Road Trippin', Cruisin' and Photo Bombin'-Our EPIC Family Vacation!NEW11/5-BIRDS..UGH

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by mommytothreeboys, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    Well....I've been home a whole week now...**sigh**...so I guess it's about time to start this TR! For those of you who followed my PTR and joined in all the planning frivolity.....WELCOME BACK! :thumbsup2 For anyone new, you can read my PTR here 3Boys and 20 Hours in a Minivan,I Must Really Love this Place!

    If you are unfamiliar with me and my family, let me begin by introducing the gang. This is our 3rd Family trip to WDW and my 6th trip. To say we are fans of the place would be an understatement! ::yes::

    Let's begin with me...self proclaimed planner extraordinaire and Disney FREAK! My name is Missy and I just turned 43 years old in February. I am a stay at home mom, but recently began cleaning houses on the side to supplement our income. (and let's be honest...to fund my Disney habit!) This is a picture from this most recent trip.

    [​IMG]

    Joining me is my amazing husband of 20 years, Jeff. He is a technical operations center surveillance analyst at Time Warner Cable. That is fancy for "if your cable goes out, he makes sure he knows it before you do and gets the right people out to fix it." Jeff's favorite character is Pinocchio and he secretly loves Walt Disney World almost as much as I do. ;)

    [​IMG]

    Next are our 3 boys. Dan is our oldest and turned 18 (can you believe it??) in January. He will graduate from High School this year and is part of the reason for this trip. His favorite Disney movie is Aladdin.

    [​IMG]

    Isaiah is 15, ready to turn 16 in May. Isaiah is a funny kid. I always tell him that it's a really good thing that he is so funny and he amuses me, because I may have taken him out long ago if not for that! This boy is going to be the one to put me in an early grave! But...he really does keep us in stitches and adds a lot of fun to our lives. His favorite character, not surprisingly, is Stitch!

    [​IMG]

    Our youngest is Jonah and he is 12. Jonah is an easy going kid and his favorite character is Goofy. He is the typical youngest child...a bit of a momma's boy and picked on by his older brothers. But he can also push his brothers' buttons like nobody's business so it all evens out!

    [​IMG]

    That concludes the introduction phase of this TR. We did have a few other "castmembers" on this trip, but I will introduce them at a later time.

    Now for the When and Where! This trip was EPIC as the title would suggest. We left our house in western New York State on Tuesday April 2 and returned home on Sunday April 14. In addition to our obvious visit to the most Magical Place on Earth, we also took a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas on a non-Disney ship, visited friends in Lakeland, FL and went to a Tampa Bay Rays game! As if that weren't enough....WE DROVE our van! :drive: NO PLANE FOR US...planes are for the weak! (LOL...as Isaiah would say!) To be honest, in order to do both the cruise and WDW, we needed to cut costs somewhere. Driving vs flying saved us a lot of $$!

    In many ways this was a very different trip for us. We have always stayed on property and done the DDP. This trip we stayed offsite, so no DDP for us. We've never had a vehicle at Disney so this was the first time we did not rely on Disney transportation. For a planner like me, it was a lot of new challenges to work around....but EXCITING!

    So now that you know the WHO and the WHERE....it's time to begin! I know you are all here to hear about a Disney trip, so I will be as brief as I can on the cruise portion of the trip. But, I won't skip it as I know some of you are interested.

    Please feel free to chat with me...I love an interactive TR! If I don't see comments I start to think no one is reading and get sad. :sad:

    Next Up...."Is that SNOW? Really??"

    UPDATE LINKS:
    SNOW?? Really??
    Let's Play a Game
    QUALITY Inn??
    The SUNSHINE State! At Last!
    Steppin' On the Beach!
    Come Sail Away!
    Rain, Rain, Go Away!
    DON'T Panic!
    Just Keep Walking!
    Just Keep Walking! (cont.)
    Conchin', Beachin', and Shoppin'!
    Swimmin', Slidin', Settin', and Partyin'!
    Private Island? Yes, Please!
    Life Update!
    Thank You!
    On the Golf Course, Really??
    A Camping We Will Go!
    Finally in DISNEY!!
    Finally in DISNEY!!--part 2
    A Day at the Studios
    "Will you take a picture of me with my lightsaber?"
    An Off-Site Condo? I’m not so sure…..
    A Yeti and A Hidden Mickey Monster!
    And THAT is why I hate birds....
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Trish.Glenn

    Trish.Glenn Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    232
    Can't wait to read this!! I have a 14 year old step son and I want to take him to Disney. His father an I love WDW but he has never been. I am looking go teenage boy tips!!!
     
  4. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    26,314
    I'm here! I'm here! I can't wait to read all about it!
     
  5. Lfsdromero

    Lfsdromero Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    I'm here. Please write more!!!!!!
     
  6. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Messages:
    12,052
    I'm here. :)
     
  7. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Messages:
    15,980
    I'm in! :goodvibes
     
  8. Mom2JaSaKa

    Mom2JaSaKa Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    30
    I can't wait to read it. We just got back yesterday and also drove with our 3 girls 15, 12, 11 from Cape Cod, MA.
     
  9. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    Hi there! My boys love WDW! I hope my report helps.

    Hi Lisa! YAY! :banana:

    Hi there and :welcome:

    Hi! Glad you made it!

    YAY! :goodvibes

    Oh boy...another brave road tripper! So glad you're here for the "ride"! ;)
     
  10. Riles_and_Gabe

    Riles_and_Gabe DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    724
    I'm here!!! I am so glad you have started your TR. I don't want you to skip any of your cruise portion. I love Disney but I love cruises too!!
     
  11. EastYorkDisneyFan

    EastYorkDisneyFan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,996
    I'm in and I hope the Baseball game you guys saw had a better result then the opening day game here in Toronto
     
  12. carissanboys

    carissanboys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    7,248
    I'm here, Missy! :goodvibes
     
  13. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,376
    I'm here!:goodvibes I can't wait to read all about your trip!!!:thumbsup2
     
  14. SusieBea

    SusieBea DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,918
    I'm in, too. More please!
     
  15. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,892
    Hi Missy! Definitely looking forward to the ROAD TRIP portions of your report -- We're road-tripping down to WDW with two teens in June! :faint:

    Your boys are so handsome!


    Kathy
     
  16. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    Hi there! Well, I guess that depends on who we were rooting for.... ;)

    Hi Carissa!

    Yay! Angie's here!

    Coming up!

    Hi Kathy! Glad you stopped in! :thumbsup2
     
  17. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    After months of planning and anticipation, it was finally April! Time to go on our EPIC vacation! We spent Easter weekend at my parent’s house in PA but came home on Sunday March 31 to get packed and ready to hit the road. Monday was spent putting last minute items in suitcases, finishing up laundry, cleaning the house, filling the gas tank, and going to the bank. As is our tradition, we ordered pizza for dinner and played a rousing game of Disney Scene-It.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Look who won!!
    [​IMG]


    It was going to be an early morning as we hoped to be on the road by 6 am. Everyone was settled in bed fairly early. Except for myself, of course. I spent the quiet moments balancing the check book and paying any bills that would come due while we were gone. I also wrote a detailed note to Josh (my nephew) who would be housesitting and taking care of our dog, Daisy. I double checked the trip binder to be sure I had tickets, travel documents, etc. all in order. I knew I would be tired, but those few hours I spent tying up loose ends was just what I needed. I headed to bed around 1 am with the alarm set for 5!

    Bright and early, the alarm woke us up. Jeff was up and out of bed before anyone and was able to snap these pics of the boys. GET UP LAZY HEADS! We’re going on VACATION today!

    How does he sleep like this?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Jeff also managed to get this picture of the snow on our porch and car that morning. Sad to leave Western NY…I think NOT!


    [​IMG]


    After rousing the sleepyheads, having a hearty breakfast of microwaveable sausage biscuits and croissant sandwiches (NO dishes!), loading the last minute bags into the car, and packing our cooler for our planned picnic lunch we were all in the van and ready to get this trip on the road! I had made a game for the kids to play along the way that I didn’t get a good picture of, but you can see it a little bit here.

    [​IMG]

    I made little sticky notes with the names of about 15 large cities or landmarks we would pass on our way to Florida. Once we reached that destination, the boys could pull off the sticky note. It was a big hit! We also had the license plate game in our back pocket as well as the ever-popular alphabet game.

    I also planned to get pictures of each “Welcome to…” state sign as we headed south. We hit our first sign about 2 hours after leaving home….

    [​IMG]

    Good Old PA! Weren’t we just here?? :rolleyes1

    Anyway, spirits were high and we were all very excited about our trip. We sang along to the radio, talked about what we were most looking forward to, and generally enjoyed the ride. Well, most of us. This is how Isaiah spent much of the road trip!

    [​IMG]

    As we made our way down Route 79 toward Pittsburgh we encountered some of this….

    [​IMG]


    White out conditions…LOVELY! Thankfully it only lasted a few miles and didn’t slow us down too much.


    We stopped for gas just outside Pittsburgh, PA. If I remember correctly, someone also had to “see a man about a wallaby”….Finding Nemo reference! Sorry for the TMI! We continued through PA and finally saw this sign about 5 ½ hours into our drive….

    [​IMG]

    At some point, we switched drivers and Dan took his turn at the wheel. We knew that West Virginia roads were very curvy and that Dan and I both get car sick. The best bet was to have one of us drive and the other sit in the front seat. Although I trust Dan’s driving ability, it’s still a bit nerve wracking and I am on high alert! :worried: At one point, we encountered some smoke alongside the road and Dan just plowed ahead without slowing down. Jeff and I both gently told him to slow down so he could assess the situation. Why would you just “drive right through it, Cole Trickle?” Days of Thunder reference that my boys did not get when Jeff said it, but that Jeff and I thought was very funny! We amuse ourselves! :rotfl:

    The scenery we passed in WV was just beautiful. As we drove, we listened to John Denver on Jeff’s iPod. We thought it was appropriate….”take me home, country road…” I’m dating myself, I know.

    Our next scheduled stop was at the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, WV. This was something we had deliberately included as a stop on our route because we had heard how beautiful it was. Our plan was to be there by around 2:00 and have a picnic lunch at the visitor’s center. Dan pulled into the parking lot at 1:50 pm! Right on schedule! Sadly, although it was a beautiful sunny day, the temps were only around 45 degrees. BRRR…… But, we found a nice sunny picnic table and enjoyed our lunch anyway! I had packed supplies to make turkey subs, chips, grapes, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc. Although a bit chilly, we enjoyed our lunch.

    [​IMG]
    Now on to see that bridge! We checked out the visitor’s center a bit then hit the walking trail to the bridge. It lived up to all the hype! AMAZING!

    The river gorge.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the deck overlook near the bottom of the gorge.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Reading info about the building of the bridge.
    [​IMG]

    After about an hour of eating and taking in the scenery, we were ready to get back on the road. But we had to cross that bridge! I was driving at this point because Jeff (who is afraid of heights) had no desire to drive over the bridge. It was so much less scary going OVER the bridge than looking at it!

    See…piece of cake!

    [​IMG]

    I think I’ll stop here for now, but stay tuned! Next up….Quality Inn….not so much!!
     
  18. Riles_and_Gabe

    Riles_and_Gabe DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    724
    Excellent Start!! I can't wait to read more!!
     
  19. Holly324

    Holly324 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    439
    Okay, I only have 2 boys, but after reading the first few posts of your TR, I feel like I am looking at my future! :) Subbing...can't wait to read more!
     
  20. disneyjunkie11

    disneyjunkie11 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    98
    Hello! Looking forward to reading more about your trip!
     
  21. KyWildcatGirl01

    KyWildcatGirl01 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    97
    I'm here!! Can't wait to read more but I must say you are much braver than I. I would not have been able to drive over that bridge. :drive:
     

Share This Page