The Great Thinkers Sail the Wonder - April 15 - 19, 2007

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by jrose529, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    I returned last night (actually very early this morning) from our 4 days on the Wonder and 3 days at WDW. I began my trip report before I left, but decided to post it when I returned. I took notes throughout the trip, but have yet to type them. I'll begin with my first chapter now. I hope you enjoy it...

    Chapter 1 – Prologue, or Great Minds Think Alike…

    Well, I decided to begin my trip report before we leave for our April 15, four day Wonder cruise. I just want to warn you that I am very verbose, so this will probably be a very long TR, sorry!:rolleyes1 It also won’t be nearly as humorous as the many classic trippies on this board. I plan to take notes while onboard. At least that is the plan! I will be waiting up for DD every night, so this will fill my time.:thumbsup2 DH will fall asleep well before she returns.

    This trip has been in the planning stages since August, 2006. DD (Amy – 18) will be graduating from high school and heading off to Indiana University this August, so we decided to celebrate with a cruise and a trip to WDW. We will also be celebrating DD’s 18th birthday which was in March, and my 50th birthday in May. Here is our cast of characters:

    Me – Judy
    DH – Steve
    DD – Amy (18)
    DD’s best friend (Katie – 18) and her family


    We are DVC owners, so we decided to cruise with our points. I wanted a verandah room, so I only had enough points for a 4 day cruise. I decided to book one of the secret verandah rooms – SR #7620. I was so excited that it was available! :cheer2:

    We cruised on the Magic when DD was 15 and now we’ll experience the Wonder!:banana: DD also wanted a few days in WDW, so we are spending 2 nights at OKW after the cruise. Unfortunately, DS (23) can’t join us on this trip. He’s in grad school and doesn’t have the time.

    After spending way too many hours on these boards and meeting so may wonderful DIS members, I decided to put together a DIS meet booklet so we can keep in touch during and after the trip. I also had fun making lime green Mickey head magnets for everyone.
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    That is going to be a surprise at our 3:00 DIS meet in the Promenade Lounge. We have 75 people in our DIS group! DH and DD tease me all the time about my DIS obsession!:confused3

    Since so many of the DIS members on our cruise will be staying at WDW for at least 2 nights or more after the cruise, we decided to name our group The Great Thinkers. You know, great minds think alike! We found that the more we got to know one another, the more we had similar plans for this trip, hence, The Great Thinkers moniker. :goodvibes

    Next up: We live in CT, so why are we are flying out of Newark, NJ?
     
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  3. LITTLEKID58

    LITTLEKID58 Platinum Castaway

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    Subscribing... TFS
     
  4. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 2 - We live in CT, so why are we are flying out of Newark, NJ?

    Our cast of characters:

    Me – Judy
    DH – Steve
    DD – Amy (18)
    DDBFF - DD’s best friend Katie (18)
    BFFM - best friend’s mother Chris
    BFFD - best friend’s dad Mark
    BFFS1 - best friend’s 16 year old sister Lauren
    BFFS2 - best friend’s 5 year old sister Erin


    Saturday, April 14, 2006. Our flight is scheduled to leave at 6:05 PM. I really didn’t want such a late flight, but the fares were so high when I needed to book. DH wanted to keep our costs down, so I began to spend my every waking moment on line, checking fares at every possible airport.:surfweb: He kept telling me that the fares would drop, and I foolishly listened to him! Our friends were able to get a decent flight out of LGA, but by the time I decided that I could wait no longer, the least expensive flight was on Continental out of Newark at 6:05 PM on April 14. We live in Fairfield County (Not the high rent district!), so the distance to Newark is not much farther than to LGA, JFK or Bradley. I would have liked an earlier flight so we could spend some time in Port Canaveral, but that was not to be.

    We decided to stay the night before the cruise at the Residence Inn in PC. We were scheduled to land in MCO at 9:10 PM, so we wouldn’t get to the port until nearly 11:00. We’ve had trouble in the past with Budget and National, so we reserved a car from Hertz for a one way, one day rental. We will be taking the DCL bus to OKW after the cruise and Disney’s Magical Express to MCO on Saturday, April 21.

    The trip down was rather bumpy, but we were happy with our choice to fly on Continental. We arrived on time and took the shuttle to Hertz. We arrived at the Residence Inn at midnight. The room was a nice size. They gave us a handicapped room, so I don’t know if it was larger than a normal 1 bedroom suite. There were a lot of small caterpillars in the lobby area by the doors,:eek: but thankfully, the room was very clean and caterpillar free. I asked about this and they said they were having trouble keeping them out of the lobby.:scared: The breakfast buffet that was included in the price of the room was not to my liking, but it was okay. I don’t like scrambled eggs and the waffles were terrible. Overall, the hotel was fine, but I’m not sure I’d stay there again. It was very close to the port, so that was nice and I loved the large suite, but I think next time I’ll try somewhere else.

    We left for the port at 10:30 and DH dropped us off about 5 minutes later. It was extremely windy when we left the hotel and we heard on the radio that there was a tornado watch!:scared1: We were really worried. The rain began while we were in the car.


    Next up: Time to Sail Away With Mickey and the Great Thinkers. Will it be a soggy ride?
     
  5. Babs417

    Babs417 DIS Veteran

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    We love long trip reports:thumbsup2 :goodvibes ;) :) :cutie: Just keep it comming:cool2:
     
  6. haywardranch

    haywardranch Earning My Ears

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    Hi Judy,

    Looking forward to reading your trip report!!! Thank you so much for getting everyone together, you did a great job and we proudly displayed our Great Thinkers magnet on our door. It was a pleasure to meet you.:hippie:
     
  7. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 3: Time to Sail Away With Mickey and the Great Thinkers. Will it be a soggy ride?

    Our cast of characters:

    Me – Judy
    DH – Steve
    DD – Amy (18)
    DDBFF - DD’s best friend Katie (18)
    BFFM - best friend’s mother Chris
    BFFD - best friend’s dad Mark
    BFFS1 - best friend’s 16 year old sister Lauren
    BFFS2 - best friend’s 5 year old sister Erin


    It was just drizzling when we arrived at the port. DH unloaded our 6 bags and 3 carry-ons!:scared: I really wanted to pack light, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. All 3 of us over-packed as usual. We usually change 2 to 3 times every day on a cruise and of course, DD and I need shoes for every evening!:rotfl2: I also bring way too may incidentals like an exorbitant amount of toiletries, OTC meds, and a myriad of other useless items. I am the queen of over-packing.

    There was no line at the terminal, so we got through security very quickly and received boarding pass #3. We checked in and noticed quite a few lime green shirts and wrist bands!:banana: It was so much fun to meet some of our DIS friends before we boarded! By noon, we were embarking on our Wonderful cruise.:cheer2: We went directly to Parrot Cay for a terrific lunch. We wandered around for awhile and hung out in Diversions. DH & DD had fun playing chess while I took some TR notes.

    [​IMG]

    At 1:30 it was time to see our stateroom. We were on deck 7 starboard, aft in SR #7620. It was a great room. It was a former category 6 that that is now a category 7 since the verandah is partially obstructed. It was a great location and the obstruction is minimal. Our stateroom host was Winston.

    When we arrived in our stateroom, we found gifts from The Perfect Gift. (Thanks Shirley!) We sent DD a mesh beach bag filled with goodies and a towel. She loved it, especially the Pooh towel. Our friends sent me a great smiley face flower arrangement for my 50th birthday. We also found our Castaway Club gifts. There were 2 different mesh bags, two plastic cups, a pad, hand wipes and CC flags, all in a CC tote bag.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I couldn’t wait to decorate our stateroom door. I had made two signs and had the Great Thinkers Mickey Head, as well as some magnets from CC and DVC. Thanks to KristineN from these boards, I used one of her designs and it looked great. Here is our door.

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    Our friends boarded at about 1:30 so we went to see them in their SR on deck 8. This was their first DCL cruise and they loved it. Their oldest DD - BFF is my DD’s best friend, so they had a great time together. Their middle DD - BFFS1 (16) had a great time also and spent most of her time either with the older girls or with her new friends in Aloft. They also have a 5 year old DD - BFFDS2. She didn’t spend much time in the kids club, but she had tons of fun in the Mickey pool.

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    DH, BFFM and I toured the Spa. It was wonderful. DH had no interest in the spa at all; he just wanted to see the workout facilities. Now, this is something I just don’t get. If you are on vacation, why would you want to work out?:confused3 I hate to work out at home, why on earth would I subject myself to that torture on my vacation? He signed up for a spinning class for the next morning and was looking forward to spending time up there. So were BFFM & BFFD. Oh well, not my cup of tea. I, on the other hand booked a Ladies Morning special for Castaway Cay day.:goodvibes I was really looking forward to that! It included a facial, back massage, foot massage and scalp massage. It also included time in the Rainforest Room, champagne and treats. Heaven!!! :cloud9:

    It was now 3 PM, time for our DIS meet!:woohoo: I was so excited to meet everyone. We met in the Promenade Lounge and had a nice sized crowd. It felt as if I already knew everyone since we spent so much time chatting online. It was fun to put faces to names. I made name tags for everyone so it was easy to spot each other. BFFDM took a group pic for us. Unfortunately, some people had already left, so if you aren’t in the photo, I’m really sorry. We were also missing a few families. I hope you all made it onboard. Since the weather was lousy, there were cancelled flights. I know some of our group were flying out that morning.

    [​IMG]

    Next up: How Can You Be Bored?!?
     
  8. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Lynne,

    It was wonderful meeting you and your family. How was the rest of your trip? We had a great time!
     
  9. smeck

    smeck Mouseketeer

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    Great job so far Judy it's fun reliving the cruise through your trip report. Oh by the way I"m still practicing drawing Mickey not any better I"m afraid.
     
  10. haywardranch

    haywardranch Earning My Ears

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    We had a great time too! My daughter's actually cried when we had to leave. We are definitely going to do a 7 day the next time. I know most others had late seating for dinner, that was our only draw back, 2 years ago we had early seating and at that time it worked (the girls were 7), this time not so much. We were a bit rushed but our servers Vanessa and Palo were EXCELLENT! A couple of our shore excursions were canceled due to wind, but even that didn't make too much difference. We just wandered around Nassau for bit and then had the whole day on the ship which was really fun.

    How were the crowds at WDW? We are contemplating doing the world next April vacation but I am a little weary about it.

    Looking forward to the rest of your report!! Great so far!! It is also good to know that 18 year olds will still like the cruise and have fun as I plan to keep going!!:banana:
     
  11. spoon2003

    spoon2003 DIS Veteran

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    TR already posted, I'm impressed :thumbsup2 I'm still doing laundry :sad1:

    Judy,
    Thank you for organizing the meet, it was great fun meeting everyone!! I'm reliving the cruise through your TR. That was definitely the highlight of our vacation, WDW paled in comparison :rotfl:


    Sue
     
  12. skiingwife

    skiingwife DIS Veteran

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    Hi Judy,
    I'm going to be in 7620 in October. Glad to hear you liked the room. Did you find that the obstructed verandah was really not that obstructed? What kind of condition was the room in (carpet, bedding, etc.) Enjoying your trip report!
     
  13. lunsusie

    lunsusie DIS Veteran

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    Great trip report! Thanks for sharing with us.
     
  14. CapnJackGroupie

    CapnJackGroupie Mouseketeer

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    Great TR so far!!!popcorn:: popcorn:: popcorn::
     
  15. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    I stayed up typing last night until 3 AM! I still have more to go. We came home to a flooded basement, so I'm just getting to my laundry now. I still have to unpack.

    It was so great to meet all of you. The cruise was so much fun and very relaxing.


    The cabin was great and in wonderful condition! The obstruction was really minimal and wasn't a problem. I'd stay in that cabin agian. I'm working on uploading my pics to Photobucket, so I'll post a verandah shot soon.

    Here are two pics. They aren't very good, but right now, they are all I could find.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    I'm so glad there are people reading this TR. I had visions of being all alone here! Thanks for all your kind words. Now on to the next part.

    Chapter 4: How Can You Be Bored?!?

    Our cast of characters:

    Me – Judy
    DH – Steve
    DD – Amy (18)
    DDBFF - DD’s best friend Katie (18)
    BFFM - best friend’s mother Chris
    BFFD - best friend’s dad Mark
    BFFS1 - best friend’s 16 year old sister Lauren
    BFFS2 - best friend’s 5 year old sister Erin


    The first night’s show in the Walt Disney Theater was Michael Harrison. He was a ventriloquist and was really funny. We had as much fun watching our friend’s 5 year old daughter’s reaction to the show. She was sad for the tennis ball when he was complaining about being hit by famous tennis players and was very upset that everyone was laughing! :rotfl2:

    We had the 8:15 dinner seating and our rotation was APPT. Our servers were Corrine from France and Brent from Trinidad and Tobago.

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    They were fabulous and we had a great time with them! The kids were thrilled with Brent’s magic tricks and loved Animators Pallatte. I had a stuffed tomato, Caesar Salad, delicious cannelloni and Peanut Butter Pie for dessert! Yummy!!! I was stuffed, but it was all wonderful.:thumbsup2

    We tried to go to the Cadillac Lounge to listen to Darryl Lockhart after dinner. We loved listening to him every night on our Magic cruise, but the lounge was too smokey this time.:sad2: We complained about that on our comment card. We only got to see him for short periods of time because of the smoke. He is so good; he should be in a smoke-free environment so more people can enjoy his music. When we talked to him about it, he said he would rather not be in a smoking lounge. It isn’t good for his voice, but that is where he is most evenings. I was disappointed that we couldn’t spend more time listening to him. The people smoking at the bar were talking loudly and not paying attention at all, and the rest of the lounge was empty. That was a waste of a talented man.:confused3

    [​IMG]

    After leaving the Cadillac Lounge, we went to see Wild Hogs in the theater. DH was looking forward to seeing it, but we both agreed that we were glad we didn’t pay $9.50 a ticket. It wasn’t very good.

    We got back to the cabin at 1 AM and DD returned soon after. I was surprised since I didn’t expect her before 2 AM. She was tired and bored.:confused3 :eek: Oh no, I didn’t want to hear that! :scared: We went on this cruise because she begged us. If she wasn’t having a good time, why were we there? No one showed up at the College Meet & Greet and the kids in Aloft were sitting around not speaking.:crazy2: Since she and her friend were just 18 and still in high school, they pretty much had free reign of the ship. They could go into all the adult areas and were still welcome in Aloft. They should have been thrilled, not bored! I went to sleep confused and worried that she was too old for Mickey!:confused: Actually, I tried to sleep with all the rocking and rolling. Remember I mentioned that it was windy when we went to the port? Well, the wind didn’t die down all night.

    Next up: Chills & Thrills in Nassau and Can DD find anything to do?
     
  17. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 5: Chills & Thrills in Nassau and Can DD find anything to do?

    Our cast of characters:

    Me – Judy
    DH – Steve
    DD – Amy (18)
    DDBFF - DD’s best friend Katie (18)
    BFFM - best friend’s mom Chris
    BFFD - best friend’s dad Mark
    BFFS1 - best friend’s 16 year old sister Lauren
    BFFS2 - best friend’s 5 year old sister Erin


    (Aren’t you sick of seeing this at the beginning of every chapter? By now you should know our cast of characters, so this is the last time you’ll see this list.)

    Day 2 – April 16, 2007
    Nassau

    DD had to wake up early for a snorkel excursion with our friends. She had fun snorkeling, but it was cold and windy, so she and BFF spent most of the morning sunning themselves on the catamaran. DH & I decided to sleep in until 10:00! It was heavenly! We had the breakfast buffet at Parrot Cay and it was just okay. We braved the wind and cold and walked around deck 10 taking pics.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We decided to settle on our favorite deck chairs on deck 4 to read.

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    It was freezing! I thought we should sit in the sun at the Quiet Cove pool, but DH thought the new lounge chairs were uncomfortable, so we sat by the Cove Café and comfortable chairs and ottomans. I was so comfortable, that I feel asleep for a couple of hours. This was a very relaxing cruise! Unfortunately, there were smokers out there, so we left after my nap. Two of our favorite spots were the smoking areas and we were not too happy about that!

    After a quick lunch by the Mickey pool, we went shopping. Actually, we didn’t shop at all, but our plan was to find the Straw Market. Once we found it, we did not like it at all. It was tight and crowded, so we left. Nassau is not a port that I enjoy. We stopped there last summer when we sailed NCL Dawn and took a cab to Atlantis to tour “The Dig.” We enjoyed that, but didn’t feel the need to go back. This time we wandered for only 45 minutes and got back onboard.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I went to the 4 PM DVC member presentation and got a DVC beach bag, hats and pins. It was fun. DH sat on deck 4 reading his Barack Obama book, which he loved. After DVC, I ran into DD, BFF & BFFDS1 playing Bingo. I hung out watching them lose. DD was really close at one point, but no luck. Oh well.

    I went to the 6:15 Hercules the Muse-i-cal while DH went to work out. He never made the early morning spinning class since we slept in, so he really wanted to exercise. The show was okay. Parts of it were funny, but I had seen it before. They really need to completely change the shows since so many people are repeat cruisers.

    Tonight was Palo night. We were really looking forward to eating there since we enjoyed it so much on the Magic. It didn’t disappoint. The food and service were as fabulous as we remembered. BFFM & BFFD enjoyed it as well. I had the Gnocchi Florentine as an appetizer and it was amazing! BFFM liked it so much; she ordered some to go with her dinner. We then shared a pizza, half four cheese, half Prosciutto. It was delicious. I had the Gorgonzola Fillet of Beef – yummy, and ended the evening with the unbelievable Chocolate Soufflé. All I can say is WOW. This dinner was even better than I remembered on the Magic.

    After dinner, we stopped by the Cadillac Lounge to see Darryl Lockhart again. This time we stayed a bit longer since the smokers were in the back of the lounge. As usual, Darryl was great! The smokers were very loud in the back of the room and paid no attention to him. What a shame!

    DD was back by 1 AM again. OH NO, was she still bored? I’m happy to report that she was just exhausted from all the fun she and BFF had. All the girls went to dinner in Parrot Cay and our servers were wonderful with them. They enjoyed dinner so much; they stayed until 10:30! BFFS2 fell asleep right away. This was the theme every night for her. She was wiped out by the time dinner rolled around. The other girls had fun with Corrine & Brent and all the magic tricks. They came up to Palo and BFFD took BFFS1 to the cabin. We were finished with dinner, so we left soon after.

    DD & BFF spent time in Diversions and loved it! They made friends with Rob, the manager of Diversions and he let DD play the piano and BFF sang. They have been writing music and recording a CD, so they were thrilled to have a chance to perform!

    We all had a wonderful day!

    Next up: What a Way to Relax – Massage, Champagne, Chocolates & Hammocks…
     
  18. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 6: What a Way to Relax – Massage, Champagne, Chocolates & Hammocks…

    Day 3 – April 17, 2007
    Castaway Cay


    Well, I had to wake up at 8:30 AM for a 9:30 Spa appointment. I am NOT a morning person, but the anticipation of spa treatments, had me jumping out of bed, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I took a look out of our verandah, and this is what I saw.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I tried to go to BB for a quick breakfast, but since it was CC day, the line was too long for me to wait. I hopped over to PC for their buffet, but the line was just as long. I would have skipped breakfast, but I had morning meds I had to take so I went to Triton’s and the servers were incredible. They had me fed and out of there before 9:30! I scooted up to the Spa, just as they were calling my stateroom and waking up DH. He was not happy, but he got over it.

    Decy from the Philippines was my masseuse and she was wonderful. I had a facial, back massage, foot massage and Oriental scalp massage. What a treat! I forgot to mention that I didn’t want a sales pitch at the beginning, but she was very low-key. I needed face cream, so I bought a small bottle, but that was all. Decy then brought me into the Rainforest Room and I got comfy in the heated tile loungers. That was so relaxing! She then brought me a glass of champagne and chocolates. I don’t drink champagne, so I asked for water, but the chocolates were delicious. I tried some of the steam rooms and the sauna, but they were too hot for me. I decided that I had enough and went to get showered and dressed to go out to CC.

    DH was awake when I returned to the cabin and we got ready to go to the beach. He didn’t have breakfast, so he was starving by the time we reached Cookies at noon, so we ate. The chicken and ribs were very good, but the cheeseburger was dry. The chocolate chip cookies were not great, but the fruit and ice cream were good.

    The island didn’t seem overly crowded. The weather was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. We walked to the end of the family beach, taking pictures the whole time.

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    DH thought this sign was funny.

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    At the end of the family beach, we found two available hammocks, side by side and decided to try them out. I was really beginning to relax when the sun got too strong for me and DH. He just had a cancerous mole removed from his back last month and he was nervous in the sun. I burn very easily, so we decided to look for shade and for DD and our friends. We walked along the shore and found the water to be quite cool, but refreshing. We found two lounge chairs in the shade at the beginning of the family beach, with a nice breeze and settled in to read. We had been there about an hour when DD and BFF are suddenly standing in front of us laughing. They were sunning themselves about 10 feet in front of us and we didn’t notice one another until they got up to leave. I really am blind! They were right under our noses the whole time.

    Walking back to the ship, we saw Donald Duck.

    [​IMG]

    Next up: Argh; It’s a Pirates Life for Me.
     
  19. ColoradoMom!!

    ColoradoMom!! Mickey and Me Disneyland 1971

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    Hurray! :cool1: I've been waiting for more, and I LOVE the pictures too!
    Thanks!:cloud9:
     
  20. jrose529

    jrose529 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for your support.
     
  21. mom_of_2_princesses

    mom_of_2_princesses DIS Veteran

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    I love your TR! Thanks for taking the time to write it.:)
     

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