Chip is a Maniac! aka A Magical Birthday Weekend (January 10 from PC - complete!)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by nancipants, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for following!

    Thank you!

    I hadn't even thought about what we're going to do when we have kids. There's no way I'll be able to carry my kid on my shoulders, nor will my fiance. Nor would I want to! Gah, I hate it so much.

    Enjoy your cruise!

    Last day coming up. I got side-tracked. :duck:
     
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  3. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Day Three:

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  4. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Castaway Cay day had arrived! And my birthday. The coincidence was not accidental. :cool1:

    I woke up before we docked, around 7 am. First thing I did was step onto the verandah to see where we were. Castaway Cay was directly ahead and we were starting to turn in preparation for docking. The weather looked okay, not too cold but a bit windy.

    We were very concerned about wind. We checked the weather report every day for a week or so up to the cruise. I'd already come to terms with the possibility of not docking because of high winds--I know it's more likely to happen in January--and I would've had a lovely birthday otherwise. Brian, on the other hand, would have been devastated. He was looking forward to celebrating my birthday on Castaway even more than I was! Plus, on his first Disney cruise with his family, they were unable to dock because of a tropical storm.

    I came back inside and my stomach was rumbling, so ate some of my leftover chocolate chip cookie in bed. (See? They came in handy!) Brian woke up and asked where we were. I told him we were just about to dock. We got changed and went onto the verandah to watch. I could tell her was very nervous. I tried to be light-hearted and positive.

    And we docked! Yay!!!

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    IMG_4257 by jedimara77, on Flickr

    I was just a little bit excited, to say the least.

    We watched the first passengers debark, then headed to Cabanas for breakfast. It was quite windy while eating, and they announced that all shore excursions had been cancelled for the morning. (They'd eventually be cancelled for the entire day. I feel very lucky that we were able to dock that day.)

    After breakfast we collected our stuff from the room and practically skipped off the ship! We'd made a pact before the cruise to do as much walking as possible, and to always use the stairs. So in the spirit of that pact we decided to bypass the tram and walk to the bike rental stand. We didn't have this option in August because it was so freaking hot. It was a lovely walk and we got to see more of the island.

    We loved the bike ride we did with Brian's family in August, despite the heat, and knew we wanted to do it again on this cruise. We decided to go first thing before making our way to Serenity Bay. Once again the bike ride was awesome--lovely weather, flat road surface, and wonderful views from the observation tower. We ran into a family and the grandfather offered to take our photo. Apparently he knew what he was doing because he got down on his knees and changed the camera settings and it was the best picture from the cruise!

    So happy to be there on my birthday!

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    IMG_4266 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    Happy couple. :)

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    IMG_4268 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    One of Brian, looking toward Serenity Bay.

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    IMG_4270 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    We also went to the other lookout point, past Serenity Bay. I decided to channel Jack from Titanic.

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    IMG_4278 by jedimara77, on Flickr
     
  5. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    After the ride, we dropped off the bikes and hopped on the tram to Serenity Bay. Upon arriving we picked up our floats. (In hindsight we should have waited until we were on the island to rent these. I only used mine for five minutes. Oh well.) For adults heading to Castaway Cay, you can also rent bikes directly at Serenity Bay. We chose to rent them from the main stand because it was right there, and there's a bin you can throw your bags into while you ride. (More on that later...)

    We claimed some chairs (near a hammock!) and decided to test the water. I am a wuss when it comes to cold weather, especially cold water, so I wasn't sure if I could handle it. It was cold but after being in for awhile it wasn't too bad. The problem was the wind. (More on that later, too.)

    We walked out a bit and Brian pushed me around on the float. Fifteen minutes later I decided I was cold and we got out of the water. I ordered a Konk Kooler (because it was my birthday and it's five o'clock somewhere), and then we tried out the still-empty hammock. After falling a few times, we got in and laid there in peaceful bliss. Brian even fell asleep for about ten minutes. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of that. :rotfl2:

    With some tricky maneuvering, we eventually out of the hammock. It was very windy and I was cold, so I went to get my hoodie in my bag. Except it wasn't there.

    :sad:

    This was my precious Star Wars hoodie. I have two of them, but the first is old and I only wear it around the house. They don't sell it anymore. (Do you know how hard it is to find a Star Wars hoodie in women's sizes?) Needless to say I was freaking out because I knew I took it off the ship with me. I remembered taking it off during the walk. Where could it be???

    Brian asked if I wanted to go back to the room to look for it. I said okay, but felt really bad about taking away from our beach time. He said he didn't care. So we gathered up our stuff and took the tram back to the family beach. While there we were discussing where I could've left the hoodie. I was certain I'd had it with me on the beach, and Brian said he thought I left it in the room. Then he asked if it could be in the bin near the bike rental. I said no, because I would've put it in my bag and my bag was zipped. I made sure of it. He still wanted to check anyway. So he went to the bike rental and I went to the gift shop to buy a Castaway Cay ornament (since we were going back to the room I wanted to buy it then while we weren't rushing to get back at the end of the day).

    As I was standing at the register waiting to check out, Brian came into the store. HOLDING MY HOODIE!

    pixiedust: :worship:

    I gave him the biggest hug and then I gave my hoodie a hug. It was at the bottom of the bin. I couldn't fathom how it got there!

    Since the case of the missing hoodie was now solved, we decided to go back to Serenity Bay. I stowed ornament in my bag, donned my hoodie, and we got back on the tram.

    A silly detour, but I was so relieved. I know it sounds dumb to be freaked out over a hoodie, but it's my favorite piece of clothing by far. I will be very sad when I finally wear it out for good.

    Aaaaaanyway, we got back to the beach but we weren't super hungry yet. That happened a lot during this cruise. In August we ate like pigs, but this time I couldn't force myself to eat everything in sight, even though I wanted to! Perhaps that was a good thing. Brian and I had started watching our weight again and I decided that we couldn't eat a lot because or stomachs had already shrunk, haha.

    I decided I wanted to take a walk down to the edge of the beach. We put our stuff on some chairs about halfway down the beach, Brian grabbed his camera and off we went. I was really glad I got my hoodie back because man was it windy.

    After a nice walk, we headed to the BBQ. We'd eaten at Cookies Two last time with his family, and were excited to try the buffet at Serenity Bay. It was basically the same with the addition of really yummy ribeye steaks, but it was much quieter. I had steak, some chicken, potato salad, and watermelon. I don't think I even had ice cream then!

    We went back to our stuff and contemplated going back into the water. Then I decided that it was just too windy, both for swimming and sunbathing. Plus, it had been partly cloudy all day, with a bit of a sprinkle while we were in the hammock, and without the sun it just wasn't pleasant. It wasn't horrible, mind you, but not the greatest weather to lay out in the sun. I asked Brian if he minded going back to the ship and he said absolutely not. It was my birthday so I got to decide what we did. :cool1: He was sad because it wasn't great weather, but I was just happy to have docked! If the wind had been like that earlier in the morning, it wouldn't have happened.

    We took a few pictures before we left Serenity Bay, and of course were a bit silly. You can see just how windy it was. The normally tranquil water had waves!

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    IMG_4304 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    Me with my precious hoodie!

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    IMG_4308 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    It's really hard to take a selfie with a DSLR, by the way.

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    IMG_4327 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    When we got back to the family beach, Brian wanted to take some pictures of the ship. You can see how calm it was over on this side of the island.

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    IMG_4329 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    We tested out the water to see if we wanted to stay on this end, but it was still too cold for my tastes. Plus, no offense to the children, but I didn't feel like hanging out on the family beach. The Quiet Cove was much more my speed.

    On the way back to the ship we ran into our friend Olaf the snowman. I think he enjoyed his time on Castaway Cay, too!

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    IMG_4344 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    This is my favorite picture of Brian, ever.

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    We went back to the room and got out of our sandy swimsuits. Brian put on a football game, I have no idea which one it was but it was a playoff game. :) Note: at this point our toilet stopped flushing. I got nervous because I'd read some horror stories from when the Magic left dry dock. I called guest services and they said they could remotely fix the toilet! Wow! Sure enough, about five minutes later we heard the toilet flush. Someone knocked on the door, wanting to make sure it was fixed. Also, our stateroom host brought us ice. Yay ice!

    Since we had ice, we enjoyed an adult beverage on the verandah, watching guests return to the ship. Stitch was out taking pictures. It was fun watching that.

    After changing back into swimsuits we left the room. It was pretty crowded in the Quiet Cove, but we spent around an hour in the pool and the hot tub. Then we laid in one of the double lounge chairs, and Brian eventually got me ice cream. I had to have ice cream on my birthday!

    We'd gotten back from the beach much earlier than expected, so we had enough time to go back to the room, shower, and change (while watching more football, haha) before the show that night. We hadn't seen one so far, and since there wasn't anything else to do, I figured why not?

    The show was Disney Dreams and it was really good! Kind of cheesy, but all Disney shows are. I'm not a huge Peter Pan fan (I grew up watching the Mary Martin Broadway version), but I liked the other musical numbers. And it was nice to get dressed up and watch a show with Brian. (Why were we dressed up? More on that later!)

    We had about half an hour before our dinner at PALO! (I ruined the surprise for you), so we went to Who Wants to be a Mouseketeer? in the D Lounge. And lo and behold, I was the first one picked! :cool1:

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    IMG_4351 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    And I WON!

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    I guess I am a Disney nerd, after all.

    Me with my trophy.

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    IMG_4365 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    After the excitement, it was time for PALO.
     
  6. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Before we get to Palo, I realize I never told the story of how my hoodie got to the bottom of the bike rental bin.

    I was wearing my hoodie when I left the ship, but I got warm as we continued our walk. So I took off my hoodie and draped it over the handles of my bag. BAD MOVE, NANCI. My bag must've gotten jostled inside the bin and the hoodie fell off to the bottom. I didn't even think to look at it when I grabbed my bag, because it's so unlike me not to have stuff safely inside the bag. I'm really anal and like to organize anything. Needless to say, my lesson was learned.

    With that out of the way, it was time for PALO! We hadn't dine there on the Dream, and were excited to try it out. We felt bad missing our regular dining rotation, since it was the last night and the servers were so great, but we couldn't pass up the chance to have Palo on my birthday. Especially because nothing on the Carioca's menu really stood out to me. Also, we didn't have tablemates, so we wouldn't be messing up the server's routine that much.

    Our server at Palo was Mo and he was really nice and informative, although I did have a hard time understanding his accent. My problem, though, not his! I didn't care for much of the antipasti platter, but I tried the artichokes. I'm a really picky eater but I've been trying to expand my horizons for awhile now. My aunt took me on a Mediterranean cruise when I was 24, and her rule was that I had to try one new food every day. That's become a tradition on cruises, although I usually only get a few foods per cruise. Anyway, I didn't care for the artichokes but at least I tried!

    Then Mo bought the bread. Oh my lord, the bread. I love bread. Bread and I are BFFs. The garlic flatbread was DIVINE. So good. I could've eaten just that and been satisfied. But of course, there was more food to come!

    For an appetizer I got the Tuscan white bean soup and OMG. It was freaking delicious. I could've eaten five bowls. Brian got the pesto marinated shrimp and had the same reaction. Dinner was going wonderfully so far!

    For the main entree I wanted to try the penne arrabbiata, but was worried because it was described as spicy and I do not like spicy foods. I decided on the scallops and Brian ordered the mushroom risotto. I asked Mo if he could bring the penne as well, and he put that in the center for us to share.

    The food came, and oh it looked so good. And it tasted even better!!! The penne wasn't spicy at all. I loved it. The scallops were so tender. I tried some of the risotto and although I'm not a huge fan of mushrooms, it was very very good.

    Our entrees:

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    A close-up of my scallops:

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    IMG_4374 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    There was so much food, and we were stuffed. I think we left at least half of it on our plates. We felt so bad, because it was REALLY good. In retrospect I should've ordered half entrees of everything. I will remember to do that next time! (Also to try the beef tenderloin.)

    Even though we were full, we had to try dessert. Mo had insisted we get the chocolate souffle, and who was I to question his judgment? :rotfl:

    Needless to say, it was like heaven in my mouth.

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    IMG_4375 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    Now I am not a huge foodie, and I'm happy with Disney's crack...I mean, chicken tenders...but this was an amazing meal. We were only planning to do the brunch on our Alaskan cruise, but now I think we need to splurge for Palo dinner, too. I mean, I need to try the beef! :rotfl2:

    I'd forgotten to ask Mo to take our picture, and he was busy with another table, so we flagged down another server and asked him if he'd mind. He started asking Brian all these questions about his camera. That happened a lot! Apparently the cast members really like photography, too!

    He also took a great picture, and got the reflection of the restaurant in the glass. (Too bad it was dark outside, we would've had a great view!)

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    IMG_4378 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    We manage to waddle our way out of Palo, down the stairs, and back to our room. There we found a towel stingray!

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    IMG_4383 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    We changed into more comfortable clothes and made it to the lobby in time to catch the Til We Meet Again show. Although it was more of a character-palooza than a show. That was fine, though--it was fun! We decided to stay up top and people watch rather than join the organized chaos.

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    IMG_4390 by jedimara77, on Flickr



    After that We went to family karaoke but didn't put our song request (A Whole New World) until it was too late. Alas, we'll do it next time. Brian wanted to head to Keys for a bit, so we did, and caught more of Clara Oman. I had all these plans of staying up late and soaking in all the cruise we could, but my body had other plans. We went back to the room around midnight (which is still really late for me), and went right to bed. (We decided to carry our luggage off the ship rather than leave it outside the night before. There's only two of us, and we only had one big bag and one small roller, so it wasn't difficult for us.)

    All in all, it was the best birthday ever!!! :beach:
     
  7. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Disembarkation Day

    I woke up Monday morning, and it was time go to home. :sad:

    The problem with three-day cruises is they go by so quickly. Although I'm sure we'll be saying the same thing about our 7-day Alaskan cruise. :rotfl:

    I got up at 7 and we were already in port. We turned on our phones and I had about 50 million Facebook notifications. :rotfl:

    We got dressed and quickly packed, which involved throwing things into suitcases haphazardly. We got out in time to join the line for breakfast at Carioca's. We had no idea where our table was since we hadn't been there the night before, so we had to ask for help. Kind of embarrassing, lol. Anita and Arya were happy to see us again, and we were happy to get to say good-bye to them! I ordered the eggs for the road (I think), and Brian had a bagel with lox. We still weren't that hungry. (Of course I was starving that night, when I had to cook and clean up for myself. Hmph.)

    Then we left the ship. :sad:

    It was really quick getting through the terminal, especially since we didn't have to pick up bags. We waited maybe a minute or two for customs, were with the agent for maybe 15 seconds, and then we trekked to the parking garage. The longest wait was trying to get out of the garage, of course!

    The drive home was uneventful and we got home with more than enough time for Brian to get to work for the late shift. Poor Brian. I stayed home and surfed the DIS all day, looking at Alaskan trip reports and starting this one. Ha!



    All in all, it was an amazing weekend getaway and a super special way to celebrate my birthday. Brian and I have already talked about taking more birthday trips in the future if Florida resident specials are offered. It probably won't happen for awhile, though; between the wedding and honeymoon this year, and then trying for a baby, our time and money are tied up for a few years. But it's definitely in the back of our minds. Maybe after we have a baby and grandma wants to take him/her for the weekend. :rotfl2:

    So, that's the trip! If anyone has any questions about the new Magic or the new itineraries or just traveling without children, I'll be glad to answer. Speaking of traveling without children, it's an amazing vacation and don't let people tell you otherwise! pixiedust:

    Thanks for reading!

    - Nanci
     
  8. DisneYE

    DisneYE Mouseketeer

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    Awesome TR! Thanks for sharing it..the pictures and all.. I like your writing style and that you both are Star Wars fans...A belated Happy Birthday as well.
    You guys look like a very nice couple and I wish you all the happiness in your life together..
     
  9. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Great TR! :)
     
  10. Tluvs2talk

    Tluvs2talk <font color=teal>I feel like I am in the "Twilight

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    Nanci.
    I loved reading your trip report. Great job and great humour. I also enjoyed the pictures. My Husband and I will be sailing on the Magic Feb 28th. This will be our 11th cruise. WOHOO! Finally platinum members. We haven't been on a cruise for 4 years and can't wait. I am addicted to reading the navigators, and looking at food pictures in anticipation of what I want to order. SHHHH.. Don't tell anyone. haha :rotfl: Happy belated birthday. Glad you had a great one.

    Teri
     
  11. lilyheartsdance

    lilyheartsdance Earning My Ears

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    Awesome TR! Can't wait to go on my first Disney Cruise!!:cool1::beach:
     
  12. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much! We're very happy - especially when we're on a cruise! :)

    Thank you!

    Thanks so much! And have a great cruise! Maybe one day I'll be Platinum. :)

    I did the same thing with the menus. Unfortunately we were the first cruise with that itinerary from Port Canaveral so I had no navigators to study! Waah!

    Thank you! You will have a blast!
     
  13. knkmom

    knkmom Mouseketeer

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    Awesome TR!! I've really enjoyed reading about and seeing your pics! We are planning our first Disney cruise for May 2015! :)
     
  14. TexDis

    TexDis Mouseketeer

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    Great report! I'm sailing the 3 day on Feb 28th and really enjoyed getting to see the Navigators to help with planning. Thanks for posting them.
     
  15. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for reading! You will have a fantastic time.

    You're welcome! Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great cruise.
     
  16. AquaDame

    AquaDame Are we there yet?

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    Great trip report! We are on the bus to the airport having just done the same itinerary... What a quick one that was! Now I want more! :lmao:
     
  17. babynala

    babynala DIS Veteran

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    Just finished your TR and really enjoyed your great descriptions. What a great way to celebrate your birthday! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos (really like that one of you two at Palo).

    Looking forward to hearing about your upcoming Alaskan cruise. Do you have a PTR for that one?
     
  18. disprincess4ever

    disprincess4ever DIS Veteran

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    Yay! This was a fun report to read. :good vibes Loved your sense of humor and especially the post about loving bread and Palo! Can't wait to read your report about Alaska in the future. :thumbsup2
     
  19. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    I know what you mean! I can't wait for our trip to Alaska. Thanks for reading and I hope you had a great cruise!

    Thank you for reading! I have to credit the fiance for all the pictures. :)

    I don't have a PTR for Alaska because honestly we haven't done much planning yet, other than booking airfare and looking at hotels for Vancouver. Maybe once our booking window opens and we scramble for Palo brunch reservations. :) I do plan on doing a TR, though!

    Thank you for reading! I loved your Mediterranean TR, by the way. Maybe for an anniversary trip someday... :)
     
  20. LivingforDisney

    LivingforDisney Mouseketeer

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    Loved reading your report.
    I am planning a Jan 2016 (long way off) Disney Magic hopefully, 7 night cruise, with my 17 & 15 year old kids.
    Did you play Bingo, I love playing Bingo. If so how much does it cost? Also, I read the times , so then does that give you enough time to make it to dinner, we will be doing the later setting for dinner.
    Also, it is safe to leave your bag on a chair whilst swimming at CC, and what do you have to take with you, just camera, would I need to take money?
    ,

    Thanks
     
  21. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    Hello! Thanks for reading!

    I did not play Bingo, so I'm not sure how much it cost. There's usually plenty of time to do a pre-dinner activity and make it to dinner. They schedule 7 o'clock activities purposefully so that people doing the early dinner and the late dinner can all attend.

    There's no need to take money to Castaway Cay unless you are purchasing stamps at the post office. Every other place uses the Key to the World card and charges it to your stateroom account. The crew will hand you towels as you disembark. Lunch is provided on the island. All you'd need to bring is a camera, sunblock, maybe a water bottle (water coolers are stationed throughout the island), and whatever else you want while you're lounging on the beach (book, etc). I felt safe leaving my stuff on the lounge chair, but I made sure it was in clear sight while I was in the water.
     

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