I dont even officially have a real ticker yet but I am going to be doing my PTR/TR all together, right here, for your reading pleasure! Whats this you are asking? How can I plan and start a PTR/TR with no dates? Wait and see. First, the cast of characters for the upcoming trip. Joe my DH. If you recall from my last TR, Joe has asked that I not post his photo on the boards. Last trip I tried to take random photos like this: Im going to have to try & change his mind. Hes such a handsome guy, I feel guilty blurring out his face. But I will if it keeps him happy. Joe is such a Disney-holic. (Does a side view count? I hope not! ) I bet he watches a Disney related video on you-tube at least once a day. Youd never guess how I had to insist and stomp my foot before our first Disney trip. While we have done a Disney trip for Joes birthday, it was not a magical birthday trip. Lets just say Wilderness Lodge fell from grace that trip. Katie Our little monkey. (oops, Ive been asked not to call her that any more. SHHH dont tell her). Katie is 9, and is every bit the early tween. The swings between little girl-ness and teenage attitude are crazy. She is so psyched that we are traveling with friends, as it means she will have a buddy to play and hang out with. She keeps asking me why we cant just go adopt a girl her age so she has a sister. Sigh. I wish it were all that simple. But its just not going to happen in our family. She will have to be content with girl-friends & cousins. Me- the planner! I love planning our Disney trips! I wanted to go to Disney when I graduated college, and while Joe said yes, he wouldnt commit to dates or request time off of work. Life happened and we didnt go. When Katie was born in 2003, I started a small savings account specifically for a trip to Disney World. Nothing huge, $10 a week tucked away. Our goal year was 2008 shed be four or five and just right in our minds. Turns out that 2006 just sucked. What a crappy crappy crappy year. My sister died, my best friend nearly died and was in a medically induced coma for a month, and our first child our four legged one, died as well. Sometime late that fall, we decided that we really needed to do something fun, so our first Disney trip was planned. It was absolutely magical everything that you dream your first trip would be. We were hooked completely. We knew that this was our new Happy Place and that it was where we wanted to spend as many vacations as we could manage! And our friends who will be traveling with us. O'Malley, Marie, and Duchess I am waiting for permission to post photos but have given them Disney names for our trip. No faces here, everyone was working on painting ceramics on a recent camping trip: (Permission has since been granted provided no real names. Yay! ) We met when our daughters were in childcare together as infants, and hit it off while we waited and chatted during their gymnastics classes. We try to take 3 4 camping trips a season together (well you know, side by side) and get together randomly outside of camping season we always have a great time. (Yes, we do get silly ) They went to Disney World for the first time a month after we did in 2007. Weve been back three times since then, this will be their first time back since 07. Duchess aka Mom - is usually the trip planner for her family gatherings. She and I will share some of the planning here. We have a great time together, hiking, playing games, or just chatting over a glass of wine. Duchess has been to Disney World several times, in college, with her family, with hubby OMally in the pre-child years, and with their daughter Marie in 07. I showed Duchess my spreadsheet for meal planning for this trip, and my trip binder for past reports. She seemed to think I was a little out of control, but with a giggle that says I like it! I think it was the games that I put in our pocket-planner for in the parks. OMalley aka Dad or trouble OMalley is definitely our alley cat, keeping us going, laughing, and having fun. He & Joe hit it off right away. Between the two of them there is not a Mel Brooks movie that they cant quote. Scary J I know OMalley went to WDW with Duchess in their early married years, and with Marie in 07, but am not sure if he went with his family when they were kids. Marie their daughter. Maries birthday is the first week of May, one of our potential trip weeks & she will be 10. It will be interesting to see how we survive traveling with two tween girls. She and Katie are in different schools and are rather opposite when it comes to school work Marie is very focused, and always strives to be the best at everything. Katie is pretty much her mom enjoying life, doing her best at what she can, but shrugs off most things (but not all) that dont go her way. But they both love music, arts & crafts, camping, and swimming among other things. Oh and drama. Definitely drama. We parents are not sure which of them will win an Emmy first, but they both will! Typically when we have an extended trip, we make sure to break up our time so that we are not spending every second of every day together it makes the girls quarrelsome sometimes (though not so much this summer I noticed). I am pretty sure that this trip will be the same way, with some breaks with families doing their own thing, or maybe the guys doing one thing & the girls another. up next: the back story!