Pictorial review how SAILING the BVI has changed our future vacation plans....

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by bubba's mom, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. bubba's mom

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

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    This year's trip was quite relaxing. No Universal (again) this year, but our traditional week at Dad's first, then a week living on a catamaran, sailing around the British Virgin Islands with Randy's brother and his family. Let the adventure begin....

    It began on Friday, June 29th...at 4 freaking AM! [​IMG]

    Our area had a super nasty thunderstorm come rolling in around 4am. It was loud, there was lots of lightening and the house rumbled a bit. [​IMG] How do I know this? Because it woke us up. I happen to love to sleep during thunderstorms, so I fell back asleep during the storm. I was in and out of sleep, my husband, however, had heard a noise and decided to get up to investigate. He found it was the dog's tail hitting the wall (he sleeps in our son's room) and he had heard Dad up. Now, Max hates storms and always runs into our bathroom during them. Poor thing shakes like a leaf he's so scared, so you can imagine how happy he was someone was up! :dog: My husband sat on the bathroom floor with him just petting him and sitting with him. Randy said he was in and out of drifting off back to sleep during this 30 minute time. About 5:30am, he got into the shower to get ready for work. I then got up and the dog was happy to see me. The storm was about over by now, so he was relieved!

    After Randy was ready for work, we left the house just before 6am so he could meet his carpool buddy who was taking him to work. I dropped him off, stopped for gas in the car (gas light was on :eek:), stopped for donuts and milk for Ryan and & I for breakfast (resources at home were running out because of going away) and I picked up some Amoroso rolls to take with us for Dad. (We always seem to bring some sort of goodie from home for him.)

    Back home, it was time to wake the boy and have him get Max out for a walk. I knew he wouldn't be doing much walking while we were away because my Mom won't walk him. So, I rallied the troops and got them on their way. Meantime, I ate my breakfast (in peace) and finished getting ready and packing the last of our stuff. I checked my email and had gotten an email around 5am that our 4:55pm flight had been pushed back to 5:35pm. I was thinking weather/storm related, and nice to know, but you still need to be at your gate original time in case they "un-delay" your flight. (Unbeknownst to me, I got a second email later that morning that the flight had been changed back to 5:15pm.)

    In the meantime, they were back from their walk. They had a nice walk, and the two of them had their breakfast when they got back. After I finished packing our stuff, the dog's stuff and unplugging tvs, the modem, locking windows and securing the house :faint:, we were on our way to Camp Mom-Mom's. It was just around 9am and Max was on HIS way to his vacation....her house.

    We visited with Mom-Mom for about an hour or so and settled Max in there. We left about 10:15am to pick Randy up from work. It was an uneventful drive to his work and we were even early by about 10 minutes! You never want to keep Randy waiting when he's finished work...especially early and especially day 1 of his vacation! [​IMG] 11:15am he came out and we were on our way to PHL airport.

    We arrived to check in our car just after noon and they took us to the airport. We weren't checking any luggage (more on that later), so we went straight to security. We were flying Southwest and had checked in 24 hrs before and printed our boarding passes. We were actually A49-51. [​IMG] We weren't even expecting "A"s, but were happy to get them. We had no problems clearing security and we were in no hurry. We arrived at our gate at 1pm. Our departure time at the gate stated 5:35pm. Yippee....lots of time. [​IMG] We were sitting at the gate with the flight that departed TWO ahead of ours! :laughing:

    I decided to sit and close my eyes and just rest for a bit, Ryan did something on my laptop and Randy read the paper and did the Sudoku puzzle. We sat here till about 2:30 when we decided to hit Chickie & Pete's for a big late lunch/early dinner.

    It was crowded when we got there, but there were a few spots open. We sat all the way in the back where we have sat the past two years. Guess it's becoming "our" regular spot [​IMG] If you can't find a spot to sit, there is always a to-go window here too!

    Ryan is excited, I'm just tired! Randy was hoping a couple beers would give him a second wind! We ordered crab fries and drinks. Ryan had a cheesesteak, my husband a chicken cheesesteak and I had the chicken parm sandwich. All were very good and extremely filling! There is never room for dessert when we eat there!
    Not sure how long we were there, but eventually made our way back to our gate.

    At the gate, the sign doesn't say our flight departure is 5:35, it just says "delayed". [​IMG] Ugh...that can't be good! So I asked the lady at the desk and she checked and told me it was still 5:35pm. I thanked her, although I was still suspicious. We were the next flight to leave from that gate, so we grabbed our seats. We decided since we had quite a bit of time to kill, we'd all watch one of the movies we brought. I voted for Cars 2, but it wouldn't play for some reason? (even after we tested it at home) So, next we decided on was the Social Network. I thought this was a good movie, although I was surprised it didn't paint a flattering picture of Zuckerberg. But...it passed the time....

    We were almost finished Social Network when it was time to board our plane. Always lots of kids in summer flying the Orlando flight. :rolleyes2 Boarding went pretty well. Even with A boarding passes, we still took the first empty row of 3...which was row 13. No matter, plane was 100% full. They made an announcement that all lap children need to be in a lap, we are flying full! I'm unsure of exactly when we took off, but it was closer to 6pm than 5:35pm. [​IMG]

    Uneventful flight. Finished watching Social Network and started watching Puss In Boots. I thought it was a funny movie and we liked it. (pretty much the only time I watch movies are when we fly) Before I knew it, it was time to shut down and prepare for landing. Here is where I'll offer some advice. We were landing and when we hit the ground, the 'brakes' went on and all of a sudden everyone started noticing a smart phone cruising down the aisle of the plane. Apparently the guy sitting (on the aisle) behind Randy had his phone on his lap and gravity took it straight down the aisle toward the front of the plane. [​IMG] Someone had caught it and started passing it back...but not without a funny comment from the flight attendants sitting up front....something about being a 'troublemaker'...the passengers in the front part of the plane got a chuckle outta that! :laughing: He was happy to get his phone back and learned two things: a smart phone will slide straight down the aisle and to put his phone away during landing!

    Since we had not checked luggage, we headed straight for car rental desk. At the last minute, we switched our rental to Budget and headed toward that line. The ONLY rental desk with a line. I noticed the time when we got in line...8pm. Ugh. [​IMG] Our original arrival was supposed to be 7:30 and with Southwest, even that was considered late for an original 4:55 departure time. Whatever, stand in line. Going to have to look into FastBreak with them...see if that eliminates the line thing?

    So, we are next in line. An agent finishes up with customer and starts messing with printer under desk. Our mistake, we assumed he would take us and walked up to his spot. When we did that, he walked away! [​IMG] No greeting, no "I'll be right with you", no NOTHING!!! Wow. How ignorant...and with about a dozen people waiting in line! So, we stood there in case he came back, but I was watching other agents and ready to run to the next available one. Then 2 more agents disappeared and there was 1 lady left. :confused3 She finished working with her customer and looked up toward the beginning of the line as to help the 'next' person. I didn't even wait, I went right over to her (since I wasn't waited on yet, I was technically 'next'). We told her what happened and then proceeded to fly through the check-in process. I'm not sure why it takes SO long to rent a car, but whatever it is, that's what holds up the line!

    We rented an ecomony, as always, and ended up with a Kia Rio. I wouldn't buy this tiny little car, but it was the right price for what we needed it for. Our 3 carry-on bags barely fit in the trunk, but we managed to make it work. We had to put the backpacks and my carry-on in the back seat with the boy though. Maybe we're outgrowing the economy size car? Maybe I need to start paying attention to the price of the next car size larger? [​IMG]

    We started on our drive to Dad's...it was around 9pm. He's just over an hour from MCO. Turnpike traffic was light and we quickly discovered tolls went up! [​IMG] They used to be 75 cents, now $1. Plus a new one for $3! A grand total of $6!! Good grief! [​IMG] (I later found out, they had JUST raised these tolls like a week or so before...just in time for the July 4th holiday traffic.)

    We rolled into Dad's just after 10pm. Ryan stayed up for about an hour before calling it a night...we were up till around midnight.
    This was one looooong day. [​IMG] Started 4am, ended midnight-ish. Ugh....night, night. Time for BED! We'd sleep really well tonite [​IMG]
     
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  3. RVGal

    RVGal Whaaa?

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    I'm in. popcorn::
     
  4. bubba's mom

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

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    :lmao: and you're FIRST! :eek:
     
  5. tlinus

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

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    A Brab report?!?!?!?

    I'm in!!!!
     
  6. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    Joining in!!! :banana:
     
  7. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait for this!!!

    Dee
     
  8. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Joining along :thumbsup2..........Nice start ::yes::
     
  9. Worfiedoodles

    Worfiedoodles DIS Veteran

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    Yay! A Barb Trippie! :banana:

    Maria :upsidedow
     
  10. LilKintnerBoy

    LilKintnerBoy Earning My Ears

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    Ho-Hum
    Who wants to hear about this boring stuff...;)

    Let's get to the sailing!!!:cool1:
     
  11. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    accounted for:), interesting start, remind me not to ever rent from budget
     
  12. bubba's mom

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

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    uh.... really? YOU did not just go there... [​IMG]
     
  13. bubba's mom

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

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    Day 2

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    As long and exhausting as yesterday was, we didn't really sleep in too late. [​IMG] We were up by 8am. Had breakfast and chatted the morning away...lots to catch up on....

    It was an uneventful day at Dad's. I unpacked our clothes and stuff and settled in. We needed to go to Walmart for sunscreen and some other things we needed that we didn't bring. (I HATE that 3-1-1 rule TSA made [​IMG], but I understand why they have it). Randy worked on fixing Dad's computer...again! [​IMG] Each year Randy straightens everything out, and in between our yearly visits, Dad somehow messes everything up!

    [​IMG] It's gotten to the point, where Randy will go on his computer remotely from home and help Dad out.

    We were all headed out to nice dinner that evening, so we had brought nice clothes with us. However, I was in need of an iron and had to borrow the neighbor's because Dad threw all his away. [​IMG] I enjoyed a brief visit with the neighbor across the street. We actually hadn't seen them in years...although, if we DO see them outside while we are there, we DO wave. [​IMG] She actually told me they have 2 and Dad could keep 1 there. I told her "oh no, you don't want to do that! He's liable to throw it away and you'll never see it again!" :lmao: I borrowed her iron and ironed the clothes I needed to before returning it.
    [​IMG]

    We had a 6pm dinner reservation and we enjoyed our nice dinner out. We were stuffed afterwards and Ryan was the only one who had dessert! I didn't take my camera to dinner, so no pictures. But, it was country-club fair...nothing too fancy or special.

    We didn't have time earlier in the day to hit Walmart, so we stopped on our way home from dinner (we had taken 2 cars). We got what we needed and came home and watched the Phillies game then headed to bed.

    Toldja uneventful day. [​IMG]
     
  14. bubba's mom

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

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    Day 3

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    Another uneventful day at Dad's. This was just relaxing time.

    We spent most of the afternoon in the pool and hanging out. It was a beautiful day.

    Ryan worked on practicing using his fins (with his Dad) for snorkeling in the pool and they had some fun horsing around in the pool. We were well wrinkled by the time we were out for the day. Ryan snorkeling. 1. Messing around with Dad.

    Dinner was fried shrimp, mozzarella sticks, string beans and fries. Joyce had made a delicious cinnamon coffee cake to have with strawberries & Cool Whip for dessert.

    We watched another loss of our Phils to the Marlins before calling it a night.

    Actually, for some reason, I was unusually tired [​IMG] and hit the hay about 10:30 that night...right after my son went to bed. :confused3
     
  15. bubba's mom

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

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    Day 4

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Today there was a bit more excitement. I needed to refill a prescription at Target...which is at the other end of town! [​IMG] While out, we did some shopping for Dad's birthday and stopped to order his birthday cake. Ryan decided to stay home and play on my laptop. That was okay...some time alone with my husband ;)

    Other than those couple hours (yes, it takes that long to get to the other end of town!), it was a relaxing day of hanging out and being in the pool. Randy has been working on a project on his Dad's computer, so that takes up a lot of his free time. [​IMG]

    Dinner tonight was filet and baked potato with salad. Very delicious. And, as usual, I did the dishes.

    No baseball game tonight, so we showed Dad & Joyce the dvd Randy made of the hilights of Ryan's year. Soccer highlights, karate, our dog getting the paper, etc.... We also watched an episode of Whale Wars that they had on dvr (who knew they watched that?)[​IMG] We just watched tv and talked....killed time that night.

    Bed was later than last night....closer to midnight actually! Guess I had caught up on my sleep since I went to bed early last night? :rolleyes1
     
  16. bubba's mom

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

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    Day 5

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Randy's brother and family were arriving tonight. Somewhere around 7pm-ish.

    This was yet another day of relaxing around the house and pool...and my dear husband working on computers and such.... [​IMG]

    Dinner was easy and casual tonight... pizza and broccoli & cheese calzone. It was really good. Dad always says he can't find a good pizza joint there, so I was surprised to hear pizza was on the menu. [​IMG] Turns out, this is a relatively new place and he likes their food...which is good, because I really like pizza. :teeth:

    BIL called to say they'd be later than they thought and it was just the 2 of them coming...their kids weren't coming. That kinda bummed Ry out as he was looking forward to hanging out with his cousins. [​IMG] (He was okay with it though, because he knew next week we'd be living with them on the boat.) They actually didn't come rolling in till around 10pm-ish!

    While waiting, we watched Phils lose 11-1. :rolleyes2

    It was a very relaxing evening...like every night has been here at Dad's. [​IMG] Dad likes to get his chores [​IMG] and errands done during the day and relax after dinner and watch a ballgame or hockey game (depending on the season) or one of the very few tv shows they actually watch.

    Tomorrow we get to go out to Walmart again. We need to get new noodles and a ball for the pool and Dad a birthday gift. He gave us an idea of something he needs today! :idea:

    Hit the hay after watching the ballgame.
     
  17. bubba's mom

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

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    Day 6

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Happy 4th and Happy Birthday to Dad!! [​IMG]

    We were all up at a reasonable time this morning. BIL made bacon & eggs for everyone. And, as usual, I cleaned up dishes. We sat around talking during and after breakfast and after dishes were cleaned up. Dad & Joyce (they don't change).

    My husband's sister (Colleen) and her grandson (Lucas) were coming over later this afternoon. She called late morning when she was on her way. We expected her in about 2 hrs...early afternoon.

    We needed to run out and pick up Dad's cake. Ryan wanted to stay home (shocker, right? :laughing:) so we went with BIL & SIL as they needed to stop at Walmart to pick up some things for the next week of vacation: sailing. [​IMG] The 4 of us shopped around Walmart and we picked up a couple bottles of wine for SIL's father. (We were spending the night before our flight at their house [because they are a LOT closer to MCO than Dad] and we wanted to give them a little something.)

    After shopping and picking up the cake, we were back at Dad's and Colleen, had arrived in the meantime. It'd been a long time since we'd seen her. A couple years since she moved from our area to Florida.

    Everyone headed to the pool to hang out and relax before the early dinner had to start being made. We mostly relaxed in the pool, but Lucas had a lot of fun! A lot of the pool pix were taken by Joyce since I was IN the pool! [​IMG]

    Some random pool pix of us: Randy, me, BIL, SIL, Ryan, Colleen, Lucas and Dad & Joyce.

    Other random goofing around the pool shots: Ryan, 1, 2, 3, Ryan, Lucas, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and brothers. LMFAO had his famous song on and my husband did a little 'wiggle wiggle' to it. He didn't realize Lucas was behind him...made for a funny picture!

    Since BIL had to leave that night, we had an early dinner. Dad had requested a cookout of dogs, burgers and brats. My son had a cheeseburger and, not 1, but TWO brats! [​IMG] Guess he was hungry? But, it was a nice dinner and then we had cake and gifts. Making a wish. Which is probably along the lines of "I wish my kids wouldn't spend money on me". And, as every year, he was annoyed because we spent money on him. [​IMG]He really loved the card Ryan picked out for him though...suited him perfectly! And on the phone Father's Day, Dad was joking around about the 'lack of cash' in his Father's Day card. So, my husband stuffed 20 $1 bills in his card as a joke. Using the "feels a little thin" to make the impression to joke about. Dad worked it like a pro! We weren't sure if the annual Phillies t-shirt was a good gift (since they are playing awful this year), but Dad liked it. At first he wasn't happy with the blu-ray DVD player we got him, but since he wanted to be able to use his surround sound with the DVD player, we had to get him a new one. And Randy even hooked it up for him (because Dad said if he didn't, it'd sit in the box until we came down next year!). [​IMG]

    After dinner, and I [​IMG], BIL, SIL and Colleen & Lucas headed back toward home. (it's a 2 hour drive, so it's long & tiring). We settled in to watch the Phils game (& Cliff got his FIRST win of the season!:thumbsup2) and then headed to bed when that was over.

    Another good year of birthday fun! :cool1:
     
  18. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    great to hear you got to spend quality time with 'dad':thumbsup2. What a strong resemblence with the three guys on the couch!

    ps you're already kicking a killer tan...will we recognize you at the end of the sailing trip?;)
     
  19. DizzneyMom

    DizzneyMom Disney Mom

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    Wow that was a rough day 1.
     
  20. bubba's mom

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

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    yes...it's a good week of 'quality' time and yep, there is a resemblance, which is odd because lots of people think Ryan looks like ME! :confused3

    ... and, I didn't get much tanner the second week...I actually was pretty careful w/ the sunscreen...was afraid to burn!


    yep...traveling day to get to the BVI was a long, rough one too! :guilty: (but totally worth it!)
     
  21. bubba's mom

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

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    Day 7

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Today was [​IMG] and packing day. After dinner, we were headed toward Orlando (Winter Springs to be more specific). That is where Grumpy & Nonna live (SIL's parents) and we were all spending the night at their house. (I believe pictures are in last year's trip report.)

    I made everyone wear bathing suits today while I did the laundry. [​IMG] We did NOT check any luggage because we were flying American Airlines the second half of our trip and they charge $25 to check a bag--one way! After they changed our flight times (slightly), I was super annoyed with them and refused to give them any more money! [​IMG] I figured for the $50 (roundtrip) they were going to charge us to check A bag, I could BUY a bag for that price. And, I did. I bought a carry-on suitcase for about $37...and didn't have to give American any more of our money. :teeth: So, all we had was a rolling suitcase each and the guys had backpacks and I had a large tote for carry-ons. Only using carry-on luggage for 3 people for 2 weeks, we were limited in how many clothes we could bring. I think we each had a couple of bathing suits and about 4 outfits each. So, by now, all our clothes are ready to be laundered.

    While in the process of doing laundry, packing and stripping the beds, our Uncle Ronnie & Aunt Dottie (who live about 20 minutes away from Dad) stopped in for a visit. [​IMG] Aunt Dottie was surprised when I answered the door...don't think she knew we'd be there? [​IMG] But, we had a nice visit for awhile...always nice to see them and catch up.

    We all had showers after the laundry was finished (so we'd have clean clothes to wear!) and started on an early dinner. Joyce had to be somewhere at 5:30 and we all wanted to eat together. Tonight's menu was: mustgo .... aka: leftovers must go. We did a good job of putting a huge dent in the leftovers from the week. [​IMG]

    We said our goodbyes to Joyce after dinner and after she had left, I started on cleaning up the kitchen and doing the dishes. Once that was all finished, we were just waiting on a call from BIL saying he was on his way to Grumpy's (we didn't want to arrive before them). [​IMG]

    Wasn't too much later we got the call and headed on over. It was probably around 7pm or so when we started over and got to Grumpy's not too long after they got there.

    They usually eat dinner late and I think they expected us to eat there. We weren't hungry, since we had mustgo for dinner, and we didn't really eat much, but we enjoyed the conversation and company. It was a brief visit with them again this year, but at least we did get to visit with them. :thumbsup2

    I also helped my SIL pack her daughters' bags. It was quite comical as we were stuffing ziploc bags full of clothes and swimsuits and my SIL was sitting on them to get the air out while I sealed it closed. [​IMG] It was humorous at times, but together we got the job done!

    Close to midnight we called it a night. [​IMG] Early to rise tomorrow...flight to catch. :cool1:
     

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