Welcome everyone to my quickie PTR which will segue into the real thing upon return. I leave just 1 short month from today My elementary school son tells me that all good stories explain who, what, when, where and how. So in order to do my best to make this a good story, that seems like a good place to begin WHO? I suspect most of you who have wandered over here already know me but in case you are a new friend, let me take a second to introduce myself. Im Katie I am a mom, a teacher and a Disneyaholic. Those who have been around my TRs before know that I grew up with Disney in my life. Both sets of my grandparents had winter homes in Florida and we made trips down there every couple years and these trips often included a visit to Disney. I loved it dearly as a child and wanted to go back for a long time as a young adult but didnt have the chance to again until 2008 when my parents took the whole family to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary It was a fabulous trip and renewed my love for the place! Last year I somehow managed to convince my husband to allow me to go without him and the kids. I travelled for a week with my sister-in-law and had lots of awesome Dismeets!! So did I convince hubby again to let me go without him? Well, the full story will soon follow but in short no way! So I will once again be accompanied by my 3 favorite boys in the whole world. My hubby Greg: also a teacher and a coach as well. Hes a hard working guy who sometimes forgets to stop and appreciate the little things in life. He enjoyed bits and pieces of our 2008 trip but would never call himself a fan. However, hes actually looking forward to visiting with just the 4 of us and getting away from the real world for awhile (yes, its been a stressful school year) Our 9 year old Patrick: a smart and funny kid who is a Star Wars fanatic! Hes grown up a lot since our last trip and Im hoping he will find the courage to try some of the bigger rides this year. Hes very sweet and affectionate and Im excited to get to spend some time with him like this while he still thinks Im cool! Our 6 year old Daniel. He is a bit more daring than his big brother and I think will willingly go on most rides unless they have a fright factor (like the haunted mansion). He is also very shy and doesnt particularly like people in costumes so it will be interesting to see how he handles the characters this time (he wanted nothing to do with them 3 years ago!) WHAT We will be spending 15 glorious days travelling the world!! We have 10 day tickets with the water parks add-on which should keep us plenty busy. We also will be on the dining plan which will take us to most of the restaurants Ive had on my someday list for awhile now yummy! WHEN We are leaving at 6:00 am on Tuesday June 7. Those who just finished reading my 2010 TR may find this quite amusing after my horror tales of having to leave Disney last year at this same ridiculously early hour. Somehow though it seems much more reasonable when you are leaving FOR Disney. HOW This trip came after quite a bit of discussion and negotiation! Back in 2008, I commented to Greg that it would be fun to return in 2011 for my 40th birthday and I had this dream in my mind for the last few years. About the time I turned 39, I started to bring up the idea whenever I could work it in and even talked about it in hushed tones with the boys who of course loved the idea! Greg basically ignored me at first but after awhile started responding, but not positively like I had hoped. He basically questioned what made me think it would be OK for the kids and I to go without him. You see, Greg is a basketball coach and my birthday is the week after Thanksgiving which would have meant he couldnt come. After pouting about it and trying to get my way, I realized he wasnt going to budge on the point. My tactics then changed to see when I could convince him to go. His first suggestion was spring break since his coaching season would be over. Unfortunately our spring break backs up to Easter next year and although I liked the idea of going during that time of year, the thought of those crowds just didnt appeal to me. I had been thinking so much about a winter visit and really wanted to share Christmas-time at Disney with my boys so I suggested our winter break. Unfortunately this also falls during basketball season and although they dont have games, he would have had to miss a week of practice and he just didnt feel like he could do that (plus of course, the whole crowds thing again!) I really had my heart set on going in 2011 since it not only is my 40th birthday but also the 40th anniversary of the opening of Magic Kingdom so I started looking at the crowd calendar. I commented to Greg that crowds are still not too bad in early June. The best deal out at the time was the free kids ticket and we realized that this would be our last chance to go before Patrick becomes a Disney adult. So a plan was set in motion! Being teachers, we obviously have flexibility during our summer vacation and the ability to take the time we want (wouldnt it be great to say the same thing about our finances). Greg knows about the ticket pricing and immediately started talking about a 10 day trip. I suggested we maybe add a day or two so we could have some rest time in the middle so we started to price out plane tickets. As it turns out, the best deal we could find was for a 15 night trip. We debated whether we could make it work and I decided to call Disney to find out if I had any PIN codes attached to my name and it turns out I did .Free Dining!! That basically sealed the deal for Greg, with that, we actually saved money by staying longer and taking the cheaper flights and so a trip was born! So although I wont be spending my birthday with the mouse, I am considering this my birthday trip and plan to wear the button and celebrate anyway!! Next up how will we tell the boys?