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-   -   Coffee on the Verandah -The Last Slide, Recap & Souvies 5/29 - Link to Aulani TR 5/31 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2974060)

eandesmom 08-11-2012 10:54 AM

Coffee on the Verandah -The Last Slide, Recap & Souvies 5/29 - Link to Aulani TR 5/31
 
Welcome to the latest eandesmom (and gang) adventure!

We have just returned from 12 days and nights in the World, and for us, a very different kind of Disney trip. I'm Cynthia, eandesmom here on the DIS and this is my 8th TR if you include PTR's. I thought about what to call this report and where the heck to put it, probably too much. For those of you who know me, this is probably not a surprise. One of my many failings is overthinking and analyzing. And some might say, over planning but…those that would, are not on this board are they?

LOL!

But hey, first things first. Who, what, where and when!

Who: eandesmom and gang. Which means me (Cynthia), my DH Jeff, DSD Kendall (16), DS Evan (13) and DS Eric (11). Sadly, as is often the case I think I only have 2 pictures of all 5 of us from this trip, despite the 1500 or so I took so you'll have to wait for a group shot. I can promise you this though, there will NOT be a shortage of pictures!

What: A different kind of Disney trip. All Disney, all the time, but not exactly a traditional trip to the world. We'll get at that shortly.

Where: Old Key West, Vero Beach, Disney Dream, Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo.

When: July 26-August 7

You can read LOTS more about it should you desire, in our PTR “Book it, Buy it, Believe it”.

It is in the cruise forum as when it all started, that's what the focus of it was. However, it evolved into something much much more. It was a different trip. One full of magic, pixie dust, relaxation and memories. Amazing experiences we will never forget. If you want a trip report full of the parks and rides, this isn't it, there is some of that in here, but that was not the bulk of the trip. However, if you want to read about a Disney trip that explores the concept of resort only days (and really exploring what those resorts have to offer), checking out the beach Disney style, cruising on the Dream, family time, adult only time, big surprises, and an almost 100% “new” experience focused trip over 12 days tailored to tweens and teens, than this is it.

So where to put this kind of a TR? In the DVC Section? Cruise? Or WDW? Ultimately I decided on the WDW section as we had more days in the world, than anywhere else and while it was not a park trip, per-se, we did enough resort wise, activity wise that I really wanted to share that different side and just how much there is to do, even without a park ticket. Or at least as far as the kids knew we didn’t have a park ticket.

We had some rather fun statistics.

In no particular order
  • 4 new resorts
  • 1 new ship
  • 2 new ports
  • 1st ever resort only stay in WDW
  • 7 new shows
  • 2 new rides
  • 5 new WDW restaurants
  • 2 new Vero restaurants
  • 4 new restaurants on the Dream
  • 1 new lounge on the Dream
  • 1st 4 night cruise
  • 1st trip “home”
  • 1st time cooking in a villa
  • 7 new pools
  • 3 new beaches
  • 7 new slides
  • 4 new animal experiences
  • Several new “recreation” activities at the resorts
  • 1st time eating breakfast, lunch and dinner…in the same park
  • 1st time opening and closing a park without ever leaving or hopping
  • And the most rides ever on any one single ride, in any park, ever, by a member of my family.
One thing remained constant, no matter where we stayed. A key element in all our trips, or at least all my trips.

Coffee on the verandah.

So come with me and mine and enjoy a cup. Don't like coffee? I won't hold it against you.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to “mine”.

But first..”me”.

Cynthia. Certified Disney nut. I fell in love with Disney when I was 10, thanks to my mom. Who is technically my stepmom but holds the full mom ranking in my heart and every way that matters. While dating my dad, she somehow convinced him to take his 4 kids, in one small car, on a road trip to California. We camped on the way down and in the days before seatbelts, I sat on her lap the entire way there and back. Not only did we all live, she survived the whole thing so well he proposed on the trip and I fell in love with Disney. You can read about it here:

A blustery day”.

I am a full time working mom in sales and marketing for an engineering firm. Which may explain a lot. While not an engineer, I like the geeky side of things and like to think I combine that aspect, with the marketing stuff and as a result have special affinities for things like fuzzy Disney math, spreadsheets and a little graphic design on the side. Including this trip, I’ve been to DLR 5x, WDW 7x and on DCL twice now. I’ve been known to ditch the family and do Disney girls trips on my own with other DISers. In fact, I have my second DIS girls trip coming up very soon with Mary Ellen (MEK on the DIS) and a slew of others! The fact that I do, has lessened the pain of return. That and a newly minted AP. But I digress.

Oh and I like coffee. In cups. A lot. I have a thing about it, and pick my mug for the day based on my mood, the weather, the season.

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k3...da/Intro/M.jpg

I know, I don't have coffee in this picture! Shame.

“Mine” We are a blended family, a Brady Bunch if you will. I like to think of myself as a bonus mom. There are 6 of us but only 5 on the trip. The 6th, 19 year old Taylor, is busy being a college student and traveling with friends, which frankly is all I wanted to do at his age too!

The big M in “mine” is my beloved DH Jeff. While reportedly not the Disney freak he says I am, he's been known to suggest retiring to Florida, getting jobs as CM's and recording Disney documentary type shows on TV (for me he says) that I didn't even know were on. For a guy who says a trip every 3 years is enough, he’s managed to stomach a trip that has some kind of Disney element (be it WDW, DLR or DCL) pretty much every year since 2009. I have him beat on the WDW trips by several trips but he grew up in CA and went to college there and has me eating his dust when it comes to DLR. He is an aerospace engineer who is building a seaplane in our garage. I support him in this…which gives me a LOT of quid pro quo when it comes to Disney!

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k3...a/Intro/M2.jpg

Kendall. Kendall turned 16 on this trip, and while it wasn't her birthday present per-se, the fact that it was a big birthday and that she was extremely excited about the cruise portion helped convince her mom to support the trip despite the fact that she gets little to no time off from soccer and her life generally revolves around it. It’s a tough age to plan around and we did try to create a trip that appealed to her age and interests. I'm happy to say it worked.

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k3...rthdayGirl.jpg

Evan. At 13 Evan is smack in the middle of kid and teen. He alternates between “I don't need to go to the parks for a while” to “I really miss the parks”. The kid who really likes the parks and Disney and is less concerned with his hair and outfit was present more than the one trying to be cool. Which actually made him way more cool in my book. This trip was a big hit with him as well, in fact we heard thank you's from the kids on a repeated basis throughout the trip which made me wonder if someone had switched them out when we weren't looking. When it kept going, at a certain point I decided to take it and enjoy it!

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k3...ro/JoeCool.jpg

Eric. At 11, he is 30 going on 5. Eric was probably our biggest challenge on the trip. He is crazy smart and always looking for the next cool thing, obsessively so. He has a hard time being in the moment but spends a lot of time planning the next one. He especially loves cruising and fantasized for months about the cruise portion, making the early part of the trip challenging at times to get him to just live in the moment. We pulled it off, most of the time. He is of course planning the next trip already.

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k3...VCHappyBoy.jpg

It was a magical trip, virtually free of drama (unlike many of the days leading up to the trip!) and for a family trip (which by their very nature are not exactly relaxing) the most relaxing trip we’ve taken as a family (at least for me lol) that I can remember. Now just because it was largely drama free, won’t mean there aren’t some rather interesting stories and moments…there are. There were meltdowns, teenage hormones and parents at their wits ends. It happens to the best of us. But overall?

Magic.

Pure magic.


Up next

Here we go here we go here we goooooooo!

eandesmom 08-11-2012 10:55 AM

Coffee on the Verandah - Chapter Links
 
Chapter Links

What not to do
The learning curve

Day 1: Departure Day and arrival at OKW
Here we go here we go here we gooooooooooooooo!
My supreme awesomeness
Donde esta el autobus?

Day 2: Exploring OKW and DTD
The first cup
I don't wanna a sandwich!
Pedal or Paddle? Patootie!
Yeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwww!

Day 3: Margaritaville and arrival at Vero
Dancing in the Hemisphere
The Long Road to Vero

Day 4: Vero Beach
A working vacation
Lunch with a view
Should we stay or should we go now?
Squidlips
Mrs. Crush and Squirt(sssss) too

Day 5: Vero Beach
Boys, balls, bikes and bars
The beached mermaid
Puddles and Pizza

Day 6: Vero, Sweet 16 and embarking on the Dream
Sorry, Room Service is closed
No ice
Sailing away, Space cadet style
I thought she was with you???

Day 7: Disney Dream/Nassau
A walk on the promenade
Locked out, and Rained out
Ta Da!

Day 8: Disney Dream /at Sea
Bikes and Bubbles
A blustery deck
Pirates at Sea

Day 9: Disney Dream / Castaway Cay
Snorkels and Shovels
Castaway Air
Conch's and Cocktails
Trick? or Treat!

Day 10: Disembarking the Dream, AKV Surprise
Are we ever getting off this ship?
Reclassified
That bus driver looks like Uncle Joe!

Day 11: Animal Kingdom
Call me irresponsible
Let's go on a Safari!
Sleeping Tigers and Drowned Rats
Masters of the Mountain
For the birds...
Let the Festival Begin

Day 10: AKV Jambo / Kidani and going home plus souvies!
Two by two
The Last Slide, recap and souvies

Special updates
A tribute to a special DISer, RIP manntra
I can't sell you those points

Link to Aulani TR
Lama pa'ipa'i on the Lanai - an Aulani TR

KatMark 08-11-2012 11:01 AM

I'm here...now back to read.

****Okay, I've read. Great intros Cynthia; and although you may not have coffee in your hand, it looks as if you have something yummy in your hand. :)

And as you very well know, I LOVE coffee. :)

I can't wait to hear all about it.

emma212010 08-11-2012 11:03 AM

Sounds like a wonderful trip! I'm in! :goodvibes

chloe770 08-11-2012 11:09 AM

Here!

2xcited2sleep 08-11-2012 11:19 AM

Can't wait!!popcorn::

englishrose47 08-11-2012 11:26 AM

Di8d I make page 1

jillyb 08-11-2012 11:32 AM

First time reader here. Beautiful family!

englishrose47 08-11-2012 11:33 AM

Okay I loved the intros !!! Can't wait for the coffee on the verandah to begin!!!!

glennbo123 08-11-2012 11:38 AM

Can't wait to follow your adventures!!! :cool1:

Loved the Intro!

KristiMc 08-11-2012 11:40 AM

I'm in.

DisMomAmy 08-11-2012 11:43 AM

Here!!!

Native NYer 08-11-2012 11:46 AM

I can't wait to read about your trip!

SoonerGirl 08-11-2012 11:50 AM

Joining in! We have a lot of the same DIS friends, but I don't think I've ever read one of your reports! From your intro I think I'm going to really enjoy it :goodvibes

I also have older kids, two boys ages 16 and almost 12 and I can already guess that they would LOVE a trip like the one you just took!

Oh, and I'm not a coffee drinker, thanks for not holding it against me ;)

pooh'smate 08-11-2012 12:10 PM

I'm here, thank you for the heads up on FB. I can't wait to hear more about your magical trip.


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