Getting there! We’ve been home just over 4 weeks now so I thought I better get going on my trip report. It’s been a little hard getting back into regular routine especially while going through the post cruise blues and having to dealing with this! I lost my dh in that snow last weekend! Here’s a link to my pre trip report for a little back ground on our crew. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3112282 Wednesday finally arrived and we were not at all ready. With all the crazy events of the previous few weeks it was not decided that we would even be going until just the week before with all our unexpected health issues which is described in detail in my pre-trip report. We were NOT prepared and packing was very haphazard. First of all I got called to work the night before and decided to go in since I figured I would need a paycheck when I got back and we weren’t leaving until late afternoon anyway. Thankfully it was an uneventful night shift and all my patients slept. I was able to do some last minute packing before I left for work so I wouldn’t have to worry about too much and would be able to sleep. I got home from work and got the kids off to school before heading to bed. Surprisingly I was able to sleep. The plan was to eat an early supper and get on the road to head to our Buffalo hotel. My ds Evan had his bags packed and was supposed to head right to my sisters after school for their 24 hour drive to the Port due to his recent lung collapsing and not able to fly. We were a little behind with some last minute packing and we got on the road around 6:30. … only 1 ½ hours later than we planned. On our way I texted my sister to see if she had left… she’s chronically late for EVERYTHING! She had intended to leave around 4:30 but had not left as of 7:00. The first hotel booked for them was in Kentucky so she had about a 7 hour drive there. We got to Buffalo around 9 ish and the hotel was AWESOME! I’m so glad we splurged here. We had booked a deluxe suite and they only had a connecting which was perfect! We had originally booked a much cheaper hotel but cancelled it after reading the terrible reviews on Trip Advisor with pics of bugs!!! Now if they go through the trouble of posting pics you know it’s gotta be bad! We tucked the kiddos in and we were able to stay awake and watch some tv before heading to bed. We got up early and we went down for our free breakfast which was pretty good I have to say. We grabbed our bags and headed down to the lobby to wait for the shuttle. Nate asked me if the shuttle ran continuously which I replied that all the other hotels that I had ever booked always had continuous shuttles. He went to the desk to inquire when the next shuttle would be arriving and they asked for what time did we book our shuttle for. Whoops so now we are panicking… Nate informed them we didn’t book a shuttle and she quickly called to see how fast they could come. Thankfully they said they would be able to come in the next 15 minutes. It was more like ½ hour but we felt like we had lots of time. Once at the airport we walked right up to the airport counter and checked our luggage. It was only 7:30 so no wonder it wasn’t busy however the security line was LONG! By the time we got to our gate it was time to board… a little too close for comfort for me! It was our first time flying Jet Blue and I have to say it is our new favorite airline. The kids LOVED the tv’s and it was the most uneventful flight with the kids thanks to those tvs! We land in Orlando right on time at 11 am and went straight to baggage claim. Unbelievably our luggage came out right away! So we head over to the Budget car rental line which was MILES long! Luke and I chose to find a place to sit with the luggage while we waited for Dad and Gabe. I would look over longingly at the non-existent line over at Hertz wishing we had rented there. Here’s a pic of Luke and waiting and waiting and waiting!!! After about 45 minutes we finally got situated and headed over to get our Dodge Grand Caravan. Once we got all our bags packed in the van I took out my file folder with all our reservations and maps. First map was for our hotel Mystic Dunes. I looked at the address and I had printed off the wrong one! Whenever I would do a search for the hotel one of the Mystic Dunes would show up with a Celebration address (the one we booked) and one would show up with a Kissimmee address. I was staring at a map for Kissimmee. We brought our GPS just in case we needed it…. like now. So I put in the address listed on my confirmation and it doesn’t show up but it did take the other... of course. So we decided to head to the Mystic Dunes that we had directions for figuring they would at least be able to give us directions to where we needed to be. We took a wrong turn right away and needed to rely on the GPS to get us there. Once we arrived at the Kissimmee Mystic Dunes we found out that it was one and the same. Well we were there at least. We check in and the place is OK… we got if for $45 on Hotwire, $55 with tax so for the money we certainly couldn’t complain….too much. It was a condo so it was nice and roomy but it was a little dated. The patio doors went out to the golf course but the door was old and the locks did not seem very secure. Due to that fact we decided that we would sleep on the pull out couch (which was horrible!)and the kids could have the king size bed. That way if anyone broke into the place they would have to get through us first. Here are some pics of Mystic Dunes. Once we got settled in we called our friends Kristin and Jeff who we had arranged to get together with. Kristin and Jeff are vegan so we had decided that it would be easier if we just cooked instead of going out for supper. They were also moving that weekend so I felt pretty special that they would take time out of their busy weekend to spend some time with us. They had some shopping to do before they drove over which is about an hour away. So we decided to do some shopping ourselves. We head over to the closest Publix to pick up some groceries for a late lunch and breakfast for the morning. Once back at the condo we ate and got the boys going on some of their homework, which they were so pleased about. Kristin and Jeff arrive around 5:30 and with lots of food mostly prepared. It was really great to see them again. We cruised with Kristin in 2010 on our first Carnival cruise and hit it off instantly. In 2011 we met up with her and met Jeff when we were in town for our Disney/DCL cruise. Last year we cruised Carnival again with Kristin and Jeff and had a fantastic time… sometimes it’s all about the company. So on to the cooking. I had told Kristin that we had a full kitchen (which is what our reservation had listed) but apparently it wasn’t and we didn’t look all that closely when we got there. It had a full size fridge and a cook top so I didn’t realize that it didn’t have an oven. It did have a microwave, which is what we had to use. The food turned out great and my very picky boys LOVED it! Luke even said “Mom you should make this for supper every night!” Which of course just made Kristin’s day. Here’s a pic of that wonderful creation. So we tuck to boys in to bed and we visit with our friends. Now Rob and Jen, friends of ours who we also met on the Carnival cruise last year were joining us for this cruise with their little DS. They were flying in that night and staying at Mystic Dunes as well. They arrived around 9:00 and joined us for a few drinks and a reunion. Here’s a few pics of that It was a great start to what was going to be a fantastic vacation. Up next Cocoa Beach and meeting up with the rest of the gang!