Frozen.... in the NorthEast - August 2014

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by DisMom1981, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    Hello Dis Friends! This is my very first PTR which will be followed by my very first TR #overachiever. My name is Ann and this will be my second trip as a mommy and probably my sixth or seventh trip overall. I'm inspired by the many amazingly detailed reports that I have read here and my love of writing. Of course the biggest inspiration for this is my love of all things WDW related. It is my happy place. Even while disgustingly sweating through my clothes and handing out melting Mickey Bars to my sassing, overstimulated children in the overbearing August heat, it is my happy place.

    So, who are we?

    I'm Ann and my DH is Tom. We were married 7 years ago.
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    I'm an elementary school teacher and he is an insurance adjuster for cars.
    We met almost 11 years ago while in college and we've been together since. I grew up with Disney. My mom worked for The Disney Store for many years and my parents worked very hard to take us on the vacations we went on. My new favorite Disney movie is Frozen which we saw New Year's Day and inspired the name of this PTR (along with the blizzard that is about to hit our state)- I really want to watch it again and again you guys. I loved everything- the characters, the music, the story, the animation. LOVED!! Before my favorite was Beauty and the Beast, for similar reasons. Goofy was my favorite childhood Disney character and as a grown up I think the fab 5 + Chip and Dale in the classic cartoons really can all be my favorites. Aside from Disney and writing, I enjoy good food, good company, and reality tv/Days of Our Lives (I know.....).

    DH is NOT a Disney man. :worried: However, he appeases me. He does love cars, maintaining our lawn/landscape, good food, good company, rock/classic rock music, and NY sports (Jets, Mets, Islanders).

    Here is another picture of us young and carefree with our dog Grady.
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    And here we are last month at a cousin's wedding.
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    DS - TJ is going to be five in about a month. We don't call him TJ, he is our Tommy, but TJ will probably bode better for blogging purposes. His favorite Disney characters are probably Donald, Chip, and Dale classic cartoons and Lightening McQueen. TJ loves Cars- there was a period of a few months where we watched this movie up to 3 times a day. He also just loves cars- and since he was two years old he could walk through a parking lot and identify the model of most cars and the make of lots of cars. It is his thing- almost savant like. TJ also loves telephone poles and is very curious about electrical workings and outlets. He is unique in his interests but a social love bug who loves to play with everyone!
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    Just look at this face! Can you see the halo shining above his head?!?!?! For reals, he loves hard and he makes me crazy hard-er sometimes! He knows the buttons to push, is very curious and very active. He is also hard headed (ahem like me) and when he gets his mind set on something it can lead to a battle if you want his mind set on something else!

    Here he is with his dad in front of the telephone poles in Casey Jr. Splash area. Bet you didn't know, but there are telephone poles as part of themeing in each of the WDW parks- we found and took pictures with all of them!
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    And our baby is Aly (Alyssa). She is 2 1/2 and quite the spitfire. She loves, loves, loooooves Minnie Mouse and 'Inder-lella' (Cinderella). Honestly, she is quite fond of all of the princesses and this Christmas season we probably watched 'Mickey Christmas" (Mickey's Christmas Carol) enough to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. She keeps asking to go to "Mickey Castle" again and she often will recall WDW memories from last summer, "I go on Dumbo ride" "I went on teacups" and my favorite, when we pass under the Metro North train station/tracks she exclaims "I see the monorail!"

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    I'm not kidding.....she LOVES Disney!

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    I am so blessed to have such an amazing, loving, healthy family!

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    That just leaves the dog, Grady. He is 7 years old and used to be very important- so important, I used to have a blog named after him! Call me heartless, but now he is more of an annoyance and imposition- he demands lots of attention, but he does love the kids and tolerates lots of rough play from them.
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    Well, this nutty bunch- minus the dog and possibly plus a few extended family members- will be traveling to the world the end of August. I hope you will join us (me) in the trip planning and enjoy our nutty day to day reports.

    In the next blog I'll run down the previous family WDW trip and the rough outline of what we'd like to do for this upcoming trip! Thanks for stopping by!
    C-Ya real soon!

    PS - How do I change the pictures sizes so they aren't so.......gigantic?
     
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  3. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Hi Ann!!! Super excited you've started a PTR! I love it so far!

    The kids are adorable! Soooo adorable! And I think your dog is adorable too!

    I did not k now that about the telephone poles... Weird. I will have to look for them. See - every new trip is an adventure!

    And I think your pictures are the perfect size - they aren't too big on my screen.

    D~
     
  4. cogero

    cogero DIS Veteran

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    your PTR caught my eye because we are going in August too.
     
  5. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    Great! I am so so excited. It feels like so long ago the last time we were there!

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  6. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I hope I stick with it! I wouldn't have noticed telephone poles if I didn't have the telephone magnet child tagging along!

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  7. mom2clr

    mom2clr Mouseketeer

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    Followed over from the FB page. :wave2:

    I'm still playing with our dates (sometime between 8/19-8/27 depending on airfare) but it looks like we may overlap at the end of your trip. Right now I am looking at staying at POP also but if I get a good tax refund it may be changed to POFQ.

    My DDs are also around your kids age (DD1 will be 6 in Feb and DD2 3 in Mar).

    Looking forward to reading about your preparations!
     
  8. Mousemommy1

    Mousemommy1 DIS Veteran

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    Followed your link from FB!! :goodvibes

    You have a lovely family! :cutie:

    Wasn't frozen awesome?!?! I absolutely LOVED it, and haven't loved a movie like that in awhile. We finally got to see it over Christmas break. Because of this stinking snow (we are even northeastern than you in NH!) the kids did not return to school today and won't be returning tomorrow either. :scared1: I am jealous though, because they are going to stay with family friends tomorrow and going to see Frozen again!!!

    Can't wait to hear more details! :hyper:
     
  9. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    Aly turns 3 in June and TJ is 5 at the beginning of Feb so they are so close in age! It will be fun to trade tips! Last year we used our phones/iPod touch a lot! I've heard POFQ is amazing! I love the water slide!

    Thank you! Frozen was AMAZING! We will probably be home tomorrow and we had an early dismissal today.

    Thanks for following along!
     
  10. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Fq is our favorite resort, this will be our third stay and we love it there. To us its perfect in every way, so I am sure you all will love it too.

    There is one down side, however, if this is your first Disney stay, you'll never want to stay anywhere else. Lol we always toy with other resorts, but we just can't do it.

    D~
     
  11. mom2clr

    mom2clr Mouseketeer

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    My first onsite resort was POFQ and I fell in love. :love: Stayed at POP the following trip to save money and take a longer trip. This last trip we stayed at POFQ again. Airfare is what's cutting into my budget! I'm hoping once the smaller airlines (Southwest, Frontier, etc) extend their flights thru August that JetBlue will be forced to bring down their fares. We shall see. :)

    No school here for us either (or work). Everything is white outside and the temperature is dropping. We have been in our new home since August so having grown up in apartments this whole taking care of the snow thing is completely out of our league. My poor DBF seems to be enjoying it more than I thought though. :rotfl2:

    Hope everyone stays warm!
     
  12. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    What other resorts have you stayed at? I'm hoping when the kids are bigger and we need more space/bigger beds we will splurge for the nicer resorts. For what we are saving but not doing DCL I felt we could justify staying deluxe but DH wasn't "buying into" my thought process lol.

    ***Ahhh the laptop. When I sign in to the Dis on my laptop it is a whole other ballgame. I can see where you've stayed before!!

    Pop was our first onsite last summer. As a child we always stayed off property- even with my mom's Disney discount it was cheaper if you can believe that! That's how my parents made it work and we always had a great time- it was hard for me to justify staying on property at all the first time except that I always really WANTED to. Anyway, it was so worth it and my parent came along with us and even agreed it was worth it.

    Oh there was one trip where we did our usual stay off property but for a special treat we stayed in CR garden room for one night haha. And there was an extravagant HS grad getaway I was sucked into with a bratty cousin where we dtayed at the wyndham palace in DTD which doesn't really count but it was the fanciest resort I've ever stayed in and was walking distance to DTD and PI which was fun!

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  13. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    Today was a snow day! I got to spend another bonus day with my children and even Tom stayed home, that is how bad it was here. We played Wii, ate a big egg/bacon/cheese breakfast, played out in the snow and watched Cars.

    After an entire year of waiting after our DCL vacation (WDW was planned during post DCL blues August 2012) we were headed to Pop.

    We left home at 1 am and the kids slept for several hours making for an easy start of a long drive.

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    Because of my over eagerness and desperate need of vacation we actually left 3 days earlier than planned and stayed near Universal for 3 days to 'recover from the drive' before we checked in to Pop. It was great to have the extra leisure time to swim and hang out in Downtown Disney. The kids got their big souvenirs.

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    On the day we checked into Pop we met up with my parents who were just getting off a cruise. Grammy and Pop Pop will most likely be joining us for part of our trip again this year. Here are the shirts they bought for everyone to wear in the park so we could easily find each other.......Tom and I wrapped ours around the stroller so we could easily find the stroller. My parents proudly wore theirs on our first park day - Magic Kingdom.

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    For this past trip I was so ready for MK. I researched and followed lines and touring plans and really mapped out a touring plan for us that just worked. I think it was easier because we weren't looking to get onto headlines- but I just felt really, really prepared and we did everything and some!

    Here is how Aly felt at the end of the day.....

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    The next day we had before park opening ADR's at Hollywood & Vine. I may have been a little overeager to get there.....

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    And here is a street light that TJ really enjoyed in HS: "Two streetlights on one pole"
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    And a telephone pole:
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    HS was a half day park for us. Of course TSMM was the highlight here. Disney Junior show was like what we watch at home, so, nothing special for me, but the kids liked it. We spent a little time in Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but it was just so hot and we ate at Planet Pizza. We also met Lightening McQueen and Mater and accidentally took TJ on The Great Movie Ride forgetting how scary it is- oops. We headed back to the resort around 2 and swam/relaxed the rest of the day.

    On the third day of Disney we headed to my fave- Epcot!

    Telephone poles in the World Showcase!

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    TJ was a big boy and rode TT twice! We also took him on Soarin and both kids really enjoyed Journey into the Imagination. TJ also rode SE twice while Aly slept in the stroller and Tom and I switched off. I really like the interactive changes they made to SE and how they use your picture at the end of the ride for the story......TJ and I were hysterical over it. At night we ate at Biergarten, but it was not a good time as TJ was not behaving and I didn't really enjoy the food. Tom was bummed about that.

    The next day we breaked and went to Chef Mickey's - one of our favorite parts of the trip.

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    My parents checked out and headed back north on this day- we were all sad to part, but had such an amazing three days together!

    Next came a second MK day. Another successful RD and FP+ touring plan.
    [​IMG] Big kid MK rides for TJ and Aly were POTC. I thought we were pushing it with this ride, but I had shown TJ clips of the ride on youtube ahead of time. He did not want to go and we kind of forced him, but luckily (very very luckily he ended up being ok with it). TJ also went on Barnstormer.

    And our last day was a short one at AK. It was my first time here, it was beyond hot, and we were all exhausted. I really maxed out a touring plan for MK, but kind of dropped the ball with HS and especially AK. We saw Lion King, went on the dinosaur looking Dumbo ride, did the Safari, ate at the bbq place where a bird freaked ALY out and sent TJ in a tizzy running around the dining area chasing the bird away and yelling at it. TJ did ride Kali River Rapids with me and Tom rode on Everest- I was too chicken to go alone which I would have had to do since we had to take turns staying with the kids.

    AK telephone poles/wires:

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    So, in a nutshell- that was our trip.

    This time heading back we agreed that we still need two MK days. I think we will still do one day at Epcot, AK and HS..... at least that is what is planned for now. It stinks to pay so much to spend a half day in HS and AK, but it was nice having time at the resorts in the afternoon and helped us get the most out of Epcot and MK mornings and evenings.

    Today I sent out a rough sketch of our touring plan to extended family members so they can decide if and for what leg of the trip they will join us. I marked our ADR date on the calendar and I am ecstatic that it is a Sunday so I can get on the phone at 6am.

    Last year we did not do any EMH days. I was afraid that the parks would be too crowded and since we didn't have hoppers we would be stuck with the most crowded park of the day. This year, I've planned to try some am EMH days.

    I am rambling and it is way past my bedtime. We have an early morning as TJ is starting martial arts- should be interesting. I will reveal more about our plan as it starts to firm up as far as co-travelers goes. Also, I hope they reveal the August operating hours since my plans right now are made off of 'projected' park hours.
     
  14. mom2clr

    mom2clr Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for posting about your trip last August. My biggest concern so far is the heat. lol We have been in January, May and September. September was HOT so that's the only reference I currently have.

    I've never done EMH but I'm wondering if we should try them this upcoming trip. My girls are complete opposites. DD5 can sleep in late (easily wakes up when she needs to) and DD2 wakes up between 645-7. If I decide to do EMH, I'm thinking I may add hoppers. The baby waking up early causes her to want to fall asleep earlier but being I will have the stroller, I can easily see my oldest and I enjoying ourselves walking around the parks in the evenings. Something else to think about.

    Oh, and not only are our kids around the same age, your hubby and my DBF have the same name. lol
     
  15. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    We made it to Tae Kwon Do this morning. First TJ had a private lesson with the teacher. I literally cried while I watched- he had so much fun and followed the teacher and was exceeding my expectations. You see, we haven't had it easy- everything we do with TJ has always been a challenge for him and for us. He has some delays and we've all worked hard to close those gaps but behaviorally he is still really impulsive and sometimes downright defiant. He's never been one to participate in a circle group activity in play classes - he usually runs away from the group and does his own thing or even the exact opposite of what he knows he is supposed to do. It's mind boggling and can be very embarrassing, but I've come to understand that we all do the best we can do and not to worry about what other people think- we are not the 'typical' family and need some extra practice for what comes more naturally to other kids.

    So, the private lesson was great. There were a few instances where he finished an exercise and then would run over to us but the instructor was on it and would rope him right back in. Then came time to join the class. TJ would not go. It took all we could manage just to get him to sit on the mat with Tom and watch the class. Heartbreaking. But we are going to try to stick with it- we are hopeful that the martial arts will help with confidence, anxiety, self control and focus.

    As far as WDW goes- I'm still waiting for decisions of extended family to have a final head count for each day. I'm considering adding another day at Pop at the beginning of the trip for recovery time from the drive down. I also need the calendar for school to be approved at the next board meeting to make sure I don't need to tweak the dates before Tom puts in for the time off and I start making ADR's.

    Have a good night! C-ya real soon!

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  16. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    I've heard September and August are similar. One thing we learned last year was that the under armour sweat resistant type clothes helped stay comfortable along with the mid day break and clothes change. I had bought a few Target/champion brand shirts like that and I will probably buy more and just pack those mostly. It's not very attractive- but neither are the soaking wet with sweat "nice" clothes I wore on other days.......haha maybe TMI?

    Is your Tom a Disney man?

    Do you have a trip report? I'm terrible - I mostly operate from my phone so I don't see signatures!

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  17. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    Oh yea and the stroller was a lifesaver for both kids. They never would have done all the walking we did or we would have barely seen anything! Even the older one- I hope he can still fit in the stroller this year! I don't think TJ slept in it at all since he just had the bench part of the sit and stand but Aly fell asleep a lot of times. She had me really worried the first couple days in the parks she was barely eating or DRINKING in that heat!!! And we took breaks!!! Breaks during our park times AND the mid day breaks!

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  18. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    The part that surprised us the most about the August heat last year is... At home, when you wake up in the morning - the morning is the coolest part of the day - then as the sun comes out, the days progressively get hotter.

    August in FL is totally different. The coolest part of the day is AFTER the "4 o'clock rain" and then the heat starts to build again after that.

    So, theoretically - if you are trying to stay cool in the FL heat, you need to be touring in the evenings. :confused3

    There were a few mornings, where I opened our resort room door to head out for the day, and I thought "Awww crap..." this is gonna suck. :laughing: The heat just blasted you in your face to the point where it was hard to breathe...

    Lots and LOTS of water. It was my RULE for our entire trip, which I strictly enforced... My girls were allowed ONE small soda per day - otherwise it was water or Powerade (which I don't normally allow them to drink ever) to keep them hydrated.

    One thing my (fantastic) TA told me before we left on our trip, is ANY food place or cart that sells fountain soda will give out FREE large glasses of ice water, since it comes out of the fountain soda machine, it's filtered, and doesn't have that "odd FL water taste". Now, to me, it tasted a bit "off" - but not so much that I wouldn't drink it. And it was so much easier to grab a glass of cold ice water from a stand, than it was to lug around a luke warm heavy bottle of water all day. :thumbsup2 So, I thought I would pass along that tip.

    And don't forget the sunscreen... I brought a bazillion bottles of the spray on Coppertone cooling sunscreen (we only used two of them) - so now I have a stock for this trip... but still, really important to have sun protection while you are there.

    I did not bring along any sort of Under Armor stuff - I probably should have. For me, it was just tank tops and jean shorts... I was hot, for sure... I might invest in something like that this year, just to test it out for a day and see how it goes.

    Also, if you do the WPF&M option - which I HIGHLY recommend if you are going in August... It's a lot of fun and soooo nice to be in the water parks when it's hot.

    Sorry for taking over your PTR Ann... :wizard: BUt I thought I could offer a few things I thought useful for August. MOst of all - it's sooooo much hotter than you could ever imagine - and PLAN for the heat to exaust you, along with the walking and standing.

    D~
     
  19. mom2clr

    mom2clr Mouseketeer

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    I have all intentions of starting a trip report, but we shall see how motivated I get. :rotfl: I think once I buy airfare I will feel like the trip is more real.

    If you can see my signature it says "girls only trip" so no, my Tom is NOT a Disney fan. :lmao: He took us May 2012 but it was a tough trip. He's just not a morning person, doesn't like the heat, is a picky eater...so pretty much not a roll with the punches kind of guy which made being able to go with the flow difficult. I asked the girls the other night if we should ask daddy to come with us and before the question was done, they answered "no!". I swear I didn't influence them!:rolleyes1

    Did you use a double stroller last year? I'm planning on taking my First Years Ignite which is super light and simple for DD2 but she rarely uses a stroller here so I was toying with the idea of renting. Then I thought, maybe I should rent a double in case DD5 wants to ride, but would I have a hard time wrangling a double and 2 kids on the bus alone?? I fully plan on once the weather gets better to start our walking regime. I want to build their stamina and I know the heat will play a factor in it, but at least their little legs will be able to hold them for as long as possible. I take a lot of breaks (always did even when I went alone with oldest DD) which helps. Lots of sitting on benches and people watching. Plus at their age, anything and everything is a distraction. lol
     
  20. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    D I love your description of August heat - IT IS A BLAST TO THE FACE for sure! We utilized the free water idea- I read it on the boards. Great tip and just all around better for your health and wallet!

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  21. DisMom1981

    DisMom1981 DIS Veteran

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    I can relate to a non Disney Tom haha. He at least plays along and we had a hoot time together.

    We used a sit and stand so Aly had a seat and TJ had the stand part w the bench to sit on also. I hear your dilemma- I can't imagine folding a stroller AND keeping tabs on both kids getting on and off a bus. ::scared:: However- IMHO the stroller for both kids is an absolute necessity. Even just getting from the room to the bus in the heat- too much walking for my kids. I would go double and if you rent do a rental agency that will drop the stroller at your resort and pick it up at the end of the stay? I don't know- tough call bc I see your point about just renting in the parks so you don't have to fold up and down getting on and off the bus but you'd probably quickly get a routine down?

    Either way- have something to wrap on your stroller that will make it stand out as yours for when CMs move all the strollers around and so other guests don't mistake your stroller for theirs.

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