Hello friends! This is my second trip report here on the boards and I hope you enjoy it. The last time I visited WDW was in November of 2016 and you can read about that trip here. I also had a PTR for this latest trip here, if you want all the planning details. But for a quick introduction, here's the who, where, when, how and why: WHO Me - Aimee, a 30-something government professional living and working in the Washington, DC area, mother of two, commuter extraordinaire, Netflix junkie. Favorite park: Magic Kingdom Favorite ride: Expedition Everest Favorite character: Cinderella Favorite snack: popcorn Favorite restaurant: 'Ohana DH - also a 30-something government professional living and working in the Washington, DC area. Loves fishing and tinkering with his motorcycle. Favorite park: Epcot Favorite ride: Soarin' Favorite character: Goofy Favorite snack: churro Favorite restaurant: Geyser Point DS1 - six years old, in the first grade. Loves Mario, Minecraft, Legos, cooking and learning piano. My sweet, helpful boy. Favorite park: Animal Kingdom Favorite ride: Flight of Passage Favorite character: Chewbacca Favorite snack: Mickey pretzel Favorite restaurant: Woody's Lunch Box DS2 - four years old, in preschool. Loves dinosaurs, snakes, bugs, cars, and trains. Full of mischief and energy and is the reason I have to dye my hair. Favorite park: Animal Kingdom Favorite ride: Seven Dwarves Mine Train Favorite character: Chip and Dale Favorite snack: popcorn Favorite restaurant: anywhere with french fries You will also hear about Fairy Godmother (FG) and her DH - very sweet family friends who own approximately a billion DVC points and gifted us our BRV room. They were actually in Disney at the same time as us, so we shared a few meals with them and spent a lot of time together. FG and her DH spent most of their time relaxing at the resort instead of in the parks. WHERE A split stay between a preferred room at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort and a one bedroom villa at Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge, with the DDP. WHEN January 10-19, 2019 - started out with Marathon Weekend and finished with MLK weekend. HOW If you read my pre-trip report, my personal goal for this trip was to have it 100% paid for without putting anything on a credit card, since our 2016 trip was really annoying to get paid off after the fact. A big part of this was helped by FG, but between the days we added on at CBR, park tickets and dining plan, we still had a big bill to cover. I didn't want money to come out of our regular budget, so I spent the last 15 months doing freelance closed caption jobs for rev.com in my spare time (I can take out that link if it's not allowed, I get nothing for referring people). I spent hours and hours every night, weekend, and even on my commute and lunch break captioning videos. Even if I only had time to do a small job that only paid a few dollars I would tell myself that $5 would pay for a churro at Disney. I'm telling you all this just to say, even if you have the tightest budget in the world, you can make a Disney trip happen if you work hard enough. WHY When we booked this trip, the "why" was more like "why not?" We had so much fun on our last trip and couldn't wait to go back. DH and I both work full time so we don't get a ton of uninterrupted time with the kids and Disney is such a nice change of pace for us. Pretty simple "why", right? Well, two months ago, our world was turned upside down. My mom very suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away the week after Thanksgiving. She was my rock, my best friend, someone I talked to every day and helped watch our boys after school. She was a huge presence in my life and losing her was devastating to the whole family. We contemplated cancelling the trip as it didn't feel right to go to such a happy place when we were all still mourning, in addition to the unplanned expenses related to her funeral and travel (she was actually on vacation when she passed, so my sister and I had to fly to Miami and back to deal with all the paperwork down there and bring her home), plus DH and I both burned through a lot of vacation days that we had been banking. But on further reflection, the trip was already mostly paid for. It would be a gigantic waste of money to cancel, and my mom hated wasting money so I know she wouldn't want us to do that. So the trip became a time to heal and find peace and come together with DH and our boys, away from the hustle and bustle of work and school, chores and homework, swim classes and piano classes. We all needed a serious break from the real world, and what better place for that than Disney World? We spent the month of December trying to make sense of losing mom, and just doing everything to get through every day, holding on to each other a little tighter and putting one foot in front of the other, or as a little blue fish would say... I can't promise I'll write this quickly (my 2016 trip was half the length and took me six months to finish, so reader be warned), but I can't wait to share all the details of our trip and hope you all enjoy reading it!