PTR to CBR -- an August 2012 Adventure

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by Victoriasmom98, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    I really wasn't going to do a pretrip report as I thought I would be rehashing the same plans as in prior trips. I mean, I really don't do anything different from year to year other than purchase different items for the trip. But I've found that I've really missed sharing the little things that I've been going through and getting for our trip, so here I am.....starting my pretrip report for our August 2012 adventure. I have to figure out a cute, catchy title, though. For the life of me I can't think of anything funny or intelligent at this point.

    So, let's start with the cast of characters.....
    I hope you all don't mind, but I'm going to copy and paste the introductions from my prior report. I mean, our backstory doesn't change from year to year, right? So, for those of you who know me and my family, you can skip this part, unless you are a glutton for punishment...

    My DD 14 Victoria......
    She and I have been the 2 peas in a pod since I divorced her father when she was 4. It's been she and I against the world since then. She's not as much as a Disney fanatic as I am but I'll get her there!!! hee, hee. She's had her share of trials so far in her 14 years so I tend to spoil her and try to "make up for it". She was born with infant torticollis which basically means her head and neck muscles didn't develop as they should have while I was pregnant. She wore a head cast for 6 months to shape her head properly and had physical therapy for the first 2 years of her life. When she was 5, we discovered she had a tethered spinal cord which required surgery to fix. Her tethered spinal cord made potty training extremely difficult (as she didn't feel when she had to go) and it has caused recurring UTI's which have continued to this day. She does she a Pediatric Nephrologist in Portland, Maine so we are working on it. After her surgery she had an additional 2 years of physical therapy. She's doing great, though, even though she will never be great at team sports or any activity that requires lots of balance. It was also around the time she was 5 when my dad, her beloved Pepere passed away of a massive heart attack. That prompted me to realize that life is too short to be miserable, so I divorced Victoria's father that same year.

    Then there's me......a 44 year old cancer survivor, diabetic, and mother extrodinairre...(yeah, seriously I don't think that highly of myself, really!!!).....I work full time, enjoy scrapbooking, tending to my menagerie of pets and stalking the Disboards..

    Finally, there is my husband Peter.......
    As a little background here--- I had a pretty bad first marriage and I definitely was NEVER, EVER going to get married again or ever let anyone have control over me and my life again. I had dated, but nothing too serious as my first priority was and is Victoria. I was certainly not going to bring someone into our lives who I had no intention of remaining with. Then I met Peter.......yes, online.......Now I know what you all must be thinking ----ewwww! And I really didn't think anything would come out of it either. But, here I am. He's from the same type of French Catholic background as I am and we have so many things in common. He actually does the same type of work that my Dad did. (My Dad passed away in 2002). He's really an amazing man and he's taken to Victoria like she was his own child. Victoria loves him, too.

    Other family members not going on the trip are our yellow lab, 3 cats, 5 mini-lop bunnies, 3 teddy bear hamsters, and 2 guinea pigs. I am a huge animal lover, if you couldn't tell. Usually when we go to Disney the dog goes to the kennel and my wonderful Mom comes over to tend to everyone else.

    About our trip: We had booked the bounceback offer when we were there in 2011. The offer was Free Dining, so yeah, we jumped on it! Last year we stayed at POFQ and really loved it, so we booked that again. Then I got to reading the boards and more about the Carribean Beach Resort. I really wanted to see what that was like, so I changed the reservation. Also, we had originally planned to go in September due to the low crowds, but since Victoria will be a high school freshman this year, she didn't want to miss any school. After talking it all out, we have decided on August 17th through the 28th. Hopefully it will be low crowds and tolerable as far as the heat goes. I've been reading the boards and the census seems to be that there will be low crowds and it will be hot but tolerable. Whew!!!!
     
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  3. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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  4. Twoboysnmygirl

    Twoboysnmygirl DIS Veteran

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    damn you Erin! I wanted to be first! :lmao:

    I'm here too!!!!!!! Can't wait to hear all about it!
     
  5. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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    Ann, I’m so happy that you started a PTR! I totally agree that it is so much fun to share the plans on here! I hope you enjoy CBR. The kids and I loved it there and we hope to stay there again one day. I really liked the food court because the selection was enormous! We ate there once and also used our remaining CS meals to stock up on sammies for the car ride home. I also loved the Caribbean colors used throughout the resort. I can’t remember exactly what section we stayed in, but the buildings were pink in that area and it reminded me a lot of a hotel I stayed at in Jamaica. It was very pretty and the décor in the rooms was really cute. We had a Finding Nemo themed room, but it wasn’t over-the-top, just the comforters and pillow shams had Nemo and crew :thumbsup2 I’m so happy for you that you got that nice bounceback offer! I can’t wait to hear more plans! Oh, and I am just now commenting because I had to be first to join your PTR! I’ve never been first before, so I had to join first and read later! :rotfl:

    Haha, Karen! I beat you! :laughing:
     
  6. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    Wow!!! I really should be adding pictures now, shouldn't I? Here is my happy, wonderful family....
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    This picture was taken at Animal Kingdom in 2011. This is one of our photopass pictures.

    Photopass ----
    What a wonderful thing this is! As of March 21st the price of photopass has increased but as a family on a budget, I have to try to save money any way I can, so I'm taking part in a Photopass share in which I paid $19 for my photos on a little flash drive. I did this last year as well and it really worked out well. I hunted down the photographers to get as many pictures as I could. I really enjoyed being in the photos with my family instead of always me taking the pictures. I have mixed feelings on this and feel slightly guilty by being in a share. I believe Disney deserves to be paid for their products, but I also have to consider my family's finances. Sorry Disney, but I have to do this or else I won't be in the vacation pictures and one day when I'm no longer here, my daughter would want to remember me on vacation with her and the pictures will be cherished. Wow, on my soapbox much?? I apologize for my rant! :thumbsup2

    One thing I do with my photopass card is I punch a hole in it and attach it to one of those spiral keychains that you can wear around your wrist. That way, the card is always available --- no digging around in my bag for it. I'm one of those Dis'ers who tells the photographer that I bought the CD so I want as many pictures as possible. :yay: Yes, I'm obsessed! Victoria tends to try to run away from the photographers now. :confused3.

    Speaking of pictures, ever since I decided on CBR, I've been scouring the internet (and the boards) for resort pictures. I've been saving the ones I've found that I really like and will be posting some of those. I was surprised as there weren't as many as other resorts I've found. It looks like an amazing resort and I can't wait to be there! Of course do you think I have them here at home....nooooooooooooo, they are in a file on my desktop at work and I'm not there. Ugh! Why didn't I save them to a flash drive? Oh yeah, because I'm always at work and rarely take a day off even when I am sick. I have to save my vacation and sick time for Disney, right?? :hippie:

     
  7. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:
    YEAH FOR ERIN!!! SHE'S NUMBER ONE!!! :cool1: :lmao: Gotta love a good ole catfight over my ptr!! You two are so funny!!! I've seen pictures of the food court and it looks amazing -- just like a little village itself. I've asked for either Jamaica or Aruba as far as sections to stay at. I figured that way we would be pretty close to the food court (a short walk over the bridge). Hopefully the walk around the resort won't be too bad. I thought about booking a pirate room, but we aren't that much into pirates, so I didn't. I can't wait to see the rooms. You know Erin how I asked you what you do first? Well, I put my stuff down and flop on the bed and usually cry. Cry out of sheer happiness for finally being at my happy place. Then the camera come out!! (Proud of me, aren't you guys?? :thumbsup2)

    I do need a new camera case and I do have to decide which camera I want to bring. I have a larger camera which I love the pictures taken with it, but the thing is going to be a pain to carry around. Then there are two smaller cameras but I don't feel the pictures come out as well. Oh, and the larger camera has a 15x zoom lens. That would be awesome for the safari at Animal Kingdom. I also have a little hand held video camera. But then the decision would be which one would I have out when.....Am I over thinking these things? Yep....that's my usual MO! :rotfl: Does anyone have any opinions on this? Ok, I have plenty of time left to think about it.
     
  8. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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    Woo hoo, I won!!! Yes, Ann, you should feel special that there was a catfight over your PTR! :cat: Rarw!!! :lmao: I don’t blame you for the Photopass share. It’s important to keep things within a budget. I have kind of wanted to do that myself, but I am too much of a control freak to do it, I think. Does it take longer to get your pictures if you take part in a share? I guess it doesn’t matter if it takes a few more weeks, though. If I could let go of my control issues, I might be able to save $100 on Photopass pictures! :laughing: Good tip about punching a hole in the Photopass card and wearing it on your wrist. I need to do that this year. I also tell the photographer to snap away with the pictures! It’s great to have a lot to choose from and to be able to stop at EVERY Photopass spot!
     
  9. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    PINS, PINS, PINS!!!
    Victoria and I started getting into the pin trading about 4 years ago. What I have found is that it is easier to have "trader" pins seperate from your "keepers". Our keepers stay on our lanyards with the locking backs and the traders I keep in a baggie with their original black Mickey rubber backs on. It's so funny because every evening after the parks we all look at the pins we traded for that day and decide which ones will go on the lanyard for the next day. Our lanyards are different almost every day. Again, keeping the family budget in mind, I am one of those people who buy a lot of pins off of ebay for our traders. I'm sorry to all those who think this is awful, but this is how we have to do it to enjoy the fun of trading. OH, don't get me wrong, we do buy some, for example this year I want to buy the Carribean Beach Resort pin and maybe a couple others, but those would be keepers. :thumbsup2 Although when I get tired of them, I may trade them a couple of years down the road. I do have a board of keepers at home:

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    That's hanging in my bedroom! I don't usually trade with others (as I'm usually too shy to approach people) but I do trade with any cm I find. It's like a little treasure hunt! I also found out last year that most of the resort gift shops have a trader board as well. This is AWESOME info for traders! Last year I remember getting 4 at the board at the Grand Floridian!

    FLY, FLY AWAY.....
    Anyone check prices of airline flights recently?! :eek: OMG!!! They are Freaking Expensive!!! I check the flights every day and I haven't been finding anything less than $290 per person and that doesn't include taxes, fees, etc. So, it would be almost $1,000 for the flights alone. I just don't want to pay that! I was comiserating on the Transportation Board and one member stated he applied and got approved for the Southwest Visa card. You would get 25,000 points with your first purchase and earn points per dollars spent. Well, I had never dealt with the reward points before so, planner that I am, had to do some research on them. I already had a Rapid Rewards account with 1,700 points in it from when we flew SW last year. A one way flight for one person is about 7500 points currently to Orlando from NH. With the 25,000 points we will get, all of us would be able to fly one way for free!! :cool1: We will then use that credit card to purchase one way flights for all of us back to Maine at about $140 each. Heck, I'm good with this, so we bit the bullet and did it. Ok, fine. Peter did it. My credit is shot to hell, but his is perfect (I hate him!) --- no, I'm kidding, I LOVE HIM!!! :love: Granted, it will probably take a while for earn flights for next year, but hey....I'm trying to get this year taken care of! So, I'm just waiting on the card right now to make our flight purchases. I HATE WAITING!! We will purchase the one way flights right away and then I guess we have to wait one billing cycle before the points will be added. So, if everything goes as planned, I should be able to purchase the return tickets by the end of May. Cross your fingers for us! Another thing that we are planning to do is go NON-STOP!!! I've never done this before, either! That should be interesting and convenient! I didn't plan on this, it's just how the flights are working out. Of course this could change as I don't have the tickets yet, but I think this is so cool! 3 hours and we are there! Unreal! :scared1: I really think I've turned Peter into a traveller and most importantly, a Disney addict! He can't wait to go! Hee Hee!! All part of my evil plan! :upsidedow
     
  10. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to share a present I bought for myself.....big spender that I am, I saw this bag at Goodwill and just had to dish out the $1 for it.....

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    Yep! ONE DOLLAR!!! :rotfl2: I usually have a backpack in Disney but I found last year that I felt like a pack mule and my back would be all sweaty from having it on me. Ugh! And I could never get it stuffed properly in the little compartment that most of the rides have. Due to all those reasons, this is what I'm going to be carrying around in the parks this time! What do you all think? :confused3

    Here's another little treat for myself......

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    a new soap dispenser and hand towels! Yeah!! Aren't they cute???!!!! ;)

     
  11. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    Photopass Plus ---- Of course Disney has now found a way to discourage people from belonging to a photopass share. I don't know if anyone has seen this or not, but here's the official word:

    NEW! Disney PhotoPass+ arriving April 4, 2012 to Walt Disney World Resort.

    Capture more memories than ever with Disney PhotoPass+! With Disney PhotoPass+ you can have all your Disney’s PhotoPass Photographer photos PLUS select Attraction photos AND Dining Print Packages – All for one price.
    Product Details:
    PhotoPass+ will be sold at PhotoPass view stations located throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.
    With PhotoPass+ you will have digital files of all your PhotoPass photos, Attraction photos, and Dining photos taken within a 14 day visit to Walt Disney as well as Print Packages at select Dining locations.
    Once you arrive home from your vacation, you can view your photos and order a PhotoCD with all the high resolution photos plus a limited license agreement, which allows you to print photos at any local photo processing center.
    Participating Attractions:
    Space Mountain
    Splash Mountain
    Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
    The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
    Expedition Everest
    Dinosaur
    Participating Character Dining Locations:
    1900 Park Fare
    Ohana (Breakfast only)
    Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
    Chef Mickey’s
    Cinderella’s Royal Table
    Tusker House Restaurant (Breakfast only)
    Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue
    Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
    Disney PhotoPass+ Includes:
    PhotoPass+ Card and Lanyard
    A gallery CD with over 400 stock photos
    A unique code to create and order a PhotoCD with all your photos online at DisneyPhotoPass.com
    Print Packages at select Dining locations
    Digital Downloads of select Attractions
    All for $199.95

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q. I pre-purchased a PhotoCD online before my vacation, can I upgrade to PhotoPass+?
    R. Yes, if you pre-purchased a PhotoCD online before your trip you may upgrade your PhotoCD to PhotoPass+ at PhotoPass view stations throughout the Walt Disney World Parks, Downtown Disney, and select Resorts. You will need the name, phone number, and email address that was used to purchase the PhotoCD.

    Q. Can I pre-order PhotoPass+?
    R. At this time PhotoPass+ will only be available for purchase at the PhotoPass View Stations located throughout Walt Disney World and is not available online or for pre-purchase.

    Q. I have a large family—how many PhotoPass+ cards will I receive?
    R. Only one PhotoPass+ card will be provided with each purchase. However, multiple PhotoPass cards can be accumulated during your visit, and all of those photos can be added to your account. In order to receive your Attraction and Dining photos, the PhotoPass+ card holder must be present at the time of photo capture.

    Q. PhotoPass+ is not the right product for me at this time. Will the PhotoCD still be available for purchase?
    R. Yes – if you decide that PhotoPass+ is not the right product for you at this time, you can still purchase the PhotoCD.

    Q. Can I add attraction and dining photos that were taken before I purchased PhotoPass+?
    R. Unfortunately we cannot add photos previously taken to the PhotoPass+ product. Only photos taken within the 14 day window, which begins on the date of purchase, will be included in your PhotoPass+ package and available for you to add to your PhotoCD.

    Ok, so I've busted my brain trying to figure out how to get this. The only thing I can come up with is if a person is the only one within the photopass group that wants to pay for the upgrade. I would certainly do it and I have put it out there for our August Photopass group. We'll see. You all know me --- I buy EVERY ride photo and EVERY meal photo and that's darned expensive! There are 11 covered rides/meals and I think the last time I purchased them, all were around $29 per photo. That's $319 right there! Maybe it was a little less, but still.....The difference between the prepurchased cd and the plus is $100 that I would have to pay for the plus. I've already paid $19 for the share so in all I would have paid $119 for $300 worth of photos. Oh yeah, I could handle that! :thumbsup2 Now if only I can convince the person running the share that I'm the one who wants this option. aarrggggg! :rolleyes1
     
  12. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to show everyone (yes, all of my 2 followers) some of the pictures of the Carribean Beach Resort that I've found online.....

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    It's awfully pretty, isn't it?? I'm so excited!!! :yay:
     
  13. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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    I like all of your pins! I keep thinking that I should get my kids into that because they love collecting things. So do I and I really want to get into Vinylmation – so your Vinylmation pins jumped out at me!

    $290 per person to fly? Wow, I hope the prices drop soon! That’s good that you were able to get the Southwest credit card so that you can use the points for one way. I hope you get those nonstop flights!

    I like your Disney bag! You can’t beat $1! I hope that it works out in the parks for you! The towels and soap dispenser are cute too!

    As far as the PhotoPass+: Two hundred bucks for this? :confused3 I have mixed emotions about the PhotoPass+. On the one hand, it is good for people who do the character meals and big attractions. This year, we are going to all of the character meals listed except for Spirit of Aloha and Hoop Dee Doo, so I am probably going to get this. However, I noticed that CRT is listed too and the only thing that makes the ridiculous price of CRT acceptable was that there was a photo package that came with it. So does that mean that the price of CRT will go down for people who brought the PhotoPass+? Doubt it. I’m guessing that the printed photo package will come with the digital copies of the PhotoPass plus, but that really isn’t good enough – because people can already get a digital copy of the CRT photos if they have their PhotoPass card with them :rolleyes: Other than that, it is a good deal because you’re right that the individual photos add up to WAY more than the cost of the PhotoPass+. You’re also right that Disney seems to be on to the whole share thing and that they are trying to discourage that. I hope your share group goes for it. The main thing that stands out to me is that there is only one “official” card for the PhotoPass+ and that poses a problem not only for shares, but also for large families/groups. I can see problems arising if a few people separate from the group and go on rides that can use this program, but they can’t get pictures of themselves on the ride because they don’t have that main card. Also, what will Disney do if there is a lost “official” card? Will they make a second “official” card? (Hey, that might be the workaround with share groups! :thumbsup2 Devious, I know! :stir: ) ALSO, what is the deal with them limiting it to a 14 day window of taking pictures? That is definitely directed at discouraging share groups. Well, Disney keeps doing things that we don’t always like, but we keep coming back :laughing: so this isn’t a deal breaker for me. It is actually really good money saver for a lot of us because I almost always buy the meal pictures and some of the ride pictures. This just means that we’ll really have to make the most of all of photo ops around the parks!

    Wow, four updates in one! I was just about to reply when I saw you posted these pics of CBR! You brought back some memories for me! It really is beautiful there. One of the things that I wish I had done on our trip was explore the resort more. You’ll love it there!
     
  14. Trinity524

    Trinity524 DIS Veteran

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    Make that three followers!

    We stayed at CBR last year!
     
  15. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    YAY!!! I have 3 followers now!!! :welcome: Trinity!!! Thank you for following along. I hope you don't get too bored. :hippie:

    So, our tickets down to Orlando are now purchased using the new Southwest Visa card!! $451 for the 3 of us one way. I'm very pleased. It is flight #988 from Manchester, NH to Orlando. The flight leaves at 12:15pm and we land at 3:25pm. Yes folks, it's a NON STOP flight!!! OMG! I am way too excited!! :cool1: It takes us about 3 hours to drive down to Manchester, so this was a better option for us rather than a flight leaving at 9am (we would have had to be on the road by 4:30am! ugh! :eek:. The only kink in the plan, and not a huge kink, is that I have to change our Planet Hollywood ressie from 5pm to 6pm just to make sure we make it on time. This trip is getting so real now!!! Just think, we didn't buy tickets back home yet, so we could stay there FOREVER.....yeah, right! We plan on getting the tickets after our points get credited to the account. :woohoo: I am so glad we decided to go this route.
     
  16. archdandy

    archdandy DIS Veteran

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    I'm following along! That is a pretty big pin collection! Over the course of my trips I've sort of started a pressed penny collection. I've only got two so far :rotfl: But hopefully I will get a lot more on our upcoming trip. Congrats on purchasing your tickets there! That's so exciting!
     
  17. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    We stayed at CBR last year and loved it! i'm so torn between trying new places and going back to CBR. i can direct you to a few of my pics if you'd like. Anyway, i love the mickey towels! i can't wait to hear more!
     
  18. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    ANOTHER FOLLOWER!!!! OMG!!! HI Jennifer AND WELCOME!!! :welcome: You know, I started a pressed penny collection, too and have about 4 of those books filled, but I haven't really figured out how to display those yet. I love trying to find all the different machines. It's like a game. :rotfl2: I didn't do it last year, and I haven't decided whether I'll do it or not this year. I'll have to think on that one!

    Going over to read your reports now!
     
  19. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Just call me Follower Number Five! I think you are going to love your resort choice. We have stayed at the CBR six years in a row and fell in love the minute we drove into the resort. It's absolutely gorgeous and pictures simply do not do it justice. But, if you want to take a look see at the pictures I took, I have some posted in my trip report.
     
  20. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Number Five aka Lisa!!! And welcome!!!:wave: I just went over and subscribed to your tr but considering how many pages you have, I might need the whole month to read it all. I'm getting so excited to stay at CBR. I will definitely go through your report and look at the pics. I hope you enjoy the ptr.....I gotta warn you, you may get bored. :yay:
     
  21. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Lauren!!!! Thanks for coming on over. I went ahead and subbed to your tr, so I will get to check out your pictures. :cheer2: You know what's funny? I think I had previously found your pics and saved them. Do you ever post to the Photo of the Day threads? I have only started your tr, but you have the most adorable family. I can't wait to read more! Oh, and I'm definitely copying your shortcuts and path maps to help us navigate. :hippie: I've also asked for Jamaica, ground floor, so maybe I'll end up in the same building. It looks like there are 4 buildings attached to make one building such as #44. Is that right?
     

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