Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 02-02-2014, 07:47 AM   #1
MEK
DIS Veteran
 
MEK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Middletown, DE
Posts: 19,050

The Empty Nesters Magical Mystery Tour *12/20* Stand Back From the Gate p130

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour Table of Contents

Introductions
Departure Day
Magic Band Mix Up
Magic Band Mix Up (con't)
Magic Band Mix Up (con't)
A Table For Two
A Table for Two (con't)
Up The Tree
Up The Tree
Up The Tree
Family Reunion
Family Reunion (con't)
A Pirate's Life
A Pirate's Life (con't)
A Pirate's Life (con't)
Splish Splash
Splish Splash (con't)
Splish Splash (con't)
Car Denny
Car Denny (con't)
Car Denny (con't)
Bungle In the Jungle
Bungle In the Jungle (con't)
Bungle In the Jungle (con't)
Bungle In the Jungle (con't)
Bungle In the Jungle (con't)
Bourbon Neat
Bourbon Neat (con't)
Bourbon Neat (con't)
Meeting a Saint
Meeting a Saint (con't)
Meeting a Saint (con't)
What a Woman!
What a Woman! (con't)
Denied!
Denied! (con't)
Denied! (con't)
Decisions Decisions
Decisions Decisions (con't)
Decisions Decisions (con't)
Decisions Decisions (con't)
MK After Dark
MK After Dark (con't)
MK After Dark (con't)
MK After Dark (con't)
Road Trip
Road Trip (con't)
Road Trip (con't)
Road Trip (con't)
More Time With a Saint
More Time With a Saint (con't)
More Time With a Saint (con't)
More Time With a Saint (con't)
More Time With a Saint (con't)
On the Road (Trip) Again
On the Road (Trip) Again (con't)
On the Road (Trip) Again (con't)
On the Road (Trip) Again (con't)
Hey You Get Outta My Room
Hey You Get Outta My Room (con't)
In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle
In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle (con't)
In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle (con't)
Show Time
Show Time (con't)
Monkey and Fire Eaters
Monkeys and Fire Eaters (con't)
Monkeys and Fire Eaters (con't)
Breaking the Cardinal Rule
Breaking the Cardinal Rule (con't)
The Lost 24 Hours
The Lost 24 Hours (con't)
Back In Business
Back In Business (con't)
Back In Business (con't)
Fireworks Over My Shoulders
Fireworks Over My Shoulders (con't)
Fireworks Over My Shoulders (con't)
How This TR Got Its Name
How This TR Got Its Name (con't)
How This TR Got Its Name (con't)
Firsts, Favs, & Final Thoughts
Firsts, Favs, & Final Thoughts (con't)
Parade O' Pics
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)
Parade O' Pics (con't)

TRIP REPORT BONUS!!!!

The Great February Freeze Escape
The Great February Freeze Escape (con't)
HS Do-over
HS Do-over (con't)
HS Do-over (con't)
DIS Meet with a DIS Mom
DIS Meet with a DIS Mom (con't)
DIS Meet with a DIS Mom (con't)
If It's Blue and It Glows
If It's Blue and It Glows (con't)
If It's Blue and It Glows (con't)
We're Back
Of Mangroves and Manatees
Of Mangroves and Manatees (con't)
Of Mangroves and Manatees (con't)
Of Mangroves and Manatees (con't)
Across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (con't)
Across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (con't)
Living on Island Time
Living on Island Time (con't)
Living on Island Time (con't)
Living on Island Time (con't)
Fly Like An Eagle
Fly Like An Eagle (con't)
Fly Like An Eagle (con't)
Fly Like An Eagle (con't)
Back to the Bubble
Back to the Bubble (con't)
Back to the Bubble (con't)
Back to the Bubble (con't)
__________________

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW

Last edited by MEK; 12-20-2014 at 07:46 AM.
MEK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 07:48 AM   #2
MEK
DIS Veteran
 
MEK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Middletown, DE
Posts: 19,050

The Empty Nester"s Magical Mystery Tour

Hi Everyone and Welcome to my latest trip report! So glad you are here to follow along on our latest adventure.

Let's cut to the chase, shall we? How about some introductions.

Me - Mary Ellen - Disney lover who has totally lost count of how many times I've visited the world. That's a good thing, right? In real life I am a nurse practitioner in cardiac surgery. I hoping to retire in 5 years and then I plan to be a snowbird. I can't wait! I can definitely see myself as a seasonal Disney worker.

Denny - my DH -who probably doesn't love Disney as much as I do, but he tolerates my obsession and accompanies me on most of my Disney visits. He plans to retire in a year and, well, I am super jealous. I let you know how that goes. lol!



Notice the Happy Birthday? Yup - this trip was partly in honor of Denny's milestone birthday. But, more importantly, it was to celebrate that fact that we are official empty nesters. Woo hoo!

We have two sons, Brian and Nicholas. Our older son Brian is a junior at Salisbury University on the eastern shore of Maryland. Our younger son Nicholas is a freshman at the University of Delaware.

Many of you, who have school age children, know the challenge of traveling during the school year. It's really hard to take a couple's trip unless you are fortunate enough to have built in baby sitters. And even then it can be a challenge. We struggled with this during the kid's high school years, even though we were fortunate enough to take a few 4 or 5 nights trips.

Well, Denny and I (who am I kidding - I) stated planning this trip about 18 months before we actually left. I figured if Denny was hitting a milestone and we were new Empty Nesters, then we needed a BIG trip. Not just one that was long, but one that was full of lots of adventure! KWIM?

The original plan - 3 nights at Disney, followed by 4 days at sea on a Disney cruise, followed by 4 more Disney nights!

Sounds perfect, right?

Well, that's not exactly what happened.

For months we were planning on cruising with another couple, who were also new empty nesters, but as cruise time got closer they ended up not booking. It came as no surprise when they informed us they decided not to go on the cruise. They bailed. I saw that coming. But since we already had reservations for them to stay with us at the Animal Kingdom, post cruise, they agreed to still join us there.

So, I started to do a little soul searching - or trip tweaking - and considered a couple facts.

We are DVC members and we just put out a chunk of change to purchase a VGF add-on and a final cruise payment was due soon.
We found out that Denny's brother's entire family was going to Disney World the exact same time we were. (10/24-10/29)
We have an active Premium Annual Pass
Our friends bailed

Hmmmm - I started thinking maybe it would be better to delay the cruise by a year and extend the amount of time we stayed on Disney property. That would give us more time to hang out with our in-laws. Delaying our cruise by a year would also coincide with our 25th anniversary. It would give us another year to pay it down with our AAA rebates. I figured we wouldn't have a park ticket a year from now, so we could combine the cruise with a VGF non-park stay.

The more I thought about this alternative, the more I liked it.

So I contacted my TA and she rebooked us on the October 23, 2014 double dip. (Thanks to podsnel who told me about this cruise) It was $4 more to rebook. Done.

So now our trip looked like this:

Arrival night October 23 - off site
October 24-29 Studio at the BWV
October 29-31 Saint Augustine Florida
Octover 31- November 4 2BR at AKL Jambo House

I liked it. I liked it a lot!

I think its important that I mention that leading up to this trip 2013 provided us with some challenges.

First, I lost my former job (program closure) and had to search for a new one. I was fortunate enough to start a new job in July, and even more fortunate to be granted the time off for our Magical Mystery Tour. But adjusting to a new job was hard on me. I put a lot of pressure on myself and felt the need to be "on" and "perfect" at all times. That was fatiguing and stressful, to say the least.

Denny had a hospitalization in April, but recovered nicely. However, it made him a little gun shy about traveling. He needed some TLC during the summer months.

My cat Max got diagnosed with diabetes in April and, sadly, passed away in September. Coming home and finding him so ill the evening of his death was horrible. Caring for him with diabetes was also stressful. As sad as I was to put him to sleep, I knew it was the right decision. The constant demands of his care were stressful to me and I constantly lived in fear that I would come home and find him dead.

My dad, who had been suffering with Parkinson's for years, passed away in August. This caused so much stress in my family and so much resistance to hospice care. I could go on and on, but I won't. I was fortunate enough to be with my dad the last night of his life. I couldn't ask for more. It wasn't until weeks after my dad died that I really started feeling the after affects of all that stress.

And, lastly, as excited as I was to be an empty nester, the first month or so was really hard. My house felt so empty and I felt downright depressed.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but these life events were hard on me and factored into how I approached the trip. As much as I tried to shake it, I felt anxious about everything right around the time we left.

But I'm OK now…back on track, so I promise not to dwell on my 2013 any longer.

So, welcome, and join us on our Empty Nest Adventure! It's a trip filled with family, friends, multiple DIS meets, and plenty of Food & Wine!



Continued In Next Post
__________________

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW

Last edited by MEK; 02-02-2014 at 09:44 AM.
MEK is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 02-02-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
MEK
DIS Veteran
 
MEK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Middletown, DE
Posts: 19,050

D-Day

D-Day, Departure day is always the best. So much anticipation and a sprinkle of nerves.

D-Day, October 23rd, had finally arrived.

Denny and I decided to fly out this evening instead of waiting for the official start of our vacation. I booked a 7:30pm flight out of Baltimore. I have never flown this late before, but it seemed like a good way to get a jump start on the vacation.

I left work around 3pm and met Denny at home before we started the drive to Baltimore.

But first I said goodbye to Kismet



and Jewel



I'm sure Max was there in spirit, too!



Traditional vanity mirror selfie



Before I knew it we had made it to the Bay Bridge



My real camera was at my feet, but it was much easier just to snap a few pictures with my phone





I sometimes get a little "uneasy" on this bridge. It's high. It's long. There is A LOT of water below it. I can definitely see why some people have bridge phobias when I'm at the top of this bridge.

Deep breaths now…





After the bridge I didn't take any pictures until our MCO arrival.

We decided just to follow the road signs to BWI because it was rush hour traffic time. It seemed safer to stay on the highway then take the risk of unnecessary traffic on the secondary roads around the airport.

At one point, as we were approaching the airport, I had my head down doing something on my phone (probably Candy Crush) and Denny blew right by the long term parking.

We ended up needed to back track to see where we missed a turn. Nice. Another 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

Fortunately, security was a breeze at that time of night and we had time to grab something to eat.

Speaking of eating - I have to warn you that this TR is a little light on the food pictures. I just wasn't feeling it, but I think I have enough to keep you somewhat entertained.

Our flight was right on time and it loaded promptly. I settled in and played a movie on my computer. At the last minute I decided to just grab something from home. I found Runaway Bride. Cute movie and filmed mostly in Berlin, Md, which is located on the Eastern shore of Maryland. It was the perfect chick flick to distract me for about an hour and 45 minutes.

I had about 5 minutes of the movie left when it was time to put electronic devices away. Boo!

Arriving to MCO at 9:30pm was also a winner. The airport was mostly empty.

I remembered to take a picture of everyone's favorite pre-vacation ride



I noticed this as we were walking to luggage claim. It's a retired airport beacon.






Terrible picture, but like I said - the airport was eerily quiet and very empty.



They had these cool glass flowers for their fall decor.



Our luggage was literally coming out on the carousel by the time we got there. You can't beat that -definitely an advantage to flying late.

We grabbed everything and went to pick up our rental car. I don't remember too much about our car, but I selected another one with a Tennessee plate.

Even though we were on the road to our hotel fairly quickly, actually finding said hotel proved to be quite the challenge.

I joined the marriott rewards program when we were college touring and I earned a free night promotion. We were staying at a Fairfield Inn & Suites. I plugged in the address and it literally took us to a shopping center. Crap.

So we turned around and backtracked and actually found another Fairfield Inn about 4 miles away. I went to check in and found that we were at the WRONG Fairfield Inn. The clerk was very nice and tried to print me directions, which seemed like it took 20 minutes. He went to so much trouble that I didn't want to say "forget it". But believe me, I had to fight the urge not to walk out before those directions printed out.

Imagine Denny's look when, after 20 minutes, I emerged to tell him we have to go back the opposite direction. Sheesh.

We ended up back at the same shopping center and this time we found a tiny sign indicating that the RIGHT Fairfield Inn was hidden back there, somewhere. We got lost once again in some development, but eventually found our home for the night tucked all the way in the back of a strip mall right near a Chinese restaurant and a dry cleaner. OK - I may be embellishing here, but you get the picture!

Well, OK then.

The hotel was actually fairly new and in good shape. It was close to DTD, but boy was it a PITA to find.

By the time we finally got to our room and situated for the night it had to be after midnight. I'm sure we spent an extra hour just trying to find the place.

I took a few hasty pictures of the room





And then it was off to dream land.

Up Next - A room with a fabulous view and DIS meet #1

__________________

The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW

Last edited by MEK; 02-02-2014 at 09:48 AM.
MEK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 08:01 AM   #4
amjb
Earning My Ears
 
amjb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 22

Looks like a great trip! What a perfect way to decompress from the job stress.

Love your kitties; they are beautiful. Angel Max too! I have a diabetic cat and can relate.

Can't wait to read the rest of your TP!
amjb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
dizneeat
DIS Veteran
 
dizneeat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austria
Posts: 14,680

Guess what ...........



I am in!

And I made page 1!!

Now going back to read!
__________________
Players: Karin Tom Find our trips here: Magicaldisneytrips
DCL: March 29 Magic/Western Aug 22 Fantasy/Western Aug 29 Fantasy/Eastern
WDW: March 28-29, April 5-6, August 15 - 22 and September 5 - 12
TR Summer 2014: We're out of it! A MAGICal Med adventure TR 2013: Get off the ship .....
Visit my other TRs/dining reviews here:

dizneeat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 08:22 AM   #7
natebenma
DIS Veteran
 
natebenma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: near Boston
Posts: 12,167

Love it!

I am so in!!!




Beautiful pictures of your kitties!

Seems like the travel to Florida was fairly uneventful, thankfully, but what a nightmare finding your hotel. I'm sure being lost was annoying after a long day of work and travel and the only thing you wanted to do was crash.

Better days are coming, I'm sure!

Last edited by natebenma; 02-02-2014 at 09:00 AM.
natebenma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 08:27 AM   #8
nowellsl
my car finds out everytime I have money
 
nowellsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,225

I'm here looking forward to this report!!
nowellsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 08:27 AM   #9
GoofyFan1515
DIS Veteran
 
GoofyFan1515's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 639

Joining in! Back to read later.
GoofyFan1515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 08:31 AM   #10
DVCmom4
Mouseketeer
 
DVCmom4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 99

Sounds like you REALLY needed this trip!! I will live my "empty nest" thro you as it will be a long time before my there! Our oldest is almost 17 and our youngest is 3!
DVCmom4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 08:46 AM   #11
amazingact21
Upendi
 
amazingact21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northwest, FL
Posts: 2,769

I'm here! Looking forward to following along on another trip report.

2013 wasn't the best of years for you, and I can completely see why you went into this trip with mixed emotions. On one hand, there's nothing better to distract you from the troubles of reality than a vacation. On the other, it's difficult to forget about such heavy matters even when you're far away from the source.
__________________
1 Family Vacation in 1998~ 5 Day Trips~ 8 On Site Stays to WDW between 5 resorts





Current Reports:Let's Watch the Hallucination Show on the Castle -A May '14 TR
Past Reports:December 2013 TR/December 2013 PTR/May 2012 TR/May 2012 PTR /May 2011 TR /December 2010 TR
amazingact21 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 09:13 AM   #12
DisneyKid4Life
DIS Veteran
 
DisneyKid4Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadia
Posts: 3,940

Joining in Mary Ellen, thank you for the heads up!

AHHH I want to be a seasonal Disney CM too!!! At least I know when Walt's birthday is so that's a plus.
DisneyKid4Life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 09:16 AM   #13
Tiggeye
Been there, done that, going back
 
Tiggeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 120

I'm in. We leave in 9 days and I need a good Disney Fix. (Nine days is way to long.)
__________________
DVC since 1992

Tiggeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 09:24 AM   #14
Poolrat
I am alive, sometimes I wonder too!
I probably would be glued to the side
 
Poolrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 8,669

I'm here- going back to read.

Looking forward to being taken away...
__________________
POOLRAT PATI am a Disney Dork. 75- Contemporary,77- offsite Hyatt,86- offsite 1 day trip,88- offsite 1 day trip,98- Contemporary w/kids,01- All Stars Movies,05- Boardwalk,06- Coronado,07- Carribbean Beach,08- Beach Club,Oct 09 - POP/Coronado, Dec09/Jan 10 ASMu/ CSR , July '10-POP, Sept '10 POFQ,Oct '10 2X for F&W @ POP Oct'11-ASSp Dec '11-DVC SSR/AKL July '12- BCV, Sept '12- DL, Oct '12- BCV, Dec'12-POP Jan '13- OKW May '13-BWV Oct '13- BCV DEC '13- BCV May14-POP Aug 14- VWL Oct '14-DL Feb '15 -AKVK May '15 EEC- July'15 Big Birthday blowout ............ Can't wait to go back
Poolrat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 09:26 AM   #15
rentayenta

There's never enough vacation time
I'm always thinking about it
I can't imagine being in it alone
 
rentayenta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Utah
Posts: 24,488

I'm here girl! Gotta catch up but I like the plans. You're a split stayer like me.

Very cool you'll be on the same cruise with Ellen and Jill! And Cynthia too I think? Or maybe I'm confused.

Be back to catch up. Great start.
__________________
me DH DD17 DD15 DS13 Lily Guinness

You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751



rentayenta is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: