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Aunt Leslie, what are we going to do next?? A picture- and FP-heavy TR (COMPLETE)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by lklasing, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

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    Alright, here we go again! We returned to the World for an extended family trip, staying at Fort Wilderness (both the campgrounds as well as a cabin), from March 10 to March 18, 2010. As usual, here is a rundown on the cast of characters for this trip:

    Me – 43 year old mom of Danielle and Jodi. Like so many here on the Dis, I’m definitely the Disney-obsessed one in the family. I do most of the researching :surfweb:, planning, listing, etc. and really like it that way. I just have to try to not overstep my boundaries and overplan anyone who might not want to be so planned. Here I am, with my dad, looking a lot like a drowned rat (discussion on all that darn rain on our first day coming up in the next post):

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    (For anyone who has read any of my other trip reports or knows me from the camping forum, you won’t see DH Ray in this report. :sad2: He just couldn’t pull off the trip this time, with some work issues he had. We were sad to not have him, but someone had to go to Disney over Spring Break, so we courageously threw ourselves on that grenade.)

    Danielle – my 13 year old daughter. She runs cross-country and is in the honor choir at her school. In fact, she had a choir concert the night before we left, where she sang a solo that she hadn’t even told me she was doing. It was a great surprise (brought me to tears even), and was a great way to spend the night before our trip. Here’s Danielle:

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    Jodi – my 11 year old daughter. She does hip hop dance, loves music and is great at making people laugh. She’s finishing up her last year in elementary school this year – I can’t believe my baby is going to be at the junior high next year. Where did all those little kid years go? Anyway, here’s Jodi:

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    Paw Paw and Buddy – my dad and wonderful step-mom. They have now been married over 25 years and are such amazing people. They are great parents for all of their combined kids, but even greater grandparents. Here they are:

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    Brad is my 15 year old nephew. If you’ve read my trip report from May 2008 before, you’ve met him. He is a great athlete but an even better sport, hanging out with his younger cousins and not even leaving them behind on bikes (most of the time, at least). And, while he gave every indication of loathing having his picture taken, he sure is cute! Here’s Brad:

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    Evan is another repeat offender to my trip reports. He is another nephew, 7 years old and in first grade. Evan has the greatest laugh ever. Comes from deep in the belly. Except when he’s sleeping, he’s always on the move. Check him out (he’s the one with the dimples, not the green one):

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    Next we have the newcomers to these extended family trips. My step-sister Marie and her husband Daniel have both been to WDW before, but not as adults. They are both awesome athletes and great parents. He’s extra tall and she’s extra short, but they make an awfully cute couple. And, last but definitely not least is Ryan – a first timer to WDW, whose 5th birthday we got to celebrate while we were there. :bday: Ryan is a whole lot of fun and didn’t meet a ride he was scared of. Here they all are:

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    So, that’s the group! We had been planning this trip for a good while, so we were really ready to get there when the time finally came.

    Leslie

    NEXT UP: Travel day(s), and the MK in the rain.

    PS – DD Jodi likes to help me sometimes with these trip reports, so periodically I’ll have an entry drafted by her. I’ll let you know when it’s her that’s talking to you. Otherwise it will be me.
     
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  3. DisneyJBL

    DisneyJBL Earning My Ears

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    Sounds like fun...count me in! :banana:
     
  4. Piglet4Ever

    Piglet4Ever <font color="navy">Navy Wife, toughest job in the

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    Enjoying the report so far :thumbsup2 Can't wait to read more.
     
  5. DisneyJBL

    DisneyJBL Earning My Ears

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    Sounds like fun...count me in! :banana:
     
  6. LMN

    LMN DIS Veteran

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    What a coincidence! I am excited to see you have a new trip report! I just finished your other trip reports last night and was sad to have reached the end of them. This morning I log on and there's a new trip report! I am looking forward to reading it. And might I say, that little Evan is about the cutest little boy I have ever seen (next to my "little" Zachary, who will be 13 next month!).

    Anxiously awaiting your TR!

    Liesel
     
  7. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

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    Joining in too!!
     
  8. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! popcorn::

    We were there from March 4th-14th, so I can relate to the rain. March 11th and 12th were insane. Wearing a poncho ALL day isn't my idea of fun, but we tried to make the best of it.


    You have an adorable family! :grouphug:

    Look forward to reading more. :goodvibes
     
  9. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

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    Thanks, guys! I've almost got the next entry ready to go, but first wanted to post this entry by Jodi (DD11):

    Hey, I love Disney World and I (personally) think I am VERY lucky I have a mom that loves Disney World. Each time we go it just gets better… now the lines are long, but knowing how good the rides are… it’s ok. Disney World is a great place to get with your family and just have fun and take a break from school. Nothing too bad can happen when you’re at Disney!
     
  10. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

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    March 10-12 – Travel days:

    Since Buddy and Paw Paw were pulling their trailer down, they wanted to get there ahead of everyone else to get settled in. They drove down on March 10, a full day drive for them pulling the trailer. It was after dark when they arrived, but managed to get parked and situated easily with the help of some of their Fort Wilderness neighbors. That’s one thing that I love about FW – it has such a neighborhood feel. You may not know the people around you, but everyone is so friendly and helpful.

    Daniel, Marie, Ryan and Brad were driving down too, so they left after work and school on the 11th and got part of the drive done that evening so they wouldn’t have such a long drive the next day. They finished up on the 12th, and arrived without any travel problems around 3:30 that afternoon.

    The rest of us (Danielle, Jodi, Evan and I) all flew down the morning of the 12th. We had a little trouble getting out of town as the weather was bad everywhere. We were about an hour late taking off, but with a direct flight still made it by late morning.

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    We used our favorite town car service again, and they were great as always. He was right there waiting, even though we were most of an hour late in arriving. After a power-shopping trip to the Publix, we finally made it to the Fort! :yay: (It’s amazing how you can spend around $250 in only 30 minutes at that Publix! But, we planned on eating almost all of our meals at the cabin, so there was a lot to buy.)

    We got to the Fort around 12:45 and had an easy check-in. The cabin was ready and so was our golf cart. The cabin was in Loop 2100, which was perfect as Buddy and Paw Paw were in Loop 1100. The loops back up to each other, and that worked out just as I had hoped when I requested them. It was so easy to bring food, kids, laundry, etc. from one spot to the other anytime we wanted. Plus, 2100 has easy access to the comfort station (bath house) in 1100, so Daniel was able to shower there each morning and leave the cabin bathroom empty for Marie and me. The kids and I unpacked the groceries on the fly and then went and surprised Buddy and Paw Paw with our arrival. Of course, we were starving by then so we raided their kitchen, notwithstanding a cabin full of food back at our place.

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    The only downside to that day was the rain. Rain rain rain. I cannot express to you how nasty and soggy we were. Plus, Buddy and Paw Paw discovered that they had a few leaks in the trailer. Happily the cabin was dry. And, we were so glad to just be there that we really didn’t mind being complete wet rats for the day.

    Hanging out in the cabin trying to avoid the rain:

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    Danielle and Buddy:

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    Claire is my best friend from college and lives in Tampa, so she and her son James came over for a visit. They hung out with us in FW and it was so great to catch up with her. She didn’t even mind helping me unpack! Despite the rain, the kids did a whole lot of bike riding that afternoon. Sometimes they wore ponchos, sometimes they just rode in the rain without them and came in to change later. They had an absolute blast.

    Evan and Claire’s son James on the bunk in the cabin:

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    Marie and Daniel and their crew arrived around 3:30. They were tired from the drive but ready to start having some fun. So, we decided that the MK was the only way to start a trip for a first-timer like Ryan. After letting them get their bearings at FW a little bit, we headed to the marina and caught the boat to the MK.

    A little rain doesn’t put a damper on tether ball:
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    Can you tell how wet we all are?:

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    Of course, it was still raining when got there. While that was somewhat of a drag, it wasn’t a drag that the MK was very sparsely attended that night. We turned in our first of nine (yup – nine!) vouchers for the Give A Day promotion. Since we all already had all of our park tickets, we planned to use each voucher to get the FP exchange cards. Even though each voucher is supposed to be limited to 6 exchange cards, they gave us one for each of us (10 total)! As it turns out, we really didn’t need them that night, since the crowds were so light and many rides were walk-ons, but I was glad to go ahead and get one to see how everything was going to work with them this trip.

    This was not only Ryan’s first trip to WDW, but I believe it was his first trip to any theme park. So, we were all interested to see how he would react to the rides. We decided a good first ride would be Buzz Lightyear. Not scary at all, familiar characters, just a fun ride. He loved it, as did everyone else of course. Next, we figured we’d have to split up the group for a little bit, as the bigger 4 kids were all dying to ride Space Mountain. Just as we were about to go our separate ways, Ryan’s parents decided to roll the dice and let him go on Space Mountain. :scared1: I was very worried about this decision, as I have heard too many stories about a child getting scared on a ride at the beginning of a trip and not wanting to ride anything else for the rest of their visit. But, I’m not the parent of this kid, so I just went along with it. Well, when we got off, both Ryan and his 7-year-old cousin Evan were both high-fiving each other and clearly loved the ride. :thumbsup2

    As it turns out, we created a monster! Well, not a monster, but a kid that was ready and willing to ride anything and everything. After Space, we hit the Tomorrowland Speedway and the teacups.

    Jodi and Evan:

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    Claire and me:

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    At that point, we split from Buddy and Paw Paw as Buddy really wanted to watch Spectromagic and the kids just weren’t ready to sit still for a parade. So, we headed to HM and the other two mountains. Everyone loved BTMRR and Splash, except we got totally doused by the spray at the beginning of Splash. I mean, really wet. That would be fine, except it was cold and we were all wearing jeans. Ugh. At least it had stopped raining by then. Somehow we lived, just as we have lived through getting wet on that ride many times in the past. We were about ready to head back to FW at that point, but got stuck by the parade, so we got to see the last 5-10 minutes of Spectro after all. It was a very cool parade, but we were all just about too tired and hungry to appreciate it as much as we should have.

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    Getting to be with a kid on their first trip to the world is very fun. It was not only his first trip to WDW but also his first big extended family trip. He quickly learned that Aunt Leslie was the one with most of the ideas about what to do. As in, after each ride, we got off and he immediately came right up to me and asked, “Aunt Leslie (pronounced Weswey :goodvibes ), what are we going to do next??” It was so cute.

    When we made it back, we reunited with Buddy and Paw Paw and all had sandwiches in the cabin. After only being there for a few hours, it appeared that we were already going through food at an alarming rate. But it sure was fun all getting to be together and swap stories of traveling down to WDW and what everyone thought of the MK that night.

    Around 10:00 (much later than I had planned for the first night), we finally all got cleaned up and crashed into bed.

    Leslie

    Coming up: Epcot and Disney Quest
     
  11. MeMom

    MeMom DIS Veteran

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    I love seeing a new generation of Disney crazies growing up! My Disney World history started in 1971 when I was a teenager while living in St. Pete. We were there during the opening month. I took my kids to Disney World when they were growing up, and now I am taking grown kids and grandkids. You are right - it is a great place to be with your family. :love:



    It's great to be with you again on a new trip. The girls are growing into beautiful young ladies. We didn't get to go for spring break, but the girls and I are going for Mother's Day, and then we have our all-family summer trip planned June 30-July 10. I hope we can overlap trips sometime in the future and say hello. That one time I saw you in front of Mexico, you were on your way in the opposite direction of us, and I wasn't going to chase you down and scare you to death. :laughing:

    Check out Ringing in 2010, if you get a chance, to see the latest on our crew. We're on the New Year's Eve installment right now. We went over to the Fort at Christmas and saw all the camper decorations. There are lots of pictures on the report of that, in case you have never stayed at Christmas before. I think Jill has links on the first page.
     
  12. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

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    Hey MeMom! I was hoping you would find us again! I'll definitely check out your report - thanks for the link.

    You're right about the decorations about FW for Christmas. When we were there one year for Thanksgiving, everything and everyone was fully decorated. It truly is something to see.

    I too hope we are at the world at the same time again sometime! I'd love to get to meet you. For us, it will be at least a year. :sad2: I'm jealous of your upcoming trips!

    ETA - I just tried to find "Ringing in 2010" but the link wasn't active. Would you check it?
     
  13. MeMom

    MeMom DIS Veteran

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    Click on the www part in my signature. What I put in the response was just the title, not the link; sorry.

    My oldest son just moved to Orlando a week ago for a new job and a great girl, so I have a feeling our Disney travels ain't seen nuthin' yet! :goodvibes
     
  14. MNTwinsMom

    MNTwinsMom Mouseketeer

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    I've never commented on a trip report before, but I had to chime-in and say hello. I read all your previous Trip reports while planning our December '09 vacation at the FW cabins. I had stayed in the old trailers at FW in the early 90s, but this was the first time to WDW with my kids and DH and my first time in a cabin. Your previous trip reports were extremely helpful with our planning. We had the best time we've ever spent together as a family on that trip. :) The Disney magic was all around!

    Can't wait to hear more about your most recent trip, including how to best use the GAD fastpasses.
     
  15. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

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    Got the link this time - thanks! And, congrats on a new opportunity to spend more time at WDW! (I'll have to remember that with my girls - marry someone from Orlando...)

    Thanks! Glad you had a great trip!
     
  16. cmp1111

    cmp1111 DIS Veteran

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    Wow, your family is gorgeous! What a nice trip! :goodvibes

    The last time I was in WDW (and I can hardly believe this - it is WELL past time to go back) was in August 2008 during the week-long event that was T.S. Fay. I can well relate to the rain. :rotfl2: However, as you said, it kept the crowds low, and really, once you're wet, what's the difference? ;)

    Can't wait to hear more!
     
  17. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

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    Most everyone got a great night’s sleep that night. (We probably could have used a few more hours, but come on – you can’t sleep in in Disney!). I even managed to be the only one in the cabin to score my own bed. :) Danielle and Ryan were in the top bunk (together!) while Jodi was on the bottom. Other than some random sleep talking from the bunk area (“I didn’t do it” “no – that’s a bad idea”) :lmao:, it was quiet and perfect sleeping conditions.

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    (Don’t tell Jodi I posted a picture of her sleeping – she would kill me!)

    The only exceptions of the good night sleep were Daniel and Marie. Daniel had a terrible earache during the night and even thought he’d have to go to the emergent care place in the morning, but thankfully he was better by the time we started moving around. Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t the last he would hear from that bad ear this trip. :sick:

    When we talked last night about when to get up and off to Epcot, I had said we didn’t necessarily have to try to make rope drop since we had our Give a Day vouchers that we planned to use for the fastpass exchange cards. However, I was thrilled when Daniel indicated that he is as compulsive as I am on having lots of fun early. So, up we got.

    Everyone came over here for breakfast – we had ham biscuits Buddy had made at home, plus sausage and eggs, plus obligatory sugar for kids – poptarts, mini-muffins, etc. Everyone had plenty.

    Waiting on the bus, checking out the horses:

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    After breakfast, we caught the Epcot bus and made it there by about 8:45, just in time to turn in another GAD voucher and make it in the park just a little after rope drop. Once again, we were able to use one voucher for 10 FP exchange cards.

    The time while I turned in the vouchers each day was usually put to good use – mainly sunscreen application. Today, there was some silliness going on:

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    Finally, we made our way in:

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    As opposed to last night, when the MK was relatively dead due to the rain, those exchange cards were invaluable this time. It was a beautiful day – 70 or so and bright sun. We saw Soarin’ posted around 80 minutes, but we walked on everything we wanted to do – Soarin’, Nemo, Turtle Talk with Crush, TT and M:S.

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    I can’t believe I was the only one who raised my arms:
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    More shortly! (I thought I'd be able to post all of Saturday back to back, but I'm having to resize all my pictures through photobucket, and that's just taking some time, so hang in there for me!)
     
  18. OK GRUMPY

    OK GRUMPY <font color=darkcoral>And that is some useless chi

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    I'm so into this!popcorn::
     
  19. DLo

    DLo DIS Veteran

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    Enjoying your trip report. We travel with my parents every year . Isn't it great to gave grandparents along :thumbsup2. Looking forward to more.
     
  20. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

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    Thanks, guys! Yes, having all the different generations together is such a special thing. Now, the rest of Saturday:

    We didn’t take too many pictures of the Flower and Garden topiaries, but they sure were neat. I think there may be a couple of pictures of them on a later trip back to Epcot. I do love this picture of Buddy and Marie:

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    One funny thing about Ryan (4 year old nephew) – remember how we were (or at least I was) worried about letting him do Space as it might ruin him for any roller coasters if he was scared and hated it? Well, we may have ruined him in the other direction. He wasn’t much impressed with Nemo and Crush – I think he thought they would throw him upside down or something. :upsidedow

    After a quick visit to share Beverly with Evan,

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    we decided to split up for a few hours. I took the 3 biggest kids (Brad, Danielle and Jodi) to Disney Quest while the rest of the gang headed back to the cabin for some lunch and fun FW time.

    Before we left for DQ, the big kids and I grabbed some lunch at the Electric Umbrella (is that what it’s called?) and decided to give away our GAD exchange cards, as they each still had one major ride and 2 smaller rides each. We found a family with the right number of people and, after we explained what the cards were and how they worked, the family was very excited.

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    Here is where I get to tell y’all about the one pretty big mistake I made on this trip. DQ was just not all that. I really had been wanting to go to check it out for several trips, and thought the older kids would love it, but they just weren’t too impressed. And neither was I. :sad2: It was good that there were no crowds (they must have headed back to the parks after the rain kept them away yesterday), but it still wasn’t worth anything close to $40/person for us. The kids were 11, 13 and 15, and they just aren’t into video games that much anymore. Evan probably would have enjoyed it more since he’s at an age (7) where he really likes all that stuff. We did enjoy Virtual Space Mountain and the Pirates of the Caribbean game, but that certainly wasn’t enough to justify $160 for a couple of hours.

    The smart ones in our group (everyone else) headed back to FW for the afternoon.

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    I think most got a nap or at least rested for a while, then just set out to enjoy some of the Fort offerings. There was lots of playing at various playgrounds, tetherball, playing on the beach and making new friends.

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    (I was trying to figure out how Jodi was in these, when she had been in DTD with us, but then I remembered that she joined the others at the beach when we got back. I know y’all were worried about that too…)

    Meanwhile, we finally left DQ and headed toward the Marketplace part of DTD to go to our favorite store – Goofy’s Candy Company.

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    Finally, we decided to join the rest of the group back at FW. But, we couldn’t pass up on a chance for some photopass pics on the bus (now a family tradition):

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    Brad was less than impressed:

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    Back at the Fort:

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    (Notice a recurring theme with Brad and that phone? It was amazing how much he could text. In the next Olympic texting competition, he's a cinch for the gold.)

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    After supper, everyone enjoyed their Mickey rice krispie treats from Goofy’s, relaxed a little and then headed off to bed.

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    The only downer of the day (other than wasting valuable time and money at DQ) was hearing on the news that night that a CM had been injured at the Tomorrowland Speedway when he was hit by one of the cars and had to be airlifted out. Thankfully they just wound up with a broken leg, but I’m sure it was a scary scene that day.

    Coming up – Chef Mickey’s, a birthday, the MK and AK (whew!)
     
  21. snapppyd

    snapppyd God is Great, Beer is Good and People are Crazy

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    Great report so far, can't wait for the rest! :thumbsup2
     

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