How EMH saved our trip-Doing the World on West Coast Time! Completed. Stop by my PTR!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by eandesmom, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Yeah. Me too.

    It's funny, I was ok not booking bounceback. Free Dining and the buy 4 get 3 are better promo's for our clan and I knew it would come up. Bounceback was just too soon for DH. I have to pace him. He'd be on the every 3 year plan and I'm trying to move that up. 18 months is pretty soon for him. We are big on travel. Both with the full family, and as a couple and I am used to (spoiled?) planning some fun things even if they aren't exotic or expensive. So I'm ok with waiting till 8/10 for the world. For us, it's a big and far away trip and the blended family logistics/scheduling is difficult at best.

    Which brings me to my current malaise. Or part of it anyway.

    We are a blended family. In our case that means we have my 2 (the younger ones) 24/7. We have DH's 2, my skids, EOW and every Thursday. We are also supposed to get the skids for 2 weeks in the summer, 1 week at xmas and "other time" as reasonably split (i.e. presidents week/spring break, the schools do not always take a full week for presidents so that varies).

    We alternate thanksgivings and xmas is always a negotiation nightmare. Don't get me started. At any rate, (and here is the vent) Dh's plan really has no PLANNING provisions when it comes to the summer vacation part. Sure, he gets 2 weeks but there is no notification period, no right of first refusal, no real guarantee that the kids mom will ever actually agree to the weeks we request.

    Before anyone thinks I'm slamming the skids mom, I'm not. She loves her kids, she does. She is very different than I but she'd do anything for her kids. The problem is "anything" in her mind is a very different parenting style than DH and I have. Anything means that the kids dictate what they do at the other house. Where they go, who they go with, when they go. Or not go. They call the shots. And she would prefer that they called the shots over here, or that she dictated where we go. So, for example on our Feb trip she was NOT supportive of them going. She wanted us to ask them if they wanted to go and if not, choose somewhere else that they picked. She felt they were too old. Well, as it was a xmas present, that didn't really work. Not to mention the fact that we felt strongly a 16 and 12 year old should get to pick where the family goes! So we decided to go ahead and give it as they gift and the skids could chose to join us or not. As you can see, they chose to come, and had a blast. We have GREAT family trips together but the drama around it with their mom is, well, draining to say the least.

    Tink is a jock. And then some. Part of the drama for the Feb trip was that she'd miss 2 basketball practices for her middle school team. Which meant that she'd miss the 1st 2 games as she wouldn't have enough practice in by school rules. No issues with Tink missing school but sports come first with her mom (granted as a straight A student, we don't have to worry about grades with Tink).

    Now, if basketball was her primary, or favorite sport, I could get it. But it's not. It is by far her least proficient sport and she barely made the team. But until the 11th hour there was the possibility that Tink would pull out due to the disapproval of her mom for her missing those 2 practices. It puts Tink in a hideous position which I can't stand.

    Fast forward to summer. As I mentioned, Tink is a jock. And then some. She plays select soccer, which is year round. This year they changed the tryout schedules to better time state cup games with high school soccer. That meant that we didn't know what team she'd be on (officially) until late may and didn't get a summer tournament schedule until early June.

    We knew that and had figured that once we had it, we'd figure out a week that worked around the tournaments (as of COURSE she can't miss one, or the practices right before) and go then. Since we'd done a huge 2 week road trip last summer (which was also met with dissaproval from the other house but the kids had a blast) and had just done Disney in Dec, we figured we'd just camp somewhere new...be flexible about where and it wouldn't be that hard to make something fit locally.

    Except it is that hard.

    Bottom line is a total of 3 weeks/weekends worked. Except none of them do.

    The first week, which would have fallen over "our" weekend, and was ideal from our perspective, we put our request in for. That won't work as Tink had been invited to go on vacation with a friends family and her mom had already told them she could go. Ok...that was OUR weekend and she is supposed to ask before she does stuff like that. She never does and it puts us in that bad spot, we like her friend, of course we want her to be able to go, but it literally steals critical time from us. Not to mention the fact that it falls over Tink bday, which she historically has at our lake club and had planned to this summer as well. Since her bday fell on the weekend, our weekend, we assumed that would be the day for the party. Guess not.

    After much huffing and puffing a weekend trade was made. Which, had they simply asked up front, would have eliminated the drama and bad feelings.

    2 other potential weeks/weekends were left. Except those were iffy. In addition to Tink's regular team, she's in our state ODP pool. Which means Olympic Development. There is a regional camp that the top 16 girls go to. Tink had been playing on their "b" team so DH felt assured she wouldn't go. Her mom was convinced she had a good chance.

    Sure enough...she was named an alternate.Which means life is on hold until up to 2 days before the 1 week camp, waiting to see if someone gets hurt.

    Again, DH was convinced no one would get hurt so requested that week from the ex, stating we'd go with or without Tink (go where is another issue but I'll get to that separately).

    Sure enough, now Tink is being invited to scrimmage with the "a" team and is on all the "a" team emails. Is she going? Is she not? Who knows. All I know is it's in 2 weeks and we can't plan anything.

    We "have" to take that week with Steven at a minimum and now DH is all stressed as there isn't anything cool planned. And I'm cranky as we shouldn't have to romance his kids. This is NOT coming from the skids at all, purely stuff DH puts on himself and his ex well, feeds on, sadly. The skids rock. They truly do. I love those kids. I'd walk through fire for them. I am blessed to have them in my life. And DH fights these battles, they aren't mine but it is hard to watch.

    So here is where I'm at and I need to snap out of it. I am always the vacation planner, I love it. I can't plan this time. More importantly (and disturbingly) I don't want to plan.

    I'm not going to book things, to have to go back and cancel. I don't even have anywhere I want to book. 2 of the places that were highest on our list are kind of "ruined" for me, for this summer anyway. One, Tink is going to with her friend and the 2nd, Steven went to last week with his youth group! We like to do new things with the kids. And sure, it'd be new to the little ones but the older ones would be bored, BTDT kind of thing (or at least that's DH's fear). Again, his issue but it's such a pervasive issue, now I'm paranoid!

    I have told DH I'm not planning anything. I'm fried. I've come up with idea after idea after idea. I've sent links. We can't schedule anything and I'm done. What we could have done is gone now anyway. So if he wants to do something then, he has to plan it. Which he won't. And so I have

    NTD. No travel depression.

    We do have a 3 day camping trip with friends with just the little boys. We will go to all of Tinks tournaments, none of which are local. And on one my FIL and his wife will join us. I do have a girls retreat weekend in late August. But we have no true FAMILY trip and I really really look forward to those. Right now I "guess" we are going to my family's cabin for a couple of the days but DH is so less than excited, part of me is "why bother". :( NOT LIKE ME AT ALL!

    It's the first day of summer for me, mentally. The younger boys just got out of school last Wednesday. Technically I am sort of out of a job as of tomorrow. I cleared out my desk yesterday. So I have the ability to actually enjoy summer days with them which I should be excited about. I have plans to go to the lake with them later today and meet friends, hopefully that will jump start me. But I'm cranky about this whole vacation thing (and mildly stressed about the job thing). So I am not as much fun to be around as I'd like to be....especially when the conversation turns to "what are you guys up to this summer?"

    Sigh.

    I really, truly, seriously considered running away with the 2 younger ones to Hawaii for a week to visit cousins. Airfares are amazing right now. But with the job thing...a no go. I looked at DLR. We could drive. It's a long drive (and also cheap flights) but....it's not the World. I can't justify the cost, which is the same as a deluxe in the world, for DLR. I've stayed off property there before...not the same.

    I have a lead on something amazing on the job front...have had 2 interviews but...won't know till the end of the month. Because the hiring folks are on their OWN vacations. Kind of ironic.

    So, 8/10 THV. We are going to go then no matter what. We are going to book regardless of the fact that we will not have a clue when soccer is. If the skids can go, want to go, are allowed to go, great. If not, well then it's an if not. My MIL and her husband will be with us so hopefully that will sway the skids into correctly prioritizing family. But we won't know until June. Makes the ADR thing kinda hard :(


    Allright. If you read any of this, thanks and I'll stop whining now.
     
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  3. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Love the update.:thumbsup2 oohhh....a massage!! What a great birthday present!! I love all the pictures of the WL!!:goodvibes I'm hoping to stay there one day. It looks like a beautiful resort.:cloud9:
     
  4. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    More pictures coming! We will stay there one day for sure, it is just lovely!
     
  5. AmandaSparks730

    AmandaSparks730 <marquee><font color=purple> All shall know the wo

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    Nice TR :)

    Steven is cute :blush:

    And I'll be 16 in a month!
     
  6. TarzansKat

    TarzansKat Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.

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    Aw, hon. :hug: I read the whole thing, and I feel for you. In some ways, I really understand how you feel. My husband's parents are divorced, and for a long time, it wasn't pretty. Without going into it, we had very, very similar issues that you do. My husband is one of four, and the younger two siblings were still at home, and...what a mess.

    It's much better now but there's still a lot of animosity and a lot of manipulation. I won't go into it, you don't need my whole laundry list of family issues, but suffice it to say, I get you. And it is frustrating not to be able to plan anything, especially when you're someone who loves to travel. :hug:
     
  7. cjackearl

    cjackearl DIS Veteran

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    Hello.:wave2: Stopping by to say you have an adorable family and you truly do look like you could pass for one of the siblings.

    We saw some of FW when we went to the HDDR and it looked like a fun place to stay. It sounds like a great fit for your crew.:thumbsup2

    Sorry about all of the vacay planning drama.:sad2: Hope something works out soon.

    Oh and congratulations to E#1 on his black belt! WOW!! What an amazing accomplishment.:woohoo:
     
  8. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    NICE!!:thumbsup2

    It is so hard to be truly lazy at Disney (at least I think so!!)

    Kathy
     
  9. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    :) He is cute (though I'm not sure he'd like hearing me say so!). But then again, I'm biased.
     
  10. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Ah you know...really I whine too much. Truly, this is the only issue that really impacts me. And most of the time I can really roll with it. I was a stepkid, heck I still am. And I was blessed. My mom IS my stepmom. A long long story but she really, truly saved my family. DH's folks are both remarried as well and his stepmom is the bomb. So is his mom. Leave it to me to have 3 MIL's! (my ex's MIL refuses to give me up she says lol).

    So I get it. And I get that it's hard, and I am incredibly lucky. I personally have zero issues with the skids mom, and vice versa. She's never brought my boys or I into any issues she and my DH have. And for the most part she doesn't put the skids in the middle, for which I am grateful for.

    I'm on a step parenting board. It could be SOOOO much worse. I actually don't go there much anymore as I don't need to, which is pretty cool. I can step back and let DH fight his battles when he needs to, it's the best thing for all of us.

    And she does honestly, I believe, have what she thinks are the skids best interests at heart. They are her life. She is allowed to have different opinions on what is right for them, I respect that. I'm blessed to have 2 really great skids....who don't seem to think I'm the evil step mom (yet lol). It's been 7 years total so I'm hoping it may never happen. You never know though! I truly enjoy those kids and it seems to be mutual.

    I'm just a planner who can't plan and it bums me out. I'm not mad at anyone, it really "is what it is" but that frantic planning energy needs to get directed somewhere....I'm just not sure where! I love planning our family trips and I guess I'm having a hard time letting go of the idea of something this summer. You know, they are getting older and with DSS in particular, it's slipping away, the "family" vacation thing. I just wasn't quite ready to let it go, I think it's thrown both of us for a loop. I completely support what Tink is doing, just having my own pity party I guess! I'll get over it but thanks all, for listening.
     
  11. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    :lmao: It must be the giant sunglasses. 40's are the new 30's. LOL! But thank you, that's incredibly sweet!

    FW is absolutely wonderful, a very good (albeit tight!) fit for our gang. Not sure I'll share a bed with Tink again though...that girl is a snuggler...and heavy! And a heavy sleeper! I'd forgotten. It was kind of funny...but I didn't get much sleep the first couple nights until I acclimated. We need more beds next time.

    Thanks on E1. We are incredibly proud of him. He really blew us away at the testing. You think you know your kids and then sometimes, they just blow you out of the water.
     
  12. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    It was nice! I HIGHLY recommend the massage at WL! The GF was fancier to be sure...if you want a spa, WL is not it but oh, did it do the trick! :)

    I'm not good at lazy period... thankfully the rest of the gang isn't all that lazy either or we'd have a real problem! Teens in the morning don't count and heck, with as hard as Tink works....she deserves to sleep in when she can (not that it kept me from being cranky about it once or twice lol!).
     
  13. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    No one could really decide what they wanted to do. It was a bit breezy and Tink was feeling cold so Tink and Scrooge decided to hit Roaring Forks for food, Wall-E and Goofy hit the pool.

    They came back with this.


    [​IMG]

    Officially dubbed the best burger in the world by our entire crew. WHY I didn't get one, I still don't know. Scrooge had a double, Tink a single. I had Scrooge get me a turkey panini...or at leas that's what I thought the menu said. Had I looked more closely I'd have realized it was the same sandwich I'd had the day before at Starring Rolls! Except the one at Starring Rolls was a million times better! That's what I get for trying to have a healthy lunch, it was the wrong call! I WILL have that burger one of these days!

    The Wall-E had to check out the slide, first slide of the trip.

    [​IMG]

    But soon enough, they too were hungry. And wet, I had no interest in bringing them into RF to pick out their food so I took their orders and went in to get it.

    Now, I'll be honest here. Prior to leaving I'd understood that a CS credit was a CS credit and was a CS credit. Meaning no difference btw adult and child CS. They certainly were never broken out on receipts. And not once on the trip had it been an issue, the kids were with us when we ordered and ordered what they wanted. However, at RF it was different. They asked when I placed the order if it was for a child. I was getting Wall-E a the burger and Goofy chicken strips. The kids burger was tiny and the kids nuggets were also tiny (and nuggets versus strips). Here's the thing. At this point I knew we were going to have serious CS credits left over. So...I said they weren't kids meals as I saw no reason why we couldn't use our adult credits (even though they weren't actually broken out as such!). It's true. I lied. And I don't feel bad about it either. We still had 11 unused CS credits at the end of the trip so I can't say I feel like we took advantage of anything.

    Flame me now, it's ok. I'd have had to get another kids meal for them to split to fill them up, they both ate the whole thing.

    Just about the time we all finished eating, Steven finally straggled over. He was hungry.

    Back to this

    [​IMG]


    And Scrooge got a flatbread pizza, burning yet another CS credit lol.

    No picture of the pizza but MAN did it look good (and was according to Scrooge) who then groaned and asked why I made him eat that. I think he felt he HAD to try and use up our CS credits...lol!

    The group debated what to do, we had the whole day "free". Swim, rent bikes, go to any park they wanted, DTD, whatever. Tink didn't care, the younger boys wanted to swim and Steven and Scrooge took off to rent...

    Searaycers! We had a voucher for 90 minutes at the 60 minute price so they were all over that. But there was ONE small problem.

    Scrooge couldn't find his sunglasses. He assumed I had them with me. Uh...nope. Apparently he'd looked everywhere for them at the cabin.

    Uh oh. I looked down. I was using a different bag and wearing different sunglasses. We looked at each other.

    Holy guacamole. We left the bag in the locker at DHS! A basically empty bag
    that had 4 pairs of sunglasses in it and some sunscreen. Yikes. Ok, that meant a little bit of a regroup. Scrooge decided to tough it out and SeaRayce anyways...he and Steven would go get the bag after they raced around Bay Lake. Oops! We assumed the bag would still be there but of course the KEY to the locker was back at the cabin in the backpack, Scrooge hadn't brought it with him to WL. So they'd have to go back to FW, then to DHS. UGH!

    Feeling mildly guilty (though it takes 2 to space out lol) I watched the big boys head down to the marina.

    The wind had died down a little and so it was POOL time for the younger ones.

    Tink wasn't so sure but then...

    CUTE GUY ALERT!

    Which meant....

    a little showing off :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is a ritual with Tink. She does handstands and I judget them on a 10 point scale. These were 8's I think.

    we had some wrestling...
    [​IMG]

    some more sliding
    [​IMG]

    a little chilling out in the hot tub

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    hey, the sun is bright!
    [​IMG]

    and some limbo!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hey! that's cheating!
    [​IMG]

    It was funny, at first they were less than impressed with the WL pool! I think it was a combination of the wind chilling them and the fact that they "said" that the water was colder than the water in the FW quiet pool. Personally I think it was simply b/c they kind of owned the quiet pool and with it being more of a lap pool it was much more conducive to some good marco polo and this busy pool didn't work so well for that. Soon enough, they got over that and loved their pool time.

    While Goofy was doing the limbo I decided it was time to reapply. First off, Tink

    She grabs the sunsncreen and goes "wait!" "watch" "I have an idea"

    [​IMG]

    :rotfl2: love it!

    By the time the limbo was done they had been in the pool for over 2 hours, maybe closer to 3. I hadn't been paying attention to the time. I'd been strolling around with the various "look at me, look at me's" all over the pool. And I'd watched the geyser, snagged another Redhook and was just generally being mellow.

    Second up for sunscreen....Goofy, he was dry and I wanted to get him before he went back in the pool. "But MOM....I don't burn!" he wailed. Tough big guy. And time to put your shirt ON!

    Wall-E had NOT been out of it since we got there and wasn't happy about the idea at all. But he needed another application.

    Upon close up inspection.... Wall-E was PINK! That kid burns if you look at him. I'd slathered him with 70 but typically I also make him wear a hat, even in the water at all times. I was out of practice. So we re-lubed everyone up, hat went back ON and they got a little more pool time. Tink was kind of "done" and everyone wanted to check out the mercantile and pin kiosks (not to mention hit the restrooms) and refill Tinks mug with soda this time. So inside we went. Scrooge and Steven were not yet back but caught up with us inside, I wanted to change and so we met in the Lobby. The big boys told us about their adventure.

    Apparently they SeaRaycers "can" hold 2. But 2 big adults made it like a put put race. So they went back and got 2 of them instead. Ouch ($$) but oh well. They had fun and really enjoyed the sights. Scrooge was bummed he didn't take the camera with him. They headed off to do the FW/DHS run and we went....

    Shopping!
     
  14. TarzansKat

    TarzansKat Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.

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    Okay, that last chapter made me hungry. :lmao:

    I'm so glad everyone had a good time swimming! I love the Wilderness Lodge, we had a great time at the pool on our last trip. And Roaring Forks has some great basic counter service type stuff (and yummy sandwiches too). :thumbsup2
     
  15. Sunset Cliffs

    Sunset Cliffs DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! I'm jumping in late to your TR. Right now I am only on page 5, but I wanted to comment so far. First, what a fun family you have. It seems like you are able to navigate a vacation with ease and I'm sure most larger families can not say that!

    As for the Del hotel, I used to live in San Diego and I LOVE that hotel. We used to drive over and go to their beach because it was so pretty there. I've always thought that WDW copied the Del as well. ;) I'm pretty sure you have already gone on that trip and come back by now, so I hope you had a great time!
     
  16. cjackearl

    cjackearl DIS Veteran

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    Ok lady, I haven't even had dinner yet and now I want a Disney burger AND a micro brew!:rotfl:

    I spy a hidden Mickey in sunscreen. Cute idea, Tink.:)

    Well I went back to look at your pictures again and now I want my Disney burger and micro brew in a hot tub.:cloud9:

    No flames here for the CS usage. Disney definitely didn't lose any money on you and the kids meal choices get old fast for some kids, although I'm pretty sure Ian happily ate cheese pizza every day of our trip.:rotfl:

    Those SeaRaycers do look pretty small. Renting two, although more $$, was probably a good idea.
     
  17. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Another great update as always.:thumbsup2 That burger looks so good!!! It's making me hungry just looking at it......

    It looks like everyone had a great time swimming!! I love the sunscreen Mickey--too cute!!;)

    Cant wait for more...popcorn::
     
  18. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    It's funny, I spent a lot of time on the dining board before the trip and all the deluxes seem to get slammed for their CS offerings. In comparison to the value's in particularly I guess. I am not a food court kind of gal so for me, the CS offerings at both GF and WL were perfect. Small and limited? Maybe, but varied enough for me! The lines were long in the am, I will agree with that and I guess the size of RF compared to the size of WL...maybe it is on the small side but still, I was pleasantly surprised.

    First off, Welcome Welcome!:goodvibes

    Oh gosh, thanks! It's a great crew, we are really really blessed and we do have a lot of fun. I am from a large family and I think it helps...it's all I know!

    I loved the Del. I did have a shock upon walking inside it though. I really expected it to be all light and airy on the inside and wasn't prepared for all the dark wood! The contrast was wild. Still....unless I could have one of the cottages or a walk out beach room, I think I'd pick the hotel we stayed at (Glorietta) across the street, over it, every time. The price difference was insane! We spent a lot of time on that beach though and I am quite sure we will be back! Coronodo was a perfect weekend getaway from here, I could make it an annual date weekend!.
     
  19. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    I have to admit, that sounds pretty darn good. That burger, a microbrew and a hot tub! About all I'm likely to see anytime soon is a microbrew. :lmao:

    DH and Steven aren't exactly small, I wish I had a picture of both of them in the Searaycer and it just put putting along....speed demons those two, it would have been funny! :rotfl:

    Tink cracked me up with her hidden mickey, We'd been spotting them all week and then of course Goofy had one in his hair. Sadly, she did have to destroy it and rub it in.

    I am getting one of those burgers next time....even if we are staying elsewhere. Seriously. I should have just tossed my sandwich and gotten one but I couldn't be that wasteful (but it was ok to just not use 11 cs credits?:confused3)

    We can always go to RF for lunch on a MK day...right?:rotfl2:
     
  20. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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  21. cjackearl

    cjackearl DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a good use of a summer day. Take some pictures for us, ok?:flower3:
     

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