Mike & Missy's Grand Adventure! 9/5/09 DCL Western & WDW TR w/ pics! COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by UGAFan0829, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    The time has finally arrived! Time for what, you might ask! Time for my trip report!!:woohoo:I'm very excited to finally be starting this! Though our marvelous, magical, stupendous trip is done and over with, I think this will help me to re-live all the magical memories that we made. While I can't promise that this report will be as detailed or even as humorous as many here on the DIS, I will give it my best shot, and hopefully that will count for somethin'!

    For those of you who haven't read my Pre-TR and would like to see the cast of the trip, you can find that info here:
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2058198

    So here goes nothin'...
     
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  3. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Arriving in Port Canaveral, Checking Out the Beach, and Luggage Chaos!​


    Since Brandi and Gayle wouldn't be joining us for the WDW half of the trip, we decided to drive seperate cars. (It was probably best since all 4 of us could never have fit into one car along with all our luggage!) So, the plan was for them to meet us at our house at 4:30 a.m. that morning. (We live only a few miles from the interstate, so it only made sense that way.) After finally finishing up our packing at midnight the night before, we finally made it to bed only to be up at 3. By the time Gayle and Brandi made it there, we had all our luggage by the door, ready to go...
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    After Mike finally got everything loaded in the car and we double-checked the house one last time, we were on the road!
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    I was pretty happy that we were on the road so close to our planned time!

    Since I was driving and it was still dark out, that kinda hampered my plan to try and get some pics of landmarks throughout our drive. Once we got into Atlanta, Mike tried to take a couple, but they didn't turn out so well. It's a good thing there weren't that many cars on the road--as I was trying to tell Mike what I wanted pictures of and then him trying to show me the picture after he took it. Needless to say, my attention wasn't as focused on the road as it should have been. Though I've been to and through Atlanta a zillion times, I still love seeing the skyline, especially at night. So, even though they're terrible quality, I'll still share what pics we did get:
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    We'd been on the road for a couple of hours when we all started to get a little rumbly in our tumblies! We'd made it to Warner Robins and was looking for a Chick-fil-A. Well we found one, but then realized that it was in a mall. Of course with it being so early in the morning, the mall wasn't open yet. So, instead, we ended up at McD's. It wasn't bad, but it sure wasn't the good ol' chicken biscuit that I was craving! After our short detour, we were back on the road!

    We made it to the Flordia Welcome Center and decided that we needed to stretch our legs. It was a good feeling to finally be in Florida! We took our time and has some fresh orange juice while we browsed around all the guide and brochures that they have available there. We picked up a couple of guides for Key West and checked those out before we left. We finally made it back to the car about 30 min. later, and Mike took the wheel this time.

    It was about 1:00 when we finally arrived in Port Canaveral to the Country Inn & Suites.
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    Check-in time wasn't until 4, so we had a few hours to kill.

    We were all starving, so we decided to park one car and all ride together to find some lunch. We decided on Chili's, but didn't see one in the area, so we pulled it up on the GPS. Turns out there is one just a few minutes away in Merritt Island, so we made the short trek over there. Sorry, I don't have any pictures from lunch, but it was really good and we were way stuffed!

    After lunch, we decided to kill a little time by sightseeing a little. Brandi wanted to go to Ron Jon's later that night, so we found it so that we'd know where to come back to later. By that time, it was pretty close to 4, so we decided to head on back to the hotel to try and check-in.

    Continued in next post...
     
  4. polyforme

    polyforme Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait to read more!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it coming!
     
  5. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    We made our way into the hotel and checked-in. I was pretty impressed with the lobby of the hotel and was excited to see our room.
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    I don't know why, but this was the only picture that I took inside the hotel, which is very unusual for me. Anyway, the room was nice and clean, and there was room enough for all 4 of us.

    After resting in the room for a little while, we decided to head back out. Gayle had some things that she needed from Wal-Mart, so once again we all rode together to make it easier. After Wal-Mart we headed to Steak N' Shake for a shake. We were still so full from lunch that we decided we would skip dinner. After Steak N' Shake we made our way to one of the public beach acccess areas just to check out the beach. Again, for some reason, I didn't even think to take pictures! It was starting to rain while we were there, so we didn't stay very long. Next we decided to check out Ron Jon's. Brandi had been wanting to go there for a while, and I kinda wanted to see what they had too. I have to admit that I was a little disapppointed. The store was huge, but everything was really expensive. I don't think any of us bought anything. Shopping trip over, we decided to finally head back to the hotel. One of the nice things about this hotel is that not only is it so close to the port, but it's close to everything else as well.

    Since we didn't take the time to unload our luggage when we first arrived, we had to do it now. Thankfully the hotel had plenty of luggage carts! As we were unloading our luggage at the front of the hotel, Stacy, NYCDVClover2000 came down! She and I had been texting before we arrived back at the hotel and had planned to meet up. She was giving me a hard time because I thought we had a lot of luggage, which turned out to be nothing compared to what she had!! After we took all our bags back up to the room, Mike and I went back down to the lobby to chat with Stacy and her family for a little while. I LOVED talking to her and hearing her New York accent! After we finished our chat, we decided it was time to head up to the room and get ready for the morning.

    Since we still hadn't tagged all our luggage with our DCL tags, we figured we should do it now. And this is where the luggage chaos began! For some reason, when our luggage tags arrived in the mail, I took them out and looked at them thinking that we had 4 luggage tags each, which would = 8 pieces of luggage total...WRONG!!! I don't know what I was thinking, but there were only 2 luggage tags each! As you can probably tell from my previous picture, we had a little more than 4 pieces of luggage. So I immediately get on the phone with DCL. I thought surely there would be more luggage tags available if we needed them...WRONG AGAIN! Turns out, they only send you 2 luggage tags a piece because that's all you're allowed!:scared1: This never even crossed my mind until now, so I panicked a little. We had done well to fit everything in the suitcases that we already had. How in the world did they expect us to only have 2 pieces of luggage each??? Not only that, but they also told us that the carry-ons have to be a certain size, which I totally did not realize either!! A couple weeks prior to our trip, I had bought myself a new Large Duffel bag from Vera Bradley. Now I was afraid to take it in case it was too big!! Yes, I am a worrier, and it probably would have been fine, but I was afraid they wouldn't let me carry it on! So we throw all our suitcases on the bed and totally re-group. Thankfully, Mike worked his magic and we were able to get it down to 4 suitcases and a carry on!

    After the fiasco, we finally got everything tagged and ready to go. It was about 11 when we finally hit the hay. I just hoped that the next day wasn't going to start as badly as this one had ended!!! When we checked in, they put us on the list for the first shuttle over to the port, which didn't leave 'til 10:30. I was very nervous that we wouldn't make it onboard in time for me to get a hair appt. for formal night. As tired as I was once we finally got to bed, it took forever to finally go to sleep. There were a million things going through my head! Will I get that appointment? Will everything go smoothly with boarding? What time will we make it to the port? There's only one way to find out...
     
  6. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    Yikes, I totally would have FREAKED OUT if I got there and found out I had too much luggage. Glad you guys were able to rearrange your stuff, at least you had a car you could have stored stuff in if you weren't able to manage it.
     
  7. Mickey's Goofy Gal

    Mickey's Goofy Gal Mouseketeer

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    You got me on pin and needles waiting on the next post! I know it all turned out wonderful so I will relax until you post again. I would have been in the same boat with luggage. Remember all this in case I get to go sometime. I am enjoying your trip report!
     
  8. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for joining in!!! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

    I was glad that we were able to rearrange it as well. I have to give Mike all the credit for that though. I was just shocked that they only allow 2 pieces of luggage per person for 7 nights--especially with all the themed nights. But it all worked out and we made it! We did end up having to store some stuff in the car, so that worked well for us.

    I'm glad you're here, Kim, but I knew you would be!;) The luggage thing was not fun! Hey, at least you can take lots of notes from my reports and learn from all our goof-ups, right!:thumbsup2
     
  9. Timon

    Timon DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    What a great start :thumbsup2 Sorry to hear about the luggage thing but thankfully you have your own vehicle!!! ::yes::

    I wish we had our own car for our upcoming trip because we will have a huge car seat and full-size stroller which we won't need but still have to take on the cruise with us :sad2: I sure hope our stateroom host will offer to store the car seat at least :scared:

    I'm really looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip...hopefully it's all good news from here on :goodvibes:cool1:
     
  10. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for joining me, Cass!

    Having our car was very convenient for us, and I'm thankful that we had it.

    I hope that everything works out for you with the car seat. I'm sure the stateroom host will take care of you!!
     
  11. Renysmom

    Renysmom <font color=darkorchid>Just wondering what is goin

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    DCL doesn't have a luggage limit that the enforce. You could have brought everything you had and gotten luggage tags at the port where the shuttle drops you off.

    Someone gave you bad information. Sorry you had to stress over a non-issue
     
  12. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Today was the day that we had waited for, for a very long time!!

    We were all up and ready by 8. Gayle and Brandi got ready 1st so that they could head on down to breakfast and give us time and privacy to get ready. We met them downstairs in the breakfast room at about 9:00. Our shuttle didn't leave until 10:30, but the front desk staff asked that we be in the lobby with our luggage by 10:15. We had plenty of time to eat breakfast and enjoy ourselves. As we sat there, I watched everyone and wondered just how many of them would be joining us on the Magic. At about 9:45 or so, we headed back to the room to make sure we had everything packed back up and were ready to go.

    We made it down to lobby at about 10, and were the 1st ones there. It didn't take long for lots of others to join us. We eventually moved outside to the front of the hotel to wait for our instructions. There were already shuttles bringing people back to the hotel. As everyone gathered around, our shuttle driver, Duane explained how the process would work. When we checked-in, we were given a pink slip of paper that had our last name and the number of people in our party. We were told to hold onto the paper until all our luggage was loaded and we were seated on the shuttle. Duane asked that we bring our luggage to him, so that he could stack it inside the trailer. (They had a small enclosed trailer that they were pulling behind the shuttle that stored everyone's luggage.) He asked that we take all of our carry-on items with us onto the shuttle. It was only a matter of minutes before we were all loaded and ready to go! He then collected our slips and told us our instructions for the return from port. (They had given us another piece of paper at check-in as well...This one was orange, but had the same info as the first piece of paper. The only difference is that the shuttle driver's cell phone numbers were listed at the bottom, and we were instructed to call them as soon as we were off the ship and ready to be picked up. Worked for me!)
    This was the first sign that we saw just before we crossed the bridge:
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    And it was just a few minutes before we had our first glimpse of the Magic...
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    Seeing the ship for the first time is soooo exciting!
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    And I was even more excited that Brandi and Gayle were experiencing DCL for the first time! I had to get a quick shot of them seeing it for the first time...
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    Just beautiful!!
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    We arrived at the port around 10:45 or so...To be honest, I was so excited that I really wasn't even paying attention! We all got off the shuttle and waited for our luggage to be unloaded. Between Duane and the porter that was there, they had everything off in just a minute. We tipped both Duane and the porter for all their help and were on our way into the terminal!!

    There was a huge line to go through the security screening, but thankfully it didn't take too long. Once we finally made it up the escalators, we found a CM to make sure we had all our paper work together. We also had to sign a health questionnaire bascially asking if we had any flu-like symptoms. After that, Mike and I jumped into the Castaway Club line and Brandi and Gayle went to the regular line. As we got in line, we were handed boarding pass #5! I was a little disappointed, but was surprised that it wasn't a higher number considering the amount of people who were already there. Even though the terminal was already crowded, the check-in process was pretty fast. Once finished with check-in, we headed over and had our picture made which was another quick and painless process. Just as we were leaving the photo area, Gayle and Brandi had just finished with their check-in. I noticed that Captain Mickey was out for photos, and since we'd never seen him in the terminal before, Mike and I headed over to get in line while Gayle and Brandi had their photos done. They were done pretty quickly and then came over to join us in line.
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    I snapped this shot while waiting...
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    The details of the terminal are really cool!
    I was surprised at how short the line for Mickey was, and it moved pretty quickly.
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    In just a matter of minutes we had our first official vacation photo!!

    After meeting Captain Mickey, we decided to head outside so that we could check out the ship a little closer.
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    I noticed that Crush had swam up to welcome everyone...
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    It was a little warm outside, so we decided to head back in and wait until time to board the ship. There was no where to sit, so we found a corner over by the kids-club area to stand. I was standing there with my back turned when I heard someone call my name. I turned around, and it was Mel, also known as aussieinvasion here on the boards!! I was SO excited to finally meet her in person. She was the one who started our cruise chat way back in December of '07. At that time we thought we were going to be the only ones on the ship-boy were we wrong!:laughing:Between talking here on the boards and chatting through e-mail, we had gotten to know each other, so I was SOOOO excited to finally meet her in person!:cheer2: We chatted with Mel and her family for a few minutes and before long, it was time to board the ship!!!
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    I couldn't believe that we were finally on the Magic!!!
    Continued in next post...
     
  13. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Ooops...Double post!
     
  14. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Hmmmm...Interesting-Brandi and I both called DCL that night and they were adamant that we could only have 2 pieces of luggage each. I wonder why they tell people that. Sure wish I would have know. For future reference-can you tell me where we would have gotten the luggage tags at specifically? Thanks for that info!
     
  15. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    Hurray! Glad the boarding process went smoothly, love the pic with Mickey, adorable!
     
  16. Renysmom

    Renysmom <font color=darkorchid>Just wondering what is goin

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    We got extras right from the porter as we got off the hotel van
     
  17. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I was glad that it went smoothly as well!

    I'll have to keep that in mind when we cruise again. Thank you for letting me know!
     
  18. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    As we were walking into the Atrium to be announced, Mike and I were behind Brandi and Gayle. After they called their names and welcomed them aboard, I just kept walking right behind them. I was so excited to see what they thought of the ship that I just walked off and left Mike standing there. He called out to me, and I turned around to see him laughing. I got so caught up in the moment that I didn't even care that they didn't annonce us. So, I turned around so that we could be "properly" introduced!

    Once we were finally onboard, we headed for Parrot Cay for lunch, but then we all decided that we'd rather go up to Topsider's instead. Just before we got on the elevators to go up, it suddenly hit me that I needed to go to the Spa to try and get a hair appointment. I told everyone to go ahead and I would catch up with them later, but they told me they would wait. I took off by myself in hopes that I could find my way to the Spa without getting lost. (I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction and can get lost in a mall!) Mike caught up with me a minute or so later and said he'd go with me in case I got lost...He knows me pretty well!! There was a Spa employee already in the elevator when we got on. She asked if we were headed to the Spa, and we told her yes. She asked what I wanted to make an appointment for, and I told her that I wanted an updo for formal night. She said that she wanted me to have Alex because he was the best, so she led us into the Spa and told the lady at the counter what I wanted. In a matter of seconds she told me that I could come at 3:30 on Monday afternoon, which was formal night! YES! I was SOOO excited and relieved that I was able to get something!

    After leaving the Spa, we headed back to where we left Brandi and Gayle and headed up to Topsider's. It was really crowded in there, but we were finally able to find a seat inside. I was stil so excited about everything, so of course I didn't think to take pictures. We finished up at about 1:20 and decided to walk around a few minutes since the rooms weren't ready yet. So we took Gayle and Brandi down to the secret space on deck 7. I snapped a couple pics while we were taking in the view...
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    At 1:30 on the dot, our rooms were ready! I couldn't wait for Gayle and Brandi to make it to their room to see their surprises. Brandi had ordered the Birthday Stateroom Celebration for Gayle, and Mike and I had ordered the Bon Voyage for the both of them.

    Their room was the first that we came to, so we waited at the door while they found their surprises. Both of them were totally excited. We were happy to be able to do something special for them. Here's what the Bon Voyage looked like...
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    It's kind of hard to see exactly what was in the tray, but it was a selection of Petite Fours and Chocolate Covered Strawberries. It also came with Champagne, but since they don't drink it I chose the Sparkling Cider for them.

    Next, we headed over to our room to check out where we'd be spending the week.
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    Our Castaway Club gift was waiting for us on the bed...
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    We had verandahs on both our other cruises, but this time we finally had a plexiglass one which wa really nice!
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    After taking a couple more photos, it was time to head up to the Promenade Lounge for our much awaited DIS meet! I was so excited to finally be meeting everyone. aussieinvasion and her family were already there, and shortly after ibela (Irene) found us as well. The three of us had been chatting for so long, so I was reallty glad to have finally met them both. Mike got a pic of the three of us...
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    Then it was time for our big group photo...
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    I was really overwhelmed at the number of DIS'ers on this cruise. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. It was so great meeting all these people face to face!! Everyone was sweet and friendly!

    The meet started to dwindle down and I knew we had to go get ready for our Lifeboat drill, so we headed back to the room. We assumed that since we were right next door to Gayle and Brandi that we would be at the same muster station, but we weren't. So we met out in the hall for a quick pic or two before we headed off to our stations.
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    The drill seemed like it took forever! I think it was mostly because we were outside this time but had been inside on our other cruises. Thankfully it was over fast enough and we headed back to the room.

    When we got back, most of our luggage had arrived, so I was able to decorate our doors.
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    I had planned on making more signs, but I just never got around to it, so those were all that we had--but I thought they were cute enough!

    Not long after we'd made it back to the stateroom, it was time to head up for Adventures Away! On our way outside we grabbed a Bon Voyage, my absolute favorite drink ever!!! I think I sucked mine down and everyone else was still sipping on theirs. Those things are SOOO good!:thumbsup2 Both decks 9 and 10 were really crowded, but we managed to find a spot against the railing facing the stage. First out was our Cruise Director, Brent.
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    I've seen lots of good things about Brent here on the DIS, so I was really excited that we were cruising with him. Not to mention, he has the coolest accent ever!!
    It wasn't long before the characters made their appearances...
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    The countdown had begun and we were about to sailaway!!! I couldn't believe that this trip that we had planned so long and worked so hard for was finally a reality! I think I teared up a little!!
     
  19. Jennifer48

    Jennifer48 Not a Disney bride but engaged and honeymooned at

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    I finally made it over Missy! I'm so excited to read about your cruise. Thanks for leaving the ship in top shape for when I got on on the 12th! :rotfl:

    I hope the over the door hangar worked out well for you. I feel the pressure for insisting you get it!

    Glad the hotel before worked out. I know you were unsure how it would. I can't wait to read more! :goodvibes
     
  20. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Jennifer! Thanks for joining me over here!

    So, how's married life? I was thinking about you the other day and wondered how everything went!!!

    As far as the over the door shoe holder, it worked out fab-u-lous! Even Mike made a comment on how it really helped keep things organized...so a big :thumbsup2 to you for recommending it!

    Are you going to write a TR? I sure hope so! Make sure and let me know if you do!!
     
  21. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

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    In the excitement of getting started on my report, I think I left out one small, yet exciting detail...

    A few days before the cruise, a couple of people on our meet thread had mentioned that they's logged in to the DCL site and noticed that they'd been upgraded. I never really thought much about it, but after I noticed a few more people mentioning the same thing, I decided that I'd take a peek just to see if we'd been upgraded by some small chance. Honestly, I was happy with what we had booked-A Cat. 6, so an upgrade really didn't matter much to me. So I logged in, and guess what I found...We HAD been upgraded...to a Cat. 4!:woohoo: It was really cool, because Gayle and Brandi were upgraded also. It turns out that before the upgrade we were a few rooms down the hall from one another, but after the upgrade we were right next door! Pretty cool!! We definitely received our fair share of Pixie Dust!!:wizard:

    (By the way, have you noticed a pattern with me just totally forgetting things when I get excited about something!?)

    Sorry that I forgot to include this in my report!!:rolleyes:
     

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