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Old 09-06-2012, 04:07 PM   #61
wendiloveswalt
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I'm joining in. It looks like quite the adventure!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:26 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Not if it were one of my TR’s…
But then it’s historical digressions of that caliber which keep all but a hand full of loons from reading them



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Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
And were glad to have you on board…
enjoyed the first TR as well.
Thanks!!


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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Hey James! Somehow I missed your shameless plug. But now I found you, so there's no avoiding me.

Quite the large cast of characters you have there! And your daughter's first day of school picture is too cute.
Darn it! You found me! Welcome!!

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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Hmmm... A trip for your parents' anniversary and you stepped up to organize a lot of the plans. Somehow that sounds vaguely familiar to me.
Well, someone had to do it. And I guess now they all had someone to blame for anything that went wrong!

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Oh I SO feel your pain! We are trying to plan something similar, though no cruise component. But it involves one villa on points and another villa probably in cash. Possibly 2 treehouses over new years...not an easy feat. We've been chatting about it for oh, I dunno, 2 years? I sent info out a couple of weeks ago to my family with the not so quiet comment that I figured if we start talking about it now we might have a decision by Thanksgiving. Like you, 2 siblings not included on the initial info. We figure once things are nailed down, if ever, then we will inform them and if they want to come cool...if not...cool too.

The last time I did this, with Jeff's mom and her DH we used a travel agent so I wasn't the middle man and...I was still the middle man. Very similar deposit issues and that was with only 1 other room! It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.



But you are BOOKED! Always a very good start and deposits made...always a stressor.
Yes, even with the TA involved, I still felt like the middle man and I felt like I had to harass everyone about their deposits, paperwork, passports, and all that.

I wish you luck with getting your trip organized!!

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Misery loves company


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Originally Posted by wendiloveswalt View Post
I'm joining in. It looks like quite the adventure!
Welcome Aboard!!
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:09 AM   #63
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I Love It When A Plan Comes Together... Sort Of.

Once we settled on the cruise and got everyone booked, it was just a matter of paying it off and taking care of the little details. This is a very tedious part of the report, but I feel it's important enough to include and I'll hope you'll bear with me while I sum up how it all came together in the year between booking and sailing.

I might have done a PTR for this, but my belated TR from the previous trip was taking up my time.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:

This seemed so simple at first. Our preference was to fly down on either Southwest or Jetblue. Southwest is usually our first choice because they have cheap fares and fly direct out of a smaller airport only about 20 minutes from home. Fares haven't been released that far in advance, so I set one of my home page "tabs" to the southwest website so I'll check it every day. (Later I will learn that they tell you when fares will be released, if you know where to look for it) Turns out the fares would not be released until November.

HOTEL:

We know that we'd like to do the parks in addition to the cruise, since we feel it's not worth it to use our DVC points on the cruise. But should we do it before or after? We don't want to fly in the day of the cruise, so we'll need somewhere to say at least for the night before. That means we could do the parks before the cruise. But we also didn't want to head right home after getting off the ship, so that argued for doing WDW after. So I consult the points chart and figure out that because we have a few extra points that were refunded to us as a result of the fiasco of the previous trip, that means we have enough to stay a full week at the Boardwalk Villas after the cruise, AND enough to stay 2 or even 3 nights at Bay Lake Tower before!! I throw this idea out to Lisa, and after thinking about it, we decide to go for it!! Neither are our home resort (SSR) so we have about 6 months to wait before we can book.

Getting Around:

With the two little ones, neither Lisa nor myself wanted to rely on the buses to get around. They can be enough of a nightmare with one child and a stroller. But with two children?? and possibly a second stroller?? (which we were debating). It would just be more comfortable to rent a car. But do we rent it for the whole trip, or just the post-cruise portion. Or do we rent two cars? one before, and one after? Do we turn them in at WDW and use a car service or disney bus to get us back and forth from Port Canaveral?? so many things to figure out. After looking at prices of rentals and researching car service options, we decided that we'd probably rent the car the morning of the cruise, use it to get to the Port and turn it in there. Then, rent a car for the entire week after at the Port, and turning it in at WDW before leaving.
We'd do the first few days without a car since in theory we'd be at BLT and wouldn't need to use the bus. The car rental would wait on making sure we got our hotels booked.

ADRs:

With the rough outline of the plan in place, the next thing we thought about was our ADRs. A couple of things that were very important to us were getting the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique for Bella, and doing the Princess and Me Tea at the Grand Floridian for Lisa and Bella. We also figured we'd do a Princess meal on the BBB day, and probably do a couple of character breakfasts (Ohana and Tusker House were our top choices), and we'd try to arrange at least one family meal that everyone would be at. We had no illusions that we'd get everyone to stay together the entire trip. It was probably best for everyone to go their own ways. But at this point, we don't know for sure who is able to also do the WDW portion, and if they can do it before or after. My parents have an off-property timeshare and they need to do a swap of weeks to get whatever they want. That takes a little time and money. My brother Tom needs to coordinate with his daughter's mom as to which weeks he will get them that summer, and that will determine if he can do more than the cruise, and if it will be before or after. As for the rest, it's a matter of vacation days from work and money.

The good thing is, that we have time. Can't book a flight for months, can't book our rooms for months, can't book our ADRs for months... so we daydream about ADRs and room views for a while, and turn or energy towards paying down the balance of the cruise and taking care of other things.

I'll pause here because it's late and I need sleep. In the next update, hopefully I can take you through the obstacles and hurdles and the modifications we needed to make to this initial plan, and then we'll get into the good stuff.

perhaps for the next vacation I should take pictures of the planning process???
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Last edited by baseballmickey; 09-15-2012 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:24 AM   #64
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Sounds like the parts that your family planned on would be great! I can't wait to find out if Bella got to do BBB!
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #65
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Once we settled on the cruise and got everyone booked, it was just a matter of paying it off and taking care of the little details.

I not a big fan of that little detail either.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #66
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Not tedious at all actually! We go through a lot of the same with just our little family and the initial stages of our next large trip is eerily similar to a lot of what you've just outlined. I can't wait to see where you ended up at for resorts and how the car thing worked out. We definitely had some car sagas on our trip...and a very similar rental plan.

Paying it off. No fun whatsoever. Until it is!
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:56 AM   #67
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Sounds like y'all had a good starting point for the plans! Can't wait to see if all worked out that way.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:41 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by shan23877 View Post
Sounds like the parts that your family planned on would be great! I can't wait to find out if Bella got to do BBB!
unfortunately, you have to actually take the vacation. If it was only the planning part, the vacation would be perfect.

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I not a big fan of that little detail either.
who is?

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Not tedious at all actually! We go through a lot of the same with just our little family and the initial stages of our next large trip is eerily similar to a lot of what you've just outlined. I can't wait to see where you ended up at for resorts and how the car thing worked out. We definitely had some car sagas on our trip...and a very similar rental plan.

Paying it off. No fun whatsoever. Until it is!
It's definitely a process. Hopefully the more you go through to make it happen, the more you enjoy it??

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Sounds like y'all had a good starting point for the plans! Can't wait to see if all worked out that way.
Especially after the last trip didn't go exactly as planned, we were excited to make a plan for this one and having the chance to see it through!
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:51 AM   #69
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Next up in age order would have been my brother Michael, but he did not come. So we move past him to the last of my three sisters: Patty.



Of all my siblings, Patty is the one I have the least in common with. We just seem to have completely different tastes in just about everything. As a result, I struggle with having a connection with her. As a family, we're definitely not as close as other families are, as evidenced by the fact that we can go days, weeks, or even months without talking to one another. So this gap between the two of us is in addition to that. Strangely, it wasn't like that when we were kids. In fact, a lot of my memories of WDW are of her and I going on rides and doing things because the older siblings were doing their own thing. Now, she's a big country music fan and loves the Pittsburgh Steelers. She'd be down with thrill rides normally, but she's a few months pregnant and that means she'll be taking it easy on this trip.
You must make a surprise phone call to Patty and tell her one of your crazy WITW friends has a slight connection with her. While it pains me tremendously, this die hard-bleeds blue-Dallas Cowboys fan does find herself pulling for the Pittsburgh Steelers on NFL game days. #88, Emmanuel (Manny to us) Sanders hails from our small town of Bellville, TX. During his high school years, Manny shared the spotlight with my quarterback Godson on the Pasture of Pain, home of the Bellville Brahmas. My son-in-law taught Manny how to play pool at the young age of 9. He was back in our area in August as a sponsor of the local Boys & Girls Club fundraiser and visited with son-in-law, reminiscing those days he'd make the walk to the pool lessons! AND...I'm also a country music fan but it has to be "classic country"; none of that new stuff!
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:09 PM   #70
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i'm here i'm here!!!!!
You should write a book... seriously!!! your last TR was awesome!!! dare i say riveting!
Your daughter look just like your wife, and now you have a mini James!!!
CONGRATS!!!!
can't WAIT to read the report!!!!
Love the beach photo!!!
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #71
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You must make a surprise phone call to Patty and tell her one of your crazy WITW friends has a slight connection with her. While it pains me tremendously, this die hard-bleeds blue-Dallas Cowboys fan does find herself pulling for the Pittsburgh Steelers on NFL game days. #88, Emmanuel (Manny to us) Sanders hails from our small town of Bellville, TX. During his high school years, Manny shared the spotlight with my quarterback Godson on the Pasture of Pain, home of the Bellville Brahmas. My son-in-law taught Manny how to play pool at the young age of 9. He was back in our area in August as a sponsor of the local Boys & Girls Club fundraiser and visited with son-in-law, reminiscing those days he'd make the walk to the pool lessons! AND...I'm also a country music fan but it has to be "classic country"; none of that new stuff!
You have my sympathy for both the cowboys AND steelers.

Seriously, it must be very cool to have a connection to someone in the NFL.

I'm not a big fan of country music. But to each his own...

Welcome aboard the TR!!

Perhaps I will add some WITW pictures to make you feel at home.

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i'm here i'm here!!!!!
You should write a book... seriously!!! your last TR was awesome!!! dare i say riveting!
Your daughter look just like your wife, and now you have a mini James!!!
CONGRATS!!!!
can't WAIT to read the report!!!!
Love the beach photo!!!
Hey there!! Glad to see you are coming along for another ride!! Yes, Bella does look a lot like Lisa. I use "Picasa" to organize our pictures on the computer, and it has a facial recognition feature... but it keeps identifying them as one another!!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #72
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Joining in... looks like it will be a fun trip!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:32 AM   #73
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How about some more pictures James?

BTW I love the blue eyes that run in your family!
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:36 AM   #74
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Can you post from Picasa to the board??? looking for something rather then photobucket...
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:01 PM   #75
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My apologies everyone... been a little overwhelmed with other things. An update is WAY overdue.

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Joining in... looks like it will be a fun trip!
Welcome Aboard!! Thanks for taking the time to read my TR!!

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How about some more pictures James?

BTW I love the blue eyes that run in your family!
Thank you. Lisa was disappointed that neither of our kids got them.

The next update is more planning stuff prior to the trip, but I'll throw another one in as well with pics from this past month. Bella started playing soccer and we just went apple-picking today. So there's some good pics there that will hopefully keep you occupied until I get to the actual trip... and then it will be non-stop pictures!!!

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Can you post from Picasa to the board??? looking for something rather then photobucket...
Yes, they call it "Picasa Web Albums". You get 1GB of storage with a free account, with options to upgrade to more by paying a monthly fee. I have yet to upload pics from this past trip, but I'm already at 50% of my 1GB.
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