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Old 09-22-2012, 12:16 AM   #106
frangipanisam
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Gotta love that Disney magic can't wait for your next update
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:46 AM   #107
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Awesome upgrade and the Beach Club looks great. Now why didn't I plan to take us there for our 30th last weekend (?? our weekend down the Gold Coast doesn't quite compare...). Keep the reports coming-its great you are finding the time to post along the way...(and combining DL fixes within other trips is how I am managing to keep visiting whilst keeping DH happy.)
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:20 PM   #108
Andona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAMUMOF4 View Post
i understand and am forever grateful that DH has a connection whilst not an addiction like mine to Disney, I guess you could start traveling to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris
It's hard being married to a non-disney- believer isn't it!
Would you believe we've been to Paris twice and Hong Kong and haven't been to either of the castles there! If we get there back again I may just have to insist!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne5 View Post
I reckon the key is make it part of something broader. As you say DLR on the way in/ out of lax. I think we do DL HK or JPnext as I am not sure I could get away with 5 years in a row in the USA. exchange rate plays a big factor though too which is why we have enjoyed the USA these last few years in particular.
I totally agree about the exchange rate, it's just so good now it's hard to plan a trip anywhere else. Luckily DH love to visit America (just not Disney that much) so I'm sure we'll be back here again in a few years. Maybe I can swing my Disnayland stopover then


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
What an amazing and wonderful upgrade for your anniversary. We are about to celebrate out 20th anniversary in October, dammit I wish we could claim it . The Beach Club is high on my list, would love to stay there and your photos make me want it even more.

TSM and Rope drop - what are the rope drop changes you've mentioned? I haven't been there for 2 years, clearly I'm out of the loop.



Andona - shut up, they are not iphone photos????? I can't believe it. They are really really good. You are so clever to be uploading via your iphone. Hmmmm, you've opened a damn can of worms for me now young lady.
Shuttergirl, I think you should let Disney know that this is your 20th anniversary year! Our actual anniversary was in July, I was totally honest when I booked. I told them that this trip was part of our celebration but that we'd had to wait till September to fit in with work and school commitments. I also told the concierge people when we arrived that our actual anniversary was several weeks ago- it didn't make any difference! So, TELL them, you never know what it will get you

Thanks for the praise for my iPhone photos, coming from a professional I feel very flattered! I don't claim to be a good photographer at all, but I've been really pleased with what my iPhone can do. It'shas a much better camera than my last phone.

Re rope drop at HS. They no longer have an actual rope drop. Instead they open the gates about 15 minutes before the official park openening time and once you're past the turnstiles you're free to go anywhere. TSM is operating at that time and I think that RNRC and TOT are also running before 9am. It means you no longer have that horrible huge crowd of people racing in a mass towards TSM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Wendy View Post
Awesome upgrade and the Beach Club looks great. Now why didn't I plan to take us there for our 30th last weekend (?? our weekend down the Gold Coast doesn't quite compare...). Keep the reports coming-its great you are finding the time to post along the way...(and combining DL fixes within other trips is how I am managing to keep visiting whilst keeping DH happy.)
Happy anniversary Wendy! Us 30 year people have a lot to be proud about I think I'll definitely try to follow your lead in combining Disney with other trips.


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Old 09-22-2012, 06:25 PM   #109
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It was very sad to pack up and drive away from the Beach Club on Thursday.

However, the new experiences help make up for it From WDW we headed north towards Savannah. We drove via Daytona Beach and saw the famous speedway - it's enormous! I knew NASCAR was big, but i hadnt realized just HOW big!!

We stopped at St Augustine for lunch, it's the oldest continuously occupied town In the USA, established by the Spanish 450 years ago. There's some really quaint old homes and narrow streets and a massive old fort that is maintained by the National Park service. Lots of touristy shops etc as well though.

In Savannah we had a horse and carriage ride through the streets of the Historic area. Savannah is such a beautiful city, with cool green squares overhung by massive magnolia trees draped in spanish moss. during the civil war, when General Sherman marched his troops into Savannah he spared the city because it was so lovely, instead of burning it to the ground like Atlanta. The riverfront area is beautifully restored cobblestone street and old brick dock buildings, now occupied with nice restaurants and shops. It reminded us of The Rocks area in Sydney.

Our carriage
.


River street in Savannah


We've been enjoying most of the different foods of the south, that night we had Fried Green Tomatoes ( yummy!) and I had Georgia BBQ Shrimp and Grits. The shrimp was lovely, the grits were blah... We had southern biscuits with wild honey butter. We had cracker shrimp Po'Boys for lunch which were delicious too.

The next day we set out towards Atlanta, arrived at Stone Mountain at around 1pm. Most of the attractions were closed, during the summer the place has a variety of theme park like attractions and food places. However the closures didn't worry us as we were only there to see the mountain itself and they'd have a hard time closing down the mountain. It is a massive grey monolith that rises like a grey Uluru out of the green forest. It's nowhere near as large as Uluru but its still quite startling. On the side there is an intricate carving of those Southern heroes, Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson. It's quite a sight!



We drove into downtown Atlanta via beautiful leafy suburbs. I really like what I saw, I don't know If we we're driving through the St Ives of Atlanta but the homes were lovely and the gardens attractive and the trees and parklands were beautiful.

After checking into the hotel we walked across the road to the World of Coca Cola. Atlanta is the home of coke, it was invented by a pharmacist here in 1886. They have put together some pretty impressive displays and Disney-style entertainments and interactive activities. It's a lot of fun but you really do just spend an hour or so living inside a Coke commercial! The part of the tour that DS enjoyed the most was the tasting room, it was like Club Cool at EPCOT but much bigger, here we could sample over 60 different soft drinks that the Coke company manufacture for countries worldwide. Some of them are delicious and some are just bizarre! The Honduras drink tastes like Dimetapp !

Tasting room at World of Coca Cola


Across the road from our hotel we could also wander through the Centennial Olympic Park and see the Olympic rings fountain that commemorates the 1996 Olympics. I was blown away by the incredible lawn in the park, it looked like someone must mow it with manicure scissors.

Today we've driven to Memphis, weve been through 4 states in total , it was a long drive! We stopped in Birmingham, Alabama to see the Vulcan statue. He's the largest cast iron statue in the world and was built for the 1904 worlds fair. I couldn't help noticing that he had a really nice butt!



We also went past the colossal Talladega Superspeedway, I wondered if WaMumof4s family had been to this one??

We drove past a massive distribution centre and I couldn't help thinking about Karens packages bouncing back and forth from WDW to Memphis . It seems that Memphis is a major national distribution area for the USA

Looking forward to seeing the sights of Memphis tomorrow

Andona

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Old 09-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #110
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Been loving your TR so far

Such an amazing surprise being upgraded at the Beach Club! I love how the US resorts sprinkle extra pixie dust on those celebrating special occasions. We went to HKDL on our honeymoon and got absolutely nothing Was still fun though and we weren't really expecting anything so it didn't really matter.

That was a long drive from WDW to Memphis! Looks like you saw some great sights on the way though. That stone mountain in Atlanta is pretty amazing!

I am also married to a non-Disney lover. Kind of like yours, he hasn't minded visiting Disney so far, but while I would prefer to plan my holidays around Disney, DH would prefer to plan his holidays around other places, and pop in for a quick Disney visit if it's convenient. Unfortunately though, unlike your DH, he's not a big fan of the US. I plan to just save up my own 'allowance' and go on my own every few years
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:48 PM   #111
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Oh Andona, thank so much for this - I am so loving "riding" this journey with you!!
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:08 PM   #112
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Fantastic trip, Andona.

Thanks for sharing Savannah and Atlanta with us. I love the rear-view of Vulcan. Does the full-frontal view match the butt...er...back?
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:27 PM   #113
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You sure are covering alot of ground. Love the images of Savannah, they were exactly as I imagined them. Very quaint.

Your son looks so much like his father. That Stone Mountain is cool.

Loved the history of Coke, you learn something every day.

Keep the updates a comin'
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:33 PM   #114
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Great update, sounds like you are having a wonderful time.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:56 PM   #115
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Thanks for the photos of Savannah! It's somewhere I want to go one day. The second photo also reminds me of the Rocks. Great job at keeping us up to date!
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:59 AM   #116
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Another great update! You are really covering some territory.
Loving your photos too - Savannah looks beautiful!
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:21 AM   #117
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Great upgrade! Congratulations on your anniversary.

What did you think of the Savannah area? Would 5 nights be too long to check it out, as well as combining another 6 nights in Charleston?

Have fun!
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:49 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andona View Post
It was very sad to pack up and drive away from the Beach Club on Thursday.

However, the new experiences help make up for it From WDW we headed north towards Savannah. We drove via Daytona Beach and saw the famous speedway - it's enormous! I knew NASCAR was big, but i hadnt realized just HOW big!!


We also went past the colossal Talladega Superspeedway, I wondered if WaMumof4s family had been to this one??


Looking forward to seeing the sights of Memphis tomorrow

Andona

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We haven't been to Talladega Superspeedway but it is on the list of things to do.
The Daytona speedway is huge DH and the kids did a tour of that one.

I hope you enjoyed Graceland that was one of all our favourite things about last years trip.
Loving your updates
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:56 AM   #119
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Another great update Savannah sounds perfect, and I love that the cast of the Dis is featuring in your touring thoughts
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:32 AM   #120
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Oh it loooks all so wonderful! I am enjoying the journey immensely, and I am only looking at pictures on a screen so I can imagine how fantastic it must be to see it for real.

It is so nice of you to keep us all updted and entertained.......thank you
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