Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by kristenrice, Mar 30, 2012.
Great parents! Keep writing, this is great....
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What a great pre trip report this is! Thanks for taking the trouble to tell us all about it!
I am loving your PTR so far. Your parents sound like amazing and generous people. I hope you all have a wonderful time!
I have a little break in my day so I thought I'd pop in and do a little "journaling".
I went over to the 'rents house today to help mom figure out how to get her library books on her Kindle. Dad is a computer guru...mom, not so much. So, after I took care of mom and sent her off to read, dad called me into the office and wanted me to walk him through the process of upgrading to business class at the 24-hour mark. Good grief!...We're still more than 7 weeks out! I don't know who I get my planning obsession from.
When he saw what our airfare would be if we booked today ($680/person!) and what he actually paid for it, he was in awe. My streak continues. The last 5 flights I have booked have never gone down in price after I booked them, and they were never cheaper before I booked them either. I think I posted it earlier, but I believe the total airfare with premium seat fees included came to about $3700 for the 15 of us.
I can tell that Dad is getting antsy. I've been distracting him by inviting him and mom to come with us to HHI next April. With our 11-month booking window opening next week, I've shifted the focus to next year. At least this will help lessen the post-vacation depression that he is sure to have. After planning for THIS LONG, I have to believe that there will be a significant sense of deflation after the trip is over. Hopefully, planning a golf vacation to HHI will raise his spirits.
He hasn't mentioned the DME packet yet. They've never used DME so I don't think he realizes that the packet will be arriving in the next few weeks. I'm not going to tell him because I am afraid he will start stalking my mailbox.
That's all for now...
You will know how antsy he is by how quickly he puts the DME tags on his luggage!
We have 18 going in October 2013 and that number could easily double. I have 9 siblings, and 44 nieces and nephews, and there are about 30 "maybes" out there. We really are going to start planning it later this summer, with the hopes that we can book the entire thing on points (many rented!!!). I am curious, you said you are doing points/cash/points, did you look into renting points for the whole thing?
I am eager to follow along with your trip, June will be here before you know it. Sounds like you have it well covered.
Check AirTran out of Flint...They have a non-stop that leaves around 7am!
The member we "rented" from charges $12/point (and 100% worth it) so the weekend nights would be $576* on points. We got the member cash discount so it came to only $535* for the weekend nights. (*That is per 2BR, per night)
I went to my mailbox today and found my DVC lithograph for the webcast last month...
....oh, AND MY DME DOCUMENTS CAME TOO!!!
Now what?...we wait....
The next step will be online check in, but I don't think we are going to do that. Since we have so many people and our reservation is a cash/points combination, I would rather just do it all in person to avoid any snags. I've done online check in before and it really didn't seem to save too much time.
We're down to 5 weeks from today and we still have a LOT to do..
...get the A/C in my truck fixed (OUCH...it's about $700 for the "patch job", $2K to get it fixed completely)
...lose 8 more pounds
...help out at mom and dad's condo association garage sale (next weekend)
...get extended family portrait taken (also next weekend)
...DD6 field trip next Wednesday...
...DD8 field trip next Thursday...
...DD6 kindergarten "graduation" program on the 25th...
...LAST DAY OF SCHOOL on the 6th...
Of the 35 more days until we leave, I work 14 of them. On top of that, I've just found out that my new field intern starts with me next week. The first few weeks of the program are really the most stressful, especially when the new paramedic is right out of school. I will be SO ready for a vacation, but I will have about 3-4 more months of training to look forward to when I return.
I'm headed over to dad's tonight. Mom is visiting her sister in Illinois this week so dad has been home with the cat. I'll update later if there are any new developments after our "meeting".
Well, this is a new twist....
Waaaaay back when, I mentioned to my dad and my sister that they might want to look into renting some "baby equipment" for Emilee since there is nothing more than a pack n play at OKW. At the time, the answer was, "No, we won't need any of that...she'll be fine". Ok, if you say so...
Today, my sister had to take a major exam at work. Since Emilee hasn't been sleeping well (and therefore, neither has my sister), my parents took her overnight last night. Guess what? Emilee has a little problem sleeping away from home too.
Since we are sharing a villa with my sister's family, I re-visited A Baby's Best Friend. I want to make sure that we don't have to deal with a cranky baby too. I saw that they offer the same bouncy seat that she has at grandma's house. I e-mailed both my sister and my dad and really stressed that they should consider renting at least a bouncy seat and a rocking chair, if not more.
Surprise!! NOW they think that would be a good idea. Dad told my sister to pick what she wants and he will get it reserved. I'm just hoping that it isn't too late. She said that Em will probably end up sleeping in one of the beds with her so she doesn't want a crib. I am going to talk to her tonight and finalize what she wants...
My sister decided to go with a rocking chair, exersaucer, Boppy pillow and the tub-side bath seat. We will be bringing Emilee's Bumbo seat to use as her "chair" so the bouncy seat won't be necessary. She loves the exersaucer at granny's house so hopefully she'll like the one at OKW just as much. She has her own Boppy pillow at home but it would take up way too much space to pack it and bring it.
It still feels like there is so much to do, but it's too soon to start. I have to pack, get a haircut and pedicure, order EarPlanes, find and break in new sandals for the girls, and hopefully lose a few more pounds.
...only 12 more work days!...well, that's still 30 calendar days, but I think it looks better.
I'm exhausted just reading this PTR! Actually, since I am a bit beyond your parent's ages, and our "kids" are around the ages of your siblings, I'm going to take some planning tips from your mother. We are planning a family trip (DH, myself, our son 37 and our daughter 43) to Hawaii next February. So far I have booked the condo for the Big Island at Kona, and I know which dates I want for our week at Aulani, but I can't book it until July. Beyond that, I've mostly been trying to find decent airfare. NOT an easy thing when we are talking about flying from Minneapolis to Honolulu. This will be our 5th Hawaii trip, but the first that our "kids" will really remember, since they only got to go on our first trip, and they were too young to remember or enjoy it.
I do know there wont be any shipping of food, but we will be renting cars on both islands and I'm now planning what we will do on the trip.
Today, we all got together and headed out to the golf course where my brother has worked (part-time) since he was 15 years old. We had our family portraits taken at various locations on the course. It took about 90 minutes and we had shots of the individual families, just the kids, and the entire extended family taken. It was a beautiful, sunny and slightly breezy day. I can't wait to see the results.
Afterwards, we got together at my parents' house and enjoyed brats and burgers on the grill. The kids all played outside and they all behaved like little angels. I sure hope that today was an indication of how our trip will go. Nobody was crabby (despite the fact that it was 90 degrees outside!) and everyone was so well-behaved. My parents were so proud.
I still have a lot to do...but I still think it is too early to start. I guess I will just keep updating my PTR.
I'm almost embarrassed to post this...
On a whim, I went to the casino this morning with some of the money from my bonus check...I won $180!
So, that helped push me over the edge on a few purchases. First, I've been wanting to replace my ECCO sandals for a while. They are 4 years old and I bought them on a 50% clearance for $65. They are perfect for my plantar fasciitis and I wear them ALL summer long. For the last 2 years, I've been scouring for a new pair, but they are $130...and most places don't take coupons on the ECCO brand. Today is the last day that EBates has 13% rebates at Shoes.com and, lo and behold, Shoes.com has a 20% off code. SUPRISE!...it is valid on ECCO AND they have my size in stock. I ordered them and my total came to $104 and I'll be getting another $13 back from EBates. It is a lot more than I ever thought I would spend on sandals, but if I can get another 4 years out of them, that breaks down to only $25 a year.
Second, the girls need new summer shoes. I usually get them Crocs, but this year, I had them try on some Keen Newport H2's. I hesitated at the $50 price tag, but I realized that they are a perfect all-purpose summer shoe (close-toe, waterproof and machine washable), I figure the girls will get good use out of them. Amazingly, Shoes.com had both the colors and sizes that the girls wanted so I took the rest of my winnings and bought them. (Plus, eventually, DD6 will grow into DD8's so that pair should last a while)
The whole shoe thing was starting to give me anxiety since we are running out of time to break in new pairs. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief. DH still wants to get a new pair but he's so indecisive. I think he's going to end up going to the mall at 7pm the night before we leave.
Wow and this is all pre trip? The trip is going to be a piece of cake with all your planning. Some to make it all come together at WDW too!
I woke up at noon today (I worked until 5am and didn't get to sleep until 6am so don't judge...) and it was 79 degrees, sunny with a 10-15mph breeze.... DH came home from a 4-mile run so, being the good wife that I am, I told him he had to go for a bike ride with me. We rode the bike trail for 10 miles and it took us an hour to finish it. It was so nice! The weather was perfect and I got a pretty decent workout in too.
Hi Kristen! Ok, you're dad is just awesome!! We are leaving 1 day before your family with our family. We're taking DH's mom, sister, DBIL and our niece and nephew! They have to pay for their stuff though, except the villa and 1 suprise dinner that DH and I set up. Have a safe trip! Haven't been to the casinos in MI for awhile since we just got one in Cleveland.
Safe travels to all of you! We're at SSR for our trip. Perhaps we'll see you all around the parks!
Good thing you live in Minnesota, you can start eating your SPAM early and even tour the SPAM Museum. Unless, you don't care for the Hawaii Delight that is SPAM...
I too am hooked on this adventure. Planning a similar trip in Feb 2013, can't wait how you all make this work
Looking back on our itinerary, I realized that I missed a few things...
First of all, on our AK day (Tuesday), my oldest daugher (the birthday girl) chose me to accompany her on the Wild Africa Trek. Normally, this would not be in our budget, but since dad is paying for this trip, we have our own vacation account that is going untouched this year. Since it is DD's birthday, DH and I decided that she could do this tour as her present. We let her choose who she wanted to bring and she chose me. She is a HUGE animal fan...she will probably talk the guides' ears off...so I know she will absolutely LOVE this tour.
We don't want to leave out our other DD so we also booked a fishing excursion from OKW. Both of our girls are very outdoorsy. DH is an avid outdoorsman and the girls have been fishing since they were 3 and 5. On Thursday, we have a 7am trip booked for DH and DD6. Since the trip is for up to 5 people, we invited the other kids (the older ones) to come along, but DSiL declined the invitation. So, we're not sure who exactly will be taking the fishing trip. We told DD8 that she could go too, but only if there was still room. Now, it looks like it will be our family of 4 and maybe Dad too. It's awfully early so I doubt we'll get any more takers. My girls keep talking about catching some "keeper bass"...but they know that it is catch-and-release. They're already making bets as to who will catch the most fish.
That's all for now...thanks for reading!
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