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Old 07-14-2014, 08:34 PM   #1
Newsies
With faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust, may all your dreams come true.
 
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"You're definitely feeling and not concealing!" - A practically perfect July 2014 TR!

*INTENSE DRUM ROLL*


Q: What happens when you cross pirates, princesses, an intense FP+ schedule, dining reservations, AND a birthday???

A: MY VERY BEST VACATION EVER!!! And my first TR!!!


Hello everyone and welcome to my very first trip report! I just got back from the most magical vacation of my life and I can't wait to share all of the details with you!

First a little back story:

The last time my family went on a vacation to Disney World, it was 2010. This December, we went to AAA and booked our second vacation for July 2014. You can read all about that here, in my PTR. The entire vacation was a dream come true, from staying at my mother's dream resort to fulfilling my entire Disney bucket list.

Now, the 5 W's of a TR!
WHO: My Family- Sue, Tom, Grace, and Kaitlyn
WHAT: A Walt Disney World vacation
WHEN: July 6-13, 2014
WHERE: The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
WHY: To make our dreams come true

AND NOW, I PRESENT TO YOU... THE ROYAL FAMILY!



First up is Sue (DM) and Tom (DD):



DM
Magicband name and color: Susie, blue
Favorite movie: Bambi
Favorite character: Dumbo
Favorite hotel: Grand Floridian
Favorite restaurant: Crystal Palace

DD:
Magicband name and color: Chief, red
Favorite movie: Wreck-it Ralph
Favorite character: Dr. Doofenshmirtz
Favorite hotel: Contemporary
Favorite restaurant: Chef Mickey's

And now onto Grace (DS):


Magicband name and color: Vanellope, pink
Favorite movie: Cinderella
Favorite character: Peter Pan
Favorite hotel: Contemporary
Favorite restaurant: Crystal Palace

And finally... Kaitlyn (ME !!!):



Magicband name and color: Ariel, green
Favorite movie: The Little Mermaid
Favorite character: Ariel
Favorite hotel: Grand Floridian
Favorite restaurant: Be Our Guest

I have truly just gone on the best vacation of my entire life. Everything actually went perfect for the most part and for once, I was able to do everything I set out to do. I can't wait to share my memories with you all. See you tomorrow morning for the first installment!

TTFN,
Kaitlyn
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♔ From this day forward, nights won't seem so black. ♔
♔ Kaitlyn Rose. Senior-to-be from NJ. Musical Theater, Stagedoor Manor, and Disney, basically. ♔
DW: July 2010 (Contemporary), July 2014 (Grand Floridian) ♔
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Current TR: "You're definitely feeling and not concealing!" - A practically perfect July 2014 TR!
Past (completed) PTRw/TRs: Disney World July 2014 PTR- "So whatever happens... let's begin!"

Last edited by Newsies; 08-18-2014 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:36 PM   #2
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. Day One: Main Travel Day (July 5th, 2014)
2. Day Two: Second Travel/Arrival Day Part One (July 6th, 2014)
3. Day Two: Second Travel/Arrival Day Part Two (July 6th, 2014)
4. Day Three: First Magic Kingdom Day Part One (July 7th, 2014)
5. Day Three: First Magic Kingdom Day Part Two (July 7th, 2014)
6. Day Four: Animal Kingdom Day (July 8th, 2014)
7. Day Five: Epcot Day (July 9th, 2014)
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♔ From this day forward, nights won't seem so black. ♔
♔ Kaitlyn Rose. Senior-to-be from NJ. Musical Theater, Stagedoor Manor, and Disney, basically. ♔
DW: July 2010 (Contemporary), July 2014 (Grand Floridian) ♔
pinterestinstatumblrtwitter

Current TR: "You're definitely feeling and not concealing!" - A practically perfect July 2014 TR!
Past (completed) PTRw/TRs: Disney World July 2014 PTR- "So whatever happens... let's begin!"

Last edited by Newsies; 08-18-2014 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:41 PM   #3
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I'm in!
Looking forward to this TR.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:54 PM   #4
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
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I'm in! Can't wait to hear all about it!

for using a Gaston photo in your intro! (:
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:13 AM   #6
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Joining in! We are going the same week next July. Can't wait to read all about your trip.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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Joining in! Looks like it'll be a fun TR!
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:21 AM   #8
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Day 1: The Main Traveling Day

DAY ONE: Main Traveling Day


Q: How long does it take to drive from North-central NJ to Orlando, FL?
A: Too long.


So, the story begins on Friday night. Hours before we would begin our 20 hour journey to WDW. We ordered pizza for dinner, which I enjoyed while watching my favorite historic musical of all time, 1776. Since it was the Fourth of July, mom, Grace, and I watched the Macy's Firework show that evening. Mom and Grace decided to head upstairs after that, but I stayed downstairs. Actually, I took a shower upstairs first. But then I went back downstairs. I decided I was going to pass time by making a friendship bracelet.

We were supposed to leave at 1:00 in the morning, originally, but as we were eating dinner mom asked if we could leave before midnight. Lo and behold, my dad had woken everyone up by 11:30, and by 11:50 we were out the door.

Our first stop was a 24-hour Dunkin Donuts in our town.


"Oh, heaven is a place on earth..."


Usually only my parents get coffee, but this year I got a cookie dough iced latte (with added mocha) and a bagel. Solid.


Take a note of my manicure. It will never be that perfect again.


Mom dropped a letter off in a post office mailbox and by midnight we were on our way out of town (we had to pass by Roxdane, so we honked the horn once for Roxie. It was pretty cute).

The next like 6 hours were so. rough. I'm usually so good at sleeping in cars during long car trips but we were stopping a bit and I kept waking up. Falling asleep was hard enough, too, because my arm was killing me and I kept having to reposition myself. Booo.

At 5:45 we stopped at a Denny's to get breakfast. We were all pretty hungry and we left long before we were supposed to, so we stopped earlier than we were originally intending to. The Denny's was next to a King's Dominion theme park and the sun was coming up, causing that beautiful ombre sky and resulting in this photo:



"Make it blue! No, pink!"

There were literally no servers and one of the other hotel workers was serving us at an approximate speed of 4 miles per hour. We were in breakfast for like an hour and I was so hungry my stomach was digesting itself. But I got this huge breakfast with the best chocolate chip pancakes ever, so I guess we're all good. Even if I only ate about .5% of it.


Seriously, who eats this much food???


Unfortunately, I forgot that orange juice doesn't sit well with me because my stomach was awful afterwards. I sat in the car with an upset stomach and an arm that was still somehow hurting me until about 8:00 when things started looking up.

I don't know how or why but as soon as we got to North Carolina, I felt better. I just guess that's the power of the south, ya'll.


SOUTHERN MURICA, YA'LL

Also, I got Bugles from the vending machine. At first the machine stopped half-way through the vending process and I thought I was out a dollar, but then it continued at double speed and I wound up getting two for the price of one. Boo-yah.



Pre-WDW pixie dust?

Anyway, I love the south. People who fly to Florida instead of driving down the I-95 are missing so much. They're missing wonderful billboards and wildlife and swamps and all sorts of southern chain restaurants that everyone loves. And people who don't drive the I-95 to Florida will forever miss this gem:



Always a "weiner" at Pedros!



The coolest thing I'd never step foot in.


Oh, South of the Border. You cheesy, tacky, dirty gem you. You and your novelty billboards make everything alright

At 11:45-ish we got lunch at Zaxbys. We've never been to Zaxbys and decided to try it since we don't have any up north. I had the greatest chicken club sandwich of my life and I got to eat fried pickles.

The rest of the drive actually went pretty smoothly for the day. I was falling asleep and waking up and falling asleep and waking up a lot until we got to Georgia. Then when we got to Georgia, we stopped at this beautiful little hotel my mom booked ahead of time called Fairfield Suites. Isn't the lobby adorable?



Plus there was free Wi-fi. Always a plus.

And there was an indoor pool, which we'll get to later. It was like 5:00 by the time we got there so we headed to dinner. We went to Sonny's BBQ across the street and I had a delish pulled pork sandwich. While I can't say it was the best meal of my life, I do love my BBQ.

When we got back to the hotel, we went to the indoor pool. I wanted to nix the pool for the evening since pools are the natural enemy of curly hair, but in the end I caved and went in for a couple of minutes. Then I went back to my room, said a little prayer that the southern water wouldn't destroy my hair, and hopped in the shower. Came out 10 minutes later, brushed my teeth and put on my PJs, then went to bed, knowing all too well that tomorrow would be the day I had waited for since 2010.

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♔ From this day forward, nights won't seem so black. ♔
♔ Kaitlyn Rose. Senior-to-be from NJ. Musical Theater, Stagedoor Manor, and Disney, basically. ♔
DW: July 2010 (Contemporary), July 2014 (Grand Floridian) ♔
pinterestinstatumblrtwitter

Current TR: "You're definitely feeling and not concealing!" - A practically perfect July 2014 TR!
Past (completed) PTRw/TRs: Disney World July 2014 PTR- "So whatever happens... let's begin!"

Last edited by Newsies; 07-17-2014 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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Joining in! Can't wait to read it, especially after your PTR. Love the Gaston pic by the way! And I agree with your sister on the favorite character.

EDIT: I literally posted this as you posted the first installment ha ha. So now I have more things to say.

South of the Border has way too many billboards. When my family drove to Disney, we saw them and SOTB and I agree that it is a tacky tourist spot.

Also when we drove down, we didn't stay at a nice hotel. We stayed at a Motel 6. -_-

Pretty sky :D
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Last edited by Silvermist20; 07-15-2014 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:26 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear your travel day really wasn't that great. Literally sounds like me when I go on long road trips (cannot sleep or at least fully sleep). Good thing I know how to entertain myself while people are sleeping lol I'm glad it got better tho to the theme park sunrise photo and watching a patriotic musical on the Fourth!

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOG Obsessed View Post
I'm in!
Looking forward to this TR.
Welcome aboard! Thanks for following!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyEmmaMomma View Post
Following
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlutosRHM55 View Post
I'm in! Can't wait to hear all about it!

for using a Gaston photo in your intro! (:
Thanks! And OMG he was the best part about the trip!!! I met him twice!!! I'll get to that later though LOL!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Joining in! We are going the same week next July. Can't wait to read all about your trip.
Nice! Have fun next year and thanks for joining!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney Khaleesi View Post
Joining in! Looks like it'll be a fun TR!
Thank you and I hope it is!!!
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♔ From this day forward, nights won't seem so black. ♔
♔ Kaitlyn Rose. Senior-to-be from NJ. Musical Theater, Stagedoor Manor, and Disney, basically. ♔
DW: July 2010 (Contemporary), July 2014 (Grand Floridian) ♔
pinterestinstatumblrtwitter

Current TR: "You're definitely feeling and not concealing!" - A practically perfect July 2014 TR!
Past (completed) PTRw/TRs: Disney World July 2014 PTR- "So whatever happens... let's begin!"
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvermist20 View Post
Joining in! Can't wait to read it, especially after your PTR. Love the Gaston pic by the way! And I agree with your sister on the favorite character.

EDIT: I literally posted this as you posted the first installment ha ha. So now I have more things to say.

South of the Border has way too many billboards. When my family drove to Disney, we saw them and SOTB and I agree that it is a tacky tourist spot.

Also when we drove down, we didn't stay at a nice hotel. We stayed at a Motel 6. -_-

Pretty sky :D
Thanks for joining!!!! And he was so funny OMG. I have even better pictures later. I got back to my resort and saw them on memory maker and almost peed myself. And Peter Pan is pretty awesome.

SotB has SOOOOOOOOOOO many billboards but they're all so clever and funny that I actually look forward to them. They're better than the JR Cigar Company billboards. And we all know the I-95 and the exit to Orlando is full of some, er, questionable billboards. So I don't mind SotB haha.

We usually get stuck with a Motel 6, too. But my mom used to stay at the Fairfield Suites we were staying at when she drove down as a kid so she decided to book it this time.

I love morning skies. They're the best

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlutosRHM55 View Post
Sorry to hear your travel day really wasn't that great. Literally sounds like me when I go on long road trips (cannot sleep or at least fully sleep). Good thing I know how to entertain myself while people are sleeping lol I'm glad it got better tho to the theme park sunrise photo and watching a patriotic musical on the Fourth!

Can't wait to read more!
My travel day was actually pretty decent for the second half of it- just couldn't sleep the first half! I can lightly sleep in cars and wake up about an hour later, I just can't go into REM in the car for some reason. And thank you. I love sunrise photos and musicals of all sorts
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♔ From this day forward, nights won't seem so black. ♔
♔ Kaitlyn Rose. Senior-to-be from NJ. Musical Theater, Stagedoor Manor, and Disney, basically. ♔
DW: July 2010 (Contemporary), July 2014 (Grand Floridian) ♔
pinterestinstatumblrtwitter

Current TR: "You're definitely feeling and not concealing!" - A practically perfect July 2014 TR!
Past (completed) PTRw/TRs: Disney World July 2014 PTR- "So whatever happens... let's begin!"
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:50 PM   #13
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Joining in- can't wait to hear all about your trip!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:55 PM   #14
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DAY TWO: Second Travel/Arrival Day Part One


Q: How much pixie dust can Disney squeeze into a grand arrival?
A: More than you can imagine.

I woke up at 4 in the morning on Sunday.

Not even kidding.

I woke up and I couldn't go back to sleep so I decided to get on my iPad and finish a movie I had begun to watch called "Escape from Tomorrow" on Netflix.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the plot of "Escape from Tomorrow"- basically, a father loses his job on the last day of his family's last day at Disney World and begins to lose his mind. It's a horror movie and it is literally the worst movie I have ever watched. But it was filmed in Disney World without Disney knowing, so nobody actually watches this trash movie for the plot- they watch it for the fantastic shots of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Contemporary Resort that the movie offers. But the shots of Disney are not worth sitting through this awful, sick, terrible movie. Do not watch it. 0/5 stars.



BEWARE THE CAT FLU!

Anyway, when I was done with that I watched like two episodes of The Office and then it was like 6:00 so there was no way I could go back to sleep. Since my mother has to sleep with the TV on, I just took my earbuds out and sat up. We were watching a really cute children's show about a collie who lives on a farm. But things got really weird fast because the show was on a Christian television station for children named "Smile of a Child" where they advertised a theme park just outside of WDW itself called "Holy Land" where they have a character dressed up as Jesus Christ walking around the park taking photos with people. Am I the only one who finds that a little bit disturbing?

Finally everyone in my family was awake and it was time to get ready and go to breakfast. Once we were all dressed, my mom checked out and we put our overnight bag back in the car. Then we went back inside and had our continental breakfast! As far as continental breakfasts go, it was okay. I knew I had to savor my bagel because once you're in Disney, you can't enjoy anything that requires butter. Because Disney butter is not real butter. It is unsalted, inedible demon paste. I also had some oatmeal with brown sugar and walnuts and some apple juice and cereal. I didn't want to eat a lot because I knew I would be eating my weight in Mickey Rice Krispie treats later. My dad didn't want us to leave as early as we did- we ended up leaving the hotel at around 8:00. He said that we would be arriving at Disney World at about 11:30, which would be too early. I told him that the situation he had described was the opposite of a problem.

Once we got out of the hotel, we went back to the car and put our Magicbands on before embarking on the final 3-ish hours of the trip. After my dad stopped to get gas, we were headed full-speed to Disney World!

After a "quick" stop at Florida's Welcome Center.

Everyone always talks about this place and how they stop here before every trip, but we had never gone to it, so I decided I'd ask my parents to stop there this time even though it was only about 5 minutes into our drive. Kingsland is like, right on the border of Georgia and Florida. I was surprised- pleasantly, of course.

My first priority was taking a photo with the dolphin.



The sun is shinin' bright in the distance on account'a Florida bein' the sunshine state 'n all.

Check.

My second priority was taking a photo of the "Welcome to Florida" sign.




"Tourism pamphlet picked up on a whim from a rest area" grade photography if I do say so myself.

Check.

My third priority was free orange juice. Check again even though I didn't take a picture of it. I also took every pamphlet for Disney World that I could get my hands on and pictures at every photo op I could, including in front of the astronaut statue. Except those photos are purposefully embarrassing and for close friends only. Not for use by the general public (internet).




Alright, fine, you can have the one as me as a winking Florida sun. But that's all you're getting.

Finally, it was time to leave. So my dad plugged my phone into the car so we could listen to my special Disney World playlist and we took off.

The drive from the beginning of Florida to Disney World is SO LONG. It's so stressful. Like, do we have to go through 3 hours of either uninhabited swamps or ugly urban cities? Can't we just skip to Orlando? We only stopped once so we could go to the bathroom and switch drivers, though. I was kinda hungry so I got a bag of honey mustard pretzels out of a vending machine. The good Snyder ones. You know which ones I'm talking about? Yeah, you know which ones I'm talking about.

Finally, we saw billboards for Disney (specifically the Frozen at Hollywood Studios advertisement first) and I started hyperventilating because we were so close. However, we had to drive through like a straight hour of trees once we got off of that exit before we got anywhere close to Orlando.

The Orlando area is the only fun part about driving to Florida. We saw Holy Land, too. It just looks like a giant gold colosseum next to a building with a mural of Jesus standing in front of some clouds and lightning and stuff, which was admittedly pretty boss to see.



Not my photo but I felt the compulsive need to share this with you all anyway.

Then we saw Sea World signs, then Universal signs, and eventually we got to the exit for the Downtown Disney/Epcot area!

My dad was worried we had gotten off of the wrong exit at first, but then we saw this-


HNNNNNNNNGHHHH!!!!


And I started crying. Then we saw our first monorail (it was green) and I started crying more. Then finally we passed through the Magic Kingdom gateway thing, which made me cry. We drove through the labyrinth that is the WDW road system for about 5 more minutes, passing the TTC and the Polynesian, until finally we arrived at the Grand Floridian!

I recorded a video of the whole "arriving at the gates of the resort and being greeted by the "welcome home" security guy" on my phone so I can cry over it later. My dad parked the car as bell hop took our bags. While my mom and I were waiting for dad, we sat outside and saw Richard! He was talking to a family though, so I didn't want to disturb him and sadly didn't say hi to him that time.

We got inside and my jaw dropped. The GF is BEAUTIFUL, let me tell you. Absolutely stunning. I mean, I had seen it in pictures, but seeing it in person was so much better. Except the GF lobby has a weird smell to it. I think it's supposed to smell like a spa but it's weird to me. It used to make me sick but I got used to it. Anyway, we checked in and a bell service man put our bags on a golf cart and drove us to our room!



I was able to snag a photo of this as we were waiting for our bell-hop to deliver us to our building. I don't know what the significance of this particular photo is but it seems like it was important at the time so I'll drop it off here.

On our way over, he gave us a tour of the hotel. That means I got to catch my first glimpse of the castle, so I started crying. He showed us everything at the hotel and then brought us to the Boca Chica building, where we were staying.

We were excited to open the door for the first time and see our room. Unfortunately, we immediately realized it was not the room we had requested. We needed two queen beds, but we were met with a king bed. We had also paid for a garden view, but somehow magically had a theme park view. Which was admittedly nice, but definitely not our room. We knew we couldn't stay because of the bed situation so we called bell hop again to get it fixed. Our bell hop guy told us he had a room right down the hallway that fit our needs and we'd still get a view of the castle. Disney works it's pixie dust again!!!

Here's what our real room, 8303, looked like:



Let's play a game: "Grand Floridian or Tottendale's Mansion from Drowsy Chaperone?"



You gooooooiz!!!! Mickey towel!!!!



I might have realized I needed more pictures of the room as we were literally leaving on Sunday. Maybe.




"Hey there Mr. Mirror-Man!"



I think this painting might have been my favorite part of the whole room.

And here's our view:



Did I cry even while I was just taking a photo of the castle from my hotel room? Legally, I can't tell you.

Then we went down to Gasparilla's and got some lunch. I got a cheeseburger and my beloved Mickey Rice Krispie treat. And because we were on the dining plan, we had to choose our refillable mug- I got the purple one.



While I neglected to take a photo of my meal, I was able to capture the simplicity and elegance of this beauty with my iPhone 4S. And that's all that matters.

Finally, we went back to our room and took a nap. When we woke up, we decided to go to Downtown Disney for dinner and such.
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♔ From this day forward, nights won't seem so black. ♔
♔ Kaitlyn Rose. Senior-to-be from NJ. Musical Theater, Stagedoor Manor, and Disney, basically. ♔
DW: July 2010 (Contemporary), July 2014 (Grand Floridian) ♔
pinterestinstatumblrtwitter

Current TR: "You're definitely feeling and not concealing!" - A practically perfect July 2014 TR!
Past (completed) PTRw/TRs: Disney World July 2014 PTR- "So whatever happens... let's begin!"

Last edited by Newsies; 07-15-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:50 PM   #15
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