ordered the Empanada de Manzan. OMG this was SO delicious! a puffed pastry filled with sautéed apple, with dulce de leche ice cream and caramel sauce. (sorry, I had to taste it before I regained my senses and took pictures!)


Joe ordered the Tamal de Dulce – a sweet tamal filled with guava and topped with a strawberry sauce.



I was surprised he ordered that, because its far from his usual dessert choice. unfortunately, he was not happy with it at all and had only one or two bites. It was overly sweet and the guava paste gave the tamal a very artificial texture that was really unappealing. I gave him some of my Empanada – that’s what he really wanted but he thought we should all try something different. After this dinner, he gave up on uniqueness and went for what he wanted!

I don’t mind telling you after the drinks at the hotel, two slushies and sangria in all in about 3 hours, (plus the zyrtec I took for motion sickness!) and the minimal sleep we’d had throughout the weekend, I was really sleepy! (so sleepy that it has taken me almost a week to remember just what we did after dinner!)



We headed over to the Mayan Temple and wandered around a bit and rode the Tres Caballeros. I love the music throughout that ride, its fun and the video clips are silly.

I scoped out a few tiaras in the temple (Joe and I had separately thought a tiara would be a great gift for Katie ,and then laughed when we told each other our “perfect gift” – do we know our princess or what?) and we browsed the market before heading out.



After we toured the Mexico Pavilion, we actually headed out of the park to downtown Disney, but we didn’t spend a long time there. Joe wanted to order something at Arribas Bros. that was a custom order, so we hung out there a bit and I looked for more tiaras, finally buying one,

We visited the Pin Traders and of course the World of Disney store along with a few others. There was a kids/ concert going on, where the kids were dancing with a DJ/MC. We had a seat, chilled out for a few minutes, and watched the kids dance. It made me miss Katie a bit – she would have LOVED to do the Macarena and the cha cha slide at Disney World J We did not head back to Planet Hollywood though – we were full from dinner.

Last edited by Moira222; 07-17-2012 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:35 PM   #30
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Day 1 planning meets reality

So, what were my plans for our first day & what did we do? I filled in my notes from my planner:

Monday June 4
Arrive between 9 and 11 am -- we took a major detour and visited St. Augustine at this time, so it was around 12 or so before we hit Orlando.

Orlando Outlets open at 10 a.m.
Disney's Character Premiere at the Orlando Premium OutletsWe visited this place on our way in, and while they had a lot of tee’s and assorted items, there was nothing that any of us just “had to have” and the prices really seemed much more “premium” than “outlet”. We bought two fleece blankets with Cinderella Castle – buy one for $15 get one. One we gave to our house/dog sitter, and the other is quite snuggly on my lap as I type this!

Disney's Character Warehouse at Prime Outlets Internationalthis place seemed like it was ready to go out of business it was so stripped down. They had a few baby items, and a lot of out dated Disney product like High School Musical one and two and a lot of Hannah Montana, some cheesy stickers and a gazillion golf shirts. if you like golf shirts, here’s your place! but we were so not impressed. (we did not hit this outlet on Monday but later in the week)


Check in to the Yacht Club!!!
Either catch a short nap or change & head to the pool for some veg out/ relaxation time, lunch will be at Hurricane Hannah’s by the pool. Use DDP QS meal OR -- we skipped lunch because we just snacked at the club level. We wandered the resort a bit but no pool time or Hurricane Hannah’s.
Head to downtown Disney, hit Arribas Bros and use Planet Hollywood gift certificate for snacks and drinks. LOL THAT’s what we did after dinner! man I was tired! (seriously it took me til tonight when I saw the planner to remember what we did after dinner!)


EPCOT Center: By 4:30 p.m. We actually hit Epcot right about this time. amazing!!
Dinner: La Hacienda Mexico for 6 p.m. Yummm

Goals for EPCOT today:
Illuminations 9 p.m. Epcot Center -- CHECK
Slushies from France! CHECK
Impressions of France CHECK
MoRockin! CHECK
Grand Fiesta Tour (Mexico) CHECK
Maelstrom (Norway) Not this day
Voices of Liberty (America) still on my to do list!
National Treasures (America) Not this day.

Disney Hollywood Studio open till midnight – We did not go to DHS, we were beat.



Last edited by Moira222; 07-19-2012 at 11:51 AM. Reason: aack my bullets went wonky!
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