Grateful, Thankful, Blessed: our 25th Anniversary SeaWorld Celebration (Spring ’18 TR)

Discussion in 'Sea World / Discovery Cove' started by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina, May 18, 2018.

  1. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    The Canada pavilion had Beaver Tails, and then discontinued them at some point?!?! What on earth were they thinking? :confused:

    So glad you all enjoyed Wonderland Cookie Dough!! Hope you are having an awesome vacation!

    Probably a regional thing. I know many folks here in Michigan think I talk funny. Apparently my "Canadian accent" gives me away quite regularly!

    @DontRushMe , you're a native Michigander. How do they pronounce it here? Care-a-mell or Car-mull?

    Yes, one of these days I want to "eat around the world". I suspect the German pavilion would have more than a few items that would appeal, even to this picky girl!

    Thank you! :goodvibes

    Can you imagine how much fun that would be? In our "spare time", we could host our own podcast from the staff lounge and give the Dis crew some stiff competition :rotfl2:.

    You're hired! :thumbsup2 :teeth:

    I'm in! Name your date! ;)

    Aw shucks, you are too kind with your compliments :blush:.

    Now that we've all learned that fart is not a banned word on the Dis :rotfl:[you never fail to bring us a giggle, or a tidbit of new information, or in this case....both simultaneously!!], we can also add the grey/gray debate to the caramel/care-a-mell/car-mull discussion. Who wants to weigh in? I'm a "grey" girl.....so maybe that's the Canadian spelling? :scratchin

    Trails End and GG are two winners for us, too. I've actually booked Trails End for dinner in October.....and I'm tossing around giving it a try for breakfast one day, too. We've never done breakfast there and have heard its equally as great.

    How much higher are the Christmas prices....significantly so??? Such a bummer when Disney dining already takes such a hefty bite out of the pocket book.

    Ha! Maybe that's why everyone I know pronounces it care-a-mell. We Canadians have strong ties to our British roots.
     
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  2. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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  4. verleniahall

    verleniahall DIS Veteran

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    If West here - Kansas girl, but have lived lots of places due to the army ❤️
     
  5. chiamarie

    chiamarie DIS Veteran

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    Whoop whoop! New Job! Congrats!

    As far as the report goes...that trip.to epcot seems like it was forever ago. I do not at all recall what happened when. I just remember a fun day with you two!
     
  6. afan

    afan DIS Veteran

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  7. Lynne G

    Lynne G DIS Veteran

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    Oh, we had stuff from that lush carmel store at Christmas. Kids remarked after we left Disney that they should have bought more.

    And yay for the new, better paying, closer job.
     
  8. DontRushMe

    DontRushMe Mouseketeer

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    I say "car mel" Maybe its an American thing we skip letters all the time and make our own words. :thumbsup2
     
  9. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    According to Merriam-Webster my 'go-to' for US English usage, gray is the standard US variant; grey is a "less used" spelling in the US, (probably from all the expat Canadians.)

    Interestingly, they list THREE different pronunciations for caramel, but the syllabic breakdown would indicate that they think it has 3 syllables: car·a·mel: \ ˈkär-məl ; ˈker-ə-məl , ˈka-rə- , -ˌmel \

    Personally, I say caramel. (JK - pronunciation #3 for me). Of course you can just avoid the whole thing and say toffee...
     
  10. Pumpkin1172

    Pumpkin1172 Mouseketeer

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    That " Canadian " accent comes out often. On our last visit to Orlando, everyone would always say...You must be Canadian lol. Another pronunciation would be for the letter " z " we say zeee and americans say " zed " lol I have a "z " in our last name...so anytime I had to give our names...that was the first thing they would comment on lol and I too say " Car-a-mel " it's the way it's spelled

    Congrates on new job. Commuting sucks. We may live far away from bigger centers, but I'm glad it only takes me 5-7 minutes to get to work every day depending on the lights, and that if I need to get to one end of the city to the other, in 15- 20 minutes I can be on the extreme outer limits. Driving in the big cities drives me batty.

    Great trip report so far!!!! And Dancin Disney had posted in one of the canadian pages you write an awesome trip report!!!!
     
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  11. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    That has to be hard and awesome, all at the same time! I am sure you must have had some cool experiences (and seen a great deal of the country) but it has to be hard to leave friends and family behind when you move on to the next adventure.

    Thank you! It's still not as cool as YOUR jobs ;) but its a step up nonetheless ::yes::.

    We did pack a lot of joy into that day at Epcot, didn't we? :goodvibes You are some mighty good company!

    I'm right with ya there. If its fishy, I'm out. Give me chicken or give me dessert! (that sounded better than 'death' :lmao:)

    Thank you! I can't believe I start next week! :eek:
    I'm thinking next time we visit, I'm getting some to eat there and some in a to-go bag for later. Then I don't have to make so many tough decisions at the counter :rotfl2: ... just one of everything, please :laughing:.

    :rotfl:

    I always think of caramel being softer than toffee. Or are there other differences, too? :scratchin

    These reports are always so educational! :teacher:

    I always figured we Canadians stuck out in the south because we were the only ones swimming in the pools in the winter :cold:. Maybe it was our accents all along that gave us away! :p
     
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  12. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Saturday, May 5th: EPCOT, continued

    Since the lines weren’t too long (posted waits, I think, were around 20 minutes), we opted for a ride on the Seas with Nemo & Friends. Definitely an attraction that’s much more geared to kids, but since we’re kids at heart, we figured….why not? Even as a full-grown adult, it’s hard not to have a soft spot for little Nemo…..so we hopped into a clam shell (Steve and I in one, T riding single behind us) and off we floated :fish:.

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    Finding Nemo is an adorable movie, and this is an equally charming ride. Pretty much all the photos that I took turned out abysmal --- between the darkness and the movement of the ride vehicle, it’s just a bad combo where pictures are concerned --- but we had fun. Even Steve can channel his inner child on our Disney days :p.

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    After Nemo, we headed into the Seas to check out the aquariums. We were delighted to find a couple of divers in the tanks tending to the massive stingray. While we have seen the fish and other sea creatures in the tanks on previous visits, this is the first time we got to witness one of the dive staff in action.

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    The stingray that he was working with was unbelievably HUGE :eek: and drew as much attention, if not more!, than the diver did. I have no idea how large it was, but I’m thinking about 7 - 10 feet in diameter at least….you almost had to see it to believe just how enormous it was.

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    After lounging leisurely around the bottom of the tank and meandering with the other fish, it decided it would show off a bit and show its underbelly to the adoring crowd.

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    After tearing ourselves away from the tanks that housed the fish and the stingrays, we stopped to watch the dolphins swim, but they weren’t as interested in grabbing the attention of visitors on that particular Saturday afternoon. We would catch a quick glimpse of one or two as they sped by, but the balance stayed tucked away in a hidden portion of the tank, unwilling to showcase their talent. We would have to get our dolphin fix at SeaWorld instead!

    Moving onward through the Seas exhibit, we visited the manatee refuge and were introduced to Lou & Lil Joe.

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    T, who’s full time job is at SeaWorld, knew all about how Lou and Lil Joe came to live at Epcot and was able to fill us in on their respective histories before the Disney CM came over to greet us. She and the CM had a wonderful, knowledgeable conversation about the manatee duo and it was heartwarming to see their love for animals shine through as they chatted :goodvibes. It was also rather cool to get such a comprehensive inside story on each animal……like having a behind the scenes tour of our very own.

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    Lou and Lil Joe munched away on lettuce leaves, working hard to satisfy their daily requirement of 150 pounds of food in a day (or something along that lines….I may be off by 10 pounds or so). Those big bodies need a lot of fuel, even if their activity levels seem unbelievably sedate ::yes::.

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    We were heading out of the Living Seas when we noted that there some activity by the diver lock-out chamber, and our good timing meant we were just in time to watch them demonstrate how the chamber worked. This was also a new feature for us (it’s likely been there every time we’ve visited, but we apparently somehow never noticed it before) so we stopped to see what all the excitement was about.

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    While I think diving LOOKS amazing, I’m afraid its not something I yearn to try myself. One of those activities I find captivating to watch and terrifying to try :o. I guess because I think drowning is about as frightening as burning to death, just on the opposite end of the gruesome scale. So many things that could go wrong, but yet….it must be such a cool experience when it all goes RIGHT.

    So yeah, my eyes were glued to the chamber as the diver climbed inside and it quickly filled with water.

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    The CM picked a volunteer from the crowd, who helped demonstrate how the chamber operated. It was quite impressive to see how fast the water filled and emptied…..much more quickly than I would have anticipated without seeing it done. After the chamber drained and the diver emerged, he made himself available to guests for questions and photos. We, however, had another Fastpass window to be mindful of, and this was one “the biggie”: I was going to have my first-ever ride on Test Track, and there was NO WAY we would miss that opportunity! :car:


    The balance of our Epcot day is coming up.
     
  13. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    Ooo, I can't wait to hear how Test Track goes!
     
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  14. verleniahall

    verleniahall DIS Veteran

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    dum dum dummmmmmmmmmm
     
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  15. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    I love The Seas!! That's where my son, Troy is working now in DCP. I like to go watch all the fish in the aquariums- especially the seahorses!!

    Can't wait to hear about Test Track. We do prefer the original ride but it's still so fun! and FAST!
     
  16. chicagoshannon

    chicagoshannon DIS Veteran

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    I sound like a broken record but you would have LOVED the Living Seas. You could see into more of the giant tanks, the tank windows weren't blocked for the ride (the whole point of the ride was to look into the tanks), and they had some really neat old school dive equipment to try out. It was always a fantastic experience.
     
  17. Lynne G

    Lynne G DIS Veteran

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    Oh, I really like Test Track. The open part is the part I most enjoy.

    So glad the crowds were low for you. Epcot can get busy, even with it's size.

    We did the SeaAqua tour when the kids were younger, just what they call snuba. You use scuba to breathe, but stay on the surface. They still talk about it, and I did enjoy it. Little one is still asking for diving lessons. I may humor here one of these days. I am trying to talk her into taking a life guard class next year, at school, to get her life guard license. She claims cannot fit it in, but I was hoping. It's a good skill to have, as I life guarded during college, having got my license at school like I want her to do.

    We always like to stop at the Seas building.
     
  18. pkondz

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

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    Well, hi there stranger. The pace of my TRs has slowed down some, so it's safe to say hi again. :laughing:

    Hi Gina. Nice to "meet" you. :wave:
    Read all the updates (well..... I may have skimmed a bit here and there. :rolleyes1) so I"m caught up.
    I'm inundated with TRs right now, so will probably keep my commenting to less than my normal ridiculously large output. :)
     
  19. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    That would be great!!

    We had brunch at Trail's End in May. On the weekends the breakfast hours are extended and they add brunch items to the menu! We love it there!! Nice to take a walk on the beach after our meal!!
     
  20. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Saturday, May 5th: EPCOT, the ending (finally!!)

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    After the Seas, we meandered a bit as we made our way over to Test Track. Our Fastpass time hadn’t quite rolled around just yet (though it was getting close), so there was no need to rush. As you may have guessed, that kind of pace is my favorite way to enjoy a theme park…..especially during the Flower & Garden Festival, when we really could ‘stop and smell the flowers’! :flower1:

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    The on-and-off drizzly rain had played havoc with Test Track’s ability to function, and as we approached to scan for our Fastpasses, we noted that the standby time was posted at a whopping 120 minutes :crazy2:: literally the only crazy standby times we had seen all day long. We were eternally grateful for T’s advance planning and willingness to secure Fastpasses for the three of us, as there’s no way we would have waited that long for ANY ride.

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    I was starting to feel a bit icky at this point in the day :sick:…..I was starting to get a bit of a pesky headache…..but I chocked it up to a case of nerves. Perhaps I was a bit more anxious about “stretching my boundaries” than I had originally thought? :confused: At any rate, we scanned our passes and headed inside to take our place in the mercifully short Fastpass line.

    We had no longer taken our places in the final holding area before entering the design room when we heard the announcement that no one wants to hear: Test Track had stopped running temporarily due to inclement weather :headache:. We were offered the choice of staying in our current spot to wait it out the delay, or leaving to enjoy the other attractions in the park. Quite a few folks beat a path to the door….perhaps they had been waiting in that 2-hour standby queue and this was the final straw?....but after a short discussion, we opted to stay put. The rain had not been persistent throughout the afternoon, so hopefully the current delay would be short lived. Lucky for us, T had come prepared for such minor inconveniences, and we ended up playing a hilarious game of Heads Up! on her cell phone that ended up making the otherwise annoying delay seem like no time at all [note to self: I really do have to get that app!!! ::yes::]. I would estimate we had to wait maybe 20-30 minutes before the announcement was made that Test Track was back up and running :thumbsup2.

    No chickening out now! :o

    The doors opened and we were ushered into the design room to create our dream racing car. I really do feel like I owe Steve and @chiamarie an apology here: I thought this was just a fun diversion to help pass time in the line :blush:. I had literally NO idea that the vehicle design played any role at all in the actual ride experience. I’m such an idiot!! Since this was my first time riding, those dear souls let me do all the designing, and let’s just say I wasn’t exactly aiming for functionality :rotfl:. By the time we were done, we had the prettiest hot pink sports car with a few ‘muscular’ touches (picked by Steve and T!) and ….. some floral decals.

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    I seriously had no idea that vehicle design counted. Honest!! :o

    I was a both nervous and excited as we hopped in the second row of the ride vehicle. T took off her Mickey ears so I figured it was prudent for me to do the same. Boarding was quick so by the time our bags were safely stowed and our ears and sunglasses were removed, we were on our way…...and my heart (or maybe it was my head?) was actually pounding a little.

    Completely honesty here: this ride was super fun :banana:. Oh, how I wish I had given it a try long before now.

    It was nothing like what I expected. I have no idea, really, what it was that I did expect, but this wasn’t it! My heart dropped a little when I realized that my crazy pink car was actually being graded against the car designed by the occupants of the front row, but Steve and T were graciously forgiving and were both just worried about me having a good time so my moment of personal horror passed quickly. Our car won the first challenge, the other car won the second. Then we were flying down the track at a ridiculous speed and I was just grateful that I had taken off my Mickey ears! As it turned out, my hot pink floral bedecked sports car had more power than I gave her credit for, and we ended up beating our bright yellow competitor when the final scores were calculated. Not only did I live to tell the story (and thoroughly enjoyed the ride experience), but we also won! :cheer2:

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    My hair was a hot mess as we exited the building, and the pesky headache that had been plaguing me pre-ride was now starting to get quite bothersome. After putting ourselves back together with the help of a mirror in a nearby ladies room, we stopped and picked up bottles of water from one of the beverage kiosks so I could take a couple of Gravol. Between the water (Steve suspected I might be a bit dehyrdrated) and the medication, hopefully it would stop my headache in its path :(.

    We were strolling around after Test Track and musing about what to do next when we happened to be within sight distance of the Character Spot. I had to look twice at the standby time, which I think was listed at 15 minutes. Could that really be true? When we visited during the same time period the year prior, we had been a bit saddened that the wait times for the characters never dipped below an hour…..so a 15 minute standby was a real surprise. If our previous experiences of the day were any indication, wait times would be even less than posted…..so when T asked what we wanted to do next, it was an easy answer.

    Steve wasn’t quite as keen, but hey. I just rode Test Track. This was my reward :p.

    That 15 minute posted wait time turned out to be maybe 5. We literally had to wait behind one family, and that’s it. We couldn’t have time that any better if we had tried.

    Mickey, Minnie and Goofy were all in the house, so we enjoyed some time with all of them. We divided and conquered for photo purposes, with T going first (and us capturing pics for her on her phone) and then trading places.

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    My day was made :teeth:.

    The only sour apple in the barrel was that bloody headache, which continued to worsen as our character meets went on. By the time we finished up with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, it was morphing into a full-blown migraine…..complete with trademark nausea.

    I was so annoyed with myself :headache:.

    Migraines are just a part of my life, so its not surprising when one takes hold. As a brain tumor survivor (20 years this December), its just something I have learned to live with, and thankfully I don’t get them super often. Sometimes a change in the weather can spark one (the moist, humid air may have been a contributor). It may have been that I really didn’t drink enough over the course of the day. It really doesn’t matter, because it completely ground our day at the parks to a sharp halt as I continued to feel worse with every passing second.

    I needed two more Gravol, and then to lay in a quiet, cool, dark room until it passed. There was really nothing more that would help.

    While we had hoped to stay right through to park closing so we could catch Illuminations, we ended up giving T our sincerest thanks for an amazing day and packing it in just before 6 pm. Thanks to some shockingly low Saturday crowds (the ongoing threat of rain must have been just enough to keep many of the locals from visiting the park), we had packed an incredible amount of fun into our 8.5 hours at Epcot. And how tremendous to have shared all that joy and awesomeness with such a wonderful friend :goodvibes.

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    We bid adieu in the parking lot. I was feeling so nauseated by the time we reached the car that I was sure I’d lose the contents of my stomach on the way back to the Vistana, but thankfully I made it without incident. Steve helped me ease my way into the bed, brought me two more Gravols and a glass of water, closed the curtains, and shut the door to give me the silence and darkness my head was screaming for.

    I awoke a few hours later to my phone ringing.

    Gravol is great for migraines and nausea but can make me woefully fuzzy-headed, so it took me a bit to get my bearings. Seeing it was Morgan, our pet nanny, I thought it was important to take her call……if she’s calling rather than texting with her nightly check-in, something still had to be amiss :(.

    The house was STILL without power, and apparently the ice maker in our fridge had thawed and leaked all over our kitchen floor. Thankfully we have ceramic tile (so there was no damage to the floor itself), but she wanted us to know that she feared all of the food in our fridge was going to be spoiled. The power had now been out since the storm rolled through more than 30 hours prior, and she wanted to know if we wanted her to check and see if the neighbors were also still without electricity. We were grateful for her offer, and agreed that it might be smart to have her look into things more. This was quite unusual and getting very concerning.

    She called back a short time later to report that our neighbors were very helpful with an update: 8 houses on our side of the street had been impacted by the heavy but brief thunderstorm that rolled through on the Friday afternoon of our departure. A series of trees fell on the power lines 4 doors down from us, and Detroit Energy had apparently indicated that the repairs would not be made until sometime on Monday. While it was discouraging and maddening…..not only would we lose the contents of our refrigerator, but also all of the meat and other items that we had amassed in our freezer….there was little we could do more than 1000 miles away. At least we knew the source of the problem. I could feel that Morgan hated to be the bearer of bad news, and I assured her that as long as the cats were good, not to worry about the power outage for one single second. She promptly texted me some photos of their furry faces which reassured me that they were no worse the wear, power or no power.

    It was past 9 pm at this point so I dragged myself out of bed and into the living room. I knew Steve would be half starved by now, and suggested we get some food before it got any later. My head had subsided enough that I was mobile again, so I tidied myself up and we headed out in search of dinner. We opted to not venture too far from the Vistana in the event that the migraine came roaring back without much warning.

    Steve picked Smokey Bones. I have only one photo from the whole experience, and it was my meal: pulled pork with fries, baked beans and garlic toast.

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    Steve, if I recall, had a burger…..but don’t quote me on that, as I was 4 Gravol tablets in by that point and definitely not the clearest headed :rolleyes1. I do distinctly remember that our server was painfully awkward and odd, and the restaurant was nearly empty…….so that awkward and odd young fellow seemed to ALWAYS be at our table :rolleyes:. The food was really good, but I was still feeling rough enough that I couldn’t eat all mine. We ended up having them box up the balance and taking it back to the fridge in our villa.

    I opted out of a soak in the hot tub, and instead had a nice hot bath in the jacuzzi tub in the master suite. It may have been the effects of the 4 Gravol, it may have been the hot bath, or it may have been the 8+ hours of walking the park at EPCOT, but I was asleep in 2 minutes or less :faint:.

    Coming up: Sunday Fun-Day at SeaWorld, complete with an unexpected surprise and a Dismeet!
     
  21. Mrs Doubtfire

    Mrs Doubtfire DIS Veteran

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    Oh the pain of a migraine. I'm glad you were able to get your head down eventually, although it did curtail the fun of a wonderful day at Epcot.

    The character photos are great, and such a short wait! It's funny how Steve holds himself a little away and you are all cuddled up :goodvibes

    Your neighbours could have had a little party with all your food in the fridge and freezer. Not nice having to go back home to that. We once returned in December to frozen pipes and a little flood in the house! Not the best way to be greeted on your return :scared1:
     

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