ABCs of a Nursing School Grad Trip + FL Keys Mini Report;D is for: Dang! Last Chapter of this TR...

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Steppesister, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    The ABCs of A Nursing School Graduation Trip!

    Let me be the first to welcome you here, as your Hostess, to this humble little Trip Report. If you have followed along throughout my soon-to-be-ending saga of the Makings of a Graduation Celebration, or more officially titled “The ABCs of Pre-Trip Reporting”, WELCOME BACK to the Tale of How It All Happened. Of course, I don’t know any of that yet, but for those of you who are just now joining in for the first time, I’m honored, pleased, EXCITED for you to be here with us. I’d like to think we have a pretty fun bunch of folks along for the ride, I’ll try to make it funner. The rest till have to make it pretty.

    I am your hostess, Steppe. Once in a while I transform into Queen Steppe. I reserve that role for when decrees need to be made- a fairly often occurrence. Sometimes, I go by Steppesister. That’s for when I want to be regular, but even more verbose. No, I don’t need any Dulcolax today.

    This is me, all Nursey-like:



    I am a brand new, baby nurse, older than dirt, but young at heart and still hawt. The last 2 years were a grueling slog through Nursing School, but I survived and got basically my dream job in a Post-Anesthesia Recovery Unit at a mid-sized Ambulatory Surgical Center. If you need kidney stones blasted, come see me. I’ll make sure you get good stuff afterwards. ;) I’ve only been at my job now for about 10 weeks, and am finally to the point that I’m not scared to death to walk in the door and start my day. On the other hand, I don’t take my job lightly; no surgery is EVER “routine”. It is exhausting, but a good kind of exhausting. I feel good about myself and what I do when I lay my head down on my pillow each night…. where I can finally actually sleep again. I thought I’d never sleep again during Nursing School or that I’d ever get off of my anti-anxiety meds. I’m here to say, there is life after Zoloft.

    But enough about me. There are others going to share in my celebration! What would a celebration party be without family and friends?!?!

    First up, is Michaela only because I’m going from oldest ‘kid’ to youngest. She’s the taller one:
    She was my LAST addition, only added to our trip less than 2 weeks before departure day! That sure through a massive monkey wrench into the planning works. Here’s why: She is a student attending Oregon State U. (I’d say GO, Beavers, but they never seem to go very far or very fast anywhere.) and just didn’t know her schedule or workload until just this week. If you want more details, the full story is in the Pre-Trip Report found here:

    The ABCs of Planning a Nursing Graduation Celebration- Pt. 1

    and here:

    The ABCs of Planning a Nursing Graduation Celebration- Pt. 2

    She is my ambitious one. She is determined, athletic, and at times can be overly direct. She’d make a great CEO. Mikki is also drop dead gorgeous, but that's me being all biased-like. She’s studying business, marketing and managment, and her dream is to open her own martial arts studio, but is currently (today’s newest, greatest plan) thinking of dropping out and joining the Oregon State Police force. We shall see…

    Mikki will be with us for some, but not all of our trip. I’ll get to that in a bit… But she’s looking most forward to RnRC, EE, adult beverages, and the Seeds Tour.

    Next in line, going by age, is Zachary, or just Zach.

    Zach is 18, and loves to climb with his dad, eat sushi and watch anime. School does not come easy for him, but he gives it 110% every day, and is on his way to a regular diploma and his driver’s license. We’re very proud of him and his progress and effort! He’s most looking forward to riding the “cool rides”, especially EE. He has promised not to fart out loud at Disney. So there’s that too.

    The youngest in our Bunch is Anara.

    She is 14 and full of spit and vinegar. She loves the outdoors (obviously), animals, and playing in our river. She too loves karate and was the proud recipient of her first degree brown belt a couple of weeks ago. Her mouth tends to get her in trouble sometimes, which makes her a lot like her mother. (yes, I just preempted all of your smart alek jokes, you guys) She was born in Thailand, but her name is the Turkish/Kazakh word for pomegranate. We have stories to tell, we do. Anara is looking most forward to our Wanyama Tour.

    Mike is my DH. He is a hard working geologist that works for the Oregon Dept of Forestry. His main job is to assess slopes and steep terrain prior to logging or making road cuts to make sure everything complies with the State and Federal guidelines for forest management and environmental regulations and for public safety. In the summer months/fire season, he is always on-call for wildland fire fighting and usually goes out on one or two fires a year. He doesn’t love Disney, in fact, I’d be hard-pressed to say he even likes it. He’s a nature-boy at heart and would much rather be climbing, mountaineering, SCUBA diving, or whatever. So in order to lure him to Disney, I did what most manipulators would do- I tacked on a few days in the Keys so he could get his nature fix.

    That’s the family going, but what about some friends? I’ve cooked up a few DISMeets- some big, some less big, but all wonderful and important. Here are a few of the characters you may meet along the way:

    Marv (goofyfan1515), Pat (poolrat), Rosie (englishrose43), Alison and Fran (franandaj), Shelly (disneymoon…), Karilynn (malia78), and Tanya (mom3sonstt). Some I knew pretty well, and have been hanging out with here for quite some time, others I’m just getting to know a bit better. I’m sure the requisite shenanigans will happen, but what those might be, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out. I do know for sure, there will be a dip into The Ditch, some Flying Fish Fancy McPants dinner, and some hooliganism at YeeHaw Bob’s going down.

    Lastly, there is Tate O’Patty, my fashionista lady’s man.


    Tate regrets that he could not be a larger part of the Pre-Trip Happenings, but IS going to Disney to join in the fun. You NEVER know what kind of ridiculous mischief Tate will get into or what kind of nautiness will find him. Regardless, Tate has some new duds which you can also find on the PTR where he debuts his new outfits purchased specifically for a NURSING Graduation Celebration. Tate has a knack for opening incredible amount of unique Cast Member engagement, like when the CMs at Splash Mountain let him tour one of the hardscaping birdhouses, or at Hoop de Doo where they gave his very own napkin to twirl then take home. Everyone seems to love TaterCakes; I hope you will too.

    Coming Soon: The When, the What, and Where(s)

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
    TeresaNJ, Dentam and DonnaBeeGood like this.
  2. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    LET'S PLAY....

    QUEEN STEPPE'S ALPHABET GAME!!! (Only a very small portion of this actually has anything to do with the alphabet, as you'll see, but it sure sounds great, don't it?!)

    Once upon a time there was a Momma Queen who loved her Summer palace called DisneyWorld, loved adventure, and realized she was getting older at an alarming pace. One by one, her children were leaving the castle and, as she yearned for some servants to tend the gardens and dwellings, and have more time to go on her beloved adventures, as well as a way to finance said adventures, she decided to invest in learning a new kind of magic. Knowing that a Good Queen always brings benevolence to her Realm, she also loved to serve her subjects and use healing powers to keep them fit and happy and active. She worked extremely hard to learn this craft and vowed to use her new magic to bring goodness and healing wherever her Higher Power led her. Many hours of acquiring new knowledge, learning how to comfort and calm the sick and dying, and keeping her mental sanity intact were poured into this endeavor, but she was victorious and soon it was time to apply what she'd gained, finding joy and pride in all that had taken place in that 2 years, and looking forward to the future.

    Every milestone as large as this needs a fitting Celebration, so the Queen arranged for a Gala at her Summer Palace. For 10 days, she her little Prince and Princess would frolic in the palace grounds eating, drinking and generally making merry. (The King will make a grudging appearance, for he'd rather spend his time frolicking in the forests.) Friends were invited, plans were made, and games were arranged. The entire Kingdom was encouraged to take part in the games to help her celebrate, and in no time at all she and her Band of Merry Travelers were on their way. The game was rather simple, the more points the Queen scored while at her Palace Soiree, the better time she'll have had. Your job, Dear Subject, is to guess how many points the Queen was able to score. So now, without further adieu...

    Subjects of the Kingdom:

    Please join in the Royal Games created and sanctioned by Her Majesty Queen Steppe!!!!

    Queen Steppe wants to spend 10 days at her Summer Palace and has many activities planned to keep her and her little royal family entertained. For every successful victory along the way, points will be added to her scorecard (yes, there really is an official Scorecard the Queen will have at hand). Your job is to guess how many points Queen Steppe with accumulate along the way and how. The beauty of this type of merriment is that you get to determine the number of her points BEFORE she even goes. AND during the re-telling of her adventures, you can earn a few more.

    There are various categories with various amounts of points in each category she can earn. Your job is to add up all you think she'll get BY CATEGORY and post here. The more specific you are, the easier it will by for your Queen (Your Queen will appreciate and reward conciseness. Be specific on HOW the Queen will amass her points.) READ CAREFULLY!!!!!

    Here are her categories:
    Flights and Travel: (80 points available)
    10 points for each departure on time (2 Royal Carriage rides)
    5 points within 1/2 hour (for each)
    5 points for each aisle for me (2 possible)
    10 points if we all sit together (each leg)
    20 points if I get any sleep (hint, I have Ambien and I'm not afraid to use it)

    ADRs: (75 points available)
    5 points for each ADR we go to
    20 point bonus if we go to all of them (there are 11)
    Drinks: (150 points available- this is an ambitious Quest!)
    50 points if I get 1 drink from every letter of the alphabet
    10 points for each Challenge drink gotten = 60 (there are 6)
    10 points for each souvie mug I buy (4 is the plan; 2 may be n/a drinks)

    Shop Around the World Tour: (85 points available)
    5 points for each Pavilion I buy something in
    10 point bonus if I buy something from all 11 Pavilions
    20 point bonus if each one is under $10

    Hidden Mickeys: (50 points available)
    1 point for every one I find **and post (up to 50 points available)
    Resorts: AoA; AKL (60 points available)
    10 points if room ready on arrival (AoA)
    10 points if room ready on arrival (AKL)
    20 points if upgraded (AoA)
    20 points if upgraded (AKL)

    Completion of "Top 10 Lists": (60 points available)
    *More posts on these to come...
    10 points per list if totally completed (4 parks, 2 Resorts)

    Transportation: (50 points available)
    30 bonus points if no wait is more than 15 minutes per ride during entire trip
    20 bonus points if all 5 modes are taken (bus, mono, boat, train, ferry)

    Miscellaneous Points: (60 + 26 = 86 points available)
    5 points if no one gets any blisters
    5 points if no one forgets anything (hint: I am very organized)
    5 points if I actually get 1 photo with a character (hint: possibly at MNSSHP)
    10 points for the MNSSHP Pentafecta: HM, Parade, Hallowishes, Hocus Pocus Show, 7 Dwarves Photo
    5 points if I do something ridiculous at Yeehaw Bob (we'll see who knows me well)
    10 points if I get any "Magic" while wearing my Mickey ears, or button, or grad cap
    10 points for each pool I actually get in


    1 point for every Mystery Photo Location you correctly identify (this portion to be played out during TR!)


    There are exactly 696 Points available. You have until the day I leave to post your guesses and join in the merrymaking. You must state how the points will be made by category. The good news, is that during the TR itself, the Queen won't have to do much tallying and keeping track other than the photos along the way, and YOU will have already done your work.

    Your humble and benevolent Queen thanks you for playing and wishes you all good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
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  4. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1- The Who's (see above)

    Chapter 2- The When's

    Chapter 3- The Where, The What, and the Why

    Chapter 4- A is for: Almost Launch Time

    Chapter 5- Aaaand, We're Off!!

    Chapter 6- A is for: Arrival and Annoyance

    Chapter 7- B is for: Bring on the Birds

    Letter B Photo

    Chapter 8- C is for: Culinary Catch of the Day (Coral Reef)

    Chapter 9- D is for: DTD and DISMeet #1

    Letter C and D Photos

    Chapter 10- E is for: Embrace Adventure

    Chapter 11- F is for: Fiesta!

    Chapter 12- G is for: Gorillas, Giraffes, and Grazers

    Letter E and F Photos

    Chapter 13- H is for: Happy Halloween; Pt. 1

    Chapter 14- H is for Happy Halloween; Pt. 2- pg. 36

    Chapter 15- H is for Happy Halloween; Pt. 3- pg. 40

    Chapter 16- H is for Happy Halloween; Pt. 4- pg. 40

    Chapter 17- H is for Happy Halloween; Pt 5/Final Thoughts- pg. 42

    Letter G and H Photos

    Contest results to date

    Chapter 18- Did I-Phind It? Pt.1- pg. 46

    Little Bitty Life Update-pg. 48

    Chapter 19- Did I Phind It?- Pt. 2- pg. 48

    Chapter 20- J is for Just Me, Yet Just Amazing- pg. 50

    Chapter 21- I is for: I Came; I Shopped (In 4 Parts)- pg. 55

    Shall We Dance? A Real Life Little Update-pg. 58

    Chapter 22- I is for: I Came; I Shopped- Pt. 2- pg. 58

    Chapter 23- Shop-Around-the-World; Pt. 3- pg. 60

    Chapter 24- I is for: I Came; I Shopped- Pt. 4- pg. 61

    Chapter 25- J is for: Just a Little Jig- pg. 62

    Chapter 26- K is for: Karibuni Harambe!!!!- pg. 63

    Letter J Photo

    Chapter 27- K is for Karibuni Harambe; pt. 2- pg. 64

    The Elephant Story-pg. 64

    Chapter 28- K is for Karibuni Harambe- Pt. 3- pg. 66

    Chapter 29- L is for Let's Celebrate with Steppe- The Prelude- pg. 69

    Chapter 30- L is for: Let's Celebrate with Steppe!- Pt. 1- pg. 69

    Chapter 31- L is for: Let's Celebrate with Steppe- Pt. 2 (Dinner at the Flying Fish)- pg. 70

    Pre-Trip Drama- pg. 73

    Chapter 32- L is for Let’s Celebrate!- pt. 3- pg. 74

    Chapter 33- M is for: Main Street Magic- Morning to Midnight- Pt. 1- pg. 76

    Chapter 34- M is for: Main Street Magic- Morning to Midnight; Pt. 2- pg. 76

    I Can Fly, I Can Fly, I Can Fly!!!- pg. 79
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  5. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  6. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

    Nov 15, 2009
    I'm here! Am I first? :hyper:

    I'm not going to attempt to multi quote because so much of your text is "hot" and it won't quote anyways. I'm glad that I could follow you along from the beginning, even if I wasn't there from the beginning, I read it all through and got all caught up only about 6 months or so through the process!

    So the new thing I learned is that your hubby's actual profession is a geologist. I did not know that. I knew about the firefighting. That's very interesting about how geology applies to his job. I was engaged to a geologist two lifetimes ago, and now he works as a "geologist to the stars" or just the Hollywood rich and famous. He surveys their land to build their multi million dollar mansions. His father was a geologist who helped determine where to drill for oil in the San Joaquin Valley. How interesting that he helps develop roads and tell folks how to cut into mountains and such.

    If you had told me how diverse a degree in Geology could be for employment in grade school I would have said, "get outta here!" But clearly Geology is the dark horse of studies that can come out to be a winner!

    Well anyways, just letting you know I'm along for the long haul and can't wait to meet IRL or in 3D. In fact, it's three weeks from tonight that we're going to be slogging back Margs at the Ditch! See you on the other coast! (But I'll still tag along on the PTR as well!)
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  7. SnowWhiteOz

    SnowWhiteOz Now what are you, and who are you doin' here?

    Jun 26, 2015
    I'm signing up at the beginning for this one Liesa - can't wait to hear all about it (once you've actually experienced it of course!)
  8. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

    Sep 8, 2006
    Ok, I am definitely at an advantage here since you started your trip reporting the middle of the night East Coast time, so perfectly timed for my European breakfast time reading. Which ensures me a wonderful first page spot.

    I loved the introduction and realised that now the group going to WDW is identical to the group who came to visit Germany! So I have met everyone in real life. That's a rare thing for a trip report!

    I am really looking forward to reading about it all, but first I hope you will have a magical trip! Will go back to the PTR to read more about the pre stuff before you leave, won't abandon you there!
  9. Elevationist

    Elevationist Princess No-Pants

    Oct 17, 2004
    Maaaan, still a couple weeks out and you already have your TR shell built? I am super impressed, lady! :worship:

    I am here and will try to be a better commenter this time around! :cutie:
  10. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

    Dec 14, 2008
    YES! Finally got on to the first page of someone's TR! Hasn't happened in quite a while and i'm gonna pat myself on the back for this one ::yes::

    Also, I can't quote some things for whatever reason?

    Tee Hee.

    This guy looks like he's in desperate need of your assistance.

    Loved reading about your family and love how proudly you talk about them :love:
  11. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

    Mar 9, 2007
    Made it over!
    Haven't even read the intro yet.
    Gotta few other TRs to cover first...

    But... I'm here!
  12. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    You are right Ladies. The formatting was wild and crazy. I have NO idea how or what happened. I typed it up in Word, and copied and pasted.... Weird. I fixed everything and it seems to now multi-quote for me just fine. Sorry about that. Carry on!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  13. addictedtothemouse

    addictedtothemouse DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2008
    I'm here! I hope to read your last posts on your PTR while at Disney but may have to catch up after we get back.
  14. Brittni__duh

    Brittni__duh Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 2015
    I'm here! I'm joining in for the first time. I've read bits and pieces of your PTR and this trip sounds like it will be fun and very much deserved.
  15. Chrystmasangel

    Chrystmasangel Mouseketeer

    Mar 17, 2014
    Here! So excited for this!
  16. KathyM2

    KathyM2 DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2011
    Yay! I'm here and can't wait to follow along!!
  17. irene_dsc

    irene_dsc DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2007
    I found it! Btw, the link in your text (in the PTR) works, but your siggy link didn't.

    I also didn't know your hubby was a geologist. I also didn't know that was one of the things they do! Of course, around here, the land is mostly flat, so we just use plain old surveyors and civil engineers to lay out sites. I don't do roads, so I'm not sure if geologists get involved at that scale.

    Cute nurse photos! I don't think I got to see those, either. So, good job saving stuff for the TR intro, lol!

    And now I need to post, for a chance to stay on the first page...since I see that more messages have been posted since I loaded the page already...
  18. krnelson65

    krnelson65 Earning My Ears

    Aug 17, 2008
    I'm here!! Looking forward to joining in more...hopefully. :-)
  19. orangecats2

    orangecats2 I need a trip to Disney!!!

    May 6, 2008
    I'm here! Your trip is so close now!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  20. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    Why, in fact, you ARE 1st! :surfweb: But that doesn't surprise me! I'm so happy you're here to keep me company!

    That took a little bit to fix, actually. I didn't know what I'd done (I was fixing before your very kind effort at explaining in the PM- THANK YOU!) so copied and pasted section by section.

    You are one very dedicated reader- very faithful! I admire that!

    Geology is a very diverse field. When he was in Grad School, he did his thesis on Stratigraphy around the Grand Canyon area, and wanted to go into the oil industry. After applying to several companies with no luck, he shifted focus to hydrology and found a great job at a private consulting firm here in Portland. But yeah, lots of branches. Any time a piece of land needs to be assessed for what's underneath so it can be deemed suitable for the use intended a geologist is consulted.

    It might last a while. You know me, Mrs. Wordy.

    Are we doing the Sunday the 16th? That's the day I have down. Did you have something else??

    Yes, I do need to get the last 3 updates up on the other thread- time's a ticking!
  21. EvilQueenT

    EvilQueenT DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2009
    Loving your report...just a heads up from one nurse RN from 94-02 then ARNP (22 years total now retired) to a new one...10 weeks and finally settling in without freaking out...enjoy it...but expect the pixie dust to hit the fan and scare the bibbidi bobbidi out of you at any point in your career. Embrace means you're a good nurse. Congratulations!!! And LOVE the points system...once a competitive student always competitive lol.

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