Do you ever have one of those posts where you don't even know where to begin? Fortunately for all of you, that means that I have a lot to say, I know how much you all love that. Right? So without further adieu, let's plunge right in shall we? The trip sandal anxiety continues. My temporary fix is to order a pair of the Teva Flip Flops I already own, but since I can't find them in black, I ordered what I could find. A color called Dusty Rose. If I end up keeping them, I'll post a picture. They look neutral enough to go with most of my outfits, and different enough that I just have to find some new tank tops. We all know how that works. But honestly, the whole shoe thing is a whole other chapter and I'm still in the process of ordering and returning, so I'm going to hold off and just let you know what the final decisions are. In the line of clothing, I do have something sort of dorky to admit to. Well, basically, DH and DS get all the fun. They get cool matching clothes, you know? Transformers tees, Pirates, Star Wars, etc. Well, they both happen to have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirts. They're not exactly the same, but I love it when they wear similar clothes. It's like we're themed without being too matchy. And it's adorable. So imagine my suprise when I found this. I know. It's perfect, right? I put this on last night and I looked in the mirror and I thought, honey? How old do you think you are? I think that my brain is in serious denial of my upcoming age. Well, quite frankly, I'm just not acknowledging the actual number. I know I'm having a birthday, and hitting a milestone, and that's all well and good, but for some reason, I've been feeling insanely youthful lately. Speaking of which, I got such a high compliment in that regard. You see, Mom and I had a little girl time yesterday. Our plan was to go to Putney, VT, and have lunch at the Putney Inn. It's very nice. Unfortunately, because of the time I got out of work, we wouldn't have made it. They stopped serving lunch and closed down between lunch and dinner. And they're just wasn't enough to do to make us want to wait for dinner, and quite frankly, when I get out of work on Saturday, I'm starving. So spur of the moment, spontaneous decision we decide to go to the Publick House instead. For those of you who don't know, that's in Sturbridge, MA. Well, Mom and I had a lovely meal there. As we were sitting down and getting settled, we decided to order a bottle of champagne. Our server asked if we were celebrating anything, looked at me, and said, like a graduation? I looked at her, and said, Oh god bless you! I couldn't believe she thought I was young looking enough to be graduation from something, high school, college, I'll take it! I said, no, I'm turning thirty this year, I'm far from graduation. But in a sense, turning thirty is like a graduation. It's the commencement of your thirties, and the end of your twenties. And quite frankly, although I'm enjoying my insane attachment to youthfulness lately... remember this? So I'm sad to end the twenties, but excited to begin the thirties. I feel more right with myself. More living in my own skin and being happy where that is. It's a long story, but I'm making some life changes that have really been about what's best for me, and what's best for my family, and that in and of itself has been extremely empowering. So Mom and I had our champagne, and a nice long lunch, and while I had her captive audience, we decided to do a little Disney brainstorming. As soon as we started, I knew it would be a chapter. See, one of the biggest problems we've ever had on our trips, especially with a large group is, where do you want to go? I don't know, where do you want to go? Well, what do you want to do? I don't care, what do you want to do? UGH. Somebody make a decision!!!! We're not doing that on this trip. I refuse. Now that doesn't mean that we'll have a plan that we have to follow to the letter. But it does mean that I need an idea of what everyone (ie, Mom, and Nana) expects to do on this trip. And then I need an idea of what my family expects to do, and that my friends, is how we came up with the lists. The 2009 Must Do's, if you will. And yes. I am going to ignore the blatantly obvious Jack Sparrow joke. So Mom and I came up with a list of our must do's for each park. Separated into the following categories: rides/attractions, meet n greets, food, and shopping. Today I went over the list with my husband, and he brought to my attention a few things that I'd missed, so that was great. I know how you all love lists, so without further ado, here they are. Magic Kingdom 2009 Must Do's Rides / Attractions - Tommorrowland - Buzz, TTA, Speedway Toontown - The Barnstormer (if DS wants to), The Train Fantasyland - IASW, Peter Pan, Snow White, Dumbo, Philharmagic, Carousel, Teacups, Story Time with Belle Liberty Square - The Haunted Mansion, The Hall of Presidents Frontierland - Splash Mountain (is everyone really getting me on this???? ), BTMRR Adventureland - Pirates, Pirate Tutorial Meet n Greets - if DS is willing, Princesses & Tink Food - Casey's, Dole Whips, Popcorn, Slushy Coke Shopping - Main Street, WTP shop, Buzz Kiosk, Pirates Epcot Rides / Attractions - Spaceship Earth, Figment, The Seas, Test Track, Soarin', Mexico Kim Possible Adventures, Innoventions Meet n Greets - Disney Visa, WTP in England, others around WS Food - Norway Bakery, Pretzel in Germany, Champagne in France, Magarita in Mexico, Food & Wine Festival Shopping - Art Store, Test Track, the Countries Do I have to call it DHS? Rides / Attractions - Toy Story Mania, TGMR, The Little Mermaid, Star Tours, RnRC, ToT, Lights Motors Action, Backlot Tour, HISTK playground, Indiana Jones Stunt Show Meet n Greets - Buzz / Woody Sorcerer Mickey (where did they move him to?) Food - Pretzel, Junky Apple Shopping - Clothiers on Main Drag, Villain Candy Shop, Pizza Planet Arcade (can you say claw machine?) Animal Kingdom Rides / Attractions - Safari, Lion King Show, Nemo Show, Expedition Everest, Rapids, Walking Trails, The Boneyard, Triceratops Spin (is that what it's called?) Meet n Greets - Safari Characters at Camp Minnie Mickey Food - Slushy tea Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Rides - The Haunted Mansion Pirates Buzz (for Mom) Attractions / Events - The Headless Horseman Boo to You Parade Hallowishes Trick or Treating Meet n Greets - AS MANY AS I CAN!!!! Shopping - Special Halloween Merch., Cotton Candy Bless, you my children, if you read through that whole list. Now I know what you're thinking. TK! That's a lot of stuff. And to that I say, it sure is. Remember, this is a must do list, but some of it is quite negotiable. And we know in our hearts what's more negotiable than others, and I'm sure we'll plan accordingly. But having these lists, which I am seriously debating carrying with me into the parks, is going to prevent the whole what do you want to do now debacle. I feel a lot of times on these big family trips, everyone is okay with my having planned everything...until we actually get there. And I go through it every year. And I'm sure we'll have some ruffled feathers at some point, and someone (maybe even me) will channel their inner Donald. I'm just doing the best that I can to prevent that from happening. And that's all you can do. When you have that many people, you can't make them all happy. You just can't. And I'm okay with that. Moreso I think because I took the nice weekend trip with Tink in May. I got to do what I wanted, when I wanted in the World and it was dang nice. I'm ready to go with my family, I'm excited to go with them, actually. Can you imagine? Now, I know what else you're thinking. TK, once you make all those wonderful lists, where do you put them? Well, I'll tell you. In this!!! Indeed, there she is. My purdy, girlie, pretty in pink trip binder. In case it's hard to read, the title there is "Turning Thirty, and Never Growing Up" This is a page from my son's Peter Pan book. I just couldn't resist it. It reads, "...for Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Lost Boys (who weren't quite ready to grow up yet) were off on another wonderful Never Land adventure." That's so true. Not quite ready to grow up yet. And don't plan on it any time soon. Underneath the picture of Peter and Tink, I have the dates of our trip. Simple, and to the point. That's my lovely trip binder. That zippered case is just begging to be filled with MNSSHP tickets. Which, by the by, Mom did order. So those are en route! It's official! Which brings me to costumes. Which, at this point, should probably be a whole other post. And if you're still reading, I thank you. See, I was waffling on the whole Peter Pan thing. There are so many things that I would rather do / be in regards to having fun with my costume, but a lot of what I like isn't conducive to a big group. And Peter Pan really is. Does anyone remember that Mom and I were having lunch in Sturbridge, MA? The reason that's important is because we were about a mile from Old Sturbridge Village, and Mom had the brilliant idea to go shopping after our meal. Because we were on a quest. A quest, that, if fufilled, would speak to certain costumes for our group. And then, we found it. With all the colonial garb. That, my friends, is Nana's bonnet! Now we have to be characters from Peter Pan! Best part is, that sweet little gem only cost me $7.99. And voila! Nana's costume is done. Nana is...Nana! I mean, honestly, how much easier than that can you get. How lucky was it that we ended up in Sturbridge, MA instead of Putney, VT? I took as a sign from the MNSSHP gods, my friends. A sign. So we are sticking with the original plan. After learning a few DISers were attending the same party as the TK clan, I thought, gosh, how can I not have DH dress as Jack Sparrow. And although it pains me to say this...because I LOVE him in that costume...this year is about the family. And I think as a group, we'll look adorable. And you just never know how long you'll have that big family to do this kind of stuff with, you know? So, maybe I'll just have to carry a picture of my Jack Sparrow in my wallet. Then you can all see what I'm talking about when we meet. Of course, he will be Captain Hook, in his own dastardly way. Now I'm not going to go into the devil of a time I'm having procuring our customes as Peter, Wendy, and the Hook. I think that's quite enough for this evening. Hope you enjoyed!