Last year we started planning a trip along with my extended family who live in Florida. They wanted to go on their second 3 night Disney cruise, and convinced us to try it as well. If we're going to Florida for that, we're going to do other things, too, and so the complicated points&cash calculations began. We (me, hubby-Robert, and son-Eamon) were going to have Robert's mom with us, because she's been kind of bored since her husband died in 2006, and said she always wanted to go on a cruise. We made plans based on her being with us. So we booked flights coming in Feb 5, with the cruise starting on the 7th. BIG LONG story about semi-related stuff starting now: Well, on Labor Day weekend, MIL started having what would be a series of 6 strokes/TIAs/"ministrokes" over the course of 2 months. With the first one, she lost half of her vision in one eye (something the people at the hospital didn't even notice). With the third one, which was pretty big for a "mini" stroke, she started losing memory. They called them "mini" because after about 12 hours at the hospital, which is just about the amount of time it took for them to fully evaluate her and start the process of admitting her (so much for "time is brain", a cute saying about strokes that the hospitals here couldn't care less about), she would come up out of it and SEEM fine to the trained, but not-knowing-her, eye. By the time she had her last one, she was ready to lay down and die, she had forgotten a lot of what had happened in the last couple years, and she was scared. She no longer trusted or liked me (she had only started feeling positive about me in the last 2 years), which was a problem since I'm the at-home one in the family and I was the one who was helping her the most. But the instant I left, she was questioning (anyone who came by) why I asked all those questions, why I needed this that and the other thing, why I wanted to know her financial information (so I could try to find resources for her, to help her, and I didn't want to see her bank records, she's the one who threw them across the room at me!). She knew that people SAID she liked me, and she could say "of course I like you", but she didn't feel it anymore. The strokes have never been figured out, and two happened literally on days she was released from the hospital because they thought she was fine. Over the course of a couple months she was checked out for all sorts of things, and everything was negative. She went on warfarin. And at that point, NO ONE felt comfortable with her going on the cruise or on a plane or being anywhere away from her doctors. So, once she admitted that she didn't care to go anymore, we canceled her cruise. BIG LONG story over.... Well now we had that money available, and at about the same time I noticed a higher level of room open up on the ship, so we upgraded. And we lengthened the trip and changed some relaxation-times into park-times. Our airfare going to Orlando was set, but then United started messing with the flight times. DH had been scheduled to fly with MIL on a flight with a nice long layover, so she didn't have to rush. DS and I were scheduled to fly out earlier, with the thought that we would snag the rental car and pick them up, minimizing the fuss for her. But now that long-layover flight was less than an hour between flights, and it was way later, and it just stopped making sense. Luckily DH has "status" with United and we were all flying on his miles, and we were able to move things around so we were all flying on his original flight. So now we were getting in after midnight on the 6th, instead of the evening of the 5th. 2 nights of a hotel stay for really just one day in town. Not as nice as it was going to be! Short stay in Orlando, then the cruise. For some reason we decided the time to hit Universal was right after the cruise. I'm not totally sure why, really. But it was decided. Then we would come back to WDW, and by the weekend after the cruise we needed a 2 bedroom villa because extended family would come back to town and stay with us (cousins are fun!). But the 3 of us didn't need, and our points didn't stretch enough for, a 2 bedroom the whole time. So we had to move around before and after. All of this ended up being, over a period of time: Feb 5 fly Feb 6 land after midnight, go to Port Orleans Riverside, sleep, play all day, sleep Feb 7 cruise Feb 8 cruise Feb 9 cruise Feb 10 disembark, go to Hard Rock Hotel (the one onsite Universal resort we haven't been to yet) and have fun at Universal Feb 11 Universal Feb 12 Universal most of the day, then move to 1 bedroom at AK Kidani Feb 13 Kidani, have fun at WDW Feb 14 WDW Feb 15 play at WDW, and later move to 2 bedroom at Saratoga Springs Resort, family arrives Feb 16 SSR, no parks Feb 17 SSR, no parks, family leaves late that evening and we keep the 2 bedroom just so we have a home-base for them. Feb 18 Move to studio at VWL, play at WDW Feb 19 VWL, WDW Feb 20 WDW, fly home. Then family changed it to leaving early-early on the 18th, and we would move resorts and hit the parks early-early. At the last minute (pretty sure we were ON the cruise) they remembered that Monday was a holiday, and there was no need to leave early-early. But they don't have WDW passes right now and had no plans to get them..... Well, we would deal with that later. In the meantime, that's a lot of moves. We have done split stays before, but this was pushing even our boundaries. However, we couldn't make it work otherwise. The POR stay was through hotels.com using free nights. We are onsite people at Universal and we have APs there and WANTED to do Universal. We wanted 4 days minimum in the parks at WDW, but during the time family would be there we wouldn't have that, etc etc. We tried to lower the number of resorts, but just couldn't work it out. Oh well, we'd work it out somehow, later. And then a bit before the trip, DH hurt his achilles. The orthopedist he went to said it would be OK with rest, and refused to give him a boot. Even though he could not rest it (part of his commute is on foot every work day!). Even though we had this trip coming up. No boot. Now if it had been me, I would have gone back in a week later when I had had no rest and insist on something being done. DH didn't. "He said it would be OK and that I didn't need a boot". The change in gait from the achilles problem caused a knee problem. The change in gait from that caused a hip problem. That caused him to call from work and beg me to buy him a cane. Not another appointment with the orthopedist, but just a cane. The cane then caused upper back problems and didn't solve anything but the potential for falling down. I nearly begged him to say it was OK for me to rent him a scooter, but he was vehemently against it. We try to listen to each other and not force each other into things, but I told him that I was researching it and would have money budgeted for it, the instant he said OK. He packed scads of ibuprofen. Neither of us takes much by way of drugs like that, so they hit us hard, but he felt that was his only option. Just couldn't take the time off to go back to the orthopedist, especially because the ortho said that he would be fine. "Yes, but he said you would be fine WITH REST and you haven't had any". No good answer to that, but no appointment was made, either. Oh, and even though he requested the time off something like 9 months out, and routinely reminded his boss in person about it, and had it on the calendar for all to see all that time, a month out his boss (who is normally quite awesome and fabulous and kind) started squawking about the timing of the trip and the length of the trip. His department does travel for work and "travel season" was approaching, and they were nervous that they would need him but he would be in Florida. This caused him no amount of stress, and it managed to make me feel guilty for planning such a long trip (ignoring the fact that he has a lot of vacation time, has to use it, and we've already done 3 long trips like this already!). And that's how we screeched up to our trip.