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Old 08-23-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
DanMedix
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Lagees and Gekelfuns, the newest installment. I call it "The Next Story".

- Prologue (The Pre-Trip Report) -

I sit, quietly - staring down just over 45 days until our next exercise in family memories, adventure, general goofiness and wanderlust that I like to call our WDW vacations. I'm cheering inside....smiling, just a bit...and yet, another part of me is shaking in my boots......if my insides had boots.....(.maybe that was tonight's chili? I dunno...)

It seems I always get this way at about 45 days out or so. You know the feeling - fidgety, worried about details, feeling like you need to "scramble" to get things done for the trip. Maybe that's one of the reasons why writing about it helps us so much. I'm certainly no exception here. However, this is the first time I've done a PRE-trip report, along with my trip report (which is to come, of course).

Oh, but where are my manners? Please forgive me. I sometimes get ahead of myself. Some don't know me. Some don't remember me. And, there's a few out there that I owe either apologies and/or money to.



This is us. Well.....not entirely, anymore. I'll explain that part later.

Mind you, this pic was from our LAST WDW trip back in '08. You can read the trip report "The Story So Far" in my signature link. Go on....I'll wait up for you.....

DD in the front, of course. She's almost 13, going on 21. I do miss the days of her in her princess dress dancing atop the fiber-optic lights by Spaceship Earth. (sigh) Now a competitive dancer, she's coming to terms with the reality known as "junior high"..or "middle school", as they call it now. She's my partner-in-crime when it comes to trip planning, and she loves every minute of it. Now if I can just get her to tackle her homework with the same tenacity.....

DS is in the front row next to her. He's 9 now, and determined to be the next Kobe (or at least Marc Gasol). He is also growing up so quickly.

Of course, DW is there next to me. I'm very thankful that she is just as excited as the rest of us to go to WDW. Our first trip was in '94 for our honeymoon, and the rest is history. She sees the value in the memories that we make, and helps me to stay grounded. I honestly don't know how I'd manage without her.

Then, there's me. Your friendly neighborhood dad and burnt-out Fire Dept. ambulance monkey. I was so thankful that we could plan our trip for October again. Sadly, I didn't realize that my own birthday was going to be spent at WDW this year until I finally started the actual planning process.

.....of course, my own 20th anniversary of my 21st birthday won't be the only celebration for us down there......



say hello to Isabella....our "Littlest Princess". You see, during the pre-planning stages of the trip, God decided to bless us with this little girl. Being the WDW fans that we are, we chose to stay the course of our plans, and include her in them. While she's truly a joy (at almost 3 months old now), and I couldn't imagine my life without her, I'm very worried about going to WDW for a long trip with an infant. I know that others have done it without any problems, I just worry. ...you know how it gets.....

So, now that you know who WE are, here's our plan:

We'll be DRIVING this time. From the Memphis area, it'll take us 14 hours on the road. (I'm considering a AAA membership, just in case something were to happen en route.) For the sake of ease of travel with kids like ours (and a baby, to boot), we will be splitting the drive up, stopping overnight on this side of Valdosta, GA. So, the first leg will take us 10 hours, while the next day will give us 4 hours of drive time. We've made the drive before, as well as other long road trips (DC, etc). I'm doing my part to see that the kids will be entertained on the way....and that diaper changes can be made with the least amount of hassle...

Since we've had such good luck with POP before, we're staying there again. Although this time may be the last time that ALL of us can stay in one room there. (Of course, there are other options for us, especially with AoA opening up, but cost is always a factor.)

All of our ADR's have been made, the trip is paid in full, and I have my vacation days on the books. We've made our daily plans in conjunction with both EasyWDW and TouringPlans. I'm hoping that they're fairly accurate, but I'm still trying to allow for flexibility. (As you may have seen in my previous trip report, TourGuideMike had to take a back seat to TourGuideWifeandKids last time.)

SO, here we are. The older kids are stoked, and ready. DW is anxious to get down there, let her hair down, and have fun. I, while ready for a much needed break with some quality WDW time, am still freaking out just a little about traveling with a baby.

.....let the chaos commence......
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Day-Trip : EPCOT (10/92) / POFQ(7/94) / ASMu(11/01) / Day-Trip: Animal Kingdom (6/03) / CSR (11/04) / POP (10/07) / POP(11/08) THE STORY SO FAR: 2008 (with incomplete afterwards-link ) / POP(..yes, again!) 10/12 PTR HERE! / COMING SOON: POR (5&6/14)! Octonauts.....let's do this!
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:46 AM   #2
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Looking forward to reading more about your trip! After 6 years of just going with the flow when we went to WDW, we were surprised and blessed with our little guy and took him as a 10 month old... Totally different trip? Yes! A few moments where I wondered, "WHAT WAS I THINKING?" Yes! Totally worth it and lots of great memories? YES! I hope your trip is relaxing and fun!
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
Fratthouse
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Looking forward to your trip report! I have to admit, this part made me laugh:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMedix View Post
- Prologue (The Pre-Trip Report) -

It seems I always get this way at about 45 days out or so. You know the feeling - fidgety, worried about details, feeling like you need to "scramble" to get things done for the trip. Maybe that's one of the reasons why writing about it helps us so much. I'm certainly no exception here. However, this is the first time I've done a PRE-trip report, along with my trip report (which is to come, of course).
We're leaving in just under two weeks, but didn't even know we were going until three weeks out! I have definitely been "scrambling" to get everything together, but it looks like it's all worked out. 45 seems like an eternity to me, though! (Although I do realize I am the only DISer who could possibly feel that way)

Good luck with the rest of your plans - I look forward to reading about them!
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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Well, here we are, at just under 30 days. The kids are restless, and so am I, but for more reasons than they are.

Car set up for pre-trip service? Check.

ADR's made and confirmed? Check.

Mickey mail in-hand? Check.

Trip routing? Check.

Loads of diapers? Check.

Pins and lanyards? Check....and getting the rest when we go to storage this week.

We'll be driving from the Memphis area, and stopping for the mid-trip night in GA, just north of Valdosta. This will make things easier for us traveling by car with a baby. I'm also downloading an app to my phone that lists interstate exits, so that we can see what's available when we need to stop for diaper changes, etc.

As far as our ADR's are concerned, I've chosen to go a more conservative route with our restaurants. Mostly because I wanted to make sure the restaurant would be more friendly for us having a baby with us. For my own piece of mind, I ruled out one of my favorites - Teppan Edo. I just didn't feel right making another family deal with our baby issues at the same table. In addition, the "picky eaters" in the family ruled out some of the other places I wanted to try (Yak and Yeti, Via Napoli, etc). Here's what we'll be working with:

San Angel Inn (a fave of DW)
Sci-Fi Dine In
Tusker House (character breakfast)
Liberty Tree Tavern (one of our WDW traditions)
Mama Melrose's
T-Rex (lunch)

We'll see how all of this works. I'll give you more details on our actual trip plan a bit later.

Also, we've got tix in hand for MNSSHP on 10-11! We had a blast doing this back in 07, and we're hoping this time will be just as fun.

I seem to be taking a lot of flack from some of the folks here at home who don't believe we should be taking the baby with us. I've already plotted out the baby care centers, and areas that would be good for diaper changes, etc. That is the biggest factor that we've never had to deal with before. So, I've been looking for any advice on that subject as well.

I'll keep you posted. Stay tuned!
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Day-Trip : EPCOT (10/92) / POFQ(7/94) / ASMu(11/01) / Day-Trip: Animal Kingdom (6/03) / CSR (11/04) / POP (10/07) / POP(11/08) THE STORY SO FAR: 2008 (with incomplete afterwards-link ) / POP(..yes, again!) 10/12 PTR HERE! / COMING SOON: POR (5&6/14)! Octonauts.....let's do this!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
I seem to be taking a lot of flack from some of the folks here at home who don't believe we should be taking the baby with us.
Tell them to shove it! I've taken a baby lots of times and always had a lovely time! Just be good to yourself, stay cool and hydrated and don't try to do too much. I think a little one is actually easier than a toddler who takes a lot more energy to keep out of mischief. Your plans so far sound great. Looking forward to hearing more! Are you dressing up for the halloween party?
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:05 PM   #6
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First, to answer you, Alysa, yes, I'm pretty much telling the "baby-naysayers" what to go and do with themselves. We're going to have fun together. I could care less what they think.

DS will be going to MNSSHP as a Jedi (again). BOTH DD's will be in their Minnie Mouse costumes (..yes, our littlest princess will experience her first costumed halloween party! As for me, I wore an NBA jersey as a kind of costume. This year I'll probably do the same thing. I do have a NJ Devils jersey (....which is weird to some people, because I live in the "mid-south", where most people have no idea what hockey is, except for the fact that they think it involves people from Canada beating each other up with sticks while skating on ice......they're more into college football...)




Now, back to the action..


...they say in every life, a little rain must fall.....


I guess I should be thankful that this happened NOW, and not on the way to Florida.....

As you may know, we're driving to WDW this time. Yes, the adventure is truly out there! The open road being both the way and the destination! The freedom of our own transportation and schedule, without having to worry about crowded buses and monorails all the time (especially while traveling with a stroller), and no worries about airline fare and cost extortion, and those pesky TSA agents touching our......

...AHEM....I digress.....

Anyways, we'd planned on taking OUR car (a Ford Explorer, which would be very adequate for the journey). But....we hit a snag. Yesterday, I got a call from DW while I was at the station (...at work). The transmission is completely dead. Ugh.....


....I'll say it again. Ugh.

Thankfully, we're kinda prepared (not to mention the fact that she was able to make it into our subdivision before the truck finally become inoperable). First, we have AAA coverage, which enabled us to get the truck towed (and their tow truck was there quickly, too!). Second, the truck and transmission are both still covered under warranty! (gotta love those extended warranties) It's possible we could come out with a brand new transmission, for less than $75! Third, DW was put into a rental car (also part of the warranty agreement) at no cost to us, while the repairs are being done.

Yes, I'm happy things didn't go as badly as they could have. But.......if this happened now, what else may break down while we're traveling towards I-75? We're looking at a minimum of 14 hours drive time total each way (and we're splitting up the trip, staying in Tifton, GA as our break point).

With this, I started looking at rental cars.

Now that you know this....lemme ask.....what's been your experience with rental cars? Any advice on who to rent from? Any (ahem) discounts anyone wishes to share? (I remember that there was one in the Entertainment book for this year, but we didn't get this year's book). Every and any advice and experience would be appreciated!
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Day-Trip : EPCOT (10/92) / POFQ(7/94) / ASMu(11/01) / Day-Trip: Animal Kingdom (6/03) / CSR (11/04) / POP (10/07) / POP(11/08) THE STORY SO FAR: 2008 (with incomplete afterwards-link ) / POP(..yes, again!) 10/12 PTR HERE! / COMING SOON: POR (5&6/14)! Octonauts.....let's do this!

Last edited by DanMedix; 09-21-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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