In the Spirit of the Season

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by annmarieda, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    As you probably guess, this TR is for a trip that took place during the holiday season. I had a hard time coming up with a title. I wanted it to cover everything that happened and not just be "Christmas time in WDW"

    After some thought and consideration it hit me what the common element was to the trip. It was the spirit of the holiday season.

    In the spirit of the season, I was blessed by the kindness and generosity of others.

    In the spirit of the season, I chose to remain happy and not have a single meltdown (even though, I may have come close a time or two :rolleyes1)

    In the spirit of the season, my family had the opportunity to reflect and enjoy the true meaning behind why we celebrate.

    In the spirit of the season, I indulged in food and drink.

    In the spirit of the season, I forgave my family for any not so "in the spirit" behavior.

    So in a nutshell, this trip did include all those precious elements of the holiday season; joy, forgiveness, generosity, celebration. As a family we may have taken it in in different ways however it was there for all of us. (despite a minor hiccup or two ;))

    Hopefully, I will not bore you to death and you will enjoy each detail I share.

    If you did not read along on the PTR for this trip, it can be found Here

    So let us first start with the when and where.

    When: Departing home on 12/9 and arriving back home on 12/23
    Where: Pop Century for the nights of 12/9 and 12/10 and then Wilderness Lodge for the nights of 12/11 through 12/21

    Next up: Introductions
     
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  3. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    In case you have never come across me here before and or this is the first time you are reading along, let me give you some introductions to help you to know who we are.

    First, there is me (Ann) Sadly, I just turned 42. (but not on the trip :goodvibes, so I was still 41 then ;)) I am the mother to 4 children. I was blessed with 2 boys and 2 girls. I have been married to my high school sweetheart since 1989 and we began dating in 1987. He continues to be the love of my life (even if he tries my patience at times ;)) I work for News America as a field rep part time and with it, I pay for my addition. What is that addiction? Well, Disney of course! :rotfl: I can't seem to stay away from Disney. I have always been fond of Disney, but once I took my first trip to DL in 2002, that was it! I was hooked. You can see in my signature how many times I have been and where I have stayed. I think someday i would love to see that list much longer. Soon though, for the sanity of my entire family I will have to start branching out beyond Disney and enjoy other destinations :scared1::scared1: (I know, sounds a bit blasphemous, eh?) A favorite character of mine has always been Tinkerbell. I think because she reminds me of me... means well, is good at heart, a little testy at times and sometimes...sometimes down right naughty. Recently though, Mickey and Minnie have warmed my heart and I can't seem to not smile when I see them. As for a ride, well that would depend on my mood. However, BTMRR is always a hit as is POTC.

    [​IMG]

    Then there is my dear husband, Steve. He too is 42 years young. He is a software engineer. He currently is working for a social networking site. He has some health issues and so sometimes he is not up to a lot of "go go going". However, he still enjoys Disney and attempts to join me every now and again. For him a favorite character would be Eeyore. The first emo.. Eeyore tends to also speak to Steve's forever somewhat pessimistic yet humorous state. Steve loves POTC and IASM. He feels it isn't a Disney trip until he has rode them.
    [​IMG]

    Next is my youngest son, Alex. He is now 16. Last trip he spent barely more than the time it took to eat a meal with us. This trip, was it different? Well, you will just have to read on. :goodvibes:goodvibes Alex isn't really fond of Disney in the same way that maybe a girl of his age is. He likes the more extreme rides and characters...well, forget it. He use to absolutely hate them. Now, I would say he has learned to tolerate them.
    [​IMG]

    Then there is my dear youngest child and daughter, Zoe. She will be 7 soon. She is a joy in my life. She struggles with health issues surrounding a birth defect she was born with. You would never know though as she is very bright and tends to not complain. She loves any and all princesses and also the extreme rides.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    A few tid bits that also might help to know...

    First, as you see in the introductions our older two did not come with us this trip. It did of course, make me very sad. I wanted all of them with me. However, when we first planned the trip neither were suppose to be "home" for Christmas.

    So backing up further (just in case you didn't follow along all year) The year was a doozy. We knew it would be and shortly after Christmas of 2010 I booked our trip.

    There was the fact that our oldest ds (Zach soon to be 19) is in the military and spend part of the year away. Originally, it was unclear as to if he would be home for Christmas. However, he chose to not go further in his training at this time and come home. He came home at the end of September.

    Then our oldest daughter (Akira age 21) got married to Josh (also age 21 and only older than Kira by minutes..and yes, when they go out for their birthday they are mistaken for twins now since they share the same last name:rotfl::rotfl:)

    Kira was going to be moving across state last fall in order to attend school. This meant she would be gone over Christmas. However, Josh has had good luck getting his career started and so they have stayed here.

    Our precious, Zoe also had surgery at the end of June to help further correct issues associated with her birth defect. It has been a challenging year from there on out. What was meant to be a positive change has brought a lot of stress and quite honestly pain. Within 12 hours of being released from the hospital in July, she had to return due to infection. Once home it was hard to become accustom to her new routines and weeks were spend wondering if the neighbors would call CPS on us. Then school started and there was nothing but trouble in getting the nurse at the school to assist Zoe. October brought a procedure to help (hopefully) stretch a new channel that was created for her since it constantly was trying to "heal" closed. Finally, just days before our trip, Zoe developed an abscess near the channel and we came terrifyingly close to having to cancel our trip. The doctors were able to fix her up and NOT take her into emergency surgery, but she was left with medical tubing that remained in place for the duration of the trip. (and currently remains in. Also approximately 24 hours after being home required an ER visit and the threat of another hospitalization) Currently, Zoe is scheduled for another surgery and hospital stay in just a few weeks.

    And last, there were challenges with Steve's work situation as well as mine.

    So as you see, there was a need for this trip. :goodvibes
     
  5. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    (12/9-Day 1) Up and At Em
    (12/9-Day 1) Up and Away, a long travel day to the World
    (12/9-Day 1) Meets and Arrivals
    (12/10-Day 2) To Sleep or to Play? Our first day in DTD
    (12/10-Day 2) Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian
    (12/10-Day 2) Our last night at Pop Century
    (12/11-Day 3)Checking out of Pop and heading to DTD
    (12/11-Day 3) Announcing Her Royal Cuteness
    (12/11-Day 3) A Very Rainy MVMP
    (12/12-Day 4) A Royal Breakfast
    (12/12-Day 4) Throwing Out the Ridemax Plans and Meandering through MK
    (12/12-Day 4) Fire and Roasted Meat
    (12/13 - Day 5) A Playmate for Zoe
    (12/13 - Day 5) Serious Resort Touring in Wacky Weather
    (12/13 - Day 5) Food, Food and more Characters
    (12/14 - Day 6) Poor Alex
    (12/14 - Day 6) Two Girls Alone in DHS, What Could be Better
    (12/14 - Day 6) I scrubbed the floors, now may I go to play?
    (12/15 - Day 7) Waiting on Buses Interferes with My Plans Yet Again.
    (12/15 - Day 7) How to enjoy and Yak Attack in AK
    (12/15 - Day 7) Joy and Excitement and a Belly Ache
    (12/16 - Day 8) Relaxing and Joking Around Makes for Wonderful Family Time
    (12/16 - Day 8) Glory and Hallelujah
    (12/17 - Day 9) And Another Beautiful Morning
    (12/17 - Day 9) Traveling Back to before the Age of Technology Wasnt on MY Itinerarary
    (12/17 - Day 9 )Seriously, How Did We Survive?
    (12/18 - Day 10 )A trip to the TTC, would I be lucky??
    (12/18 - Day 10 )Little by Little, the day wore on- Part One
    (12/18 - Day 10 )Little by Little, the day wore on- Part Two
    (12/18 - Day 10 ) Fantastic Fantasmic Evening
    (12/18 - Day 10 ) Late Night Dinner at the Movies
    (12/19 - Day 11 ) The Plan; To Be Up at 6am?
    (12/19 - Day 11 ) F is for Fantasyland and Fun!
    (12/19 - Day 11 ) Time to Recharge
    (12/19 - Day 11 )Dismeet, Dinner and a 3am EMH
    (12/20 - Day 12) Our Last Day in AK
    (12/21 - Day 13)A Very EARLY Last Day at Epcot
    (12/21 -Day 13) How Much Can Be Done When Crowds Are High?
    (12/21 -Day 13) How late is late?
    (12/22 - Day 14) Saying Good Bye
    (12/22 - Day 14)What Do You Mean My 6 Year Old's Seat Is NO Longer Next to Mine
    (12/22 - Day 14) Calling Mr. Davidson... Mr. Steve Davidson
    (HOME) 12/23 and Finally Home...Mostly
     
  6. lovethattink

    lovethattink DIS Veteran

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    Am I first? LOL. I'm here. Great start.
     
  7. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    You are!!! :woohoo:
     
  8. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Joining in for the fun! Great intros so far.
     
  9. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    I'm here to read along. I hope your family had a wonderful trip.
     
  10. lilpixiebabe101

    lilpixiebabe101 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here Ann! Yay!!

    Love the name and all the reasonings behind it!

    When is Zoe's newest stuff scheduled?
     
  11. tankgirl427

    tankgirl427 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here I'm here! I promise I'll finish October's TR so I can start December's! We already have a title for it, but I"m not telling!:rotfl:
     
  12. ladytink75

    ladytink75 Mouseketeer

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    Ann I'm here.. Can't wait to hear all about your trip..
     
  13. swwake

    swwake RIP our sweet Magic (09/27/10)

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    Yay! You started! I am subscribing.
     
  14. leshunlenese

    leshunlenese DIS Veteran

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    Hey Ann! I am joining along!
     
  15. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! and :welcome::welcome:
    So excited to make new friends!!! Thank you for joining. :goodvibes

    Yay! :wave: Zoe will have her next surgery 1/13. It is coming up quick. She wants to plan her bday party and I am just not sure how to break it to her. She could very well be in the hospital come her birthday :sad2:

    :woohoo::woohoo: I can't wait for the title. :scratchin I just wonder what the title could be...

    :yay: Your trip will be here soon. I was just looking at where you are staying. You will be doing a bit of bouncing around, yes?

    Good! I am glad you are here!
     
  16. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    :yay: another familiar face!
     
  17. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    Up and At em

    Who would possibly think that getting up at 4:15am would be necessary when catching a flight over 5 hours later? Well, partly Steve but ultimately me. You see aside from the four of us having flights to catch, Zach needed a ride into Seattle for "drill". We were set for Kira and Josh to take us to the airport, but when the plans changed to involve taking Zach for drill we had to rethink our route. Steve could not handle the thought of driving to Seattle first and then coming back down south to the airport. His "what if" involving us getting stuck in rush hour traffic was compelling. So I was happy to adjust our wake up time to accommodate the need to drive us first to the airport and then have the kids drive up to Seattle next so that Zach would arrive on time. However, best laid plans (which could have also been the title for this TR) I stayed up till 1:30am packing.

    Once we were all up and the car loaded, we made our way to Kira and Josh's apartment. They live minutes away (the town is small and I think you could walk the city limits in very little time). We arrived there at 5:45am and it was not long before we were on our way to the airport. :woohoo:

    As a part of my crazy planning, I booked the guys on a separate flight from Zoe and I. There were reasons behind this that seemed not so important once we were at the airport. The reasons were 1. I used air miles to purchase both Steve and Alex's tickets, 2. Southwest was cheaper oop than the United flight that the guys were on, 3. I wanted to see if Southwest was really as bad as Steve swore it was and last 4. with the "2 bags fly free" policy with Southwest, I could save on bag fees by checking not only my bag and Zoe's, but the guys bags as well.

    But I digress. The reasons did not seem important as we all sat around a table in the airport, enjoying each others company and eating our first meal (if you could call it that) of the trip together. Those pictures in the introduction are taken while we waited. Well, all except for the one of me. That one was actually taken on the day of Kira's wedding.

    It wasn't much that we ate, and I did not take pictures. Zoe and I split a breakfast sandwich. Alex had a breakfast burrito. Steve may have had a banana. I believe he purchased one, but I am not certain that miss Zoe did not snag it. Due to how little sleep we had got, of course Steve and I found it VERY nice that there was a Starbucks right next to our table.

    Before long, it was time for us to go on to our separate gates. Not only were they not near each other, but they were on opposite sides of the airport.

    Up next: Up and Away, a long travel day to the World.
     
  18. debrapagliasotti

    debrapagliasotti DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! popcorn:: We will be at WDW next year for Christmas :santa:
     
  19. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    Okay, I have a good excuse for being late to the party :scared1: - I was sound asleep when you started your trip report! :rotfl2: 9 hours time change are not fair!!!!!


    But I am here now, ready to read ...... going back to do that now! :thumbsup2
     
  20. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    Up and Away, a long travel day to the World

    Not only were our flights on different carriers, but they were at different times. Zoe and I had a flight to Kansas City at 9:40am. Steve and Alex were flying to Chicago at 10:55. We also each had layovers, but at different times. For this reason, we had little to no communication all day. I have little to no idea of how things went for the guys.

    For Zoe and I though, things were wonderful. After a short walk to our gate, I checked in with the gate agent. I explained that Zoe had a disability and without blinking an eye I was handed a special pre boarding pass. I am glad I did not pay the extra $10 each for the “A” boarding group because we boarded before they did. In fact on the leg to Kansas city we were only the second party to board. This gave us amazing seats. I was quite happy with the seats. There was more leg room than I remember any of our previous flights having. (normally we fly Alaska). The seats we had were also very close to the front restroom which was a necessary thing because of Zoe’s needs. I have to stop here and laugh. It was not until recently that I had ever stepped into a restroom on a plane. I flat out didn’t use them...even on a long flight from Washington to Florida. Never. Then comes Zoe and her need to frequently use restrooms and now I seem to be making up for all those flights that I never spent a single minute in the restroom.

    As we flew over the Pacific Northwest, I was able to get this shot of two of our grand mountains.

    [​IMG]

    Southwest is very generous by todays standards in what they give you to eat. While it was not a meal or anything that could come close, it was enough to tide us over.

    Zoe was amazing the entire flight. I had little doubt she would be anything but pleasant. I mean, she didn’t have another sibling to make her crazy. (oh yes, like Alex taking her coloring book - the one you see her peaking out of in the intro photo, and using green to color the face of a princess. That would be one of those “not so in the spirit” moments that occurred while we waited together at the airport and that thankfully was short lived.)
    I was able to doze for about an hour. I think it must have helped because I didn’t feel like I was totally lacking on sleep by the time we reached Kansas City

    I can only assume that the guys had an uneventful flight into Chicago. I believe they had Wolfgang Puck Express at the Chicago airport during their layover. They arrived in Chicago at approximately 4:43pm and then left for Orlando at 7:30pm

    Meanwhile, Zoe and I arrived safe and sound in Kansas City at approximately
    3:10pm. First we went directly where? To a restroom of course. This is where I discovered that the gel pacs that were keeping her medications cold had exploded all over and made quite the mess. Once that was cleaned up we found a quite place to sit and each a lunchable that I had packed for each of us. Our layover was only 2 hours and 10 minutes, but it flew by thanks to a backpack loaded with supplies (ie. princess activities galore) that Betsy had sent to Zoe and my ipad.

    I made sure to check in with the gate agent again, and just as easy as before we were granted the special pass. This time we were first onto the plane. I was happy to board not only because I was excited to get to Orlando, but because I found Kansas City to be a tad scary. (no offense to any of you who live in or near Kansas City)

    The flight to Orlando from Kansas City was a very short one. Zoe fell asleep not long after we were in the air. This allowed me to take this shot.
    [​IMG]

    Remember the exploded gel packs for the medicine? Well, I explained what had happened to the flight attendant and she was nice enough to get me a bag full of ice to put the medication into.

    As the plane landed at approximately 9:00pm, I was so excited to get off the plane. We were near the front so it meant we would not have to wait long. Zoe too was excited and as we landed she threw her arms around me and said “thank you, thank you so much mama for taking us to Disney”.

    I grabbed my personal bag. I grabbed Zoe’s personal bag. I made sure to close them up as they were at our feet for the flight. I packed away anything that was out of them. EXCEPT for the medication that was in one of those bags, you know...the kind that people use when ill. It was sweating quite a bit with condensation so I just sealed it up tight and told myself to remember it because I didn’t want it to get any electronics or paper wet. (note to self, any time I “tell myself to remember something” it never works out well). I then proceeded to grab both our carry on luggage and our personal bags and leave the plane. Where was the medication? Yep,
    back in the seat pouch - in a bag, sealed, looking like something someone may have used to well.. get sick in.

    Up Next: Meets and Arrivals
     
  21. annmarieda

    annmarieda DIS Veteran

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    Christmas is such a beautiful time. It is crowded though... so please as you read my TR don't be discouraged if I complain about that a bit.

    I am so glad you are here, Karin! :woohoo:
     

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