Let's call this the vacation that almost wasn't....

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by tlinus, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    Similar to last year's episode, we began our planning of this trip in early January. Keep that phrase in mind - began being the key word. DD who was turning 13 wanted to go back and do the whole HRH birthday thing - and who are we to say no?

    To refresh your memory, here is the cast of characters:

    DH - 40 - The ever so still hard working, newly promoted and needed a vacation (which eventually happened) leader of the pack :worship:

    Me - 38 - Planner, rearranger, packer, rearranger again, adding onto the vacation, rearranger AGAIN stay at home Mom of 3 who tries all the angles to get our vacation within budget to allow for onsite perks. :goodvibes

    DD - 13 - The one who this vacation was originally all about. Dad's roller coaster riding partner and whose quick witted humor makes us laugh (when she's not being - you know - a teenager) :rolleyes1

    DD - 8 goin on 9 June 29th - With all of the rearranging and postponements, we included her birthday in this vacation as well. She is the competitive one, the middle child, but the one who is all about family. She is the one who will most likely take care of me and DH when we are old, so we better treat her right ;)

    DS - 6 - He is the little man, the Little Buddy, the one who was a bit miffed about not being tall enough to try the Mummy with Dad. The one who notices everything and kept the trip a secret from school as it was "a family thing" - so therefore, no one needed to know :rotfl2: .

    I need to upload all of our pictures from DH's work laptop to my laptop, so there will be a short delay in the photos. I just wanted to get this thing rolling as I want to report as much as possible before I forget.

    So - go and grab a coffee, tea, water or soda pop and take the phone off the hook......here we go - yes, we actually made it to Vacation 2008 !
     
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  3. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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    :surfweb:


    here and waiting........
     
  4. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    January - March 2008

    We asked our daughter exactly what she wanted to do for her big milestone 13th birthday - true UNI/IOA junkie that she is she answered with something along the lines of "Duh, go to Univeral and stay at the Hard Rock". OK, then. That was settled. Due to our experiences of carnage on the Roadtrip of October 2006, we will no longer drive to Orlando. The only thing holding us back from booking the trip right then in January was the price of airfare. It was a little crazy. So we sat on the plans and waited and watched and waited and watched. FINALLY, mid February, Southwest $79.00 per person, each way last week of April into first week of May!!! WhooHoo - we booked the airfare!!! Got on the horn with the Hard Rock, got the room. Went to AAA office got the park tickets. Kept checking for the airfare to drop - it did - twice!! Ended up with $200.00 in Southwest credits :thumbsup2 !!!!! Did up the calendar with the countdown. Sailed through February, March and then hit the wall in April :scared1:

    April 2008

    Did you ever have the feeling that things were just too easy? Yeah, you got it - here comes snag numero uno in our Vacation plan. This one wasn't bad - it was rather a pleasant have to rearrange everything type of snag :)

    DH calls fom work one day in VERY early April:

    DH: "Hey, when is our vacation again?"
    ME: "April 29th to May 6th"
    DH: "Hmmmm.....got a little problem."
    ME: (after picking up my jaw from the floor) "What might that be?"
    DH: "I have to go to Vegas for a Microsoft conference the last week of April. Oh, and why don't we arrange things so you can come with me?! The company is sending me and paying for the hotel and the classes/conference and we can get a cheap car so you can go do stuff. "
    ME: "I am sure it is not a big deal - let me get on it!!"

    So, with a little creative rearranging, child care, dog care and only $118.00 in airfare for me out of our pockets (that 200 in SW credits came in handy:thumbsup2 ) DH and I jetted off to Vegas 4/27 and returned 5/3. Never went to Vegas before, it was really cool, enjoyed myself with sightseeing and just a little slot action, but wouldn't take that flight again when there was ANY sort of disturbances in the atmosphere. Turbulence and Mamma Bean here do not mix!!! It was wicked on the way out and tolerable on the way back.

    So with the calendar reflecting the new dates of 5/27 to 6/3 for our Orlando vacation, I puttered through the very beginning of May. Getting back into the excitement of a nice family vacation in a few weeks :rolleyes1

    *****~~~~S C R E E E E E E E E E E C H~~~~***** Yep, that would be the brakes again.
     
  5. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    May 2008

    Where did you all go for your 7th grade class trip? I think we were so bad that we didn't get anything cool and wound up at the Philadelphia Zoo :rotfl2: Matter of fact - I think we left some of our worst classmates there :rotfl2:

    Kbean (my oldest) gets to go to Hershey Park. May 28th. I paid for the trip when our original plans were to leave in April :headache: .

    Cbean (my middle) has a trip to the Arden Theatre and the school's field day during our newest dates.

    Fbean (the little guy) would have missed his zoo trip and the school's field day.

    Daddybean had a few important projects thrown his way that HAD to be completed by the end of May.

    You're all smart........you can see where this is going. Yup, had to rearrange our vacation again :eek: :eek:

    Not only did I rearrange the dates to 6/3 to 6/10, DH wanted to throw me a curveball - "Hey, what about doing a couple of Disney days?" Ummmm - ok, let me see what is what and how cheaply we can throw that into the mix. Meanwhile I was a mix of this: [​IMG] and this: [​IMG]

    Ok - all plans are in - 3 nights Pop Century, 2 day base ticket, dinner at the Crystal Palace on 6/5 for the girls' birthdays, 4 nights Hard Rock - all flight times are the same, same price for flights.......we are good to go!!!!!

    Rut-Roh!!!! We get back on the 10th, kids go back on the 11th, yikes :eek: - its the last day of school. For the younger beans it didn't matter, but the elder bean had finals to take. Whew [​IMG], they let her do it on her last day (which was a half day) instead of goofing around with the rest of the kids.

    Now there is nothing left to do except clean, launder, pack, kennel the dog, get a check-in-sitter for the fish and hamster and go - right?.... right?!.....RIGHT???!!!!?????






    Yeah - we went :woohoo: :woohoo:





    Up next :

    Philly International, the flight, the car the check in at Pop and the baby ducks in the wicked thunderstorm. Otherwise known as the wasted travel day :rolleyes1 .
     
  6. angela3676

    angela3676 Working it out . . .

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    popcorn:: continue!! :)
     
  7. RVGal

    RVGal <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue>

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    I was along for the ride during all the reschedules and it was still fun to read through that.

    Getting comfy and waiting. Patiently. For more. Waiting. Right here. No pressure.
    :rolleyes1
     
  8. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    Tuesday 6/3/08 - Wasted travel day 1

    Ok ladies and gents. Here we are on THE day. THE day we have been waiting and planning for all this time. THE day I personally thought would NEVER come. Get up and get the girls to school at 8AM. Come home and finish packing the back pack with my papers, electronic cords, wallet, boarding passes - you get the picture. This is the first time I didn't have any last minute clothes to pack - did all of that on Saturday :cool1: To tell the truth - I kind of felt a bit lost without last minute rushing around :lmao:

    Left to take the Sadie Dog to the kennel at 11. Picked up the girls at noon from school. Then my friend arrived and got us to the airport at 1 for our 2:55pm flight. Security was a breeze - for everyone but me......I got the "special" treatment this time :eek: Turns out the barrette I clipped to my brassiere strap while in the shower so I didn't lose it, was still there while going through security :rotfl: :rotfl: I put it there so when Fbean was jumping on my bed with my clothes it didn't get lost.......I thought - great it got lost anyway, but the nice lady at the security checkpoint found it for me - we laughed about it as she was patting me down like a High School Boy on a hot date.

    Off to the gate [​IMG], checked in with Cbean to get our preboarding. Then Daddybean stopped in the Chickie's and Pete's for a drink (for him) and Crabfries (for me and Kbean). Yes, crabfries. Anyone from the philly area knows that Chickie's and Pete's crabfries are awesome :

    [​IMG]

    and the bonus is that they opened a location in the airport-terminal E!!!! That is where we took off from and where we landed :woohoo:

    OK - enough with the drooling.

    Our flight took off on time and the turbulence was at a minimum. Although I was still traumatized by the Vegas trip - so any rocking or bumping set me into a mild panic. We arrived 20 minutes early (gotta love Southwest Airlines :thumbsup2 ). We only had carryon bags so we bypassed the luggage claim and went right out to National's Emerald Aisle and got our car (this is so totally a stock photo - I forgot to take one of the actual car :headache: ):

    [​IMG]

    With very little confusion and three tolls later, we arrived at Pop Century!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Check in went relatively smooth - both girls received a button to wear for their birthday.

    [​IMG]

    And that was about it :confused3 When I made the reservation I was told there would be a personalized card from the favorite princess, some balloons. Nothing of the sort ever materialized. No towel animals, hmmmm......Good thing I didn't rev Court up about all the "special things" that I was told would happen - would have had one boiled bean on my hands :furious:

    We were placed in the 90's building.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our room numbers were 8154 and 8155. Both double bedded rooms (also not what I requested, but bearable). Our view was of the main road that wraps around the Resort, it was pretty quiet believe it or not :)

    [​IMG]


    Not long after checking out our room it began POURING. We hung outside the room for a little bit and ran into these guys

    [​IMG]

    The rain slowed, but we weren't going to let a little Florida rain slow us down, so we took off in the direction of the main lobby/arcade/food area. Now mind you this is about 730pm. We played in the arcade, browsed the shop and finally got some grub in the food court. Hence the name - the Wasted travel Day. After the explorers returned to their respective rooms, I headed out in search for a grocery store and wound up at Winn Dixie. Loaded upon some supplies, got back to the room, had a drink or two or three and hit the sack by midnight or midnight-thirty. Tomorrow was NOT going to be a wasted day. We may start late, I know - I know [​IMG]but we do not waste our days.


    Coming up next:

    Typhoon Lagoon, DHS, The major meltdown and Toy Story Mania
     
  9. jillybeene71

    jillybeene71 Geaux Saints...Can you feel the Brees?

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    and then... :surfweb:
     
  10. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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    morning hangover?
     
  11. RVGal

    RVGal <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue>

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    Love the pics! :lmao:

    Okay, love the story... waiting patiently for the pics... and more of the story.

    Waiting.

    Patiently.
     
  12. Hedy

    Hedy <font color=blue>I'm <s>22</s> 27 and I still kind

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    Looking forward to more...
     
  13. nerdboyrockstar

    nerdboyrockstar <font color=purple>Mouseketeer<br><font color=gree

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    Every trip has roadblocks.. but they're not usually VEGAS! :rotfl:

    Those crabfries look amazing.. alright let me keep reading.
     
  14. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    i'm here :teeth:

    ain't read yet, but i'm working on it..... (and customers at the same time :rolleyes1 )
     
  15. angela3676

    angela3676 Working it out . . .

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    need a pic fix. waiting on a pic :rolleyes1
     
  16. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    Patience my dear woman - have to get the goods from DH tonight first!! :lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao:



    and by goods I mean pictures.




    get yer minds out of the gutter :angel:
     
  17. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    Yea - poor me, right??!!??!! :lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao:

    ANd the fries ARE amazing :goodvibes
     
  18. tlinus

    tlinus <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=teal>

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    and then........suspense - got to git moving - be back in the am with more!!

    nah - just a few beers and drank a bottle of water and had motrin before bed - I followed the rules ::yes::

    You will not be disappointed.

    But patience is necessary.

    be back with more :thumbsup2

    Thanks alot - will get to it in the morning.


    pffffftttt......tell em its sunny OUTSIDE :cool2: - go there to tan, cuz you got things to read!!
     
  19. t-and-a

    t-and-a <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=royal

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    Welcome home Tracie and Beans! TR is great so far- I'm looking forward to reading the rest!
     
  20. bubba's mom

    bubba's mom <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    uh...I didn't go anywhere.... :confused3

    Glad all the kids got to enjoy their "end of skool year" activities..... and Kate got to make finals up [​IMG]


    mental. picture. ----> [​IMG]

    :eek: They opened a C&P?? :banana: altho...that is NOT going to help us at 6AM :headache:


    ::yes:: :thumbsup2 fly no other anymore....

    uhhh....not that job today ;)
     
  21. RAPstar

    RAPstar <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    great trippie so far! can't wait to read more!!
     

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