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Old 04-21-2013, 10:25 AM   #1
ChrisParker
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Follow me to a Fantasy Follow-up Familymoon with Four Fantastic Fledglings

Okay, so the alliteration is a bit much, but I'm an English teacher...it's a disease. Just be thankful this trip report doesn't rhyme.

Thanks for joining!!

We will be boarding the Fantasy (insert angel-light-coming-down-from-heaven-noise here) on August 9, 2014 for a 7-night Eastern Caribbean Cruise (with the blessing - more on that later).

ay Port Guest Ashore Guest Onboard
1 Port Canaveral, Florida — 3:45 p.m.
2 At Sea — —
3 At Sea — —
4 St. Maarten 8:00 a.m. 6:45 p.m.
5 St. Thomas/St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 7:45 a.m. 3:30 p.m.
6 At Sea — —
7 Castaway Cay 9:45 a.m. 4:45 p.m.
8 Port Canaveral, Florida 7:30 a.m. —

A few reasons for this trip report -

a) I've read a million others and learned soooo much
b) I'm still pixie-dusting/willing/manifesting the trip into being and this makes it more real
c) Hoping to meet some of y'all and maybe meet up on the cruise
d) It beats the heck out of marking papers!!

I hope you'll bear with me but beware - my writing is more John Irving than John Steinbeck. Lots of meandering and parenthesis and backing up and skipping round and just general chatterboxiness. I love to talk and I love to write and this is a bit of both.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Here is the cast of "characters" and I do mean that word in all the ways. My family - love 'em or hate 'em but there's not much in between.

Me - English and Spec Ed teacher, mother of 2, step-mother of 2 more, wife to the DreadPirateRobers (sometimes called Wesley) and Disney fanatic. Went to WDW for the first time for my 30th birthday and have been back about 7 times since. Obsessive-Compulsive trip planner, nothing makes me happier really in terms of leisure activities. Anglofile, lover of all things British, especially Coronation Street, Original Source body wash and Cadbury. Someday we will live in the UK. Like I said, I'm a highschool teacher and I love my job. I mostly love working with troubled kids. It's all about relationships. You gotta love 'em before you can teach 'em. Also a big fan of Adventures in Babysitting, and other 80's movies. And Dexter. Bwa-ha-ha-haaaaa.

DH - DreadPirateRoberts or Wesley. We were married last August
. I've known him since Grade 9 History on the first day of highschool. It took me a while to come round. He is a writer and IT professional and recent Disney convert. Last summer we went to WDW for our honeymoon, and then came back, got the kids, and took them for a Familymoon. He's hooked. Lovely, lovely, lovely man. Has a slight obsession with cats in ties pictures on the interwebs. Can't wait for the cruise. Here we are, all loved up on our honeymoon ...



Now, the children. Oh the children. They have no idea this cruise awaits them. If I can keep it a secret until Christmas it will be a Christmas miracle to be sure. But that is the plan. And for Christmas they will get cruisewear and pillowcases and a call from Mickey. I cannot WAIT. Last year at Art of Animation, dss Christian said to DPR, "The three best times in my life are Disneyworld, Great Wolf Lodge and Medieval Times." So special to us because we took them to all three of those places. Our family is not "traditional" but it works for us! So here they are -

Gabe (11) - Reader, loves the Xbox too much, has just started loving Hockey (I almost escaped being a Hockey Mom - you fellow Canucks can relate), doesn't put ALL the laundry in the hamper, funny, loves Macklemore, has a crush on Marta but we're not allowed to talk about it. Loves his step-brother.

Christian (11) - Quiet, (a good and calming influence on Gabe!), loves Hockey, testing for a black belt next year in Karate, not as much of a reader but loves the Hobbit and NHL trivia, also doesn't put all his clothes in the hamper (can you tell I'm a bit obsessed with laundry?) and great kid.

Cate (9) - Puts her clothes in the hamper!! Loves gymnastics, is also starting hockey next year (Give me strength - three separate games each weekend and they do not sell starbucks in the arena), loves to draw and play with her American Girl (last year's big Christmas present) who is also called Cate. Both Cates will be receiving matching clothes for the cruise.

Pippa (6) - The princess. Lives in the moment. Big hugger and clinger to the leg (Thing Agnes in Despicable Me). Also a lover of her Bitty Twins who are named Phil and Lill. Loves gymnastics, so far no interest in Hockey, has more friends than I can keep track of, including all the Grade 6 girls in Gabe's class who think she is "so cute". That girl can work it.

Here they all are!



DPR doesn't do rollercoasters.

So there we all are! Follow along with us as we plan. And when I say we, I mean I plan. It's what I do. By the time we get on that boat, I will know every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse on that ship. Part of the fun for me will be to make everyone's trip as smooth as possible by thinking of every possible outcome, and going with the flow when there's on I haven't thought of.

That's us! Thanks for reading!
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:05 PM   #2
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La de da...

Sunday evening, no kids in the house this weekend and a few hours until bed and Monday and straight through until dawn, or next Sunday. Whatever comes first.

At this moment in time, I am watching Copland (can you say all-star cast and also I have a "thing" about movies) and also watching the washer and the dryer. My two besties. The fact that they are outside my bedroom door is one of the great joys of my life.

But I digress.

How, you might ask, did this trip come about? Well I'm glad you asked.

Two weeks ago, another kid-free weekend, and I was sitting here watching a movie and the laundry, and I said, "You know Roberts, we could go on a cruise maybe this summer. We could go on a Carnival Cruise. They're dead cheap." Of course the Dread Pirate said yes, Buttercup, go ahead and do the research. That sounds great.

Somehow in the next few hours that cheap Carnival cruise for the two of us this summer turned into the proposal of a not-so-cheap Disney cruise for the 6 of us next summer. Because he is the most wonderful man on earth and he trusts my instincts for trips and we had such a great time last year, he said, "You know what? Book it. It sounds great."

I then emailed Dreams Unlimited, booked, and started reading everything Cruise I could read, in a mixture of that order.

I jumped over to the Cruise Meet thread and started one on up... still waiting to see who else will be on board, and I also decided in my excited brain to commit to FE planning - my girls and I are going to have some fun with that.

It's a long time away so it is, and I don't know if I can keep this PTR going that long, but I'm betting I can. Report card time will be slow I imagine and I'm taking a course in July... maybe I can sit at the back and post away...

Here is the list of things I'm currently mulling over about the planning -

- Need to find some Disney fabric - think I need to go to the States for that - so my mom can make some matching dresses
- Need to figure out how the DISigns work. I can't believe there are people waiting to make designs that I can use! Dis people is good people.
- Need to figure out what to get the kids (cruise-related) for Christmas. Yes I know it's April. But the Baby Jesus always gets born before I know it.
- Need to keep reading reading reading the disboards!
- Need to do the laundry.

Just for fun, here is a picture of Gabe on his first trip to WDW. He likes it more now.



See you soon!
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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Hi Chris, returning the sub. I am just down the highway from you in Brantford - small world
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiandisneyfamof4 View Post
Hi Chris, returning the sub. I am just down the highway from you in Brantford - small world
That it is! I have to look up your train to Orlando idea. I'm intrigued. We're thinking of driving next summer...Montana don't fail me now!!
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
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I'm following - I love your pretrip so far! And I am a fellow Londoner!! Hockey mom of DS11 and karate mom of DD13. Neither of which can very often find the hamper.... We are Leaving in 7 short days for an eastern Caribbean on the fantasy. We too have been to wdw many times - annually until 2012 since 2005. Now that we've started cruising with DCL, we are hooked!
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:14 AM   #6
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I'm following - I love your pretrip so far! And I am a fellow Londoner!! Hockey mom of DS11 and karate mom of DD13. Neither of which can very often find the hamper.... We are Leaving in 7 short days for an eastern Caribbean on the fantasy. We too have been to wdw many times - annually until 2012 since 2005. Now that we've started cruising with DCL, we are hooked!
Lord help me I have become a hockey mom/stepmom this year. Gabe & Christian are both doing powerskating...Gabe was dressed down on Monday b/c his skates were too big and his laces were too long... I am not an athlete. To Herm's we went and they kitted us out for a lot less than I thought it would cost to be honest. We were in the store and Gabe said, "Mom if I play AAA, can I have those $500 skates?" I said, YES YOU CAN. And if you want to play AAA, you better start practising!!

Enjoy your trip!!! Looking forward to hearing about it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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I keep waiting for a perfect time to write the next update but so far it has not appeared so now will have to do.

Since I started this Cruise Campaign, I have spent a TONNE (spelled Canuck way - Wahoo! Go Leafs Go!) of time reading the disboards, a penchant further exacerbated by the app which I now have on my phone. Here is a (probably partial) list of things I have done to plan so far:

1. I have purchased the first patterns which my mother has agreed to sew into dresses/skirts for both my girls and their American girls. (Aside - Pippa has decided that in addition to Phil and Lil, she would like a proper American Girl for her birthday. She has picked said girl out in the catalogue (whoever thought of that thing is a genius) and also decided that she wants a wheelchair for this doll. She is INSISTENT upon this fact. The doll uses a wheelchair. I said, well, some people use a wheelchair. If your doll does, then we'll get her one. She comes up with the most interesting things that girl.)

2. I have decided to learn to sew. Admittedly this is not something I have actually done so much as something I have decided to do. But the wheels are in motion. I actually made the decision based on the fact that I have been reading dis creative sewing threads and when I read about the make-a-wish sewing, I got all teary and decided to learn to sew so that I can make my kids things and double them for the Make-a-Wish families. I'm a massive softie. Sooo.. (sew, get it? SEW... ) I have planned to take a sewing course at fabricland (cue the theme music from the commercial for anyone who lives in Ontario) after I finish the course I'm taking in July. I find that it's good to have 2 or 3 course lined up in a row, lest I should actually take a vacation... The July course is a bit of a doozie so sewing should be a welcome follow-up. And my birthday is in August so I can get an early pressie and we'll be away to the races.

To be continued....

Gratuitous picture of the princess with Phil and Lil -

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Old 05-02-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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...continued

Here are the first two patterns I bought for my sainted mother. I hope they are not too difficult. Any suggestions for what disney or disney-ish fabric to use would be appreciated. I'm going to Joanns this weekend to get some fabric and to Tar-get to get some Vitamin Water Zero in Lemonaid (God Bless America).





3. (back to the original list) I have put some considerable consideration into transportation. Last summer, we flew from Detroit. With lo these many children we have never embarked on a long trip, but Orlando is only about 22 hours from here. If we leave at 2pm, we'll be to Art of Animation (I'll get to that) by about noon the next day, in time for an afternoon of swimming and dinner at Ohana, a drive up to Publix for me to get Vitamin water (see above). I have calculated the cost of driving my 2005 Montana down I-75 and it says it will be about $400 roundtrip which seems silly-low to me but whatever. Of course this is also assuming that Hannah Montana the Vanna will last until next year. I also priced the gas on a 2013 Dodge Caravan. You really can't be too prepared. (The Caravan is about $40 cheaper. Not necessarily worth getting one just for that but I've convinced Wesley of stranger strings of logic.) So I am thinking we drive.

Surely by the time Pippa is 8, she will be past being carsick right? There's no way she will puke all the way down the highway?? Can we tie her to the roof in a rocking chair at all??

The back of Hannah Montana -



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Old 05-03-2013, 12:14 AM   #9
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Ariel Skirt!

for that first pattern option d looks like an Ariel skirt to me. It just screams fish scales. Super cute. I may have to hunt it down. if you search for the blog "make it love it" she does tons of skirt tutorials with out patterns if you want to take a peak. enjoy!
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:16 AM   #10
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oh and by the way. "Chris Parker" LOVE IT. my kids are huge fans. My car doesn't have a name and my kids voted for Chris Parker. She is still nameless. And my 5 year old dropped her first F-bomb quoting Chris Parker. Yeah you know the line...
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TinkermomCA View Post
oh and by the way. "Chris Parker" LOVE IT. my kids are huge fans. My car doesn't have a name and my kids voted for Chris Parker. She is still nameless. And my 5 year old dropped her first F-bomb quoting Chris Parker. Yeah you know the line...
Best present I have ever received - an Adventures in Babysitting print, framed and signed by Elizabeth Shue. I'll take a picture of it later.

A mall? Where y'all think we're at, Boise, Idaho? Shooo!

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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As promised...



It's right outside my bedroom, next to the washer and dryer. So I see it a LAWT.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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Subscribing can't wait .....
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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Here is the Fabric for the dresses of the Female Fledglings... I got to Joann's after an *eventful* overnight at the outlet mall (we l.e.f.t. the hotel after we saw the room, got a refund and headed over to the Comfort Inn and Suites where we got the second to last room which was accessable and ended up sleeping in a murphy bed! It was too funny. I think the room was about the size of two postage stamps... )

Anywhooooo , we go to Joann's and I did see any Disney Fabric that I especially liked, but I did see some other stuff that was beautimous, so we got that. The lady was über helpful and took a long time going over the measurements so that I got the right amount of fabric for each of the dresses the way I wanted to do it. (If you work at the Joann Fabrics in Pt. Huron, MI, then to you!)

But the three red/black patterned fabrics will be for the skirts. I'll have my mom make them a bit big so they will still fit next summer, and they can wear white Mickey shirts with them - that will look great.



The purple pattern will be for the two dresses, with the pattern being the middle panel, and Cate's dress will be flanked with purple and Pippa's with yellow.

We also bought some books at the 10 for $10 paperback section in the outlet and I got a few Pirates of the Caribbean books to wrap up for Christmas. I think what we are going to do is wrap up their presents and have them have hints. Mickey is calling at 9:00 Christmas morning to let them know. I *think* it is 9am. I better check that out. I'm rubbish with details. (Unless they are planning details...duh. )

I was thinking we might give them, each in different presents the letters DISNEy CRUISE and have them put them together...or maybe pieces of a custom-made puzzle that will tell them we're going once assembled?

After looking at the lovely DISigns people made, I thought to myself - Self, let's learn how to do graphic design! So I downloaded a program called Pixelmator which seems to be quite good. I might need to clone myself.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:37 AM   #15
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Love the fabric and wanted to congratulate you for learning to sew! I, myself, have my mother's sewing machine and can only hem! I added my family to the Cruise Meet and am enjoying your Trip Report! My brother-in-law and his family will also be on the cruise and my nephew is currently 12 - so he is close in age to your two boys. My brother's family will also be on the cruise and my two nieces are 8 and 5 - close to your daughter's ages. I'm so looking forward to this cruise - its become an addiction. They really ought to give out warnings when you book a Disney Cruise!

Can't wait for your next installment.
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