An APRIL Adventure in Autism: 2008 (8/8) Time to Say Good-Bye....

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by KathyRN137, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

    Apr 14, 2006
    Author's Note: This PTR/TR was begun over a year ago for a trip we took in April of 2008! I'm finally getting around to finishing it! Thank you for your patience! ~ Kathy

    Hello, DIS-Friends!! :wave2:

    Because this trip is only 2 ½ weeks away, I intend to dispense with the customary detailed introductions in the interest of time. If you are new to the Adventures in Autism series, please allow me to refer you to previous reports if you desire full and complete background information!!

    For those who are fine with an abridged version of the intros, here you are:

    The Cast:

    [​IMG] Ed (DH), 47: Dad & Police Lieutenant.

    :earsgirl: Tricia (DD), 12: Sixth-grade student.

    :earboy2: Billy (DS), 10: Autistic, Special Ed student.

    pooh: Kathy (Me!) 44: Mom & RN.

    Past Disney Trips:

    9/03: Caribbean Beach Resort: Our first visit; all planning info obtained from guidebooks and family members who had visited before. Seven days, eight nights. I was hooked! pixiedust:

    1/05: Port Orleans French Quarter Resort: :cake: We celebrated Ed’s BD with our longest stay to date: 10 days, 9 nights!

    12/05: Saratoga Springs Resort, 1BR Villa. Our first trip as new DVC members! WDW at Christmastime…wonderful! :santa: MVMCP and the Candlelight Processional were really magical. Short trip, though. Only 5 days, 4 nights.

    1/06: Port Orleans French Quarter:
    Ed and I take a three-day weekend trip alone. (The first time we had been away without the kids overnight!) :banana: :banana: We got to do fun, grown-up Disney things like Pleasure Island, a couples’ massage at the Grand Floridian Spa, and the Keys to the Kingdom Tour.

    11/06: Old Key West Resort,
    2BR Villa. My first trip planned as a DISer!! Also the first time we were joined by Ed’s Aunt Rae (77), and for a few days by my DSS, Eddie (17). Six days, seven nights. We were really getting spoiled by the spaciousness of the DVC villas! Our first trip using the Dining Plan.

    [thread=1118895]Adventures in Autism: WDW![/thread]

    1/ 07: The Swan: Ed and I take our second three-day weekend without the kids. Ed runs in the WDW Half Marathon and I cheer him on. :cheer2: I somehow manage to walk/run with him in the Family Fun Run 5K.

    [thread=143572]The Half and Half Report![/thread]

    11/07: The Villas at the Wilderness Lodge, 2BR Villa. Another Jersey Week! :teacher: Aunt Rae joins us once more for a 7 day, 8 night stay in the World.

    [thread=1778544]ANOTHER Adventure in Autism![/thread]

    April Pre-Trip:

    The Dates: Sunday, April 20 through Saturday, April 26.

    The Travel Plans: :drive: Driving (gulp!) with the kids (double gulp!!) from New Jersey to FL for the 1st time! :eek: Stopping for an overnight stay en route each way.

    The Resort: Old Key West, Studio. 7 days, 6 nights. We originally had a ressie for SSR and were waitlisted for OKW. I’m glad our waitlist came through because the studios at OKW are a bit more spacious and the second bed is a regular, queen-sized bed. The other studios have a sleeper-sofa for the second bed. I think the kids will be more comfortable in the regular bed.

    I’m sure going to miss having that washer and dryer in the villa, though. I’ve really been spoiled!


    If you have been following along in my current report, you recall that this upcoming trip was not as carefully planned in advance as our previous ones. We have been blessed with the ability to visit WDW just about every year since we fell in love with it, thanks in part to our DVC membership.

    However, this summer we plan to do a full-scale renovation on our “real” home in New Jersey, which will make it financially difficult to do our annual Jersey Week trip come November. Well, we had some DVC points for 2008 left over plus annual passes that we purchased on our last visit (thinking that we would be doing an RV camping trip at Fort Wilderness this summer.) As you may know, those plans fell through.

    So here we were with DVC points and annual passes… the only thing we would need to pay for was travel and dining. Sometime in December, we decided to go for a Spring Fling during our children’s spring break so the aforementioned points and passes would not go to waste. Only thing was….we only had so many points to play with. We could do fewer nights in a 1BR, or a longer stay in a studio. We decided to go with the longer stay (of course!) :love:

    But, the holidays were upon us and we just couldn’t afford to book the airfare. We had to wait for our ’07 tax refund to finance that little purchase. Once we had the money, however, I realized that ticket prices had just become too costly. :worried: I thought that that would be the end of our plans, but Ed proposed that we drive to Florida instead.

    Which brings us to the next issue: Aunt Rae. We certainly could not invite AR to come with us this time because of the limited space in the studio. And, since we were trying to do this trip “on the cheap”, we just wouldn’t be able to spring for an extra room for her.

    I was a bit nervous about telling her that we would be going to Disney without her this time. After all, she had been so excited about the last two trips and I didn’t want to disappoint her. Plus, she didn’t really do so well physically and mentally this last time (see TR) and I was afraid she might think that we simply did not want her along. She can be quite sensitive about these things.

    My fears were put to rest, however, once I had explained to her about the limited DVC points and the smaller accommodations. And when she discovered that we would be driving down, well, that clinched it. She said she would rather not make that long drive.

    Whew! What a relief!

    So there you have it. In two weeks, we will be hitting the road. Disney or Bust!! :car:

    Now, back to work on my other report!!

    :grouphug: Love to all,



    **I'm having a bit 'o trouble re-naming the links with AOL...but here are links to the corresponding chapters:

    PTR #2:

    PTR #3:

    PTR #4:

    PTR #5:

    PTR #6:

    PTR #7:

    PTR #8:

    PYR #9:

    PTR # 10:

    PTR #11:

    PTR #12

    PTR #13

    PTR #14


    TR #1 Ready For a Road Trip??

    TR #2 The Duck-a-Duck-a and the Nung-a-Nung-a!

    TR #3: "Mom, What Are GRITS??"

    TR #4: Hola, Pedro! Adios, Pedro!

    TR #5: Open Up That Golden Gate!

    TR #6: Welcome Home!

    TR #7: "Mom, Are There Alligators in the Water??

    TR #8 A Dreamy Kind of Morning.

    TR #9 Pay it Forward!

    TR #10 A Dream Team Knock-Off & Drip Dry at the Sci-Fi!

    TR #11 Talk About Animal Magnetism!!

    TR #12 It's Just Nature's Call!

    TR #13 Kiss of the Spider Daddy!

    TR #14 Brush! Brush! Brush!

    TR #15 The KEY to a Relaxing Vacation Is...

    TR #16 Pool Days, Pool Days, Dear Old Golden Pool Days!

    TR #17 Bossy Betty and the Bewildering Boat Blunder!

    TR #18 Hats Off to Mom!!

    TR #19 Just Another Addition to Davy Jones' Locker!

    TR #20 Pirates and Princesses... and a Crusty Old Crab!

    TR #21 The Captain and the Kid...

    TR #22 Revenge of the NOTP!

    TR #23 Magic, Music & Mayhem!

    TR #24 A Storybook Breakfast in Norway!

    TR #25 Butterfly Flutterby!

    TR #26 Playfully Picture-Perfect!

    TR #27 More Future World Frivolity!

    TR #28 Coming to America...

    TR #29 Cross My Heart, It's NOT Beverly!!!

    TR #30 Our Epcot Evening Comes Full Circle

    TR #31 Putting All the Pieces Together

    TR #32 Just When You Think All's Well in the World...

    TR #33 Divide and Conquer (the Endoftripitis!)

    TR #34 Going out with a Bang! ... I mean, a Splash!!
    part two:

    TR #35 Time to say Good-bye...

    Thanks for reading!

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  3. Goofster57

    Goofster57 What if the “Hokey Pokey” really is what it’s all

    Sep 9, 1999
    Driving? Looking forward to hearing how that works out.

    Sounds like another great trip for you guys :)
  4. jcc0621

    jcc0621 DIS Veteran

    Mar 8, 2007
    I'm here Kathy:cool1:

    We have driven from Philly several times and it is NOT as bad as some people make it. Just have plenty of things to entertain the kids. The best investment we ever made was a portable DVD player (or a minivan with one built in;) ). Just plan on lots of potty breaks and leg stretching breaks.:thumbsup2

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

    Jan 7, 2007
    I suggest investing in either headphones or earplugs for the drive down for Ed.

    Had you not been driving and staying in a studio do you think AR would have wanted to come?
  6. Hedy

    Hedy <font color=blue>I'm <s>22</s> 27 and I still kind

    Mar 14, 2006
    I'm in! Good luck driving!
  7. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

    Apr 14, 2006

    Hmmmm. I really don't know. (And I'm not sure I really want to know!) I'm just glad that it worked out this way... less awkward, KWIM?

  8. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

    Apr 14, 2006
    Yes, for Mommy!! :rotfl:

  9. preschoolmom

    preschoolmom DIS Veteran

    Mar 3, 2007
    I enjoy all of your posts!

    I'm excited to be following along on another trip with you and your family!

    :wizard: :lovestruc :flower3:
  10. mousescrapper

    mousescrapper DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2007
    popcorn:: subbing in I'm always along for the ride w/ you!

    Driving!!!??? have fun w/ that

    Only drove once from Chicago area and that was in '95 before kids, Matt (then DF) and my parents in a borrowed super van. We did Atlanta in one day and then made it to Disney on the 2nd.

    Looking forward to more Adventures in Autism!

  11. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

    Jul 4, 2006
    YAY :yay:!! I am in, I am glad things went so smoothly with telling AR. I was wondering how she would handle the news. Bill and I have toyed with driving down to Orlando as well. It would be nice to have the van down there with us, but we end up flying because Bill is spoiled with it taking less then 3 hours to get there :rotfl:. I can't wait to hear more.

    I am still sad :sad1: you won't be there in November for Bill and I to stalk, but at least you get to go back to Disney and that is the most important thing :grouphug:.
  12. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2007
    Yay! I'm so glad you decided to start a report for this trip!! Can't wait to read all about it! Amy:goodvibes
  13. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

    Jun 23, 2003
    Alrighty...I'm here...
  14. irish dancer

    irish dancer DIS Veteran

    Jul 25, 2004
    Hi Kathy -

    We just did our first long drive with the kids. We did HHI for their spring break the week after Easter, 15hrs from Chicago (took us 17 with stops). On the whole the drive wasn't too bad, especially once we put DS7 in the seat right behind the driver's seat, lol. DS has Autism and is at the time obsessed with speed limit, in the beginning of the trip he kept reminding DH of the speed limit and announcing every time DH would go over the limit :rotfl: .

    I like your writing style and am looking forward to both reports. Plus I can live vicariously through you since our trip isn't until Oct and it is a suprise so I can't talk about it with the kids.
  15. aspen37

    aspen37 Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes.

    Dec 28, 2006
    :yay: I am happy you are doing this report. I love reading about your adventures.:)
    Have fun on your trip, and good luck with the drive.
  16. Montana Disney Fan

    Montana Disney Fan <font color=blue>GAT-Master Extraordinaire<br><fon

    Oct 2, 1999
    I'm here to cause Hate & Discontent. :smokin:
  17. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

    Apr 14, 2006

    Never! A little nausea and vomiting, perhaps....

  18. Montana Disney Fan

    Montana Disney Fan <font color=blue>GAT-Master Extraordinaire<br><fon

    Oct 2, 1999
  19. tiggerbell

    tiggerbell DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2003
    I 2nd that! :rotfl:

    And I'm IN on this one - can't miss a Kathy report! :hug:
  20. Montana Disney Fan

    Montana Disney Fan <font color=blue>GAT-Master Extraordinaire<br><fon

    Oct 2, 1999
    You don't know...

    ...I hope. :blush:
  21. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

    Apr 14, 2006
    OTP?? Oh, not for me!!

    (Not this trip, anyway.)

    This is going to be completely different from any Disney trip our family has taken. It is not going to be all go-go-go! This trip is going to be all about the R&R, enjoying our resort, and soaking up the Magic.

    It will be a NOTP Trip!

    Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t check TGM for his recommendations for least crowded days. And naturally, I did make a few tiny ADRs. But, no Dining Plan for us. Not this trip.

    While it’s been wonderful experiencing some of the table service restaurants that we might not have otherwise, I somehow feel that it has made us a slave to our ADRs. We were working our entire schedules around our dining plans! And we always seemed to have tons of snack credits left over at the end of the week. So, we’re going to dispense with the CS/TS/S situation and just do a couple of special character meals. The only meals we have planned are Play 'n Dine at Hollywood and Vine and the Storybook Breakfast at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway. At Ed's request, I've also made an ADR for dinner at Sci Fi , which we've never visited before, but it's pretty late, so we may just can it.

    We will have five full days to play with. Ed has always wanted me to schedule one entire day to just hang around and relax at the resort and I’ve never been able to give in. I just love the parks too much!

    “We may as just save our money, sell the DVC and just stay at the All Stars,” Ed would grumble. “We never spend any time at our resort!”

    Sigh. I love the Disney Resorts, truly I do! :cloud9: I love the theming and the prop design, the convenience and the perks of staying on-site. Its just... well... Ed and I have slightly different ideas about what is a "vacation" at WDW. I love to do things and see things and enjoy the parks. Ed likes to kick back in the room, swim in the pool, and not have to be here or go there at such-and-such a time.

    And so... in the interest of a happy marriage... :hug: I believe that a compromise on my part is in order!

    Five Days = One Day per Park + One Day of Relaxing

    Here is my NOTP Itinerary:

    Friday/Saturday (4/18-19): TRAVEL: We’ll do the bulk of our driving today, about 11-12 hours. We will leave around 10pm and hopefully the kids will sleep through most of it. We plan to get as far as South Carolina.

    Sunday (4/20): TRAVEL/CHECK-IN: South Carolina to Orlando should take about 6-7 hours. Check in at Old Key West and just relax.

    Monday (4/21): DISNEY STUDIOS: Late breakfast (11:05) ADR at Play ‘n Dine. Possible dinner (7:35) at Sci-Fi.

    Tuesday (4/22): ANIMAL KINGDOM

    Wednesday (4/23): Either MAGIC KINGDOM or RESORT DAY

    Thursday (4/24): EPCOT: Storybook Breakfast (10:25) at Akershus. The Flower and Garden Festival will be going on!

    **I played an April Fools Day joke on Tricia… I told her that we would be visiting Minnie’s Butterfly Garden and that the Imagineers had genetically engineered Hidden Mickeys on some of the butterflies’ wings. ;) She really believed me! But, I’m not surprised. She inherited her mother’s belief in Disney Magic!**

    Friday (4/25): Either MAGIC KINGDOM or RESORT DAY.

    Saturday (4/26): CHECK-OUT/TRAVEL. We’re on the road again and stay over night in Virginia.

    Sunday (4/27): TRAVEL. Virginia to New Jersey (and home.)

    I had originally considered doing the Pirate and Princess Party, but we decided that we would remain frugal and save it for another visit. Besides, with the new medication, Billy has been pretty tired in the evenings. He might not be able to tolerate it.

    Well, that’s it! Seems strange not to have every hour of every day planned out, yet I am strangely at peace...

    Does this mean I have to turn in my OTP membership card???


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