Look at all those Minnie hats!! A 3 generation Nov/Dec 2011 TR - updated March 23

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ellajeansmom, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    I'm so glad you enjoyed the opening show at MK! It looks even better with all the pretty Christmas decorations!:thumbsup2 Aww....I really want to go at Christmas time.::yes::

    Love the pictures with Santa!! So cute!

    Sounds like it was a successful morning!! Yay for eating at CHH! As you know it's definitely a favorite for us.:thumbsup2

    Sorry that Ella couldn't ride Splash.:( Ugh! But, as you said better than being stuck at the top.:scared1:

    Great photopass pictures!!!:goodvibes
     
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  3. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    The opening show really is a great way to start off the day :goodvibes The Christmas decorations were so wonderful everywhere that I think by this point they didn't really seem extraordinary anymore, but definitely still lovely!

    We had a wonderful visit with Santa, and I definitely liked CHH better than any of the other CS places we've tried at MK.

    The photopass pictures were a lot of fun to do :)
     
  4. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Day 4 cont'd

    We left off last time having had a lovely morning and early afternoon at MK and had come back to our rooms for a rest before dinner and MVMCP. I had the girls be still and watch an episode or two of Phineas & Ferb and then I took them over to the Dig Site for a swim. Grammy decided to do some laundry so she did that and lounged at the quiet pool. Nana, Gramps and E all had naps.

    The girls and I returned and we all got changed into warmer clothes. I then realized that Grammy wasn’t back yet. E went to get her and I think there was some issue with the dryer, anyways they finally came back but most of her clothes were still damp. We finally got on our way (poor Nana & Gramps had been sitting ready to go for at least 15 minutes) and over to the bus stop. I had convinced E that we would be much better to use the bus tonight as the monorail would not be running by the time we left the party. The MK bus arrived almost right away, but at the next stop an ECV got on and that seemed to take forever. The lady was having issues with it and with how the driver wanted to load it.

    We finally got on our way, used our MVMCP tickets to enter since it was after 4:00, and got our wristbands. As we made our way under the train station (on the right hand side) I heard the music start for Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it! And I panicked because our reservations were at Crystal Palace and we had to get across Main Street – I know it’s a short little parade but we were on the verge of running late and the later we were at dinner the less time we would have for MVMCP. I told everyone to move it and stick close. I asked a CM right at the base of the street if we could cut across since we were trying to get to CP for a reservation but she said no, not here – if you hurry and get up closer to the hub you can cross up there. So we dodged around people as fast as we could up the sidewalk of Main Street and got to a good crossing spot with lots of time to spare, I found another CM to ask about crossing and they let us go. With that burst of excitement we checked in at CP and then...waited! But only for 10 minutes and we were watching the mini-parade from the veranda so the time went quickly.

    This dinner is definitely a favourite with us – it was our only table service repeat from 2009 and we did not regret it at all. We could see the castle from our table so I was able to see the castle lighting ceremony through the windows :cloud9:, the food was yummy and the characters were fun. First there was Winnie-the-Pooh

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    then Piglet

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    then Eeyore

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    Nana wanted in on the Eeyore picture since our nickname for their dog that died a couple of years ago was Eeyore

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    Finally Tigger came by. Jean was apprehensive at first as she was not sure she if she forgave him for stealing her doll back in 2009, but she was won over as Tigger greeted and joked with everyone at our table. We have two videos of this:

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    That's Nana laughing non-stop in the background :rotfl2:

    By the time we were finished dessert it was 7:00 and I was anxious to get out to the party but the grandparents decided to have coffee and were enjoying the atmosphere. E knew I was itching to move and we had already decided our first stop was to meet Captain Jack Sparrow – this was Ella and my must do of the whole evening! So we decided the girls and I would go ahead while the rest finished up and they would meet us over by Pirates.

    Next time...do we make it through the line in time to meet our favourite pirate?
     
  5. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Great pictures at Crystal Palace!! We really enjoyed our dinner there last time. We definitely need to make a point to go back!:thumbsup2

    I'm excited to hear about MVMCP! I hope you made it in time to meet Jack Sparrow!:lovestruc

    Oh..and I just noticed your ticker! Good for you for running the Princess 1/2 marathon!!! It's definitely a goal of mine...someday. I hope you decide to write a TR for that trip. I would love to read about it.:goodvibes
     
  6. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Crystal Palace is definitely a favourite of ours, as I said it was our only "repeat" table service on this trip! I recommended it to a friend who was only going to be at MK for one day back in the spring and they enjoyed it too :thumbsup2

    I hope to get a post or two of MVMCP done this weekend.

    I'm looking forward to the Princess 1/2, although its kind of scary too! I ran a 10km race a couple of weeks ago and that went well, so I figure I'm half way there :) My SIL is going to run with me and my parents are coming to cheer us on. I will probably write a TR for it because I know how much I loved reading other people's race TR's :goodvibes
     
  7. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Day 4 cont'd - MVMCP!

    Last time, the girls and I were on our way to meet our favourite pirate while the rest finished their coffee. When we got to the line they were already warning that the Captain would be taking a break in 30 minutes. Judging the line I thought we would be OK, but just barely. As we waited the party sweepers came through, at least 2 if not 3 different CMs checked our wristbands and then the line of CMs went by shooing non-ticket holders ahead of them. I was relieved to see this as the reports from before we left had been spotty about enforcing ticket holders only.

    We chatted a bit with the couple behind us, who were impressed by our state of readiness…the girls had their autograph books out with the pens marking the page and I had the PP card out and ready. E and the grandparents had caught up to us and I handed out Santa hats to everyone. The grandparents found a spot to sit close by while E asked me if I realized I was standing in line to meet a drunken pirate. My answer was “Yes, is there a problem with that?” He laughed and went to wait with the grandparents. Finally it was our turn and we made it before Captain Jack’s break.

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    As Jack was signing the books he asked where we were from and I said near Toronto, Ontario, to which he replied “Ah yes, the ends of the earth” :rotfl2: Then we got our “formal” pic

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    Love the look on Ella’s face in these! It was a fun meet, definitely worth the wait :) Oh, and that's the hoodie that I had bought that morning.

    With our character must-do of the party complete we were ready to hit some more attractions. We moved on towards Thunder Mountain and were excited to see it was back up and running – we had never done this in the dark before and it was a lot of fun! We wandered over to Fantasyland and rode IASW - one of Jean’s must do’s so here are her pics

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    The girls wondered if the platypus' knew Perry :lmao:

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    Next up was the carousel – the guys decided to pass so the girls all got in one row! We had a few more laughs here as Nana’s horse was in a high position when we were getting on and she didn’t have the arm strength to swing herself up so I had to give her a boost…we were quite the sight! We finally all got settled on our horses and had a great race!

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    Jean tried to pull out the sword but apparently she is not destined to be a ruler

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    Nana and the girls and I then took a spin on Dumbo

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    and when we came off Grammy met us all excited saying you have to come over here, and who had she found but Peter Pan and Wendy! Their handler said they were not signing autographs they were just out to play but we did get some pics

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    At this point Wendy turned around and said “Oh dear, who gave Peter a sword?”

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    There was only us and one other family in the area at all, so it was a great time!

    We rode Snow White and then moved on towards Tomorrowland. E was wanting to ride Space Mountain and we figured if the line was short we would have just enough time to ride before Wishes. Unfortunately, it was down – so that was all 3 mountains down at some point during our day :confused3 Anyways, we decided that E would take the girls to the dance party at Cosmic Ray’s which they had noticed on our way by, Grammy, Nana and Gramps went to check out a nearby store and I went to the rest room – everyone else had gone in Fantasyland and somehow I hadn’t!

    The girls had fun at the dance party but unfortunately we didn’t manage any pictures. A short time later I gathered everyone back together and we made our way to the bridge between Tomorrowland and the hub to watch the Magic, Memories and You which had just started. It was amazing, so cool what they can do with the projections. This was the same spot that we had watched Wishes last time and it was great again. There were people but it was not packed shoulder to shoulder, and once again Tinkerbell flew right over us! Wishes was amazing and we were all teary and goosebumpy by the end :goodvibes

    Next time...the parade!!
     
  8. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Somehow I had missed your last update.:confused3

    Anyway, it was great as usual!:thumbsup2 Yay for meeting Jack Sparrow!!:lovestruc

    It sounds like it was a great night! How cool that Peter Pan and Wendy were out and you were able to get some pictures!

    Aww...love the Magic, Memories and You show and of course Wishes!

    Can't wait to hear about the parade!:goodvibes
     
  9. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Thanks Angie! Meeting Captain Jack was so cool, he had the swagger and aloof demeanor really going on :thumbsup2

    I think meeting up with Peter Pan and Wendy is what those parties are all about, that chance encounter that is fun and special :goodvibes The handler had first said no autographs and no pictures, but a couple minutes later Wendy said we could do some pictures since it was only the two families there.

    Lots of parade pictures coming up next!
     
  10. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Day 4 cont'd - MVMCP...the parade!

    Once Wishes was over we moved towards the hub, which was probably a mistake as that is where the masses of people were. My thought was that we could maybe watch the Castle show and then find a spot for the parade but there were too many people and we just didn't want to be in that space, so we kept going. I told E, who was in front with the stroller, to head for Liberty Square. It was slow going for a few minutes but eventually the mass of people eased enough for me to grab a pic of the castle on our way by

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    and we easily staked out a great front row spot right where the parade route turns to head past the Hall of Presidents.

    We had a bit more than a ½ hour before the parade started so I imposed on the grandparents to hold our spots and showed them where CHH was and told them that they could get some cookies and hot chocolate there. Trying not to break parade etiquette too much we left the stroller (so it was obvious at least one kid was coming back) and I told Nana to let anybody who came to stand behind them know that more members of our group would be coming back. E, the girls and I hurried back to Fantasyland in the hopes of catching a flight with Peter Pan. The line here was probably the longest we'd seen all night at about 15 minutes! We got on and had a wonderful flight (one of my favourites :lovestruc) and made it back to the grandparents in plenty of time.

    We sipped our hot chocolate and nibbled our cookies while we waited

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    and then the parade started. Both Nana and Grammy had their cameras out so I kept mine away and just enjoyed, I hope you do too!

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    Apologies that the next few are a bit blurry.

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    continued in next post...
     
  11. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    The parade continued...

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    The parade was amazing – one of the princes looked right at Ella and wished her Merry Christmas and one of the CMs asked Gramps if he was Santa’s brother!

    No one was ready to call it a night yet even though it was 11:00…we were all having too much fun! We decided to try Space Mountain again. We were in luck, it was up and running! Grammy threw caution to the wind and decided to join us (she figured if it was dark she wouldn’t see the hills so her fear of heights wouldn’t be an issue :rolleyes1) so we left Nana with the stroller and all our Santa hats and headed on.

    Halfway through the line I remembered that you ride this single file and while Jean is game to try any ride she likes to hold your hand! I explained the cars to her and showed her when we got close enough. She was pretty nervous but was OK to try once I suggested that she sit in front of me and I could hold her hands over her shoulders. It was not the most comfortable ride for me but we made it work!!

    Grammy survived – barely - and we laughed at our pictures, unfortunately my bootleg attempts didn’t turn out well. Grammy decided that she was going to purchase the pic to prove that she had ridden because she was never doing that again :rotfl: When we got to the gift shop there was hardly anyone there, Grammy went to the counter and told the CM she wanted to buy her picture, we were all still laughing so he started chatting with us and Grammy explained how she was afraid of heights and wanted the picture to prove she had ridden and what a fun time we were having. The CM asked if she wanted a print or the digital copy and she said digital was fine. He asked if we had a PP card and I said yes but it was with Nana outside. He then asked us to just wait over to the side and a couple of minutes later came over with a new PP card and told Grammy it was his gift to her since we were having such a good time there would be no charge pixiedust: He asked if I wanted mine too and I said I would love it but I wasn’t planning to buy it and he replied don’t worry about it and added our pic as well, gave us the card and with a Merry Christmas sent us on our way! It was a wonderful bit of pixie dust to end our night with! Here are our pics

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    We found Nana and slowly started to make our way out of the park as it was nearing midnight. Still not really ready to leave, I made everyone stop for one more PP

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    Continuing on our way, there was lots of people but not insanely crowded. When we got to our bus stop the line looked really long but a bus pulled up right away and ¾ of the line got on and by the time they finished loading another bus was pulling up for us and we easily got on that one.

    It was an incredibly fun night but we were ready for our beds when we got in the door!

    Next time...one last meal all together.
     
  12. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Ok, now I'm all caught up!

    You saw my boyfriend!!! He looked pretty darn handsome with all of you! I have to say that Shanleigh and I had a laugh when looking at your pictures with all of you in hoodies and hats! We forget what it's like to go at that time of year...haven't been in November since 2005! Used to be our favourite time to visit.

    Shanleigh's last exam is on Dec 3 so maybe next year or the year after we can plan another visit around the holidays! Your pictures make me miss it even more!

    Great updates!
     
  13. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Thanks!
     
  14. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Love your parade pics!! It looks like such a fun night.:thumbsup2

    Yay for the pixie dust on your Space Mountain pics!!:yay: They turned out great!!:goodvibes
     
  15. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Thanks Angie!

    The Space Mountain pics make me laugh every time I look at them...me holding Jean's hands over her shoulders, the look on Ella's face contrasted with Gramps', and Grammy looks fairly calm until you look at her hands and realize how tight she is gripping the lap bar :rotfl2:
     
  16. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    I have been terribly neglectful of this TR, life with 2 girls playing hockey and one of them being on a rep team has us way busier than we expected. Thankfully the girls are having lots of fun and so are we since we enjoy watching them play. E is head coach of Ella's team and assistant coach of Jean's team so he is on the ice with them for practices, plus he still plays himself 3 times a week. There was one night/morning a couple of weeks ago that he was on the ice 3 times within 12 hours, first a practice with Ella's team in the evening, then his own game later that night, then a practice with Jean's team at 6:30 the next morning. All he could say was "its a good thing I love hockey!"

    Anyways, on with the TR...

    Day 5 - Thursday December 1

    After our late night at MVMCP we were slow getting up this morning. Once we got out of bed we finished packing and said goodbye to CS. We had ADRs at Chef Mickey’s at 10:30 so off we went to the Contemporary. We had never been in this resort except to go through on the monorail so it was fun to look around and compare the décor to CS and GF. We checked into CM and had our picture taken

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    and then waited to be seated

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    We had time to hit the buffet before the characters arrived. We thought it was a great spread with good food and lots of choices. Soon enough the characters started to visit our table. First the main mouse himself

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    Then Pluto – love how he signs his autograph!

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    continued in next post...

     
  17. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Next to visit our table was Minnie, we let Ella and Jean get their books signed and have a picture with just them

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    but we definitely needed a picture with Minnie and all the ladies in our hats, Minnie thought they were very cute!

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    Then Goofy came along

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    And finally Donald made his way over to flirt with Nana (he greeted her by kissing her hand)

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    During all of this I think we each went up to the buffet at least 3 times! We finally had our fill and knew we had to get moving.

    At some point Ella realized that we were not going back to CS and got upset as there had been something in the gift shop there she had planned to get before we left and that never happened. We calmed her down and assured her the gift shop here would likely have it as well, so we hit one more gift shop :rolleyes1 Ella bought herself Perry the Platypus and Jean bought a Rapunzel playset. Nana and I realized that we still both had several snack credits left (Grammy had used all of hers) so we stopped at the Contempo café and picked up some apples, Mickey rice krispie treats and chips to use those up.

    We finally made it back out to the truck and sadly drove off. It was harder for the girls because they knew it would be at least a couple of years before they were back – I knew I was coming back the next day! We dropped Nana and Gramps off at the airport where they were picking up a rental car and then continued on towards Port Canaveral.

    Next time...the Dream!
     
  18. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Yay for Chef Mickey's!! Sounds like you had a great breakfast and the character pictures turned out so cute! :goodvibes

    Oohh...I can't wait to hear about the Dream!:thumbsup2
     
  19. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    We enjoyed Chef Mickey's...it was a terrific way to wrap up our time together at the WDW and we all love a breakfast buffet :thumbsup2 We had great character greets and pics the whole trip, I think a lot of it was because Nana and Grammy were happy to jump into the pictures and interact with the characters so it helped Ella and Jean relax a little more around them.

    I hope to get a post done tonight...there will be Dream pics!
     
  20. ellajeansmom

    ellajeansmom Mouseketeer

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    Day 5 cont'd...in which we part ways

    Having dropped Nana & Gramps at the airport so they could pick up their own rental car, we continued on to Port Canaveral. We easily found our way into the drop off area and they kindly allowed us to park a few minutes while we made sure Grammy and the girls were organized and set. We took a pic

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    and off they went to board the Dream :goodvibes E and I were feeling a little jealous at this point being so close to the ship – it is amazingly beautiful! I took a few more pics as we drove away

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    We then drove on down to Cocoa Beach where we had decided to spend the night. We didn’t have anything actually booked but I had found a few options and we ended up at the Days Inn right across from the pier. The hotel was definitely older and could stand some refurb, but it was clean and it included a fridge and microwave. We had a short nap and then headed back towards Cape Canaveral to find Nana & Gramps’ condo – we had to give them Jean’s booster seat as they would be picking Grammy and the girls up on Sunday. Their condo was perfect for them for the 3 nights, right on the beach with a balcony and included a washer and dryer – Nana already had laundry going! We really didn’t have any plans for the afternoon, we had thought about going to one of the parks to watch the ship leave but then realized we could see the ships from the condo so we just relaxed and kept track of the ship on the Port Canaveral webcam. We watched a Carnival ship leave and then it was the Dream’s turn.

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    We decided to go outside to watch and soon we could see the smoke stacks over the trees

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    Then the horn played “When you wish upon a star” and the ship slowly emerged from the port

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    Nana, Gramps and I decided to stay on the walkway to the beach as we were a bit elevated but E went to the beach and ran to get as close as he could – here is a couple of pics of him on the beach

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    And the pictures he took while at the water's edge

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    Here's another shot as she moves out to sea, with Nana included to give perspective, although the water plays tricks with distances but she seemed so close!

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    We hung around for a bit longer not wanting to lose sight, and so pretty as night fell and the lights came on

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    It was so cool to see this beautiful ship sailing by knowing that the girls and Grammy were somewhere on it! It was so close we could see the Jumbotron, although not what was playing on it.

    Finally, we debated what to do for the evening. We were still full from our brunch at Chef Mickey’s and we were all pretty tired after four busy days in the parks. Nana and Gramps had to go out to get groceries and decided to just pick up something light for dinner. E and I had to find a power cord for his phone since we realized he had left his at CS, so we said good-bye to Nana & Gramps and set off to find a Wal-Mart. Driving down the coast we caught a few more glimpses of the Dream! We got the power cord and decided to just find a grocery store and get salads for dinner to eat in the hotel room. After eating we watched some TV and then fell asleep. We were disturbed by noise during the night (around 1 or 2 am when the local bars closed) but it did quiet down and we got a good rest.

    Up next...aboard the Dream!
     
  21. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Beautiful pictures of the Dream! It really makes me want to take a cruise.:thumbsup2 I can't wait to hear the girls reaction to the ship!
     

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