I'm Outnumbered! Parenting Alone Through The Panama Canal (EBPC 2017)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by arielmomma, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. arielmomma

    arielmomma DIS Veteran

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    Happy New Year fellow Disney lovers! I hope you all had a magical holiday season.

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    With my house finally back in order and today's wind chill expected to reach a blustery -25 degrees :scared1:, I thought it would be the perfect time to snuggle under a blanket and reminisce about my latest exploit through the Panama Canal.

    For those of you who've read my previous trip reports, you may be thinking, another trip though the canal? Didn't she just go in August 2016 and April 2017? You would be correct. So, what led me to take this rather spontaneous trip? I blame it on a smidgeon of insanity, an extremely generous husband, and a touch of Disney magic.

    Without going into too many details, let me just say that 2016 and 2017 were difficult years for my family. I lost my father in March of 2016, my closest uncle in November of 2016, and my mother in December of 2016. As an emotional traveler, Disney is my go-to refuge. This trip, however, was only partially inspired by grief.

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    Prior to my parents' deaths, due them suffering both physical and mental health problems, I had cared for them in one capacity or another for 22 years. Basically, I became their parent when I was barely a legal adult myself. While my next statement may sound insensitive to some of you, those of you who have been caregivers know that the loss of those you cared for not only brings with it immense sadness, but also a sense of relief. As if a great weight has been lifted not only from your loved ones, both living and gone, but also from yourself.

    When I returned home after my cruise in May, I was inspired to begin to take better care of myself. I changed my diet and increased my exercise routine. While I had done this countless times in the last several years, I'd had little success. However, with my stress level dramatically lower than it had been while caring for my parents, the excess weight I'd been carrying began to melt off.


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    My husband, James, and I had made a deal that we would not cruise again until we'd both lost at least 25 lbs. The plan was to have the weight off by the April 2018 WBPC cruise we already had booked. Needless to say, that while James' motivation petered out after awhile, mine remained strong. By August 1st, I'd already reached my initial 25 lb. goal. :cool1:It was then that DCL released some previously sold-out cabins for the October 27, 2017 EBPC cruise. When I initially mentioned the openings to James, I'd been joking about trying to go. Besides, he didn't have enough vacation days left to take such a trip, and the rather exorbitant cruise fare would have to be paid in full at the time of booking, and I assumed there was no way we could come up with the money. Let alone, we'd already taken two Panama Canal cruises in the past year!

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    However, once I'd slept on it, the idea of going continued to blossom. Why not? I'd met my weight goal as we'd agreed. James thought I was insane. He said we could never afford it. With a bit of finagling that didn't involve our retirement savings suffering or us going into debt, I discovered that we could make it happen. James continued to remain skeptical. That was when I broke out the big guns. I recruited our children, Jimmy (13) and Emily (10). Industrious little homeschoolers that they are, they created a power point presentation and presented it to their father on why we should take this cruise. James finally gave in.

    Long story, short. James was unable to get the extra vacation days that would allow him to accompany the kids and I on this cruise, but allowed us to go without him. Am I married to an amazing man or what?

    So, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, super excited and me another 11 lbs lighter :cheer2:, Jimmy, Emily, and I began our 3rd Panama Canal adventure!

    Up Next... Up, Up, and Away!
     
  2. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Yay-I've been waiting for you to start this one!
    Following along!
     
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  4. arielmomma

    arielmomma DIS Veteran

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    Day 1, Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Travel Day

    Our first day of vacation began on a lazy note, as a great vacation should. James worked from home, while the kids and I indulged in one of our last opportunities for awhile to binge-watch our favorite TV shows. At 3pm, my family said goodbye to our house and piled into our van. We made sure to bring our winter coats along. While it was cool and sunny when we left, by our return date of November 11th, it was certain to be frigid here in Mid-Michigan.

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    I took a sad-faced picture of James, but unfortunately it didn't turn out. If its any consolation, he was leaving the day after us for a work trip to Minnesota followed by Missouri, which he always enjoys. So, at least he wouldn't be left home alone.

    The two hour drive south to Detroit-Metro Airport was uneventful, as one would hope. About twenty minutes from the airport we stopped to eat. James and I wanted a sit-down restaurant, while the kiddos begged for fast food (a rare treat for them). Since we were running short on time, James and I gave in. We stopped at...

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    Check out their drink cups! Mom and Joy - I'm their mom named Joy. Its like they were specially made for my kids.

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    Emily had a home style chicken sandwich, while the boys both had double cheeseburgers.

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    I had a spicy chicken sandwich. Yum!

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  5. arielmomma

    arielmomma DIS Veteran

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    Emily playing with her food.

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    One simply cannot eat at Wendy's without ending the meal with a Frosty.

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    By the time we finished our desserts, it was time to head to the airport. James dropped us off at the McNamara Terminal. We were flying Delta. Normally, I don't care much for Delta airlines. However, James had enough points to fly us round trip for free, and free is good! So, we welcomed the chance to fly with them. :)

    After a heartfelt goodbye to James, we rolled our luggage into the terminal. The security line was huge! Note to myself for the future: When flying out in the evening, arrive at the airport a half hour earlier than you usually do.

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    Though the security line was long, it moved along at a steady pace. We'd nearly made it through without a hiccup, when Jimmy's back pack was flagged. We were pulled aside because the bag of Halloween Mallow-Pumpkins he had "looked suspicious." The TSA agent who examined the contents of his bag was properly thorough, but friendly and had a great sense of humor. We joked about the potentially "explosive pumpkins" for the rest of the trip.

    Once the pumpkins passed inspection, the kids had to check out the fountain.


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    We then began the long (and I mean looooong) walk to our gate. Ours happened to be the very last one at the opposite end of the terminal, and of course, the tram wasn't running. No matter. We were fueled by vacation excitement. We eventually made it to gate 76.

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    Good thing we didn't go to a sit-down restaurant because the flight boarded early. We never would have made it!

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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  6. condorthb

    condorthb DVC FOR ME

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    Looking forward to reading more.
     
  7. xavier2001

    xavier2001 Mouseketeer

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    Yay!! I’ve been waiting fir this one, getting excited for the WBPC now that it’s less than 100 days away :).
     
  8. carrielouhoo

    carrielouhoo Mouseketeer

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    Following along! I've thoroughly enjoyed your other trip reports and can't wait to read this one! Congrats on the weight loss! What an awesome feat!
     
  9. chamberlain

    chamberlain Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to another trip report from you and your family. I think anyone who has been a caregiver as you were understands the mix of emotions when it is over. Takes nothing away from how you feel about them, just a finality and quite possibly relief for all. I know I had those feelings.
     
  10. cmph

    cmph DIS Veteran

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    Yay, I love your trip reports! And I think you absolutely deserved this cruise. Looking forward to more! :)
     
  11. Skywatcher1206

    Skywatcher1206 Earning My Ears

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    Following along.
     
  12. thefamilymouse

    thefamilymouse Earning My Ears

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    We recently booked the Feb 2019 WBPC, so I have been reading every trip report I can find. I really enjoyed reading your first 2 and am looking forward to hear more about this one.
     
  13. kkayluvsdis

    kkayluvsdis DIS Veteran

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    Us too!! :wave:
     
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  14. kkayluvsdis

    kkayluvsdis DIS Veteran

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    So excited to read another one of your great TRs and “travel” along with you :)
     
  15. Babysaurs

    Babysaurs Mouseketeer

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    Oh yay ive been waiting for you to write this latest trip report, we will be on the april pc with you our first PC cruise and only second Disney cruise as we are coming from OZ:)
     
  16. nancipants

    nancipants Mouseketeer

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    I really love your trip reports. Thank you for writing another one!
     
  17. adSimba

    adSimba On the next Alaska Cruise!

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    Hurrah! I'm so glad to see you here!! this will help me to wait until May!
     
  18. adSimba

    adSimba On the next Alaska Cruise!

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    Also, you look amazing! Congratulations on having the hard work pay off!
     
  19. arielmomma

    arielmomma DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for following along.

    It'll be here before you know it. This will help us both pass the time.

    Thank you for following along and for the congratulations. It was (and still is) a lot of hard work.

    Thank you. Being a caregiver is both rewarding and stressful for everyone involved. I miss my parents, but I also know that they are finally at peace.

    Thank you so much! Glad to have you along for the ride.

    Thanks for joining in!

    Glad to help you pass the time until 2019. You'll have an amazing cruise!

    Glad to have you joining in!

    I look forward to meeting you on our upcoming cruise. You'll love the PC cruise. The long cruises are the best!

    Thank you for following along!

    Glad to help you pass the time!

    Thank you so much! I feel so much better, too!
     
    adSimba likes this.
  20. arielmomma

    arielmomma DIS Veteran

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    We boarded the plane without incident and quickly found our seats.

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    We were fortunate enough to be on a plane with tablets built into the backs of the headrests.

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    It didn't take the kids any time to plug in and....

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    veg out.

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    I, too, opted to utilize the entertainment provided onboard. Over the course of our five hour flight, I watched two movies: Table 19 and Everything, Everything. Both were okay, but nothing particularly special.

    Overall, the flight was pleasantly uneventful. We deplaned in San Diego at 10pm local time (1am our time - Ugh!) The airport was rather quiet.

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    How dare they spit me out in front of a place called Elegant Desserts and it not be open! What a tease!

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    No matter! We'd made it to California and were thrilled.

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    As usually, Emily had to check out the fountain. It was tall.

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  21. Zarina

    Zarina Chilling..

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    Yay!! Another awesome trip report. Love watching your kiddos grow up, so cool they did a powerpoint to convince their dad! Congratulations on your healthy lifestyle, that’s great you get to take care of yourself.
     

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