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Disney Sunday 12/3/06 [Dec. 29th, 2006|01:56 pm]

[Current Location |work]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |!!!-"Me And Giuliani Down By The School"]

After a good nights sleep, Sunday dawned bright and early. We had planned to meet up with my sister Sue and her new boyfriend. My dad and step mother were also already in Florida for the winter, so we had them all scheduled to meet us at the ESPN club for the Pats game at 1. I think we got over to the Boardwalk with a short 5 minute walk to DownTown Disney from our room at the “Congress Park” building at Saratoga Springs. One thing about the Springs, it’s a huge Vacation Club resort, almost too big. It’s not a quick trip to the main building where food and stuff is.
We arrived at the Boardwalk and scoped out the pool in case Katie got too antsy during the football game. We grabbed a snack and enjoyed the sun on a bench while waiting for the doors to ESPN to open. There’s only a few big booths in the place, so you have to get there first to claim them.
We didn’t wait long before we saw my dad and sister coming towards us. We visited for a few and met my sister’s new boyfriend. He seemed really nice. Once we settled in at our booth, be ordered some snacks. It’s really loud in there before the actual games are broadcast. They have a whole “show” they broadcast out of the place, so it made it difficult to talk. We handed out some Christmas gifts, and soon my mom took Sue outside to visit and to bring all our gifts back to the room. We didn’t want to be carting them over to Epcot that evening when we’d be seeing the CandleLight Processional.
So we spent the afternoon ranting as the Pats made the game against the Detroit Lions far too close. Once the game was over we headed to Epcot. It was a nice walk and we had an early dinner reservation at Chefs du France. We saw the Chair guys doing their thing, and there was a guy dressed up as Pere Noel and he told of the Christmas traditions in France. It was fun to listen to him because it brought back memories of my senior year French class where we made Buche du Noel and learned about shoes instead of stockings being put out. We didn’t get to hear the end since we were being called in for our dinner. With the dining plan you get an appetizer, entrée and dessert. I got onion soup which was to die for! The filet I got was just ok, and by then I wasn’t hungry enough to eat…and then desert on top of all that seemed like overkill. The dining plan works out to save you money, but for me it’s a huge waste of food because I just wasn’t hungry enough to eat the amount you’re allotted.
Once we'd finished feasting we headed to where the line formed for the CandleLight P. We wanted a decent seat, so we rested and chatted for the 45 minutes before being seated. The show was to start at 8, and Katie was in good spirits. Once the kids filed in and the singing began it was really nice. The long horns they had trumpeting were a bit on the loud side, but it looked gorgeous. Marie Osmond was our narrator. She did a nice job, but I wish she’d sung too…at the end she admitted how hard it was not to burst into song along with the carolers. About halfway through Katie started to sag…she clambered up onto my lap to see better. When a song ended, she burst into tears and asked if they could do it again. I told her it was live and it wasn’t something they can just do over…She started to nod off again. She was out totally for a couple of songs, when suddenly at the end of a carol, she whipped her head up and began applauding like crazy. It was adorable and funny. She then proceeded to fall back asleep for a few, but woke up to hear the end and enjoy the ride back to our hotel. I believe we walked back to Boardwalk and caught the bus to DownTown Disney…
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Amy's Day Two Report [Dec. 21st, 2006|02:44 pm]

[Current Location |work]
[mood |awake]
[music |A Spotless Rose]

Our first full day in Disney dawned on Saturday Dec. 2nd. We’d had to get up and leave so early for our trip to the airport; the sneakers I’d thrown on Kate’s feet at 4:30 in the morning were her crappy old ones. The bottoms were almost worn through. While we met in the lobby of the Contemporary to figure out how to get our luggage to bell services and then on to Saratoga Springs, my mom and Katie went shopping. She came back down in the most adorable low top chuck Taylor sort of styled sneakers; pink sparkly with “Princess” on the back, and a castle on the toe. There were even stars in the sparkles…very Dorothy ruby-slipper-like.
So once I’d run back and forth to our room-waiting for bell services, and then realizing it could take way too long…at the precise moment that jenelope knocked on my door since Bill had realized this too. We ended up bringing the luggage straight to them to transport to our new hotel. Our rooms wouldn’t be ready till 4 in the afternoon, so we hopped the Monorail (MommaRail according to Katie) to the Magic Kingdom.

We were famished, and had been planning to head over to the bakery on Main Street for a bite to eat for breakfast. Unfortunately they were filming the Christmas parade and we where brought backstage to avoid walking through the filming on Main Street. Our breakfast hopes were dashed. We ended up grabbing a snack of cheese stuffed pretzels. Not my favorite…but we were so hungry it just had to do.
We rode the People Mover, and Katie at first didn’t want to. She remembered going through the dark tunnel into Space Mountain. There was also no way we were going to convince her to do Buzz Lightyear. Bill waited outside while we all took aim at the aliens. We headed over to the “slow cars” as Bill refers to the Indy cars. Katie loved that. She insists that she won the race. Jenelope and I shared a car. We then made our way to the teacups, Carousel, Mickey’s Philharmagic and Small World. I think we skipped Dumbo because the line was insane…but I may be remembering wrong.
We grabbed counter service lunch at Pinocchio’s whatchamacallit. I had to stake out a table and find people that were almost done eating because it was packed.
We ended up hitting the Tiki Birds in the afternoon and Pirates. New Jack Sparrow was tastefully placed. I miss the “Thar be Rough seas ahead…” but it’s still a great ride. We then knew we’d have to make our way to the Polynesian for dinner at Ohana. We hopped the Train in Frontierland, and had to wait a bit for it since there was a parade running. It was a nice ride to the front of the park where we grabbed the monorail.
My mom was a bit taken aback that we wouldn’t be “freshening up” in our rooms before dinner. She wasn’t clear on the concept that our rooms weren’t even ready and that it would take forever to go there, can make it back in time for our reservations.
We sat at the bar and waited for the Houle arrival. Carol, Randy and his parents and aunt and uncle. They’d be delayed getting to us by bad weather and a cancelled flight. They made it in time, with empty stomachs. They proceeded to drink some Mai Tai’s and the evening was starting off very fun. Food was excellent. There was a guy playing the ukulele this time. He wasn’t as good as the lady they usually have. Katie did the limbo and the coconut race. She nibbled on some food, but not much. We caught some of the fireworks from the beach and finally headed to our first stay at the Saratoga Springs resort. Carol and Randy had rented a car, and were nice enough to give my mom and David a ride. Her hip had been bothering her, and we didn’t mind catching the bus. When we finally got there, it was a gorgeous setup. We claimed the master bedroom and king size bed. We figured it was easiest to just have Katie sleep in with us. Ryan grabbed the foldout couch, which gave my mom and Snub there own queen size beds respectively.
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Amy's First Day Report [Dec. 21st, 2006|02:43 pm]

[Current Location |work]
[mood |accomplished]
[music |Carol of the Birds]

We had a lovely vacation. The weather was mild, in the 70’s for the most part. Only the last couple of days were chilly enough for jeans and a sweatshirt. I always enjoy coming home to sleep in my own bed. The thing I’ll miss the most is that we had a king size bed in our room at the Saratoga Springs resort, and Katie snuggled right in between Bill and I. She had such a great time. Ryan was a great help with her, and my mom and step-dad took her back to the room early one night because she was wiped out.
She still dug in her heels over the Pooh ride…those heffalumps and woozles really made an impression last trip. She did try Small World and loved it. I think it’s her new favorite. On the way home she asked if we could go back to the Magic Kingdom one more time to ride it and try and get in a pink boat.
I really enjoyed having Katie sleep in with us so that Ryan could have her own bed. However…the second night there she started coughing…and had had too much chocolate milk. So of course she ended up blepping all over the bed. Bill’s first reaction was “Get her off the bed!!” but I kept a cooler head and figured it’s easier to change the sheets at 2am than to try and get it off the rug. So I plopped her in the shower, and rinsed the sheets. Luckily there were spares, so I changed the bed too. I swear I have a very strong stomach. Katie has tested this many many times over.

Friday we had a sandwich at Downtown Disney and met up with jenelope. Our first night we’d be spending at the Contemporary Resort. The rooms have all been redone. We walked in and were pleasantly surprised to find a flat screen television and computer too. It might be pretty neat if they open the Contemporary up to Vacation Club because I’d stay there again in a heartbeat. We took a boat over to the Wilderness Lodge for our dinner at Whispering Canyon. The food was ok. The Christmas tree that adorned the lobby was very impressive. There were moose antlers and other Indian sort of decorations on the tree. Food at Whispering Canyon was ok, a bit pricey and I wasn’t hungry enough to get the all you can eat skillet. Katie had fun riding a wooden stick horse around with the other kids in the “Pony Express.”

It was nice riding the boat back to the Contemporary. The following day we’d be moving to Saratoga Springs, and spending the morning in the Magic Kingdom.
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Amy is crazy [Nov. 30th, 2006|07:44 pm]

Hi Jenna - don't listen to Amy.
We're meeting at ye olde Earle. Lunching together, as it were.
Maybe a bit of shopping at WoD, then... Not really sure. I'm a big fan of napping Katie on day 1 prior to Whispering Canyon.
Maybe hit Raglan Road for a pint...

So, to recap: Amy has no idea. She's just intoxicated with our proximity to a Disney vacation.
If you don't respond to this so I know we're cool, I'll call you in a little while.

If I don't talk to you, see you tomorrow. I'll call you when we get to the Contemporary.
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All set [Nov. 30th, 2006|09:52 am]

Bodyglide has been procured.
Mousejunkies 2 is a go...
Repeat: Mousejunkies 2 is a go.

See you tomorrow.
(Hee, I like saying that. See you tomorrow.)
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Rain, rain... [Nov. 29th, 2006|11:23 am]

... go away from Orlando.
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Not long now... [Nov. 27th, 2006|12:38 pm]

It's 79 degrees in Orlando today, according to weather.com.
I ordered some new shorts, and I need to get a thing of Bodyglide. Other than that, I'm ready.
Very, very ready.
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Planning [Nov. 16th, 2006|05:22 pm]

Hey Jenna, sorry I've been so tied up with work. I want to try to call you tonight to talk about any last minute planning stuff. Is that OK?
I probably won't know if it's OK until I call you, but I'll just give you a buzz later to see if you're in.
I'm working a little late tonight, so it probably won't be til about 7 or 8 p.m. my time...
Randy needed your reservation number or something. I'll find out what and why.
Hi Randy.
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Passing ships [Nov. 14th, 2006|03:17 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |work]
[mood |stressedstressed]
[music |The Selecter, "Too Experienced"]

So, I missed the call last night. I was at home at the time, too. I think the ringer on my cell is too quiet. Anyway, I'm sorry I missed you (even sorrier that I don't live close enough to join you for these planning dinners).

To answer the one question: I don't have a Disney Dining Experience card anymore. I had one last year, but I didn't use it enough to justify renewal.

I can't figure out if the statement "I'm leaving for WDW the week after next" makes me less tense or just adds to my stress level at this point. On the one hand, it's Disney, it makes me happy, I'm almost guaranteed to relax the moment I step off the plane. On the other, I've never felt so unprepared for a trip where I have an itinerary, a healthy budget, and all of my tickets and transportation are taken care of in advance. It's that I haven't practice-packed once and all of my vacation stuff is scattered to the four winds.

Hey, Bill, could you shoot me an e-mail with a non-Herald address?
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The Plan (version 1) [Nov. 8th, 2006|07:32 pm]

So tell me how this sounds...
Jenna and Amy and my party all arrive pretty early on Friday.
I believe Jenna checks in at SSR that day. We, however, are staying the night at the Contemporary. This is not 'on the books' so Disney doesn't know we're there.
The problem with that is we could only get our DDP to start on Saturday, Dec. 2.

So after talking to Randy, I think this is the plan... (And I don't want to volunteer Randy for anything if I misunderstood what he was saying.)

We all have fun on Friday.
* Saturday morning, I get up around 6 a.m.
* Randy picks me up in his ever so convenient car and we go over to SSR.
* I pay for and pick up our DDP stuff and we get Carol and Jenna.
* We go back over to the CR and meet up with Connie, David, Ryan and Amy, and then we head over to the Magic Kingdom.
* I'll have bell services move our luggage over to SSR for when we check in there later, after dinner at 'Ohana. During which I will likely consume two 'Ohana Coladas, and vow never to return home to New Hampshire, and instead start looking for a job somewhere within the Reedy Creek District.

This is because we'll need our DDP stuff when we enter the MK. And I don't want to miss Katie entering the MK.

How's that sound?
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