Sorry--I posted this to ther other trip report board (habit) CAST: MEalmost 40, Trip Planner Extraordinaire DH40, will assume various roles throughout the trip. Today will be The Village Idiot. TUSThe Ugly Stick. DH's walking stick which has a snake's head & rattler tail on it (yepreal but dead rattlerYUCK!!) April 21 It's finally here! Today we leave to spend a week in FL doing what we do bestcelebrating our Tenth Anniversary at Islands of Adventure/Universal Studios and Disney World!! This trip started as a combination work/play trip, then the work portion was canceled so it became all playCOOOOL! The rules for this trip were simple: NO PLANNING. Take each day as it comes and relax, sit back and just enjoy our time at the parks. What?!? No planning beyond the hotel?!?! I LOVE to plan. I have to plan. I NEED to plan. But okay, I'll try it. I have decided that this no planning, relaxed touring can cause enough stress in a die hard Disney planner to warrant heart palpitations. But I survivedbecause I had secretly planned in my headLOL. Anyway, on with the show. We like to watch the sun come up as we drive and sometimes will pull of the road if we see a particularly great sunrise. It was cloudy today so no spectacular sunrise but that's okmore time on the road means we get to Orlando quicker. Do I look that overweight? We're on the road by 6:00 am and have a fairly uneventful drive down I 75. We know we're on our way to Disney World when we cross the GA-FL border and see an immediate 30 cent per gallon gas hike. We stop in Gainesville to have a Bob Evans breakfast/lunch. What? Gainesville? We ALWAYS stop in Ocala at the Bob Evans there. But, ok. We can try this one. Now, a little background. Both DH & I are short little round people (translate to need to lose weight). DH has been losing weight and I have been trying, but... So anyway, he gets a big breakfast (complete with sausage gravy and biscuits). I get a salad. When the waitress brings the check she gives DH the check and hands me the dessert menu and tells me I have to look at the menu and the strawberry pie is delicious. She then walks away. DH bursts out laughing and says the look on my face is priceless. HELLO THEREI got a salad. Did ya think that might be a clue I wouldn't want dessert???? So we laugh about it, pay the bill and get back on the road. I guess I REALLY need to get serious about a diet. We arrived at the Hard Rock Hotel around 2:00 pm. Check in is very quick (no one else in line) and we are given an upgrade. I'm not sure what the upgrade view was but we went from a standard room to a king deluxe. This hotel is awesome. I immediately started having a case of the "mommy guilts" because I knew my DS (18) would LOVE it and he was left home for this trip. Our room was on the main floor and overlooked a courtyard and parts of the bay. We didn't have a balcony but that was okay. We were only staying at HRH for one night. The room had a king size bed, a small sitting area, mini bar, and very large bathroom. The two sink vanity was inside the bathroom, not outside like it is in many hotels. We unpacked, had a short "discussion" on the need to take the ugly stick to the park. DH wanted Merlin to see it. Okaybring the thing but keep the snake's head away from me. We then headed out to IOA. I stopped by the concierge desk and purchased our three day passes from them so we wouldn't have to wait in line at the park. The boat came within 5 minutes and we enjoyed a nice boat ride to CityWalk. Please see Part II.