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A Post Open-Heart Surgery/Anniversary Trip Report!!! Updated 5/30 PTR started!!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Stringbean&Wingnut, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Hi everyone!! :wave:

    I just finished a dining report of my boyfriend (aka Wingnut) and my's (is that correct? It looks a tad ridiculous...) trip to WDW this past December. But then I finished writing about our last table service credit and wanted to say more.

    So, here we go again! (And yes, Wingnut will be chiming in as well, no worries!)

    Ok, so the title. Open heart surgery...yeah, I definitely never thought I'd be saying that about myself, but here's the well-placed "however,"

    This past spring, I started to feel exceptionally tired. Not having had any health issues before, I went to my GP, who told me he didn't want me to be concerned, but I had to see a cardiologist immediately, and made sure I had an appointment first thing the next morning. :eek:

    Convinced this had to be a bit of an error, I went, at which point I found out I had mitral valve prolapse, a heart murmur, and a significant leak in my mitral valve, which he said my heart was handling well at the moment. We'd keep an eye on it.

    Fast-forward to 3 months later, my energy is declining further, and it is time for my cardiologist follow-up appointment. He says we are now at a surgical point, the valve needs to be repaired.

    I underwent the mitral valve repair on July 19th, 2 days after my 25th birthday. It went perfectly. My recovery has been slow, but steady.

    So somewhere in the middle of this, before we knew I needed surgery, Wingnut and I decided to plan a trip to Disney for our anniversary (October 6th - 3 years). We made all the plans. We made reservations for Jiko for the 6th. We were tremendously excited to be going during the Food and Wine Festival, which we had never been to.

    ...and which we still haven't been to. Post-surgery, it was clear that I would not be close to the energy level I'd want to be at for Disney in October. It was incredibly disappointing to change our anniversary plans, but we knew it was for the best. We changed our dates to mid-December, re-booked dining, and began to wait for our trip to come.

    So who are these wordy people anyways? And when are they going to talk about Disney? And isn't this guy cute :3dglasses?

    Here we are, on our anniversary (not at Jiko, in my living room. Oh well.)

    [​IMG]

    Me and my Wingnut :hug:.

    Wingnut is incredibly caring, supportive, and patient. He makes an awesome vodka sauce, and will eat pretty much everything that I won't (due to pickyness or allergies). In his words, he is "6'3'', tan, athletic, and a billionare lawyer/astronaut."

    :rolleyes1

    Me, I am his Stringbean. I have no fewer than 5 Disney CD's in my car, and listen to pretty much no other. I love cheesecake, orange tic-tacs, and taking lots of pictures.

    And my Wingnut. I love him too :lovestruc.

    (awww)

    To come: I'm left alone with Disney plans for far too long :scratchin
     
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  3. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    So while recovering from surgery (or just sitting around generally as well, I suppose), there tends to be a lack of things to do. I mean, I was also fairly physically limited (thus ruling out rock climbing, darn!), so the couch and I were pretty close buds for a bit of time.

    Earlier, I mentioned how this trip was supposed to be for our anniversary (3 years together, yay! :banana:). Well, not just for our anniversary, as it ended up being, but on our anniversary as well, which is October 6th. This had to be postponed, as we decided I would just not be physically up the trip in a close enough semblance to how we usually tour WDW (not crazy running around planning, but we're don't amble either).

    Postponing the trip also meant rescheduling all of our ADR's, one task I was quite up for. I shuffled and reshuffled them around, swapping out Flying Fish for La Hacienda de San Angel, Brown Derby for Rose & Crown, and Port Orleans Riverside for the Yacht Club.

    :rolleyes1

    In late October, I decided we needed a treat, and upgraded our reservation to the Yacht Club. We had never stayed there (had never stayed at POR either, for that matter), but I was super-psyched about the location and being able to stroll to Epcot.

    (Wingnut and I love Epcot. We literally call it Home Base while at Disney, as we always end up there at least once a day.)

    So a few weeks passed, and I was amazingly able to keep quiet about the resort change. We got our original Magical Express tags in the mail, and I showed them to Wingnut ("look! Port Orleans Riverside!") while stashing the real ones in a folder with the rest of our reservation info.

    (Note to those of you looking to surprise loved ones with reservation tweaks: it's a bit of a pain keeping separate reservation info folders, but worth it! :thumbsup2)

    Cue to the day before we were leaving for Disney...
     
  4. athenna

    athenna DIS Veteran<br><br><font color ="blue">I've been w

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    I'm in:goodvibes I've been following the food report also!
     
  5. laur05

    laur05 Earning My Ears

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    im in:thumbsup2
     
  6. topdog

    topdog DIS Veteran

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    Checking in... I'll start reading now. :surfweb:
     
  7. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    Oh, I love surprises. I can't wait to hear all about how you told Wingnut about the hotel switch.
     
  8. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Joining in too!
     
  9. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Welcome (back!)!! :goodvibes

    Hi, welcome!! :)

    Welcome!! :goodvibes

    Welcome!! Hahaha I was hoping Wingnut loved surprises too!! More story to come! :goodvibes

    Hi, welcome!! :)
     
  10. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    So when we last left, I was poised with the proper paperwork in hand, ready to strike! Er...surprise.

    Wingnut came by to pick me up (he lives a lot closer to the airport than I do, and when you take early flights like us, every morning minute counts!) the day before. Originally, when I was planning on how to surprise him, I had thought to stave it off as long as possible, with a plan involving the stealthy switching of luggage tags and possible distraction at several points.

    I'm not a very stealthy person though. :laughing:

    I'm more like this: :jumping1:

    So I soon decided that a better plan would be to tell him very close to our departure, but still at home. It was easier. Easier is better, particularly when you're trying to pack for a week-long vacation and still are a distance from your normal strength and energy levels. It was definitely not easy, but sheer determination (and adoration for WDW) saw us through (I say us, including not only my Wingnut but also my parents and everyone else that helped make this a reality through their unending patience and help.)

    Wingnut arrived at my house. He started to go upstairs to help me pack (assuming correctly that I was nowhere near completed), but I was :jumping1: with excitement (keeping it all inside, of course).

    "Sit down"

    He sat.

    "I wanted to show you the rest of our travel info. I printed our boarding passes," I showed them to him "and here's our luggage tags."

    [MOMENT OF TRUTH :hyper::hyper::hyper:]

    "Wait, luggage tags? I thought we already got luggage tags. How many sets of luggage tags does Disney send?" he asked.

    I handed them to him, with a "Merry Christmas".

    He was totally surprised! :yay: He really couldn't believe I had switched us to the Yacht Club (despite, teasingly, accusing me of changing our reservation details a few weeks prior). He was very excited to stay there (telling me I shouldn't have about 5,000 times, but being very excited and telling me during the trip that he was thrilled that I did [oops, spoiler.])

    I was so excited and happy to have been able to surprise him and give him this gift. We had been through so much the prior few months, and he had been so unendingly supportive and loving through it all - all I wanted to do was give him a little treat.

    So we finished packing my stuff (knowing in advance we would have to pack for a huge temperature range), and I began pulling up pictures of the Yacht Club on the computer, showing him excitedly.

    Which reminded me, I forgot to mention one little detail.

    "Oh, and all they had available was a water view" :yay::boat::beach::yay:
     
  11. 3prettyprincesses

    3prettyprincesses "These pretzels are making me thirsty!"

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    Joining in!:goodvibes Wow, you have quite an amazing story!:goodvibes So glad to hear you're doing better, it must have been frightening for you.

    Great start to your trip too. How fun that you managed to surprise DBF! (My DH loves the look of the Yacht Club so I'm thinking he'll request that soon!) It sure sounds like he was thrilled with the change of resort. Looking forward to reading more!:thumbsup2
     
  12. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Welcome, thank you!!! He was definitely excited - still wants to give POR a try, but loved YC! His other next resort choice would be Boardwalk, where he's stayed as a kid - I've never stayed there though!
     
  13. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    I normally wake up before my alarm goes off, especially when I'm excited about something.

    Like, oh, say, a Disney trip.

    My eyes popped open a few seconds before my alarm ("Never Gonna Give You Up" on my phone) began. At 4:15 in the morning.

    Too early on any other day, this just means that we'll have even more of the day to spend in the Happiest Place on Earth! :yay:

    [​IMG]

    Wingnut isn't much for pictures before the sun is up. But there's the first picture of our trip!

    Pretty soon we were on board our very first JetBlue flight.

    [​IMG]

    Wingnut and I had decided to go for the Even More Legroom seats, partially so we could board earlier and disembark (de-board?) earlier as well, and partially so we would have more comfortable seats. This turned out to be an excellent decision, as it made finding overhead space very easy, and our legs were nice and stretched out for the flight.

    [​IMG]

    We are ready! Let's go, plane!

    [​IMG]

    OH MY GOD JETBLUE GETS THE FOOD NETWORK!!! I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!

    In-flight snack report

    Soon enough we landed, and made our way over to the Magical Express. Backtracking slightly:

    Before we left for Disney, Wingnut and I discussed my energy and strength. I was recovering and improving, slowly but surely (emphasis on slowly). I was able to walk, but not for extended distances, so Wingnut and I decided that it would be best to rent wheelchairs while we were in the parks, so I would actually be able to experience the parks, and not be sitting on a bench by the ticket booths.

    While in the airport at home, we decided that it would be best for me to conserve my energy as best I could, and we would use a wheelchair there to get to our gate. The employees were very kind, helped us to where we needed to go, and it was a huge help (I was also walking at a slower pace as well).

    They notated on my ticket that we would have a wheelchair meeting us at Orlando as well, which we thought would be a good idea. We got off the plane in Orlando, and...no wheelchair. When we asked at the desk, they said we would have to wait until everyone got off the plane, then we would get the chair.

    Um. Hmm.

    On one hand, I could continue to conserve my energy, wait for everyone to get off the plane, then be wheeled to Magical Express.

    But I could walk. Just a little slower and not as much. And I was planning on walking in Disney, between parks.

    AND DISNEY WAS JUST SO CLOSE :jumping1:

    We decided to take it as slow as we needed to, and I walked all the way to the monorail (first ride of the trip! :laughing:). And there I sat. And then I walked to Magical Express. And there I sat on the floor.

    Yeah, I know. Gross. But I made it! (and not at an entirely abysmal pace either!)

    Soon enough (only about 5 minutes), we were here, and the bus left straight away.

    [​IMG]

    And then I was here

    [​IMG]

    (My favorite place :hug:)

    Confession time: I may or may not have cried a little bit during the Magical Express video. We were finally THERE, after this ridiculous year!

    [​IMG]

    I was at a terrible angle for getting a shot of the sign. I realized this as soon as we sat down, but tried my best.

    Bus stop order:

    ...

    ...

    Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Caribbean Beach.

    YAY we were first!! :cool1: (Wingnut gave me a look when I "yay'ed" a bit loudly. :rolleyes1

    While on the bus, I began to devise a plan. Wingnut would get our bags from underneath the bus, while I went ahead to check in, in order to avoid a Magical Express bus line.

    I had a plan. I was ready.

    When we pulled up at the Yacht Club, I was bouncing with excitement.

    "Okay, I'll go ahead and get in line, you get the bags"

    The bus stopped, and I scooted off behind a family, not looking back. (Not even kidding, I didn't even see Wingnut getting off the bus. I was too focused.) The family got greeted by the YC greeter, I went around them, and bee-lined for the check-in desk.

    Where there was absolutely no line. :woohoo:

    I went straight up to the Online Check-In line (of course this overplanner didn't miss this chance at clicking around more on disneyworld.com), and was greeted exuberantly. I greeted the cast members just as exuberantly :wave:

    Wingnut caught up with me fairly quickly (he's got the whole faster-than-me thing on me still), and we set about checking in, and seeing where our room would be...
     
  14. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Your title caught me since I am a cardiac surgery Nurse Practitioner. Congratulations on your successful mitral valve surgery. Great start to your TR. Looking forward to more.
     
  15. 3prettyprincesses

    3prettyprincesses "These pretzels are making me thirsty!"

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    Awww, you and Wingnut are cute!:goodvibes I know what you mean about not being able to sleep too! I'm usually so excited too and I am normally NOT a morning person at all. Ask DH, he'll tell ya!:laughing:

    It's so exciting pulling up to your resort, isn't it? I love that feeling too, total bliss!

    It sounds like it's off to a great start. That must have been frustrating though to come off the flight and not see your wheelchair. But you took it slow and easy! I'm glad to hear that you were well enough to go to Disney, this trip must have been a wonderful celebration for you guys.

    Looking forward to reading more!:goodvibes
     
  16. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!!! :goodvibes I'm glad you are enjoying reading so far!

    Thank you!!! Hahaha there's just TOO MUCH to look forward to! Even while we're still at home, I'm all "we have to get to Jungle Cruise!!" :rotfl:

    It was definitely unanticipated to not have the wheelchair right there, but I just kept reminding myself that we were going to take the trip at a slower pace. We kept calling this trip the rainbow at the end of the storm (Wingnut is chiming in that he phrased it as "light at the end of the tunnel") - it was a great thing to be able to look forward to throughout everything.

    And pulling up to the resort has to be one of the best moments of the trip. Well, just slightly after biting into the first Napoleon of the trip :thumbsup2.
     
  17. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    Enjoyed your dining report and am looking forward to hearing more about your trip!
     
  18. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!!! Welcome! :goodvibes
     
  19. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Being the overplanner that I am, before we left, I had faxed a room request over to the YC, in hopes that we would have a room close to the lobby, with a lake view if possible (although it was so cold, the pool was pretty quiet the whole time we were there anyways).

    So how did we do?

    While checking in, the CM asked if we had a preference in location, and I mentioned the fax I sent, the reasoning behind our request, and smiled hopefully. Or excitedly. I'd pretty much constantly smiling since our plane landed in FL. :hyper:

    She replied that she had a great room for us, and it was ready now! This was an unanticipated bonus, we were able to take a peek at our room and drop off our bags before lunch (this was around 11 am).

    Want to see our view?

    So did we...let's go!!

    We went up to our room, I excitedly ran around pointing out all the little nautical Mickey touches, then pulled the curtain aside (in a dramatic fashion, I hope.)

    [​IMG]

    :yay::yay::yay:

    Oh we were so excited with our beautiful view!! (Bizarrely, I didn't take any pictures of our room from the outside, but it was right above the wedding pavilion. Even more fun, one afternoon we got a glimpse of a wedding there!)

    Inside the room, I again bizarrely didn't take any pictures except for our towel animal

    [​IMG]

    Yep, that's a towel Mickey. We are SO at Disney now!!! :woohoo:

    I loved the room decor, it was themed without being over-the-top, and was just nice. There was a lot of dark wood and blues, which was really nice. The only part of the room that seemed a bit odd was there was approximately 2 inches of space between the bathroom door closing and the toilet. Not that it really presented a problem, was just a bit cramped-feeling.

    Wingnut says "I thought it was pretty nice. It was pretty standard. The bathroom was where you saw the bits that made it a premium room, insofar as the soaps, hand creams, and types of shampoos. The aesthetics and decor of the resort are very nice."

    We performed our first ritual of "The Adorning of the Anniversary Pins," and after exploring the room for a couple of minutes, we then decided to head to lunch. Not surprisingly, I had a plan...

    Leaving the room, we realized then that we didn't even have to use the elevator to get to our room, there is a fun little staircase right off the lobby that's right down the hall. I loved using this staircase in the mornings (evenings, fighting gravity was less charming), as it seemed to be always empty and was like our own little staircase.

    While we were still on the plane, I had thought that it would be fun for us to go to Beaches and Cream for lunch, especially since we were only a few steps away. We had never been here before, but it seemed fun and filling, and that's good enough for us!

    I knew approximately the whereabouts of the restaurant ("Umm, along the outside of the Beach Club..."), so we exited the Yacht Club, went "ahhhh" in the Floridian sun, and scooted around the outside of the two resorts using the walkway, figuring that was our best bet on not missing it.

    We happily ambled along, pointing out the sights along the way ("Look, the pool! A palm tree!") until we came across the ice cream cone-shaped decor and more cheerful CM's.

    "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!" they cheered from the hostess desk.

    "THANK YOU!!!" we happily replied. This would be the first of around 6,000 times we would be wished a happy anniversary over the next 6 days by CM's and other WDW guests. I loved it, it felt so fun and celebratory, and I tried to spot other people's pins to wish them congratulations on their pin occasion, but was usually too slow and they'd be halfway to Space Mountain while I was still fumbling to get my finger to scan at the front gate.

    Hmm. How'd I get to MK?

    I was surprised that we were given our choice of a booth, table, or counter seating, as I had read that B&C fills up pretty fast. We had gotten there at around 12:15, so it seems that we had beaten the lunch rush, luckily!

    Our lunch at Beaches & Cream

    While we were sitting at lunch, I watched the skies outside begin to get grayer and grayer, and people leave the pool. And then it started to pour. Now, we are no stranger to pouring rain in Florida. The first day of our trip the previous December (12/4/09, if anyone else was witness to this), it rained. But it wasn't just normal rain. It was exceptional epic "get an ark" rain.

    [​IMG]

    Us, outside of Ellen, completely and utterly soaked. But check out that first-day-we're-at-Disney-YAY glow. :laughing:

    I hoped beyond hope that this rain wouldn't be as torrential as last year's. I didn't think it was supposed to be, anyways...
     
  20. not_Joanna_eggs

    not_Joanna_eggs DIS Veteran

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    I'm in. You guys are adorable! Can't wait to hear more. And here's hoping that you don't get rained out. I hate when that happens!
     
  21. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

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    Enjoyng your report so far, can't wait to hear more! :thumbsup2
     

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