Ridin' those rides and Trekking thru Africa, a Solo TR! FINAL UPDATE 10/28

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by PhoenixStrength, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Hi all! :wave2: :welcome: For those of you who didn't read my PTR, I'll tell you a little about myself. :goodvibes

    I'm a 27, almost 28, year old single gal from Maryland.

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    I am, somewhat obviously, a Disney freak! princess: I have always loved everything Disney, and this trip was my 5th trip to WDW, and the second solo trip. I have a dog, Phoenix, who is a 7 year old Beagle/Belgian Malinois mix, and 4 cats: Jag, Turk, Sweetie and Jynx. I have two younger sisters and my parents are still married. We all love Disney. One of my sisters, Heather, got married last year to her boyfriend of 5 years, Jimmy. He is not as much of a Disney freak and has never been to WDW. :eek: But he tolerates Heather's love of Disney. :laughing:

    I volunteer a lot with animal rescues and my job is actually animal related too. I am the Office Manager of a pet sitting company here in Maryland, and have enjoyed this job for almost 4 years now. It's a great mix of working with people and animals that works well for me.

    Well, enough blabbering about me. If you have any questions please ask, otherwise let's get this TR under way! :woohoo:


     
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  3. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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  4. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Am I first?????? :goodvibes
     
  5. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Wooooooo Hoooooo! Ready for the ride and the trek!
     
  6. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Yes you are Kathy! Thanks for joining me.

    Hi Lisa! Glad you are here :goodvibes
     
  7. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

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    I am so in! Just got back myself from a semi-solo trip. I look forward to hearing about your trip :goodvibes
     
  8. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    :welcome: Glad you are here, and that just got back from the World yourself!
     
  9. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Quick real like update:

    I have not had a good last 2 weeks, with the exception of the trip. One of my friends (for those that read my PTR, Cathy that I saw in Utah, one of the older ladies) has been battling ovarian cancer for years. She goes in remission for a few months and then it comes back. It just came back again last summer and she was finally approved last month for a trial that should work great for her. Unfortunately last week she started feeling bad and went in the hospital. They found a tumor around her rectum that was cutting off part of the intestines. She had to have that section of intestine removed yesterday and came out of the surgery okay. Then today her blood pressure dropped drastically and she had to get 2 units of blood transfused. She is doing better again now, but I would appreciate any prayers, good thoughts, whatever you believe in for her. She is a fighter and her husband Mike and sons are fighting with her at her side. She lives in California and I'm just getting updates from her husband via email and Facebook.

    Then, another person I know (we aren't really close, but have a mutual good friend and are friendly with each other) got a call on Sunday that her husband, who was in Vegas for a work convention, had been in a severe car accident. He is still in ICU and has had several surgeries and will need 2-3 more, but he is stable now and is expected to recover fully, though it may take a while. His name is Miles, if you could keep him in your thoughts too. His wife is Pamela.

    Then today, about 5 minutes after coming home from work, one of my cats, Jynx, started crying and when she stood up there was a pool of blood under where she had been sitting. Turns out (don't read if you are too squeamish) that one of her anal glands ruptured and she has a hole about the size of a dime now on her rear, right of her anus. I rushed her to the vet where they shaved the area and cleaned the wound out. She is now on pain meds (she hurts so bad she can barely move her back legs) and an antibiotic and will be fine in about a week.

    So, thanks to that experience tonight I'm not going to get the first trip post up until tomorrow. I have a ton to do still before bed since I spent 2 hours at the vet (they were packed and were trying to squeeze me in).

    I'm hoping that nothing else happens. They say bad things come in 3s, so maybe that will be it!

    Anyway, I hope this week goes well for everyone, and I will be back tomorrow with the first update :goodvibes


     
  10. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Oh, sweetie, it hs been a rough one. Of course, I am sending many prayers to your friends and their families to get them through these difficult times and prayer sfor full and speedy recoveries.

    And I also send prayers for your poor kitty...I hope she feels much better soon.

    And, for you, I send a :hug:
     
  11. Nermel9

    Nermel9 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in, I love solo TR's, I hope to do a solo trip someday! When I'm brave enough! :rotfl:

    I'm sorry you have been having such a rough couple of weeks, I hope everyone starts feeling better soon! :goodvibes
     
  12. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Thank you so much Kathy! My friend Cathy is feeling much better this morning and has been able to keep some juice and small amounts of food down, which is the first food she has eaten in over a week. Thanks for the prayers!

    Jynx is feeling better this morning too. She was spunky enough to give me trouble trying to give her the meds!

    :welcome: Glad you are joining in! Disney is a great place to do a solo trip since it very safe and if you do feel lonely the CMs and other guests are usually very friendly and easy to talk to.

    And thank you! Seems like everyone is feeling better this morning, so it's looking up so far. :goodvibes
     
  13. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Well, you know that I am a firm believer in the power of prayer so I'll keep your friends, Jynx and you in my prayers.
     
  14. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Thanks Lisa! Cathy is feeling better this morning and was just able to email us from her IPad from the hospital. Miles found out yesterday that one of the issues they thought he had is actually something different, which is much less serious than what they thought he had, and Jynx was feeling better this morning. So the prayers are definitely helping. I know they would all appreciate them to keep coming! :hug:
     
  15. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

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    I completely understand how you must be feeling. It seems that when one bad thing happens, everything else starts crumbling around you. Recently, I just moved in with my DBF right around Christmas so big new financial responsibilities. Then my car brakes needed to be fixed, then my dog got fleas and we had to clean the entire house, then not a month later, I discovered blood in my dogs urine. Took her to the vet to find she has a bladder stone and might need surgery. These things definitely come in threes! I know it's not the same as a family member being in distress but it's stressful nonetheless. You're not alone in this :hug:
     
  16. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Sorry you have been going through so much too! Isn't right when you least have the money to spend that something goes wrong? Thanks for the support! :hug:
     
  17. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Hello all! I am going to post the first update very shortly, but first I wanted to let you all know a couple of things.

    1. I took about 3000 pictures during this trip. While not all of them will make it in the TR, most of them probably will. So, this will be long with many updates since I can only have 25 images per update! :rotfl:

    2. I slept HORRIBLY the week before I left. In fact, I only got about 6 hours sleep TOTAL during the 6 nights before I left. I don't know why, but I was exhausted the first part of the trip and didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but there is always next trip! :goodvibes I did sleep very well at WDW, so my energy went up during the trip, but the beginning I was dragging some.

    Anyway, as long as Photobucket and my computer here at work co-operate I will have the first update up very shortly! :woohoo:


     
  18. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    DAY 1, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11TH, PART 1​

    The Joy of Flying :rolleyes:


    I woke up around 7am that morning, which would be the theme for the next week+ for most mornings. After feeding the animals breakfast (my parents were caring for them while I was away) I took a quick shower and ate some breakfast. Then I packed the last few things that I had needed that morning (I had packed everything else the night before) and it was close to time to leave. My flight was scheduled to leave at 12:35pm, so I wanted to be at the airport around 10:30ish to make sure I had time to do everything I needed and eat something there before my flight.

    My Dad picked me up around 10am to take me to the airport so I wouldn't have to leave my car or pay for a taxi. We got there around 10:20am and he dropped me off at the Southwest entrance at BWI. I haven't flown a ton, but of the 6 airports I have been in, BWI is my favorite. They have a TON of food and shopping there and it just has a great set-up, but more on that later. I did the curbside check-in for my 2 checked bags (three cheers for bags fly free with SW!) and since I had already done online check-in the day before and printed my boarding pass, I went right to security. The line there wasn't too bad, and I was done and at my gate by 10:40am! I hadn't expected everything to go that fast, but I wasn't complaining either. I wasn't hungry yet, so I took some pictures while waiting.

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    BWI has these counters with stools to sit at as one seating option while using your laptop/tablet.

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    But I chose to relax in these, the leather plush chairs they have! You can't see it in this picture, but they also have an outlet next to each seat so you can plug in there too.

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    When I first got to my gate there were only a handful of other people already there. Around 11:15ish I decided to get something to eat so my stomach could settle before my flight. I have never gotten air-sick before, but didn't want to tempt fate either. I ate at the Arby's by my gate, but didn't take any pictures. After I ate I went in one of the stores by there and looked around, but didn't buy anything except a bottle of water to take on the plane with me. By that time the seating around the gate was almost full! There were lots of families with kids that were all also going to Disney. Many had on Disney shirts and/or kids with Disney toys.

    While waiting for my flight, which I kept checking and the status was "On Time", the flight at the next gate over took off and I got some pics of that too.

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    My plane was coming from New York and thankfully landed around 12:10pm. I got pics as it pulled into the gate.

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    Lots of people got off the plane and they told us it would be a few minutes before we could board as they needed to clean up a mess. :scared1: I was in the first boarding group (no assigned seating for SW, just groups A, B and C and a number, which you line up by) and got lined up in my spot via the pillars.

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    I got a window seat (Yay!) in row 12, on the left side of the plane. I was one row behind the emergency row. I managed to get one picture of my view, which included the wing, before everyone finished boarding and I had to shut my camera off for a bit.

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    As you can see, it was rather foggy that day, but nothing that caused any problems. We left right on time and were told we would probably land earlier than our scheduled 2:55pm arrival time. I was not happy about the other 2 people in my row. It was a very large couple on their way to their honeymoon. I'm not insulting large people at all, but they were both plain rude, though she was worse since she was next to me. She put the arm rest up between our seats and was taking up several inches of my seat, and would not move. Then they spent the entire flight either making out or complaining about everything and anything.

    On a brighter note, the 3 flight attendants were all great. I can only remember the name of the guy who was doing the announcements, Jerome, and he was very funny. The 2 women who did the food and drinks were both very friendly and were talking to everyone the whole flight. Despite the large number of kids, there was no crying or whining that I heard. I spent the flight taking pictures and looking thru the Skymall magazine.


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    After about 30 minutes we got some snacks, pretzels and Nabisco 100 calorie pack Sweet and Salty mix. They were both yummy.

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    About an hour into the flight we passed several other planes that were flying semi-close to us. It was still quite foggy so this is the best pic I could get

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    UP NEXT: Landing, and waiting for DME!

     
  19. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    Day 1, Saturday February 11th, Part 2
    Landing, and Waiting for DME!​


    The clouds started to disappear as we flew over Florida, and you could start to see the ocean, then land!

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    As we started flying over Florida the pilot stated we were about 20 minutes from landing and Jerome asked us to turn off "anything with an on/off button", so away the camera went. The landing went very smoothly, and we were over 20 minutes early! I had decided to get my own bags, as I wanted to unpack right away rather than wait for hours for the bags to arrive. After I got my bags, which didn't take long, I made my way to the DME counters. This was my first time using DME, but the process was easy and I was second in line for the POP/CBR bus. I took some pictures while waiting (and waiting, and waiting....).

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    After about 45 minutes, and the line becoming quite long behind me, we were ushered onto a bus, though not an actual DME bus, but a Cruise Line bus :( Here's is the fabric on the seats on that bus.

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    There was a real DME bus next to me though.

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    I got a picture of the tower as we pulled out of MCO, and then settled in to watch the beginning of Toy Story 3.

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    In 20 minutes we were at POP Century. I got my bags and went in to check-in. As you can see, it was not busy yet.

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    I only got one picture of the lobby in before I was being ushered up to the Online Check-in desk.

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    I was quickly checked in and found that I loved my room location. I had originally asked for 60s, but got 50s building 3 and wound up liking that better anyway. I also got my two other requests, which were 4th floor (no noise above me!) and lake view. Lastly, I got a request I hadn't even made, which was an end room. :banana:

    Being the good Diser I am, I took pictures of my room for y'all!

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    Oh, here is what my room number was.

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    And a pic of the Towel animal that was in my window when I checked in.

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    NEXT TIME: Exploring the resort, and Downtown Disney





     
  20. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    For some reason it never occurred to me that when they say to turn off all electronics during take off/landing it means cameras too. Whoops! I always thought it was just things such as cells, smart phones, laptop, etc. Oh well, I got many nice pictures and videos last time. :upsidedow I wonder why we have to turn the cameras off???

    I'm so happy you got to Orlando early and that you got a fabulous room location at POP. :banana:
     
  21. PhoenixStrength

    PhoenixStrength Found my Prince Charming!

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    I never used to either, but they were very specific and said anything with an on/off switch. One guy asked if that included cameras and they said for personal safety yes, since they didn't want anyone distracted for the take-off and landing. So, I turned it off. Not an airplane safety issue at all.

    Thanks! I loved my room location as the Illuminations fireworks were right there (pictures coming later in the TR) and it was usually quiet. Some noise in the morning from the staircase next to my room, but it was usually after I was awake already anyway.
     

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