and we're back. [Walt, Wizards, and....Woolungasaurus?]

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by bumbershoot, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Title as of Jan 15th. Walt, Wizards, and...Woolungasaurus?

    Meaning? Liked the Ws, but I had to reach for that last one! Turns out there aren't many dinosaurs with W in the name. We want to play around in the "old" Florida areas, and to me that definitely means DinoWorld! Along with other places. But I felt that I had to include WDW and Universal in the title, since WDW is an absolute and at least Harry Potter's part of Universal will be seen by us. Along with the dinos.



    Original title:

    Little things like...what are our dates, should we start in Vero or with family in Port Orange, will my aunt stay with my family of 3 the whole time or go home with her daughter+family, can hubby go without a vacation day for 13 whole months to maximize our FL time....

    Pesky little things like that. :upsidedow


    More later about the plans for our Very First Trip to WDW! In merely 13 months. We think.
    ____________________

    Editing in the below sentences 11/19.

    As you can see from my posts on the 19th of Nov, a theme has developed, an interest has been sparked. So along with WDW and visiting family and Vero, it seems we might be looking for fun kitschy stuff along the way. :goodvibes
    _____________________
    Another title change, 11/22.

    Just liked the term "old Florida" better.



    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    let me introduce myself
    I wanna start in Vero...
    bring on the Dinos!
    going from point Vero to point *meeting the family*
    would the fam likeses the precious AKVillas?
    aaaahhhhh!!!! giant oranges!!!!!!
    where to stay part 1, when to stay, where to stay part 2
    Let's get focused on:
    **Epcot 1, 2, 3...
    **DHS 1

    Breaking news, one ticket purchased!

    **Magic Kingdom 1
    **AK and Universal 1
    Moola for Disney!
    Yet another resort has been thrown into the ring of ideas!
    An idea for what to do while lazing at the "yet another resort", and realization that my brain is a sieve.
    First bit of booking done
    plans
    cars, food research, ticket timing
    the ADRs have started, the ADRs have started!!
    ADRs continued
    Jane Austen, passport, and tattoo discussion begins
    Universal tix, WDW tix all here, canceled HP package and booked stay/play/whatever rate at the Royal Pacific Resort for more value! Also, booked Magical Express.
    A Universal Book
    2-2-2
    thinking...thinking...thinking....
    rental car
    rental car part deux
    airfare part deux teux!
    Vacation-Terror is setting in
    boarding passes!
     
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  3. Brady's Mom

    Brady's Mom <font color=darkcoral>"Get off the roof, get off t

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    Molly, you totally make me laugh. :lmao:

    It is ALWAYS the pesky little things that trip me up, too. Good luck with planning your WDW trip. DH and I may go for our 25 wedding anniversary (in about 2 years), so I will definitely follow along to see how planning goes and then, of course, how the trip goes. :thumbsup2
     
  4. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Shannon! Hi! Good to have a known "face" around here. :)

    Right now I'm reading all the trip reports and dining reviews known to mankind. I feel like I'm relating to the Dis in a whole new way...

    And what's funny is that the day before, heck, the HOUR before, I started this PTR, I felt like as much an expert on WDW as a Dis-person can feel...and as soon as I started I lost all the info.

    What made it worse was the disneyworld site! You can put in your itinerary, letting "it" know when you'll go, where you'll stay (it even lets you put "with friends or family"), etc etc, and that was fine, but then it gives you a place to put what you're going to do on each day, and I swear, it wiped my brain clean!

    I'm a total noob now. Weird feeling!
     
  5. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Well, for those who do not lurk in the Disneyland forum or the Disneyland trip reports, introductions. :)

    I'm Molly, married to Robert, and we have a son, Eamon. I was about to do my normal intro, but I have firmly decided, unless something changes, to make this as much about the trip and our plans as I possibly can, without bringing in all my both newfangled and old fashioned ideas of health, health care, etc etc, into it. We'll see just how long I'll hold to that!

    I will state that we are vegetarian, hubby has to be careful with his blood sugar (he has an official diagnosis of diabetes, but he boggles his endocrinologist's mind at every appointment, and we all have a hard time calling him diabetic at this point), and hubby+son cannot have anything related to corn syrup. We have discovered a lot of the corn syrup problems at Disneyland, so that's a yay for our trips b/c we discovered it, but a BIG BOO to them for having so much junk in their items sold as food.

    Needless to say, food is a tricky thing to plan out! We are expert at Disneyland Resort food now, but this is a, eh hem, whole new world, and we'll be treading carefully.



    We're new owners of DVC, but we have no plans to stay at "our" place on this trip. Bay Lake Towers is definitely our style, but the points are way too high for what we plan with this trip!


    This trip came about because I have family out in Florida. The cousins that live right in Orlando couldn't care less about WDW. But the cousin+aunt that live in Port Orange do care for it quite a bit (cousin and her husband just had a weekend trip to Port Orleans resort last weekend!).

    I haven't visited that lovely town since...well probably getting close to 20 years (omg). It was back before my now-late grandmother was falling into the netherworld of Alzheimers, and my cousin was still a teenager, and my mom was still alive. Wow. But my grandmother's house isn't in the family anymore, because she needed the money from the "reverse mortgage" far more than the family wanted the inheritance, but back then, she owned (flat out owned) a gorgeous but smallish house right across the road from the river, oh it was lovely. But none of her kids could afford to buy it from her, so it's gone along with grandma and my mom. :(

    My cousin (just read "and husband and their two kids" most times I say that from now on) lives 5 minutes away from a beach. And they all dislike the beach! Augh! With that attitude I've been trying to get them to move out of hurricane-land for years...but they have reasons and they're sticking to them. Okey dokey!

    We've been trying to get this trip going for probably 2 years now. Which is just about as long as my little family realized that we're big ol' Disney fans. :goodvibes I know that my cousin is sorely disappointed in me, because this WAS supposed to happen this December. But then in April, Robert was informed that his department was closing. And so the turmoil began.

    Ultimately, we *could have* used the windfall (severance and some double paychecks as he got a contract job then was called back to the old company) to pay for a December '09 trip, but he didn't have the needed vacation time. And because he didn't have the time, we couldn't use it for that. Plus, we'd just been scared out of our skin by realizing how on the edge we were...we'd JUST hit the end of the easy-cancel period with the DVC buy-in, we had NO savings, we were absolutely in trouble. And we finally realized it. So we found Dave Ramsey and put that windfall towards some piddly past medical debt, got a "baby emergency fund", and tossed the rest at our car. We have a plan, a snowball is going, we are doing so much better than we were in April (knock wood).

    So while we had to disappoint them yet again, this time I'm going forward with the plans. It WILL happen. And a lot of it will happen because we are giving them lodging via our banked and to-be-borrowed DVC points. The other stuff, again, the little things, like airplane tickets, food and tip money, rental cars, and gracious, CLOTHING for Florida and tickets...those little things will just have to be figured out along the way! Thankfully it's not all due in one lump sum. :)

    Of course, I haven't even gotten confirmation about what exact dates will work with the family! In previous conversations, we figured out that my little family will stay, in various places, for a solid 2 weeks. My cousin's family will be available for a long weekend. I'm not sure what my aunt will do; I know that she watches her grandkids quite a bit, and helps out a lot, but I am her first niece and she adores me, and she's only met my son once but wants to spend more time with him...so I'm sure she's going to have quite a dilemma on her hands! But it's her dilemma, and I'm not going to pressure her at all about staying with us; just make sure she knows she's wanted and leave it up to her.

    And that's enough talk-talk for THIS post!
     
  6. Brady's Mom

    Brady's Mom <font color=darkcoral>"Get off the roof, get off t

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    Being a noob is a totally weird feeling after being so knowledgeable about DLR. Guess there's no real fix for it except to go to WDW. :thumbsup2

    WDW totally intimidates me! It's the dining, mostly. I can handle the airline, hotel and which parks to visit, it's the dining - I am used to PS at the last minute or my fave counter service places. Having to call on the precise day at 6 am (my time) to get the ADR's that I want - when I want, just totally freaks me out. I mean, what if we decide that we are not in the mood for that kind of food that day? What if we decide we want something else???

    And what is the dining plan? I think I have a handle on it, but how do you find out about the free dining? And how does it actually work?

    I think the travel AT WDW also freaks me out a little. I love being able to walk from DL to DCA and back to the hotel. Shuttles and trams and boats and monorail seem like a big time eater to me. I have to totally change my way of thinking with WDW - I think that is what's hard.

    I hope your Aunt will feel like joining you for at least some of your trip. That would be really fun and also give you and R a chance to ride some things together - that would be new for you! :thumbsup2
     
  7. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Free dining seems to happy in late August through September...I think. It's announced in the Spring, I have seen that for 2 years. Disney Visa holders tend to get it offered to them first, though as with everything Disney Visa, that might change now that us evil Disney DEBIT card holders get the perks too.

    wdwinfo (the dis, of course) has good info on the costs of the various plans and what you get.

    There's Quick Service plan which gives you two Quick (counter) Service meals per night of your trip, and one refillable mug per person.

    There's the normal plan, which is one quickservice, one Table Service, one Snack per night of your stay.

    For quick and normal, I think you get a dessert with each meal.

    There's the Deluxe plan which gives you 3 *meals*...could be quickservice, could be table, doesn't matter...a snack or two (two I think), and I believe a mug per person. With the Deluxe plan, appetizers are included along with desserts.

    Then it gets crazy with Premium and Platinum but those go FAR beyond just food/drink.



    I know my aunt will join us at least when my cousin is there. I hope she spends some time beyond that, though. But I know she hates feeling like an "extra" (so I plan to get her her own room). She's a great person, as long as there's no stress. Once there's stress she loses it entirely. She was one of the biggest factors in the problems that happened when DS was trying to make his way into the world. She arrived in the middle of junk that I was handling (serious personal conflicts between me and my hired help), read the situation ALL wrong, and used her influence as my sweet auntie who was supposed to be acting in stead of my mother to get me into a BAD scenario that ended poorly for everyone. So just as long as there's NO STRESS, she's great.


    Back to the dining plan....if you're an AP holder or a DVC member staying on points, you can buy the plan without a package. Otherwise, you have to have a package deal, not just a room-only. That goes for the normal plan and free dining, I believe. It all gets encoded on your keys to the world (as opposed to DLR's keys to the magic!).

    You do have to pay tips on what the food *would have cost*. And they put that cost onto receipts so you know what to tip...always thinking of us, they are. ;)

    Obviously I lurk on the Dining forum quite a bit!!!!!


    We're still working out the cost comparisons. Obviously with our limitations and the fact that we generally share it's going to get right down to the wire. Whereas if we were limitless omnivores and wanted $30 steaks and drank soda and had desserts every night normally, it would be a GREAT deal! But since our snack credits would very likely go to a latte or an apple or bottled water, instead of rice krispie Mickey heads or things at Goofy's Candy Company, etc...and we would normally share, etc etc...it basically comes down to how many character buffets we want to attend!

    I'm sure we'll all be reading about that later on...
     
  8. Brady's Mom

    Brady's Mom <font color=darkcoral>"Get off the roof, get off t

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    It's nice to know that there is a dining forum that I can haunt for a while. :surfweb:

    I have some family things coming up in the next 6 months that will keep me from any sort of trip planning/lurking mode that I might get into. Some of it is stressful (when is family stuff not stressful) but most of it is good - just looming for me. After that I am sure I will spend some time looking around and getting a feel for what is available. I get too caught up in trip planning and tend to forget other deadlines I might have and I am SURE that will be the case when I am planning a WDW trip. :rolleyes:

    Our oldest son comes home from Taiwan in less than 6 months and we will be making a trip to San Francisco to see some of my hubby's family (all 6 of us) and that will take precedence over a DLR or WDW trip. Although I was hoping to fit in a spring break trip in April, but I don't think it will happen. :sad1:

    Thanks for the Dining plan info - I am sure after I have a chance to really look it over it will make more sense. Deciding what plan for you will be more difficult than me, unless they have more veggie options at WDW than DLR. But, hubby and I share a LOT when we go out and that puts a crimp in dining plans for us, too. I also watch ingredients carefully for artificial color - it causes serious problems in 3 of my kids - so we just avoid it as a family. So, the cute mickey suckers are NOT on our list. :sad2:

    I'll just keep watching your pre-pretrip report and haunt your decision making - it helps to "know" someone and some of their background. :flower3:
     
  9. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    This trip, as I have it planned in my head, will be separated in bits and pieces. Now since we are planning to use DVC points, but do not own at any of the resorts where we want to stay, everything has to stay really flexible until we can actually book. To say that this is difficult to figure out how to do, especially when providing lodging for other family members, is to make an understatement. I keep wishing I could fly out to talk with them. But we'd need a few days just b/c of the time loss for flying out there, which means Robert would need to take off time to watch E, and then our vacation gets shorter. :upsidedow

    The first bit of this vacation, in my head at least, will be with just the three of us. We figured that starting things off with jet lag is not fun. So I thought...how could we get a couple days to start acclimating, how could that happen? Aha! A beach!

    Well, the family lives near a beach, but they don't go, and staying in someone's guest room doesn't sound like acclimiatizing, it sounds like a yucko start to a vacation! So...how about...the DVC at Hilton Head!?! Now wait...that's 2 states away! And if I'm in SC I feel dangerously close to my chiropractic school, and i'm still dealing with the aftermath of quitting my practice and feeling like an idiot, etc etc...do I really want to be IN that state for a vacay?

    No, not really.

    So how about Vero Beach? The sand isn't the pretty white sand, and I hear the surf is rough, but it's the beach, it would be relaxing, and if we got anything with even a remotely beach view, we could leave the curtains open and be woken by the sunrise, which would go far towards getting us onto the new timezone!

    Sounds fun!

    So, whenever this vacation starts, we take a couple days before it, fly in, and....

    And then it gets complicated. What airline? One-way rental cars are horridly expensive, so flying into Ft Lauderdale (just found out that Virgin America is going from CA to Ft L now, woo!) (wait, I don't live in CA...) would be fine at the start but just weird to go back to in order to return the rental car at the end.

    Well, how about MCO? So we'd fly into the WDW airport, get a car, and drive away? Augh. Same deal with the other airports...frustrating, or no good airlines (for us) that go into them, etc etc etc.

    Obviously that part needs some heavy thinking.

    But the Vero Beach part, that sounds gooooood. No need to torture the family by making them go to the beach. No being made fun of for going to the beach in December. Just chilling out, the three of us (though as some might know, there would be absolutely no objection to a new baby joining us, or even being a bit pg, or a lot pg, or even hugely pg (there are birth attendants in FL, after all) though that last one makes the transportation a mite difficult), relaxing at the very very start of the vacation.

    Similar to a preprepre trip report, eh?

    So that's the first bit of this plan in progress.
     
  10. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    What a nice trip you will have to SF! I'm jealous.

    Oh artificial colors, they are rotten! We don't absolutely know that colors "get" to Eamon, because they tend to go hand in hand with the corn syrup products, and no one is THAT interested to test it. Well, no one has been...he's been really interested in Sweet Tarts, and colors are their offensive ingredient, but otherwise they would be basically OK. We're all mulling over buying a roll of them, have a few days of excellent eating, then letting him have a couple (maybe focusing on one color) and see what happens. He's old enough that he can be really aware of what's going on with his mood.

    Of course, it's flat out healthier to avoid them, but sometimes he doesn't like feeling weird...this Halloween was really hard for him. :sad1:
     
  11. Brady's Mom

    Brady's Mom <font color=darkcoral>"Get off the roof, get off t

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    I hear you about how hard it is for your kidlet to feel weird. Our oldest was VERY allergic to milk for a long time. So much so, that I had to give up milk when he was nursing in order for him to stay healthy. He couldn't have a LOT of things other people could have and that was hard for him. He is also one of our kids that has problems with color. It manifests as depression in him and really started in 4th grade - after he discovered that milk no longer bothered him. :confused3

    The color idea is a good one. If you try ONE color and see how he does and he is aware of how he is feeling, it could really work for him. It could be that he will have a small reaction - but not enough to send him through the roof - and he could "handle" it okay. Maybe he'll be just fine and it's the HFCS that really does it for him. I like the idea of some really good eating with really healthy food for a few days and no sign of sickness or tiredness that might skew any results and then giving it a try. But, the thought of the mess he might be would make me think twice before I tried it. ;) Decisions, decisions.

    I LOVE the idea of Vero Beach for some time to get used to the time change. It would really mess me and my family up, too. Besides we love the beach - even in December and would go anytime we could. We go to the beach in SF in Dec. and that beach is COLD!! And how can you live in FL and not like the beach?? :confused3
     
  12. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I do not know! I bet the kids love it, my cousin's kids that is. But my aunt is a Floridian NOT by choice...her parents retired early there then my grandfather died, my aunt went through a nasty divorce and had some career problems, and she and my cousin moved in with her mom when cousin was very little. Then they got their own place but my grandma started the march into alzheimers so she was the caregiver...and somehow my cousin ended up growing up there. She met her husband in FL, but he's from PA. They'd LOVE to move up there, and my aunt would follow them in a heartbeat, but cousin's husband has a job that he feels is good for him, and refuses to try for another job, even though his old friends back home practically throw jobs at him. So cousin and aunt are stuck until he takes someone up on a job offer.

    But they adore WDW, so moving away from there would be difficult. :upsidedow Cousin and husband actually spent their dating/courting time at WDW and hanging out with friends in lobbies of the hotels...so cute. :love: Cousin worked for Disney Store back then (before it was sold then later brought back into the disney fold) and got a great deal on tickets...


    We've been tossing around the artificial color "test" idea for awhile. He actually has had a certain cookie with "black" on it, and has been fine. But then he got sort of addicted to the cookie, which is how he reacted with the "bad" foods...and "black" is actually dark dark green I guess. Which is obvious when his body is all done with the food, let me tell you!


    What's funny is that we've only been to the beach as a family once. Ooh maybe twice, but does the shore in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park really count? I don't think so. So I have NO idea if we're beachy people! I once was, as a kid, with a dad who lived in Santa Cruz. During the time that he lived in walking distance from the Beach Boardwalk I was just in heaven.

    Anyway, finding out if we like it at the beach will be interesting! Seems they have some sports equipment that would be fun for us to check out.

    Oh and just yesterday I was reading a mystery about a travel writer, and she was on assignment to find out if the "old" kitschy Florida still exists, and I started to imagine that it would be GREAT fun to find out if it does! Made me want to fly into a more northern airport, renting a car and visiting South of the Border, wherever that is, just for fun!

    Not sure if I could deal with a gator farm/park type place, but I'm sure there are other kitschy things.
     
  13. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Ahhh, worked out and E had his gymnastics class. :)


    Before we left, I googled something that was in the mystery novel, and it actually exists! DinoWorld. An hour from Orlando, and I don't know which direction, but it's worth thinking about. :goodvibes

    $12.75 for adults - $9.75 for children ages 3 to 12 - $10.75 for seniors over 60-

    A highlight of the park is the Fossil Dig. Here, children age 3-12 can sift through sand in a paleontological setting in search of authentic fossils and may keep 3 fossils as a memento of their trip.

    Fossil Dig tickets are included in the child admission price for ages 3-12. Anyone over 12 or under 3 who wants to dig, the price is $2 extra.



    This could be fun....
     
  14. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    South of the Border is in South Carolina?? Augh. And drat.

    Also, how did I never hear of this place? I drove from SC to VA and back a gazillion times while in chiro school and while my mom and stepdad lived in VA. Odd.

    I was also confused as I went through GA many times, and into Florida once, and still never heard of it, but the whole "it's in SC" aspect is really super-confusing.

    Then again, I was there in the early/mid 90s when all the highways were under HUGE construction, so it's possible my attention was elsewhere. That, or it was on singing the soprano parts in Phantom of the Opera, or, um, that one really really BAD and STUPID part of one of the trips where I polished my nails and, omg, read a book, while driving. :sad2: (me at 24ish=not so bright!)
     
  15. Brady's Mom

    Brady's Mom <font color=darkcoral>"Get off the roof, get off t

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    The fossil dig sounds really cool. We have a dino museum near us and my little kids have tried it. It wasn't really an archeological setting just a pretend digging place. But, they have the tools like you would at a real dig and my kids thought that was cool. They also have a water source and sand play area where the kids can build dams and all kinds of other stuff with dinosaurs and plastic trees and stuff. They love to go there.

    I always have a hard time planning time away from DLR, I think with WDW being bigger it would be harder to fit everything in. Thus I would have an ever harder time staying away from all of the things to do there.

    But, then I feel a little let down if I haven't had a chance to explore what is around me. I get so torn.

    How far is Tacoma from the beach? We were visiting friends in Bellevue a couple of years ago and I was surprised how far from the beach we actually were. There was a little bay that had a beach area and that is as close as we got. Lots of kayakers there, it looked fun. But that area worked for my kids, it had water, some coarse sand and little waves - it was good! :thumbsup2
     
  16. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Well, the beach question is hard! We're on Commencement Bay, which isn't the ocean. Any waterfront area is just big stones and such, even the more beachy area up at Point Defiance (which is something like the second largest in-city park next to Central Park...oh wait, that might be outdated...they call themselves in the top 20 largest municipal parks) is mainly stones.

    And I've only been to a WA ocean beach once, and barely remember it. Took a couple hours to get there.

    So there's lots of waterfront, but not a lot of *beaches*. :)



    The huge amount of things to do and see is exactly the reason we want to be out there for a good solid trip. I don't want to rush at all. Or, not rushing crazily. We'll see how well I do on that one...
     
  17. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    I am here to live vicariously through your trip report.
     
  18. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Yay!!!!!

    Of course, being 13 months out of what I HOPE is a trip...I think I am living vicariously through my own self! :rotfl:
     
  19. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    Well, we can all hang out and visit too. After the first of the year when I get the calendar of Scotty's bicycle races and his work schedule I will start my pre-trip fro Disneyland in June. I will be going over the summer.
     
  20. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I think I like your sig better, b/c it looks like Rudolph-Mike is glaring at that turkey.

    I was going to start into what we want to happen after Vero, if Vero happens, but I realized I need to trim Eamon's hair (for those new to me who might be lurking, that's my 5 year old son). He has his first gymnastics event, a sort of exhibition, tomorrow night, and I'd like for his hair to look decent, instead of an overgrown helmet as he and his dad seem to grow! :upsidedow
     
  21. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    He is, isn't he?:laughing:
     

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