Cruisin into Spring Training-VWL & 4 Nt Dream 3/22-28/13 COMPLETE! 8/11

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by podsnel, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Or...what I affectionately call the "Mommy and Me, Cruisin' the High Seas" trip- DS13 is not really feelin the love for that title, though, so we'll humor him. But we all know what it's REALLY called! :rotfl2: So here begins another TR- welcome back if you've been reading along on my other ones, and welcome first timers too! I'm Ellen, mother of 3 boys, Sean (18), Tyler (15) and Timmy (13- although he turns 14 tomorrow!), and wife of nearly 27 years to my handsome Pods. :goodvibes But this trip is just about 2 of our characters, Moi and my youngest, Tim. My husband is a CPA, so was busy, busy, CRAZY busy with tax season, while Sean (who attends a school out of district for Autism) was in school and Tyler was committed to playing baseball at the High school all week. This is what my Tim will be doing next year for Spring Break, he'll be at the High School and playing baseball. With only one more Spring Break to take, I frantically planned- we actually started out going to an all-inclusive with friends in Mexico, which was then changed to a cruise on RCCL Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne, NJ..... BUT....that didn't quite work out, so I ended up booking the 4 night Dream cruise, because while Tim was happy to go back on Explorer with friends, he was NOT willing to go again without them (he thought the ship was boring when we sailed 2 years ago and the counselors stunk)- DCL was the only option- he was very comfortable taking any Disney cruise alone with just Mom. I was able to use my DVC points for 2 nights at VWL- our last WDW DVC to stay at- and after freaking out over airfare, found round trip from NJ at just under $1000 for the two of us- which STINKS, but is expected when you travel the week of Passover and Easter. Anyway.....let's get the show on the road....back with our first day in just a minute! :thumbsup2

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    Table of Contents

    Day 1, March 22- Travel, VWL, Kona Café dinner
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    Day 2, March 23- Roaring Forks brekkie, Yankees vs. Tigers, test Track, BOG, pack up for DCL!
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    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48160097&postcount=58
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    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48178338&postcount=86
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48178562&postcount=88

    Day 3 March 24, VWL/WL photowalk,Roaring Forks breakfast, FW Bike Ride, Disney Dream bus, embarkation, cabin 6002, Edge & Vibe,
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    Dismeet, muster- http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48484901&postcount=167
    5/25 Sailaway & Kids clubs http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48496262&postcount=179
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    6/8 Alex, Enchanted garden, Skyline http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48628580&postcount=200

    DAY 4, March 25
    Royal Palace Breakfast, Gym, Aquaduck & 100 reasons why I am cancelling my Norwegian Breakaway cruise, LOL- http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48629102&postcount=201
    6/15 Hangin on the Dream in Nassau and why you should eat at Cabanas for lunch that day http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48690854&postcount=225 http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48691742&postcount=226
    7/2 Mixology, RP, Pink http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48838969&postcount=250
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48839078&postcount=251

    DAY 5 March 26

    7/5 Castaway Cay! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48864660&postcount=268
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48864707&postcount=269
    7/13 Bike Ride drama http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48951088&postcount=285
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48951213&postcount=286
    7/17 CC and Room Service
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48990019&postcount=307
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48990537&postcount=308
    7/24 YoHoYoHo.... http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49062559&postcount=342
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    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49068341&postcount=347

    DAY 6 March 27

    7/31 Breakfast In EG again http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49134452&postcount=375
    8/1 Rainforest, Lunch, Cove Cafe http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49146096&postcount=381
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49146110&postcount=382

    8/9 Around and about http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49231131&postcount=400

    8/10 Animator's and Pink http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49240992&postcount=412
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49241096&postcount=413

    DAY7 March 28, 2013

    8/11 ICK!!! The END! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=49248674&postcount=424



    A Blast from the past- Tyler's 13 year old surprise reaction, 2011! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48149717&postcount=41


     
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  3. tammy

    tammy DIS Veteran

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    :cool1::cool1:Hi Ellen! I am first and a lurker at that. I have followed your trip reports for a while now but never replied. That will change as of today. Can't wait to hear all about your adventures. :yay::yay:
     
  4. marquislaura

    marquislaura Mouseketeer

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    Excited to hear all about your trip!
     
  5. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Our trip began on 4/22, the Friday before the cruise. Not wanting Tim to miss any more school than necessary, I ended up pulling him out that day at 12:30 for a 2:30 flight. (That was it for school missed- the rest of the week was off). I had quite a time getting decent airfare- we fly out of Newark Airport, and in case you haven't heard, United basically has a monopoly over the airport- so they can do whatever they want with their pricing. This airport is 20 minutes away from our home, which makes it sooooo convenient and soooo hard to fly from elsewhere (our next closest airport is JFK, about 1 hour away- non rush hour). In the end, we flew down on United, and home on JetBlue. The night I booked the flights, United was selling 1st class seats for LESS than coach! :confused3 So...1st class for us! :yay: We had, I have to say, the MOST amazing transportation mojo this entire trip- beginning with our car service dropping us at the curb, walking right through security one two three...and down to the gate and right to our seats. Pretty cool! Once we were airborne, we were served lunch. Timmy had a cheeseburger-

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    While I had a shrimp salad & chicken tortilla soup-

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    Our seats were a little bigger, but no individual tv screens- I really wish United would finish updating their planes, it is ridiculous.

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    Soon it was time to get off- so my baby stood up-

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    Ummm, yeah- he's a little tall. Actually, he is the tallest of all our boys, beating Tyler by a hair. He REALLY enjoys that fact! :rotfl:

    We walked right on the DME, and left right away...and soon saw-

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    First stop was GF, and I admired the progress over there on the new DVC-

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    We had no one to drop at the poly, so...WL was next! (the Contemporary was after us)

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    We were checking in pretty late- I had done online check in (which took about 2 hours trying to figure out on Disney's new-and-improved-for-I'm-not-sure-who website, but I was expecting to get the dumpster view studio (my guess was that anyone earlier had snagged the closer, non-dumpster rooms). But first, a pic in the MAGNIFICENT lobby-

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    On the way....

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    As I said, this was our last WDW DVC to stay at (and our 2nd to last of them all- after we stay at GCV this summer, we will have stayed at EVERY one! :banana:). There are a couple of reasons why. First was we live in a house that backs up to acres of woods- so, a "woods" themed vacation seemed a little too familiar. Second- we own at AKV. Which we love. Which is designed by the same architect. There are a LOT of similarities between these two resorts (and Aulani, and I am sure I will feel this way at GCV in a couple of months, both of which also had the same architect, Peter Dominick). And I had kind of been thinking of WL as AKV with logs and not animals.

    Sorry. I was soooo wrong. :guilty:

    The theming here is SO uber Disney!! The MUSIC!!! It made me feel like we were on a grand, epic adventure in the great Northwest! The scent in the air! The birds singing!! The way the lights twinkle like fireflies outside!! I NEVER expected to get so attached- to be so blown away. But I totally was. It felt AWESOME to be there!!! Not to mention, it brought back every good and wonderful memory of The Wonderful World of Disney I had watched when I was a kid- all that adventure stuff- VWL had me at "Welcome Home". :rotfl:

    Oh. And the rooms- pictures NEVER do them justice. They are lovely and rustic.

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    Even when you get.....


     
  6. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    The dumpster view. :rotfl2: Which I guess is technically NOT, because we were on the 2nd floor, or they moved the dumpster. But a service view none-the-less. But who cares? We will barely be here to enjoy the dumpster view this visit, and we have had great view Karma in the past, we were due for the dumpster! :rotfl: By the way, we were in room-

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    which was the second to last room at the end of the hall. More room pics-

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    So, it's 6:30 pm, and Timmy tells me he is tired and wants to take a nap.

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    HUH???????? Sorry Tim, but we have to go to dinner- you can rest for a few minutes while Mommy takes more room pics, but then we are getting on some boats and heading to the Poly.

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    What an adorable doggie!

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    A mickey in the shower...

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    And off we went, to find a boat to a boat....


     
  7. WannaBeADisMom

    WannaBeADisMom WDW...it's my "happy place"....

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  8. CRdisMom

    CRdisMom DIS Veteran

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    I'm subbing too. I loved the WL. It is so much like home in the woods to me. Super excited to see more about the trip and you in a few days...
     
  9. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    I'm in girlfriend, now going back to catch up. :goodvibes
     
  10. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    I forgot to post this pic from my cell phone, our first thrill ride of the trip, back at MCO-

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    Tim and I ventured out to find the boats- with our AWESOME and totally EXCELLENT transport mojo, of COURSE a boat docked right away!

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    While it wasn't really time for sunset, it kind of looked that way...due to all the clouds-

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    Our mojo continued at MK, when we got off of the WL boat and right onto the Poly boat. Unfortunately, while we had GREAT transport mojo, we had absolutely NO weather mojo, and it began to POUR!

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    I do believe the rain was coming from every direction- it was falling down AND up AND sideways! Really, all anyone could do was laugh about it- even all of us in the back of the boat, watching as we were taking on water-

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    Don't know if you can tell from this pic, but there were about 4 inches between us and Bay Lake! :rotfl: Our Captain sang sea-faring songs the whole time, even as he was getting pummeled and soaked! He was a riot!

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    We went to GF first, and I got a better pic of the construction-

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    Lucky for us, the rain had slowed to a drizzle, and we had minimum soakage on the way inside to the Poly for our dinner at-

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    Our ADR was at 7, and we were about 15 minutes late. They handed us a buzzer, and we walked around- I checked out the sushi at Kona Island. This was a Caterpillar RollInside out Tuna roll, Shrimp Salad Tempura crunch topped with a layer of Avocado 12.99

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    I will guess this was a Volcano Roll Spicy Tuna Seafood Lau'ai with Tempura Crunch 14.99

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    Is this a Shrimp Tempura Roll Tempura Shrimp, fresh Mango served with Lilikoi sauce 13.99 ?

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    After just a few minutes, we were seated in Kona Café. This was our first visit here for dinner, although we have been many, many times for breakfast (which, obviously, we love!). But somehow, even though we have made numerous ADRs here for dinner, it always has gotten nixed in the past- usually because we have gone there for breakfast instead and chose not to repeat the same venue. At night, the lights were pretty!

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    Tim was happy I had dragged him away from the bed-

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    even if he looks half-asleep! I ordered a glass of Albarino- it was $10, and I felt like it was not that great of a pour- but I came to find that this was just how small their pours are at WDW, now. Although looking at it here, it looks fine- maybe I was just extra thirsty that night, LOL!

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    I was VERY excited to try the Hawaiian bread that they serve, and it was heavenly with the mac nut butter- but it was young timothy who devoured the loaf, butter free-

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    Tim chose Sticky Wings - Glazed Chicken Wings with tangy Mustard Drizzle and Toasted Sesame Seeds $8.49 for an app-

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    And he ate every bite-

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    He also had Teriyaki Style New York Strip - sirloin strip grilled with pineapple teriyaki glaze served with sticky rice and stir-fried broccolini $28.99

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    He ate all the steak, but refused to touch the broccolini- I think because it looks like broccoli rabe, which he hates. Both are 2 of my fave veggies, but I was waaaaaay too full for even a bite- because I over ordered. After admiring all that sushi next door, I just HAD to try some. So for an app, I had- Citrus Hamachi Roll Citrus marinated Yellowtail with Tempura Crunch 12.99

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    It was really good, and I should have stuck with my original plan of getting a kona salad along with it- it would have been just right. But when I ordered, I blurted out that I would have Pan Seared Duck Breast - served with mung, adzuki and cranberry beans with chorizo sausage and spinach in a tamarind gastrique $21.99

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    It was very interesting with that great variety of beans, but I was able to barely put a dent in it due to being already full from sushi and bread!

    Cont'd next post-

     
  11. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Great start! I'm staying at VWL next trip to WDW so I love TRs with photos. I stayed at the lodge some 15 years ago, but have yet to see the villas. I can't wait to hear about the Dream, but I may be AWOL for a bit as I'm boarding the Magic in two days!

    I can't wait to hear all about your trip!
     
  12. JKSWonder

    JKSWonder Twelve plus trips and counting

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    All subbed up!
     
  13. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    One of the biggest reasons I had always wanted to come to Kona for dinner had to do with their desserts- mainly, for my kids. I knew that they would go CRAZEEEEE for a Kona Cone- which was an ice cream cone served in a cone stand with fluffy blue clouds of cotton candy surrounding it. Well, all the ingredients were there in Tim's cone, but- he got a Kona Bowl instead. We didn't order a bowl, it is just how it was. Which, of course, did not matter to anyone except the photographer, LOL!

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    Tim still enjoyed every bite!

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    We enjoyed our meals, I would definitely go back, but next time, I would get a salad with my sushi (that Kona Salad looks REALLY good!).

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    While we were dining, I pretended to let it slip that we were going to SeaWorld the next day. Tim knew that we would be going "off campus" on Saturday for months, but he had no idea why or where.

    He was TOTALLY convinced we were spending the day with Shamu tomorrow.

    And he was SOOOOOOOOOO wrong about that! :rotfl2::cool1:

    After dinner, we were headed back to VWL- so we hopped right on the monorail that was waiting for us, and then walked right down to the dock and boarded the boat back to WL. The Water Pageant was going by, and when we docked, I took a pic-

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    And cracked up, because once again I was seeing the long ago elusive Electric Water Pageant- now if I am anywhere near Bay Lake and the sun is not shining, well- I'm watching the parade whether I am looking to, or not. :rotfl:

    It was pretty chilly this night, but we enjoyed our walk back to our room nonetheless.

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    The haze was not on my camera- it was coming from the pool-

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    And I was once again surprised by just how beautiful this resort is- in photos, big deal, it's a pool. In person, that pool is gurgling like it truly is a hot spring- excellent!:thumbsup2 we took a little walk through the Carolwood Pacific room, where some small children were enjoying a Disney movie.

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    It was very warm and comfy in there- and I would be back to take better and more photos on another day. But right now, Tim wanted to hit the sack. He was still so tired! I think he has been growing so much lately, it was exhausting him- he finally snapped out of it later in the week on the cruise, thank goodness. So, once Tim was in bed, I went down to check out the Mercantile and buy a bottle of wine for the room...on the way-

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    I sat on our balcony and had a glass of that wine before turning in. Tomorrow I had a HUGE surprise for my youngest Yankee fan- can't WAIT!!! :yay::yay:


     
  14. MomToPrincePhillip

    MomToPrincePhillip Mouseketeer

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    I'm here and I'm loving this so far, your vacation is off to a great start. I love that you were surprised at how much you like VWL! I've never been but kinda find what I've seen at little, meh, so you may just change my mind about the place.

    I'd love your advice since you've been to Kona Cafe for breakfast...we are going for the 1st time in like 15 days, and I'm torn between the Tonga Toast and the Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes. Have your tried either of those? and what would you recommend?
     
  15. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Hi Tammy!! Thank you for coming out of lurkdom to say hello-it ios the ULTIMATE compliment for a TR writer such as myself! :goodvibes I am so happy you are reading!

    Hi there, marquislaura! I'm very glad you are excited to hear about it, I am certainly excited to relive it with you! :banana:

    Hi Joanie- I love you. :love:

    I forgot you stayed there- and I am SUPER excited to see YOU in 2 weeks!! :dance3: DISmoms 5...WOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!:dance3:

    Hi Jenny!! :hug: I hope you enjoy this TR and it gets you excited for YOUR Mommy and me trip with YOUR not-so-little guy! :lovestruc
     
  16. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Hey Alison! so happy you found me so fast! :goodvibes I am VERY envious of you getting off the Dream not so long ago and already heading back on DCL- not that I'm complaining about going back to WDW in 2 weeks. :rotfl: Have a BEAUTIFUL time on your Magic cruise! :woohoo:

    AWESOME!!!! :hug:

    That is EXACTLY how I felt- totally MEH.... I was really wrong- it is absolutely lovely there, a full experience from top to bottom. Very immersive, almost like they should call it the WL ride instead of resort! :lmao:

    YES! I have had both! And I prefer the pancakes or the Somoan over the tonga toast....not to confuse you further.:rotfl: The Tonga Toast is very, VERY sweet- it is coated in sugar and my teeth ache when I think of it- but my son, Tyler, ADORES it- I think it is his favorite WDW breakfast. We usually manage to order one each of those 3 things and then share. What day are you going? I will be there with 3 of my girlfriends on Saturday morning, May 4th....:dance3:
     
  17. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

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    Loving it so far. I think your "youngest" looks taller than in your last report.
     
  18. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Thanks! :goodvibes And yea- he is for SURE taller than the last TR- about 1 month before this trip was when he passed his big brothers- although Tyler is close, but Tim has the edge...:rotfl:
     
  19. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    I'm in!

    Love WL...I've got to stay there some of these days! I tried once but that's another story. :)

    So glad Tim is still willing to travel with his Mom! I hope you guys had an awesome trip.

    Jill in CO
     
  20. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    I'm in, securing my place here!

    Now going back to read! :thumbsup2
     
  21. KristiMc

    KristiMc DIS Veteran

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    Yay - another Ellen trip report! So nice that you were able to take a one-on-one trip. I will have to try to do that someday.
     

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