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Old 10-09-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
MinnieDiva
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"Dreamy" 15th Anniversary adult trip (Or...by ourselves?? What will we talk about?)

Hi! I'm MinnieDiva (kim) and I have a Disney obsession. It's infectious, enough so that I managed to plague my husband (sean) with the same disease. For those spouses out there who long for such a mate, I'm here to let you know that it took me less than 15 years to accomplish this!

I'm here to illustrate that it is possible to plan and execute a fabulous adults-only 15th anniversary celebration! We're less than a week back from the Dream! I feel my tan fading as I write this....

With me, there is usually a backstory to get into my planning obsession, so bear with me as I preface this trip report. As my husband's leave schedule is planned far in advance, no trip is left to the last minute. In fact, it was about a year ago that we began thinking about this potential adults-only venture. After talking to DH about the possibility of doing something on our own, I called my dad and asked if we did do a trip, would he come up here and watch our DD (9). Other than a quick 2-day jaunt to Vegas for a reunion in 2009 (?? I think that is the year, and it was my monster in law who timed a trip out here for that), we've never gone on a vacation just the 2 of us.

So, dad was easy to get on board. Our daughter is to the age now where she's easy-going and helpful. Other than talking his ear off and constantly requesting frozen yogurt, it should be an easy week, right? Between school and swimming, her days are pretty full.

So, now what? What to do very active people do for a vacation? Hm. Um, duh? Disney, right? Glaringly obvious for me, but I needed to sell the husband on it. He's a fan, yes, but you have to make it worth his while...and throw in either alternative trips to other locations throughout the year or build in something for him during the trip in question. The answer became more obvious after our Florida trip last thanksgiving. We spent 4 days on WDW property, then joined our good friends Mindy and Jim for a week at their timeshare. We did the timeshare spiel, and bought into their "teaser" package that either gave us a week back there in the next 18 months or a down payment toward the big Kahuna. Knowing that we were looking at an anniversary trip the following September (last month), it seemed like a good solution. Right?

The other idea I had was to do the Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon, held last year on the last weekend of September for the 1st weekend of the F&W festival. Running, followed by food? And wine? Done! Sold to the highest bidder...or in this case, the husband! Now, I'm more of the runner than Sean is. If he had his druthers, he'd ride a bike. Not that he's not good at running, he just prefers the bike. Me, I'd fall off. I'm not fast, but he runs shorter distances. I figure it'd work out in the end, right?

Ok, in scrolling back thru what I've written, it occurs to me that the word "right" has overpopulated my text. I need to find a new word.

Continuing.

So, in planning Sean's vacation picks for 2012, I'm pretty sure I managed to find the dates for the Wine and Dine in the notes for the Disneyland 1/2 marathon from Sept 2011. Thank goodness for the Disboards to find data!! However, the race was completely changed. As in, the W&D was moved to November and the last weekend of the F&W festival. While that would be a much preferable time to go to FL, our picks were done and in the bag, and changes really weren't feasible at the time we found this out (which was in January, I think). BUT!!!! Another race, the Tower of Terror 10-miler was announced....an inaugural event (does that really even make a difference? probably not...)!!! Woot! Ok, back on board!!!

So where does the cruise come in? I'm getting there, really......but the husband in question just came home and this dialogue will have to continue at another time (tomorrow). In the meantime, if you want some background into my planning bliss, there's a link below to a pre-TR that tells more about my family and about Mindy and Jim, as they'll be in the story again here soon...
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:51 AM   #2
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Can't wait to hear more about your trip! Sounds like you and your dh had a GREAT time...
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
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hmmm....somebody should have gone to work yesterday
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDogCisco View Post
Can't wait to hear more about your trip! Sounds like you and your dh had a GREAT time...
We did!!

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hmmm....somebody should have gone to work yesterday
If I can't actually speak to the patients, what good am I there? I blame my lack of voice on Jim....
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieDiva

We did!!

If I can't actually speak to the patients, what good am I there? I blame my lack of voice on Jim....
Hahahaha
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MinnieDiva View Post
We did!!



If I can't actually speak to the patients, what good am I there? I blame my lack of voice on Jim....
Sure, blame me. Everyone does
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WDW (1st time 1971): Grand Floridian, All Star Film, Polynesian, Contemporary, Caribbean Beach, Old Key West, Port Orleans French Quarter Offsite: Marriott Horizons, Grosvenor, Ramada Maingate

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Old 10-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Sure, blame me. Everyone does
How'd you manage to get that tarnish off your halo??
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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Valentines Day...

...was the day we could register for the race! Might I mention that it's not cheap ($90, tho this is one of the cheaper races...), and non-refundable? Not to mention that I had to order the pins for us as well! At this point, I'd already made our reservation at the timeshare, and was blissfully planning how to spend a week in the parks without the kiddo.

Until the beginning of March. At which time I'd been surfing on DCL's site , likely looking at my reservation for the Med cruise next summer, when inspiration struck! I wondered if there was a cruise that we could do in conjunction with the race??

So if you haven't gotten the impression yet, let me summarize Sean's personality. He doesn't sit still well, and that may be an understatement. I call myself a type A- personality, because he's worse than I am. We DO NOT do cruises to nowhere, which is what I consider the 3 & 4 day cruises to be (and I still think that having just done one, BTW). BUT!!!! If ever there was a time to do absolutely nothing, wouldn't this be the occasion?

So lo and behold, not only was there a cruise, but there was a 4-night (much preferable to the 3's, IMHO) that left the day after the run!!!! Wow, not sure karmic luck can line the stars up any better than that! So, now to pose the question to DH: "honey, what do you think about doing a cruise where there's going to be nothing to see or do but sit on a beach?" To my utter shock and surprise, , he was all for it!! So off I went to the computer to email our TA to quick, book the cruise before he changes his mind!!!

This required a slight change in our dates, but I hadn't yet booked airfare and it was easy enough (once the 1 year window opened) to move the timeshare reservation to this coming March for a reunion that we'll be going to in Tampa. But, this did require consideration about where to stay on site (yay!). Initially, we booked the Little Mermaid wing of AoA...it would have been open for less than 2 weeks on our arrival. But, it wasn't going to be a host resort....hmmmm. This required some thought.

In the meantime, I was busy doing research on the Port Canaveral experience...our previous 2 cruises had departed from Barcelona and Vancouver. So...how to get there? I inquired of my TA the DCL transfers, and I have to say....what a rip off! $70 some-odd bucks per person? Per way? Are they high? Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. Besides, the ONE non-stop flight between Seattle and Orlando does't leave until 6:30pm. That leaves a LOT of time to hang around the airport. So, a rental car it shall be. But, what to do with it at the port? One way rental versus parking it? What to do? Well, consult the disboards, of course! It was this way that I found park 'n cruise, and I'd use them again. Cheap, convenient, didn't have to wait long at the port for a pick up after the cruise. But I get ahead of my self.

Off to Costco.com to secure a rental reservation. I did this many, many times to check rates, and eventually between the car, the parking lot at the port, and the parking at the hotel (more on that later), it was still just under $200 for the week we were there.

Ok, I've reached a good breaking point, so more later....
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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So off to join the WISH threads..

...which was an area of the boards I'd never really participated in. It's a very social, supportive area! If you're thinking about plunging into the fitness scene, wander over there and be supported!!

So in listening to the chatter, I realized that my choice of hotel may not be the wisest. Not a "host location", and, from the sounds of things, not really walking distance to one of the resorts that were hosts. I LOVE Epcot area deluxe hotels, but really didn't want to sink that kind of cash into a place I'd barely have time in. BUT...it was food and wine festival time!! I LOVE food and wine! You think I run because I like it? (well, yes, among other reasons, but that's not the point at this particular time..)

The Swan and Dolphin? Well, now! There's an idea. And a nurse discount to boot? Yes, please!! The parking fee is a little irritating, but still waaaaayyyy cheaper that the Boardwalk or Yacht/Beach Clubs. I looked at a map, and decided that the Swan looked a bit closer to the Studios on the chance that we'd have to hoof it before or after the race. The ultimate plan was to walk to the Boardwalk and hop the bus there. (which is what we did and it worked well). Ok. Hotel reservation placed, Starwood account linked. Now what?

Park tickets! The ticket options offered thru the runDisney site were actually pretty good. We ended up with 4-day park tix for less than what I could have gotten them for on base (not military, but DOD pricing).

So now you're probably yelling at your computer..."airfare!!! What about your airfare??". Well, that got to wait until July, as we fly Alaska and have their credit card that gives us an annual companion fare. And, they had just changed the rules that after Aug 1st we could only use it for coach class tickets. What??? Fine! Screw you, I'm booking one last 1st class ticket. That is, once they finally get around to posting the bloody code in my account. It took a few phone calls and me finally handing Sean the phone and telling him to deal with it...I was fresh out of friendly and was probably making things worse. But, it worked out and I had 2 lovely tickets for just Sean and I.

I feel the need to insert here that our daughter was not happy with us. She's been to WDW. She's been on cruises. She knew exactly what she'd be missing. So what did we tell her? 2 things: First of all, we reminded her that mommys and daddys that actually liked each other made life better for their kids. This was a special occasion for us and it would be a gift for us if she'd be gracious enough to support us (or some spiel along those lines). and secondly, that she was a pretty awesome little person and it was neat that she was going to get to spend some special time with her grandpa so he would get to see how neat she is. It pacified her, a bit. Not that we still didn't get grumbles...

So, then came August. But your trip....wasn't in in September? Why yes, yes it was. BUT.... in August we flew back east and started our tourism visiting our friends Mindy and Jim. They were gracious enough to tolerate us for a few days and showed us the sights of the Jersey shore and NYC. We met Mindy and Jim on the DisBoards for our very first cruise. Never met until I picked Mindy out of a crowd in Barcelona (actually saw her daughter who has beautiful red hair). Complete opposites, we and our spouses have been friends ever since. I have a point...I promise.

So, our last day there, Mindy, who is a tax-person-accountant-I-don't-know-what-penny-pincher by nature (she'll tell you this....I swear!!) says: "what if we were to come with you?" Really? THAT WOULD BE AWESOME (that was my inside voice)!!!!! My outside voice said something calmly, so as to not scare her away, along the lines of "wow, how fun would that be??!!"

So, ironically, just as we were leaving for NY, we'd been emailing back and forth with our TA..we were able to take advantage of a military discount! While we were within the paid in full penalty period, it was still worth it to rebook at the lower rate. We were able to go from an 8C to a 5A, pre-pay our tips, and still get some money back. And....we could book up to 3 rooms on that rate!!! So, I mention this to Mindy. And tell her what it would cost her.

So, after some wrangling on her part, her mother was booked to watch her kids and she and Jim were booked and coming with us!! And...it was non-refundable at this point and Mindy couldn't back out! Mwahahahahahahaha! I swear..there was no pressure on our end, just gentle assistance with flight-finding. And hooking her up with our TA.

So now, we were 6 weeks and counting!! Nothing to do but "just keep running, just keep running". More tomorrow....
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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Hmmm...I think you forgot that when our other friends that you met on that very same cruise from Barcelona, came over to my house for a barbeque to see you, we were throwing around going as a joke. I think someone said why don't some of us come with you and you were like.."that would be great" That's what got me thinking.

And yes she described me perfectly...I hate wasting money, spending money and doing anything impulsive....so this was a realy big deal for me and yes I did have buyer's remorse afterwards, but I was basically stuck....you'd understand better if you were married to my DH who spends every penny we make....
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:23 PM   #11
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Great start to your report! So I've been with my fiance for 10 years now and I haven't been able to get him to Disney yet. So I've got 5 years to go until I give up!

I totally plan to do the ToT 10 Miler next year so I'm very excited to hear more about it!

Came from your pre-cruise report, now I'm on your TR and I'm going to check out the WISH section. You're a terrible influence on me.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #12
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Gee. Someone else subject to Kim's influence. What is the world coming too??? Lmao
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mindelmouse View Post
Hmmm...I think you forgot that when our other friends that you met on that very same cruise from Barcelona, came over to my house for a barbeque to see you, we were throwing around going as a joke. I think someone said why don't some of us come with you and you were like.."that would be great" That's what got me thinking.
Huh. I don't remember it at the house at all.

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Great start to your report! So I've been with my fiance for 10 years now and I haven't been able to get him to Disney yet. So I've got 5 years to go until I give up!

I totally plan to do the ToT 10 Miler next year so I'm very excited to hear more about it!

Came from your pre-cruise report, now I'm on your TR and I'm going to check out the WISH section. You're a terrible influence on me.


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Gee. Someone else subject to Kim's influence. What is the world coming too??? Lmao
Mwahahahahahahaha!!!!
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:31 PM   #14
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So, what details need to be ironed out before the trip? Dad was due to arrive about 4-5 days before, so he'd get the chance to see how Ashleigh's days flowed. Not much to it, but I wrote everything down, from times to how many water bottles we needed to have prepared per day. That kid eats all the time...she burns calories by yawning, I swear! During the week there really isn't much time for her to cause havock, but the weekend could be an issue....

I even remembered the emergency letter with both our ID's and insurance card photocopied to it. What did forget? Forgot to notify the school we were gone. But, dad wandered into the office and left his cell number in case there was an emergency. Seeing as how our back up emergency contact was in WDW, this was a good thing!

Oh!! Which brings me to another part of my trip planning. Our good friends Marcy and Karl and their son Tyeson went to WDW for the 1st time about a week before we headed out there! I got to help her plan! What fun that was!! They ended up staying at AKL, and had a great time! In all this planning, we planned on meeting up at the Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween party on Sep 28th. The fabulous part was that they are retired military and could get the military tickets! Woot! Saved $20 a ticket!! Sean and I had been previously with Ashleigh in 2008, and really enjoyed ourselves. I suggested that they dress up, and that segued into my making eveyone's costumes. I haven't gone into this on this TR, but if you've read my other one, you'll note that I spend a lot of time planning outfits. I'm not a clotheshorse by any means, but my one creative outlet is sewing. So....halloween costumes it was!

Tyeson's favorite character is Perry the Platypus. Ok. So Tyeson got to be Ferb (as I couldn't see his dad wearing purple pants), his dad was Phineas (yellow t-shirt that I adhered orange stripes to), and his mom was Candace. She bought a red sleeveless shirt, I made the white skirt, sewed the 2 together, and made a belt/loops. My DH was Doof (made a white lab coat), and I was Isabella as a fireside girl (I made a red belt, orange beret with red bow, and borrowed a girl scout sash).

Here's the pants and dress:



And DD wearing the beret:



Me made quite the lot:



Sean forgot his olive pants, so he looked a little odd wearing olive shorts with a lab jacket.

My thoughts on the Over crowded! It was a friday night on a race weekend. NEVER again. The lines were long and the 10:30 parade was way crowded.

I have now, of course, gone out of order. sigh. More later....
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:46 PM   #15
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Back on track...

So back into a timeline of events!

So what does one do the week prior to a trip? Freak out about clothes! I have a thing about not having the same pictures in the same clothes. For example, The nice shirt Sean has that he wore in Rome in 2010 will not even be allowed in his suitcase next summer. First of all, I hate it, second, I feel the need to differentiate between trips. Now, if none of the clothes made it into a picture, I'll consider it. And you're thinking...."but you said you weren't a clothes horse...". And I still stand by that statement. I'd managed to recycle 2010 Med clothing into 2011's Alaska cruise. I make clothes last a long time. Wasn't going to do it 3 years in a row!

I am far more comfortable in REI or Title 9 than any other store around. So, having to branch out is a bit frustrating. And...having left this to the last week, I couldn't drag Sean with me to approve or disapprove my choices. Macy's was a wash. Nordstrom's had a contender, as did White House Black Market. So what to do? Text a pic to both Mindy and Sean to pass judgement!! I ended up with yet another little Black dress....but some of the old ones are dated (like 8-10 years old) and need to hit the giveaway pile. What I do need to get, after wearing them again for the millionth time, is a new pair of dress shoes! The sling backs kept slipping off...irritating the living daylights out of me!

Ok, so Mindy and I had our outfits coordinated for Remy and the optional dress up night.

oh.....I'm going to interrupt myself here...when I took the penalty and changed my original reservation, my TA was able to convince DCL to keep my Remy, Palo, and spa ressies intact. Pretty awesome! Just sayin'!

My usual method of packing was to pile all my stuff on the guest room bed, but as my dad was due to arrive, that was not going to work, so I had piles all over my dresser. Did laundry the day before we left and started piling it into suitcases.

Now here's where I was a total idiot. We used one large and one carryon. I had the ability to pack 2 full sized cases, but didn't. So I was grateful that DCL had a backpack waiting for us as a return gift...However, after I saw all the stuff Jim packed, it was probably a good thing that I was so sparing in my size use. Hi Jim!

The night before: had a fabulous dinner as to leave my dad with leftovers so he wouldn't have to cook for a few days. Luggage packed, paperwork gathered, electronics charging. Kiddo to bed. Here's where the parental guilt kicked in big-time! She was worried that we wouldn't wake her to say goodbye ! Poor kid. We actually got her to sleep (thought she'd be up and down), and the next morning we kissed her goodbye and she stirred a bit but went back to sleep. WAY easier than I thought it was going to be!

We have a 2 hour drive from our house to Seatac. Traffic was a breeze, as was parking, check-in, and security! Time for starbucks! Enjoyed coffee and a snack, then meandered to the gate, to find out that we were nearly the last to board! Alaska does NOT mess around! Backed out a bit early, even! Waiting for us on our seats were the breakfast menus! We had a choice of eggs over hash with hollandaise (sean) or steak and eggs (me). It was decent, but was nice to be able to keep getting more coffee. 4:30 was early! We landed in Orlando about 5:15, and had our luggage pretty quickly. We had a car reserved thru Budget, and after leaving the air-conditioned airport, we walked into the blast of heat that was Orlando. I was still wearing jeans and a sweatshirt...so I apparently got quite a few looks when I announced: " I have GOT to take my shirt off!".

I'd reserved a full-sized car (thinking that that would be big enough for us and Jim's luggage ), and were pleasantly surprised by an upgrade to an SUV (crossover??)...a GMC traverse that was loaded!! It had leather and satellite radio, even! Very comfortable! So we were on our way to the Swan! I was wanting to go to the MK that night, but was reluctant to pay 2 parking fees (as we already had tickets, but no room key...). As fate would have it, it took an exceedingly long time to get from the airport to the hotel. The skies opened up and DUMPED water out of the clouds! Now, we get more than our fair share of rain here, but not like rain in FL. We get a constant drizzle. Fl rain is CRAZY!

So by the time we got our room and were ready to head off, the rain had stopped and we headed to Epcot! I'd suggested sushi in Japan for dinner...a suggestion that was readily agreed to! To our (somewhat) surprise, the food and wine booths were open already! And...it was crowded, as well! So, sushi and noodle dish consumed (YUM!) from Katsura Grill, and off we went...to South America....and a glass of Pinotage!



We also wandered over to the Champagne and dessert booth at the front of World Showcase. We each got a (different) glass of champagne and a dark chocolate mousse with chili and salted caramel, and toasted to our 15th anniversary (which was that day!)! We watched Illuminations before heading back to our room (very tired...), only to find that we couldn't connect to the wi-fi. This was important, as a certain little girl was assuming that her parents were going to facetime her that evening. So, we tried their tech department, who had to elevate the issue. In the meantime, Sean called the front desk, and came to the agreement that if the problem wasn't solved by morning, we'd be moved to another room. Off to bed......and more later......
__________________



Back to the Med 2013 Greece Itinerary. We're back!!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2871334
"Dreamy" 15th Anniversary TR!:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3004870

Last edited by MinnieDiva; 10-12-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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