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Old 08-26-2013, 10:20 PM   #91
queenbetsey
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just about have lance sold on a January trip, hoping there are some good discount codes announced in September. It would be cool to try the magic bands, but we also do not have smart phones but will have to make any of those fast passes from home.
I will say it will be different to bot have the mad dash at rope drop but I can try to get used to it
How do you find out if your hotel is on the system or are they going to have all of them online by then
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http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3209767

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Old 08-26-2013, 10:41 PM   #92
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I'm new to the boards and obviously new to posting - but I can't wait to read your trip report. Love your writing style and sense of humor! Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:03 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenbetsey View Post
just about have lance sold on a January trip, hoping there are some good discount codes announced in September. It would be cool to try the magic bands, but we also do not have smart phones but will have to make any of those fast passes from home.
I will say it will be different to bot have the mad dash at rope drop but I can try to get used to it
How do you find out if your hotel is on the system or are they going to have all of them online by then
If all goes well. all should be online by then
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:07 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstage_Gal View Post
If Smidgy would read her PM, it might make her feel better

On with the show.. I mean TR

I'm no Thumper, I cant find a plane, LOL
Can't find the plane? Maybe I'm dumb... okay, scratch the 'maybe'... but you'll have to 'splain dat one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenbetsey View Post
they have a really nice one at Saratoga springs and I hear swan/dolphin also has a nice one too
Yup. jedijill beat you to it. Also apparently there's one at GF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenbetsey View Post
just about have lance sold on a January trip, hoping there are some good discount codes announced in September. It would be cool to try the magic bands, but we also do not have smart phones but will have to make any of those fast passes from home.
I will say it will be different to bot have the mad dash at rope drop but I can try to get used to it
Good luck with the codes! A January trip would be great.

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Originally Posted by queenbetsey View Post
How do you find out if your hotel is on the system or are they going to have all of them online by then
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstage_Gal View Post
If all goes well. all should be online by then
There ya go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyMarie View Post
I'm new to the boards and obviously new to posting - but I can't wait to read your trip report. Love your writing style and sense of humor! Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us.
Hi AbbyMarie! Welcome. Join in on the fun anytime you want. I'm an equal opportunity TR writer, I'll annoy old and young. Ask anyone!
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:22 AM   #95
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I'm still around! Trying to catch up on everyone's TR's now that ours is done. Plus last week was a little tough. Anniversary of my dad's passing, plus another friend of ours passed away unexpectedly...But I'm catch up now.

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Oh. Now you're calling him dear?

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I would like to clarify this. Lady H was referring to both she and Ruby letting their husbands plan the vacations. So when she said, "Whatever you want dear", she was referring to what she would say to you.
Yeah...What he said.



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But she did call me 'hun'.

Missed that one, huh?
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:06 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstage_Gal View Post
Also, if you have FP+ and no phone - no problem, the Concierge at the hotel or guest relations kiosks at the parks let you make any changes you want for fast passes AND dining.

Funny story, I did a test check in today at my hotel as we are going to go into testing next week (getting the CM's used to various scenarios).

So I picked just any old fast passes for today for Epcot since I wasn't really going. I picked Turtle Talk, Captain EO and Soarin'. Once back at my desk, I logged into my newly created account and clicked on "Change Fast Passes". It suggested to me as available: Test Track, Mission Space Orange, and Soarin'!!! Alrighty then. Plus it groups them together by time period and gives you choices as well, like AM, PM, etc and even knows when you have dining reservations and schedules around those.
I think this is shaping up as a great trip for Ruby
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Ya don't have to sell me on it, lady... I'm already psyched.
I'm glad some of you are. I'm on the fence at the moment. Not until this goes full blown out to the public will I be totally on board; or totally against it.

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Oh, wait. That's psycho.
I thought you looked familiar in this picture.


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Originally Posted by Backstage_Gal View Post
NO NO NO

Just IF you want to make last minute changes without a smart phone. You can pre-plan everything from your computer at home.

Say you miss your fast pass time for some reason. Today, you just lose it. In the future, you can just rebook it for a later time. Don't panic, OK?

As I understand, they will also have people standing around with Ipads that can do it for you without standing in line.
It's easy at the moment for everyone that is testing it now. Once everybody can use it, I don't think switching FP times and/or ADR's is going to be as easy as it sounds. Just like they're limited now, I'm sure they'll be limited when it goes into full force.

Take TSMM for example: TSMM runs out of FP everyday in the morning. TSMM will book out everyday before you even get into the park and very few time slots will probably open up the day you're there. You'll be stuck with the time slot you picked or land up losing it.

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Originally Posted by smidgy View Post
sigh. I have no prblem making ADRs for diningahead of time, at home.

I do not wantto make "reservations" (or whatever they call it) for fast pass times for rides from home. and, yes, I understand, I can then use "stand by".
I want to be able to get fast passes on that day. WAY too much regimen and planning. I do not like it, Sam I am!
I'm with you Smidgy. Now you have time plan every minute of every day.

TM: "Lady H, what time do we want to ride TSMM?"
LH: "Whatever time you want? Isn't kinda far out to be planning what time we want to ride even though our trip is still 3 months away?"
TM: "I want to be ready for when our window opens up. How about in the evening at 5pm?"
LH: "Thought that was the time we were going to 50's PTC?"
TM: "Oh that's right. How about 4pm?"
LH: "Beauty and the Beast is at that time. How about 3pm?"
TM: "Not good. We have to meet Nebo and Smidgy for a drink before our ADR. How about 6pm then since we're hopping over from MK?"
LH: "Well after our ADR you said we're going to the Osborne Lights. Let's just book one when we get there."
TM: "Hopefully they're not all booked by then. You know how fast that ride tends to book."

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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
I think it'll be a good thing. But I will reserve judgement until I've tried it out for myself (or at least heard plenty of reviews... either for or against... by people who don't have smart phones).
Now this I'll agree with this. I'll hold any further comments on this subject until everyone is using it and we have more information.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:19 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstage_Gal View Post
If Smidgy would read her PM, it might make her feel better

On with the show.. I mean TR

I'm no Thumper, I cant find a plane, LOL
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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Can't find the plane? Maybe I'm dumb... okay, scratch the 'maybe'... but you'll have to 'splain dat one.
Willing to bet she sent Smidgy a PM regarding FP +. As I stated in my prior post, I'll wait until it goes until full effect and we have more information before I comment more.

Now on with the show.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:20 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper_Man View Post
I'm glad some of you are. I'm on the fence at the moment. Not until this goes full blown out to the public will I be totally on board; or totally against it.
Ditto... But I'm hoping for the best. I see the potential... and the problems, but I'm hoping the good will outweigh the bad.

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I thought you looked familiar in this picture.
Nah. That doesn't look anything like me.

I have a mustache.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper_Man View Post
Now on with the show.
D'oh!
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:17 PM   #99
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Who knew it was so hard to get to Paris?

Anyone interested in getting this TR headed out the front door?

<cricket> <cricket> <cricket>



Oh, wait! There's someone waaaaaay in the back waving!
Someone wants to read this TR!
Somebody out there is interested!
Somebo....


oh.

Hi mom.


Oh what the heck. I'll write about it anyway. At least my mom will be happy.
Then again, she was a teacher and principal for all her working life, so maybe she just wants to correct my grammer.

grammar.


(Thanks mom.... boy, that was quick!!)


So we're over at my folks for dinner a few days before the trip and Mom asks how we're getting to the airport.

"Oh, I'm just gonna call a cab."
"Well, what time is your flight? Dad could drive you."

"It's pretty early. Flight's at 8:30am and it's an international flight so we probably have to be at the airport at 6:30, which means we have to leave the house at 6am."

"Your father's always up that early, he can drive you. It's not a problem."

At no time did my father chime in as to whether or not he wanted to do this.


This is the way wives are.
Pretty sure it's universal.


At any rate, Dad will be picking us up at 6am.
Now, I know my dad and I'm sure of two things.

1. He really is happy to do it. and;
2. He will be early. Anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes early. I don't care, I'm not going to be rushed! Nope. I said 6am and darn it, 6am it will be!


August 1st. The dog is dropped off at the dog-sitter's, the bags are packed, alarms are set. Tomorrow morning we're off for Paris!

August 2nd. Bright and early....

I can't speak for the rest of the fam damily, but I for one wasn't 'bright'..


We start getting ready to go and I'm doing last minute checks.

"Hey, Ruby. I didn't bother to try checking in for our flights 'cause it's an international flight with a connection... but what the heck. I'll give it a try."

Worse that can happen is it tells you you have to check in in person, right?


So I pop on the computer and log into the AirCanada website.... find the reservation number.... hmmm... need the passports. Got 'em right here...


Right now, you're fearing the worst, aren't you?
You think that the flight's been cancelled, or I somehow manage to cancel our reservation or there isn't one, or something, right?


Well, everything went just fine and I got us checked in and the boarding passes printed.

Easy peasey.

However.......


One last check of the flight times....

What?


Our flight leaves at 7:50am not 8:30??

Whoops!

That's never happened before. I guess I got 8:30 stuck in the ol' noggin and just took it as gospel. Oh, well.

Even if Dad doesn't come early, we'll still be at the airport an hour and a half before boarding... with boarding passes in hand. So I'm not worried.


Sure enough, Dad shows up about quarter to six and we start stuffing suitcases and people into the van.

The adventure starts.

This is the most dangerous part of the trip.

No, no, no. Not the plane ride, silly. My dad driving us to the airport!

Dad's in his early 80s now. And he never was big on those little niggly details of driving; like using mirrors, turn signals or doing shoulder checks. He likes to look around while he drives too. If that means occasionally drifting into someone else's lane... well... He's paid taxes for 60 years so he basically owns the road, right? What do you think you're doing, driving near his turf, anyway?

So Dad pulls out of the driveway aaaaand we're off! (that's just for you, Nebo)


We start off down the road and within two minutes, Dad's already managed to get one wheel up onto the curb as he drives along and looks around.


Now I've probably given you a bad impression of my dad's driving abilities. He's not really as bad as I make him out to be. He's had very few accidents in his 60 odd years of driving and that includes some major trips to both the east and west coasts and south as far as Texas.


Oh, sure. He's frequently seen driving away from pile ups... but he's seldom caught up in them.


Eventually we make it to the airport (the only other incident was when I told him to slow down for a red light camera 'cause he was going 20kph/12mph over the limit.) and check our bags.
We've learned since our last trip and there are no repeats of the hairspray incident.

We line up for the obligatory cattle branding and Ruby mentions that I should take off my belt.
"Nope. I've done this before and the belt doesn't set off the bells and whistles."

and it doesn't.

Told ya so.

We find our gate and settle in until they start boarding.
A short while later, the PA comes to life and they announce the familiar spiel:
"This is a pre-boarding call for Air Canada flight 260 to Toronto, all first class, business class, elite class, business elite class, elite first class, star alliance, pretentious, entitled, self-aggrandizing and ego inflated passengers may now board and look down your noses at everyone else that's staring at you with envy and lust.


I'm not making that up.

Well, okay. the part about "elite first class", I made that up.
But the rest is 'spot on'.

We have two major carriers in Canada with Air Canada being the largest of the two. WestJet is the other one. And is a much, much, MUCH more fun airline to fly with. One time when I was flying with them, after Air Canada had made their pre-boarding announcement, our WestJet gate attendant made a similar announcement. It went something like this:
"This is a pre-boarding call for WestJet flight 123 to Ottawa, anyone with a credit card, or a club membership card or a library card or any type of card at all may board at this time."

They actually made us show them a card before they'd let us on!

Once all the rich folk were aboard the section of the plane that would be destroyed first in the event of a crash they then boarded anyone with small children or people requiring more time to board.

I looked at Ruby, we both looked at 12 year old Kay and we sadly shook our heads. Maybe we could adopt?
Or borrow someone's kid?

But then you have to deal with the sore-ears-crying.

Guess I'll pass.


The flight to Toronto is uneventful... except for one little thing.
I hadn't seen Ironman3 yet, and was pleased to see it offered as one of the inflight entertainment options. I watched 3/4 of it and was going to watch the rest on the next flight... but it wasn't offered on the overseas leg.

Oh, well. No big deal.

We arrive in Toronto a little over two hours later.

We now have an eight and a half hour lay-over.


Eight



and a half




hours.



So what do you do? Well guess what? I have a sister that lives in Toronto!
I hardly ever get to see her. She comes to Winnipeg every Christmas (hasn't missed one... ever) and also comes once during the summer... usually end of July/beginning of August...

Yep. She's in Winnipeg, while we're in Toronto!


There's a large mall close to the airport, so we decide to hang out there.
We walk out to look for a cab and a limo driver asks if we'd like a lift.
Hmmmm.... go in style?
"How much?"
"$45."
"How much would a cab be?"
"About the same. Maybe two or three bucks less."

Uh, huh. Sure.
We take the cab.

$45 just to go around the airport.

Not gonna happen!

The cab costs $41.... $43 after tip.
He gives me a card with the company number and tells me to call about half an hour before we want to leave for the airport. At least the return trip is solved.



At the mall, we engage in that time worn and tested activity that most girls love.

shopping.

Or as I prefer to call it.

Hell.

Oh, well. Beats sitting on my duff at the airport for 8 1/2 hours.

barely.



The girls had fun checking out the different stores that we don't have in Winnipeg. Kaitlyn mentions that she doesn't really have walking shoes (what?!?!?... oh... yeah... she did mention that once a month or so ago), so we get her some... some..... I call 'em runners. Others say sneakers. Still others call 'em gym shoes or tennis shoes.

whatever... they look happy, though, don't they?



We did see a Disney store, though. Does that qualify as an excuse to put this over on the trip report board?

What? No, we didn't go in.





Settle down!
Geesh. Rough crowd.


Eventually, the ladies are shopped out and it's time to return to the airport.
Just gotta call the cab company and we'll be on our way. I need to find a payphone, or borrow a phone so I can make the call. We left our cell phones in Winnipeg since they won't work in Europe.

I get the family settled by an exit, take note of where it is and what it's near so I can tell the cab company and set out to find a phone.


I can't find a freaking phone!!
Geez! Not everyone has a cell phone, ya know!

Right, Smidgy?


I see a custodian and ask her where I might find a phone.

"Gee, I don't know. They took most of them out a few years ago. You might want to try customer service. Go to the intersection, turn left and follow the hall to the 'Y', take the right fork and follow it until you see the sign on the left."

Thanks. I set out in search of customer service and find it, right where she said it'd be a few miles later.

"Where can I find a payphone?"

Why I didn't just ask her to borrow their phone, I'll never know.

Oh, wait! I do know!

Cause I'm stupid!

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!


Sorry for the outburst.


"There's a payphone over by ______ store. Do you know where that is?"
"No."
"Continue down this hall for another six or seven miles, take a right at the intersection then walk another eighteen or twenty miles and you'll see them. If you see water, don't turn, it's just a mirage."


Four hours later, I find the payphones.
There's two of them.
A lady is using one of them.

This is my lucky day! There's one free!! Yippee!!

Why yes officer, I was using sarcasm there, thank you for asking.


I don't have any Canadian money with me.




Well, what do I need Canadian coins for? I'm going to Europe for Pete's sake!


After a modicum of chagrin, I notice that the cab company's business card has an 800 number on it.
Ah, hah! I don't need money after all!

I dial the 800 number and someone picks up. I assume it was the cab dispatcher... but I really have no idea. I could just barely hear them.

Me: "Hello? HELLO? HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME?"
I notice people starting to edge away from me.
Dispather: "hello? yes I hear you."
Me: "Oh, okay. Could I get a cab at ________ Mall at the North exit between ______ store and ________ store?"
Dispatcher: "mmmble grmmble mmbble bzzzz jmmmble"
Me: "Yes, that's right, I need a cab at ________ Mall at the North exit between ______ store and ________ store." (keeps fingers crossed)
Dispatcher: "mmmble, brmmble phone number mmmmble, mmmmble."
Me: "I don't have a phone number, I'm calling you from a payphone."
Dispatcher: "mmmmble, djummmble, need phone numblmmmm."
Me: "I can give you the payphone number, but I don't think you can call it."
Dispatcher: "Can't mmble you up wmmmble-out phone nummmmble."
Me: "So you're telling me that you, a cab company, won't pick up a fare unless I have a cell phone???"
Dispatcher: "right, mmmmble,there's taxi lines at all exits of the mall."


At least this, the most important part of the conversation was clear. Not seeing the point of prolonging this scintillating conversation, I hung up.

I start the long trek back to my happy, rested family.

I think I saw the remains of a dead camel half buried in the sand as I trekked back.


Can you see the remains of a live animal? Seems rather redundant, no?


I get back to my family a few hours later and lurch right on past them to see where this "taxi line" is.

There, of course, isn't one.


"Okay everyone! Get on your feet!"
"Is the cab here?" Ruby asks.

Oh, I remember when I was trusting like that. Now I just can't get over the fact of how knave I was.

Naïve! (my mom's quick, I tell ya.)

"Nope. No cab. I've got something even better! A trip through the mall to customer service!"


We make the pilgrimage back to customer service.

I did not appreciate those two Bedouin pointing and laughing at me.


At customer service I ask where the "taxi line" is.

"Go down this hall for 47 miles until you come to Target. Go in Target and stay to your right until you see the Exit. You'll see the taxi line when you go out."


wonderful

Eventually we exit Target, older and wiser then when we arrived at the mall, and find a taxi.

I don't remember how much it was, but I do remember that it was a few dollars less then the trip from the airport.


We march up to security with boarding passes and passports in hand and the security wench asks me if I'd like to remove my belt.

I've played this record before.

"Nope. It doesn't set off the alarm."

I then march through the detector to a loud welcoming alarm.
Of course all the agents are looking at me as if to say, "Why couldn't you just take off the darn belt?"

Because my pants would fall down, of course. Outside of Texas, where belts with buckles the size of hubcaps are de rigueur, why else would you wear a belt?

After the always enjoyable body rub with surprise happy ending, I collect the rest of the red faced, embarrassed family and we head off to find our gate.
Quickly

Before they decide that a cavity search might be a better use of their time.


As we wait to board our flight, I look outside... and it's POURING rain out there. I can just make out the sound of thunder.

"Daddy? Can planes fly in the rain?"
"Yes they can, but all planes will avoid thunderstorms because the turbulence can be really bad."

I no sooner say this when I notice that not only are there two or three nattily dressed gate attendants by the podium, but a gaggle of overall, ear-protector wearing folk as well.

One of the pretty people announces that due to lightning, the ground crew cannot work outside and there'll be a delay.

Oh, goody! our 8 1/2 hour delay is going to be even longer!

After an hour and a half or so, the rain eases and the ground crew is able to resume their duties.


We suffer through the airline culling of the herd and eventually board.


The flight's a long one.

Not as long as this chapter... but close.

The kids get their first taste of airline food, which goes about as well as you'd expect.

They hate it.

Ironman3 is not offered as part of the inflight entertainment.


I encourage the kids to get some sleep, since there's still a long time ahead of us before we see a bed.

I know that Elle managed to sleep.
I know that Kay did not... which was a source of some amusement later on.
I know Ruby did.
I know I didn't.

I tried. I really did.

I turned off the TV.
I wore noise cancelling headphones.
I used a neck pillow... No! A deluxe neck pillow.


All to no avail. Ah well, I'll sleep eventually.

We land at last.

We're in Paris!!!


And that's where I'm going to leave the Ponzi family for now. Stranded at the airport until the next chapter.
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP

Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu

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Old 08-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #100
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8 1/2 hour layover? That is brutal! I thought my 4 hour layover in JFK after my flight from Barcelona was bad.

Your mom totally sounds like my mom. She volunteers my dad for everything. He is a good driver though...thankfully since he drives a semi as his retirement job!

LOL on the taxi debacle. I was picturing you in your billowing white robes crawling in the sand towards the mirage of an oasis aka taxi stand.

I cannot sleep on airplanes either which makes those flights to Europe brutal!

Can't wait to hear more!

Jill in CO
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:57 PM   #101
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Good one Ponzi! "Stranded at the airport" hahaha, reminds me of the movie Terminal - love Tom Hanks

Great chapter!
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:11 PM   #102
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So your dad sounds like my dad. He always offers to take us to the airport and always shows up at least 15 minutes early. I've learned to adjust the time I tell him to pick us up so I'm on "dad time"

What a long journey! So glad you've arrived. Can't wait to hear (read) all about it
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:34 PM   #103
mmeb144


My husband KNOWS I'm a Disney Maniac
MM is the coolest!
 
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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Did you make this pic yourself? Very cute and descriptive!
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Mar '87 Offsite, Mar '89 Contemporary, Sept '91 CBR, Mar '92 Dolphin, Sept '97 Polynesian, Dec '00 CBR, May '03 CBR, Jan '04 WL, Oct '04 POFQ, Feb '05 WL, Dec '05 Contemporary, Feb '07 POFQ, Dec '07 CBR, June '08 Disneyland, Nov '08 Buena Vista Suites, Dec '09 CSR, Dec '10 POFQ, June '12 POFQ, Dec '13 Caribe Royale/POFQ, May '14 ASMusic
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:56 PM   #104
Backstage_Gal
Let me rephrase the dog stew remark
I broke more than I used
 
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As previously mentioned, Grand and Saratoga. But I'll do you one better, you can get a free taxi voucher at your resort to take you there and back. At least used, to pretty you still can, but I will double check.
Sad news, no longer an option, only for tee times. Do you or Ruby have any interest in golf?
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:14 PM   #105
Backstage_Gal
Let me rephrase the dog stew remark
I broke more than I used
 
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Willing to bet she sent Smidgy a PM regarding FP +. As I stated in my prior post, I'll wait until it goes until full effect and we have more information before I comment more.

Now on with the show.
You lost your bet, it was a pm about a spare phone. Now you owe me dinner at V&A's
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