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Old 08-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #46
Moira222
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MaryEllen, what a fun update. I really want to surprise Mark with this on our 30th anniversary trip next year...I really think he would enjoy it immensely. Thank you for sharing this with us...loved the update.
You would both really like it! I will say, the description says you'll be walking over rough terrain, and it had me a little nervous because I have foot issues. aside from walking into a tree sapling (DOH!) and just watching for occasional roots, it was not "rough terrain" at all.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #47
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Animal Kingdom & Leisure Time

Once we departed our tour, Joe and I hightailed it out to the parking lot. It was hot and he wanted to change into shorts & I was ready to get into sandals instead of hiking boots! We texted Lesley, who was meeting us in Asia. This time in, we took a little time to see the Tree of Life & pose for a photo or two – our first photopass shots of the trip. (we had not seen any photopass photographers the night before)




We didn’t dawdle for long though – it was getting hot, and we were ready for some lunch! We met with Lesley in Asia, and first up grabbed fastpasses for Kali River Rapids. Joe scoped out a table, and Les & I got lunches at Yak & Yeti. Honey chicken for me,
Beef Lo Mein for Joe
Sweet & Sour chicken for Lesley

and pudding for dessert – I think Lesley had the chocolate and Joe and I had banana.

As we finished lunch, the skies were getting dark. hmmm. We had about 45 minutes to wait for our KRR FPs to be good, so we headed over to check the wait on Expedition Everest. The wait was 40 minutes so we figured we could wait the line, and then our FP’s would be good. .

You can see the darkening skies here


but that did not stop us. The line actually moved along nicely – we had time to check out the theming in each area and then moved along. I love how they have bells all over the line for EE. Joe started showing off ringing the bells that were high up, but soon Les and I chimed in (haha) and before you knew it we had all the kids in line jumping up to reach the bells. oops !



we saw geckos everywhere this trip so I could not resist taking a photo.


As we got close to the ride, we finally saw the single rider line (which is what we had wanted to do in the first place). Well, lesson learned, now we know where that is! And on we went! I took no pictures on the ride. Joe was determined to make sure that I saw the Yeti this trip – I had not seen it last year when I rode with Katie. Maybe we had our eyes closed? but I did see the Yeti and the ride was great!

As we started up the mountain on the coaster, we felt the first drops of rain. by the time we finished, it was raining pretty good and hard uh oh. We got off the ride and debated the plan for the afternoon. we had FP’s for KRR, and walked up- figured we were wet anyway, right? but then the thunder started and KRR was halted for the storm. The storm was supposed to last a bit, and we decided that we would actually head out and hopefully return in a while. Since we had the car with us, we dropped Joe off at the resort and Lesley and I headed out to Walmart to buy a case of water. Have to say, Walmart had some of the cutest shirts and Disney themed gifts, much better than the things we’d seen at the outlet and the prices better than in park tees. Lesley picked up a few things for her grandchildren and I picked up two tees for Katie. One of the tees was exactly what I had wanted – I had planned on finding a mostly white tee for Katie to have characters sign for her. YAY!

On our way in, I spotted a nail place, and since I had not had a chance to get a pedicure before we left, a rainy afternoon seemed a great time! And, I was able to get both a mani and pedi for the price of a pedi at the resort. score!

We headed back to the resort and the rain had stopped and just left humidity behind. We had a glass of wine and some snacks from club level and relaxed a for a bit.



This little guy was on our bed,
But without the stickers, he looked more like a chicken than a puppy dog.

My BFF Yvonne (I am so blessed to have three of the absolute bestest best friends ever!) and her family sent a lovely basket to Joe & I for our anniversary:


I don’t think I took pictures once I took everything out – it was resting in a Mickey shaped basket with a second, more shallow basket setting upright inside. There was a full bottle of Asti plus a second half-bottle of a rose Asti, two champagne glasses with Mickey heads on them, two bags of Lindt’s chocolate truffles mmmmm (can you believe that its August now and I still have one or two truffles left? That’s because Katie doesn’t know where they are LOL)

This is one of those days where I really wish I was a napper. Joe napped earlier, Lesley napped. I sat on the lounge and read for a bit, wishing I could nap. I was tired, but sleep eludes me in the middle of the day. Which really is a bummer at Disney, when mid day napping makes for late nights.

I think this may have been the day that I dragged Joe out to the pool & hot tub with me. We lounged in the hot tub for a bit, and then took our noodles with us & floated a few laps on the lazy river. I just love floating along like that. Because there had been some wicked rain, there were not too many people in the pool at first.

But I do have a gripe. I know its Disney, it’s a family vacation spot. The best actually. But why does being on vacation seem to let some families think that they can also be on vacation from good manners and parenting? Joe and I were quietly enjoying a soak in the hot tub, watching the geckos dart in and out between the rocks and bushes. Then two women come in with their four kids, all under age 5. And proceeded to let them jump and splash and swing from the handrail. Umm have you seen the hot tubs at Yacht Club pool? Its not like the big huge one at Coronado Springs, or even like the one at Wilderness Lodge. Its sized for oh say 8 adults comfortably. (borrowed from internet) --- now can you picture four adults and four little kids all splashing like crazy? Yeah, that was a good time for Joe and I to leave. We checked out a second hot tub located next to the kiddie area but it also was a romper room site. Time to float……

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:26 PM   #48
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Another Epcot Evening

Eventually we made our way out of the resort & back up to that wonderful special Epcot entrance. I just LOVE this entrance!

And I confess that while I know where we ended up, I have no idea how we got there. Did we walk down the UK/Canada side? Or did we go back past Morocco? I think we walked past France & Morrocco through the rain—seems like it would be the most logical. But I know that we had late reservations at

(Lesley took the picture after dinner, which is why it is so dark)

Pretty chandelier:

We had only a short wait before we were seated. Joe and I shared a carafe of wine and we placed our order. Now we were originally supposed to eat at Sanaa tonight, but changed our minds after rethinking our day. Lesley had requested Mexican & Italian foods during our trip, so we figured we give this place a try. Joe and I rarely eat out at Italian restaurants because frankly, we are often disappointed that the food is not as good as we make at home. I am sad to say that this meal was no different, and we were all quite disappointed.

Joe and Lesley ordered Lasagna Alla Bolognese - Traditional preparation with Emilia beef sauce, béchamel, parmesan cheese

And I ordered Gnocchetti - Cavatilli pasta, sweet sausage ragu, tomato pecorino (descriptions from DIS)

Joe and Lesley agreed that their lasagna tasted just like chef Boyardee sauce. Mine was well... blah. The sauce was just way way to sweet, barely any real tomato taste, and the sausage gave me major heartburn.

But the desserts were good! Cannoli for Joe

Pistachio custard for Lesley

And lemon sorbet for me

All in all we really did not find anything special about Tutto at all, and will not be returning to this restaurant.

After dinner, Joe was not feeling right, so he headed back to the resort. Lesley and I set to wandering a bit.

We visited the American Pavillion and watched the American Adventure. I know I took a bunch of photos here because we had time to explore the building before the show started and I really enjoyed the bits of American history spread around the building.
(borrowed photo)

I confess, after wine in the afternoon, pool time, and more wine at dinner, I dozed off a bit during the show. Shhhhh

Joe called me as we left the show, and bragged about how he had a great private showing of Wishes from our balcony. DARN! But I was glad that he enjoyed it.

We wandered up to Japan and looked around the store, contemplated pearls but decided not to, and enjoyed the tranquility of the Japanese art. I looked on DISBoards to find the correct name of this little building but its not even mentioned – its at the back exit of the big store, opposite the KidKot stop. It has a huge zen garden, and quite a bit of Japanese anime cells and some statues. Its very calming. Its called Bijutsu-kan - A collection of Japanese arts. It is currently exhibiting "Spirited Beasts: From Ancient Stories to Anime Stars", a depiction of Japanese mythology's creatures being adapted into Japanese pop culture. (gotta love Wikipedia!)

At the KidKot stop, I had the young woman there actually be the first to sign Katie’s tee. She wrote Katie’s name in Japanese on the back.

It was quite dark when we came out, and the epcot ball was just framed so nicely in the Japanese archway (The torii of Itsukushima Shrine is the official name) down by the lake. Lesley and I spent a while trying to get a half decent photo – neither of us have great night-time cameras. Here is the best:



By this time it was near or after 11 pm and we were just plain done. We headed back through the gateway and back to the Yacht Club.

Last edited by Moira222; 08-14-2012 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:25 PM   #49
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that trek look so cool! if we ever go at a cooler part of the year i really want to do it.
that was so sweet of your friend to send you the basket!
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:07 AM   #50
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that trek look so cool! if we ever go at a cooler part of the year i really want to do it.
that was so sweet of your friend to send you the basket!
I have to say that the trek was not horribly hot - there was just a lovely breeze on the savannah that we didn't feel once we were finished & just in the park. but I was glad that we picked the first tour of the day. (plus the massive thunder & lightening storm hit around 12:30 - 1 pm)

I am so fortunate to have such good friends
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:37 AM   #51
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Great update and I can see all your pictures! Glad you were able to get on EE BEFORE the rain. Perfect timing. Too bad you never got to ride Kali. I like that ride, but it always leaves me wanting more.

Sounds like you had a nice swim, with the exception of the children in the hot tub. I wish they would just keep kids out of the hot tub, but I know when my kids were little I had them in there with me a few times.

Your snacks look yummy. I hear ya on the food at Tutto. I am not impressed. Now Saana - SO GOOD! I guess you'll just have to plan a do-over so you can eat there.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:51 AM   #52
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Great update and I can see all your pictures! Glad you were able to get on EE BEFORE the rain. Perfect timing. Too bad you never got to ride Kali. I like that ride, but it always leaves me wanting more.

Sounds like you had a nice swim, with the exception of the children in the hot tub. I wish they would just keep kids out of the hot tub, but I know when my kids were little I had them in there with me a few times.

Your snacks look yummy. I hear ya on the food at Tutto. I am not impressed. Now Saana - SO GOOD! I guess you'll just have to plan a do-over so you can eat there.
I love Kali too, last year Katie and I managed to ride it three times straight, no wait. (but man was I dizzy after that!)

We let Katie in the hot tubs with us too, but only if she was sitting relatively still or quiet. The exception was the second hot tub at WLR on a cold trip - but it was filled with kids warming up, so there were no adults to irritate. oh well. every has their own parenting style.

Definitely a do-over for Sanaa. Would it surprise you to know that I already have dates picked for our next trip?
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:41 AM   #53
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[
You can see the darkening skies here


but that did not stop us. The line actually moved along nicely – we had time to check out the theming in each area and then moved along. I love how they have bells all over the line for EE. Joe started showing off ringing the bells that were high up, but soon Les and I chimed in (haha) and before you knew it we had all the kids in line jumping up to reach the bells. oops !
Love that pic of the 3 of you. Too funny on the bells. The single rider line is totally hidden. I did a double take, thinking there wasn't one this summer and had to ask a CM. Though then again, once you know where it is you are kind of glad it's hidden. It's insanely fast!

Great way to spend a rainy afternoon, mani/pedi and shopping! I can't nap either, it is such a drag! Love the basket, that was very sweet of your friend.

UGH on the hot tub, UGH! Isn't there a posted sign about ages for it anyway? I don't even think you are supposed to have kids that young in it? Which may not be practical at Disney but it isn't good for them at that age and no matter what, splashing is for the pool. Sounds like selfish parenting to me. Mom's wanted the hot tub and couldn't leave the kids alone in the pool so made them go with them. Just a guess.

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I confess, after wine in the afternoon, pool time, and more wine at dinner, I dozed off a bit during the show. Shhhhh

It was quite dark when we came out, and the epcot ball was just framed so nicely in the Japanese archway (The torii of Itsukushima Shrine is the official name) down by the lake. Lesley and I spent a while trying to get a half decent photo – neither of us have great night-time cameras. Here is the best:

I'vew been known to doze off there too. I"m thinking it's not the best show to see at night after being in the WS for a bit. Nice girls evening, bummer about the dinner. We liked Tutto in 2010 but I was quite dissapointed by it on our girls trip in 2011. Not high on my list to go back to though the inside is awfully pretty!

Nightime shots are hard but I bet it was gorgeous! I haven't figured them out either and I have a decent camera.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #54
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Great update, MaryEllen.

Love the photopass pictures.

Such a good idea of a mani/pedi to pass the time with the rain.

I don't understand parents that let young children into hot tubs. And I am sure that on more than one occasion I've given the evil eye to someone who has brought their children into the hot tub while I was there.

Sorry you never go to do Kali. It's not one of Mark's favorites...he doesn't like getting wet (such a sissy! ).

I've never had an urge to go to Tutto and now know that I will not after your review.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:49 AM   #55
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Great update, MaryEllen.

Love the photopass pictures.

Such a good idea of a mani/pedi to pass the time with the rain.
I was bummed when I couldn't work it in before we left, so this was a great opportunity. Plus that foot massage after a day & a half walking around was absolutely heavenly!

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I don't understand parents that let young children into hot tubs. And I am sure that on more than one occasion I've given the evil eye to someone who has brought their children into the hot tub while I was there.

Sorry you never go to do Kali. It's not one of Mark's favorites...he doesn't like getting wet (such a sissy! ).

I've never had an urge to go to Tutto and now know that I will not after your review.
I know that hot tubs really aren't good for younger children. While we have let Katie in them, she is not allowed to have the water higher than her sternum, because we don't think its good to have her up to her neck in water that hot. but that's just us.

Bummer that Mark doesn't like Kali. While I am not thrilled about walking around in wet shorts. (EEEWWWW) I love the ride, so we usually try to hit that either when we are steamy hot or ready to leave the park.
Cant' wait to see how your shopping expedition went Kathy!
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:06 AM   #56
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totally off topic vent

Ok I need to vent and feel like you all will give me good feed back and tell me if I am out of line.

In April/May, my SIL bought tickets (at a good discount) to a big park near us so that she could take Katie this summer. The tickets have been on our fridge since May 28. I have repeatedly given SIL our schedule as far as scheduled day trips, or weeks when she is in camp, etc.

Three weeks ago was the most recent update as far as when she is in camp for the week (this week) when she starts school (next monday), etc. Still the tickets sit on my fridge.

This weekend my nephew flew in from CA to stay for the week. SIL came in and announced she still had no idea when she could take Katie to the park, though she did take a Wednesday off to spend the day with our nephew.

hmm all summer can't take a day to do something you promised Katie, but no problem taking a day for Ryan? yeah, that's not insulting. Not to mention that this is exactly what she did last summer - promised the kid all summer she would take her and then she finally waited until school started, and took Katie after school one day. yeah, because all kids should go to an amusement park the first week of school instead of settling in to a routine, right?

so even though Katie has field hockey on M, W & F, and even though I am not letting her go to her other cousin's birthday party because it would mean missing field hockey, I said if SIL wanted to take Katie & nephew (he's 23) to park, she could miss field hockey. I was not thrilled about letting her miss practice, they've missed two already due to thunderstorms.

Then this morning I realized that Wed is also her open house - this is when she meets her teacher, finds her classroom, gets any material list and a stack of paperwork that has to be returned the first or second day of school. so I call SIL and say that she really can't miss this.

SIL tries to give me an excuse "I know you say I had all summer but you had vacation, and all, and I just couldn't take a day" (never mind that she has about 6 weeks of vacation each year, and that frankly she promised the kid!)

I am just irritated -- first don't promise a kid you'll do something unless you're going to do it. I didn't ask her to take Katie anywhere, but with the tickets hanging on the fridge all summer, of course Katie is wondering when she's going. second, how is it that you can take a vacation day with no problem when nephew comes, but coudl not manage in the whole summer to take a day for Katie? (and yes, she had no problem taking vacation days to do things with friends, spend the gardning, and goofing off).

sigh

thank you for reading my rant. I need to make my Monday better now!

On a good note, my friend Chris scored reservations to Be Our Guest this morning -- I saw her on Saturday and let her know that reservations opened today & she was anxious to see if she could get in for her November trip....and she did!

Now back to your regularly scheduled Monday.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #57
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Did your friend give a credit card for her ressie? Apparently a huge glitch I'm the system didn't take them for automated ressies and those that don't have a cx tied to it get cancelled at midnight tonight!

So sorry about the frustrating situation for Katie,it's hard when other adults let our kids down. Sending you both hugs.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #58
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Did your friend give a credit card for her ressie? Apparently a huge glitch I'm the system didn't take them for automated ressies and those that don't have a cx tied to it get cancelled at midnight tonight!

So sorry about the frustrating situation for Katie,it's hard when other adults let our kids down. Sending you both hugs.
Cynthia - sorry I missed this till today. I will have to check with my friend about her ressie.

and alls well that ends well....Katie did get to go the park with SIL and her cousin and they had a blast. figured she can find her classroom on the first day, its not the end of the world. oh darn this just reminded me of that huge packet of paperwork I brought home. guess I have homework before school even starts!
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:16 PM   #59
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Cynthia - sorry I missed this till today. I will have to check with my friend about her ressie.

and alls well that ends well....Katie did get to go the park with SIL and her cousin and they had a blast. figured she can find her classroom on the first day, its not the end of the world. oh darn this just reminded me of that huge packet of paperwork I brought home. guess I have homework before school even starts!
I hear you there! We've been bust getting supplies, sports forms and physicals. Haircuts are next.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #60
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Wednesday June 6

I can’t believe that it’s the end of August and I am only on the third day of our trip. (Updated to read now its mid September!!!) AACCK Where did the summer go? Now I am in the middle of field hockey and girl scouts. Luckily I am one of those people who accomplished MORE when I am really busy because it forces me to be much more organized and practical about my time.

So, on with the trip!

Wednesday morning – this was our actual twentieth wedding anniversary. Can I just digress a little more to tell you what a fun fun wedding Joe & I had.

We planned (and paid for!) everything ourselves – we were married in the church that I grew up attending, and that I believe my grandparents were married in. A beautiful stone church, hand built by the German community in the early 1800s.


The funny moment of our rehearsal the night before was my BFF Lesley – who, as an army reservist, drove straight from drill in her mud covered cammies – to the church. She arrived in the nick of time, and of course our jovial Irish pries had to be a wise guy “where is she, where is she, I hear her but I don't see her? Oh she totally blended in in those cammies”.

LOL--- I wish I had a photo on paper to show you want I remember in my head – Lesley, a total mess, in muddy camouflage and combat boots, walking down the aisle holding a styrofoam plate filled with ribbons and bows from my bridal shower. Truly an image I will always remember! (Of course, she is probably VERY glad that I DON’T have that photo!)

We had a minor glitch the day of our wedding – one of the groomsmen never showed!!! But my SIL’s friend’s husband was a great pinch hitter and filled in at the last minute. Thank goodness the tux place was able to accommodate! We were running a tad late as a result, and it left plenty of time for the ladies of the wedding party to have a few non-traditional photos.



I swear I tell Joe all the time that I could have the whole thing annulled from that one picture! LOL.



Okay, back to June 6 2012….

We did what was by now our “usual” breakfast – hit the concierge lounge for cereal, muffins, fruit, hot oatmeal. I didn’t even take pictures of our breakfasts, they were a different assortment of the offerings. I usually stuck with oatmeal & trail mix mixed in, coffee and a banana. Joe preferred the hardboiled eggs with a bagel, and Lesley often had a muffin or a Danish.

We didn’t linger too long because we wanted to hit Hollywood Studios. Joe tried to guilt Lesley & me into walking to the park but I refused. First, I love a nice boat ride, and second, and more importantly, I have bad feet. I KNOW that by 3 p.m. my feet are going to ACHE. I see no need to “wear them out” earlier by walking to the park – I want wear them out AT the park, having fun! So we caught the ferry at the Yacht club, and enjoyed the ride, stopping at the Swan & Dolphin and then hitting DHS.

We didn’t quite make rope drop, but I think we were close enough that we missed the usual mob at the opening of the park. After making the required photo stop we headed back to TSM first.

(notice the ever present ominous skies!)








.


The fast pass wait was already nuts, but we grabbed our fast passes right away. Joe & Lesley were anxious to go hit Rockin’ Roller Coaster, but alas I am neither a fan of Aerosmith or puking first thing in the morning, so we parted ways. I had a tee shirt to get signed for Katie! I got in line at Pixar Place, (and took a photo of the TSM wait time while I waited across the walkway
--- that return time would be 9:26 p.m. – a full 12 hours from the time I took the photo!).

Traveler’s tip here – as I was planning, I create a “mini planner” that I can take to the parks. I put in the highlights & make a booklet out of 8 ½ x 11 paper.


Joe’s great suggestion for my planner was to add a few puzzles, something to kill time while waiting in a long line. This was a great idea, and I added a few word finds & word puzzles into it.
I happily worked on my word find as I waited in line to see Buzz & Woody. I will absolutely do this again. If anyone would like the word file I used, send me a PM with your e-mail. I will send you my mini planner with the puzzles (I’ll erase all of our trip plans ).

At long last my turn arrived.....





The line for Buzz & Woody was long, but apparently not as long as the line for RnR. I called & texted Joe & Lesley but they were still waiting. I headed over to the Art of Animation to see what other signatures I could collect.

by the way, a little tip here -- if you are wearing anniversary pins, and are separated from your spouse, or separated from your spouse & traveling with another member of the opposite sex, take off the pins. its wierd! people were wishing me happy anniversary & asking where was my other half, but more strange was when Joe & Lesley were riding RnR and folks assumed they were the couple.
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