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Old 06-20-2014, 12:03 PM   #661
franandaj

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Wow! So much to comment on. Isn't that drive down the 99 just beautiful? It's even better on the I5 when you start north of Sacramento! Such varied and changing scenery for hours and hours on end.

The saddest part is that all those pictures that you took over the Grapevine from ascending toward Ft. Tejon, Pyramid Lake, and the video of riding up from the Valley floor, I know exactly where those were. I have been over that pass so many times. And I HATE driving it, I always arrange it now to passenge on it.

I'm glad you picked Santa Clarita over Bakersfield. Even if it is just a place to sleep, that put you all that much closer to Disneyland for the next day. I'm glad that it was an easy ride for you and there were no accidents, sig alerts or closures to mar your drive.

Yay for the pool at the VGC! I never get to spend much time there when we stay, I usually get down there for a pop into the hot tub and sit on a chair to dry and am out of there. Glad you folks enjoyed most of the day there.

So was your room on the 3rd or 4th floor? I'm assuming that it was ending in either 04 or 06. I can never remember which ones are the studio and which are the 1 br. I love those rooms. No matter how many times I have watched WoC from the balcony, I still revel in doing that. Even when they are just testing the water fountains at night, it's a lovely view! Great Score!

Hmmmm....what did you do next?
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:21 PM   #662
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At least you did not grow up a long 99, . Love this report. I was born in SF grew up in the Valley you drove through on route 99 (Visalia) and went to College in SF. My dad was a 5th grade teacher and our vacation every year was two weeks in Housekeeping at Yosemite. Back then $300 for two weeks ($25 a night) and we thought it was the best vacation you could ever have.

I have never enjoyed a report more. Can not wait for you next section in one of my happiest places.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:57 PM   #663
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Now you're making me homesick! I loved VGC! I think they really outdid themselves! We stayed in the hotel before they build he villas. I think the villas are even more beautiful! Love the pool! Your view is amazing!!! You really had the going!

I agree- they outdid themselves- it is spectacular.And I agree again- I totally had the pixie dust going!!

DLR is the mother ship for sure. "It all started with a Mouse" I always want to add , "right on this spot." We always go to an Angels game when we are in town - love the fireworks with the home runs! Can't wait to see your meet up with our Drea!!! I'm sure you two had some good times!
How cool! I didn't know they did that! And yea- Drea is hilarious- loved seeing her again so soon!

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Originally Posted by mefordis View Post
Ellen,
Thank you so much for all of these awesome updates! You made my night!
Excellent! And now you have made mine!

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Originally Posted by dizneeat View Post
Ellen, I am all caught up!

Well you must have been busy!

You have been an updating machine, girl! There is FAR too much to comment on, but I just love all the photos you take, especially all the detail.
The VGC look awesome and your view is outstanding! Lucky girl, but then ..... by all the "advertising" you do with your TRs you deserve it.
HAHA- I do love my DVC, that's for sure. Still trying to figure out how to convince Pods we need the Poly when it goes on sale....

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Originally Posted by KristiMc View Post
Gorgeous room and an amazing view!
Really? I hadn't noticed...

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Originally Posted by DWGal210 View Post
OH MY GOODNESS I am freaking out looking at your Villa pictures. And that view??!?! Unreal!! I would have been crying too. Just incredible.

Yea you would have, my sistah!

What a gorgeous place; I need to schedule a trip out to DL. Maybe next Spring....hmm.....
Ya know, I hear there's going to be a cruise ship out there...lol...maybe we need to do the AEP, hmmm?

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Originally Posted by dvc4life View Post
WOW! Is that room gorgeous or what! I can definitely see why you were so excited. Someday we hope to get out to Disneyland. I have never been to California yet.

WHAT?????? I am shocked! You have got to go!!

Hopefully Timmy will be feeling better for this next portion of the trip. It really does suck when you don't feel well during vacation.

It is not fun at all- happens too often, I think-

And that Hampton looked gorgeous! We also try to stay with Hilton for the points. Love them free rooms!
Exactly! Marriott has an excellent program, too.

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Loving this!

Jodie
Thanks Jodie!
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:16 PM   #664
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Oh my word, the villa is AMAZING!!!
And that view .... Just breathtaking!!
I can't wait to hear what you think of the parks (as if I can't guess!)
Oh and my 'degree' - you did see what it was in right?
The tag fairy blessed me with that honor following one too many margs in my dining reviews ;-)
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:39 PM   #665
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Hi again Ellen!

I am so excited that you have arrived at DLR - one of my most favorite places on earth!!!!

Your villa looks amazing. I would so love to stay at the GC someday, but I am seriously pushing the budget with the DLH and summer rates (even with the AP discount ).

GAH!!! I am DYING for you to walk into DL for the first time!
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:37 AM   #666
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We've had a similar view and isn't it unreal! Love love love the GCV and so glad you do too.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:40 AM   #667
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Those "in & out" burgers look SO good! YUMMMMMMMMY!

Your villa is absolutely amazing. OMG! I just love it! Denny and I are definitely going. You are making me want a 1 BR, but I just can't justify it. Boo!

So - you are the travel guru. What do you think is a better plan?

(a) DL and San diego late Feb 2015. I have enough points left to stay in a studio for 5 nights. So I was think 5 nights in DL and whatever time I have left over in San Diego. I'm pretty sure I am going to buy to Bush Gardens annual pass when we go to BG Williamsburg in late August. I figure I can use it there, Seaworld in October, maybe BG tampa, and Seaworld San Diego. I've never been to Seaworld. Ever!

(b) Wait until September 2015 and do DL and Yosemite. I didn't want to go to Yosemite in Feb. I thought San Diego would make more sense.

Any thoughts?

I really want to go in Feb because I just want to GET there and I need a winter vacation. I could bank my points and go early to mid-March instead, but I just want to GET there.

Great updates!
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:23 AM   #668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Those "in & out" burgers look SO good! YUMMMMMMMMY!

Your villa is absolutely amazing. OMG! I just love it! Denny and I are definitely going. You are making me want a 1 BR, but I just can't justify it. Boo!

So - you are the travel guru. What do you think is a better plan?

(a) DL and San diego late Feb 2015. I have enough points left to stay in a studio for 5 nights. So I was think 5 nights in DL and whatever time I have left over in San Diego. I'm pretty sure I am going to buy to Bush Gardens annual pass when we go to BG Williamsburg in late August. I figure I can use it there, Seaworld in October, maybe BG tampa, and Seaworld San Diego. I've never been to Seaworld. Ever!

(b) Wait until September 2015 and do DL and Yosemite. I didn't want to go to Yosemite in Feb. I thought San Diego would make more sense.

Any thoughts?

I really want to go in Feb because I just want to GET there and I need a winter vacation. I could bank my points and go early to mid-March instead, but I just want to GET there.

Great updates!
Hi there. I know you're asking Ellen, but I wanted to chime in. Our family did something similar to (a) above over spring break a few years ago. We flew into San Diego and spent 4-5 days there, and then drove up to DL for 2-3 nights. We LOVED San Diego! If you can, go to the zoo and/or the Wild Animal Park (we enjoyed the wild animal park better). Fun trip! We stayed in a budget hotel on a highway somewhere (not the greatest), but I would go over to the Sea World area to run in the mornings. I remember thinking that area would be nice to stay in - Mission Bay area I believe. California is one of those places that requires multiple trips to enjoy it all. I want to go back and do San Fran, Yosemite, the coast, wineries, etc . . . - basically spend a month - ha. Good luck planning!

Jodie
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:17 PM   #669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Those "in & out" burgers look SO good! YUMMMMMMMMY!

Your villa is absolutely amazing. OMG! I just love it! Denny and I are definitely going. You are making me want a 1 BR, but I just can't justify it. Boo!

So - you are the travel guru. What do you think is a better plan?

(a) DL and San diego late Feb 2015. I have enough points left to stay in a studio for 5 nights. So I was think 5 nights in DL and whatever time I have left over in San Diego. I'm pretty sure I am going to buy to Bush Gardens annual pass when we go to BG Williamsburg in late August. I figure I can use it there, Seaworld in October, maybe BG tampa, and Seaworld San Diego. I've never been to Seaworld. Ever!

(b) Wait until September 2015 and do DL and Yosemite. I didn't want to go to Yosemite in Feb. I thought San Diego would make more sense.

Any thoughts?

I really want to go in Feb because I just want to GET there and I need a winter vacation. I could bank my points and go early to mid-March instead, but I just want to GET there.

Great updates!




I wanted to point out that there is some speculation over on the Disneyland board that because DL will be celebrating its 60th in July, there could be more than the usual amount of refurbs late winter/early spring 2015.


http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3280301
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:59 AM   #670
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Catching up here finally!
The Mariposa looks beautiful and I am glad you made Timmy stick it out. Yeah, what would one hour really gain you by being on the road...sometimes you just have to be mean mom.

I am so excited to see your GC pictures. I just feel right at home now. Of course I have only been there once, but I get that familiar feeling now. Which is a good thing!
I am trying to figure a way to get out there again as well, hoping next year, but we have friends that have mentioned doing something together, so we may do that instead....well not even sure about that either.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:02 PM   #671
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I am doing my best to get caught up today! Man I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO behind

Love love love your exit from Yosemite. That was a drool worthy room service breakfast! Too much to comment on but wow, I was drooling over that gift shop, I'd have been in trouble big time. And that drive to Glacier. YIKES!

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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post

So we squeezed? Squoze? Is that a word? Prob not- we squished on the shuttle from the General Store at Wawona, and made it over to the Mariposa Grove.

Timmy, for those who have been guessing, was NOT doing well.

We had hoped to take the tram up to the upper Mariposa Grove (this is where most of the trees of note are), then hike back down through the forest. Well, not today my friends. After we had purchased out tram tickets, and we all grabbed drinks and snacks from the store, Timmy started whining like a 2 year old- he just wanted to go to bed. Back to the room.

Bud- the room is 4 hours away. Ride the tram for an hour, please, and then we can go. Please.

Finally he conceded. He did not have a fever. He did not need to throw up. He did not have broken bones. He did not have a migraine (or any other kind of headache). He was just a little tired. He had a mild cold.

Sorry if you think we are brutal. But it was not like we were coming back this way, probably ever, and the Timmy who normally resides inside my youngest's body would regret making his whole family (including himself) miss some truly spectacular sights. Unfortunately, today we were not traveling with our friendly giant. Today, we had the pleasure of visiting Mariposa with the GRIZZLY GIANT- look! He even had a sign!
I do not think you are brutal. I swear. Teen boys can be the biggest hormonal babies at times and well, it gets old. Seriously. Eric does this a bit more than Evan but they've both put us through it and it's like man, get over yourself and quit being a selfish baby.

Ok that was harsh and intended towards my own boys...not Timmy of course. but boy, can I relate to this. Dude...sucking the life and joy out of once in a lifetime experience is NOT allowed.

so there.

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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
Giant Sequoias are considered to be the largest living things on earth. There are 3 groves of them in Yosemite, with this one, Mariposa, down at the southern end of the park, being the largest with 500 trees.





These trees are between 1000 and 3000 years old.

Sigh. Makes me want a road trip!

Except for the drive down after. Hot, boring and hot. But the burgers looked good and you had an excellent crash pad!

[QUOTE=podsnel;51675040]

Our 1 BDRM villa was not ready yet, but that was fine, because we had our swimsuits on under our clothes and we were ready for a day of RnR by the glorious pool...









I am totally jealous. My boys were NOT interested in pool time this last trip. Evan told me it was simply due to the fact that the park was there taunting him and Eric said it was because Evan wasn't there on the day I tried to make him go. But it messed up MY pool time as a result. LOL!

Seriously great view. We were 1-2 floors down and it was much more restricted by the foliage as a result. Still good but not the WOW of yours.

I am curious...how did the boys do on those beds????? If we were challenged, I can't imagine your tall tall boys!

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We went back to the pool for a little bit- must have eaten something but I can't recall what, so maybe we just had room snacks, then back up to the room to shower and change. Tonight, the boys would be having a boys night at an Angels game, and I would be having a night with some of my favorite California DISgirls...it was going to be an AMAZING evening!!!!!! Next time!
How perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:35 AM   #672
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Wow! So much to comment on. Isn't that drive down the 99 just beautiful? It's even better on the I5 when you start north of Sacramento! Such varied and changing scenery for hours and hours on end.

GAAAHHH!!! So boring!!!! It was ok at the time tho- we had just come from seeing SO much, I think our eyes needed a break.

The saddest part is that all those pictures that you took over the Grapevine from ascending toward Ft. Tejon, Pyramid Lake, and the video of riding up from the Valley floor, I know exactly where those were. I have been over that pass so many times. And I HATE driving it, I always arrange it now to passenge on it.

You DO??? I would never have known...

I'm glad you picked Santa Clarita over Bakersfield. Even if it is just a place to sleep, that put you all that much closer to Disneyland for the next day. I'm glad that it was an easy ride for you and there were no accidents, sig alerts or closures to mar your drive.

Actually I think we ate in Bakersfield- no smell of dead cow was noted, but it was hotter than ...well, you know. And yea, good to be closer.

Yay for the pool at the VGC! I never get to spend much time there when we stay, I usually get down there for a pop into the hot tub and sit on a chair to dry and am out of there. Glad you folks enjoyed most of the day there.

It was perfect!

So was your room on the 3rd or 4th floor? I'm assuming that it was ending in either 04 or 06. I can never remember which ones are the studio and which are the 1 br. I love those rooms. No matter how many times I have watched WoC from the balcony, I still revel in doing that. Even when they are just testing the water fountains at night, it's a lovely view! Great Score!

I believe we were on the 4th floor- I usually take a pic of the room # and I forgot to this time, so sorry! Pretty positive it was 402.

Hmmmm....what did you do next?
I wonder.....something REALLY great, I bet!

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Originally Posted by mitchwebb View Post
At least you did not grow up a long 99, . Love this report. I was born in SF grew up in the Valley you drove through on route 99 (Visalia) and went College in SF. My dad was a 5th grade teacher and our vacation every year was two weeks in Housekeeping at Yosemite. Back then $300 for two weeks ($25 a night) and we thought it was the best vacation you could ever have.

What a FABULOUS family vacation!! It is paradise, just spectacular. But that 99... What a stark contrast to Yosemite! Have to say I am very envious of your childhood, though. And your current address.

I have never enjoyed a report more. Can not wait for you next section in one of my happiest places.
Thank you!! I will do my best to keep entertaining you!

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Originally Posted by Linda67 View Post
Oh my word, the villa is AMAZING!!!
And that view .... Just breathtaking!!
I can't wait to hear what you think of the parks (as if I can't guess!)
Oh and my 'degree' - you did see what it was in right?
The tag fairy blessed me with that honor following one too many margs in my dining reviews ;-)
Yes, of course I saw! I am very impressed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGirl View Post
Hi again Ellen!

I am so excited that you have arrived at DLR - one of my most favorite places on earth!!!!

Great choice! It is a magical place. SO different from WDW in so many ways.

Your villa looks amazing. I would so love to stay at the GC someday, but I am seriously pushing the budget with the DLH and summer rates (even with the AP discount ).

We are VERY grateful for our DVC- DL hotels can be pricey for sure! But those good neighbor hotels offer some great rates.

GAH!!! I am DYING for you to walk into DL for the first time!
It's coming soon!

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Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
We've had a similar view and isn't it unreal! Love love love the GCV and so glad you do too.
Of course! Have you gotten your add-on yet?
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:43 AM   #673
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Girl, if there is an AEP out there SIGN ME UP. I have actually been looking also at the Adventures by Disney trip that goes to So Cal - kill two Disney birds with one stone by doing that trip. But we'll see. Next year I am going on a Med Cruise (!!!!!) so that's eating up $$ and vacation time.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:49 AM   #674
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Those "in & out" burgers look SO good! YUMMMMMMMMY!

I can not lie- they really were!

Your villa is absolutely amazing. OMG! I just love it! Denny and I are definitely going. You are making me want a 1 BR, but I just can't justify it. Boo!

I think the sudios seem to sell out first (I guess you are not the only one who can't justify it, lol!).

So - you are the travel guru. What do you think is a better plan?

(a) DL and San diego late Feb 2015. I have enough points left to stay in a studio for 5 nights. So I was think 5 nights in DL and whatever time I have left over in San Diego. I'm pretty sure I am going to buy to Bush Gardens annual pass when we go to BG Williamsburg in late August. I figure I can use it there, Seaworld in October, maybe BG tampa, and Seaworld San Diego. I've never been to Seaworld. Ever!

(b) Wait until September 2015 and do DL and Yosemite. I didn't want to go to Yosemite in Feb. I thought San Diego would make more sense.

Any thoughts?

I would pick A- we started out with that plan, but Pods wanted Yosemite, so we changed to that. You WILL want to go back, and maybe you can plan THAT trip when you are not quite as ancy to go to the Mothership asap, and make it in May when the waterfalls are gorgeous in Yosemite (and it is not 100+ degrees in the Valley). SeaWorld has some nice packages, too- and I see you have gotten a LOT of advice on your dilemma, so let us know what you decide!

I really want to go in Feb because I just want to GET there and I need a winter vacation. I could bank my points and go early to mid-March instead, but I just want to GET there.

Great updates!
You need to GO! ASAP!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
Catching up here finally!
The Mariposa looks beautiful and I am glad you made Timmy stick it out. Yeah, what would one hour really gain you by being on the road...sometimes you just have to be mean mom.

Yea, and it's ok- he still loves me! We had alot of fun going away for baseball this weekend together.

I am so excited to see your GC pictures. I just feel right at home now. Of course I have only been there once, but I get that familiar feeling now. Which is a good thing!

I know what you mean! And I have only been there once, too, so we are the same-

I am trying to figure a way to get out there again as well, hoping next year, but we have friends that have mentioned doing something together, so we may do that instead....well not even sure about that either.
So much fun to vacation with friends- where do you think you will go?
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:09 AM   #675
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[QUOTE=eandesmom;51703459]I am doing my best to get caught up today! Man I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO behind

HAH! You and me BOTH!!

Love love love your exit from Yosemite. That was a drool worthy room service breakfast! Too much to comment on but wow, I was drooling over that gift shop, I'd have been in trouble big time. And that drive to Glacier. YIKES!

Yea- you would probably just park the car at the bottom and race your hubby straight up on foot, lol.

I do not think you are brutal. I swear. Teen boys can be the biggest hormonal babies at times and well, it gets old. Seriously. Eric does this a bit more than Evan but they've both put us through it and it's like man, get over yourself and quit being a selfish baby.

YES!! They are soooo great most of the time, but, MAN- the hormones and whininess really put a damper on the day!

Ok that was harsh and intended towards my own boys...not Timmy of course. but boy, can I relate to this. Dude...sucking the life and joy out of once in a lifetime experience is NOT allowed.

so there.

It can be towards Timmy, too- I am not that easily offended, and he was being a HUGE baby- Tyler was even complaining about him.



Sigh. Makes me want a road trip!

Well, yea- it's just a little ride south for you!

Except for the drive down after. Hot, boring and hot. But the burgers looked good and you had an excellent crash pad!

Alison had told us how hot is was going to be- and man, she was NOT kidding!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post

Our 1 BDRM villa was not ready yet, but that was fine, because we had our swimsuits on under our clothes and we were ready for a day of RnR by the glorious pool...









I am totally jealous. My boys were NOT interested in pool time this last trip. Evan told me it was simply due to the fact that the park was there taunting him and Eric said it was because Evan wasn't there on the day I tried to make him go. But it messed up MY pool time as a result. LOL!

BOO!! I was pretty happy they were into it- I think we were all ready for a down day, and they DID have the Angels game to look forward to, which helped-

Seriously great view. We were 1-2 floors down and it was much more restricted by the foliage as a result. Still good but not the WOW of yours.

We really were totally pixie dusted BIG time! I am sure next time we will have Dumpster view to even out our room karma.

I am curious...how did the boys do on those beds????? If we were challenged, I can't imagine your tall tall boys!

No complaints- but I think Timmy is used to it and he sleeps scrunched up. This weekend he took a 2 hour nap of exhaustion on my friends ottoman- pretty funny to see. Then he went back to the bedroom and had about a foot of himself dangling off the end of the bed.

How perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a great evening for all of us!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWGal210 View Post
Girl, if there is an AEP out there SIGN ME UP. I have actually been looking also at the Adventures by Disney trip that goes to So Cal - kill two Disney birds with one stone by doing that trip. But we'll see. Next year I am going on a Med Cruise (!!!!!) so that's eating up $$ and vacation time.
I really want to do the DCL one first, I think- but I would love to do all of that!! And I think doing a med cruise and an ABD in the same year means you better start playing the lottery and win!
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