Suprise trip Cheapskate style...

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by Erniandbert, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    I am proud to be a cheapskate. I very rarely pay full price for anything. If there is a discount available I take it and I am proud of all that I am able to accomplish for my family and maintain our very tight budget. That being said Disney has alluded us. I have wanted to go so bad I could taste it...for years. My husband thought it was a frivolous expense. His idea of a vacation was a primitive campsite for a long weekend. Maybe it has something to do with the way we were brought up. My family took vacations every year his family never went anywhere and the idea of having a job that paid vacation time was a novelty. In his large family if they weren't working they weren't making money. Sorry I digress...

    Just over 2 years ago I started working for AAA. A Mecca for all things Disney and Discounts. I think my first day at work I began plotting how to get us out of Chicago and down to Orlando. Free dining 2007 came and went... no money + new job = no vacation. 2008 beckoned and vacation time loomed overhead. My husband got a pacemaker in February and my DS 13 was diagnosed with Aspergers and spent several weeks in the hospital dealing with extreme depression. Vacation time used for family + Medical bills = no extra money for Disney. So long Free Dining 2008... I formulated my plan and got others on my side. I found Disney Fans within our circle of friends at church. They plotted with me and feigned shock and awe that my husband and 2 children had never been. "Why that's cruel and unusual punishment" they told him. I said what better way to boost our DS mood than to go to the happiest place on earth. I socked away the "stimulus" payout in '08 and prepared for a nice Tax return due to the excessive Medical bills. Thanks Uncle Sam! Now there was just the final discussion with my DH. He asked if he said yes this once would he be lassoed into going every year? "Of course not dear" I said "this is a once in a Lifetime vacation" (do you think he noticed my fingers were crossed)

    And that was that, deposit was made Free Dining '09 was going to be my year!

    Here is how the trip was planned out:

    Sept 14-19th:
    Pop Century non preferred
    6 Day Park Hopper
    FREE DINING :cheer2:
    DH 43 Birthday = Birthday Fun card
    MNSSHP 9/18
    no insurance
    No air (we will drive and stop to see his family in GA)
    All our AAA extra Benefits

    Fast forward to end of June and DD 7 catches a cold. DH agrees to stay home from work to watch her by the time her fever broke 3.5 days later DH was feeling her pain. The only difference was he wasn't feeling better after a few days. A trip to the Doctor, became a trip to the ER, became 72 hours in isolation with the possibility of FLU! I could feel Free Dining slipping out of my fingers. Sure I was worried about my DH but I knew he would get better.
    All I could see was this very similar scenario replaying itself just days before we were supposed to head to WDW. A quick call to my co-worker and Travel Agent and all was well

    The changes were as follows:

    5 day base ticket
    Travel Insurance--Non Disney

    All total switching to the 5 day base from the park hopper saved us just over $200 and buying the Insurance added just over $100. That was an extra $100 to spend in the House of Mouse.

    Time to Make those ADR's:

    We got everything we wanted after some tedious nail biting:

    Monday DHS--50's Prime Time--7:00PM
    Tuesday AK--1900 Park Fare--8:20PM (we hope to Picnic with the animals this day)
    Wednesday EP--Beirgarten--7:30 PM DH Birthday his choice
    Thursday MK--AAA Storytime--Crystal Palace--6:00PM
    Friday MK--BBB princess: --PL pirate: -- Whispering Canyon--5:00PM

    It took several days of phone calls and repeated checking when the online system opened up to get the times just the way I wanted them. I think 1900 Park Fare is a little late but I am hoping to see the Electric Water Parade after from the Contemporary Beach.

    OK by now your asking so what is the surprise??? Well we haven't told the Kids where we are going other than a long weekend to GA!!! They have no idea. :yay: I have never ever kept a secret like this from them other than Christmas stuff!

    It just started out that we would wait until we were past the point of return (45 days out) because our plans always change last minute and I didn't want to disappoint them. Well 45 days came and went and we were having so much fun not telling them and thinking of options on how to surprise them if we did wait that we figure "what the heck, let's see how long we can carry this."

    I spend obnoxious amounts of time looking for tips and suggestions on the Computer or reading pamplets and books about Disney. I have the '09 Passporter and the '09 Birnbaum. Both at a discount through AAA. We have told the children that I am studying to earn a certificate from Disney for my work. They do offer a program called College of Knowledge, but I do Auto Travel, not sell Travel Packages so I don't really need it. I figure though it wouldn't hurt to get it. Ya know "Brownie Points". They seem pretty satisfied with that explanation but I can tell my DD7 has been bitten by the Disney bug as she likes to watch over my shoulder as I read web page after web page and look at all these really cool pictures of all we will see and do. She even offered me her money in her piggy bank to help finance the trip (how sweet was that)

    My DH on the other hand would rather this trip not even exist...he is acting like Grumpy when I even mention the impending travel plans. Its hard to believe his favorite character is Tigger!

    Well I guess I have over stayed my welcome here... I will try and post more background info another time. In the meantime I would appreciate any suggestions on the big reveal!
     
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  3. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    Not only am I a cheapskate but my husband is a food network junkie. So I knew that free dining was going to be our time of year to travel. My DH is also afraid of heights which means while he will fly he "prefers" to drive. With Gas prices being much lower than last summer and seeing that at work I encourage and support those who make road trips (AAA Auto Travel Counselor). It seemed like a logical choice for us.

    I also used driving as a way to sell my husband on this trip. He likes to go and visit his brothers at least once a year and they are currently scattered around the south east. Late last year 1 of his brothers moved to Valdosta to be near another brother. So now we could see 2 brothers in one stop. There is another brother in SC but that is where I will stop with DH's family saga because they could be their own thread unto themselves.

    Just after I booked our Cheapskate vacation, I was invited to Phoenix to participate in a meeting with Best Western. I was sitting in this meeting with all there corporate Marketing Big Wigs trying to not look like and idiot, and my cell phone begins to vibrate...I glance at it. Incoming Text. I decide to ignore it and check it at a break in the meeting. 2 minutes goes by, Another text...Ignore. 2 more minutes, another text. Now the Mom in me begins to panic... what if there is an emergency with the kids. I really need to check my phone. But I was in this meeting to discuss marketing plans and I had been chosen by the VP to represent the company with 2 other people and I was the only one from our area. Thankfully they called a break and I checked my messages. It was my DH...he had an idea for the road trip and needed to share. I called him back and I said are you kidding me?!?!?!? He said if it had been an Emergency he would have called and not text. Needless to say I spent the break trying to lower my blood pressure...

    So what was his great idea? He thought that on our way to Orlando from Chicago we should drive via Savannah, GA. Well if you have looked at a map lately Savannah is on the Eastern side of GA and not "on the way" to Orlando. This would add hours to our trip not to mention Gas and most likely a hotel stay. Not something a cheapskate wants to hear... His thought was if we stopped in Savannah his brother and family from SC could drive in and the 2 brothers and their families could drive up. Then we could have a mini reunion of sorts. Add to that he has been dying to eat at Paula Deen's "The Lady and Sons" since he heard of the place. I scoured her website for a coupon. NONE. So I scoured the menu and found she serves an all you can eat buffet of southern favorites. Her pricing is very similar to Disney which means lunch is less expensive than dinner for essentially the same meal. My husband's wish was granted and the extra $100 I saved when I downgraded to base tickets disappeared. We are staying at a new Country Inn and Suites near the airport where I got a Travel Agent rate of 37.50 per night and they let me reserve 4 rooms at that rate so all his brothers can stay with us. At least the good deal made me feel better about the "out of the way" stop over. My husband is over the moon about being able to see his brothers.

    For now our travel plans go like this:

    Depart Western Suburbs @ 4:00PM
    Drive to Savannah, GA via Nashville and Chattanooga
    Arrive there NOONish
    Nap
    Sightseeing in Savannah (a free Civil War Fort and maybe the beach at Tybee Island)
    Dinner cookout at a random park with a grill my husband wants to find.
    Overnight @ Country Inn and Suites--Savannah Airport
    Brunch @ The Lady and Sons
    Drive to Valdosta, GA--Stay overnight with a brother
    Get up at the crack of dawn and head to ORLANDO...


    Oh yeah and somehow on the drive to Orlando we have to figure out how to tell the kids we aren't going home...

    WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! party:
     
  4. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    I have scoured every website I can think of and some I couldn't looking for ways to save money while we are at Disney. I was excited to see that there was a fridge swap at the Pop. I tried to get in on it but my dates were taken. I think I am going to see if we can get a fridge for medical reasons. Both my DH and DS are on several meds each. And some need to be taken with milk. If all else fails we will use a cooler and ice if we have to I refuse to spend $10/ day for fridge rental. I also will forgo the expense of Internet access. If we have to check our email or contact someone I hear it is a short drive over to the McDonalds for free WIFI. i really like the idea of the Pay it Forward boxes(PIF) that are floating around at the different resorts. Again by the time I discovered them our dates were spoken for. I have offered to start a 3rd box at the POP so we will see what happens. I know will probably have lots of extras and some of my purchases would be great to leave behind for another family to use!

    Souvaniers will be kept to a minimum but we will collect smooshed pennies. Which means we will probably get 1 Penny collectors book for the kids to share. I did make my own autograph books from an idea I saw at the mouse for less. I found free clip art in the internet and dropped it into a word doccument that was sized for Avery Printable Post Cards. We had a surplus at work that had been mis-ordered and they said I could have them. After printing out 2 copies and Binding them on our binding machine. They came out very cute... I will take pictures to post, and figure out how to post the word doccument to this page if anyone else wants to use it. Any printshop should be able to bind it for you. I also found at Target these 5x7 30 page journals that look similar to a large passport and they were a 2 pack for $3.99. I thought they would make a good Kidcot Passport for Epcot.

    Since the tickets are included in our package I am going to have my DH pick the Fun Card on his birthday. I will have the AAA Disney Diamond Card which will get me 10% off at the World of Disney Store. As well as 20% off mini golf. I think our package comes with a free round of mini golf so I would like to take advantage of that offer.

    I went to The Disney Store and found adult "Pooh Sized" shirts on clearance for $5.99...SCORE! Notebooks for the kids to use for Journals were on sale too! (if they are missing a week of school they can do a little writing while they are there) Walmart had very cute Princess and Tinkerbell t-shirts for $3.00. And I was suprised by how many adult sized Disney t-shirts I found for my DS to wear at the resale store. I looked into getting a "real" Princess costume for My DD to wear at MNSSHP but after reading so many posts about how hot and sticky it may be I decided to get the Cinderella Nightgown on Clearance at the Disney Store. $12.99 originally $29.99 :yay: Sales Make me Happy!

    I have mousekeeping envelopes set aside and stickers, crayons ,and coloring pages for an activity in the room. I also found Hand held games on clearance at Target for about $2. The kids can use ther while waiting in line and for ADR's. I found Disney Uno for $1 at a Flea Market and thought we could could play in the room before bed. We love Uno, it is a great game for all ages and satisfies my kids desire to enact revenge upon each other.

    One of my favorite tips that read here on Dis is to bring a powerstrip to keep in the resort room as there is often a shortage of plugs to recharge phones and batteries at night. We grabbed the spare out of the Christmas decoration box. I have been trying to set everything we want to bring with us aside in a secret place but it has been hard to do so without the kids knowing, that and I am running out of room. I should probably just start filling the suitcase.

    I have been having so much fun doing this trip report it has been great cheap therapy for mee to have someone to talk to about all my plans. I feel like you understand my crazy obsession. Maybe one day my DH will get it...
     
  5. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    My documents arrived today...I am so excited. :cool1: It suddenly seems so official not just some far off dream! I will post more later.
     
  6. Monny2AE

    Monny2AE DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
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    I found my twin!!!!! :lmao:
    My DH likes Disney once we're there but isn't into the planning- it's taken me a while to get him to that point. He also hates flying so we're driving too.
    We're surprising our kids at Christmas with the trip!
    I love me some bargains too- I got some great deals at the Disney Outlets and have it all stashed away.

    Great PTR so far! Can't wait to read more- especially about how you surprise the kids!
    Perhaps when you get back in the car to head home you can give them a map with the route to WDW highlighted and see if they figure it out.

    Or just get in the car and see if they notice you're headed in the wrong direction. Then give them small clues every hour or certain mileage or so until they figure it out.
     
  7. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    [​IMG][/IMG]


    OK so I am not a pro at posting pictures... this one seems to be rather large. I thought you all might like to see the two most amazing unsuspecting children ever!!!
     
  8. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    OK so really it is just photocopied paper in a booklet but man does this booklet make me smile! :goodvibes I think my favorite are MNSSHP tickets. They are so cute and I have claimed the Minnie Mouse one as my own! In side the booklet is:

    1 Hotel Voucher for Pop Century
    4 AAA Story Time Vouchers (gotta love bonus free stuff)
    1 Planet Hollywood $15 meal voucher
    1 Planet Hollywood merchandise voucher
    1 Sea Raycer promo voucher
    1 Mini Golf Voucher
    1 30 Minute Arcade Voucher (2 Bonus Arcade cards courtesy of my awesome AAA Travel Agent)
    1 Photo Pass 5x7 Voucher
    1 AAA Diamond Parking Pass
    1 AAA Diamond Card for Discounts
    List of all the discounts available with the Diamond Card (like 15% off Mini Golf, 10% at World of Disney Store)
    3 disney "commemorative" luggage tags
    4 MNNSHP ticket Minnie, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto designs

    :dance3:
     
  9. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
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    New Information...

    I am in love with another man...

    He wears a robe and carry's a wand and his name is Harry Potter. I have read every book and seen almost every movie except this summers escapade. Living near chicago I was very excited to see that the Museum of Science and Industry was going to have a Harry Potter Exhibit mostly themed around the movies not the books. My cousin (also a huge fan) from St. Louis came up once this summer and we went through the exhibit (Free of Course). I got Passes when I signed up for a membership. Now my DS Josh and I are going this weekend as a fun Mom/Son last fling before school starts. (I have to use the other 2 Passes) Then Today I walk into work and almost immediately got a call from our Universal Studios Rep. Inviting me to an exclusive tour of the exhibit on behalf of Universal and would I have time in my schedule Thursday morning. "Ummmm let me think about that??" YES!!!! Who cares if it will be my third time it is a Phoenomenal exhibit! And its free!!!! :cool1:

    I can't wait...

    Just one more thing to make the wait for Disney go by that much faster.
     
  10. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    I just got back from Harry Potter. :goodvibes But more on that later...


    I am so frustrated at my Husband he just loves throwing a wrench in my plans... So he was talking to his brother in SC and was going over the plans for the night in Savannah. His older brother decided he wanted to come in a night early, Fine no problem... Well it is a problem because we are not arriving until Saturday and it is my name on the reservation and I was able to get everyone in at this particular hotel on a travel agent rate. So I said I can add a night at the hotel but he will have to pay the regular rate which is only $95/ night (TA rate 37.50) Of course that was not good enough. My husband says call the hotel and ask them if they will just extend the rate for an extra day. That is not how travel agent rates work. They have very specific rules so that people don't take advantage of the system and book travel agent rates for every Tom, Dick or Harry that asks for them. And the #1 Rule is that the Travel agent has to be the one to check into the room. Well if I am in Chicago the day before there is no way for me to be the one to check into the hotel in Savannah. Does my husband want to listen to me??? No.... he insists I call the hotel. I said if I call the hotel they are going to realize there was a glitch in their internet system that let me book 4 rooms in the first place and then no one is going to get the TA rate even for 1 night. I called and guess what???? I was right now everyone has lost the rate (except me the TA) Boy was it nice to be able to tell him I told you so...

    So now here I am back at square one because his brothers are all complaining about the higher rate which I have to say is not that bad as far as rates go in a metropolitan area. Typical rates during non economically depressed times will be around 175-250/ night plus parking. So as you can see $95/night including parking and a hot breakfast at a 3 Diamond hotel is really a very good deal. Disney Value properties are a 2 diamond and go for $149/ night during peak season. I found a hotel in the burbs for $50/ night but I am not familiar with the Microtel as a chain. My husband says it will be fine, but I have to say ever since becoming a travel agent I have become kinda a hotel snob. The upside of booking at this hotel is that it is a standard rate and I will earn some commission; albeit very little. In an economy like this I will take what I can get cause I gots goals to meet. I know it is just a couple dollars more but it is hard to justify even a little difference on our shoestring budget. Not to mention because the location is outside of town we will have to drive farther to see the things we wanted to do on our brief stopover in Savannah.

    Thanks for letting me vent my frustrations... :upsidedow:upsidedow:upsidedow
     
  11. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 DIS Veteran

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    Hi E&B!

    Well, I went from smiling a great big ole smile after seeing the picture of your kids to frowning and saying, Oh NO!" when I read about the TA Hotel Rate fiasco.

    When will hubbies learn not to interfere with our extraordinary trip planning genius? :confused3

    The surprise sounds like so much fun... I'm sure I could never keep my mouth shut for that long! :eek:


    Kathy
     
  12. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    Well I am getting ready to head off to work this AM. Hoping for lots of Good Karma on the Hotel/Motel Front. We have decided to try for the Microtel just outside of Savannah. I just hope the photos on the internet aren't hiding something. The brothers have agreed that my hotel knowledge and experience is far superior to theirs. A definite score for me. In the future they have all agreed not to try and change any plans I have made for fear of having to pay a much higher rate. Finally the seem to "get" what I do for a living and that I might actually know what I am talking about.

    Thanks to all who are reading along and those who have spoken up. I plan on talking about Cameras and Scrapbooking soon. As soon as I read the manual on my new camera :) I will post some pictures from Harry Potter and dive into more detail on that expedition. They don't allow cameras in the actual exhibit, but I ham hoping they might make an exception for the Universal event. My DS is hoping I can score a picture of the Mandrakes. They were his favorites which really surprised me because he is usually very sensitive to loud sounds.

    Here's to wishing on pixie dust! pixiedust:
     
  13. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for all the good wishes...It must have worked Because I got all 5 of the rooms I needed. I am sure the Microtel is wondering why suddenly they are nearly sold out of rooms. It is a little more inconvenient location wise from where we were before but the price was reasonable for everyone. My favorite was when I called the chain directly and asked for the Travel agent Rate and they quoted me the going rate at the hotel, and then said it was non-commisionable. Why would I book it with you and take a non-comissionable rate when I can get the same rate when I book it myself and it is commissionable.

    Meanwhile.. I am so excited it is only 3 weeks until we arrive at Disney. One of the Travel agents in my office was trying to get me to convert the reservation ito a cruise. While the offer was tempting I resisted and stuck with what we have. To celebrate I offered to be a "Fairy Godmailer" to some families traveling in October. Someone was kind enough to offer to send my kids a postcard from Disney and I plan on using it as part of the "Big Reveal" when we finally tell them they are going to WDW. If there is anyone lurking out there who would like for their kids to get a card I will even try and get the postcard autographed if possible. I just came accross a roll of unused .39 stamps That would be perfect for sending out these postcards. PM if you would like to be Dusted with some Pixie Dust before you even leave.

    :yay::yay::yay::yay:3 WEEKS UNTIL DISNEY!!! :yay::yay::yay::yay:
     
  14. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    OK so the rooms are settled...Check.

    DH busy designing T-shirts for his brothers reunion thing.... Outta my hair :goodvibes

    Ray our Disney Sales rep happened to stop by our office today and I was hoping to be able to get an assurance he would share some Disney Magic on our vacation, I got the opinion that wasn't going to happen, but he did offer some advice on Touring Plans especially in Epcot. My DH is afraid of heights and in general doesn't like rides. I know it's weird...something to do with working at a traveling carnival in his late teens and some odd post traumatic stress disorder thing. I say it is time to move on and have taken it as my personal mission to get him over this irrational fear. He gets regular lectures from me whenever we do anything as a family that involves being over 10 feet off the ground. Such as the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier or going up in the Arch in St Louis, these are the kind of things that freak him out. Over the summer we went to a water park and he refused to do anything but sit on a chair in the shade. So I got Mad...I said this is a FAMILY outing and you are missing out on your Children's Fun by laying here like a bump on a log. He was worried the slides would be too much for his pacemaker. Nice excuse right?!?!?! I said the lazy river doesn't have any thrill factor, what about the wave pool or try some of the smaller kiddie slides with the Kids. I understand he didn't want to ride the Space Blaster Water Coaster but at least try and have fun. Seriously he is that Bad...its like he makes up his mind to be miserable. Sorry, I digressed again...So I was telling Ray (Disney Sales Rep.) That I wasn't going to tell my husband what SOARIN was all about I was just going to have him get in line with us. Ray said NO! Don't do that...that is not the ride to try and make him conquer his fear it is way to realistic. I was shocked at how vehemently he was against my idea. He loved my idea of surprising the Kids and offered lots of great suggestions for the big reveal.

    I have been reading lots of other PTR's and I realize I have done mine much differently than most. I have PTR envy...I also have Binder Envy...I know if I could figure out how to post pictures and stuff you all would have spreadsheet envy! DH looks at it and asks when is the time slot for him to go to the bathroom...:rotfl2: he thinks he is so funny... It actually just lists which parks we will be at on which days with all the ADR's and confirmation #'s for BBB, PL and AAA Disney Storytime plus a few suggestions for the QS meals. I really want to do the picnic in the Park at AK!!!

    Harry Potter the Exhibition was wonderful! After a late start we (DS 13 and I) got down to the museum and found FREE PARKING (that never happens in Chicago) :yay: And we got our tickets right away for the exhibit. Like the a Fast Pass we were told to come back at 3:23PM. That gave us just over 4 hours to explore the museum. We started with the Space exhibit and in typical Josh form he quickly began to share what he already knew about space exploration and read every sign to learn even more. We took advantage of the Omnimax Movie (free for members of the museum) Mysteries of the Great Lakes and Josh was just beaming from ear to ear. It was great to see him so happy and relaxed. He usually is so tense and anxious all the time so it was such an enjoyable change. I am hoping this will be the Josh who comes with us to DW. We went through the exhibits as we came across things that caught his interest. It had been a long time since I had spent so much time there it was great to see all the changes they had made and the continuing evolvement of exhibits I had been familiar with since childhood. We even got to one exhibit just in time to see a chick hatch from an egg. Seriously cool... As it cam closer and closer to our entrance time into the HP exhibit Josh began to ask me every 10-30 seconds to tell him what time it was. I gave in and we went into the main hall and listened to the crowd control quiz guests on Harry Potter Trivia. I was surprised how many questions Josh got correct. I paid to rent the audio tour devices and Josh my little techie pushed the buttons over and over again just so he could listen to the intro. Finally, they called our time slot and Josh became like a race horse Chomping at the bit to get going. We got into the first area and the crowd control person their had all the younger (shorter) kids come to the front and she asked for volunteers to sit under the sorting hat and get sorted into their respective houses. Josh kept Firing his hand up in the air and but she always called on the younger kids. Finally 3rd time was the charm and he just beamed as the Hat declared he was meant for GRYFFINDOR! sadly this memory will have to live inside my brain because there was absolutely no photography allowed :sad2: The rest of the exhibit went very smoothly and he listened patiently to all the audio tour explanations. He became enthralled with the Mandrakes and played with them for a long time. then he gave a try at Quidditch with his feet on the ground (of course). Then in a blink of an eye he seemed to lose interest and hurried to skim through the rest of the exhibit. I let him wander up a head but reminded him to wait for me and not to leave the exhibit without me. I watched as he floated around the rooms he went back to the Mandrakes for another try, and that was it. One minute he was there, the next he was gone... I doubled back and thought maybe he went to go see the moving paintings again...nope checked Hagrid's Hut...nope. I went through the gift shop at least 3 times and then doubled back through the whole exhibit one more time before I located a security guard. I didn't want to leave the exhibit to go into the main museum because once you did that they said there was no readmittance. The security guard assured me that I would be let back in to the exhibit. I showed her a picture of Josh from my camera taken just before we went into the exhibit and let her know that he had aspergers and so he might be in a fragile state when we did find him. She was very helpful and let another security guard know what was going on without setting off a museum wide panic. We showed the other security guard the photo of Josh and then the two of us set off into the museum to see if Josh was just inside the Main Hall. We pulled open the door and there he was standing there with these huge tears rolling down his face. It just broke my heart. The security guard went back to let the other guy know all was well and I enveloped Josh into my arms and held him until he began to calm down. We talked about what happened and apparently he was done with the audio tour device and he went to turn it in not realizing he wouldn't be able to get back into the exhibit. Then I was taking longer than he though I should (because I was searching for him) and he began to beat himself up with all these negative thoughts and spiraled downward from there. We decided we had seen enough of the museum and headed off to find the car. Within a few minutes he seemed almost back to his normal self but he didn't stray more than a few feet from me for a second after that. I didn't want our wonderful day to end on such a sour note so on our way home we stopped by a mall that was near our old house and strolled around for a while (I know it is crazy by my13 DS Loves to shop) I also got to stroll through the Disney store there to see if they had any merchandise I HAD to have. I resisted the urge and we shared an Auntie Anne's pretzel instead. Aside from the getting lost part we had a really great day. The next day we had dinner with friends and Josh kept every one mesmerized with his retelling of the hatching chick.

    Monday at work was our First Weigh-in day for the Biggest Loser Challenge and I was down 3.7 lbs!!!! Lets all do a dance for weight loss...
    :dance3::dance3::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2::dance3::dance3::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2::dance3::dance3:
     
  15. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

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    69
    I am trying to get the little details out of the way...

    Today I called and made reservationas at The Lady and Sons in Savannah (otherwise refered to as Paula Deen's) I was able to score a discount on a scooter rental and convinced my husband to use it for 3 days! I updated my autograph books to include cindy's stepmothers and step sisters for when we eat at Park Fair. I am very Happy to report that I found Mini M&M's at CVS pharmacy. I had been looking all over for these to aid in our collection of pressed pennies. I plan on decorating those this evening. I also found 2 packs of Rain Ponchos at the dollar store!!


    Still to be done or contemplated...

    Do I really need new shoes for Disney??? I am not sold on crocs though they have some ladies disney ones on clearance at their website... I really like the lands end water shoes they come in Bright Green on clearance for $14.99 but I worry about rubbingand blisters and stinky foot syndrome. Does anyone have an opinion??? My DH is Celebrating his B-day while we are there and I am debating ordering him a strawberry bouquet from Edible Arrangements or Getting a strawberry cake delivered for dinner at the Beirgarten? He is weird about eating strawberries on his birthday...who am I kidding he can be just plain weird.

    and last but not least pack all this stuff I have been accumulating without the kids seeing any of it... Yikes!
     
  16. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    I forgot the smilies in the last post...

    :woohoo::woohoo::woohoo::woohoo::woohoo:

    :cheer2::cheer2: I AM GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!! :cheer2::cheer2:
     
  17. Beauty & the Best

    Beauty & the Best Its all so magical!

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,967
    I am a Harry Potter lover too! Seriously I will pee my pants when the Harry Potter area opens at Universal...I can't wait. :rotfl:

    That exhibit sounds awesome, I hope it moves somewhere near me. I'm currently in the middle of reading the Half Blood Prince for the...wait for it......4th time!!! I read all of the books in sequence every once in a while, somehow they never get old.

    Your trip sounds fun, don't worry about going against the grain & posting differently. It would be easier to read if you broke it up into more paragraphs though...just an idea :)

    If you want to learn how to post pictures on the dis, there's a video tutorial here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1977122
     
  18. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,892
    Congrats on the hotel rooms... what a relief! :thumbsup2

    Kudos, also, on the weight loss!


    Kathy
     
  19. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    It is my understanding that Harry is headed to Boston next. Not sure how far that would be for you, but at least it is closer than Chicago...

    The Universal Rep. said Ticket prices would be going up around the first of the year so they could take advantage of the Harry bump in park traffic... Not sure if you can swing it but if you are serious about wanting to go buy your tickets now and you can save some nice moolah...


    :hippie:
     
  20. Erniandbert

    Erniandbert Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    OK so I mentioned that I was invited to another viewing of Harry Potter at the Museum here in the Chicago by our sales rep for Universal Studios. I knew the exhibit was going to be terrific because I had seen it two other times, but it was really neat to go through the exhibit with the Reps and hear about how they were going to blend the Movies and Books into the WWoHP.

    Part of me is very excited about the opprotunity and of course I said Yes Immediately but upon further reflection I have no clue when or how I could fit this into our schedule. If I can switch DD reservations for BBB on Friday to 3:00PM the same as DS ressie for PL. I can send hy DH to PL with DS while I go to BBB with DD then we will have the morning free to go to US and or IoA for the tour.

    Do you think I should attempt this in the name of the most awesome freebie I have ever received?? :confused3 Let me know your thoughts...
     
  21. oregonmommyof2

    oregonmommyof2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,120
    Hi! We will be at Pop during the time you are! Our dates are the 15th to the 28th...

    I really wanted to take a road trip and drive to Disney, but coming from Oregon, it would takes us at least 4 to 5 days to drive comfortably... And if would cost us more to drive then fly!
     

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