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Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Final thoughts/future trips 4/2p90 The End 4/4p92

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by MEK, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Ducky4Disney

    Ducky4Disney -->Place Tag HERE!

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    :wave: Hello! I think you will LOVE CSR, it was my first home before SSR. We still make it a point to go back and visit on most trips. I'll post a pic to show you why I love it so much:
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    It is just that gorgeous. I love the big, sprawling grounds, the huge gift shop, and the Pepper Market is one of the best, IMHO. If you want to get excited about staying there, check out the CSR thread here on the DIS or just ask me anything you want to know about it! And stay tuned for the Disneymoon surprise!

    I can't believe we're still talking about Day 2! I'm exhausted just reading about what we did and I acutally did all this stuff! :faint:

    D4D
     
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  3. NOX PLAYMATE

    NOX PLAYMATE Earning My Ears

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    Don't you worry I will definitely be sticking around for the rest of your TR. popcorn:: Love all the pictures too. You have a great camera. I hope DH2B and I can get some amazing pictures like yours! Im a photo-aholic, just like you :rotfl: Can't wait to hear about the surprise, I love surprises!!! :woohoo:
     
  4. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Michelle - I'm so glad you joined in and got all caught up! We really did have a blast on this trip! It was a ton of fun! I know you are bummed cause you don't have a trip plan, but I still really wish you could go in May again with the East meets West girls. Just sayin'


    I will have to say that CSR is probably the most photogenic resort of all the Disney resorts. I stayed there for two nights and when I got home and looked at my pictures all I could say was - WOW!

    Now, don't get too exhausted yet. We will be to Day 3 before you know it and I think I have more Day 3 pictures than any other day. Cause you know I love the AK.

    But tonight I am going to do our end of Day 2 update. So stayed tuned!

    Great - cause the surprise doesn't happen until Day 5. It's just one of those moments when you realize you happened to be in the right place at the right time.

    I love taking pictures. I bought a canon dslr last January specifically for my Disney trips. It's such a fun hobby.
     
  5. Wicket's Mom

    Wicket's Mom DIS Veteran

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    Jen, so sorry about the loss of Stella. We lost our cat of 16 years a week before our trip, it's hard when they leave us.

    Wow, that shower, I've had those before. At least there was a thingy to tone it down. Falling on that floor would have been terrible, glad you two didn't have any falls.
     
  6. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    So I think everybody pretty much knows about the bathroom of torture. No sense rehashing that except to say that I was scared every time I stepped out of the shower. I learned to carefully move the bath mat and just step on the tile in order to avoid another painful split. I had visions of the paramedics finding me in an awkwardly embarrassing position with one leg in and one leg out of the tub and my head on the floor. Not a great visual. My other thought was - How many little kids have knocked their noggen on this slippery floor? Not good!

    So when we arrived back to the room we called to have our luggage delivered. Then we were good girls and put our clothes away. It would have been a total mess if we had not unpacked properly. Jen also got her owner's locker delivered and like magic we had real coffee mugs and a strand of Halloween lights. Unfortunately, Jen still didn't have the special battery she was looking for. She was hoping she had a spare in her owners locker. No such luck!

    At some point I must have taken a few more pictures of our spectacular view. I guess I was still in disbelief......It hadn't sunk in yet.

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    So between the unpacking, showering, and primping we actually managed to be about 10 minutes late for our 6:15 ADR. Wait....what you say? We were staying at BLT and we were still late to our ADR at the Wave. Yes - I admit. Sad, but true. At least I knew that LL and Marc would no longer be waiting for us to finish dinner, so I felt a little better about that.

    We were seated promptly when we checked in at the Wave. This is my third visit to the Wave. That's pretty impressive considering its only been opened for a couple years. One thing is true, after three visits I can assure you that the food is consistently good.

    First order of business was alcohol.

    I had the Passion Fruit Mojito - Bacardi Rum, X-fusion Organic Mango and Passion Fruit Liqueur, Lime, and Fresh Mint topped with Soda Water $8.25

    While Jen had the Raspberry Rain - Red grape hybiscus vodka, chambord, fresh raspberries, lychee, and freshly squeezed lemon juice topped with soda water $9.25

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    I loved mine. Perhaps a little too much. Perhaps I was thirsty from being at the pool all afternoon. I don't know. All I can say is I took three generous sips and my drink became a glass of ice. Literally. Jen said something to the effect of, "2 more sips and that will be just ice". That's when I realized that my yummy drink was not going to last much longer unless I made an executive decision.

    I rarely ever complain in a restaurant. I rarely ever send food back. I never send alcohol back, but I knew I was not going to be happy unless I got more drink with my ice. So when the CM came back I told her that I was not satisfied with my glass of ice. She was very accommodating and brought me a new drink. I felt a little bad asking for a new drink, but the second had much better proportions of ice to liquor. Yum!

    The Wave has really good smoothies. I know I didn't need it, but boy was it yummy. Mega-Berry Smoothie - Raspberry Purée and Nonfat Yogurt blended with Odwalla Berries GoMega, an excellent source of Omega-3 $4.69

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    Next up. Entrees!

    Last May I had the sustainable fish, which was quite good. Tonight I choose Grilled Beef Tenderloin - port wine jus, potato and onion gratin and summer ratatouille $28.99

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    This was so good! Really good. I think I had this the first time I visited the Wave. The cut of beef was great. It was really tasty!

    Jen had the Apple Brined Pork Tenderloin - with Bourbon Sweet Mashed potatoes, warm spinach-bacon salad and Sassafras Jus $21.99

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    I know that Jen really enjoyed her meal as well. That spinach bacon salad looked really good to me.

    And finally, time for dessert. After my mega berry smoothie and entree I couldn't fit another bite, so I packaged my dessert to go. Meanwhile, Jen ordered this......

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    So here are the dessert choices. Do you see any that match?

    Sweet Temptations

    Creamy Indulgence - Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis, Coconut Panna Cotta with Passion Fruit Drizzle, Chocolate-Passion Fruit Mousse with Pecan-Olive Brittle $7.99

    Decadent Flavors - Blueberry Compote with Yogurt Gelato, Lemon Cornbread with Vanilla Panna Cotta, Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel Sauce $7.99

    Crispy and Crunchy - Vanilla-braised Pineapple Spears, Almond-Pineapple-Raisin "Baklava", Zucchini-Carrot Cake with Vanilla Panna Cotta $7.99

    Freshly Crafted Sorbets - Lemon-basil, Pineapple Strawberry $7.99

    No Sugar Added Desserts - Chocolate-Mint Mousse, Fresh Berries with Panna Cotta, Vanilla Bean Créme Brulée $7.99

    Woooh....I have no clue. :confused3 I'm not even sure which dessert I had packaged up to go. I'm thinking it was #1 or #3. I ate it later that evening, but I really can't remember. I do remember that what was in my "to go" box was gone in about 6 bites - 2 bites for each item.

    So dinner was great and I remember commenting that every meal we had since arrival had been really good. I was totally please with both my CS and TS choices.

    When we left the Wave it was close to 8pm. We decided to stop back at the room so I could get my tripod. We weren't really sure what we needed to do to get to the TOWL lounge. Something I read said to go to the main floor and that we would be escorted up from there. But when we walked to the elevators an end door opened and a CM asked us, and the other people waiting, if we were going to up to the lounge. We said "affirmative" and off we went. No room card checking. No nothing. Cool!

    Of course, what I didn't mention was that all of BLT was accessed with a key card. It's not like other resorts where you can just walk into the main lobby. To get in the main lobby or to enter the crosswalk between the contemporary and blt you must use your key card. However, I will mention something noteworthy for those of you who really would like to visit. There is a very strong wind coming off the lake and it creates this weird vacuum which can make it very hard to close the entryway door from the contemporary side of the crosswalk. Several times the door was opened and it was literally impossible to close. Anyone could have slipped in during those times. No biggie. Just thought I would mention it. I am sure they will come up with a fix, because if not, some poor maintenance person is going to get incredibly cranky.

    So up, up, up we go. We head right to the observation deck facing the MK. It looks like there are quite a few people in the lounge so it seemed smart to stalk out a good spot for Wishes. Plus I hadn't used my tripod in awhile so I wanted to set it up for a few practice shots.

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    I was so pleased that I had the tripod up and ready. Bring on Wishes! :woohoo:

    But wait, What was that? Suddenly from around the corner a CM came in and said everyone needed to get inside now because a thunderstorm was approaching. Before I could even get my camera off the tripod and pack it away the rain was coming down. And coming down it did - in buckets. We all huddled inside. Fortunately Jen and I were able to get a table and, eventually, a cast member to take drink orders. In the meantime Jen gave me a photography lesson. I was trying really hard to pay attention to lessons about aperture, f stops, shutter speed, ISO, and depth of field. Jen really knows her stuff. I was listening intently so I barely noticed the deluge going on outside.

    Eventually we ordered and received drinks.

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    Jen had the magical star cocktail which she said was "fab" and I had a wonderful raspberry martini. So yum!

    I took a few pictures of the bar and the lights while I was getting my photography lesson.......

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    I tried to get a shot of the monorail behind the bar.....

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    If you look hard you can just make out the monorail.

    Finally the deluge stopped and we waited around hoping that Wishes would start late. Finally, we gave up, packed up and headed back to our room. Just as we entered the room we heard.....BOOM....BOOM,BOOM,BOOM!

    We ran to the balcony and saw this.....

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    Continued in Nest Post.........



     
  7. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Continued.........

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    And before we knew it Wishes was over. But how cool that we got to see it right from our own little balcony. So I never did have time to set up the tripod, but that's OK I saw Wishes and I even got a few good shots.

    And with that, it was time to put Day 2 to bed.

    Jen asked me if I needed to sleep in the bed. I said I was fine with the sleeper sofa. She said, "Well I thought I should ask since you are old".

    Oh yeah :laughing: I am old, so thanks Jen but I'm good. And you know what - that pull out was perfect.

    Up Next...Day 3 and My own private running path!

     
  8. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    It is so hard. I'm glad Jen and her DH adopted a new dog right away. That's what I did when my 2nd cat died about 9 years ago. I went out and adopted a new cat that weekend, then another, then another. The only problem is they are all about the same age so I will probably lose all three around the same time. Maybe not.

    That shower was an experience, that's for sure! I still can't believe how slippery that floor was. Crazy slippery!
     
  9. jenjolt

    jenjolt Loves All Things Disney!

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    Sounds like you and Jen had a great evening, even if it did rain a bit!!! You had a great dinner, you enjoyed the lounge, and got to see Wishes from your own little balcony....VERY COOL!!!

    Loved your shots...so awesome!!!
     
  10. Nermel9

    Nermel9 DIS Veteran

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    Mmm the Wave looks good! :)

    What an amazing view you had from your room! Can't believe you got to see Wishes from right there! Amazing fireworks pictures!! :thumbsup2
     
  11. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    I just have to say I agree with you about the CSR...it is our favorite resort (we've stayed nine times...just got back three weeks ago). You can also check out the "unofficial thread here for info on the resort--linked in my signature.

    I agree, Mary Ellen...it is a very photogenic resort. I could spend a day just taking pics of all the courtyards, fountains, etc.



    Oooh....both of these entries look really, really good. The Wave is on our list for our next trip and I think one of these will be what I order.

    And all I can say about your firework pictures is :worship::worship::worship:
     
  12. Ducky4Disney

    Ducky4Disney -->Place Tag HERE!

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    After we survived the Torture Chamber the plan was to eat at the Wave and then go to the TOTWL. Hmm, that abbreviation looks like Tower of Terror Wildreness Lounge, which is interesting, but not what I mean. Instead it means Top of the World Lounge, which is supposed to be a snazzy lounge located at the top of BLT and only DVC members staying at BLT on points can access it. :snooty: Well, isn't that special.

    More on that later; let's start at the Wave!

    One world describes the Wave: Mmmmmm!
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    This does not do justice to the Apple Brined Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon Sweet Mashed potatoes, warm spinach-bacon salad and Sassafras Jus!

    The pork tenderloin was oh-so-tender and just perfectly cooked. The bourbon sweet mash was like dessert. The warm spinach-bacon salad was ok, not spectacular-out-of-this-world like the rest of it.

    All-in-all this dish is pretty sweet and when you get a drink called Raspberry Rain, who needs dessert! Not that it stopped me from getting dessert mind you. I was hesitant to get the no-sugar added dessert, because, well, I like sugar. More the better, but there was a chocolate mint something or other and I'm a big sucker for chocolate mint. The dessert was yummy, albeit small.

    I didn't get any inside pics because it's pretty dim in there and me snapping a ton of flash pics would ruin the ambiance for everyone. However, I wish I had gotten a pic of the menu. Would they have given me one if I asked? Or a copy of it? :scratchin I'll have to try that some time.

    Let's see, Mary Ellen summed up dinner and went over the drink dilemma she had. I'm proud of her for asking for a replacement drink because it was sip-sip-sip-rattle-where's-the-drink? I never had one of those smoothies on this trip, but I tried hers and it was very good. Practically it's own meal!

    I was a little surprised at how locked-down BLT was. Is there a concern for riff-raff running around? We expected to have to check-in with someone to get access to the TOTWL but we ran into him when we got off the elevator. I said to the CM that I thought there'd be a special express elevator to the top and he said there was; it was broken. Had been for weeks - go figure.

    Get to the top, and MEK wants me to show her how to use her tripod. It seems that she is not generally in charge of tripod-set-up so I got the thing up and set with my camera on it first. I had to dial in the right settings.
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    Hmm, not quite right yet.
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    Still not there.
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    Hey, that looks better! Here's a hint for good night shots with a tripod: set your camera for a delayed shutter release. That will help get rid of the shake caused by actually pressing the shutter button. If your camera has a remote control, use that. The shutter delay and remote feature are usually in the same menu. Various cameras have various options for delay; mine has a 2-sec, 10-sec, and custom setting I think. As always: know thy camera!

    We get her camera all set up and are immediately told to vacate the balcony. Ugh. We undo everything we did and head inside, where we see LOTS OF LIGHTNING on the other side of the lounge and then the rain comes. Torrential rain!

    We wait. We drink. We snap pics.

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    We also have a little photography lesson but *someone* has had 2 mojito's and is working on martini, so I'm not sure how much of the info she retained. :rotfl: There was a lot of "Wait, say that again?" :laughing:

    We waited up in the TOTWL for an hour hoping to see Wishes but the rain didn't seem to want to let up. When it fianlly did it was so late we guessed Wishes had been cancelled. There are 2 sides to the TOTWL balcony and we went to the non-MK side for a few min before heading back to our room-with-a-view.
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    Here is the BLT pool and slide. Don't mind the graininess, I had to kick up the ISO in order to get anything remotely acceptable in the dark.

    No Wishes, back to the room we go. Oh wait, I suppose I should get a pic of the TOTWL.
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    I love light fixtures, it would seem.
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    These are outside the elevator when you leave the TOTWL. As we get off on our floor we hear noises... banging... BOOMING, noises.

    FIREWORKS!

     
  13. NOX PLAYMATE

    NOX PLAYMATE Earning My Ears

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    [​IMG]

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this picture!! :love: My DH2B and I were contemplating whether or not to rent DVC points and stay at BLT after the suggestion, it is absolutely beautiful at BLT, but after seeing so many wonderful pictures taken from CSR I think we are just going to stick with our original plan. King Bed/Waterview :banana: BLT we will visit you one day!

    It's too bad you ladies didn't get to see the fireworks from the TOWL lounge, but at least you did end up seeing it from the comforts of your room. I absolutely love Wishes!! Brings tears to my eyes just because it brings back so many memories!

    Lookin' forward to the next update. Keep up the great work ladies! :cheer2:
     
  14. mickeysmyboy

    mickeysmyboy <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    First of all, I missed Jen's post with the bath room, er torture chamber, info in it! I'm getting a littler nervous about the bathroom situation next week! I did purchase a bathmat at target to take with us and I'll leave it in my owners locker for March!

    DInner at The Wave sounds yummy! Those sound like some good drinks!

    I love your pictures from TOWL! I'm interested to see what their access procedures are next week!

    WOW MaryEllen! WOW! Those pictures of Wishes from your room are amazing! Can I tell you how excited I am about that view?!
     
  15. Ducky4Disney

    Ducky4Disney -->Place Tag HERE!

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    Away to the window we flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash...

    No wait, that's not right. But we did go to the balcony and see WISHES! One would think that in WDW there would be some form on communication that would let people know that Wishes was going to be delayed and not cancelled. If there was such a thing as that, we might have stayed at the TOTWL and watched them there with sound. I digress...

    After all the setting of settings upstairs we end up taking hand-held shots. My camera has a fireworks setting so I give that a whirl.
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    It would seem that the fireworks setting has a 2 second long shutter time.
    Neat effect but not what I want. Change settings!

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    Much better!

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    That is NOT the end of the night Mary Ellen! You can't forget what fun we had OPENING the pullout couch! :lmao:

    D4D



     
  16. All7OfUs

    All7OfUs <font color=darkorchid>We too are so very NOT into

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    Great updates, ladies!! Awesome shots of a fabulous looking dinner, beautiful fireworks, and some great, tasty drinks! Thoroughly enjoyed myself this evening catching up on your posts!
     
  17. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

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    Jen, So sorry about your dog, what breed was she? My MIL had a Golden and she died from Kidney failure at 6 years old, too. Her symptoms came on fairly sudden. It was only over the space of a couple weeks. The vet that did the ultrasound said that her kidneys were so small and shriveled that they figure she never really had normal ones. They have another Golden now and she has the Vet keeping an eye on her kidneys.

    On a happier note, both of you take such beautiful pictures! Love the "Torture Chamber" and the vultures waiting outside the window!
     
  18. dawnbu40

    dawnbu40 DIS Veteran

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    Great updates ladies :thumbsup2

    I love the pictures of the lounge and the fireworks! :goodvibes

    Looking forward to more :)
     
  19. mickeysmyboy

    mickeysmyboy <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    Neat fireworks pictures Jen!

    I know that rooms at BLT have a channel on the TV to get the music for Wishes in the room. I'm not sure if it just the rooms that are considered MK view though!
     
  20. Charleston Princess

    Charleston Princess DIS Veteran

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    I think there is a lot to be said for seeing fireworks from your very own balcony!!!
     
  21. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Jen. We had a great evening. Dinner was perfect, the lounge was cool and the fireworks were great.

    The Wave was really good. I definitely recommend it as a consistently good meal, with good cuts of beef. The desserts are a bit small. The smoothies make up for that.

    It was so cool to be able to see Wishes from our room. Totally unexpected!

    I think I am going to stay there again sometime. It's a beautiful resort and I don't think I appreciated it as much as I could have because the time I stayed there it was following 5 nights in a 2BR at Kidani. The kids were being a pain and everything felt crowded. Definitely going back with either Denny or some girlfriends.!

    You will LOVE the Wave. the cuts of meat are really good and the sides were delicious as well. The smoothies are excellent. The service it great and the location is wonderful.

    Glad you enjoyed the fireworks.


    :rotfl2: That about sums it up! My initial drink experience succinctly put!

    I am proud to say that I have since learned how to set up my own tripod and I have used the 2sec delay in taking pictures of my nephews. Let me just say that 4 boys can move alot in 2 seconds!

    Cool picture of the pool and I guess we really did stay there until the whole place cleared out. Yes those 2.5 drinks must have affected my memory. Especially since I apparently forgot my less than coordinated efforts to open up the sleeper sofa! :laughing:

    You will love CSR. It's a great choice, especially if you enjoy open outside spaces and walking around the grounds. Plus you could always have dinner at the Cali grill and catch the fireworks from up there. And the tables for two are mostly near the window, so a great view while you dine.

    I am so glad we walked into the room just as Wishes was starting. It was such a special treat because we really thought we had missed it. Really a beautiful show!




    OK, question? Did you photoshop the first two to make the effects?

    Second - I took my fireworks pictures in the P mode with the forced flash. Is that right? What else could I have done. Still trying to learn here people!

    And Drat - I think I am going back into photobucket and do some more effects and see what happens. I am curious.
     

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