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Happy Birthday to Joe, May 2011. . Trip Report Link

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Moira222, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    Ok folks, this is our third trip but my first time joining the Trip Reports club. I am just so dang excited!!

    Back story: we started talking about this year's trip on the flight home in January 2009. Initially we were going to do October -- see Halloween, warmer weather, and my BFF's birthday (she was going to join us). Well BFF and her DH are buying a house this year, which sort of trumps WDW if you can believe that. So as I showered on Monday (it's Saturday) I was thinking of why we were waiting for October. May is DH's birthday, he is SO anxious to return to Disney, why not? I did some research:surfweb:, posted on the DisBoards for some feedback from the masters:grouphug:, and requested a price quote from Dreams Unlimited, a first for me. DH was over the top when I suggested the new time frame.

    Ok, vacation from work and school are all approved. YIPPEE. A vacation is born!:cool1::cool1:

    So I've been reviewing park hours, crowd times, restaurants, etc to work up a schedule. I get so immersed in it that its a bad thing -- I didn't even wash last night's dinner dishes til this morning, we were looking at restaurants all evening!

    I put my deposit down through Dreams Unlimited and scheduled our airfaire from Allentown PA to Orlando. May 13 -May 22. I am doing something contrary to my own beliefs and traveling in the evening, not arriving in Orlando till 8 pm. I like to travel in the morning & make the most of the day, but the flight times and prices at the local airports made this the best choice. We will at least get to swim a bit that night and get a nice fresh start on Saturday.

    What I have done so far is review restaurants. You may think that its a strange place to start, but DH and I have been following Weight Watchers since last April. DH has lost 90 lbs :wish90 :wishsize8and I have lost 40 :wishforty. :wishsize2 (I wanted to be down a LOT more than this before our trip, but what the heck!!!) So we plan on enjoying ourselves immensely but strive to make good eating choices even at the world. If any one is interested, last night we reviewed all of the counter service locations at the parks, and rated them according to the number of "good choices" available. the higher the rating, the more good choices. I will share if anyone wants to see! When we go to WDW we get the dining plan, and then bring some shelf stable breakfast groceries. it works great for us, but counter service meals usually throw us into grease and calorie overload so that's why we reviewed the counter service menus way in advance.

    So Here is what I have so far for our trip: I will very much be planning this as I post it so will try to just keep this list updated:

    Friday May 13 5:40 flight to Orlando WOOHOOOO checking into Wilderness Lodge (WL)
    Saturday May 14
    Sunday May 15
    Monday May 16
    Tuesday May 17
    Wednesday May 18 Joe's 47th Bday!
    Thursday May 19
    Friday May 20
    Saturday May 21
    Sunday May 22 2pm flight home

    I just moved my index to this post to make it easier to jump ahead:
     
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  3. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    I spent some more time reading others PTR's, getting great ideas, and then had to create a flickr account so that I can add pictures! Then I did a big update and the thing didn't save and my internet died. So now I am working on writing separately and submitting updates. Is that how most people do it? I am a newbie to this aspect but just want to share! (note: the flickr images are not showing darn it. now i have to try again!)


    Let me give you an official cast for our trip and then update on where we are in the planning process.

    The Cast:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]First up is Joe (aka Dad). This is his birthday trip/present. His 48th bday is 5/18. While Joe turns into a big happy kid at Disney World, outside of the world he is a police officer and prefers that things run smoothly and stress free. Joe IS Mr. Incredible and has recently gone from the overweight unhappy schlep in his job guy to the super lean, take charge, happy to be saving the world again guy who always and above all loves his family.

    [​IMG]Me --Mary Ellen (aka Mom) the planner ;-) I am pretty easy going. I like to have new experiences at WDW, while not going too crazy because that would bother my hubby. I LOVE Tinkerbell starting with Peter Pan, where she just doesn't take crap from any one, even if it does get her in trouble now and again. I love going to WDW not just for the fun for me, but to see the excitement and enjoyment in my DH & DD's faces. I have been a little stressed lately with $$ concerns. I was layed off for 18 months and when I finally did find a new job, it was at a salary that brings home less than my unemployment check did. sad states in deed. However, we have been planning this year's trip to WDW for two years and come hell or high water, we are going. It will be our last visit for several years and we want to enjoy every moment!

    [​IMG]Katie is 7 --7 3/4 when we travel. She is 53" tall right now--tall for her age but still a little girl who THINKS she's a tween. She is moving into Fairies, and some of the newer princesses but is having a hard time admitting she still like princesses. Katie loves Hannah, Witches of Waverly Place, High School Musical. As an only child, she is pretty sure the world revolves around her, and DH & I have been trying (not always successfully):rolleyes: to teach her otherwise.

    Sadly, Katie does not remember much about her first two trips to WDW. We looked through pictures recently to remind her, and some of it came back. That's a little sad but also not sad because so much will be new and exciting to her again! She is tall enough now to go on just about everything so we are excited to experience some rides that we've not done before (ok I haven't, DH has.)

    Thor, our 100lb German Shepherd, [​IMG]sadly is not making the trip. NO fun for a dog in a mouse's play ground. ;-) but we will think of him and buy him toys that he can destroy in 10 minutes. :rolleyes1



    Over the past year DH & I have worked hard at eating right to be in better shape. Life is no fun when you have too many aches and pains and tire really easily. Joe's success at weight loss is very apparent, but hopefully mine will be too as we go along!
    January 2007 Family: [​IMG]


    December 2010 Family [​IMG]


    I planned our first two trips myself on the Disney web site and had a blast doing it. This year I am using Dreams Unlimited -- I was really thrilled with the rate (I couldn't' find that on my own) and really don't mind letting someone else wait on hold for ADR's! ;-) SO far it has been a very enjoyable experience. I hope it continues!

    Saturday morning I made my deposit & ordered airline tickets. Saturday afternoon I got a PIN CODE in the mail!!!! h:cheer2:ow cool was that! SO now we have courtyard view room at the Wilderness Lodge for less than our original woods view.

    Here is my list of preferred ADR's:

    Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare
    Princess Storybook dining - breakfast - at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
    Rainforest Café (Katie's favorite place to eat)
    Chef Mickey's @ the Contemporary
    Disneys Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show @ Polynesian ***(Joe's birthday pick!)
    Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot
    Turf Club Bar and Grill @Sarasota
    The Crystal Palace

    I'd like to also eat in The Biergarten at Epcot and The Liberty tree tavern. We've eaten at these before, but in 2007 so it was quite a while ago. Except for Akershus Hall & the Rainforest Cafe, all of our restaurant picks this time are brand new to us and after looking at the menus and the characters at some of them I am SO looking forward to them all!
     
  4. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    wow I just struggled to find a good way to insert the pictures here! now I am behind on actually writing about the planning process & sharing bits of who we are & our past trips with you.

    I promise i will get better at this! Now I want to go read a few more before bed time. Its late!

    ((I moved my list of links to the first post to make it easier))
     
  5. gallmcduck

    gallmcduck Gallmcduck

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    Joining in :thumbsup2 Firstly well done to you and your DH on your achievements. We have only done a few of your suggested ADRs, looks like a good mixture :cool1:
     
  6. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    Its so hard to pick, isn't it? there is awesome food everywhere. this trip will be a challenge on the eating end, we will have to be conscious of working it off with walking and swimming. I am also thinking of renting one of those surrey bikes so that while DH is running (yeck) DD and I can do a tour of the resorts that way.
     
  7. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    This time four months from now we will be in Disney World. Just can’t wait to get there.

    [​IMG]DH and I have realized that DD doesn’t remember a lot about our first two trips. We’ve looked at photos and video with her and some of it comes back but a lot of if does not. , on FlickrThat will make it even more fun because it will be brand new to her. And now that she is 53” tall we will all get to do a lot more “big kid” rides so there will be a lot of newness for the Nunes family. (that’s a rhyme, our last name is pronounced the same way...:rotfl2: yes I am corny)

    [​IMG]I have been looking at all of the attractions with a different perspective. I am, however, having a hard time removing anything from my “favorites” list so now I have almost every ride in every park marked a favorite. Does that defeat the purpose???? Hmm I may have to create a second favorites list for this trip and narrow down first the rides that we REALLY REALLY want to go on. Some of these we have done and some we have never even seen, and a few my DH did while DD and I did a more kid friendly ride (or while she napped in her stroller).

    [​IMG]Magic Kingdom:
    Tom Sawyer Island
    Splash Mountain
    Big Thunder Railroad
    The Barnstormer
    Buzz Light year’s Space Ranger Spin
    Jungle Cruise
    River boat cruise
    Monster’s Inc
    Peter Pan
    Aladdins magic carpet ride
    stich’s great escape
    swiss family treehouse
    tomorrow land speedway
    tomorrowland transit people mover
    carousel of progress

    [​IMG]Epcot:
    O Canada!
    Captain EO
    Circle of Life
    Ellen’s Energy Adventure
    Three Caballeros tour (LOVE The Three Caballeros movie, can’t believe I missed this!)
    Imageworks
    Kim Possible adventures (we didn’t see these till too late last time, so its high on our list)
    Living with the Land
    Maelstrom
    Mission Space
    Soarin”
    Spaceship Earth
    NEMO!
    Turtle Talk

    [​IMG] Hollywood Studios
    Studio Backlot
    Beauty and the Beast
    The Great Movie Ride
    Honey I Shrunk the kids play ground (Katie loves this one)
    Journey into Narnia
    Lights, Motors, Action
    Magic of Disney Animation (DH missed this last time but DD and I loved it. He draws cartoons and graphic art as a hobby so this is a must for him)
    Muppet Vision 3-D
    Rock n Roller Coaster
    Sounds Dangerous w Drew Carey
    Toy Story Mania
    Tower of Terror
    One Man’s Dream

    [​IMG]Animal Kingdom (DH is not a big fan here, but I insist on taking him for at least one full day so I have yet to see everything on my list here!)
    Affection Section
    Conservationj station
    cretaceous trail
    dinosaur
    Expedition Everest
    Kali River Rapids
    Kids Discovery clubs
    wildlife express train

    Wow looking at this list you would know we’d been to WDW twice! but some of these were too much for Katie (either content or just attention span) and some we did do, they were just so awesome they made on the Must Do list again!:dance3:
     
  8. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    [​IMG]

    I was able to get all of the ADR’s I wanted, but now I am rethinking the Turf Grill at Sarasota Bay Resort. It looks pretty out of the way, and the reviews I read basically tell me its hit or miss, nothing spectacular, and not always worth a special trip there. So hmmm where to go instead? I am thinking the Ohana at Polynesian, the Liberty Tree at MK or the Biergarten at Epcot. decisions decisions. I have an ugly head cold right now so picking anything food that isn’t hot soup or tea is not as easy as usual. sad, isn’t it?

    Friday 5/13 8pm arrival at Orlando Airport.
    Saturday 5/14 Parks: Magic Kingdom and Epcot; 4:30 Dinner at 1900 Park Fare, Grand Floridian,
    Sunday 5/15 morning till ?? Epcot; Breakfast at Akershus;
    Monday 5/16 Animal Kingdom, lunch at the Rainforest Cafe
    Tuesday 5/17 Hollywood Studios, dinner at Chef Mickey’s 5pm
    Wednesday 5/18 Joe’s BDay, Epcot, HS, Dinner at Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show 5:15
    Thursday 5/19 Downtown Disney Shopping, parks???? Dinner at the Coral Reef 5:50 PM
    Friday 5/20 HS for Star Wars Weekend Dinner???? now turf club but maybe change?
    Saturday 5/21 MK, dinner at Crystal Palace
    Sunday 5/22 heading home today

    We’ve never eaten at any of the resorts other than the ones we stayed at – CSR and WL – so that by itself is new, making trips to the other resorts for dinner. I really want to visit and explore other resorts, and this is a guaranteed way to go there.

    So which restaurant to swap out for the Turf Club? the problem is that I know that 5/20 starts Star Wars Weekends at HS but I don’t know any of the details for this year – everything on the DW site is for last year, and I haven’t been able to get an idea of what exactly is involved in this or what timing, etc. DH is a SW fan so he was psyched to know SWW were this weekend but I cant really plan it. Jen, our travel agent (and she rocks:love:) sent me a bit of info, and mentioned that the opening of it is “not to be missed” but if anyone is reading this and has info for this year’s SWW, please send me links or info!
     
  9. gallmcduck

    gallmcduck Gallmcduck

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    Oh everything is so tempting and there is so many choices :woohoo: We tend to do our favs and then add in new locations each trip, saying that there is still lots we have not even ventured into yet :goodvibes I figure with all the walking and swimming that you do whilst visiting WDW you just about break even. We hired a surrey bike during our stay at POR last year, it was really hard work but a great workout, even in the heat, the speed you travel certainly made its own air con :laughing:
     
  10. gallmcduck

    gallmcduck Gallmcduck

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    We have never been to SWW so do not really know alot about that weekend but from what I have read it looks pretty busy with lots to do, sorry have no links to pass on :)

    Have never been here, purely based on all the good reviews I have read, Ohana looks like a good choice to swap for turf club :thumbsup2 We hope to add that into our new list next trip. There is so many lovely places to eat at all the resorts. I was sad this year that our kids didn't care too much for going to chef mickey, we had breakfast at Cinderella Castle and Akershus which DD loved. The pictures you get as part of the package are great too, princess Belle was the fav.

    Hope your head cold has cleared up, deciding on ADRs with a head cold, not an easy thing to do.
     
  11. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    I just wanted to share a few of our “best moments” from our past trips as I think about touring plans and packing lists for our trip in May.

    Picked up unlined index cards & photo albums to match autographs with photos, along with a smaller book for taking our itinerary, today at Target. noo, i'm not anxious....

    January 2007 First ever trip for me and DD, DH had last been in the early 70’s, so really a new experience for him, too:

    Katie’s first character encounter ever, she was so excited to see Donald and Daisy, and had big hugs for them. It was a great start to our first day at WDW.[​IMG]

    Lunch with the Little Einsteins – again Katie was just over the top thrilled, which of course made Mom & Dad really happy too.

    Princess of the Day: Our trip was during Disney’s “Year of a Million Dreams”. When we visited Epcot, we had early morning ressies to breakfast with the Princesses at Akurshus Banquet Hall –we were the first group of the day. Katie was dressed up as Belle, and she was invited to be the Princess of the Day, receiving a Private Audience with the real princess Belle. We had a terrific seat for breakfast, catching every single princess as they started visiting the tables, and getting autographs on her princess of the day certificate.

    Family of the Day at cosmic Ray’s – we were SOO hungry, and CR’s was packed, so Joe went to go scout out a table for us while Katie & I went to order at the counter. When we ordered, a CM asked if we would like to be the Family of the Day – how awesome! I radiod DH & we were escorted to a reserved table sprinkled with Pixie dust, with a great view of Cosmic Ray’s performance. CMs waited for our food, and brought everything to us along with every condiment we could ask for. They checked back on our drinks (TS at a CS place yippee), and cleared the table for us when we were done.

    We had quite a few “dream” experiences that time - we were in the Main Street Parade with Clarabelle (although Katie slept through most of it), and we received glossy photo of Alice in Wonderland & the Mad Hatter (although we never did find Alice to get the photo autographed). Katie learned what a “pinkie promise” was from Wendy, who gave Katie a special message to pass on to Cinderella at the Toon Town Fair.

    Our 2009 trip was COOOLLLLDD we started with overnight temps in the 30’s. We traveled with DH’s sister and had a much more leisurely pace. We enjoyed some time at the Fort Wilderness campground visiting with family members who are snow birds. [​IMG]

    I finally got to see the Spectromagic Parade at MK. Oh it was magical! I felt like a kid seeing all of those beautifully lit floats go by with all of my favorite characters, and couldn't wait to see who was coming next. [​IMG]

    We have very few character photos from this trip, as DD decided that she did not want to wait in line to see them. OOOH I don't care what people say about terrible two's, FIVE was HORRIBLE really. Pluto was the only character that Katie thought was worth the wait -- and really, he is! [​IMG]

    So this year I am hoping to experience some new attractions, but really am hoping that my hubby has a fantastic trip for his birthday. He has been talking about it well..since we got back from our trip in January 09!
     
  12. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    I am hoping to break even while enjoying all the yummy desserts, too. Can I do a surrey bike with a 7 year old or am I going to be sorry? hmmmmm

    Ymmm the Ohana does look good.

    Head cold much better thanks!
     
  13. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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  14. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    We switched our Turf ADR for 50's Prime Time cafe. Looking forward to the look on DD's face when she is too full to finish dinner but still wants dessert. MUYAAHHHAHAHAHAHA:rolleyes1

    Slowly Disney is adding EMH for the week we are there. I was a little disappointed at first to see we had no really late nights...I was hoping to take a mid day siesta then stay up late. No matter what age I am, it still feels a little "naughty" to be up at a park very late into the night. :laughing:

    SO, question for all of you fantastic WDW experts:

    what fun little things (that are not very $$$) can I plan/do for DH over his Birthday trip?? I have already of course included that info on our reservations, and also mentioned it when making ADR at the POLY dinner show. what else???
     
  15. gallmcduck

    gallmcduck Gallmcduck

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  16. gallmcduck

    gallmcduck Gallmcduck

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    Sharing your memories were fantastic :thumbsup2

    Some special birthday suggestions - birthday button wearing, ordering a bday cake from disney (you will get a cupcake with a candle in a lot of places), watching fireworks from poly beach. Sorry not very imaginative :goodvibes
     
  17. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    The birthday button we will do for sure. Didn't know you could order a bday cake from Disney -- at a restaurant or at the hotel? We are having dinner at the Poly for his Bday. he is so psyched for that. I will look into the fireworks that night form the beach there because we will still be there i am sure. thanks!:thumbsup2
     
  18. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    I have been trying to pace myself in doing little things to plan for disney. I picked up tee's for DD & DH the otehr day at Michael's. I have to buy mine separately (they didn't have my size) but I am planning to make 2 tees for each of us to wear on our vacation. This is something new for us....I hope it works as well as I imagine it!

    DH, as I may have mentioned IS Mr. Incredible. seriously. and now he is the happy Mr. Incredible at the end of the film. So I am thinking (at his request!) of doing red tee's with Incredibles on them. Not sure of of that one. I got some great Mickey Mouse bandanas that I can cut up a bit and use Mickeys & mickey heads on another tee. I bought red and blue and now I am thinking that I will return the blue and get maybe white or black (though black may not be a great color to wear in orlando in May)

    I also purchased big clickable sharpie markers for the character autographs, and a photo album that I will use to match autographs with photos once I have it all put together. Naturally I have some stickers to decorate the book with!

    Finally, and really important, I MUST finish my scrapbook from our 2007 trip before we go! I don't even know why I didnt finish it right away but then time got away, then we went back in 2009 -- those photos are in an album but not all fancy...just in there with index cards describing the photo.

    If anyone has made any cool tee's, I would love to see photos....:surfweb:
     
  19. Moira222

    Moira222 Can't get enough of the Magic & Pixie Dust!

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    Have to post :goodvibes that I am so tickled to have ordered really cute walking sandals for our May trip. [​IMG] I have a lot of foot issues, though admittedly they are decreasing as I decrease the size of my butt :laughing:

    Elsewhere on the board I saw a post about Crocs Capris and it got me looking. I found this pair of croc sandals that look a lot like a pair of sandals that I just adore but pretty much died at the end of the summer.

    No matter what shoes I wear, after a few hours, my feet hurt, so when I know that I will be walking a lot, I schedule in shoe changes. It really helps. and I confess, as my daughter gets older, I have gotten more "girly" -- so I LIKE having pretty toes and showing them off in sandals. So how excited am I that I found new super comfy sandals to wear. :banana::cool1::cloud9: can't wait till they come in the mail. maybe I should have ordered 2 pair???
     
  20. laashley

    laashley DIS Veteran

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    Came over and am catching up. Great job on the weight loss.:thumbsup2

    Looks like a great list. I added a few of my thoughts in red. Have you seen Festival of the Lion King or Finding Nemo at Animal Kingdom? If not I would try to see one of them- they both are spectacular.
     
  21. laashley

    laashley DIS Veteran

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    OK all caught up now. First of all what great memories. It's those memories that keep us coming back time after time!

    I think you made a good choice on swapping to 50's Prime Time. We really enjoyed our meal there, so much hubby wants to go back this year. Looks like you have some very good restaurants picked.

    Don't know much about SWW. Only that the crowds will certainly be there that day. Since you have a day there earlier in the week you can do most of the rides/shows that day.

    As far as other special birthday ideas. Hmmm, you could take a carriage ride around Ft. Wilderness ($45 I believe), definitely like the idea of watching wishes on the Poly beach. One more idea, but it will run you about $100 for the cd, is booking a special photopass session at certain hotels. Here is what allear.net says. "Professional Portrait Service - You can have professional portraits taken of you and your family while you're at Walt Disney World. You'll have the beautiful resorts as your backdrop as they take dozens of photos. You need to make a reservation, so for more information or to schedule a portrait session, call 407-934-4004.

    You can have your portrait session done at these resorts:
    -- Grand Floridian
    -- Polynesian
    -- Beach Club
    -- Wilderness Lodge
    -- Animal Kingdom Lodge

    You can choose from Professional Print packages or get all of your session images on the Professional Portrait CD (separate from Disney's PhotoPass PhotoCD). Because the CD purchase gives you full copyright of your pictures, you can have prints done at less expensive places. And since they are kept separate on their own PhotoPass Card ID, you can use this online for the different products on Disney's PhotoPass website."

    You can also book the Kids Club for Katie for one evening and enjoy a dinner alone. I believe if you get a package you will get a coupon for a discount for the kids club. Oh, and of course I recommend going to the Boardwalk area and walking around, that is definitely free!

    Check out the dissign threads for iron-on templets, they are free. Just have to buy the shirts and iron-on paper.
     

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