Grand Villa at Old Key West in March...and lots of plans to be made.

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by brewcrew80, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    I posted one of these a long time ago, for this same trip..but, I think it is too old to be open. That's more than ok. Good chance to start over anyway. I realize I'm new and nobody knows me, but if nothing else, having a written record of this trip and the planning seems like a good idea.

    Also, sorry in advance if this isn't as visually appealing as others. I'm kind of a minimalist when it comes to typing. Black and white words ...maybe a few pictures. No smileys. No pretty colors. Also, not one with the abbreviations. I've read other people's trip reports...and I don't know what half the stuff means.

    Anyway, enough with giving you reasons NOT to read this. Here is what is up.



    Starting sometime between March 19th and March 21st and ending one week later, myself and my family will be going to Walt Disney World. Spending 1 or 2 nights offsite, and the rest at a Grand Villa in Old Key West. Those reservations were made in May.

    Me-Dan-I'll be 30 at the time of the trip. Disney was a huge part of my childhood. I've been there several times, but not at all since 1998 (allthough, my wife and I did go to Disneyland for our honeymoon in 2006). I loved every trip. I love the movies. I get more enjoyment out of anything Disney than most grown, straight men.

    Wife-Kelly-She'll also be 30 at the time of the trip...barely. just 3 weeks earlier. She doesn't share my love for Disney, but made huge strides in the above mentioned 2006 trip. We've been married since 2005. We've gone on 2 big vacations with her family. But, this will be the first with my side.

    Daughter-Lydia-She'll be 2.5 at the time of the trip. She loves everything. Anytime she sees new things, she loves them. Swimming is one of her favorite things to do. It's gonna be a good trip for her.

    My Parents-this trip was their idea. They've always had the same Disney love I've had, and have been looking forward to having a grandchild to bring to Disney since the last of the kids were grown...they bought into the Vacation Club as soon as it became an option and has been saving points for a Grand Villa for a long time for this trip.

    My brother Pat...and his wife Kristen-both just 2 years younger than me. They got married in 2008. Used to live in Green Bay just a few miles from my house, but last October they moved to Columbia, SC. So, We see them on holidays. And we drove out to visit last March.

    My sister-Angie-25 at the time of the trip. Loves doing family stuff. loves spending time with Lydia. loves travelling. Possibly the only one remotely as excited for this trip as I am. She lives in St. Paul, MN.

    My brother-Tom and his girlfriend Beth-both 23 at the time of the trip. just finished college. Both have real jobs. but, they live on opposite sides of the state. future seems uncertain, but as of now, they're both coming.

    so, that's it. 10 of us. We're going over prime Spring Break times, but my wife is a high school social worker, so our options were kinda limited.

    So, on with the plans.

    Other than the fact that we know we have the Grand Villa at Old Key West from March 21st - March 26th (sunday-friday), we have no plans finalized yet. I know I would like to stay offsite for 2 nights to extend the vacation, and my parents and Angie have said they would do the same.

    Also, airfare is mostly ridiculous right now. Southwest just started flying out of Milwaukee this month, which helped. Ideally, I'd fly. But, if the costs stay the same way they are now, I think driving from Green Bay to WDW with a 2.5 year old may actually happen. It wouldn't be too bad. We're in the process of buying Kelly's parent's Honda Odessey, and Tom and Beth said they may or may not be interested in riding with us. My parents and Angie will definitely be flying. And Pat and Kristen will only have to drive from Columbia. So, I'll be keeping my eye out for cheap airfare. If it happens, great, if not, we're in no hurry to spend more than we have to on plane tickets. And, as I mentioned, we drove to Columbia last March and Lydia did very well. This would be further...but, it could be done.

    Once I get transportation nailed down, I'll start looking at hotels for the non-disney days. I know I'll have many options there.

    Also, I decided about 1 month ago that setting the Disney trip as a deadline would help lose some weight. I'm about 6' 2 and was 220 when this weight losing crap started. I'm not going crazy. just eating lean cuisine or weight watcher meals for lunch and running on the treadmill in our basement 3 or 4 times a week. There were some great immediate results, as I've lost 12 lbs so far. down to 208. 199 is the goal by march. Not overly ambitious, but it's a good round number.

    So, that's all for now. The planning is gonna shift into high gear soon, and with nothing planned yet, it could be busy and interesting.
     
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  3. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    So, Interesting day. And, frustrating day. My daughter woke up at 3:30 am. went right back to sleep. I did not. I stayed in bed until 5, then said "screw it" and hit the treadmill. then, looked at flights. I do this daily. but, i found one on southwest that leaves saturday at 5:50 pm...$74. the return fare was still high, so i figured i'd book the flight out and keep looking for the flight back. Well by this time, it was time to get ready for work. no big deal...i'd just book it when i got in. no such luck. the same flight went to $147 in the hour between visits to the site. so, that sucks. i was pretty excited to get airfare that cheap. But, it will have to wait.

    also, gotta go back on what i said earlier. I see a lot of people use colored font to distinguish themselves as the owner of the TR. so, i'll use green.

     
  4. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    Well, not much for updates at this time. I talked to my brother Tom for a while.

    -Everytime his gf comes up, the subject is very quickly changed. The whole crew is wondering if she'll be joining us, but nobody can get a straight answer. My dad said he'd invite my Grandma (86, but acts 10 years younger) if the gf doesn't go. We will see.

    -He also seems to be pushing for the wife and I to drive so he can ride with us. He loves road trips. He thinks air travel is too much stress. I am not opposed to driving if airfare stays where it is. Again, we will see.

    -Also, EMH have been posted. I never thought our trip would be dictated by EMH, but, the one nice surprise was the fact that on Monday, March 22nd, AK has EMH in the morning and DHS has them in the Evening. I didn't think anybody would have interest in spending a full day at either park...but a half day seemed too short. But, now things seem to have shaped up nicely for an early start at AK, back to OKW for a nap for the child and a lunch, then, off to DHS for the afternoon/evening. This would make the trip 3 days of park fun and 3 days of pool fun. Personally, I'd like more park days, but I think I'm in the minority there. But, EMH could really help make everybody happy.

     
  5. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    I've always wanted to stay in a Grand Villa. My brother and his family go to Disney every few years, so we might coordinate with them sometime to do it. (He lives not too far from you in New London)

    I know what you mean with the airfare. We went last March and I did the same thing. Checked every day for flights out of Milwaukee, and all of a sudden AirTran was at $46 each way. I jumped at it and booked. I was assuming that it was a problem where their website that it accidentally sold them that cheap. No one ever contacted me about a mistake, so I was a happy camper.

    We have driven since then, and like you read in my TR, it went well. So well in fact, that we are already planning to drive this March and next December. The mini van helps a lot. If you do end up driving, I'll be happy to pass on everything I learned.

    Good luck with the planning. Keep posting updates, they help me get through the long, cold winter. :thumbsup2
     
  6. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    I almost forgot - congratulations on the weight loss. I've dropped close to 40 pounds in the last year or so. It's not easy, but the results are worth it. Keep it up!
     
  7. rentayenta

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

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    :thumbsup2 You will LOVE the GV at OKW!!! We stayed there last May and it was awesome! So much room, great pools, Olivia's is sooo good, and just plain old fun!
     
  8. DisneyDaddy-O

    DisneyDaddy-O Dis Dads Club Member #286

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    I'm here and ready to read.popcorn:: I didn't see the TR in your siggie. You can type out your title of your TR in your setup and link it to your TR, that way it shows the title of your TR not the link. Just an FYI:goodvibes

    I have always wanted to stay at a Grand Villa as well, but am afraid my family and I would kill each before the trip was over. :lmao::rotfl2:

    Funny about the weight loss thing, I decided after our trip last year that it was time to do something after we came back and I saw all of our pics.:scared1: So I started watching what I was eating, walking a ton, and cut all sugars out of my diet. So far I have dropped about 75 lbs, pretty scary I let it get that far.

    Congrats on what you have accomplished so far and keep it up.:thumbsup2

    Good job on the PTR so far, looking forward to some planning.:woohoo:
     
  9. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    Yes, now that I know people are reading this, I will update way more frequently.

    And, yeah, driving, I'm mostly ok with. Kelly is on the fence. It's the drive back that gets to me more than the drive down there. Driving TO WDW seems like an exciting adventure. Driving back just sounds like a long depressing drive back into winter.

    Thanks. and thanks for the tip on the sig. Made the change.

    Nice work on the weight loss. 75lbs is mind blowing.

    oh, I'm sure I will. I've stayed there before...not in a GV. But, Kelly has kinda questioned how 10 people in one place will work. I have purposely refrained from showing her pictures of the resort. I want to see her jaw drop when we get there. :cool1:
     
  10. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    You signature link is still a bit off. Try using this, except change it from "URL*" to "URL="
    (I can't post it like that, or the boards will hide the actual URL. It's quite frustrating...)

     
  11. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    That's what we were afraid of too. But even after a vacation in paradise, there is something nice about looking forward to your own bed, your own kitchen, you're own routine.
     
  12. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    thanks! think i got it working now.

    So, in my first post, i said no colors, smileys or abbreviations.

    oops, oops, oops.

    I'll try to get pictures up at some point of the family....but, can't from work, and that's where i do my posting.
     
  13. DisneyDaddy-O

    DisneyDaddy-O Dis Dads Club Member #286

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    Link works great now!:thumbsup2

    I have not seen you on the Dis Dad's thread, this is where we talk about all things Disney and Fatherhood, hope to see you there.

    Dis Dad's Club II
     
  14. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    thanks! i'll have to check that out. still finding my way around this place.
     
  15. lovealldisney

    lovealldisney Lover of all things Disney!

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    Hi :wave: fellow cheesehead!

    Just found your pre-TR! Can't wait to hear all the plans! :hippie:
     
  16. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks. I can't wait to make them.:eek:
     
  17. brewcrew80

    brewcrew80 Mouseketeer

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    Well, probably won't have any updates for the next few days. Going out of town for the weekend. Minneapolis to see the wife's huuuuge extended family. Her mom is one of 7, so it'll be over 50 of us in the same hotel.

    But, tonight, my brother and sister are coming over on their way up to my parent's house, and spending the night. so, we're gonna order pizza and have a couple beers...and i'm sure the trip will be discussed.

    Things I'd like to find out:

    -If Tom's gf will be joining us.

    -Whether Tom is really set on driving...Wouldn't surprise me if he gave Kelly and me a big sales pitch for driving down there. I'm half sold anyway...and I think Kelly is just a sales pitch away.

    -What their visions are for the non-park days...and how many park days do think they'll shoot for....really, just curious if they'll just go with the flow or if they have specific plans for the trip.

    So, see ya Monday. I may or may not have something of substance to add.

     
  18. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    Where are you from? (I grew up near Appleton, college in La Crosse, and live in Racine now. So I guess you could say I'm from "all of it"):rotfl2:
     
  19. FreezinRafiki

    FreezinRafiki Cold enough for ya?

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    :crowded::crowded::crowded:
    Have a good trip and a Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  20. lovealldisney

    lovealldisney Lover of all things Disney!

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    Hi!
    Sorry I would have posted sooner we were out of town for the holiday.
    We live in Milwaukee! Huge Brewer fan too. Well me and my DD hubby and DS not so much. :goodvibes
     
  21. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

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    I'm in! I love reading fellow Wisconsinites' trip reports! :thumbsup2
     

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