Im going back to Disney World!!!!! I can hardly believe its actually true. But when Hubby said if it will make you happy, just go already I decided to move forward before he changed his mind! Welcome to those of you who wandered over here because I already call you friend! I especially welcome those of you who wandered over here out of curiosity (or perhaps by accident) and choose to join me on this little adventure. I hope youll stick with me through my ramblings and plans and Ill try my hardest to be at least a little entertaining. SO Who am I? Im Katie I am a science teacher by training. I taught high school for 8 years before deciding I needed a break. I then was fortunate to get a half-time job I loved at a university working in outreach with the College of Natural Sciences. I planned events and opportunities for the local community and really enjoyed the work I did. Unfortunately, I was a casualty of our economic conditions and after a year was told they could not keep my position going. I was then unable to find another job and am currently working as a part-time substitute teacher. I am likely to return to teaching next school year (3 positions are probably going to open up in our district) and I know the difficulty of taking an off-season trip to Disney on a teacher's calendar so Im grabbing this opportunity while I can! I am also a wife to my hubby Greg and mom to my 2 boys Patrick and Daniel Im a little nervous about leaving them for so long. I have never been away from the kids for more than 1 night at a time. Greg is a high school teacher and I know this trip will mean he has to step up and take over all the parenting duties on top of his work. However, he is a basketball coach and between Halloween and Valentines Day, he is very busy and I step up and do most of the work. I think he recognizes that 1 week of doing the daycare drop-off and pickup, homework checks, meal preparation and house cleaning is still a pretty good deal for him! In June 2008 we went on a trip with my extended family to celebrate my parents 40th wedding anniversary and the boys got it in the same way I did during my trips as a kid. (Link to that TR is in my siggy if you are bored) Greg on the other hand well lets just say he enjoyed the trip and would like to go back someday but doesnt feel the need for that day to come soon. I havent really explained yet to the boys that I am going back without them (not really looking forward to that day!) The idea for a Flower and Garden trip began with a group of Disers I am proud to call my friends. We wanted to take a trip together (affectionately dubbed gnomefest). Unfortunately, other trips and life in general seems to have stopped those plans for several of this group. A few of my gnomies may still be planning a trip sometime during F&G and Im hoping to have a Dismeet or two while I am there. So in the meantime I decided to invite an old friend (that of course implies that we have been friends a long time, not that we are getting old) to join me for a girls-only trip. Meet Beth . (Sorry about the resolution, this was taken from her facebook profile) We grew up in the same town but went to different elementary and middle schools. We met in high school and quickly became close friends. I stole this picture from Beths brother who posted it on facebook. Im embarrassed to say I dont have any recent pictures of the 2 of us, this is one from our senior picnic almost 20 years ago After graduation, our lives took very different paths. She got married young and quickly took on the responsibility of a family. I went to college and led the easy life of a carefree young adult. Although we lived only a little over an hour apart and kept in touch, our different lives meant we didnt have a lot in common at that time. We slowly drifted apart. However, thanks to the power of the internet, we reconnected last year through Facebook and found that in the meantime, I had started my family and she had returned to college and we still connected in the same way we did all those years ago in 9th grade. She is still the awesome, thoughtful and funny chick I once called my best friend! She is still happily married to her husband Steve and is the mom to 2 teenagers, Brett and Michael. They are currently waiting for the arrival of their daughter who will be coming to them from China sometime next fall. Heres her boys When Greg suggested a week ago that he was OK with me going on a trip to Disney, Beth was the first person I thought of. When I told her all about last years trip, she told me she had never been there and had always wanted to go. She talked it over with her hubby and he told her to go! So the planning begins. I must confess to feeling a little behind on getting this trip planned given the last one was 2 years of talk and negotiations. However, I feel so much better prepared now that I have the Dis as a regular part of my life. Next up deciding when and more importantly the ADR window is already open, wed better start planning the FOOD!!! Be sure to say HI if you want to stick around for all the details as our trip unfolds.