The Joys of Traveling with Three Kids RPR Club Level 8 nights! 7/2018

jenrose66

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Hi Everyone. Sorry I've been MIA. I like trip reports to be a happy place but I also want to explain my absence because I don't want to seem flaky. And I don't want to be over dramatic, just truthful, because I believe being truthful helps other people. Anyway, I've been suffering from depression...well really for most of the summer. Like my entire life, but I've been going thru a bad patch lately. I fought thru it my vacation and a lot of the Summer and this past month I just retreated. I haven't done much of anything...including things I enjoy, such as reading everyone's trip reports. I try really hard to not let my feelings effect my family and sometimes, it takes all the energy I have to keep everyone fed and happy...and this is one of those times. It can be really tiring pretending all the time...I should know, I've been doing it all my life. Anyway, I do seek treatment...I think my issue with my latest bout is that I've been on the max dose of a med that has worked really well for me and it finally stopped. I know have to find something different and it's a tiring and trying process...but I keep going because what else can you do?

In the meantime, I am looking forward to catching up on everyone's vacation and finishing my trip report for anyone who is still following along.

Thanks for listening...off topic I know :)

Up next, Jack's birthday!
 
  • pattyw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    Hi Everyone. Sorry I've been MIA. I like trip reports to be a happy place but I also want to explain my absence because I don't want to seem flaky. And I don't want to be over dramatic, just truthful, because I believe being truthful helps other people. Anyway, I've been suffering from depression...well really for most of the summer. Like my entire life, but I've been going thru a bad patch lately. I fought thru it my vacation and a lot of the Summer and this past month I just retreated. I haven't done much of anything...including things I enjoy, such as reading everyone's trip reports. I try really hard to not let my feelings effect my family and sometimes, it takes all the energy I have to keep everyone fed and happy...and this is one of those times. It can be really tiring pretending all the time...I should know, I've been doing it all my life. Anyway, I do seek treatment...I think my issue with my latest bout is that I've been on the max dose of a med that has worked really well for me and it finally stopped. I know have to find something different and it's a tiring and trying process...but I keep going because what else can you do?

    In the meantime, I am looking forward to catching up on everyone's vacation and finishing my trip report for anyone who is still following along.

    Thanks for listening...off topic I know :)

    Up next, Jack's birthday!
    Jenrose- Taking care of yourself comes first!:hug: I'm enjoying your TR, and as we share details about our trips and tell about our families, we become friends!:flower3:

    Can't wait to hear about Jack's Birthday!:cheer2:
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Hi Everyone. Sorry I've been MIA. I like trip reports to be a happy place but I also want to explain my absence because I don't want to seem flaky. And I don't want to be over dramatic, just truthful, because I believe being truthful helps other people. Anyway, I've been suffering from depression...well really for most of the summer. Like my entire life, but I've been going thru a bad patch lately. I fought thru it my vacation and a lot of the Summer and this past month I just retreated. I haven't done much of anything...including things I enjoy, such as reading everyone's trip reports. I try really hard to not let my feelings effect my family and sometimes, it takes all the energy I have to keep everyone fed and happy...and this is one of those times. It can be really tiring pretending all the time...I should know, I've been doing it all my life. Anyway, I do seek treatment...I think my issue with my latest bout is that I've been on the max dose of a med that has worked really well for me and it finally stopped. I know have to find something different and it's a tiring and trying process...but I keep going because what else can you do?

    In the meantime, I am looking forward to catching up on everyone's vacation and finishing my trip report for anyone who is still following along.

    Thanks for listening...off topic I know :)

    Up next, Jack's birthday!


    I totally understand depression very well.
    Many times the meds just kind of stop being effective as they were in the past and you have to switch meds.

    You take your time doing the report.

    We really do understand you will continue it when you are able to.


    :hug:
     

    jenrose66

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2005
    Monday 7/23

    A special day indeed. My oldest turned 12! and we are on vacation. Happy times :) Here is a picture of the birthday boy:
    A696CEFD-FF7C-4E65-B9ED-BDF57F58DEF0.jpeg


    So we made this a pretty Jack directed day. He really wanted to go to the buffet at Island's for breakfast and he wanted to sleep in. We did both of these things. Now when I say sleep in, I'm pretty sure we were up by 8 or 8:30...so not like we are sleeping the day away...just not up with the sun (as is my preference...but hey, not my day!).

    Jack decided to humor his mom and agreed to wear the birthday pin. At least for a little while. He was a little more sold once he realized all the well wishes he was receiving wearing it. When we checked into the restaurant he was very excited to have a balloon and birthday cheesecake delivered to the table just for him! I thought that was a nice touch.

    It was finally a nice morning so we enjoyed some time at the pool while we had the chance. I will say, I really enjoy this pool. My kids enjoy it too, but they mentioned many times that they wished it had a water slide. They enjoyed the water play area, but I guess the slide wins out for my kids. I know we could have pool hopped so they could have got some slide time in, but honestly, especially with the weather we had...so much easier to swim in our own pool.

    After the pool we went back to the room to change for the day, but the kids still felt like hanging out. They helped themselves to some lounge snacks and the birthday boy sat in the room with his legos from earlier in the week, DD played on her Ipod and DS settled in for some lounge cartoons. DH and I took our usual seat at a table by the window and DH reminded me again that maybe I schedule our vacations for too many days. The kids and I whole heartedly disagree.

    So finally we are ready to go back into the parks. We make sure to hit all of Jack's favorites. We start at Minions, hit Transformers, ride Fallon, and at my request, we give Fast and Furious another try. At this point I can safely say I'm getting tired of Fallon...I can also say I don't think I care for Fast and Furious. DH really enjoys the movies and we really wanted to enjoy this ride but the execution didn't do it for us. Even my kids agree that this was their least favorite. I don't care for the ride vehicle and I don't find the story line compelling. I am not a huge fan of Kong for the same reason...just don't care for the ride vehicle, but I find the action in that ride more compelling.

    So after our F and F disappointment we made our way over to MIB and the Simpsons. Here is a view from our wait in line:
    CAC96EB9-DF3C-4B45-90AE-21287FAA32C7.jpeg
    I will say, I'm sorry for the lack of photos as the trip goes on. While in the parks and with the kids, I just don't take a lot of photos. I have all the "beauty shots" so to speak, because this is our third trip, so I usually just focus on enjoying the family time. I do have quite a bit of photos that I took on the last day of the trip when I got up early to walk around the parks while everyone slept in...so I will be sharing some of those in another update.

    I'm thinking the Simpson's ride might need a bit of an update. I do really enjoy the ride, but I feel like the picture quality isn't what it was from the last trip we took. I'm not usually prone to motion sickness, but this ride it starting to bother me. Not sure if it's cause the picture is off...or because I'm getting older. Both are equally plausible.

    So now it's time for our earlyish dinner. DS had one request...and that request was Cowfish. We ate at Cowfish on our last trip and I was not impressed. We went for lunch and from the service to the food quality...it really felt like a one and done for me. DH agreed. My kids, however, really liked it. They enjoy the fun theme of the restaurant and really wanted to return. I really lobbied for trying somewhere else to eat, but in the end DS really, really wanted Cowfish, so we gave it a second try.

    This time we ate upstairs and the restaurant was busy so it gave it a better vibe...We all had burgers except for middle DS the sushi king. Here is his epic dinner picture I promised:
    B1C794AA-B25C-43F0-81EE-02DF020E773F.jpeg

    And yes...he ate almost every bite. This kid could live on Sushi. I can't remember if I mentioned it in my review of Orchids earlier in the trip...but when we told him he could get whatever he want he (very seriously) informed me he was getting some type of $80 platter. I had to remind him he was ordering something within reason...not enough sushi to feed a small family...but I digress. Needless to say he was happy with his meal.

    Honestly, my opinion of this place hasn't changed. There is nothing wrong with it. I feel like it's expensive for what it is...just not my favorite...it's a personal preference thing because people seem to love it there. My kids certainly enjoyed it...but I think we will skip it next time, if I can help it!

    After dinner we did some walking around City Walk to digest. My kids were intrigued by the human shrimp ourside Bubba Gumps.

    We took a peek in their gift shop and they had some type of "thinking" putty on sale. Apparently my kids had seen it in some type of youtube video or what not and they each got a tin...and since the special was you bought two of them...DH got a tin for himself to make it an even 4. He actually plays with it while he's working on his Excel sheets for work, so I guess it does help you think.

    After some more browsing we decided it was time to go back to the hotel. I purposely ate light because I really wanted to try a milkshake from Toothsome. Everyone else was full, so DH offered to take the kids back to the room and told me to go enjoy my milkshake in peace. That's true love right there!
    So I got in line and thought really hard about the type of milkshake I wanted. The line was efficient. There were maybe 6 people ahead of me...maybe a few more. It gave me enough time to agonize between 2 or three shakes I wanted to try. I decided to go for the Brownie Shake. These are very filling. It was tasty. I'd like to try other flavors on future trips. I will say I prefer my milkshake thick...and I found this to be very thin...more like a premium chocolate milk...not sure if that's how they all are, or if it depends on who is at the blender.
    6446637C-A390-45BD-A9F1-82E5741B7ED9.jpeg
    After taking a couple pictures of my shake to make all my friends at home jealous ;) I took a leisurely walk back to the room.
    0AE9803A-D42E-4011-84AD-AC61CB5B9E96.jpeg
    By the time I got back, I still had about a quarter of the shake left. My little sushi king and resident bottomless pit was happy to relieve me of what was left and finished it, after saying he truly just wanted a sip.

    Seeing as it was still nice outside we decided to end the evening with some night swimming. It was a pretty good birthday for DS!

    Up next: Our last full day.

     
  • pattyw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    What a nice Birthday day!!:bday: Wow! 12!! Next year a teenager!!

    I never took too many pictures, either! I've started to try to take more pictures- especially since attempting trip reports!

    Your milk shake looks yummy! We enjoyed our meal at Toothsome- DS had a milkshake and LOVED it! :thumbsup2
     

    Pumpkin1172

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2016
    I like to come out of lurkdom sometimes...And I wanted to post on your thread! I have been following along for quite some time.
    I can totally relate to the depression. As a family, we have all had our moments of depression. Me and our DD seem to be the ones who suffer most from it. And knowing when your sinking again and being able reach out to someone else, or get to the Dr to get a med change is such a positive. That awareness is key!!! I just want to :hug: :grouphug: you, just to let you know your not alone in the struggle.

    It looks like you had an amazing trip so far - besides Lego land that is. Your kiddos are getting to such great ages and I found we loved doing more and more as our kids got older. Enjoy the moments as you know they grow so fast.
     

    jenrose66

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2005
    Last Full Day

    We had a fun, albeit wet time during our extended week in Florida. Today was our last full day of vacation. Always a bit sad...at least for me and Ben. Jake and the other two kids were ready to go home...don't know where they came from :rolleyes:

    By this time DH was over the parks and everyone (but me) wanted to sleep in. So I asked DH if he minded getting a leisurely start with the kids and I would go into park for early opening and snap some pictures and enjoy the low crowds. He didn't object. I was up and out of the room before 7 AM and it was glorious. So quiet around the resort and the whole day is in front of you. It's my favorite time of day and I wish I had been able to take advantage of it more this trip...but vacations with a larger family....especially kids, is all about compromise.

    I enjoyed the walking path over to city walk. I thought the beach area looked pretty today:
    15DCFF20-CB4E-42FC-AC83-5B0F40A3FA61.jpeg
    My kids really loved these bushes. They said the pom pom flowers looked like the trufula trees from the Lorax. I can see it:
    136970F0-2FDB-466A-8263-F1F28AC8E069.jpeg
    Always think this is a pretty picture:
    AB44A39A-3650-42A8-803E-F87B0F2B4FE2.jpeg
    Ok, I have arrived to my first stop of the morning:
    B2803D55-F8AB-47F3-A503-AD8547310EDA.jpeg
    38C5B49C-1CF8-47CA-94A6-2C17DD8679A3.jpeg I was looking very forward to my maple bacon donut and on my last day I finally had one. It was very good. A nice little shop. Had it just been DH and mine we probably would have stopped a few times over our trip for a coffee and donut. But with three kids it becomes more of a hassle than it's worth. Everyone wants something different or they pick something and don't like it. If it's only one person, it's not a big deal, but when you times it by 5 it gets expensive.

    After my sugar and carbs and a stroll around City Walk I go into Universal Studios. I want to start in the Potter section, but I take my time walking back there and snap some pics:
    17412CC6-AE75-4164-A6C2-BB642479454F.jpeg
    Love the golden snitch:
    C8F5A4DB-3CC0-491D-A686-1A50E18B8E1B.jpeg
    Once in Diagon Alley I took my time going thru the shops and enjoying looking at the windows and details. I took quite a few pictures, but none we all haven't seen a million times on the boards. I also rode Gringotts.

    My plan was to take the HE over to IOA and leisurely stroll thru Hogsmeade. The train wasn't quite open yet so I walked around a bit killing time.

    I wanted to try and take a selfie with Bruce but there were people sitting around him at a table and I felt silly, so I just took a photo:
    C24A90D9-B211-428E-ABBD-26000EBA2BEA.jpeg
    I also went to Starbucks and got a large Iced Tea mixed with Lemonade to stave off dehydration.

    By then it was time to board my train.

    Not gonna lie, Cinderella castle is still my favorite (nostalgia...though every year Disney is moving farther and farther away from the place that has always been so special to me, sad really), but Hogwarts Castle is much more fun. Something about seeing a book come to life. The Harry Potter Series is amazing. I didn't start reading them until I was 18 and I loved everything about them. I have since re read them with my oldest and will read them with my other two as well, if they let me...if not, I will read them alone. By far my favorite book series. Though everything JK writes is pure genius. The Casual Vacancy is gut wrenchingly depressing, but very good. The Cormoran Strike novels are awesome. I just finished the newest one. Even after 650 pages I wish there were more.
    C211DE74-DBDB-42EF-8B87-D5EF7D17159E.jpeg
    After browsing thru Hogsmeade and taking a ride on Forbidden Journey I got a text from my better half saying they were on their way to IOA. I took a slow walk to the front of the park, stopping for some more pictures:
    296CA002-ECE1-498B-88FB-27CBCDE57788.jpeg
    It was a great morning.

    Coming up, family time in the parks

     
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  • smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    Last Full Day


    [I was looking very forward to my maple bacon donut and on my last day I finally had one. It was very good. A nice little shop. Had it just been DH and mine we probably would have stopped a few times over our trip for a coffee and donut. But with three kids it becomes more of a hassle than it's worth. Everyone wants something different or they pick something and don't like it. If it's only one person, it's not a big deal, but when you times it by 5 it gets expensive.
    :rotfl:
    I take my kids to get donuts on Friday mornings before school, it is our tradition. So every Friday we go to Dunkin' Donuts (just what is around here, not even my favorite). For Dunkin' Donuts, with the exception of 2-3 seasonal donuts, it is the exact same selection every day. Anyhow, every Friday, we *have* to go inside the store (not drive thru), and at least 2/3 of the children agonize over the decision.

    Our trip to Universal will include a Friday, so I am thinking that is the only day we will do Voodoo Donuts.
     

    schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    Hugs to you jenrose......:hug: We’re all still here and reading.

    Your pictures are lovely!!

    And you did manage to do a lot..........birthday pictures are lovely and glad he wore the button on his day........I love his love of sushi :thumbsup2

    Love the maple bacon bar too......and yes, if I’m going to have a milk shake I want it thick!!! Really enjoying catching up with your report.........
     

    pattyw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    Beautiful pictures!:)

    Love the maple bacon donut, too!:thumbsup2

    Nice that you got a little solo time to explore the parks!
     

    Stargazer9

    Loves Universal and Disney
    Joined
    Nov 16, 2015
    So enjoying your report. I just love the early morning alone with the parks... I left my adult kids sleeping in the hotel many times during our last trip so that I could enjoy the different atmosphere of the quieter mornings....
     

    Glam

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 25, 2016
    what a great trip- and a great TR!

    My son and husband have been lobbying for a Universal trip for the past several months. My son is only 4, but DH and I have been to Universal twice on adult trips.

    The cold weather has me really wanting to schedule this, and your TR is pushing me over the edge!

    I really enjoyed RPR when we stayed there. It's so convenient and just a great hotel!

    wishing you well with the depression issues. Hang in there. I've been there, too.
     

    oceanmarina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2004
    Just binge read your trip report and absolutely love it! Your pictures are amazing! :cutie:

    I figured as much about Legoland. MyDS 13 still loves LEGO but we will content ourselves with a trip to the Lego store at Disney Springs for our trip this summer.

    So glad they gave you the dinner voucher for the cabana day.

    Quick question as we have never been to Universal (I’m a ride wimp and don’t think I’d be brave enough for a lot of the rides there) the Universal family roller coaster (it’s the Harry Potter themed one that starts with the H, flight of the H, can’t recall the name) what would you say it’s comparable to at Disney? (Intensity wise)

    Can’t wait to read about your last day at the park!

    Update - just looked it up the coaster is Flight if the Hippogriff
     
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