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Old 01-10-2014, 02:22 PM   #1
nikki7680
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TAKE ME TO MY HAPPY PLACE! September 2014 PTR

Hello everyone! By the urging of my friend, Mo (ChicagoMO), I am going to attempt to write a PTR! I can't add pictures at the moment because I am at work but I will try and update things this weekend. So here it goes....!!!!

My name is Nicole.
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I have been addicted to Disney vacations since I was 17 years old. That was my first trip. My parents are not big Disney people so they knew we would only go to WDW once and by the time they finished paying 2 private school tuitions, we didn't make it there until I graduated High School ('98). We stayed offsite but had a great time visiting the parks and water parks. While taking the ferry to MK, I spotted the Grand Floridian. I said "I am going to stay there one day...".

Flash forward to 2001...my second trip to Disney. Meet my hubby, Joe

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Joe and I got married on September 15, 2001 and honeymooned at WDW. And guess where we stayed?? THE GRAND FLORIDIAN!!! Dreams do come true!

Joe and I have been together since I was a Junior in High School. This past August we celebrated our 17 year "dating anniversary". Luckily he shares my love of Disney...well, maybe he doesn't love it as much as me but he likes it enough to keep going back. His #1 vacation is sitting on a beach in the Caribbean which we have been blessed to have done multiple times also. We try and rotate between Disney and the Caribbean this way we get the best of both worlds.

5 years after the honeymoon (2006), we decided to head back to WDW. This time with our first born son, Joey
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Joe's parents like WDW so they came with us. Joey was only 18 months at the time and a lot of people kept telling us it was stupid to take a child so young...he wouldn't remember it. Well, we knew Disney would be someplace we would vacation often, so we went. So glad we did! He just LOVED the characters. When he met Chip and Dale, he lunged for them for hugs and kisses!
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Joey will be 9 years old in March and to this day, Chip and Dale are still his favorites . We stayed at the CBR at the urging of my MIL who insisted she would never make it to the real Caribbean at that would be the closest she would ever get. We really enjoyed the resort and had a great time!

Our next trip to Disney was in 2009 with our second son, Matthew
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Once again we went with my in-laws and stayed at CBR. Matthew DID NOT take to the characters like Joey did. He was scared out of his mind!! But he did semi-take to one character and to this day, he's still his favorite--Stitch (or as Matthew likes to call him, Stitchy).
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Next trip was 2010 for my 30th birthday and this time my parents tagged along. They said they would go anywhere for my birthday with us and of course I picked Disney! By the way, we always go the week of our anniversary in September. It's such a great time to go. Low crowds and the weather is still very hot!

So then I meet Mo! Well, we had actually met a few years before when our kids started Pre-preK. We were friends from the start and especially when we realized we were both Disney Nuts!! That's when the next trip got in the works: The BONAFKA (or however we spelled it) FAMILY VACATION! Since we had both previously gone in September we decided to try something new and go in November so we would see the Disney Lights. We sure did have a great time! It was nice to go with someone who appreciated my love of Disney and let loose and let their inner child show. I think we both cried when we saw the lights on the Castle!
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Next trip was this past September. We stayed at Wilderness Lodge and my cousin and her family joined us. Her son Zach is 4 and it was so cute to see him get excited by everything! My boys aren't as excitable since they have been so many times. But we do like to have fun!
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So now that I have explained my past, I guess it's time to talk about our next trip planned for September 14-20, 2014!
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Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR

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Old 01-10-2014, 02:27 PM   #2
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Following along!
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:32 PM   #3
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OHHHHH IM AM HERE!!!
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:37 PM   #4
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A Better Introduction

Let me introduce my family and I a bit better. I am Nicole (duh) and I am 33 years old. I live in Dyer, Indiana which is just outside of Chicago where I grew up. I am an Administrative Assistant for NIPSCO which is the gas and electric company in my area. I used to work for JPMorgan but it was located in Downtown Chicago and I couldn't take the commute anymore so now I am 25 minutes from home and I LOVE it!!

My husband is Joe and he is 37 years old. He is a Parts Manager for NAPA Auto Parts. We have been together for 17 years and he's by far my best friend in the whole world! I love him to pieces even though I may not always show it.

This picture was taken in 2010 for our 9 year anniversary. A lot of our anniversaries have been spent in Disney!
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My oldest son is Joey and he is currently 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Joey is my laid back son. He does very well in school and comes across shy to new people. He is starting to get into more of the rides at Disney and gets a bit crabby when we stop to take character pictures (which makes me sad because I still LOVE taking pictures with the characters). He plays baseball and basketball and loves Pokemon and video games.
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My youngest son is Matthew and he is currently 5 years old and in Kindergarten. Matthew is my spirited child--does well in school but sometimes needs to tone down his behavior. He is also my cuddler! He loves going to Disney but we have had issues with him being afraid to try the rides. Yes, I am one of those moms that pushes him to go on even if he's crying but I know once he does it he will be fine and he usually is. Matthew plays baseball and wrestles and loves playing video games like his brother (and daddy).
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We have 2 dogs, Honey who is going to be 13, and Monty who is our 1 year old Golden Retriever. Monty keeps us on our toes but is probably the best dog we have ever owned (sorry Honey..LOL!)

Honey
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Monty
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Me (34) DH (38) DS (9) DS (6)
Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR

Last edited by nikki7680; 01-12-2014 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:48 PM   #5
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how about this for one


love this picture...





this is US!






OK i am out of here for the weekend..
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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So on to September...

So this was not supposed to be a Disney Vacation year since we just went in September. But.....we decided to take advantage of the Bounce Back that was being offered that had Free Dining. For only $200 down (refundable) we decided to do it as a back up plan. Joe of course wanted to go to the Caribbean in June but the more we discussed it, the more we realized that 2014 was the year to go to Disney. We always go in September so we pull the kids out of school. Well Joey starts Middle School in 2015 (which would be our next Disney trip) and we don't feel comfortable having him miss school that year so we decided it would have to be 2014! I told Joe we can hit the beach in 2015 and 2016! He liked that idea

Joe enjoying Montego Bay Jamaica in 2009
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We are booked for 6 nights at the Beach Club Resort in a Garden View room. We have never stayed there but it looks like someplace we would love. My kids love the water and Stormalong Bay looks right up our alley! So far this looks to be our first trip to Disney by ourselves since our honeymoon. Not that I mind traveling with people! We have always had a great experience with all our traveling partners! I just think it will be nice to give it a try just the 4 of us!

Can't book air until January or February--hoping it's under $1300--or else Joe says we might have to DRIVE!!! I DO NOT want to drive! It's less than a 2 1/2 hour flight from Chicago. I think it's a 17 hour drive...ugh.

ADR's are mid-March. So far we are thinking Via Napoli for dinner, Boma for breakfast, Liberty Tree Inn for dinner, Cape May Cafe for breakfast. I would like to try Kona at the Poly and maybe Beaches 'n Cream. We have time but I really want to try different places this time. We have done Tusker House and O'Hana so many times and I do LOVE them both but I really want to experience all Disney has to offer.

So other than that, we are on hold for what we can do. Personalized our MB's but they won't get shipped until August. This is that limbo time where I just play around on the Dis and dream away
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Me (34) DH (38) DS (9) DS (6)
Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR

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Old 01-10-2014, 02:51 PM   #7
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I'm in! Looks like we might be there in September too! I have never been there in Sept/October but I have heard that crowd levels are low, is that true?
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Following along!
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Me (34) DH (38) DS (9) DS (6)
Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Mo View Post
OHHHHH IM AM HERE!!!
I knew you would find me
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Me (34) DH (38) DS (9) DS (6)
Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:57 PM   #10
nikki7680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooks Tink View Post
I'm in! Looks like we might be there in September too! I have never been there in Sept/October but I have heard that crowd levels are low, is that true?


Awesome! Out of all my trips, only 2 have not been in September. We love September! It's low crowds (5-20 minutes waits) and still hot so you can still enjoy the pools and water parks!

I see you have stayed at Beach Club a few times. I take it you like it? We are staying there for the first time and we are really excited!
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Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:34 PM   #11
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Hi Nicole, I am oopsiDAISY! I have made it over from Mo's thread. Mo and I have become fast friends on the Disboards, and we WILL meet in person some day! I have and IRL friend who lives in Chicago, so I keep threatening to show up at Mo's front door one of these days, maybe I will get to meet you too!

Can't wait to see how your trip comes together...
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:54 PM   #12
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I'm in! I followed Mo over here from her PTR.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:56 PM   #13
nikki7680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oopsiDAISY View Post
Hi Nicole, I am oopsiDAISY! I have made it over from Mo's thread. Mo and I have become fast friends on the Disboards, and we WILL meet in person some day! I have and IRL friend who lives in Chicago, so I keep threatening to show up at Mo's front door one of these days, maybe I will get to meet you too!

Can't wait to see how your trip comes together...

Thank you for coming over!!

Mo is a terrific friend and if you do make it to Chicago, we most definitely have to meet!
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Me (34) DH (38) DS (9) DS (6)
Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pluto0809 View Post
I'm in! I followed Mo over here from her PTR.


Nice to meet you!!
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Me (34) DH (38) DS (9) DS (6)
Grand Floridian (2001), Caribbean Beach (2006, 2009, 2010), Port Orleans Riverside (2011), Wilderness Lodge (2013), Beach Club Resort (2014 and hopefully 2016)

Take Me To My Happy Place! September 2014 PTR
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:25 PM   #15
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Subbing in! Can't wait to hear all that's in store for your trip!!
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October 2012: First Magical Family Trip (and my first trip ever!), AoA LM rooms, MNSSHP April 2013: 2nd Family Trip (and first surprise vacation!), POR RGR
May 2014: End of school celebration/3rd Birthday Trip, Pop Century November 2014: Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon, Girls Only Trip, Pop Century, MVMCP
December 2015: Surprise Christmas Vacation! Pop, but possibly WL MVMCP




Whew... That's a big 'Tato Head! 10 Amazing Days in May '14! Trip Report 10 Nights, 9 Days, 2 Birthdays and 1 Magical May 2014 Vacation PTR

Me DH DD6 DD3
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