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Old 12-28-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
MK2010
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: West texas
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10 Days at Disney! Updated 3/4x2 Day 9 Typhoon Lagoon

Hi All! I'm excited to write about our last trip to Disney World this past September. I know, I know, its been almost four months and I'm just NOW getting around to writing the TR? Well, better late than never. But I have to warn you that this may be slow going. I wrote a PTR Diabetes Can't Stop Us so feel free to check that out. Before I can really get started on this report I need to upload all of my pics to photobucket so I can introduce the whole cast, but let me give you a synopsis of the PTR.

Our trip was Aug. 30- Sept.15. I know! That's a LOOOONG vacation, but here's the catch...we drove...all 24 hours to Disney. So we broke it up and left after my husband got off work and drove from Amarillo to Greenville, Tx. That's about 7-8 hours. Then the next day we drove 12 hours from Greenville, Tx. to Crestview, Fla. And then finally drove the 6 hours from Crestview, Fla. to Orlando. We could've done 2 12 hour days, but my parents live in Greenville so it was a free stay and that way we weren't getting into Disney at funky hours.

So this trip was my family, Me & DH, DS-12, DD-10, DS-9, and DS-7. I'll come back and add in a photo of us later. My parents also joined us for the first week. The last time they had been to WDW was in 1984. Needless to say, they had NO IDEA what they were in for! I kept trying to tell them, to prepare them, but they refused to believe me.

We stayed at Wyndham Bonnet Creek and loved it! We booked through Vacation Strategy and booked a two bedroom Deluxe. In reality, I should have upgraded to a 3 bedroom Presidential. We stayed offsite this time because we got our park tickets through the Disney Y.E.S. program so we weren't eligible for the Disney Dining plan. We would've booked room only to stay onsite. Since we weren't flying in we didn't need Magical Express or transportation to the parks.

I promise to get into all of this in more detail, but first I'm going over to photobucket to upload photos. Pass the time reading my PTR because it may be Sunday before I get another update up. I still have two more nights of work this week.

The week of Christmas and somehow I pull 60 hours. Its one of those situations where you're not quite sure what happened. I only had three days on the schedule Christmas Eve. Then a co worker called and asked if I could take her Saturday shift so I did. Then last night I looked at the surgery schedule and they added about 3-4 surgeries so now I'm headed in to help out 'cause they're gonna be slammed!

Okay peeps, join up! You're in for a bumpy ride!





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10 Days at Disney!- Sept. 2012 TR
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
MK2010
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Intros


Alrighty! So I'm back. I only worked half a shift last night so I got up bright and early this morning, but this post won't be long either 'cause I'm about to go take a nap so I can go back into work tonight. The holidays really mess with our schedules. Bring on Jan. 1st!

Anyhoo, after I left y'all last night my husband spent the evening uploading the pics from our Photopass CD onto Photobucket for me and we made a run to Wal Mart to get a SD card reader for my computer. I just got a new computer right before Christmas because my old one broke. And I mean broke good. My husband is a techie kinda guy and he couldn't get anything off the hard drive. He took it in and they said for between $450-$850 they'd look and see if they could get anything off.No thanks! So, all of my planning tools for Disney, the kids entire year's worth of lesson plans, etc. gone. So, the hubby ordered me a new computer, but I forgot to tell him to make sure it had a card reader. So I'll do a quick introduction of who everyone is (with pics!) then I'll go install the card reader and start downloading the pics from my camera onto photobucket.

Okay first up, the ones who paid for this trip:



This is me, Jennifer, and my husband David. I'll hope you can tell which is which! As I mentioned repeatedly, I'm a nurse tech at a small surgical hospital, (as in I can only have a maximum of 20 patients a night. But if we're full I kinda pout) I also homeschool our four kids. My paying job is a cush job, but the homeschooling one- that's where the real work is! My husband is currently the Associate Pastor- Minister of Youth at our church. He's been in the ministry since '95 and with the exception of about 2 years about 2 years ago, he has always done youth ministry. He also does all of our audio visual stuff for the church and is in charge of our rec leagues- mainly just softball.

We've been married 16 years this next May and met at college up here in the Texas Panhandle at West Texas A&M University. (Go Buffs!) David is an alumni, but we moved right after we got married so I transferred to Texas Tech in Lubbock (Go Raider Red! Guns Up!). That way I only had an hour commute each way to school instead of a three hour commute each way!:

Okay up next our three boys:



Our oldest, Jonathan-12, is in the middle. He just earned his First Class rank in Boy Scouts and is a competitive swimmer. He is incredibly creative and keeps me in stitches most of the time. We're starting to enter the teen years though and he is pulling back and becoming more introverted which is driving me crazy (and trust me that's not a far drive!)

Cameron-9 (in this picture), on the left, is the sweetest of all of our kids. He loves Oswald the Rabbit, could have a serious video game addiction if I let him, and is very bright. He does Cub Scouts and will complete his Webelo badge and arrow of Light this year to advance into Boy Scouts with his brother.

That leaves the baby. And oh brother! Stephen- 7, on the right, drives me crazy ALL THE TIME. I'm pretty sure that is his mission in life. Apostle Paul complained about a thorn in the side...meet mine! He's a cute kid, but my gosh he's stubborn! Fights me every day on everything. We're hoping he decides to be a good law abiding citizen when he grows up, 'cause if not there's not a thing you, me, or the whole U.S. army can do to stop him. Did I mention he's exactly like his father? He is in Cub Scouts as well.

To round out our happy little family, my daughter:



This is Lauren-10, in this picture. No she's not the princess. I mean she's our little princess, but...she's the one on the left okay? This wasn't the picture I wanted to use, but seems the hubby was selective in which of the 400 pics he uploaded from the disc! Lauren was diagnosed with Type I diabetes just after Thanksgiving in 2011. We had planned a trip to Disney with my parents in January of 2014, but her hospitalization wiped out all of our savings and then...God smiled on us and we were able to accumulate the necessary funds quickly AND move the trip up! Lauren is a joy. She loves American Girls, drawing/coloring, loves to be artsy craftsy (I hate arts and crafts) , and mainly tries to stay out of the way of her brothers! She is 100% pre teen with drama trying to make mountains out of molehills. (I don't do drama.)

This brings us to my parents:



My Mom is a retired school teacher who now spends her days watching my niece. Her life revolves around her kids and grandkids. (Yes, she needs a life. I don't like sharing mine.) Mom had begged to go with us on our first ever family trip to Disney in 2009, but I didn't think she would be able to keep up. I thought she and Dad would be more excited about this trip since I was finally letting her go. They had an okay time. she finally understood why I wouldn't let her go the first time! The last time they had been to Disney was in 1984. A few things have changed since then.

My Dad has a degree in Electrical Engineering. He works at a defense contracting plant. they invent new gadgets and gizmos for military aircraft. He's worked on everything from Air Force 1 to an Aussie P9 contract. He has been mainly involved in optical engineering and research and development.

So that's the all of us. I will save this spot for links to updates, but for now I shall go install my card reader and see about uploading pics from my camera!
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Free Trip Off-Site 2011
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:46 AM   #3
MK2010
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Well, I'm at work tonight and thought I'd do a quick TR update. so where were we? Oh yes, just in case I didn't give you the complete run down before let me do so now:

Dates: Aug. 30- Sept.15
Days at Disney: Sept.1-Sept.13
Tickets: 8 days WPF& more through the Disney YES program*
Hotel: Wyndham Bonnet Creek Tower 3 2 bedroom deluxe booked through Vacation Strategies.

*The Disney YES Program is a program offered through Disney to kids ages 5-18. You can individually enroll your child in one of the three hour classes offered seasonally at Disney parks and receive deeply discounted tickets for your whole family.

Now, on with the show! I don't have any pics really until we hit Vicksburg,MS so I'll make this short and sweet for you.

I worked Wednesday night Aug.29. The plan was to leave as soon as DH got off work on the 30th and drive to my parents house, about 7 1/2-8 hours away in Greenville,Tx. He got off about 2p.m. and by the time we had everything loaded it was about 3. So we said, "Goodbye,Amarillo!" and headed out of town. Now the drive to my parents is very flat and very boring. Amarillo is in the high plains. Think flat,open prairie. If you live in Kansas or Nebraska, Southeastern Colorado you know what I'm talking about. The land changes in Wichita Falls. Around here we call it gently rolling hills, but those of you who live in the Ozarks or real mountainous regions would refer to the land as, still, flat open prairie! But hey, the mesquite trees stop appearing as frequently and you start to see less brown and more green.

Wichita Falls is usually where we stop for dinner. There is a Sonic and a Subway on the eastern edge of town. But this time I had already bought Subway sandwiches and packed them in the cooler in the backseat for consumption. I would like to mention one other fact about Wichita Falls, 2 of my four children were born there. We lived there from April 2000 to October of 2003. It was a great town. Big enough to have everything you wanted and small enough that you didn't have to fight traffic and if you wanted a weekend getaway you were close enough to the Dallas Fort Worth area to make it a feasible option even for just a day trip.

So on we journeyed over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we went. (There was neither river nor woods, but hey that's how the song goes!) There are a couple of options to get to Greenville once you get to Wichita Falls. You can continue on Hwy 287 to Decatur, Tx. then turn onto Hwy. 380. I don't like this option because there seems to always be a mountain of cars on this thouroughfare, they're always doing roadwork, and Dallas has grown so far North that driving Hwy. 380 is like driving through a suburb of Dallas one stoplight after the next.

We usually take Hwy. 82 and through Sherman, Tx turning onto Hwy 69 through a whole bunch of itty bitty East Texas towns to drop in on the North side of Greenville. That's exactly what we did on this trip. We got into Greenville about 11p.m. My parents live out on about 10 acres on the east side of Greenville. Its not the house I grew up in, which was situated just off I-30 and across a giant field from my elementary school. Its a nice place though, and my kids love to go visit. There is tons of land for them to run around on and my parents have a couple of dogs who love to run with them.

We pretty much walked into the house and fell into bed. We were hoping for an early start the next morning. I kinda wanted to be on the road by 5 a.m. so that we could have lunch overlooking the Mississippi River. My parents had already left and were moseying toward the beach south of Crestivew Fl. for a couple of days before meeting up with us at WDW. But, my Mom, being the good grandmother had left all kinds of goodies for us to take with us in the car to eat. Even some special snacks just for Lauren. She left me a suprise too! Ahe bought me a Mickey tote bag. I'll take a picture of it when I get home to post on here.

The next morning started early about 4 a.m. I took the first shift in driving since David had driven all the way from Amarillo the night before. By the time we got everything loaded back into the car we got on the road about 4:30. Now once again we had a choice on a couple of different road options to take we could head out on I-30 then hit a backroad, meander through some more itty bitty East Texas towns and meet up with I-20 a couple of hours down the road, or I could head 30 minutes South to Terrell,Tx and hit I-20 there. Once again I chose the latter. In Texas, you see, they just raised the speed limit on the Interstate to 75 mph. Fabulous! The drive was pretty good, but I-20 was busier than I thought it would be even considering in was Labor Day weekend. I figured most people wouldn't hit the road until at least later in the day. We made good time though. We stopped at Longview/Marshall about 7:30- 8 ish for a potty break and to get Lauren some breakfast. We didn't have enough carbs for her in the car, but it was a quick stop and then we were on our way. Driving through Shreveport caused my nerves to start working. Those roads were tight and I was hemmed in all around by cars. I didn't like it at all. It started to rain just outside of Monroe which I don't like either so David got to drive!

Up next: Our lunch at the Mississippi River!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #4
MK2010
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Okay, so before I continue, I need to brag onmy nurses a little bit. See before I left for this trip, they listened to me plan and whine and plan, then they got me presents! Suzan bought each of my kids character pens, and she made me a Mickey fleece tie blanket, and bought me a new journal to take notes in on my trip for my report. Sadly for you, I did not use it. Shame on me. Then before we left, Shelly spent an entire night at work developing an activity sheet to get the kids to Florida. She looked up the map and found interesting points on the towns/states that we were going through and came up with activities to go along with them. Now isn't that awesome?

So, its Day 2 of the trip and we're trying to make Vicksburg to lunch by the Mississippi River. THis was important to me because on my first trip to WDW when I was 8 my family drove from Greenville,Tx and we stopped and took pics at Vicksburg. I wanted matching pics of my kids. Traffic cooperated and we were there. I, by this point, wasn't feeling well. Just a little out of sorts. Not the way I wanted to start my vacation. Looking back, I think it was just exhaustion from working so hard in the weeks leading up to the trip and anxiety over having the perfect trip. #wastedenergy.

We had lunch at the Vicksburg Visitor's Center. I had packed a cooler to make sandwiches, so we unloaded that and watched the barges moving up and down the Mississippi. Jonathan wasn't feeling well either. Apparently, sausage doesn't agree with him! We took our pics which I would love to share with you, but they'reon DH tablet and haven't been uploaded to Photopass *sigh*.

I was really impressed with the kids. They got along great. I was glad that we had upgraded from a Dodge Durango to a GMC Yukon back inMarch when we first started planning this trip. The drive was nice. The difference between Mississippi farmland and Texas farmland, Mississippi farmland has green AROUND the crops. In west Texas only the crops are green! It was like a whole new planet. We made our way down through Mississippi, we had turned South at Jackson, to Mobile Al.

Now, we weren't impressed with Alabama. Apparently, we opted to stop at a gas station that didn't employ Alabama's smartest citiziens. Also, we wound into Mobile on this teeny, tiny two lane road that was waaaaay overcrowded for 3 p.m. on the Friday of Labor Day. Basically, our entire trip through Alabama was spent stuck in traffic, s we weren't impressed with their civil engineering either! We have a church member who moved in from Alabama. (We're pretty sure from that teeny tiny town.) Our trip certainly explained a few things to us about him!

I've been pretty rough on the poor state of Alabama. Especially considering they are National Champions. (Roll Tide- for those of you who choose to cheer for the Crimson.) Texans are a proud folk. And though we have our faults, we will never admit to them! I will say this about Alabama- they had the good sense to be located MUCH closer to Mickey than us out here in Tx!

We got into Crestview, Fl. arond 6 p.m. and checked into our hotel, the Fairfield Inn. We like Fairfields, but I had booked a suite at this one and only got a double room. It was way too small for 6. The suite was supposed to fit 5 so it was only going to be a little bit of a squeeze. NExt time, I will stay at a cheaper hotel and just get 2 rooms. It was my mistake for being a snob. We had a dinner a McDonald's where I ended up chatting the entire time with a local about my daughter's diabetes. She was able to explain to us why our phones had not switched over to EST. Apparently, that happens when you cross the Swanee River, not the state line.

Another slightly interesting fact about Crestview, our pastor's daughter and her husband had recently gotten a job offer and would be moving to Crestview while we were in WDW. In fact, their new house was located behind the Wal Mart which was just across the road and down a little from our hotel.

We headed back to the hotel for showers and an early bedtime. It had been a looooong day and I still wanted to get an early start tomorrow. Up next, arrival day!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
MK2010
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Okay, so before I continue, I need to brag onmy nurses a little bit. See before I left for this trip, they listened to me plan and whine and plan, then they got me presents! Suzan bought each of my kids character pens, and she made me a Mickey fleece tie blanket, and bought me a new journal to take notes in on my trip for my report. Sadly for you, I did not use it. Shame on me. Then before we left, Shelly spent an entire night at work developing an activity sheet to get the kids to Florida. She looked up the map and found interesting points on the towns/states that we were going through and came up with activities to go along with them. Now isn't that awesome?

So, its Day 2 of the trip and we're trying to make Vicksburg to lunch by the Mississippi River. THis was important to me because on my first trip to WDW when I was 8 my family drove from Greenville,Tx and we stopped and took pics at Vicksburg. I wanted matching pics of my kids. Traffic cooperated and we were there. I, by this point, wasn't feeling well. Just a little out of sorts. Not the way I wanted to start my vacation. Looking back, I think it was just exhaustion from working so hard in the weeks leading up to the trip and anxiety over having the perfect trip. #wastedenergy.

We had lunch at the Vicksburg Visitor's Center. I had packed a cooler to make sandwiches, so we unloaded that and watched the barges moving up and down the Mississippi. Jonathan wasn't feeling well either. Apparently, sausage doesn't agree with him! We took our pics which I would love to share with you, but they'reon DH tablet and haven't been uploaded to Photopass *sigh*.

I was really impressed with the kids. They got along great. I was glad that we had upgraded from a Dodge Durango to a GMC Yukon back inMarch when we first started planning this trip. The drive was nice. The difference between Mississippi farmland and Texas farmland, Mississippi farmland has green AROUND the crops. In west Texas only the crops are green! It was like a whole new planet. We made our way down through Mississippi, we had turned South at Jackson, to Mobile Al.

Now, we weren't impressed with Alabama. Apparently, we opted to stop at a gas station that didn't employ Alabama's smartest citiziens. Also, we wound into Mobile on this teeny, tiny two lane road that was waaaaay overcrowded for 3 p.m. on the Friday of Labor Day. Basically, our entire trip through Alabama was spent stuck in traffic, s we weren't impressed with their civil engineering either! We have a church member who moved in from Alabama. (We're pretty sure from that teeny tiny town.) Our trip certainly explained a few things to us about him!

I've been pretty rough on the poor state of Alabama. Especially considering they are National Champions. (Roll Tide- for those of you who choose to cheer for the Crimson.) Texans are a proud folk. And though we have our faults, we will never admit to them! I will say this about Alabama- they had the good sense to be located MUCH closer to Mickey than us out here in Tx!

We got into Crestview, Fl. arond 6 p.m. and checked into our hotel, the Fairfield Inn. We like Fairfields, but I had booked a suite at this one and only got a double room. It was way too small for 6. The suite was supposed to fit 5 so it was only going to be a little bit of a squeeze. NExt time, I will stay at a cheaper hotel and just get 2 rooms. It was my mistake for being a snob. We had a dinner a McDonald's where I ended up chatting the entire time with a local about my daughter's diabetes. She was able to explain to us why our phones had not switched over to EST. Apparently, that happens when you cross the Swanee River, not the state line.

Another slightly interesting fact about Crestview, our pastor's daughter and her husband had recently gotten a job offer and would be moving to Crestview while we were in WDW. In fact, their new house was located behind the Wal Mart which was just across the road and down a little from our hotel.

We headed back to the hotel for showers and an early bedtime. It had been a looooong day and I still wanted to get an early start tomorrow. Up next, arrival day!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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We headed out the next morning by 6 a.m. The trees lining both sides of the highway and reaching almost to the sky were amazing! It was finally time to turn South and I pulled out the sack with our lunch while we stopped at a gas station. Boy was I glad we were heading South. Apparently, there was a BIG game at UF that weekend 'cause EVERYBODY was headed in.

We finally got to WBC about 3p.m. I just loved passing under the big purple Welcome to Disney sign. It was great staying on Disney property even if it wasn't A DISNEY property. My parents were a couple of hours behind us. THey're not the speedy travellers that we are. I got us checked in. WE had never stayed at a timeshare before. New experiences always make me anxious. That lobby was big and crowded. I don't do well in crowds or noise either, but I finally got checked in. I asked for a fireworks view, but they said they didn't have one available so we got stuck in Tower 3. I hated this because we were there for 10 days and the place was pretty empty after Monday. After getting our parking pass, we headed to our room to unload everything.

I didn't get all the pics I wanted. I think part of it was because we had photopass and the other reason was because I was lazy. I took 3000 pics on our first trip to Disney. But this time I think I felt I could always get the pic tomorrow.

Mom and Dad finally got there and unloaded their stuff. I needed a few things from the store so I headed out to Wal Mart. I had precooked most of our meals and hauled them on ice, but I needed stuff like milk, lettuce, fruit etc. The kids enjoyed the pool and exploring the resort. By the time Mom and I made it back from Wal Mart her scooter had arrived. (She had fallen and bruised her knee pretty good a few days before the trip.) We rented her scooter from Apple scooter and it was fabulous.

After dinner, we cleaned up and headed to bed. The kids all shared one bedroom. The two little boys in one bed, Lauren in the other, and we had brought a cot for Jonathan. It was wall to wall beds in that room. I paid for pretty much the whole trip except for my parents Disney tix, butI should have asked for help and gotten a 3 bedroom 'cause that room was CROWDED. David and I took the queen sleeper sofa in the living room and my parents had the king size Master.

Good Night John Boy!

Tomorrow- Epcot!
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #7
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Okay, finallyan update with pictures! We got up nice and early so we could make RD. After breakfast we gathered all of our stuff, camera's, water bottles, all of Lauren's diabetes meds and got out the door. We had to stop at the ticket booths at Epcot to get our YES tickets. There was a little confusion. We were supposed to get an 8 day park hopper pass with 5 admissions to the Water PArks etc. Instead they gave us an 8 day pass with 8 admissions to the Water Parks etc. I just let it go. We weren't going to be able to use all those extra admissions anway so I didn't feel like Disney was losing any real money. Getting the tickets went so smoothly that we had quite a wait until the park opened, but finally we were in.



So did we head straight for Soarin? Nope. I had a plan. Since we were doing Touring Plans this time around I wanted to monitor the FP return time and get FPs for around 3p.m. when we would be heading out of the park. I LOVE this ride and really wanted my parents to ride, but Mom had been sufffering with motion sickness and refused to wear a patch so I wanted that to be the last thing we rode before we left the park, so if she got sick she could go straight to bed! Instead, we headed for Sum of All Thrills.

Mom hunted down Benadryl because all of the beautiful flowers were irritating her allergies and she had refused to take one that morning because she was afraid it would make her sleepy, but she was miserable as soon as we got out of the car.

The kids had a blast at Sum of All Thrills. We paired the three youngest up with an adult and Jonathan did the experience on his own. From there we headed over to Turtle Talk with Crush. My dad wants to be a techno geek so he really enjoyed the show. After Crush we zipped over to Mission Space.



Now, I had never gotten to ride. David, Jonathan, and Lauren had all ridden the green side before, but this time we were going on Orange! All except Mom who had opted to skip this ride and enjoy the scenery. She didn't want to go on Green solo and didn't want my Dad or me to miss going on Orange. I think I could've handled missing Orange. It was rough! I don't suffer from motion sickness. A minute longer and I think I would have lost it.

Now, I lose the order in which we did things. I think we may have picked up Soarin' FPs at this point. I wanted to leave to go back and have some lunch and take a little rest, but my parents wanted to stay and buy lunch in the park so we did. We headed over to the Electric Umbrella. It was roughly $10/person for lunch so it didn't do big damage to our budget, but in the end not going back and resting would prove to be a mistake.

Up next: OUr afternoon at Epcot.


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Old 01-13-2013, 06:04 PM   #8
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After our yummy lunch, I wanted to spend some time out of the sun! So we headed back to Innoventions. The kids did another Jonathan and Stephen did another round on Sum of All Thrills while the rest of us poked around at some of the other exhibits. Cameron had been begging to do the Great Piggy Bank Adventure ever since I found the online game for it months before. After an hour or so in the shade I was ready to head over to World Showcase.

I wanted to catch Voices of Liberty because I thought my Dad wuld really enjoy it. Everyone made a run for it while I went to grab FPs for Soarin. (Okay, they strolled, while I dashed!) I met up with them just in time for the performance to start. Mom and Dad stayedto watch the American Adventure.

Here is where things got exciting. A friend I hadn't seen from high school was in Disney this week too! So we met up at the Canadian Pavillion! She is on here as KigerKat. We were sooooo excited when we found that we were going to be in Disney at the same time! She even set up a Photopass share for me to participate in. It was fabulous to see her again and I got to meet her husband who is a super smart guy. I mainly believe that because he chose to marry her and she is super cool- even if she is a Democrat! (Now to all you Democrats out there before you get your panties too far in a wad I will confess that I am a Republican- you know- the all knowing party- who always gets it right! *cough* Iran-Contra *cough* *cough* Watergate *cough* ) Anyway, we had a great time catching up and discovered that we had Soarin fastpasses for the same hour!

Soon my parents joined us and had a nice little reunion with Carrie too. Carrie and I had been good friends from about 5th grade until she moved away in the middle of our sophomore year.Off Kilter had started playing and I had really wanted to hear them, but the sun was killing all of us. I think I was probably a little dehydrated. So we said goodbye to Carrie and Brett (her husband) and headed back to the UK. Here the kids did some M&Gs with a few characters.

Off Kilter:





Character M&G





And while they met the guys above, Mom, Dad, and I listened to these guys:



The British Revolution. Now, growing up in my house, in the '80s/'90s I didn't listen to Madonna or Michael Jackson. I listened to the Beach Boys, Beatles, Herman's Hermits, Chad Mitchell Trio (argh) 'cause my parents had control of the radio and thats what we listened to. So this was like listening to my childhood favorites. We all really enjoyed it.



We headed into France and picked up an Agent P mission.The Agent P mission was miserable. I had 1 phone and two kids. THey shared okay, but if they weren't holding the phone they weren't interested in solving the clue. Mainly because it was too hard to see the darn little screen in the sunlight. We FINALLY finished the mission! Lauren met Marie.



We had a lovely little snack here and Mom, and Dad opted to stay and watch the movie. Cameron had to go potty so David tracked him to the bathroom while the rest of us headed towards:

You'll have to wait to find out!
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
MK2010
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We left off with us heading to:


That's right Mousegears! But before we could get there we had to stop for a few pictures!







Soon we were shopping around Mousegears. I bought Lauren a little Mickey head to make eggs in the mornings. I haven't found a way to keep the eggs from sticking to the sides yet though.

After a while in Mousegears, we met up with my parents to ride Soarin'. Mom didn't want to risk it making her sick so she opted to look at the flowers outside. (She wouldn't leave the scooter to even come inside the air conditioning of The Land pavillion. ) I wasn't feeling well at this point, but I couldn't wait to ride Soarin with my friend,Carrie, and her husband Brett! Its one of my favorite rides and this opportunity wouldn't come again!

After a little bit of a wait, we met up with them at the entrance. It was funny because this group pushed right in front of us. We were standing politely single file behind one another and handing the attendant our FPs. Everyone in our group got through and then this group, which had gathered to the side of us, pushed their way in front of my eldest son. They pushed their tickets into the hands of the attendant and practically walked into the ride before the attendant even had their tickets in his hand! Jonathan and I just looked at each other! Once they all got through we handed the attendant our tickets and caught up with our group, who had allowed the buttinskies to pass them, so we could all go in together. We just shook it off and got ready to SOAR!

I can see why you would be mad about such an event if you were there when it was really busy. But frankly, this was late Spetember. It wasn't that busy. I mean, I think even standby was only 60-90 minutes and this is late afternoon. Besides, Carrie and I weren't in a huge hurry as it gave us time to catch up with each other.

Soon we were boarding. I was so disappointed this time. Not because of the ride. It was great! I felt so awful. I had a headache bordering on a migraine. I was considering throwing up and I don't get motion sick. I was ready to get off that ride and get back to the hotel. As soon as we landed we said our goodbyes and I insisted on stopping to get a drink. After a few minutes in the cool air I still didn't feel any better. David and I had a hot date tonight at Kona! This couldn't be happening!

We left the pavillion and found my Mom. I concentrated on my breathing and hightailed it out of the park, but even in my sickly state I had to stop for this:



You can see my Frogg Togg around my neck in this picture. Those things were life savers! I highly recommend them. Anywho, after this amazing pic I hightailed it out of the park. I didn't check to see if anyone was behind me. I didn't speak. I just MOVED IT to the car. I got in the front seat, turned the ac directly on me, and just closed my eyes praying to not throw up!

One of the great things about staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek is how easy it is to get to and from the parks. From the time we got in the car until we pulled up in front of our Tower was like 10 minutes. Plus, we got practically front row parking at every park! (Except MK, but I'll talk about that later!)

I got upstairs and grabbed about three ibuprofen and a couple of Tylenol and hit the shower. After 20 minutes or so of a nice cold shower I felt tons better. David and I prepared to head out to Kona. We drove to the TTC which only took maybe 10 minutes then hopped on the monorail over to the Poly.

We had eaten at Ohana's for breakfast on our last trip to the Poly.We are just in love with this resort. I've always wanted to stay at the Grand Floridian, but after our date we agreed that when we come back for our 20th anniversary we want to stay here.

We had a great meal. They had like a 2 meals for $60 thing. So we each got an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The bread was soooo good. The service was okay. A little lacking, but we didn't mind that. I hate it when they hover so we didn't mind being a little negelected! Unfortunately, for the table next to us the lack of attention wasn't a good thing. The Mom was there with two kids by herself, a young boy and a pre teen/teen girl. The poor little boy got sick and threw up . I felt so bad for that poor Mom. The waiter was nowhere tobe seen. We were stuck back in the corner and no one was coming around. I didn't really even notice what was going on until an adult from a nearby table got up and approached her about finding waitstaff. The Mom thanked her. Bless her heart. She had both kids in tears. Finally, waitstaff showed up and helped her out of the restaurant and got everthing cleaned up, sanitized, and restored. They hadn't even ordered yet. That poor Mom. The daughter was starving and was crying 'cause she was so hungry. So to all you parents out there who do WDW solo with kids, kudos to you because it can be incredibly rewarding, but also filled with challenges.

After our dinner, we moseyed down to the beach to pick out a spot for the fireworks. I loved watching Wishes from the Poly beach. Except for the large drunk group behind us and their rowdy kids. It was a group of friends who had come down on holiday together and were heading back te next day. So they were just trying to enjoy the last of their vacation. Their kids were running and playing tag on the beach (running in and out of other families and getting sand everywhere) and the parents were slightly tipsy and offering loud dialog to Wishes, such as, "Here's the big one. Oh no wait here it is."

Honestly, I really was only a little annoyed. My husband and I were trying to have a romantic date and they were intruding. (The beach was actually kind of crowded that night. THere really wasn't quite spot.) But the kids were having the time of their lives and while it was inconvenient to me, and perhaps slightly inconsiderate on their part for playing tag literally right around me, they were making life long memories. I can only imagine those kids in 10-15 years thinking back on that night! And how great is it to have friends that you can travel to Disney with? So while I wasn't a fan of the group, I did think what a great experience itmust have been for them.

We got back from Wishes late and everyone else was already in bed. That's the unfortunate thing about hitting rope drop, you have a tendency to go to bed early. Up next: Magic Kingdom.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
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Today was the day I got to go home! I was so excited! See, I've decided that I am but a sojourner in this land and that only occasionally am I allowed back in to where I truly belong:



I was up early for this day dragging everyone with me! In case I haven't mentioned it: I'm a Rope Dropper. Every day, no excuses. If you're riding with me plan on getting there early! Lol. So we hopped in the car and off we went. It took us less than 10 minutes to be in the parking lot of the TTC. We had front row parking. In fact we were so close, it made no sense to use the tram so we just walked over to the monorail. Now, when I arrive in the mornings I like to use the monorail, but most of the time if arriving in the afternoon or heading out of the park I prefer the ferry. Magic Kingdom is the only park where I kinda missed being able to take a bus from my resort. It is just a pain to park at the TTC and then head over. However, it is less of a pain than parking in the back forty of say the Wal-Mart parking lot because after all, you are in Disneyworld. Everything is better here!

We arrived in plenty of time for me to take lots of pictures before the Opening Show. But I'll spare you and only give you two:





Now this is my absolute favorite Opening show. Okay, thats a bit of an overstatement since now it is the ONLY opening show, but you know what I mean right? I just love it. Before our trip was over I had my husband video it and we watch it at least once a week around here. I listen to the song on average once a day. I LOVE it! Have I mentioned I love it?

Anyway, soon we were on our way and I was snapping pictures as we walked. Look what I saw as soon as we got in the gates:



Its a tour group Lol! I have heard so much on the boards about the tour groups that I had to snap this picture.

Here are some pictures of the fall decorations around Main Street:







This last picture isn't the best, but see if you can notice the jack o'lanterns on top of the buildings. Jack Spence did a blog about these decorations way back in the fall. You can look through his archives on Allears. There is some real detail in these to match them up to the building that sits below them. For instance, on top of the Fire Dept. is a pumpkin with a fire hydrant carved into it.

Anyhow, we couldn't hang out in this crush for long. We had rides to ride. We split up here. I took the two little boys to ride Dumbo with my Dad and everyone else went to go ride IASW.



After Dumbo we headed to Fantasyland to meet up with everyone. I grabbed a set of FPs for Pooh and we headed over to ride Pan. Here are some shots of FL.



Topiaries by the Teacups.



Look at how empty the park is at RD on September mornings!



It does look odd with that wall up. Glad its down now. Yay for FLE!



I just love how everything is themed. I mean this could just be a plain building, but instead its made to look like it came out of Hansel and Gretel or Snow White or something.

Anyway, after Pan, we went over to Haunted Mansion. Now Lauren doesn't like this ride. She says its creepy. I think I tend to agree with her. Yet, I still like it! We did the interactive queue somewhat. But honestly with no line, its kinda hard to stop. People don't quite know what to do with you. I would've been happy for people to continue around us. I even told them so, but they look at you kind of funny. After Haunted Mansion we headed back to Pooh. And look who we saw:



That's my friend Carrie in the blue shirt and her husband Brett is kinda beside her in the hat. They were waiting in the regular line for Pooh! We talked briefly as our lines matched up for a bit and made plans to meet up later in the afternoon. They were headed over to Epcot for lunch and we were headed back to the hotel.

So by now it was about 11:00 and we were done with everything I wanted to get done that morning. So I rounded everyone up to head back to the hotel. It was just beginning to get kinda warm. Mom and Dad thought I was a little bit crazy 'cause clearly we hadn't done everything, but I explained that we had done enough for this morning and it was more important to go back and rest and do more stuff in the cool of the evening. They agreed and we trooped back to the car. This time we took the monorail back because most people were just now heading into the park! I know people must have thought we were nuts as they saw us leaving!

Well, this is only half of our day at MK. Unfortunately, its time for swim practice and for me to head to work here. So, perhaps if I have a slow night at work I'll update you on the rest of our day, which includes a nifty meet up with Carrie and Brett! Until then...so long, farewell, aufwiedershein (I don't speak German)....



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Old 01-23-2013, 12:23 AM   #11
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So glad you posted on my TR because for our next trip I want to go in September so I'm trying to find out as much about it as possible!!

Aw your daughter must be one strong little girl having to deal with diabetes! I used to ADORE my American Girl doll. She had her own bureau and everything.

I love the picture at Epcot of your whole family- priceless!

I hate not being at parks for rope drop too!
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Trip Reports In Progress:

Ooo I'm really scaredd! A Sept 13 TR!
Excuse me, your child can NOT go on stage with Mickey: a January 2013 TR!

Completed: We both got real jobs, now we can go to Disney: Sept 2013 PTR
July 2000: GKTW Village// January 2012 offiste// January 2013 Pop Century// September 2013 Pop Century

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
MK2010
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Welcome lvcourtney! It was a great trip. The humidity totally zapped my energy so it was a very different trip than what I expected. The part of Texas that we live in now is very dry and not humid at all, but I grew up in the Dallas area which is very humid. (not as humid as Houston) So I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong! Get Frogg Toggs, misters, and water bottles. take frequent breaks for dole whips and you'll do great! The great thing about going in September is that there are no lines! I'll get to it later on in my report, but one day my son drug me on BTMRR 2 times in a row and wanted to go again, but I put my foot down. (He rode again 5 minutes later with his Dad and siblings) But all of that was stand by. We got 1-2 FPs every day, but we didn't really need them. The only rides I felt we REALLY needed them for were Soarin and TSM. The rest you can pretty much walk right on if you get there at Rope Drop. Another great reason to go in September is MNSSHP. We didn't go, but I'm hoping for a trip next Oct. with some of my nurses from work and hope to go then.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:57 AM   #13
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We got back to WBC and had some lunch. I can't remember what was for lunch this day (or any other day for that matter!) I had pre-cooked most of our meals and then put them in the deep freeze for our trip. Did you know that 10 lbs. of hamburger meat makes something like 18 hamburger patties? Impressive I know. The funny thing is, I cooked so much food for the trip that we didn't eat it all. I just pulled a bag of cooked chicken from the deep freeze last night! Anywho, I digress.

We had lunch and then packed a brown bag dinner to take back to the park with us later that night. Everyone rested and then about 2 p.m. we got ready to head back to the parks. Mom's knee was hurting and she was tired so she opted to stay back at the room. My dad was going to stay with her, which I thought was a great idea, but Mom wanted him to go with us. I thought it would've been great for Dad to stay and then they could've met up with us for the parade.Mom really wanted to see MSEP, but she just wasn't up for it.

We headed out. Now, if you didn't already know, let me clarify a couple of things for you. 1) You have to pay to park at Disneyworld. Its $14/day and that is good for all day. Its good if you leave the park and then come back, or if you leave the park and go to another park. Another thing about parking is you don't have to hunt for a spot. In the morning they start filling the lots from the front to the back. As the day wears on, they just keep opening up the lot farther and farther back. So even though we had a front row parking spot in the morning this after noon we would be parking a bit farther out 'cause once those first spots are filled, they don't go back and refill them. As for point #2 I'll get to it in a minute.

So we got parked and hopped a tram up to the TTC. This time we took the ferry over to MK and went through the bag check line. Which brings me to point #2. Yes, you can bring food into Disney parks. We had each packed a sandwich, chips, fruit, and cookies into our little brown bags and put them in our backpacks along with our water bottles and crystal ade individual flavor thingies. Once through bag check I made everyone stop for a picture:



I also have a shot of this exact same picture with my Dad in the shot, but I guess that one didn't get uploaded to photobucket from the cd.

Here is another pic that I found that we took earlier in the day:



I just love the partners statue. It makes me tear up every time I see it. "Remember this was all started by a mouse."- Walt Disney

I love you Mickey!

Anyway, after the picture taking, I think I sent the boys for either Space Mountain FPs or Buzz. I strolled down Main Street and was able to catch a performance by these guys:



My fascination with the Dapper Dans began back in high school when I got a three cd set of Disney Music through the ages. It had "Meet me Down on Main Street" and some of the others that now you can hear the Dapper Dans sing. Also, if you need a Dapper Dan fix, pop over to Youtube and do a search for Dapper Dans do the boy bands. Quite an interesting take! After the Dapper Dans we headed to BTMRR. But I have no pictures of that. I do have pictures of us outside Splash Mtn. which we also rode.



And:


Splash got us all wet and even ruined Stephen's autograph book! We picked a shady spot and had some dinner before heading over to Buzz.



Now, I don't have picture proof, but I'm pretty sure the boys went on Space Mtn. From here we headed back across the park to Adventureland to meet up with Carrie and Brett.

Now here comes the really important part of the day and I can't remember which order I did it in. But, I had my first ever Dole Whip. YUM! there are not words to describe this little piece of heaven. Up until this point my favorite Disney treat had always been a Mickey bar, but I have found an equal. Dole Whips. Even the name must be said with reverence. Here lately, I have been craving them. I even got the recipe off of Allears and made a batch at home. Well, what really happened is I needed a fix and posted on Lines (Touring Plans chat) about my need. A supplier (fellow liner ) immediately replied with a link on how to make my own! Another pointed out that you can get almost the exact same thing at Orange Leaf. You can bet your bottom dollar that I was out the door and down to my local Orange Leaf before you can say supercalafragilisticexpialadocious. This Dole Whip awesomeness happened I think as we were waiting for Brett and Carrie and I think while I was enjoying my Dole Whip everyone else went through Swiss Family Robinson.





I have several more pictures, but you get the idea. My kids are cute.

The real reason behind this whole foray into Adventureland was for this next shot:



Brett is a professional amateur photographer! He had gotten this same shot of a random family playing around a few months ago and posted on FB. When I saw that pic and realized that we were going to be there at the same time I really wanted this pic. So being the sweet guy that he is, he obliged me! It wasn't an easy shot to get. He had some fancy filter on his camera and we had to position ourselves in a carpet almost exactly across from the kids without getting the center pole in the way. He did a great job!

After playing personal photog for my family, Brett split off to meet up with some local photography friends of his to go get shots of the new Dumbo. (He takes his photography seriously, He often closes down the parks at night! But his pics are good and totally worth the effort he puts in to them.)

I'm almost at my pic limit and since I'm totally doing this on the boss' dime I need to stop and pretend to do my job for a while. So while you eagerly await my next post ask yourself this, What will Carrie and I do next?

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
lvcourtneyy
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Aw love the pictures- so cute!

How cool that you were able to set up the shot on the carpets! Love the idea.

Thanks for the tips on September! We're definitely gonna have to prepare for the humidity!!
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Trip Reports In Progress:

Ooo I'm really scaredd! A Sept 13 TR!
Excuse me, your child can NOT go on stage with Mickey: a January 2013 TR!

Completed: We both got real jobs, now we can go to Disney: Sept 2013 PTR
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:32 AM   #15
MK2010
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Okay, so this is going to have to be a quick update because I have to go grocery shopping. Yuck! I hate grocery shopping. But, that's where I make my Disney money! What? Yes, I look for ways to save money on groceries and then I put the extra back for Disney. But as food prices keep going up its getting harder and harder. I generally buy my staples at what we call a salvage store here. Bent cans, overstock, that sort of thing. I can get milk for $2.50 instead of almost $4 at Wal Mart. Eggs are like $1.89 for 18. Bread is $.50 and I can get 10 lbs of ground meat for about $15. I buy my other meat- like pork and whole chickens at United in the mornings when I get off work. I can score a whole chicken for anywhere from $.39/lb to $.69/lb. So anyway, that's how I feed a family of 6 on $600/ month including all of our cleaning supplies and such. Basically, if it can be bought at Wal-Mart I have to fit it into the grocery budget somehow- kids clothes, undergarments, cleaning supplies, toiletries, dog food, batteries. Another really cool money saving tip is to make your own laundry detergent. I know, I know, it sounds a little sketchy, but trust me it works. Its kind of a pain to store (some people do it better than I do), but it really does get your clothes clean. Its also safe for HE washers. If anyone reading this is interested I can post the link that I use or you can just google it. I will tell you it makes a LOT of soap. I do 12-18 loads of laundry here a week and it lasts me a month. Soooo cheap. I pay around $20 or so for about a 4-6 month supply.

Okay anyway, enough of that. Like I said this post will be short, but I'm hoping to do several updates over the next three days or so. I've gotten really bad about doing an update or two at work every week and this soming week the Dr.s decided they wanted to work, I guess, 'cause we're gonna be kinda busy. (Actually, one of our orthopods has been on vacation or off somewhere with the US ski team or something, so he hasn't been doing surgery!) Okay Okay I know on with the show- who cares about our everyday lives right? We want to talk Disney!

So when I left off, Brett had abandoned us. Carrie and I stood around for a bit just talking, then my family and Carrie went over to Jungle Cruise. Now, my kids HATE Jungle Cruise. I think it must be and adult ride. Because Carrie, Dad, DH, and I all loved it! Its the corny jokes I tell ya. I don't have pictures, but I will use this excuse- I was having trouble with my camera battery retaining life. I had two batteries, but one was absolutely worthless and wouldn't even charge and the other just went through the juice fast! So, please excuse my lack of photography. I guess I could go back to our trip from 2009 and pull photos! I only have like 3,000 of those. (3,000 is the number I had before I puled out all of the duplicates and blurry shots- I think its closer to 900 something in reality.)

After Jungle Cruise the kids wanted to go ride Space Mountain so Carrie and I just moseyed through Adventureland, across the bridge, and down Main Street, back to Liberty Square. I don't know why we took the long way. I guess its just because we were talking. We picked out a spot for the parade and settled in. Now we were probably and hour and a half away from the parade. We picked a spot across from Hall of Presidents.



In September, you don't really need to get her that early. Also, in 2009, we sat in front of Hall of Presidents thats a much better position. And probably even better than that is in front of the stockade. Here are a couple of pics fro m the parade. But I will warn you, they came out kinda blurry.





A little while before the parade everyone had rejoined us. My Dad and Brett talked photography and who knows what else. Lauren laid down on the concrete for a nap , David kept running kids to the bathroom and buying snacks (well, really I think my Dad was buying snacks.) and Carrie and I just talked and talked. When you haven't seen someone for 15 years you have a LOT to talk about! After the parade, they were heading out 'cause they had to go home in the morning , but the good news is Carrie might be at Disney when I go in Oct! We'll have to see though. She'll graduate this spring as a certified teacher in Georgia so she'll have a job next fall and isn't sure that she'll be able to get off work. I'm hoping they'll have a long weekend !

Anyway, from there we jetted through FL past HM, (of course we had to stop for a bathroom break!) and then all the way around through the edge of Tomorrowland, and up to the rose garden for Wishes. ONce the parade comes buy the throng in the hub becomes nearly impassable, hence the long trek around the back. And why the Rose Garden you ask? Well, because Tink flies right over your head when the conditions are just right. I had promised this surprise to my kids in 2009 and poor Tink let me down, but tonight she was flyin' high! Everybody was impressed- even my 12 yr old. (Although, I suspect that has more to do with the fact that Tink is kinda cute!)

I love Wishes! But after it was over we slowly meandered our way through the crowds out MK. It had been a magical day, full of fun and surprises. I love Magic Kingdom. Its definitely my favorite park. The magic seems most alive there! We took the ferry back to the TTC and caught a tram out to our car. Everyone was exhausted and ready for bed. THankfully, the next morning only Lauren and I had to be up early for her YES class at AK. Everyone else could sleep in a bit if they wanted to.

Alright, I told you it was short, but we have NO food here and I'm still in my pjs and the store opens in 30 minutes all the way across town (which means its only a 15 minute drive! I would never cope in Dallas or Houston!) So pace yourselves and hopefully I'll be back on here later today!
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