TOP SECRETEYES ONLY Welcome to the mission briefing concerning Operation Big Thunder, a secret mission that took place in July 2012 and only now is being declassified from the highest levels. If you are reading this, you have been cleared to receive sensitive information. Please do not allow these mission logs to fall into enemy hands, as it may compromise our agents in the field. Assignment: Our mission, should we choose to accept it, was to surprise our 3 children with a trip to Walt Disney World. This would have been a much easier task in the days when they couldnt read road signs or maps, and hadnt yet broken our parent-speak code of spelling out words we didnt want them to hear in conversation. Without having the intelligence or resources to create a new code, this would clearly be a difficult assignment. Mission Personnel: Mark, aka Dad, aka Captain Oblivious. 511, too many lbs., brown hair (thinning), blue eyes, age 37 (right, honey?). Occupation: civil engineer in the state of Delaware. Interests: Travel (esp. Disney parks), golf, Philadelphia sports, movies, reading. Special skills: TBD. Julie, aka Mom, aka Mrs. Knowitall, aka Muddy Mae Suggins. 58, just the right number of lbs., brown hair (luxurious), brown eyes, age undisclosed. Occupation: teacher. Interests: Travel (esp. Disney parks), photography, arts & crafts, reading. Special skills: creator of Key Lime Pie of Awesomeness. Sarah, aka Sarahbug. 46, brown hair, blue eyes, age 10. Occupation: 5th grade student. Interests: Travel (esp. Disney parks), Lego, Harry Potter, tennis, cute cuddly animals. Special skills: Arts & crafts, and pointing out differences between the Harry Potter movies and books. David, aka Big Dave. 42, blond hair, blue eyes, age 8. Occupation: 3rd grade student. Interests: Travel (esp. Disney parks), baseball, Lego, Philadelphia Phillies baseball, baseball, sports, and baseball. Special skills: Photographic memory and making annoying noises in back seat of van. Scott, aka Scotty, aka Baron Heinrich von Frankenschnitzel. 311, brown hair, brown eyes, age 6. Occupation: 1st grade student. Interests: Travel (esp. Disney parks), Philadelphia Eagles football, Star Wars, cute cuddly animals, The Avengers. Special skills: Performance artist. Cover Story: In summer 2011, our friends asked us if we would be interested in renting a beach house for a week with them at Pawleys Island, South Carolina (just south of Myrtle Beach) during the summer of 2012. We would split the rent among 3 families and spend a week hanging out at the beach with our buddies. We thought it sounded like fun, and agreed. More importantly, it gave us an excellent cover story for our mission. Julie and I have a long-term mission to get our kids to all 50 states, and the only state left on the East Coast that our kids hadnt seen was Georgia. If were going to be in South Carolina, we reasoned, it wouldnt be that much further to drive into Georgia. And if were going to be in Georgia, its not that much further to drive into Florida. And if were going to be in Florida you can do the math. The plan was to tell the kids we were doing a secret vacation. Then we would drive down to Pawleys Island andsurprise! Their friends would be at the house too. We would pass this off as the reason for the secrecy. Then, when the week was over, we would simply turn south instead of north. Our goal was to get all the way to the Disney World gates without the purpose of the trip being detected. Supplies: Transport Vehicle: 2006 Honda Odyssey. Special non-standard modifications include ejector seats, surface-to-surface missiles, turbo boost, and espresso machine. Electronics: Amazon Kindle reading device, iPods, DVD player, Nintendo DSs. All to be used for the purpose of distracting kids during long drives. TomTom GPS unit, with pre-loaded Homer Simpson and Darth Vader celebrity voices, used for navigation. Necessities: 3 bags of Pop chips, mini-Oreos, mini-Nutter Butters, 2 12-packs of Coke, map to nearest donut shop. Secondary Mission: 2 years ago, I did a trip report that included a find the movie/TV quote game as well as a Beverly slogan contest that were both a lot of fun (your enjoyment may have varied). So, to add a little fun to this report, I will continue to award points* to anyone spotting movie quotes in the text of the report (please note that there probably wont be nearly as many as the last time). Also, in order to protect sensitive information from falling into enemy hands, I will from time to time completely fabricate a detail of the trip report (I have occasionally been accused of doing this in the past). I will generally add one false statement per chapter. So, you can also play the Spot the Lie game and try to guess which part of this story is completely made up, and Ill highlight it in red once it has been found. Some will be obvious, some not so much. The total Movie Quote points and Spot the Lie points will be added to produce a winner who will receive well, probably nothing of value other than a cheesy title. But if youre looking for something valuable, why are you reading this report in the first place? Thanks for reading along, and I hope youll continue along as we recount the mission.