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The "How Could You?" trips x2-the finale! 2/12

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Tiggerrn2, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to my 2nd attempt at trip report writing-2nd attempt and 2 trips to write about. As for the title, we've all heard the question, "How could you....... be going back to Disney again?" Well, for this report it was, "How could you .......be going to Disney and not going to the parks?" Followed closely behind by trip #2 and "How could you .........be going to Disney and not taking your kids?"
    Yes, it is true. Trip #1 did not include any Disney parks (with the exception of a long leftover pass to be used at Blizzard Beach), but it did include many resort visits, an awesome afternoon at the Boardwalk, Discovery Cove, Sea World and fireworks from the beach. And trip #2 did not include any children, but it did include park visits, Food & Wine, MNSSHP, a Segway tour, and a 30th Anniversary Epcot celebration!
    So, with that in mind, I hope you will come along with me as I relive this summer and fall and hopefully provide you with some entertainment.
    I should introduce the cast of characters for trip 1:
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    This is my favorite photo from our Discovery Cove day. My DH- not a crazed Disney fan, but crazy for me, and that is enough to convince him to join us (that, and the promise that this time we weren't getting up every morning at 6am to make a rope drop someplace), My DS-who will say he isn't a huge Disney fan (but who will object immensely at the suggestion that he not join us), loves to trade vinylmations, play video games, build Legos, and play the piano. My DD, who is a crazed Disney fan like her mother and loves pin trading, singing in choir, and whose life's passion is ballet (she is sure there is a Disney College Program that can make use of her talents). Finally, myself. The absolutely Crazed Disney Addict who does all the planning and executing of all plans. I fell in love with Disney long before I ever made my first trip. My parents actually had the nerve to go to WDW without me when I was little, so my first trip wasn't until I was in high school. I had several short day visits in the 80s/90s as each new park opened. Then, in 2004, my absolute addiction began with our first trip as a family with small children. I have been going yearly (or twice a year) since then to either WDW or DL.
    Now for the cast of characters for trip #2. It was just me and 1 other mom-my wonderful friend that loves to let me plan the trip for the both of us.
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    This was us on our exciting Segway tour. What a blast.
    OK, so hope you will come along for the fantastic tour of some of WDW greatest "unknown" adventures along with some of the more well known ones.
     
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  3. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    DH had to work a portion of the day today, so I used the morning to finish laundry, tidy up and pack up the van. Was hoping to get on the road by 2, but that did not happen. By the time DH got home and then decided to eat, the kids decided they were hungry, too. So it was after 3 before we got on the road. With a stop off at the in-laws to drop off the house keys for DSIL to pick up for housesitting/dogsitting, can't leave our best friend without good company!
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    we were officially underway by 3:34pm. DH decided he was tired and I took the first leg of the trip. DD camera is not set to correct date/time.
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    Somewhere just outside of Indianapolis we were cruising along behind a construction truck and I started to get that "Sixth Sense" feeling-like I needed to get out from behind that truck. I had just about decided to go around when I spotted a saw come flying out the back of the truck. :scared1:Just missed having it come through the windshield at my face. Managed to hear it clunk the side, but driving down the expressway doesn't lend easily to one's pulling off the left side of the road (although the truck did just that). I drove on by and figured, what's done is done-just have to check on the damage at the next rest area.
    No real big damage discovered at the next rest area, so we continued on-just 3 more stops found us at the Fairfield Inn in Lookout Mtn, TN. at 1:30 in the morning. Dog tired!!
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    Obviously taken the next morning. This hotel was wonderful!! Highly recommended for anyone stopping off at Lookout Mtn/Ruby Falls. Breakfast in the mornings here were awesome! It is right across the street from WalMart and very close to many exciting things to do in TN. Some views from the parking lot at the hotel.
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    and here you can see the WalMart across the street at the bottom of the mountain.
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  4. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    Yea! Can't wait to hear all about your adventures! And I so love the family pic...think I may have mentioned that before. ;)
     
  5. Buzzsgramma

    Buzzsgramma DIS Veteran

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    Yippee let the fun begin with this report............
     
  6. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Joining in. Your TRs sound familiar. DW and I took our adult children in May, 2012 and while staying at VWL, we did not set foot in any parks but did visit Seaworld, Universal, Kennedy Space Center and Discovery Cove. DC was GREAT! We have also visited WDW by ourselves (sans kids) and it was fantastic! I'm looking forward to your TR.
     
  7. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Cindy! And thanks for coming along on the trip and replying. It gets sooooo lonely out here!

    Yay!!! You found me!
    Thanks for reading along and commenting. I hope you enjoy the rest. Lots of photos coming. Took well over 1000.
     
  8. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    Slept a little late today-long day of driving to recoup from. Made it down to the hotel lobby just in time for breakfast and made our own waffles. Not as good as a Mickey waffle, but they will have to do for now. The usual breakfast fare-cereal, fruit, muffins and the hot buffet changed daily while we were there.
    Today we were the Outdoor Adventurists!:laughing: We had plans for some ziplining and climbing. Wish I had some cool photos to show you of the ropes course, but we were not allowed to bring our cameras up into the trees. But we did the Zipstream Aerial Adventure course right next to Ruby Falls/Lookout Mountain. It was a great Ropes Course to do with kids. We had a fun/challenging time.
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    Next was the Zipline adventure. Fun but rather tame.
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    Once finished with those, they take you in to view photos and then let you choose a package or purchase the zip drive (which I did-was cheaper that way) the photos are on.
    Next, the kids wanted to check out the caves!
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    So on into the caves we went. Really neat in there how they find figures in the stalagmites/tites and label them for you to take note of.
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    There were several of these types of configurations throughout the decent to the falls.
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    Then we headed up to the top of the mountain to have a look around.
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    Quite pretty up there. You can see 7 states from that Lookout. There are maps up there to help you see which states are where from the river and beyond.
    About that time we were getting a little hungry, so we headed down and had a sandwich in the gift shop area. No notes, so much have been just OK. Kids had pizza/grilled cheese (and the theme of the trip begins).
     
  9. canopynut66

    canopynut66 DIS Veteran

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    loved out trip to the smokys and ruby falls and lookout mt. all was awesome.
     
  10. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    Once we were through at the Mountain, we headed back to the hotel and tried to decide what to do for the rest of the evening. We checked in with the concierge at the lobby, and he suggested we head into Chattanooga and check out the festival along the TN River that was happening this weekend. So, we grabbed the GPS, and off we went. Nice little gadget this GPS turned out to be for us. :thumbsup2 We drove on into the city and over the river and parked. There is another bridge over the TN River used just for pedestrians. We walked on over that one to check things out a bit.
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    There is an awesome area here near the river with an aquarium and museum (may have been a Children's Museum, I think). Plenty of restaurants and walkways. The area along the river is really pretty.
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    We wandered around the park there for a while. You could hear the music that was being played from the festival. We opted not to pay to enter as we didn't want to have to convince the kids there was no reason to ride any rides here. We headed into AppleBees for dinner. I know I chose the shrimp option off the Weight Watchers section, and it was awesome. DS chose a cheeseburger and I don't recall what DH or DD chose. We had a great day. It was time to head out and go back for a good night's sleep.
    Up next.....more outdoor adventures, and an odd phone call!
     
  11. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome!! Happy to have you reading along. Please feel free to comment any time and add any info you have had from your adventures. Best way to get ideas for next time!
     
  12. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    Hmmmm...if the ziplining in Ruby Falls is tame, I may just have to give it a try! That area is quite pretty...we love making the drive up to Chicago through TN...regardless if we go 75 or 64...it's all just so cool to see!
     
  13. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    It really was a nice day. The ropes course they have there was a lot of fun. They have a neat little video and some photos online at their website so check that out. I'm not sure if I am allowed to post a link to stuff like that or not here. Both the ropes course and the zip line were easy enough for the kids to do. (I think it was more difficult for the more uncoordinated adults.:rolleyes1)
     
  14. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    Woke up around 8 this morning and headed to the hotel lounge for breakfast again. It was the same morning staff each day and they were very nice. Made our waffles and kids had their sweet muffins and some fruit. We grabbed a few extra milks to put in the fridge in our room for later and headed out. Today we were headed to a small town near Cleveland, TN for some rappelling and rock climbing. We had reservations at Outdoor Adventure Rafting (OAR) in Ocoee, TN. It was really in a middle of nowhere area. There are several rafting companies in this area along the Ocoee River. We had planned to do the climbing stuff today and rafting the day after. Unfortunately, DH left his waterproof case for his insulin pump at home so rafting was not going to work out for us. It's OK for him to take the pump off for short periods of time, but an all-day rafting trip was not possible. So on to the rock climbing and rappelling.
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    Sir, stay behind the yellow ribbon-we wouldn't want anyone to fall off the cliff. They start you off on the platform showing you how to keep your feet and just lean back and then walk down the cliffside. At the start, it is a little painful-as you can see by the expression on my face (not pretty, but as Miss Lisa (Mickey'sToontown)says, you have to show the good, the bad, AND the ugly! :laughing:
    DS, getting started
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    Just as I get my gear on and get ready to do the practice, my cell rings :confused3 I answer it :headache: It's work, "are you on lunch?" :confused:"Ummmmmm, Noooo-I'm just about to jump off a cliff!" :lmao: Guess they forgot I was on vacation!
    And then, myself, at the painful spot in the process (only lasts a minute)
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    See, much better now.
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    And DD and DH on their rapells.
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    No climbing back up, thank goodness.:thumbsup2We walked through the woods and up a hill to get back to jump again.
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  15. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    After the rappelling lessons, we moved on to rock climbing. I was under the impression it was actually going to be an actual mountainside (small one, but still) to climb. But I soon learned how wrong I was.:rotfl:
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    But that was OK. The kids and DH still had a great time with it. I also learned it is very hard to pull oneself up using small peg grips and only having very small peg grips for one's large feet.
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    The guide there was awesome. There were no large groups there that day, so he was free to give us all the time we wanted for climbing and he chatted about what there was to do in the area. They also offerred tubing trips down the river when the water levels were good (and not too rough-they open the dams during spring or high rains and it gets deep/rough-not good for tubing). We spent some time in their shop after that and then decided to go do some exploring around the river area.
    We pulled off along a viewing area and wandered around and checked out the dams.
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    DH had some nice photos on his phone (which I don't have loaded) of a little boat ramp/fishing area. DS spotted a turtle there and a little crawfish in the water.
    It was drizzling off and on, so we decided to start heading back to the hotel. We weren't sure what we were going to do for dinner, but began the drive back. Along the way, we were caught in a large traffic jam due to the festival going on in Chattanooga. So we followed the GPS off highway directions to get back to the hotel. Saw some pretty seedy looking areas along that off-the-beaten path.:eek: And all I can say is, thank goodness for that GPS. I really was beginning to doubt its' accuracy for a bit.
    For dinner that night, we headed over to the little diner at Ruby Falls gift shop area. DH and I each tried one of their sandwiches. DD a grilled cheese and DS (what else) pizza. It was a nice little meal.
    Now that we had determined there would be no rafting for Saturday, what would we do next?:confused3
    Up Next......change in plans!
     
  16. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    My work does that all the time while I'm off or on vacation...and they know I'm off or on vacation!

    That area of TN is soooooo pretty...although I'm pretty sure I know the off-the-beaten-path area you are speaking of. Laura and I ended up there as well trying to make our way to Ruby Falls. Ummmmm, yeah...and that was back in the pre-GPS days!

    Rock climbing always looks so fun to me (and Caitlin makes it look so easy - I'm sure her 9 years in ballet have made her leg muscles perfect for climbing), but I can sooooo see myself either falling or not being able to pull myself up! One of these days, though!

    Can't wait to see what you have planned next!
     
  17. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Better late than never. Now I gotta go back and read all the details.
     
  18. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Okay, I'm all caught up. I am loving the pictures! We drive through Chattanooga on our way to Lacey and Jesse's and I've always wanted to stop at Ruby Falls and Look Out Mountain. Oh and I'm a big fan of cave tours! Love love love them. John? Not so much.

    Girl, your picture was not that bad. I'm serious. That grimace on your face was definitely not as bad as my Hannibal Lector face. :rotfl:
     
  19. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    It's pretty easy for Kellie to do the rock wall too. That ballet stuff really must be a great workout!:dance3: And you will love what's next. Time to be moving on!

    OK, you have me there. Your Hannibal Lector was a bit funnier than my painful grimace! Thanks for joining in. Things will pick up now-much more fun to be had coming up!
     
  20. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    After dinner, we returned to the hotel for some relaxation. Kids thought about swimming, but the pool in the hotel was pretty small. I was trying to decide what to do about the next day. We had no hotel reservations because I wasn't sure where we would be for Saturday evening. I called WDW Reservations just to check and see if Coronado Springs had availability to add and what it would cost. SCORE!! I was able to keep my old "room only" discount I'd originally booked with and add the day!:cool1:
    So, the new plans were set. Time to pack up and prepare to move on to bigger and better vacations. As you can tell, I was in a hurry to get to WDW!
    Up early the next morning, breakfast and then a quick run over to Wal-Mart for some snacks/lunch items for the road. And we were off by 9:53 in the morning.
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    Onward, right through.........

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    The Atlanta 500!!!!! So glad DH was driving now because this section of the drive always makes me crazy!!

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    Getting closer.....

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    And closer!!!!!

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    Almost there!!!! Tigger is sort of in the way of my photo ops, sorry.

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    We're here!!!!

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    And the fights (errrr.....fun) begins!!
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  21. Tiggerrn2

    Tiggerrn2 DIS Veteran

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    Arrival time 6:40pm. Not too bad. Time to go in and see if any of my requests were granted-booked standard and requested Cabana section 8A. The lobby was very quiet. Walked right up to on-line check in and had no problems with check in.

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    The shops were virtually empty as well, so we had a quick look around.

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    Did we get it?
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    We got it!!
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    We did not have a water view, but this building is very close to the Dig Site pool (where the kids would spend their next couple of days when we were at the resort), and we were just up the stairs from the sidewalk.
    We are the upstairs room with the light on inside.

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    OK, photobucket is acting very crazy tonight, so I am going to stop here and continue tomorrow. Hopefully, pb will behave itself then.:headache:
     

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